How we became digital serfs

Episode Summary

Lately, we’re all just serving the lords of big tech. How capitalism has been replaced by "technofeudalism," according to maverick economist Yanis Varoufakis.

Episode Notes

Who profits from our online lives? How is all our clicking and scrolling giving tech companies such unprecedented power and wealth? This isn’t capitalism, argues Yanis Varoufakis: it’s technofeudalism. 

Maverick economist Varoufakis argues that we’re all serfs now, paying rents to the big tech "cloudalists” (cloud + capitalists). He talks about why we don’t actually own the music and movies we buy online; what Don Draper knew about behaviour modification; and how a Star Trek future could save us, and democracy. 

Yanis Varoufakis is the former finance Minister of Greece whose latest book is called Technofeudalism: What Killed Capitalism.

Also, Vass and Katrina talk about whether Civil War is worth a trek to the theatre.

This is Lately. Every week, we take a deep dive into the big, defining trends in business and tech that are reshaping our every day. 

Lately is a Globe and Mail podcast.

Our executive producer is Katrina Onstad.

The show is hosted by Vass Bednar and produced by Andrea Varsany. 

Our sound designer is Cameron McIver.

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Episode Transcription

Katrina Onstad [00:00:01] We're just getting started on Lately and we'd love to get your opinion. There's a brief survey at the end of the episode, and as a thank you for taking it, we'll give you a chance to win some prizes. More details at the end of the show. Vass have you seen the movie Civil War?

Vass Bednar [00:00:17] No, but I watched the trailer. Will you count that?

Katrina Onstad [00:00:19] No, I don't count it. I went to the theater to see it in person, and it was worth the trip.

Vass Bednar [00:00:24] Okay.

Katrina Onstad [00:00:24] For the two people who don't know, Civil War is a blockbuster about a dystopian near-future where America is at war with itself, and democracy appears to have crumbled. I liked it, but if you can't get to the theater and you want to stream it, as of this recording, it's in that preorder purchase limbo before it becomes a $6.99 rental. When you have to pay $29.99 to own the movie. I'm suspicious of this whole system of buying movies at home from streamers. Do you do it? Do you buy digital movies?

Vass Bednar [00:00:50] I don't actually. I rent them sometimes through Apple TV.

[00:00:54] Yeah.

Vass Bednar [00:00:55] And I see that option to buy, and I've always wondered why you would purchase it. But you're right. Recently, certain streaming companies have shared that their licensing can change and will change. And even if you've made a purchase of a film or television show that you love, it won't necessarily stay a part of your collection. And there's kind of nothing that you can do about that. So that kind of middle ground between renting and owning is becoming much softer and blurrier.

Katrina Onstad [00:01:23] Yeah, exactly. Well, we live in a subscription economy, right? Our music, our video games, software, it's a terrible feeling paying for updates for something that you feel like you already own. And if you don't pay, you lose those products. So talking about a dystopian near-future feels appropriate for today's episode, because this shift we're experiencing, moving from a system of ownership to one of renting from the tech giants is one corner of a very big idea being put forward in a new book by our guest, Yanis Varoufakis. Varoufakis is an economist and an academic, bestselling author, and the former finance minister of Greece, and his new book is called Technofeudalism: What Killed Capitalism? I'm Katrina Onstad I'm a producer on Lately.

Vass Bednar [00:02:07]  And I'm Vass Bednar the host of Lately. This week serfs up, specifically medieval serfs. So we are speaking about techno feudalism, and this is the idea that we serve our big tech overlords by giving them content, data and ultimately our attention. We're creating value but don't see any of their returns. Yanis is saying this is super problematic, and he's alluding to feudalism, which was a medieval social system, it dominated Europe. And the basic idea there was that peasants who were also known as serfs, serfs, an 'e' not a 'u', served their lords through farming and labor, and in return they got to live in their kingdom. So it wasn't the worst deal, but it wasn't the best deal, and it was definitely a form of subjugation.

Katrina Onstad [00:02:54] So basically, capitalism is dead. It's mutated into something much worse, techno feudalism, and big tech is profiting from all those hours we spend on Twitter and Instagram.

Vass Bednar [00:03:05] Yeah.

Katrina Onstad [00:03:05] Yanis Varoufakis calls the people who run these companies and platforms cloud-a-lists a play on the word cloud and capitalist. Sometimes these companies are referred to collectively as the Magnificent Seven.

