don't be evil

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pages: 666 words: 181,495

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

23andMe, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, autonomous vehicles, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, business process, clean water, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Dean Kamen, discounted cash flows, don't be evil, Donald Knuth, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, El Camino Real, fault tolerance, Firefox, Gerard Salton, Gerard Salton, Google bus, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Googley, HyperCard, hypertext link, IBM and the Holocaust, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, one-China policy, optical character recognition, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, Potemkin village, prediction markets, recommendation engine, risk tolerance, Rubik’s Cube, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, search inside the book, second-price auction, selection bias, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, slashdot, social graph, social software, social web, spectrum auction, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, trade route, traveling salesman, turn-by-turn navigation, undersea cable, Vannevar Bush, web application, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator

“So I suggested something that would make people feel uncomfortable but also be interesting. It popped into my mind that ‘Don’t be evil’ would be a catchy and interesting statement. And people laughed. But I said, ‘No, really.’” The slogan made Stacy Sullivan uncomfortable. It was so negative. “Can’t we phrase it as ‘Do the right thing’ or something more positive?” she asked. Marissa and Salar agreed with her. But the geeks—Buchheit and Patel—wouldn’t budge. “Don’t be evil” pretty much said it all, as far as they were concerned. They fought off every attempt to drop it from the list. “They liked it the way it was,” Sullivan would later say with a sigh. “It was very important to engineering that they were not going to be like Microsoft, they were not going to be an evil company.” When the meeting ended, “Don’t be evil” was just one of a number of broad statements on an otherwise timid list of values.

You might be in a microkitchen eyeing someone else’s leftovers in the fridge and then see the little note saying “Don’t be evil.” And, says David Krane, “You realize, it can mean, ‘Don’t take someone’s food that looks appealing.’” But it also applied to much bigger things, like maintaining a stiff line between advertising and search results, or protecting a user’s personal information, or—much later—resisting the oppressive measures of the Chinese government. For months, “Don’t be evil” was like a secret handshake among Googlers. An idea would come up in a meeting with a whiff of anticompetitiveness to it, and someone would remark that it sounded … evil. End of idea. “Don’t be evil” was a shortcut to remind everyone that Google was better than other companies. Since the slogan was internal, no outsiders were talking about it.

Since the slogan was internal, no outsiders were talking about it. But then Eric Schmidt revealed Google’s internal motto to a reporter from Wired. To McCaffrey, that was the moment when “Don’t be evil” got out of control and became a hammer to clobber Google’s every move. “We lost it, and I could never grasp it back,” she says. “Everybody would’ve been happy if it could’ve been this sort of silent code or little undercurrent that we secretly harbored instead of this thing that set us up for a lot of ridiculous criticism.” Elliot Schrage, who was in charge of communications and policy for Google from 2005 to 2008, concluded that “Don’t be evil” might originally have benefited the company but became “a millstone around my neck” as Google’s growth took it to controversial regions of the world. Nonetheless, most people at Google continued to take pride in being associated with that risky admonition.


pages: 281 words: 95,852

The Googlization of Everything: by Siva Vaidhyanathan

1960s counterculture, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, AltaVista, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, borderless world, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, cloud computing, computer age, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, data acquisition, death of newspapers, don't be evil, Firefox, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full text search, global pandemic, global village, Google Earth, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, information retrieval, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, libertarian paternalism, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral panic, Naomi Klein, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, PageRank, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, pirate software, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, single-payer health, Skype, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, social web, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, The Nature of the Firm, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, Thorstein Veblen, urban decay, web application, zero-sum game

Miguel Helft and David Barboza, “Google’s Plan to Turn Its Back on China Has Risks,” New York Times, March 23, 2010; John Markoff, “Cyberattack on Google Said to Hit Password System,” New York Times, April 19, 2010; John Markoff and Ashlee Vance, “Software Firms Fear Hackers Who Leave No Trace,” New York Times, January 20, 2010. 8. Harry Lewis, “Does Google Violate Its ‘Don’t Be Evil’ Motto?” Intelligence Squared, National Public Radio, November 26, 2008, www.npr.org. 9. Esther Dyson, “Does Google Violate Its ‘Don’t Be Evil’ Motto?” 10. Andrew Shapiro, The Control Revolution: How the Internet Is Putting Individuals in Charge and Changing the World We Know (New York: PublicAffairs, 1999), 6–7. Also see Gladys Ganley, Unglued Empire: The Soviet Experience with Communications Technologies (Norwood, NJ: Ablex, 1996). 11. Richard Oliver, What Is Transparency?

Like all theological texts, the Book of Google contains contradictions that leave us baffled, pondering whether we mere mortals are capable of understanding the nature of the system itself. Perhaps our role is not to doubt, but to believe. Perhaps we should just surf along in awe of the system that gives us such beautiful sunrises—or at least easily finds us digital images of sunrises with just a few keystrokes. Like all such narratives, it underwrites a kind of faith—faith in the goodwill of an enterprise whose motto is “Don’t be evil,” whose mission is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful,” and whose ambition is to create the perfect search engine. On the basis of that faith—born of users’ experiences with the services that Google provides—since the search engine first appeared and spread through word of mouth for a dozen years, Google has permeated our culture. That’s what I mean by Googlization.

To what extent do social conditions and phenomena mold technologies? Do technologies spark revolutions, or do concepts like revolution raise expectations and levels of effects of technologies? The chapters that follow attempt to answer such questions. The first two chapters explore the moral universe of Google and its users. I don’t really care if Google commits good or evil. In fact, as I explain below, the slogan “Don’t be evil” distracts us from carefully examining the effects of Google’s presence and activity in our lives. The first chapter argues that we must consider the extent to which Google regulates the Web, and thus the extent to which we have relinquished that duty to one company. The company itself takes a technocratic approach to any larger ethical and social questions in its way. It is run by and for engineers, after all.


pages: 532 words: 139,706

Googled: The End of the World as We Know It by Ken Auletta

23andMe, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Ben Horowitz, bioinformatics, Burning Man, carbon footprint, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, commoditize, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, death of newspapers, disintermediation, don't be evil, facts on the ground, Firefox, Frank Gehry, Google Earth, hypertext link, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet Archive, invention of the telephone, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Long Term Capital Management, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, Peter Thiel, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, semantic web, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social graph, spectrum auction, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, telemarketer, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Upton Sinclair, X Prize, yield management, zero-sum game

Zeiger realized that “Google’s skills could help people organize their own health information.” He vowed, “We’ll never sell anyone’s health records.” And in a March 2008 speech, Eric Schmidt promised to keep the site free of all advertising. There is a shared, and perhaps blinding, belief on the Google campus that Google was altruistic, an attitude reflected in “Don’t be evil.” On a stage he shared with Page at the Global Philanthropy Forum after Google embraced the slogan, Brin declared that ‘“don’t be evil’ serves as a reminder to our employees,” but it “was a mistake. It should really say, ’Be Good.‘” One can interpret Brin’s remarks as a reflection of his idealism, or his naïveté—or both. To simply say a corporation should be good ignores the range of choices a company is compelled to make in conducting its business. How “good” was Google when it complied with German laws not to disseminate Nazi literature?

Looking for an out-of-print book or a scholarly journal? Google is seeking to make almost every book ever published available in digitized form. Schools in impoverished nations that are without textbooks can now retrieve knowledge for free. “The Internet,” said Google’s chief economist, Hal Varian, “makes information available. Google makes information accessible.” Google’s uncorporate slogan—“Don’t be evil”—appeals to Americans who embrace underdogs like Apple that stand up to giants like Microsoft. Google’s is one of the world’s most trusted corporate brands. Among traditional media companies—from newspapers and magazines to book publishers, television, Hollywood studios, advertising agencies, telephone companies, and Microsoft—no company inspires more awe, or more fear. There are sound reasons for traditional media to fear Google.

That Google might achieve this goal in less than a generation, in a time when copyright and privacy practices are being upended, when newspapers are declaring bankruptcy and in-depth journalism is endangered, when the profit margins of book publishers are squeezed along with their commitment to serious authors, when broadcast television networks dilute their programming with less expensive reality shows and unscripted fare, when cable news networks talk more than they listen, when the definitions of community and privacy are being redefined, and the way citizens read and process information is being altered, and when most traditional media models are being reconfigured by digital companies like Google—all this means that it’s important to put Google under the microscope. Brilliant engineers are at the core of the success of a company like Google. Drill down, as this book attempts to, and you’ll see that engineering is a potent tool to deliver worthwhile efficiencies, and disruption as well. Google takes seriously its motto, “Don’t be evil.” But because we’re dealing with humans not algorithms, intent sometimes matters less than effect. A company that questions everything and believes in acting without asking for permission has succeeded like few companies before. Unlike most technologies that disrupted existing business—the printed book that replaced scrolls, the telephone that replaced the telegraph, the automobile that replaced the horse and buggy, the airplane that supplanted cruise ships, the computer that supplanted typewriters—Google search produces not a tangible product but something abstract: knowledge.


pages: 496 words: 154,363

I'm Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59 by Douglas Edwards

Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, barriers to entry, book scanning, Build a better mousetrap, Burning Man, business intelligence, call centre, commoditize, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, Googley, gravity well, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, job-hopping, John Markoff, Kickstarter, Marc Andreessen, Menlo Park, microcredit, music of the spheres, Network effects, PageRank, performance metric, pets.com, Ralph Nader, risk tolerance, second-price auction, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, slashdot, stem cell, Superbowl ad, Y2K

No one took him seriously. The meeting concluded with a list of eleven core values, which HR asked me to help wordsmith. "Don't be evil" wasn't one of them. The meeting left Amit unsatisfied, and he took it upon himself to proselytize the Word of Paul. Soon, "Don't be evil" began blemishing every markable surface like brown spots on ripening bananas. I had a rolling whiteboard in my cubicle, and one day when I came back from lunch, "Don't be evil" was neatly printed in one of its corners. I saw the phrase scrawled on conference room walls and twirling across laptop screensavers. Others saw it too. I had to assure job applicants, vendors, and visitors that it didn't mean the company was fighting Satanic urges. It was intimidating to have a corporate commandment stare down at you wherever you went—a dry-erase Jiminy Cricket looking over your shoulder, passing judgment on your every action.

In late 2001, in Silicon Valley at least, many saw Microsoft as the primary practitioner of the dark arts in technology, using their monopoly power to corral innovative startups that might turn their Windows cash cow into hamburger helper. The "Don't be evil" mantra had already taken root within Google when I composed my list of "Ten Things." Paul Bucheit came up with it in 2000 at a "core values" meeting held to codify the way Googlers should act toward one another. It was not intended to regulate our behavior toward non-Googlers, nor were the values supposed to be disseminated outside the company. According to Amit Patel, Paul became disaffected with all the "corporate"-sounding suggestions his colleagues proposed—things like "Treat each other with respect," "Honor commitments," and "Don't be late for meetings." They were boring, and they were too specific. It was bad coding hygiene to build an itemized list if you could apply a general rule. "Aren't all of these covered by, 'Don't be evil'?" Paul asked. No one took him seriously.

Its very simplicity made the phrase unforgettable and gave it the force of an irrevocable law. "'Don't be evil,'" Paul explained, "is about not taking advantage of people or deceiving them. Anything deceptive is evil. So if we put up search results, move them higher because someone paid us, that's deceptive, that's abusing trust." Paul wanted Google to be the anti-evil company. Amit's marketing campaign sold the staff on formalizing the credo. Once it became a cultural meme, it was impossible to uproot. The effect was as if Amit had been scribbling with a permanent marker directly into our collective consciousness. "I also thought it would be a good value because it would be difficult to remove once it was in," Paul admitted. "It wouldn't look too good to get rid of, 'Don't be evil.' Besides, Microsoft had a monopoly on evil. We didn't really want to compete."


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

It is now spreading to journalists, filmmakers, and even politicians, including Senator Elizabeth Warren. The TV producer Kurt Sutter (Sons of Anarchy) spoke for many when he said, “Google spends millions of dollars every year fronting a campaign to crush the rights of creatives.” In later chapters I will lay out both the breadth of the resistance and some of my own ideas to solve this problem. But first we need to understand how we got here. CHAPTER ONE The Great Disruption “Don’t Be Evil” —Google motto 1. The beginnings of the technical and social revolution that Martin Luther King referenced in his 1968 sermon at the National Cathedral were under way even as he was speaking. The revolution began in the moral precepts of the counterculture: decentralize control and harmonize people. The earliest networks—like the Whole Earth ’Lectronic Link (WELL), organized by Stewart Brand, the founder of The Whole Earth Catalog—grew directly out of 1960s counterculture.

The combination of scale and network effects makes it very hard to dislodge the winners, especially if you are in a business like tech, which is so lightly regulated. 4. Branding becomes critical. The brand becomes a promise of value to consumers. Apple gets superior margins because of its brand promise for quality and elegant design. The brand promise also helps you defend yourself against government intrusion. Google’s original “Don’t be evil” brand promise gave them a patina of social entrepreneurship that helps protect them from accusations of monopoly power tactics. As John Seely Brown has pointed out, the end of the decentralized Web that Engelbart and the PARC visionaries had imagined occurs at this point, when “we moved from products to platforms, which let the network effect play out in a hub and spoke model.” From this point on the economies of scale enjoyed by a platform whose users are measured in the billions becomes the ultimate metric for success.

As Ken Auletta pointed out in his book Googled: The End of the World as We Know It, Page and Brin never asked for permission to copy the entire World Wide Web onto their servers and then index it. Ayn Rand’s famous quotation “Who will stop me?” seems to be the founding principle of Google. Page’s constant assurances in his initial shareholder letter that everyone should trust his and Brin’s good intentions are critical to this Randian mind-set: “Don’t be evil. We believe strongly that in the long term, we will be better served—as shareholders and in all other ways—by a company that does good things for the world even if we forgo some short term gains. This is an important aspect of our culture and is broadly shared within the company.” This naïveté, this barely disguised will to power, this dialectic—Google will do whatever it wants without asking permission, and the results will be so awesome that no one will complain—stands at the heart of the company’s success.


pages: 380 words: 109,724

Don't Be Evil: How Big Tech Betrayed Its Founding Principles--And All of US by Rana Foroohar

"side hustle", accounting loophole / creative accounting, Airbnb, AltaVista, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, call centre, cashless society, cleantech, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, computer age, corporate governance, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, data is the new oil, death of newspapers, Deng Xiaoping, disintermediation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Etonian, Filter Bubble, future of work, game design, gig economy, global supply chain, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, intangible asset, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, Kenneth Rogoff, life extension, light touch regulation, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, Menlo Park, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, PageRank, patent troll, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pets.com, price discrimination, profit maximization, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Bork, Sand Hill Road, search engine result page, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart cities, Snapchat, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, subscription business, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, the new new thing, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, trickle-down economics, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, Upton Sinclair, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

Copyright © 2019 by Rana Foroohar All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Currency, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, New York. currencybooks.com CURRENCY and its colophon are trademarks of Penguin Random House LLC. LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING-IN-PUBLICATION DATA Names: Foroohar, Rana, author. Title: Don’t be evil / Rana Foroohar. Description: First edition. | New York : Currency, [2019] | Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: LCCN 2019023898 (print) | LCCN 2019023899 (ebook) | ISBN 9781984823984 (hardcover) | ISBN 9781984823991 (ebook) Subjects: LCSH: Internet industry—Moral and ethical aspects—United States. | Information technology—Economic aspects—United States. | Corporate power—United States. | Business and politics—United States.

I hope that it will serve as a wake-up call, not just for executives and policy makers but for anyone who believes in a future in which the benefits of innovation and progress outweigh the costs to individuals and to society. It’s in everyone’s interest to believe that we can create that kind of future. Because as we’ve come to understand all too clearly over the past few years, once people stop believing that a system is good for them, the system falls apart. CHAPTER 1 A Summary of the Case “Don’t be evil” is the famous first line of Google’s original Code of Conduct, what seems today like a quaint relic of the company’s early days, when the crayon colors of the Google logo still conveyed the cheerful, idealistic spirit of the enterprise. How long ago that feels. Of course, it would be unfair to accuse Google of being actively evil. But evil is as evil does, and some of the things that Google and other Big Tech firms have done in recent years have not been very nice.

In early 2019, Facebook announced they would shut down the digital crystal ball that was Onavo after it was reported in TechCrunch that Facebook had allegedly been paying kids and teens $20 a pop in gift cards to install the spying app on their phones.5 * * * — ALL OF THAT has been well documented elsewhere.6 But Android’s similarity to iOS certainly highlights how far Google had strayed from whatever idealistic roots it might once have had. By the early 2000s, as the company moved toward the inevitable payday of IPO—the dream of every Silicon Valley entrepreneur or investor—there was little remaining pretense that Google was anything other than a leviathan of a company looking to monetize everything that it could in preparation for its debut on the public markets. As for the infamous “Don’t be evil” mantra? “It’s bullshit,” said Jobs.7 This ideological shift was most publicly marked by the 2001 hiring of Schmidt. Around that time, Google was still ramping up its advertising model, and it wasn’t yet clear what a gold mine it would become. The investors felt that adult supervision was needed, in the form of a hard-nosed manager who could turn the company’s brilliant ideas into soaring stock prices.


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

It’s still your job to come up with good ideas, to invent, inspire, surprise—and to execute well. Companies are not democracies. But neither should they be dictatorships. They should be—but too rarely are—meritocracies. Your challenge is to get good ideas to surface and survive from within and without and to enable customers and employees to improve your ideas and products. Don’t be evil We can’t leave a chapter about ethics and Google without addressing its famous self-admonition: “Don’t be evil.” Larry Page and Sergey Brin interpreted the pledge this way in a letter they wrote before their 2004 initial public offering: “We believe strongly that in the long term, we will be better served—as shareholders and in all other ways—by a company that does good things for the world even if we forego some short-term gains. This is an important aspect of our culture and is broadly shared within the company.”

Google Rules New Relationship • Give the people control and we will use it • Dell hell • Your worst customer is your best friend • Your best customer is your partner New Architecture • The link changes everything • Do what you do best and link to the rest • Join a network • Be a platform • Think distributed New Publicness • If you’re not searchable, you won’t be found • Everybody needs Googlejuice • Life is public, so is business • Your customers are your ad agency New Society • Elegant organization New Economy • Small is the new big • The post-scarcity economy • Join the open-source, gift economy • The mass market is dead—long live the mass of niches • Google commodifies everything • Welcome to the Google economy New Business Reality • Atoms are a drag • Middlemen are doomed • Free is a business model • Decide what business you’re in New Attitude • There is an inverse relationship between control and trust • Trust the people • Listen New Ethic • Make mistakes well • Life is a beta • Be honest • Be transparent • Collaborate • Don’t be evil New Speed • Answers are instantaneous • Life is live • Mobs form in a flash New Imperatives • Beware the cash cow in the coal mine • Encourage, enable, and protect innovation • Simplify, simplify • Get out of the way If Google Ruled the World Media • The Google Times: Newspapers, post-paper • Googlewood: Entertainment, opened up • GoogleCollins: Killing the book to save it Advertising • And now, a word from Google’s sponsors Retail • Google Eats: A business built on openness • Google Shops: A company built on people Utilities • Google Power & Light: What Google would do • GT&T: What Google should do Manufacturing • The Googlemobile: From secrecy to sharing • Google Cola: We’re more than consumers Service • Google Air: A social marketplace of customers • Google Real Estate: Information is power Money • Google Capital: Money makes networks • The First Bank of Google: Markets minus middlemen Public Welfare • St.

I’ll bet you’ll agree that almost all the choices are, indeed, interesting. Flickr is algorithmically aggregating the aesthetic of the crowd. Out of that comes a better service for every user, more opportunities to build traffic and revenue, a rich relationship of trust among those users and Flickr, and even new products. All from just listening. New Ethic Make mistakes well Life is a beta Be honest Be transparent Collaborate Don’t be evil Make mistakes well We are ashamed to make mistakes—as well we should be, yes? It’s our job to get things right, right? So when we make mistakes, our instinct is to shrink into a ball and wish them away. Correcting errors, though necessary, is embarrassing. But the truth about truth is itself counterintuitive: Corrections do not diminish credibility. Corrections enhance credibility. Standing up and admitting your errors makes you more believable; it gives your audience faith that you will right your future wrongs.


pages: 274 words: 75,846

The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding From You by Eli Pariser

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, A Pattern Language, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Black Swan, borderless world, Build a better mousetrap, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, data acquisition, disintermediation, don't be evil, Filter Bubble, Flash crash, fundamental attribution error, global village, Haight Ashbury, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, Metcalfe’s law, Netflix Prize, new economy, PageRank, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, recommendation engine, RFID, Robert Metcalfe, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social graph, social software, social web, speech recognition, Startup school, statistical model, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, the scientific method, urban planning, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator

If Sir Francis Bacon is right that “knowledge is power,” privacy proponent Viktor Mayer-Schonberger writes that what we’re witnessing now is nothing less than a “redistribution of information power from the powerless to the powerful.” It’d be one thing if we all knew everything about each other. It’s another when centralized entities know a lot more about us than we know about each other—and sometimes, more than we know about ourselves. If knowledge is power, then asymmetries in knowledge are asymmetries in power. Google’s famous “Don’t be evil” motto is presumably intended to allay some of these concerns. I once explained to a Google search engineer that while I didn’t think the company was currently evil, it seemed to have at its fingertips everything it needed to do evil if it wished. He smiled broadly. “Right,” he said. “We’re not evil. We try really hard not to be evil. But if we wanted to, man, could we ever!” Friendly World Syndrome Most governments and corporations have used the new power that personal data and personalization offer fairly cautiously so far—China, Iran, and other oppressive regimes being the obvious exceptions.

But when users protest Facebook’s constantly shifting and eroding privacy policy, Zuckerberg often shrugs it off with the caveat emptor posture that if you don’t want to use Facebook, you don’t have to. It’s hard to imagine a major phone company getting away with saying, “We’re going to publish your phone conversations for anyone to hear—and if you don’t like it, just don’t use the phone.” Google tends to be more explicitly moral in its public aspirations; its motto is “Don’t be evil,” while Facebook’s unofficial motto is “Don’t be lame.” Nevertheless, Google’s founders also sometimes play a get-out-of-jail-free card. “Some say Google is God. Others say Google is Satan,” says Sergey Brin. “But if they think Google is too powerful, remember that with search engines, unlike other companies, all it takes is a single click to go to another search engine. People come to Google because they choose to.

