you are the product

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pages: 170 words: 49,193

The People vs Tech: How the Internet Is Killing Democracy (And How We Save It) by Jamie Bartlett

Ada Lovelace, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Boris Johnson, central bank independence, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, computer vision, creative destruction, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, disinformation, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Filter Bubble, future of work, gig economy, global village, Google bus, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, information retrieval, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Julian Assange, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, meta-analysis, mittelstand, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, off grid, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, payday loans, Peter Thiel, prediction markets, QR code, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Renaissance Technologies, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Mercer, Ross Ulbricht, Sam Altman, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, smart cities, smart contracts, smart meter, Snapchat, Stanford prison experiment, Steve Bannon, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, strong AI, surveillance capitalism, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, the medium is the message, the scientific method, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, too big to fail, ultimatum game, universal basic income, WikiLeaks, World Values Survey, Y Combinator, you are the product

It was the first time two computers had remotely communicated, and the ‘ARPANET’ was born. A decade and a few adjustments later this government research project had a new name: the internet. Notes Chapter 1: The New Panopticon 1 William Davies, The Happiness Industry (Verso, 2015), gives a very good overview of these early days. 2 John Lanchester, ‘You are the product’, London Review of Books, 17 August 2017. 3 Elizabeth Stinson, ‘Stop the Endless Scroll. Delete Social Media From Your Phone’, www.wired.com, 1 October 2017. 4 Adam Alter, Irresistible (Penguin Press, 2017). 5 Matt Richtel, ‘Are Teenagers Replacing Drugs With Smartphones?’, New York Times, 13 March 2017. 6 Adam Alter, Irresistible. 7 Tristan Harris, ‘How Technology is Hijacking Your Mind – from a Magician and Google Design Ethicist’, www.thriveglobal.com, 18 May 2016. 8 Robert Gehl, ‘A History of Like’, https://thenewinquiry.com, 27 March 2013. 9 Kathy Chan, ‘I like this’, www.facebook.com, 10 February 2009. 10 Tom Huddleston Jnr, ‘Sean Parker Wonders What Facebook Is “Doing to Our Children’s Brains”’, www.fortune.com, 9 November 2017. 11 Natasha Singer, ‘Mapping, and Sharing, the Consumer Genome’, New York Times, 16 June 2012. 12 Michal Kosinski, David Stillwell, and Thore Graepel (2013), ‘Private traits and attributes are predictable from digital records of human behaviour’, PNAS, 110 (15), 5802–5805. 13 Sam Levin, ‘Facebook told advertisers it can identify teens feeling “insecure” and “worthless”’, Guardian, 1 May 2017. 14 Dave Birch, ‘Where are the customer’s bots?’

President Theodore Roosevelt used the 1890 Sherman Act in his first term, which fined monopolies, to break up Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Trust. He wanted to make sure massive monopolies could be controlled to act in the public interest. He worried about ‘wealthy and economically powerful men whose chief object is to hold and increase their power’. Lanchester, ‘You are the product’. Frankin Foer, World Without Mind (Jonathan Cape, 2017) p.191. 11 Foer, World Without Mind, p. 114 12 You find the petition on the www.change.org web page under ‘Save Your Uber’. 13 The Uber Privacy Policy is available on their website. https://privacy.uber.com/policy 14 This website is archived at www.web.archive.org.


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 Bannon, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, technoutopianism, telemarketer, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, WeWork, WikiLeaks, Yochai Benkler, you are the product

With the exception of Rupert Murdoch: Nicholas Thompson and Fred Vogelstein, “Inside the Two Years That Shook Facebook—and the World,” Wired, February 12, 2018, https://www.wired.com/story/inside-facebook-mark-zuckerberg-2-years-of-hell/. Zuckerberg’s early backer: John Lanchester, “You Are the Product,” London Review of Books 39, no. 16 (August 17, 2017), https://www.lrb.co.uk/v39/n16/john-lanchester/you-are-the-product. When Girard died in 2015: Quentin Hardy, “René Girard, French Theorist of the Social Sciences, Dies at 91,” New York Times, November 10, 2015, https://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/11/arts/international/rene-girard-french-theorist-of-the-social-sciences-dies-at-91.html.

utm_term=.f7d8e787ed34; Max Read, “Does Even Mark Zuckerberg Know What Facebook Is?,” New York, October 1, 2017, http://nymag.com/selectall/2017/10/does-even-mark-zuckerberg-know-what-facebook-is.html. When the network welcomed: John Lanchester, “You Are the Product,” London Review of Books 39, no. 16 (August 17, 2017), https://www.lrb.co.uk/v39/n16/john-lanchester/you-are-the-product. Sixty-two percent of Americans: Elisa Shearer and Jeffrey Gottfried, “News Use across Social Media Platforms 2017,” Pew Research Center/Journalism.org, September 7, 2017, http://www.journalism.org/2017/09/07/news-use-across-social-media-platforms-2017/.

