pre–internet

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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

I wanted release from the migraine-scale pressure of constant communication, the ping-ping-ping of perma-messaging, the dominance of communication over experience. Somehow I’d left behind my old quiet life. And now I wanted it back. • • • • • If you were born before 1985, then you know what life is like both with the Internet and without. You are making the pilgrimage from Before to After. (Any younger and you haven’t lived as an adult in a pre-Internet landscape.) Those of us in this straddle generation, with one foot in the digital pond and the other on the shore, are experiencing a strange suffering as we acclimatize. We are the digital immigrants, and like all immigrants, we don’t always find the new world welcoming. The term itself—“digital immigrant”—isn’t a perfect one: It’s often assumed that the immigrant is somehow upgrading his or her citizenship or fleeing persecution.

The solution to this very real human problem is the same solution presented by Buddhism and Gnosticism—we must, like Neo, awaken. • • • • • It’s becoming more and more obvious. I live on the edge of a Matrix-style sleep, as do we all. On one side: a bright future where we are always connected to our friends and lovers, never without an aid for reminiscence or a reminder of our social connections. On the other side: the twilight of our pre-Internet youths. And wasn’t there something . . . ? Some quality . . . ? I began this chapter lamenting little Benjamin’s confusion over the difference between a touch-sensitive iPad screen and a hard copy of Vanity Fair. But now I have a confession to make. I’m not much better off. This is not a youth-only phenomenon. A 2013 study from the University of Michigan found that those of us in our late thirties have now reached the point of having as many electronic interactions as we have face-to-face interactions.

Ng pauses for a beat before replying: “I haven’t seen any evidence that would suggest otherwise.” Nevertheless, MOOCs and the attendant dematerialization of the education process are creating a certain crisis of authenticity. A large Pew Research Center survey found that most people believe we’ll see a mass adoption of “distance learning” by 2020, and many are wondering whether that will brush aside the sun-dappled campuses, shared coffees, and lawn lolling that pre-Internet students considered so essential to their twenty-something lives. There are also more concrete points to consider. Graduation rates, for starters: Another MOOC godfather at Stanford, Sebastian Thrun (of Udacity), was tantalized for a while by the possibility of bringing Ivy League education to the world’s unfortunates, but he later announced in Fast Company magazine that less than 10 percent of his MOOC students were actually completing courses.

 

pages: 226 words: 71,540

Epic Win for Anonymous: How 4chan's Army Conquered the Web by Cole Stryker

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4chan, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Chelsea Manning, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, crowdsourcing, Firefox, future of journalism, hive mind, informal economy, Internet Archive, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Mason jar, pre–internet, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social web, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, wage slave, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

In a 2010 interview with NPR, Dawkins said, “Well, I was pretty computer-literate for the time, but neither I nor anybody else, I think, had any very clear idea of what this enormous flowering that would become the Internet. It’s become the perfect ecology for memes. I mean, the Internet is now one, great, memetic ecosystem.” Pre-Internet Memes Is Yosemite Bear, the burly eccentric who achieved cultural ubiquity with his famous expression of awe at the sight of a “double rainbow,” really all that different from Toby Radloff, the “genuine nerd” who became something of a pre-Internet microcelebrity when he starred in a series of MTV promotional shorts in the ’80s? Radloff was a coworker of comics legend Harvey Pekar, who featured Radloff in his American Splendor comics. Radloff was just a random weirdo who became known nationwide for a short while, not unlike Yosemite Bear and dozens of other web icons who’ve popped up on the mainstream’s radar over the last twenty years.

Many of today’s hip hop producers sample classic hip hop loops, which are themselves made up of bits of soul and jazz from the ’60s and ’70s. And the beats are only part of this cultural milieu. B-boy dancing, MCing (rapping), and graffiti are layered over the music in a rich sensory experience that vividly demonstrates the way all art evolves memetically. The graffiti that evolved from hip hop culture is a prominent pre-Internet visual meme. Like many memes, graffiti is a means of showing off creativity or spreading a message. Sometimes graffiti artists just want to mark their territory. We’ve all probably seen “X was here” scrawled on a bathroom stall at some point. Where did that come from? Why is it observed all over the world? A suspected root of the meme is the “Kilroy was here” iteration, which features a bald-headed cartoon man with a long nose peeking over a wall.

There are currently hundreds of videos on YouTube making fun of Oprah for the incident. Tricking a celebrity into acknowledging the existence of Anonymous was funny, but doing it under the pretense of a fake army of over nine thousand organized pedophiles was considered an epic win for the trolls. I often wonder if anyone told poor Oprah afterwards that she’d been had. Troll Heritage Perhaps the finest example of a pre-Internet troll is the late comedian and entertainer Andy Kaufman, who made a career out of subversive multilayered publicity stunts so convincing that some fans still doubt the authenticity of his 1984 death from kidney failure. Kaufman would concoct elaborate hoaxes and practical jokes. He once appeared on The Dating Game as a sweating, stuttering foreign man whose awkward delivery confounded the other participants.

 

pages: 169 words: 56,250

Startup Communities: Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Your City by Brad Feld

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barriers to entry, cleantech, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, Grace Hopper, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, labour mobility, Lean Startup, minimum viable product, Network effects, Peter Thiel, place-making, pre–internet, Richard Florida, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart cities, software as a service, Steve Jobs, text mining, Y Combinator, Zipcar

INDEX A Accelerators, power of compared to incubators TechStars expansion to New York spread to Boston and Seattle university Activities and events Boulder Beta Boulder Denver New Tech Meetup Boulder Open Coffee Club Boulder Startup Week CU New Venture Challenge Entrepreneurs Foundation of Colorado Ignite Boulder office hours Startup Weekend Young Entrepreneurs Organization (YEO) Birthing of Giants event Addoms, Ben After-party, importance of Artificial geographic boundaries, creating Aulet, Bill Avitek Awieda, Jesse B Bayh-Dole Act of 1980 Benioff, Marc Berberian, Paul Bernthal, Brad Bhargava, Rajat Biotech startup community (Boulder) Bitter Bar Bizspark (Microsoft) BlueMountainArts.com Boston startup community Boulder Angels Boulder Beta Boulder Denver New Tech Meetup Boulder Open Angel Forum Boulder Open Coffee Club Boulder Jobs List Boulder startup community Boulder as laboratory history of Boulder beginning of next wave (2003–2011) collapse of Internet bubble (2001–2002) pre-Internet (1970–1994) pre-Internet bubble (1995–2000) Boulder Startup Week Boulder Thesis, xii, xvii Brown, David Business incubators C Calacanis, Jason Capital, complaining about Carman, Carl Caruthers, Marv Case, Scott Cohen, David Coleman, Bill Colorado Internet Keiretsu Colorado School of Mines Field Session program Colorado Springs startup community Community, power of after-party, importance of embracing weirdness give and take honesty mentors openness to ideas walking Creative class CU New Venture Challenge Cuccaro, Nick Currie, Andrew D Deming Center for Entrepreneurship Diamond, Howard DiBanca, Suzanne E Email Publishing Entrepreneurial density Entrepreneurs and government, contrasts between action vs. policy bottom up vs. top down impact vs. control micro vs. macro self-aware vs. not self-aware leadership role of as participants in startup community Entrepreneurs Foundation of Colorado Entrepreneurs Unplugged Enwall, Tim Essler, Pete Events.

CONTENTS Foreword Preface Acknowledgments Chapter One: Introduction The Example of Boulder How this Book Works Chapter Two: The Boulder Startup Community Boulder as a Laboratory Before the Internet (1970–1994) Pre-Internet Bubble (1995–2000) The Collapse of the Internet Bubble (2001–2002) The Beginning of the Next Wave (2003–2011) An Outsider’s View of Boulder Chapter Three: Principles of a Vibrant Startup Community Historical Frameworks The Boulder Thesis Led by Entrepreneurs Long-Term Commitment Foster a Philosophy of Inclusiveness Engage the Entire Entrepreneurial Stack Chapter Four: Participants in a Startup Community Entrepreneurs Government Universities Investors Mentors Service Providers Large Companies The Importance of Both Leaders and Feeders Chapter Five: Attributes of Leadership in a Startup Community Be Inclusive Play a Non-Zero-Sum Game Be Mentorship Driven Have Porous Boundaries Give People Assignments Experiment and Fail Fast Chapter Six: Classical Problems The Patriarch Problem Complaining About Capital Being Too Reliant on Government Making Short-Term Commitments Having a Bias Against Newcomers Attempt by a Feeder to Control the Community Creating Artificial Geographic Boundaries Playing a Zero-Sum Game Having a Culture of Risk Aversion Avoiding People Because of Past Failures Chapter Seven: Activities and Events Young Entrepreneurs Organization Office Hours Boulder Denver New Tech Meetup Boulder Open Coffee Club Startup Weekend Ignite Boulder Boulder Beta Boulder Startupdigest Cu New Venture Challenge Boulder Startup Week Entrepreneurs Foundation of Colorado Chapter Eight: The Power of Accelerators The Spread of Techstars to Boston and Seattle Techstars Expands to New York Accelerators are Different than Incubators University Accelerators Chapter Nine: University Involvement Silicon Flatirons Some Components of CU Boulder Challenges to Entrepreneurship Programs at Universities Why they Don’t Work in Isolation The Real Value—Fresh Blood into the System The Power of Alumni Chapter Ten: Contrasts between Entrepreneurs and Government Self-Aware Versus Not Self-Aware Bottom Up Versus Top Down Micro Versus Macro Action Versus Policy Impact Versus Control Chapter Eleven: The Power of the Community Give Before You Get Everyone is a Mentor Embrace Weirdness Be Open to Any Idea Be Honest Go for a Walk The Importance of the After-Party Chapter Twelve: Broadening a Successful Startup Community Parallel Universes Integration With the Rest of Colorado Lack of Diversity Space Chapter Thirteen: Myths about Startup Communities We Need to Be Like Silicon Valley We Need More Local Venture Capital Angel Investors Must Be Organized Chapter Fourteen: Getting Started Getting Startup Iceland Started Big Omaha Startup America Partnership Do or Do Not, There is No Try About the Author Index Excerpt from Startup Life Cover illustrations: Silhoueted figure: © Leontura/istockphoto; Silhoueted women and man: © edge69/istockphoto; City Background: C.

Merc Mercure, the founder of Ball Aerospace, and Bill Coleman, who ran the Syntex facility in Boulder, together formed Colorado Venture Management, the city’s first seed fund. Finally, Jim Roser, a renowned East Coast investment banker, moved to Boulder in the 1970s and provided a critical link to capital for a number of local companies. Together, these five individuals pioneered the venture capital industry in Boulder. Kyle Lefkoff, Boulder Ventures PRE-INTERNET BUBBLE (1995–2000) When I first arrived in Boulder, I had no work expectations. At the time I was investing my own money, which I made from the sale of my first company, in startups around the country, and I was spending my time in Boston, New York, San Francisco, and Seattle. Because I was already crisscrossing the country, I figured that having a home base in the middle of the country would make my life easier.

 

pages: 379 words: 109,612

Is the Internet Changing the Way You Think?: The Net's Impact on Our Minds and Future by John Brockman

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asperger Syndrome, availability heuristic, Benoit Mandelbrot, biofilm, Black Swan, British Empire, conceptual framework, corporate governance, Danny Hillis, Douglas Engelbart, Emanuel Derman, epigenetics, Flynn Effect, Frank Gehry, Google Earth, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, index card, information retrieval, Internet Archive, invention of writing, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Kevin Kelly, lone genius, loss aversion, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, out of africa, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, smart grid, social graph, social software, social web, Stephen Hawking, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telepresence, the medium is the message, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, trade route, upwardly mobile, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, X Prize

The technologies we create always have an impact on the real world, but rarely has a technology had such an impact on minds. We know what’s happening to those who were born after the advent of the Internet; for those, like me, who started out with typewriters, books, slowness, reality measured by geographical distance and local clocks, the emerging world is very different indeed from the world we knew. I am of that generation for which adapting to computers was welcome and easy but for which the pre-Internet age remains real. I can relate to those who call the radio “the wireless,” and I admire people in their seventies and eighties who communicate by e-mail, because they come from further away still. Perhaps the way forward would be to emphasize the teaching of history in schools, to develop curricula on the history of technology, to remind today’s children that their technology, absolutely embracing as it feels, is relative and does not represent the totality of the universe.

The Greatest Detractor to Serious Thinking Since Television Leo Chalupa Ophthalmologist and neurobiologist, University of California, Davis The Internet is the greatest detractor to serious thinking since the invention of television. It can devour time in all sorts of frivolous ways, from chat rooms to video games. And what better way to interrupt one’s thought processes than by an intermittent stream of incoming e-mail messages? Moreover, the Internet has made interpersonal communication much more circumscribed than in the pre-Internet era. What you write today may come back to haunt you tomorrow. The brouhaha in late 2009 following the revelations of the climate scientists’ e-mails is an excellent case in point. So while the Internet provides a means for rapidly communicating with colleagues globally, the sophisticated user will rarely reveal true thoughts and feelings in such messages. Serious thinking requires honest and open communication, and that is simply untenable on the Internet by those who value their professional reputation.

And one can hope that the present irritation experienced by many because of the Internet will turn out to have been just an episode in the development of humanity. But maybe I am being too optimistic. Edge, A to Z (Pars Pro Toto) Hans Ulrich Obrist Curator, Serpentine Gallery, London; editor, A Brief History of Curating; Formulas for Now A is for And The Internet made me think more BOTH/AND instead of EITHER/OR or NEITHER/NOR. B is for Beginnings In terms of my curatorial thinking, my eureka moments occurred pre-Internet, when I met visionary Swiss artists Fischli/Weiss (Peter Fischli and David Weiss) in 1985. These conversations freed me up—freed my thoughts as to what curating could be and how curating can produce reality. The arrival of the Internet was a trigger for me to think more in the form of Oulipian lists—practical-poetical, evolutive, and often nonlinear lists. This A to Z, as you’ll see, is an incomplete list . . .

 

pages: 170 words: 51,205

Information Doesn't Want to Be Free: Laws for the Internet Age by Cory Doctorow, Amanda Palmer, Neil Gaiman

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Airbnb, barriers to entry, Brewster Kahle, cloud computing, Dean Kamen, Edward Snowden, game design, Internet Archive, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, optical character recognition, Plutocrats, plutocrats, pre–internet, profit maximization, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, Saturday Night Live, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, transfer pricing, Whole Earth Catalog, winner-take-all economy

The third most important thing is a grounding in how the the online world works. It’s that important. The goal of this book is to provide a first-of-its-kind look at the pitfalls and opportunities for earning a creative living in the age of the Internet. I want to equip you with the critical skills required to have a non-zero chance of making a living as an artist today, in the world as it is. Not in the world as it was in the pre-Internet era, and not in any of the tomorrows we’ve been promised. What I do on the Internet (aka: Why listen to me?) Why should you listen to what I have to say about the Internet? Well, I may not be the world’s geekiest artist (I hold out novelist Charles Stross or cartoonist Randall Munroe for this honor), but I am a pretty serious geek. I dropped out of university to be a computer programmer, cofounded a software company during the first dot-com boom, sold it, went to work for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (a civil rights organization that works on tech issues), helped build one of the most successful author-owned websites in the world, and pioneered electronic fiction distribution.

The major record labels, TV and movie studios, and publishers freely admit this. It’s the reason they take such a big slice of the price of our media, relative to the creator’s share—they have to invest in a lot of failures to get one “success.” Looking at it that way, we can enumerate a few people for whom free copying has worked, and a lot of people for whom it hasn’t worked. And we can name a few people for whom controlling copies—in the pre-Internet era—worked, and lots for whom it failed. Fame isn’t money. You can’t pay for a plane ticket with fame. You can’t pay for your kids’ braces with fame. You can’t pay for a copy of this book with fame. (Unless you’re famous as a reviewer, in which case you can.) But if you’re in the arts, you’ll never get money without some kind of fame. People can’t give you money for your art unless they know it and you exist.

It’s when you open the Internet to all the ways of connecting audiences to creators that things really start to change. Creators have never enjoyed a wider, more diverse, less united, and more pliable set of intermediaries than we have today. From YouTube to Twitter, Facebook to WordPress, Wikia to Tumblr and many, many (many, many, many, many) others, there have never been more ways for works and audiences to come together. This is bad news if you’re a success from the pre-Internet era, with a business model married tightly to the intermediaries who serve your markets. You might know to the penny what it will cost you to put a movie into theatrical distribution, or get a book into the endcaps in every chain store in the country. You’re accustomed to being able to run a cost-benefit analysis: “A certain number of people will go to the movies every weekend. If I get one screen in every multiplex, I’ll sell at least x tickets, and make y dollars.”

 

pages: 390 words: 96,624

Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle for Internet Freedom by Rebecca MacKinnon

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, business intelligence, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, corporate social responsibility, Deng Xiaoping, digital Maoism, don't be evil, Filter Bubble, Firefox, future of journalism, illegal immigration, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, Mikhail Gorbachev, national security letter, online collectivism, pre–internet, race to the bottom, Richard Stallman, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy, WikiLeaks

What is clear, however, is that software code and technical infrastructure have an important role in mediating the relationships between citizens of these countries and their new governments—alongside laws, constitutions, institutions, and political processes. As Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig explained more than a decade ago in his seminal book, Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace, software code and technical standards are for all practical purposes a new form of law, because just like laws, they shape what people can and cannot do. The implications are massive. In the pre-Internet era, government—which in democracies at least is expected to reflect “consent of the governed” and to be held accountable to the public interest—had the primary responsibility for developing legal codes governing what people did in the physical world, backed up by the authority and force necessary to enforce meaningful levels of compliance. In the Internet age, a whole new sphere of de facto lawmaking has emerged in the guise of software code and technical standards that channel and constrain what people do with their technology.

Despite government efforts to control the news, people were simply too angry—about abuse of power by petty local officials, as well as about the economic circumstances that compel young women to make a living in such sleazy establishments. Realizing that a conviction could spark riots, the authorities eventually dropped the murder charges against her. She was convicted on a lesser charge instead and set free. In the pre-Internet age, such a person would have disappeared into the prison system or into a mental health ward, unbeknownst to anybody other than a few close friends and relations in Hubei. The Internet enables ordinary Chinese people to speak truth to power and pursue justice in unprecedented ways. At the same time, Chinese Internet users have a manipulated and distorted view of their own country as well as of the broader world.

It can mean freedom through the Internet: the use of the Internet by citizens to achieve freedom from political oppression. It can mean freedom for the Internet: noninterference in the Internet’s networks and platforms by governments or other entities. It can mean freedom within the Internet: individuals speaking and interacting in this virtual space have the same right to virtual free expression and assembly as they have to the physical pre-Internet equivalents. It can mean freedom to connect to the Internet: any attempt to prevent citizens from accessing it is a violation of their right to free expression and assembly. Finally, “Internet freedom” can also mean freedom of the Internet: free and open architecture and governance, which means that the people and organizations who use computer code to determine its technical standards, as well as those who use legal code to regulate what can and cannot be done within and through the Internet, all share the common goal of keeping the Internet open, free, and globally interconnected so that all netizens are free not only to use it, but also to participate in shaping it themselves.

 

pages: 158 words: 35,552

The Last Girlfriend on Earth: And Other Love Stories by Simon Rich

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British Empire, place-making, pre–internet, Saturday Night Live

Norman Bergman Copilot, Alpha Space Orb Archaeological Excavation Report: Ludlow Lounge Introduction The following report summarizes our findings at the archaeological site known as Ludlow Lounge. Most of our records of Earth 1 were lost in the Great Google Crash of 4081. But all evidence suggests that this structure once served as a ritualistic social hub for primitive, pre-Internet man. Findings Not much is known about pre-Internet courtship rituals. But presumably, if a twentieth-century male was in need of sexual release, he had no choice but to physically approach a female and, without any kind of warning, begin speaking to her. Needless to say, this must have been a highly upsetting experience for everyone involved. In order to mitigate the horror of the situation, primitive humans relied on a poison known as beer (figure 1) to damage their brains to the point of near unconsciousness.

 

pages: 685 words: 203,949

The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload by Daniel J. Levitin

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airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Anton Chekhov, big-box store, business process, call centre, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, cognitive bias, complexity theory, computer vision, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Eratosthenes, Exxon Valdez, framing effect, friendly fire, fundamental attribution error, Golden Gate Park, Google Glasses, haute cuisine, impulse control, index card, indoor plumbing, information retrieval, invention of writing, iterative process, jimmy wales, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, life extension, meta analysis, meta-analysis, more computing power than Apollo, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, phenotype, placebo effect, pre–internet, profit motive, randomized controlled trial, Skype, Snapchat, statistical model, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Turing test, ultimatum game

Crowdsourcing is perhaps most visible as a form of consumer ratings via Yelp, Zagat, and product ratings on sites such as Amazon.com. In the old, pre-Internet days, a class of workers existed who were expert reviewers and they would share their impressions of products and services in newspaper articles or magazines such as Consumer Reports. Now, with TripAdvisor, Yelp, Angie’s List, and others of their ilk, ordinary people are empowered to write reviews about their own experiences. This cuts both ways. In the best cases, we are able to learn from the experiences of hundreds of people about whether this motel is clean and quiet, or that restaurant is greasy and has small portions. On the other hand, there were advantages to the old system. The pre-Internet reviewers were professionals—they performed reviews for a living—and so they had a wealth of experience to draw on.

It is not just because they’re reading less literary fiction, it’s because they’re spending more time alone under the illusion that they’re being social. Online dating is organized differently from conventional dating in four key ways—access, communication, matching, and asynchrony. Online dating gives us access to a much larger and broader set of potential mates than we would have encountered in our pre-Internet lives. The field of eligibles used to be limited to people we knew, worked with, worshipped with, went to school with, or lived near. Many dating sites boast millions of users, dramatically increasing the size of the pool. In fact, the roughly two billion people who are connected to the Internet are potentially accessible. Naturally, access to millions of profiles doesn’t necessarily mean access to electronic or face-to-face encounters; it simply allows users to see who else is available, even though the availables may not be reciprocally interested in you.

Someone can believe wholeheartedly that Russia is in the middle of South America, but that doesn’t make it true. The world has changed for school-age children (not to mention university students and everyone else). Just fifteen years ago, if you wanted to learn a new fact, it took some time. Say, for example, you wanted to know the range of your favorite bird, the scarlet tanager, or the value of Planck’s constant. In the old, pre-Internet days, either you had to find someone who knew or you had to find it yourself in a book. To do the latter, you first had to figure out what book might contain the information. You’d march down to a bricks-and-mortar library and spend a fair amount of time at the card catalogue to get, if not to the right book, at least to the right section of the library. There, you’d no doubt browse several books until you found the answer.

 

pages: 397 words: 110,130

Smarter Than You Think: How Technology Is Changing Our Minds for the Better by Clive Thompson

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3D printing, 4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, augmented reality, barriers to entry, Benjamin Mako Hill, butterfly effect, citizen journalism, Claude Shannon: information theory, conceptual framework, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of penicillin, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, experimental subject, Filter Bubble, Freestyle chess, Galaxy Zoo, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Henri Poincaré, hindsight bias, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, information retrieval, iterative process, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Netflix Prize, Nicholas Carr, patent troll, pattern recognition, pre–internet, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, Socratic dialogue, spaced repetition, telepresence, telepresence robot, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, transaction costs, Vannevar Bush, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, X Prize, éminence grise

As the historian David Henkin notes in The Postal Age, the per capita volume of letters in the United States in 1860 was only 5.15 per year. “That was a huge change at the time—it was important,” Henkin tells me. “But today it’s the exceptional person who doesn’t write five messages a day. I think a hundred years from now scholars will be swimming in a bewildering excess of life writing.” As an example of the pre-Internet age, consider my mother. She’s seventy-seven years old and extremely well read—she received a terrific education in the Canadian high school system and voraciously reads novels and magazines. But she doesn’t use the Internet to express herself; she doesn’t write e-mail, comment on discussion threads or Facebook, post status updates, or answer questions online. So I asked her how often in the last year she’d written something of at least a paragraph in length.

There are endless mash-up artists, like the YouTube creator Kutiman, who makes new compositions by taking tiny snippets of different songs and blending them into a single piece—or Jonathan McIntosh, who neatly critiqued the creepy, stalkerlike behavior of the lead vampire in Twilight by remixing his scenes with those from the avowedly feminist Buffy the Vampire Slayer. There is a constant flood of live citizen news; during the Arab Spring, when journalists were banned from many of the countries in which protests were taking place, government crackdowns were documented primarily by the protesters themselves. And there are conversational forms emerging, like the response video, a type of commentary that has essentially no analogue from the pre-Internet video universe: People commenting on a video by recording their own response, which itself gets responded to, and on and on. What’s striking about these videos is how weird many of them are aesthetically. The riotous amateur quality of much online video is reminiscent of the hallucinogenic short films that were made in the late nineteenth century, when film was brand-new and no one knew how to use it.