Vass Bednar [00:03:16] Yeah. Recently Deutsche Bank released research that these so-called Magnificent Seven, the top technology companies in the world Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Meta, Microsoft, Nvidia and Tesla have had this meteoric rise in their profits and their market capitalization. And they're capturing tons of value, so much value that they're outstripping G20 countries in terms of their revenue and their financial power, and that that translates to a whole lot of democratic power that we didn't necessarily vote to endow them with in the first place.

Katrina Onstad [00:03:48] Yanis Varoufakis, he's always a big thinker. Yeah. He's known as a bit of a blank disturber, fairly or unfairly, during the debt crisis in Europe, in Greece, when he was a finance minister, he refused austerity measures, the government fell, and the Financial Times referred to him as the most irritating and self-assured man in the room.

Vass Bednar [00:04:06] Look, he's a controversial public figure, right? He used to ride his motorcycle to Greek Parliament, wear a leather jacket. The point is, he's shaking his fist at the cloud-a-lists. Now, I was willing, for the record to go to Greece for this interview.

Katrina Onstad [00:04:20] It's very generous offer.

Vass Bednar [00:04:21] Thank you. But we were able to reach him remotely in his kitchen. This is Lately. So when you were the finance minister of Greece, you were called a rock star finance minister, which is a fantastic oxymoron. What was it like to have to react to that label?

Yanis Varoufakis [00:04:55] Depressing.

Vass Bednar [00:04:56] Hmhm.

Yanis Varoufakis [00:04:57] Very depressing, because the reason why I was there to be absolutely, entirely, utterly honest with you was because of the immense, crippling poverty of the vast majority of the Greeks. From my perspective, there was only one objective, and the objective was to get the Greek people out of debt bondage, out of debtors prison. So there I am, trying to ring my mind to come up with ideas with the way in which our debt would be restructured. 2 million people were essentially bankrupt. Suicide rates were through the sky and that was my task. To observe the media, especially the foreign media, the non-Greek media, present me as the rock star who was either a wonderful guy or an awful threat to Western civilization. That didn't matter. You know, playing a game in terms of lifestyle, not politics, but lifestyle was depressing.

Vass Bednar [00:05:59] Let's talk about your newest book, Technofeudalism. How can I with my iPhone? How can I have anything in common with a medieval peasant?

Yanis Varoufakis [00:06:08] You produce work which builds the capital stock of a super rich person or super rich persons. And for that work you do not get remunerated. That is the definition of a peasant. A peasant would work the land. Toil the soil and produce a harvest, out of which, what, 60% would be taken by the sheriff on behalf of the Lord. In your case, whether you're using Facebook, Twitter or or you don't use anything, just you walk around with your phone and Google Maps knows where you are. You are surreptitiously adding to the capital stock or some very, very rich cloud capitalists I call them, or cloud-a-lists. Now, that is not a moral point. It's an economic point. It is a point that has to do with the kind of society we live in. Because if the process that I just described creates huge power, extractive power for the 0.00001%. And that extractive power stabilizes the economy and the society you live in. Because if 30-40% of the price we pay for stuff is siphoned off by these owners of this kind of capital, then the fed has a problem. In the case of Canada, your central bank, your reserve Bank, society simply goes from one deep crisis to a deeper crisis. So the connection between your serfdom, which it may be voluntary, you may not mind it at all. You may actually enjoy tweeting and uploading stuff on TikTok or Facebook. I do. This is not a moral criticism of anyone who does. I am an addict of this. I constantly tweet, I constantly upload videos. So, you know, I'm a willing and happy serf. But nevertheless, my serfdom does not depend on how much I enjoy or the extent to which it is voluntary.

Vass Bednar [00:08:07] Let's get a few more concrete examples of this. You mentioned writing tweets, posting on Facebook or Instagram or TikToks. What about renting your music collection through Apple or Spotify instead of owning a record or a CD? Is that part of cloud capitalism?

