pre–internet

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pages: 413 words: 106,479

Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language by Gretchen McCulloch

4chan, book scanning, British Empire, citation needed, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, Flynn Effect, Google Hangouts, Internet Archive, invention of the printing press, invention of the telephone, moral panic, multicultural london english, natural language processing, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Oldenburg, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social web, Steven Pinker, telemarketer, The Great Good Place, upwardly mobile, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

Pew also found that a third of seniors were using social media in 2017, a rise from just one in ten in 2010. While not all Pre Internet People are over sixty-five, and not all those over sixty-five are pre-internet (a sixty-five-year-old in 2015 was a spry thirty in 1980, and could well have been an early adopter), the oldest demographic offers the clearest example of delayed rates of internet and social media adoption. Curiously, Pre Internet People share some commonalities with Post Internet People, who came online around the same time. They’ve both never really known an internet without Facebook and YouTube and wifi and touchscreens, and they’re both disproportionately likely to be using their family members’ cast-off electronics. Pre Internet People generally have one account somewhere that a more adept internet person set up for them, which may be on email, “the Facebook,” a text chat app like WhatsApp, or videochat like Skype or FaceTime.

See also Full Internet People cohort; Semi Internet People cohort Semi Internet People cohort, 77, 85–91, 92–93, 95, 98 seniors on the internet, 93. See also Pre Internet People cohort separation characters, 96–98, 107–8, 111–12 Shady Characters (Houston), 133 Shakespeare, William, 192 Shifman, Limor, 240, 260 SHOUTING on the internet, 11. See also all caps shruggie, 179, 184 silent letters added to words, 45 skill levels with technology of Full Internet People cohort, 83–84 of Old Internet People cohort, 69, 70–71, 73 of Post Internet People cohort, 106 of Pre Internet People cohort, 94 relationship with internet socialization and, 84 of Semi Internet People cohort, 88 Skype, 94 Slack, 217 slang adolescents’ use of, 59–60 in chat messaging, 216 exposure to terms, 30, 58 Jargon File, 71–73, 87 leetspeak, 125 and Pre Internet People cohort, 95 and Semi Internet People cohort, 90 use of outdated, 149 and variant definitions, 135–36 smartphones, 7, 141, 216, 235 smileys in court cases, 194 as cues about intention, 186–88 and friendships via chat, 74–75 noses on, 178–79 origins of, 176–78 and Pre Internet People cohort, 95 as social lubricants, 125 See also emoticons Smirnov, Ivan, 57–58 “smol” (small), 22 Snapchat, 164, 216, 222 snek meme, 249, 250 Snow Crash (Stephenson), 156 social function of internet for Full Internet People cohort, 77, 78, 82, 100, 103 for Old Internet People cohort, 68–69, 70, 73–75 as perceived by different cohorts, 77, 82 for Post Internet People cohort, 100, 103, 107 for Pre Internet People cohort, 99 for Semi Internet People cohort, 85, 89–90 social identity, 50 social media age requirements for, 101 and age of user, 85 and context collapse issue, 103 disappearing content on, 104, 222–23 editing of posts on, 215 and Full Internet People cohort, 78, 83 and hashtags, 128–30 hate speech on, 234 lack of visible cues on, 229 liking posts, 188–89 losing track of time on, 223 managing group behavior on, 234–35 in non-English languages, 270 and platform switching, 103 popularity of, 222 posts, similarities with postcards and recipe cards, 98–99 and Pre Internet People cohort, 93 privacy/obscurity management on, 230–34 status updates on, 222, 227, 229–35 strong/weak ties in, 39 third-place functions of, 223, 227, 228 and Third Wave of Internet People, 93 time spent on, 222 and youth, 29–30, 226 See also memes; specific platforms, including Facebook Socially Awkward Penguin meme, 257 space-stretched typography, 145, 146 sparkle punctuation sparkle enthusiasm, 127–28, 135 sparkle sarcasm, 137–39, 149 spellcheckers, 46–47, 49, 61 spelling standards, 46–47, 49–50.

Half of this wave are those who are too young to remember life before the internet and started going online as they learned how to read and type: these are Post Internet People. The second half is older, consisting of people who thought they could just ignore this whole internet thing but eventually, belatedly, decided to join: we’ll call them the Pre Internet People. (Those who are still offline might be termed Non Internet People.) The Old Internet, Semi Internet, and Pre Internet cohorts are artifacts of how the internet was introduced. Mixed-age technophiles got online much earlier, the somewhat skeptical majority waited until it was the normal thing to do, and the most technophobic delayed entry as long as they could. That’s going to stop happening. Sure, an individual person can still be a luddite, just like an individual person can elect to live in a cabin in the woods with no electricity, but in wealthy societies, and increasingly around the world, the internet has become something everyone has some exposure to.


pages: 259 words: 73,193

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

4chan, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Burning Man, Carrington event, 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, lifelogging, Loebner Prize, low earth orbit, Marshall McLuhan, McMansion, moral panic, 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

4chan, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Chelsea Manning, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, commoditize, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Firefox, future of journalism, hive mind, informal economy, Internet Archive, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, 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

barriers to entry, cleantech, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, G4S, Grace Hopper, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, minimum viable product, Network effects, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, place-making, pre–internet, Richard Florida, Ruby on Rails, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart cities, software as a service, Steve Jobs, text mining, Y Combinator, zero-sum game, 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: 170 words: 51,205

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

Airbnb, barriers to entry, Brewster Kahle, cloud computing, Dean Kamen, Edward Snowden, game design, Internet Archive, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, MITM: man-in-the-middle, 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: 379 words: 109,612

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

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, 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, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, lone genius, loss aversion, mandelbrot fractal, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, out of africa, Paul Samuelson, peer-to-peer, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, 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: 390 words: 96,624

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

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, business cycle, 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, John Markoff, Joi Ito, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, Mikhail Gorbachev, MITM: man-in-the-middle, national security letter, online collectivism, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Parag Khanna, 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.


Bit Rot by Douglas Coupland

3D printing, Airbnb, airport security, bitcoin, Burning Man, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Google Glasses, Guggenheim Bilbao, index card, jimmy wales, Lyft, Marshall McLuhan, Maui Hawaii, McJob, Menlo Park, nuclear paranoia, Pepto Bismol, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Skype, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Ted Kaczynski, The Future of Employment, uber lyft, young professional

We’re still around, so the answer is no, but this still doesn’t change the fact that we’re stuck living inside the future, where we’re stuck worrying about this question for all of our waking hours. I suspect that abandoning one’s pre-Internet brain is the only intelligent adaptive strategy necessary for mental health in the world of a perpetual future. How much futurosity can our brains accept before they explode or implode? I wonder if maybe the sensation of futurosity is a mental tick applicable only to people born before a certain window in time closed, a state of mind specific to those who remember a world that once possessed a present tense. Millennials are lucky in that they have nothing to shed, nothing to trigger tristesse, nothing to unlearn. For a recent museum show, I made T-shirts that read, “I miss my pre-Internet brain.” We photographed them on seventeen-year-old models, and everybody had a good laugh. I try to imagine a world without a present tense—the millennial world where time is a perpetual five seconds from now—and, if I squint my brain (for lack of a better analogy), I can almost sort of get it right.

One of the great joys of life is that we’re all getting much better at knowing what it is we no longer need to know. Freedom from memorization! Having said this, there’s a part of me that misses being able to bullshit people at dinner parties without having an iPad come out before dessert to sink an urban legend or debunk a stretched truth. I wonder if nostalgia for the twentieth-century brain is a waste of time. While I may sometimes miss my pre-Internet brain, I certainly don’t want it back. Everyone’s quick to dump on new technologies, but how quickly we forget a two-hour trek to the local library in the 1990s to find something as mundane as a single tradesman’s phone number in the Yellow Pages for a city twenty miles away. How cavalier we all are when we say, “Let me just quickly Google that.” What we’ve really just said is, “Let me instantaneously consult with the sum total of accumulated human knowledge.

Especially since my rate of consumption continues as high as ever. So then what gets lost and what gets kept? Wheat. Chaff. All of that. It’s said that Goethe was the last human being who knew everything about the world that was possible to learn at that time. In this sense Goethe was like a proto-Internet, but now he lives on in a 2.0 version called the cloud. We’re all Goethe now. I may miss my pre-Internet brain, but I’m rapidly forgetting it too. Futurosity I’ve spent much of my life waiting for the future to happen, yet it never really felt like we were there. And then, in this past year, it’s almost instantly become impossible to deny that we are now all, magically and collectively, living in that far-off place we once called the future. It’s here, and it feels odd. It feels like that magical moment when someone has pulled a practical joke on you but you haven’t quite realized it yet.


pages: 158 words: 35,552

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

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: 124 words: 36,360

Kitten Clone: Inside Alcatel-Lucent by Douglas Coupland

British Empire, cable laying ship, Claude Shannon: information theory, cosmic microwave background, Downton Abbey, Hibernia Atlantic: Project Express, hiring and firing, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Marshall McLuhan, oil shale / tar sands, pre–internet, Richard Feynman, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Turing machine, undersea cable, upwardly mobile, urban planning, Wall-E

This book also uses what I learned about Alca-Loo as a stepping stone into larger meditation … about what data and speed and optical wiring are doing to us as a species–about what the Internet is doing to us as it relentlessly colonizes the planet and our brains, about how a totally under-the-radar company has transformed our interior lives, and how far the process will go before people step back and say, “You know, I really don’t remember my pre-Internet brain at all.” I could never have written this book had Alain de Botton not spent a week at Heathrow Airport and then used his experiences there as a way of musing on travel and the human soul in his book A Week at the Airport. His decision to expand his project by asking other writers to investigate other organizations made for a fascinating year. Thank you, Alain. This book has a “surly” feel to it.

I’m jet-lagged and I’m concerned because the date on the shuttle bus’s dashboard clock reminded me that it’s already February. Time is moving too quickly these days—and yet, at the same time, it’s moving too slowly. And it’s not just that I’m growing older. Quite simply, my brain no longer feels the way it used to; my sense of time is distinctly different from what it once was, and I miss my pre-Internet brain. The Internet has burrowed inside my head and laid eggs, and it feels like they’re all hatching. Welcome to the early twenty-first century, a world where the future somehow feels like … homework. Of course, I know that my perception of time’s passage is not changing because of Internet eggs hatching inside my brain. What’s really happening is that, after more than ten thousand hours of exposure to the Internet and digital technologies like my iPhone, my brain has been rewired—or, rather, it has rewired itself.


pages: 122 words: 38,022

Kill All Normies: Online Culture Wars From 4Chan and Tumblr to Trump and the Alt-Right by Angela Nagle

4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, affirmative action, anti-communist, battle of ideas, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, citizen journalism, crony capitalism, death of newspapers, Donald Trump, feminist movement, game design, Hacker Ethic, hive mind, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, mass immigration, moral panic, Nelson Mandela, Norman Mailer, Occupy movement, open borders, post-industrial society, pre–internet, Ronald Reagan, sexual politics, Silicon Valley, The Wisdom of Crowds, WikiLeaks

Quinn was, needless to say, threatened with rape and death, and was doxxed. They then attacked a series of feminist gamers and games critics, who waded in, including Brianna Wu, Felicia Day and Jennifer Allaway. In each case there are countless conflicting accounts about the nature of threats and attacks, but even taking the uncontroversial ones alone, it is fair to say they did receive a level of abuse that in the pre-Internet days were reserved for few other than child murderers. This got so out of hand that even the founder of 4chan and champion of the anonymous Internet, moot, banned gamergate talk from 4chan, eventually causing him to leave the site, and the gamergaters moved to the more lawless 8chan. Quinn found and recorded some of the conversations that took place on a 4chan IRC called ‘burgersandfries’, in which users conspired to destroy her career using the most extreme misogynist language and motivations.

This wave of more overtly anti-feminist men’s politics included the National Coalition of Free Men, who took influence from books like Warren Farrell’s The Myth of Male Power and Neil Lyndon’s No More Sex War: The Failures of Feminism. They rejected the idea of male privilege and focussed on discrimination against fathers and violence against men. But even the most militantly anti-feminist forms of pre-Internet men’s rights activism now seem supremely reasonable and mild compared with the anti-feminism that emerged online in the 2010s. A more openly hateful culture was unleashed under the conditions of anonymity and it took on a more right-wing character, living up to the most negative feminist caricatures of men’s rights activism – rage-filled, hateful and chauvinistic. The Reddit subforum The Red Pill has been central to the online development and resurgence of this anti-feminist politics online.


pages: 397 words: 110,130

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

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, disruptive innovation, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, drone strike, Edward Glaeser, Edward Thorp, en.wikipedia.org, experimental subject, Filter Bubble, Freestyle chess, Galaxy Zoo, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Gunnar Myrdal, Henri Poincaré, hindsight bias, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, information retrieval, iterative process, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, lifelogging, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Netflix Prize, Nicholas Carr, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, patent troll, pattern recognition, pre–internet, Richard Feynman, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, Socratic dialogue, spaced repetition, superconnector, 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: 685 words: 203,949

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

airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Anton Chekhov, Bayesian statistics, 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, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, more computing power than Apollo, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, Pareto efficiency, pattern recognition, phenotype, placebo effect, pre–internet, profit motive, randomized controlled trial, Rubik’s Cube, shared worldview, Skype, Snapchat, social intelligence, statistical model, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Thomas Bayes, Turing test, ultimatum game, zero-sum 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: 350 words: 103,988

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

"Robert Solow", accounting loophole / creative accounting, Albert Einstein, Alvin Roth, Andrei Shleifer, Anton Chekhov, Asian financial crisis, congestion charging, corporate governance, corporate raider, 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, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, job-hopping, John Harrison: Longitude, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, land reform, lone genius, manufacturing employment, market clearing, market design, market friction, market microstructure, means of production, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, ought to be enough for anybody, 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.


Dilbert 2.0: The Boom Years by Scott Adams

pre–internet

The doodle on the left came from that era. One day I decided to see if I could get my comics published. I didn’t care what publication printed them. I just wanted to get paid for cartooning, and to feel as if I was doing something that had upside potential, unlike my job. But how do you become a cartoonist? I had no idea. So I started my affirmations again, this time focusing on becoming a cartoonist. In pre-Internet days, figuring out how to do something out of the ordinary was a challenge. In a strange twist of fate, I came home from work one day, and found myself in the right place at the right time. I started flipping through the channels on TV and noticed the tail end of a show about cartooning. As the closing credits rolled by, I grabbed a pen and paper, and wrote down the name of the host: Jack Cassady.


pages: 297 words: 69,467

Dreyer's English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style by Benjamin Dreyer

a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, Albert Einstein, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, elephant in my pajamas, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, Jane Jacobs, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, non-fiction novel, Norman Mailer, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Death and Life of Great American Cities

If you’re dabbling in historical pastiche—that is, going out of your way to imitate the word conventions of the era in which your story is set—only you can decide how heavily you wish to dabble. A novel set in the early twentieth century might well feature not a lightbulb, as we’d now style that word, but a light bulb or a light-bulb, and you may or may not want to refer to a telephone as a ’phone, an omnibus as a ’bus, or influenza as the ’flu. Sometimes you just can’t win. Long ago, in the pre-Internet era, when it wasn’t quite so easy to know everything in a split second, I copyedited a novel set in the early 1960s that referred in passing to a Burger King. “AU,” I wrote in the margin, “PLS. CONFIRM THE EXISTENCE OF BURGER KINGS IN THE 1960S.” The author ultimately chose to change the Burger King to some sort of Grilled Sandwich Shack of his own devise, acknowledging to me that though he’d carefully researched the history of the food chain and was accurate in his citation, every single person who’d read the manuscript before I did had asked him the same question, and it wasn’t, he decided, worth the reader hiccup.*12 THE BASICS OF GOOD STORYTELLING Many writers rely more heavily on pronouns than I’d suggest is useful.