As Clay Shirky wrote in his book Here Comes Everybody, society has always had latent groups—collections of people all obsessed with the same thing and wishing they could work together on it. This is what the theory of multiples would predict, of course: If you’re fascinated by subject X, no matter how obscure and idiosyncratic, a thousand people are out there with the same fascination. But for most of history, people couldn’t engage in mass collaboration. It was too expensive. To organize a widespread group around a task in the pre-Internet period, you needed a central office, staff devoted to coordinating efforts, expensive forms of long-distance communication (telegraphs, phone lines, trains), somebody to buy pencils and paper clips and to manage inventory. These are known as transaction costs, and they’re huge. But there was no way around them. As Shirky points out, following the analysis of economist Ronald Coase’s 1937 article “The Nature of the Firm,” you either paid the heavy costs of organizing or you didn’t organize at all and got nothing done.

 

pages: 350 words: 103,988

Reinventing the Bazaar: A Natural History of Markets by John McMillan

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, Anton Chekhov, Asian financial crisis, congestion charging, corporate governance, crony capitalism, Dava Sobel, Deng Xiaoping, experimental economics, experimental subject, fear of failure, first-price auction, frictionless, frictionless market, George Akerlof, George Gilder, global village, Hernando de Soto, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, income inequality, income per capita, informal economy, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, job-hopping, John Harrison: Longitude, John von Neumann, land reform, lone genius, manufacturing employment, market clearing, market design, market friction, market microstructure, means of production, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, pez dispenser, pre–internet, price mechanism, profit maximization, profit motive, proxy bid, purchasing power parity, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, sealed-bid auction, second-price auction, Silicon Valley, spectrum auction, Stewart Brand, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, transaction costs, War on Poverty, Xiaogang Anhui farmers, yield management

Because of the internet, that Swansea bookshop had my business. In other words, certain kinds of transaction costs have been lowered by the internet: the cost of acquiring information, the time, effort, and money needed to learn what is available where and at what price. The transaction costs of buying out-of-print books in pre-internet days were high. Now all you have to do is point and click.4 The internet has made possible global markets for all kinds of goods that previously had only local markets. In pre-internet days, if you collected eighteenth-century snuffboxes, to assuage your obsession you might have driven from small town to small town to rummage through dusty antique shops and flea markets. Only rarely would you have stumbled upon the object of your dreams. With the internet, locating snuffboxes anywhere in the world is no longer difficult.

Among the stranger items that have been listed are a bucketful of dirt from Texas, two hundred thousand pounds of assorted knit fabrics, a parking space for one week near downtown San Francisco, sand from Baywatch, and a tee-shirt saying “I sold my soul on eBay.” One of the secrets of eBay’s success was in recognizing that the internet, by making it easy for buyers and sellers to get together, created new possibilities for trading knickknacks of all kinds. The other secret of its success was in building a user-friendly and flexible auction mechanism. Pre-internet auctions had the disadvantage that they required the potential buyers to assemble in one place. (Bids were sometimes made by telephone or fax, but this was clumsy.) Bidders in an eBay auction get together only in cyberspace. eBay lowered the costs of transacting enough that people anywhere wanting to trade low-value items are able to deal directly with each other. Its popularity induced others to start offering internet auctions.

 

pages: 247 words: 81,135

The Great Fragmentation: And Why the Future of All Business Is Small by Steve Sammartino

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, augmented reality, barriers to entry, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, bitcoin, BRICs, Buckminster Fuller, citizen journalism, collaborative consumption, cryptocurrency, Elon Musk, fiat currency, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, Google X / Alphabet X, haute couture, helicopter parent, illegal immigration, index fund, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, Law of Accelerating Returns, market design, Metcalfe's law, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Network effects, new economy, post scarcity, prediction markets, pre–internet, profit motive, race to the bottom, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, remote working, RFID, self-driving car, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, social graph, social web, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, too big to fail, web application

Sure, we may be able to re-sell it, or even use it for an extended period of time, but it’s designed in a way that its primary purpose is to finish its lifecycle at that point. But more than that, dead-end products are not intended to be reinterpreted, mashed up and released back into the market with our input. The time-saving devices of the industrialised world fit very much into this space. Time is saved because someone else did the hard work to prepare something for you. If you think about life pre-internet, it was filled with dead-end products — packaged goods, fridges, cars, washing machines, sneakers, ducted heating, instant coffee, glossy magazines, sitcom television programs — all sit-back-and-receive scenarios. A future of unfinished products The world we live in now is about handing the brand back over to its rightful owners: the audience. Companies believe they own their brands, but in reality they don’t.

Yet, over the past 30 years we tended to see a splitting of technologies rather than a convergence with new devices performing ever-divergent digital tasks. That was until the smartphone — the pocket exception — arrived and started our current era of screen culture. While we still have a number of individual technology devices, increasingly they all perform the same tasks. The smartphone, or pocket screen, is quickly becoming the control panel for a connected existence. Digital demarcation The pre-internet media landscape was quite a stable set of output devices and content creations. Each platform had its output, which was clearly defined and suited to its devices and related technology. There was a small overlap, but they largely had their own job to do. Newspapers, magazines, radio, recordings, cinema and television each had their role to play. They owned a channel, owned the content and owned the audience.

 

pages: 252 words: 73,131

The Inner Lives of Markets: How People Shape Them—And They Shape Us by Tim Sullivan

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Airbnb, airport security, Al Roth, Andrei Shleifer, attribution theory, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Brownian motion, centralized clearinghouse, clean water, conceptual framework, constrained optimization, continuous double auction, deferred acceptance, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, experimental subject, first-price auction, framing effect, frictionless, fundamental attribution error, George Akerlof, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, helicopter parent, Internet of things, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, late fees, linear programming, Lyft, market clearing, market design, market friction, medical residency, multi-sided market, mutually assured destruction, Nash equilibrium, Occupy movement, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pez dispenser, pre–internet, price mechanism, price stability, prisoner's dilemma, profit motive, proxy bid, RAND corporation, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, school choice, school vouchers, sealed-bid auction, second-price auction, second-price sealed-bid, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, Tacoma Narrows Bridge, technoutopianism, telemarketer, The Market for Lemons, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transaction costs, two-sided market, uranium enrichment, Vickrey auction, winner-take-all economy

This has led to all sorts of match-making platforms for goods or services where it was hard to find a reliable provider in the pre–internet era. If Akerlof had wanted to renovate his house in the ’70s, for instance, he would have had to find a Berkeley-area contractor who had the skills for the job, had the time to take it on, was reliable, would quote a fair price, and wouldn’t try to jack up the price once he’d knocked down a few walls. Plus, there were intangibles, things the customer would have a hard time writing a contract on or enforcing, like whether the contractor would track mud through the house or smoke near an open window. As a friend of ours says, if you have to refer back to the contract, something has probably already gone terribly wrong. In this pre–internet era, you’d likely ask your friends and family for suggestions, but that’d usually generate a pretty narrow set of options.

 

pages: 598 words: 134,339

Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World by Bruce Schneier

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23andMe, Airbnb, airport security, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, augmented reality, Benjamin Mako Hill, Black Swan, Brewster Kahle, Brian Krebs, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, congestion charging, disintermediation, Edward Snowden, experimental subject, failed state, fault tolerance, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, Firefox, friendly fire, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, hindsight bias, informal economy, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jacob Appelbaum, Jaron Lanier, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, license plate recognition, linked data, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Nash equilibrium, Nate Silver, national security letter, Network effects, Occupy movement, payday loans, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit motive, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, RFID, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, South China Sea, stealth mode startup, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, TaskRabbit, telemarketer, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, urban planning, WikiLeaks, zero day

And the US has far more legal controls and restrictions on government collection than any other country on the planet, including European countries. In countries like Thailand, India, and Malaysia, arresting people on the basis of their Internet conversations and activities is the norm. I’ll talk about risks and harms in Chapter 7; right now, I want to stick to capabilities. GOVERNMENT HACKS Electronic espionage is different today from what it was in the pre-Internet days of the Cold War. Before the Internet, when surveillance consisted largely of government-on-government espionage, agencies like the NSA would target specific communications circuits: that Soviet undersea cable between Petropavlovsk and Vladivostok, a military communications satellite, a microwave network. This was for the most part passive, requiring large antenna farms in nearby countries.

., 5, 26, 139–40, 174, 179–80, 184, 186 transparency and, 159–61, 169, 170–71, 176 ubiquity of, 5, 26–28, 32, 40, 53, 92, 97, 224, 233 urgency of fight against, 233–35 see also data collection; data mining mass surveillance, corporate, 46–61, 86–87 advertising and, see advertising, personalized business competitiveness and, 119–24 cost of, to US businesses, 123–24 customers as products in, 53, 58 customer service and, 47 data brokers and, see data brokers discrimination and, 109–13 error rates in, 54 feudal nature of, 58–59, 61, 210–12 free services and convenience exchanged for, 4, 49–51, 58–59, 60–61, 226, 235–36 growth of, 23–24 harms from, 108–18 lobbying and, 233 manipulation and, 113–16 manipulation through, 6 market research and, 47 privacy breaches and, 116–18, 142, 192, 193–95 secrecy and, 194 see also mass surveillance, public-private partnership in mass surveillance, corporate, solutions for, 7, 190–212 accountability and liability in, 192, 193–95, 196–97, 202 data quality assurance and, 181, 192, 194, 202 government regulation in, 192, 196–99, 210 individual participation and, 192 and limits on data collection, 191, 192, 199–200, 202, 206 and limits on data use, 191, 192, 194, 195–97, 206 lobbying and, 209, 222–23 and resistance to government surveillance, 207–10 and respect for data context, 202 rights of individuals and, 192, 200–203, 211 salience and, 203–4 security safeguards and, 192, 193–95, 202, 211 specification of purpose and, 192 transparency and, 192, 194, 196, 202, 204, 207–8 mass surveillance, government, 5–6, 62–77 chilling effects of, 95–97 in China, 70, 86, 140, 209 cloud computing and, 122 corporate nondisclosure agreements and, 100 corporate resistance to, 207–10 cost of, 91 cost of, to US businesses, 121–23 democracy and, 6, 95, 97–99 discrimination and, 4, 6, 93 encryption technology and, 119–23 fear-based justification for, 4, 7, 95–97, 135, 156–57, 171, 182–83, 222, 226, 227–30, 246 fishing expeditions in, 92, 93 in France, 79 fusion centers in, 69, 104 gag orders in, 100, 122 geopolitical conflicts and, 219–20 global, 69–71 growth of, 24–25 hacking in, 71–74 as harmful to US global interests, 151 as ineffective counterterrorism tool, 137–40, 228 international partnerships in, 76–77, 169 lack of trust in US companies resulting from, 122–23, 181–83 liberty and, see liberty, government surveillance and location data used in intimidation and control by, 2 mission creep and, 104–5 oversight and accountability in, 161–63, 169 in Russia, 70, 187, 188, 237 mass surveillance, government ( continued) secrecy of, 99–101, 121, 122 subversion of commercial systems in, 82–87 in UK, 69, 79 US hypocrisy about, 106 see also mass surveillance, public-private partnership in; specific agencies mass surveillance, government, solutions for, 7, 168–89 adequacy and, 168 and breakup of NSA, 186–87 due process and, 168, 184 illegitimate access and, 169, 177 integrity of systems and, 169, 181–82 international cooperation and, 169, 180, 184 judicial authority and, 168, 179–80 legality and, 168, 169 legitimacy and, 168 limitation of military role in, 185–86 lobbying and, 222 “Necessary and Proportionate” principles of, 167, 168–69 necessity and, 168 oversight and, 169, 172–78 proportionality and, 168 separation of espionage from surveillance in, 183–84 targeted surveillance and, 179–80, 184, 186 transparency and, 169, 170–71, 176 trust and, 181–83 user notification and, 168 whistleblowers and, 169, 178–79 mass surveillance, individual defenses against, 7, 213–25 avoidance in, 214 blocking technologies in, 214–17 breaking surveillance technologies, 218–19 distortion in, 217–18 fatalism as enemy of, 224–25 political action and, 213, 222–24, 237–38 mass surveillance, public-private partnership in, 6, 25, 78–87, 207 government subversion of commercial systems in, 82–87 nondisclosure agreements and, 100 privately-made technology in, 81–82, 100 sale of government data in, 79–80 and value neutrality of technology, 82 material witness laws, 92 McCarthyism, 92–93, 229, 234 McConnell, Mike, 80 McNealy, Scott, 4 media: fear and, 229 pre-Internet, 15 medical devices, Internet-enabled, 16 medical research, collection of data and, 8 Medtronic, 200 memory, fallibility of, 128, 320 Merkel, Angela, 151, 160–61, 183, 184 metadata, 216 from cell phones, see cell phone metadata data vs., 17, 23, 35, 251 from Internet searches, 22–23 in mass surveillance, 20–23, 67 from tweets, 23 Michigan, 2, 39 Microsoft, 49, 59–60, 84, 148, 221, 272, 359 customer loyalty to, 58 government demands for data from, 208, 359 increased encryption by, 208 transparency reports of, 207 Mijangos, Luis, 117 military, US: ban on domestic security role of, 185–86 Chinese cyberattacks against, 73 “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy of, 197 drone strikes by, 94 see also Army, US; Cyber Command, US; Defense Department, US MINARET, 175 Minority Report (film), 98 mission creep, 104–5, 163 Mitnick, Kevin, 116 Moglen, Eben, 95, 318 money transfer laws, 35–36 Monsegur, Hector, 42 Mori, Masahiro, 55 MS Office, 60 Multiprogram Research Facility, 144 Muslim Americans, government surveillance of, 103–4 MYSTIC, 36 Napolitano, Janet, 163 Narent, 182 narrative fallacy, 136 Nash equilibrium, 237 Natanz nuclear facility, Iran, 75 National Academies, 344 National Counterterrorism Center, 68 National Health Service, UK, 79 National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), proposed takeover of cryptography and computer security programs by, 186–87 National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), 67 National Security Agency, US (NSA): backdoors inserted into software and hardware by, 147–48 Bermuda phone conversations recorded by, 23 “Black Budget” of, 65 cell phone metadata collected by, 20–21, 36, 37, 62, 138, 339 “collect” as defined by, 129, 320 “collect it all” mentality of, 64–65, 138 COMSEC (communications security) mission of, 164–65, 346 congressional oversight of, 172–76 “connect-the-dots” metaphor of, 136, 139 cost to US businesses of surveillance by, 121–22, 151 counterterrorism mission of, 63, 65–66, 184, 222 counterterrorism successes claimed by, 325 cryptanalysis by, 144 cyberattacks by, 149–50 drug smugglers surveilled by, 105 economic espionage by, 73 encryption programs and, 85–86, 120–21 encryption standards deliberately undermined by, 148–49 expanding role of, 24, 165 FISA Amendments Act and, 174–75, 273 foreign eavesdropping (SIGINT) by, 62–63, 76, 77, 122–23, 164–65, 186, 220 Germany surveilled by, 76, 77, 122–23, 151, 160–61, 183, 184 Gmail user data collected by, 62 historical data stored by, 36 history of, 62–63 inadequate internal auditing of, 303 innocent people surveilled by, 66–67 insecure Internet deliberately fostered by, 146–50, 182 international partnerships of, 76–77 Internet surveillance by, 22, 62, 64–65, 78, 86–87, 122–23, 149–50, 188, 207 keyword searches by, 38, 261 legal authority for, 65–66 location data used by, 3, 339 Multiprogram Research Facility of, 144 Muslim Americans surveilled by, 103 parallel construction and, 105, 305 Presidential Policy Directives of, 99–100 PRISM program of, 78, 84–85, 121, 208 proposed breakup of, 186–87 QUANTUM program of, 149–50, 329–30 relationship mapping by, 37–38 remote activation of cell phones by, 30 secrecy of, 99–100, 121, 122 SIGINT Enabling Project of, 147–49 Snowden leaks and, see Snowden, Edward SOMALGET program of, 65 Syria’s Internet infrastructure penetrated by, 74, 150 Tailored Access Operations (TAO) group of, 72, 85, 144, 149, 187 UN communications surveilled by, 102, 183 National Security Agency, US (NSA) ( continued) Unitarian Church lawsuit against, 91 US citizens surveilled by, 64, 66, 175 US global standing undermined by, 151 Utah Data Center of, 18, 36 vulnerabilities stockpiled by, 146–47 National Security Letters (NSLs), 67, 84, 100, 207–8 Naval Criminal Investigative Service, 69 Naval Research Laboratory, US, 158 Nest, 15–16 Netcom, 116 Netflix, 43 Netsweeper, 82 New Digital Age, The (Schmidt and Cohen), 4 newsgroups, 119 New York City Police Department, 103–4 New York State, license plate scanning data stored by, 36 New York Times, Chinese cyberattack on, 73, 132, 142 New Zealand, in international intelligence partnerships, 76 Nigeria, 81 9/11 Commission Report, 139, 176 Nineteen Eighty-Four (Orwell), 59, 225 NinthDecimal, 39–40 NIST, see National Institute of Standards and Technology Nixon, Richard, 230 NOBUS (nobody but us) vulnerabilities, 147, 181 Nokia, 81 nondisclosure agreements, 100 North, Oliver, 127–28 Norway, 2011 massacre in, 229–30 NSA, see National Security Agency, US Oak Ridge, Tenn., 144 Obama, Barack, 33, 175 NSA review group appointed by, 176–77, 181 Obama administration: Internet freedom and, 107 NSA and, 122 whistleblowers prosecuted by, 100–101, 179 obfuscation, 217–18 Occupy movement, 104 Ochoa, Higinio (w0rmer), 42–43 OECD Privacy Framework, 191–92, 197 Office of Foreign Assets Control, 36 Office of Personnel Management, US, 73 Off the Record, 83, 215 Olympics (2014), 70, 77 Onionshare, 216 openness, see transparency opt-in vs. opt-out consent, 198 Orange, 79 Orbitz, 111 Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces, 69 Orwell, George, 59, 225 oversight, of corporate surveillance, see mass surveillance, corporate, solutions for, government regulation in oversight, of government surveillance, 161–63, 169, 172–78 Oyster cards, 40, 262 packet injection, 149–50 PageRank algorithm, 196 Palmer Raids, 234 Panetta, Leon, 133 panopticon, 32, 97, 227 panoptic sort, 111 parallel construction, 105, 305 Pariser, Eli, 114–15 Parker, Theodore, 365 PATRIOT Act, see USA PATRIOT Act pen registers, 27 Peoria, Ill., 101 personalized advertising, see advertising, personalized personally identifying information (PII), 45 Petraeus, David, 42 Petrobras, 73 Pew Research Center, 96 PGP encryption, 215, 216 photographs, digital, data embedded in, 14–15, 42–43 Pirate Party, Iceland, 333 Placecast, 39 police, see law enforcement, state and local police states, as risk-averse, 229 political action, 7, 213, 222–24, 237–38 political campaigns: data mining and, 33, 54 personalized marketing in, 54, 115–16, 233 political discourse, government surveillance and, 97–99 politics, politicians: and fear of blame, 222, 228 technology undermined by, 213 Posse Comitatus Act (1878), 186 Postal Service, US, Isolation Control and Tracking program of, 29 Presidential Policy Directives, 99–100 prices, discrimination in, 109–10 PRISM, 78, 84–85, 121, 208 privacy, 125–33 algorithmic surveillance and, 129–31, 204 as basic human need, 7, 126–27 breaches of, 116–18, 192, 193–95 as fundamental right, 67, 92, 126, 201, 232, 238, 318, 333, 363–64 of healthcare data, 193 Internet and, 203–4, 230–31 loss of, 4, 7, 50–51, 96, 126 and loss of ephemerality, 127–29 “nothing to hide” fallacy and, 125 and proposed Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights, 201, 202 security and, 155–57 social norms and, 227, 230–33 third-party doctrine and, 67–68, 180 as trumped by fear, 228 undervaluing of, 7–8, 50, 156, 194, 203–4 Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, 176, 177 privacy enhancing technologies (PETs), 215–16, 217 Privacy Impact Notices, 198, 211 probable cause, 184 Protect America Act (2007), 275 public-private partnership, see mass surveillance, public-private partnership in Qualcomm, 122 QUANTUM packet injection program, 149–50, 329–30 radar, high-frequency, 30 “ratters,” 117 Reagan, Ronald, 230 redlining, 109 Red October, 72 Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (UK; 2000), 175 relationships, mapping of, 37–38 remote access Trojans (RATs), 117 resilience, systemic imperfections and, 163–64 retailers, data collected by, 14, 24, 51–52 revenge porn, 231 RFID chips, 29, 211 Richelieu, Cardinal, 92 rights, of consumers, see consumer rights risk, police states as averse to, 229 risk management, 141–42 Robbins, Blake, 104 robotics, 54–55 Rogers, Michael, 75 Roosevelt, Franklin D., 229, 230 Rousseff, Dilma, 151 RSA Security, 73, 84 rule of law, 210, 212 Russia: cyberwarfare and, 180 mandatory registration of bloggers in, 95 mass surveillance by, 70, 187, 188, 237 salience, 203–4 San Diego Police Department, 160 Sarkozy, Nicolas, 96 Saudi Arabia, 76, 187, 209 Saudi Aramco, 75 Schmidt, Eric, 4, 22, 57, 86, 125 schools, surveillance abuse in, 104 Schrems, Max, 19, 200 search engines, business model of, 113–14, 206 secrecy: corporate surveillance and, 194 of government surveillance, 99–101, 121, 122, 170–71 legitimate, transparency vs., 332–33 security, 135–51 airplane, 93, 158 attack vs. defense in, 140–43 balance between civil liberties and, 135 complexity as enemy of, 141 cost of, 142 data mining as unsuitable tool for, 136–40 and deliberate insecurity of Internet, 146–50 encryption and, see encryption fear and, 4, 7, 95–97, 135, 156–57, 171, 182–83, 222, 226, 227–30 hindsight and, 136 mass surveillance as harmful to, 7, 146–50 and misguided focus on spectacular events, 135 narrative fallacy in, 136 privacy and, 155–57 random vs. targeted attacks and, 142–43 risk management and, 141–42 social norms and, 227 surveillance and, 157–59 vulnerabilities and, 145–46 security cameras, see surveillance technology self-censorship, 95 Senate, US, Intelligence Committee of, 102, 172, 339 Sensenbrenner, Jim, 174 Sense Networks, 2, 40 September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, 63, 65, 136, 156, 169, 184, 207, 227, 229 SHAMROCK, 175 Shirky, Clay, 228, 231 Shutterfly, 269 Siemens, 81 SIGINT (signals intelligence), see National Security Agency, US, foreign eavesdropping by SIGINT Enabling Project, 147–49 Silk Road, 105 Skype, 84, 148 SmartFilter, 82 smartphones: app-based surveillance on, 48 cameras on, 41 as computers, 14 GPS tracking in, 3, 14, 216–17 MAC addresses and Bluetooth IDs in, 29 Smith, Michael Lee, 67–68 Snowden, Edward, 177, 178, 217 e-mail of, 94 Espionage Act and, 101 EU Parliament testimony of, 76 NSA and GCHQ documents released by, 6, 20, 40–41, 62, 65, 66, 67, 72, 74, 78, 96, 99–100, 121, 129, 144, 149, 150, 160–61, 172, 175, 182, 207, 223, 234, 238 Sochi Olympics, 70, 77 Socialists, Socialism, 92–93 social networking: apps for, 51 customer scores and, 111 customer tracking and, 123 data collected in, 200–201 government surveillance of, 295–96 see also specific companies social norms: fear and, 227–30 liberty and, 227 mass surveillance and, 226–38 privacy and, 227, 230–33 security and, 227 software: security of, 141, 146 subscription vs. purchase models for, 60 Solove, Daniel, 93 SOMALGET, 65 Sophos, 82 Sotomayor, Sonia, 95, 342 South Korea, cyberattack on, 75 spy gadgets, 25–26 SSL encryption, 85–86 SSL (TLS) protocol, 215 Standard Chartered Bank, 35–36 Staples, 110 Stasi, 23 Steinhafel, Gregg, 142 strategic oversight, 162, 172–77 StingRay surveillance system, 100, 165 Stross, Charles, 128 Stuxnet, 75, 132, 146 collateral damage from, 150 Supreme Court, US, 26, 180, 361–62 third-party doctrine and, 68 surveillance: automatic, 31–32 benefits of, 8, 190 as business model, 50, 56, 113–14, 206 cell phones as devices for, 1–3, 14, 28, 39, 46–47, 62, 100, 216–17, 219, 339 constant, negative health effects of, 127 cost of, 23–26 espionage vs., 170, 183–84 government abuses of, 101–5 government-on-government, 63, 73, 74, 75, 76, 158 hidden, 28–30 legitimate needs for, 219–20 as loaded term, 4 mass, see mass surveillance oversight and accountability in, 161–63, 169, 172–78 overt, 28, 30 perception of, 7–8 personal computers as devices for, 3–4, 5 politics and, 213 pre-Internet, 64, 71 principles of, 155–66 targeted, see targeted surveillance transparency and, 159–61, 169, 170–71, 176 surveillance technology: cameras, 14, 17, 31–32 cost of, 25–26 shrinking size of, 29 Suspicious Activity Reports (SAR), 138 Sweeney, Latanya, 44, 263–64 SWIFT banking system, 73 Swire, Peter, 160 Syria, 81 NSA penetration of Internet infrastructure in, 74, 150 System for Operative Investigative Measures (SORM; Russia), 70 tactical oversight, 162, 177–79 Tailored Access Operations group (TAO), 72, 85, 144, 149, 187 Taleb, Nassim, 136 Target, 33, 34, 55 security breach of, 142, 193 targeted advertising, see advertising, personalized targeted surveillance: mass surveillance vs., 5, 26, 139–40, 174, 179–80, 184, 186 PATRIOT Act and, 174 tax fraud, data mining and, 137 technology: benefits of, 8, 190–91 political undermining of, 213 privacy enhancing (PETs), 215–16, 217 see also surveillance technology telephone companies: FBI demands for databases of, 27, 67 historical data stored by, 37, 67 NSA surveillance and, 122 transparency reports of, 207–8 see also cell phone metadata; specific companies Teletrack, 53 TEMPORA, 79 Terrorism Identities Datamart Environment, 68, 136 terrorists, terrorism: civil liberties vs., 135 government databases of, 68–69 as justification for mass surveillance, 4, 7, 170–71, 226, 246 mass surveillance as ineffective tool for detection of, 137–40, 228 and NSA’s expanded mission, 63, 65–66 terrorists, terrorism ( continued) overly broad definition of, 92 relative risk of, 332 Uighur, 219, 287 uniqueness of, 138 see also counterterrorism; security; September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks thermostats, smart, 15 third-party doctrine, 67–68, 180 TLS (SSL) protocol, 215 TOM-Skype, 70 Tor browser, 158, 216, 217 Torch Concepts, 79 trade secrets, algorithms as, 196 transparency: algorithmic surveillance and, 196 corporate surveillance and, 192, 194, 196, 202, 207–8 legitimate secrecy vs., 332–33 surveillance and, 159–61, 169, 170–71, 176 Transparent Society, The (Brin), 231 Transportation Security Administration, US (TSA), screening by, 136, 137, 159, 231, 321 Treasury, US, 36 Truman, Harry, 62, 230 trust, government surveillance and, 181–83 truth in lending laws, 196 Tsarnaev, Tamerlan, 69, 77, 139 Turkey, 76 Turla, 72 Twitter, 42, 58, 199, 208–9 metadata collected by, 23 Uber, 57 Uighur terrorists, 219, 287 Ukraine, 2, 39 Ulbricht, Ross (Dread Pirate Roberts), 105 “uncanny valley” phenomenon, 54–55 Underwear Bomber, 136, 139 UN High Commissioner on Human Rights, 96 Unit 8200, 77 United Kingdom: anti-discrimination laws in, 93 data retention law in, 222 GCHQ of, see Government Communications Headquarters in international intelligence partnerships, 76 Internet censorship in, 95 license plate scanners in, 27 mission creep in, 105 Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (2000) of, 175 United Nations: digital privacy resolution of, 232, 363–64 NSA surveillance of, 102, 183 United States: data protection laws as absent from, 200 economic espionage by, 73 Germany’s relations with, 151, 234 intelligence budget of, 64–65, 80 NSA surveillance as undermining global stature of, 151 Stuxnet cyberattack by, 75, 132, 146, 150 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 232 USA PATRIOT Act (2001), 105, 221, 227 Section 215 of, 65, 173–74, 208 Section 505 of, 67 US Cellular, 177 Usenet, 189 VASTech, 81 Verint, 2–3, 182 Verizon, 49, 67, 122 transparency reports of, 207–8 Veterans for Peace, 104 Vigilant Solutions, 26, 40 Vodafone, 79 voiceprints, 30 vulnerabilities, 145–46 fixing of, 180–81 NSA stockpiling of, 146–47 w0rmer (Higinio Ochoa), 42–43 Wall Street Journal, 110 Wanamaker, John, 53 “warrant canaries,” 208, 354 warrant process, 92, 165, 169, 177, 180, 183, 184, 342 Constitution and, 92, 179, 184 FBI and, 26, 67–68 NSA evasion of, 175, 177, 179 third-party doctrine and, 67–68, 180 Watson, Sara M., 55 Watts, Peter, 126–27 Waze, 27–28, 199 weapons of mass destruction, overly broad definition of, 92, 295 weblining, 109 WebMD, 29 whistleblowers: as essential to democracy, 178 legal protections for, 162, 169, 178–79, 342 prosecution of, 100–101, 178, 179, 222 Wickr, 124 Wi-Fi networks, location data and, 3 Wi-Fi passwords, 31 Wilson, Woodrow, 229 Windows 8, 59–60 Wired, 119 workplace surveillance, 112 World War I, 229 World War II, 229 World Wide Web, 119, 210 writers, government surveillance and, 96 “wrong,” changing definition of, 92–93 Wyden, Ron, 172, 339 XKEYSCORE, 36 Yahoo, 84, 207 Chinese surveillance and, 209 government demands for data from, 208 increased encryption by, 208 NSA hacking of, 85 Yosemite (OS), 59–60 YouTube, 50 Zappa, Frank, 98 zero-day vulnerabilities, 145–46 NSA stockpiling of, 146–47, 180–81 ZTE, 81 Zuckerberg, Mark, 107, 125, 126 Praise for DATA AND GOLIATH “Data and Goliath is sorely needed.