Actually, building an informed and engaged citizenry—in which people have the tools to help manage not only their own lives but their own communities and societies—is one of the most fascinating and important engineering challenges. Solving it will take a great deal of technical skill mixed with humanistic understanding—a real feat. We need more programmers to go beyond Google’s famous slogan, “Don’t be evil.” We need engineers who will do good. And we need them soon: If personalization remains on its current trajectory, as the next chapter describes, the near future could be stranger and more problematic than many of us would imagine. 7 What You Want, Whether You Want It or Not There will always be plenty of things to compute in the detailed affairs of millions of people doing complicated things.


pages: 354 words: 99,690

Thinking About It Only Makes It Worse: And Other Lessons From Modern Life by David Mitchell

bank run, Boris Johnson, British Empire, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, credit crunch, don't be evil, double helix, Downton Abbey, Etonian, eurozone crisis, haute cuisine, Julian Assange, lateral thinking, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, payday loans, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit motive, sensible shoes, Skype, The Wisdom of Crowds, WikiLeaks

So, if those universities with which BPP have been negotiating feel they could make savings by outsourcing their back-office functions (which sounds like a euphemism for getting a colostomy bag) but would be unwilling to cut costs without being able to blame a private company, maybe that’s a sign that they’re the wrong savings. If not, and if failing to make such cuts jeopardises those institutions, I hope they’ll find the courage to reform themselves without holding hands with a profiteer. * There’s something fishy about Google’s motto, “Don’t Be Evil.” I’m not saying it’s controversial but it makes you think, “Why bring that up? Why have you suddenly put the subject of being evil on the agenda?” It’s suspicious in the same way as Ukip constantly pointing out how racist they’re not – which my colleague Charlie Brooker said on 10 O’Clock Live was “rather like someone who’s just moved in next door saying, ‘Hi, I’m Geoff, your non-dogging neighbour.’”

But we mustn’t assume that the maxim was an attempt by executives to draw a line under some diabolical brainstorm in which the internet giant pulled itself back from the brink of green-lighting a scheme to grind our bones to make its bread. It could just as easily have come out of a discussion of the possibility of doing good. “Always do good”, “Try to do some good” or “Be good” might have been previous drafts of the motto, before they concluded that goodness was as impractical as malevolence was distasteful and decided on “Don’t Be Evil” as more realistic in a modern business environment. “Settling for one notch below altruism” is all the slogan really means. Still, I suppose we should be grateful for small mercies. And there’s no earthly reason why Google should do any good to anyone but itself – which is presumably why it pays so little tax. Although that’s not how Matt Brittin, Google’s head of sales in northern Europe, explained the situation to the House of Commons public accounts committee.

It aspires to be squeaky clean. As aspirations go, it’s not been looking particularly realistic of late as the corporation’s tax avoidance has become more evident, but it’s still a company that tries to generate a wholesome, quirky, Californian vibe. That’s why it called an operating system Cupcake. That’s why its offices are full of free snacks for employees. There’s still a faint echo of “Don’t Be Evil” in the think spaces and mood rooms, albeit with an irritating interrogative inflection. So it’s odd that it would voluntarily couple one of its products with that of a company with a shameful history of wringing money from the poorest people on Earth. To my mind, the risks involved in that association outweigh the fact that more people have heard of a KitKat than a key lime pie. I don’t think the people at Google are doing anything wrong by using KitKat’s name – they’re not the ones peddling powdered milk in the developing world – but I don’t understand why they’ve done it.


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

But after the euphoria of the acquisition wore off, it became clear that even at Google getting Android off the ground was going to be one of the hardest things Rubin had undertaken in his life. Just navigating Google itself was initially a challenge for Rubin and his team. There was no hard-and-fast org chart, as in other companies. Every employee seemed right out of college. And the Google culture, with its famous “Don’t be evil” and “That’s not Googley” sanctimony, seemed weird for someone such as Rubin, who had already been in the workplace twenty years. He couldn’t even drive his car to work because it was too fancy for the Google parking lot. Google was by then filled with millionaires who had gotten rich on the 2004 IPO. But in an effort to preserve Google’s brand as a revolutionary company with a revolutionary product—the anti-Microsoft—all cars fancier than a 3 Series BMW were banned.

Jobs hated Rubin and told friends he was a “big, arrogant fuck.” None of this made Jobs less angry at feeling forced to go after Google in the first place. He felt Brin and Page, people he once considered friends, had betrayed him. And he felt Schmidt, a member of his board, had dissembled. Jobs’s message to his executive team that day was strident: “These guys are lying to me, and I am not going to take it anymore. This Don’t Be Evil stuff is bullshit.” But he also felt vindicated—that Google was no longer going to be a threat. Schmidt, while still technically on the Apple board, was effectively no longer a board member. He was now leaving the room during all board discussions about the iPhone, which was increasingly what Apple board meetings were about. Both for appearance and legal reasons, these recusals were happening more and more at Google too.

He had told Google that if it included multitouch on its phones, he would sue, and true to his word he sued the Nexus One maker, HTC, a month later in Delaware Federal District Court. More noticeably, he began seeking out public opportunities to attack Google and Android. A month after the Nexus One was released—and days after Jobs announced the first iPad—he tore into Google at an Apple employee meeting. “Apple did not enter the search business. So why did Google enter the phone business? Google wants to kill the iPhone. We won’t let them. Their Don’t Be Evil mantra? It’s bullshit.” In October, at the end of the quarterly earnings conference call with investors and Wall Street analysts, Jobs spent five minutes laying out in detail why Android was an inferior product in every way. He said Android was hard for consumers to use because every Android phone operated differently. He said the Android was hard to write software for because of that. He said that meant Android software would not be very good and would not work well.


pages: 688 words: 147,571

Robot Rules: Regulating Artificial Intelligence by Jacob Turner

Ada Lovelace, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AI winter, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, autonomous vehicles, Basel III, bitcoin, blockchain, brain emulation, Clapham omnibus, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, distributed ledger, don't be evil, Donald Trump, easy for humans, difficult for computers, effective altruism, Elon Musk, financial exclusion, financial innovation, friendly fire, future of work, hive mind, Internet of things, iterative process, job automation, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Loebner Prize, medical malpractice, Nate Silver, natural language processing, nudge unit, obamacare, off grid, pattern recognition, Peace of Westphalia, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Stanislav Petrov, Stephen Hawking, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, technological singularity, Tesla Model S, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Future of Employment, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, Turing test, Vernor Vinge

We’ll all need to learn together and with a strong commitment to broad societal responsibility. Ultimately the question is not only what computers can do. It’s what computers should do.126 Microsoft is not the first tech giant to consider an overarching moral principle ought to be applied to data science. Google’s original motto: “Don’t be evil” was a modern update to the Hippocratic Oath. Eric Schmidt, one of Google’s founders, and co-author Jonathan Rosenberg, have written that this motto:…genuinely expresses a company value and aspiration that is deeply felt by employees. But “Don’t be evil” is mainly another way to empower employees… Googlers do regularly check their moral compass when making decisions.127 Whether or not the above is true is a matter of some debate,128 but it is nonetheless significant that one of the major technology giants has consciously limited itself through the adoption of such an overarching principle.

Schmidt and Rosenberg described it as “a cultural lodestar that shines over all management layers, product plans and office politics”.129 Such principles can come back to bite their creators: in April 2018, The New York Times reported that various Google developers were protesting against the company’s collaboration with the US Department of Defense in using AI technology to scan military drone footage, known by the codename “Project Maven”. The developers wrote to CEO Sundar Pichai,130 citing the company’s own motto against it131:The argument that other firms, like Microsoft and Amazon, are also participating doesn’t make this any less risky for Google. Google’s unique history, its motto Don’t Be Evil, and its direct reach into the lives of billions of users set it apart.132 The disgruntled Google employees prevailed. In June 2018, Google announced that it had abandoned Project Maven.133 Around the same time, Google released a set of ethical principles, which included that it would not design or deploy AI in “[w]eapons or other technologies whose principal purpose or implementation is to cause or directly facilitate injury to people”.134 A motto, oath or principle is a useful starting point but to achieve the more complex aims of various ethical codes set out above, professional regulation will need to include mechanisms for standard setting, training and enforcement.

In March 2018, Oren Etzioni of AI2 responded to Microsoft’s book by proposing a draft text for an AI practitioners’ Hippocratic Oath. See Oren Etzioni, “A Hippocratic Oath for Artificial Intelligence Practitioners”, TechCrunch, https://​techcrunch.​com/​2018/​03/​14/​a-hippocratic-oath-for-artificial-intelligence-practitioners/​, accessed 1 June 2018. 127Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg, How Google Works (London: Hachette UK, 2014). 128Leo Mirani, “What Google Really Means by ‘Don’t Be Evil’”, Quartz, 21 October 2014, https://​qz.​com/​284548/​what-google-really-means-by-dont-be-evil/​, accessed 1 June 2018. 129Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg, How Google Works (London: Hachette UK, 2014). 130The text of the letter is available at: https://​static01.​nyt.​com/​files/​2018/​technology/​googleletter.​pdf, accessed 1 June 2018. 131Scott Shane and Daisuke Wakabayashi, “‘The Business of War’: Google Employees Protest Work for the Pentagon”, The New York Times, 4 April 2018, https://​www.​nytimes.​com/​2018/​04/​04/​technology/​google-letter-ceo-pentagon-project.​html, accessed 1 June 2018. 132Letter from various Google employees to Sundar Pichai, https://​static01.​nyt.​com/​files/​2018/​technology/​googleletter.​pdf, accessed 1 June 2018. 133Hannah Kuchler, “How Workers Forced Google to Drop Its Controversial ‘Project Maven’”, Financial Times, 27 June 2018, https://​www.​ft.​com/​content/​bd9d57fc-78cf-11e8-bc55-50daf11b720d, accessed 2 July 2018. 134Sundar Pichai, “AI at Google: Our Principles”, Google website, 7 June 2018, https://​blog.​google/​technology/​ai/​ai-principles/​, accessed 2 July 2018. 135For a similar proposal, see Joanna J.


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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

Vintage ISBN: 978-0-8041-7352-0 Vintage eBook ISBN: 978-0-8041-7353-7 www.vintagebooks.com v3.1 Contents Cover About the Author Title Page Copyright Foreword by Alan Rusbridger Prologue: The Rendezvous 1. TheTrueHOOHA 2. Civil Disobedience 3. The Source 4. Puzzle Palace 5. The Man in the Room 6. Scoop! 7. The Planet’s Most Wanted Man 8. All of the Signals All of the Time 9. You’ve Had Your Fun 10. Don’t Be Evil 11. Flight 12. Der Shitstorm! 13. The Broom Cupboard 14. Shoot the Messenger Epilogue: Exile Acknowledgements Foreword Edward Snowden is one of the most extraordinary whistleblowers in history. Never before has anyone scooped up en masse the top-secret files of the world’s most powerful intelligence organisations, in order to make them public. But that was what he did. His skills are unprecedented.

The hobbits obviously didn’t come down to London often. They left carrying bags of shopping: presents for their families. ‘It was an extremely bizarre situation,’ Johnson says. The British government had compelled a major newspaper to smash up its own computers. This extraordinary moment was half pantomime, half-Stasi. But it was not yet the high tide of British official heavy-handedness. That was still to come. 10 DON’T BE EVIL Silicon Valley, California Summer 2013 ‘Until they become conscious, they will never rebel.’ GEORGE ORWELL, 1984 It was an iconic commercial. To accompany the launch of the Macintosh in 1984, Steve Jobs created an advert that would captivate the world. It would take the theme of George Orwell’s celebrated dystopian novel and recast it – with Apple as Winston Smith. His plucky company would fight the tyranny of Big Brother.

At the same time, these firms vie for government contracts, hire ex-Washington staff for the inside track and spend millions lobbying for legislation in their favour. Clearly, the allegation that they were co-operating with America’s most powerful spy agency was a corporate disaster, as well as being an affront to the Valley’s self-image, and to the view of the tech industry as innovative and iconoclastic. Google prided itself on its mission statement ‘Don’t be evil’; Apple used the Jobsian imperative ‘Think Different’; Microsoft had the motto ‘Your privacy is our priority’. These corporate slogans now seemed to rebound upon their originators with mocking laughter. Before the Guardian published the PRISM story the paper’s US business reporter, Dominic Rushe, went through his contacts book. He called Sarah Steinberg, a former Obama administration official, and now Facebook’s PR, as well as Steve Dowling, the head of PR at Apple.


The Code: Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America by Margaret O'Mara

"side hustle", A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, accounting loophole / creative accounting, affirmative action, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, autonomous vehicles, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, Ben Horowitz, Berlin Wall, Bob Noyce, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, business climate, Byte Shop, California gold rush, carried interest, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, computer age, continuous integration, cuban missile crisis, Danny Hillis, DARPA: Urban Challenge, deindustrialization, different worldview, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Doomsday Clock, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Frank Gehry, George Gilder, gig economy, Googley, Hacker Ethic, high net worth, Hush-A-Phone, immigration reform, income inequality, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of movable type, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Joan Didion, job automation, job-hopping, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Kitchen Debate, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, mass immigration, means of production, mega-rich, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, millennium bug, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, mutually assured destruction, new economy, Norbert Wiener, old-boy network, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Paul Terrell, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pirate software, popular electronics, pre–internet, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Snapchat, social graph, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supercomputer in your pocket, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, the market place, the new new thing, There's no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home - Ken Olsen, Thomas L Friedman, Tim Cook: Apple, transcontinental railway, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Unsafe at Any Speed, upwardly mobile, Vannevar Bush, War on Poverty, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, Y Combinator, Y2K

ELLEN ULLMAN, Life in Code, 19983 CONTENTS Also by Margaret O’Mara Title Page Copyright Dedication Epigraph List of Abbreviations Introduction: The American Revolution ACT ONE: START UP Arrivals Chapter 1: Endless Frontier Chapter 2: Golden State Chapter 3: Shoot the Moon Chapter 4: Networked Chapter 5: The Money Men Arrivals Chapter 6: Boom and Bust ACT TWO: PRODUCT LAUNCH Arrivals Chapter 7: The Olympics of Capitalism Chapter 8: Power to the People Chapter 9: The Personal Machine Chapter 10: Homebrewed Chapter 11: Unforgettable Chapter 12: Risky Business ACT THREE: GO PUBLIC Arrivals Chapter 13: Storytellers Chapter 14: California Dreaming Chapter 15: Made in Japan Chapter 16: Big Brother Chapter 17: War Games Chapter 18: Built on Sand ACT FOUR: CHANGE THE WORLD Arrivals Chapter 19: Information Means Empowerment Chapter 20: Suits in the Valley Chapter 21: Magna Carta Chapter 22: Don’t Be Evil Arrivals Chapter 23: The Internet Is You Chapter 24: Software Eats the World Chapter 25: Masters of the Universe Departure: Into the Driverless Car Photographs Acknowledgments Note on Sources Notes Image Credits Index About the Author LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS ACM: Association for Computing Machinery AEA: American Electronics Association AI: Artificial intelligence AMD: Advanced Micro Devices ARD: American Research and Development ARM: Advanced reduced-instruction-set microprocessor ARPA: Advanced Research Projects Agency, Department of Defense, renamed DARPA AWS: Amazon Web Services BBS: Bulletin Board Services CDA: Communications Decency Act of 1996 CPSR: Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility CPU: Central processing unit EDS: Electronic Data Systems EFF: Electronic Frontier Foundation EIT: Enterprise Integration Technologies ENIAC: Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer ERISA: Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 FASB: Financial Accounting Standards Board FCC: Federal Communications Commission FTC: Federal Trade Commission GUI: Graphical user interface HTML: Hypertext markup language IC: Integrated circuit IPO: Initial public offering MIS: Management information systems MITI: Ministry of International Trade and Industry (of Japan) NACA: National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, later superseded by NASA NASA: National Aeronautics and Space Administration NASD: National Association of Securities Dealers NDEA: National Defense Education Act NII: National Information Infrastructure NSF: National Science Foundation NVCA: National Venture Capital Association OS: Operating system OSRD: U.S.

With Doerr’s help, Gore’s policy aides began holding regular “Gore-Tech” meetings in California and in Washington, where awed thirtysomething Internet moguls would be seated amid the polished mahogany and gilt trim of the Vice President’s ceremonial office at the White House. It was a long way from drab tilt-ups and Homebrew swap meets and all-nighters in the PARC beanbag chairs. With the Internet boom, the men and women of Silicon Valley had become establishment power players like never before. CHAPTER 22 Don’t Be Evil As TechNet mobilized and Gore-Tech meetings proliferated, Microsoft was conspicuously absent. Awash in revenue from its total saturation of the PC platform, Bill Gates’s company didn’t have the same regulatory worries as the Silicon Valley crowd, and it was so large that it was a political force all on its own. Gates didn’t visit the vice president’s office; he made the Veep come to him.

Giant computer companies roamed the earth and the Valley was saturated with Wall Street money, but Brin and Page promised a return to simpler and more idealistic times. Microsoft’s overreach and comeuppance seemed further validation that Silicon Valley had it right all along: promote the small, the entrepreneurial, the agile and collaborative. Don’t get big, don’t close yourself in, and, as Google’s widely touted corporate motto put it, “don’t be evil.” This mythos—the story that the Valley had told to itself again and again since the start of the 1960s, and then broadcast to the world ever since the days of Don Hoefler—overlooked the inconvenient reality that every start-up company in the region’s history eventually did one of two things. Most often, it went out of business. More rarely, it found success—and success meant bigness. Start-ups either grew large on their own, or they became absorbed by other large companies.


pages: 207 words: 63,071

My Start-Up Life: What A by Ben Casnocha, Marc Benioff

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, Bonfire of the Vanities, business process, call centre, coherent worldview, creative destruction, David Brooks, don't be evil, fear of failure, hiring and firing, index fund, informal economy, Jeff Bezos, Joan Didion, Lao Tzu, Menlo Park, Paul Graham, place-making, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Sand Hill Road, side project, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, superconnector, technology bubble, traffic fines, Year of Magical Thinking

You don’t want “frugality creep” to make everything about your efforts seem mediocre. The challenge is figuring out which decisions call for good enough versus great. Here’s a company that’s found the balance: Google. Google’s food for employees is terrific. The chairs and tables on which they eat are pathetic. They cut the right corners. They’re mediocre in the right places. They’re not mediocre, for instance, when it comes to values (“Don’t be evil”). Who would settle for “good” and say “Don’t be evil most of the time?” At Comcate we were once preparing a response to a request for proposals. The RFP was twenty-five pages long and asked for what seemed like extraneous information. Nevertheless, we slaved away, carefully preparing each section, debating the content of the introduction and conclusion, and second-guessing our choice of graphics. After an entire afternoon on the job, my partners and I looked at each other.


pages: 549 words: 116,200

With a Little Help by Cory Efram Doctorow, Jonathan Coulton, Russell Galen

autonomous vehicles, big-box store, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, death of newspapers, don't be evil, game design, Google Earth, high net worth, lifelogging, margin call, Mark Shuttleworth, offshore financial centre, packet switching, Ponzi scheme, rolodex, Sand Hill Road, sensible shoes, skunkworks, Skype, traffic fines, traveling salesman, Turing test, urban planning, Y2K

He felt like never using a search engine again. "How the hell did this happen? It's such a good place. 'Don't be evil,' right?" That was the corporate motto, and for Greg, it had been a huge part of his reason for taking his fresh-minted computer science PhD from Stanford directly to Google. 643 Maya's laugh was bitter and cynical. "Don't be evil? Come on, Greg. Don't you remember what it was like when we started censoring the Chinese search results, and we all asked how that could be anything but evil? The company line was hilarious: 'We're not doing evil -- we're giving them access to a better search tool! If we showed them search results they couldn't get to, that would just frustrate them. It would be a bad user experience. If we hadn't lost our don't-be-evil cherry by then, we surely did the day we took that one." 644 "Now what?"


pages: 320 words: 87,853

The Black Box Society: The Secret Algorithms That Control Money and Information by Frank Pasquale

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, American Legislative Exchange Council, asset-backed security, Atul Gawande, bank run, barriers to entry, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, bonus culture, Brian Krebs, business cycle, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Chelsea Manning, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, computerized markets, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Debian, don't be evil, drone strike, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, financial innovation, financial thriller, fixed income, Flash crash, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Google Earth, Hernando de Soto, High speed trading, hiring and firing, housing crisis, informal economy, information asymmetry, information retrieval, interest rate swap, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, kremlinology, late fees, London Interbank Offered Rate, London Whale, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mobile money, moral hazard, new economy, Nicholas Carr, offshore financial centre, PageRank, pattern recognition, Philip Mirowski, precariat, profit maximization, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, regulatory arbitrage, risk-adjusted returns, Satyajit Das, search engine result page, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, social intelligence, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, statistical arbitrage, statistical model, Steven Levy, the scientific method, too big to fail, transaction costs, two-sided market, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, value at risk, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

Google’s transparency about advertising delivered high quality results and gained trust.66 Early search leaders who succumbed to the siren song of ad-disguising drove their users away with irrelevant links while Google’s audience grew. As more people signed into its system, Google learned more about them and became ever better at tailoring its search results.67 Its ad income increased as its targeting improved. This triumph of “Don’t Be Evil” is still a celebrated Silicon Valley success story. Patiently gathering data, the company entrenched its privileged position between advertisers, content providers, and audiences.68 But in 2012, as it moved from general purpose search into specialized fields like shopping, Google began to back away from strong separation of paid and editorial material.69 The Federal Trade Commission strongly encourages search engines to label sponsored content,70 and has reserved the right to fi le suit for unfair and deceptive practices against any search engine that fails to do so.

