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pages: 391 words: 105,382

Utopia Is Creepy: And Other Provocations by Nicholas Carr

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Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, Airbus A320, 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, digital map, Donald Trump, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, 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, lifelogging, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, mental accounting, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norman Mailer, off grid, 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

Through a kind of hallucinogenic vehicular transmogrification, it has become the Google bus, shuttling geeks between their homes in San Francisco and the company’s headquarters in Mountain View. The makeover is, on the surface, extreme. The Kesey bus was a 1939 International Harvester school bus bought for peanuts; the Google bus is a plush new Van Hool machine that goes for half a million bucks. The Kesey bus was brightly colored, a rolling Grateful Dead poster; the Google bus is drab and anonymous, a rolling Jos. A. Bank suit. The Kesey bus was raucous and raunchy; the Google bus is hushed and chaste. The Kesey bus carried a vat of LSD for connecting with the group mind; the Google bus has wi-fi. Kesey’s Pranksters named their bus Further. If the Google bus had a name, it would be Safer. Despite the differences, both buses are vehicles of communalism and transcendence.

It basically means: build an opt-in society, ultimately outside the U.S., run by technology. And this is actually where the Valley is going. This is where we’re going over the next ten years. . . . The best part is this: the people who think this is weird, the people who sneer at the frontier, who hate technology—they won’t follow you out there. The Kesey bus dead-ended somewhere in Mexico, its allegorical gaskets blown. The Google bus continues on its circuit between the City and the Valley, an infinite loop of infinite possibility. THE MYTH OF THE ENDLESS LADDER April 6, 2014 “ULTIMATELY, IT’S A VIRTUOUS CYCLE,” writes economics reporter Annie Lowrey in a Times Magazine piece on computer automation’s job-displacing effects, “because it frees humans up to work on higher-value tasks.” The challenge today, she goes on, “is for humans to allow software, algorithms, robots and the like to propel them into higher-and-higher-value work.”

(FTC), 280, 284 feedback loops, 67 Feldman, Morton, 216 Ferriero, David, 272 fiction, effect on brain of, 248–52 filters, information overload and, 90–92 Finnegans Wake (Joyce), 106 first nature, 179–80 Fitbit, 119, 197 Flickr, xvi flight, human quest for, 329–30, 340–42 Fonda, Jane, Wikipedia entry on, 6–7 Food and Drug Administration, 332 Foreman, Richard, 241–42 forensic imagination, 326 45 rpm singles, 44–46, 121 Four-Second Rule, 205 Foursquare, 257 Fox, Justin, 116 France, Google and, 264 Franklin, Benjamin, 325 Friedman, Bruce, 232–33 Friedman, Thomas, 133 Frost, Robert, 145–46, 182, 247–48, 296–99, 302, 304–5, 313 Fuller, Buckminster, 171 Galbraith, John Kenneth, xix Gates, Bill, xvii Jobs compared to, 32–33 Wikipedia entry on, 5–6 Gelernter, David, xvii gender reassignment, 337–38 generational change, 230 generativity, 76–78 gene therapy, 335 genetic engineering, 334–35 geology, 326 Germany, Google and, 283–84 GIFs, 203 Gil, Sandrine, 203–4 Gilligan’s Island, fact-mongering about, 58–62 Gillmor, Dan, 7 Gleick, James, 204 Go, GeForce (avatar), 25 Goldsmith, Kenneth, 216–17 Google, 13, 67, 79, 86–89, 112, 115, 144–46, 162, 181, 195, 199, 204, 205, 226, 253, 257, 321 in AI, 136–37 competition for, 284–85 corporate management of, 16–17 customized searching on, 264–66 early days of, xvii, 279–81 effect on memory of, 98–101 ethical criticism of, 283 failed projects of, 269, 283 goals of, 23–24, 87, 145–46, 239–40, 268 growth and evolving hegemony of, 279–85 international projects of, 283–84 investigations into, 280, 284–85 music streaming by, 207, 209 in online privacy case, 190–94 philosophy of, 279–80, 283 political use of, 319 social stream management by, 166–67 universal book project of, 267–72, 275–77, 283 Google Apps, 283 Google Blog Search, 66 Google Book Search, 268–72, 275–77, 283 Google bus, 170–71, 173 “Google Effects on Memory” (Sparrow, Liu, and Wegner), 98 Google Glass, 131–32, 160–61, 164 Google Maps, 153 Google News, 315, 320 Google Now, 145 Google Play Music, 207 Googleplex, 17, 238 restrooms of, 23–24 Google Reader, 67 Google Serendipity, 13, 15 Google Suggest, 264–65 Google X lab, 195 Gordon, Robert J., 116–17 Gothic High-Tech, 113–15 GPS systems, 56–57, 226, 304 Graham, Lindsay, 314 Grand Theft Auto, 262 Gray, John, 36 Great Man theory, 28–29 Green, Shawn, 93–94 Greenfield, Patricia, 95 Grimmelmann, James, 277 Grossman, Lev, 28–29 Grover, Monte, 185 Guitar Hero (game), 64–65 Gutenberg Galaxy, The (McLuhan), 102–3 hackability, 76–78 HAL (computer), 231, 239, 242 Haldane, J.