.*21 Mostly I just want you to spell/style these correctly: BREYERS There’s no apostrophe in the name of this ice cream brand. Not to be confused with Dreyer’s,*22 which does have an apostrophe. BUBBLE WRAP A brand of what one might otherwise choose to call bubble pack. CAP’N CRUNCH Not “Captain.” Nostalgia alert: This one always particularly reminds me of how in the pre-Internet era I used to jot down all the householdy brand names mentioned in whatever manuscript I was working on, then take a trip to the supermarket, notepad in hand, to walk the aisles, peer at packaging, and verify spellings. So as not to seem completely mad, I would also, in between peering and verifying, do my shopping. CRACKER JACK Many (most?) people call this classic combination of candied popcorn and peanuts “Cracker Jacks,” but to do so wrecks the rhyme “Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack / I don’t care if I never get back.”


pages: 254 words: 76,064

Whiplash: How to Survive Our Faster Future by Joi Ito, Jeff Howe

3D printing, Albert Michelson, Amazon Web Services, artificial general intelligence, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Burning Man, buy low sell high, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, Computer Numeric Control, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, data acquisition, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, double helix, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Ferguson, Missouri, fiat currency, financial innovation, Flash crash, frictionless, game design, Gerolamo Cardano, informal economy, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John Harrison: Longitude, Joi Ito, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, microbiome, Nate Silver, Network effects, neurotypical, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, pirate software, pre–internet, prisoner's dilemma, Productivity paradox, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Coase, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Singh, Singularitarianism, Skype, slashdot, smart contracts, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technological singularity, technoutopianism, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, There's no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home - Ken Olsen, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, universal basic income, unpaid internship, uranium enrichment, urban planning, WikiLeaks

The United States, however, told its citizens to avoid anywhere within a eighty-kilometer radius.5 The Japanese government, its resources stretched thin, seemed to have lost control of the situation. Over the next several days it failed to inform the public about radiation levels, in part because there were few people capable of measuring them in the first place. But like TEPCO’s failure to prepare for an earthquake that scientists considered a matter of when, not if, the government was struggling with a crisis of its own way of thinking. Like most institutions that evolved in a pre-Internet era, the Japanese Nuclear Safety Commission was built for a command-and-control management style. Information from the front lines, like from the Fukushima plant, had to work its way up through many tiers of management. Decisions would then follow the same route back down. The approach by Fukushima, and the disastrous results that stemmed from it, give us a case study in two divergent views of decision making.

.… For example, I never referred to the faculty as ‘my faculty,’ and I always said that so-and-so worked with me, not for me. These little things are part of the difference between the corporate world and your new job, which is more that of a civil servant.” The only thing I would disagree with Nicholas about is that I believe that even in the corporate world, companies are no longer well served by the traditional top-down leadership style of the pre-Internet era. In this chapter we discussed the importance of having a direction—a compass—and the pitfalls of trying to map or plan in a world of complexity and change. It is nearly impossible to have a detailed plan when leading a complex and creative organization like the Media Lab. In fact, in many ways, the word leading probably invokes the wrong image, since we often think of our leaders as having a tremendous amount of control and direct power.


pages: 252 words: 73,131

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

"Robert Solow", Airbnb, airport security, Al Roth, Alvin Roth, Andrei Shleifer, attribution theory, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Brownian motion, business cycle, buy and hold, centralized clearinghouse, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, clean water, conceptual framework, constrained optimization, continuous double auction, creative destruction, deferred acceptance, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, experimental subject, first-price auction, framing effect, frictionless, fundamental attribution error, George Akerlof, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gunnar Myrdal, helicopter parent, information asymmetry, 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, Kenneth Arrow, late fees, linear programming, Lyft, market clearing, market design, market friction, medical residency, multi-sided market, mutually assured destruction, Nash equilibrium, Occupy movement, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, 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, uber lyft, uranium enrichment, Vickrey auction, Vilfredo Pareto, 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: 268 words: 76,702

The System: Who Owns the Internet, and How It Owns Us by James Ball

Bill Duvall, bitcoin, blockchain, Chelsea Manning, cryptocurrency, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, Frank Gehry, Internet of things, invention of movable type, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Leonard Kleinrock, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Minecraft, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, Oculus Rift, packet switching, patent troll, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, ransomware, RFC: Request For Comment, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, self-driving car, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, Steve Crocker, Stuxnet, The Chicago School, undersea cable, uranium enrichment, WikiLeaks, yield management, zero day

On that level – of having people we know in one easy place to send group messages, chat to each other and organise events – it is better to have one social network like Facebook, with 2 billion users, than to have twenty rival networks with 100 million people apiece on each. Unless such networks had means to inter-operate – and why would they, if they’re rivals? – that could easily be much worse for users. In practice, though, network effects go much further than just social networks, and gather power for whoever controls the networks. A pre-internet idea of a network effect can be found in, for example, railways: add an extra stop to an existing railway line, and it helps existing customers, who now have an additional place they can visit, as well as the ones living by the new stop. ‘A network effect is, as you add nodes, which could be railway stops or customers, you create more value for everybody in the system,’ Wenger says. ‘I believe that network effects are one of the defining aspects of the digital age.’

Accelerating this growth was a surfeit of venture capital money fuelling the rise of dotcoms – encouraging them to pursue huge global scale over revenue, pushing them towards the ad model and helping to make sure the massive returns of the successful companies were concentrated in the hands of people who already had considerable personal wealth, as well as the institutional investors (universities, pension funds and similar) who had already enjoyed significant clout in the pre-internet world. The financial crash served only to fuel this land-grab. Because central banks were determined to boost their economies and avoid a repeat of the huge economic depression of the early 1930s, they cut their interest rates as close as possible to zero – and then put hundreds of billions of their own cheap credit onto the market. That meant there was no shortage of money chasing every possible opportunity, and with a generation of Silicon Valley firms growing up – the eBays and the PayPals of the world, the generation before the social internet – and achieving huge valuations, technology was an obvious sector in which to invest in a world which in some ways had more cash floating around than there were things in which to invest it.


pages: 444 words: 130,646

Twitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest by Zeynep Tufekci

4chan, active measures, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AltaVista, anti-communist, Bernie Sanders, British Empire, citizen journalism, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, feminist movement, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, Howard Rheingold, income inequality, index card, interchangeable parts, invention of movable type, invention of writing, loose coupling, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, moral panic, Naomi Klein, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, pre–internet, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rosa Parks, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, Thorstein Veblen, We are the 99%, WikiLeaks

The ability to organize without organizations, indeed, speeds things up and allows for great scale in rapid time frames. There is no need to spend six months putting together a single rally when a hashtag could be used to summon protesters into the streets; no need to deal with the complexities of logistics when crowdfunding and online spreadsheets can do just as well. However, the tedious work performed during the pre-internet era served other purposes as well; perhaps most importantly, it acclimatized people to the processes of collective decision making and helped create the resilience all movements need to survive and thrive in the long term—just as acquiring mountaineering skills through earlier climbs helps climbers develop their capacity to survive the crucial moments when something, almost inevitably, goes wrong.

In fact, as I stood in Gezi Park, tweeting from a phone tied by law to my unique citizenship ID number in Turkey, I knew that the government surely had a list of every protester who showed up at the park with a phone. Despite this fact, once protests broke out on a large scale, the threat of surveillance deterred few people, partly because they felt protected by the scale of the massive protest. Many movements face severe repression, much as they did in the pre-internet era. In Egypt, a few years after the initial uprising, things were not going well for the revolutionaries. Many of my friends there were now in jail or in exile. Although Mubarak was ousted, the military was not. The Muslim Brotherhood had won the election but had not managed to unseat the old guard from the state apparatus, nor manage to win over the whole population—many people were alarmed at their acts in government, too.

This is the most abstract chapter; but the approaches developed here guide analyses of not just social movements but how technology and society interact. To understand the role technology plays in human affairs, we must examine its effects at many levels. The first level of effects requires understanding how the entire societal ecology changes in correspondence with the technological infrastructure. An internet society differs in significant ways from a pre-internet society, and this affects all members of that society, whether a person uses the internet or not. A print society functions through a different ecology of social mechanisms than does a society with an internet public sphere.5 Who is visible? Who can connect with whom? How does knowledge or falsehood travel? Who are the gatekeepers? The answers to each of these questions will vary depending on the technologies available.


pages: 361 words: 81,068

The Internet Is Not the Answer by Andrew Keen

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


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

3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, augmented reality, barriers to entry, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, bitcoin, BRICs, Buckminster Fuller, citizen journalism, collaborative consumption, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, disruptive innovation, 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, lifelogging, market design, Metcalfe's law, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Network effects, new economy, peer-to-peer, post scarcity, prediction markets, pre–internet, profit motive, race to the bottom, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, remote working, RFID, Rubik’s Cube, 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, survivorship bias, too big to fail, US Airways Flight 1549, web application, zero-sum game

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.


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The Decadent Society: How We Became the Victims of Our Own Success by Ross Douthat

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AI winter, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Burning Man, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, centre right, charter city, crack epidemic, crowdsourcing, David Graeber, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, East Village, Elon Musk, Flynn Effect, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Francisco Pizarro, ghettoisation, gig economy, Haight Ashbury, helicopter parent, hive mind, Hyperloop, immigration reform, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Islamic Golden Age, Jeff Bezos, Joan Didion, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, life extension, mass immigration, mass incarceration, means of production, megacity, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, multiplanetary species, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, Norman Mailer, obamacare, Oculus Rift, open borders, out of africa, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, pre–internet, QAnon, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Snapchat, social web, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, wage slave, women in the workforce, Y2K

According to a recent report from Senator Marco Rubio’s office, private domestic investment averaged 8 percent of GDP between 1947 and 1990; in 2019, despite a long recovery and a corporate tax cut intended to get money off the sidelines, the investment-to-GDP ratio was just 4 percent. This suggests that the people with the most experience starting businesses and getting rich look around at the available investment opportunities and see many more start-ups that resemble Theranos and the Fyre Festival than resemble Amazon or Apple—let alone the behemoths of the pre-Internet economy. And the dearth of corporate investment and innovation also means that the steady climb of the stock market has boosted the wealth of a rentier class—basically, already-rich investors getting richer off dividends—rather than reflecting or driving a general increase in prosperity. A 2019 paper by three economists titled “How the Wealth Was Won” found that 54 percent of the growth of US companies’ stock market value reflected “a reallocation of rents to shareholders in a decelerating economy,” while actual economic growth accounted for just 24 percent.

But it may be that the nature of our decadence, our civilizational old age, makes that scenario unlikely, and that our problem is a different one: that our battles are sound and fury signifying relatively little; that even as it makes them more ferocious, the virtual realm also makes them more performative and empty; and that online rage is just a safety valve, a steam-venting technology for a society that is misgoverned, stagnant, and yet ultimately far more stable than it looks on Twitter. Recall that Barzun wrote that decadence could be a “very active time” and “peculiarly restless” despite its tendency toward fatigue and repetition. That combination—restlessness and even frenzied activity that ultimately just recycles and repeats—was also predicted by Jean Baudrillard, famous for his pre-Internet emphasis on simulated reality as the default experience of late modernity. The French theorist answered Fukuyama’s “end of history” argument by suggesting that a society facing the closing of its historical frontier would not, in fact, suffer the sleep of a museum docent, the “centuries of boredom” that Fukuyama feared, because of the great “postmodern invention of recycling”: We shall not be spared the worst—that is, History will not come to an end—since the leftovers, all the leftovers—the Church, communism, ethnic groups, conflicts, ideologies—are indefinitely recyclable.


pages: 598 words: 134,339

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

23andMe, Airbnb, airport security, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, augmented reality, Benjamin Mako Hill, Black Swan, Boris Johnson, Brewster Kahle, Brian Krebs, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, congestion charging, disintermediation, drone strike, 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, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, license plate recognition, lifelogging, linked data, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, moral panic, Nash equilibrium, Nate Silver, national security letter, Network effects, Occupy movement, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, payday loans, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit motive, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, RFID, Ross Ulbricht, self-driving car, Shoshana Zuboff, 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, uber lyft, undersea cable, 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

Bernie Madoff, Columbine, hive mind, index card, iterative process, Norman Mailer, period drama, 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: 678 words: 216,204

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

affirmative action, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, Brownian motion, call centre, Cass Sunstein, centre right, clean water, commoditize, dark matter, desegregation, East Village, fear of failure, Firefox, game design, George Gilder, hiring and firing, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, information asymmetry, invention of radio, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jean Tirole, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Kenneth Arrow, longitudinal study, market bubble, market clearing, Marshall McLuhan, Mitch Kapor, New Journalism, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, 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, Vilfredo Pareto

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.


Industry 4.0: The Industrial Internet of Things by Alasdair Gilchrist

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, DevOps, digital twin, 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 cost airline, low skilled workers, microservices, millennium bug, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, 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, undersea cable, web application, WebRTC, 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: 282 words: 89,266

Content Provider: Selected Short Prose Pieces, 2011–2016 by Stewart Lee

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Boris Johnson, call centre, centre right, David Attenborough, Etonian, James Dyson, Livingstone, I presume, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, Nelson Mandela, offshore financial centre, plutocrats, Plutocrats, pre–internet, Right to Buy, Robert Gordon, Saturday Night Live, sensible shoes, Socratic dialogue, trickle-down economics, wage slave, young professional

In January 2014, when a critically endangered water lily was stolen from Kew Gardens, the former Conservative MP Louise Mensch tweeted on her Twitter: “Got to say what’s the point? Ordinary plant hardly worth saving.” The Conservatives can’t even see the point of flowers. It’s asking a lot to expect them to see the point of the BBC. It doesn’t even attract bees. As a student in the late summer of 1988, I was backpacking in the far south-east of Turkey, blissfully unaware in those distant, pre-Internet days that an undeclared civil war against the Kurds was now covertly under way. Not knowing I had anything to fear, I floated with vacant impunity through military manoeuvres and migrating masses, danced at an illegal Kurdish wedding, and happily ate a bag of nuts riddled with green worms. There is much to be said for stupidity. Ignorance was strength. But on a minibus on a dark dirt road out of the frontier town of Diyarbakir, a Turkish man from Istanbul, with artificially curly dyed blond hair and a Samantha Fox T-shirt, loudly declared the Kurds dirty dogs, and deep-veined regional rivalries suddenly exploded into violence.

It was never coming back, granddad, and without the open-access information experiment of the newfangled Internet, could a band like Wolf People ever have sounded quite the way it does? “I don’t think it could have, or at least not in the form it’s taken now,” concedes Wolf People’s founder, vocalist and co-guitarist (with Joe Hollick) Jack Sharp. “We were very much involved in collecting records and sampling, and interested in ’60s and ’70s subculture (as well as hip hop), in the ‘pre-Internet age’, but things were a lot harder to come by when you didn’t have the almost brain-numbing instant access to pretty-much-everything-ever that you have now. Getting involved in online record-collecting communities around 2002/3, when we were in our early twenties, had a massive impact on Tom and myself, and it still provides a lot of inspiration and ways of finding music that is still off the radar even now.”


pages: 606 words: 157,120

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

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, creative destruction, 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, lifelogging, lone genius, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, moral panic, Narrative Science, Nelson Mandela, Nicholas Carr, packet switching, PageRank, Parag Khanna, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, 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: 324 words: 96,491

Messing With the Enemy: Surviving in a Social Media World of Hackers, Terrorists, Russians, and Fake News by Clint Watts

4chan, active measures, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Chelsea Manning, Climatic Research Unit, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, global pandemic, Google Earth, illegal immigration, Internet of things, Julian Assange, loss aversion, Mark Zuckerberg, Mikhail Gorbachev, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, obamacare, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, pre–internet, side project, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, The Wisdom of Crowds, Turing test, University of East Anglia, Valery Gerasimov, WikiLeaks, zero day

The internet’s open system led to niche repositories for highly specialized information appealing to smaller audiences distributed around the world. Chris Anderson of Wired magazine famously detailed this phenomenon from a business perspective in his book The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More. Building from the research of Erik Brynjolfsson, Yu (Jeffrey) Hu, and Michael D. Smith, Anderson explained how online access creates not just lower prices but increased product variety. In the pre-internet era, where traditional local markets offered only a small range of high-selling goods, the World Wide Web offered an opportunity for things like books, music, and homemade goods to be sold at lower volumes over an extended period. The “long tail” referred to a high-frequency power distribution. Quite simply, the internet made it possible for those on the fringe to sell their products to larger audiences over longer time periods, because there were no costs to keeping products on the market.

Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook at Harvard, after all, not in the failed state of Somalia. The first crowds on the internet and social media were more educated, experienced, and privileged—collectively smarter than the core. The experts at the core still held a repository of experience, reasoning, and knowledge to effectively harness the crowd’s energy for discrete tasks and specified disciplines, determining what insights and innovations were outpacing existing pre-internet libraries and industry practices. They were able to judge the merit of new discoveries and employ them. But today’s crowds are anyone and everyone with a cell phone and a Facebook account, very different from the limited and much smaller virtual crowds of only a decade ago. My experiences with the crowd—watching the mobs that toppled dictators during the Arab Spring, the hordes that joined ISIS, the counterterrorism punditry that missed the rise of ISIS, and the political swarms duped by Russia in the 2016 presidential election—lead me to believe that crowds are increasingly dumb, driven by ideology, desire, ambition, fear, and hatred, or what might collectively be referred to as “preferences.”


pages: 323 words: 100,923

This Is Not Fame: A "From What I Re-Memoir" by Doug Stanhope

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airport security, bitcoin, Donald Trump, obamacare, pre–internet, Saturday Night Live, Stephen Hawking, telemarketer, traveling salesman

The only place the girl could legally touch you was in a massage parlor but she couldn’t be naked, wouldn’t let you drink or smoke, probably wouldn’t talk dirty and could touch you everywhere but there. You could see an actor naked and hear them talk dirty in an R-rated movie but then you couldn’t drink, smoke, jack off or even heckle for that matter. So you go back home to drink, smoke, get naked and jack off to porn. Your cable porn wouldn’t show penetration and porn without penetration is like hockey without the fights, so you go out in those pre-Internet glory days to rent some real porn but you couldn’t rent real porn because you don’t have a credit card! Besides, if you jack off too much you’ll go blind, and if you’re going blind that’s the only way they’d allow you to smoke a joint. Well, there you have it. I went back to my gay phone sex job the next day only on the assurance that they’d let me work on one of the hard-core lines. I spent six hours making the most perverse prank calls ever, all at a cost of $4.99 a minute to the customer.

I see them and I hope that one day the poor bastard will get it removed or covered up. And then I realize that he really can’t. Because he put it on the Internet. No laser or portrait of a screaming eagle will ever take it away. Too often I have first-time comedians email me, asking me to look at their first open-mic set that they have put on YouTube. I cannot imagine the horror of any comedian from my pre-Internet era finding their open-mic days now available for anyone to see. Or perhaps I can, as someone posted gut-churning awful VHS-era video they’d found of me only six months into comedy. Don’t post anything publicly without knowing that it’s more permanent than a tattoo. You may have done well onstage in relation to your lack of experience, and your peers might recognize that, but the general Internet public will not.


pages: 102 words: 29,596

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

Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, centralized clearinghouse, cloud computing, disruptive innovation, Jeff Bezos, Jony Ive, Marc Andreessen, 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: 171 words: 42,590

Menopause Mondays: The Girlfriend's Guide to Surviving and Thriving During Perimenopause and Menopause by Ellen Dolgen, Jack Dolgen

glass ceiling, placebo effect, pre–internet, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), women in the workforce

Frank’s advice makes perimenopause and menopause sound like an opportunity to learn more about ourselves, improve our relationships, and stay healthy. She may be on to something. Anxiety “Calgon, take me away!” ¾1970s bubble bath commercial First and foremost, it’s not your imagination that life is rockier than it used to be. We’re at that time in our lives when caring for ailing parents, raising children, and working full-time are on a collision course. We’re long past those idyllic pre-internet, pre-cell phone, pre-email, pre-everyone has to be available 24/7 days, when a simple bubble bath was enough to soothe our frayed nerves. Even the various stages of menopause can affect your mental wellbeing. Psychiatrist Dr. Harry Croft, principal researcher at Clinical Trials of Texas, says putting yourself first is critical in restoring a healthy mind-body balance. A study cited by the National Institute of Health uncovered significant differences between peri- and post-menopausal women in terms of vitality and quality of life.


pages: 538 words: 141,822

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

"Robert Solow", 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 Markoff, John von Neumann, Marshall McLuhan, Mitch Kapor, Naomi Klein, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, peer-to-peer, 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: 458 words: 137,960

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Albert Einstein, call centre, dematerialisation, fault tolerance, financial independence, game design, late fees, pre–internet, Rubik’s Cube, 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: 503 words: 131,064

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

airport security, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Brian Krebs, Broken windows theory, carried interest, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, commoditize, 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, longitudinal study, mass incarceration, 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, zero-sum game

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: 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

American ideology, animal electricity, barriers to entry, borderless world, Chelsea Manning, computer age, creative destruction, disruptive innovation, Donald Davies, Edward Snowden, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Leonard Kleinrock, 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: 742 words: 137,937

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

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, commoditize, computer age, Computer Numeric Control, computer vision, conceptual framework, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, death of newspapers, disintermediation, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, 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, lifelogging, lump of labour, Marshall McLuhan, Metcalfe’s law, Narrative Science, natural language processing, Network effects, optical character recognition, Paul Samuelson, personalized medicine, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, semantic web, Shoshana Zuboff, Skype, social web, speech recognition, spinning jenny, strong AI, supply-chain management, telepresence, The Future of Employment, 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!, WikiLeaks, 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: 788 words: 223,004

Merchants of Truth: The Business of News and the Fight for Facts by Jill Abramson

23andMe, 4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Alexander Shulgin, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Charles Lindbergh, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, commoditize, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, digital twin, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, East Village, Edward Snowden, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, future of journalism, glass ceiling, Google Glasses, haute couture, hive mind, income inequality, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, Khyber Pass, late capitalism, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, performance metric, Peter Thiel, phenotype, pre–internet, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Snapchat, social intelligence, social web, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, technoutopianism, telemarketer, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, WikiLeaks

Blogs like Josh Marshall’s Talking Points Memo were covering national security more skeptically and with more edge than the Times. And then there was Matt Drudge, whose Report readers depended on like their morning coffee. The immense traffic Drudge generated for any story his blog promoted became a source of leverage for him. Newspapers were attracting digital audiences that dwarfed the readership of their pre-internet days. If the same number of people had been buying the hard-copy newspaper, the Times would have been bathing in profits. The problem was that because the websites were free, the traffic they brought in was less valuable, making advertising on them very cheap. And the web was swimming in free alternatives and new all-digital news sites, most of which did almost none of the expensive, original reporting that made the survival of quality, legacy newspapers so crucial.

With a raspy Minnesota accent and somewhat unkempt, Carr came up from alternative weekly newspapers; his was not the pedigreed résumé of most of his Times colleagues. He wanted young tigers in the hunt with him and helped recruit and mentor Brian Stelter, a 20-something television blogger who scooped up insider items and quickly became a prominent Times byline. Self-satisfaction had defined Times journalists of the pre-internet period. Most had enjoyed what they assumed would be lifelong job security. The Times’s hiring process was still protracted, but once a reporter or editor was hired, he or she joined an institution that was widely viewed as the best in journalism and, despite the rocky climate, one of the few places to do work of consistent value. When a new reporter’s story got onto the front page, he or she was given the printing plate from that day’s A-1.

She even wore a dress she had made out of newspapers to one of Weymouth’s town hall presentations. She looked perfectly cast for her role as digital innovation czar, and she had the technical chops for the job. She was excited when veteran political reporter Dan Balz decided to give Snapchat a taste of the campaigns he covered. I first met Balz in the late 1980s when he was strictly a pen-and-notepad guy, in the pre-internet era. He was a superb reporter dedicated to conveying the substance and importance of national politics. When I had coffee with Haik I couldn’t help but think what Helen Dewar, a Post lifer who had covered the Senate for decades and looked down on anything faddish, would make of Haik or Balz on Snapchat. Haik earned some measure of respect because she had come from the Seattle Times, where she had been the editor of the website.


pages: 153 words: 52,175

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

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.


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

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?”


pages: 184 words: 53,625

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

Airbus A320, airport security, algorithmic trading, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Cass Sunstein, Charles Lindbergh, cognitive dissonance, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, dark matter, Dava Sobel, David Brooks, Donald Davies, future of journalism, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, HyperCard, Jane Jacobs, John Gruber, John Harrison: Longitude, Joi Ito, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, lone genius, Mark Zuckerberg, mega-rich, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Naomi Klein, Nate Silver, Occupy movement, packet switching, peer-to-peer, 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, US Airways Flight 1549, WikiLeaks, William Langewiesche, working poor, X Prize, your tax dollars at work

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.


pages: 223 words: 52,808

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

3D printing, Apple II, Bill Duvall, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Claude Shannon: information theory, cognitive dissonance, computer age, conceptual framework, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, game design, HyperCard, hypertext link, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jaron Lanier, knowledge worker, linked data, Marc Andreessen, 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: 629 words: 142,393

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

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, commoditize, corporate governance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, disruptive innovation, 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, John Markoff, license plate recognition, loose coupling, mail merge, national security letter, old-boy network, packet switching, peer-to-peer, post-materialism, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, RFC: Request For Comment, RFID, Richard Stallman, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Bork, 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, zero-sum game

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.


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

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, Donald Davies, Douglas Engelbart, 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, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, light touch regulation, linked data, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, natural language processing, Network effects, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, optical character recognition, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, Pierre-Simon Laplace, 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: 171 words: 57,379

Navel Gazing: True Tales of Bodies, Mostly Mine (But Also My Mom's, Which I Know Sounds Weird) by Michael Ian Black

Bernie Madoff, double helix, Minecraft, pre–internet

I read the pamphlet on the subway ride home. It informed me that donating bone marrow requires surgery because bone marrow, unsurprisingly, is inside the actual bones. They have to drill down for it, like oil. Surgery requires hospitalization and anesthesia and recovery time and pain. How much pain? Minor, the pamphlet said. Some “bruising and soreness.” How much is “some”? The pamphlet did not elaborate. This was all pre-Internet, so I had no way of consulting Yelp for actual reviews of the procedure, but I have since done research and what I read seemed at odds with the “minor” pain promised in the pamphlet. One guy donated bone marrow without anesthesia and said, “It is the worst pain I have ever felt in my life.” Yeah, dummy, because they frack your bones. Somebody else said, “The only things that are supposed to be more painful are a spinal tap and giving birth.”


Creatures of a Day: And Other Tales of Psychotherapy by Irvin D. Yalom

fixed income, place-making, pre–internet, Silicon Valley, Skype

He spent weekends alone, generally kayaking, and almost all of his meals were solitary affairs: breakfast and lunch at the hospital cafeteria and take-out food for dinners at home or a fast meal at some restaurant with counter seating, generally a sushi or oyster bar. His colleagues had long ago given up trying to fix him up with women and had come to view him as a committed bachelor. Some faculty wives had tried to turn him into a family uncle by inviting him for holiday or celebratory family dinners. He had no close male friends or confidants, and although he had a steady stream of dates—most (in that pre-Internet time) stemming from newspaper personal ads—the relationships always fizzled out after a date or two. Naturally, I inquired into the quick endings, but he never gave me a clear answer, and even more odd, he appeared curiously uncurious about the matter. I tagged that also for future exploration. His sleep was generally good, usually seven to eight hours per night. Though he rarely remembered dreams, he recalled a recurrent nightmare that had visited him several times over the last month.


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

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: 197 words: 59,946

The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk

Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, augmented reality, business process, call centre, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, crowdsourcing, en.wikipedia.org, hiring and firing, intangible asset, 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

1960s counterculture, Berlin Wall, book scanning, cuban missile crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Hacker Ethic, Isaac Newton, Marshall McLuhan, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, peer-to-peer, plutocrats, Plutocrats, pre–internet, publication bias, Richard Stallman, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, 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: 190 words: 61,970

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

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Branko Milanovic, Cass Sunstein, clean water, end world poverty, experimental economics, illegal immigration, Martin Wolf, microcredit, Monkeys Reject Unequal Pay, 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: 274 words: 60,596

Millionaire Teacher: The Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School by Andrew Hallam

Albert Einstein, asset allocation, Bernie Madoff, buy and hold, diversified portfolio, financial independence, George Gilder, index fund, Long Term Capital Management, new economy, passive investing, Paul Samuelson, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, price stability, random walk, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, stocks for the long run, survivorship bias, transaction costs, Vanguard fund, yield curve

They destroy shareholders’ wealth. Scuttlebutt like a detective I’ve become a really big fan of online stock screens (such as Value Line) for narrowing down lists of businesses that meet selected, customized financial criteria, but for serious investors, stock screens are a starting point, not an ending point. The late Philip Fisher, author of Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits, devised a pre-Internet system of kicking the tires of companies that interested him by visiting the customers of the businesses he liked while questioning their competitors as well. He would ask great questions like: “What are the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors?” and “What should you be doing (but are not yet doing) to maintain your competitive advantage?”14 The key isn’t to walk into a company’s public relations department and ask these questions.


pages: 239 words: 62,005

Don't Burn This Book: Thinking for Yourself in an Age of Unreason by Dave Rubin

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, battle of ideas, Bernie Sanders, Burning Man, butterfly effect, centre right, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, Donald Trump, failed state, gender pay gap, illegal immigration, immigration reform, job automation, low skilled workers, mutually assured destruction, obamacare, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, school choice, Silicon Valley, Steven Pinker, Tim Cook: Apple, unpaid internship, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

In fact, use this approach with all of your online activity. Ration how much of your life you’re willing to sacrifice online. Naturally, I want the internet to be as free and open as possible, but the way we consume it should be conservative in the true sense—as in literally conserving something worth saving. In this instance, your happiness and your sanity. Get in contact with old friends. If you have pre-internet pals, revive your relationships with them. It’s more important than you might think. It will remind you of who you were before this madness happened. It rekindles an element of innocence in your life, which is hard to find in an era of mass cynicism. Introduce yourself to your neighbors. Immediate, face-to-face interaction with real people who live on your street helps to cultivate a sense of community.


pages: 239 words: 70,206

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

"Robert Solow", 23andMe, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, bioinformatics, business cycle, 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, Johannes Kepler, John Markoff, John von Neumann, lifelogging, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, meta analysis, meta-analysis, money market fund, 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: 272 words: 64,626

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

23andMe, Andy Kessler, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bob Noyce, British Empire, business cycle, business process, California gold rush, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, commoditize, computer age, creative destruction, disintermediation, Douglas Engelbart, 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, Kickstarter, 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, wealth creators, 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: 265 words: 69,310

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

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, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Occupy movement, openstreetmap, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, 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, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, 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: 222 words: 70,132

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

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

Frans de Waal, “How Bad Biology is Killing the Economy,” Evonomics, March 2016, evonomics.com/how-bad-biology-is-killing-the-economy/. Henry Jenkins, Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide (New York: NYU Press, 2006). Jenkins and I don’t always agree, but he has been a constant source of inspiration and guidance for me at the Annenberg Innovation Lab. Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death (New York: Penguin, 1985). This was a pre-Internet look at the role of popular culture in pacifying the American public. His belief that Aldous Huxley’s vision of the future was correct is more true than ever. Mark Grief, The Age of the Crisis of Man: Thought and Fiction in America, 1933–1973 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2015). Chapter Twelve: The Digital Renaissance Christopher Moyer, “How Google’s AlphaGo Beat Lee Sedol, a Go World Champion,” Atlantic, March 28, 2016, www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2016/03/the-invisible-opponent/475611/.