In 2010 opponents of a Florida: “Case Study: Reaching Voters with Facebook Ads (Vote No on 8),” Facebook, August 16, 2011, https://www.facebook.com/notes/us-politics-on-facebook/case-study-reaching-voters-with-facebook-ads-vote-no-on-8/10150257619200882. Around 2012 the company set out: John Lanchester, “You Are the Product,” London Review of Books 39, no. 16 (August 17, 2017), https://www.lrb.co.uk/v39/n16/john-lanchester/you-are-the-product. In the cloisters of Cambridge University: Jane Mayer, “The Reclusive Hedge-Fund Tycoon behind the Trump Presidency,” New Yorker, March 27, 2017, https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/03/27/the-reclusive-hedge-fund-tycoon-behind-the-trump-presidency.


pages: 229 words: 72,431

Shadow Work: The Unpaid, Unseen Jobs That Fill Your Day by Craig Lambert

airline deregulation, Asperger Syndrome, banking crisis, Barry Marshall: ulcers, big-box store, business cycle, carbon footprint, cashless society, Clayton Christensen, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, financial independence, Galaxy Zoo, ghettoisation, gig economy, global village, helicopter parent, IKEA effect, industrial robot, informal economy, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Mark Zuckerberg, new economy, pattern recognition, Plutocrats, plutocrats, recommendation engine, Schrödinger's Cat, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, statistical model, the strength of weak ties, The Theory of the Leisure Class by Thorstein Veblen, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, unpaid internship, Vanguard fund, Vilfredo Pareto, you are the product, zero-sum game, Zipcar

Facebook had reframed his joking comment as an endorsement, a sponsored story—without, of course, consulting Bergus. He confessed on his blog that he was “mildly annoyed,” but added, “I know the costs of using Facebook. It does not cost me money. It uses lots of my personal information.” As the Internet-era proverb warns: If you aren’t paying for the product, you are the product. When Facebook went public in 2012 (the company had valued itself at $104 billion, though the public offering sold only $16 billion worth of stock), some of its users publicly asked, “Where’s our cut?” They recognized that shadow work by the site’s users had created the value that founder Mark Zuckerberg and his business partners sold to investors.

It also spins off a nice by-product for OkCupid: a rich harvest of digital info. Fee-based services like Match.com and eHarmony charge monthly rates. Free services like OkCupid earn their money from advertisers rather than members. (Here again, the maxim applies: If you aren’t paying for the product, you are the product.) Fee-based or free, online dating services all require customers to cough up data for their formulas. Theories of romance are embedded in these algorithms. The classic advice that “opposites attract,” for example, gains few adherents here: The algorithms almost always match people with similar outlooks, values, and beliefs, not opposite ones.


pages: 614 words: 168,545

Rentier Capitalism: Who Owns the Economy, and Who Pays for It? by Brett Christophers

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business process, business process outsourcing, Buy land – they’re not making it any more, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, cloud computing, collective bargaining, congestion charging, corporate governance, David Graeber, deindustrialization, Diane Coyle, disintermediation, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Etonian, European colonialism, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, G4S, gig economy, Gini coefficient, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, greed is good, haute couture, high net worth, housing crisis, income inequality, independent contractor, intangible asset, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, land reform, land value tax, light touch regulation, Lyft, manufacturing employment, market clearing, Martin Wolf, means of production, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Network effects, new economy, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, patent troll, pattern recognition, peak oil, Piper Alpha, precariat, price discrimination, price mechanism, profit maximization, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, rent control, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Right to Buy, risk free rate, Ronald Coase, sharing economy, short selling, Silicon Valley, software patent, surveillance capitalism, TaskRabbit, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, Uber for X, uber lyft, very high income, wage slave, wealth creators, winner-take-all economy, working-age population, yield curve, you are the product

This, it transpires, is exactly the situation in which Intu finds itself at the time of this writing: across the UK, bricks-and-mortar retail has been losing business to the Internet, with deleterious consequences for Intu’s business model. See, for example, R. Millard, ‘Embattled Intu worth just £65m as losses widen to £2bn’, Telegraph, 12 March 2020. 5. Alphabet Inc., ‘Annual Report for the Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2018’, p. 27 – pdf available at abc.xyz. 6. J. Lanchester, ‘You Are the Product’, London Review of Books 39: 16 (2017). 7. Facebook, Inc., ‘Annual report for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2018’, p. 35 – pdf available at investor.fb.com. 8. C. Forde, M. Stuart, S. Joyce, L. Oliver, D. Valizade, G. Alberti, K. Hardy, V. Trappmann, C. Umney and C. Carson, ‘The Social Protection of Workers in the Platform Economy’, November 2017, p. 25 – pdf available at europarl.europa.eu. 9.

Stafford, ‘All About Data: LSE Bids Show Exchanges’ New Priorities’, Financial Times, 22 October 2019. 15. Economist, ‘The London Stock Exchange Is Thriving Despite Brexit’, 9 March 2019. 16. One zettabyte = 1 trillion gigabytes, or 1021 bytes. IDC, ‘The Digital Universe of Opportunities: Rich Data and the Increasing Value of the Internet of Things’, April 2014, at emc.com. 17. Lanchester, ‘You Are the Product’. On the surveillance business of contemporary digital capitalism more broadly, see S. Zuboff, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism (London: Profile, 2019). 18. ‘Datafication’ is the term used by Jathan Sadowski in his ‘When Data Is Capital: Datafication, Accumulation, and Extraction’, Big Data & Society, doi: 10.1177/2053951718820549. 19.

It should be noted that nobody paying attention to the real world would believe labour markets to be competitive in the first place. 68. Ibid., p. 601. 69. D. Coyle, ‘Precarious and Productive Work in the Digital Economy’, National Institute Economic Review 240: 1 (2017), pp. R5–R14, at p. R12. 70. Lanchester, ‘You Are the Product’. 71. I will explicitly examine the implications of outsourcing for workers – and not just digital-platform workers – in the following chapter. 72. ‘Social Media’s Dirty Secret: Workers in the Developing World Screen Graphic Content for Facebook and Google’, 6 May 2018, at cbc.ca. 73. S.


pages: 151 words: 39,757

Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now by Jaron Lanier

4chan, basic income, cloud computing, corporate governance, disinformation, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, Filter Bubble, gig economy, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, life extension, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, Milgram experiment, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Stanford prison experiment, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Ted Nelson, theory of mind, WikiLeaks, you are the product, zero-sum game

Facebook researchers have practically bragged9 that they could make people unhappy without the people realizing why.10 Why promote something like that as a great research result? Wouldn’t it be damaging to Facebook’s brand image? The reason might have been that it was great publicity for reaching the true customers, those who pay to manipulate. The ones who are manipulated, meaning you, are the product, not the customer. More recently, Facebook researchers finally acknowledged11 what other researchers have found: that their products can do real harm. What really bugs me about the way social media companies talk about this problem is that they’ll say, “Sure we make you sad, but we do more good in the world than harm.”


