Waiting for the appointment with my webmaster
for the regular maintenance of the camping site, I take a quick look at his positioning with respect to some search "queries", to evaluate the retouching of some "meta tags" (not that much changes but, according to the essay, every fly liver is substance ...)
From all research, using keywords and combinations obviously relevant, there is a constant: like parsley, TripAdvisor is omnipresent. At the end of this 2018, there is nothing to be surprised about. TripAdvisor is one of the most visited sites in the world
. It can be considered a sort of Michelin Guide online, constantly updated, having a disproportionately larger number of inspectors, but not paid. TripAdvisor uses mechanisms from social networks to turn most of its passive "users" into active "taxpayers": as well as in the sci-fi dystopia of Matrix anyone is potentially an agent of the "system", in TripAdvisor is instead a reviewer ...
Karl Marx, in a nutshell, argued that the capitalists paid only a percentage of the work actually done, otherwise they would not have made any profit, defining this mechanism "appropriation of surplus value". Today Marx would go crazy, because the "capitalist" TripAdvisor bills a billion and a half dollars a year, providing a "free" service but earning from the hundreds of millions of monthly views (through more or less explicit advertising, booking services, partnerships , "monetary" contributions from the activities in order to have more visibility) and from the reviews that we ourselves, with our voluntary work of reviewers, produce. I do not make it a moral question. These are facts. And for some cynical verses, TripAdvisor's founder, Stephen Kaufer, is to be considered a genius
, also for having a revolutionary insight, in the company of people like Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, who had proposed a paid service, not only would never have had such an economic success, but would have failed even before starting.
To better understand how TripAdvisor intersects the name of my activity on the net, proceed with the direct search in incognito (otherwise the cookies could spoil the results) on Google of the terms "camping sophia": after the natural and obvious first position of the site of Agricamping Sophia, here is the relative page of TripAdvisor. Basically it means that who finds us, immediately look for reviews on TripAdvisor
. What then is what I do when I have to go for example in some restaurant where I've never been before... In short, I discovered hot water.
Then I click on the link to TripAdvisor and immediately opens a calendar to select check in
and check out
of my booking, through TripAdvisor, at the Sophia Agricamping. The problem is that the procedure ends with a slightly biased warning, namely that "TripAdvisor's online travel partners" do not provide prices for this accommodation "! Of course ... I have never paid a single euro to the "travel partners" of TripAdvisor
because I have never had the need to rely on external booking systems. However TripAdvisor reassures me because it can "look for other options in Pachino"...
I do not know the reason, but I feel a bit 'as if they had taken me
of the ass
around... I do not know... Maybe I would have more willingly accepted a notice like "this structure, despite our many solicitations, has never paid a single euro to broker bookings from us or our travel partners, so we suggest alternatively the structures that pay in cash or percentages on reservations".
The downside is that due to the reputation achieved thanks to your generous reviews
, the Agricamping Sophia enjoys an unthinkable attention in similar conditions twenty years ago, when the advertising was entrusted only to word of mouth or to the expensive presence in specialized magazines. The digital revolution has been a godsend
for the emerging companies in these first decades of the third millennium, as it has indirectly provided the tools to radically shorten the time of entry in the "market": the possibility to acquire a website, to exploit social networks, to register in specialized portals, to be potentially constantly traceable and reachable via mobile systems.
Hegel believed that history was in constant "dialectical" movement. In topical historical moments the overcoming of a given system of values would occur, the "negation" of these values due to their gradual exasperation. Thus the French Revolution, for example, would have been the definitive fulfillment of the dialectical negation of monarchical absolutism, so the Sixties revolution would have represented the overcoming of bourgeois values.
An episode of Black Mirror from the Italian title "Free Fall", hypothesizes a future society in which all people will be mutually under judgment: everyone will be able to attribute a rating, expressed by a numerical value from one to five, to any person with whom come into contact. The average judgment would have determined access to social possibilities related to the rank acquired. Are we close to the future described by "Free Fall"? Today we can leave public reviews on the work of others on specialized websites
, often with presumption, incompetence and malice. When I take the role of the "reviewer", I give myself a rule (perhaps spoiled by the fact of being on the other side of the barricade...): if the judgment is not at least sufficient, better not write anything, because to express a negative opinion on work of real, real people, who plan, sweat, hope (and maybe that day, for some reason, they could not give the best of themselves), can only undermine the possibility of adequately paying an employee or dressing a child to send at school.