The Ethical Algorithm: The Science of Socially Aware Algorithm Design by Michael Kearns, Aaron Roth

23andMe, affirmative action, algorithmic trading, Alvin Roth, Bayesian statistics, bitcoin, cloud computing, computer vision, crowdsourcing, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Filter Bubble, general-purpose programming language, Google Chrome, ImageNet competition, Lyft, medical residency, Nash equilibrium, Netflix Prize, p-value, Pareto efficiency, performance metric, personalized medicine, pre–internet, profit motive, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, replication crisis, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Bork, Ronald Coase, self-driving car, short selling, sorting algorithm, speech recognition, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, superintelligent machines, telemarketer, Turing machine, two-sided market, Vilfredo Pareto

The algorithmic challenge was actually the easier one—there have long been fast, scalable algorithms for computing fastest routes (or “shortest paths,” as they are called in computer science) from known traffic. A classical one is Dijkstra’s algorithm, named for the Dutch computer scientist who described it in the late 1950s. Such algorithms in turn allowed the informational problem to be solved by crowdsourcing. Even though early navigation apps operated on traffic data not much better than in the pre-Internet days, they could still at least suggest plausible routes through a complex and perhaps unfamiliar city—a vast improvement over the era of dense and confusing fold-up maps in the glove compartment. And once users started adopting the apps and permitting (wittingly or not) their location data to be shared, the apps now had thousands of real-time traffic sensors right there on the roadways. This crowdsourcing was the true game-changer.


pages: 279 words: 71,542

Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World by Cal Newport

Burning Man, Cal Newport, Donald Trump, financial independence, game design, index fund, Jaron Lanier, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, lifelogging, longitudinal study, Mark Zuckerberg, Pepto Bismol, pre–internet, price discrimination, race to the bottom, ride hailing / ride sharing, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, Steve Jobs

As I write this chapter, the company is also in the process of building an online system to help nearby subscribers find each other and organize real-world book club meetings. The Mouse Book Club delivers a high-quality analog experience, but it couldn’t exist without many technological innovations of the past decade. I’m pointing this out to push back on the idea that high-quality leisure requires a nostalgic turning back of time to a pre-internet era. On the contrary, the internet is fueling a leisure renaissance of sorts by providing the average person more leisure options than ever before in human history. It does so in two primary ways: by helping people find communities related to their interests and providing easy access to the sometimes obscure information needed to support specific quality pursuits. If you move to a new city and want to find other people who share your interest in debating literature, the Mouse Book Club can help connect you to some nearby bibliophiles.


pages: 197 words: 67,764

The Wichita Lineman: Searching in the Sun for the World's Greatest Unfinished Song by Dylan Jones

Donald Trump, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, Kickstarter, Norman Mailer, pre–internet, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea

But in Glen Campbell’s hands it became such an evocation that it had middle America enraptured. Later, looking deeper, I discovered Campbell had played guitar on the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds, recorded the little-known Brian Wilson classic ‘Guess I’m Dumb’, and that he had played the guitar himself on ‘Lineman’, on a Danelectro six-string bass. As I got older, I became even more intrigued by ‘Lineman’, reading as much about it as I could find – which, pre-Internet, wasn’t much. I sought out Jimmy Webb concerts and Glen Campbell concerts, and once even wrote a piece about the provenance of the song for the Independent. As a teenager it was one of those records I listened to when I wanted to feel sad. Seriously, if you wanted to feel sorry for yourself, then ‘Wichita Lineman’ was the way to go. I would spontaneously start singing it as I was walking down the street, or when I was in the pub, or – later – even at dinner parties, much to my wife’s horror.


pages: 222 words: 75,778

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

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: 260 words: 76,223

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

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, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Network effects, new economy, Occupy movement, place-making, prediction markets, pre–internet, QR code, 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, white picket fence, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

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: 366 words: 76,476

Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One's Looking) by Christian Rudder

4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, bitcoin, cloud computing, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Frank Gehry, Howard Zinn, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, John Snow's cholera map, lifelogging, Mahatma Gandhi, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nate Silver, Nelson Mandela, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, p-value, pre–internet, race to the bottom, selection bias, Snapchat, social graph, Solar eclipse in 1919, Steve Jobs, the scientific method

That’s what this data shows, and because it’s person-to-person, and collected in fine detail, it can show it in a way that no other research can. I was an exchange student in Japan for a summer in high school, and the agency officials in my host town, Utsunomiya, would occasionally collect me and the other Americans to visit a school or a factory nearby. The goal was as much for us to see the country as for it to see us. This was the early ’90s, pre-Internet, and Japan, not China, was still our big economic rival. There was tension; they had bought Rockefeller Center a few years before; the yen was threatening the dollar. The name of my exchange program captured the timbre of the visit in three words: Youth for Understanding. The name notwithstanding, I found the culture baffling. I remember even the characters’ names in Street Fighter II were all wrong; Vega was called Balrog and Balrog was M.


pages: 232 words: 77,956

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

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, Right to Buy, risk tolerance, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, 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: 235 words: 74,200

We're Going to Need More Wine: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True by Gabrielle Union

double helix, equal pay for equal work, jitney, old-boy network, period drama, pre–internet, Snapchat, women in the workforce

People talk about our bodies solely as reproductive systems, and we remain just as clueless as The Virgin Mary’s learning she was but a vessel for something greater. THANK GOD FOR JUDY BLUME, BECAUSE AT LEAST SHE ARMED ME WITH THE basic facts of menstruation. Nowadays, girls can Wikipedia everything—or more likely, study porn clips online. But back then, all we had was Judy Blume. She also gifted us with Forever. We all knew and loved Forever, because it had the Sex Scene. And outside of porn (which was damn hard to procure in those pre-Internet days), Forever was the only depiction of sex we had ever seen. High school senior Katherine meets fellow student Michael, who nicknames his penis “Ralph” and teaches her how to rub one out, before they go “all the way” in his sister’s bedroom. We were smart enough to know that Forever—not the cheesy VHS porn tapes that my trusty friend Becky had discovered in her parents’ room—taught us the more accurate portrait of how sex would unfold in our own lives.


pages: 266 words: 80,018

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

affirmative action, airport security, Anton Chekhov, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Berlin Wall, Chelsea Manning, don't be evil, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Etonian, Firefox, Google Earth, Jacob Appelbaum, job-hopping, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, kremlinology, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, MITM: man-in-the-middle, national security letter, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rolodex, Rubik’s Cube, Silicon Valley, Skype, social graph, Steve Jobs, undersea cable, 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: 281 words: 78,317

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

a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, British Empire, citizen journalism, cosmological constant, dark matter, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, George Santayana, Gerolamo Cardano, ghettoisation, Howard Zinn, Isaac Newton, Joan Didion, 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: 219 words: 73,623

You'll Grow Out of It by Jessi Klein

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: 213 words: 73,492

The Actual One: How I Tried, and Failed, to Remain Twenty-Something for Ever by Isy Suttie

call centre, pre–internet, Rubik’s Cube

It looked pathetic and guilty, dangling limply in the grip of the pliers, ashamed to have made the break for freedom. She asked us, po-faced, if we’d like to keep it. We said, why of course, and then we went to a café for some ham and eggs. 24 Isy refrains from feeding hamburgers to the baby My only experience of raising a child occurred in the late nineties, when I persuaded my then musician boyfriend, Tom, to buy a Tamagotchi from London’s Chinatown. Tamagotchis were pre-Internet key ring–sized toys that were supposed to create the feeling of bringing up a kid—the toy was a “baby” and you had to feed it whenever it cried and teach it stuff and change its nappy. Tom was in a band, and we were living in a studenty house in South London. There was a TV in the back garden, facing the house, which was supposed to signify that TV watches you, not the other way round. There were also loads of other abandoned stuff in the garden, like a bike, and a vacuum.


pages: 240 words: 73,209

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

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, information asymmetry, Isaac Newton, Kenneth Arrow, Long Term Capital Management, Mahatma Gandhi, mandelbrot fractal, Nelson Mandela, NetJets, pattern recognition, pre–internet, random walk, Ronald Reagan, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, winner-take-all economy, young professional, zero-sum game

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: 338 words: 74,302

Only Americans Burn in Hell by Jarett Kobek

AltaVista, coherent worldview, corporate governance, crony capitalism, Donald Trump, East Village, ghettoisation, Google Chrome, haute couture, illegal immigration, indoor plumbing, Jeff Bezos, mandelbrot fractal, MITM: man-in-the-middle, pre–internet, sexual politics, Skype, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Telecommunications Act of 1996

” “My children will not stop,” said Celia. “Beautiful,” said the woman. “I am not certain,” said Celia. “It has been very painful.” The woman reached into her purse. She pulled out a book. She put the book in Celia’s hands. “Read this,” said the woman. “You will make sense of your children.” Celia looked down at the book. On its black cover, there were gold foil letters that said: The pre-Internet library of Fairy Land had never included a copy of the Bible. Not in any of its forms or translations. This was an oversight, particularly as the Bible was one of the three most influential literary works ever published. The other two were القرآن and the seven volumes of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter. The King James Version of the Bible was a 1611 AD English translation of the Christian Bible, which was originally put together in the Fourth Century AD, and was comprised of two parts, the Old Testament and the New Testament.


pages: 743 words: 201,651

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

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, activist lawyer, 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, Donald Davies, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Snowden, Etonian, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, financial independence, Firefox, Galaxy Zoo, George Santayana, global village, index card, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of writing, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, megacity, mutually assured destruction, national security letter, Nelson Mandela, 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: 588 words: 193,087

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

Albert Einstein, Charles Lindbergh, Columbine, Donald Trump, Exxon Valdez, fear of failure, game design, illegal immigration, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, index card, Joan Didion, Norman Mailer, 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: 255 words: 76,495

The Facebook era: tapping online social networks to build better products, reach new audiences, and sell more stuff by Clara Shih

business process, call centre, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, commoditize, conceptual framework, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, glass ceiling, jimmy wales, Mark Zuckerberg, Metcalfe’s law, Network effects, pets.com, pre–internet, rolodex, semantic web, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social graph, social web, software as a service, Tony Hsieh, web application

From the Library of Kerri Ross 204 Pa r t I I I Yo u r S te p - B y - S te p G u i d e to Us i n g Fa ce b o o k fo r B u s i n e s s The Innovator’s Dilemma Reaching this ideal will take time. You might recall in the early days of the World Wide Web, people weren’t quite sure what to make of and what to do with the new capabilities. As is typically the case in digital revolutions, the first Internet generation (what we call Web 1.0) merely applied pre-Internet concepts to a new medium. It was linear thinking. Company Web sites were just online versions of the company brochure. A phone call was the predominant call to action. It wasn’t until nearly a decade later that we began to realize and then slowly tap into the unique attributes of the Internet to do things that simply were not possible prior to the Internet: search engine marketing, user-generated content, automating manual business processes in Web applications, and allowing people to interact with those applications.


pages: 371 words: 78,103

Webbots, Spiders, and Screen Scrapers by Michael Schrenk

Amazon Web Services, corporate governance, fault tolerance, Firefox, Marc Andreessen, new economy, pre–internet, SpamAssassin, The Hackers Conference, 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: 220 words: 88,994

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

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: 275 words: 84,418

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

Apple II, Ben Horowitz, cloud computing, commoditize, disintermediation, don't be evil, Dynabook, Firefox, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, Googley, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Marc Andreessen, 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, zero-sum game

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: 411 words: 80,925

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

Airbnb, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, bike sharing scheme, Buckminster Fuller, buy and hold, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, commoditize, Community Supported Agriculture, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, dematerialisation, disintermediation, en.wikipedia.org, experimental economics, George Akerlof, global village, hedonic treadmill, 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, peer-to-peer lending, peer-to-peer rental, 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: 297 words: 84,009

Big Business: A Love Letter to an American Anti-Hero by Tyler Cowen

23andMe, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, augmented reality, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, correlation coefficient, creative destruction, crony capitalism, cryptocurrency, dark matter, David Brooks, David Graeber, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, employer provided health coverage, experimental economics, Filter Bubble, financial innovation, financial intermediation, global reserve currency, global supply chain, Google Glasses, income inequality, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, late fees, Mark Zuckerberg, mobile money, money market fund, mortgage debt, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, offshore financial centre, passive investing, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit maximization, profit motive, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Ronald Coase, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Steve Jobs, The Nature of the Firm, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, ultimatum game, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, World Values Survey, Y Combinator

It is easy enough to see that the contemporary tech industry has plenty of firms that seem to dominate a particular area—just consider Google, Facebook, eBay, Netflix, Apple, Snapchat, Twitter, and Microsoft, among others. But what are we to make of this? Are these new tech monopolies as bad as the price-gouging monopolies of yore? At least so far, it hardly seems so. Many of these “monopolists,” if that is even the right word, charge either nothing or much lower fees than their pre-internet counterparts. eBay takes a commission and never has been connected to a zero-charge model, but typically it is much cheaper to put a lot of items on eBay than to cart them around to resale or antique stores and arrange for their disposition by consignment or outright sale. Microsoft charges for its software, but once you take multiple copies, educational discounts, and piracy into account, the company hardly seems like an extortionist.


pages: 286 words: 87,401

Blitzscaling: The Lightning-Fast Path to Building Massively Valuable Companies by Reid Hoffman, Chris Yeh

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, bitcoin, blockchain, Bob Noyce, business intelligence, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, database schema, discounted cash flows, Elon Musk, Firefox, forensic accounting, George Gilder, global pandemic, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, hydraulic fracturing, Hyperloop, inventory management, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Joi Ito, Khan Academy, late fees, Lean Startup, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, Oculus Rift, oil shale / tar sands, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart grid, social graph, software as a service, software is eating the world, speech recognition, stem cell, Steve Jobs, subscription business, Tesla Model S, thinkpad, transaction costs, transport as a service, Travis Kalanick, Uber for X, uber lyft, web application, winner-take-all economy, Y Combinator, yellow journalism

Trade-oriented principalities like the Republic of Venice provided a welcoming ecosystem for merchants, complete with currency and the rule of law, as well as taxes to harvest the value of the platform. Technology platforms like Microsoft Windows demonstrated the power of being the chosen platform on which businesses were built back when the World Wide Web was still a glimmer in Tim Berners-Lee’s eye (Sir Berners-Lee wrote his proposal for a global hypertext system in 1989). Yet despite the proven value of platforms in the pre-Internet era, the Networked Age has made them vastly more powerful and valuable. Rather than being limited like the Republic of Venice to a specific geography, today’s software-based platforms can achieve global distribution almost immediately. And since transactions on today’s platforms are conducted through application programming interfaces (APIs) rather than person-to-person negotiations, they proceed swiftly, seamlessly, and in incredible volumes, all with barely any human intervention.


pages: 309 words: 85,584

Nine Crises: Fifty Years of Covering the British Economy From Devaluation to Brexit by William Keegan

banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, congestion charging, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Etonian, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, financial thriller, floating exchange rates, full employment, gig economy, inflation targeting, Just-in-time delivery, light touch regulation, liquidity trap, Martin Wolf, moral hazard, negative equity, Neil Kinnock, non-tariff barriers, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, oil shock, Parkinson's law, Paul Samuelson, pre–internet, price mechanism, quantitative easing, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, short selling, South Sea Bubble, The Chicago School, transaction costs, tulip mania, Winter of Discontent, Yom Kippur War

I had not yet embarked on a career as an economics correspondent or commentator. The world of Prime Ministers, Chancellors and Governors of the Bank of England was still at one remove. I was thrust back into the world of fast feature writing: I would go into the office mid-morning (10.30 or 11 a.m.) and be told, ‘The National Provincial Bank and the Westminster Bank are merging. Can you write a feature on it by six o’clock?’ In those pre-internet days, physical files were very important. I would go to the FT’s library and ask for the relevant files, bury myself in them and then spend several hours on the phone. I would also compare notes with the chief leader writer, Robert (‘Bob’) Collin, who, to my mind, had one of the best brains among a galaxy of stars. It was a very civilised, almost collegiate, atmosphere at the FT in those days.


pages: 316 words: 87,486

Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People? by Thomas Frank

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, American ideology, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, blue-collar work, Burning Man, centre right, circulation of elites, Clayton Christensen, collective bargaining, Credit Default Swap, David Brooks, deindustrialization, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, Frank Gehry, full employment, George Gilder, gig economy, Gini coefficient, income inequality, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, mandatory minimum, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, mass immigration, mass incarceration, McMansion, microcredit, mobile money, moral panic, mortgage debt, Nelson Mandela, new economy, obamacare, payday loans, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, pre–internet, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, Republic of Letters, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, Uber for X, union organizing, urban decay, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration, young professional

More ominously, the twelve-hour rotating shift system would make it impossible for workers to participate in the life of their family or town: no more league sports or church choirs for them.8 The three union locals in Decatur quickly made common cause with one another, and before long a big part of the working population in that most typical American town were out protesting. With billboards, placards, newsletters, and the other publicity tools of that pre-Internet era, these aggrieved Midwesterners reached out across the country to tell the story of how their town had become a “war zone,” by which they meant to suggest that working-class Americans were in the crosshairs of a merciless new economic order. The workers turned out to be right about the war zone. Before long the local police escalated the conflict with a spectacular bit of violence, using pepper spray on a crowd of peaceful protesters at the Tate & Lyle factory gate.