Serious complaints lodged against the company are seldom loud enough to be noticed by ordinary searchers, let alone to provoke sympathy. Users lack both the ability and the incentive to detect manipulation as long as they are getting “good enough” results. So we’re stuck. And again the question arises: With whom? The exciting and radical Internet platforms that used to feel like playmates are looking more like the airlines and cable companies that we love to hate. “Don’t Be Evil” is a thing of the past; you can’t form a trusting relationship with a black box. Google argues that its vast database of information and queries reveals user intentions and thus makes its search ser vices demonstrably better than those of its whippersnapper rivals. But in doing so, it neutralizes the magic charm it has used for years to fend off regulators. “Competition is one click away,” chant the Silicon Valley antitrust lawyers when someone calls out a behemoth firm for unfair or misleading business practices.149 It’s not so.

See also “Google Refuses Order to Take Down Defamatory Auto Complete Search Results,” Japan Real Estate Commentary (blog), October 22, 2012, http://japan realestatecommentary.blogspot .com /2012/10/google-refuses-court-orders-to -take.html. Note that in each case, Google, like the rating agencies discussed earlier, blamed public interpretation of the result rather than taking responsibility for it. 83. “Autocomplete,” Google. Available at https://support.google.com /web search /answer/106230. (It also specifies that Autocomplete cannot be turned off.) 84. Evgeny Morozov, “Don’t Be Evil,” The New Republic, July 30, 2011, http://www.newrepublic.com /article /books /magazine /91916/google-schmidt -obama-gates-technocrats. 85. Evan McMorris-Santoro, “Search Engine Expert: Rick Santorum’s New Crusade against Google Is Total Nonsense” (Sept. 2011). Talking Points Memo. Available at http://2012.talkingpointsmemo.com /2011/09/search-en gine -expert-rick-santorums -new-crusade -against-google -is -total-nonsense 254 NOTES TO PAGES 73–74 .php?


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The New Silk Roads: The Present and Future of the World by Peter Frankopan

active measures, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, Boris Johnson, cashless society, clean water, cryptocurrency, Deng Xiaoping, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, F. W. de Klerk, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, global supply chain, illegal immigration, income inequality, invisible hand, land reform, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, Nelson Mandela, purchasing power parity, ransomware, Rubik’s Cube, smart cities, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, trade route, trickle-down economics, UNCLOS, urban planning, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

But for Warner, what was truly unforgivable was the fact that American companies ‘have bastardised themselves so much to get into the Chinese market’; in fact, he said, US businesses were guilty of nothing less than ‘prostituting themselves’.4 As it subsequently turned out, these include Facebook, which has data-sharing partnerships with at least four major Chinese electronics businesses – all of which have close ties to the government in Beijing.5 The fact that this was not disclosed during high-profile hearings in Washington tells its own story about the steps corporations are willing to take in pursuit of opportunities – as a strongly worded statement from the bipartisan House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee explained.6 That was issued before it emerged that Facebook had been sharing user data with four firms – Huawei, Lenovo, Oppo and TCL – that have been flagged as national security threats by US intelligence.7 The relentless search for profit is mirrored by Google’s decision to develop a search engine, codenamed Dragonfly, to block websites and searches on topics to do with human rights, religion and other sensitive subjects, and that would be acceptable to the Chinese authorities – giving the company access to a huge market. Perhaps not surprisingly, this has led to considerable soul-searching within Google itself, a company that used to have the motto ‘Don’t be evil’ enshrined within its code of conduct.8 The dropping of the slogan in the early summer of 2018 is not just a sign of the times; it is a sign of the realities that go with putting the priorities of shareholders above those of others.9 The demonisation of China in various forms played an important role in the presidential election campaign. The Chinese ‘want to take your throat out, they want to cut you apart’, Donald Trump said in one interview.10 The Chinese ‘have waged economic war against us’, he said in a speech in Staten Island in April 2016.

Dance, ‘Facebook Gave Data Access to Chinese Firm Flagged by US Intelligence’, New York Times, 5 June 2018. 6House of Representatives, Energy and Commerce Committee, Press Release, ‘Walden and Pallone on Facebook’s Data-Sharing Partnerships with Chinese Companies’, 6 June 2018. 7Ali Breland, ‘Facebook reveals data-sharing partnerships, ties to Chinese firms in 700-page document dump’, The Hill, 30 June 2018. 8Casey Newton, ‘Google’s ambitions for China could trigger a crisis inside the company’, The Verge, 18 August 2018. 9Kate Conger, ‘Google Removes “Don’t Be Evil” Clause from Its Code of Conduct’, Gizmodo, 18 May 2018. 10Good Morning America, Interview, ABC, 3 November 2015. 11Trump, Staten Island speech, ‘Trump: I’m So Happy China Is Upset; “They Have Waged Economic War Against Us” ’, Transcript on Real Clear Politics, 17 April 2016. 12The Economist, ‘The Economist interviews Donald Trump’, 3 September 2015. 13B. Milanović, Global Inequality: a new approach for the age of globalization (Cambridge, MA, 2016), p. 20. 14Woodward, Fear, pp. 272–3. 15Shawn Donnan, ‘Is there political method in Donald Trump’s trade madness’, Financial Times, 23 March 2018. 16Lingling Wei and Yoko Kubota, ‘Trump Weights Tariffs on $100 Billion More of Chinese Goods’, Wall Street Journal, 5 April 2018 17For the text of the letter to the president, see https://fonteva-customer-media.s3.amazonaws.com/00D61000000dOrPEAU/psDunXQF_RILA%20301%20Letter.pdf 18Scott Horsley, ‘Trump Orders Stiff Tariffs on China, In Hopes Of Cutting Trade Gap by $50 Billion’, NPR, 22 March 2018. 19BlackRock Investment Institute, Global Investment Outlook Q2 1018 (April 2018). 20For example, Ana Swanson, ‘Trump Proposes Re-joining Trans-Pacific Partnership’, New York Times, 12 April 2018. 21White House, ‘Peter Navarro: “Donald Trump Is Standing Up For American Interests” ’, 9 April 2018. 22Sarah Zheng, ‘How China hit Donald Trump’s supporters where it hurts as tariffs target Republican Party’s heartlands’, South China Morning Post, 5 April 2018. 23Nathaniel Meyersohn, ‘Walmart is where the trade war comes home’, CNN Money, 19 September 2018. 24Woodward, Fear, pp. 135–6. 25Eli Meixler, ‘President Trump Is “Very Thankful” for Xi Jinping’s Conciliatory Talk on Trade’, Time, 11 April 2018. 26White House, ‘Joint Statement of the United States and China Regarding Trade Consultations’, 19 May 2018. 27David Lawder, ‘US–China trade row threatens global confidence: IMF’s Lagarde’, Reuters, 19 April 2018. 28Ashley Parker, Seung Min Kim and Philip Rucker, ‘Trump chooses impulse over strategy as crises mount’, Washington Post, 12 April 2018. 29Bob Woodward, Fear: Trump in the white House (New York, 2018). 30Mark Lander and Ana Swanson, ‘Chances of China Trade Win Undercut by Trump Team Infighting’, New York Times, 21 May 2018. 31The National Interest, ‘The Interview: Henry Kissinger’, 19 August 2015. 32National Security Strategy of the United States of America (2017). 33Summary of the 2018 National Defense Strategy of the United of America.


pages: 474 words: 130,575

Surveillance Valley: The Rise of the Military-Digital Complex by Yasha Levine

23andMe, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, Anne Wojcicki, anti-communist, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, bitcoin, borderless world, British Empire, call centre, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, collaborative editing, colonial rule, computer age, computerized markets, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, digital map, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, drone strike, Edward Snowden, El Camino Real, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, George Gilder, ghettoisation, global village, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Google Hangouts, Howard Zinn, hypertext link, IBM and the Holocaust, index card, Jacob Appelbaum, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, life extension, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, plutocrats, Plutocrats, private military company, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, slashdot, Snapchat, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telepresence, telepresence robot, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Hackers Conference, uber lyft, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, WikiLeaks

My requests to Oakland were ignored and Google wasn’t talking either—trying to get answers from the company was like talking to a giant rock. My investigation stalled further when Oakland residents temporarily succeeded in getting the city to halt its plans for the DAC. Though Oakland’s police surveillance center was put on hold, the question remained: What could Google, a company obsessed with its progressive “Don’t Be Evil” image, offer a controversial police surveillance center? At the time, I was a reporter for Pando, a small but fearless San Francisco magazine that covered the politics and business of Silicon Valley. I knew that Google made most of its money through a sophisticated targeted advertising system that tracked its users and built predictive models of their behavior and interests. The company had a glimpse into the lives of close to two billion people who used its platforms—from email to video to mobile phones—and it performed a strange kind of alchemy, turning people’s data into gold: nearly $100 billion in annual revenue and a market capitalization of $600 billion; its cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin had a combined personal wealth estimated to be $90 billion.

It worked like nothing else on the Internet, helping you navigate through a chaotic and wondrous new world. It put whole libraries at your fingertips, allowed you to translate foreign languages on the fly, let you collaborate in real time with people on the other side of the planet. And you got all of it for free. It seemed to defy the laws of economics. Even as it expanded into a transnational multi-billion-dollar corporation, Google managed to retain its geekily innocent “Don’t Be Evil” image. It convinced its users that everything it did was driven by a desire to help humanity. That’s the story you’ll find in just about every popular book on Google: a gee-whiz tale about two brilliant nerds from Stanford who turned a college project into an epoch-defining New Economy dynamo, a company that embodied every utopian promise of the networked society: empowerment, knowledge, democracy.

My note mentioned a pregnant woman whose husband had an affair. The Google ads didn’t push baby gear and parenting books. Rather, Gmail understood that ‘pregnant’ in this case wasn’t a good thing because it was coupled with the word ‘affair.’ So it offered the services of a private investigator and a marriage therapist.”54 Showing ads for spy services to betrayed mothers? It wasn’t a good look for a company that still draped itself in a progressive “Don’t Be Evil” image. True to Larry Page’s paranoia about letting the privacy “toothpaste out of the tube,” Google stayed tightlipped about the inner workings of its email scanning program in the face of criticism. But a series of profiling and targeted advertising technology patents filed by the company that year offered a glimpse into how Gmail fit into Google’s multiplatform tracking and profiling system.55 They revealed that all email communication was subject to analysis and parsed for meaning; names were matched to real identities and addresses using third-party databases as well as contact information stored in a user’s Gmail address book; demographic and psychographic data, including social class, personality type, age, sex, personal income, and marital status were extracted; email attachments were scraped for information; even a person’s US residency status was established.


pages: 444 words: 127,259

Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber by Mike Isaac

"side hustle", activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, always be closing, Amazon Web Services, Andy Kessler, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Burning Man, call centre, Chris Urmson, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, corporate governance, creative destruction, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, family office, gig economy, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, high net worth, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kickstarter, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, money market fund, moral hazard, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, off grid, peer-to-peer, pets.com, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Snapchat, software as a service, software is eating the world, South China Sea, South of Market, San Francisco, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, the payments system, Tim Cook: Apple, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, union organizing, upwardly mobile, Y Combinator

In a cramped garage in 1998, Page and Brin founded a search engine to perform a task that sounded bonkers; “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” It was the exact type of moonshot thinking venture capitalists encouraged. But while the Google founders were excited to change the world, they didn’t want to make decisions based on what the money men wanted. The motto “Don’t be evil”‡‡ became synonymous with Google’s founders and their approach, the message being “even though we’re growing into a mature company, we won’t be doing terrible things for money.” In 2004, when Google undertook its IPO, it used a controversial financial instrument called a “dual-class stock structure.” Google sold “Class A” shares to the public, while its founders held onto “Class B” shares.

At last, over beers at a bar after last call, Gurley had bagged a transportation networking startup, his wild boar. He was in. Chapter 8 notes †† Not every startup decides to take on venture capital. These companies are said to be “bootstrapped,” or entirely self-funded. Bootstrapping founders keep all the equity in the company and reap all the rewards if the startup succeeds. Their founders also go broke when they fail. ‡‡ Google removed the “Don’t be evil” mantra from the preface of its corporate code of conduct in 2018. §§ Founder worship of Zuckerberg evaporated after 2016, when news coverage of events ranging from the presidential election in the United States to reported ethnic cleansing in Myanmar suggested that Facebook lacked oversight of its platform. Even the boy genius himself, pundits said, was not aware of how powerful—and vulnerable—his own software could be.

., 189 Gates, Bill, 37, 67 Gawker, 205 Geidt, Austin, 13, 60–62, 63, 82, 86, 192–93 General Electric, 314, 319 Gicinto, Nick, 257 Gingrich, Newt, 229 Giron, Joe, 156 Glade Brook Capital Partners, 300 Gladwell, Malcolm, 126 Go-Jek, 187 Gold Club, 192 Goldman Sachs, 69, 93, 100, 132 Gomez, Henry, 313 Google, 4–6, 9, 31, 36, 96–99, 99n, 147, 158, 172, 195 as advertising company, 154 “Don’t be evil” mantra of, 76–77, 76n Google Capital, 100 Google Glass, 177n Google Maps, 107, 148 Googleplex, 105, 107, 181 Google Ventures, 98–101, 99n, 105–7, 157, 202, 283, 326 Google X, 105–6, 109–10 Gulfstream V, 178 headquarters of, 105 HR and employees of, 224–26, 333 IPO of, 76–77 self-driving cars and, 105–10, 176–77, 180, 232–35, 233–36 Trump’s election and, 199–200 Gore-Coty, Pierre-Dimitry, 309 GQ magazine, 119, 120, 221 Grab, 148, 150, 187, 258, 259–60, 333 Graf, Daniel, 237, 309 Gramercy Park Hotel, 127, 130 Graves, Molly, 56 Graves, Ryan, 13, 63, 82, 124, 135, 165, 191, 309, 312–13, 321, 324, 341 allegiance to Kalanick, 97, 270–72, 287–88, 299, 301 background of, 54–55 Lyft and, 86 selected to be Uber’s first CEO, 55–59 on Uber’s board, 79–80 Great Recession, 33–34, 132 Green, Logan, 85, 86, 120, 186, 187, 188, 189 Greyball, xvii, xviii, 242–53, 254 Greylock Partners, 74 Groupon, 77 Grubhub, 65 Guadalajara, Mexico, 172–74 Guetta, David, 7 Gurgaon, India, 149–50 Gurley, John, 66 Gurley, John William “Bill,” 14, 69n, 187, 202, 255, 264n, 270, 272, 274, 276, 279, 288n after showdown, 308–10 annoyance with Kalanick, 122–26 attempts to find Kalanick’s replacement and, 314–16, 321 blogging by, 125 confers with spurned investors, 288–89 connects Kalanick and Michael, 93–94 desire for proper corporate governance, 332, 334–35 fundraising and, 92 Grand Bargain and, 326–27, 331 investment talent of, 64–71, 78–80 plan to force Kalanick’s hand, 289–91, 292–306, 292n at SXSW, 125–26 the syndicate and, 282–86, 303–4 on Uber’s board, 79–80 wishes Kalanick well, 299 Gurley, Lucia, 66 Gutmann, Amy, 214–15 H&R Block, 249 Hacker News, 156, 159 Hales, Charlie, xii, xiii Harford, Barney, 331, 331n Harvey, Kevin, 70 Hayes, Rob, 57, 63, 78, 288, 288n, 293 Hazelbaker, Jill, 225, 237, 239, 240 “Heaven,” 156, 259 Heidrick & Struggles, 312–13, 324 “Hell,” 257 Henley, Mat, 178, 259 Hewlett-Packard, 144, 312, 313, 314, 323 Highway 101, 28 Holden, Jeff, 120 Holder, Eric, 224, 225–26, 254, 260, 266, 275, 283 Holder Report, 254, 266, 269–81, 283, 296, 299, 341 Holiday Inn, 265, 266 Hollywood, 9, 24 Holt, Rachel, 237, 309, 331 Holzwarth, Gabi, 179–80, 193, 194, 230, 249–53 “the Homeshow,” 95 Hornsey, Liane, 226, 256 Hourdajian, Nairi, 126–28, 130–131 Houston, Texas, 66 Huffington, Arianna, 127, 238, 256, 287, 289, 301–5, 307, 325 continued support for Kalanick, 270–74 joins board of directors, 226–30 joins Kalanick after his mother’s death, 264–65 release of Holder Report and, 276–80 Huffington, Michael, 228–29 Huffington Post, 229 Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, 65, 70 Hyderabad, India, 149 Ibiza, Spain, 193 ICE, 206 Illinois, 113 IMEI, 154–55, 157 Immelt, Jeff, 313–14, 319, 320–22, 323, 324 InAuth, Inc., 155, 156–57 India, 148–50, 166–67, 187, 203, 257, 259 rape scandal in, 166, 261, 262, 285, 337 taxis and, 148–49 Indonesia, 259–60 The Information, 253 Instacart, 9 Instagram, 9, 74, 96–97, 200, 235 Intel, 35, 193n InterActiveCorp, 307, 320, 333 Internet Explorer, 69 iOS software, 154–55, 157, 159, 162 iPhone, 36–39, 44, 58, 59, 154–55, 157, 160, 163, 176, 218 iPod, 35 Iran, 320 iRide, 113 Isaac, Mike, 127n, 241, 279–80, 280n, 295, 296, 305–6, 339–40 iTunes, 35, 37 Ive, Jonathan, 38 Jacobin, 205, 207 the JamPad, 47–48, 49 Janklow, Mort, 230 Jay-Z, 7–8, 54, 194 Jeopardy!


pages: 276 words: 81,153

Outnumbered: From Facebook and Google to Fake News and Filter-Bubbles – the Algorithms That Control Our Lives by David Sumpter

affirmative action, Bernie Sanders, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Filter Bubble, Google Glasses, illegal immigration, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Kenneth Arrow, Loebner Prize, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Minecraft, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Nelson Mandela, p-value, prediction markets, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, Robert Mercer, selection bias, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, speech recognition, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, traveling salesman, Turing test

Kenneth Arrow’s ‘impossibility theorem’ tells us there is no system for choosing between three political candidates under which all voters’ preferences are fairly represented.13 Peyton Young’s book Equity, which uses mathematical game theory to treat the subject matter, is by the author’s own admission ‘a stock of examples that illustrate why equity cannot be reduced to simple, all-embracing solutions’.14 And Cynthia Dwork and her colleagues’ 2012 work ‘Fairness through Awareness’, resorts to looking at how we can best balance affirmative action for groups with fairness to the individual.15 Like in Jon Kleinberg and his colleagues’ work on bias, when these authors did the maths they found paradoxes instead of rational certainty. I thought back to the motto, once so proudly stated by Googlers: ‘Don’t be evil.’ It isn’t used as frequently at the company now. Had Google abandoned its axiom after one of its mathematicians discovered that there was no equation that could allow them to avoid evil with certainty? We can try our best, but we can never be truly sure whether or not we are doing the right thing. CHAPTER SEVEN The Data Alchemists Many of the researchers and activists I had talked to up to this point took one thing for granted: algorithms are smart and rapidly getting smarter.

Candid here, here Fair Housing Act (US) here fairness here fake news here, here, here feedback loops here MacronLeaks here post-truth world here, here, here false negatives here, here false positives here, here, here, here Fark here Feedly here Feller, Avi here Fergus, Rob here Ferrara, Emilio here filter bubbles here, here, here FiveThirtyEight here, here, here, here Flipboard here Flynn, Michael here football here, here robot players here, here Fortunato, Santo here, here Fowler, James here Franks, Nigel here Frostbite here Future of Life Institute here, here Gates, Bill here Gelade, Garry here gender bias here, here, here GloVe (global vectors for word representation) here Genter, Katie here Gentzkow, Matthew here, here Geoengineering Watch here, here Glance, Natalie here GloVe (global vectors for word representation) here Go here, here, here, here Goel, Sharad here Google here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here artificial intelligence (AI) here, here, here black hats here, here, here DeepMind here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here ‘Don’t be evil’ here Google autocomplete here, here Google News here Google Scholar here, here, here, here Google Search here Google+ here personalised adverts here, here, here, here SharedCount here Gore, Al here Grammatas, Angela here, here Guardian here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here Guardian US here, here h-index here, here Häggström, Olle here, here, here Here Be Dragons here Hassabis, Demis here, here, here Hawking, Stephen here, here, here He, Kaiming here Her here Higginson, Andrew here Hinton, Geoffrey here HotUKDeal here Huckfeldt, Bob here, here, here, here Huffington Post here, here, here Independent here Instagram here Internet here, here, here, here Internet service providers (ISPs) here Intrade here Ishiguro, Kazuo Never Let Me Go here iTunes here, here James Webb Sapce Telescope here Jie, Ke here job matching here Johansson, Joakim here, here Journal of Spatial Science here Kaminski, Juliane here Kasparov, Garry here, here Keith, David here Kerry, John here Keuschnigg, Marc here Kleinberg, Jon here Kluemper, Donald here Kogan, Alex here, here, here Kosinski, Michal here, here, here, here, here, here, here Kramer, Adam here, here Krizhevsky, Alex here Kulsrestha, Juhi here Kurzweil, Ray here Labour Party here, here Momentum here Lake, Brenden here language here Laue, Tim here Le Comber, Steve here Le Cun, Yan here Le Pen, Marine here Le, Quoc here Lerman, Kristina here, here, here Levin, Simon here Libratus here LinkedIn here, here, here, here literature here logic gates here Luntz, Frank here Machine Bias here Macron, Emmanuel here Major League Soccer (MLS) here, here Mandela effect here, here Mandela, Nelson here Martin, Erik here matchmaking here mathematics here, here assessing bias here mathematical models here, here, here power laws here Matrix, The here May, Lord Robert here McDonald, Glenn here, here Mechanical Turk here, here, here, here, here Medium here Mercer, Robert here Microsoft here, here, here, here, here, here Mikolov, Tomas here, here Minecraft here Mosseri, Adam here, here, here Mrsic-Flogel, Thomas here Ms Pac-Man here, here, here Munafò, Marcus here Musk, Elon here, here, here myPersonality project here National Health Service (NHS) here, here National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) here, here Nature here, here, here Natusch, Waffles Pi here Netflix here neural networks here, here convolutional neural networks here limitations here recurrent neural networks here New York Times here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here The Upshot here, here news aggregators here Nix, Alexander here, here, here, here Noiszy here Northpointe here, here, here, here O’Neil, Cathy here Weapons of Math Destruction here Obama, Barack here, here Observer here online data collection here, here gender bias here preventing here principal component analysis (PCA) here online help services here OpenWorm here Overwatch here, here Pasquale, Frank The Black Box Society here, here Paul, Jake here, here, here, here Pennington, Jeffrey here personality analysis here Big Five here, here, here, here PewDiePie here Pierson, Emma here Pittsburgh Post-Gazette here political blogs here political discussions here, here, here PolitiFact here polls here, here, here, here Popular Mechanics here post-truth world here, here, here power laws here Pratt, Stephen here, here PredictIt here, here, here, here, here, here Prince here principal component analysis (PCA) here categorising personalities here COMPAS algorithm here probability distributions here ProPublica here, here, here, here, here, here Pundit here Q*bert 214, here Qualtrics here racial bias here, here, here, here, here GloVe (global vectors for word representation) here randomness here Reddit here, here, here, here, here regression models here, here Republican Party here, here, here, here, here RiceGum here, here Richardson, Kathleen here Road Runner here Robotank here, here robots here, here, here, here, here, here Russian interference here, here, here Salganik, Matthew here, here Sanders, Bernie here Scholz, Monika here Science here SCL here, here search histories here Silver, David here Silver, Nate here, here, here The Signal and the Noise here Silverman, Craig here Simonyan, Karen here singularity hypothesis here Skeem, Jen here Sky Sports here slime moulds (Physarum polycephulum) here, here, here Snapchat here Snopes here social feedback here Space Invaders here, here, here, here Spotify here, here, here, here, here, here, here Stack Exchange here StarCraft here statistics here, here, here, here, here regression models here, here Stillwell, David here, here Sullivan, Andrew here, here Sumpter, David Soccermatics here, here, here, here, here, here, here Sun, The here superforecasters here, here superintelligence here, here Szorkovszky, Alex here, here, here, here, here, here Taleb, Nassim here, here, here Tegmark, Max here, here, here, here Telegraph here, here, here, here Tesla here, here, here, here Tetlock, Philip here, here Texas, Virgil here, here, here The Gateway here TIDAL here Times, The here, here Tinder here, here, here Tolstoy, Leo here, here, here Anna Karenina here trolls here true positives here, here Trump, Donald here, here, here, here, here, here election campaign here, here, here, here, here, here election outcome here, here, here Twitter here, here TUI here, here Turing, Alan here Twitter here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here MacronLeaks here Tyson, Gareth here van Seijen, Harm here, here Vinyals, Oriol here vloggers here voter analysis here, here, here Wall Street Journal here Ward, Ashley here Washington Post here, here, here, here Watts, Duncan here, here Which?