Google's review system is the worst
. TripAdvisor forces you to argue, so if you write cretin, your review, although it helps to determine the average score, loses credibility. Facebook has recently (and wisely) abolished the attribution of scoring opting for the only possibility to recommend the activity. In any case, on Facebook, the possibilities of identification and interaction are greater, so if you write cretin you can receive replies from anyone, not only (as on TripAdvisor) by the representative of the activity. On Google instead you can write all the cretin you want and leave a judgment even if you have never set foot in that restaurant or in that accommodation: there is no report that has effect. On Google (I affirm it in relation to my direct experience) you have no defense against malice and stupidity.
In contemporary society everyone can and feels almost obliged to give his own judgment and opinion on everything. Umberto Eco's unpopular affirmation
may also appear classist but highlights one fact: the network places, for example, the opinion of a doctor on medical issues and the opinion of anyone without medical skills.
Who has been our guest knows well that we take measures to prevent certain risks, such as bumps and narrowing of the lane to prevent some exuberant put at risk the safety of others. It happened that summer 2018 a young couple had in the middle of the night moved one of the pots arranged along the internal road of the camping, in order to force them to slow down, in order to be able to accelerate in the vicinity of the tents area. One of my collaborators realizes and rebukes them. Instead of apologizing for the answer was the attempt (of course only on Google ...) to leave us a bad judgment.
To my aunt and uncle, Vini Sultana
, a reviewer on TripAdvisor, left a negative opinion that he found himself in a winery where wine tastings are carried out, rather than in a "classic farmhouse / farmhouse": it is a bit like entering a gourmet restaurant and judging it negatively because it was believed to be a pizzeria...
At the beginning of this summer, the manager of a Marzamemi catering business, in which we often went, probably had a scrape (justified or unjustified of little importance) with the five people at a table. After a few days he found himself not one, but five bad reviews, one after the other, on TripAdvisor. Such a thing is done only for the purpose of damaging.
In Hegelian terms, if the right of opinion, painstakingly acquired after a long and tortuous historical process, is allowed to do so freely with free damage to others (voluntary or involuntary), they are beginning to lay the foundations for its future denial?
IDIOT TOURIST TAX
While there is talk of reducing the tax wedge and aid to companies as an incentive for job creation, the local political scarcity decides against the trend to increase the rates of the tourist tax. We should roll out a perpetual red carpet to the tourist who comes to spend money to sleep, eat, visit museums, crowd the bathing establishments, because (one really has to be intellectually gifted not to understand this…) if businesses survive, not only can they easily pay already expensive IMU, TARI and various surtaxes but, consequently, they can pay their employees so that they themselves pay their mites...But no! Tourist, do you want to come and visit what pertains to our municipal area? Then we punish you! Here's a nice tax (in our case) of 2 euros and 50 cents per night (for a maximum of 6 nights) if you are over the age of 14 and do not belong to any of the exceptions provided...
HOW YOU REFURBISH THE MUNICIPAL BUDGET AT THE EXPENSE OF TOURISTS. ONLY THAT BY LAW IT CANNOT BE DONE…
Since 24 November 2022, the Municipality of Noto has seen fit to "remodulate" the tourist tax to restore the municipal budget. From a range that until last summer ranged from €1 to €2 for a maximum of 4 consecutive nights, the City Council, through Resolution No. 57 of 11/24/2022, was "forced" to increase it from 2, €5 to €5 for a maximum of 6 nights.
Proportionate and gradual?
Obviously the problem does not arise for those who are willing to pay 200 or 300 euros a night in the center of Noto or for the VIP on duty. However, for a couple of students who pay 20 euros to stay in a tent in July, an extra 5 euros represents 25% of the amount, as well as for a family with two children over 14 who, in the same period, as far as regards, you would realistically pay €39 for the overnight stay and €10 for the tourist tax. Do they seem few to you?
At the turn of August, in the...
CHRONICLE OF THE CLEANING OF MARZAMEMI BEACH AND LETTER TO AN IDIOT
On May 17, 2022, the students of the Erasmus "Think Green" project, organized by the association "Attiva-Mente" of Modica, together with the boys of "The Tree of Life" of Pachino, met to clean up the beach of Marzamemi, in the Spinazza district, collecting everything that does not exactly fall into the categories of shells, sand or algae.Armed with bags and gloves, they then beat every square meter of public beach, filling numerous bags with all kinds of waste (it seems evident that bathers have erroneous beliefs about the biodegradable properties of glass and plastic). Gaetano and I, as companions, crashed into the pleasant collection activity and, between a broken sink pipe and an empty bottle of discount beer, from time to time we took the opportunity to take some photos (him) and enjoy ourselves in strokes in a more than free style among the waves of the sea (me).Everything seemed...