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, Bob Geldof, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, Colonization of Mars, computer age, connected car, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, disintermediation, Donald Davies, 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, lifelogging, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, Metcalfe’s law, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, nonsequential writing, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, Occupy movement, packet switching, PageRank, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer rental, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Potemkin village, precariat, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, 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 Future of Employment, the medium is the message, the new new thing, 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

If I were old, I’d just take Uber,” the Los Angeles Times reports one San Francisco techie saying to his friends after reluctantly giving up his seat to an old lady on a Muni bus.29 Perhaps old ladies take Muni, I would have explained, because they can afford the $0.75 senior’s fare, whereas Travis Kalanick’s Uber service, with its surge pricing, could cost them $94 for a two-mile ride. And then there’s what the San Francisco–based writer Rebecca Solnit dubs, collectively, “the Google Bus.”30 These are sleeker and more powerful buses, menacingly anonymous in their absence of any identifying marks, with the same kind of opaque, tinted windows that masked the Battery from the prying eyes of the outside world. Unlike the Muni’s legacy buses, the Google Bus isn’t for everyone. It is a private bus designed to transport tech workers from their expensive San Francisco homes down to the offices of Google, Facebook, and Apple. Google alone runs more than one hundred of these daily buses, which make 380 trips to its Googleplex office in Mountain View.31 These luxurious, Wi-Fi-enabled private buses—which, in total, make around four thousand daily scheduled pickups at public Bay Area bus stops—have been superimposed on top of San Francisco’s public transit grid by tech companies that have even begun to employ private security guards to protect their worker-passengers from irate local residents.32 The Google Bus has sparked such animosity from locals that, in December 2013, protesters in West Oakland attacked one of them, smashing a rear window and so outraging Tom Perkins that he compared the glass breaking to Kristallnacht in Nazi Germany.33 And, as if to mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Web, 2014 is the year that these demonstrations have become more politically organized and coherent.

Google alone runs more than one hundred of these daily buses, which make 380 trips to its Googleplex office in Mountain View.31 These luxurious, Wi-Fi-enabled private buses—which, in total, make around four thousand daily scheduled pickups at public Bay Area bus stops—have been superimposed on top of San Francisco’s public transit grid by tech companies that have even begun to employ private security guards to protect their worker-passengers from irate local residents.32 The Google Bus has sparked such animosity from locals that, in December 2013, protesters in West Oakland attacked one of them, smashing a rear window and so outraging Tom Perkins that he compared the glass breaking to Kristallnacht in Nazi Germany.33 And, as if to mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Web, 2014 is the year that these demonstrations have become more politically organized and coherent. They are even spreading outside the Bay Area, with antigentrification protests taking place in February 2014 in Seattle against private Microsoft buses.34 Kristallnacht it certainly isn’t.

Protesters in San Francisco’s Mission District waved such a construction-style sign outside the Google buses.53 “Public $$$$$$$$$ Private Gains,” another sign said.54 Others were less polite about these mysterious buses’ whisking their expensive cargo of privileged, mostly young white male workers down to Silicon Valley. “Fuck off Google,” came the message from West Oakland.55 Rebecca Solnit’s drawing attention to the “Google Bus,” which rides on public infrastructure and stops at public bus stops but is a private service run by private companies, has become the most public symbol now of this economic division between Silicon Valley and everyone else. “I think of them as the spaceships,” is how Solnit describes this new feudal power structure in Silicon Valley, “on which our alien overlords have landed to rule over us.”


pages: 352 words: 104,411

Rush Hour by Iain Gately

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Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, Beeching cuts, blue-collar work, British Empire, business intelligence, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, car-free, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, Clapham omnibus, cognitive dissonance, congestion charging, connected car, corporate raider, DARPA: Urban Challenge, Dean Kamen, decarbonisation, Deng Xiaoping, Detroit bankruptcy, don't be evil, Elon Musk, extreme commuting, Google bus, Henri Poincaré, Hyperloop, Jeff Bezos, low skilled workers, Marchetti’s constant, postnationalism / post nation state, Ralph Waldo Emerson, remote working, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, telepresence, Tesla Model S, urban planning, éminence grise

Hindman, Huffington Post, 26 February 2013: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/26/marissa-mayer-memo-yahoo-home_n_2764725.html. 298 ‘a remote-access future possible’, see Surowiecki, ‘Face Time’. 298 ‘helmed by its own chef’, Tanya Steel, ‘Inside Google’s Kitchens’, Gourmet Live, 3 July 2012: http://www.gourmet.com/ food/gourmetlive/2012/ 030712/inside-googles-kitchens?printable=true. 299 ‘San Franciscans feel resentful’, Rory Carroll, ‘Why people hate the Google Bus’, Guardian, 26 May 2013. 300 ‘software engineer for a major internet company’, Carroll, ‘Why people hate the Google Bus’. 300 ‘a kind of symphony on wheels’, Justine Sharrock, ‘What’s it like to drive the “Google Bus”’, BuzzFeed, 24 July 2013: http://www.buzzfeed.com/justinesharrock/what-its-like-to-drive-the-google-bus. 301 For ‘mid-40’s software developer’, Andrew Valentine, Verizon, see: http://www.verizonenterprise.com/security/blog/index.xml?postername=Andrew %20Valentine. 301 ‘Have someone in Bangalore or Shanghai’, Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, London, Vermilion, 2011 edition, p. 131. 302 ‘the factories of the 21st century information age’, ‘How Clean is Your Cloud?’

However, they compete for space on the roads with school and municipal bus services, and people who live along their routes but who don’t get free gourmet food at their workplaces think of them as the equivalents of the club railway carriages of Victorian robber barons. According to an op-ed in the San Francisco Chronicle, ‘San Franciscans feel resentful about the technology industry’s lack of civic and community engagement, and the Google bus is our daily reminder.’ It seems unfair that some people should have fun commuting, while others are packed together in havens for exotic bacteria. The companies that run the buses point out that each one takes fifty or so cars off the road, and so alleviate jams rather than causing them. Employees who commute on them are also ready to speak up for their benefits to the community and indeed the planet.


pages: 831 words: 98,409

SUPERHUBS: How the Financial Elite and Their Networks Rule Our World by Sandra Navidi

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activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, assortative mating, bank run, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, butterfly effect, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, cognitive bias, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, conceptual framework, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, diversification, East Village, Elon Musk, eurozone crisis, family office, financial repression, Gini coefficient, glass ceiling, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Google bus, Gordon Gekko, haute cuisine, high net worth, hindsight bias, income inequality, index fund, intangible asset, Jaron Lanier, John Meriwether, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, McMansion, mittelstand, money market fund, Myron Scholes, NetJets, Network effects, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, Parag Khanna, Paul Samuelson, peer-to-peer, performance metric, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, quantitative easing, Renaissance Technologies, rent-seeking, reserve currency, risk tolerance, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Satyajit Das, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, The Future of Employment, The Predators' Ball, too big to fail, women in the workforce, young professional

Globalization has run out of steam, and central banks are trying to overcompensate for governmental inertia. The lack of growth exacerbates inequality even more and threatens social stability. But growth also comes with often overlooked costs and unintended consequences, such as the depletion of natural resources, exploitation of others, misallocation of human capital, and distortion of political systems. In his book Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus: How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity, Douglas Rushkoff argues that we are caught in a growth trap, where we have lost track of the purpose of the economy and made growth an end in itself, driving a jobless recovery and low-wage economy.45 But what if we are unable to produce substantially stronger growth? What if growth is limited? The think tank Club of Rome argued in its 1972 research report The Limits to Growth that growth cannot continue indefinitely because resources like water, food, and energy are limited.

James Gleick, Chaos: Making a New Science (Open Road Media, 2011), 8, 23, Kindle edition; Mitchell, Complexity, Kindle locations 419-21. 43. Wallerstein, World-Systems Analysis, 77. 44. Adam Taylor, “Is Vladimir Putin Hiding a $200 Billion Fortune?” Washington Post, February 20, 2015, http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2015/02/20/is-vladimir-putin-hiding-a-200-billion-fortune-and-if-so-does-it-matter. 45. Douglas Rushkoff, Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus: How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity (New York: Penguin Publishing Group, 2016), 4, 15, 22, Kindle edition. 46. Meadows, Thinking in Systems, Kindle location 42-46; xi; Donella Meadows, Jorgen Randers, and Dennis Meadows, Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update (Chelsea, Vermont, Chelsea Green Publishing, 2004), Kindle location 119, Kindle edition. 47. Robert J. Gordon, The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S.

See Troubled Asset Relief Program Technologization, xxvi, 8 Technology, 99 “Teflonic identity maneuvering,” 224 Telecommunications, 99 Tepper, David, 88 Tepper, Ray, 24 Tett, Gillian, 160 TGG, 140 Thain, John, 56, 85, 90, 182 Thatcher, Margaret, 16 Theron, Charlize, 115 Thiel, Peter, 121 Thiel Capital, 121 Think tanks, 105–106 Third Point, 109 Thought construct, 63 Thought leaders, 47–51 Thought leadership, 96 Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus: How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity, 220 Time, 65 Times of London, 136 Timken, William, 196 Tony Blair Associates, 170 Too Big to Fail, 172 “Toxic memo gate,” 187 Transactional capital, 168 Transactional relationships, 104 Transcendental meditation, 70 Transnational financial elite, 77–78 Transparency International, 17 “Transparency library,” 71 Travelholics, 134 Trichet, Jean-Claude, 118, 177–178 Trilateral Committee, 142 Troubled Asset Relief Program, 35, 153, 173 Trust, 13, 78–79, 98–99, 222–223 Tsinghua University, 103 Tucker, Paul, 43 Turner, Lord Adair, 27, 107, 215 Type A personality, 56 Tyson, Laura, 48 U U2, 27 UBS, 42, 106, 179 UCLA, 30 U.K.


pages: 181 words: 52,147

The Driver in the Driverless Car: How Our Technology Choices Will Create the Future by Vivek Wadhwa, Alex Salkever

23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, clean water, correlation does not imply causation, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, double helix, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, Google bus, Hyperloop, income inequality, Internet of things, job automation, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Law of Accelerating Returns, license plate recognition, life extension, Lyft, M-Pesa, Menlo Park, microbiome, mobile money, new economy, personalized medicine, phenotype, precision agriculture, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart grid, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Wozniak, Stuxnet, supercomputer in your pocket, Tesla Model S, The Future of Employment, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uranium enrichment, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, zero day