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, disinformation, 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, Ian Bogost, income inequality, independent contractor, 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, 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, you are the product, Zipcar

Through these and other measures, corporations ask us to join in the marketing process, to become advertisers alongside them and on their behalf, just as Facebook and Google do with their various sponsored stories strategies. By clicking like or favorite, or retweeting a promoted tweet, a user becomes a vector in the spreading of advertising. You are selling both a product and your networked persona; in many ways, you are the product, particularly when it’s your data being sold to advertisers and other unknown partners. This is what’s so problematic about ad-supported social networks. Like viral media, the line between advertising and honest expression is continually blurred, sometimes to the point where they become one and the same.

When you pass around a video of a college student who catches fire while trying to twerk, a range of actors are making money: your Internet service provider; the video site hosting it and its ad partners; the social networks monitoring your sharing habits; the television show that commissioned the video and designed it, like so much viral material, to look like a candid amateur video. The only person not making money in this arrangement is you, and you did some promotional work by sharing/publishing the video. “If you’re not paying for the product, you are the product,” according to one popular digital-age axiom. It’s a bit glib, but there’s truth in it. The spread of so many free services and so much free content has led to the idea that the Internet is as much a place of economic freedom as it is one of personal freedom. But because we pay for so little that we do online, we’re forced to pay in other ways: being tracked, submitting to video ads before we can watch TV shows, having our personal data bought and sold, liking brand pages so that we can access exclusive content or giveaways.


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, Herbert Marcuse, 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 Bannon, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, The Chicago School, The Market for Lemons, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, Tragedy of the Commons, 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, you are the product

Before I continue with Zuckerberg’s story, I want to pause to ponder just why his invention created such a profound shift in the world of communication. Facebook is changing the norms of what it means to be private, what it means to be a kid, and what it means to be a “human product.” As the phrase goes, if you are not paying for it, you are not the customer, you are the product. Perhaps Mark Zuckerberg’s greatest insight was that the human desire to be “liked” was so strong that Facebook’s users would create all the content on the site for free. In 2014, Facebook’s 1.23 billion regular users logged in to the site for seventeen minutes each day—as the New York Times pointed out.


pages: 296 words: 78,631

Hello World: Being Human in the Age of Algorithms by Hannah Fry

23andMe, 3D printing, Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, airport security, algorithmic bias, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, backpropagation, Brixton riot, chief data officer, computer vision, crowdsourcing, DARPA: Urban Challenge, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, Firefox, Google Chrome, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, John Markoff, Mark Zuckerberg, meta-analysis, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, RAND corporation, ransomware, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, selection bias, self-driving car, Shai Danziger, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, speech recognition, Stanislav Petrov, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, Tesla Model S, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Bayes, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web of trust, William Langewiesche, you are the product

If you give it your consent (and 80 per cent of customers do), it will sell on an anonymized version of your genetic data to those aforementioned research partners for a tidy profit.56 The money earned isn’t a happy bonus for the company; it’s actually their business plan. One 23andMe board member told Fast Company: ‘The long game here is not to make money selling kits, although the kits are essential to get the base level data.’ Something worth remembering whenever you send off for a commercial genetic report: you’re not using the product; you are the product.57 Word of warning. I’d also be a bit wary of those promises of anonymity. In 2005 a young man,58 conceived through a completely anonymous sperm donor, managed to track down and identify his birth father by sending off a saliva swab to be analysed and picking up on clues in his own DNA code.59 Then in 2013 a group of academics, in a particularly famous paper, demonstrated that millions of people could potentially be identified by their genes using nothing more than a home computer and a few clever internet searches.60 And there’s another reason why you might not want your DNA in any dataset.


pages: 291 words: 72,937

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

carbon footprint, glass ceiling, invisible hand, Lao Tzu, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Schrödinger's Cat, you are the product

And in a few moments, she wasn’t. God and Other Librarians ‘Who are you?’ ‘You know my name. I am Mrs Elm. Louise Isabel Elm.’ ‘Are you God?’ She smiled. ‘I am who I am.’ ‘And who is that?’ ‘The librarian.’ ‘But you aren’t a real person. You’re just a . . . mechanism.’ ‘Aren’t we all?’ ‘Not like that. You are the product of some strange interaction between my mind and the multiverse, some simplification of the quantum wave function or whatever it is.’ Mrs Elm looked perturbed by the suggestion. ‘What is the matter?’ Nora thought of the polar bear as she stared down at the yellow-brown stone floor. ‘I nearly died.’


pages: 305 words: 79,303

The Four: How Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google Divided and Conquered the World by Scott Galloway

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Apple II, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Ben Horowitz, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, Bob Noyce, Brewster Kahle, business intelligence, California gold rush, cloud computing, commoditize, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, disintermediation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, follow your passion, future of journalism, future of work, global supply chain, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Hacker Conference 1984, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Jony Ive, Khan Academy, longitudinal study, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, meta-analysis, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, Oculus Rift, offshore financial centre, passive income, Peter Thiel, profit motive, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Robert Mercer, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Bannon, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, supercomputer in your pocket, Tesla Model S, Tim Cook: Apple, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, undersea cable, Whole Earth Catalog, winner-take-all economy, working poor, you are the product, young professional

You get to hide behind freedom of speech, even if you have a crowded theater and someone yells “Fire!” Fear and outrage? All the better. Facebook has good reason not to see itself as a media company. It’s too much work and would introduce friction to growth. And that’s something the Four don’t do. Utopia/Dystopia Media platforms where you are the product have empowered, connected, and facilitated greater empathy among billions of people. The shift in value from old-media to new-media firms will result in job destruction and, as with any upheaval, risks. The greatest threats to modern civilization have come from people and movements who had one thing in common: controlling and perverting the media to their own devices in the absence of a fourth estate that was protected from intimidation and expected to pursue the truth.


