27 February 2017

We were so blind

I started getting paid to do work on and around the Web in 1993 and my career became "the Web" in 1994. I remember the early days - I remember the excitement we all felt about how we were "changing the world."

Over the last five to ten years I've struggled to explain how painful it is to see what has become of the dreams that we all had back then for the Web. I've had a hard time explaining the deep, philosophical sadness that I feel when I look at what we've done.

This morning this piece was shared with me. And now I can explain my depression and my disillusionment. Finally I can explain why and how I have become an internet apostate.
And when you give the average person an infinite reservoir of human wisdom, they will not Google for the higher truth that contradicts their own convictions. They will not Google for what is true yet unpleasant. Instead, most of us will Google for what is pleasant but untrue.
We were irresponsibly idealistic and naive. We thought that, because we were so fucking smart, we understood how things work. Instead we broke everything and there doesn't seem to be a good way to fix it now.
Civilization was built on people’s ability to suppress their baser instincts—their tendencies towards tribalism and narcissism, their penchant for slaughtering each other over superficial and imagined differences. It took millennia of education and advancement for us to learn how to not do this. Much of this education and advancement revolved around a respect for science, public debate, rational argument, putting multiple institutions in power to balance one another, and so on. We’ve barely even gotten it right the couple hundred years we’ve had it.
This piece is a long read, and I know that for many of you that means you won't read it. And sadly that might illustrate why I think this is important more effectively than anything I can say.
The problem is, as far as I can tell, the internet and its technologies don’t deliver us from tribalism. They don’t deliver us from our baser instincts. They do the opposite. They mainline tribalism into our eyeballs. And what we’re seeing is the beginning of that terrifying impact.
At least I'm old and don't have kids.

23 February 2017

The Fish Stinks from the Head

Can you not connect the dots?
"One group appeared immune to internal scrutiny, the current and former employees said. Members of the group, called the A-Team and composed of executives who were personally close to Mr. Kalanick, were shielded from much accountability over their actions." - NYTimes
"Yesterday afternoon, we began reaching out to women in the tech world to ask for their reactions to Fowler’s post and experience. What we got in response was women telling us their own stories of sexual harassment and sexism. We knew this runs rampant in tech, but we didn’t realize it’d be this easy to find it." - Observer.com
 Tech needs to be purged.

22 February 2017


"This was never, in fact, about free speech at all. It was about making it OK to say racist, sexist, transphobic, and xenophobic things, about tolerating the public expression of those views right up to the point where it becomes financially unwise to do so." 
Incredible piece by Laurie Penny providing insight into, and context around the hate-troll Milo. Very, very highly recommended read.

19 February 2017

Sometimes if it walks like a duck

I'm just gonna leave this here for all you Uber-apologists...

I look forward to your rationalizations and victim-blaming.

Update: Here is the list of those who have invested in Uber.

Another Update: For those saying "this time it's different, this time tech will fix this shit" - just go read the Hacker News comments. Tech is a cesspool that should be burned with fire.

09 February 2017

Oh so smart

This is addressed to everyone in the tech biz who talks about how smart they are, and about how the cream rises to the top in this "meritocracy."

Here's today's Smartest Man in the Room demonstrating just how fucking stupid many people in tech are.
"...commerce is a powerful, underestimated form of expression..."
I'd love to be able to say that Mr Lütke is being cynical and manipulative, but sadly I think he actually believes he's right. And that is the most depressing and frustrating thing ever.

To think I once thought the tech industry would change the world for the good.

06 February 2017

consolidation coming

This is a GREAT short piece by Fred Wilson.
Because backing startups on a field tilted in the favor of the incumbents is not fun and not particularly profitable either.
A piece of advice to all my friends invested in or working at start-ups in spaces like e-Sports... It's time to re-run your models. Distribution and delivery is about to change for all of you. You'll want to understand Carriage. And you might want to think about getting a very good Corp Dev person in. Quickly.