The protesters flinging feces at the Google-buses in downtown San Francisco gave voice to frustration that rich techies are taking over the City by the Bay; but the protest was based on scant logic. The private buses were taking cars off the roads, reducing pollution, minimizing traffic, and fighting global warming. Could flinging feces at a Google-bus turn back the clock and reduce prices of housing to affordable levels? The 2016 presidential campaign was the national equivalent of the Google-bus protests. The supporters of Donald Trump, largely white and older, wanted to turn back the clock to a pre-smartphone era when they could be confident that their lives would be more stable and their incomes steadily rising. The Bernie Sanders supporters, more liberal but also mostly white (albeit with great age diversity), wanted to turn back the clock to an era when the people, not the big corporations, controlled the government.


pages: 222 words: 70,132

Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google, and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy by Jonathan Taplin

1960s counterculture, 3D printing, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, American Legislative Exchange Council, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, basic income, battle of ideas, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, bitcoin, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, creative destruction, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, data is the new oil, David Brooks, David Graeber, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, equal pay for equal work, Erik Brynjolfsson, future of journalism, future of work, George Akerlof, George Gilder, Google bus, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, labor-force participation, life extension, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, packet switching, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, revision control, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, smart grid, Snapchat, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, The Chicago School, The Market for Lemons, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, unpaid internship, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, Y Combinator

Oxford Internet Institute, August 2014, ipp.oii.ox.ac.uk/2014/programme-2014/track-a/labour/sara-kingsley-mary-gray-monopsony-and. Oxford University’s Martin Programme on Technology and Employment is a critical resource for information on automation and the future of work. It can be found at www.oxfordmartin.ox.ac.uk/news/201501_Technology_Employment. Andrew Gumbel, “San Francisco’s Guerrilla Protest and Google Buses Swells into Revolt,” Guardian, January 25, 2014, www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/25/google-bus-protest-swells-to-revolt-san-francisco. Tom Perkins, “Progressive Kristallnacht Coming?” Letter to the Editor, Wall Street Journal, January 24, 2014, www.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304549504579316913982034286. David Graeber, The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy (London: Melville House, 2015). This is a funny, biting chronicle of the world of “bullshit jobs.”


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, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, 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, corporate raider, creative destruction, 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, Marc Andreessen, 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, The Future of Employment, trade route, transportation-network company, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, unpaid internship, Y Combinator, young professional, zero-sum game, Zipcar

Until we do, we remain incapable of properly seeing, much less changing, the functioning of our businesses or the economy in which they operate. We are destined to repeat the same old mistakes. Only this time, thanks to the speed and scale on which digital business operates, our errors threaten to derail not only the innovative capacity of our industries but also the sustainability of our entire society. People throwing rocks at the Google bus will be remembered as the tremor before the quake. Or we may come to our senses and choose a different path. We are at a critical crossroads. Every businessperson, employee, entrepreneur, or creator reading this book understands that we are all operating on borrowed time and borrowed money. We need to make a choice. We can continue to run this growth-driven, extractive, self-defeating program until one corporation is left standing and the impoverished revolt.


pages: 356 words: 91,157

The New Urban Crisis: How Our Cities Are Increasing Inequality, Deepening Segregation, and Failing the Middle Class?and What We Can Do About It by Richard Florida

affirmative action, Airbnb, basic income, Bernie Sanders, blue-collar work, business climate, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, Columbine, congestion charging, creative destruction, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, East Village, edge city, Edward Glaeser, failed state, Ferguson, Missouri, Gini coefficient, Google bus, high net worth, income inequality, income per capita, industrial cluster, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, jitney, Kitchen Debate, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, land value tax, low skilled workers, Lyft, megacity, Menlo Park, mortgage tax deduction, Nate Silver, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, occupational segregation, Paul Graham, Plutocrats, plutocrats, RAND corporation, rent control, rent-seeking, Richard Florida, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, superstar cities, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trickle-down economics, Uber and Lyft, universal basic income, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, white flight, young professional