Yanis Varoufakis [00:08:24] It is connected. So for instance, Uber, Airbnb. These are cloud-a-list corporations which do not own cars. They do not own houses. And their business model is about extracting rents from a fiefdom, a cloud fiefdom in which they have encased house owners, car owners, people who want to travel on cars with people who want to stay in apartments. I was having this discussion recently with my friend Roger waters. When it comes to a record collection. It is clear that it is no longer the band or the musician who is paying a very large rent to some company in order to find customers. It is the afterlife of the music which has been uploaded on the cloud, and which then becomes in itself another kind of fief, which permits the owners of that feif to extract cloud rents through, for instance, Spotify or Apple Music. So yes, in the end, it didn't have to be. But now it is part of this techno feudal order.

Vass Bednar [00:09:31] So what does Roger waters think about all of this? Roger Waters being, of course, the co-founder of the legendary band Pink Floyd.

Yanis Varoufakis [00:09:38] Roger was always gung ho against the whole industry. If you think back to Wish You Were Here. And if you decipher some of the lyrics, it's all about the alienation of the artist who is connected to one of those conglomerates. That's well before the cloud. I'm lucky enough to have amongst my heroes my idols when it comes to rock music, several friends. Another one is Brian Eno.

Vass Bednar [00:09:58] Hmhm.

Yanis Varoufakis [00:09:59] The opinion between them differ. I mean, my friend Brian, Brian Eno has a slightly different take.

Vass Bednar [00:10:04] Brian Eno being the musician and producer of bands like U2 and Coldplay.

Yanis Varoufakis [00:10:08] Yes, he believes that people like himself make too much money in the 1970s, 80s and 90s. So he laments the fact that young artists are exploited immensely through Spotify and so on. But he doesn't believe in the right of his older generation of rock and rollers, or rockers to extract large rents themselves.

Vass Bednar [00:10:30] Musical rock stars or academic and finance minister rock stars they're all thinking about this.

Yanis Varoufakis [00:10:36] You've done it again.

Vass Bednar [00:10:38] So you and I are both serfs?

Yanis Varoufakis [00:10:40] Yes.

Vass Bednar [00:10:40] Can we just take a second to break out the groups that you're putting forward?

Yanis Varoufakis [00:10:44] Well, there are also what I call cloud proles, cloud proletariats. So, for instance, if you are working on the shop floor of a factory these days, or indeed in an Amazon warehouse, then you will have one of these devices strapped onto your wrist and that monitors your movements in the warehouse. It tells you where to go, which item to pick up. It monitors your toilet breaks, it even knows who you are talking to, who you are close to. The same algorithm can predict whether your discussions with your coworkers, with the other cloud proles, increase the probability of unionization in your warehouse.

Vass Bednar [00:11:24] Okay.

Yanis Varoufakis [00:11:25] I think that simply by describing this, I've already described something which doesn't even sound like capitalism anymore. This is why at that point I say to people, you know, welcome to techno feudalism.

Vass Bednar [00:11:34] The cloud-a-lists. Who are they? They all seem to be dudes, but these are real people who are exerting this new kind of control and extracting value from us in our lives. Let's talk about them for a second.

Yanis Varoufakis [00:11:46] Well, they're very, very different people, one from the other. I mean, Bill Gates is a very different animal to Elon Musk to Zuckerberg. It's not a personal thing. We humans have always tried to convince others, to persuade them, to control them, to play mind games with them, whether we were poets, philosophers, politicians, priests, advertisers more recently, marketeers. But now we have machines that can do that. That is very new. It's only, what, ten years, 15 years? With reinforcement learning algorithms that have a capacity to train you, to train them, to train you, to train them, to train you, to make suggestions to you that capture your attention because they're good suggestions. And then once they've got you, got your attention, then they can input desires or ideas about what you should buy in your head. So that is a machine that modifies your behavior. That has never happened before. So once this kind of capital emerged, mutated, then the entrepreneurs who were at that interface between coding, writing programs and investing in machines where the programs develop their extraordinary capacity to modify behavior, those people suddenly, without even realizing it, acquired massive extractive power over the rest of society. And these are cloud-a-lists.

Vass Bednar [00:13:10] Well, these guys are often celebrated not for being in the right place at the right time, but as being innovators, disruptors. What do you say to the people who are enthralled by the Elon Musks of the world?

Yanis Varoufakis [00:13:21] I'm not so sure that that is new. Think of Thomas Edison.

Vass Bednar [00:13:24] Yeah.

