I’m in Malaysia right now, and there is actually a courier company here called “Skynet”, no joke.
I think the following will go a long, long way to solving this mess: Open Source, and Open Standards. That’s how you avoid almost all of the “Slime” (as mentioned in the Frank Zappa quotation way above).
Whenever some Slimy corporation tries to add something Slimy to open source, anyone can “fork” the project and remove the Slime.
You can do just about anything now that closed source software can do, as long as you have enough geek manpower(/personpower).
Given a little more time, I think you are going to see a lot more usage of technologies such as the following, each one a small step towards far less Slime:
- The Gnome Desktop environment, which has integrated Nextcloud support.
- Raspberry Pi 3’s or PocketCHIPs (@SarathW1, your mu4e client would make great sense on a PocketCHIP, should they ever manage to resume shipment of them)
- Nextcloud Docker Containers (with built-in Dynamic DNS and port-forwarding-plug-and-play support, virtually essential for hosting at home behind a firewall) for the Raspberry Pi and Raspbian x86.
- XMPP with OTR or OMEMO encryption
If you don’t build your own “cloud”, then some Slimy corporation will gladly do it for you: