Burning Man

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pages: 218 words: 44,364

The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations by Ori Brafman, Rod A. Beckstrom

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Atahualpa, barriers to entry, Burning Man, disintermediation, experimental economics, Firefox, Francisco Pizarro, jimmy wales, Kibera, Lao Tzu, Network effects, pez dispenser, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, The Wisdom of Crowds, union organizing

Being in the physical presence of other participants adds a dimension of closeness, and a sense of ownership emerges. Members make Burning Man what it is, not some event production company. When you attend Burning Man, you become part of the organization. You own the experience and develop a sense of responsibility and belonging. That's why a virtual Burning Man isn't very appealing. Similarly, an AA circle depends on physical contact to keep members accountable to one another. When you see people face to face, it's harder to brush them off. Because circles don't have hierarchy and structure, it's hard to maintain rules within them; no one really has the power to enforce them. But circles aren't lawless. Instead of rules, they depend on norms. AA has norms about confidentiality and support. Wikipedia has norms for editing entries. The Apache software has norms for developing code. Burning Man has norms for maintaining a gift economy.

The matter is then debated in the public forum until users agree on some sort of compromise, at which time the page is quickly unlocked. But Wikipedia always strives to keep pages open. Even Quadell's page—though regularly vandalized— remains open. Burning Man The Burning Man festival, which happens yearly in the Nevada desert, is known for eclectic costumes, rave music, and a host of naked people on Ecstasy and pot. It's also the only 24/7 decentralized experience you can find these days. Because of its wild reputation, there's a certain embarrassment associated with going to Burning Man—if your coworkers ever tell you that they're taking "a weekend trip to the desert" just before Labor Day, chances are they're not telling you the whole truth. In reality, they're heading seventy miles north of Nowhere, Nevada, to a dry lakebed where over thirty thousand people congregate once a year.

A SEA OF STARFISH Craig's creation is called an "art car," for obvious reasons. There are lots of other art cars at Burning Man, including a school-busturned-disco, a pirate ship on wheels, a menacing shark, even a beatup city-bus-turned-submarine. There are also art installations, like a homemade, hand-powered Ferris wheel. It takes a lot of trust to ride and a little bit of getting used to the fact that there's no one there to make you sign a release form. The other thing that takes getting used to is that nothing costs money. That's the second decentralized quality of Burning Man—it's based on a gift economy. You provide things—from snow cones to hand-decorated T-shirts—because you want to, as a way to contribute to the community, not because you expect anything in return. The only things that you can pay for at Burning Man are ice and coffee. All proceeds rom both go to support the local school district.


Girl Walks Into a Bar . . .: Comedy Calamities, Dating Disasters, and a Midlife Miracle by Rachel Dratch

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Burning Man, East Village, Haight Ashbury, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, the High Line

The evening typically had the same outcome. Imagine my glee when forcing myself out of the comfort zone gave me results: A cute guy who seemed nice and funny asked me out. I had been invited to a holiday party by a friend named Henry, whom I met at Burning Man a few years back. Yes, I, Rachel, went to Burning Man—odd, since I’m not into doing drugs or walking around without my shirt on, which are the two most popular activities that occur at Burning Man. I went one year with one of my best friends, also named Rachel, who has gone to Burning Man every summer for eight years. If you aren’t familiar with Burning Man, it’s a festival out in the middle of a desert in Nevada, where you have to bring in all your own food, supplies, tents, RVs, what have you. Forty thousand people descend on this spot and it becomes an encampment for a week.

One of the dangers of peeing in this situation that never crossed my mind was the possibility of an eighty-foot metal robot just happening to shine it’s megawatt beam of light down upon me at that moment. But let me warn you now, that can happen at Burning Man. It wasn’t the Pee Robot Police. It was just an accidental intersection of art and human need. Flooded in bright white light as if I were in a sci-fi movie, I frantically struggled to pull up my pants, getting pee all over myself in the process. Besides having the social instinct to not be caught with my pants down, for a second I was consumed with the primal fear that this robot was going to fix its metal eye on me, lean in, pick me up, and fling me across the desert. A sculpture of a fifty-foot woman in the middle of the desert—just another day at Burning Man. A lot of people walk around naked at Burning Man, as I said. There’s no pressure to be naked—there are plenty of clothed people, myself being one of them.

There are also seminars. The favorite description I saw was for a seminar on oral sex that you were supposed to attend with your partner. It advised, “Bring wipes. The desert can give you that not-so-fresh feeling.” The coolest part about Burning Man to me were the huge art installations, some several stories high, which are truly amazing. There are also “art cars”: Someone will take, say, an old school bus and magically transform it into a light-up dinosaur that, when driven through the desert at night, is absolutely beautiful. That said, one Burning Man was enough for me. I’m not an eight-timer like my friend Rachel. I’m no high-maintenance traveler, but being out in the middle of the desert with inconveniently located port-a-potties when you are not high on some drug to make you think you are somewhere else just isn’t really my jam.


pages: 383 words: 108,266

Predictably Irrational, Revised and Expanded Edition: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely

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air freight, Al Roth, Bernie Madoff, Burning Man, butterfly effect, Cass Sunstein, collateralized debt obligation, computer vision, corporate governance, credit crunch, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, delayed gratification, endowment effect, financial innovation, fudge factor, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, housing crisis, invisible hand, lake wobegon effect, late fees, loss aversion, market bubble, Murray Gell-Mann, payday loans, placebo effect, price anchoring, Richard Thaler, second-price auction, Silicon Valley, Skype, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Upton Sinclair

At that time, I got a phone call from John Perry Barlow, a former lyricist for the Grateful Dead, inviting me to an event that proved to be both an important personal experience and an interesting exercise in creating a moneyless society. Barlow told me that I had to come to Burning Man with him, and that if I did, I would feel as if I had come home. Burning Man is an annual weeklong event of self-expression and self-reliance held in Black Rock Desert, Nevada, regularly attended by more than 40,000 people. Burning Man started in 1986 on Baker Beach in San Francisco, when a small crowd designed, built, and eventually set fire to an eight-foot wooden statue of a man and a smaller wooden dog. Since then the size of the man being burned and the number of people who attend the festivities has grown considerably, and the event is now one of the largest art festivals, and an ongoing experiment in temporary community. Burning Man has many extraordinary aspects, but for me one of the most remarkable is its rejection of market norms.

Burning Man has many extraordinary aspects, but for me one of the most remarkable is its rejection of market norms. Money is not accepted at Burning Man. Rather, the whole place works as a gift exchange economy—you give things to other people, with the understanding that they will give something back to you (or to someone else) at some point in the future. Thus, people who can cook might fix a meal. Psychologists offer free counseling sessions. Masseuses massage those lying on tables before them. Those who have water offer showers. People give away drinks, homemade jewelry, and hugs. (I made some puzzles at the hobby shop at MIT, and gave them to people. Mostly, people enjoyed trying to solve them.) At first this was all very strange, but before long I found myself adopting the norms of Burning Man. I was surprised, in fact, to find that Burning Man was the most accepting, social, and caring place I had ever been.

I was surprised, in fact, to find that Burning Man was the most accepting, social, and caring place I had ever been. I’m not sure I could easily survive in Burning Man for all 52 weeks of the year. But this experience has convinced me that life with fewer market norms and more social norms would be more satisfying, creative, fulfilling, and fun. The answer, I believe, is not to re-create society as Burning Man, but to remember that social norms can play a far greater role in society than we have been giving them credit for. If we contemplate how market norms have gradually taken over our lives in the past few decades—with their emphasis on higher salaries, more income, and more spending—we may recognize that a return to some of the old social norms might not be so bad after all. In fact, it might bring quite a bit of the old civility back to our lives. CHAPTER 5 The Influence of Arousal Why Hot Is Much Hotter Than We Realize Ask most twentysomething male college students whether they would ever attempt unprotected sex and they will quickly recite chapter and verse about the risk of dreaded diseases and pregnancy.


pages: 281 words: 95,852

The Googlization of Everything: by Siva Vaidhyanathan

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1960s counterculture, AltaVista, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, borderless world, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, cloud computing, computer age, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, data acquisition, death of newspapers, don't be evil, Firefox, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full text search, global village, Google Earth, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, information retrieval, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, libertarian paternalism, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Naomi Klein, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, PageRank, pirate software, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, single-payer health, Skype, social web, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, The Nature of the Firm, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, Thorstein Veblen, urban decay, web application

It’s a peculiar story: cultural anarchism melded with technologies developed for and by the U.S. military, unleashed in the service of both commerce and creativity, yet also accused of undermining both.49 Google, in particular, incorporates a twenty-first-century form of countercultural hedonism in its corporate structure and everyday work environment: the ethos of Burning Man. Burning Man is an annual festival held at the end of August in the Black Rock Desert in northern Nevada. Thousands of people gather to camp and celebrate with music, drugs, art, and digital technology. Turner highlights the fact that many important players in the technological industries of Northern California regularly participate in Burning Man. For two weeks a year, Silicon GOOGL E ’S WAYS A ND ME A N S 71 Valley’s elite can immerse themselves in a grand network of human beings connecting for the sake of creating. “If the workers of the industrial factory found themselves laboring in an iron cage, the workers of many of today’s post-industrial information firms often find themselves inhabiting a velvet goldmine: a workplace in which the pursuit of selffulfillment, reputation, and community identity, of interpersonal relationships and intellectual pleasure, help to drive the production of new media goods,” Turner writes.50 Google’s founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, have been regular Burning Man attendees since the 1990s.

“If the workers of the industrial factory found themselves laboring in an iron cage, the workers of many of today’s post-industrial information firms often find themselves inhabiting a velvet goldmine: a workplace in which the pursuit of selffulfillment, reputation, and community identity, of interpersonal relationships and intellectual pleasure, help to drive the production of new media goods,” Turner writes.50 Google’s founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, have been regular Burning Man attendees since the 1990s. At the festival, Page and Brin would have encountered a radically decentralized social structure, one that facilitates creativity, collaboration, and experimentation with little or no “command and control.” Burning Man, Turner concludes, is a distillation of the “cultural infrastructure” that nurtures Google, a spiritual manifestation of what Yochai Benkler calls “commons-based peer production.”51 As the sociologist Dalton Conley has described, many of the most highly rewarded workers—those on the creative side of the technology industries—are either trapped in something like a velvet goldmine or struggling to get into one.

It will do the same if it suspects that a site has faked the number of incoming links. So the human element in Google’s search business is present and perhaps growing. It’s important to look critically at the people who are making these decisions and the cultural backgrounds from which they have emerged. They are, as might be expected, by and large technicians and technocrats. A “SOVIET OF TECHNICIANS” AT BURNING MAN Google is built to support a technocratic way of working. Its founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and most of its early employees are computer scientists by training. It has always been the sort of place where those devoted to solving some of the biggest challenges in logic, mathematics, and linguistics can find a supportive yet challenging environment.41 It’s the paradigm of the sort of practice that has emerged quickly over the past twenty years and that now dominates the scientific agenda in many fields: entrepreneurial science—the intersection of academic “pure” science and industrial technoscience.42 This technocratic mode of organization is anything but new.


pages: 231 words: 73,818

The Achievement Habit: Stop Wishing, Start Doing, and Take Command of Your Life by Bernard Roth

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Albert Einstein, Build a better mousetrap, Burning Man, cognitive bias, correlation does not imply causation, deskilling, fear of failure, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, school choice, Silicon Valley, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith

I told Mike to forget about the meetings unless he needed me for some reason; I would wait to see the final result. When the festival arrived, I went at a prearranged time to Mike’s campsite at Burning Man. I brought along Adrian and Steve, two very capable engineers who were part of my Burning Man group and who had a keen interest in seeing the final product. Mike’s presentation was a disaster. Clearly he had not finished, and during his demonstration the instrument worked badly or not at all. Mike was embarrassed, I was embarrassed, and Adrian and Steve were embarrassed for him. Had I been asked to evaluate Mike for a job at that moment I would not have been able to recommend him in good conscience. Fast-forward three years. I was again at Burning Man with Adrian and Steve, watching a dance performance by a group called the Flaming Lotus Girls, done in conjunction with an amazing animated sculpture called Serpent Mother, a 168-foot-long metallic sculpture of a skeletal serpent coiled around her egg.

Success is doing what you love and being happy about it. To learn how to get a better handle on your perceptions, emotions, and behavior, it is useful to look at how you think. YOU GIVE EVERYTHING ITS MEANING Mike, a graduate student in my class at Stanford University, planned to design a musical instrument for that summer’s Burning Man festival as his project. The festival is held each year the week before Labor Day in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada; among the main attractions at Burning Man are massive art pieces, machines, and structures created by the participants. Mike got the idea of doing his project in my class because we both attend the festival. Mike wanted to construct a wearable pipe organ powered in a most unusual way: it would contain a small fire-powered boiler that would then provide steam that could be directed through different pipes to produce music.

My China trip occurred shortly after the normalization of diplomatic relations between the People’s Republic of China and the United States, and there was a great societal thrust in China to learn English. No matter what city I was in, every time I left my hotel there would be people waiting outside wanting to practice English. I was enthralled by their eagerness to learn, and at times ended up sitting in the street correcting pronunciation while several people read aloud to me. Some years later, when I started participating in the Burning Man festival, I was again struck by the power of self-motivation. I witnessed thousands of people who put in endless hours of labor (and, in some cases, lots of money) to create things that had no commercial value. They were doing it for self-satisfaction and the entertainment of their friends; they thought what they were making was cool and they were proud to show it off. Again I thought about this in contrast to my experience as a teacher.


pages: 210 words: 56,667

The Misfit Economy: Lessons in Creativity From Pirates, Hackers, Gangsters and Other Informal Entrepreneurs by Alexa Clay, Kyra Maya Phillips

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3D printing, Airbnb, Alfred Russel Wallace, Berlin Wall, Burning Man, collaborative consumption, conceptual framework, double helix, fear of failure, game design, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, invention of the steam engine, James Watt: steam engine, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, lone genius, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Occupy movement, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, union organizing, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Zipcar

“Science fiction writers are versed in the more technical aspects of space flight, and so there is a lot of exchange and inspiration that flows between NASA scientists and writers.” MacDonald told us that science fiction writers are sometimes invited to speak at NASA conferences. Science fiction author and blogger Cory Doctorow, for example, published a novella for Project Hieroglyph, a platform for science fiction stories. Doctorow wrote about maker-space hardware hackers and Burning Man devotees who build 3-D printing robots to send to the moon. Accompanying the story, Hieroglyph hosts on their website a discussion with scientists around the feasibility of 3-D printing on the moon. Hieroglyph is a matchmaker of sorts, encouraging the conversion of science fiction stories into reality. The name comes from the recognition that certain stories serve as “hieroglyphs” or symbols—like Isaac Asimov’s robot—that activate the minds of engineers, entrepreneurs, and scientists around how an innovation can come to be.

Or: What can we learn from the festival spirit to inspire everyday life? Historically, harvest festivals and religious festivals and feasts were used to usher in celebratory and sacred events that offered a departure from the hardship of everyday life. Many of today’s festivals are big music festivals like Coachella and Glastonbury, but increasingly, there are more experimental festivals like the Secret Garden Party in England, the Borderland in Sweden, and Burning Man in Black Rock City, Nevada. As Kenning told us, he was interested in exploring how the goodwill of festival culture could be brought “outside the festival gates to combat the tedium and isolation of working life.” What he found was that for many, festivals provided an escape from self-consciousness. Festivalgoers were able to feel a sense of unity and connection. Festival life offered opportunities for spontaneity and the full experience of the senses.

HONORING THE TEMPORARY FICTION The value of provoking is in starting a conversation. A protest movement doesn’t last forever. A science fiction novel is only so many pages. A prank holds its surprise only so long before it is revealed. But groups of people who ask the right questions or probe alternatives often pave the way for true change to emerge. Cultures like live-action role-playing or Burning Man that pop up temporary worlds can generate insights that spill over into mainstream reality. We may not all want to spend all our time dressed in festival garb and bartering in a desert gift economy, isolated in a simulated Mars mission, or protesting in Zuccotti Park, but the temporary worlds created by the provocateurs spark dialogue in our mainstream culture and create the conditions for innovation to occur.


pages: 362 words: 99,063

The Education of Millionaires: It's Not What You Think and It's Not Too Late by Michael Ellsberg

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affirmative action, Black Swan, Burning Man, corporate governance, financial independence, follow your passion, future of work, hiring and firing, job automation, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, Peter Thiel, profit motive, race to the bottom, Sand Hill Road, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Ballmer, telemarketer, Tony Hsieh

But later it turned into much more than that, for Eben and Annie . . . When we got back from Burning Man, I saw a post late one night on Eben’s blog, saying he was organizing a small, private gathering in Ojai, California, with relationship teacher David Deida, one of the experts I’d learned most from about how to have a great relationship with Jena. I leapt out of my desk chair, ran to our bedroom, woke Jena up, and yelled, “Eben is hosting a private gathering with David Deida later this month! It costs twenty-five hundred dollars a person to attend and it’s in California. We’re going!” Jena mumbled something semi-coherent about talking about it in the morning, and went back to sleep. I called Annie and told her about the opportunity; she said she fell madly in love with Eben the second he opened his mouth at the talk at Burning Man (he is a rather dashing fellow), but she hadn’t gotten further than hand-shaking after Eben’s talk.

Imagine the leaders are the water near the top, ready to burst out of the fountain. The water about to burst out is being pushed up by water below it. If you want to succeed, find leaders who are doing amazing things in the world, and push them up. Find powerful people and help them reach their goals. If you’re of service to them, they will be of service back.” Almost a year later, I was at the Burning Man festival in Nevada with Jena. I heard through the grapevine that Eben was at the festival and that he’d be giving a talk. Jena and I have a friend named Annie Lalla, who is an amazing relationship coach, but who was struggling in her business because she was resisting learning sales and marketing skills. I forced Annie to join me at the lecture, dragging her there kicking and screaming, so that she might learn something about marketing from Eben.

Eben moved from LA to New York to live with Annie, and they are now engaged. If that story of how I met an amazing mentor—who has taught me way more free of charge than any college professor ever did for tens of thousands of dollars—sounds like a long and twisty road, that’s because such stories in real life almost always are. There’s no quick-shot formula for connecting with powerful mentors. Elliott did it through inviting leaders to ski trips. I did it via Burning Man and a relationship workshop. These may be extreme lengths, but one good mentor can literally change the direction of your entire life. It’s worth the effort. Here’s a story about how I met a second great mentor in my life, Bryan Franklin, whom I introduced you to in the Introduction. I had kept hearing about this guy Bryan (http://www.bryanfranklin.com) through friends of friends. He was supposed to be one of the most successful executive coaches in the country.


pages: 532 words: 139,706

Googled: The End of the World as We Know It by Ken Auletta

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23andMe, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, bioinformatics, Burning Man, carbon footprint, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, corporate social responsibility, death of newspapers, disintermediation, don't be evil, facts on the ground, Firefox, Frank Gehry, Google Earth, hypertext link, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet Archive, invention of the telephone, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Long Term Capital Management, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, Peter Thiel, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, semantic web, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social graph, spectrum auction, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, telemarketer, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Upton Sinclair, X Prize, yield management

“It’s a way of assuring people that they are scientists and artists,” said Indian-born engineer Krishna Bharat, who used his 20 percent time to invent Google News. It’s also a way to encourage engineers to push the envelope, to assume that their mission is to disrupt traditional ways of doing things. There is at Google a utopian spirit not unlike that found at Burning Man, the annual anarchic-animistic retreat in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert that culminates in the burning in effigy of a giant wood and desert brush “man.” It does not go unnoticed by their friends that Brin and Page have been regular attendees at this weeklong retreat in August, whose Woodstock-like spirit is captured in Burning Man’s ten stated principles, which include a devotion “to acts of gift giving”; creating “social environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorships, transactions, or advertising”; and “a radically participatory ethic” that can lead to “transformative change.”

In the late nineties, when pop-up ads were the dominant way to advertise on the Web, the founders had the Google tool bar block them. They declined to place ads on their most valuable piece of real estate, the uncluttered opening Google page containing the search box. Brin and Page resisted ads because they shared an allergy then common among Webheads and many folks who attended Burning Man: that advertising was like a rude stranger interrupting a conversation to sell you something you neither wanted nor needed. “These guys were opposed to advertising because they had a purist view of the world,” said Shriram. Like some Burning Man attendees, Page and Brin were—no other word will do—odd. Barry Diller, the CEO of the InterActiveCorp, a diverse collection of such e-commerce sites as Expedia and Ticketmaster, recalled visiting Page and Brin in the early days of Google. As they talked, Diller was disconcerted to see that Page did not lift his head from his PDA device; and Brin arrived late, on Rollerblades.

“Your choices suck”: author interview with Mel Karmazin, May 13, 2008. 12 “I will believe in the 500-channel world”: Sumner Redstone speech before the National Press Club, October 19, 1994. 13 Vinod Khosla ... once told: “An Oral History of the Internet,” Vanity Fair, July 2008. 13 “a tsunami”: author interview with Craig Newmark, January 11, 2008. 14 Nielsen reported: The Nielsen Company, “Three Screen Report,” May 2008. 14 In 2008, more Americans: press release from the Pew Research Center for People & the Press, December 23, 2008. 14 the number one network teleuision show: Nielsen Media Research. 14 an estimated 1.6 billion: Universal McCann study, “Wave.3,” March 2008, and John Markoff, the New York Times, August 30, 2008. 14 newspapers, which traditionally claimed nearly a quarter: JackMyers.com. 14 lost 167,000 jobs: Advertising Age report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, February 18, 2008. 14 two hundred billion dollars: Myers Advertising and Marketing Investment Insights, annual advertising spending forecast, September 15, 2007. 14 plunge below 20 percent: McCann Erickson Worldwide chart of percentage of ad dollars by media, 1980-2007. 15 it took telephones seventy-one years ... just five years: Progress & Freedom Foundation report, January 16, 2008, and “The Decade of Online Advertising,” DoubleClick, April 2005. 15 thirty-four technology stocks: charts provided to the author by Yossi Vardi. 15 1 million job applications: author interview with Lazslo Bock, August 22, 2007. 15 Its revenues... from advertising and other Google statistics: Google’s SEC filing for fiscal year ending December 31, 2007, Google Amendment No. 9 to Form S-1, filed with the SEC August 18, 2004, and Google 10-K filed with the SEC, December 31, 2008. 16 daily advertising impressions: Google Product Strategy Meeting attended by the author, April 16, 2008. 16 Google’s hundreds of millions of daily auctions: reported in its Google 10-K SEC filing for the year ending December 31, 2007. 16 index contained: Google’s third-quarter earnings report, October 16, 2008. 16 billions of pages per day: Google internal documents for March 2008, presented at an April 16, 2008, Google Product Strategy Meeting attended by the author. 16 tens of billions: May 2007 revenue report, the Interactive Advertising Bureau. 16 YouTube ... twenty-five million unique daily visitors; DoubleClick posted seventeen billion: Eric Schmidt presentation to Google employees, April 28, 2008. 16 Google’s ad revenues in 2008: “Media Spending 2006-2009 Estimates,” JackMyers. com, January 29, 2008. 16 “We began”: Google 10-K filed in 2008 for the period ending December 31, 2007. 16 “We are in the advertising business”: author interview with Eric Schmidt, October 9, 2007. 17 likens Google to ... Andy Kaufman: author interview with Marc Andreessen, May 5, 2007. 17 “I sometimes feel”: author interview with Eric Schmidt, March 2, 2007. 17 seventy million dollars: Adam Lashinsky, “Where Does Google Go Next?” Fortune, May 26, 2008, and confirmed by Google. 18 conveys a sense of freedom: author interview with Krishna Bharat, September 12, 2007. 18 Burning Man’s ten stated principles: Burning Man Web site. 18 “Google is a cross”: author interview with Peter Norvig, August 21, 2007. 18 She described the culture as “flat”: author interview with Stacy Savides Sullivan, August 21, 2007. 19 the best U.S. company to work for: Fortune, January 2008. 19 salaries are modest: SEC 14-A filing, March 24, 2009. 19 stock option grants: Google 10-K filed with the SEC for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2008. 19 more applicants are accepted by Harvard... packet about each: author interviews with Lazslo Bock, August 22, 2007, Leesa Gidaro, September 12, 2007, and David Drummond, March 25, 2008, and Google orientation for new employees, October 8, 2007, attended by author. 20 consisted of 130 people: author interview with David Krane, August 22, 2007. 20 a total of eight hours of his time: author interview with a senior executive at Google. 20 a blog explaining why he left: “Why Designer Doug Bowman Quit Google,” Google Blogoscope, March 21, 2009. 20 “knowledge workers”: author interview with Hal Varian, March 28, 2008. 20 “In some ways”: author interview with Paul Buchheit, June 9, 2008. 21 user experience matters most: author interview with Matt Cutts, August 20, 2007. 21 “church/state wall”: author interview with Larry Page, March 25, 2008. 21 four thousand dollars a day: Jason Calacanis blog from AdSense, July 28, 2008. 21 one thousand employees have received this subsidy: supplied to the author by Google. 22 “moral force”: author interview with Eric Schmidt, June 11, 2008. 22 “great values”: author interview with Al Gore, June 10, 2008. 23 “How can you”: author interview with Eric Schmidt, September 12, 2007. 23 Winograd . . . recounted a discussion at a TGIF: author interview with Dr.


pages: 361 words: 81,068

The Internet Is Not the Answer by Andrew Keen

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3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, Colonization of Mars, computer age, connected car, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, disintermediation, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, frictionless, full employment, future of work, gig economy, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Hacker Ethic, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, index card, informal economy, information trail, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, libertarian paternalism, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, nonsequential writing, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, packet switching, PageRank, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Potemkin village, precariat, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, smart cities, Snapchat, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, TaskRabbit, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, the medium is the message, Thomas L Friedman, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, working poor, Y Combinator

We should be focused on building the things that don’t exist,” he said.67 “Maybe we could set apart a piece of the world. I like going to Burning Man, for example. An environment where people can try new things.” Thus did Page lay out what one critic identified as his “techno-libertarian utopia.”68 Burning Man, the annual countercultural festival of what it calls “radical self-expression” and “self-reliance”69 in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, has already established itself as one of the most fashionable events on the Silicon Valley calendar, with tech entrepreneurs bringing their own celebrity chefs, hiring teams of “Sherpas” to treat them like “kings and queens,” and erecting air-conditioned yurts in the desert.70 But Page’s vision is to take Burning Man out of the desert. “I think as technologists we should have some safe places where we can try out new things and figure out the effect on society,” he explained to his developers.

“I think as technologists we should have some safe places where we can try out new things and figure out the effect on society,” he explained to his developers. “What’s the effect on people, without having to deploy it to the whole world.” But Page—or “Larry,” as everyone in Silicon Valley likes to call this member of America’s 0.0001% multibillionaire class—may already have the “safe place” for his vision of secession. That laboratory where technologists can experiment with new things on society actually exists. Burning Man has already been liberated from the Nevada desert. It is now called San Francisco. Today the San Francisco Bay Area has become the vehicle, both literally as a transportation network and otherwise, for a radical experiment in “self-reliance.” As the laboratory for the most important social experiment of our age, the Bay Area has come to represent a libertarian fantasy about how Internet companies can somehow detach themselves from their wider responsibilities in society and how networked technology can replace government.

The answer, then, can’t just be more regulation from government. Noblesse oblige, after all, can’t be legislated. As critics like Tim Wu have argued, the answer lies in our new digital elite becoming accountable for the most traumatic socioeconomic disruption since the industrial revolution. Rather than thinking differently, the ethic of this new elite should be to think traditionally. Rather than seceding to Burning Man or Mars, this plutocracy must be beamed back down to earth. “Move fast and break things” was the old hacker ethic; “you break it, you own it” should be the new one. Rather than an Internet Bill of Rights, what we really need is an informal Bill of Responsibilities that establishes a new social contract for every member of networked society. Silicon Valley has fetishized the ideals of collaboration and conversation.


Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling

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Berlin Wall, Burning Man, Donner party, East Village, illegal immigration, index card, medical residency, pre–internet, rent control, Saturday Night Live, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory

Sorry, Pete, you don’t know the freedom of the seventeen-dollar coat when caught at a party with an ex-boyfriend and his new hot girlfriend. And that, my friends, is how to execute an Irish exit. Thank you, Forever 21! *I feel like I’m constantly being ditched for the Burning Man Festival. The Burning Man Festival is an annual festival that is an “experiment in human expression.” Only something reprehensible would be so vague. There are only a few things that I’ve never actually done that I can say I categorically hate. One is Burning Man. The others are sky-diving, ménage à trois, and when parents tell stories about their babies and incorporate impressions of their babies’ voices. I love hearing about your kid! Just use your normal voice! Guys Need to Do Almost Nothing to Be Great FORGIVE ME, but being a guy is so easy.

The only snag is you have to be comfortable lying directly to the faces of people you like. There has really been only one time when someone actually busted me on it. It occurred at my friend Louisa’s birthday, on the roof of the Downtown Standard Hotel in L.A. when I was twenty-seven. I was having a crummy time because I was supposed to go with my friend Diana but she couldn’t make it at the last minute because she was going to Burning Man.* Diana was going to be my wingwoman because I knew my ex-boyfriend was coming to the party with his new girlfriend, Chloe. A word about Chloe: Chloe was so young (or young-looking) she’d actually played the daughter of an actress four years older than me on a TV show. But the worst thing about Chloe is that she was sweet. Chloe approached me. CHLOE (shyly): Can I just say you’re my hero? I took the Long Island Rail Road out to see Matt & Ben when I was in middle school.


pages: 898 words: 266,274

The Irrational Bundle by Dan Ariely

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, air freight, Albert Einstein, banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, Broken windows theory, Burning Man, business process, cashless society, Cass Sunstein, clean water, cognitive dissonance, computer vision, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, endowment effect, Exxon Valdez, first-price auction, Frederick Winslow Taylor, fudge factor, George Akerlof, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, happiness index / gross national happiness, Jean Tirole, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, lake wobegon effect, late fees, loss aversion, Murray Gell-Mann, new economy, Peter Singer: altruism, placebo effect, price anchoring, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, Saturday Night Live, Schrödinger's Cat, second-price auction, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, ultimatum game, Upton Sinclair, Walter Mischel, young professional

At that time, I got a phone call from John Perry Barlow, a former lyricist for the Grateful Dead, inviting me to an event that proved to be both an important personal experience and an interesting exercise in creating a moneyless society. Barlow told me that I had to come to Burning Man with him, and that if I did, I would feel as if I had come home. Burning Man is an annual week-long event of self-expression and self-reliance held in Black Rock Desert, Nevada, regularly attended by more than 40,000 people. Burning Man started in 1986 on Baker Beach in San Francisco, when a small crowd designed, built, and eventually set fire to an eight-foot wooden statue of a man and a smaller wooden dog. Since then the size of the man being burned and the number of people who attend the festivities has grown considerably, and the event is now one of the largest art festivals, and an ongoing experiment in temporary community. Burning Man has many extraordinary aspects, but for me one of the most remarkable is its rejection of market norms.

Burning Man has many extraordinary aspects, but for me one of the most remarkable is its rejection of market norms. Money is not accepted at Burning Man. Rather, the whole place works as a gift exchange economy—you give things to other people, with the understanding that they will give something back to you (or to someone else) at some point in the future. Thus, people who can cook might fix a meal. Psychologists offer free counseling sessions. Masseuses massage those lying on tables before them. Those who have water offer showers. People give away drinks, homemade jewelry, and hugs. (I made some puzzles at the hobby shop at MIT, and gave them to people. Mostly, people enjoyed trying to solve them.) At first this was all very strange, but before long I found myself adopting the norms of Burning Man. I was surprised, in fact, to find that Burning Man was the most accepting, social, and caring place I had ever been.

I was surprised, in fact, to find that Burning Man was the most accepting, social, and caring place I had ever been. I’m not sure I could easily survive in Burning Man for all 52 weeks of the year. But this experience has convinced me that life with fewer market norms and more social norms would be more satisfying, creative, fulfilling, and fun. The answer, I believe, is not to re-create society as Burning Man, but to remember that social norms can play a far greater role in society than we have been giving them credit for. If we contemplate how market norms have gradually taken over our lives in the past few decades—with their emphasis on higher salaries, more income, and more spending—we may recognize that a return to some of the old social norms might not be so bad after all. In fact, it might bring quite a bit of the old civility back to our lives. Reflections on Social Norms: Lessons on Gifts When we mix social and monetary norms, strange and undesirable things can happen.


pages: 366 words: 94,209

Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus: How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity by Douglas Rushkoff

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3D printing, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, business process, buy low sell high, California gold rush, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, centralized clearinghouse, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, colonial exploitation, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate personhood, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, Firefox, Flash crash, full employment, future of work, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global village, Google bus, Howard Rheingold, IBM and the Holocaust, impulse control, income inequality, index fund, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, loss aversion, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, medical bankruptcy, minimum viable product, Naomi Klein, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, passive investing, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, reserve currency, RFID, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, social graph, software patent, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, trade route, transportation-network company, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, unpaid internship, Y Combinator, young professional, Zipcar

But doing so requires a rather radical reversal in the way we evaluate business processes and the purpose of technology itself. By reducing human beings to mere cogs in a machine, we created the conditions to worship growth over all other economic virtues. We must reckon with how and why we did this. MASS MASS MASS For a happy couple of centuries before industrialism and the modern era, the business landscape looked something like Burning Man, the famous desert festival for digital artisans. The military campaigns of the Crusades had opened new trade routes throughout Europe and beyond. Soldiers were returning from faraway places after having been exposed to all sorts of new crafts and techniques for building and farming. They even copied a market they had observed in the Middle East—the bazaar—where people could exchange not only their goods but also their ideas, leading to innovations in milling, fabrication, and finance.

Likewise, our digital economy is still more in its “horseless carriage” phase than in that of the automobile—more “moving pictures” than full-fledged cinema. That is, we conceive of the digital in terms of the limits of the previous landscape rather than the potentials of the new one. It’s time to understand these potentials not as threats to business as usual but as the true promise of digital economics. THE DIGITAL MARKETPLACE: WINNER TAKES ALL Those of us who thought the digital marketplace was going to look something like a Burning Man festival got it wrong—at least in the short term. The distributed nature of the net, with its decentralized connectivity and ad hoc social activity, appeared to augur an equally distributed marketplace. Instead of buying everything at Walmart and watching our personal and community wealth extracted by a highly centralized corporation, we would now enter a new phase of peer-to-peer commerce. The values of the bazaar would be revived by the Internet.

The geographically local emphasis of the artisanal era is echoed in the consciously bounded investing and business practices of our era. Subsistence farming of the preindustrial era finds new expression in the sustainability agriculture agenda of today. This leap forward by hearkening back is characteristic of any great cultural or economic shift. That’s why at the vanguard of digital culture we see the retrieval of lost medieval values and practices, from the Burning Man festival to peer-to-peer currencies, and paganism to steampunk handcrafts. It’s not moving backward. It doesn’t constitute a regression so much as a recursion—a rediscovery of something old but in an entirely contemporary context. As Pope Francis put it, preempting this very accusation, “Nobody is suggesting a return to the Stone Age, but we do need to slow down and look at reality in a different way, to appropriate the positive and sustainable progress which has been made, but also to recover the values and the great goals swept away by our unrestrained delusions of grandeur.”10 Keep the progress, but recover the lost values.


pages: 418 words: 128,965

The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires by Tim Wu

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, Alfred Russel Wallace, Apple II, barriers to entry, British Empire, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, informal economy, intermodal, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Joseph Schumpeter, Menlo Park, open economy, packet switching, PageRank, profit motive, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, Upton Sinclair, urban planning

For example, in a 2007 press release, Verizon announced it was committed to allowing any wireless device and any app on its network. See news.vzw.com/news/2007/11/pr2007-11-27.html. 22. The best account of such a future is a novel by Cory Doctorow, Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom (New York: Tor Books, 2003); it is also the evident vision of the Burning Man festival. On the relationship between the tech world and Burning Man, see Fred Turner, “Burning Man at Google,” 145. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Tim Wu is an author, a policy advocate, and a professor at Columbia University. In 2006 he was recognized as one of fifty leaders in science and technology by Scientific American magazine, and in 2007, 01238 magazine listed him as one of Harvard’s one hundred most influential graduates. He writes for Slate, where he won the Lowell Thomas gold medal for travel journalism, and he has contributed to The New Yorker, TIME, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Forbes.

To understand this unusual level of consumer preference and trust in a market with other real choices is to understand the source of Google’s singular power. But is this a stroke of cold luck, or is Google something special? Quite enough has been written about Google’s corporate culture, whether one looks to the cafeterias that serve free food, the beach volleyball, or the fact that its engineers like to attend the Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert.14 Not that such things aren’t useful inducements to productivity or the exception in corporate America, but they are more nearly adaptations of a general Silicon Valley corporate ethos than one particular to Google, a point the company readily admits. Boiled down, the Google difference amounts to two qualities, rather than any metaphysical uniqueness. The first, as we’ve already remarked, is its highly specialized control of the Internet switch.

The effect of the financial panic on the telephone girls is described in Casson, History of the Telephone, 155. 12. The idea of describing Google as a switch comes from my colleague Charles Sabel at Columbia. 13. Siva Vaidhyanathan, Googlization of Everything: How One Company Is Transforming Culture, Commerce, and Community and Why We Should Worry (London: Profile Books, 2010). 14. This particular corporate tradition is described in Fred Turner, “Burning Man at Google: A Cultural Infrastructure for New Media Production,” New Media & Society 11 (2009): 145. 15. As quoted in, among other places, Janet Lowe, Google Speaks (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2009), 39. Google’s origins at Stanford are described in John Battelle, The Search (New York: Portfolio, 2005). 16. “At SBC, It’s All About ‘Scale and Scope,’ ” BusinessWeek, November 7, 2005. 17.


pages: 629 words: 142,393

The Future of the Internet: And How to Stop It by Jonathan Zittrain

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andy Kessler, barriers to entry, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, c2.com, call centre, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, corporate governance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, distributed generation, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, game design, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, illegal immigration, index card, informal economy, Internet Archive, jimmy wales, license plate recognition, loose coupling, mail merge, national security letter, packet switching, Post-materialism, post-materialism, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, RFC: Request For Comment, RFID, Richard Stallman, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert X Cringely, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, software patent, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, web application, wikimedia commons

., STUDY OF AN EFFICIENT SERVER SELECTION METHOD FOR WIDELY DISTRIBUTED WEB SERVER NETWORKS (2000), http://www.isoc.org/inet2000/cdproceedings/1g/1g_1.htm (“In order to disperse the load on a Web server, generally the server cluster is configured to distribute access requests, or mirror servers are distributed geographically or situated on different networks.”); see also Jonathan L. Zittrain, The Generative Internet, 119 HARV. L. REV. 1974, 1994 n.72 (2006) (mentioning companies that provide edge-caching services). 53. See, e.g., Lemley & Lessig, supra note 48; Tim Wu, Network Neutrality, Broadband Discrimination, 2 J. TELECOMM. & HIGH TECH. L. 141 (2003). 54. See Burning Man, http://www.burningman.com/ (last visited Dec. 2, 2007); see also Xeni Jardin, Burning Man Never Gets Old, WIRED NEWS, Aug. 25, 2003, http://www.wired.com/culture/lifestyle/news/2003/08/60159. 55. See FCC, WIRELINE COMPETITION BUREAU, HIGH-SPEED SERVICES FOR INTERNET ACCESS: STATUS AS OF DECEMBER 31, 2004, at 6 (2005), available at http://www.fcc.gov/ Bureaus/Common_Carrier/Reports/FCC-State_Link/IAD/hspd0705.pdf CHAPTER 3. CYBERSECURITY AND THE GENERATIVE DILEMMA 1.

It is one thing for the Internet to work the way it was designed when deployed among academics whose raison d’être was to build functioning networks. But the network managed an astonishing leap as it continued to work when expanded into the general populace, one which did not share the world-view that informed the engineers’ designs. Indeed, it not only continued to work, but experienced spectacular growth in the uses to which it was put. It is as if the bizarre social and economic configuration of the quasi-anarchist Burning Man festival turned out to function in the middle of a city.54 What works in a desert is harder to imagine in Manhattan: people crashing on each others’ couches, routinely sharing rides and food, and loosely bartering things of value. At the turn of the twenty-first century, then, the developed world has found itself with a wildly generative information technology environment. Today we enjoy an abundance of PCs hosting routine, if not always-on, broadband Internet connections.55 The generative PC has become intertwined with the generative Internet, and the brief era during which information appliances and appliancized networks flourished—Brother word processors and CompuServe—might appear to be an evolutionary dead end.

See Harvard University, Berkman Center Berners-Lee, Tim, 95 Bessen, James, 190 Bidder’s Edge, 224, 225 biometric readers, 228 BitTorrent, 90, 121, 287n113 BlackBerries, 57, 101, 118, 176 Black Hat Europe hacker convention (2006), 56–57 blogs: from automated robots, 207–8; captcha boxes of, 207–8; censorship of, 113; Libertarian model in, 131; power of, 88, 95; spread of, 148, 151; of teens, 231 Blossom, 195–96 Bomis search engine, 133, 289n19 bookmarks, 58 books.google.com (Web site), 224–25, 242 Bork, Robert, 202 Bostic, Keith, 38 Boston College, data loss by, 204 botnets, 45–47 Boyle, James, 113 Bricklin, Dan, 2 Brin, David, 209 broadband: PC accessibility via, 4; remote updates of, 53; tragedies of the commons in, 158 Brother, “smart” typewriters, 19, 20, 34 browsers, development of, 29 Burning Man festival, 34 business, “long tail” of, 214 “Bus Uncle” of Hong Kong, 211 cable television, 181–82, 183 Camp, Jean, 160 Cap’n Crunch whistle, 40, 42 captcha boxes, 207–8, 227 cars. See motor vehicles Carter, Tom, 22 Carterfone, 22, 25, 26, 81, 121, 182 CB simulator, 23 censorship, 105, 113–17; amplification of, 114–17; circumventing, 180; by commercial filtering programs, 114–15; and endpoint control, 125; Mill on, 98–99, 100; post hoc scrubs, 116; retroactive, 109 CERT/CC (Computer Emergency Response Team Coordination Center), 39, 147–48 chaos, in absence of law, 128 Chapman v.


pages: 169 words: 56,555

Another Great Day at Sea: Life Aboard the USS George H.W. Bush by Geoff Dyer

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Burning Man, Ronald Reagan, V2 rocket

‘It takes about 80,000 rivets, 30,000 washers, 10,000 screws and bolts to help make an aircraft fly,’ read posters scattered round the boat, ‘and only one nut to destroy it.’ The line of silent people advanced towards us, a slow-moving force of anti-nature. We stood our ground and then turned and joined the hunt. A couple of guys held leather pouches. When people found something—a piece of metal, small bits of stone, stuff too small even to have a name—they held it up and dropped it in a pouch. I was reminded of the Burning Man festival in the Black Rock Desert with its scrupulous adherence to the policy of Leave No Trace and a similar obsession with MOOP (Matter Out Of Place). It was a lovely day—it was a lovely day every day—but there was no time, at the end of the FOD walk, to just hang out, stroll around, enjoy the view. People dispersed quickly, went back to their sunless submarine life below deck. On the way back to my room I paused to listen to the Captain’s daily announcement.

And I’m glad I hadn’t because there couldn’t have been a better first time and place to hear this big-bellied hog-call of a song than here with these kids all lined up and kicking out their limbs as though the Gulf was just a big ole lake in a militarized patch of rural Texas. Everyone piled their trash in cardboard boxes the size of kids’ play pens. At the box for metals a young female rating collected the tabs in a box because they were made of a different, more valuable metal than the rest of the tin. It was like Burning Man again in the way that people always tried to pick up any bit of stay trash that was blowing about the place. Spotting a brief lull in the queue for steaks I snapped a couple of prongs off my fork, broke my knife in two and went up to Harvey with my paper plate. ‘Excuse me, Harvey, I wonder if you have any metal cutlery?’ ‘Why’s that, limey?’ ‘Because my steak was so tough that it actually bust my fork.


pages: 236 words: 66,081

Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age by Clay Shirky

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Andrew Keen, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, citizen journalism, corporate social responsibility, Dean Kamen, experimental economics, experimental subject, fundamental attribution error, invention of movable type, invention of the telegraph, Kevin Kelly, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, social software, Steve Ballmer, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, ultimatum game

The mystery isn’t why older people started e-mailing each other; the mystery is how we could have convinced ourselves that e-mail use was mainly about technological novelty rather than social continuity. Given the right opportunities, humans will start behaving in new ways. We will also stop behaving in annoying old ways, even if we’ve always tolerated those annoying behaviors in the past. At the 2006 Burning Man, an annual cultural festival in the Nevada desert, some energetic techies built a phone booth that could make calls via satellite. They proudly invited their fellow Burners (as attendees are called) to make free phone calls, but few people were able to, because no one could remember any phone numbers, and no one had brought their mobile phones to look them up. (Mobile phones don’t work in that part of the desert.)

See generational difference; senior citizens; young people aggregation of cognitive surplus collaborative participation and coordination and creation and sharing and of free time value and alchemy ALS altruistic punishment amateurs connectedness and coordination and motivation and as producers professionals versus satisfaction and societal cynicism and website design and America Online Amtrak Anderson, Chris Anderson, Philip anime Apache webserver Ariely, Dan Association of Pub-going, Loose and Forward Women audiences autonomy, as personal intrinsic motivation Avenir, Christopher Bacca, Pippa Backflip Ballmer, Steve basic groups BeExtra.org behavior cognitive surplus and deterrence and effects of new media tools and inconvenience and internalized standards and norms of opportunity and satisfaction and self-governance and social networks and technology and value and behavioral economics Behlendorf, Brian Benesch, Christine Benkler, Yochai Berstell, Gerald Bibles Bion, Wilfred Blair, Ian Bokardo weblog Bonaventure, Saint books Boyle, Robert Brides on Tour Bruni, Luigino bulletin boards Burning Man festival Cameron, Judy Care2.com carpooling Carr, Nicholas Cassiopeia Catholic church chaos cheating chemistry Christakis, Nicholas civic engagement civic sharing civic value Clarke, Julie CNN.com cognitive surplus aggregation of civic value and communal versus civic value and connectedness and experimentation and free time and generous, public, and social behaviors and harnessing with new media tools market experience and participation and PickupPal and programmers’ use of public and civic value and scale and voluntary contributions and collaborative participation Apache software and competition and development of ideas and Invisible College and passive participation versus social production and collective action combinability common resource management commons-based peer production communal sharing communal value communications revolutions community advertising and combinability and communities of practice creating culture and of shared interest commuting competency, as personal intrinsic motivation competition complacency connectedness amateurs and cognitive surplus and media and social media and as social motivation value and Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) consumption assumed preference for consumers’ media production making and sharing versus participation versus television and coordination amateurs versus professionals and social media and transportation and Copernicus copies costs of Bibles of books of coordination of copying discovery costs experimentation and of public address of sharing spite and of television viewing CouchSurfing.org creativity aggregation and amateurs versus professionals communally created projects fan fiction and governance of groups and reduced television consumption and satisfaction and social production and See also making and sharing Cross, Penny crowding-out effect culture behavioral norms and community and creation of diversity in groups creating public value and growth phase of social media and Invisible College and Napster and new media tools and norms of online study groups and open source software and participation and participatory culture sharing and social media and social production and Ultimatum Game and value and customer versus product research Dahl, Roald David Foster Foundation day-care centers Deci, Edward defaults Delicious.com democracies Derrick, Jaye deterrence de Tocqueville, Alexis Dictator Game digital folk art digital media coordination and copies and economics of as part of real world sharing and symmetry of digital sharecropping Dong Bang Shin Ki (DBSK) DonorsChoose.org eBay education Eisenstein, Elizabeth e-mail emotions Encyclopedia Britannica Etsy experimentation collaborative participation and falling costs and publication and value and external threats extrinsic motivation Facebook amateurs versus professionals and Association of Pub-going, Loose and Forward Women audience-and-cluster spectrum and Causes application cost of social coordination and creation of online study groups and PickupPal and Responsible Citizens face-to-face contact fairness falsifiability fan fiction FanFiction.net Fanning, Shawn fansubbing networks Farrell, Michael feedback FictionAlley.org fines Firstgiving.com Flickr.com Foray, Dominique Fowler, James Fowles, Jib freedom freeloading free time aggregation of cognitive surplus and creating culture and Deci’s Soma experiment and industrialization and making and sharing and opportunities for combining as social asset television viewing and French Impressionist painters Frey, Bruno Friendster fundamental attribution error Gabriel, Shira garbage pick-up generational difference generosity See also sharing Geocities Gleyre, Charles global availability of information global organization Gneezy, Uri Goette, Lorenz governance collaborative participation and of groups power imbalances and value and Gowing, Nik Granovetter, Mark gratitude Groban, Josh Grobanites Grobanites for Africa Grobanites for Charity groups collaborative participation and creation of civic value and emotional components of external threats and governance of group/individual desires internal threats and postpartum support groups study groups Groznic, Larry Gui, Marco Gutenberg, Johannes Gutenberg economics Güth, Werner Haifa, Israel Hallisey, Kelly Hank, the Angry Drunken Dwarf happiness HarryPotterFanFiction.com health-care system Here Comes Everybody (Shirky) Hersman, Erik Hickey, Dave Hill, Dan hobbies Hugenberg, Kurt IBM ICanHasCheezburger.com Idealist.org incomplete contracts inconvenience indulgences industrialization internalized standards internal threats internet accessibility and aggregation and opportunities and post-Gutenberg economics and See also digital media; new media tools; social media intimacy intrinsic motivation amateurism and autonomy as competency as connectedness as creating culture and Deci’s Soma puzzle experiment and extrinsic motivation versus generosity as gratitude as launching new social media and membership as opportunity and payment and private action and public action and social media and Invisible College Ito, Mimi JavaRanch JoshGroban.com Josh Groban Foundation Kahle, Brewster Kahneman, Daniel Kamen, Dean Kamiya, Gary Karatas, Murat Keen, Andrew Kelly, Kevin Kenya Kenyan Pundit blog Kingston, Maxine Hong Kiva.org KOAM.com Kobia, David Lahore, Pakistan Leadbeater, Charlie Lee Myung-bak Lenin, Vladimir Linux operating system lolcats London, England looky-loos Lou Gehrig’s disease Luther, Martin mailing lists making and sharing broadcast media versus social media consumption versus free time and lolcat images and motivation for wider distribution of See also social production Mangalore, India markets communal sharing versus crash of 1987, emotional components of transactions motivation and selfishness and Ultimatum Game and value and Markus, Megan McEwan, Melissa McHenry, Robert McWilliams, Andrew media balanced versus unbalanced changes in landscape of connectedness and cultural diversity and definitions of fluidity of fusion of public/personal media interactivity versus consumption as means of sharing South Korean beef protests and stability of See also digital media; new media tools; professional media makers; social media; television medical information Meetup.com membership amateur design and PatientsLikeMe.com and as social motivation Ultimatum Game and value and Merton, Georgia Microsoft Minow, Newton Mirzoeff, Nicholas misogyny mobile phones Amtrak’s quiet cars and cameras and global interconnection and memorizing phone numbers and Twitter Ushahidi and morality Moro, Silvia motivations amateurs and authority and creating public value and crowding-out effect fan fiction and focus groups and surveys and making and sharing and market alterations of personal motivations social media and for using free time using new social tools and working for free and See also extrinsic motivation; intrinsic motivation; social motivation music, sharing mutual obligation Napster Nasiff, Henry Joseph Jr.


pages: 264 words: 79,589

Kingpin: How One Hacker Took Over the Billion-Dollar Cybercrime Underground by Kevin Poulsen

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Apple II, Brian Krebs, Burning Man, corporate governance, dumpster diving, Exxon Valdez, Hacker Ethic, hive mind, index card, McMansion, Mercator projection, offshore financial centre, packet switching, pirate software, Ponzi scheme, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, traffic fines, web application, WikiLeaks, zero day, Zipcar

Two months later, Kimi was talking to him on the phone from prison when she heard a pop! and the smell of acrid smoke filled her nostrils. The motherboard on Max’s server had burst into flames. Max tried to calm her—all she had to do was replace the motherboard. He could do it in his sleep. Max talked her through the process, but Kimi was realizing she wasn’t cut out for life as the prison wife of a hacker. In August, she went to the Burning Man festival in Nevada to forget her troubles. When she got home, she broke some bad news to Max over the phone. She’d met someone else. It was another betrayal. Max took the news with eerie calm, interrogating her about every detail: What drugs was she on when she cheated on him? What sexual positions did they use? He wanted to hear her ask for his forgiveness—he’d have given it to her in a heartbeat.

After five months, Norminton and his schemes were sent home to sunny Orange County, California, while Max remained at Taft with another year left on his sentence—long, tedious days of bad food, standing for count, and the sound of chains and keys. In August 2002, Max was granted early release to a sixty-one-bed halfway house in Oakland, where he shared a room with five other ex-cons. Kimi met with Max to present him with divorce papers. She was getting serious with the guy she’d met at Burning Man; it was time, she said, for Max to let her go. Max refused to sign. Max’s relative freedom at the halfway house was tenuous—the facility demanded that he obtain gainful employment or go back to prison, and telecommuting wasn’t allowed. He reached out to his old contacts in Silicon Valley and found his employability had been shattered by his high-profile hacking conviction and over a year in prison.


pages: 292 words: 85,151

Exponential Organizations: Why New Organizations Are Ten Times Better, Faster, and Cheaper Than Yours (And What to Do About It) by Salim Ismail, Yuri van Geest

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23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bioinformatics, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Burning Man, business intelligence, business process, call centre, chief data officer, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, corporate social responsibility, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, dark matter, Dean Kamen, dematerialisation, discounted cash flows, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, ethereum blockchain, Galaxy Zoo, game design, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, gravity well, hiring and firing, Hyperloop, industrial robot, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, Iridium satellite, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, life extension, loose coupling, loss aversion, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, means of production, minimum viable product, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, offshore financial centre, p-value, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, prediction markets, profit motive, publish or perish, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Ronald Coase, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, social software, software is eating the world, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, subscription business, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tony Hsieh, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, urban planning, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, X Prize, Y Combinator

You need strong leadership to manage the community, because although there are no employees, people still have responsibilities and need to be held accountable for their performances. Typically, there are three steps to building a community around an ExO: Use the MTP to attract and engage early members. The MTP serves as a gravitational force that attracts constituents into its orbit. Tesla, Burning Man, TED, Singularity University and GitHub are good examples of communities whose members share common passions. Nurture the community. Anderson spends three hours every morning attending to the DIY Drones community. Elements of nurturing include listening and giving back. DIY Drones blueprints were open sourced and available from day one, which was fine, but it turned out that the members really wanted DIY Drone Kits.

Airbnb hosts and users fill out evaluation forms; taxi disrupters Uber, Lyft and Sidecar encourage clients and drivers to rate one another; and the news platform Reddit invites users to vote on stories. In 2013, Reddit, which has just fifty-one employees, most of whom manage the platform, saw 731 million unique visitors cast 6.7 billion votes on 41 million stories. Talk about a platform…(More on this later.) Tony Hsieh, CEO of Las Vegas-based Zappos, was inspired by the Burning Man community to combine both physical and trait-based communities within his Las Vegas Downtown Project. The project combines work and play in an urban landscape with homes, infrastructure, hacker spaces, shops, cafe/theater and art. In addition to the goal of helping to transform the downtown area into the most community-focused large city in the world, Hsieh aims to create the smartest place on the planet by maximizing the chances of serendipitous learning between Zappos insiders and outsiders.


pages: 391 words: 105,382

Utopia Is Creepy: And Other Provocations by Nicholas Carr

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Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, centralized clearinghouse, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, computer age, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, deskilling, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, factory automation, failed state, feminist movement, Frederick Winslow Taylor, friendly fire, game design, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Googley, hive mind, impulse control, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, Kevin Kelly, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, mental accounting, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, oil shale / tar sands, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Singularitarianism, Snapchat, social graph, social web, speech recognition, Startup school, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, technoutopianism, the medium is the message, theory of mind, Turing test, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

“Like, it’s before the Internet.” He went on: Maybe we should set aside some small part of the world, you know, like going to Burning Man, [that would serve as] an environment where people try out different things, but not everybody has to go. And I think that’s a great thing, too. I think as technologists we should have some safe places where we can try out some new things and figure out: What is the effect on society? What’s the effect on people? Without having to deploy it into the normal world. And people who like those kinds of things can go there and experience that. It’s not only Page. Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk dream of establishing Learyesque space colonies, celestial Burning Mans. Peter Thiel is slightly more down to earth. His Seasteading Institute hopes to set up floating technology incubation camps on the ocean, outside national boundaries.


pages: 666 words: 181,495

In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives by Steven Levy

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23andMe, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, autonomous vehicles, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, business process, clean water, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Dean Kamen, discounted cash flows, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, El Camino Real, fault tolerance, Firefox, Gerard Salton, Google bus, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Googley, HyperCard, hypertext link, IBM and the Holocaust, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, optical character recognition, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, Potemkin village, prediction markets, recommendation engine, risk tolerance, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, search inside the book, second-price auction, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, slashdot, social graph, social software, social web, spectrum auction, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, trade route, traveling salesman, Vannevar Bush, web application, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator

Scott Epstein had early experience marketing products like Miller Beer, Gorton Fish Sticks, and Tropicana. Later at Excite, he built a multimillion-dollar campaign around the Jimi Hendrix song “Are You Experienced?” His time at Google was brief and rocky. “They were contrarian,” Epstein would later say of the Google founders. “They rejected everything that smacked of traditional marketing wisdom.” Larry and Sergey had their own spin on spin. In 1999, at Burning Man (the posthippie festival in Death Valley that Page and Brin regularly attended), they’d been impressed that someone had projected a laser image onto a nearby hill. Wouldn’t it be great, they asked Epstein, if we could laser google onto the moon? More plausible was their suggestion that Google underwrite shows on NPR, and thus began a long history of public radio sponsorship. To create his marketing plan, Epstein wanted to get a good sense of how consumers viewed Google.

In a video of the 1986 prank, you can see Schmidt, wearing glasses with lenses so huge that he looks sort of like a grown-up version of the nerd kid Steve Urkel in Family Matters, staring in stunned but admiring disbelief at the Volkswagen Beetle that his employees had fully disassembled and then reassembled in his office. To cap things off, Brin later said, “He was the only candidate who had been to Burning Man.” When Doerr put Schmidt together with Page and Brin in late 2000, all parties saw the advantages of having Schmidt at Google. Even though they had disagreements in the hours of conversation leading up to the job offer, the Google cofounders respected his acumen and saw that his experience—ranging from start-up to heading a public company—would be a virtue. “He has an amazing group of skills,” says Page.

., 9–11, 358–62 Ayers, Charlie, 133–34, 154, 289 Babel Fish, 63 BackRub, 17, 18, 21–24, 26, 28–31; renamed Google, 30–31 Baidu, 4, 273, 279, 281, 292–98, 304, 305, 307 Bailey, David, 58, 59 Baker, Mitchell, 208 Bak, Lars, 209 Ballmer, Steve, 197, 282–83, 380 Barnes & Noble, Nook, 228 Barroso, Luiz, 197–98 BART system, 45, 56 Bartz, Carol, 346 Beard, Ethan, 375–76 Bechtolsheim, Andy, 28, 33–34, 73, 74 Bell, George, 29–30 Berkshire Hathaway, 147, 149 Berners-Lee, Tim, 15–16 Bezos, Jeff, 12, 34, 57, 80, 355, 363 Bharat, Krishna, 38–39, 40, 46, 54, 58, 239 Billington, James, 352 Bisciglia, Christophe, 199–200 Blogger, 101, 335, 374, 376 Bock, Laszlo, 141–42, 256–57, 259, 260 books: and Amazon, 355–56, 363 and class action lawsuit, 9–11, 358–67 digitization of, 11, 347–67 Google Book Settlement, 362–67 metadata in, 351 nondestructive scanning, 348–51, 353, 360 Ocean, 350–55 online future of, 352, 360 “orphan,” 357, 359, 366 payment for use of, 360–63 in public domain, 354 publishers of, 356–62 snippets of, 353, 356, 357, 362 and social good, 360–61, 364, 365, 366 transformative use of, 353–54 Boolean syntax, 36 Boorstin, Robert, 329 Braddi, Joan, 143 brain, virtual, 66, 67–68, 232, 385–86 Branson, Richard, 254 Bray, Tim, 136 Brilliant, Larry, 258 Brin, Michael, 274–75 Brin, Sergey, 3, 5, 16 achievements of, 53, 383 and advertising, 84, 86, 90, 92, 94, 95, 97, 101, 103–6, 108, 110–11, 334, 336–37 ambition of, 128, 139 and applications, 205, 207, 208, 210, 240–42 and artificial intelligence, 385–86 birth and early years of, 13–14, 274–75, 310 and birth of Google, 31–34 and Book Search, 11, 347, 350–52, 364 on capturing all the web, 22–24, 52, 58, 60 on changing the world, 6, 72, 97, 120, 125, 146, 232, 316, 384 and China, 267, 273–74, 276, 277–79, 283, 305, 307, 310–12 and eco-activism, 241 and email, 169–72, 174, 178, 179 and Excite, 29 and funding, 32, 33–34, 73–75 and government issues, 329 and IPO, 146–47, 149–54 and language translation, 63 and management, 74, 75–77, 79–82, 110, 143, 158–60, 162–66, 228, 235, 252–53, 260, 273, 373–74, 386, 387 marriage of, 126, 253 as Montessori kid, 121–25, 127–28, 149 and Obama, 316, 318, 329 and PageRank, 21–24, 48–49 and popular culture, 238 and privacy, 174, 176–77, 253–54, 337 and secrecy, 32, 72, 106, 218 and smart phones, 215–16, 224, 226–30, 234–36 and social networking, 372, 377–78, 380 and speed, 185, 207 and Stanford, 13–14, 16, 17, 28, 29, 34 and trust, 221, 237 values of, 127–28, 130, 132, 135, 139, 141, 146, 196, 275, 305, 364 and web links, 18, 51 and Yahoo, 344 and YouTube, 248, 264 browsers, 204–12 Google Chrome, 208–12, 220, 221, 228, 354 open-source, 204 as operating systems, 210–12 and privacy, 336–37 browser wars, 206, 283 Buchheit, Paul, 102, 259 and email, 167–71, 176, 178–80, 185, 370 and Google motto, 143–44, 170 Buffett, Warren, 147, 149 Burning Man, 76, 80 Bush, Vannevar, 15, 44 Buyer, Lise, 70, 148, 150, 151–52, 154 Buyukkokten, Orkut, 371 Buzz, 377–80 Cairns, Heather, 125 Campbell, Bill, 143, 158–60, 218, 237 Caribou (later, Gmail), 169–71 Cavanaugh, William, 366 Center for Democracy & Freedom, 337, 339 Cerf, Vinton, 222 Chan, Wesley, 113–15, 166, 205, 233–36, 291 Changchun, Li, 306 Chavez, Pablo, 329–30, 346 Chen, Steve, 243–44, 247–51, 264 Cheriton, David, 27–28, 33–34, 79 Cheung, Harry “Spider-Man,” 41, 125, 128 Chin, Denny, 9–10, 365–66 China, 276–314 aim to do good in, 279–80, 303–4, 313 bureaucracy of, 277–79, 280, 291, 295, 298, 304, 312 censorship in, 268, 273, 276, 277, 279, 280–81, 283–86, 290, 293, 295, 297–98, 303–8, 310–13 competition in, 278, 281, 292–98, 300, 305–6, 313 cooperation with government in, 279, 284–85, 292, 297, 299, 301, 302, 305 cultural differences in, 278, 290, 291, 292, 298, 302–3 Google closed in, 311–14, 383 Google’s Chinese name, 287–88 Google’s launch in, 287–89 license to operate in, 277, 279, 280, 295, 340 Obama town meeting in, 324 Olympic Games in, 304 recruitment in, 290–91 “red pockets” in, 297 search in Chinese language, 272–74, 280, 294, 299–300, 304, 306 security issues in, 267–68, 270, 298, 301–2, 303, 308–11, 313–14 stolen code in, 300, 309 and U.S.


pages: 549 words: 116,200

With a Little Help by Cory Doctorow

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autonomous vehicles, big-box store, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, death of newspapers, don't be evil, game design, Google Earth, high net worth, margin call, offshore financial centre, packet switching, Ponzi scheme, rolodex, Sand Hill Road, sensible shoes, skunkworks, Skype, traffic fines, traveling salesman, Turing test, urban planning, Y2K

He had a little bit of dried food in the corner of his mouth and his tongue crept out and licked at it as he concentrated. 586 "Want to tell me about June, 1998?" 587 Greg turned rotated his head this way and that. "I'm sorry?" 588 "You posted a message to alt.burningman on June 17, 1998 about your plan to attend Burning Man. You posted, 'Would taking shrooms be a really bad idea?'" # 589 It was 3AM before they let him out of the "secondary screening" room. The interrogator was an older man, so skinny he looked like he'd been carved out of wood. His questions went a lot further than the Burning Man shrooms. They were just the start of Greg's problems. 590 "I'd like to know more about your hobbies. Are you interested in model rocketry?" 591 "What?" 592 "Model rocketry." 593 "No," Greg said. "No, I'm not." Thinking of all the explosives that model rocketry people surrounded themselves with. 594 The man made a note, clicked some more.


pages: 455 words: 133,322

The Facebook Effect by David Kirkpatrick

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Andy Kessler, Burning Man, delayed gratification, demand response, don't be evil, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, Howard Rheingold, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Network effects, Peter Thiel, rolodex, Sand Hill Road, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, social graph, social software, social web, Startup school, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Whole Earth Review, winner-take-all economy, Y Combinator

In May 2003, the same time that Hoffman was launching LinkedIn, Pincus unveiled Tribe.net, a social network where members could create a “tribe” around a specific interest. Tribe.net was originally intended to help members share Craigslist-type classifieds so they could buy things from people they knew. Its tribal quality, however, quickly became its trademark, and its most cohesive online tribes were not the ordinary-Joe ones Pincus had envisioned. They included regular attendees at the annual Burning Man festival in Nevada as well as devotees of alternative sexual practices, more interested in just connecting than in buying and selling things. Sean Parker fell in with this San Francisco social networking mafia. At that time, Parker shared a house with Stanford students in Palo Alto, where Friendster was already taking off, and several of these guys were already in his own real-world social network.

Index ABC.com, 298 AboutFace, 145 Abrams, Jonathan, 70–72, 73, 75–76 Academy Awards, 298 Accel Partners, 114–27, 215 Facebook’s meetings and deal with, 117–18, 119–20, 122, 124–26, 129, 130, 143, 146–147, 170, 183, 318, 320, 322, 323 fees of, 114 social networking interest of, 115 Addeman, V, 213 AdSeed, 111–12 AdSense, 111, 324 Advance Research Projects Agency (ARPAnet), 66 advertising: cookies and, 142 engagement, 260–61 gender targeting of, 142 on MySpace, 177–78 targeting of, 141–43, 247, 266, 307 see also Facebook, advertising on Aeneid (Virgil), 138 Affinity Engines, 78 Agarwalla, Jayant, 228, 229 Agarwalla, Rajat, 228, 229 AIDS Vaccine Initiative, 254 AKQA, 263 Alexa Internet data service, 281 Allen, Paul, 216 Alliance of Youth Movements Summit, 291 Allposters.com, 132 Al Qaeda, 291, 292 Amazon.com, 158, 161, 178, 250 ambient intimacy, 203–4 American Growth of Cairo, 280 American Library Association, 209 America Online (AOL), 12, 67, 94, 188, 237, 296, 335 chat rooms of, 293 Instant Messenger (AIM) of, 27, 29, 137, 144, 162, 187, 219 Amherst Regional High School, 207 Anderson, Tom, 74–75, 76, 139 Anderson, Will, 289 Andreessen, Marc, 135, 152, 165–66, 272, 312, 319–20, 321 Anglo-Irish Bank, 204 Angwin, Julia, 74, 76, 153 Apache Web server tools, 38 Apple, 102, 104, 112, 141, 176, 188, 209, 215, 218, 220, 226 iChat, 219 aQuantive, 237 Arizona, University of, 43 Armenia, 291 Armstrong, Tim, 237, 238 Arrington, Michael, 304 Asana, 269, 301 Asian Avenue, 69 Association of Harvard Black Women, 24, 25, 26 Association of National Advertisers, 271 Australia, 16 Authoritas: One Student’s Harvard Admissions and the Founding of the Facebook Era (Greenspan), 84–85 Bahamas, 275 Ballmer, Steve, 237–38, 239–41, 245, 267 Baloun, Karel, 137, 138 Barranquilla, Colombia, 4, 5 Baylor University, 101 BBC, 211 Beacon, 201, 246–48, 250–51, 254, 258, 259, 324 Beard, Ethan, 306, 313 Bebo, 152, 335 Bedecarre, Tom, 263, 264 Beirut (beer drinking game), 55, 96, 129, 144, 175 Ben & Jerry’s, 264, 265 Benchmark venture capital, 53, 71, 112, 268 Berkshire Hathaway, 108 Bermuda, 290 Betancourt, Ingrid, 1, 6 Bewkes, Jeff, 187 Bezos, Jeff, 320 Bing, 326 Black, Tricia, 42, 43, 44, 61, 129, 138 BlackBerry, 50, 316 BlackPlanet, 69 blogging, 128, 263 Borthwick, John, 329 Boston University, 37 Bosworth, Adam, 191 Botha, Roelof, 104, 105 Bowdoin College, 79 boyd, danah, 68 Brainstorm, 166 Brand, Stewart, 66 Brazil, 16, 78, 87, 276, 281–82 Breyer, Jim, 115, 138, 148, 198, 236, 251, 254, 320–21, 322 Accel’s investment in Facebook set up by, 119–21, 122, 168 and broadening Facebook to new demographics, 149, 150 open registration and, 196 Parker’s arrest and, 146–47 Yahoo offer and, 183–84, 185–86 Zuckerberg’s dinner with, 122, 168 Brilliant, Larry, 66 Brin, Sergei, 216, 254 broadband, 76 Bronfman, Edgar, Jr., 54, 125 Brown, Scott, 294 Brown University, 37 Brunei, 275 Buddy Media, 267 Buddy Zoo, 27 Buffett, Warren, 108–9 Burma, 291 Burning Man festival, 73 Burton, Jeremy, 299–300 Bush, George W., 290, 294 BusinessWeek, 169 Buyukkokten, Orkut, 77–78 cages, 225–26 California, University of, at Santa Barbara, 292–93 Callahan, Ezra, 103, 111, 126 Caltech, 38 Cambodia, 275 Campus Network, 101 Camus, Albert, 49 Canada, 16, 275, 328 Cassidy, John, 173 Causes, 224–25, 231–32 Chan, Priscilla, 47, 170, 174, 186, 253 Chase credit cards, 175–76 Chatter, 301 Chavez, Hugo, 1 cheerleaders, 141, 142, 247 Cheever, Charlie, 158, 202–3, 220, 269 Chen, Steve, 129 Chernin, Peter, 161 Chien, Chi-Hua, 116 Children of Jihad (Cohen), 280, 281 Chile, 15, 275, 276, 278, 281 China, 105, 276, 282 Christman, Michael, 223 Cisco, 104 Classmates.com, 67, 335 Clemons, Nick, 293 Clinton, Bill, 307 Clinton, Hillary, 204, 293 Clippinger, John, 328 Club Nexus, 36, 77–78, 79, 84 CNN, 296, 298, 306 Coast Guard, U.S., 295 Coca-Cola, 272 Cohen, Jared, 280, 290 Cohler, Matt, 135, 136, 138, 143, 162, 163, 257 in departure from Facebook, 268, 270 DeWolfe’s meeting with, 139 Facebook stock and, 90, 322 on failure of work networks, 173 investors and, 114, 116, 117–20, 121–23, 126, 128 as maturest member of team, 128 and opening of Facebook to new demographics, 149, 150, 196 Parker’s arrest and, 146 platform work of, 222 recruited to Facebook, 105, 116 recruiting by, 129, 130–31 on the “social graph,” 157 at Viacom meeting, 160 Yahoo’s negotiations with, 183, 184, 185 CollegeFacebook.com, 101 Collegester.com, 79 Colleran, Kevin, 138, 139–40, 330 advertising targeting by, 142 Colombia, 1–6, 7, 8, 16, 265, 278, 288, 290, 291 Columbia University, 35, 36, 79, 91, 101, 291 Community, 297 Compete research firm, 326 “Computer as Communication Device, The” (Licklider and Taylor), 66 comScore Media Metrix, 170, 272, 273, 306 condoms, 295 ConnectU, 83 Consumer Federation of America, 209 Consumerist, 308, 310 consumer monetization, 262 Consumers Union, 308 Conway, Ron, 110, 114 cookies, 141–42 Cornell University, 36, 79 cost per acquisition (CPA), 140 cost per thousand views (CPMs), 139–40, 141 Course Match, 19–20, 23, 27, 29, 31, 32, 80, 306 Cox, Chris, 181, 188, 191, 192, 296, 330 Craigslist, 43, 44, 229 Crampton, Tom, 283 Crest White Strips, 176–77 Crowd of One, A: The Future of Individual Liberty (Clippinger), 328 CrowdStar, 232 Cruise, Tom, 56–57, 98 Cuba, 291 CUCommunity, 36, 79, 101 custom targeting, 141, 247 Cyworld, 69 Czech Republic, 16 Daily Jolt, 79 Daily Mail, 205 Daily Telegraph, 211 Daily Wildcat, 190 D’Angelo, Adam, 38, 44, 53, 64, 130, 143, 162, 242, 322 Buddy Zoo built by, 27 in departure from Facebook, 268–69, 270 Facebook code improved by, 132 at Frisson party, 103–4 interviewing by, 131 new schools added to Facebook by, 37 News Feed and, 181 platform work of, 220, 223 on privacy, 208 Synapse built by, 26, 37, 98, 218 Wirehog and, 99, 100, 104, 131 Dartmouth, 37 Dartmouth University, 36–37, 79, 91, 92 Da Vinci Code, The (Brown), 143 Davis, Gareth, 230 Dawson-Haggerty, Stephen, 46 death panels, 294 Def Jam, 176 Deitch, Melanie, 195 Delaware, 62 Dell, Michael, 304 Deloitte Consulting, 203 Democracy in America (Tocqueville), 223 Denmark, 280 derivative value, 261 Design Within Reach, 221 DeWolfe, Chris, 75, 76, 138–39, 222 Digg, 152, 296 digital cameras, 76 Digital Sky Technologies, 232, 284–285, 322–23 Disney, 272 Dodgeball, 184 Dolan, Shaun, 206 dot-com bust, 69, 70, 88, 114, 236, 245 DoubleClick, 324 Draper, Tim, 120, 122 Draper Fisher Jurvetson, 120 Drucker, Peter, 136 Dublin, 285 Dylan, Bob, 233 Dyson, Esther, 12 eBay, 9, 48, 53, 88, 220 e-condoms, 295 Edelman Digital, 264 Efrusy, Kevin, 115, 116–21, 122, 124, 130, 133, 134, 135, 215 Egypt, 8, 280, 289, 291 Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), 201, 208–9, 233, 309 Eliot, T.


pages: 532 words: 155,470

One Less Car: Bicycling and the Politics of Automobility by Zack Furness, Zachary Mooradian Furness

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active transport: walking or cycling, affirmative action, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, back-to-the-land, Build a better mousetrap, Burning Man, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, colonial rule, conceptual framework, dumpster diving, Enrique Peñalosa, European colonialism, feminist movement, ghettoisation, Golden Gate Park, interchangeable parts, intermodal, Internet Archive, Jane Jacobs, market fundamentalism, means of production, Naomi Klein, New Urbanism, peak oil, place-making, post scarcity, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, sustainable-tourism, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, urban planning, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, working poor, Yom Kippur War

ross Evans, interview with the author, august 7, 2007; aaron Weiler, Namibian Bicycle Ambulance Project, available at http://bikecart.pedalpeople.com/namibia. See Megulon 5, “i Meet the Hard Times Bike Club and live to Tell the Tale,” Chunk 666, October 10, 1997, available at http://www.dclxvi.org/chunk/outside/htbc/ meet.html; C. Bales, “The rat patrol,” in Reglar Wiglar, no. 19 (Chicago: Self-published, 2003). For more on Circus redickuless and the Hard Times Bike Club, see Brian Doherty, This Is Burning Man: The Rise of a New American Underground (new york: little and Brown, 2004), 140–146. Mykle Hansen, “Hell on Wheels,” The Portland Mercury, June 8, 2000. Johnny payphone, “Mutant Bike Culture past and present,” Ghostride Magazine, no. 4 (2006): 23–26; Chris Carlsson, Nowtopia: How Pirate Programmers, Outlaw Bicyclists, and Vacant-Lot Gardeners Are Inventing the Future Today (Oakland, Ca: aK press, 2008), 117.

Sanjam records, 1996. lp. Dix, W. F. “Motoring for people of Moderate Means.” The Independent 70 (april 13, 1911): 775–777. Dixon, leon. National Bicycle History Archive. available at http://nbhaa.com/. Dodge, pryor. The Bicycle. paris: Flammarion, 1996. Doherty, Brian. Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement. new york: public affairs Books, 2007. ———. This Is Burning Man: The Rise of a New American Underground. new york: little and Brown, 2004. Domosh, Mona, and Joni Seager. Putting Women in Place: Feminist Geographers Make Sense of the World. new york: Guilford press, 2001. Donnelly, Thomas Michael. Quicksilver. Columbia pictures Corporation, 1986. Film. Dorgan, Byron l. Take This Job and Ship It: How Corporate Greed and Brain-Dead Politics Are Selling Out America. new york: Thomas Dunne Books/St.


pages: 510 words: 120,048

Who Owns the Future? by Jaron Lanier

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3D printing, 4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, augmented reality, automated trading system, barriers to entry, bitcoin, book scanning, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, cloud computing, computer age, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, David Graeber, delayed gratification, digital Maoism, en.wikipedia.org, facts on the ground, Filter Bubble, financial deregulation, Fractional reserve banking, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Akerlof, global supply chain, global village, Haight Ashbury, hive mind, if you build it, they will come, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, Jacquard loom, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, life extension, Long Term Capital Management, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, packet switching, Peter Thiel, place-making, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post-oil, pre–internet, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart meter, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, The Market for Lemons, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, WikiLeaks

I embrace it and practice it myself in a lightened form, which could be called homeopathic. Just about every technologist I know harbors some Rousseauian fetish in the closet. The same fellow who might work on “Augmented Wilderness,” a technology in which a virtual world is perceived to be superimposed on a remote wilderness trail, will seek out the wild primitivist side of Silicon Valley rituals like Burning Man. The room where I am writing this is filled with rare, archaic, acoustic musical instruments that I have learned to play. I find that digital ways of making music are missing something and I will not let go of that thing. This is entirely reasonable. Is there really something essential and vital about acoustic instruments that computers can’t touch? Another incarnation of Pascal’s bargain presents itself.

Brian, 169n artificial hearts, 157–58 artificial intelligence (AI), 23, 61, 94, 95, 114, 116, 136, 138n, 147, 155, 157, 178, 191, 192–93, 325, 330, 354, 359n artificial memory, 35 art market, 108 Art of the Long View, The (Schwartz), 214 ashrams, 213 assets, 31, 60 “As We May Think” (Bush), 221n asymmetry, 54–55, 61–66, 118, 188, 203, 246–48, 285–88, 291–92, 310 Athens, 22–25 atomic bomb, 127 “attractor nightmare,” 48 auctions, 170, 286 aulos, 23n austerity, 96, 115, 125, 151, 152, 204, 208 authenticity, 128–32, 137 authors, 62n automata, 11, 12, 17, 23, 42, 55, 85–86, 90–92, 97–100, 111, 129, 135–36, 155, 157, 162, 260, 261, 269, 296n, 342, 359–60 automated services, 62, 63, 64, 147–48 automated trading systems, 74–78, 115 automation, 7, 85, 123–24, 192, 234, 259, 261, 343 automobiles, 43, 86, 90–92, 98, 118–19, 125n, 302, 311, 314, 343, 367 avatar cameras, 265 avatars, 89n, 265, 283–85 baby boomers, 97–100, 339, 346 bailouts, financial, 45, 52, 60, 74–75, 82 Baird-Murray, Kathleen, 200n “Ballad of John Henry, The,” 134–35 bandwidth, 171–72 banking, 32–33, 42, 43, 69, 76–78, 151–52, 251, 269n, 289, 345–46 bankruptcy, 2, 89, 251 bargains, 64–65, 95–96 Barlow, John Perry, 353 Barnes & Noble, 62n, 182 barter system, 20, 57 Battlestar Galactica, 137, 138n “beach fantasy,” 12–13, 18, 236–37, 331, 366–67 Beatles, 211, 212, 213 behavior models, 32, 121, 131, 173–74, 286–87 behavior modification, 173–74 Belarus, 136 belief systems, 139–40 Bell, Gordon, 313 bell curve distribution, 39, 39–45, 204, 208, 262, 291–93 Bell Labs, 94 Bentham, Jeremy, 308n Berners-Lee, Tim, 230 Bezos, Jeff, 352 big business, 265–67, 297–98 big data, 107–40, 150, 151–52, 155, 179, 189, 191–92, 202–4, 265–66, 297–98, 305, 346, 366, 367 big money, 202–4, 265–67 billboards, 170, 267, 310 billing, 171–72, 184–85 Bing, 181–82 biodiversity, 146–47 biological realism, 253–54 biotechnology, 11–13, 17, 18, 109–10, 162, 330–31 Bitcoin, 34n BitTorrent, 223 blackmail, 61, 172–73, 207, 273, 314, 316, 322 Black Monday, 74 blogs, 118n, 120, 225, 245, 259, 349, 350 books, 1–2, 62, 63, 65, 113, 182, 192, 193, 246–47, 277–78, 281, 347, 352–60 bots, 62, 63, 64, 147–48 brain function, 195–96, 260, 328 brain scans, 111–12, 218, 367 Brand, Stewart, 214 brand advertising, 267 Brandeis, Louis, 25, 208 Brazil, 54 Brooks, David, 326 Burma, 200n Burning Man, 132 Bush, George H. W., 149 Bush, Vannevar, 221n business data, 112–13, 150, 189 business plans, 107–8, 117–20, 154, 169–74, 175, 236, 258, 301–2, 344–45 cached data mirrors, 223 Cage, John, 212 California, University of, at Berkeley, 104, 107–8, 111, 172 call centers, 177n Caltech, 94, 184 Cambridge, Mass., 157–58 cameras, 2, 10, 89, 265, 309–11, 319 capital flows, 37, 43–45, 47, 49, 201, 329, 355–56 capitalism, 11, 16–17, 20, 43–46, 47, 49, 66–67, 79, 208, 243, 246–48, 258, 260–63, 272, 273n, 277, 329 capital resources, 86 “captured” populations, 170–71 carbon credits, 87, 88, 298–99, 300, 301–3, 314 cartels, 158 Catholic Church, 190 cell phones, 34n, 39, 85, 87, 162, 172, 182n, 192, 229, 269n, 273, 314, 315, 331 Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), 199–200 chance, 23n change acceleration, 10, 21, 130–33, 136, 193–95, 217 chaos, 165–66, 273n, 331 cheating, 120, 335 Chicago, Ill., 47 China, 54, 70, 85, 87, 199, 200, 201, 208 Christianity, 190, 193–94, 293 Christian Science, 293 civility, 293–94 civilization, 123, 255, 300, 311, 336 civil liberties, 317–24 classified ads, 177n click-through counts, 183, 286, 347 clothing, 89, 260, 367 Cloud Atlas, 165 cloud processors and storage, 11–12, 19, 20, 42, 62, 88, 92, 100, 110, 113, 121, 124n, 144, 146n, 147, 149, 151, 153–54, 168, 203, 209, 245–46, 255, 258, 261–62, 274, 284, 292, 306, 311–13, 326, 338, 347–48, 350, 359 code, 112, 272 cognition, 111–12, 195–96, 260, 312–13, 314, 315, 328 Cold War, 189 Coleman, Ornette, 353 collectives, 358–60 collusion, 65–66, 72, 169–74, 255, 350–51 Columbia Records, 161n commercial rights, 317–24, 347 commissions, 184 communications industry, 258 communism, 136, 153, 291, 344 compensatory servers, 64 competition, 42, 60, 81, 143–44, 147, 153, 180, 181, 187–88, 246–48, 326 complexity, 53–54 Computer Lib/Dream Machines (Nelson), 229 computer programmers, 113–14, 123, 286n computers: artificiality of, 130, 134 calculations by, 146n, 147–48, 149, 151 cloud processors and, see cloud processors and storage development of, 53, 129–30 as machines, 22–25, 123, 129–30, 155, 158, 165–66, 178, 191, 193, 195, 248, 257–58, 261, 328 memory of, 146n networks of, see digital networks parallel, 147–48, 149, 151 personal (PCs), 158, 182n, 214, 223, 229 programming of, 113–14, 120, 123, 157, 180, 193, 248, 272, 286n, 342, 362–63 remote, 11–12 reversible, 143n security of, 175, 345–46 servers for, 12n, 15, 31, 53–57, 71–72, 95–96, 143–44, 171, 180, 183, 206, 245, 358 software for, 7, 9, 11, 14, 17, 68, 86, 99, 100–101, 128, 129, 147, 154, 155, 165, 172–73, 177–78, 182, 192, 234, 236, 241–42, 258, 262, 273–74, 283, 331, 347, 357 user interface for, 362–63, 364 computer science, 113–14, 120, 123, 157, 180, 193, 248, 272, 286n, 342, 362–63 conflicts of interest, 62n Confucianism, 214, 215–16 connectivity, 171–72, 184–85, 273, 296n, 309, 316, 331 consciousness, 195–96 conservatism, 148, 149–51, 153, 204, 208, 249, 251, 253, 256, 293 construction industry, 151 consultants, 69–72 consumer electronics, 85–86, 162 consumer-facing sites, 179–80, 182, 216 consumers, see economies, consumer “content farms,” 120 contracts, 79–82, 172, 182, 183–84, 246–48, 314, 347, 352–53 copyright, 44, 47, 49, 60, 61, 96, 183, 206, 207, 224–26, 239–40, 263–64 corporations, 265–67, 307, 314, 348–51 correlations, 75–76, 114–15, 192, 274–75 correlative algorithms, 75–76 corruption, 31, 48, 77, 235, 257, 341n cost comparisons, 64 cost-effectiveness, 136–37 cost externalization, 59n countercultures, 24 Craigslist, 177n credit, 52, 116, 177, 193, 287–90, 305, 320, 337–38 credit cards, 185, 186, 269n credit ratings, 52, 116, 177, 193, 320 creepiness, 305–24 crime, 48, 307, 311, 319–21 crowdsourcing, 21, 86, 119–20, 356 cryptography, 14 currencies, 286–87 customer service, 177 cyberactivism, 14, 199, 200–201, 210, 308–9, 335–36, 339 cyberattacks, 201 cybernetics, 230 cyberpunk literature, 309, 356n Daedalus, 22 data, 12, 20, 50–54, 55, 71–76, 92, 167n, 174, 176–77, 178, 196, 223, 234–35, 246–48, 256–58, 271–75, 286–87, 292, 300, 307, 316, 317–24, 347 see also big data databases, 20, 71–72, 75–76, 178, 192, 203 data copying, 50–51 data mining, 120 dating services, 108–9, 113, 167–68, 274–75, 286 Deadpool, 189 death denial, 193, 218, 253, 263–64, 325–31, 367 death tolls, 134 debt, 29, 30n, 54, 92, 95, 96 Debt: The First 5,000 Years (Graeber), 30n decision-making, 63–64, 184, 266, 269–75, 284n decision reduction, 266, 269–71, 284n deconstructionism, 131 democracy, 9, 32–33, 44, 90–92, 120, 200, 202–4, 207, 208, 209, 209, 210, 246–48, 277–78, 321, 324, 336, 342 Democratic Party, 202 demonetization, 172, 176n, 186, 207, 260–61 denial of service, 171–72, 312–13, 315 depopulation, 97, 133 depressions, economic, 69–70, 75, 135, 151–52, 288, 299 deprinters, 88 derivatives funds, 56, 60, 149, 153, 155, 301 determinism, 125, 143, 156, 166–68, 202, 328, 361 devaluation, 15–16, 19–21 developed world, 53–54 Diamond, Jared, 134 dice throws, 23n Dick, Philip K., 18, 137 differential pricing, 63–64 digital cameras, 2 digital networks, 2–3, 9, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19–21, 31, 35, 49, 50–51, 53, 54–55, 56, 57, 59, 60–61, 66–67, 69–71, 74, 75, 77–80, 92, 96, 99, 107–8, 118–19, 120, 122, 129–30, 133n, 136–37, 143–48, 192, 199, 209, 221–30, 234, 235, 245–51, 259, 277, 278, 286–87, 308–9, 316, 337, 345, 349, 350, 355, 366–67 design of, 40–45 educational, 92–97 effects, 99, 153, 169–74, 179, 181–82, 183, 186, 207, 305, 362–63, 366 elite, 15, 31, 54–55, 60, 122, 201 graph-shaped, 214, 242–43 medical, 98–99 nodes of, 156, 227, 230, 241–43, 350 power of, 147–49, 167 punishing vs. rewarding, 169–74, 182, 183 tree-shaped, 241–42, 243, 246 see also Internet digital rights movement, 225–26 digital technology, 2–3, 7–8, 15–16, 18, 31, 40, 43, 50–51, 132, 208 dignity, 51–52, 73–74, 92, 209, 239, 253–64, 280, 319, 365–66 direct current (DC), 327 disease, 110 disenfranchisement, 15–16 dossiers, personal, 109, 318 dot-com bubble, 186, 301 double-blind tests, 112 Drexler, Eric, 162 DSM, 124n dualism, 194–95 Duncan, Isadora, 214 Dyson, George, 192 dystopias, 130, 137–38 earthquakes, 266 Eastern Religion, 211–17 eBay, 173, 176, 177n, 180, 241, 343 eBooks, 113, 246–47, 352–60 eBureau, 109 economic avatars, 283–85, 302, 337–38 economics, 1–3, 15, 22, 37, 38, 40–41, 42, 67, 122, 143, 148–52, 153, 155–56, 204, 208, 209, 236, 259, 274, 288, 298–99, 311, 362n, 363 economies: austerity in, 96, 115, 125, 151, 152, 204, 208 barter system for, 20, 57 collusion in, 65–66, 72, 169–74, 255, 350–51 competition in, 42, 60, 81, 143–44, 147, 153, 180, 181, 187–88, 246–48, 326 consumer, 16–17, 43, 54, 56n, 62, 63–65, 72–74, 85–86, 98, 114, 117, 154, 162, 173–74, 177, 179–80, 182, 192, 193, 215, 216, 223, 227, 241, 246, 247, 248–64, 271–72, 273, 286–88, 293, 323, 347–48, 349, 355–56, 357, 358–60 depressions in, 69–70, 75, 135, 151–52, 288, 299 dignity in, 51–52, 73–74, 92, 209, 239, 253–64, 280, 319, 365–66 distributions in, 37–45 of education, 92–97 efficiency in, 39, 42–43, 53, 61, 66–67, 71–74, 88, 90, 97, 118, 123, 155, 176n, 187–88, 191, 236, 246, 310, 349 entrepreneurial, 14, 57, 79, 82, 100–106, 116, 117–20, 122, 128, 148–49, 166, 167, 183, 200, 234, 241–43, 248, 274, 326, 359 equilibrium in, 148–51 financial sector in, 7n, 29–31, 35, 38, 45, 49, 50, 52, 54, 56–67, 69–70, 74–80, 82, 115, 116–20, 148n, 153–54, 155, 179–85, 200, 208, 218, 254, 257, 258, 277–78, 298, 299–300, 301, 336–37, 344–45, 348, 350 freedom and, 32–33, 90–92, 277–78, 336 global, 33n, 153–56, 173, 201, 214–15, 280 government oversight of, 44, 45–46, 49, 79–80, 96, 151–52, 158, 199, 205–6, 234–35, 240, 246, 248–51, 299–300, 307, 317, 341, 345–46, 350–51 growth in, 32, 43–45, 53–54, 119, 149–51, 236, 256–57, 270–71, 274–75, 291–94, 350 of health care, 98–99, 100, 153–54 historical analysis of, 29–31, 37–38, 69–70 humanistic, 194, 209, 233–351 361–367 of human labor, 85, 86, 87, 88, 99–100, 257–58, 292 identity in, 82, 283–90, 305, 306, 307, 315–16 inclusiveness of, 291–94 information, 1–3, 8–9, 15–17, 18, 19–20, 21, 35, 60–61, 92–97, 118, 185, 188, 201, 207, 209, 241–43, 245–46, 246–48, 256–58, 263, 283–87, 291–303, 331, 361–67 leadership in, 341–51 legal issues for, 49, 74–78 levees in, 43–45, 46, 47, 48, 49–50, 52, 92, 94, 96, 98, 108, 171, 176n, 224–25, 239–43, 253–54, 263, 345 local advantages in, 64, 94–95, 143–44, 153–56, 173, 203, 280 market, 16–17, 20, 23–24, 33–34, 38, 39, 43–46, 47, 50–52, 66–67, 75, 108, 118–19, 126, 136, 143, 144–48, 151–52, 155, 156, 167, 202, 207, 221–22, 240, 246–48, 254–57, 261, 262–63, 266, 277–78, 288, 292–93, 297–300, 318, 324, 326, 329, 344, 354, 355–56; see also capitalism mathematical analysis of, 40–41 models of, 40–41, 148–52, 153, 155–56 monopolies in, 60, 65–66, 169–74, 181–82, 187–88, 190, 202, 326, 350 morality and, 29–34, 35, 42, 50–52, 54, 71–74, 252–64 Nelsonian, 335, 349–50 neutrality in, 286–87 optimization of, 144–47, 148, 153, 154–55, 167, 202, 203 outcomes in, 40–41, 144–45 political impact of, 21, 47–48, 96, 149–51, 155, 167, 295–96 pricing strategies in, 1–2, 43, 60–66, 72–74, 145, 147–48, 158, 169–74, 226, 261, 272–75, 289, 317–24, 331, 337–38 productivity of, 7, 56–57, 134–35 profit margins in, 59n, 71–72, 76–78, 94–95, 116, 177n, 178, 179, 207, 258, 274–75, 321–22 public perception of, 66n, 79–80, 149–50 recessions in, 31, 54, 60, 76–77, 79, 151–52, 167, 204, 311, 336–37 regulation of, 37–38, 44, 45–46, 49–50, 54, 56, 69–70, 77–78, 266n, 274, 299–300, 311, 321–22, 350–51 risk in, 54, 55, 57, 59–63, 71–72, 85, 117, 118–19, 120, 156, 170–71, 179, 183–84, 188, 242, 277–81, 284, 337, 350 scams in, 119–21, 186, 275n, 287–88, 299–300 self-destructive, 60–61 social aspect of, 37–38, 40, 148–52, 153, 154–56 stimulus methods for, 151–52 sustainable, 235–37, 285–87 transformation of, 280–94, 341–51 trust as factor in, 32–34, 35, 42, 51–52 value in, 21, 33–35, 52, 61, 64–67, 73n, 108, 283–90, 299–300, 321–22, 364 variables in, 149–50 vendors in, 71–74 Edison, Thomas, 263, 327 editors, 92 education, 92–97, 98, 120, 150, 201 efficiency, 39, 42–43, 53, 61, 66–67, 71–74, 88, 90, 97, 118, 123, 155, 176n, 187–88, 191, 236, 246, 310, 349 Egypt, 95 eHarmony, 167–68 Einstein, Albert, 208n, 364 elderly, 97–100, 133, 269, 296n, 346 elections, 202–4, 249, 251 electricity, 131, 327 Electronic Frontier Foundation, 184 “elevator pitch,” 233, 342, 361 Eloi, 137 employment, 2, 7–8, 11, 22, 56–57, 60, 71–74, 79, 85–106, 117, 123, 135, 149, 151–52, 178, 201, 234, 257–58, 321–22, 331, 343 encryption, 14–15, 175, 239–40, 305–8, 345 Encyclopaedia Britannica, 338 End of History, The (Fukuyama), 165 endoscopes, 11 end-use license agreements (EULAs), 79–82, 314 energy landscapes, 145–48, 152, 209, 336, 350 energy sector, 43, 55–56, 90, 144, 258, 301–3 Engelbart, Doug, 215 engineering, 113–14, 120, 123–24, 157, 180, 192, 193, 194, 217, 218, 248, 272, 286n, 326, 342, 362–63 Enlightenment, 35, 255 enneagrams, 124n, 215 Enron Corp., 49, 74–75 entertainment industry, 7, 66, 109, 120, 135, 136, 185–86, 258, 260 see also mass media entrepreneurship, 14, 57, 79, 82, 100–106, 116, 117–20, 122, 128, 148–49, 166, 167, 183, 200, 234, 241–43, 248, 274, 326, 359 entropy, 55–56, 143, 183–84 environmental issues, 32 equilibrium, 148–51 Erlich, Paul, 132 est, 214 Ethernet, 229 Etsy, 343 Europe, 45, 54, 77, 199 evolution, 131, 137–38, 144, 146–47 exclusion principle, 181, 202 Expedia, 65 experiments, scientific, 112 experts, 88, 94–95, 124, 133–34, 178, 325–31, 341, 342 externalization, 59n Facebook, 2, 8, 14, 20, 56–57, 93, 109, 154, 169, 171, 174, 180, 181, 188, 190–91, 200n, 204, 206, 207, 209, 210, 214, 215, 217, 227, 242–43, 246, 248, 249, 251, 270, 280, 286, 306, 309, 310, 313, 314, 317, 318, 322, 326, 329, 341, 343, 344, 346, 347–48, 366 facial recognition, 305n, 309–10 factories, 43, 85–86, 88, 135 famine, 17, 132 Fannie Mae, 69 fascism, 159–60 fashion, 89, 260 feedback, 112, 162, 169, 203, 298, 301–3, 363–64, 365 fees, service, 81, 82 feudalism, 79 Feynman, Richard, 94 file sharing, 50–52, 61, 74, 78, 88, 100, 223–30, 239–40, 253–64, 277, 317–24, 335, 349 “filter bubbles,” 225, 357 filters, 119–20, 200, 225, 356–57 financial crisis (2008), 76–77, 115, 148n financial services, 7n, 29–31, 35, 38, 45, 49, 50, 52, 54, 56–67, 69–70, 74–80, 82, 115, 116–20, 148n, 153–54, 155, 179–85, 200, 208, 218, 254, 257, 258, 277–78, 298, 299–300, 301, 336–37, 344–45, 348, 350 firewalls, 305 first-class economic citizens, 246, 247, 248–51, 273, 286–87, 323, 349, 355–56 Flightfox, 64 fluctuations, 76–78 flu outbreaks, 110, 120 fMRI, 111–12 food supplies, 17, 123, 131 “Fool on the Hill, The,” 213 Ford, Henry, 43 Ford, Martin, 56n Forster, E.


pages: 464 words: 127,283

Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia by Anthony M. Townsend

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1960s counterculture, 4chan, A Pattern Language, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, anti-communist, Apple II, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Burning Man, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, charter city, chief data officer, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, computer age, congestion charging, connected car, crack epidemic, crowdsourcing, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Deng Xiaoping, East Village, Edward Glaeser, game design, garden city movement, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, ghettoisation, global supply chain, Grace Hopper, Haight Ashbury, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jane Jacobs, jitney, John Snow's cholera map, Khan Academy, Kibera, knowledge worker, load shedding, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, openstreetmap, packet switching, patent troll, place-making, planetary scale, popular electronics, RFC: Request For Comment, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, social software, social web, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, telepresence, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, too big to fail, trade route, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, working poor, working-age population, X Prize, Y2K, zero day, Zipcar

There’s no simple software interface for them and you always have a separate piece of hardware that actually flashes the code onto them.”33 What he needed was a cheap and simple microcontroller on which students could quickly load code from their laptops so they could focus on application design, not circuit design. The vast bulk of people interested in physical computing were hackers and artists, not engineers. As Phillip Torrone described it on the blog of Make magazine, a kind of latter-day Popular Science for hardware hackers, “it’s nice to pay your dues and impress others with your massive Art of Electronics book, but for everyone else out there, they just want an LED to blink for their Burning Man costume.”34 The solution to physical computing’s steep learning curve came from Italy’s own Silicon Valley, the town of Ivrea. Best known as the hometown of pioneering Italian computer maker Olivetti, in the early 2000s Ivrea was the site of a short-lived but highly influential design school, the Interaction Design Institute Ivrea (IDII). Ivrea, like the Interactive Telecommunications Program, was a magnet for hardware tinkerers and attracted students who pioneered improvements on industrial microcontrollers, such as Colombian artist Hernando Barragán, whose Wiring prototyping platform was a huge step forward for nonengineers who wanted to experiment with physical computing.

The enormous cultural impact of that psychedelic freak-out on American society can be felt today, and it still casts a long shadow over San Francisco. There, Hirshberg has been a driving force behind a new creative space just down the hill from Haight-Ashbury, the Gray Area Foundation for the Arts. Both physically and spiritually, it sits at the intersection of that 1960s counterculture and a new techno-utopianism. It’s just a few steps to either Twitter’s headquarters or the head office of Burning Man, the radical art festival that builds a temporary city in the Nevada desert each summer. Though he takes inspiration from the hippies, Hirshberg is politically pragmatic. He soon slaps his laptop shut and stops playing dumb. “Look,” he says, “in the 60s you protested the establishment. Today you just write to its API.” For Hirshberg, the way to accelerate change is to plug revolutionary software directly into government databases.


pages: 189 words: 57,632

Content: Selected Essays on Technology, Creativity, Copyright, and the Future of the Future by Cory Doctorow

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book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, en.wikipedia.org, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, Jeff Bezos, Law of Accelerating Returns, Metcalfe's law, mutually assured destruction, new economy, optical character recognition, patent troll, pattern recognition, Ponzi scheme, post scarcity, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Sand Hill Road, Skype, slashdot, social software, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Turing test, Vernor Vinge

Perhaps we can call this "boyd's Law" [NOTE TO EDITOR: "boyd" is always lower-case] for danah [TO EDITOR: "danah" too!] boyd, the social scientist who has studied many of these networks from the inside as a keen-eyed net-anthropologist and who has described the many ways in which social software does violence to sociability in a series of sharp papers. Here's one of boyd's examples, a true story: a young woman, an elementary school teacher, joins Friendster after some of her Burning Man buddies send her an invite. All is well until her students sign up and notice that all the friends in her profile are sunburnt, drug-addled techno-pagans whose own profiles are adorned with digital photos of their painted genitals flapping over the Playa. The teacher inveigles her friends to clean up their profiles, and all is well again until her boss, the school principal, signs up to the service and demands to be added to her friends list.


pages: 177 words: 54,421

Ego Is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday

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Airbnb, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Burning Man, delayed gratification, Google Glasses, Jeff Bezos, Lao Tzu, Paul Graham, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, side project, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, Upton Sinclair

It’s why the old proverb says, “When student is ready, the teacher appears.” DON’T BE PASSIONATE You seem to want that vivida vis animi which spurs and excites most young men to please, to shine, to excel. Without the desire and the pains necessary to be considerable, depend upon it, you never can be so. —LORD CHESTERFIELD Passion—it’s all about passion. Find your passion. Live passionately. Inspire the world with your passion. People go to Burning Man to find passion, to be around passion, to rekindle their passion. Same goes for TED and the now enormous SXSW and a thousand other events, retreats, and summits, all fueled by what they claim to be life’s most important force. Here’s what those same people haven’t told you: your passion may be the very thing holding you back from power or influence or accomplishment. Because just as often, we fail with—no, because of—passion.


pages: 239 words: 56,531

The Secret War Between Downloading and Uploading: Tales of the Computer as Culture Machine by Peter Lunenfeld

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Albert Einstein, Andrew Keen, Apple II, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, butterfly effect, computer age, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, East Village, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Grace Hopper, gravity well, Guggenheim Bilbao, Honoré de Balzac, Howard Rheingold, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, John von Neumann, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Mercator projection, Mother of all demos, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, planetary scale, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Post-materialism, post-materialism, Potemkin village, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Robert X Cringely, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, social software, spaced repetition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ted Nelson, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, Thomas L Friedman, Turing machine, Turing test, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, walkable city, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

The emphasis is on producing new and networked objects, and the response was strong enough that Frauenfelder and his coworkers decided that they could expand into producing live events to bring together their community, offering demonstrations and workshops, and growing the number of people interested in these new DIY phenomena. The resulting events, called MAKER Faires, drew from other communities, like the DIYers who have been such a huge part of the Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert, and became social spaces that blended consumption and production, fan and maker, and online interaction with real-life excitement. The point here is less the commercial success and long-term viability of the etsy and MAKE DIY communities than the ways in which their very existence points toward a future of blended real and virtual communities devoted to the material production of culture along with its integration into more open spaces of commerce, trade, and exchange.


pages: 259 words: 73,193

The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We've Lost in a World of Constant Connection by Michael Harris

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4chan, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Burning Man, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, dematerialisation, en.wikipedia.org, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Google Glasses, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Loebner Prize, Marshall McLuhan, McMansion, Nicholas Carr, pattern recognition, pre–internet, Republic of Letters, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social web, Steve Jobs, the medium is the message, The Wisdom of Crowds, Turing test

For my peers and me, this confusion is all around us, an ambient fog, though we don’t often name it. We look up symptoms on Mayoclinic.org but indulge in “natural” medicine; we refuse to obey any church’s laws, yet we want to hold on to some idea of spirituality and read our Eckhart Tolle; we hunch plaintively over our cell phones for much of the year and then barrel into the desert for a week of bacchanalian ecstasy at the Burning Man festival. One friend of mine, who is more addicted to his phone than most, visits a secret traveling sauna once a month located inside a specially outfitted van. He gets naked with a bunch of like-minded men and women and chats about life inside the van’s superheated cabin; then he tugs his clothes back on and reenters his digital life. I’m at the point where I won’t call one experience authentic and the other inauthentic.


pages: 294 words: 80,084

Tomorrowland: Our Journey From Science Fiction to Science Fact by Steven Kotler

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Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Burning Man, carbon footprint, Colonization of Mars, crowdsourcing, Dean Kamen, epigenetics, gravity well, haute couture, interchangeable parts, Kevin Kelly, life extension, Louis Pasteur, North Sea oil, Oculus Rift, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, personalized medicine, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, theory of mind, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

A week after checking out of the hospital, as June sweeps into July, at 10:45 a.m., Mara drops 140 mgs of MDMA, adding a booster pill of another 55 mgs about an hour later. “Buy the ticket,” said Hunter S. Thompson, “take the ride.” 6. Rick Doblin is fifty-six years old, with a strong, stocky frame, curly brown hair, a wide forehead, and a face creased with laugh lines. His demeanor is mostly high school guidance counselor, though his stories are often Burning Man. He was born Jewish, in Oak Park, Illinois, and raised, he says, “under the shadow of the Holocaust.” This produced a teenager who eschewed sports and girls for books about civil disobedience. At fourteen, he had already devoted his life to social justice. By sixteen, he’d decided to become a draft resister, meaning he would always have a criminal record and “couldn’t be a lawyer or a doctor or do most of the things a good Jewish boy was supposed to do.”


pages: 229 words: 67,869

So You've Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson

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4chan, AltaVista, Berlin Wall, Broken windows theory, Burning Man, Clive Stafford Smith, cognitive dissonance, Desert Island Discs, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Google Hangouts, illegal immigration, Menlo Park, PageRank, Ralph Nader, Rosa Parks, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, urban planning, WikiLeaks

I wondered: was unashamedness something that some people just had? Or was it something that could be taught? And that was how I discovered a man teaching a course in how to refuse to feel ashamed. 8 THE SHAME ERADICATION WORKSHOP Twelve Americans - strangers to one another - sat in a circle in a room in the JW Marriott hotel in Chicago. There were buttoned-down, preppy-looking businessmen and women, a young Burning Man type drifter couple, a man with a Willie Nelson ponytail and deep lines in his face. In the middle sat Brad Blanton. He was a large man. His shirt, open to his chest, was yellow-white, like his hair. With his sunburned face he looked like a red ball abandoned in dirty snow. Now he stirred. ‘To begin,’ he said, ‘I want you to tell us something that you don’t want us to know.’ ‘A lot of people move around in life chronically ashamed of how they look, or how they feel, or what they said, or what they did.


pages: 296 words: 76,284

The End of the Suburbs: Where the American Dream Is Moving by Leigh Gallagher

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Airbnb, big-box store, Burning Man, call centre, car-free, Celebration, Florida, clean water, collaborative consumption, Columbine, crack epidemic, East Village, edge city, Edward Glaeser, extreme commuting, helicopter parent, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, Jane Jacobs, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, Menlo Park, mortgage tax deduction, New Urbanism, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, Richard Florida, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Sand Hill Road, Seaside, Florida, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Tony Hsieh, transit-oriented development, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban sprawl, Victor Gruen, walkable city, white flight, young professional, Zipcar

In keeping with the findings of economists like Harvard’s Edward Glaeser, who has found that innovation happens faster in cities because proximity to others breeds creativity, a big part of Hsieh’s plan is to draw entrepreneurs from all over the country with a network of co-working spaces where dozens of start-ups can set up shop and work in close proximity to one another. Hsieh wants as many of his employees—and those of the other start-ups—to live in the area as possible, and he knows that having good schools is critical, so his team is working on building an early-childhood school set to open later this year. He’s investing in bringing displays of artwork from the Burning Man festival to the area, and his team is developing bike-sharing and car-sharing programs. “The idea went from, ‘Let’s build a campus’ to ‘Let’s build a city,’” Hsieh says over shots of Fernet, the bitter digestif that has become the team’s signature drink, at his new neighborhood’s Cheers equivalent, the Downtown Cocktail Room. Hsieh has a vision to create his own version of the sidewalk “ballet” Jane Jacobs described, a place where people can live, work, and play without leaving their neighborhood.


pages: 624 words: 180,416

For the Win by Cory Doctorow

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barriers to entry, Burning Man, double helix, Internet Archive, inventory management, loose coupling, Maui Hawaii, microcredit, New Journalism, Ponzi scheme, Post-materialism, post-materialism, random walk, RFID, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, slashdot, speech recognition, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, supply-chain management, technoutopianism, union organizing, urban renewal, wage slave

It only took a week on the Boston ride before they had their third and fourth nodes. The third was outside of San Francisco, in a gigantic ghost-mall that was already being used as a flea-market. They had two former anchor-stores, one of which was being squatted by artists who needed studio space. The other one made a perfect location for a new ride, and the geeks who planned on building it had cut their teeth building elaborate Burning Man confectioneries together, so Perry gave them his blessing. The fourth was to open in Raleigh, in the Research Triangle, where the strip malls ran one into the next. The soft-spoken, bitingly ironic southerners who proposed it were the daughters of old IBM blue-tie stalwarts who’d been running a women’s tech collective since they realized they couldn’t afford college and dropped out together.

“That’s heresy around here,” he said. “You going to take them to Disney World while you’re in Florida? It’s a lot bigger, you know—and it’s a different division. Really different feel, or so I’m told.” “You kidding? Perry, we came here for your ride. It’s famous, you know.” “Net.famous, maybe. A little.” He felt his cheeks burning. “Well, there will be one in your neck of the woods soon enough.” He told her about the Burning Man collective and the plan to build one down the 101, south of San Francisco International. Kettlebelly returned then with the kids, and he managed to get them into their seats while sucking back a coffee and eating a biscuit from the basket in the center of the table, breaking off bits to shove in the kids’ mouths whenever they protested. “These are some way tired kids,” he said, leaning over to give his wife a kiss.


pages: 903 words: 235,753

The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty by Benjamin H. Bratton

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1960s counterculture, 3D printing, 4chan, Ada Lovelace, additive manufacturing, airport security, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, carbon-based life, Cass Sunstein, Celebration, Florida, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, dark matter, David Graeber, deglobalization, dematerialisation, disintermediation, distributed generation, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Eratosthenes, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Georg Cantor, gig economy, global supply chain, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Guggenheim Bilbao, High speed trading, Hyperloop, illegal immigration, industrial robot, information retrieval, intermodal, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jacob Appelbaum, Jaron Lanier, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, linked data, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, McMansion, means of production, megacity, megastructure, Menlo Park, Minecraft, Monroe Doctrine, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, peak oil, performance metric, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, phenotype, place-making, planetary scale, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, reserve currency, RFID, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, semantic web, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Slavoj Žižek, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, software studies, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spectrum auction, Startup school, statistical arbitrage, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Superbowl ad, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, TaskRabbit, the built environment, The Chicago School, the scientific method, Torches of Freedom, transaction costs, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, universal basic income, urban planning, Vernor Vinge, Washington Consensus, web application, WikiLeaks, working poor, Y Combinator

The trial balloon of an information technology free zone echoes remarks made in 2013 by Google CEO Larry Page during his Google I/O keynote speech, as he wondered aloud about a “Google Island” where we “set aside a part of the world. … I think as technologists we should have some safe places where we can try out new things and figure out the effect on society. What's the effect on people, without having to deploy it to the whole world.”34 Page compared his speculative temporary autonomous zone to Burning Man, a city that comes and goes on an annual cycle unlike an actual island, and so of only limited experimental significance and value. Page's thought bubble presents more than few problems, even taken at face value (especially taken at face value). “Without having to deploy it to the whole world” implies that the island is a society-sized laboratory with all the standard measures in place to isolate and contain contaminants from entering or exiting.35 Accordingly the test-bed can prototype the ideal software society within its formal boundary only if that border is enforced by draconian walls and firewalls.

See also camp/enclave; walled gardens within airports, 155–156, 324 within cities, 311–312 conflicts, 9, 120, 144 economy of, 323 of enclosure and escape, 22, 32–33, 149–150, 172–176, 303 enforcing, 310 as envelope-interface, 172–173 formal and informal, 97 geopolitical geography of, 6–7, 97, 120, 144, 172–173, 308–310, 323–324, 409n42 globalization destabilizing and enforcing, 23 interfaces as, 220 Internet, 318 reversibility of, 23, 32–33, 148–149 of self, 262 software, 315 of technology, 29 virtual, 309 Borges, Jorge Luis, 209, 211, 363 Chinese Encyclopedia problem, 451n61 bots, 278, 344 boundaries of self, 262 Bourdieu, Pierre, 424n41 “Brain Is the Screen, The” (Deleuze), 219 brand, power of, 128, 130 Branzi, Andrea, 150–151 Brassier, Ray, 390n19 breach theory, 113 Brin, David, 454n75 Brin, Sergey, 139 Broad Museum, 320 bunker. See camp/enclave bureaucracy, 7, 342 Burning Man, 315 Burroughs, William S., 157 Bush, George W., 322 California Ideology, 57, 385n20 Calit2 (California Institute of Telecommunications and Information Technology), 267 CalTrans building, 320, 322–323 Calvino, Italo, 147 Cameron, David, 399n37 camp/enclave. See also borders defined, 368–369 exceptionality of, 23, 32–33 free of information technology, 313, 315 gated communities as, 311–312 interiority/exteriority of, 173–175, 311–312 nomos of the Modern, 20, 369 refugee, 174–175, 308, 312 reversibility of, 23, 32–33, 312, 324 walled gardens compared, 187 Campus 2 (Apple), 186–187, 189, 320 Čapek, Karel, 279 capital, computational, 80–81 capitalism accomplishments of, 332 algorithmic, 72, 80–81 Anthropocenic, 213 cognitive, 110, 116, 203, 241, 258, 295 digital, 80 future of, 321 industrial/postindustrial, 80, 128, 254 of people versus things, 212 capitalist pricing problem, 333, 337, 369 carbon economy, 98 carbon footprint China, 259 of data computing, 92–96 electricity generation, 95 India, 95 stabilizing, 259, 303 US, 259 carbon governance, 88–90 carbon police, 306 Carpenter, John, 427n51 cars car+phone hybrid, 280 communication in, 280 driverless, 238, 279–283, 342, 344, 437nn57–58 (see also Google Car) hacking, 283–284 human-driven, 283, 344–345 redefining, 238–239 vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) networks, 281–282, 438n60 cartography function of the state, 119 cassiterite, 82 Castells, Manuel, 416n28 catallaxy, 329–331, 375 Celebration, Florida (Disney), 311 cellular phones.


pages: 390 words: 113,737

Someone comes to town, someone leaves town by Cory Doctorow

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Burning Man, clean water, combinatorial explosion, dumpster diving

The having done's going to take decades, I'd guess. But the doing's going to be something." Alan's smile was so broad it ached. The idea had seized him. He was drunk on it. The buzzer sounded and Kurt got up to answer it. Alan craned his neck to see a pair of bearded neohippies in rasta hats. "Are you Kurt?" one asked. "Yeah, dude, I'm Kurt." "Marcel told us that we could make some money here? We're trying to raise bus fare to Burning Man? We could really use the work?" "Not today, but maybe tomorrow," Kurt said. "Come by around lunchtime." "You sure you can't use us today?" "Not today," Kurt said. "I'm busy today." "All right," the other said, and they slouched away. "Word of mouth," Kurt said, with a jingling shrug. "Kids just turn up, looking for work with the trash." "You think they'll come back tomorrow?" Alan was pretty good at evaluating kids and they hadn't looked very reliable.


pages: 342 words: 95,013

The Zenith Angle by Bruce Sterling

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airport security, Burning Man, cuban missile crisis, glass ceiling, Grace Hopper, half of the world's population has never made a phone call, Iridium satellite, market bubble, new economy, packet switching, pirate software, profit motive, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, thinkpad, V2 rocket, Y2K

And that’s got me very, very concerned. This UFO you’re witnessing, is it still up there?” Of course the UFO was still up there. It wasn’t there like a piece of aircraft metal—it was there like a terrifying bloody haze, occult, supernatural. “Yeah. It’s still there. It’s hovering. I think it’s watching us.” “Tom, I never thought I would have to use this with you. But I learned this in the chill-out tent at Burning Man. Tell that thing to move, Tom. Give it an order, out loud. Speak right to it. Because if it’s all in your head, then it’ll do whatever you say.” “That proves I’m crazy.” “You’re the boss, Tom. Tell that thing where to get off.” DeFanti craned his neck and stared. He was encountering a UFO. He didn’t have many choices. “Move left!” In all its uncanny majesty, the intruder slowly did as he said.


pages: 378 words: 94,468

Drugs 2.0: The Web Revolution That's Changing How the World Gets High by Mike Power

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air freight, banking crisis, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, cloud computing, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, double helix, fiat currency, Firefox, Fractional reserve banking, frictionless, Haight Ashbury, Kevin Kelly, means of production, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, Network effects, packet switching, pattern recognition, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Satoshi Nakamoto, Skype, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, trade route, Whole Earth Catalog, Zimmermann PGP

‘I’ve got this,’ said a mate unenthusiastically, passing me a wrap. ‘We got it off the net, and we did it in Berlin. It’s horrible but you might like it.’ Hardly a recommendation. But I’m a curious type. I’ve taken my fair share of pills and powders in two decades of drug-taking, with Ecstasy, cocaine and ketamine regularly on the menu, as well as the occasional acid or mushroom trip. I even did DMT once, and rattled around Burning Man 2005 guzzling the postcode drugs (2C-B, 2C-E and their chums). I asked my mate more. Turns out it was something synthetic. ‘One of those new ones, off the net,’ he said. The important thing was to only do a tiny amount. He stressed this: ‘Just half what you’d do if it was K.’ I knew about the new synthetics and I knew dosage was a serious thing: overdo it even a little and you’d be cabbaged or worse.


pages: 304 words: 93,494

Hatching Twitter by Nick Bilton

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4chan, Burning Man, friendly fire, index card, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, pets.com, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, social web, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, technology bubble, traveling salesman, WikiLeaks

He reached into his pocket and pulled out his phone, scrolling frantically for Greg Kidd’s number. Kidd was one of the few people Jack trusted in San Francisco. As of a few minutes ago, he might have become the only person he trusted in San Francisco. The two had worked together in the past, and although a business they had once started in partnership had ended with near bloodshed, Kidd had always been there for Jack. In 2005, after Jack had spent a week at Burning Man, traipsing through Black Rock City and dancing inebriated until sunrise to techno music, he had shown up on Kidd’s doorstep in Berkeley, jobless and essentially homeless. He had been a different Jack back then, sporting blue dreadlocks and grimy clothes. Still, Kidd had taken him in and let him stay in the guesthouse in the backyard. He also gave him a job as a nanny for his newborn baby. A blue-haired, dreadlocked nanny with a nose ring in Berkeley.


pages: 324 words: 93,175

The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home by Dan Ariely

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Burning Man, business process, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, endowment effect, Exxon Valdez, first-price auction, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, happiness index / gross national happiness, Jean Tirole, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, loss aversion, Peter Singer: altruism, placebo effect, Richard Thaler, Saturday Night Live, second-price auction, software as a service, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, ultimatum game, Upton Sinclair, young professional

Ayelet is currently a professor at the University of California, San Diego. (If you happen upon another Gneezy on my list of collaborators, this is not because it is a popular last name.) Uri Gneezy Uri is one of the most sarcastic and creative people I have ever met. Both of these skills enable him to turn out important and useful research effortlessly and rapidly. A few years ago, I took Uri to Burning Man, and while we were there he completely fit into the atmosphere. On the way back he lost a bet and, as a consequence, was supposed to give a gift to a random person every day for a month. Sadly, once back in civilization he was unable to do so. Uri is currently a professor at the University of California, San Diego. Emir Kamenica I met Emir through Dražen and soon came to appreciate his range of skills and depth of economic thinking.


pages: 371 words: 108,317

The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future by Kevin Kelly

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3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, AI winter, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, bank run, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bitcoin, blockchain, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, cloud computing, computer age, connected car, crowdsourcing, dark matter, dematerialisation, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Filter Bubble, Freestyle chess, game design, Google Glasses, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, index card, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, linked data, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, megacity, Minecraft, multi-sided market, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, placebo effect, planetary scale, postindustrial economy, recommendation engine, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Snapchat, social graph, social web, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, the scientific method, transport as a service, two-sided market, Uber for X, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Review

(Second Life is rebooting itself as a 3-D world in 2016, code-named Project Sansa.) Avatars communicated via text balloons floating over their heads, typed by owners. It was like walking around in a comic book. This clunky interface held back any deep sense of presence. The main attraction of Second Life was the completely open space for constructing a quasi-3-D environment. Your avatar walked onto an empty plain, like the blank field at a Burning Man festival, and could begin constructing the coolest and most outrageous buildings, rooms, or wilderness places. Physics didn’t matter, materials were free, anything was possible. But it took many hours to master the arcane 3-D tools. In 2009 a game company in Sweden, Minecraft, launched a similar construction world in quasi-3-D, but employed idiot-easy building blocks stacked like giant Legos.


pages: 375 words: 88,306

The Sharing Economy: The End of Employment and the Rise of Crowd-Based Capitalism by Arun Sundararajan

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, call centre, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, corporate social responsibility, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, distributed ledger, employer provided health coverage, Erik Brynjolfsson, ethereum blockchain, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, future of work, George Akerlof, gig economy, housing crisis, Howard Rheingold, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, job automation, job-hopping, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kula ring, Lyft, megacity, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart contracts, Snapchat, social software, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Nature of the Firm, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transportation-network company, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, universal basic income, Zipcar

Every age must find its balance between the two, and in every age the domination of either one will bring with it the call for its opposite. —Lewis Hyde, The Gift, 49 It is May 2015, and I’m contemplating the future of capitalism at OuiShare Fest, a gathering in Paris with a decidedly non-capitalist vibe.1 Over a thousand sharing-economy enthusiasts have gathered in and around the main venue, a giant red tent called Cabaret Sauvage, for a celebration that feels part TED, part Burning Man, and part Woodstock. I’m sitting outdoors enjoying the springtime sun with two of the founders of OuiShare and eating my conference-provided lunch, a bowl of organic lentils and beets. Behind me, preparations are afoot for the Love Fest, an all-night party that brings the three-day event to a close. Volunteers take turns on a pedal-powered generator connected to large acoustic speakers, producing short bursts of piped-in music that compete with the enthusiastic live singing of a band nearby.


pages: 330 words: 91,805

Peers Inc: How People and Platforms Are Inventing the Collaborative Economy and Reinventing Capitalism by Robin Chase

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3D printing, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Andy Kessler, banking crisis, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, business climate, call centre, car-free, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, congestion charging, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, decarbonisation, don't be evil, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, ethereum blockchain, Ferguson, Missouri, Firefox, frictionless, Gini coefficient, hive mind, income inequality, index fund, informal economy, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, means of production, megacity, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, openstreetmap, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Zipcar

Both drivers and passengers could create profiles, with photos, links to their social media and blogs, information about languages they speak, and details of what they are interested in. Profiles could also include a very short audio clip (telling us, say, what you had for breakfast, or a joke) because we had learned from research that people are more likely to trust someone if they can hear the other person’s voice. People could form groups that either would be open to all (the Burning Man group, the rock climbing group, the IKEA group) or private (the Arlington youth soccer group), and trips could be broadcast easily to the entire group. You could create trip alerts so that if anyone was ever going between your neighborhood and IKEA, or New York, or Walden Pond, you would know about it. A map on your personalized home page would show you where rides that originated near you were going that day, letting serendipity guide your travel.


pages: 1,280 words: 384,105

The Mammoth Book of the Best of Best New SF by Gardner Dozois

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back-to-the-land, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, call centre, Columbine, congestion charging, dark matter, Doomsday Book, double helix, Extropian, gravity well, Mason jar, offshore financial centre, out of africa, pattern recognition, phenotype, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Stephen Hawking, telepresence, Turing machine, Turing test, Winter of Discontent, Y2K

I looked around and it was true: on the opposite side of the aisle, two seats ahead, Milo sat watching me over his shoulder, a trickle of blood running down his forehead. One corner of his mouth pulled tighter in a rueful smile. Mr. Graves came back from the front seat and shook my hand. I saw the fat singer from the country club, still naked. The locker-room boy. A flickering light from the back of the bus: when I turned around there stood the burning man, his eye sockets two dark hollows behind the wavering flames. The shopping-mall guard. Hector from the hardware store. They all looked at me. “What are you doing here?” I asked Ruth. “We couldn’t let you go on thinking like you do. You act like I’m some monster. I’m just a person.” “A rather nice-looking young lady,” Graves added. “People are monsters,” I said. “Like you, huh?” Ruth said.

I get along fine, don’t I?” The mall guard broke in. “Actually, miss, the reason we caught on to you is that someone saw you walk into the men’s room.” He looked embarrassed. “But you didn’t catch me, did you?” Ruth snapped back. She turned to me. “You’re afraid of change. No wonder you live back here.” “This is all in my imagination,” I said. “It’s because of your drugs.” “It is all in your imagination,” the burning man repeated. His voice was a whisper. “What you see in the future is what you are able to see. You have no faith in God or your fellow man.” “He’s right,” said Ruth. “Bull. Psychobabble.” “Speaking of babble,” Milo said, “I figured out where you got that goo-goo-goo stuff. Talk – ” “Never mind that,” Ruth broke in. “Here’s the truth. The future is just a place. The people there are just people.

That means ‘Fuck you too.’” I shook my head to try to make them go away. That was a mistake: the bus began to pitch like a sailboat. I grabbed for Ruth’s arm but missed. “Who’s driving this thing?” I asked, trying to get out of the seat. “Don’t worry,” said Graves. “He knows what he’s doing.” “He’s brain-dead,” Milo said. “You couldn’t do any better,” said Ruth, pulling me back down. “No one is driving,” said the burning man. “We’ll crash!” I was so dizzy now that I could hardly keep from being sick. I closed my eyes and swallowed. That seemed to help. A longtime passed; eventually I must have fallen asleep. When I woke it was late morning and we were entering the city, cruising down Eglinton Avenue. The bus had a driver after all – a slender black man with neatly trimmed sideburns who wore his uniform hat at a rakish angle.


pages: 366 words: 119,981

The Race: The Complete True Story of How America Beat Russia to the Moon by James Schefter

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Berlin Wall, Burning Man, cuban missile crisis, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, V2 rocket

It had come only partially free, trailing behind the spherical Vostok, and the increasing forces and heat of reentry finally took it away. Gagarin was lucky. With the retros gone, Vostok’s ball shape sucked the thickening atmosphere around it and the tumbling rates slowed. Still it wobbled back and forth, up and down. He saw fire outside and heard crackling sounds. But the all-encompassing asbestos heat shield was working. Vostok did not come apart. Nor did it flare briefly and brightly and burn man and ship into the nothingness of superheated molecules. The spinning and g-forces grayed out Gagarin’s vision for a long moment. Then it was over. Gravity felt normal. He heard air whistling outside. It was time to bring the adventure to its end, and to begin a deceit that Yuri Gagarin and all the Soviet space experts would play out in public for years to come. At 23,000 feet, the hatch automatically blew off.


pages: 560 words: 158,238

Fifty Degrees Below by Kim Stanley Robinson

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airport security, bioinformatics, Burning Man, clean water, Donner party, full employment, invisible hand, iterative process, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, North Sea oil, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, the scientific method

In the immediate vicinity of this newly-identified “Pole Berg” idled many of the largest ships in the fleet, ranging from small cruise ships to huge private yachts, with a few old icebreakers on hand as well, looking overweight and unwanted. This was the fifth midsummer festival at the Pole. Every year since lanes of water had opened in the summer Arctic ice, a larger and larger group of sea craft had sailed or motored north to party at the pole. The gatherings had a Burning Man festival aspect to them, the sybaritic excess and liberal shooting off of fireworks leading many to call it Drowning Man, or Freezing-Your-Butt-Man. This year, however, the party had been somewhat taken over by the Inuit nation Nunavut, in conjunction with the Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change, who had declared this “The Year of Global Environmental Awareness,” and sent out hundreds of invitations, and provided many ships themselves, in the hope of gathering a floating community that would emphasize to all the world the undeniable changes already wrought by global warming.


pages: 496 words: 154,363

I'm Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59 by Douglas Edwards

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Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, barriers to entry, book scanning, Build a better mousetrap, Burning Man, business intelligence, call centre, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, Googley, gravity well, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, job-hopping, Menlo Park, microcredit, music of the spheres, Network effects, P = NP, PageRank, performance metric, pets.com, Ralph Nader, risk tolerance, second-price auction, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, slashdot, stem cell, Superbowl ad, Y2K

We weren't advertising on TV or on billboards or in print. The logo floating in all that white space was it. And though we had millions of users, we were hardly so well known that we could assume people already had our brandmark burned into their brains. Sergey didn't see the big deal. He had changed the logo twice during Google's infancy, adding a clip-art turkey on Thanksgiving in 1998 and putting up a Burning Man* cartoon when the staff took off to explore nakedness in the Nevada desert. But now Google was a real company, I reminded him. Real companies don't do that. Even as we argued, Sergey enlisted webmaster Karen White to resurrect the turkey for Thanksgiving, create a holiday snowman in December, and festoon the logo with a hat and confetti for New Year's 2000. "What about aliens?" he asked. "Let's put aliens on the homepage.


pages: 413 words: 119,587

Machines of Loving Grace: The Quest for Common Ground Between Humans and Robots by John Markoff

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, AI winter, airport security, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Duvall, bioinformatics, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, call centre, cellular automata, Chris Urmson, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, computer vision, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Dean Kamen, deskilling, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, future of work, Galaxy Zoo, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hacker Ethic, haute couture, hive mind, hypertext link, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of the wheel, Jacques de Vaucanson, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Conway, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, loose coupling, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, medical residency, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, natural language processing, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Stallman, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, semantic web, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Singularitarianism, skunkworks, Skype, social software, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tenerife airport disaster, The Coming Technological Singularity, the medium is the message, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

Portal companies, document management companies, search companies, and knowledge management companies all merged into one another. In 2003 Intraspect was sold for a fire sale price to Vignette and that was the end. Gruber stayed at Vignette for a couple of months and then took a year off to recharge and think about what he would do next. He traveled to Thailand, where he went scuba diving and took pictures. He discovered Burning Man, the annual weeklong gathering in the Nevada desert that attracted tens of thousands of the Valley’s digerati. When Gruber’s sabbatical year ended he was ready to build a new company. He knew Reid Hoffman, who had by then started LinkedIn, the business networking company. Because of his experience at Intraspect, Gruber had good insights into “social software.” The two men had a long series of conversations about Gruber joining the start-up, which was on track to become one of Silicon Valley’s early social networking success stories.


pages: 452 words: 134,502

Hacking Politics: How Geeks, Progressives, the Tea Party, Gamers, Anarchists and Suits Teamed Up to Defeat SOPA and Save the Internet by David Moon, Patrick Ruffini, David Segal, Aaron Swartz, Lawrence Lessig, Cory Doctorow, Zoe Lofgren, Jamie Laurie, Ron Paul, Mike Masnick, Kim Dotcom, Tiffiniy Cheng, Alexis Ohanian, Nicole Powers, Josh Levy

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4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Bernie Sanders, Burning Man, call centre, Cass Sunstein, collective bargaining, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, facts on the ground, Firefox, hive mind, immigration reform, informal economy, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, liquidity trap, Mark Zuckerberg, obamacare, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, Plutocrats, plutocrats, prisoner's dilemma, rent-seeking, Silicon Valley, Skype, technoutopianism, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator

Or is it a creation of the software’s originator, since all of the player’s moves are necessarily allowed for by the work of the engineers and artists who put the game together? It’s an intriguing, if obscenely esoteric, debate of the sort that might be fodder for an undergrad’s final paper in a media studies class, or ought to be had as technologists and hippies confab over peyote in the Nevada desert at Burning Man each summer—but suffice it to say that we don’t think the world should be such that the answers to these questions might determine whether or not somebody goes to prison or has to pay exorbitant fines. The fact that these considerations are even at hand is just further evidence that we’ve drawn copyright laws along ludicrously fundamentalist lines. One ongoing criticism of our activism from certain quarters, particularly on this front but also on others, is the notion that even if the letter of the law allows for Terrible Thing X to happen, odds are that nobody’s going to go after the small fry, petty violator—the Feds will only prosecute the industrial infringers.


pages: 390 words: 114,538

Digital Wars: Apple, Google, Microsoft and the Battle for the Internet by Charles Arthur

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AltaVista, Build a better mousetrap, Burning Man, cloud computing, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, don't be evil, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, gravity well, Jeff Bezos, John Gruber, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Network effects, PageRank, pre–internet, Robert X Cringely, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, slashdot, Snapchat, software patent, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, Tim Cook: Apple, upwardly mobile

Yes, they explained to their backers: their choice was Steve Jobs. He, however, indicated non-availability. The search continued. Eventually it ended in March 2001 when they hired Eric Schmidt. Born in April 1955, he was very experienced, the former chief executive of Novell – a company whose glory days were behind it and which was struggling to compete with Microsoft. Page and Brin also liked him because he had been to the Burning Man festival, a meeting place for geeks. The venture capitalists liked him because he looked like, as Schmidt put it, ‘adult supervision’. Boom With a business model in place, Google could expand aggressively. It started to benefit too from the network effect among advertisers. If you advertised on Google and you got business from it, then you’d probably point people back towards it. By automating the process of bidding for an advertisement based on any search term you liked, Google also made it possible for the tiniest business to get seen by the world in a way that previous search engines hadn’t.


pages: 387 words: 112,868

Digital Gold: Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires Trying to Reinvent Money by Nathaniel Popper

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4chan, Airbnb, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, banking crisis, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, capital controls, Colonization of Mars, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Extropian, fiat currency, Fractional reserve banking, Jeff Bezos, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, life extension, litecoin, lone genius, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Occupy movement, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, price stability, Satoshi Nakamoto, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, Skype, slashdot, smart contracts, Startup school, stealth mode startup, the payments system, transaction costs, tulip mania, WikiLeaks

In 2009 Briger had been named cochairman of Fortress, which then controlled investments worth around $30 billion, including the resort company that owned the lodge where the men were staying. Wences was not an alpha male like most of the other guests. He liked to stay in touch with his humble origins in Patagonia, and his driveway was filled with Subarus instead of Teslas or sport cars. Rather than taking luxury vacations, Wences used his time off to go with his wife to Burning Man, and he had recently done a vision quest—involving days without any creature comforts—in the wilderness of the Andes with one of his best friends from his younger years in Argentina. But Wences had a good-natured self-confidence and a willingness to listen that had always allowed him to get along easily with hard-driving power players. The morning after they arrived at the Valemont lodge, Wences, Briger, and the rest of the men climbed into a red-and-white Bell 212 helicopter sitting just outside the lodge and lifted off toward the high white peaks, for a day of heli-skiing.


pages: 559 words: 155,372

Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley by Antonio Garcia Martinez

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Airbnb, airport security, Amazon Web Services, Burning Man, Celtic Tiger, centralized clearinghouse, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, Emanuel Derman, financial independence, global supply chain, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, hive mind, income inequality, interest rate swap, intermodal, Jeff Bezos, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, means of production, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, Network effects, Paul Graham, performance metric, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, Sand Hill Road, Scientific racism, second-price auction, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, social web, Socratic dialogue, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, urban renewal, Y Combinator, éminence grise

That’s the smoldering ambition of every entrepreneur: to one day create an organization that society deems worthy of a price tag. These are the only real values we have left in the twilight of history, the tired dead end of liberal democratic capitalism, at least here in the California fringes of Western civilization. Clap at the clever people getting rich, and hope you’re among them. Is it a wonder that the inhabitants of such a world clamor for contrived rituals of artificial significance like Burning Man, given the utter bankruptcy of meaning in their corporatized culture? Should we be surprised that they cling to identities, clusters of consumption patterns, that seem lifted from the ads-targeting system at Facebook: “hipster millennials,” “urban mommies,” “affluent suburbanites”? Ortega y Gasset wrote: “Men play at tragedy because they do not believe in the reality of the tragedy which is actually being staged in the civilized world.”


pages: 389 words: 210,632

Frommer's Oregon by Karl Samson

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airport security, Burning Man, carbon footprint, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, haute cuisine, indoor plumbing, sustainable-tourism, transcontinental railway, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, urban sprawl, Works Progress Administration

Summer Lake Hot Springs, 41777 Ore. 31, Paisley, OR 97636 (& 541/943-3931; www.summerlakehotsprings.com), 125 miles southeast of Bend on Ore. 31, has rock-lined, open-air soaking pools and a hot swimming pool inside an old barn. There are also two houses ($125–$150 per night) and two adorable cabins done in a sort of architectural salvage/shabby-chic styling ($75 per night). This place is something of a counterculture resort and is particularly busy during summer music festivals and before and after the Burning Man festival in Nevada. Crystal Crane Hot Springs, 59315 Ore. 78, Burns, OR 97720 (& 541/4932312; www.cranehotsprings.com), 25 miles east of Burns on Ore. 78, is a bit less off the beaten path if you happen to be out this way birding at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Here you’ll find a hot-springs-fed pond for swimming ($3.50 day-use fee) and several indoor private soaking tubs that can be rented by the hour ($7.50 per person per hour; reservations recommended).


pages: 728 words: 233,687

My Boring-Ass Life: The Uncomfortably Candid Diary of Kevin Smith by Kevin Smith

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back-to-the-land, British Empire, Burning Man, mutually assured destruction, pre–internet, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Wall-E

After an hour, we kiss and make up, then pop in the Buffalo Bill season one and two DVD, to which we fall asleep Wednesday 7 September 2005 @ 2:14 p.m. Wake up, shower, and head to Harley’s school, where we drop off a bunch of her old toys and books and head to a meeting of first and second grade parents with the new Principal. An hour and a half later, we head home, and I check email ‘til it’s time to work out with Larry. We do the dog walk, during which he tells me all about his week at Burning Man. We shoot back to the home gym and do legs (weights, squats, and lunges) for an hour. When we’re done, I climb into my woobs and bury myself in the home office most of the day, iChatting with Scott about Clerks 2 stuff, including the A.D. choices. By day’s end, we hire the dude who’s gonna be the 1st A.D. for our seventh film. I iChat with Chappy about new posters we’re doing in time for Christmas.


May We Be Forgiven by A. M. Homes

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anti-communist, Burning Man, dumpster diving, friendly fire, if you build it, they will come, Mason jar, Ronald Reagan, Skype, South China Sea

“All right, then, what kind of cake do you like?” I ask, figuring I should take care of a few things on my checklist while I’ve got him on the phone. “Chocolate,” he says. “And what about the Torah—have you decided what you want to do in terms of a reading?” “You know,” he says, “I’m not really so into Hebrew as a language. I kind of want to write my own thing.…” “Consisting of what?” “Have you ever been to Burning Man?” Sofia sends out the invites, each addressed in her beautiful calligraphic script. She gives me a computer spreadsheet to track the RSVPs. I know the invitations have landed when Cousin Jason starts e-mailing me bad press about South Africa, articles saying that car crashes are the leading cause of tourist death, and about how many people are mugged at the airports, and that there’s been increased violence against white people and diseases like Ebola, and that if you’re stopped at a red light at night, people will come and smash your windows and grab whatever is in your car, or hijack you.


Understanding Power by Noam Chomsky

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anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Burning Man, business climate, cognitive dissonance, continuous integration, Corn Laws, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, global reserve currency, Howard Zinn, labour market flexibility, Mahatma Gandhi, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, mortgage tax deduction, Ralph Nader, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, school choice, strikebreaker, structural adjustment programs, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, union organizing, wage slave, women in the workforce

That was in Toronto. Yeah, I was there. I mean, I think people have a right to burn books if they want. I was in fact interviewed about it, I said the obvious thing—I’d rather they read them than burn them, but if they want to burn them, I don’t care. Actually, you don’t really have to worry about burning books—burning books is virtually impossible. Books are like bricks: they’re very hard to burn. MAN: Was that a popular rabble or something? How did it happen? It was actually Vietnamese refugees. There’s a Vietnamese refugee community that heard, or decided, or whatever, that I was … I don’t know what. It was impossible to find out what they’d heard. They obviously knew that I was against the Vietnam War, and they were obviously very pro-war—you know, they thought the Americans should have stayed in and won it, that’s why they’re Vietnamese refugees.


pages: 752 words: 201,334

Like Dreamers: The Story of the Israeli Paratroopers Who Reunited Jerusalem and Divided a Nation by Yossi Klein Halevi

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back-to-the-land, Boycotts of Israel, Burning Man, facts on the ground, friendly fire, ghettoisation, illegal immigration, New Journalism, out of africa, Ronald Reagan, Transnistria, Yom Kippur War

The jeeps reached the Kidron bridge. A scout was killed, and others leaped over the bridge, a seven-meter fall. One man held on to the edge with burned hands. A jeep tried to turn around and crashed into the jeep just behind it. The lead tank too tried to turn around and toppled into the valley below. A soldier was on fire. Another rushed over, tearing off the wounded man’s clothes. Shoot me, the burning man pleaded. His rescuer hoisted him over his shoulders. A Jordanian bullet hit the wounded man in the head. The main part of the scouts’ column hadn’t yet left the area near the Rockefeller. Arik ran toward the jeeps. “Stop!” he shouted at Kapusta, the commander. Motta ordered tanks from another unit to prepare to move out, toward Augusta Victoria. “Arik,” said Motta, “take Kapusta and make order in the balagan”—the chaos.


pages: 992 words: 292,389

Conspiracy of Fools: A True Story by Kurt Eichenwald

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Asian financial crisis, Burning Man, estate planning, forensic accounting, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, Negawatt, new economy, oil shock, price stability, pushing on a string, Ronald Reagan, transaction costs, value at risk, young professional

Both men pleaded guilty; Borget was sentenced to a year in prison, and Mastroeni received a suspended sentence and probation. Lay and Seidl knew someone had to pay the price for the debacle, and it certainly was not going to be Lay. While Seidl continued at Enron for a couple of years, his responsibilities gravitated to Rich Kinder, now working as chief of staff, sort of a roving Mr. Fixit. While Seidl was viewed internally as indecisive, Kinder was a barn-burning man of action who inspired fear in Enron’s executive ranks—just the sort of manager the company needed. Lay acknowledged soon after the announcement of the trading losses that Enron would have to change its ways. In late October 1987, he called an all-employee meeting in Houston. He held himself up as a victim of Borget and Mastroeni, as someone who had no reason to suspect the problems in Valhalla.