Yanis Varoufakis [00:13:25] Thomas Edison was a big hit. He was a rockstar of his age, and he loved playing that role. From the beginning of industrial society engineers who became capitalists, who built bridges and highways, there was this cult of personality and a great deal of celebration, especially by younger people, because younger people generally like the shock of the new, like new technologies. Every generation wants to live the dream of being the generation that changes everything, the brave new world being created around it or by it. So I don't think this is really new, and especially back in the 1910s, people like Henry Ford and Westinghouse, they were big hits. They were, you know, celebrated for ushering in a technologically advanced world.

Vass Bednar [00:14:16] Okay. So it's familiar. Was there a particular moment where it became super clear to you that capitalism had morphed? You said mutated?

Yanis Varoufakis [00:14:25] I do not believe in epiphanies. There's never a single moment. It's cumulative. It was when I noticed that after 2009, the financial sector catastrophe of 2008, in 2009, you have the bailouts, not just in the United States, but across the G7 in order to refloat the sunken financial sector. So then the thought comes to me that 'hang on a second this isn't capitalism.' When you have capital accumulation and huge quantities of capital being created by the state on behalf of privateers something's going on here. So that was another step in my realization that we now have a different socio economic mode of production and distribution, which is no longer capitalist in the way I understood capitalism. Add to this the manner in which video game communities produced stores and markets that then became the Apple Store and Google Play, essentially putting hundreds of thousands of small capitalists and large capitalists in the service of these cloud-a-lists. At some point, it all came together and I thought, this is not capitalism.

Vass Bednar [00:15:41] I mean, some people listening will say, isn't this just capitalism on steroids?

Yanis Varoufakis [00:15:46] If you go to the great cathedrals of Europe, there is wealth that is staring at you in the face. Where did the wealth come from? It came from rent, from rents extracted from fiefdoms. With capitalism, you have profits replacing rents. If my hypothesis in the book is right that markets are increasingly being replaced with these cloud fiefs or platforms, as you might call them, digital platforms, which are not markets, they look like markets, but they are not markets. And if I'm right to say that increasingly a substantial part of GDP that used to be profits is now becoming what I call cloud rents. Every time you buy an electric bicycle from Amazon, Jeff Bezos retains something between 20 and 40% of that price. That's a cloud rent.

Vass Bednar [00:16:34] Yeah.

Yanis Varoufakis [00:16:34] Then this is no longer capitalism in the sense that it is no longer a system which is founded on these two foundations of markets and profits. It is a system founded on something different. These cloud fiefs of digital platforms and cloud rents.

Vass Bednar [00:16:56] Yanis, earlier you mentioned advertisers starting to get inside our heads, predicting what we want, telling us what we want. Let's go pop culture for a second. Someone else who's in your book, Don Draper of Mad Men, how does he fit in with techno feudalism?

Yanis Varoufakis [00:17:12] I use him as an example of a brilliant, fictitious, but brilliant behavior modifier. Because if you watch Madmen and it's one of my favorite shows, he's mostly drunk, dysfunctional, and then he comes up with a brilliant idea which convinces you to buy a third rate chocolate called Hershey or Coca-Cola. Right. This is part and parcel of a phase of capitalism, the postwar phase of capitalism, kind of monopoly capitalism with very large conglomerates that monopolized markets, fixed prices, and reduced competition between themselves like Coca-Cola and Pepsi cola. They are maybe rivals, but they're not real competitors. They have a segment of the market between themselves, and then they have Don Draper create on behalf of those companies, your desire for their products. But today they don't need Don Draper because they've got cloud capital, they've got Alexa. Therefore, the death of Don Draper and his automation and replacement by cloud capital. He's central to my books concept of the transformation from the latest phase of late capitalism to what I call technofeudlism.

Vass Bednar [00:18:21] Another element in this book is that you've written it as a conversation with your parents, particularly your father, who, back when he was a chemistry student, was temporarily imprisoned for not signing a declaration denouncing communism. What did that feel like to be presenting your thinking and ideas to your memory of him?

Yanis Varoufakis [00:18:38] It was very moving, but let me confess why I have done that. I've done that initially with another book. With an earlier book.

Vass Bednar [00:18:46] Yeah.

Yanis Varoufakis [00:18:47] Talking to my Daughter, it was called and the subtitle was A Brief History of Capitalism. And let me tell you why I did that. I did that because I am afflicted with a very bad condition. I'm an academic and we academics, as my daughter keeps telling me, are dead bores. So if I start telling a story with the academic mindset as if I'm giving a lecture at the university, my daughter, just her eyes glazed and said, go away, go away now in your room. I'm grounded. Right? Because I've written a lot of academic books which are completely unreadable, right.