THE SENSE OF OTHERS - REFLECTIONS ON AN ERASMUS
In 1994 Anthropologist Marc Augé published one of his most important and influential literary works: "The sense of others. Current anthropology". Close to the philosophical thought for which "the identification of oneself occurs only in the relationship with otherness", he wrote about how the attempt to understand the Cultural Other was a reflection of the search for one's own cultural identity.In a world that travels swiftly towards supranational political structures, I found I have much less in common with my neighbor than with a Romanian girl or a Georgian boy... In the years when nationalisms are sadly making a comeback, we can still really talk seriously national identity? In other words, are we really sure that the average 20-year-old Russian cares about Putin's "sense" of national identity? This is a purely theoretical discourse, considering the regime's propaganda.I have...
FROM "PANI I CASA" TO "SCACCIA": GENESIS OF A SICILIAN PIZZA
U pani i casa
I have vivid childhood memories in which we "went down" to Sicily, in Pachino, to spend the long summer holidays with my grandparents, during which I had the pleasure of attending one of those social rituals with an ancient flavor several times, handed down for who knows how many generations, common to most Sicilian rural families: the preparation of pani i casa.
Until the end of the 1980s, at my grandparents' house, with the help of my mother first and my uncle then, the pani i casa was made weekly, then much more rarely, up to the almost complete abandonment of the habit (probably due to the spread of bakeries more and more close at hand or, simply, to the evolution of different ways of life). In my grandmother's story there is the nostalgic tone of the ancient, of the flavors of the past which, by dogmatic definition, were better than those of today... My mother,...
ONLY PROPAGANDA? REFLECTIONS ON AN INVASION
I write this third post on the war in Ukraine as a pretext for my personal need to investigate, to understand an event after which the world will certainly be, in one way or another, radically different. The difficulty, ever since concrete winds of war began to blow last year, has been trying to intercept the most "objective" information possible. The metaphor is the recent Bucha massacre : not only do the Russians deny that their armed forces are responsible but even claim that it is all Ukrainian (and Western) hype to discredit them. Putin's "special operation" would have been triggered at the request of the Russian speakers of the Donbass, with respect to whom Kiev, since 2014, would have even planned a genocide: at this point I would rather tend to believe the OSCE observers, of whom I have already written in a previous post, whose narrative is substantially different. If we wanted...
FROM THE ATTRACTIVE OF NATO TO THE ALLEGED GENOCIDE IN THE DONBASS
This "post" is the result of my personal need to better understand the flood of information and opinions that are investing us in these days on the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. In particular, I tried to understand if the expansion of NATO is really the main engine of Putin's actions, if it is right to force Ukraine to a possible future as a buffer state and if there really has been a genocide of Ukrainian citizens in the Donbass of Russian ethnicity.
BORN BETWEEN LIGHT AND SHADOWS
NATO was formed shortly after the end of the Second World War, with an implicit anti-Soviet function: the isolation of West Berlin in 1948 by the Red Army, which forced the Western powers to organize an airlift to supply it, was the decisive fact at the birth of the North Atlantic Alliance. In the text of the Treaty there is however a constant self-subordination to the United Nations (of which,...
UKRAINE : JUST PRETEND TO KNOW WHAT NOT TO DO
The thousands of people who last night, February 24, 2022, crowded the squares of the main Russian cities to protest against the invasion of Ukraine , aware of the risk of suppressions and arrests (which took place on time), are carriers of the strongest critical and ethical stance of these unfortunate days. It is the evidence of how much the arbitrary historical exploitation, dangerous because if they became accepted customary they would justify any ambition of "D'Annunzio" (including the Chinese claims of Taiwan ), are considered insane even by a good portion of the Russian population. The urgent question to be resolved concerns the rules of relativism .
Speaking only of what I have direct memory of (having personally experienced all the media narrative), I wonder what is "ethically" the difference between the invasions of Kuwait, the abuses of Milosevic, Assad or Gaddafi,...