., 332–33 security, 135–51 airplane, 93, 158 attack vs. defense in, 140–43 balance between civil liberties and, 135 complexity as enemy of, 141 cost of, 142 data mining as unsuitable tool for, 136–40 and deliberate insecurity of Internet, 146–50 encryption and, see encryption fear and, 4, 7, 95–97, 135, 156–57, 171, 182–83, 222, 226, 227–30 hindsight and, 136 mass surveillance as harmful to, 7, 146–50 and misguided focus on spectacular events, 135 narrative fallacy in, 136 privacy and, 155–57 random vs. targeted attacks and, 142–43 risk management and, 141–42 social norms and, 227 surveillance and, 157–59 vulnerabilities and, 145–46 security cameras, see surveillance technology self-censorship, 95 Senate, US, Intelligence Committee of, 102, 172, 339 Sensenbrenner, Jim, 174 Sense Networks, 2, 40 September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, 63, 65, 136, 156, 169, 184, 207, 227, 229 SHAMROCK, 175 Shirky, Clay, 228, 231 Shutterfly, 269 Siemens, 81 SIGINT (signals intelligence), see National Security Agency, US, foreign eavesdropping by SIGINT Enabling Project, 147–49 Silk Road, 105 Skype, 84, 148 SmartFilter, 82 smartphones: app-based surveillance on, 48 cameras on, 41 as computers, 14 GPS tracking in, 3, 14, 216–17 MAC addresses and Bluetooth IDs in, 29 Smith, Michael Lee, 67–68 Snowden, Edward, 177, 178, 217 e-mail of, 94 Espionage Act and, 101 EU Parliament testimony of, 76 NSA and GCHQ documents released by, 6, 20, 40–41, 62, 65, 66, 67, 72, 74, 78, 96, 99–100, 121, 129, 144, 149, 150, 160–61, 172, 175, 182, 207, 223, 234, 238 Sochi Olympics, 70, 77 Socialists, Socialism, 92–93 social networking: apps for, 51 customer scores and, 111 customer tracking and, 123 data collected in, 200–201 government surveillance of, 295–96 see also specific companies social norms: fear and, 227–30 liberty and, 227 mass surveillance and, 226–38 privacy and, 227, 230–33 security and, 227 software: security of, 141, 146 subscription vs. purchase models for, 60 Solove, Daniel, 93 SOMALGET, 65 Sophos, 82 Sotomayor, Sonia, 95, 342 South Korea, cyberattack on, 75 spy gadgets, 25–26 SSL encryption, 85–86 SSL (TLS) protocol, 215 Standard Chartered Bank, 35–36 Staples, 110 Stasi, 23 Steinhafel, Gregg, 142 strategic oversight, 162, 172–77 StingRay surveillance system, 100, 165 Stross, Charles, 128 Stuxnet, 75, 132, 146 collateral damage from, 150 Supreme Court, US, 26, 180, 361–62 third-party doctrine and, 68 surveillance: automatic, 31–32 benefits of, 8, 190 as business model, 50, 56, 113–14, 206 cell phones as devices for, 1–3, 14, 28, 39, 46–47, 62, 100, 216–17, 219, 339 constant, negative health effects of, 127 cost of, 23–26 espionage vs., 170, 183–84 government abuses of, 101–5 government-on-government, 63, 73, 74, 75, 76, 158 hidden, 28–30 legitimate needs for, 219–20 as loaded term, 4 mass, see mass surveillance oversight and accountability in, 161–63, 169, 172–78 overt, 28, 30 perception of, 7–8 personal computers as devices for, 3–4, 5 politics and, 213 pre-Internet, 64, 71 principles of, 155–66 targeted, see targeted surveillance transparency and, 159–61, 169, 170–71, 176 surveillance technology: cameras, 14, 17, 31–32 cost of, 25–26 shrinking size of, 29 Suspicious Activity Reports (SAR), 138 Sweeney, Latanya, 44, 263–64 SWIFT banking system, 73 Swire, Peter, 160 Syria, 81 NSA penetration of Internet infrastructure in, 74, 150 System for Operative Investigative Measures (SORM; Russia), 70 tactical oversight, 162, 177–79 Tailored Access Operations group (TAO), 72, 85, 144, 149, 187 Taleb, Nassim, 136 Target, 33, 34, 55 security breach of, 142, 193 targeted advertising, see advertising, personalized targeted surveillance: mass surveillance vs., 5, 26, 139–40, 174, 179–80, 184, 186 PATRIOT Act and, 174 tax fraud, data mining and, 137 technology: benefits of, 8, 190–91 political undermining of, 213 privacy enhancing (PETs), 215–16, 217 see also surveillance technology telephone companies: FBI demands for databases of, 27, 67 historical data stored by, 37, 67 NSA surveillance and, 122 transparency reports of, 207–8 see also cell phone metadata; specific companies Teletrack, 53 TEMPORA, 79 Terrorism Identities Datamart Environment, 68, 136 terrorists, terrorism: civil liberties vs., 135 government databases of, 68–69 as justification for mass surveillance, 4, 7, 170–71, 226, 246 mass surveillance as ineffective tool for detection of, 137–40, 228 and NSA’s expanded mission, 63, 65–66 terrorists, terrorism ( continued) overly broad definition of, 92 relative risk of, 332 Uighur, 219, 287 uniqueness of, 138 see also counterterrorism; security; September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks thermostats, smart, 15 third-party doctrine, 67–68, 180 TLS (SSL) protocol, 215 TOM-Skype, 70 Tor browser, 158, 216, 217 Torch Concepts, 79 trade secrets, algorithms as, 196 transparency: algorithmic surveillance and, 196 corporate surveillance and, 192, 194, 196, 202, 207–8 legitimate secrecy vs., 332–33 surveillance and, 159–61, 169, 170–71, 176 Transparent Society, The (Brin), 231 Transportation Security Administration, US (TSA), screening by, 136, 137, 159, 231, 321 Treasury, US, 36 Truman, Harry, 62, 230 trust, government surveillance and, 181–83 truth in lending laws, 196 Tsarnaev, Tamerlan, 69, 77, 139 Turkey, 76 Turla, 72 Twitter, 42, 58, 199, 208–9 metadata collected by, 23 Uber, 57 Uighur terrorists, 219, 287 Ukraine, 2, 39 Ulbricht, Ross (Dread Pirate Roberts), 105 “uncanny valley” phenomenon, 54–55 Underwear Bomber, 136, 139 UN High Commissioner on Human Rights, 96 Unit 8200, 77 United Kingdom: anti-discrimination laws in, 93 data retention law in, 222 GCHQ of, see Government Communications Headquarters in international intelligence partnerships, 76 Internet censorship in, 95 license plate scanners in, 27 mission creep in, 105 Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (2000) of, 175 United Nations: digital privacy resolution of, 232, 363–64 NSA surveillance of, 102, 183 United States: data protection laws as absent from, 200 economic espionage by, 73 Germany’s relations with, 151, 234 intelligence budget of, 64–65, 80 NSA surveillance as undermining global stature of, 151 Stuxnet cyberattack by, 75, 132, 146, 150 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 232 USA PATRIOT Act (2001), 105, 221, 227 Section 215 of, 65, 173–74, 208 Section 505 of, 67 US Cellular, 177 Usenet, 189 VASTech, 81 Verint, 2–3, 182 Verizon, 49, 67, 122 transparency reports of, 207–8 Veterans for Peace, 104 Vigilant Solutions, 26, 40 Vodafone, 79 voiceprints, 30 vulnerabilities, 145–46 fixing of, 180–81 NSA stockpiling of, 146–47 w0rmer (Higinio Ochoa), 42–43 Wall Street Journal, 110 Wanamaker, John, 53 “warrant canaries,” 208, 354 warrant process, 92, 165, 169, 177, 180, 183, 184, 342 Constitution and, 92, 179, 184 FBI and, 26, 67–68 NSA evasion of, 175, 177, 179 third-party doctrine and, 67–68, 180 Watson, Sara M., 55 Watts, Peter, 126–27 Waze, 27–28, 199 weapons of mass destruction, overly broad definition of, 92, 295 weblining, 109 WebMD, 29 whistleblowers: as essential to democracy, 178 legal protections for, 162, 169, 178–79, 342 prosecution of, 100–101, 178, 179, 222 Wickr, 124 Wi-Fi networks, location data and, 3 Wi-Fi passwords, 31 Wilson, Woodrow, 229 Windows 8, 59–60 Wired, 119 workplace surveillance, 112 World War I, 229 World War II, 229 World Wide Web, 119, 210 writers, government surveillance and, 96 “wrong,” changing definition of, 92–93 Wyden, Ron, 172, 339 XKEYSCORE, 36 Yahoo, 84, 207 Chinese surveillance and, 209 government demands for data from, 208 increased encryption by, 208 NSA hacking of, 85 Yosemite (OS), 59–60 YouTube, 50 Zappa, Frank, 98 zero-day vulnerabilities, 145–46 NSA stockpiling of, 146–47, 180–81 ZTE, 81 Zuckerberg, Mark, 107, 125, 126 Praise for DATA AND GOLIATH “Data and Goliath is sorely needed.

 

Poking a Dead Frog: Conversations With Today's Top Comedy Writers by Mike Sacks

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Bernie Madoff, Columbine, hive mind, index card, iterative process, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, Saturday Night Live, Upton Sinclair

You kind of take it as it is and move on and try to remember to be super grateful that you’re working in New York City on a show where you get to write this crazy stuff. My last two years were definitely the most fun I had on that show, because I wasn’t as obsessed with “Why didn’t that sketch get in?” Your first couple years, you think everything should be perfect. Once you let that go, it’s a really fun show to work on. You came of age pre-Internet, when a site like Funny or Die wasn’t even remotely possible. Do you think your writing and comedy style would have been different if you had grown up connected? Truthfully, I think it would have been bad for me. I think there’s a chance that I would never have left my hometown. The reason I left Philadelphia to begin with was that there was no sketch, no improv, and that’s what I really wanted to do.

So Gerard was just a huge influence on me doing my own fanzine. This guy was managing to be legitimately funny—as funny as any comedy writer out there—and he also had amazing taste in music. He made a point of pushing the things that people needed to know about to those who might not have known about them otherwise. I think younger writers might not be aware of how important fanzines were to music or comedy geeks pre-Internet. In many ways, fanzines were the only lifeline. Yes, absolutely. And they were very accessible, these fanzines. This was the equivalent of the Internet then. You had to piece everything together yourself. You had to reach out to like-minded people, and this was one of the few ways to do that. So from that, I decided to put out my own fanzine. At some point you either overcome everything and you do your own thing or you don’t.

I guess Peanuts would be the obvious one, though I never read it in the paper. Nancy was the only strip I read every day throughout my childhood, and it had quite an impact. As the Mad cartoonist Wally Wood said about Nancy, “By the time you decided not to read it, you already had.” I think that’s something I always keep in mind with my own comics—always opt for clarity and simplicity. You grew up pre-Internet. To what degree do you think the Internet has changed comics? I’m not really sure. There are comics now being created on the Internet, but I’m not interested in reading that sort of thing. I’d just rather wait until it’s printed. I don’t like the aesthetics of seeing something like that lit up on the screen. That’s just my personal take on it—I don’t expect anybody else to not read Internet comics for that reason.

 

pages: 606 words: 157,120

To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism by Evgeny Morozov

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3D printing, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Automated Insights, Berlin Wall, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive bias, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, Dava Sobel, disintermediation, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, frictionless, future of journalism, game design, Gary Taubes, Google Glasses, illegal immigration, income inequality, invention of the printing press, Jane Jacobs, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, license plate recognition, lone genius, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Narrative Science, Nicholas Carr, packet switching, PageRank, Paul Graham, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, pets.com, placebo effect, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Thaler, Ronald Coase, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, smart meter, social graph, social web, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, urban decay, urban planning, urban sprawl, Vannevar Bush, WikiLeaks

There is nothing wrong with their mission per se—some might even argue that this is what history is for—but most such accounts are peculiar in that, in their quest to tell a certain story about “the Internet,” they misrepresent and badly mangle the past, leaving us with an impoverished reading of history and a confused game plan for the future. This should make us pause to ponder if Internet-centrism—whatever its own origins in bad history—might be nudging us to rewrite the history of other, pre-Internet periods with one simple purpose: to establish a coherent teleological account of how all other technologies paved the way for “the Internet” and how their own governance failed to embrace “Internet values” and may have delayed the arrival of this “network of all networks.” This is the ideology of Internet-centrism at its purest: it suggests what kinds of questions we could and should be asking of the past.

One gains the love of the Zagat reader by serving tuna burgers (as does the Union Square Café—and very good ones at that). Now, one can disagree with Shaw about the goals, purposes, and social functions of cuisine, but it’s noteworthy that Shirky does none of that; he’s primarily interested in making an argument about “the Internet”—and with “the Internet” as his favorite causal explanation. The operating logic here is simple: pre-Internet meant expertise, post-Internet means populism; we are post-Internet, hence, populism. For Shirky, things just happen—remember, it’s a revolution, so all resistance is futile!—and as long as the people seem to be in charge, it all must be a good thing. By this logic—which celebrates massive cultural participation as worth pursuing in its own right, regardless of what it does to culture—even ratings of albums and songs that we generate on iTunes and Spotify might eventually be preferable to those of professional music critics.

Sol Schwimmer is suing me”: Woody Allen, The Complete Prose of Woody Allen (New York: Wings Books, 1991), 105. 35 “when we think of information technology”: David Edgerton, Shock of the Old: Technology and Global History Since 1900 (London: Profile Books, 2011), xvi. 36 “the most wrenching cultural transformation since the Industrial Revolution”: “‘Antichrist of Silicon Valley,’ Andrew Keen Wary of Online Content Sharing,” Economic Times, May 29, 2012. 37 they don’t always capture the historical complexity: on the longitude problem, see Dava Sobel’s accessible history Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time, reprint ed. (New York: Walker & Company, 2007). On early crowdsourcing efforts by the Smithsonian, see “Smithsonian Crowd-sourcing since 1849!,” Smithsonian Institution Archives, April 14, 2011, http://siarchives.si.edu/blog/smithsonian-crowdsourcing-1849. I learned of Toyota’s efforts via this blog post on pre-Internet crowd-sourcing efforts: “Crowdsourcing Is Not New—the History of Crowdsourcing (1714 to 2010),” DesignCrowd, October 28, 2010, http://blog.designcrowd.com/article/202/crowdsourcing. 37 “Knowledge is taking on the shape of the Net”: David Weinberger, Too Big to Know: Rethinking Knowledge Now that the Facts Aren’t the Facts, Experts Are Everywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Room Is the Room (New York: Basic Books, 2012), 17.

 

pages: 678 words: 216,204

The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom by Yochai Benkler

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affirmative action, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, Brownian motion, call centre, Cass Sunstein, centre right, clean water, dark matter, desegregation, East Village, fear of failure, Firefox, game design, George Gilder, hiring and firing, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, invention of radio, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jean Tirole, jimmy wales, market bubble, market clearing, Marshall McLuhan, New Journalism, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit maximization, profit motive, random walk, recommendation engine, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, RFID, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social software, software patent, spectrum auction, technoutopianism, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs

Certainly, if you perform this search now, as you read this book, the rankings will change from those I saw when I ran it; but I venture that the mix, the range and diversity of producers, and the relative salience of nonmarket producers will not change significantly. 111 The difference that the digitally networked environment makes is its capacity to increase the efficacy, and therefore the importance, of many more, and more diverse, nonmarket producers falling within the general category of Joe Einstein. It makes nonmarket strategies--from individual hobbyists to formal, well-funded nonprofits--vastly more effective than they could be in the mass-media environment. The economics of this phenomenon are neither mysterious nor complex. Imagine the grade-school teacher who wishes to put together ten to twenty pages of materials on Viking ships for schoolchildren. Pre-Internet, he would need to go to one or more libraries and museums, find books with pictures, maps, and text, or take his own photographs (assuming he was permitted by the museums) and write his own texts, combining this research. He would then need to select portions, clear the copyrights to reprint them, find a printing house that would set his text and pictures in a press, pay to print a number of copies, and then distribute them to all children who wanted them.

Cutting and pasting pictures and texts that are digital is cheaper. Depending on where the teacher is located, it is possible that these initial steps would have been insurmountable, particularly for a teacher in a poorly endowed community without easy access to books on the subject, where research would have required substantial travel. Even once these barriers were surmounted, in the precomputer, pre-Internet days, turning out materials that looked and felt like a high quality product, with highresolution pictures and maps, and legible print required access to capitalintensive facilities. The cost of creating even one copy of such a product would likely dissuade the teacher from producing the booklet. At most, he might have produced a mimeographed bibliography, and perhaps some text reproduced on a photocopier.

These effects mark neither breakdown nor transcendence, but they do represent an improvement over the world of television and telephone along most dimensions of normative concern with social relations. 631 We are seeing two effects: first, and most robustly, we see a thickening of preexisting relations with friends, family, and neighbors, particularly with those who were not easily reachable in the pre-Internet-mediated environment. Parents, for example, use instant messages to communicate with their children who are in college. Friends who have moved away from each other are keeping in touch more than they did before they had e-mail, because email does not require them to coordinate a time to talk or to pay longdistance rates. However, this thickening of contacts seems to occur alongside a loosening of the hierarchical aspects of these relationships, as individuals weave their own web of supporting peer relations into the fabric of what might otherwise be stifling familial relationships.

 

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

But the bigger the Internet became, they predicted, the fewer dominant online companies there would be. What Frank and Cook described as our natural “mental shelf-space constraints” means that in an increasingly information-rich economy, “for any given number of sellers trying to get our attention, an increasingly small fraction of each category can hope to succeed.”31 As Dot.Con author John Cassidy notes, this winner-take-all model was already powerful in the pre-Internet tech economy, where “consumers tended to settle on one or two dominant products, such as Microsoft Windows, which generate big profits.” After the 1995 Netscape Moment triggered the dot-com mania, venture capitalists bet that this winner-take-all model would enable the dominance of a single company in each online sector. Alongside the general stock market hysteria, this thinking contributed to the massive increase in venture capital commitments in America between 1995 and 2000.

As the sociologist Zeynep Tufekci warns about this infinitely creepy networked world, big data companies like Facebook and OkCupid “now have new tools and stealth methods to quietly model our personality, our vulnerabilities, identify our networks, and effectively nudge and shape our ideas, desires and dreams.”44 Such nudging and shaping—particularly for dating—isn’t necessarily new, argues the Financial Times’ Christopher Caldwell. But in the pre-Internet past, he notes, this has been done by outside authorities—particularly parents, communities, and religious bodies. “The difference,” Caldwell notes, between OkCupid’s experiment and parent and religious groups, “is that these groups actually loved the young people they were counselling, had a stake in ensuring things did not go wrong, would help as best they could if things did, and were not using the young lovers strictly as a means of making money.”45 We will be observed by every unloving institution of the new digital surveillance state—from Silicon Valley’s big data companies and the government to insurance companies, health-care providers, the police, and ruthlessly Benthamite employers like Jeff Bezos’s Amazon, with its scientifically managed fulfillment centers where the company watches over its nonunionized workforce.

 

Industry 4.0: The Industrial Internet of Things by Alasdair Gilchrist

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, business intelligence, business process, chief data officer, cloud computing, connected car, cyber-physical system, deindustrialization, fault tolerance, global value chain, Google Glasses, hiring and firing, industrial robot, inflight wifi, Infrastructure as a Service, Internet of things, inventory management, job automation, low skilled workers, millennium bug, pattern recognition, platform as a service, pre–internet, race to the bottom, RFID, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, smart transportation, software as a service, stealth mode startup, supply-chain management, trade route, web application, WebRTC, WebSocket, Y2K

However to be human readable they are referred to in dot-decimal notation, which consists of four decimal numbers, separated by dots, each between 0 and 255. Therefore, the 32-bit binary address is split into four octets (8-bit) and maps to four decimal numbers separated by dots. IP ADDRESS 172 10101100 16 00010000 1 00000001 254 11111110 32-bit binary address -> 4 x 8 bits binary All IPv4 addresses conform to this four-byte format. IP has been around a long time and its method of addressing has evolved as circumstance dictated. During the pre-Internet days, IP addresses were used freely and without any real consensus as to what part was the network and what part was for hosts. Clearly for the protocol to succeed, there had to be an agreed structure so that anyone receiving an address packet could ascertain what network it belonged to and what its host identifier was. The resulting standard was the IP classes A, B, C, and D, with a fifth E reserved.