Vass Bednar [00:19:25] I wouldn't say they're unreadable.

Yanis Varoufakis [00:19:27] They are, they are, some of my earlier books it was just self-indulgence by an academic. We academics are very good at that. So I had this publisher who had this brilliant idea he said, why don't you try to narrate capitalism to your 12 year old daughter and never use the word capitalism, or any ism, or any mention of any academic or scholar. And that was a great challenge. So when I had this idea of techno feudalism, I thought, okay, I'm going to write this as a letter. Whom am I going to address? And immediately the idea came to my dad because my father introduced me to capitalism. So if I was going to explain to anyone why I think that capitalism is now dead, it would be him. And it so happens that as I was preparing to start writing the book, my father died and I started writing it on the day of his funeral, which was very moving for me, but also very liberating. I remember coming back home from the funeral and feeling elated by the thought that I would continue my relationship with him writing this book.

Vass Bednar [00:20:28] Hmhm what is the end result of techno feudalism? If your daughter is going to write about this in a generation, write something to you, tell us what happened, where we went. What's the kind of positive version of that? What's the negative version?

Yanis Varoufakis [00:20:42] Well, the worst case scenario is the Matrix, where we become enslaved by our own artifacts and we essentially, even our own bodies are being used as batteries for them to be powered. It's not just us against Elon Musk. All of us, including Elon Musk, just become sad bastards, to use a very unscientific expression.

Vass Bednar [00:21:04] Hmhm.

Yanis Varoufakis [00:21:04] Just slaves of a machine that we have created. So my fear is not that AI is going to reach a point of singularity where, like the Terminator, it will destroy humanity. No. This is why I'm invoking as a worst case scenario, the Matrix. We are all alive, but we've become the energy providers of the system of machines that we created. The best case scenario is Star Trek, which is a libertarian communism. Where, you know, you have a hole in the wall, it's a machine, you ordered food, equipment, whatever. It comes out, everything is automated, but there's no money, there's no private property. It's communism, luxury communism. And we can spend our lives sitting around the table and in- in a starship exploring the universe and having philosophical conversations. That's the other extreme. Of course we will not go to either extreme, but I think that these two examples from the movies or from television, they delineate quite nicely the spectrum of choices that we must make. Machines will not make them for us. Governments will not make them for us. We must make the decision whether we want to go towards democracy, which may lead to Star Trek, or to a situation where Elon Musk and Zuckerberg and the equivalent Chinese big tech guys, they're all guys, will decide our future.

Vass Bednar [00:22:28] How is democracy going to get us a little bit closer to Star Trek? What are our choices before us? Where can we go from here?

Yanis Varoufakis [00:22:35] The greatest threat to humanity at the moment is private ownership of extremely concentrated and powerful capital. So how big are these big tech companies? Well, the Magnificent Seven are larger than every company in Britain, France and Germany. All this huge extractive power over their society and it actually is galloping away. We are facing a climate catastrophe. Our conversations go through these bits of cloud capital algorithms, and those bits of cloud capital are primed to poison the conversation. Because this is- this is how they extract more rents. So there's no way we can actually have a conversation about what to do about the green transition, not only the global North but also in the global South. So private ownership of highly concentrated capital is the enemy of humanity. And we need to socialize it. That can only be done through democracy. It's really very simple. If we do not democratize the ownership of these highly powerful political and economic machines, then we will simply fail to create circumstances for reproduction for our species.

Vass Bednar [00:23:47] So democracy has policy tools to push back on this concentration of power. What's a better system? Is it fundamentally anti-technology, or are we just slow to actually regulate the problem because we haven't named the problem properly?

Yanis Varoufakis [00:24:02] Well, technology is not the problem. The problem is who owns that technology? And what do governments do in order to democratize and socialize the ownership of the technology? So today for instance what you can do is, in order to enable the state to have a little bit more money to do things, you can introduce a cloud tax to slow down the extraction of cloud rents by the cloud-a-lists, and to give standard shops that have a bricks and mortar and they are being destroyed completely by the Amazons of the world and the Ubers of the world and so on. To give them a fighting chance in order to survive a bit longer. That's something to do that you can do tomorrow morning. Indonesia has a cloud tax. Why can't the United States have it? Why can't the European Union have?