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

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbus A320, airport security, augmented reality, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, Broken windows theory, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, feminist movement, food miles, George Akerlof, global pandemic, information asymmetry, invisible hand, loss aversion, mental accounting, Netflix Prize, obamacare, oil shale / tar sands, Pareto efficiency, peak oil, pre–internet, price anchoring, price discrimination, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, Richard Thaler, Sam Peltzman, security theater, Ted Kaczynski, the built environment, The Chicago School, the High Line, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, US Airways Flight 1549

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: 286 words: 82,065

Curation Nation by Rosenbaum, Steven

Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, citizen journalism, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, en.wikipedia.org, future of journalism, Jason Scott: textfiles.com, means of production, PageRank, pattern recognition, post-work, 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: 267 words: 82,580

The Dark Net by Jamie Bartlett

3D printing, 4chan, bitcoin, blockchain, brain emulation, carbon footprint, creative destruction, 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, longitudinal study, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, moral hazard, moral panic, Occupy movement, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, Ross Ulbricht, 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: 261 words: 81,802

The Trouble With Billionaires by Linda McQuaig

"Robert Solow", battle of ideas, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, British Empire, Build a better mousetrap, carried interest, collateralized debt obligation, computer age, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, employer provided health coverage, financial deregulation, fixed income, full employment, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of the telephone, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, laissez-faire capitalism, land tenure, lateral thinking, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, Martin Wolf, mega-rich, minimum wage unemployment, Mont Pelerin Society, Naomi Klein, neoliberal agenda, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, The Chicago School, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tobin tax, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Vanguard fund, very high income, wealth creators, women in the workforce

He made it, as a mere university student, by taking advantage of the technological inheritance provided by all those who had developed the Internet and, before that, the personal computer and, before that, the mainframe computer and, before that, the punched-card tabulating machine and, before that…all the way back to the invention of the wheel. It is estimated that about 90 per cent of any wealth generated today is due to this ‘knowledge inheritance’ of the past. If this sounds unlikely, imagine whether Zuckerberg could have created the Facebook empire if he had, say, been a student thirty years ago in the pre-Internet age, if he hadn’t attended college in the early 2000s, when computer advances had reached a certain stage of sophistication. Given these advances, he and a number of other bright students spotted the opportunity to develop a social networking program. If Zuckerberg hadn’t got Facebook off the ground in early 2004, any of his competitors would have soon got theirs off the ground and probably gone on to dominate the field.


pages: 283 words: 85,824

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

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, American Legislative Exchange Council, 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, creative destruction, 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, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Metcalfe’s law, Naomi Klein, Narrative Science, Network effects, new economy, New Journalism, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, oil rush, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-work, 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: 309 words: 79,414

Going Dark: The Secret Social Lives of Extremists by Julia Ebner

23andMe, 4chan, Airbnb, anti-communist, anti-globalists, augmented reality, Ayatollah Khomeini, bitcoin, blockchain, Boris Johnson, citizen journalism, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, feminist movement, game design, glass ceiling, Google Earth, job satisfaction, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, Network effects, off grid, pattern recognition, pre–internet, QAnon, RAND corporation, ransomware, rising living standards, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social intelligence, Steve Jobs, Transnistria, WikiLeaks, zero day

For example, 30 per cent of leave voters believed in the Great Replacement conspiracy theory as opposed to 6 per cent among remain voters.37 Although there is no profile for conspiracy theorists, they tend to significantly overlap with individuals who feel negatively impacted by globalisation.38 In the 1960s, the American historian Richard Hofstadter wrote about the prevalence of a paranoid style in the rhetoric of ‘pseudo-conservatives’ as a combination of ‘heated exaggeration, suspiciousness, and conspiratorial fantasy’.39 But today conspiracy theories are more numerous and more widespread than in the pre-internet age.40 Online alt-right activists have become the new ‘pseudo-conservatives’, sociologist Andrew Wilson of the University of Derby argues. They use conspiracy theories in combination with hashtag activism on social media to bring extremist viewpoints into the mainstream.41 Online tactics to spread conspiracy theories are getting ever more creative. ‘Regarding red pilling everyone – getting True Lies QAnon message out,’ Raven posts in the Discord group, ‘I was just thinking how many random people from all over the world use the live streaming Periscope app.


pages: 239 words: 80,319

Lurking: How a Person Became a User by Joanne McNeil

4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Ada Lovelace, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Burning Man, Chelsea Manning, Chris Wanstrath, citation needed, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, feminist movement, Firefox, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, helicopter parent, Internet Archive, invention of the telephone, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, l'esprit de l'escalier, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, moral panic, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, packet switching, PageRank, pre–internet, profit motive, QAnon, recommendation engine, Saturday Night Live, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Snapchat, social graph, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, Turing complete, We are the 99%, web application, white flight, Whole Earth Catalog

Kartina Richardson wrote about a similar project that took place on Gawker (“Gawker’s ‘Privilege Tournament’ Is All About White Anger,” Salon, September 30, 2013). Four years after the Outrage meters, Slate’s then editor in chief Julia Turner indicated a change in vision when she told the Columbia Journalism Review, “Broadly the internet has been good at elevating the voices of people whose voices were not necessarily sufficiently represented in traditional pre-internet news coverage. I think that’s true about gender, I think it’s true about race, I think it’s true about sexuality” (“Slate’s ‘Pivot to Words,’” The Kicker podcast, January 25, 2018). The Sara Ahmed quote comes from a post on her blog, Feministkilljoys, entitled “Pushy Feminists” (November 17, 2014). Jon Ronson made the comment about users being worse than the NSA in interviews with Jon Stewart, Boing Boing, and others.


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

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

“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: 302 words: 85,877

Cult of the Dead Cow: How the Original Hacking Supergroup Might Just Save the World by Joseph Menn

4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Apple II, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Chelsea Manning, commoditize, corporate governance, Donald Trump, dumpster diving, Edward Snowden, Firefox, Google Chrome, Haight Ashbury, Internet of things, Jacob Appelbaum, Jason Scott: textfiles.com, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, Mitch Kapor, Naomi Klein, Peter Thiel, pirate software, pre–internet, Ralph Nader, ransomware, Richard Stallman, Robert Mercer, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, zero day

Eventually, they worked out that they lived only a few blocks apart and got together in person. Bill was more into fringe culture—UFOs, secret societies, and B movies—than writing computer code. After War Games, he had to beg for a computer from uncomprehending parents who would not even get a telephone answering machine until the late 1990s. “I knew nothing about computers,” he said. “What I liked was the idea of a bulletin board, this pre-internet, glorified shortwave radio network.” Both boys were outsiders in Lubbock in cultural taste and also within an early internet scene that celebrated hacking feats. They were like the early punk rock bands, who weren’t going to be quiet just because they couldn’t play their instruments well. Avoiding the assigned work in his Catholic school, Bill helped mythologize the Cult of the Dead Cow along pseudoreligious lines by drafting an epic “Book of Cow” as his first text file.


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

Albert Einstein, Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, Black Swan, business process, call centre, Clayton Christensen, cleantech, cloud computing, commoditize, corporate governance, creative destruction, disruptive innovation, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, future of work, game design, George Gilder, intangible asset, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, Joi Ito, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, loose coupling, Louis Pasteur, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, Maui Hawaii, medical residency, Network effects, old-boy network, packet switching, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, 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, the new new thing, 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: 299 words: 91,839

What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis

23andMe, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Anne Wojcicki, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, business process, call centre, cashless society, citizen journalism, clean water, commoditize, connected car, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, different worldview, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, don't be evil, fear of failure, Firefox, future of journalism, G4S, 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, old-boy network, 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, WikiLeaks, 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

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, corporate governance, David Brooks, different worldview, East Village, friendly fire, haute couture, illegal immigration, immigration reform, liberation theology, medical residency, New Journalism, obamacare, payday loans, postnationalism / post nation state, pre–internet, uranium enrichment, yellow journalism, 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: 349 words: 27,507

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

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, Kickstarter, Mercator projection, Nelson Mandela, pre–internet, Richard Feynman, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Stephen Hawking, Thorstein Veblen

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

affirmative action, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Bernie Sanders, Clayton Christensen, creative destruction, David Brooks, en.wikipedia.org, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, immigration reform, income inequality, index card, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Joi Ito, 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, uber lyft, 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: 326 words: 91,559

Everything for Everyone: The Radical Tradition That Is Shaping the Next Economy by Nathan Schneider

1960s counterculture, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, altcoin, Amazon Mechanical Turk, back-to-the-land, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Debian, disruptive innovation, do-ocracy, Donald Knuth, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Food sovereignty, four colour theorem, future of work, gig economy, Google bus, hydraulic fracturing, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, means of production, multi-sided market, new economy, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, post-work, precariat, premature optimization, pre–internet, profit motive, race to the bottom, Richard Florida, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Slavoj Žižek, smart contracts, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, transaction costs, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, underbanked, undersea cable, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, Vanguard fund, white flight, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, working poor, Y Combinator, Y2K, Zipcar

By collecting dues and holding members responsible to contracts, a DAO could be a means of organizing new kinds of labor unions or fostering disciplined consumer activism, which had failed to appear in online social media so far. What if, rather than just indicating on Facebook that you plan to participate in a protest, you joined a group of people contractually bound to do so? Could smart contracts bring back solidarity? It was a statement of digital possibilities but also, intentionally or not, a testament to what the digital world had lost. Waldman cited such pre-internet curiosities as in-person meetings, distinctive clothing, even religious belief—“a powerful engineering tool, and we should take it seriously.” He talked about orders such as the Freemasons and Elks in the past tense, as sources of inspiration for the DAOs to come. But three-fourths of the way through his talk, one of the engineers present—middle-aged, with a thick beard and large glasses—raised his hand and declared himself a real-life Freemason.


pages: 284 words: 92,688

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

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Ben Horowitz, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, call centre, cleantech, cloud computing, corporate governance, disruptive innovation, dumpster diving, fear of failure, Filter Bubble, Golden Gate Park, Google Glasses, Googley, Gordon Gekko, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, Lean Startup, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, 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, Stanford prison experiment, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, telemarketer, tulip mania, uber lyft, 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: 378 words: 94,468

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

air freight, Alexander Shulgin, banking crisis, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, cloud computing, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, Donald Davies, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, fiat currency, Firefox, Fractional reserve banking, frictionless, Haight Ashbury, John Bercow, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Leonard Kleinrock, means of production, Menlo Park, moral panic, Mother of all demos, Network effects, nuclear paranoia, packet switching, pattern recognition, PIHKAL and TIHKAL, pre–internet, QR code, RAND corporation, Satoshi Nakamoto, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), sexual politics, 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

algorithmic trading, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, augmented reality, bank run, Basel III, bitcoin, business cycle, business intelligence, business process, business process outsourcing, buy and hold, 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, MITM: man-in-the-middle, mobile money, Mohammed Bouazizi, new economy, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, Pingit, platform as a service, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, pre–internet, QR code, quantitative easing, ransomware, reserve currency, RFID, Satoshi Nakamoto, Silicon Valley, smart cities, social intelligence, software as a service, Steve Jobs, strong AI, Stuxnet, trade route, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, upwardly mobile, We are the 99%, web application, WikiLeaks, 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: 284 words: 95,029

How to Fail: Everything I’ve Ever Learned From Things Going Wrong by Elizabeth Day

Airbnb, Desert Island Discs, disintermediation, fear of failure, financial independence, gender pay gap, Mikhail Gorbachev, pre–internet, Rosa Parks, stem cell, unpaid internship

It was only some time later that I put two and two together and realised that every time a lamb was removed from The Rath, more bags of meat would appear in the freezer. ‘Is … this … Lambkin?’ I would stutter at the Sunday lunch table, looking at a roast joint served up with potatoes and a jar of mint sauce. After a while, my parents started giving the sheep numbers so that I became less emotionally attached to them. I’m not sure it worked. To this day, I far prefer roast chicken. Since this was the pre-internet, pre-Netflix era, when we weren’t herding sheep, my sister and I had to make our own entertainment. My idea of a good time was disappearing into the vast network of rhododendron bushes in our garden to read a Nancy Drew mystery or playing by the River Faughan which ran parallel to our house and which when uttered in a Northern Irish accent, sounded like an expletive. I papered the attic with cut-out magazine pages because I’d read somewhere that Anne Frank had done the same thing while hiding from the Nazis.


pages: 347 words: 91,318

Netflixed: The Epic Battle for America's Eyeballs by Gina Keating

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, barriers to entry, business intelligence, collaborative consumption, corporate raider, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, late fees, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, Menlo Park, Netflix Prize, new economy, out of africa, performance metric, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, price stability, recommendation engine, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, subscription business, Superbowl ad, telemarketer, X Prize

I came to launch a business to compete with Netflix and revolutionize the industry, and if that’s not what I’m doing, then I’m not going to be here,” he told the man. Cooper’s father had owned a small video-rental chain in Lafayette, Louisiana, and Cooper himself had grown up behind the counters of those stores—serving customers, listening to their opinions, observing the stores’ demand patterns, developing an intuition for how the business worked and made money. He worked at a Blockbuster store in high school, in the pre-Internet era when the clerks were mostly movie geeks who regarded the VHS screeners the stores received as the job’s main perk. Unlike Evangelist and Antioco, Cooper was comfortable with the technology underpinning the user interface that Blockbuster Online needed to build. He was not intimidated by Netflix’s advantage in development time and subscribers, but he realized that its attention to detail and the recommendation engine would be difficult to replicate with the time and budget allotted to build their service.


pages: 487 words: 95,085

JPod by Douglas Coupland

Asperger Syndrome, Drosophila, finite state, G4S, game design, Maui Hawaii, McMansion, neurotypical, pez dispenser, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, Ronald Reagan, special economic zone, wage slave, Y2K

Dear God, it might actually give them hope. Hey! If Roger can do it, then I can do it! I don't know why I work here in hell at Staples and not someplace else. Bethany here is confronting me on this issue and I don't know what to say. I've had so many real-world jobs—in offices where people have their own parking spaces and where biweekly meetings are held, and where they have Christmas parties. I drank my way out of all of them. Pre-Internet I could get away with it. These days if you type LUSH into Google, I'm the first hit. Fucking Internet. I can't even move to someplace remote where they still speak English, like Tasmania or South Africa. They'll know my dirt. They. So until I figure out an escape clause, it's Staples for me. It's okay in its own way. It demands little of me and I demand little of it. I like being rude to customers.


pages: 299 words: 87,059

The Burning Land by George Alagiah

fear of failure, land reform, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Nelson Mandela, out of africa, pre–internet, urban decay, white flight, éminence grise

Harry and Helen? That can’t be right.’ Kagiso frowned. ‘No! It’s the company.’ ‘Let me see.’ He read the letter through and explained that the insurance company no longer wanted to send monthly statements by post automatically. It would be done online, unless customers expressly asked to stay on the postal system. He imagined some bright young thing coming up with the plan, oblivious to the pre-internet generation for whom this particular product had been designed. Maude sighed with relief, her mind put at rest by his confident assurances. That matter concluded, Maude had a number of chores for Kagiso. Every time he finished one she seemed to have another waiting. He wondered if she was inventing them as she went along – a mother’s ploy to keep her beloved son close to her, even if only for a few more minutes.


pages: 327 words: 103,336

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

active measures, affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Black Swan, business cycle, butterfly effect, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, clockwork universe, cognitive dissonance, coherent worldview, 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, George Santayana, happiness index / gross national happiness, high batting average, hindsight bias, illegal immigration, industrial cluster, 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, Laplace demon, 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, Pierre-Simon Laplace, planetary scale, prediction markets, pre–internet, RAND corporation, random walk, RFID, school choice, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, 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: 313 words: 101,403

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

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

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: 339 words: 99,674

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

air freight, airport security, banking crisis, clean water, drone strike, Edward Snowden, greed is good, illegal immigration, income inequality, large denomination, Occupy movement, pattern recognition, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Silicon Valley, Stanford prison experiment, 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: 368 words: 96,825

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

3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Charles Lindbergh, cloud computing, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dematerialisation, deskilling, disruptive innovation, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, fear of failure, Firefox, Galaxy Zoo, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, gravity well, ImageNet competition, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, John Harrison: Longitude, John Markoff, Jono Bacon, Just-in-time delivery, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, life extension, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, low earth orbit, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, 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, 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, superconnector, technoutopianism, telepresence, telepresence robot, Turing test, urban renewal, web application, X Prize, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

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: 146 words: 43,446

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

Albert Einstein, Andy Kessler, business climate, creative destruction, data acquisition, family office, high net worth, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Marc Andreessen, Menlo Park, pre–internet, risk tolerance, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, the new new thing, Thorstein Veblen, wealth creators, 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.