Critical Failures (Caverns and Creatures Book 1) by Robert Bevan

you are the product

“It means that one of your parents was an elf, and the other was a human. You’ve probably got some emotional issues.” “About what?” “About whether you identify more with your elven or human side, about how neither side completely accepts you as one of their own,” Chaz paused, and then added solemnly “And there’s the possibility that you are the product of rape.” Katherine looked at him incredulously. “Where are you getting this bullshit?” “Back when I used to play these games, I read some of the novels that were written by-” He was interrupted by Katherine’s laughter. “What’s so funny?” “The thought of you reading a book.” “I read a lot of-” “That fire isn’t going to last very long,” Katherine said.


pages: 317 words: 87,566

The Happiness Industry: How the Government and Big Business Sold Us Well-Being by William Davies

1960s counterculture, Airbnb, business intelligence, corporate governance, dematerialisation, experimental subject, Exxon Valdez, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Gini coefficient, income inequality, intangible asset, invisible hand, joint-stock company, lifelogging, market bubble, mental accounting, nudge unit, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Philip Mirowski, profit maximization, randomized controlled trial, Richard Thaler, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, science of happiness, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), sentiment analysis, sharing economy, Slavoj Žižek, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, social intelligence, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Spirit Level, theory of mind, urban planning, Vilfredo Pareto, you are the product

The solution consists of a range of coaching programmes, combined with ‘behavioural activation’ courses, aimed at restoring the unemployed individual’s self-belief and optimism with ruthless efficiency. As one participant in an A4e course reported, they were shouted at by a self-help guru to ‘talk, breathe, eat, shit belief in yourself’ and that ‘you are the product – you either believe it or you don’t’.15 Wherever the economics of mental health become more explicit, the gap between care and punishment tends to shrink. In 2007, the economist Richard Layard laid out the ‘business case’ for cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), demonstrating that it could save the UK government money, given the treatment’s brevity and apparent success rate in keeping people in work.16 This was instrumental in the creation of the Increasing Access to Psychological Therapies programme, which involved a dramatic rise in the number of cognitive behavioural therapists trained and employed by the National Health Service.


pages: 244 words: 81,334

Picnic Comma Lightning: In Search of a New Reality by Laurence Scott

4chan, Airbnb, airport security, augmented reality, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, clean water, colonial rule, cryptocurrency, dematerialisation, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Herbert Marcuse, housing crisis, Internet of things, Joan Didion, job automation, late capitalism, Mark Zuckerberg, Narrative Science, Productivity paradox, QR code, ride hailing / ride sharing, Saturday Night Live, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, Snapchat, Y2K, you are the product

Epilogue: Unoriginal Features 1 ‘With time we …’, Simone Weil, Gravity and Grace, trans. Emma Crawford and Mario von der Ruhr (London: Routledge, 2002 [1947]). 2 ‘The biggest thing …’, Antonio García Martinez, Chaos Monkeys: Inside the Silicon Valley Money Machine (London: Ebury, 2017), quoted in John Lanchester, ‘You Are the Product’, London Review of Books, 17th August 2017. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS IMMENSE THANKS ARE due to Tom Avery, for his editorial guidance, imagination, and for keeping things real. Many thanks to Anna Argenio and Kate McQuaid, and everyone at William Heinemann. Tom Mayer at W.W. Norton has been a wonderful champion of this book, and of my writing in general, in the United States.


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, disinformation, 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, Kim Stanley Robinson, l'esprit de l'escalier, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, Mondo 2000, 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, surveillance capitalism, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, Turing complete, We are the 99%, web application, white flight, Whole Earth Catalog, you are the product

But Ello had ideals; it was elastic about usernames, ad-free, and pro-user—at least, according to the social network’s “manifesto,” which read as follows: Every post you share, every friend you make and every link you follow is tracked, recorded and converted into data. Advertisers buy your data so they can show you more ads. You are the product that’s bought and sold. We believe there is a better way. We believe in audacity. We believe in beauty, simplicity and transparency. We believe that the people who make things and the people who use them should be in partnership. We believe a social network can be a tool for empowerment. Not a tool to deceive, coerce and manipulate—but a place to connect, create and celebrate life.


pages: 339 words: 94,769

Possible Minds: Twenty-Five Ways of Looking at AI by John Brockman

AI winter, airport security, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Benoit Mandelbrot, Bill Joy: nanobots, Buckminster Fuller, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Danny Hillis, David Graeber, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Elon Musk, Eratosthenes, Ernest Rutherford, finite state, friendly AI, future of work, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, gig economy, income inequality, industrial robot, information retrieval, invention of writing, James Watt: steam engine, Johannes Kepler, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Laplace demon, Loebner Prize, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Norbert Wiener, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, personalized medicine, Picturephone, profit maximization, profit motive, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, salary depends on his not understanding it, self-driving car, sexual politics, Silicon Valley, Skype, social graph, speech recognition, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, strong AI, superintelligent machines, supervolcano, technological singularity, technoutopianism, telemarketer, telerobotics, The future is already here, the scientific method, theory of mind, Turing machine, Turing test, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, Von Neumann architecture, Whole Earth Catalog, Y2K, you are the product, zero-sum game