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

There have been revelations about the existence of a sprawling international surveillance infrastructure, uncompetitive business and exploitative labor practices, and shady political lobbying initiatives, all of which have made major technology firms the subjects of increasing scrutiny from academics, commentators, activists, and even government officials in the United States and abroad.3 People are beginning to recognize that Silicon Valley platitudes about “changing the world” and maxims like “don’t be evil” are not enough to ensure that some of the biggest corporations on Earth will behave well. The risk, however, is that we will respond to troubling disclosures and other disappointments with cynicism and resignation when what we need is clearheaded and rigorous inquiry into the obstacles that have stalled some of the positive changes the Internet was supposed to usher in. First and foremost, we need to rethink how power operates in a post-broadcast era.

Though they pay lip service to privacy, new-media companies are resistant to any supervision or legal limits on how data are gathered or used, for the simple reason that their profit margins depend on accessing that information. The erosion of privacy online is not an inevitability but rather the result of bad public policy and business incentives that have turned the rush to gather more personal data into a veritable arms race.24 Despite its famous maxim “Don’t Be Evil”—a motto made in reference to specific advertising methods—Google has violated its own principles on more than one occasion. The search giant that once resisted advertising now owns AdMob, AdSense, Analytics, and DoubleClick. Similarly, techniques it once found suspect, such as tracking, have been reconsidered. Egged on by the threat of competition, Google pooled the extensive information it gathers from users to build an ambitious data exchange, allowing advertisers to target individuals and “buy access to them in real time as they surf the Web.”25 In early 2012 Google crossed a new threshold when it announced a change to its privacy policy: the company would soon begin compiling all of the information it collects about us from multiple services to a single profile, linking what’s in our Gmail accounts with what we watch on YouTube with what we search for and so on.


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

There’s no way to tell if the driver recognized these public figures. A driver is expected to perform as a robot would under these circumstances. Only rare glimpses, like the reflection of a car in a mirrored skyscraper, remind the user that you are observing another person’s experience. * * * A user of Google products might be put off by its chipperness, sympathize with the colored-badge underclass, and believe that its old byword, “Don’t Be Evil,” was always bunk; but the company’s steady dominance over internet infrastructure leaves skeptics with few alternatives. In this bind, Google releases its boggling new ventures. Users, at its launch, complained about ads in Gmail—it’s creepy and feels like a robot is reading my email!—and Google Street View appeared, at first, as an obvious invasion of privacy, not to mention an act of hubris with an undercurrent of colonization.

It connected everyone and democratized the world, people met their spouses and had kids because of it, they kept up with friends halfway across the world with it, they found community there. There were “meaningful communities” for Facebook users, like private support groups for people with rare diseases (never mind that one of its many privacy dustups involved a loophole for marketers to harvest names of users in private patient communities). “Don’t be evil” was always bunk, but at least Google’s old watchword boasted about its tolerance for dissent. Facebook’s company culture was an ouroboros, posing that its virtue rested simply in being. Evil, to Facebook, festered in the absence of Facebook. All this time Zuckerberg was practicing rhetorical usury of his users, for with every rare-disease support group coming together in empathetic harmony, there were white supremacists and actual genocide enablers, uniting and forging their own “communities.”


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, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Jony Ive, Khan Academy, longitudinal study, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, 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 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, young professional

Look at your recent Google search history: you reveal things to Google that you wouldn’t want anyone to know. We believe, naively, that nobody (but the Big Guy) can listen to our thoughts. But let’s be clear . . . Google too is listening. To date, Google has been masterful at keeping this fear in check and not exploiting—as far as we know—the predictive power of its algorithms. Even the company’s initial motto, “Don’t Be Evil,”attempts to reinforce the divine benevolence of this near-supreme being.19 Moreover, you can be banished: Google has cast out payday lenders, white supremacists, or any firm that charges an interest rate greater than 36 percent. They have been, to recoin a phrase, “cast into outer darkness,” the unknown. But perhaps the greatest sin is to attempt to fool God—that is, game Google’s search algorithm.

., Form 10-K for the Period Ending December 31, 2016 (filed January 27, 2017), p. 23, from Alphabet Inc. website. https://abc.xyz/investor/pdf/20161231_alphabet_10K.pdf. 17. Yahoo! Finance. Accessed in February 2016. https://finance.yahoo.com/. 18. Godman, David. “What is Alphabet . . . in 2 minutes.” CNN Money. August 11, 2015. http://money.cnn.com/2015/08/11/technology/alphabet-in-two-minutes/. 19. Basu, Tanya. “New Google Parent Company Drops ‘Don’t Be Evil’ Motto.” Time. October 4, 2015. http://time.com/4060575/alphabet-google-dont-be-evil/. 20. http://www.internetlivestats.com/google-search-statistics/. 21. Sullivan, Danny. “Google now handles at least 2 trillion searches per year.” Search Engine Land. May 24, 2016. http://searchengineland.com/google-now-handles-2-999-trillion-searches-per-year-250247. 22. Segal, David. “The Dirty Little Secrets of Search.”


Driverless Cars: On a Road to Nowhere by Christian Wolmar

Airbnb, autonomous vehicles, Beeching cuts, bitcoin, Boris Johnson, BRICs, carbon footprint, Chris Urmson, cognitive dissonance, congestion charging, connected car, deskilling, Diane Coyle, don't be evil, Elon Musk, high net worth, RAND corporation, ride hailing / ride sharing, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, Tesla Model S, Travis Kalanick, wikimedia commons, Zipcar

The manufacturers needed government support along the way– often financial but also political – to establish the right conditions and legislation. And so it is with the tech companies today: Silicon Valley has used many of the same gambits. You only have to spend a few minutes listening to tech pioneers such as the founders of Facebook or Airbnb to hear how their Driverless Cars: On a Road to Nowhere ‘disruptive’ companies are going to create a more inclusive and happier world. ‘Don’t be evil’, Google used to say; that has now been changed to ‘Do the right thing’. Silicon Valley built its very reputation on harnessing technology to make us happier, more fulfilled and more satisfied human beings. Technology, they argue, is the catalyst for a better life – and incidentally, don’t get in our way as we are creating that better life, or put any constraints on our growth. In pursuing the vision of a driverless future for cars, both these groups of companies present a vision that is invariably utopian.


pages: 340 words: 97,723

The Big Nine: How the Tech Titans and Their Thinking Machines Could Warp Humanity by Amy Webb

Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, airport security, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, autonomous vehicles, Bayesian statistics, Bernie Sanders, bioinformatics, blockchain, Bretton Woods, business intelligence, Cass Sunstein, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, cognitive bias, complexity theory, computer vision, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Deng Xiaoping, distributed ledger, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Filter Bubble, Flynn Effect, gig economy, Google Glasses, Grace Hopper, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Inbox Zero, Internet of things, Jacques de Vaucanson, Jeff Bezos, Joan Didion, job automation, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, natural language processing, New Urbanism, one-China policy, optical character recognition, packet switching, pattern recognition, personalized medicine, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, Rubik’s Cube, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, smart cities, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, theory of mind, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, Turing machine, Turing test, uber lyft, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, zero day

The absence of certain stated values is notable, too, because out of the spotlight, they become hard to see and are easily forgotten. Originally, Google operated under a simple, core value: “Don’t be evil.”1 In their 2004 IPO letter, founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page wrote: “Eric [Schmidt], Sergey and I intend to operate Google differently, applying the values it has developed as a private company to its future as a public company.… We will optimize for the long term rather than trying to produce smooth earnings for each quarter. We will support selected high-risk, high-reward projects and manage our portfolio of projects.… We will live up to our ‘don’t be evil’ principle by keeping user trust.”2 Amazon’s “leadership principles” are entrenched within management structure, and the core of those values center around trust, metrics, speed, frugality, and results.


pages: 468 words: 233,091

Founders at Work: Stories of Startups' Early Days by Jessica Livingston

8-hour work day, affirmative action, AltaVista, Apple II, Brewster Kahle, business cycle, business process, Byte Shop, Danny Hillis, David Heinemeier Hansson, don't be evil, fear of failure, financial independence, Firefox, full text search, game design, Googley, HyperCard, illegal immigration, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, Joi Ito, Justin.tv, Larry Wall, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, nuclear winter, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Richard Feynman, Robert Metcalfe, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, side project, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social software, software patent, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, stealth mode startup, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, web application, Y Combinator

So I don’t know what mine would have been if I wasn’t working on Gmail. Livingston: I heard you came up with the famous “Don’t be evil” principle. Can you give me the background? Buchheit: I believe that it was sometime in early 2000, and there was a meeting to decide on the company’s values. They invited a collection of people who had 170 Founders at Work been there for a while. I had just come from Intel, so the whole thing with corporate values seemed a little bit funny to me. I was sitting there trying to think of something that would be really different and not one of these usual “strive for excellence” type of statements. I also wanted something that, once you put it in there, would be hard to take out. It just sort of occurred to me that “Don’t be evil” is kind of funny. It’s also a bit of a jab at a lot of the other companies, especially our competitors, who at the time, in our opinion, were kind of exploiting the users to some extent.

C H A P T E 12 R Paul Buchheit Creator, Gmail Paul Buchheit was Google’s 23rd employee. He was the creator and lead developer of Gmail, Google’s web-based email system, which anticipated most aspects of what is now called Web 2.0. As part of his work on Gmail, Buchheit developed the first prototype of AdSense, Google’s program for running ads on other websites. He also suggested the company’s now-famous motto, “Don’t be evil,” at a 2000 meeting on company values. Although not a founder, Buchheit probably contributed more to Google than many founders do their startups. Gmail was in effect a startup within Google—a dramatically novel project on the margins of the company, initiated by a small group and brought to fruition against a good deal of resistance. Livingston: Take me back to how things got started. Was Gmail a side project or commissioned by Google?

But the search engines at the time were all selling search results and mixing them in with the real ones, so it was a little bit of a differentiator that we always said that we would never do that— and haven’t. So it was all those inspirations, and I just thought it was a catchy little phrase. But the real fun of it was that people get a little uncomfortable with anything different, so throughout the meeting, the person running it kept trying to push “Don’t be evil” to the bottom of the list. But this other guy, Amit Patel, and I kept kind of forcing them to put it up there. And because we wouldn’t let it fall off the list, it made it onto the final set and took on a life of its own from there. Amit started writing it down all over the building, on whiteboards everywhere. It’s the only value that anyone is aware of, right? It’s not the typical meaningless corporate statement or platitude.


pages: 397 words: 102,910

The Idealist: Aaron Swartz and the Rise of Free Culture on the Internet by Justin Peters

4chan, activist lawyer, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Bayesian statistics, Brewster Kahle, buy low sell high, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, don't be evil, global village, Hacker Ethic, hypertext link, index card, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, John Markoff, Joi Ito, Lean Startup, moral panic, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, profit motive, RAND corporation, Republic of Letters, Richard Stallman, selection bias, semantic web, Silicon Valley, social web, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strikebreaker, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

Eventually, the site took the information it had compiled about the user’s habits and preferences to surface the sorts of stories that the user would want to read. But some malign entity had altered the code to show users the stories of the entity’s choosing.66 That malign entity turned out to be Google, which specialized in projects that appeared to be for the public’s benefit, in keeping with its unofficial corporate motto: “Don’t be evil.” In Bubble City, Swartz opined on this hollow-hearted promise. “Don’t Be Evil was some hacker’s PR ploy that got out of hand,” Swartz wrote. “Paul Buchheit, the guy who made Gmail, suggested it in an early meeting and Amit Patel, another early Googler starting [sic] writing it on whiteboards everywhere. A journalist saw it and the rest was history—but don’t be mistaken, it was never official corporate policy.”67 How could it be?


pages: 611 words: 188,732

Valley of Genius: The Uncensored History of Silicon Valley (As Told by the Hackers, Founders, and Freaks Who Made It Boom) by Adam Fisher

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bob Noyce, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Byte Shop, cognitive dissonance, disintermediation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Elon Musk, frictionless, glass ceiling, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, HyperCard, hypertext link, index card, informal economy, information retrieval, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, Jeff Rulifson, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, life extension, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, nuclear winter, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, paypal mafia, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pez dispenser, popular electronics, random walk, risk tolerance, Robert Metcalfe, rolodex, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, social graph, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telerobotics, The Hackers Conference, the new new thing, Tim Cook: Apple, tulip mania, V2 rocket, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Y Combinator

They invited a collection of people who had been there for a while. I was sitting there trying to think of something that would be really different and not one of these usual “strive for excellence” sort of statements. I also wanted something that, once you get it in there, would be hard to take out. Brad Templeton: “Don’t be evil” was the phrase. Paul Buchheit: It just sort occurred to me. Sergey Brin: We have tried to define precisely what it means to be a force for good—always do the right, ethical thing. Ultimately, “Don’t be evil” seems the easiest way to summarize it. Paul Buchheit: It’s also a bit of a jab at the other companies, especially our competitors, who at the time were, in our opinion, kind of exploiting the users to some extent. They were tricking them by selling search results—which we considered a questionable thing to do, because people didn’t realize that they were ads.

Po Bronson wrote a novel about the financial markets and then another about start-ups before he turned to nonfiction. It was the perfect windup for his subject: the great internet gold rush of the late nineties. The Nudist on the Late Shift is still, in this writer’s informed opinion, the best book ever written about that era. Paul Buchheit was a very early Google employee. He coined the phrase “Don’t Be Evil,” which became Google’s corporate motto. He built the AdSense prototype—the software that, even to this day, generates much of Google’s corporate wealth. For an encore he hacked together a little experiment that he called Gmail. Nolan Bushnell founded Atari, the company that started the computer game industry and put Silicon Valley on its modern path. Mentor and friend to Steve Jobs, he famously declined to invest in Apple Computer.


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

‘I think it has almost had a chilling effect on the way they do product development,’ Foley suggests. With Microsoft suitably admonished, and now living under a new regime of oversight, the scene was set for Microsoft’s next challenges: in search, digital music and mobile phones. First was a little start-up that was already becoming the talk of internet users, one that was to form its corporate thinking around a motto that tried to express a desire not to be Microsoft: ‘Don’t be evil.’ Chapter Three Search: Google versus Microsoft The weather in Brisbane for the 7th World Wide Web conference in May 1998 was dismal: ‘It rained every day,’ recalls Mike Bracken, one of the attendees. Among the many papers on the schedule for the conference, though largely unnoticed, was one by two Stanford undergraduates, entitled ‘The anatomy of a large-scale hypertextual web search engine’.

Schmidt, while less adamant, said that it was unreasonable to miss out on the opportunity; without Google, the search business in China would still grow, and local rivals would get the chance to dominate and leave Google trying to catch up. Page, in effect holding the casting vote, sided with Schmidt. Google began offering a search engine sited inside China in January 2006 at google.cn. Already known for the ‘Don’t be evil’ slogan, Google came under intense scrutiny over its decision. ‘We felt that perhaps we could compromise our principles, but provide ultimately more information for the Chinese… and perhaps make more of a difference,’ Brin suggested in a press conference afterwards. But Irene Khan, then Amnesty International’s secretary-general, was unimpressed: ‘Whether succumbing to demands from Chinese officials or anticipating government concerns, companies that impose restrictions that infringe on human rights are being extremely short-sighted,’ she said, adding: ‘Internet companies justify their actions on the basis of Chinese regulations.


pages: 453 words: 114,250

The Great Firewall of China by James Griffiths;

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, bitcoin, borderless world, call centre, Chelsea Manning, Deng Xiaoping, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, gig economy, jimmy wales, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mitch Kapor, mobile money, Occupy movement, pets.com, profit motive, QR code, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, technoutopianism, undersea cable, WikiLeaks, zero day

“While the internet has opened up commercial opportunities and provided access to vast amounts of information for people the world over, [it] has also become a malicious tool, a cyber-sledgehammer of repression of the government of the People’s Republic of China,” said Chris Smith, a large, square-jawed Republican congressman with intense blue eyes and thin-rimmed reading glasses, as he leaned forward in his seat.1 “As soon as the promise of the internet began to be fulfilled, when brave Chinese [users] began to email each other around the world about human rights issues and corruption by government leaders, the Party cracked down.” Of the four companies arrayed before Smith, Google had faced the most criticism from the US media, thanks to both its fame and the company’s well-known, and often mocked, ‘Don’t be evil’ slogan. Of the four, however, Google’s time operating in China was the shortest, and its conscience was the cleanest. Google was accused of collaborating with the creators of the Great Firewall, but Cisco had helped build it. In 2004, Yahoo provided user records that helped lead to the arrest of journalist Shi Tao, who was later sentenced to ten years in prison.2 The following year, Microsoft had deleted the blog of dissident author Michael Anti after the authorities complained, censoring him not only in China but around the world.3 This sparked instant outrage and criticism, but a Microsoft spokesperson defended the move on the grounds that it was the cost of doing business in China: “While this is a complex and difficult issue, we remain convinced it is better for Microsoft and other multinational companies to be in these markets with our services and communications tools, as opposed to not being there.”

Facebook has censored LGBTQ people, Black Lives Matter activists, and breastfeeding mothers.16 YouTube has long been accused of overzealously enforcing copyright, taking down legitimate parodies or videos that fall under ‘fair use’ protections.17 There are already worrying signs that the fallout from the great fake news panic of 2016 will be the increased censorship and marginalisation of minority voices, particularly those on the political fringes, as platforms such as Facebook and Google attempt to litigate which sites constitute a legitimate news source.18 As this book went to print, news emerged that Google had been developing a secret app for the Chinese market, codenamed Dragonfly.19 According to journalist Ryan Gallagher, who broke the story, the Android search tool would automatically identify and filter websites blocked by the Great Firewall, and it had been demonstrated to officials within the Chinese government. Dragonfly’s existence was a closely guarded secret, even within Google itself, and Gallagher’s reporting sparked outrage among employees, some of whom saw it as the final betrayal of Google’s ‘don’t be evil’ ethos. In an open letter to their bosses, hundreds of Googlers complained of a lack of transparency within the company and warned that Dragonfly and a return to China “raise urgent moral and ethical issues” that were not being addressed.20 Those who had lived through the original China experiment were less than impressed. Brandon Downey, a former Google engineer, summarised the argument for Dragonfly thus: “Look, China is already censoring the internet.


pages: 185 words: 43,609

Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel, Blake Masters

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Andrew Wiles, Andy Kessler, Berlin Wall, cleantech, cloud computing, crony capitalism, discounted cash flows, diversified portfolio, don't be evil, Elon Musk, eurozone crisis, income inequality, Jeff Bezos, Lean Startup, life extension, lone genius, Long Term Capital Management, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, Nate Silver, Network effects, new economy, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pets.com, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Singularitarianism, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, strong AI, Ted Kaczynski, Tesla Model S, uber lyft, Vilfredo Pareto, working poor

Michelin maintained his rating, but Loiseau killed himself anyway in 2003 when a competing French dining guide downgraded his restaurant.) The competitive ecosystem pushes people toward ruthlessness or death. A monopoly like Google is different. Since it doesn’t have to worry about competing with anyone, it has wider latitude to care about its workers, its products, and its impact on the wider world. Google’s motto—“Don’t be evil”—is in part a branding ploy, but it’s also characteristic of a kind of business that’s successful enough to take ethics seriously without jeopardizing its own existence. In business, money is either an important thing or it is everything. Monopolists can afford to think about things other than making money; non-monopolists can’t. In perfect competition, a business is so focused on today’s margins that it can’t possibly plan for a long-term future.


pages: 144 words: 43,356

Surviving AI: The Promise and Peril of Artificial Intelligence by Calum Chace

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, barriers to entry, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, brain emulation, Buckminster Fuller, cloud computing, computer age, computer vision, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, dematerialisation, discovery of the americas, disintermediation, don't be evil, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Flash crash, friendly AI, Google Glasses, hedonic treadmill, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of agriculture, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, life extension, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, mutually assured destruction, Nicholas Carr, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, South Sea Bubble, speech recognition, Stanislav Petrov, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, strong AI, technological singularity, The Future of Employment, theory of mind, Turing machine, Turing test, universal basic income, Vernor Vinge, wage slave, Wall-E, zero-sum game

Even the ruthless “robber barons” of the early 20th century who made huge fortunes from railroads, commodities and power used their money to establish major benevolent institutions. Andrew Carnegie pursued wealth aggressively in his early years and spent the last third of his life giving it all away, establishing a pattern followed and advocated by Bill Gates today. But the Google founders’ excitement about the future is something new. Their famous motto “Don’t be evil” is just the start of it. They want to accelerate the progress of technological innovation to transform what it means to be human. Some people are cynical about this, believing that they are simply covering up their corporate greed in philanthropic clothing. I have no privileged information, but I disagree: my sense is that their enthusiasm for the future is genuine. And the pinnacle of it is that they want to build an artificial brain – an AGI.


pages: 540 words: 119,731

Samsung Rising: The Inside Story of the South Korean Giant That Set Out to Beat Apple and Conquer Tech by Geoffrey Cain

Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Asian financial crisis, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, business intelligence, cloud computing, corporate governance, creative destruction, don't be evil, Donald Trump, double helix, Dynabook, Elon Musk, fear of failure, Internet of things, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Kickstarter, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, patent troll, rolodex, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, Superbowl ad, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, WikiLeaks, wikimedia commons

., and again in February at the Mobile World Congress convention in Barcelona,” Bloomberg Businessweek’s Brad Stone reported. “Pichai says they held ‘frank conversations’ about the companies’ intertwined fates.” “I view Tizen as a choice which people can have,” Pichai told Stone. “We need to make sure Android is the better choice.” Google was known for the idealistic spirit embodied in its slogan “Don’t be evil.” But this was a new kind of fight. Pichai told Shin that Google was willing to “walk away” from its Samsung partnership. It was a bold statement; nearly three years earlier, Google had acquired Motorola for $12.5 billion, putting it into direct competition with Samsung and its smartphone hardware. Android was feeling less and less like open-source software and more like hardened Google territory.