The Internet of Things has also provided the necessity for a larger address pool as it requires a protocol that has an address space large enough to cope with the demands of the potentially vast amounts of “things” that will be eventually connected to the Internet. IPv6 solves this problem by extending the addressable address space from 32 to 128 bits. Another reason is that IPv4 was designed pre-Internet, or rather in the Internet’s infancy when only a few universities and government establishments were connected. Consequently, IPv4 lacks many features that are considered necessities on the modern Internet, for example, IPv4 on its own does not provide any security features. With native IPv4, data has to be encrypted using some other security encryption application, such as SSL/TLS, before being transported across the Internet.

 

pages: 102 words: 29,596

The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age by Reid Hoffman, Ben Casnocha, Chris Yeh

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Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, centralized clearinghouse, cloud computing, Jeff Bezos, Jony Ive, new economy, pre–internet, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, software as a service, Steve Jobs

Network Intelligence Generates Hidden Data, Serendipity, and Opportunity As we’ve discussed, the most obvious function of network intelligence is to connect a company with outside information sources. Employee networks act as both a source and a filter for new information. The second function of network intelligence is its ability to provide access to “hidden data”—knowledge that isn’t publicly available. In the pre-internet era, reading secondary sources like business books or attending university courses helped professionals or companies beat the competition. Now, however, Google makes this kind of public information a commodity. To gain an edge, you need to use social networks to tap directly into what’s swirling around inside people’s brains. And it’s this kind of information—up-to-the-second, nuanced—that offers the most significant competitive advantages.

 

pages: 538 words: 141,822

The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom by Evgeny Morozov

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, borderless world, Buckminster Fuller, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, computer age, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, don't be evil, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, global village, Google Earth, illegal immigration, invention of radio, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, John von Neumann, Marshall McLuhan, Naomi Klein, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, pirate software, pre–internet, Productivity paradox, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Sinatra Doctrine, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, social graph, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, The Wisdom of Crowds, urban planning, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce

They take themselves seriously, and it’s quite possible that they would be the first to believe that a fight for a free Internet—fought, for some reasons, only abroad—could somehow compensate for the lack of any serious changes elsewhere in American foreign policy. Unfortunately, virtually nothing about the current situation suggests that American foreign policy can muster enough decency and idealism to erect this new shiny pillar of Internet freedom; in its current incorporation, the Internet freedom agenda looks more like a marketing ploy. Recent developments indicate that Washington’s newly declared commitment to Internet freedom will be shaped by pre-Internet policies and alliances. Thus, even though a week before Clinton’s seminal speech Jordan, America’s staunchest ally in the Middle East, announced a new harsh Internet censorship law, she never referred to it (Clinton mentioned many other countries, like Uzbekistan, Vietnam, and Tunisia nevertheless). The biggest tragedy of the Obama administration’s Internet freedom agenda, even in its weakest form, is the unleashing of a conceptual monster so ambiguous as to greatly impede the administration’s ability to accomplish other objectives.

If the last decade is anything to judge by, the pressure to regulate the Web is as likely to come from concerned parents, environmental groups, or various ethnic and social minorities as it is from authoritarian governments. The truth is that many of the opportunities created by a free-for-all anonymous Internet culture have been creatively exploited by people and networks that undermine democracy. For instance, it’s almost certain that a Russian white supremacist group that calls itself the Northern Brotherhood would have never existed in the pre-Internet era. It has managed to set up an online game in which participants—many of them leading a comfortable middle-class existence—are asked to videotape their violent attacks on migrant guest workers, share them on YouTube, and compete for cash awards. Crime gangs in Mexico have also become big fans of the Internet. Not only do they use YouTube to disseminate violent videos and promote a climate of fear, but they are also reportedly going through social networking sites hunting for personal details of people to kidnap.

 

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

The few highly malicious viruses of the time were otherwise so poorly coded that they failed to spread very far. The Michelangelo virus created sharp anxiety in 1992, when antivirus companies warned that millions of hard drives could be erased by the virus’s dangerous payload. It was designed to trigger itself on March 6, the artist’s birthday. The number of computers actually affected was only in the tens of thousands—it spread only through the pre-Internet exchange of infected floppy diskettes– and it was soon forgotten.45 Had Michelangelo’s birthday been a little later in the year—giving the virus more time to spread before springing—it could have had a much greater impact. More generally, malicious viruses can be coded to avoid the problems of real-world viruses whose virulence helps stop their spread. Some biological viruses that incapacitate people too quickly can burn themselves out, destroying their hosts before their hosts can help them spread further.46 Human-devised viruses can be intelligently designed—fine-tuned to spread before biting, or to destroy data within their hosts while still using the host to continue spreading.

It could offer a channel that remains permanently tuned to one Web site, or a channel that could be steered among a preselected set of sites, or a channel that can be tuned to any Internet destination the subscriber enters so long as it is not on a blacklist maintained by the cable or satellite provider. Indeed, some video game consoles are configured for broader Internet access in this manner.22 Puzzlingly parties to the network neutrality debate have yet to weigh in on this phenomenon. The closest we have seen to mandated network neutrality in the appliancized space is in pre-Internet cable television and post-Internet mobile telephony. Long before the mainstreaming of the Internet, the Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992 allowed local broadcast television stations to demand that cable TV companies carry their signal, and established a limited regime of open-access cable channels.23 This was understandably far from a free-for-all of actual “signal neutrality” because the number of channels a cable service could transmit was understood to be limited.24 The must-carry policies—born out of political pressure by broadcasters and justified as a way of eliminating some bottleneck control by cable operators—have had little discernable effect on the future of cable television, except perhaps to a handful of home shopping and religious broadcasting stations that possess broadcast licenses but are of little interest to large television viewerships.25 Because cable systems of 1992 had comparatively little bandwidth, and because the systems were designed almost solely to transmit television and nothing else, the Act had little impact on the parched generative landscape for cable.

 

pages: 503 words: 131,064

Liars and Outliers: How Security Holds Society Together by Bruce Schneier

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airport security, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Brian Krebs, Broken windows theory, carried interest, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, corporate governance, crack epidemic, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Graeber, desegregation, don't be evil, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, Douglas Hofstadter, experimental economics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, George Akerlof, hydraulic fracturing, impulse control, income inequality, invention of agriculture, invention of gunpowder, iterative process, Jean Tirole, John Nash: game theory, joint-stock company, Julian Assange, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Nate Silver, Network effects, Nick Leeson, offshore financial centre, patent troll, phenotype, pre–internet, principal–agent problem, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, RFID, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Ronald Coase, security theater, shareholder value, slashdot, statistical model, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, technological singularity, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, too big to fail, traffic fines, transaction costs, ultimatum game, UNCLOS, union organizing, Vernor Vinge, WikiLeaks, World Values Survey, Y2K

That sort of thing isn't supposed to happen. But it did happen. And it will happen again if society doesn't get better at both trust and security. Failures in trust have become global problems: The Internet brings amazing benefits to those who have access to it, but it also brings with it new forms of fraud. Impersonation fraud—now called identity theft—is both easier and more profitable than it was pre-Internet. Spam continues to undermine the usability of e-mail. Social networking sites deliberately make it hard for people to effectively manage their own privacy. And antagonistic behavior threatens almost every Internet community. Globalization has improved the lives of people in many countries, but with it came an increased threat of global terrorism. The terrorist attacks of 9/11 were a failure of trust, and so were the government overreactions in the decade following.

One, moral and reputational pressures are inherently slow. Anything that affects risk trade-offs through a deterrence effect will require time before you see any effects from it. Depending on the form of government, new institutional pressures can also be slow. So can security systems: time to procure, time to implement, time before they're used effectively. For example, the first people arrested for writing computer viruses in the pre-Internet era went unpunished because there weren't any applicable laws to charge them with. Internet e-mail was not designed to provide sender authentication; the result was the emergence of spam, a problem we're still trying to solve today. And in the U.S., the FBI regularly complains that the laws regulating surveillance aren't keeping up with the rapidly changing pace of communications technology.

 

pages: 458 words: 137,960

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

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Albert Einstein, call centre, dematerialisation, fault tolerance, financial independence, game design, late fees, pre–internet, side project, telemarketer, walking around money

I tapped another icon, and a large two-dimensional Web browser window appeared, suspended in space directly in front of me. Windows like this one were visible to only my avatar, so no one could read over my shoulder (unless I selected the option to allow it). My homepage was set to the Hatchery, one of the more popular gunter message forums. The Hatchery’s site interface was designed to look and operate like an old pre-Internet dial-up bulletin board system, complete with the screech of a 300-baud modem during the log-in sequence. Very cool. I spent a few minutes scanning the most recent message threads, taking in the latest gunter news and rumors. I rarely posted anything to the boards, even though I made sure to check them every day. I didn’t see much of interest this morning. The usual gunter clan flame wars. Ongoing arguments about the “correct” interpretation of some cryptic passage in Anorak’s Almanac.

But even then, it was only in character, as Anorak, during the course of our gaming sessions. And he would only address her as Leucosia, the name of her D and D character.” Ogden and Kira began dating. By the end of the school year, when it was time for her to return home to London, the two of them had openly declared their love for each other. They kept in touch during their remaining year of school by e-mailing every day, using an early pre-Internet computer bulletin board network called FidoNet. When they both graduated from high school, Kira returned to the States, moved in with Morrow, and became one of Gregarious Games’ first employees. (For the first two years, she was their entire art department.) They got engaged a few years after the launch of the OASIS. They were married a year later, at which time Kira resigned from her position as an artistic director at GSS.

 

pages: 742 words: 137,937

The Future of the Professions: How Technology Will Transform the Work of Human Experts by Richard Susskind, Daniel Susskind

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23andMe, 3D printing, additive manufacturing, AI winter, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Andrew Keen, Atul Gawande, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, Bill Joy: nanobots, business process, business process outsourcing, Cass Sunstein, Checklist Manifesto, Clapham omnibus, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, computer age, computer vision, conceptual framework, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, death of newspapers, disintermediation, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, full employment, future of work, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Hacker Ethic, industrial robot, informal economy, information retrieval, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, James Hargreaves, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Khan Academy, knowledge economy, lump of labour, Marshall McLuhan, Narrative Science, natural language processing, Network effects, optical character recognition, personalized medicine, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, semantic web, Skype, social web, speech recognition, spinning jenny, strong AI, supply-chain management, telepresence, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, Turing test, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, young professional

In the fourth quarter of 2012 alone $19.1 billion worth of goods were traded on eBay.101 Currently there are more than 700 million items listed on eBay. There are no physical markets with even a fraction of this inventory. eBay is also a good example of a service that has liberated what we call a ‘latent demand’. It is not that the trading currently conducted on eBay used to be carried on in a pre-Internet manner and somehow eBay has made it all a bit more convenient. Rather, eBay has created an entirely new market for many of its 150 million users. It has helped to release and satisfy a latent demand for trade that was not in evidence in the past. Linked closely to online retail and trading systems—indeed, to many online services—are reputation systems that allow customers to rate providers (and sometimes the reverse as well).

Likewise, in trade generally and in the professions in particular, online price comparison is enjoying success amongst prospective purchasers. This is the widespread phenomenon of searching the Internet for the lowest possible prices for some goods or service; which, in turn, may lead to an online purchase or perhaps to a more robust negotiation with conventional face-to-face providers. To sum up, when almost 3 billion people are connected to one network, they communicate and research very differently than in a pre-Internet world; but much more than this, they are also able to socialize, share, build communities, co-operate, crowdsource, compete, and trade in ways and on a scale that has no analogues in the analogue world. Systems and services such as Twitter, Facebook, eBay, and YouTube, all now household names, are leading examples of services that connected human beings have created. None of these existed twenty years ago.

 

pages: 528 words: 146,459

Computer: A History of the Information Machine by Martin Campbell-Kelly, William Aspray, Nathan L. Ensmenger, Jeffrey R. Yost

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Ada Lovelace, air freight, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, borderless world, Buckminster Fuller, Build a better mousetrap, Byte Shop, card file, cashless society, cloud computing, combinatorial explosion, computer age, deskilling, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, garden city movement, Grace Hopper, informal economy, interchangeable parts, invention of the wheel, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John von Neumann, linked data, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, natural language processing, Network effects, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, optical character recognition, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, pirate software, popular electronics, prediction markets, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, Robert X Cringely, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, the market place, Turing machine, Vannevar Bush, Von Neumann architecture, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, women in the workforce, young professional

In Chapter 6, on the maturing of the mainframe computer, we have condensed material on the computer industry in order to make space for a discussion of the diffusion of computing in government and business organizations and the development of the computer professions. In Chapter 7, on real-time computing, we have taken advantage of a new strand of literature to discuss the development of online consumer banking. In Chapters 8, 9, 10, and 11 we have made substantial additions to exploit the growing literature on the software professions, the semiconductor industry, pre-Internet networking, and the manufacture of computers. Unsurprisingly, Chapter 12, on the development of the Internet, is the most changed. The chapter has been extended and divided into two parts: the creation of the Internet, and the World Wide Web and its consequences. The latter part includes new material on e-commerce, mobile and consumer computing, social networking, and the politics of the Internet.

From that point on, the rise of the web was unstoppable: by mid-1995 it accounted for a quarter of all Internet traffic, more than any other activity. In the meantime Microsoft, far and away the dominant force in personal computer software, was seemingly oblivious to the rise of the Internet. Its online service MSN was due to be launched at the same time as the Windows 95 operating system in August 1995. A proprietary network from the pre-Internet world, MSN had passed the point of no return, but it would prove an embarrassment of mistiming. Microsoft covered its bets by licensing the Mosaic software from Spyglass and including a browser dubbed Internet Explorer with Windows 95, but it was a lackluster effort. Microsoft was not the only organization frozen in the headlights of the Internet juggernaut. A paradigm shift was taking place—a rapid change from one dominant technology to another.

 

pages: 675 words: 141,667

Open Standards and the Digital Age: History, Ideology, and Networks (Cambridge Studies in the Emergence of Global Enterprise) by Andrew L. Russell

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barriers to entry, borderless world, Chelsea Manning, computer age, Edward Snowden, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, means of production, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, open economy, packet switching, pre–internet, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, web of trust

Kuo, “Political and Economic Issues for Internetwork Connections,” ACM SIGCOMM Computer Communication Review 5 (1975): 32–34. 43 David Loehwing, “Computer Networks: Data Communications Have Spread Out From the Center,” Barron’s National Business and Financial Weekly (February 16, 1976), 8. 44 Sirbu and Zwimpfer, “The Case of X.25,” 36–37; Abbate, Inventing the Internet, 149; Tony Rybczynski, “Commercialization of Packet Switching (1975–1985): A Canadian Perspective,” IEEE Communications Magazine (December 2009): 26–32; Rémi Déspres, “X.25 Virtual Circuits – Transpac in France – Pre-Internet Data Networking,” IEEE Communications Magazine (November 2010): 40–46. 45 Jean-Louis Grangé, oral history interview by Andrew L. Russell, April 3, 2012, Paris, France. Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; Pouzin interview, Charles Babbage Institute. 46 Déspres, “X.25 Virtual Circuits.” 47 Rybczynski, “Commercialization of Packet Switching,” 26–31; Déspres, “X.25 Virtual Circuits”; Sirbu and Zwimpfer, “The Case of X.25,” 37–41; Abbate, Inventing the Internet, 152–161; Valérie Schafer, “Circuits Virtuels et Datagrammes: Une Concurrence à Plusieurs Échelles,” Histoire, Économie & Société 26 (2007): 29–48. 48 Rybczynski, “Commercialization of Packet Switching,” 26; Déspres interview, Charles Babbage Institute; Marc E.

“Economics of Compatibility Standards and Competition in Telecommunication Networks.” Information Economics and Policy 6 (1994): 217–241. Day, John. Patterns in Network Architecture: A Return to Fundamentals. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall PTR, 2007. DeNardis, Laura. Protocol Politics: The Globalization of Internet Governance. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2009. Déspres, Rémi. “X.25 Virtual Circuits – Transpac in France – Pre-Internet Data Networking.” IEEE Communications Magazine (November 2010), 40–46. DiMaggio, Paul J. and Walter W. Powell. “The Iron Cage Revisited: Institutional Isomorphism and Collective Rationality in Organizational Fields.” American Sociological Review 48 (1983): 147–160. Downey, Gregory J. “Virtual Webs, Physical Technologies, and Hidden Workers: The Spaces of Labor in Information Internetworks.”

 

pages: 153 words: 52,175

Bit Literacy: Productivity in the Age of Information and E-mail Overload by Mark Hurst

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en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, Google Earth, mail merge, pre–internet, profit motive, social software, software patent, web application

Bit literacy makes people more effective today, even as it equips them for the future. But most users have no idea that they need to learn new skills, since they already know how to use the computer. For a long time, users have only been taught “computer literacy,” the set of common actions in software: clicking buttons, selecting menus, opening and closing files. These skills were sufficient in the pre-Internet world of the 1980s, when computers were mostly used as glorified typewriters. But those skills are sorely inadequate in the age of bits. That old worldview is obsolete. Today the computer and all its software are much, much less important than the bits that they operate on. Bits, after all, are no longer caged inside the computer. They flow—from computers to other computers and devices of all kinds, surging across the Internet in wild arcs at every moment; flowing out of computers, out of cameras, out of phones, out of PDAs, and into inboxes, onto Web pages, onto hard drives, momentarily at rest, awaiting their next trip across the world.

 

pages: 197 words: 59,946

The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk

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Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, augmented reality, business process, call centre, crowdsourcing, en.wikipedia.org, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, new economy, pre–internet, Skype, social software, Tony Hsieh

Imagine how many more people would have heard that we’d lost an unhappy customer’s business if the man who couldn’t get his coupon redeemed at Wine Library all those years ago had had a cell phone loaded with a Twitter and Facebook app. What’s more, the changes we’ve already seen are just the first little bubbles breaking on the water’s surface. The consumer Web is just a baby—many people reading this right now can probably clearly remember the world pre-Internet. The cultural changes social media have ushered in are already having a big impact on marketing strategies, but eventually, companies that want to compete are going to have to change their approach to everything, from their hiring practices to their customer service to their budgets. Not all at once, mind you. But it will have to happen, because there is no slowing down the torpedo-like speed with which technology is propelling us into the Thank You Economy.

 

pages: 173 words: 14,313

Peers, Pirates, and Persuasion: Rhetoric in the Peer-To-Peer Debates by John Logie

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1960s counterculture, Berlin Wall, book scanning, cuban missile crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Hacker Ethic, Isaac Newton, Marshall McLuhan, mutually assured destruction, Plutocrats, plutocrats, pre–internet, Richard Stallman, search inside the book, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Whole Earth Catalog

The record companies persist in calling that copying piracy even though the statute deems it lawful. (85) Litman wrote this critique in 2001, and, since that time, the content industries have demonstrably embraced the positioning of Internetdriven peer-to-peer file transfers as piracy, as evidenced by a 2005 Web broadside by the RIAA entitled “Anti-Piracy”: Online piracy is the unauthorized uploading of a copyrighted sound recording and making it available to the public, or downloading a sound recording from an Internet site, even if the recording isn’t resold. Online piracy may now also include certain uses of “streaming” technologies from the Internet. This presentation is dubious from a legal standpoint, but it clearly illustrates the degree to which the RIAA has embraced “piracy” as an allencompassing term describing almost any unauthorized file transfer. To properly recover a pre-Internet understanding of piracy I will resort to the hoary rhetorical strategy of offering and interpreting dictionary definitions. Though this may seem blisteringly obvious, it is important to note that the figurative uses of piracy are grounded in an analogic comparison to the activities of physical, nautical pirates. The term pirate is derived from an ancient Greek word meaning “to attempt, attack, or assault,” and thus, the notion of theft by force or at least the threat of force is embedded into the term.

 

pages: 223 words: 52,808

Intertwingled: The Work and Influence of Ted Nelson (History of Computing) by Douglas R. Dechow

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3D printing, Apple II, Bill Duvall, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Claude Shannon: information theory, cognitive dissonance, computer age, conceptual framework, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, game design, HyperCard, hypertext link, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jaron Lanier, knowledge worker, linked data, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, pre–internet, RAND corporation, semantic web, Silicon Valley, software studies, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, the medium is the message, Vannevar Bush, Wall-E, Whole Earth Catalog

., players), they are self-contained within their own virtual space (defined by these players) outside the virtual paper space (defined by HTML) of websites. Full screen video scarcely negates my point; in fact, it proves it. Over the web full screen video is either present or not: i.e., experienced in and of itself. Shockwave is no different: just animations embedded within their own software. Ted Nelson’s version of the Internet was seamless, absolutely fluid. LS: The existing web as a set of containers for simulated pre-internet media. Yup. PS: Which brings us right back to James Joyce and Marcel Proust, authors whose writings swung toward multimedia…seamless multimedia; virtual reality…virtual reality not in the sense of Jaron Lanier, but Antonin Artaud. Most people believe Jaron Lanier coined the term virtual reality in the early 1980s. Indeed, virtual reality is considered synonymous with the interface glove and head-mounted.

 

pages: 184 words: 53,625

Future Perfect: The Case for Progress in a Networked Age by Steven Johnson

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airport security, algorithmic trading, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Cass Sunstein, cognitive dissonance, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, dark matter, Dava Sobel, David Brooks, future of journalism, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, HyperCard, Jane Jacobs, John Gruber, John Harrison: Longitude, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, lone genius, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Naomi Klein, Nate Silver, Occupy movement, packet switching, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, pre–internet, RAND corporation, risk tolerance, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social graph, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Tim Cook: Apple, urban planning, WikiLeaks, working poor, X Prize

For the peer progressive, too, the emphasis on diversity does not revolve exclusively around the multicultural diversity of race or gender; it’s as much about professional, economic, and intellectual diversity as it is about identity politics. Diversity, then, is an undeniable virtue on multiple levels. The question is whether a peer-produced news environment creates more or less of it. If you look at the overall system of journalism today, it seems preposterous to argue that there has been a decrease in the diversity of news and opinion, compared with the media landscape of the pre-Internet era. Every niche perspective—from the extremes of neo-Nazi hate groups to their polar opposites on the far Left—now has a publishing platform, and a global audience, that far exceeds anything they could have achieved in the age of mass media. The echo-chamber critics would no doubt accept this description of the overall system. But they would counter that this systemic diversity leads, paradoxically, to a narrowing of individual perspectives, because people can now custom-tailor their news to a much smaller slice of the ideological spectrum.

 

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

How I continually found myself in situations where I felt I had to say thank you to mean guys, I’m not sure. It was a tough winter. I had gone from competitive, bookish nerd to nervous target. If this was Heathers, I was Martha Dumptruck and this mean African kid was all three Heathers. I turned my obsessive teenage energy away from reading Mad magazine and focused on my diet. I didn’t have access to a lot of weight-loss resources, because this was pre-Internet. There was one Weight Watchers near us, but it shared a mini-mall parking lot with a sketchy Salvation Army, and my parents didn’t like the idea of taking me there for meetings. So I invented a makeshift diet formula: I would eat exactly half of what was put in front of me, and no dessert. Without exercising, I lost thirty pounds in about two months. A janitor at school whom I liked, Mrs. Carrington, would see me and say, “Damn, you’ve got a metabolism on you, don’t you girl?”

 

Life of the Party: Stories of a Perpetual Man-Child by Bert Kreischer

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airport security, blood diamonds, pre–internet, Saturday Night Live

Dumbstruck, I walked out of his office and left Florida State for good. As it turned out, it was the best thing that ever happened to me. I moved to New York to start a career in stand-up comedy that has taken me around the world and onto stages in places I could have never imagined. First, however, at the insistence of my father, I had to enroll (via correspondence) in what turned out to be the two hardest classes I had ever taken. These were pre-Internet classes, just a box of books and a test sent to me through the State of Florida, the same classes given to inmates at correctional facilities. In the end, I managed to get the credits I needed to get my degree, and today I sit here, a forty-year-old college graduate (barely), sincerely wondering: What if I had studied harder? What if I had partied less, taken life more seriously, not fucked around at every opportunity, and focused more on academics like every teacher I ever had told me I should?

 

pages: 190 words: 61,970

Life You Can Save: Acting Now to End World Poverty by Peter Singer

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, Branko Milanovic, Cass Sunstein, clean water, experimental economics, illegal immigration, Martin Wolf, microcredit, Peter Singer: altruism, pre–internet, purchasing power parity, randomized controlled trial, Richard Thaler, Silicon Valley, Thomas Malthus, ultimatum game, union organizing

Moving images, in real time, of people on the edge of survival are beamed into our living rooms. Not only do we know a lot about the desperately poor, but we also have much more to offer them in terms of better health care, improved seeds and agricultural techniques, and new technologies for generating electricity. More amazing, through instant communications and open access to a wealth of information that surpasses the greatest libraries of the pre-Internet age, we can enable them to join the worldwide community—if only we can help them get far enough out of poverty to seize the opportunity. Economist Jeffrey Sachs has argued convincingly that extreme poverty can be virtually eliminated by the middle of this century. We are already making progress. In 1960, according to UNICEF, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, 20 million children died before their fifth birthday because of poverty.