Moreover, they have the financial resources to hire the most talented workers in the field, enhancing their power even further. We have been giving away valuable data for the sake of freebies like Gmail and Facebook, but as the journalist and author John Lanchester has pointed out in the London Review of Books, if it is free, then you are the product. Their real customers are the ones who pay them for access to knowledge about us, so that they can persuade us to buy their products or otherwise influence us. One way around the monopolistic control of data is to split the ownership of data away from firms that use them. Individuals would instead own and control access to their personal data (a model that would encourage competition, since people would be free to move their data to a company that offered better services).


pages: 326 words: 91,532

The Pay Off: How Changing the Way We Pay Changes Everything by Gottfried Leibbrandt, Natasha de Teran

Ayatollah Khomeini, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Bear Stearns, bitcoin, blockchain, call centre, cashless society, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, financial exclusion, global pandemic, global reserve currency, illegal immigration, information asymmetry, interest rate swap, Internet of things, Irish bank strikes, Julian Assange, large denomination, light touch regulation, M-Pesa, Money creation, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, Northern Rock, off grid, offshore financial centre, payday loans, post-industrial society, QR code, RAND corporation, ransomware, Real Time Gross Settlement, reserve currency, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart contracts, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, the payments system, too big to fail, transaction costs, WikiLeaks, you are the product

This isn’t the only way in which our payments data could potentially prove remunerative. Providers of payment services could follow the Facebook model of using our data to create targeted marketing and advertising – or selling it to third parties to enable them to do so. We might prefer to pay for our payments with data rather than money: as the saying goes, ‘if it’s free, you are the product’. What Alipay and Tenpay have done is little different from the approach long used by banks, the traditional custodians of our payment records. Banks have always used our payments data to their advantage – offering us premium accounts, credit cards and saving vehicles when they’ve seen our income rise; mortgages and pension products when we’ve reached a certain age; loans and overdrafts when we’re caught short.


pages: 364 words: 99,613

Servant Economy: Where America's Elite Is Sending the Middle Class by Jeff Faux

back-to-the-land, Bear Stearns, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business cycle, call centre, centre right, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, disruptive innovation, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, full employment, hiring and firing, Howard Zinn, Hyman Minsky, illegal immigration, indoor plumbing, informal economy, invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Kickstarter, lake wobegon effect, Long Term Capital Management, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, McMansion, medical malpractice, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, Naomi Klein, new economy, oil shock, old-boy network, Paul Samuelson, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price mechanism, price stability, private military company, Ralph Nader, reserve currency, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Savings and loan crisis, school vouchers, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, South China Sea, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trade route, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, War on Poverty, We are the 99%, working poor, Yogi Berra, Yom Kippur War, you are the product

And just what are the “people” skills that are required for the personal-service future? They do not require a degree in communication science or psychology. They are not the skills of marketing or salesmanship that enable you to persuade customers that your product fits their needs. In a high-unemployment, personal-service economy, you are the product, and you must make yourself attractive, accommodating, and pleasing. These are the skills of ingratiation. The boss always has the upper hand, of course. But in a mine, a factory, an office, or a hospital there is a generally recognized line between doing a good job and having to satisfy the boss’s personal whims.


pages: 417 words: 97,577

The Myth of Capitalism: Monopolies and the Death of Competition by Jonathan Tepper

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, air freight, Airbnb, airline deregulation, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, Bob Noyce, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, compensation consultant, computer age, corporate raider, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, diversification, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, financial innovation, full employment, German hyperinflation, gig economy, Gini coefficient, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Google bus, Google Chrome, Gordon Gekko, Herbert Marcuse, income inequality, independent contractor, index fund, Innovator's Dilemma, intangible asset, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, late capitalism, London Interbank Offered Rate, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, means of production, merger arbitrage, Metcalfe's law, multi-sided market, mutually assured destruction, Nash equilibrium, Network effects, new economy, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, passive investing, patent troll, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, prediction markets, prisoner's dilemma, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Sam Peltzman, secular stagnation, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, too big to fail, undersea cable, Vanguard fund, very high income, wikimedia commons, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, you are the product, zero-sum game

Bill Gates, in a 1994 email, wrote, “We should wait until we have a way to do a high level of integration that will be harder for likes of Notes, WordPerfect to achieve, and which will give Office a real advantage … . We can't compete with Lotus and WordPerfect/Novell without this.” 22. http://gs.statcounter.com/social-media-stats. 23. https://marketingland.com/emarketer-facebook-dominate-15-9-pct-digital-ad-spend-growth-2017-209045. 24. https://www.lrb.co.uk/v39/n16/john-lanchester/you-are-the-product. 25. http://gawker.com/5636765/facebook-ceo-admits-to-calling-users-dumb-fucks. 26. http://ec.europa.eu/competition/antitrust/cases/dec_docs/39740/39740_14996_3.pdf. 27. http://www.antitrustinstitute.org/files/Google_DoubleClick_memo_110620071437.pdf. 28. http://fortune.com/2017/04/26/google-facebook-digital-ads/. 29. https://www.reuters.com/article/fitch-affirms-dean-foods-idr-at-bb-withd/fitch-affirms-dean-foods-idr-at-bb-withdraws-all-ratings-idUSFit8kPvMh. 30. https://www.agweb.com/article/dfa_agrees_to_pay_140_million_in_milk-price_fixing_lawsuit/ and https://hoards.com/blog-1936-dean-foods-will-pay-$30-million-after-northeast-price-fixing-lawsuit.html. 31. https://www.foodengineeringmag.com/articles/91700-dean-foods-dairy-farmers-of-america-and-national-dairy-holdings-antitrust-lawsuit-reinstated. 32. http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/economy-budget/241697-the-catalyst-that-transformed-freight-rail-transport. 33. https://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21695385-profits-are-too-high-america-needs-giant-dose-competition-too-much-good-thing. 34. http://consumerfed.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Bulk-Commodities-and-the-Rails.pdf. 35. https://ageconsearch.umn.edu/bitstream/164478/2/Concentration.pdf. 36. http://fortune.com/2014/06/26/monsanto-gmo-crops/. 37. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-monsanto-m-a-bayer-antitrust/bayers-monsanto-acquisition-to-face-politically-charged-scrutiny-idUSKCN11K2LG. 38. https://www.eteknix.com/amd-gain-intelpassmarkq3/. 39. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/06/business/intel-eu-antitrust-fine.html. 40.