Then there was the return to the Google search app, which one contract stipulated was required to be “set as the default search provider for all Web search access points on the Device.” And Google’s search widget now had to be placed on the default home screen, along with an icon for the Google Play app store. Behind the scenes, some Samsung executives thought the company that had once heralded the age of “Don’t be evil” was becoming a bully. One app maker felt Google’s move to bundle its software was “reminiscent of the monopolistic heyday of Microsoft,” Recode reported. Samsung was being forced to rethink their software efforts, which were now in conflict with their previously indispensable partner. D.J. Koh, a star who would eventually rise to CEO, later likened Samsung’s relationship with Google to a marriage in an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek.


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

Depending on the organization, it might be profit, power, authority, influence, notoriety, or some combination of those things. Self-preservation interest. Organizations have strong self-preservation interests. They want to survive, just like individuals. Ego-preserving interest. Organizations have an analogue of self-image, and do things to preserve that image. For example, some organizations have a mission statement and go to great lengths to make sure their actions are consistent with their words. (Google's “don't be evil” motto is a good example.) Some organizations have particular reputations they want to preserve, for being honorable, ruthless, quick, and so on. Other organizations take pride in their geographic origins or in how long they've been in business. Still others have charitable foundations. Other psychological motivations. Organizations don't have psychologies, but they do have cultures. Examples are the not-invented-here syndrome, where companies become reluctant to adopt solutions from outside the organization; a “CYA,” or “cover your ass” mentality, which predisposes an organization towards some solutions and away from others; dysfunctional communications, which lead to defection at one level that other levels don't know about; a caste system that can breed resentment in one group and lead to sabotaging behavior; or a skunk works dynamic, where a group inside the organization operates autonomously and in secret for a while.

Even though organizations have interests, the societal pressures we've already talked about work differently on organizations than they do on people. Moral pressure. Organizations are not people; they don't have brains, and they don't have morals. They can have group interests that are analogous to morals, though. Charities can have lofty mission statements, and a corporate mission statement like “don't be evil” is effectively a moral. Reputational pressure. For groups, reputation works differently than for individuals. Organizations care about their reputation just as individuals do: possibly more, due to size. They also have more control over it. Organizations can spend money to repair their reputations by undertaking advertising and public relations campaigns, making over their images, and so on—options that are simply unavailable to most individuals.


pages: 452 words: 134,502

Hacking Politics: How Geeks, Progressives, the Tea Party, Gamers, Anarchists and Suits Teamed Up to Defeat SOPA and Save the Internet by David Moon, Patrick Ruffini, David Segal, Aaron Swartz, Lawrence Lessig, Cory Doctorow, Zoe Lofgren, Jamie Laurie, Ron Paul, Mike Masnick, Kim Dotcom, Tiffiniy Cheng, Alexis Ohanian, Nicole Powers, Josh Levy

4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Bernie Sanders, Burning Man, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, collective bargaining, creative destruction, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, facts on the ground, Firefox, hive mind, immigration reform, informal economy, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, liquidity trap, Mark Zuckerberg, obamacare, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, peer-to-peer, plutocrats, Plutocrats, prisoner's dilemma, rent-seeking, Silicon Valley, Skype, technoutopianism, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator

Even with the cross-partisan support of conservative sites like RedState, the average American is unlikely to see the content, and the only Congressional staffers who will see it are the ones (usually, interns) charged with monitoring the blogs. Let’s be clear about this third level of influence, then. It was a remarkable tactic, and demonstrates that the big companies in the digital environment are beginning to recognize that they have to push back against the big companies from the traditional entertainment environment. But that’s a pretty meek revolution. Google is still a corporation, “Don’t Be Evil” motto notwithstanding (Vaidhyanathan 2011). If the digital companies start expending more resources pressuring Congress, that will provide a more pluralistic balance in the MPAA’s policy playground, but it doesn’t necessarily put power in the hands of the “Internet public.” The fight over Internet censorship is far from over. What do these three levels of influence mean for the future of Internet politics?

At the second level of influence, the next SOPA will be tougher to beat than the last one was. 2. It’s possible that major tech firms will get a seat at the table in the next round of negotiations. It is possible to craft an Internet piracy bill that serves the interests of Google and the interests of Hollywood without serving the interests of smaller content creation sites. We would do well to recall the Net Neutrality compromise that Google made in the summer of 2010. Sometimes “Don’t Be Evil” is just a motto. The problem here is that, without Google, the third level of influence is much reduced. Google occupies a unique space in the geography of the Internet. 3. Most hopefully, it is possible that the SOPA blackout will allow a new public—what David Parry calls “the Internet Public” (Parry 2011) to take root. Social movements are built from the grist of shared campaign efforts like this one.


pages: 915 words: 232,883

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

air freight, Albert Einstein, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, big-box store, Bob Noyce, Buckminster Fuller, Byte Shop, centre right, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, commoditize, computer age, computer vision, corporate governance, death of newspapers, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, El Camino Real, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, fixed income, game design, Golden Gate Park, Hacker Ethic, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, Johannes Kepler, John Markoff, Jony Ive, lateral thinking, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, Paul Terrell, profit maximization, publish or perish, Richard Feynman, Robert Metcalfe, Robert X Cringely, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, thinkpad, Tim Cook: Apple, Wall-E, Whole Earth Catalog

Jobs was furious that Google had decided to compete with Apple in the phone business. “We did not enter the search business,” he said. “They entered the phone business. Make no mistake. They want to kill the iPhone. We won’t let them.” A few minutes later, after the meeting moved on to another topic, Jobs returned to his tirade to attack Google’s famous values slogan. “I want to go back to that other question first and say one more thing. This ‘Don’t be evil’ mantra, it’s bullshit.” Jobs felt personally betrayed. Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt had been on the Apple board during the development of the iPhone and iPad, and Google’s founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, had treated him as a mentor. He felt ripped off. Android’s touchscreen interface was adopting more and more of the features—multi-touch, swiping, a grid of app icons—that Apple had created.

“I said we would, if we had good relations, guarantee Google access to the iPhone and guarantee it one or two icons on the home screen,” he recalled. But he also threatened that if Google continued to develop Android and used any iPhone features, such as multi-touch, he would sue. At first Google avoided copying certain features, but in January 2010 HTC introduced an Android phone that boasted multi-touch and many other aspects of the iPhone’s look and feel. That was the context for Jobs’s pronouncement that Google’s “Don’t be evil” slogan was “bullshit.” So Apple filed suit against HTC (and, by extension, Android), alleging infringement of twenty of its patents. Among them were patents covering various multi-touch gestures, swipe to open, double-tap to zoom, pinch and expand, and the sensors that determined how a device was being held. As he sat in his house in Palo Alto the week the lawsuit was filed, he became angrier than I had ever seen him: Our lawsuit is saying, “Google, you fucking ripped off the iPhone, wholesale ripped us off.”

Publishing and Journalism: Interviews with Steve Jobs, Jeff Bewkes, Rick Stengel, Andy Serwer, Josh Quittner, Rupert Murdoch. Ken Auletta, “Publish or Perish,” New Yorker, Apr. 26, 2010; Ryan Tate, “The Price of Crossing Steve Jobs,” Gawker, Sept. 30, 2010. CHAPTER 39: NEW BATTLES Google: Open versus Closed: Interviews with Steve Jobs, Bill Campbell, Eric Schmidt, John Doerr, Tim Cook, Bill Gates. John Abell, “Google’s ‘Don’t Be Evil’ Mantra Is ‘Bullshit,’” Wired, Jan. 30, 2010; Brad Stone and Miguel Helft, “A Battle for the Future Is Getting Personal,” New York Times, March 14, 2010. Flash, the App Store, and Control: Interviews with Steve Jobs, Bill Campbell, Tom Friedman, Art Levinson, Al Gore. Leander Kahney, “What Made Apple Freeze Out Adobe?” Wired, July 2010; Jean-Louis Gassée, “The Adobe-Apple Flame War,” Monday Note, Apr. 11, 2010; Steve Jobs, “Thoughts on Flash,” Apple.com, Apr. 29, 2010; Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher, Steve Jobs interview, All Things Digital conference, June 1, 2010; Robert X.


pages: 467 words: 149,632

If Then: How Simulmatics Corporation Invented the Future by Jill Lepore

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, anti-communist, Buckminster Fuller, computer age, coronavirus, cuban missile crisis, desegregation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, game design, George Gilder, Grace Hopper, Hacker Ethic, Howard Zinn, index card, information retrieval, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, Jeffrey Epstein, job automation, land reform, linear programming, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, New Journalism, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, packet switching, Peter Thiel, profit motive, RAND corporation, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, South China Sea, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Telecommunications Act of 1996, urban renewal, War on Poverty, white flight, Whole Earth Catalog

They built a new people machine, bigger, sleeker, faster, and seemingly unstoppable. They built it out of old bits and pieces made by Simulmatics: content analysis, the simulation of human behavior, targeted messages, social networks, IF/THEN statements. Unlike the scientists of Simulmatics, many of the people who built the new machine did not begin with the best of intentions. They boasted that, at best, they had no bad intentions. “Don’t be evil,” the motto of Google, marked the limit of a swaggering, devil-may-care ethical ambition; doing good did not come into it.7 Incubated decades before, beneath a honeycombed, geodesic dome in Wading River, this work found a place, too, in universities. In the 2010s, a flood of money into universities attempted to make the study of data a science, with data science initiatives, data science programs, data science degrees, data science centers.8 Much academic research that fell under the label “data science” produced excellent and invaluable work, across many fields of inquiry, findings that would not have been possible with computational discovery.9 And no field should be judged by its worst practitioners.

Behavioral scientists, while admitting that there are no proven laws of human behavior, nevertheless often propose them. See, e.g., Aline Holzwarth, “The Three Laws of Human Behavior,” behavioraleconomics.com, May 7, 2019, https://www.behavioraleconomics.com/the-three-laws-of-human-behavior/. Ashlee Vance, “This Tech Bubble Is Different,” Bloomberg Businessweek, April 14, 2011. Although, notably, Google abandoned “Don’t be evil” in 2015, and Alphabet Inc. adopted a code of conduct that urged employees to “do the right thing,” http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2015/10/02/as-google-becomes-alphabet-dont-be-evil-vanishes/. Mathematicians-turned-businessmen Jeff Hammerbacher and D. J. Patil claim to have coined the term “data scientist” in 2008, and not long after, data science was also embraced both within and outside the academy as a new scientific method, a “fourth paradigm,” following the earlier paradigms of empirical, theoretical, and computational analysis.


Demystifying Smart Cities by Anders Lisdorf

3D printing, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, bitcoin, business intelligence, business process, chief data officer, clean water, cloud computing, computer vision, continuous integration, crowdsourcing, data is the new oil, digital twin, distributed ledger, don't be evil, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, facts on the ground, Google Glasses, income inequality, Infrastructure as a Service, Internet of things, Masdar, microservices, Minecraft, platform as a service, ransomware, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, self-driving car, smart cities, smart meter, software as a service, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stuxnet, Thomas Bayes, Turing test, urban sprawl, zero-sum game

Without a solid understanding of both, you are better off playing it safe and going with the flow. That said it should quickly be possible to pick up one or two key ideals. Ideals are expressed as architecture principles. A good format is the TOGAF formula of Name, Statement, Rationale, and Implications:Name – Should be easy to remember and represent the essence of the rule. Statement – Should clearly and precisely state the rule. It should also be nontrivial (“don’t be evil” does not pass the test). Rationale – Provides a reason for the rule and highlights the benefits of it. Implications – Spells out the real-world consequences of this principle. The first thing to do then is to flesh out these ideals and create a process through which you can create buy-in to them. Chances are that the organization already has some that you can work from, but make sure that they also align with what you feel they should be going forward.


pages: 239 words: 56,531

The Secret War Between Downloading and Uploading: Tales of the Computer as Culture Machine by Peter Lunenfeld

Albert Einstein, Andrew Keen, anti-globalists, Apple II, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, business cycle, butterfly effect, computer age, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, East Village, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Grace Hopper, gravity well, Guggenheim Bilbao, Honoré de Balzac, Howard Rheingold, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Mercator projection, Metcalfe’s law, Mother of all demos, mutually assured destruction, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-materialism, Potemkin village, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Robert Metcalfe, Robert X Cringely, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, social software, spaced repetition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ted Nelson, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, Thomas L Friedman, Turing machine, Turing test, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, walkable city, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

Over the past few years, the GNU/Linux open source expanded and became a robust—if still technologically daunting—alternative to the copyrighted, proprietary software of behemoths like Microsoft and Oracle, while the model of collaborative, cooperative development yielded results that could go toe-to-toe with established, for-profit business models. 173 GENERATIONS The Searchers: Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Others Don’t Be Evil. —Google corporate motto Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. —Arthur C. Clarke Half a century into the computerization of culture, whatever linear narratives of origin we have been able to map out here definitively break down. The bursting of the dot-com bubble was reminiscent of the disastrous fate of railroad companies in the United States in the late nineteenth century.


pages: 276 words: 64,903

Built for Growth: How Builder Personality Shapes Your Business, Your Team, and Your Ability to Win by Chris Kuenne, John Danner

Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Berlin Wall, Bob Noyce, business climate, call centre, cloud computing, disruptive innovation, don't be evil, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Gordon Gekko, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, pattern recognition, risk tolerance, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, supply-chain management, zero-sum game

Facebook’s chief people officer says: “We’re intentionally trying to mold roles around people rather than people around roles. That puts people in a place where they can do their very best work.”8 Not exactly the kind of crew Jobs would have commanded. Google’s Crusaders “Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”—it’s hard to imagine a more ambitious initial company mission than that (except perhaps Google’s other one: “Don’t be evil”). But that’s the crusade Google’s cofounders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, embarked on in 1998. Since then, Google has redefined how we use the web, redesigned concepts of the workplace, and refined its business model—separating its wildly successful advertising business from its “moon shot” initiatives like self-driving cars. The open, shoot-for-the-moon culture of Google and its parent company, Alphabet, reflects the comparably creative but looser management approach that characterizes the Crusader personality.


pages: 229 words: 67,869

So You've Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson

4chan, AltaVista, Berlin Wall, Broken windows theory, Burning Man, Clive Stafford Smith, cognitive dissonance, Desert Island Discs, different worldview, don't be evil, Donald Trump, drone strike, Google Hangouts, illegal immigration, Menlo Park, PageRank, Ralph Nader, Rosa Parks, Silicon Valley, Skype, Stanford prison experiment, Steve Jobs, urban planning, WikiLeaks

Jonathan’s email said the same thing: ‘Something about this story resonated with them, so much so that they felt compelled to google her name. That means they’re engaged. If interest in Justine were sufficient to encourage users to stay online for more time than they would otherwise, this would have directly resulted in Google making more advertising revenue. Google has the informal corporate motto of “don’t be evil”, but they make money when anything happens online, even the bad stuff.’ In the absence of any better data from Google, he wrote, he could only ever offer a ‘back of the envelope’ calculation. But he thought it would be appropriately conservative - maybe a little too conservative - to estimate Justine’s worth, being a ‘low-value query’, at a quarter of the average. Which, if true, means Google made $120,000 from the destruction of Justine Sacco.


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

They just have to go fix it—often in the face of people who say it’s impossible or are content with the status quo.” Internet culture also believes that the Internet itself is a key to building a better world. The invention of the Internet marks a break with the past, and an opportunity to open many old political and social debates. Companies see themselves as enlightened participants in these debates, with a social mandate as well as a business mandate; Google’s “Don’t be evil” mantra encapsulates their belief that the company has a moral mission as well as a technological one. Internet culture is also supremely ambitious and self-confident. It’s a confidence captured in venture capitalist Marc Andreessen’s saying that “software is eating the world.” In its outer reaches it is an ambition manifested in ideas of Seasteading (a movement to build self-governing floating cities, started by PayPal founder Peter Thiel) and the Singularity (a belief in “the dawning of a new civilization that will enable us to transcend our biological limitations and amplify our creativity,” originating with the ideas of inventor and now Google employee Ray Kurzweil).


pages: 281 words: 71,242

World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech by Franklin Foer

artificial general intelligence, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, big-box store, Buckminster Fuller, citizen journalism, Colonization of Mars, computer age, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, data is the new oil, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Snowden, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, global village, Google Glasses, Haight Ashbury, hive mind, income inequality, intangible asset, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, Law of Accelerating Returns, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, new economy, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, PageRank, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, Ray Kurzweil, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strong AI, supply-chain management, the medium is the message, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, Upton Sinclair, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, yellow journalism

Page prided himself on hiring engineers for business-minded jobs that would traditionally go to someone trained in, say, finance. Even as Google came to employ tens of thousands of workers, Larry Page personally reviewed a file on each potential hire to make sure that the company didn’t veer too far from its engineering roots. The best expression of the company’s idealism was its oft-mocked motto, “Don’t be evil.” That slogan becomes easier to understand, and a more potent expression of values, when you learn that Google never intended the phrase for public consumption. The company meant to focus employees on the beneficent, ambitious mission of the company—a Post-it note to the corporate self, reminding Google not to behave as selfishly and narrow-mindedly as Microsoft, the king of tech it intended to dethrone.


pages: 231 words: 71,248

Shipping Greatness by Chris Vander Mey

corporate raider, don't be evil, en.wikipedia.org, fudge factor, Google Chrome, Google Hangouts, Gordon Gekko, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, minimum viable product, performance metric, recommendation engine, Skype, slashdot, sorting algorithm, source of truth, Steve Jobs, Superbowl ad, web application

You’re after repeat customers, so you want to measure returning users and engagement (time spent on the site or using the app). Have your team review the log data, or at least understand the systems that are generating the reports, whether those are Webtrends or Google Analytics. Defensive Acquisitions I have not led a defensive deal. In my opinion, they’re not very nice and smell of fear-based decision making. If you have the pockets to do a defensive deal, please don’t be evil when you do one. If you’re even considering doing a defensive deal, you probably need to think about what monopolistic practices are. “I’m not a lawyer” is the first thing you should get used to saying because at least your comments will be in context. I’m not a lawyer, so I won’t tell you what not to do. Gotchas and Best Practices with Acquisitions Here are some final tips and warnings to keep in mind when you’re considering acquiring another company.


pages: 251 words: 76,868

How to Run the World: Charting a Course to the Next Renaissance by Parag Khanna

Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, back-to-the-land, bank run, blood diamonds, Bob Geldof, borderless world, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, charter city, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, commoditize, continuation of politics by other means, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, don't be evil, double entry bookkeeping, energy security, European colonialism, facts on the ground, failed state, friendly fire, global village, Google Earth, high net worth, index fund, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Kickstarter, laissez-faire capitalism, Live Aid, Masdar, mass immigration, megacity, microcredit, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, New Urbanism, off grid, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, out of africa, Parag Khanna, private military company, Productivity paradox, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, reserve currency, Silicon Valley, smart grid, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, sustainable-tourism, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, trade liberalization, trickle-down economics, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, X Prize

For example, when China demanded that foreign PCs come preinstalled with software that would allow censors to block selected sites, the public outcry shamed the government to scale back its request, instead asking only to make the software optional. What if China tried to force ICANN to deregister certain domain names it had trouble blocking, and ICANN instead threatened to delist official Chinese servers? Eventually, the Chinese authorities may respect and even follow Google’s unofficial motto: “Don’t Be Evil.” Human-Rights.org If global justice has a voice, its name is, appropriately, Avaaz, the word in many Asian languages for “voice.” Avaaz is one of the largest online communities with more than three million members. Spearheaded by a lean team of social networkers, it has no use for national chapters, dividing its operations not by geography but by language—currently thirteen of them (to the United Nations’ six).


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

As early as the 1990s there was a declaration of online independence, telling the powers that be in the old world to stay away. A new order would surely emerge. Even when business came to the internet world, it was going to be different. The reach and scale of the internet would enable a ‘long tail’ of small and independent producers to flourish. Online companies were launched talking in earnest terms of changing the world, with ‘don’t be evil’ mantras alongside – and generous share options making even their office decorators rich. For a long time, you could convince yourself it was all the real deal. At the start of the last decade, WikiLeaks used its unique online platform to challenge the world’s biggest superpower with an unprecedented series of leaks. Shortly afterwards, the world’s biggest social media companies were credited with boosting Arab Spring protests against corrupt and dictatorial governments.