 

pages: 222 words: 75,778

Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh

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call centre, crowdsourcing, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, Lao Tzu, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Saturday Night Live, science of happiness, Silicon Valley, Tony Hsieh, Y2K

With the modem, the computer had the ability to call other computers and talk to them. We had a list of phone numbers for the different BBSs that were local calls for us, and we would call up each of the BBSs and connect to the electronic equivalent of a community cork bulletin board that students used in the reception area downstairs: Anyone could leave a message, post an ad, start a discussion, download files, or join in on a debate on a wide range of topics. It was the pre-Internet version of Craigslist. We soon discovered that the computer and phone line were not limited to just local calls, so we started making long-distance calls to BBSs all across the country. It was amazing being able to join in discussions with strangers from Seattle, New York, and Miami. We suddenly had access to an entire world that we didn’t know existed before. One day during lunch, when Ms.

 

pages: 371 words: 78,103

Webbots, Spiders, and Screen Scrapers by Michael Schrenk

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Amazon Web Services, corporate governance, fault tolerance, Firefox, new economy, pre–internet, SpamAssassin, Turing test, web application

The Arriba Soft Corporation, in contrast, created an image-management program that used webbots and spiders to search the Internet for new images to add to its library. Arriba Soft failed to identify the sources of the images it found and gave the general impression that the images it found were available under fair use statutes. While Kelly eventually won her case against Arriba Soft, it took five years of charges, countercharges, rulings, and appeals. Much of the confusion in settling the suit was caused by applying pre-Internet laws to determine what constituted fair use of intellectual property published online. * * * [82] US Copyright Office, "Copyright Office Basics," July 2006 (http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ1.html). [83] US Copyright Office, "Copyright Registration for Online Works (Circular 66)," July 2006 (http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ66.html). [84] US Copyright Office, "Fair Use," July 2006 (http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html)

 

pages: 411 words: 80,925

What's Mine Is Yours: How Collaborative Consumption Is Changing the Way We Live by Rachel Botsman, Roo Rogers

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Airbnb, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, bike sharing scheme, Buckminster Fuller, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, Community Supported Agriculture, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, dematerialisation, disintermediation, en.wikipedia.org, experimental economics, George Akerlof, global village, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, information retrieval, iterative process, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, late fees, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, new new economy, out of africa, Parkinson's law, peer-to-peer lending, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, recommendation engine, RFID, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Simon Kuznets, Skype, slashdot, smart grid, South of Market, San Francisco, Stewart Brand, The Nature of the Firm, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thorstein Veblen, Torches of Freedom, transaction costs, traveling salesman, ultimatum game, Victor Gruen, web of trust, women in the workforce, Zipcar

In his paper “The Nature of the Firm,” economist and Nobel laureate Ronald Coase coined the term “transaction costs” to refer to the cost of making any form of exchange or participating in a market.3 If you go to the supermarket, for example, and buy some groceries, your costs are not just the price of the groceries but the energy, time, and effort required to write your list, travel to and from the store, wheel around your cart and choose your products, wait in the checkout line, and unpack and put away the groceries when you get back home. Your total “costs” are greater than the dollar number on your receipt. In the pre-Internet age, the transaction costs of coordinating groups of people with aligned wants and needs or even just similar interests were high, making the sharing of products tricky and inconvenient. Redistributing unwanted goods in and outside your immediate community was inefficient. Matching someone with something to give with another person who wanted that same item was not straightforward. Just think of what it took to find a new owner for a perfectly good desk you no longer wanted.

 

pages: 272 words: 64,626

Eat People: And Other Unapologetic Rules for Game-Changing Entrepreneurs by Andy Kessler

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23andMe, Andy Kessler, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, British Empire, business process, California gold rush, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, computer age, disintermediation, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, fiat currency, Firefox, Fractional reserve banking, George Gilder, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, income inequality, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, libertarian paternalism, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, Netflix Prize, packet switching, personalized medicine, pets.com, prediction markets, pre–internet, profit motive, race to the bottom, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, social graph, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, transfer pricing, Yogi Berra

The demand curve is the reflection of short-term responses that are given meaning only by the demander’s previous productive efforts. No way they’re equivalent. Supply creates demand—you know that, it’s Say’s law. It was invented in France in the nineteenth century, like this Haut-Brion.” He took another sip, and I refilled his glass, I know about Say’s law. Jean-Baptiste Say (1767 – 1832), businessman, economist, and pre-Internet futurist perhaps? He coined the word entrepreneur, so curse him every time you try to type that on a keyboard. I hate clinging to ideas from dead economists, but Say’s law is pretty simple and it holds true: supply constitutes demand. Sometimes it is misstated as “supply creates its own demand”—which is how John Maynard Keynes referred to it—but that’s not right. Even George got tripped up. It’s more of a “supply represents demand for other stuff.”

 

pages: 267 words: 82,580

The Dark Net by Jamie Bartlett

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3D printing, 4chan, bitcoin, blockchain, brain emulation, carbon footprint, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, deindustrialization, Edward Snowden, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, global village, Google Chrome, Howard Rheingold, Internet of things, invention of writing, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Julian Assange, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, life extension, litecoin, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, moral hazard, Occupy movement, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, Satoshi Nakamoto, Skype, slashdot, technological singularity, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, The Coming Technological Singularity, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, WikiLeaks, Zimmermann PGP

In one sting operation led bythe Metropolitan Police, a fake social networking profile was visited by 1,300 people, with 450 adult male profiles initiating contact. Eighty of them became virtual friends with prolonged communication via private chat, and twenty-three of them became involved in abusive sexual behaviour. Tink Palmer is uniquely qualified to explain how the net has changed grooming. She is the Founding Director of the Marie Collins Foundation, a charity which helps victims of sexual abuse. When Tink first started working in the field, pre-internet, the accepted model of grooming was called the ‘Finkelhor Model’. It describes grooming for sexual abuse as a four-phase cycle. First, there is the motivation stage, when the abuser develops the desire to act. The second phase requires overcoming internal inhibitions – the emotional and moral qualms he or she might have. Once justified, he or she must also overcome external inhibitions: family members, neighbours, peers, locked doors.

 

pages: 232 words: 77,956

Private Island: Why Britain Now Belongs to Someone Else by James Meek

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Berlin Wall, business continuity plan, call centre, clean water, Deng Xiaoping, Etonian, HESCO bastion, housing crisis, illegal immigration, Martin Wolf, medical bankruptcy, Mikhail Gorbachev, post-industrial society, pre–internet, price mechanism, risk tolerance, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, Washington Consensus, working poor

Alternatives to the simple opposition of state ownership versus privatisation – the creation of a Royal Mail Trust, for instance, run on commercial lines but not for profit, or a John Lewis-style, employee-owned enterprise, both of which would have kept the company’s debt separate from the government’s – were never debated. And while the furore over the share price drew all the attention, in the background, something far more significant for Royal Mail’s future was happening. There was always something fantastical about the flotation. Right up to the moment of its disposal, the company had been portrayed by free marketeers and Tory commentators as a doomed behemoth, a pre-Internet, pre-Thatcher throwback, a state-milking army of overpaid, underworked, Luddite ne’er-do-wells jamming the cogs of the British economy. Suddenly, almost overnight, at the very moment it became too late to have second thoughts about the sale, the Royal Mail became a priceless national asset, its shares like gold, like Apple stock, with hard-nosed moguls from the world of big finance and nerdy stock pickers in suburban bungalows trampling over each other to get a piece.

 

pages: 260 words: 76,223

Ctrl Alt Delete: Reboot Your Business. Reboot Your Life. Your Future Depends on It. by Mitch Joel

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3D printing, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, call centre, clockwatching, cloud computing, Firefox, future of work, ghettoisation, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, Network effects, new economy, Occupy movement, place-making, prediction markets, pre–internet, recommendation engine, Richard Florida, risk tolerance, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, social graph, social web, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Thomas L Friedman, Tim Cook: Apple, Tony Hsieh, WikiLeaks

Your business needs to not only sense this urgency, but also realize this seismic shift in the battle for direct relationships. While some businesses are beginning to capitalize on this by recognizing the value that comes from these relationships, most are still using these channels as a form of broadcast advertising. It’s almost as if businesses have become anesthetized because of their reliance in the past on using media channels as a gateway to the consumer. In the pre-Internet media world, your business could not have a direct relationship with the consumer. If you wanted to let people in your city know about your products or services, you had to take out advertising (few were great at direct marketing). The value of traditional media was not in the high quality of content that they produced, but rather in the direct relationship they had with an audience because of the perceived value of the content to the consumer.

 

pages: 266 words: 80,018

The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World's Most Wanted Man by Luke Harding

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affirmative action, airport security, Anton Chekhov, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Berlin Wall, Chelsea Manning, don't be evil, Edward Snowden, Etonian, Firefox, Google Earth, Jacob Appelbaum, job-hopping, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, kremlinology, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, national security letter, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rolodex, Silicon Valley, Skype, social graph, Steve Jobs, web application, WikiLeaks

And it’s very tedious to step out into the garden every time something sensitive has to be discussed.’ The Russians had reached the same conclusion. The Kremlin’s super-secret Federal Protection Service (FSO) – a branch of the FSB, that some believe is guarding Snowden – put in a large order for typewriters. The personal computer revolution that transformed communications had crashed to a halt. Those who cared about privacy were reverting to the pre-internet age. Typewriters, handwritten notes and the surreptitious rendezvous were back in fashion. Surely it was only a matter of time before the return of the carrier pigeon. The NSA’s clumsy international spying operation generated much heat and light. One document revealed the agency was even spying on the pornographic viewing habits of six Muslim ‘radicalisers’, in an attempt to discredit them.

 

pages: 239 words: 70,206

Data-Ism: The Revolution Transforming Decision Making, Consumer Behavior, and Almost Everything Else by Steve Lohr

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23andMe, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, bioinformatics, business intelligence, call centre, cloud computing, computer age, conceptual framework, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Danny Hillis, data is the new oil, David Brooks, East Village, Edward Snowden, Emanuel Derman, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Google Glasses, impulse control, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, Internet of things, invention of writing, John von Neumann, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, meta analysis, meta-analysis, natural language processing, obamacare, pattern recognition, payday loans, personalized medicine, precision agriculture, pre–internet, Productivity paradox, RAND corporation, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, skunkworks, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, The Design of Experiments, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

Their data sped through scanners, computerized cash registers, and mainframes to automate broad swaths of retailing for decades. In that round, data technology helped reduce labor costs, change relations between manufacturers and retailers, and hasten the rise of efficient mass-merchandisers like Walmart. Yet most of that data was captive, from sources inside a company’s internal network, from its stores to its suppliers. It was the pre-Internet era of data mining. Today, the potential data sources are obviously far more abundant, but finding intelligence in the digital babble is the quandary. Enter Haydock and his data team. When I met him in Minnesota in the fall of 2013, Haydock had recently finished a project in New York and had begun making weekly shuttle-trips to Seattle. Haydock’s data projects involve commercial and competitive secrets, and the two companies would say no more than to acknowledge that IBM was working for them.

 

pages: 240 words: 73,209

The Education of a Value Investor: My Transformative Quest for Wealth, Wisdom, and Enlightenment by Guy Spier

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Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, Benoit Mandelbrot, big-box store, Black Swan, Checklist Manifesto, Clayton Christensen, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Exxon Valdez, Gordon Gekko, housing crisis, Isaac Newton, Long Term Capital Management, Mahatma Gandhi, mandelbrot fractal, NetJets, pattern recognition, pre–internet, random walk, Ronald Reagan, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, winner-take-all economy, young professional

Many of the Sequoia attendees were also Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, and sometimes even the Berkshire managers attended. As a result, I met Lou Simpson, whom Buffett had handpicked to invest GEICO’s money in stocks and whom he once described as “the best I know.” Another cornerstone of my reeducation involved studying Buffett’s investment strategy with even greater intensity. There’s no better way to do this than to read Berkshire Hathaway’s annual reports. In those pre-Internet days, that meant calling up the company and giving them my address over the phone. A few days later, my first copy of a Berkshire report, addressed by hand, arrived. It was a revelation. At D. H. Blair, I’d reviewed so many business plans with hockey-stick charts and predictions that only went up. Berkshire’s report came with a plain cover, and its highlight was a candid, non-promotional, easily understandable letter by Buffett.

 

pages: 219 words: 73,623

You'll Grow Out of It by Jessi Klein

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Airbnb, index card, pre–internet, Saturday Night Live

The one other visual stimulus I remember obsessing over was the video for Billy Idol’s “Cradle of Love,” which featured a blond girl in booty shorts named “Devon” doing splits on a bed while a nerdy white guy hid in the corner of his apartment, terrified of this sexy girl and her subversive Billy Idol tape. This video was my equivalent of hard-core filth although in reality it was just dancing and light pillow fighting. What all of these naughty little blips had in common, aside from their G-ratedness, was that in the pre-Internet age, they could not be voluntarily summoned. I had to patiently wait for them to appear, like a bird-watcher waiting to see a sexy canary. But it was enough for me, and I never once thought about going through the process of trying to procure anything genuinely graphic, partially because I didn’t care and partially because it seemed like too much work. This was confirmed for me when, during my summers home from college in New York, I worked as a clerk at a delightful neighborhood video store in Chelsea run by a very nice man named Adam.

 

pages: 265 words: 69,310

What's Yours Is Mine: Against the Sharing Economy by Tom Slee

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4chan, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, asset-backed security, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bitcoin, blockchain, citizen journalism, collaborative consumption, congestion charging, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, David Brooks, don't be evil, gig economy, Hacker Ethic, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, Jacob Appelbaum, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Khan Academy, Kibera, Kickstarter, license plate recognition, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, move fast and break things, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Occupy movement, openstreetmap, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, principal–agent problem, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, software is eating the world, South of Market, San Francisco, TaskRabbit, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas L Friedman, transportation-network company, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, ultimatum game, urban planning, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, Y Combinator, Zipcar

Schneiderman wanted the names and addresses of all 15,000 Airbnb hosts in the city, Airbnb refused, talks broke down, and the company accused the Attorney General of a “fishing expedition.” 13 In the wake of the Snowden revelations the Attorney General’s demand was seen as another intrusive data-collection sweep by a government, and both the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Internet Association (“representing the leading internet companies”) stepped in on the side of Airbnb to “fight this tooth and nail.” 14 Meanwhile, Peers collected over 200,000 signatures on a petition to “save sharing in New York,” and Airbnb released a study touting the economic benefits it brings to the city and promoted videos in support of their position. Tensions were running high. Sharing Economy advocates presented the dispute as a conflict between well-heeled incumbents and regular New Yorkers making a little extra money to get by in a tough world; they argued that the laws were written for a pre-Internet landscape, and need to be updated to allow new industries to grow. Airbnb claims that “We all agree that illegal hotels are bad for New York, but that is not our community. Our community is made up of thousands of amazing people with kind hearts.” 15 The company published a report insisting that its hosts were almost all “regular New Yorkers, occasionally renting out the home in which they live,” 16 and that many of them were using that extra money to help them stay in their homes; they told stories that emphasized the person-to-person sharing of a living space.

 

pages: 281 words: 78,317

But What if We're Wrong? Thinking About the Present as if It Were the Past by Chuck Klosterman

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, British Empire, citizen journalism, cosmological constant, dark matter, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Gerolamo Cardano, ghettoisation, Howard Zinn, Isaac Newton, non-fiction novel, obamacare, pre–internet, Ralph Nader, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Stephen Hawking, the medium is the message, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, too big to fail, Y2K

It will start to shrivel at the high school and college level, and then the pro game will wither on the vine.” It’s disorienting how rapidly this perception has normalized, particularly considering a central contradiction no one seems to deny—football is not only the most popular sport in the country, but a sport that is becoming more popular, assuming TV ratings can be trusted as a yardstick. It’s among the few remnants of the pre-Internet monoculture; it could be convincingly argued that football is more popular in America than every other sport combined. Over 110 million people watched the most recent Super Bowl, but that stat is a predictable outlier—what’s more stunning is the 25 million people who regularly watch the NFL draft. Every spring, millions of people spend three days scrutinizing a middle-aged man in a gray suit walking up to a podium to announce the names of people who have not yet signed a contract.

 

pages: 348 words: 39,850

Data Scientists at Work by Sebastian Gutierrez

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Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, bioinformatics, bitcoin, business intelligence, chief data officer, clean water, cloud computing, computer vision, continuous integration, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, data is the new oil, DevOps, domain-specific language, follow your passion, full text search, informal economy, information retrieval, Infrastructure as a Service, inventory management, iterative process, linked data, Mark Zuckerberg, microbiome, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, move fast and break things, natural language processing, Network effects, nuclear winter, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, quantitative hedge fund, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, recommendation engine, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, stochastic process, technology bubble, text mining, the scientific method, web application

She holds an MS in Operations Research from Stanford University and a BS in Mathematics from the College of William and Mary. Smallwood’s career has spanned the evolution of big data, analytics, experimentation, and recommendations from the infancy of the Internet to the ever-connected, www.it-ebooks.info 20 Chapter 2 | Caitlin Smallwood, Netflix data-rich world we live in today. Her remarkable perspective comes through as she shares her thoughts on analytics pre-Internet, her excitement at first encountering massive data at Yahoo! and her first data set at Netflix, and her views on the importance of culture and team in data-centric organizations. Smallwood’s interview exudes wisdom, experience, and leadership. Sebastian Gutierrez: What is it like to work at Netflix? Caitlin Smallwood: It’s been a riveting and exciting experience on many levels. Though I feel very fortunate to have worked in a lot of great places, I’ve been amazingly happy at Netflix.