pages: 332 words: 100,245

Mine!: How the Hidden Rules of Ownership Control Our Lives by Michael A. Heller, James Salzman

23andMe, Airbnb, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Cass Sunstein, clean water, collaborative consumption, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, crowdsourcing, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Elon Musk, endowment effect, estate planning, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Firefox, Garrett Hardin, gig economy, Hernando de Soto, Internet of things, land tenure, Mason jar, new economy, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, oil rush, planetary scale, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, rent control, Richard Thaler, Ronald Coase, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, surveillance capitalism, TaskRabbit, The future is already here, Tim Cook: Apple, Tragedy of the Commons, you are the product, Zipcar

Shoshana Zuboff has named this business model “surveillance capitalism.” As one economist puts it bluntly: “Imagine if General Motors did not pay for its steel, rubber or glass—its inputs. That’s what it’s like for the big internet companies. It’s a sweet deal.” This is why so many apps are free. But as tech articles repeat: when the app is free, you are the product. The Wild West of no-ownership works for fashion, jokes, and sports plays, but not so well for genes, locations, faces, and clickstreams. What’s the difference? Perhaps it’s that all these types of data share a common thread, one central to ownership design today: individually they count for little, but collectively they are worth everything.


pages: 353 words: 110,919

The Road to Character by David Brooks

Cass Sunstein, coherent worldview, David Brooks, desegregation, Donald Trump, follow your passion, George Santayana, Mahatma Gandhi, meta-analysis, moral hazard, New Journalism, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rent control, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, you are the product

People subtly start comparing themselves to other people’s highlight reels, and of course they feel inferior. The Soul of Man Under Meritocracy The purification of the meritocracy has also reinforced the idea that each of us is wonderful inside. It has also encouraged self-aggrandizing tendencies. If you have lived through the last sixty or seventy years, you are the product of a more competitive meritocracy. You have, like me, spent your life trying to make something of yourself, trying to have an impact, trying to be reasonably successful in this world. That’s meant a lot of competition and a lot of emphasis on individual achievement—doing reasonably well in school, getting into the right college, landing the right job, moving toward success and status.


pages: 918 words: 257,605

The Age of Surveillance Capitalism by Shoshana Zuboff

algorithmic bias, Amazon Web Services, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, blue-collar work, book scanning, Broken windows theory, California gold rush, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collective bargaining, Computer Numeric Control, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, corporate personhood, creative destruction, cryptocurrency, disinformation, dogs of the Dow, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, facts on the ground, Ford paid five dollars a day, future of work, game design, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, hive mind, Ian Bogost, impulse control, income inequality, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, job automation, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, linked data, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, means of production, multi-sided market, Naomi Klein, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Occupy movement, off grid, PageRank, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, pattern recognition, Paul Buchheit, performance metric, Philip Mirowski, precision agriculture, price mechanism, profit maximization, profit motive, recommendation engine, refrigerator car, RFID, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Bork, Robert Mercer, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, slashdot, smart cities, Snapchat, social graph, social web, software as a service, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Bannon, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, structural adjustment programs, surveillance capitalism, The Future of Employment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, two-sided market, union organizing, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, winner-take-all economy, Wolfgang Streeck, Yochai Benkler, you are the product

They do not establish constructive producer-consumer reciprocities. Instead, they are the “hooks” that lure users into their extractive operations in which our personal experiences are scraped and packaged as the means to others’ ends. We are not surveillance capitalism’s “customers.” Although the saying tells us “If it’s free, then you are the product,” that is also incorrect. We are the sources of surveillance capitalism’s crucial surplus: the objects of a technologically advanced and increasingly inescapable raw-material-extraction operation. Surveillance capitalism’s actual customers are the enterprises that trade in its markets for future behavior.

Although Big Other can mimic intimacy through the tireless devotion of the One Voice—Amazon-Alexa’s chirpy service, Google Assistant’s reminders and endless information—do not mistake these soothing sounds for anything other than the exploitation of your needs. I think of elephants, that most majestic of all mammals: Big Other poaches our behavior for surplus and leaves behind all the meaning lodged in our bodies, our brains, and our beating hearts, not unlike the monstrous slaughter of elephants for ivory. Forget the cliché that if it’s free, “You are the product.” You are not the product; you are the abandoned carcass. The “product” derives from the surplus that is ripped from your life. Big Other finally enables the universal technology of behavior that, as Skinner, Stuart MacKay, Mark Weiser, and Joe Paradiso each insisted, accomplishes its aims quietly and persistently, using methods that intentionally bypass our awareness, disappearing into the background of all things.