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

Facebook, for example, shares your data with a company called Datalogix to establish what percentage of those who view an ad actually go on to buy a product from that advertiser.142 In a bracing book called You Are Not a Gadget, the virtual reality pioneer turned cybersceptic Jaron Lanier describes Google and Facebook as ‘spying/advertising empires’.143 These information businesses claim the data and results are all anonymised, but somewhere some machine and therefore potentially some person knows it is you. Hence the disconcerting experience that, minutes after searching for, buying online or simply emailing about, say, sandals, advertisements for sandals start popping up on our screens. (I choose a deliberately innocuous example.) Google’s most famous slogan is ‘Don’t be evil’. Yet as one Google engineer confided to another author, with a smile: ‘We’re not evil. We try really hard not to be evil. But if we wanted to, man, could we ever!’144 Beside personalised advertising and the gargantuan collection of personal data that underpins it, there is customised search. An amusing academic experiment in 2009 set up Google identities for the philosophers Friedrich Nietzsche, Immanuel Kant and Michel Foucault, developed a search history for them by entering words from the indices of their books and then tracked how their personalised search results diverged.

See also Dahrendorf, Ralf; Domscheit-Berg, Daniel; East Germany; German language; Gutenberg, Johann; Koselleck, Reinhart; Küng, Hans; Mann, Heinrich; Morgenstern, Christian; Nolte, Ernst; Tucholsky, Kurt; Ulbricht, Walter; Zypries, Brigitte Germany Abolishes Itself (Sarrazin), 213 gestures, 8, 123–24, 149, 176 Ghonim, Wael, 315 Gibson, William, 22 Gladstone, Brooke, 196 ‘glass person,’ 324 global city, 18–19, 207 global north and south, journal citations, 176–77 Global Voices, 200 God, 244, 267–68 Godwin, Mike, 23 Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von, 210 Goffman, Erving, 316 Gogol, Nikolai, 234 Goldacre, Ben, 153 Golden Rule, 109 Golden Shield (Great Firewall of China), 40, 362 Gomorrah (Saviano), 141–42 Gonzales, Alberto, 319–20 González, Mario Costeja, 307–8 Google, 169–70; algorithmic choice in Google car, 365; ‘autocomplete’ in Search, 303; banning cigarette/liquor ads, 52; becoming more ‘European,’ 308; Bettina Wulff suit against, 303; Bruce Leiter on, 93; Buzz social network, 289; China and, 26, 40, 47, 54; collecting information from Gmail, 169; and Communications Decency Act (US), 23; contradictory legal postures, 302; customised search results, 51; delisting requests, 308; ‘Don’t be evil’ slogan, 50–51; European or American norms on, 308; free access in poor countries, 358; and free speech, 168–69, 239, 285; goal of to make money, 50; González suit against, 307–8; googling as research starting point, 162; and Holocaust denial, 55; mission statement of, 167; near monopoly by, 169–70; Olympics editorial, 237; and paedophilia, 92, 168; personalisation of search results by, 134, 169–70; and privacy, 285, 289, 295, 303, 309; as private superpower, virtual country, 1, 21, 23–24, 31, 47–48; profits from ads, 169; and reputation management, 302; Search, 168, 237, 303; Search Quality Rating Guidelines, 187; self-made rules of, 84; selling freedom, 50; tailored search results, 51; Translate, 95, 176; value to versus value for, 284.


pages: 706 words: 202,591

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, 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 Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, Tim Cook: Apple, web application, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, Y2K

It was just about to launch its AdWords search advertising product, which would become one of the most successful products in history. “I really believed that was the future of the business,” she says. She was fine being a tractor in that effort, building an organization, changing the nature of ad sales from schmoozing to analytics. Sandberg was never one of the people you would hear talking about “Don’t Be Evil” or any of that stuff. She once remarked that, in her observation, a company’s beliefs were the opposite of its mantras. “My attitude has always been that you’d better keep your head down and do your work,” she once told me. “I delivered my numbers and focused on my metrics.” But by the end of 2007, it was time to leave Google. She knew that the CEO-in-waiting was co-founder Larry Page, and she wasn’t tapped to replace Kordestani as head of the entire business side.

And, frankly, we also don’t care that much about polish or perfection of product. We want to move fast, ship the thing that will get the impact that we want, and then keep going.” Indeed, the slogans, particularly “Move Fast and Break Things,” were prone to misinterpretation. “It meant to iterate and try things and not be afraid of failure—but not to be sloppy,” says Graham. “It didn’t mean to duct tape the server and run away.” But just as Google’s motto—“Don’t Be Evil”—would be used against it, the “break things” part of Facebook’s motto would be used by critics as a cudgel, when people were accusing Facebook of actually breaking things—breaking social order, breaking democracy, breaking civilization itself—like some digital version of a bull in a Restoration Hardware store. A few years later, Zuckerberg would amend the slogan at the 2014 F8, to “Move Fast with Stable Infrastructure.”


pages: 309 words: 81,975

Brave New Work: Are You Ready to Reinvent Your Organization? by Aaron Dignan

"side hustle", activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, butterfly effect, cashless society, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, deliberate practice, DevOps, disruptive innovation, don't be evil, Elon Musk, endowment effect, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, gender pay gap, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, gig economy, Google X / Alphabet X, hiring and firing, hive mind, income inequality, information asymmetry, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, loose coupling, loss aversion, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, new economy, Paul Graham, race to the bottom, remote working, Richard Thaler, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, six sigma, smart contracts, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, software is eating the world, source of truth, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, the High Line, too big to fail, Toyota Production System, uber lyft, universal basic income, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

While some businesses can be self-funded, a significant number of organizations require investment to get started and, later, to scale. Every company that takes on traditional investment is (often unwittingly) promising to grow forever in exchange for capital now. While it can be hard to imagine in the early days, the very nature of growth beyond scale is exploitative. Take Google, the paragon of iconoclastic virtue when it rose to prominence with its “Don’t be evil” slogan. You can’t “organize the world’s information” without inadvertently (or intentionally) controlling the flow of that information. Or take Facebook, the social network whose noble mission is to “bring the world closer together.” As an ad-supported business, its growth depends on capturing more and more of our attention, which means it must—at a very fundamental cognitive level—manipulate and addict us.


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

I am somewhat worried that market concentration ratios in many parts of the American economy are rising, but most of those markets seem pretty contestable and offer consumers lots of choice. The upshot is that the analysts who raise this issue usually are exaggerating the problem, harm to consumers is hard to find, and American competition remains alive and well. 6. ARE THE BIG TECH COMPANIES EVIL? Google’s original motto, which endeared it to many geeks, was “Don’t be evil.” And indeed, for a long time it seemed the company realized this aspiration. People under thirty may not know how hit-or-miss it was to search the web prior to Google. It has greatly enhanced our ability to find the right restaurant reviews, look up medical information, research dating or business partners, and track down old friends, not to mention that it provides the means for good, link-based blogging, among many other advances.


pages: 362 words: 83,464

The New Class Conflict by Joel Kotkin

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Bob Noyce, California gold rush, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, creative destruction, crony capitalism, David Graeber, deindustrialization, don't be evil, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, energy security, falling living standards, future of work, Gini coefficient, Google bus, housing crisis, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, labor-force participation, low-wage service sector, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mass affluent, McJob, McMansion, medical bankruptcy, Nate Silver, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Paul Buchheit, payday loans, Peter Calthorpe, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-industrial society, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, rent-seeking, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Richard Florida, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, transcontinental railway, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban sprawl, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working poor, young professional

Google has already been caught bypassing Apple’s privacy controls on phones and computers, and handing the data over to advertisers. The Huffington Post has constructed a long list of the firm’s privacy violations.55 Google, too, is renowned for mining personal information. The company’s bid to use Google Plus as a platform for its other offerings represents just another attempt to create a “database for affinity” that might prove irresistible to prying advertisers.56 As one wag tweeted in 2013: “Google motto 2004: Don’t be evil. Google motto 2010: Evil is tricky to define. Google motto 2013: We make military robots.” It may be time, as blogger Joshua Rivera put it, to call Google “an evil empire.”57 But Google is hardly alone in pushing these violations of privacy. Apple has been hauled in front of the courts for its violations, while Consumer Reports has documented Facebook’s pervasive, and often deepening, privacy breaches, including such details as health conditions (which an insurer could use against someone), travel plans (convenient for burglars), and information about a person’s sexual orientation, religious affiliation, and ethnicity.


pages: 294 words: 81,292

Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era by James Barrat

AI winter, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, Automated Insights, Bayesian statistics, Bernie Madoff, Bill Joy: nanobots, brain emulation, cellular automata, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cloud computing, cognitive bias, commoditize, computer vision, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Danny Hillis, data acquisition, don't be evil, drone strike, Extropian, finite state, Flash crash, friendly AI, friendly fire, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, Loebner Prize, lone genius, mutually assured destruction, natural language processing, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, PageRank, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, prisoner's dilemma, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, Skype, smart grid, speech recognition, statistical model, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, Stuxnet, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, Thomas Bayes, traveling salesman, Turing machine, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, zero day

We’re generally more focused on practical machine learning technologies like machine vision, speech recognition, and machine translation, which essentially is about building statistical models to match patterns—nothing close to the “thinking machine” vision of AGI. But I think Page’s quotation sheds more light on Google’s attitudes than Freidenfelds’s. And it helps explain Google’s evolution from the visionary, insurrectionist company of the 1990s, with the much touted slogan DON’T BE EVIL, to today’s opaque, Orwellian, personal-data-aggregating behemoth. The company’s privacy policy shares your personal information among Google services, including Gmail, Google+, YouTube, and others. Who you know, where you go, what you buy, who you meet, how you browse—Google collates it all. Its purported goal: to improve your user experience by making search virtually omniscient about the subject of you.


pages: 297 words: 83,651

The Twittering Machine by Richard Seymour

4chan, anti-communist, augmented reality, Bernie Sanders, Cal Newport, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, colonial rule, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Google Chrome, Google Earth, hive mind, informal economy, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invention of writing, Jaron Lanier, Jony Ive, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, late capitalism, liberal capitalism, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mohammed Bouazizi, moral panic, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, packet switching, patent troll, Philip Mirowski, post scarcity, post-industrial society, RAND corporation, Rat Park, rent-seeking, replication crisis, sentiment analysis, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, smart cities, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, the scientific method, Tim Cook: Apple, undersea cable, upwardly mobile, white flight, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

Ultimately, it was dehumanizing, corrosive of meaning: it was spiritual death. This way of describing our predicament runs the risk, innate to Christian demonology, of paranoia. It is less ‘they’re all out to get me’ than ‘evil is something that happens to me, rather than something I am involved in’. As with conspiracy theory, it externalizes evil. After all, the platforms are not only not demons; they are ostentatious about it. ‘Don’t be Evil’, as the Google slogan has it. They don’t, by themselves, generate the acedia, the generalized depression and weariness that they monetize. No more than the pharmaceutical industry does. They offer us a solution, an addiction which magnifies and potentiates acedia. But, as with all addictions, we succumb to it with our choices and our rationalizations. We are, after all, only staying in touch, only seeing what’s happening, only looking for the news, friends, entertainment: the mood-altering substance which is euphemized as ‘variable rewards’ is something that affects other people.


pages: 340 words: 96,149

@War: The Rise of the Military-Internet Complex by Shane Harris

Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Brian Krebs, centralized clearinghouse, clean water, computer age, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, don't be evil, Edward Snowden, failed state, Firefox, John Markoff, Julian Assange, mutually assured destruction, peer-to-peer, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Stuxnet, undersea cable, uranium enrichment, WikiLeaks, zero day

Considering that the NSA is the single biggest collector of zero day vulnerabilities, that information would help make Google more secure than others that don’t get access to such prized secrets. The agreement also lets the agency analyze intrusions that have already occurred, so it can help trace them back to their source. Google took a risk forming an alliance with the NSA. The company’s corporate motto, “Don’t be evil,” would seem at odds with the work of a covert surveillance and cyber warfare agency. But Google got useful information in return for its cooperation. Shortly after the China revelation, the government gave Sergey Brin, Google’s cofounder, a temporary security clearance that allowed him to attend a classified briefing about the campaign against his company. Government analysts had concluded that the intrusion was directed by a unit of the People’s Liberation Army.


pages: 343 words: 91,080

Uberland: How Algorithms Are Rewriting the Rules of Work by Alex Rosenblat

"side hustle", Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, big-box store, call centre, cashless society, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, disruptive innovation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Chrome, income inequality, information asymmetry, Jaron Lanier, job automation, job satisfaction, Lyft, marginal employment, Mark Zuckerberg, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, performance metric, Peter Thiel, price discrimination, Ralph Waldo Emerson, regulatory arbitrage, ride hailing / ride sharing, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, social software, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, TaskRabbit, Tim Cook: Apple, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, union organizing, universal basic income, urban planning, Wolfgang Streeck, Zipcar

The ways that we interact with datacentric systems imply a contractual trust with platforms to protect our data privacy. And indeed, Netflix was roundly criticized for its privacy violations.58 The particular examples that Uber provides us with might have simply joined a long list of “oops” moments in which technology hit a nerve. But Uber is different. It is the legacy of a technology culture that cautioned “Don’t Be Evil,” the slogan that came from Google’s code of conduct around 2000. Similarly, Facebook, founded in 2004, announced that its mission was “to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected” and, in 2017, adjusted it to: “Give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.”59 Technology companies get the benefit of the doubt in American society, enjoying a high level of status and respect as powerful, entrepreneurial innovators that deliver a better future.


pages: 315 words: 92,151

Ten Billion Tomorrows: How Science Fiction Technology Became Reality and Shapes the Future by Brian Clegg

Albert Einstein, anthropic principle, Brownian motion, call centre, Carrington event, combinatorial explosion, don't be evil, Ernest Rutherford, experimental subject, game design, gravity well, hive mind, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, nuclear winter, pattern recognition, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Feynman, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, silicon-based life, speech recognition, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Turing test

It seems likely because of the range of possibilities available that we will see a lot more nanotechnology driven science fiction stories in the future. A final possible way to end civilization is arguably to just carry on the way things are at the moment. This is often seen as the way that climate change will overwhelm us, but many argue that the same laissez-faire attitude puts humanity in danger of subservience to corporations who may make token claims to have the good of humanity at heart (think of Google’s former corporate motto “Don’t be evil”), but in reality are driven by hard cash and shareholder returns, trampling individuals under foot. We started this chapter with the chill of the cold war threat of atomic annihilation. And during the 1960s and 1970s the world became familiar with antinuclear demonstrations. But the protests weren’t limited to calls for nuclear disarmament. They also targeted nuclear power plants. Whether inspired by the power stations’ initial association with the bomb program, or later fears after accidents like Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, green organizations have mostly campaigned against nuclear power, despite it being a practical way to generate electricity with negligible contributions to climate change.


pages: 316 words: 90,165

You Are Here: From the Compass to GPS, the History and Future of How We Find Ourselves by Hiawatha Bray

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Albert Einstein, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bitcoin, British Empire, call centre, Charles Lindbergh, crowdsourcing, Dava Sobel, digital map, don't be evil, Edmond Halley, Edward Snowden, Firefox, game design, Google Earth, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, Isaac Newton, job automation, John Harrison: Longitude, John Snow's cholera map, license plate recognition, lone genius, openstreetmap, polynesian navigation, popular electronics, RAND corporation, RFID, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Thales of Miletus, trade route, turn-by-turn navigation, uranium enrichment, urban planning, Zipcar

The US FCC opened a probe; so did law enforcement agencies throughout the European Union and Asia. The governments of South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand each found Google in violation of privacy laws; in March 2011 France punished Google with a fine of 100,000 euros. In March 2013 Google paid a total of $7 million to thirty-eight US states and the District of Columbia to settle their lawsuits over the Street View matter. For a company whose unofficial motto is “Don’t be evil,” the whole event was a bitter public humiliation. No surprise that in May 2010, Google said its Street View cars would no longer capture Wi-Fi mapping data. By then Google had recruited a global army of Wi-Fi mapmakers—the millions who carried cell phones that ran the company’s Android operating system. All Android phones contain both Wi-Fi and GPS chips and are constantly in communication with cellular networks.


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

It would build its processes based upon the customer outside-in view of the interactions and user experience people desire, and it would target to overcome the things that piss off most people, such as lock-in fees, hidden charges, balloon payments on overdrafts and so on and so forth. It would make it clear what ‘fair’ means, by defining this and making sure it is practiced in everything we preach. A bit like Google’s “don’t be evil”, even though they sometimes appear to be, my new bank’s motto would be “don’t screw the customer”, and we’d make it clear how we would avoid doing that. We would support customers joining our “screw loose lounge” where they could rant and rave and discuss and debate, and we would have a “live and unscrewed” section for staff and management to air their hang ups and thumbs ups. All of this would mean that my hiring policy has to be to hire cool and fair people who get the mobile internet, so my hiring would be based upon a tweet: “do you want to work for a cool and fair bank?”


pages: 290 words: 87,549

The Airbnb Story: How Three Ordinary Guys Disrupted an Industry, Made Billions...and Created Plenty of Controversy by Leigh Gallagher

Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, Ben Horowitz, Bernie Sanders, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, Donald Trump, East Village, Elon Musk, housing crisis, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Jony Ive, Justin.tv, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, medical residency, Menlo Park, Network effects, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, performance metric, Peter Thiel, RFID, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, the payments system, Tony Hsieh, Travis Kalanick, uber lyft, Y Combinator, yield management

Much bigger questions are these: What happens to the company’s soul should it become a public company? What happens to the mission of “belonging”? What happens to changing the world? What happens to “the United Nations at the kitchen table”? Can you have a social mission and be a big behemoth on Wall Street? Plenty of tech-industry giants, of course, claim they have missions. Facebook’s is “Make the world more open and connected.” Google had “Don’t be evil” until its new parent, Alphabet, changed it to “Do the right thing.” But balancing mission and Wall Street expectations is a tricky thing. “I really like these guys—they are genuine,” says Jessi Hempel, head of editorial for the online technology publication Backchannel, about the Airbnb founders. “But the bigger question is, is an Internet company that has to scale a flawed endeavor? If you believe in a mission, start a nonprofit.


pages: 330 words: 91,805

Peers Inc: How People and Platforms Are Inventing the Collaborative Economy and Reinventing Capitalism by Robin Chase

Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Andy Kessler, banking crisis, barriers to entry, basic income, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, business climate, call centre, car-free, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, commoditize, congestion charging, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, decarbonisation, different worldview, do-ocracy, don't be evil, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Ferguson, Missouri, Firefox, frictionless, Gini coefficient, hive mind, income inequality, index fund, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, means of production, megacity, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, openstreetmap, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, peer-to-peer model, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, Turing test, turn-by-turn navigation, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Zipcar

These platforms will lead short (if profitable) lives. “Benevolent dictators” are cited as an alternative to bottom-line-focused CEOs. Google and Facebook come to mind. Their founders were able to retain majority control, giving them leeway to manage far more than simple shareholder value. CEOs who choose to deliver on a triple bottom line (people, planet, profit) are great … except that they eventually have to leave. Google’s motto “Don’t be evil” is only as good as Larry Page’s interpretation of it. And even benevolent dictators are still dictators. A few companies—including Zipcar, in my opinion, but also BlaBlaCar and Etsy—will always deliver significant social and environmental benefits no matter how they are financed or who runs them, because they necessarily deliver positive externalities. No matter who owns or runs Zipcar, it delivers more car happiness with dramatically fewer cars, fewer parking spaces occupied, and fewer overall vehicle miles traveled than if people owned their own vehicles.


Hiding in Plain Sight: The Invention of Donald Trump and the Erosion of America by Sarah Kendzior

"side hustle", 4chan, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, borderless world, Chelsea Manning, Columbine, corporate raider, desegregation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Ferguson, Missouri, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, income inequality, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, Jeffrey Epstein, Julian Assange, Mohammed Bouazizi, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, new economy, payday loans, plutocrats, Plutocrats, QAnon, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, Thomas L Friedman, trickle-down economics, unpaid internship, white flight, WikiLeaks, Y2K, zero-sum game

And there’s not much you can do about it.8 When I wrote this passage in 2011, I did not know that eight years later, I could substitute “America” for “Uzbekistan” and it would serve as an apt summary of Trump-era politics. I was writing during the last gasps of the internet as a potential force for democracy, before Silicon Valley companies surrendered to the filthy lucre obtained by spying on citizens and data mining personal profiles for the benefit of hostile states. It was a time when people would learn that Google’s slogan was “Don’t Be Evil” and not burst into ironic laughter. American exceptionalism was always an illusion, and Americans had long been prone to paranoid conspiracies, but even I was surprised by the quickness with which US political culture came to mirror that of surveillance states. I had not anticipated how quickly the cyber-utopianism embraced by internet corporations would turn into nihilist abdication of the public good.


pages: 346 words: 102,625

Early Retirement Extreme by Jacob Lund Fisker

8-hour work day, active transport: walking or cycling, barriers to entry, buy and hold, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, delayed gratification, discounted cash flows, diversification, dogs of the Dow, don't be evil, dumpster diving, financial independence, game design, index fund, invention of the steam engine, inventory management, lateral thinking, loose coupling, market bubble, McMansion, passive income, peak oil, place-making, Ponzi scheme, psychological pricing, the scientific method, time value of money, transaction costs, wage slave, working poor

It follows these guidelines: Reduce wants and needs from the marketplace to a minimum to decouple the buy-work connection. Decrease the volume and size but increase the sophistication of your activities and possessions. Measure prosperity by less activity, not more. Do fewer useless things. Work for the purpose of earning money for no more than five years of your life or five hours a week. Avoid generating waste and find ways to use the waste of others. Learn to use the system to your advantage, but don't be evil! Serve yourself rather than having others serve you. Instead, help them. Keep running costs down but pay for value. Maintain health to avoid the personal and monetary cost of sickness. Build up the capital to live as a capitalist or the skills to always find a new job. Focus on productive assets rather than stuff. Focus on developing skills rather than on passive entertainment. Gain the maximum in satisfaction with the minimum expenditure of money and energy.