Rockonomics: A Backstage Tour of What the Music Industry Can Teach Us About Economics and Life by Alan B. Krueger

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, autonomous vehicles, bank run, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Bob Geldof, butterfly effect, buy and hold, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, endogenous growth, George Akerlof, gig economy, income inequality, index fund, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Kenneth Arrow, Kickstarter, Live Aid, Mark Zuckerberg, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, moral hazard, Network effects, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, personalized medicine, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit maximization, random walk, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, Saturday Night Live, Skype, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transaction costs, ultimatum game, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

James Madison and the other framers of the Constitution recognized that it is necessary to establish a property right to intellectual property, such as writings and inventions, in order to prevent free riding and encourage investment in the development of new writings and discoveries. This is the foundation of copyright and patent law. By establishing a limited property right—the legal authority to exclude others from using a creative work for a period of time—copyright law seeks to strike a balance between the interests of creators and the interests of consumers.8 And while in pre-Internet days one could plausibly argue that bringing a new book or song to market first provided protection against copiers and imitators—as a young Stephen Breyer once argued before he was named to the Supreme Court—that argument clearly does not hold water in the digital era, when perfect copies can be made and distributed throughout the world almost instantaneously. Property rights are essential in an economy.


pages: 317 words: 97,824

Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes by Maria Konnikova

Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, availability heuristic, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, delayed gratification, fear of failure, feminist movement, functional fixedness, Lao Tzu, pre–internet, Richard Feynman, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Walter Mischel

A miniature dragon, no less. (Actually, draco sumatranus, a gliding lizard native to Indonesia—but would anyone in England during Conan Doyle’s time have been so wise?) Or this. A creature of the deep, dark imagination, something out of a book of horrors, perhaps. But real? (Actually, the star-nosed mole, condylura cristata, is found in eastern Canada. Hardly common knowledge even in the pre-Internet days, let alone back in the Victorian era.) Or indeed any number of animals that had seemed foreign and strange only decades earlier—and some that seem strange even today. Would they have been held to the same burden of proof—or would the lack of obvious fakery in the photograph have been enough? What we believe about the world—and the burden of proof that we require to accept something as fact—is constantly shifting.


pages: 348 words: 97,277

The Truth Machine: The Blockchain and the Future of Everything by Paul Vigna, Michael J. Casey

3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, altcoin, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, blockchain, blood diamonds, Blythe Masters, business process, buy and hold, carbon footprint, cashless society, cloud computing, computer age, computerized trading, conceptual framework, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, cyber-physical system, dematerialisation, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, failed state, fault tolerance, fiat currency, financial innovation, financial intermediation, global supply chain, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, informal economy, intangible asset, Internet of things, Joi Ito, Kickstarter, linked data, litecoin, longitudinal study, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, market clearing, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Network effects, off grid, pets.com, prediction markets, pre–internet, price mechanism, profit maximization, profit motive, ransomware, rent-seeking, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart contracts, smart meter, Snapchat, social web, software is eating the world, supply-chain management, Ted Nelson, the market place, too big to fail, trade route, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, Turing complete, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, universal basic income, web of trust, zero-sum game

Decentralized Economy with Centralized Trust How do we get to a world of decentralized trust, so that it costs me close to nothing to safely and confidently engage in transactions with others online? Answers to that question lie in reflecting on how we went from the utopian concept of a level-playing-field Internet that led New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman to declare that the “world is flat” to one in which a handful of gargantuan gatekeepers have asserted almost total control. Let’s start with the pre-Internet offline economy, the one we inherited from the twentieth century, when the centralized trust model was the only one we could imagine. Under that system, which prevails to this day, we charge banks, public utilities, certificate authorities, government agencies, and countless other centralized entities and institutions with the task of recording everyone’s transactions and exchanges of value.


pages: 335 words: 96,002

WEconomy: You Can Find Meaning, Make a Living, and Change the World by Craig Kielburger, Holly Branson, Marc Kielburger, Sir Richard Branson, Sheryl Sandberg

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, blood diamonds, business intelligence, business process, carbon footprint, clean water, cleantech, Colonization of Mars, corporate social responsibility, Downton Abbey, Elon Musk, energy transition, family office, future of work, global village, inventory management, James Dyson, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, market design, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, Nelson Mandela, Occupy movement, pre–internet, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, working poor, Y Combinator

We met in Islamabad, and after a 15-minute conversation with the Prime Minister, he promised to raise the issue of child labor with the business delegation traveling with him, in addition to the President of Pakistan. For clips of the press conference and a glimpse of my meeting with the Prime Minister: Click for video When I returned home, a crush of journalists waited at the airport. 60 Minutes trailed me through my high-school cafeteria. Like a scene out of an old (pre-Internet) movie, the mail carrier delivered bags overflowing with letters of encouragement, and messages from other children who wanted to join this organization. Single dollar bills from allowance and birthday money were sent by kids who wanted to help. We soon had raised enough money to build a rehabilitation center for freed child slaves, along with 22 primary schools, in Asia. Our tiny charity had started with a leap, but the real learning curve was still to come.


pages: 364 words: 102,926

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

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: 463 words: 105,197

Radical Markets: Uprooting Capitalism and Democracy for a Just Society by Eric Posner, E. Weyl

3D printing, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, anti-communist, augmented reality, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Branko Milanovic, business process, buy and hold, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collective bargaining, commoditize, Corn Laws, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, endowment effect, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, feminist movement, financial deregulation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, George Akerlof, global supply chain, guest worker program, hydraulic fracturing, Hyperloop, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, index fund, informal economy, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jean Tirole, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, labor-force participation, laissez-faire capitalism, Landlord’s Game, liberal capitalism, low skilled workers, Lyft, market bubble, market design, market friction, market fundamentalism, mass immigration, negative equity, Network effects, obamacare, offshore financial centre, open borders, Pareto efficiency, passive investing, patent troll, Paul Samuelson, performance metric, plutocrats, Plutocrats, pre–internet, random walk, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Rory Sutherland, Second Machine Age, second-price auction, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, special economic zone, spectrum auction, speech recognition, statistical model, stem cell, telepresence, Thales and the olive presses, Thales of Miletus, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, urban planning, Vanguard fund, women in the workforce, Zipcar

Many early designs supported technologies that would have made it easier for receivers of information to automatically pay the providers. These designs used two-way links where every piece of information would effectively carry its full provenance with it.6 At various points in the development of the web, governments and companies made attempts to direct revenue to the diffused set of individuals who contributed value to the system. In France, the pre-Internet Minitel system had a system of micropayments,7 for example, and the America OnLine (AOL) service popular in the 1990s in the United States charged its customers a fee and used the revenue to pay for content it made available within its simplified “walled garden” interface. For a period, some Internet designers were trying to force email to carry postage stamps as a way to deter spammers from flooding inboxes with junk.


pages: 404 words: 95,163

Amazon: How the World’s Most Relentless Retailer Will Continue to Revolutionize Commerce by Natalie Berg, Miya Knights

3D printing, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, business intelligence, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, commoditize, computer vision, connected car, Donald Trump, Doomsday Clock, Elon Musk, gig economy, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, market fragmentation, new economy, pattern recognition, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, QR code, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, remote working, sensor fusion, sharing economy, Skype, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, trade route, underbanked, urban planning, white picket fence

The more that connectivity becomes truly ubiquitous, with the development of fifth-generation (5G) mobile networks, alongside blanket Wi-Fi availability, wireless charging, and whatever device or means that enable us to be always connected and online at faster speeds, the more impatient we become for greater choice, more intuitive search and instantaneous response and fulfilment times. The context for the second technology driver, towards more ‘pervasive interfaces’, requires that we go back to the early, pre-internet days of computing, where the idea of a handheld pointing device or ‘mouse’ was relatively new. For example, in 1984, reporter Gregg Williams wrote of the introduction of the first Macintosh computer that it ‘brings us one step closer to the ideal computer as appliance’. ‘The Lisa computer was important because it was the first commercial product to use the mouse-window-desktop environment.


pages: 353 words: 104,146

European Founders at Work by Pedro Gairifo Santos

business intelligence, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, fear of failure, full text search, information retrieval, inventory management, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Joi Ito, 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: 364 words: 99,897

The Industries of the Future by Alec Ross

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, John Markoff, Joi Ito, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, lifelogging, litecoin, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mikhail Gorbachev, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Nelson Mandela, new economy, offshore financial centre, open economy, Parag Khanna, paypal mafia, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, precision agriculture, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rubik’s Cube, Satoshi Nakamoto, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), 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, The Future of Employment, Travis Kalanick, 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: 416 words: 106,582

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

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, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, mandelbrot fractal, market design, Mars Rover, Marshall McLuhan, microbiome, Murray Gell-Mann, Nicholas Carr, open economy, Pierre-Simon Laplace, place-making, placebo effect, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, random walk, randomized controlled trial, rent control, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Richard Thaler, Satyajit Das, Schrödinger's Cat, security theater, selection bias, Silicon Valley, Stanford marshmallow experiment, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, Thorstein Veblen, Turing complete, Turing machine, twin studies, Vilfredo Pareto, Walter Mischel, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

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: 351 words: 108,068

The Man Who Was Saturday by Patrick Bishop

airport security, Alistair Cooke, anti-communist, British Empire, collective bargaining, Etonian, pre–internet, Winter of Discontent

Rodgers agreed and ‘Airey persuaded [him] to vote for Thatcher on the grounds that Heath needed a kick up the bum and then he’ll behave much better.’ When the results came through, ‘John was furious. “That fucker Neave – he said there was no chance of her winning!”’ Neave used the same technique when engaging in a clever piece of media manipulation. According to Richard Ryder, the night before the poll he spoke to Bob Carvel, political editor of the Evening Standard, an important publication in the pre-internet age, when its early editions could set the news agenda. He told the reporter that Heath’s figures were higher than his own canvass suggested. The story was carried in the first edition, which appeared before lunch, and Neave arranged for extra copies to be distributed around the Commons facilities. The idea was that members who wanted Heath out but intended to back candidates other than Thatcher who would emerge in the second round would get the message and make sure Ted did not survive.54 On Tuesday 4 February, in Committee Room 14 in the House, polling began.


pages: 383 words: 105,021

Dark Territory: The Secret History of Cyber War by Fred Kaplan

Cass Sunstein, computer age, data acquisition, drone strike, dumpster diving, Edward Snowden, game design, hiring and firing, index card, Internet of things, Jacob Appelbaum, John Markoff, John von Neumann, kremlinology, Mikhail Gorbachev, millennium bug, national security letter, packet switching, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, Stuxnet, uranium enrichment, Y2K, zero day

A hacker friend had told them about “demon-dialing” (also called “war-dialing”), in which a telephone modem searched for other nearby modems by automatically dialing each phone number in a local area code and letting it ring twice before moving on to the next number. If a modem answered, it would squawk; the demon-dialing software would record that number, and the hacker would call it back later. (This was the way that early computer geeks found one another: a pre-Internet form of web trolling.) In the screenplay, this was how their whiz-kid hero breaks into the NORAD computer. But Lasker and Parkes wondered whether this was possible: wouldn’t a military computer be closed off to public phone lines? Lasker lived in Santa Monica, a few blocks from RAND. Figuring that someone there might be helpful, he called the public affairs officer, who put him in touch with Ware, who invited the pair to his office.


pages: 406 words: 109,794

Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World by David Epstein

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Atul Gawande, Checklist Manifesto, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, clockwork universe, cognitive bias, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, Exxon Valdez, Flynn Effect, Freestyle chess, functional fixedness, game design, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, knowledge economy, lateral thinking, longitudinal study, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, medical residency, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, Netflix Prize, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, precision agriculture, prediction markets, premature optimization, pre–internet, random walk, randomized controlled trial, retrograde motion, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Silicon Valley, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, Walter Mischel, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y Combinator, young professional

New collaborations allow creators “to take ideas that are conventions in one area and bring them into a new area, where they’re suddenly seen as invention,” said sociologist Brian Uzzi, Amaral’s collaborator. Human creativity, he said, is basically an “import/export business of ideas.” Uzzi documented an import/export trend that began in both the physical and social sciences in the 1970s, pre-internet: more successful teams tended to have more far-flung members. Teams that included members from different institutions were more likely to be successful than those that did not, and teams that included members based in different countries had an advantage as well. Consistent with the import/export model, scientists who have worked abroad—whether or not they returned—are more likely to make a greater scientific impact than those who have not.


pages: 426 words: 105,423

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

Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, call centre, clean water, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, fixed income, follow your passion, game design, global village, Iridium satellite, knowledge worker, late fees, lateral thinking, Maui Hawaii, oil shock, paper trading, Parkinson's law, passive income, peer-to-peer, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, remote working, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, Vilfredo Pareto, 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: 379 words: 108,129

An Optimist's Tour of the Future by Mark Stevenson

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, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invention of agriculture, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, Leonard Kleinrock, life extension, Louis Pasteur, low earth orbit, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, off grid, packet switching, peak oil, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, social intelligence, 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.


Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution by Howard Rheingold

A Pattern Language, augmented reality, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, business climate, citizen journalism, computer vision, conceptual framework, creative destruction, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, experimental economics, experimental subject, Extropian, Hacker Ethic, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, Howard Rheingold, invention of the telephone, inventory management, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Joi Ito, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Metcalfe's law, Metcalfe’s law, more computing power than Apollo, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, pez dispenser, planetary scale, pre–internet, prisoner's dilemma, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, Renaissance Technologies, RFID, Richard Stallman, Robert Metcalfe, Robert X Cringely, Ronald Coase, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, slashdot, social intelligence, spectrum auction, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, transaction costs, ultimatum game, urban planning, web of trust, Whole Earth Review, zero-sum game

Technical and regulatory barriers have one weakness, however: They attract people who like to break through barriers. Tonga, Mongolia, the Rez, and Wales: The New Electronic Frontiers Colonel Dave Hughes, USA, Ret., is the only character who has popped up in the plot every time I’ve investigated the roots of a technology revolution. In 1983, exploring the brave new world of the 300 bit per second modem, I encountered him on the Source, a pre-Internet online meeting place. A West Point graduate who had commanded combat troops in Korea and Vietnam, Hughes retired to Colorado and became fired up about the democratic potential of personal computers and modems.49 In 1992, when I was documenting the world of virtual communities, I learned that Hughes was introducing the Internet to Indian reservations and the Big Sky Telegraph system in rural Montana, so I made a pilgrimage to Hughes’s Internet-equipped booth in Rogers’ Bar in Old Colorado City to interview him.50 I have seen Dave Hughes a dozen times, and I’ve never seen him without his Stetson.


pages: 363 words: 105,039

Sandworm: A New Era of Cyberwar and the Hunt for the Kremlin's Most Dangerous Hackers by Andy Greenberg

air freight, Airbnb, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, call centre, clean water, data acquisition, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, global supply chain, hive mind, Julian Assange, Just-in-time delivery, Kickstarter, Mikhail Gorbachev, open borders, pirate software, pre–internet, profit motive, ransomware, RFID, speech recognition, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, undersea cable, uranium enrichment, Valery Gerasimov, WikiLeaks, zero day

He told Hultquist that he wouldn’t be coming into the FireEye office for the foreseeable future. Instead, he locked himself in his basement-level apartment in the D.C. neighborhood of Capitol Hill. For the next three weeks, he barely left that four-hundred-square-foot box, instead working on his laptop from a folding chair, with his back to the only window in his home that produced sunlight, poring over every data point that might reveal the next cluster of the hackers’ targets. A pre-internet-era detective might start a rudimentary search for a person by consulting phone books. Matonis started digging into the online equivalent, the directory of the web’s global network known as the domain name system, or DNS. DNS servers translate human-readable domains like “facebook.com” into the machine-readable IP addresses that actually describe the location of a networked computer that runs that site or service, like 69.63.176.13.