pages: 457 words: 125,329

Value of Everything: An Antidote to Chaos The by Mariana Mazzucato

"Robert Solow", activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, bank run, banks create money, Basel III, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, business cycle, butterfly effect, buy and hold, Buy land – they’re not making it any more, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, cleantech, Corn Laws, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, European colonialism, fear of failure, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, financial repression, full employment, G4S, George Akerlof, Google Hangouts, Growth in a Time of Debt, high net worth, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, independent contractor, index fund, informal economy, interest rate derivative, Internet of things, invisible hand, John Bogle, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, laissez-faire capitalism, light touch regulation, liquidity trap, London Interbank Offered Rate, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, means of production, Money creation, money market fund, negative equity, Network effects, new economy, Northern Rock, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Pareto efficiency, patent troll, Paul Samuelson, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, Post-Keynesian economics, profit maximization, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, QWERTY keyboard, rent control, rent-seeking, Sand Hill Road, shareholder value, sharing economy, short selling, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, smart meter, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, software patent, stem cell, Steve Jobs, The Great Moderation, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Tobin tax, too big to fail, trade route, transaction costs, two and twenty, two-sided market, very high income, Vilfredo Pareto, wealth creators, Works Progress Administration, you are the product, zero-sum game

Rather, it is users who provide Google with necessary inputs for its production process: their looks on ads and, most importantly, their personal data. In return, they obtain online searches and other services. The bulk of Google's profits come from selling advertising space and users' data to firms. If something is free online, you are not the customer, you are the product.64 Facebook's and Google's business models are built on the commodification of personal data, transforming through the alchemy of a two-sided market our friendships, interests, beliefs and preferences into sellable propositions. The so-called ‘sharing economy' is based on the same idea. For all the hype about ‘sharing', it is less about altruism and more about allowing market exchange to reach into areas of our lives - our homes, our vehicles, even our private relationships - that were previously beyond its scope and to commodify them.65 As Evgeny Morozov has warned, it risks turning us all into ‘perpetual hustlers',66 with all of our lives up for sale, while at the same time undermining the basis for stable employment and a good standard of living.


pages: 397 words: 110,222

Habeas Data: Privacy vs. The Rise of Surveillance Tech by Cyrus Farivar

Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, autonomous vehicles, call centre, citizen journalism, cloud computing, computer age, connected car, do-ocracy, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, failed state, Ferguson, Missouri, Frank Gehry, Golden Gate Park, John Markoff, license plate recognition, Lyft, national security letter, Occupy movement, optical character recognition, Port of Oakland, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, The Hackers Conference, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, uber lyft, WikiLeaks, you are the product, Zimmermann PGP

When Gmail debuted, Levison, then a political science student at Southern Methodist University, was doing some contract work here and there, but he wanted to do his own thing. And from the beginning of Gmail, Levison was disturbed by the entire business model behind the free service. After all, there’s an old adage about tech companies: “If you’re not paying for the product, you are the product.” In other words, while Gmail didn’t charge users for the service, Google routinely scans all messages and sells ads against them as a way to make money. So, Nerdshack (which would eventually change its name to Lavabit), was born. “I didn’t like the idea that Google was going to be profiling people’s private messages for advertising,” Levison said.


pages: 391 words: 123,597

Targeted: The Cambridge Analytica Whistleblower's Inside Story of How Big Data, Trump, and Facebook Broke Democracy and How It Can Happen Again by Brittany Kaiser

Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Boris Johnson, Burning Man, call centre, centre right, Chelsea Manning, clean water, cognitive dissonance, crony capitalism, disinformation, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Etonian, haute couture, illegal immigration, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Nelson Mandela, off grid, open borders, Renaissance Technologies, Robert Mercer, rolodex, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, statistical model, Steve Bannon, the High Line, the scientific method, WeWork, WikiLeaks, you are the product, young professional

Call and write to your legislators (you can find their details at https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials) and tell them that you support new, common-sense data-protection legislation, including the following pending bills and initiatives currently being debated, both in Congress and in the court of public opinion: Senator Ed Markey’s CONSENT Bill would flip the script, requiring companies to obtain opt-in consent from users (rather than their being automatically opted in), develop reasonable data security practices, and notify users about all data collection and any data breaches. Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Corporate Executive Accountability Act would make corporate executives criminally liable for data breaches that occur as a result of negligence, as in the Equifax and Facebook data breaches. Jim Steyer’s “You Are the Product” Legislative Initiative would enshrine legal recourse for abuse of your data and ownership rights. The related bill(s) have not yet dropped but are something to look out for, given that Jim and the Californians for Consumer Privacy were instrumental in translating GDPR into the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPR), the most comprehensive data legislation in the United States.


pages: 524 words: 155,947

More: The 10,000-Year Rise of the World Economy by Philip Coggan

"Robert Solow", accounting loophole / creative accounting, Ada Lovelace, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, airline deregulation, Andrei Shleifer, anti-communist, assortative mating, autonomous vehicles, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, basic income, Bear Stearns, Berlin Wall, Bob Noyce, bond market vigilante , Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, collective bargaining, Columbian Exchange, Columbine, Corn Laws, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, currency peg, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, Donald Trump, Erik Brynjolfsson, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, falling living standards, financial innovation, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, germ theory of disease, German hyperinflation, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global value chain, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Haber-Bosch Process, Hans Rosling, Hernando de Soto, hydraulic fracturing, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, income inequality, income per capita, independent contractor, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, inflation targeting, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Snow's cholera map, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kenneth Arrow, Kula ring, labour market flexibility, land reform, land tenure, Lao Tzu, large denomination, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Blériot, low cost airline, low skilled workers, lump of labour, M-Pesa, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, McJob, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, mittelstand, Modern Monetary Theory, moral hazard, Murano, Venice glass, Myron Scholes, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, Northern Rock, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, popular capitalism, popular electronics, price stability, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, railway mania, Ralph Nader, regulatory arbitrage, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, special drawing rights, spice trade, spinning jenny, Steven Pinker, TaskRabbit, Thales and the olive presses, Thales of Miletus, The Great Moderation, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Theory of the Leisure Class by Thorstein Veblen, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, universal basic income, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, V2 rocket, Veblen good, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce, Yom Kippur War, you are the product, zero-sum game