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

The Buzz development team had completely bypassed Google’s normal trial and testing procedures that would have involved a more diverse range of users: people who are more likely to have brought up the issues that were so glaringly obvious immediately after the launch. The potential danger for people like Harriet somehow had not occurred to the engineers working on their sunny campus in Mountain View, California—apparently because Harriet’s concerns are so alien to their own life experience. They had not sought out anybody remotely like Harriet to help them test the new service. Google’s famous motto may be “don’t be evil.” Its internal product development processes heard no evil and knew no evil, but inadvertently did evil—even though the company had signed on to a pledge to uphold free speech and privacy. In response to complaints filed by privacy groups, in April 2011 the Federal Trade Commission issued a ruling that required Google to implement a comprehensive privacy program and submit to independent privacy audits for the next twenty years.


pages: 367 words: 99,765

Maphead: Charting the Wide, Weird World of Geography Wonks by Ken Jennings

Asperger Syndrome, augmented reality, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, British Empire, clean water, David Brooks, digital map, don't be evil, dumpster diving, Eratosthenes, game design, Google Earth, helicopter parent, hive mind, index card, John Harrison: Longitude, John Snow's cholera map, Mercator projection, Mercator projection distort size, especially Greenland and Africa, Mikhail Gorbachev, New Journalism, openstreetmap, place-making, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Skype, Stewart Brand, Tacoma Narrows Bridge, traveling salesman, urban planning

If everything you do is geotagged, then everyone always knows where you are—which is awesome if you’re hoping to meet some friends after work for a drink but maybe not so awesome if potential burglars are casing your neighborhood to find out who’s not home, or if you’re dealing with an abusive ex or a child predator or even some stranger who got mad about something you posted online. We’re an Orwellian dystopia in the making, says Dobson, except that no shadowy government will be providing the surveillance. Instead, we’re opting to do it to ourselves. With Google’s famous “Don’t be evil” motto in mind, I ask Paul Rademacher if he worries about the new digital map technology—call it Maps 2.0—turning evil. He tells me that Michael Jones, Google Earth’s chief technologist, often points out that all new technologies seem scary, but months later you find yourself wondering what you ever did without them. “He once gave the example of how cell phones now are cameras and how that seemed scary and invasive.


Cataloging the World: Paul Otlet and the Birth of the Information Age by Alex Wright

1960s counterculture, Ada Lovelace, barriers to entry, British Empire, business climate, business intelligence, Cape to Cairo, card file, centralized clearinghouse, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, Deng Xiaoping, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, European colonialism, Frederick Winslow Taylor, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, index card, information retrieval, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, Jane Jacobs, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Law of Accelerating Returns, linked data, Livingstone, I presume, lone genius, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, Norman Mailer, out of africa, packet switching, profit motive, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Scramble for Africa, self-driving car, semantic web, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the scientific method, Thomas L Friedman, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog

Google’s recently established Brussels office—charged with managing public relations for the search 296 CONCLUSION giant’s contentious relationship with the European Union over ­privacy issues—seemed eager to prove its cultural bona fides and ­establish itself as a good corporate citizen. Indeed, Google has since initiated a series of other cultural sponsorships across Europe, trying to project an image in keeping with its corporate motto: “Don’t Be Evil,” a mantra that seems a distant echo of Otlet’s dictum that the Mundaneum must “always be good.” While Google’s troubled relationship with the European Union may have provided some impetus for the sponsorship, there were human factors at work as well. Google’s local marketing manager, Julien Blanchez, happened to hail from Mons, home of the Mundaneum museum, as did Prime Minister di Rupo, who for a time served as the city’s mayor.


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, 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, income inequality, 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, zero-sum game

The ultimate loss from unpaid taxes is an estimated 60 billion euros a year for the weakest members of the European Union.20 While individuals and small businesses pay high levels of taxes, the share of corporate profits that multinationals have reported in tax havens has increased tenfold since the 1980s; much of this is coming from the large tech companies.21 The tech giants increase income inequality, because the losers are the people and small businesses who do pay taxes and the winners are the shareholders of the companies that use them to dodge taxes.22 The tech giants preach social solidarity and not being evil (Google recently decided to drop their motto “Don't be evil,” as it seemed out of fashion), while they funnel billions into offshore havens and channel their European operations through tax-friendly Ireland. While preaching the values of freedom and independence, they collect untold amounts of information on their users in vast spying operations. Not only do they avoid paying taxes in the democratic states where they have their headquarters, they have allowed themselves to become tools against these very states.


pages: 346 words: 97,330

Ghost Work: How to Stop Silicon Valley From Building a New Global Underclass by Mary L. Gray, Siddharth Suri

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, big-box store, bitcoin, blue-collar work, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collective bargaining, computer vision, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, data is the new oil, deindustrialization, deskilling, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, employer provided health coverage, en.wikipedia.org, equal pay for equal work, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial independence, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, future of work, gig economy, glass ceiling, global supply chain, hiring and firing, ImageNet competition, industrial robot, informal economy, information asymmetry, Jeff Bezos, job automation, knowledge economy, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, market friction, Mars Rover, natural language processing, new economy, passive income, pattern recognition, post-materialism, post-work, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Second Machine Age, sentiment analysis, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, software as a service, speech recognition, spinning jenny, Stephen Hawking, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, two-sided market, union organizing, universal basic income, Vilfredo Pareto, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration, Y Combinator

Companies from Patagonia to those profiled in this book, like CloudFactory and LeadGenius, register as benefit corporations, or B Corps, to make their commitments a matter of public record. B Corps are for-profit entities that register their intent to make a positive impact on its workers and society at large, through policies like fair labor practices, community giving campaigns, and clean environmental practices. The utility of the B Corp label is up for debate. Some argue that a vague mission—the corporate slogan equivalent of “Don’t be evil”—can water down the label’s meaning.7 But the point is to help make companies accountable to society as well as to shareholders. In the on-demand marketplace, B Corps like CloudFactory push back against the prevailing notion that people doing ghost work are expendable. They prioritize workers’ schedules, interests, and collaborations. Ultimately, these platforms show how worker-focused design can improve the quality of work produced and workers’ experiences of their jobs.


The Pirate's Dilemma by Matt Mason

"side hustle", Albert Einstein, augmented reality, barriers to entry, citizen journalism, creative destruction, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, East Village, Firefox, future of work, glass ceiling, global village, Hacker Ethic, haute couture, Howard Rheingold, Internet of things, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, jimmy wales, job satisfaction, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, Lao Tzu, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Naomi Klein, new economy, New Urbanism, patent troll, peer-to-peer, prisoner's dilemma, RAND corporation, RFID, Richard Florida, Richard Stallman, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Tim Cook: Apple, urban sprawl, Whole Earth Catalog

So capitalism responded by selling us punk, and mass-produced Ramones T-shirts for the whole family are now sold in shopping malls across the world. Antiestablishment slogans became the hallmark of big businesses interested in promoting themselves by supposedly empowering us with the D.I.Y. ethic. “Image Is Nothing,” says Sprite as it defiantly sells fizzy drinks. “Go Create,” Sony urges us. “Don’t Be Evil,” Google advises. “Have It Your Way,” cries Burger King. “Just Do It,” bellows Nike. Apple tells the hoards that gather every time it opens a new store to “Think Different,” holding D.I.Y. seminars for Mac users, teaching them how to get the most out of punk-branded music software such as GarageBand. “It’s hard to spend your life working for peace, justice and a society rich with opportunities for all” wrote Lee Gomes in The Wall Street Journal.


pages: 332 words: 97,325

The Launch Pad: Inside Y Combinator, Silicon Valley's Most Exclusive School for Startups by Randall Stross

affirmative action, Airbnb, AltaVista, always be closing, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, Ben Horowitz, Burning Man, business cycle, California gold rush, call centre, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, Elon Musk, high net worth, index fund, inventory management, John Markoff, Justin.tv, Lean Startup, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, medical residency, Menlo Park, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, QR code, Richard Feynman, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, social graph, software is eating the world, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Startup school, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, transaction costs, Y Combinator

But the thought of missing out on YC’s audacious experiment, funding so many startups at a time, was more painful than the thought of delaying the start of his next startup.25 At the same time that Harj Taggar was formally welcomed to the ranks of YC partners, so too was Paul Buchheit. Graham noted that Buchheit “was responsible for three of the best things Google has done”: developing Gmail; developing the prototype of Google’s advertising system; and coming up with Google’s guiding mantra, “Don’t Be Evil.” After leaving Google, he had gone on to cofound a startup, FriendFeed, which the previous year had become Facebook’s largest acquisition to date. Graham also gave him the highest praise he gave anyone: “one of the world’s best hackers.” The software technology that Graham had cut his teeth on at Viaweb in the 1990s was only a distant relation to the technology that hackers were working with now.


pages: 393 words: 91,257

The Coming of Neo-Feudalism: A Warning to the Global Middle Class by Joel Kotkin

Admiral Zheng, Andy Kessler, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bernie Sanders, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, clean water, creative destruction, deindustrialization, demographic transition, don't be evil, Donald Trump, edge city, Elon Musk, European colonialism, financial independence, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, gig economy, Gini coefficient, Google bus, guest worker program, Hans Rosling, housing crisis, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, land reform, liberal capitalism, life extension, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, megacity, Nate Silver, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, Parag Khanna, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-industrial society, post-work, postindustrial economy, postnationalism / post nation state, precariat, profit motive, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, Richard Florida, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Sam Altman, Satyajit Das, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart cities, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, superstar cities, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, trade route, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, We are the 99%, Wolfgang Streeck, women in the workforce, working-age population, Y Combinator

Renn, “How Apple and Google Are Censoring the Mobile Web,” Real Clear Politics, August 24, 2017, https://www.realclearpolitics.com/2017/08/24/how_apple_and_google_are_censoring_the_mobile_web_419092.html; Jim Treacher, “It Seems Twitter’s ‘Trust and Safety Council’ Is Working Overtime to Ban Conservatives,” PJ Media, August 15, 2018, https://pjmedia.com/trending/it-seems-twitters-trust-and-safety-council-is-working-overtime-to-ban-conservatives/; Eric Lieberman, “Google’s New Fact-Check Feature Almost Exclusively Targets Conservative Sites,” Daily Caller, January 9, 2018, http://dailycaller.com/2018/01/09/googles-new-fact-check-feature-almost-exclusively-targets-conservative-sites/; Glenn Harlan Reynolds, “When Digital Platforms Become Censors,” Wall Street Journal, August 18, 2018, https://www.wsj.com/articles/when-digital-platforms-become-censors-1534514122; Karl Zinsmeister, “How the Tech Worldview Affects Free-Speech Battles,” Real Clear Politics, October 3, 2018, https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2018/10/03/how_the_tech_worldview_affects_free-speech_battles_138234.html. 36 Daniel Friedman, “How Free Speech Dies Online,” Quillette, June 23, 2019, https://quillette.com/2019/06/23/how-free-speech-dies-online/. 37 Paul Bedard, “Social media companies back liberals, 72% ‘censor’ views they don’t like,” Washington Examiner, June 28, 2018, https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/washington-secrets/pew-social-media-companies-back-liberals-72-censor-views-they-dont-like; Brad Parscale, “Big Tech is becoming Big Brother,” Washington Examiner, August 16, 2018, https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/op-eds/brad-parscale-big-tech-is-becoming-big-brother. 38 Mark Epstein, “The Google-Facebook Duopoly Threatens Diversity of Thought,” Wall Street Journal, December 18, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-google-facebook-duopoly-threatens-diversity-of-thought-1513642519; Robert Tracinski, “‘Don’t Be Evil’? Google Is Becoming a Police State,” Federalist, January 12, 2018, http://thefederalist.com/2018/01/12/dont-be-evil-google-is-trying-to-become-a-police-state/. 39 Richard L. Hasen, “Speech in America is fast, cheap and out of control,” Los Angeles Times, August 18, 2017, http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-hasen-cheap-speech-democracy-20170818-story.html. 40 Ruchir Sharma, “When Will the Tech Bubble Burst?”


Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy by Lawrence Lessig

Amazon Web Services, Andrew Keen, Benjamin Mako Hill, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Brewster Kahle, Cass Sunstein, collaborative editing, commoditize, disintermediation, don't be evil, Erik Brynjolfsson, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Joi Ito, Kevin Kelly, Larry Wall, late fees, Mark Shuttleworth, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, optical character recognition, PageRank, peer-to-peer, recommendation engine, revision control, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, Saturday Night Live, SETI@home, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, Steve Jobs, The Nature of the Firm, thinkpad, transaction costs, VA Linux, yellow journalism

“There’s a happy-go-lucky vibe around Google,” the Journal wrote, contributing to an “image” that lends a “spin of respectability and beneficence to projects such as Google Print.” “But,” the Journal warned, “the mere activity of digitizing and storing millions of books . . . raises a serious legal question.” Google was ignoring these questions, the Journal charged. “Intellectual property was important enough to the Founding Fathers for them to mention it explicitly in the Constitution. We assume that when Google says ‘Don’t Be Evil’ this includes ‘Thou Shall Not Steal.’ ”4 (Actually, the Constitution doesn’t explicitly mention “intellectual property.” It speaks of “exclusive rights” to “writings and discoveries”—aka, monopolies. To say that means the framers endorsed IP is like saying they endorsed “war” because the Constitution mentions that as well.) In this case, the editors missed a fundamental fact about the “property right” that copyright is.


pages: 352 words: 104,411

Rush Hour: How 500 Million Commuters Survive the Daily Journey to Work by Iain Gately

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

The World Health Organization estimates that 1.3 million people die in traffic accidents every year, and a further 50 million are maimed or crippled. Most accidents are caused by human error. If motorcars could detect each other, could communicate among themselves, and might be programmed to avoid collisions, then rush hours would be far safer. Google, which is leading research in autonomous vehicles, is also motivated by safety. Its informal corporate motto is ‘Don’t be Evil’, and it believes that driverless cars will end the global carnage on the roads that claims more victims each year than warfare. In the same speech in which CFO Patrick Pichette dismissed telecommuting, he also stated that, in an ideal world, ‘nobody should be driving cars… Look at factorial math and probabilities of everything that could go wrong, times the number of cars out there… That’s why you have gridlock… It makes no sense to make people drive cars.’


pages: 300 words: 106,520

The Nanny State Made Me: A Story of Britain and How to Save It by Stuart Maconie

banking crisis, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Boris Johnson, British Empire, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, Corn Laws, David Attenborough, Desert Island Discs, don't be evil, Downton Abbey, Elon Musk, Etonian, failed state, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, G4S, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, helicopter parent, hiring and firing, housing crisis, job automation, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, North Sea oil, Own Your Own Home, plutocrats, Plutocrats, rent control, Right to Buy, road to serfdom, Silicon Valley, The Chicago School, universal basic income, Winter of Discontent

When I grumble about the Beeb and its moods and caprices, its obsessions and foibles, I do so while still thinking that people like Alan and James are the best kind of public servant, doing their job with the best of intentions and with great ability. Out there though, beyond the arms of Auntie and her old-fashioned belief in principles, ethics and a national good, there is another kind of media now and another kind of broadcasting. Don’t be evil, they implore you, which is a bit rich I think, as it’s their world where the real nasty stuff lies. In 1998, 9 per cent of British homes had access to the internet, most of these inhabited by geeks, weirdos or the professionally obligated. Twenty years later it was over 90 per cent. No one has embraced the online world as passionately as the British. Per capita, we shop and surf more than any other country.


Fortunes of Change: The Rise of the Liberal Rich and the Remaking of America by David Callahan

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, American Legislative Exchange Council, automated trading system, Bernie Sanders, Bonfire of the Vanities, carbon footprint, carried interest, clean water, corporate social responsibility, David Brooks, demographic transition, desegregation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Thorp, financial deregulation, financial independence, global village, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, high net worth, income inequality, Irwin Jacobs: Qualcomm, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, medical malpractice, mega-rich, Mitch Kapor, Naomi Klein, NetJets, new economy, offshore financial centre, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit maximization, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ralph Nader, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Florida, Robert Bork, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, short selling, Silicon Valley, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, stem cell, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, unpaid internship, Upton Sinclair, Vanguard fund, War on Poverty, working poor, World Values Survey

Others are backing the Democratic Party and liberal causes with record amounts of cash. Many companies have embraced a Bobo (Bourgeois Bohemian) ethos in their corporate culture, dispensing with dress codes and overly rigid hierarchies. Google, one of the most influential companies in the United States today, personifies these trends. Its top executives contribute almost exclusively to Democrats and have made the company carbon-neutral. “Don’t be evil” is Google’s informal corporate slogan. In his famous 1971 memo charging that the free enterprise system was “under broad attack,” Lewis Powell called on business leaders to push back against liberalism. Many heeded this call, helping bankroll the rise of the conservative “counter-establishment” and a new age of c10.indd 215 5/11/10 6:25:45 AM 216 fortunes of change Republican power. Now the political dynamic is changing again as some business leaders tack left.


pages: 474 words: 120,801

The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being in Charge Isn’t What It Used to Be by Moises Naim

additive manufacturing, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, bilateral investment treaty, business cycle, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, colonial rule, conceptual framework, corporate governance, creative destruction, crony capitalism, deskilling, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, don't be evil, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, intangible asset, intermodal, invisible hand, job-hopping, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, liberation theology, Martin Wolf, mega-rich, megacity, Naomi Klein, Nate Silver, new economy, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, open borders, open economy, Peace of Westphalia, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price mechanism, price stability, private military company, profit maximization, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trade route, transaction costs, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, World Values Survey, zero-sum game

The ad was not-so-subtly aimed at IBM, Apple’s then-dominant competitor in the personal computer market. Of course, today IBM is out of the PC market, and its market capitalization value is dwarfed by that of Apple, which, in turn, is being criticized for maintaining its own Big Brotheresque grip on its operating system, hardware, stores, and consumer experience. Google, incorporated in 1998 with the informal hacker ethos and corporate motto of “Don’t Be Evil,” is now one of the world’s biggest corporations (as measured by market capitalization) and is seen in some quarters as akin to the Antichrist, single-handedly destroying newspapers, crushing rivals, and violating consumer privacy. Increasing wealth and income inequality in the United States in the last twenty years, along with the global trend toward massive CEO pay packages and banker bonuses, have fed the perception that those who get to the top stay there, remote and above the cares that afflict lesser mortals.


pages: 401 words: 115,959

Philanthrocapitalism by Matthew Bishop, Michael Green, Bill Clinton

Albert Einstein, anti-communist, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Bernie Madoff, Bob Geldof, Bonfire of the Vanities, business process, business process outsourcing, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, cleantech, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, Dava Sobel, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, don't be evil, family office, financial innovation, full employment, global pandemic, global village, God and Mammon, Hernando de Soto, high net worth, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, James Dyson, John Harrison: Longitude, joint-stock company, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Live Aid, lone genius, Marc Andreessen, market bubble, mass affluent, microcredit, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, new economy, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, peer-to-peer lending, performance metric, Peter Singer: altruism, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit maximization, profit motive, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Slavoj Žižek, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, trade liberalization, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, wealth creators, winner-take-all economy, working poor, World Values Survey, X Prize

I believe large, successful corporations have a number of resources and have an obligation to apply some of those resources to at least try to solve or ameliorate a number of the world’s problems and ultimately to make the world a better place,” Brin explained. “We believe strongly that in the long term, we will be better served—as shareholders and in all other ways—by a company that does good things for the world even if we forgo some short-term gains,” elaborated Page. To emphasize the point, the firm famously adopted an unofficial motto: “Don’t be evil.” This “serves as a reminder to all our employees to consider the consequences of our actions,” Page told the Global Philanthropy Forum, which he and Brin hosted in 2007 at the Googleplex. Then he joked, “Perhaps it was a mistake—we should have said, ‘Be good.’ ” According to Google legend, when the pair first met in 1995, as computer science students at Stanford University, they were “not terribly fond of each other.”


pages: 409 words: 112,055

The Fifth Domain: Defending Our Country, Our Companies, and Ourselves in the Age of Cyber Threats by Richard A. Clarke, Robert K. Knake

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, business cycle, business intelligence, call centre, Cass Sunstein, cloud computing, cognitive bias, commoditize, computer vision, corporate governance, cryptocurrency, data acquisition, DevOps, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Exxon Valdez, global village, immigration reform, Infrastructure as a Service, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, Julian Assange, Kubernetes, Mark Zuckerberg, Metcalfe’s law, MITM: man-in-the-middle, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, open borders, platform as a service, Ponzi scheme, ransomware, Richard Thaler, Sand Hill Road, Schrödinger's Cat, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, Snapchat, software as a service, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, technoutopianism, Tim Cook: Apple, undersea cable, WikiLeaks, Y2K, zero day

Ten years ago, when we wrote the book Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About It, our goal was to raise the alarm. We knew the seriousness with which cyber threats were taken in Washington, but didn’t see the same level of concern in the private sector. Unfortunately, much of what we wrote about cyber threats turned out to be right, but things have also changed a lot since then, including our prescriptions. When we wrote Cyber War, Silicon Valley, still stuck in its “Don’t Be Evil” phase, wouldn’t accept that its inventions had the potential to cause real harm. Our intention was to scare government and corporate leaders into addressing the threat before the prospect of cyber war turned into a real cyber war. In the intervening decade, far too little has happened to respond to the threat, while many of our predictions on the emergence of war in cyberspace have regrettably come to be true.


pages: 386 words: 113,709

Why We Drive: Toward a Philosophy of the Open Road by Matthew B. Crawford

1960s counterculture, Airbus A320, airport security, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, Boeing 737 MAX, British Empire, Burning Man, call centre, collective bargaining, crony capitalism, deskilling, digital map, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Fellow of the Royal Society, gig economy, Google Earth, hive mind, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, labour mobility, Lyft, Network effects, New Journalism, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Nader, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Sam Peltzman, security theater, self-driving car, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, smart cities, social graph, social intelligence, Stephen Hawking, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, too big to fail, traffic fines, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban planning, Wall-E, Works Progress Administration