pages: 362 words: 108,359

The Accidental Investment Banker: Inside the Decade That Transformed Wall Street by Jonathan A. Knee

barriers to entry, Boycotts of Israel, call centre, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, corporate governance, Corrections Corporation of America, discounted cash flows, fear of failure, fixed income, greed is good, if you build it, they will come, iterative process, market bubble, market clearing, Menlo Park, new economy, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, risk/return, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, technology bubble, young professional, éminence grise

Goldman would ultimately pay over $250 million to settle charges related to Maxwell’s looting of his employees’ pensions. But by the time I had arrived, Goldman was established as a serious U.K. presence, particularly in the lucrative area of M&A. Equally striking for me was the institutionalization of the “production process” involved in all aspects of investment banking. Though this was the pre-Internet era, our computer screens seamlessly integrated key third-party information on any company—everything from current news and public filings to deal databases that showed what deals the company had done and who had advised them—with proprietary internal Goldman Sachs information such as the history of the relationship, key contacts at the company, and deal team members within different parts of the firm.


pages: 324 words: 106,699

Permanent Record by Edward Snowden

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Berlin Wall, call centre, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, job-hopping, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, Occupy movement, pattern recognition, peak oil, pre–internet, Rubik’s Cube, Silicon Valley, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, trade route, WikiLeaks, zero day

You can’t really appreciate how hard it is to stay anonymous online until you’ve tried to operate as if your life depended on it. Most of the communications systems set up in the IC have a single basic aim: the observer of a communication must not be able to discern the identities of those involved, or in any way attribute them to an agency. This is why the IC calls these exchanges “non-attributable.” The pre-Internet spycraft of anonymity is famous, mostly from TV and the movies: a safe-house address coded in bathroom-stall graffiti, for instance, or scrambled into the abbreviations of a classified ad. Or think of the Cold War’s “dead drops,” the chalk marks on mailboxes signaling that a secret package was waiting inside a particular hollowed-out tree in a public park. The modern version might be fake profiles trading fake chats on a dating site, or, more commonly, just a superficially innocuous app that leaves superficially innocuous messages on a superficially innocuous Amazon server secretly controlled by the CIA.


pages: 349 words: 114,038

Culture & Empire: Digital Revolution by Pieter Hintjens

4chan, airport security, AltaVista, anti-communist, anti-pattern, barriers to entry, Bill Duvall, bitcoin, blockchain, business climate, business intelligence, business process, Chelsea Manning, clean water, commoditize, 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, intangible asset, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Rulifson, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, M-Pesa, mass immigration, mass incarceration, mega-rich, MITM: man-in-the-middle, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, national security letter, Nelson Mandela, 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 Stallman, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, security theater, selection bias, 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, twin studies, union organizing, wealth creators, 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: 396 words: 117,149

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

Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Arthur Eddington, basic income, Bayesian statistics, Benoit Mandelbrot, bioinformatics, Black Swan, Brownian motion, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, combinatorial explosion, computer vision, constrained optimization, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, 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 Markoff, 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, off grid, P = NP, PageRank, pattern recognition, phenotype, planetary scale, pre–internet, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Feynman, scientific worldview, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, speech recognition, Stanford marshmallow experiment, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, superintelligent machines, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, theory of mind, Thomas Bayes, transaction costs, Turing machine, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, white flight, zero-sum game

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: 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

3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Alvin Roth, 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 cycle, business process, buy low sell high, chief data officer, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, clean water, cloud computing, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, data is the new oil, digital map, discounted cash flows, disintermediation, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial innovation, Haber-Bosch Process, High speed trading, information asymmetry, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, market design, Metcalfe’s law, 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, Robert Metcalfe, 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, Travis Kalanick, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, winner-take-all economy, zero-sum game, 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: 393 words: 115,217

Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries by Safi Bahcall

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Albert Einstein, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Astronomia nova, British Empire, Cass Sunstein, Charles Lindbergh, Clayton Christensen, cognitive bias, creative destruction, disruptive innovation, diversified portfolio, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Edmond Halley, Gary Taubes, hypertext link, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, Jony Ive, knowledge economy, lone genius, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, Murray Gell-Mann, PageRank, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, Pierre-Simon Laplace, prediction markets, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, random walk, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, side project, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Solar eclipse in 1919, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tim Cook: Apple, tulip mania, Wall-E, wikimedia commons, yield management

They ended up at the University of Texas, published their first paper together in 1973, and have published over five hundred papers together in the past forty years (alternating the order of their names on each, from “Brown-Goldstein” to “Goldstein-Brown”). They have been called the Gilbert and Sullivan of medicine. After Brown and Goldstein arrived in Texas, they subscribed to a computer-based service that alerted them to published articles citing their work (not uncommon in the pre-internet era). In July 1976, the service notified them that one Akira Endo in Tokyo had published an article in a Japanese scientific journal reviewing the results from one of their papers. They couldn’t read the Japanese words, but they recognized the figures from their paper. They were delighted that their work had crossed overseas and added Endo to their author screen. Several months later, the service alerted them to two new articles by Endo, published in December 1976.


pages: 347 words: 115,173

Chasing the Devil: On Foot Through Africa's Killing Fields by Tim Butcher

barriers to entry, blood diamonds, centre right, clean water, colonial rule, Etonian, Google Earth, Kickstarter, Nelson Mandela, pre–internet, Scramble for Africa, trade route, upwardly mobile

This was one of the great jobs in British newspapers, a role so exciting it made egotistical, ambitious individuals, like me, sign up to be reporters, but for some reason Silk had walked away from it. The answer was linked to Liberia. One night shift he mentioned that he had covered the 1980 coup but gave scant other details. So down I went to the newspaper’s cuttings library to find out more. In those pre-internet days, the work of every reporter was routinely preserved in hard copy. Librarians would carefully cut out and file every piece of work printed by the newspaper under an individual’s by-line. I went through the filing cabinets and found the folder marked ‘Silk, Brian’. It was empty. Years before he had broken the rules by destroying all his own cuttings. But Silk himself had taught me that no matter how many dead ends you hit on a story, there will always be another way through.


pages: 406 words: 115,719

The Case Against Sugar by Gary Taubes

Albert Einstein, British Empire, cuban missile crisis, epigenetics, Everything should be made as simple as possible, Gary Taubes, Isaac Newton, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, phenotype, pre–internet, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, selection bias, the new new thing, 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: 390 words: 114,538

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

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, AltaVista, Build a better mousetrap, Burning Man, cloud computing, commoditize, 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 new new thing, the scientific method, Tim Cook: Apple, turn-by-turn navigation, 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: 342 words: 115,769

Raising Cubby: A Father and Son's Adventures With Asperger's, Trains, Tractors, and High Explosives by John Elder Robison

Asperger Syndrome, centre right, intermodal, Mason jar, neurotypical, pre–internet, sealed-bid auction, theory of mind

I used the credibility I was building in my service department to sell cars in a nontraditional way. “If you want a late-model Mercedes,” I told people, “I’ll go to the Mercedes-Benz auction and find the one that’s perfect for you. You pay me a six-percent commission, just like a real estate agent. I’ll buy you a better car than you’d find at any dealer, for a better price. You’re hiring me to be your expert.” In those pre-Internet days my idea took off. Soon I was buying five, ten, and even twenty cars a month. I wasn’t worried about finding buyers for my inventory, because everything I bought was presold. Customers loved the transparency of my system. If I paid ten thousand for a car, they paid me ten thousand six hundred. There was no fear that they’d paid too much, or that an unscrupulous salesman had taken advantage of them.


pages: 450 words: 113,173

The Age of Entitlement: America Since the Sixties by Christopher Caldwell

1960s counterculture, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, anti-communist, Bernie Sanders, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, blue-collar work, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, computer age, crack epidemic, crony capitalism, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Attenborough, desegregation, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, Edward Snowden, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ferguson, Missouri, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Firefox, full employment, George Gilder, global value chain, Home mortgage interest deduction, illegal immigration, immigration reform, informal economy, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, libertarian paternalism, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, mass incarceration, mortgage tax deduction, Nate Silver, new economy, Norman Mailer, post-industrial society, pre–internet, profit motive, reserve currency, Richard Thaler, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Silicon Valley, Skype, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, War on Poverty, Whole Earth Catalog, zero-sum game

But, like the bankers he went after, Spitzer took advantage of the ambiguity about what’s legal and what’s not that always arises when a society moves from one technological platform to another. There were a lot of emails lying around in companies’ private servers and those of internet service providers. The simplest way to treat them was as private and personal. Most users of the internet in its first decade assumed that the rules of privacy from the old pre-internet world would “map” commonsensically onto the new one. A gentleman didn’t read others’ emails, any more than his grandfather would have read people’s letters. The Fourth Amendment, which protects against illegal searches and seizures, would operate in cyberspace by some kind of analogy. But there was another way of looking at things: In sending emails, which passed through the private hands of various data processors and wound up stored on a supercomputer in some sparsely inhabited state, the sender had given custody of them to other private parties and had thereby forfeited his legal right to privacy.


pages: 323 words: 111,561

Digging Up Mother: A Love Story by Doug Stanhope

call centre, index card, pre–internet, rent control, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, telemarketer

I soon found out that generally only for the first few of the checks would they actually have the money in the bank to cover. So when pay-day came, it was a gumball rally to be first to the nearest bank to cash it. If you were too late and there were insufficient funds, then you had to endure the process of finding a check-cashing place that didn’t have this company on file as deadbeats. Those pre-Internet days where everything was done on index cards in a Rolodex were golden when it came to scamming the system. I was there for less than a month before they shut down and fled but there were plenty more in town, and if one shut down, you’d have a job at another by the end of the day. Some were really shaky, some almost felt corporate. One had it down to such a science that you could only call people with certain first names—names that were generally of young people.


pages: 458 words: 112,885

The Prodigal Tongue: The Love-Hate Relationship Between American and British English by Lynne Murphy

airport security, British Empire, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Downton Abbey, en.wikipedia.org, illegal immigration, invention of the printing press, joint-stock company, moral panic, pre–internet, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, smart cities, Steven Pinker, too big to fail, transatlantic slave trade, young professional

This led over a million Britons to become “ten-pound Poms,” so-called after the price of the sea voyage. (Pom, short for pomegranate, was rhyming slang for immigrant. It remains an Australian epithet for British people.) Australia, Canada, and other parts of the British Empire (and later the Commonwealth) were thus exposed to more and more recent British English than Americans could get in the pre-television, pre-internet era. And then there was the nastiness of the breakup between the US and Britain, involving an eight-year war with thousands of casualties (and then a further bloody row, 1812–14).29 Canada, Australia, and New Zealand still have a monarch—the British monarch—unlike Americans, who rejected the British aristocracy and the British structure of government. This is important for language, not just because new words like constitutionality (1787) and presidential (referring to the hoped-for dignified demeanor of a president; 1804) were needed, but because rejecting the King’s English was another way to reject the king.


pages: 481 words: 121,669

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

AltaVista, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, bioinformatics, Brewster Kahle, business intelligence, dark matter, Donald Davies, Douglas Engelbart, 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: 510 words: 120,048

Who Owns the Future? by Jaron Lanier

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, commoditize, computer age, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, David Graeber, delayed gratification, digital Maoism, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, Everything should be made as simple as possible, 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, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, life extension, Long Term Capital Management, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Metcalfe’s law, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, packet switching, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Peter Thiel, place-making, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post-oil, pre–internet, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, scientific worldview, 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, zero-sum game

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: 363 words: 123,076

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

1960s counterculture, Bonfire of the Vanities, British Empire, citizen journalism, cognitive dissonance, Donner party, East Village, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Haight Ashbury, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, Joan Didion, Kickstarter, Menlo Park, New Journalism, non-fiction novel, Norman Mailer, post-work, pre–internet, rent control, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Stewart Brand, upwardly mobile, working poor, yellow journalism

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: 413 words: 119,587

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

"Robert Solow", A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, AI winter, airport security, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, 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 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, Gunnar Myrdal, 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 Markoff, 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, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, medical residency, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, 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, zero-sum game

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: 492 words: 118,882

The Blockchain Alternative: Rethinking Macroeconomic Policy and Economic Theory by Kariappa Bheemaiah

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Ada Lovelace, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, balance sheet recession, bank run, banks create money, Basel III, basic income, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, business cycle, business process, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cashless society, cellular automata, central bank independence, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, complexity theory, constrained optimization, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, deskilling, Diane Coyle, discrete time, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, diversification, double entry bookkeeping, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, financial innovation, financial intermediation, Flash crash, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, George Akerlof, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, interest rate derivative, inventory management, invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, large denomination, liquidity trap, London Whale, low skilled workers, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, MITM: man-in-the-middle, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mortgage debt, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Nikolai Kondratiev, offshore financial centre, packet switching, Pareto efficiency, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, Ponzi scheme, precariat, pre–internet, price mechanism, price stability, private sector deleveraging, profit maximization, QR code, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ray Kurzweil, Real Time Gross Settlement, rent control, rent-seeking, Satoshi Nakamoto, Satyajit Das, savings glut, seigniorage, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, software as a service, software is eating the world, speech recognition, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, supply-chain management, technology bubble, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, The Great Moderation, the market place, The Nature of the Firm, the payments system, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transaction costs, Turing machine, Turing test, universal basic income, Von Neumann architecture, Washington Consensus

A clutch of employees (5300 exactly) at different branches opened over 2 million fake deposit & credit card accounts and used phony emails to enrol consumers in online- banking services without customer authorization. Clients were hit with fees for services they never asked for. 19 135 Chapter 3 ■ Innovating Capitalism One digital money to rule them all—Fiscal Policy instead of Monetary Policy? The Blockchain highlights the fact that the existing structures of money creation and policy making parameters were built for a pre-Internet world. As the world moves into a cashless environment, it requires policies that are adapted to it. But the changes to be made are not just with regards to the technical underpinnings of monetary design. In light of prolonged low interest rates, soaring debt levels, high deficits, and weak economic growth, what is also required is a rethinking of how we understand money and macroeconomic policies, and if moving to a completely cashless economy can help us address these issues.


pages: 587 words: 117,894

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

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, do-ocracy, drone strike, 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, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, M-Pesa, MITM: man-in-the-middle, 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, zero-sum game

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: 472 words: 117,093

Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing Our Digital Future by Andrew McAfee, Erik Brynjolfsson

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, additive manufacturing, AI winter, Airbnb, airline deregulation, airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, backtesting, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, British Empire, business cycle, business process, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, centralized clearinghouse, Chris Urmson, cloud computing, cognitive bias, commoditize, complexity theory, computer age, creative destruction, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dean Kamen, discovery of DNA, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, double helix, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, family office, fiat currency, financial innovation, George Akerlof, global supply chain, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, information asymmetry, Internet of things, inventory management, iterative process, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, law of one price, longitudinal study, Lyft, Machine translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." to Russian and back, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mitch Kapor, moral hazard, multi-sided market, Myron Scholes, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, PageRank, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, performance metric, plutocrats, Plutocrats, precision agriculture, prediction markets, pre–internet, price stability, principal–agent problem, Ray Kurzweil, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Ronald Coase, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, smart contracts, Snapchat, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, Ted Nelson, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas Davenport, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, transaction costs, transportation-network company, traveling salesman, Travis Kalanick, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, winner-take-all economy, yield management, zero day

Here’s Everybody This, after all, was the idea behind the library, one of civilization’s oldest and most enduring institutions. Libraries are founded and funded by monarchs, churches, democratically elected governments, and philanthropists, and they are typically staffed by trained professionals who select, arrange, and maintain their collections. They’re a great example of what we call the “core,” which we define as the dominant organizations, institutions, groups, and processes of the pre-Internet era. To be clear up front, we don’t think the core is bad or obsolete. Both of us have used and have benefited from libraries all our lives, and we take a geeky pride in MIT’s excellent library system. What Wright foresaw, even if he couldn’t have anticipated its size and speed, was the emergence of an alternative to the core, which we call the “crowd” and define as the new participants and practices enabled by the net and its attendant technologies.


pages: 487 words: 132,252

The Fry Chronicles: An Autobiography by Stephen Fry

Alistair Cooke, back-to-the-land, Desert Island Discs, Etonian, Isaac Newton, Live Aid, loadsamoney, pre–internet, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Sloane Ranger, 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: 483 words: 141,836