., 139 UMSI, 148 Wall Street, 131 Wilson, Fred (investors), 141 Electrical engineering and computer science (EECS), 295 Embedding, 52 F www.it-ebooks.info Index G Galene, 87 Global Bay Mobile Technologies, 131 Google, 89, 91, 311 LeCun,Yann, 58 Lenaghan, Jonathan, 185, 197 Smallwood, Caitlin, 27 Tunkelang, Daniel, 89, 91 Grameen Foundation, 319 H Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS), 195 Hadoop software, 103 Heineike, Amy advice to fresher, 254 Cambridge University, 239 career, 240 Crawford, Kate (researcher), 250 Cukier, Kenneth (big data editor), 250 data exploration, 251 data science colleagues, 257 data visualization, 239, 245 Director of Mathematics, 239, 241 economic consultancy work, 246 engineering team, 242 first data set, 247 government agencies, 239 The Guardian, 249 hedge funds, 239 hiring people, 255 machine learning, 239, 245 math and programming interest, 246 natural language processing, 239 network diagram, 251 network science, 239, 245 new data streams, 244 news sources, 244 next challenges, 249 NLP, 245 optimize user experience, 255 Ormerod, Paul (director), 247 own success measurement, 252 Quid’s product, 242 research and strategy analysis, 248 Rosewell, Bridget (director), 248 scaling up, 244 Software-as-a-Service platform, 242 software development toolkit, 249 spreadsheet/PowerPoint slide, 245 Strata conference, 250 study and analyze, 252 tools/techniques, 256 Twitter feed/posts, 249, 253 typical day, 251 users, 253 Volterra Consulting, 247 Hu,Victor advanced machine learning, 272 advice to fresher, 269 artist evolution, 267 Billboard 200, 266 book division, 264 Chief Data Scientist, (Next Big Sound), 259 college life, 260 cross-sectional analyses, 271 D3.js visualizations, 268 DataKind Data Dive, 269 data management track, 262 data team structure, 265 effective data visualization, 262 effective writing, 262 first project, 264 forecasting album sales, 263 hiring data scientists, 268 impactful feedback, 270 Java and PHP, 268 machine learning techniques, 262, 264 modeling process, 268 new skills, 262 NLP projects, 270 nonwork data sets, 270 personal believe, 272 PrestoDB, 268 product team and customer team, 266 record label deal, 264 R/Python, 268 skill acquisition, 261 social and music industry data, 263 social media, 263 SoundCloud, 263 theoretical techniques, 266 traditional industries, 260 Twitter profile, 265 two-week project cycles, 265 Yankees experience, 261 www.it-ebooks.info 337 338 Index I new BRAIN initiative, 295 nontechnical advice, 317 other people’s work expedition, 309 Palantir, 300–301 Peter Norvig philosophy, 311 Peter Thiel’s group, 294 Peter Thiel’s venture capital firm, 293 as PhD student, 303 PhD theses, 300 predictive analytics, 311 Prior Knowledge (PK), 294, 302 “Probability Theory: The Logic of Science”, 316 problem solving, 308 Python, 306 quantitative and computational science, 316 research scientist, 293 Salesforce, 302 science tool companies, 301 Sebastian Seung’s group, 296 as startup CEO, 303 study and analyze, 295, 297, 305 TechCrunch Disrupt, 294 VC money, 307 IA Ventures, 131 Institute for Data Sciences and Engineering (IDSE), 1 International Conference on Learning Representation (ICLR), 51 Invite Media, 131, 137 J Jonas, Eric advice to fresher, 313 Bayesian models, 306 Bayesian nonparametric models, 315 Bayesian statistical community, 294 Berkeley’s AMPLab, 312 biological systems, 299 Brown, Scott (CEO of Vicarious and Bob Mcgrew), 300 C++, 306 Chief Predictive Scientist, 293 C++ numerical methods, 317 computational neuroscience, 298, 311 COSYNE conference, 296, 303 DARPA, 307 data sets, 312 dating spread sheet, 310 EECS and BCS sciences, 297 experiences, 300 Founders Fund, 294 funding agencies, 298 Grande Data problems, 312 Hadoop, 307 Harvard Business Review, 311 hiring people, 314 as independent researcher, 304 Kording, Konrad (scientist), 296 LASSO-based linear regression system, 316 Levie, Aaron (Box CEO), 295 machine learning models, 293 Markov chain Monte Carlo, 315 Matplotlib, 309 Nature Reviews Genetics, 300 Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 300 Navia Systems, 293 neuroscience research, 294 neuroscience tools, 301 K Karpištšenko, André ADCP, 223 advice to starter, 235 atmosphere capturing data, 221 Brute-force analytics, 231 career, 222 challenges, 234 climate changes, 226 co-founder and research lead (Planet OS), 221 co-founder (ASA Quality Services), 221 communication patterns, 225 Cornell and Rutgers (partners), 227 create models, 237 creating and writing software, 237 daily operation decisions, 222 data mining methods, 225 data privacy and trust, 223 data science, future of, 234 engineering and calibration tools, 225 engineering, data, and technology side, 222 www.it-ebooks.info Index European environmental agency, 224 FuturICT program, 224 Gephi, 231 Greenplum, 231 hiring, 232 insurance companies, 227 investment decisions, 222 IPCC reports, 237 Kaggle data science community, 228 machine learning methods, 225 model-driven development, 224 music generation algorithms, 237 NASA, 227 National Data Buoy Center profilers, 223 NOAA, 227 ocean infrastructure, 223 oceanography, 222 OPeNDAP data exchange protocol, 228 past year project, 233 people’s work, expectation, 234 personal operational things, 229 physical world, 226 problem solving, 230 public transport ticketing system, 224 Python, 231 R, 231 Sharemind, 236 shipping, oil, and gas industries, 226 success and measure success, 229 team building, 232 team members, 223 Vowpal Wabbit, 232 Weka, 232 Keyhole Markup Language (KML), 166 Knight Foundation, 319 L LASSO-based linear regression system, 316 LeCun,Yann academic scientific disciplines, 63 AI research materials, 50 artificial neural networks with back-propagation, 45 check-reading/check-recognition system, 52 content analysis and understanding users, 57 convolutional net, 53 CVPR 2014 conference papers, 57 daily work, 54 data sets, 50 deep learning, 45, 47, 52 Director of AI Research, Facebook, 45–46 DjVu system, 54 educational courses, 64 EMNLP 2014 papers, 57 experimental work, 60 first data set, 49 future of data science, 62 grad school, 48 graduation,VLSI integrated circuit design and automatic control, 48 graphical models, 51 Hinton,Geoff, 48 hiring research scientists and exceptional engineers, 65 ICML conference, 51 Image Processing Research Department head, AT&T Bell Labs, 45–46 image recognition, 57 industry impacts deployed things, 55 intellectual impact, 54 research projects, 55 initial understanding of data science, 65 innovative and creative work, 60 inspired work, 59 interest in AI, 48 kernel methods, 51 language translation, 64 long-term goal, understanding intelligence, 47 machine learning, 51–52 mathematical virtuosity, 60 Memory Networks, 57 multi-layer neural nets learning, 48 natural language, 52, 57 NEC Research Institute, 45 opportunities for data science, 65 opportunity at Facebook, 46 organizing research lab, 55 radar techniques, 51 www.it-ebooks.info 339 340 Index LeCun,Yann (cont.) robotics, Google, 58 Sejnowski, Terry, 48 shorter-term goal, understanding content, 47 Silver Professor of Computer Science, New York University, 45–46 solving right problem, 58 supervised and unsupervised learning, 46 support vector machines, 51 team members, 46 tools Lush project, 56 Torch 7, 56 undergrad, electrical engineering, 47 unsupervised learning, 61 Lenaghan, Jonathan career, 179, 182 engineering practices, 198 financial vs. ad tech industry, 184 Google, 197 high-frequency algorithmic trading, 183 mathematical consistency, 183 overfitting models, 183 packages and libraries, 196 Physical Review in Brookhaven, 183 PlaceIQ academic literature, 185 academic research, 185 ad-request logs, 181 ad-supported apps, 189 Air Traveler audience, 192 algorithmic trading, 180 Amazon’s S3 service, 194 ambient background location app, 184 architecture and long-term planning, 186 augmented intelligence service, 190 building models, 186 campaigns, 186 C++ and Perl, 190 Clojure projects, 195 data science team, 186 data scientist, 180 data sets, 180 data volume, 183 demographic results, 193 device IDs, 194 discussions with account managers, 187 domain, 190 explosive growth, 186 final output and functionality, 187 financial services, 180 geography, 185 geospatial layer, 182 geospatial location analytics, 181 geospatial visualization, 191 Google, 185 high-QPS and low-latency environment, 196 human behavior, 185 identifier, 194 ingest, transformation, and contextualization, 182 initial prototype, 188 interview process, 195 Julia, 195 location targeting, 192 matplotlib, 191 meetup, 180 mobile ads and location intelligence, 179 munging data, 191 ontology/taxonomy, 192 potential APIs, 190 problem solving, 187, 194 product/troubleshooting meetings, 187 prototype code, 188 prototype performs, 188 Python, 190 qualitative terms, 182 query language, 192–193 real-time processing and computation affects, 196 residential/nonresidential classifiers, 193 scaling test, 188 self-critical, 195 smartphones, 189 social anthropology, 189 spatial dimension testing, 188 temporal data, 191 tile level, 192 www.it-ebooks.info Index time periods, 180 urgency, 184 quantitative fields, 197 quantitative finance industry, 183 quantum chromodynamics, 182 relational queries, 196 software engineering skills, 198 Starbucks, 197 statistical analyses, 196 tech ad space, 181 testing, 198 LinkedIn, 34, 83 Lua programming language, 56 M Magnetic, 131 MailChimp.com, 108 Mandrill, 111–112 Media6Degrees, 151 Moneyball, 260 N National Data Buoy Center profilers, 223 National Security Agency, 107 Natural language, 52, 57 Natural Language Processing (NLP), 245 Netflix Culture, 20 Network operations Center (NOC), 120 The New York Times (NYT), 1 Neural net version 1.0, 48 Neural net winter, 48 Next Big Sound, 259 O O’Reilly Strata, 95 P, Q PANDA, 57 Perlich, Claudia AAAI, 162 advertising exchanges, 154 algorithm sorts list, 167 appreciation, 168 artificial neural networks, 152 Bayesian theory, 172 career, 151 challenges, 158 chief scientist (Dstillery), 151 communication, 171 Dstillery’s history and focus, 153 engineering team, 167 first data set, 158 fraud problem, 160 Hadoop cluster, 165 hire data scientists, 173 IBM’s Watson Research Center, 152 insight translate, 158 interview, 172 Journal of Advertising Research and American Marketing Association, 161 Kaggle website, 177 KML, 166 learning lessons, 166–167 long-tailed distributions, 170 machine learning techniques, 177 managerial responsibilities, 154 marksmanship, 167 matchmaking, 169 medical field, 175–176 Melinda approach, 172 Nielsen reports, 172 nonwork data puzzles, 157 NoSQL, 165 NYU Stern Business School, 152 PhD program, 152 photo-sharing URL, 154 present and future, data science, 174 prototype building tasks, 164 Provost, Foster (PhD advisor), 153 puzzles, 156 responsibilities, 155 routine tasks, 163 single-numbered aggregates, 170 statistical measures, 170 SVMlight, 165 teach data mining, 151 team members, 154 typical day, 161 www.it-ebooks.info 341 342 Index Perlich, Claudia (cont.) typical intellectual leadership day, 162 typical modeling and analysis day, 162 Personally identifiable information (PII), 181 Porway, Jake academia/government labs, 331 Amnesty International, 323–324 artificial intelligence, 325 career, 319 communication/translation challenges, 322 computer vision course, 325 data science, future of, 330 ethical responsibility, 331 founder and executive director (DataKind), 319 global chapter network, 323 Grameen Foundation’s Community Knowledge Program, 327 “The Human Face of Big Data”, 326 hunger alleviation experts, 321 Kenyan village, 322 Kirkpatrick, Robert (UN Global Pulse), 332 “The Macroscope”, 329 measure success, 330 Netflix, 325 New York Times, 324 OkCupid, 332 personal philosophies, 332 PhD program, 326 playbook, 322 problem solving, 325 pro bono service, 324 Rees, Kim, 329 Stanford Social Innovation Review, 327 statistical background, 331 statistics department, 326 team and organization, 320 Thorp, Jer, 329 typical workday, 327 volunteer, 325 volunteer data scientists, 322 Predictive Analytics Innovation Summit Chicago 2013 conference, 262 Prior Knowledge (PK), 293 R Radinsky, Kira computer science bioinformatics, 280 causality graph, 282 causes and effects, 283 cholera outbreaks, 284 computer games, 280 earthquakes, 282–283 Google Trends, 281 history patterns, 283 iPad, 283 Mayan calendar, 281 Microsoft research, 284–285 oxygen depletion, 281–282 Russian language, 280 storylines, 283 Technion External Studies program, 281 workshops, 285 data scientists hiring data science skills, 288 data stack, 289–290 government-backed research data sets, 290 medical data sets, 290 personal philosophy, 289 problem domain, 288 problem perception, 288 self-building algorithms, 290 smartphones, 290 team building, 288 toolkits and techniques, 288 data structures, 291 genetic hardware, 291 learning resources, 291 problem solving data science, and big data, 286 engineers, 286 lectures, 286 passion, 292 SalesPredict artificial intelligence, 285 buyer persona, 279 cloud-based solution, 275 customer based challenges, 276 customer’s perception, 279 www.it-ebooks.info Index customer’s website data, 276 data distributors, 279 data-specific challenges, 277 decision making, 274 engineering task, 287 engineering team, 275 global data changes, 280 hiring people, 287–288 HR department, tackling, 274 issues, 278 Java and Scala, 286 money spending, 274 MySQL and NoSQL, 286 ontology, 280 performance, 278 pilot customer, 274 problem solving, 287 salesperson, 278 sales process, 277 senior engineer, 279 statistical model, 277 web crawlers, 276 S Shellman, Erin advice to data scientists, 81 advice to undergrads, 70 beauty replenishment project, 77 beauty stylists, 73 company-wide open-door policy, 72 Confluence, 79 cost-benefit conversation, 78 data lab structure, 68 develop ideas, 76 experiment, 73 fashion retail industry, 74 freeing data scientists, 80 HauteLook and Trunk Club, 74 internal customers, 72 kanban board, 75 Lancôme and M•A•C, 78 machine learning class, 81 measuring success, 75 NIH internship, 70 other companies, 73 pair programing, 68 people relationship, 72 predictive modeling, 80 presentation skills, 80 programming and computer science, 70 quantitative and computational skills, 71 recommendations, 71 recommendation strategy, 78 Recommendo, 71, 75 Recommendo API, 77 R programmer, 69 Segmento, 71 SKU turnover, 77 STEM subject, 81 under graduation, 69 Wickham’s, Hadley work, 79 work area, 68 SIGIR conferences, 95 Skype, 221–222, 225, 230–231 Smallwood, Caitlin A/B test, 37 algorithm, 23, 42 Amazon, 34 analytics meeting, 28 analytics pre-Internet, 20 appreciation change, 36 basic data, 42 brainstorming meeting, 27 business priorities, 32 camaraderie, 35 collaborative environment, 42 company strategies, 21 content acquiring model, 29 custom model implementation, 31 data capture, 32 data-centric organizations, 20 data culture, 21 egoless attitude, 40 experience, 39, 42 experimentation, 23, 28, 30 experimentation-heavy culture, 28 Gomez-Uribe, Carlos (colleague), 34 Google search, 27 health care data sharing, 39 HiQ Labs, 34 hunger and insatiable curiosity, 36 Hunt, Neil (manager), 20 incredibly creative and innovative, 43 interesting insights, 35 internet data products, 19 internet entertainment, 24 www.it-ebooks.info 343 344 Index Smallwood, Caitlin (cont.)

 

pages: 588 words: 193,087

And Here's the Kicker: Conversations with 21 Top Humor Writers on Their Craft by Mike Sacks

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Albert Einstein, Columbine, Donald Trump, Exxon Valdez, fear of failure, game design, illegal immigration, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, index card, out of africa, pre–internet, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, upwardly mobile

You were reaching millions of viewers through your television writing. So why go from that to putting out a magazine with a circulation of a few hundred? After all the heavy stakes of network television — especially live network television — a little vanity project with no expectations felt like a cool drink of limeade. I wonder if the continuing fascination with Army Man has to do with the fact that it was produced pre-Internet. It was not widely distributed, and it was (and still is) very underground and mysterious. The Internet is a wondrous beast, but it has a leveling effect that trivializes and cheapens writing. There's something substantial and even formidable about print. You can't just erase it with a button. A few people have posted Army Man excerpts online, which feels intrusive. I guess they think they're doing me a favor, but if I wanted it on there I'd do it myself.

Do you think that the generation who grew up with the Internet will find this connection in other, less creative methods? You mean, to write a banjo blog instead of actually learning how to play a banjo? You would think that there would be no good artists or writers or musicians anymore, but there are plenty out there who are just as good as anyone from any other generation. And yet, there was something to be said for the learning process in the pre-Internet era. If you were really interested in an obscure movie or a little-known artist, you would go out and research on your own, and every little tidbit of information had such power and weight. Nowadays, you can just click on Wikipedia and learn everything in five minutes. The thrill of discovery is greatly lessened. To what degree do you think the Internet has changed comics? I'm not really sure.

 

pages: 743 words: 201,651

Free Speech: Ten Principles for a Connected World by Timothy Garton Ash

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Andrew Keen, Apple II, Ayatollah Khomeini, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, British Empire, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, Clapham omnibus, colonial rule, crowdsourcing, David Attenborough, don't be evil, Edward Snowden, Etonian, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, financial independence, Firefox, Galaxy Zoo, global village, index card, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of writing, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, mutually assured destruction, national security letter, Netflix Prize, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, profit motive, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, Snapchat, social graph, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wisdom of Crowds, Turing test, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, WikiLeaks, World Values Survey, Yom Kippur War

In the 1970s, in eastern Europe, copies of the Russian writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s Nobel Prize lecture on the power of ‘one word of truth’—which, according to a Russian proverb, ‘shall outweigh the whole world’—had to be typed in secret, with painful slowness, using carbon copy papers placed between individual sheets of wafer-thin ordinary paper in a typewriter.165 This was called samizdat, a Russian coinage meaning clandestine self-publishing. If you hit the manual typewriter keys like a concert pianist playing Beethoven fortissimo, the maximum legible copies you could get from a single typing was about twelve: the samizdat dozen.166 A reader would devour the text in a single night’s passionate reading, then pass it on to a friend. Amidst the silence and darkness of the pre-internet world, Solzhenitsyn’s ‘one word of truth’ had a life-changing impact on the few it reached. Yet we should not underrate the new potential for individual broadcasting. After that 2013 New Year editorial in the Chinese newspaper Southern Weekly was crudely censored, a well-known Chinese actress, Yao Chen, tweeted the logo of Southern Weekly on her Sina Weibo account, adding this line: ‘one word of truth shall outweigh the whole world—Solzhenitsyn (Russia)’.

16 While ‘censorship’ generally refers to something done by a state—and, in lawyerly definitions, often more narrowly to ‘prior restraint’ on publication—it’s important to remember that it is also exercised by religious organisations, corporations, media owners, criminal gangs, political parties and other organised groups. Between 1559 and 1966, the Roman Catholic Church had an ‘Index’ of prohibited books, a blacklist to which the title of the journal Index on Censorship, which documents, analyses and fights censorship worldwide, makes ironic reference.17 The difference, at least traditionally and in the pre-internet age, is that such censorship does not cover the whole territory of the country and all media in it, and is not directly enforced by the state. If you are censored in one paper, church, corporation or party, you can go to another. In practice, however, if your newspaper proprietor is threatening to sack you, a drug company to litigate you into bankruptcy or the mafia to assassinate you, that difference can feel rather theoretical.

 

pages: 319 words: 89,477

The Power of Pull: How Small Moves, Smartly Made, Can Set Big Things in Motion by John Hagel Iii, John Seely Brown

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Albert Einstein, Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, Black Swan, business process, call centre, Clayton Christensen, cleantech, cloud computing, corporate governance, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, future of work, game design, George Gilder, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, loose coupling, Louis Pasteur, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, Maui Hawaii, medical residency, Network effects, packet switching, pattern recognition, pre–internet, profit motive, recommendation engine, Ronald Coase, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart transportation, software as a service, supply-chain management, The Nature of the Firm, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transaction costs

Think of the objects around your workspace—the jar of sharp pencils, the portable flash drive, the bar of dark chocolate, the squeeze toy, the stapler you’re ready (if you’re a certain Silicon Valley CEO of our acquaintance) to throw at a subordinate when things go wrong. All of them are standing by at a moment’s notice, to be pulled in to help with the task at hand—even if the task isn’t sanctioned by your local HR representative. But we haven’t ever had the scalability of access that we have today. Consider how, pre-Internet, if you were looking for a particular book passage, but couldn’t remember which book it appeared in, you could only flip through the books on the shelf hoping to come across it. If you couldn’t find what you were seeking in your own books, you might have walked next door to see if your colleague had it. From there your search might have taken you down the hall to the common library maintained by your department or function.

 

pages: 327 words: 103,336

Everything Is Obvious: *Once You Know the Answer by Duncan J. Watts

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affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Black Swan, butterfly effect, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, clockwork universe, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, complexity theory, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, discovery of DNA, East Village, easy for humans, difficult for computers, edge city, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, framing effect, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, happiness index / gross national happiness, high batting average, hindsight bias, illegal immigration, interest rate swap, invention of the printing press, invention of the telescope, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, lake wobegon effect, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, medical malpractice, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, oil shock, packet switching, pattern recognition, performance metric, phenotype, planetary scale, prediction markets, pre–internet, RAND corporation, random walk, RFID, school choice, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, supply-chain management, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, Toyota Production System, ultimatum game, urban planning, Vincenzo Peruggia: Mona Lisa, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, X Prize

Answering it, however, required us to track the diffusion of more than 70 million URLs over the entire Twitter network for a two-month period. Prior to social networking services like Twitter and Facebook, which, remember, are just a few years old, that level of scale and resolution would have been impossible.14 Other experiments that I have described, like the Small World experiment from Chapter 4, were certainly possible in the pre-Internet era, but not on the scale at which they can now be conducted. Milgram’s original experiment, for example, used physical letters and relied on just three hundred individuals attempting to reach a single person in Boston. The e-mail–based experiment that my colleagues and I conducted back in 2002 involved more than sixty thousand people directing messages to one of eighteen targets, who in turn were located in thirteen countries.

 

pages: 220 words: 88,994

1989 The Berlin Wall: My Part in Its Downfall by Peter Millar

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anti-communist, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, glass ceiling, kremlinology, Marshall McLuhan, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Sinatra Doctrine, urban sprawl, working-age population

And another one that should be asked more often: what do you do with it when you get it? This is a short ride on a rollercoaster of a profession that many people wish they could get into and a good many others wish they could get out of. An insider’s look at the [frequent] nuts and [often missing] bolts of the news business, in particular the ups and downs of being a foreign correspondent in the pre-internet days: from shouting, ‘No love, it’s the Warsaw Pact, not the Walsall Pact,’ over a crackly phone line to Sunday Times copytakers recently moved from the News of the World, to the joys of punching endless seemingly identical rows of holes in telex tape, of vandalising hotel telephone sockets to fit ‘crocodile clips’ to bare wires, and standing in phone boxes in the rain with ‘acoustic couplers’ clamped in an armpit.

 

pages: 299 words: 91,839

What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis

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23andMe, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Anne Wojcicki, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, business process, call centre, cashless society, citizen journalism, clean water, connected car, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, don't be evil, fear of failure, Firefox, future of journalism, Google Earth, Googley, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Mark Zuckerberg, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, PageRank, peer-to-peer lending, post scarcity, prediction markets, pre–internet, Ronald Coase, search inside the book, Silicon Valley, Skype, social graph, social software, social web, spectrum auction, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, the medium is the message, The Nature of the Firm, the payments system, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, web of trust, Y Combinator, Zipcar

He may have thought of this law as his own, but I prefer to co-opt it as Weinberger’s Corollary to Jarvis’ First Law: “There is an inverse relationship between control and trust.” There’s another one of those counterintuitive lessons of the Google age: The more you control, the less you will be trusted; the more you hand over control, the more trust you will earn. That’s the antithesis of how companies and institutions operated in pre-internet history. They believed their control engendered our trust. In the early days of the internet, some journalists dismissed new sources of information—weblogs, Wikipedia, and online discussions—arguing that because they were not produced by fellow professionals, they could not be trusted. But the tragic truth is that the public does not trust journalists. A 2008 Harris survey found that 54 percent of Americans do not trust news media, and a Sacred Heart University poll said that only 19.6 percent believe all or most news media.

 

pages: 316 words: 91,969

Gray Lady Down: What the Decline and Fall of the New York Times Means for America by William McGowan

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affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, corporate governance, David Brooks, East Village, friendly fire, haute couture, illegal immigration, immigration reform, medical residency, New Journalism, obamacare, payday loans, postnationalism / post nation state, pre–internet, uranium enrichment, young professional

2004 Prologue I am not one of those people “who love to hate the Times,” as the paper’s executive editor Bill Keller has phrased it. I’ve read the New York Times since I was a kid, and I am proud to have been published prominently in it very early in my career. (The first things I ever published appeared in the Times Magazine and on the op-ed page.) I still consider the Times an important national resource, albeit an endangered one, and I confess to being one of those New Yorkers who refer to it simply as “the paper.” Pre-Internet, I would find myself wandering to the corner newsstand late at night and waiting like a junkie for a fix in the form of the next day’s edition. If I was out of town and couldn’t find it, I would jones. But sadly, those days, that young man and that New York Times are long gone. My aim is not to embarrass the Times or to feed a case for “going Timesless,” as some subscription cancellers and former readers have called it.

 

pages: 353 words: 104,146

European Founders at Work by Pedro Gairifo Santos

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business intelligence, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, fear of failure, full text search, information retrieval, inventory management, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, natural language processing, pattern recognition, pre–internet, recommendation engine, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, subscription business, technology bubble, web application, Y Combinator

Then in 1998, we started looking into offering new services, one of which was an “in the cloud” antivirus service. In 1998, the first virus that piggybacked on e-mail was released, which was called Melissa. And basically the virus problem changed overnight. Once viruses learned to piggyback on e-mail, the problem became much more significant because viruses could spread really rapidly. Traditional antivirus software was designed in a pre-internet kind of world. You downloaded the software, and every week or every month you downloaded new updates that protected you against a new threat. But it's very slow and reactive in nature. So, we thought that maybe we could build an antivirus system within the fabric of the internet where we could recognize new viruses without needing an update, without needing an exact match, by developing a knowledge base of virus techniques and behavior.

 

pages: 313 words: 101,403

My Life as a Quant: Reflections on Physics and Finance by Emanuel Derman

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Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, Black-Scholes formula, Brownian motion, capital asset pricing model, Claude Shannon: information theory, Emanuel Derman, fixed income, Gödel, Escher, Bach, haute couture, hiring and firing, implied volatility, interest rate derivative, Jeff Bezos, John von Neumann, law of one price, linked data, Long Term Capital Management, moral hazard, Murray Gell-Mann, pre–internet, publish or perish, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Richard Feynman, Sharpe ratio, statistical arbitrage, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, stochastic volatility, technology bubble, transaction costs, value at risk, volatility smile, Y2K, yield curve, zero-coupon bond

I recall best the unspoiled joy of spontaneously waking early, tired but driven, and then rushing off to work because I wanted to go to work and couldn't sleep any more. I was excited to see what came next. Meanwhile, back in Philadelphia, Lay Nam and John continued on their related but independent work. We had no email or ten-cent-perminute telephone calls to link us. Collaboration across the Atlantic was cost-prohibitive and communication was viscous in those pre-Internet days. Not only did we think it unrealistic to telephone to discuss research, but even airmail postage and xeroxing were expensive. The Department of Theoretical Physics at Oxford, itself on a limited budget, restricted each of its postdocs to 40 free photocopies a month. After that we paid for copies of articles we wanted. Computation was more difficult, too. There were no PCs and no MatlabTM or MathematicaTM programs.

 

pages: 349 words: 114,038

Culture & Empire: Digital Revolution by Pieter Hintjens

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4chan, airport security, anti-communist, anti-pattern, barriers to entry, Bill Duvall, bitcoin, blockchain, business climate, business intelligence, business process, Chelsea Manning, clean water, congestion charging, Corn Laws, correlation does not imply causation, cryptocurrency, Debian, Edward Snowden, failed state, financial independence, Firefox, full text search, German hyperinflation, global village, GnuPG, Google Chrome, greed is good, Hernando de Soto, hiring and firing, informal economy, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Rulifson, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, M-Pesa, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, national security letter, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, packet switching, patent troll, peak oil, pre–internet, private military company, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, reserve currency, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Satoshi Nakamoto, security theater, Skype, slashdot, software patent, spectrum auction, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, trade route, transaction costs, union organizing, web application, WikiLeaks, Y2K, zero day, Zipf's Law

Chatting with friends, on-line games, porn, aimless surfing, shopping, swapping music and films; the Internet has a powerful pull on our baby ape nature. Communities and Social Networks Since the earliest bulletin board systems, humans have been drawn to join and hang out in on-line communities. Since its birth, the Internet has offered a rich world of special interest groups. Whatever your passion, the Internet provides hundreds, even millions, of people who share it, right at your fingertips. Pre-Internet commercial networks like Compuserve and AOL essentially sold "community" as their main product, and today this drives big sites like Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and YouTube. Business Even though the Internet opened to commercial use only in the early 1990's, it's become an essential tool for all industries. Obviously, communications is a big driver for business. Email is very cheap. We also adopted the Internet because it became an excellent research tool, a cheap way to handle clients' problems (via forums and wikis), a cheap way to do marketing and sales (websites), a cheap distribution channel for digital goods (especially for the software industry), and a cheap backbone for virtual organizations.

 

pages: 368 words: 96,825

Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World by Peter H. Diamandis, Steven Kotler

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

3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dematerialisation, deskilling, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, fear of failure, Firefox, Galaxy Zoo, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, gravity well, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, John Harrison: Longitude, Jono Bacon, Just-in-time delivery, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, life extension, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, Narrative Science, Netflix Prize, Network effects, Oculus Rift, optical character recognition, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, performance metric, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, rolodex, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, smart grid, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, telepresence, telepresence robot, Turing test, urban renewal, web application, X Prize, Y Combinator

Certainly, when Eric and I started on our investor recruitment mission, we already had a network in place that gave us access to investors like Branson and Page. This is not going to be the case for everyone. But that doesn’t mean all is lost. In fact, my entire thinking about the line of super-credibility dates back to a time in my life when I had little credibility, when I was a college student—in the pre-Internet, pre-Google, pre-Facebook days—with access to few beyond friends and family. This story starts in 1980, during my sophomore year at MIT, when I founded Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS).10 SEDS emerged from my passion to open the space frontier and my frustration—already mentioned—with NASA. Alongside early SEDS leaders and fellow “space cadets” Bob Richards and Todd Hawley,11 we stitched together an organization of thirty college chapters from around the world that were all committed to promoting student participation in space.

 

pages: 349 words: 27,507

E=mc2: A Biography of the World's Most Famous Equation by David Bodanis

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Albert Einstein, Arthur Eddington, Berlin Wall, British Empire, dark matter, Ernest Rutherford, Erwin Freundlich, Fellow of the Royal Society, Henri Poincaré, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Mercator projection, pre–internet, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Stephen Hawking, Thorstein Veblen, V2 rocket

There are also insights from William Blake, samples of Einstein’s voice, links to the courses I offer on the equation, a look at why simple art forms such as equations are so often true, and other odds and ends. The newly finished British Library was an excellent place to research all this: It’s one of the great libraries of acknowledgments the world, and possibly the last, pyramid-like homage to the pre-Internet era. Many of the Library’s science journals were still in the old Southampton Row reading rooms, where interior design and coffee facilities were not quite at the same level, but the photostats of original patent applications on the wall (Whittle’s jet engine, the paperclip, the thermos flask, the Wright brothers’ wing-warping) made up for a lot of that. The University College science library in London was also useful, and even though the physical plant is now showing the effects of years of underfunding, the staff do an excellent job of trying to shore up the gaps.