“You live your comfortable lives surrounded by poverty, homelessness and death, seemingly oblivious to everything around you, lost in the big bucks and success.” Several protesters climbed atop a Yahoo bus, and one, as was widely reported, vomited on its windshield. In San Francisco’s Mission District, protesters dressed as clowns formed human pyramids, bounced giant exercise balls, and performed the can-can in front of a Google bus. For the San Francisco–based activist and writer Rebecca Solnit, those buses were akin to “spaceships on which our alien overlords have landed to rule over us.” “A Latino who has been an important cultural figure for forty years is being evicted while his wife undergoes chemotherapy,” she wrote. “One of San Francisco’s most distinguished poets, a recent candidate for the city’s poet laureate, is being evicted after 35 years in his apartment and his whole adult life here: whether he will claw his way onto a much humbler perch or be exiled to another town remains to be seen, as does the fate of a city that poets can’t afford.”


pages: 515 words: 126,820

Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, and the World by Don Tapscott, Alex Tapscott

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Airbnb, altcoin, asset-backed security, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, business process, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, ethereum blockchain, failed state, fiat currency, financial innovation, Firefox, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, future of work, Galaxy Zoo, George Gilder, glass ceiling, Google bus, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, intangible asset, interest rate swap, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, litecoin, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, microcredit, mobile money, money market fund, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, off grid, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, peer-to-peer model, performance metric, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price mechanism, Productivity paradox, QR code, quantitative easing, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, renewable energy credits, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, seigniorage, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, smart grid, social graph, social software, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, Turing complete, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, unorthodox policies, wealth creators, X Prize, Y2K, Zipcar

No one has written a more thoroughly researched or engaging book on this topic than Tapscott and Tapscott.” —Erik Brynjolfsson, Professor at MIT; coauthor of The Second Machine Age “An indispensable and up-to-the-minute account of how the technology underlying bitcoin could—and should—unleash the true potential of a digital economy for distributed prosperity.” —Douglas Rushkoff, author of Present Shock and Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus “Technological change that used to develop over a generation now hits us in a relative blink of the eye, and no one tells this story better than the Tapscotts.” —Eric Spiegel, President and CEO, Siemens USA “Few leaders push us to look around corners the way Don Tapscott does. With Blockchain Revolution he and his son Alex teach us, challenge us, and show us an entirely new way to think about the future.”


pages: 666 words: 181,495

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

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

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, Donald Knuth, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, El Camino Real, fault tolerance, Firefox, Gerard Salton, Gerard Salton, Google bus, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Googley, HyperCard, hypertext link, IBM and the Holocaust, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, one-China policy, optical character recognition, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, Potemkin village, prediction markets, recommendation engine, risk tolerance, Rubik’s Cube, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, search inside the book, second-price auction, selection bias, 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, turn-by-turn navigation, Vannevar Bush, web application, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator

Besides a number of work-related courses (“Managing Within the Law,” “Advanced Interviewing Techniques”), there were classes in creative writing, Greek mythology, mindfulness-based stress reduction, and, for those contemplating a new career funded with Google gains, “Terroir: The Geology & Wines of California.” In April 2010, a software engineer named Tim Bray blogged his experiences as a Noogler on a single day at Mountain View. He woke up at a Google Apartment, a temporary arrangement while visiting from his home base in Seattle. He caught a Google Bus to the campus, doing a bit of work using the Google Wi-Fi supplied to the passengers, arriving in time for free breakfast at one of the Google cafés. For lunch, a companion took him to the Jia café across a few parking lots, known for its excellent sushi. (Thursday was Hot Pot day.) Later in the afternoon he wanted to buy a new camera, so he borrowed one of the free electric-powered Toyota Priuses available to employees and drove to a Best Buy to make his purchase.