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

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, Asian financial crisis, Atul Gawande, backtesting, Basel III, Bayesian statistics, beat the dealer, Benoit Mandelbrot, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, business cycle, capital asset pricing model, central bank independence, Checklist Manifesto, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, disintermediation, distributed generation, diversification, diversified portfolio, Edward Thorp, 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 market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, natural language processing, open economy, Pierre-Simon Laplace, 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, stocks for the long run, The Myth of the Rational Market, Thomas Bayes, 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: 370 words: 129,096

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance

addicted to oil, Burning Man, cleantech, digital map, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, global supply chain, Hyperloop, industrial robot, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, low earth orbit, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Mercator projection, money market fund, multiplanetary species, optical character recognition, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, paypal mafia, performance metric, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, Tesla Model S, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, X Prize

As Kimbal put it, “South Africa was like a prison for someone like Elon.” Musk’s opportunity to flee arrived with a change in the law that allowed Maye to pass her Canadian citizenship to her children. Musk immediately began researching how to complete the paperwork for this process. It took about a year to receive the approvals from the Canadian government and to secure a Canadian passport. “That’s when Elon said, ‘I’m leaving for Canada,’” Maye said. In these pre-Internet days, Musk had to wait three agonizing weeks to get a plane ticket. Once it arrived, and without flinching, he left home for good. 3 CANADA MUSK’S GREAT ESCAPE TO CANADA WAS NOT WELL THOUGHT OUT. He knew of a great-uncle in Montreal, hopped on a flight and hoped for the best. Upon landing in June 1988, Musk found a pay phone and tried to use directory assistance to find his uncle.


pages: 500 words: 145,005

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

"Robert Solow", 3Com Palm IPO, Albert Einstein, Alvin Roth, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrei Shleifer, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Atul Gawande, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Black-Scholes formula, business cycle, 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, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, Kickstarter, late fees, law of one price, libertarian paternalism, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, market clearing, Mason jar, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, money market fund, More Guns, Less Crime, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, Nash equilibrium, Nate Silver, New Journalism, nudge unit, Paul Samuelson, 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, Stanford marshmallow experiment, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Supply of New York City Cabdrivers, 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, Vilfredo Pareto, Walter Mischel, zero-sum game

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: 504 words: 129,087

The Ones We've Been Waiting For: How a New Generation of Leaders Will Transform America by Charlotte Alter

"side hustle", 4chan, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, carbon footprint, clean water, collective bargaining, Columbine, corporate personhood, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, Donald Trump, double helix, East Village, ending welfare as we know it, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, Ferguson, Missouri, financial deregulation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, gig economy, glass ceiling, Google Hangouts, housing crisis, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), job-hopping, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, Lyft, mandatory minimum, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, McMansion, medical bankruptcy, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, obamacare, Occupy movement, passive income, pre–internet, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, sexual politics, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, Snapchat, TaskRabbit, too big to fail, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, unpaid internship, We are the 99%, white picket fence, working poor, Works Progress Administration

Unlike members of Generation Z, who were born into a digital universe and have never known anything different, millennials are acutely aware of how much has changed since they were children. They remember what it was like before the internet: calling up friends on home phone lines, calling Moviefone to find movie times, fighting over CDs in the car. Of course, Gen Xers and boomers also remember the analog age—probably much better than millennials do—and many of them are just as digitally nimble even if they spent more of their adult lives in a pre-internet world. But one day, far in the future, millennials will be the last people on earth who remember what it was like before the internet changed everything. Being a kid in the 1980s meant getting a remote control for the first time, recording birthday parties on a camcorder, and trying to reach your parents on their pagers. In 1984, only about 8 percent of households had a computer, but households with kids were more likely to have one.


pages: 492 words: 153,565

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

Ayatollah Khomeini, Brian Krebs, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, Doomsday Clock, drone strike, Edward Snowden, facts on the ground, Firefox, friendly fire, Google Earth, information retrieval, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Loma Prieta earthquake, Maui Hawaii, MITM: man-in-the-middle, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, smart grid, smart meter, South China Sea, Stuxnet, undersea cable, 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: 543 words: 153,550

Model Thinker: What You Need to Know to Make Data Work for You by Scott E. Page

"Robert Solow", Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, algorithmic trading, Alvin Roth, assortative mating, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Checklist Manifesto, computer age, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, cuban missile crisis, deliberate practice, discrete time, distributed ledger, en.wikipedia.org, Estimating the Reproducibility of Psychological Science, Everything should be made as simple as possible, experimental economics, first-price auction, Flash crash, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, germ theory of disease, Gini coefficient, High speed trading, impulse control, income inequality, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, meta analysis, meta-analysis, money market fund, Nash equilibrium, natural language processing, Network effects, p-value, Pareto efficiency, pattern recognition, Paul Erdős, Paul Samuelson, phenotype, pre–internet, prisoner's dilemma, race to the bottom, random walk, randomized controlled trial, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, school choice, sealed-bid auction, second-price auction, selection bias, six sigma, social graph, spectrum auction, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Supply of New York City Cabdrivers, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Great Moderation, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, the rule of 72, the scientific method, The Spirit Level, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, urban sprawl, value at risk, web application, winner-take-all economy, zero-sum game

Though the positive feedbacks model cannot be fitted to time series data with the same fidelity as the previous technology model, we can look to experiments to see how feedbacks contribute to inequality. Recall the music lab experiments described in Chapter 6. College students sampled and downloaded music under two treatments. In the first treatment, subjects could not see what music others had downloaded. This treatment captures the pre-internet world. In the second treatment, subjects could see the download numbers for each song. In the treatment without social information, no song receives more than two hundred downloads and only one song receives fewer than thirty. When people can see downloads, one song receives more than three hundred downloads and over half receive fewer than thirty. Information and social influence amplify the Matthew effect.


pages: 504 words: 147,722

Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick by Maya Dusenbery

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Atul Gawande, equal pay for equal work, feminist movement, gender pay gap, Joan Didion, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, obamacare, phenotype, pre–internet, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, selection bias, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), sexual politics, Skype, stem cell, women in the workforce

“It was further suggested that I had brought the disease on myself, that it was all in my head, that the solution was to quit medical school and settle down to a traditional lifestyle.” All told, she saw fourteen physicians (ten of them urologists), but none offered a diagnosis or even relief for her agonizing pain. “Ultimately, I had to make the diagnosis myself,” Ratner says. She marched off to her medical school’s library to search the literature. In those wild pre-Internet days, that meant paging through volume after volume of the Index Medicus, a large index book published annually that listed the medical journal articles from that year. Finally, as the library was about to close and Ratner was about to throw in the towel after two full days and nights of searching, she came across a footnote, which led her to a 1978 article by Stanford researchers about a condition called interstitial cystitis that seemed to match her case exactly.


pages: 527 words: 147,690

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

23andMe, 4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, airport security, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, basic income, Brian Krebs, California gold rush, call centre, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, drone strike, 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, lifelogging, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, Marshall McLuhan, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Minecraft, move fast and break things, 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 intelligence, social web, sorting algorithm, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, telemarketer, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, 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

accounting loophole / creative accounting, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, banking crisis, barriers to entry, business cycle, business process, buy and hold, call centre, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, clean water, collective bargaining, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate raider, Corrections Corporation of America, 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, information asymmetry, 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, Paul Samuelson, 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, 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: 477 words: 144,329

How Money Became Dangerous by Christopher Varelas

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, airport security, barriers to entry, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, Bonfire of the Vanities, California gold rush, cashless society, corporate raider, crack epidemic, cryptocurrency, discounted cash flows, disintermediation, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, dumpster diving, fiat currency, fixed income, friendly fire, full employment, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, interest rate derivative, John Meriwether, Kickstarter, Long Term Capital Management, mandatory minimum, mobile money, mortgage debt, pensions crisis, pets.com, pre–internet, profit motive, risk tolerance, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, technology bubble, The Predators' Ball, too big to fail, universal basic income, zero day

“I’m going to say by forty-eight hours tops,” Mike said, “it was all over Wall Street. Because, unbeknownst to me, one guy could forward it to somebody, but then he could forward it outside the firm. And people were like, ‘You got to hear this.’ It was my first lesson in something going viral. You have a good story about a jilted bisexual lover? It freakin’ cascaded.” This, of course, happened pre-internet, pre–cell phones, pre–social media. Even the phrase going viral didn’t exist yet—that came along a few years later with the arrival of widespread internet. Before voicemail technology, stories were told over a meal or a cup of coffee or by the water cooler. The new voicemail-forwarding technology allowed many more people to share directly in the experience, to listen to the actual voice of the aggrieved lover, rather than receiving the story secondhand.


pages: 530 words: 154,505

Bibi: The Turbulent Life and Times of Benjamin Netanyahu by Anshel Pfeffer

Ayatollah Khomeini, British Empire, centre right, different worldview, Donald Trump, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, friendly fire, full employment, high net worth, illegal immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, pre–internet, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Stuxnet, Thomas L Friedman, uranium enrichment, Yom Kippur War

Sick at the thought of spending years in opposition, 80 percent of the Central Committee voted in favor of holding primaries in eight months. The first stage of the campaign was registering new members. Levy and Katzav relied on their existing supporters to sign up friends, relatives, and neighbors. Netanyahu’s campaign set up dozens of blue booths in town centers emblazoned with Bibi’s face and the slogan “Netanyahu—Choosing a Winning Leadership.” In the pre-Internet era, much of Israeli political life still took place out on the street. But it was the first time anyone had actually registered new party members on the street. Registering thousands of new members weekly created Netanyahu’s camp out of nothing. Campaign volunteers had an incentive to sign up hundreds of members, making them overnight leaders in their local party branches. From the start, the Netanyahu campaign had something that his rivals had not felt necessary: a computerized operation with all their supporters in a database.


pages: 559 words: 155,372

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

Airbnb, airport security, always be closing, Amazon Web Services, Burning Man, Celtic Tiger, centralized clearinghouse, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, disruptive innovation, drone strike, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, Emanuel Derman, financial independence, global supply chain, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, hive mind, income inequality, information asymmetry, interest rate swap, intermodal, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, means of production, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, MITM: man-in-the-middle, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, Paul Graham, performance metric, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, Scientific racism, second-price auction, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, social web, Socratic dialogue, source of truth, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, undersea cable, urban renewal, Y Combinator, zero-sum game, 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: 579 words: 160,351

Breaking News: The Remaking of Journalism and Why It Matters Now by Alan Rusbridger

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Airbnb, banking crisis, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, centre right, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, David Attenborough, David Brooks, death of newspapers, Donald Trump, Doomsday Book, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Etonian, Filter Bubble, forensic accounting, Frank Gehry, future of journalism, G4S, high net worth, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, natural language processing, New Journalism, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open borders, packet switching, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, pre–internet, ransomware, recommendation engine, Ruby on Rails, sexual politics, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social web, Socratic dialogue, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tim Cook: Apple, traveling salesman, upwardly mobile, WikiLeaks

Arianna Huffington – the most upwardly mobile Greek since Icarus, as my colleague Michael White brilliantly described her when she married the multi-millionaire Republican congressman Michael Huffington in 1986 – had appeared to reinvent her life several times. She had moved from left to right and back again without batting a socialite eyelid. It was easy to sneer at an eponymous website that had all the trappings of a vanity project. That was the ridiculous bit. The even more laughable proposition: she would be getting her celebrity friends to write – wait for it – for no payment! If you were a journalist from the pre-internet age this was more than risible. It was offensive. Journalists had mortgages: we were professionals. How dare some Californian hostess imagine she could undercut the work of proper paid commentaries by publishing the work of writers who were doing it for nothing? Those who believed this had contempt for large parts of what Web 2.0 represented. They would curl their lip as they spat out the phrase ‘citizen journalist’.


pages: 486 words: 150,849

Evil Geniuses: The Unmaking of America: A Recent History by Kurt Andersen

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airline deregulation, airport security, always be closing, American ideology, American Legislative Exchange Council, anti-communist, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bernie Sanders, blue-collar work, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, Burning Man, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, centre right, computer age, coronavirus, corporate governance, corporate raider, COVID-19, Covid-19, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, ending welfare as we know it, Erik Brynjolfsson, feminist movement, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, game design, George Gilder, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, High speed trading, hive mind, income inequality, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jitney, Joan Didion, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, mass immigration, mass incarceration, Menlo Park, Naomi Klein, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, obamacare, Peter Thiel, Picturephone, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-industrial society, Powell Memorandum, pre–internet, Ralph Nader, Right to Buy, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Seaside, Florida, Second Machine Age, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, strikebreaker, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, union organizing, universal basic income, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban planning, urban renewal, very high income, wage slave, Wall-E, War on Poverty, Whole Earth Catalog, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, working poor, young professional, éminence grise

So Google’s economic power is a new, befuddling kind—everyone is a user, but their real paying customers are all other businesses. According to the legal scholar Eric Posner and the economist Glen Weyl, both free-market superenthusiasts, “antitrust authorities are accustomed to worrying about competition [only] within existing, well-defined, and easily measurable markets”—that is, not within the new market of digital advertising, which now constitutes most advertising. Back in the pre-Internet, pre-cable day, the closest equivalents were the three (highly regulated) TV networks, which together took in maybe 12 percent of all U.S. ad spending. Google and Facebook get almost two-thirds of all digital ad revenue, which is why those two companies alone are worth $1.5 trillion. Our antitrust authorities have gotten out of the habit of being aggressive. As it happens, the last epic antitrust case was one brought twenty-two years ago to stop the newest computer monopolist at the time from crushing smaller competitors in its quest to dominate the suddenly commercializing Internet.


Bleeding Edge by Pynchon, Thomas

addicted to oil, AltaVista, anti-communist, Anton Chekhov, Bernie Madoff, big-box store, Burning Man, carried interest, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, East Village, Hacker Ethic, index card, invisible hand, jitney, late capitalism, margin call, Network effects, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, rent control, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, telemarketer, Y2K

“And now he’s Attorney General and he’s going after you guys as much he ever went after the mob.” If there’s a difference, she almost adds. “Ironic, huh?” “Costs and benefits. On balance he’s been good for us, put away some elements that would have eventually turned and bit us.” “Cornelia did imply that you have friends all over the spectrum.” “In the long run, it’s less to do with labels than with everyone coming out happy. Some of these folks really have become my friends, in the pre-Internet sense of the term. Cornelia, certainly. Long ago I briefly courted her mother, who had the good judgment to show me the door.” Maxine has brought Reg’s DVD and a tiny Panasonic player, which Platt, not sure of where the wall outlets are exactly, allows her to plug in. He beams at the little screen in a way that makes her feel like a grandchild showing him a music video. But about the time the Stinger crew get set up, “Oh.


pages: 855 words: 178,507

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

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, Donald Knuth, 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, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, lifelogging, Louis Daguerre, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, microbiome, Milgram experiment, Network effects, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, Norman Macrae, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, PageRank, pattern recognition, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Rubik’s Cube, 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: 553 words: 168,111

The Asylum: The Renegades Who Hijacked the World's Oil Market by Leah McGrath Goodman

anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, automated trading system, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, computerized trading, corporate governance, corporate raider, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, East Village, energy security, Etonian, family office, Flash crash, global reserve currency, greed is good, High speed trading, light touch regulation, market fundamentalism, peak oil, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, price mechanism, profit motive, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, upwardly mobile, zero-sum game

During the course of his lengthy absence, he’d embarked on what he described as a “Jack Kerouac journey,” commencing with a three-month trip to South Africa to watch the breakup of apartheid. He took a detour in Florida’s South Beach, where he bought some property before heading to Russia, where he observed the Communist regime in its final death throes. The KGB was “following me around,” he said in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, so he left. Marks also invested in a handful of semi-futuristic businesses, including a pre-Internet startup that failed because it was too far ahead of its time. Marks went out west and painted in Berkeley, California. He washed dishes at Esalen on the island of Big Sur. A private adult bohemia offering courses for thousands of dollars each, such as “Soul Motion” and “Being with Your Self,” Esalen billed itself as a utopia for serious intellectuals looking to swap “revolutionary ideas” in clothing-optional environments while sunbathing, hot-tubbing, and enjoying nude massage.


pages: 604 words: 161,455