 

pages: 353 words: 91,520

Most Likely to Succeed: Preparing Our Kids for the Innovation Era by Tony Wagner, Ted Dintersmith

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

affirmative action, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Bernie Sanders, Clayton Christensen, David Brooks, en.wikipedia.org, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, immigration reform, income inequality, index card, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, new economy, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, school choice, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steven Pinker, TaskRabbit, the scientific method, unpaid internship, Y Combinator

And according to Brandon Busteed, executive director of education at Gallup, “Teachers are dead last among all professions Gallup studied in saying their ‘opinions count’ at work and their ‘supervisors create an open and trusting environment.’ ”8 Even if the world had stood still, the U.S. education bet would have been a colossal mistake. But the world raced forward. As we moved into the twenty-first century, the Internet exploded, changing our society and challenging our education system in profound ways. Pre-Internet, we lived in a world of knowledge scarcity. The best sources of information were schools and libraries. But with ubiquitous interconnectivity, knowledge became a free commodity—like air or water—available on every Internet-connected device. You no longer needed a teacher or librarian to provide you access. In the span of a decade, the role of content knowledge has moved from the front to the back of the bus.

 

pages: 379 words: 108,129

An Optimist's Tour of the Future by Mark Stevenson

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23andMe, Albert Einstein, Andy Kessler, augmented reality, bank run, carbon footprint, carbon-based life, clean water, computer age, decarbonisation, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, flex fuel, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hans Rosling, Internet of things, invention of agriculture, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, Louis Pasteur, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, packet switching, peak oil, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, strong AI, the scientific method, Wall-E, X Prize

Television, radio and newspapers are the exact opposite, reaching large numbers, but with little dialogue – they broadcast, we receive. The Internet/Web provides a platform to bridge that gap. Individuals across the world are able to form groups much more quickly and powerfully than at any time in history. Protest movements can achieve the critical mass needed to have their voice heard in a way that simply wasn’t possible in a pre-Internet age. (Iraq war demonstrations used the power of the Internet to mobilise millions of demonstrators across the globe.) In between are groups of enthusiasts who collectively craft Wikipedia entries for the benefit of us all, or develop ‘open source’ software tools, or form online communities. A nice example is The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers, who shot to fame in 2009 as an Internet phenomenon, going on to perform at the Oscars.

 

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

But, for all his infectious charm as he chats and jokes in pithy English in his office in an upmarket Shanghai apartment block, there is a sinister side to the business that has made this chemistry graduate conspicuously wealthy aged 35.5 Sipping on a Red Bull – his only vice – the chemist said to Parry, ‘I have no time for holidays … I have a lot of business on my hands. I need all the energy I can get.’ Uncle Fester, aka Steve Preisler, one of the USA’s methamphetamine pioneers and the original narcotic folk devil of the pre-internet age, has kept up on developments in the trade, and says Chinese outsourcing was a logical step for US-based drug manufacturers. ‘The cooking of the materials has been outsourced to China because it is impossible to do it here,’ he told me by email. He continued: These materials are too complicated to be cooked up by a basement chemist and they require access to precursors unavailable to US-based cooks … Even if it might be quasi-legal, the cops would just simply be crawling all over them, and if nothing else putting them in jail for violations of hazardous waste laws or [health and safety] violations in their shop.

 

pages: 329 words: 95,309

Digital Bank: Strategies for Launching or Becoming a Digital Bank by Chris Skinner

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algorithmic trading, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, augmented reality, bank run, Basel III, bitcoin, business intelligence, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, cashless society, clean water, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, demand response, disintermediation, don't be evil, en.wikipedia.org, fault tolerance, fiat currency, financial innovation, Google Glasses, high net worth, informal economy, Infrastructure as a Service, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, M-Pesa, margin call, mass affluent, mobile money, Mohammed Bouazizi, new economy, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, platform as a service, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, pre–internet, quantitative easing, ransomware, reserve currency, RFID, Satoshi Nakamoto, Silicon Valley, smart cities, software as a service, Steve Jobs, strong AI, Stuxnet, trade route, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, upwardly mobile, We are the 99%, web application, Y2K

In other words, all of these PFM systems are slightly different with some easier to use than others, some more functionally rich than others, and some clearly in the lead over others. It goes further than this however, as PFM combined with mobile provides real-time financial analytics and management for every individual and company being serviced by the bank. Real-time and personal Another game changer for banking is real-time payments and real-time services. Mobile money in real-time changes the game and here’s how. Roll back a few decades to the pre-internet age. This was the age of the first screen: the television. You would only get to notice things through the screen in the lounge, and that would be a screaming advert. You could get reactivity by going to the branch and talking to the bank, based on the screaming advert gaining your attention. Then we entered the second age of the screen: the desktop. The desktop screen gave us interactivity but you would have to go to the desk to get onto the screen.

 

pages: 416 words: 106,582

This Will Make You Smarter: 150 New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your Thinking by John Brockman

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23andMe, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, banking crisis, Barry Marshall: ulcers, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, biofilm, Black Swan, butterfly effect, Cass Sunstein, cloud computing, congestion charging, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, data acquisition, David Brooks, delayed gratification, Emanuel Derman, epigenetics, Exxon Valdez, Flash crash, Flynn Effect, hive mind, impulse control, information retrieval, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, mandelbrot fractal, market design, Mars Rover, Marshall McLuhan, microbiome, Murray Gell-Mann, Nicholas Carr, open economy, place-making, placebo effect, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, random walk, randomized controlled trial, rent control, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Richard Thaler, Schrödinger's Cat, security theater, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, Thorstein Veblen, Turing complete, Turing machine, Walter Mischel, Whole Earth Catalog

Human beings are impossibly complex tarballs of muscle, blood, bone, breath, and electrical pulses that travel through nerves and neurons; we are bundles of electrical pulses carrying payloads, pings hitting servers. And our identities are inextricably connected to our environments: No story can be told without a setting. My generation is the last generation of human beings who were born into a pre-Internet world but who matured in tandem with that great networked hive-mind. In the course of my work online, committing new memories to network mind each day, I have come to understand that our shared memory of events, truths, biography, and fact—all of this shifts and ebbs and flows, just as our most personal memories do. Ever-edited Wikipedia replaces paper encyclopedias. The chatter of Twitter eclipses fixed-form and hierarchical communication.

 

pages: 426 words: 105,423

The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss

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Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, call centre, clean water, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, follow your passion, game design, global village, Iridium satellite, knowledge worker, late fees, Maui Hawaii, oil shock, paper trading, Parkinson's law, passive income, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, remote working, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, wage slave, William of Occam

The initial positive responses, given by people who want to be liked and aim to please, become polite refusals as soon as real money is at stake. To get an accurate indicator of commercial viability, don’t ask people if they would buy—ask them to buy. The response to the second is the only one that matters. The approach of the NR reflects this. Step Three: Micro-Test Your Products Micro-testing involves using inexpensive advertisements to test consumer response to a product prior to manufacturing.40 In the pre-Internet era, this was done using small classified ads in newspapers or magazines that led prospects to call a prerecorded sales message. Prospects would leave their contact information, and based on the number of callers or response to a follow-up sales letter, the product would be abandoned or manufactured. In the Internet era, there are better tools that are both cheaper and faster. We’ll test the product ideas from the last chapter on Google Adwords—the largest and most sophisticated Pay-Per-Click (PPC) engine—in five days for $500 or less.

 

pages: 275 words: 84,418

Dogfight: How Apple and Google Went to War and Started a Revolution by Fred Vogelstein

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Apple II, cloud computing, disintermediation, don't be evil, Dynabook, Firefox, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, Googley, Jony Ive, Mark Zuckerberg, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, software patent, spectrum auction, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Tim Cook: Apple, web application

It’s what we think of as the Internet today, but few were talking about the Internet at the time. Malone’s bold prediction spurred dozens of big companies to speed up their embrace of interactive television. One of the most famous was the Orlando Project in 1994, Time Warner’s failed effort in Florida to hook up four thousand homes with cable TV that allowed them to download movies on demand. The dream of convergence was the driving force behind pre–Internet browser dial-up services such as Prodigy and Compuserve, not to mention America Online, as far back as the 1980s. Those in the media industry—Malone, in particular—believed that controlling the television in the living room would be critical to convergence. They believed that the software and hardware they’d built to run televisions would just as easily run our PCs. Silicon Valley—largely meaning Microsoft and Bill Gates—believed that the same technology that ran our PCs—Windows—would run our televisions.

 

pages: 284 words: 92,688

Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble by Dan Lyons

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Airbnb, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, call centre, cleantech, cloud computing, corporate governance, dumpster diving, fear of failure, Filter Bubble, Golden Gate Park, Google Glasses, Googley, Gordon Gekko, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, Lean Startup, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, new economy, Paul Graham, pre–internet, quantitative easing, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rosa Parks, Sand Hill Road, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, telemarketer, tulip mania, Y Combinator, éminence grise

In a 2015 Facebook post, Reich recalls that during his time in office in the 1990s Valley employers claimed they could not find skilled workers in the United States, “when in reality they just didn’t want to pay higher wages to Americans.” Foreign workers are “easy to intimidate because if they lose their jobs they have to leave the U.S.,” Reich says. Why are tech companies so obsessed with cutting costs? Look at their financial results. Many don’t make a profit. The biggest difference between today’s tech start-ups and those of the pre-Internet era is that the old guard companies, like Microsoft and Lotus Development, generated massive profits almost from the beginning, while today many tech companies lose enormous amounts of money for years on end, even after they go public. They need to constantly drive costs down, using things like Halligan’s VORP metric. A more interesting question is why there are so many companies that remain in business while losing money.

 

pages: 364 words: 102,926

What the F: What Swearing Reveals About Our Language, Our Brains, and Ourselves by Benjamin K. Bergen

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correlation does not imply causation, information retrieval, pre–internet, Ronald Reagan, statistical model, Steven Pinker

Walter Cheadle put pen to frigid paper to write that journal entry in 1863.14 In modern times, it’s comparatively easier to track how words disseminate throughout a speech community. For instance, we know that ctfu (“cracking the fuck up”) spread mostly from Cleveland to a number of other mid-Atlantic cities, as you can see in the figure on the next page.15 And we know this because people leave quantifiable records of their language use in the form of GPS-coded tweets. But we have no such luxury for changes that occurred in the deep history of English—pre-Internet. So we know little about exactly how cock’s new meaning spread throughout the English-speaking world starting in the fifteenth century. But we do know what niche it filled. Every language has a way to describe human sexual organs. They’re pretty important, culturally, biologically, personally. It seems reasonable to assume that the new use of cock was somewhat motivated—there’s a passing similarity between a rooster and a penis—and we now know that as a closed monosyllable, it conforms to the sound pattern of English taboo words.

 

pages: 364 words: 99,897

The Industries of the Future by Alec Ross

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23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, bioinformatics, bitcoin, blockchain, Brian Krebs, British Empire, business intelligence, call centre, carbon footprint, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, connected car, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, David Brooks, disintermediation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, distributed ledger, Edward Glaeser, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, fiat currency, future of work, global supply chain, Google X / Alphabet X, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, litecoin, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Mikhail Gorbachev, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, new economy, offshore financial centre, open economy, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, precision agriculture, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, social graph, software as a service, special economic zone, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, technoutopianism, underbanked, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, young professional

When I was growing up, my mom worked as a paralegal at the Putnam County Courthouse in Winfield, West Virginia. Her job largely consisted of rummaging through enormous 15-pound books looking for specific information on old court cases and real estate closings. The books were so heavy and the stacks so high that my mom used to conscript me and my little brother to help her. Even as an unemployed high school student in the pre-Internet world when few people owned a home computer, I remember thinking that a computer should be able to do this job more efficiently. But my mom said, “If that ever happens, I won’t have a job.” Today my mom’s job is largely computerized. I now think the same thing about my dad, an attorney who’s still working at age 77 with a storefront legal practice just off Main Street in Hurricane, West Virginia.

 

pages: 339 words: 99,674

Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War by James Risen

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air freight, airport security, banking crisis, clean water, Edward Snowden, greed is good, illegal immigration, income inequality, large denomination, Occupy movement, pattern recognition, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Silicon Valley, Stuxnet, too big to fail, WikiLeaks

She realized to her horror that the NSA liked Trailblazer so much in part because it was designed to try to connect the agency’s old, existing analog technology to the new digital revolution. Roark insisted on briefings from Trailblazer managers and came away convinced that the program was doomed to become a costly failure. “Trailblazer was supposed to build an Internet software-based system on top of an analog hardware system, and it just wasn’t going to work,” she recalled. “They had always felt comfortable with their existing systems. They wanted to use pre-Internet technology for the Internet age. I told them right away that would fail. It was just common sense.” (Roark proved prescient. Years later, the NSA abandoned Trailblazer. After spending billions of dollars on the program’s development, the agency was finally forced to admit that it would not work.) By early 2000, Roark’s intervention began to infuriate NSA Director Michael Hayden. He had already decided to go with Trailblazer and SAIC over Thin Thread, and he wanted Congress to give the agency the billions of dollars that Trailblazer would demand, no questions asked.

 

pages: 306 words: 85,836

When to Rob a Bank: ...And 131 More Warped Suggestions and Well-Intended Rants by Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airport security, augmented reality, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, Broken windows theory, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, feminist movement, food miles, George Akerlof, invisible hand, loss aversion, mental accounting, Netflix Prize, obamacare, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, pre–internet, price anchoring, price discrimination, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, Richard Thaler, security theater, Ted Kaczynski, the built environment, The Chicago School, the High Line, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs

I learned a lot about buying cars the last time I bought one—the various lies that dealerships tell with respect to invoice prices; the ridiculous game of cat and mouse with the salesperson trotting off to talk to the manager, etc. I abhorred the process the last time we needed a car, but this time, thinking about it more intellectually, I was eager to take part in the elaborate ritual associated with buying a new car. Perhaps my willingness to haggle stemmed from my unlikely triumph the last time around. I had gotten an estimate faxed to me—this was pre-Internet—of what a fair price was to pay for the car. Stupidly, I left the sheet of paper at home, but I thought I remembered the price. I fought hard for that price: threatening repeatedly to leave, back and forth and back and forth, and finally I got the dealer within a few hundred dollars of the price I remembered. When I got home, I discovered that my memory had transposed two digits; the price on the fax was actually $2,000 higher than the one I managed to bargain.

 

pages: 421 words: 110,406

Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy--And How to Make Them Work for You by Sangeet Paul Choudary, Marshall W. van Alstyne, Geoffrey G. Parker

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3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Andrei Shleifer, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, bitcoin, blockchain, business process, buy low sell high, chief data officer, clean water, cloud computing, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, data is the new oil, discounted cash flows, disintermediation, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial innovation, Haber-Bosch Process, High speed trading, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, market design, multi-sided market, Network effects, new economy, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pre–internet, price mechanism, recommendation engine, RFID, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, smart grid, Snapchat, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Chicago School, the payments system, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, winner-take-all economy, Zipcar

The logical way to accomplish this is by developing a new technology standard and maintaining sole control of it. And this is not impossible—but in the real world, it doesn’t always produce lasting economic returns. A classic illustration is the so-called VCR war of the 1970s and 1980s, which pitted two technology platforms against each other: the Betamax videotape standard sponsored by Sony, and the VHS standard sponsored by JVC. Unlike most platforms of today, these standards from the pre-Internet era did not create an online venue in which producers and consumers could meet to conduct interactions together. However, they qualified as platforms because they established technology systems that would allow multiple producers (chiefly movie and TV studios) to sell products to consumers. Thus, they faced many of the same kinds of strategic challenges that today’s Internet-based platforms must confront.

 

pages: 283 words: 85,824

The People's Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age by Astra Taylor

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, Brewster Kahle, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, Community Supported Agriculture, conceptual framework, corporate social responsibility, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, digital Maoism, disintermediation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, future of journalism, George Gilder, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, informal economy, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Naomi Klein, Narrative Science, Network effects, new economy, New Journalism, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, oil rush, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, pre–internet, profit motive, recommendation engine, Richard Florida, Richard Stallman, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, slashdot, Slavoj Žižek, Snapchat, social graph, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, trade route, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, Works Progress Administration, young professional

True, blogs and other spaces on the Internet can serve as energizing and organizing tools for those who are disadvantaged or oppressed but, as research has established, minority groups already know more about the experiences of dominant groups than vice versa. The onus to nurture cultural diversity should be on those who are closer to the center, not those who are peripheral. But who occupies what position, center or periphery, inside or out, included or excluded? These categories are fluctuating, unstable. Back in the pre-Internet days, there were a few obvious ways to prove that diversity was lacking in the cultural realm, even if the actions needed to remedy it were too rarely taken. Directors Guild of America numbers provided incontrovertible proof of the celluloid ceiling. A quick flip through the television channels revealed a whitewashed nation. Magazine mastheads and reporter bylines displayed heterogeneity or lack thereof.

 

pages: 297 words: 83,563

The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: And Their Race to Save the World's Most Precious Manuscripts by Joshua Hammer

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crowdsourcing, illegal immigration, Kickstarter, pre–internet, trade route, unemployed young men

“This commentator took a phrase from the work, and he gave his opinion about a point of jurisprudence,” he said, pointing to a cluster of Arabic characters squeezed into the margin. “There are several copies of this book around,” including one that had been transcribed by Timbuktu’s most illustrious scholar, Ahmed Baba, for his own library. “The big difference here is the notations.” The encyclopedia functioned as a kind of pre-Internet chat room, with the conversations attenuated over hundreds of years. Such encyclopedias proliferated during Timbuktu’s Golden Age, reflecting a desire to give coherence and order to Islamic scholarship from Timbuktu to Egypt and beyond, to confer recognition, even immortality upon learned men who had sought to enlarge the scope of human understanding. They were a Who’s Who of the medieval Islamic world, and they represented an extraordinary achievement at a time when that world was a far bigger, far less interconnected place, and collating the biographies of scattered scholars required exhaustive time and effort.

 

pages: 286 words: 82,065

Curation Nation by Rosenbaum, Steven

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Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, citizen journalism, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, en.wikipedia.org, future of journalism, Jason Scott: textfiles.com, means of production, PageRank, pattern recognition, postindustrial economy, pre–internet, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Skype, social graph, social web, Steve Jobs, Tony Hsieh, Yogi Berra

Huffington, who Time magazine called the Web’s new oracle in 2009, is clear about the fact that what she’s doing is changing things, and some of that change will have a negative impact on so-called old media. She explains, “We are certainly at a turning point leading to the tipping point—an exciting prospect in my view. There needs to be a distinction between saving journalism and saving newspapers. The idea that you can go back to a pre-Internet world where you can create walled gardens around content, and charge for admission, is simply futile. Those who try that are going to fail.” She’s speaking about Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Axel Springer, of course. She goes on, “Today we live in the linked economy, not a walled-off content economy. The challenge is to find different ways to monetize links among media through advertising or micropayment or whatever, not subscription for exclusive content.

 

pages: 146 words: 43,446

The New New Thing: A Silicon Valley Story by Michael Lewis

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Albert Einstein, Andy Kessler, business climate, Chance favours the prepared mind, data acquisition, family office, high net worth, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Menlo Park, pre–internet, risk tolerance, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Thorstein Veblen, Y2K

He read it front to back, then back to front. He skipped to the middle to reexamine a particularly noxious passage. He put it down, then picked it up again, as if starting in on it fresh might somehow alter its meaning. In that hour Long did not speak or change expression. He was a man in a trance. The article about Healtheon that appeared on the front page of the Page 183 Wall Street Journal on October 2, 1998, was a rocket from pre-Internet America. It quoted industry experts saying things like "a lot of the challenges we face in health care have very little to do with the Internet." It pointed out that Pavan and his team of engineers were late delivering Healtheon's software to doctors, and left it to the reader to surmise that this just might be because the software did not work. It went on to say, Much of Healtheon's allure comes from its two main backers.

 

pages: 487 words: 132,252

The Fry Chronicles: An Autobiography by Stephen Fry

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Alistair Cooke, back-to-the-land, Desert Island Discs, Etonian, Isaac Newton, pre–internet, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, South China Sea, The Wisdom of Crowds, University of East Anglia, Winter of Discontent

You know there is something amiss when a doctor can absolutely guarantee that if the roads are slippery a fatal accident will be sure to befall a despatch rider somewhere in the city and that a fresh, healthy pair of young eyes will soon be speeding their way to the operating theatre packed in a cool-box. A cool-box bungeed to the pillion of a motorcycle in all probability … Well, that was London in the pre-fax, pre-internet eighties. Couriers and cars did the work, and it was matter in the form of massy atoms, rather than content in the form of massless electrons, that had to be conveyed from place to place. But I was telling you about The Stinker. It was inevitable that sooner or later in my career as a literary critic I would open a courier’s package (ooer, now but shush) and find a book about which there could be nothing good to say.

 

pages: 481 words: 121,669

The Invisible Web: Uncovering Information Sources Search Engines Can't See by Gary Price, Chris Sherman, Danny Sullivan

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

AltaVista, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, bioinformatics, Brewster Kahle, business intelligence, dark matter, Douglas Engelbart, full text search, HyperCard, hypertext link, information retrieval, Internet Archive, joint-stock company, knowledge worker, natural language processing, pre–internet, profit motive, publish or perish, search engine result page, side project, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Ted Nelson, Vannevar Bush, web application

, HotBot, and AltaVista turned up lots of mentions of the book in reviews and on personal Web sites, but no clues as to where she might be able to purchase the book. Growing ever more upset, Toni calls her friend Brian, a frequent and accomplished Web user. Brian tells Toni about the Advanced Book Exchange (http://www.abebooks.com). Within a few seconds after entering the title and author information and clicking the search button, Toni has a list of ten used book dealers who can ship her the book overnight. In 15 hours the book is in her hands. In pre-Internet days, finding an out of print or rare book was often very time consuming and expensive, if not flat-out impossible. Generalpurpose search tools could, in theory, help someone like Toni locate a dealer who has a copy of an out of print book for sale. In reality, however, search engines prefer not to index the catalogs of online retailers. Why? Case Studies 121 Because inventory, especially in stores dealing with rare or one-of-a-kind items, tends to fluctuate.

 

pages: 483 words: 141,836

Red-Blooded Risk: The Secret History of Wall Street by Aaron Brown, Eric Kim

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Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, Asian financial crisis, Atul Gawande, backtesting, Basel III, Benoit Mandelbrot, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, capital asset pricing model, central bank independence, Checklist Manifesto, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, disintermediation, distributed generation, diversification, diversified portfolio, Emanuel Derman, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental subject, financial innovation, illegal immigration, implied volatility, index fund, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, margin call, market clearing, market fundamentalism, market microstructure, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, natural language processing, open economy, pre–internet, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, random walk, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, shareholder value, Sharpe ratio, special drawing rights, statistical arbitrage, stochastic volatility, The Myth of the Rational Market, too big to fail, transaction costs, value at risk, yield curve

Collecting other accounts and carefully cross-checking facts would produce a richer and more accurate story, but I don’t think it would give more insight about the nature of risk. Although we collaborated in a grand project, we didn’t know each other very well; in fact, we often didn’t know each other at all. We didn’t meet in seminar rooms or trading floors or restaurants, or in each other’s homes. Mostly we communicated by dial-up computer bulletin boards, a pre-Internet form of geek interaction. These were initially set up to share data, something we all needed and that was generally unavailable in electronic form. So whatever numbers you typed in by hand you uploaded for others, and thereby gained access to their labors. But the story does not begin in 1980. To explain what we were doing I have to go more than three centuries farther back. Pascal and Fermat The letters between Blaise Pascal and Pierre Fermat in 1654 are merely the earliest tangible evidence of a fundamental shift in thought that occurred within a few years around this time.

 

pages: 363 words: 123,076

The Gang That Wouldn't Write Straight: Wolfe, Thompson, Didion, Capote, and the New Journalism Revolution by Marc Weingarten

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1960s counterculture, Bonfire of the Vanities, British Empire, citizen journalism, cognitive dissonance, Donner party, East Village, Haight Ashbury, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, Menlo Park, New Journalism, non-fiction novel, pre–internet, rent control, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Stewart Brand, upwardly mobile, working poor

They became literary rock stars, their bylines familiar to most, their lectures standing-room-only sellouts in universities across the country. The work of the New Journalists was distinctly of its time, but it hasn’t lost its shock of the new; the collections of Wolfe, Thompson, Didion, and the others still shore up the backlists of their publishers quite nicely. This was a great time for magazines and newspapers, after all, a precable, pre-Internet era when the print media reigned supreme among educated and culturally savvy readers. Esquire, Rolling Stone, New York— the readers of these publications could barely afford to miss an issue, lest they miss out on something. And a new generation of writers was reading as well. The greatest work of New Journalism’s golden era—the last, great good time of American journalism, which roughly spans the years 1962 to 1977—left a profound impression on what Robert Boynton has called the “New New Journalists,” who learned the best lessons of their elders and carry on the tradition today.

 

pages: 492 words: 153,565

Countdown to Zero Day: Stuxnet and the Launch of the World's First Digital Weapon by Kim Zetter

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Ayatollah Khomeini, Brian Krebs, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, Doomsday Clock, Edward Snowden, facts on the ground, Firefox, friendly fire, Google Earth, information retrieval, Julian Assange, Loma Prieta earthquake, Maui Hawaii, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, smart grid, smart meter, South China Sea, Stuxnet, uranium enrichment, Vladimir Vetrov: Farewell Dossier, WikiLeaks, Y2K, zero day

But not all of them could be. Some, like the transmission of unencrypted commands and the lack of strong authentication, were fundamental design issues, not programming bugs, which required Siemens to upgrade the firmware on its systems to fix them or, in some cases, re-architect them. And these weren’t just problems for Siemens PLCs; they were fundamental design issues that many control systems had, a legacy of their pre-internet days, when the devices were built for isolated networks and didn’t need to withstand attacks from outsiders. Beresford’s findings defied longstanding assertions by vendors and critical-infrastructure owners that their systems were secure because only someone with extensive knowledge of PLCs and experience working with the systems could attack them. With $20,000 worth of used equipment purchased online and two months working in his spare time, Beresford had found more than a dozen vulnerabilities and learned enough about the systems to compromise them.