Vass Bednar [00:24:45] Canada just proposed in our federal budget, we're coming back to the digital sales tax concept.

Yanis Varoufakis [00:24:50] There you are. But that's a tiny little thing you can do today. You can introduce legislation which is equivalent of what happened 15 years ago, 20 years ago, whenever it was. I remember with big telecom companies where if you dared switch from one company to another, you couldn't carry with you your telephone number.

Vass Bednar [00:25:10] Right.

Yanis Varoufakis [00:25:10] Interoperability. Well, now it's more complex because let's say I want to get out of Twitter. I've got more than a million followers. I lose them all, if I go to Blue Sky suddenly I'm talking to ten people. Imagine if there was a piece of legislation that I have the right to move to Blue Sky, and whenever I tweet or post something in Blue Sky, then my followers on Twitter must receive my tweets, my posts. This is something that we could be legislating in order to reduce switching costs, because the thing that keeps you a cloud serf in Facebook is the switching cost. If you leave Facebook, you lose all your friends, you lose all your data. So attack that, attack this barrier to exit. Third thing you can do moving into more radical territory, towards socializing the means of production leftist like me always dreamt of. So imagine if you were to say that, you know what folks, to all of you, doesn't matter whether you're Facebook, [inaudible], Blue Sky, whatever. We the users, the demos, we the demos are creating a substantial part of your capital, of your cloud capital. Because with every post, with every tweet, with every text, with every review that you upload, you're adding to their capital and we're getting none of the dividends. None of the dividends. You say, okay, but how can we decide what dividends to give to individual people? Well you can't. But imagine if you were to say that this is wealth that is being produced socially. So how about saying that in Canada, in the United States, in the European Union, these cloud-a-lists, you know, you have to deposit 20% of your shares into a social equity fund. And those shares stay there, belong to everybody. And the dividends accumulate. And those dividends then fund a basic income for everyone. Everybody gets the same. So society gets a payoff. That is why democratic politics is the only way of doing this. And this is why democracy is not superfluous and why democracy is not surplus to requirements.

Vass Bednar [00:27:16] So you lived in Seattle working as an economist for a software company. Did you ever meet or see Bill Gates? What would you say to a cloud-a-list if you bumped into them on a subway or streetcar or at the airport? I guess there's no places to meet these people in real life.

Yanis Varoufakis [00:27:31] No, indeed there isn't. I haven't met any of them. I've seen Bill Gates running next to me when we were jogging, in a- in a park. That's as close as I've gotten to Bill Gates. But look, I don't blame individuals. I don't believe that these are bad people or good people. Some of them can be truly bad. Elon Musk is all over the place. Some of these are just tragic figures and I can't get angry with tragic figures. What would I say to them? Look, none of that, none of the conversation we're having because it would just go over their heads. I might ask them very specific questions about what it is that they're doing, out of curiosity. But we are not going to start by convincing the Lords, the cloud-a-lists, that their immense power should be democratized, because this is like going to King Charles and arguing your case in favor of a republic. He just cannot fathom that. And I understand that he was born into- into the royal family. That's it. I think we should talk to one another, to those of us who do not have our faculties hijacked by this enormous power. Who are powerless in a game where power is hugely concentrated and which is questioning our capacity to survive as a species on this planet.

Vass Bednar [00:28:47] Thank you. Yanis, you've given us so much to think about.

Yanis Varoufakis [00:28:50] It was great fun talking to you. Thank you.

Vass Bednar [00:29:04] If you've been listening to Lately, a Globe and Mail podcast. Our executive producer is Katrina Onstad. The show is produced by Andrea Varsany and our sound designer is Cameron McIver. I'm your host, Vass Bednar. And in our show notes, you can subscribe to the Lately newsletter, where we unpack a little more of the latest in business and technology. A new episode of Lately comes out every Friday wherever you get your podcasts.

Katrina Onstad [00:29:32] Here are the details on that survey we told you about at the start of the show. We want to know about you and what you'd like to hear on Lately. Just go to, fill out a brief survey, and as a token of our appreciation, we'll enter your name to win one of three $50 gift cards you can use to shop online. Once again, that's We'd love to hear from you.