And Amazon’s sheer scale means that it can undercut rival retailers, on price and on delivery. However, the monopoly power that these companies have attained has caused a “techlash”. People have started to worry about the Faustian bargain involved in giving personal information to corporate giants; as the saying goes, if you are being given a free service, that is because you are the product. Inevitably, the internet has been used to promote offensive views and hateful threats, and the tech companies have been accused of doing too little to prevent this. They have also been criticised for the way they have organised their tax affairs. Many have sited key parts of their organisations in low-tax regimes and they appear to make very little profit (and thus pay very little tax) in the bigger European states.


pages: 576 words: 174,529

Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks

gravity well, means of production, place-making, you are the product

The whole subspecies that is the Changers is the remnant of some ancient war, a war so long gone that no one willing to tell recalls who fought it, or when, or over what. Nobody even knows whether the Changers were on the winning side or not. But in any event, you were fashioned, Horza. You did not evolve in a way you would call “natural”; you are the product of careful thought and genetic tinkering and military planning and deliberate design… and war; your very creation depended on it, you are the child of it, you are its legacy. Changer change yourself… but you cannot, you will not. All you can do is try not to think about it. And yet the knowledge is there, the information implanted, somewhere deep inside.


Alpha Trader by Brent Donnelly

algorithmic trading, Asian financial crisis, Atul Gawande, autonomous vehicles, backtesting, barriers to entry, beat the dealer, bitcoin, buy low sell high, Checklist Manifesto, commodity trading advisor, coronavirus, correlation does not imply causation, Covid-19, COVID-19, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, currency manipulation / currency intervention, diversification, Edward Thorp, Elliott wave, Elon Musk, endowment effect, eurozone crisis, fixed income, Flash crash, full employment, global pandemic, Gordon Gekko, hedonic treadmill, helicopter parent, high net worth, hindsight bias, implied volatility, impulse control, Inbox Zero, index fund, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, invisible hand, iterative process, law of one price, loss aversion, margin call, market bubble, market microstructure, McMansion, Monty Hall problem, Network effects, paper trading, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, prediction markets, price anchoring, price discovery process, price stability, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, random walk, reserve currency, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, secular stagnation, Sharpe ratio, short selling, side project, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stanford prison experiment, survivorship bias, tail risk, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, too big to fail, transaction costs, value at risk, very high income, yield curve, you are the product, zero-sum game

The simultaneous collapse of stock prices and the decimalization of equity trading meant the highly-profitable strategies I employed in 1999/2000 were no longer profitable in 2002. Transaction costs are a constant drag on performance so you need a big edge to succeed in trading. Today, stock market trading is “free” in theory for many individuals. But you know the saying: if the product is free, then you are the product. In the past, you paid a transparent commission and the bid/offer spread. Now, you still pay the bid/offer spread and you pay a hidden transaction fee which is the profit earned by a high-frequency market maker which receives an ultra-short-term “free” option as it chooses how to execute your trade.


pages: 677 words: 206,548

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

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

Hell awaits you perverts. Good luck singing there.” Facebook outed a closeted lesbian and caused her parents to disown her. In response to the irreparable harm she suffered, Bobbi was unequivocal in her stance: “I blame Facebook … It shouldn’t be somebody else’s choice what people see of me.” When you are the product of Internet and social media companies, the challenge you face is that data you provide in one context can be used in unexpected ways in another, with notable consequences. Such is the case with the highly popular “free” dating site OkCupid. Users seeking dates are asked to fill out questionnaires on the site, and most presume, wrongly, that the data they provide remain exclusively within the OkCupid system, used solely for the purposes of finding a suitable match for a date.


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Facebook: The Inside Story by Steven Levy

active measures, Airbnb, Airbus A320, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, augmented reality, Ben Horowitz, blockchain, Burning Man, business intelligence, cloud computing, computer vision, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disinformation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, East Village, Edward Snowden, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, Firefox, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, indoor plumbing, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, MITM: man-in-the-middle, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, natural language processing, Network effects, Oculus Rift, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pets.com, post-work, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Robert Mercer, Robert Metcalfe, rolodex, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, sexual politics, Shoshana Zuboff, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, slashdot, Snapchat, social graph, social software, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, Steve Ballmer, Steve Bannon, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, surveillance capitalism, Tim Cook: Apple, Tragedy of the Commons, web application, WeWork, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, Y2K, you are the product

Facebook, the complaint cited the dates that Kogan and Cambridge Analytica affirmed that the data was deleted. In its response on July 8, 2019, Facebook conceded that those dates were accurate. The company has confirmed this to me directly. raw data in Cambridge Analytica’s files: Matthew Rosenberg and Gabriel J. X. Dance, “‘You Are the Product’: Targeted by Cambridge Analytica on Facebook,” New York Times, April 8, 2018. Brad Parscale would later tell: Frontline’s The Facebook Dilemma web page has extended interviews with sources including Parscale. “secret sauce”: Nicholas Confessore and Danny Hakim, “Data Firm Says ‘Secret Sauce’ Aided Trump; Many Scoff,” New York Times, March 6, 2017.