 

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

In the 1940s both computers and robots were entirely the stuff of science fiction, so it’s striking how clearly fleshed out Wiener’s understandings were of the technology impact that is only today playing out. In 1949, the New York Times invited Wiener to summarize his views about “what the ultimate machine age is likely to be,” in the words of its longtime Sunday editor, Lester Markel. Wiener accepted the invitation and wrote a draft of the article; the legendarily autocratic Markel was dissatisfied and asked him to rewrite it. He did. But through a distinctly pre-Internet series of fumbles and missed opportunities, neither version ever appeared at the time. In August of 1949, according to Wiener’s papers at MIT, the Times asked him to resend the first draft of the article to be combined with the second draft. (It is unclear why the editors had misplaced the first draft.) “Could you send the first draft to me, and we’ll see whether we can combine the two into one story?”

 

pages: 396 words: 117,149

The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World by Pedro Domingos

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3D printing, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Arthur Eddington, Benoit Mandelbrot, bioinformatics, Black Swan, Brownian motion, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, combinatorial explosion, computer vision, constrained optimization, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, data is the new oil, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Erik Brynjolfsson, experimental subject, Filter Bubble, future of work, global village, Google Glasses, Gödel, Escher, Bach, information retrieval, job automation, John Snow's cholera map, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, lone genius, mandelbrot fractal, Mark Zuckerberg, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Narrative Science, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, NP-complete, P = NP, PageRank, pattern recognition, phenotype, planetary scale, pre–internet, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, superintelligent machines, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, theory of mind, transaction costs, Turing machine, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, white flight

With Google’s annual revenue of $50 billion, every 1 percent improvement in click prediction potentially means another half billion dollars in the bank, every year, for the company. No wonder Google is a big fan of machine learning, and Yahoo and others are trying hard to catch up. Web advertising is just one manifestation of a much larger phenomenon. In every market, producers and consumers need to connect before a transaction can happen. In pre-Internet days, the main obstacles to this were physical. You could only buy books from your local bookstore, and your local bookstore had limited shelf space. But when you can download any book to your e-reader any time, the problem becomes the overwhelming number of choices. How do you browse the shelves of a bookstore that has millions of titles for sale? The same goes for other information goods: videos, music, news, tweets, blogs, plain old web pages.

 

pages: 587 words: 117,894

Cybersecurity: What Everyone Needs to Know by P. W. Singer, Allan Friedman

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4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blood diamonds, borderless world, Brian Krebs, business continuity plan, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, data acquisition, Edward Snowden, energy security, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fault tolerance, global supply chain, Google Earth, Internet of things, invention of the telegraph, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, M-Pesa, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, packet switching, Peace of Westphalia, pre–internet, profit motive, RAND corporation, ransomware, RFC: Request For Comment, risk tolerance, rolodex, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart grid, Steve Jobs, Stuxnet, uranium enrichment, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, web application, WikiLeaks, zero day

To put it another way, if you are locked into a Q and A format, you better first decide the right set of Qs. We tried to gather all the key questions that people had about this field, not only those asked by people working in politics or technology, but also from our interactions and interviews well beyond. This set of questions was backed by what would have previously been called a “literature survey.” In the old (pre-Internet) days, this meant going to the library and pulling off the shelf all the books in that section of the Dewey decimal system. Today, on this topic especially, the sources range from books to online journals to microblogs. We were also greatly aided by a series of workshops and seminars at Brookings, the think tank in Washington we work at. These gathered key public- and private-sector experts to explore questions ranging from the efficacy of cyber deterrence to what can be done about botnets (all questions later dealt with in the book).

 

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

This is an example of how thermodynamics and computation interact. Reversible computers don’t radiate as much heat; forgetting radiates randomness, which is the same thing as heating up the neighborhood. There is a fundamental problem with transposing that plan to economics: A marketplace is a system of competing players, each of whom would ideally be working from a different, but not an a priori better or worse, information position. In a pre-Internet market, it would sometimes be the case that small local players could conjure an informational advantage over big players.† †This book can only present one point of view in a field with many interesting points of view. For foundational ideas about differing access to information in a marketplace, I direct readers to the work of the 2001 winners of Nobel Prize in Economics, who each addressed this topic in a different way: http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/economics/laureates/2001/press.html.

 

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

Indeed, search engines seemed to contain an inherent contradiction: if you did it well, people would leave your site to go to the destination you’d served up – and, given the nature of search, that destination almost certainly wouldn’t be a site you controlled (unless you tweaked the results, in which case you risked dissatisfying the user); there are more pages on the internet that aren’t Yahoo.com or MSN.com or Askjeeves.com than those that are. That meant successful search engines lost the chance to serve up an advert. In pre-internet business terms, that’s bad business. Yet that’s not how the internet always functions. Yang’s 1996 decision to reject Google was predicated on the idea that people wouldn’t seek out better solutions to their problems online. And it ignored the idea that you create customer loyalty by giving them the best experience possible and that, if people found what they wanted through one search engine and not on another, they’d probably keep coming back to the first and ignore the second.

 

pages: 500 words: 145,005

Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics by Richard H. Thaler

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Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrei Shleifer, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Atul Gawande, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Black-Scholes formula, capital asset pricing model, Cass Sunstein, Checklist Manifesto, choice architecture, clean water, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, constrained optimization, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, diversification, diversified portfolio, Edward Glaeser, endowment effect, equity premium, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental economics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, George Akerlof, hindsight bias, Home mortgage interest deduction, impulse control, index fund, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, late fees, law of one price, libertarian paternalism, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, market clearing, Mason jar, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, More Guns, Less Crime, mortgage debt, Nash equilibrium, Nate Silver, New Journalism, nudge unit, payday loans, Ponzi scheme, presumed consent, pre–internet, principal–agent problem, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, random walk, randomized controlled trial, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, Steve Jobs, technology bubble, The Chicago School, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transaction costs, ultimatum game, Walter Mischel

Modigliani was then at MIT, but he had earlier been a colleague of Herb Simon’s at Carnegie Mellon, and at Simon’s urging the conference sent Modigliani a congratulatory telegram. That morning, Miller could not be blamed if he was thinking that this good news for his mentor and collaborator was bad news for him. Modigliani won the prize alone, and Miller might have felt that he had missed his chance. It turned out that he would win a Nobel Prize five years later, but he had no way of knowing that at the time. Nor did he know that morning, in this pre-Internet era, that the prize had been awarded primarily for Modigliani’s work on saving and consumption—the life-cycle hypothesis—rather than for his work with Miller on corporate finance. In the morning festivities surrounding the news, Miller spoke briefly about Modigliani’s research. The press had asked him to summarize the work he had done with Modigliani, and, with his usual sharp wit, he said they had shown that if you take a ten-dollar bill from one pocket and put it into a different pocket, your wealth does not change.

 

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

I peeled away from the glib pageant of bullshit—Facebook PMMs and salespeople chatting up the marketing heads of brands and the general managers of agencies—sidestepped a velvet rope, and explored the darkened museum. The Museum of Natural History is one of these old-school nineteenth-century monuments to didactic showcasing and taxidermy. Entire halls are dedicated to those artifacts of a pre–motion picture, not to mention pre-Internet, world: dioramas made to look like the Serengeti Plain or the Atacama Desert, filled with lynxes and wildebeests, a domestic-looking pair of rhinos. How long could the museum convince anyone living to look at the stuffed dead, I wondered. Facebook & Co., to whom the museum was pimping out its august real estate, was busily working to nuke the human mind of the necessary attention span. The keynote to this festival of schmoozing was given by Sheryl, who delivered a forgettable string of Facebook platitudes for forty-five minutes.

 

pages: 527 words: 147,690

Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection by Jacob Silverman

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23andMe, 4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, airport security, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, Brian Krebs, California gold rush, call centre, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, Edward Snowden, feminist movement, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, game design, global village, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, late capitalism, license plate recognition, life extension, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, Marshall McLuhan, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Minecraft, move fast and break things, national security letter, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Occupy movement, optical character recognition, payday loans, Peter Thiel, postindustrial economy, prediction markets, pre–internet, price discrimination, price stability, profit motive, quantitative hedge fund, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent control, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Snapchat, social graph, social web, sorting algorithm, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, telemarketer, transportation-network company, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, universal basic income, unpaid internship, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, Zipcar

(Sweet Brown, like some other viral stars of yore, has appeared in a couple of local commercials.) They become priests without pulpits, politicians without constituencies. They have followings, sure—30,000+ on Twitter for verified user Kevin Antoine Dodson; 670,000+ likes on his Facebook page. But they don’t have dignity, having become a burlesque in the public eye. Perhaps, like Jack Rebney, a pre-Internet viral video star (in the early nineties, outtakes of his swearing and harrumphing through an industrial film shoot for Winnebago became a cult commodity on VHS), they’ll retreat to a mountaintop—Shasta, in Rebney’s case. And then, when they show up in the public eye, we’ll laugh and throw them a few bucks. Rebney, whose story was beautifully depicted in the documentary Winnebago Man, was greeted at San Francisco’s Found Footage Festival by excited fans, one of whom called him “a modern-day freak show.”

 

pages: 518 words: 147,036

The Fissured Workplace by David Weil

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, banking crisis, barriers to entry, business process, call centre, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate governance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, employer provided health coverage, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, George Akerlof, global supply chain, global value chain, hiring and firing, income inequality, intermodal, inventory management, Jane Jacobs, Kenneth Rogoff, law of one price, loss aversion, low skilled workers, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, occupational segregation, performance metric, pre–internet, price discrimination, principal–agent problem, Rana Plaza, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Ronald Coase, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, ultimatum game, union organizing, women in the workforce, Y2K, yield management

See Jin and Leslie (2009) for a study of the effectiveness of the Los Angeles County restaurant grading system. 49. One recent example is the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act of 2010. The law requires major retailers and manufacturers doing business in California to disclose their efforts to stop slavery and human trafficking from their direct supply chains. See http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/164934.pdf. The Clinton administration used a pre-Internet version of transparency in its garment enforcement effort, discussed above. The WHD issued a quarterly “garment enforcement report” listing all apparel suppliers (manufacturers, jobbers, and contractors) found out of compliance in the prior quarter. These written (and later PDF-based) reports provided manufacturers and retailers concerned with potential embargoes under the hot goods program with information on suppliers who might pose problems in this regard.

 

pages: 406 words: 115,719

The Case Against Sugar by Gary Taubes

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Albert Einstein, British Empire, cuban missile crisis, epigenetics, Gary Taubes, Isaac Newton, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, phenotype, pre–internet, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, the scientific method, Works Progress Administration

But he nonetheless strongly “disapprove[d] [of] things preserv’d, or very much season’d with Sugar…[and judged] the invention of it, and its immoderate use to have very much contributed to the vast increase of Scurvy in this late Age.” Willis’s denunciation of sugar led in turn to its censure by the botanist John Ray, which could “frighten the Credulous,” as the physician Fred Slare noted in 1715, forty years later. (Scientific debates moved far more slowly in the pre-Internet era.) It was Slare’s vigorous defense of sugar—his “Vindication of Sugars Against the Charge of Dr. Willis, Other Physicians, and Common Prejudices”—that would once again capture perfectly the dilemma posed by sugar and the framing of the debates to come. To “defraud” infants of sugar “is a very cruel Thing, if not a crying Sin,” Slare wrote, before discussing the anecdotal experience of those, like his grandfather, who lived to be a hundred, and the duke of Beaufort, who died at seventy-one, both of whom ate excessive sugar by the standards of the era (Beaufort, apparently, for any era—a pound daily for forty years).*2 Slare also recounted his own experience as edifying: he was “near Sixty-seven” and in excellent health, he wrote, while indulging in large quantities of sugar.

 

pages: 821 words: 227,742

I Want My MTV by Craig Marks

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Bernie Sanders, crack epidemic, crowdsourcing, haute couture, pre–internet, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, sensible shoes, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, upwardly mobile

They did lots of music videos, and later they directed Little Miss Sunshine. They were very mellow. They put up with a lot of junk. MICHAEL STIPE: Everyone I knew would find a television set, have beers, and watch The Cutting Edge. It was like The Island of Misfit Toys. All the miscreants and the outcasts and the punks and the fat girls and the kids with bad skin and the queers could gather together around this universe. Pre-Internet, and before the instantaneous sharing of information and knowledge about music or about art, that was it. That was for the Lee Renaldos and the Kim Gordons and the Courtney Loves and the Michael Stipes. DAVE HOLMES: MTV helped create the trench coat–wearing, Cure-loving, zine-reading kid of the ’80s. Echo and the Bunnymen came to St. Louis and there were all these kids dressed the same who knew every word, but the band wasn’t getting played on the radio.

 

pages: 654 words: 191,864

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

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Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, availability heuristic, Black Swan, Cass Sunstein, Checklist Manifesto, choice architecture, cognitive bias, complexity theory, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, demand response, endowment effect, experimental economics, experimental subject, Exxon Valdez, feminist movement, framing effect, hindsight bias, index card, job satisfaction, John von Neumann, libertarian paternalism, loss aversion, medical residency, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, nudge unit, pattern recognition, pre–internet, price anchoring, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, random walk, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, The Chicago School, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, union organizing, Walter Mischel, Yom Kippur War

According to Martin Seligman, the founder of potelsitive psychology, an “optimistic explanation style” contributes to resilience by defending one’s self-image. In essence, the optimistic style involves taking credit for successes but little blame for failures. This style can be taught, at least to some extent, and Seligman has documented the effects of training on various occupations that are characterized by a high rate of failures, such as cold-call sales of insurance (a common pursuit in pre-Internet days). When one has just had a door slammed in one’s face by an angry homemaker, the thought that “she was an awful woman” is clearly superior to “I am an inept salesperson.” I have always believed that scientific research is another domain where a form of optimism is essential to success: I have yet to meet a successful scientist who lacks the ability to exaggerate the importance of what he or she is doing, and I believe that someone who lacks a delusional sense of significance will wilt in the face of repeated experiences of multiple small failures and rare successes, the fate of most researchers.

 

pages: 584 words: 187,436

More Money Than God: Hedge Funds and the Making of a New Elite by Sebastian Mallaby

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Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, automated trading system, bank run, barriers to entry, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bonfire of the Vanities, Bretton Woods, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, Elliott wave, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, fixed income, full employment, German hyperinflation, High speed trading, index fund, Kenneth Rogoff, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market bubble, market clearing, market fundamentalism, merger arbitrage, moral hazard, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Nikolai Kondratiev, pattern recognition, pre–internet, quantitative hedge fund, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, random walk, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Thaler, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, rolodex, Sharpe ratio, short selling, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, statistical arbitrage, statistical model, technology bubble, The Great Moderation, The Myth of the Rational Market, too big to fail, transaction costs

Even a quarter century later, the bond remained intense; in a speech in 2007, Griffin described the enduring sense that Robertson was watching over him, judging his decisions. “All money managers wish they had a little birdie on their shoulder who might whisper the correct market move from time to time,” Griffin declared. “Well, my little birdie has a deep southern drawl and a bald head. Sometimes I hear him chirp: ‘Big guy, don’t do that.’”31 Under Robertson’s tutelage, young men like Griffin hustled harder than they might have elsewhere, and in the pre-Internet era, hustle counted hugely. The search engines and terminals that later made data ubiquitous had not yet been born; so if a Tiger analyst wanted to know how Ford’s sales were shaping up, he would sit on the phone until he had talked to Ford’s customers, competitors, and suppliers; to the car dealers, part makers, and Detroit rivals; to anyone, indeed, who might have a useful angle. One analyst who was considering a possible stake in Avon Products developed her own edge by becoming an Avon representative.

 

pages: 603 words: 182,781

Aerotropolis by John D. Kasarda, Greg Lindsay

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3D printing, air freight, airline deregulation, airport security, Akira Okazaki, Asian financial crisis, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, blood diamonds, borderless world, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, cleantech, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, credit crunch, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, edge city, Edward Glaeser, failed state, food miles, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frank Gehry, fudge factor, full employment, future of work, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, global supply chain, global village, gravity well, Haber-Bosch Process, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, inflight wifi, interchangeable parts, intermodal, invention of the telephone, inventory management, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Kangaroo Route, knowledge worker, kremlinology, labour mobility, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, McMansion, megacity, Menlo Park, microcredit, Network effects, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pink-collar, pre–internet, RFID, Richard Florida, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Seaside, Florida, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, spinning jenny, stem cell, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, telepresence, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, thinkpad, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, Tony Hsieh, trade route, transcontinental railway, transit-oriented development, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, Yogi Berra

Nor did they let the fact that (in Tomlin’s words) “we didn’t have anybody who had ever worked in China before” stop them. They found a factory near Hong Kong to make a few hundred prototypes, and eventually found another ready to stamp out a few million, if necessary. Their shipments are landing at LAX too— making good on its original promise for airmail—and where would they be without it? For that reason, it’s almost impossible to quantify what the airport means to California. But even a pre-Internet-era estimate pegged its contributions to Los Angeles at $61 billion a year and four hundred thousand jobs in 1995, starting from a mere $3.3 billion in 1970. Escape from LAX Complicating any attempts at a fix has been a decades-long debate over whether the city should focus solely on LAX expansion (and the wrath of litigious neighbors) or build up regional airports to pick up the slack. Faced with the prospect of LAX hitting a hundred million passengers a year around 2015, the airport authority looked into both options.

 

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

I do the Kev/Van ‘92 Reality Tour with Jen, first showing her the old location of the Vancouver Film School (on Hamilton), then swinging over the Cambie Bridge to the other side of town, detailing the looooong walk to school I used to take, while searching for the house I lived in during my six-month stay (we look for a half hour, but I can’t find it). All the while, I’m having flashbacks to the only time in my life when I was truly lonely. Aside from Mosier (who lived way out in Port Moody), I had no friends in this burg — nobody to hang with. Nobody from back home ever came out to visit me either, and since this was pre-internet, I had very little contact with Jersey. Of all people, Walter was my life-line to Highlands then — writing me handwritten letters detailing the misadventures of Mewes or chatting comics. He always included artwork in his packages, too; indeed, that’s when he’d sent me the drawing of the clown in fishnets that would become our company logo for a decade. For the friend who probably understood what I was doing the least back then (nobody we knew had ever been to film school or thought about making a movie), Walt was my sounding board: I remember writing to him asking if he thought the name View Askew would be good for a production company.

 

pages: 677 words: 206,548

Future Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable and What We Can Do About It by Marc Goodman

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23andMe, 3D printing, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Joy: nanobots, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Brian Krebs, business process, butterfly effect, call centre, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, data acquisition, data is the new oil, Dean Kamen, disintermediation, don't be evil, double helix, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, future of work, game design, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, High speed trading, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, illegal immigration, impulse control, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Harrison: Longitude, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, license plate recognition, litecoin, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, mobile money, more computing power than Apollo, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, national security letter, natural language processing, obamacare, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, offshore financial centre, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, personalized medicine, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, RAND corporation, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, refrigerator car, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, security theater, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technological singularity, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tesla Model S, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, uranium enrichment, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Wave and Pay, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, web application, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator, zero day

You think it’s burglars, and you reach for your gun to go investigate. Now you’ve walked outside with a gun in hand, and you are met with six members of the local SWAT team pointing little red lasers at your forehead. This scenario can’t end well. The FBI recorded at least four hundred incidents of swatting in 2013 alone, with victims across the country, from Ohio to California. Mostly, it’s just hackers doing it for the “lulz,” because they can. Pre-Internet days, the big teenage hoax was ordering pizzas and having them sent to the kid you didn’t like in school. Now kids are ordering SWAT units with guns to carry out their pranks. For instance, in 2009 a group of teenagers from Massachusetts were convicted of carrying out more than three hundred swatting attacks. In some of the cases, the teens met their victims on social networks or online dating sites and retaliated against them if, for example, they refused to engage in sexual conversations.

 

pages: 781 words: 226,928

Commodore: A Company on the Edge by Brian Bagnall

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Apple II, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Byte Shop, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer age, Douglas Engelbart, Firefox, game design, index card, inventory management, Isaac Newton, low skilled workers, Menlo Park, packet switching, pink-collar, popular electronics, prediction markets, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, Robert X Cringely, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ted Nelson

“We had some unimaginative managers at that time who could not see the potential.” “Basically we had one guy who was just totally in love with CCD and what you could do with vision, and that was his charter,” recalls Peddle. “He was a very weird guy but he was making that happen. I think they were the first people to show a CCD camera on a personal computer.” Peddle wanted to use the CCD camera to revolutionize personal communications. In the pre-Internet era, phone lines were the only publicly available infrastructure capable of transmitting data across the world. The team researched modems for data transmission. In many ways, the research team was too early with the technology. “Chuck was usually aware of what could potentially happen but not always practical on the timing of when it was commercially possible,” says Spencer. “Chuck was brilliant but he tended to be a bit ahead of his time.”

 

pages: 855 words: 178,507

The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood by James Gleick

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Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, bank run, bioinformatics, Brownian motion, butterfly effect, citation needed, Claude Shannon: information theory, clockwork universe, computer age, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, discovery of DNA, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, Eratosthenes, Fellow of the Royal Society, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Henri Poincaré, Honoré de Balzac, index card, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of the printing press, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Louis Daguerre, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, microbiome, Milgram experiment, Network effects, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, PageRank, pattern recognition, phenotype, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Simon Singh, Socratic dialogue, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, stochastic process, talking drums, the High Line, The Wisdom of Crowds, transcontinental railway, Turing machine, Turing test, women in the workforce

“Many of them,” he wrote, “are literally wired up together in electronic mail exchange.… It is a perfect milieu for self-replicating programs to flourish.” Indeed, the Internet was in its birth throes. Not only did it provide memes with a nutrient-rich culture medium; it also gave wings to the idea of memes. Meme itself quickly became an Internet buzzword. Awareness of memes fostered their spread. A notorious example of a meme that could not have emerged in pre-Internet culture was the phrase “jumped the shark.” Loopy self-reference characterized every phase of its existence. To jump the shark means to pass a peak of quality or popularity and begin an irreversible decline. The phrase was thought to have been used first in 1985 by a college student named Sean J. Connolly, in reference to a certain television series. The origin of the phrase requires a certain amount of explanation without which it could not have been initially understood.

 

pages: 945 words: 292,893

Seveneves by Neal Stephenson

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clean water, Colonization of Mars, Danny Hillis, double helix, epigenetics, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, Filipino sailors, gravity well, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, kremlinology, Kuiper Belt, microbiome, phenotype, Potemkin village, pre–internet, random walk, remote working, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, statistical model, Stewart Brand, supervolcano, the scientific method, Tunguska event, zero day, éminence grise

He meant that no one had recently been doing it over the old-school S-band radios used for long-range communication between space vehicles. Of course, on the short-range mesh network that the Arkitects had set up to knit the Cloud Ark together, people did it all the time using Scape. But depending on where they were in their orbit, the remnants of the Swarm might be hundreds of thousands of kilometers away from Endurance, far out of mesh range, and so they had to use the same sort of pre-Internet technology that the Apollo astronauts had used to send television signals back from the moon. Eventually Steve did get it going, and then they were treated to a full-face image, in blocky pixels, of a dark-eyed woman with a fine-featured head that had been buzz-cut a few weeks ago and little tended since. Once Steve did him the favor of throwing it up on a big screen where he could actually see it, Doob saw the obvious signs of malnutrition that had been affecting everyone on Endurance.

 

pages: 1,318 words: 403,894

Reamde: A Novel by Neal Stephenson

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air freight, airport security, crowdsourcing, Google Earth, industrial robot, informal economy, large denomination, megacity, new economy, pattern recognition, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, ransomware, side project, Skype, slashdot, South China Sea, the built environment, the scientific method, young professional

As a fantasy writer, he was not highly regarded (“one cannot call him profoundly mediocre without venturing so far out on the critical limb as to bend it to the ground,” “so derivative that the reader loses track of who he’s ripping off,” “to say he is tin-eared would render a disservice to a blameless citizen of the periodic table of the elements”), but he was so freakishly prolific that he had been forced to spin off three pen names and set each one up at a different publishing house. And prolific was what Richard needed at this point in the game. Early in his career Devin had set up shop in a trailer court in Possum Walk, Missouri, because he had somehow determined (this was pre-Internet) that it was the cheapest place to live in the United States north of the Mason-Dixon Line. He had refused to deal through lawyers (which was fine with Richard, by this point) and refused to travel, so Richard had gone to see him in person, determined not to emerge from the trailer without a signed contract in hand. Just how dirty and squalid that trailer had been, and just how much Devin had weighed, had been greatly exaggerated since then by Devin’s detractors in the T’Rain fan community.