To get a sense of the ends toward which we are likely to be steered in a Google-run city, we need to take a look behind the curtain and consider the firm’s commitments, and its manner of pursuing them, as revealed by its core business of search. Presumably it would bring a similar ethos to the management of cities. TRUSTEESHIP THROUGH INFRASTRUCTURE Of all the platform firms, Google is singular. It’s near monopoly on search (about 90 percent) puts it in a position to steer thought. And increasingly, it avows the steering of thought as its unique responsibility. Famously founded on the principle “Don’t be evil,” it has since taken up the mission of actively doing good, according to its own lights. In an important article titled “Google.gov,” the law professor Adam J. White writes that Google views “society’s challenges today as social-engineering problems” and aspires to “reshape Americans’ informational context, ensuring that we make choices based only upon what they consider the right kind of facts—while denying that there could be any values or politics embedded in the effort.”


pages: 597 words: 119,204

Website Optimization by Andrew B. King

AltaVista, bounce rate, don't be evil, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, information retrieval, iterative process, Kickstarter, medical malpractice, Network effects, performance metric, search engine result page, second-price auction, second-price sealed-bid, semantic web, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social graph, Steve Jobs, web application

Man declared dead, says he feels "pretty good" Zach Dunlap says he feels "pretty good" four months after he was declared brain dead and doctors were about to remove his organs for transplant. http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/03/24/NotDead.ap/index.html How Apple Got Everything Right By Doing Everything Wrong Apple succeeds by going against Silicon Valley wisdom, ignoring business best practices, bucking the "don't be evil" ideals Google has tried to uphold. Wired.com's Leander Kahney, author of the new book "Inside Steve's Brain" (due out this spring) and the Cult of Mac blog, explores why for Steve Jobs, the regular rules do not apply. http://www.wired.com/techbiz/it/magazine/16-04/bz_apple A New Tool From Google Alarms Sites Google's new search-within-search feature has sparked fears from publishers and retailers that users will be siphoned away through ad sales to competitors. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/24/business/media/24ecom.html Well-written headlines and decks can increase your readership, shore up brand loyalty, and boost your rankings.


pages: 481 words: 120,693

Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else by Chrystia Freeland

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, assortative mating, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Basel III, battle of ideas, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Black Swan, Boris Johnson, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business climate, call centre, carried interest, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, commoditize, conceptual framework, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, disruptive innovation, don't be evil, double helix, energy security, estate planning, experimental subject, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Gini coefficient, global village, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, Guggenheim Bilbao, haute couture, high net worth, income inequality, invention of the steam engine, job automation, John Markoff, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, liberation theology, light touch regulation, linear programming, London Whale, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, Mikhail Gorbachev, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, NetJets, new economy, Occupy movement, open economy, Peter Thiel, place-making, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, postindustrial economy, Potemkin village, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, short selling, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Kuznets, Solar eclipse in 1919, sovereign wealth fund, starchitect, stem cell, Steve Jobs, the new new thing, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tony Hsieh, too big to fail, trade route, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, wage slave, Washington Consensus, winner-take-all economy, zero-sum game

Most important of all, the plutocrats, and their chorus in the popular culture, are keen to believe they are not engaged on an entirely selfish mission. Carnegie asserted that knights of capitalism like himself “and the law of competition between these” were “not only beneficial, but essential to the future progress of the race.” No one would talk like that today, but our champions of capital do like to describe their work in strikingly moral terms. Google’s company motto is “Don’t be evil,” and at a recent company conference, Larry Page, Google’s cofounder and now its CEO, said earnestly that one of Google’s greatest accomplishments was to save lives—thanks to the search engine, for instance, people can type in their symptoms, learn immediately they are having a heart attack, and get life-saving help sooner than they would have otherwise. The self-driving car, one of Page’s pet projects, would eventually, he argued, save more lives than any political, social, or humanitarian effort.


pages: 388 words: 125,472

The Establishment: And How They Get Away With It by Owen Jones

anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, bank run, battle of ideas, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bonus culture, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, centre right, citizen journalism, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, don't be evil, Edward Snowden, Etonian, eurozone crisis, falling living standards, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, G4S, glass ceiling, hiring and firing, housing crisis, inflation targeting, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), investor state dispute settlement, James Dyson, laissez-faire capitalism, light touch regulation, market fundamentalism, mass immigration, Monroe Doctrine, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, Neil Kinnock, night-watchman state, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, open borders, plutocrats, Plutocrats, popular capitalism, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, rent control, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, stakhanovite, statistical model, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transfer pricing, union organizing, unpaid internship, Washington Consensus, wealth creators, Winter of Discontent

Between 2007 and 2013 the company had revenues worth nearly £12 billion, and yet managed to hand over just £10 million to the tax authorities. The company simply designated its British office a marketing operation, existing to support its Irish headquarters. As such, it merely routed its British sales through Ireland. Again, it was a clever – and yes, legal – scam. The company ‘did do evil’, claimed Margaret Hodge in a rebuttal to the company’s corporate motto, ‘Don’t be evil’. In another twist, the tax-avoiders included companies benefiting from the sell-off of public services, whose profits were therefore directly subsidized by state revenues. Some £2 billion of public money had been handed to Atos and G4S in 2012, but neither paid any corporation tax, while Serco and Capita paid derisory amounts. Firms benefiting from the privatization of the NHS, such as Partnerships in Care, were among the tax-avoiders.


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

Google initially began by collecting and organizing human knowledge and then making it available to humans as part of a glorified Memex, the original global information retrieval system first proposed by Vannevar Bush in the Atlantic Monthly in 1945.11 As the company has evolved, however, it has started to push heavily toward systems that replace rather than extend humans. Google’s executives have obviously thought to some degree about the societal consequences of the systems they are creating. Their corporate motto remains “Don’t be evil.” Of course, that is nebulous enough to be construed to mean almost anything. Yet it does suggest that as a company Google is concerned with more than simply maximizing shareholder value. For example, Peter Norvig, a veteran AI scientist who has been director of research at Google since 2001, points to partnerships between human and computer as the way out of the conundrum presented by the emergence of increasingly intelligent machines.


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

Communicators (video). C-SPAN, April 14, 2010. www.c-spanvideo.org/program/293002-1. “Communicators with Tim Sparapani.” Communicators (video). C-SPAN, March 8, 2010. www.c-spanvideo.org/program/292422-1. Dabashi, Hamid. “A Tale of Two Cities.” Al-Ahram Weekly, August 20, 2009. weekly.ahram.org.eg/2009/961 /op51.htm. Dickie, Mure. “China Traps Online Dissent.” Financial Times, November 12, 2007. “Don’t Be Evil.” New Republic, April 21, 2010. Eltahawy, Mona. “Facebook , YouTube and Twitter Are the New Tools of Protest in the Arab World.” Washington Post, August 7, 2010. Esfandiari, Golnaz. “Authorities Warn Iranians Not to Protest—By SMS.” Transmission Blog (RFE/RL), November 20, 2009. www.rferl.org/content/Authorities_Warn_Iranians_Not_To_Protest_By_SMS/1883679.html. ———. “Iranian Social Networking, Hard-Line Style.”


pages: 418 words: 128,965

The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires by Tim Wu

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Alfred Russel Wallace, Apple II, barriers to entry, British Empire, Burning Man, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, corporate raider, creative destruction, disruptive innovation, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, informal economy, intermodal, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Menlo Park, open economy, packet switching, PageRank, profit motive, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, sexual politics, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, zero-sum game

Cable operators, though not obliged by law to do so, generally carry channels that a cruder calculus would motivate them to block. Likewise, Apple, the maker of the iPhone, has been, in effect, shamed into allowing apps, such as Skype or Line2, that compete with its own services. Meanwhile Verizon, a born-and-bred Baby Bell, gains public applause by publicly declaring itself an “open” company. And Google, one of the great corporate hegemons of our time, does likewise under its banner “Don’t Be Evil.” Whatever its missteps and shortcomings, that firm has, so far, done more than any other to promote what we have been describing as a constitutional policy of separations for the information industry. And while the extent of Google’s commitment has been exceptional, the basic impulse is not. In fact, rare is the firm willing to assert an intention and a right to dominate layers of the information industry beyond its core business, an ambition that someone like Theodore Vail, Adolph Zukor, or David Sarnoff would have proclaimed with unabashed glee.


pages: 422 words: 131,666

Life Inc.: How the World Became a Corporation and How to Take It Back by Douglas Rushkoff

addicted to oil, affirmative action, Amazon Mechanical Turk, anti-globalists, banks create money, big-box store, Bretton Woods, car-free, Charles Lindbergh, colonial exploitation, Community Supported Agriculture, complexity theory, computer age, corporate governance, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, death of newspapers, don't be evil, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, easy for humans, difficult for computers, financial innovation, Firefox, full employment, global village, Google Earth, greed is good, Howard Rheingold, income per capita, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, John Nash: game theory, joint-stock company, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, laissez-faire capitalism, loss aversion, market bubble, market design, Marshall McLuhan, Milgram experiment, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, negative equity, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, peak oil, peer-to-peer, place-making, placebo effect, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, price stability, principal–agent problem, private military company, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, RFID, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, short selling, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, social software, Steve Jobs, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, trade route, trickle-down economics, union organizing, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, Victor Gruen, white flight, working poor, Works Progress Administration, Y2K, young professional, zero-sum game

Corporations help people and communities create value about as well as swords till the soil. It’s not what they were built for. The corporation excels at extracting value from communities and reducing their ability to take care of themselves. New technologies, new charters, and new personalities don’t change this basic fact. The Google corporation may tell its workers that the company lives by the credo “Don’t be evil,” but its operations and business model are classically corporatist and singularly opportunistic. The company’s main claim to virtue is that it fights for “open systems” in all media and on all platforms. Technologically, this means preventing cell-phone companies from locking their phones, Internet providers from blocking certain activities, and wireless carriers from restricting downloads.


pages: 588 words: 131,025

The Patient Will See You Now: The Future of Medicine Is in Your Hands by Eric Topol

23andMe, 3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Anne Wojcicki, Atul Gawande, augmented reality, bioinformatics, call centre, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, commoditize, computer vision, conceptual framework, connected car, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, dark matter, data acquisition, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, don't be evil, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Firefox, global village, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, information asymmetry, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, job automation, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, license plate recognition, lifelogging, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, pattern recognition, personalized medicine, phenotype, placebo effect, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, Snapchat, social graph, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Turing test, Uber for X, uber lyft, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, X Prize

M. van Rijmenam, “How Machine Learning Could Result in Great Applications for Your Business,” Big Data-Startups Blog, January 10, 2014, http://www.bigdata-startups.com/machine-learning-result-great-applications-business/. 35. N. Jones, “The Learning Machines,” Nature 505 (2014): 146–148. 36. J. Markoff, “Scientists See Promise in Deep-Learning Programs,” New York Times, November 24, 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/24/science/scientists-see-advances-in-deep-learning-a-part-of-artificial-intelligence.html. 37. “Don’t Be Evil, Genius,” The Economist, February 1, 2014, http://www.economist.com/node/21595462/print. 38. J. Pearson, “Superintelligent AI Could Wipe Out Humanity, If We’re Not Ready for It,” Motherboard, April 23, 2014, http://motherboard.vice.com/read/super-intelligent-ai-could-wipe-out-humanity-if-were-not-ready-for-it. 39. E. Brynjolfsson and A. McAfee, “The Dawn of the Age of Artificial Intelligence,” The Atlantic, February 2014, http://www.theatlantic.com/business/print/2014/02/the-dawn-of-the-age-of-artificial-intelligence/283730/. 40.


pages: 460 words: 131,579

Masters of Management: How the Business Gurus and Their Ideas Have Changed the World—for Better and for Worse by Adrian Wooldridge

affirmative action, barriers to entry, Black Swan, blood diamonds, borderless world, business climate, business cycle, business intelligence, business process, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Exxon Valdez, financial deregulation, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, George Gilder, global supply chain, industrial cluster, intangible asset, job satisfaction, job-hopping, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Just-in-time delivery, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, lake wobegon effect, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, means of production, Menlo Park, mobile money, Naomi Klein, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Nick Leeson, Norman Macrae, patent troll, Ponzi scheme, popular capitalism, post-industrial society, profit motive, purchasing power parity, Ralph Nader, recommendation engine, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, science of happiness, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, supply-chain management, technoutopianism, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Davenport, Tony Hsieh, too big to fail, wealth creators, women in the workforce, young professional, Zipcar

But are these companies successful because they have strong cultures, or do they have strong cultures because they are successful? The proponents of corporate culture hardly strengthen their case by putting so much emphasis on mission statements, which usually read like lists of buzzwords strung together in no particular order (there is even an automatic “mission statement generator” that does the stringing together for you). Google has successfully mocked the mission statement industry by adopting the simple formula “don’t be evil.” Instead of a hefty rule book, Nordstrom’s employees are issued a single piece of paper that reads “Use your good judgment in all situations.” Still, there is no doubt that the best companies are guided by a core set of values, values that they work hard at refining and instilling into their employees. Jim Collins has written a succession of books arguing that the one thing successful companies have in common is a set of “core values,” a sort of cultural version of core competencies.


pages: 420 words: 130,503

Actionable Gamification: Beyond Points, Badges and Leaderboards by Yu-Kai Chou

Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, bitcoin, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, don't be evil, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, Firefox, functional fixedness, game design, IKEA effect, Internet of things, Kickstarter, late fees, lifelogging, loss aversion, Maui Hawaii, Minecraft, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, performance metric, QR code, recommendation engine, Richard Thaler, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, Stanford prison experiment, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs

When you design an experience with the underlying belief that, the moment your experience is no longer engaging, people will leave your system - you will likely create much better Human-Focused Designs. In the case of Google, they implemented many White Hat designs into their company culture. The first thing Google did was implement Core Drive 1: Epic Meaning & Calling. Google is widely known for having the mission statement, “Organizing the world’s information and making it universally accessible and useful” as well as the catchy slogan, “Don’t be evil.” Because of that, many talented engineers felt that, “I could earn a paycheck anywhere, but at Google, I’m creating an impact in the world. Not only that, I’m part of the good guys, and that’s really valuable for me!” In regards to Core Drive 2: Development & Accomplishment, besides the usual raises and promotions, Google realizes that not every engineer can become a manager, but every engineer needs to feel a sense of progress and development.


pages: 455 words: 133,322

The Facebook Effect by David Kirkpatrick

Andy Kessler, Burning Man, delayed gratification, demand response, don't be evil, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, Howard Rheingold, Jeff Bezos, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Network effects, Peter Thiel, rolodex, Sand Hill Road, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, social graph, social software, social web, Startup school, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Whole Earth Review, winner-take-all economy, Y Combinator

Chris Cox, the vice president of product and who works alongside Zuckerberg almost daily, says, “Mark would rather see our business fail in an attempt to do what is right and to do something great and meaningful, than be a big, lame company.” A watchword over the years at Facebook has been “Don’t be lame.” Cox says it means don’t do something just to make more money or because everybody is telling you to. It is Facebook’s counterpoint to Google’s motto ‘Don’t be evil.’” Though Facebook is filling out with executives of all ages, people in their twenties still constitute a critical mass. They understand how Zuckerberg thinks because they are much like him. They take the impact of their work with profound seriousness, even as they seem to spend much of the day wiggling erratically around the vast office on two-wheeled RipStick skateboards. Many naturally gravitated to Facebook after developing deep convictions about the social implications of a service they used daily.


pages: 504 words: 143,303

Why We Can't Afford the Rich by Andrew Sayer

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Albert Einstein, anti-globalists, asset-backed security, banking crisis, banks create money, basic income, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, collective bargaining, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, decarbonisation, declining real wages, deglobalization, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, demand response, don't be evil, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, en.wikipedia.org, Etonian, financial innovation, financial intermediation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, G4S, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, high net worth, income inequality, information asymmetry, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), investor state dispute settlement, Isaac Newton, James Dyson, job automation, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, laissez-faire capitalism, land value tax, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, means of production, moral hazard, mortgage debt, negative equity, neoliberal agenda, new economy, New Urbanism, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, patent troll, payday loans, Philip Mirowski, plutocrats, Plutocrats, popular capitalism, predatory finance, price stability, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, The Nature of the Firm, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, universal basic income, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, Washington Consensus, wealth creators, WikiLeaks, Winter of Discontent, working poor, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

63 Like all companies and other organisations, these businesses depend on a workforce and a customer-base that is educated, a health system that keeps their workers healthy and a public infrastructure, including a legal system. While the little people pay their taxes for all these things and more, many incredibly wealthy companies free-ride on them. The double Irish and the Dutch sandwich Google’s sixth ‘core value’ is: ‘Do the right thing: don’t be evil. Honesty and Integrity in all we do. Our business practices are beyond reproach. We make money by doing good things.’64 Google cut its taxes by US$3.1 billion, using a technique that moves most of its foreign profits through Ireland and the Netherlands to Bermuda. These strategies, known to lawyers as the double Irish and the Dutch sandwich, helped Google to reduce its overseas tax rate to 2.4%.65 Margaret Hodge, who chairs the UK parliament’s Public Accounts Committee, took Google’s UK Vice-President, Matt Brittin, to task over this: ‘You are a company that says you “do no evil”.


pages: 499 words: 144,278

Coders: The Making of a New Tribe and the Remaking of the World by Clive Thompson

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 4chan, 8-hour work day, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Asperger Syndrome, augmented reality, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, blue-collar work, Brewster Kahle, Brian Krebs, Broken windows theory, call centre, cellular automata, Chelsea Manning, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer vision, Conway's Game of Life, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Danny Hillis, David Heinemeier Hansson, don't be evil, don't repeat yourself, Donald Trump, dumpster diving, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ernest Rutherford, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Firefox, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, glass ceiling, Golden Gate Park, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, Guido van Rossum, Hacker Ethic, HyperCard, illegal immigration, ImageNet competition, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Larry Wall, lone genius, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Shuttleworth, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, microservices, Minecraft, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, Network effects, neurotypical, Nicholas Carr, Oculus Rift, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pink-collar, planetary scale, profit motive, ransomware, recommendation engine, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rubik’s Cube, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Satoshi Nakamoto, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, single-payer health, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, social software, software is eating the world, sorting algorithm, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, the High Line, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, urban planning, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, Zimmermann PGP, éminence grise

“a highly responsive audience”: Dipayan Ghosh and Ben Scott, “Digital Deceit: The Technologies Behind Precision Propaganda on the Internet,” New America (policy paper), January 2018, accessed August 21, 2018, https://www.newamerica.org/public-interest-technology/policy-papers/digitaldeceit/. “But hatred favors Facebook”: Vaidhyanathan, Antisocial Media, 195, Kindle. “says Wernher von Braun”: “Don’t Be Evil: Fred Turner on Utopias, Frontiers, and Brogrammers,” Logic 5 (Winter 2017), accessed August 21, 2018, https://logicmag.io/03-dont-be-evil/. or “doxing” you: Taylor Wofford, “Is Gamergate about Media Ethics or Harassing Women? Harassment, the Data Shows,” Newsweek, October 25, 2014, accessed August 21, 2018, https://www.newsweek.com/gamergate-about-media-ethics-or-harassing-women-harassment-data-show-279736; Brad Glasgow, “A Definition of Twitter Harassment,” Medium, November 2, 2015, accessed August 21, 2018, https://medium.com/@Brad_Glasgow/a-definition-of-twitter-harassment-f8acfa9ae3a8; Simon Parkin, “Gamergate: A Scandal Erupts in the Video-Game Community,” New Yorker, October 17, 2014, accessed August 21, 2018, https://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/gamergate-scandal-erupts-video-game-community.


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

He too preached the Big Data gospel, telling the crowd: “It is really very nearly within our grasp to be able to compute on all human generated information.” How far gone must you be to see this as beneficial? Compared to this kind of talk, Google’s totalizing vision—“to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”—sounds like a public service, rather than a grandiose, privacy-destroying monopoly. Google’s mission statement, along with its self-inoculating “Don’t Be Evil” slogan, has made it acceptable for other companies to speak of world-straddling ambitions. LinkedIn’s CEO describes his site thusly: “Imagine a platform that can digitally represent every opportunity in the world.” Factual wants to identify every fact in the world. Whereas once we hoped for free municipal WiFi networks, now Facebook and Cisco are providing WiFi in thousands of stores around the United States, a service free so long as you check into Facebook on your smartphone and allow Facebook to know whenever you’re out shopping.


pages: 479 words: 144,453

Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari

23andMe, agricultural Revolution, algorithmic trading, Anne Wojcicki, anti-communist, Anton Chekhov, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, call centre, Chris Urmson, cognitive dissonance, Columbian Exchange, computer age, Deng Xiaoping, don't be evil, drone strike, European colonialism, experimental subject, falling living standards, Flash crash, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, glass ceiling, global village, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of writing, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, job automation, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Minecraft, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Monkeys Reject Unequal Pay, mutually assured destruction, new economy, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, placebo effect, Ray Kurzweil, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, stem cell, Steven Pinker, telemarketer, The Future of Employment, too big to fail, trade route, Turing machine, Turing test, ultimatum game, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, zero-sum game

Customers need to decide what is most important to them – price, or something else.’3 Professor Andersson can go to sleep at night with a clean conscience. The fact that customers are buying his enhanced animal products implies that he is meeting their needs and desires and is therefore doing good. By the same logic, if some multinational corporation wants to know whether it lives up to its ‘Don’t be evil’ motto, it need only take a look at its bottom line. If it makes loads of money, it means that millions of people like its products, which implies that it is a force for good. If someone objects and says that people might make the wrong choice, he will be quickly reminded that the customer is always right, and that human feelings are the source of all meaning and authority. If millions of people freely choose to buy the company’s products, who are you to tell them that they are wrong?


pages: 528 words: 146,459

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

This is true of all social networking sites as well as other key Internet applications such as search. To an unparalleled degree, both Facebook and Google maintain and use massive collections of personal information on users—data that is invaluable to advertisers in targeting customers. Perceived responsible use of this information is fundamental to Facebook and Google’s continued existence. Google, which has long publicized “Don’t be evil” as its company motto, is perhaps more vulnerable as switching to another search engine is quick, free, and easy. With social networking sites like Facebook, much of the value to users extends from the substantial time they have already invested in building a network and profile content. As with physical spaces, in cyberspace people often want to be together with their friends. As this chapter is being written, countless social networking sites exist, but Facebook—with around a billion users—is the largest and dwarfs all others.


pages: 552 words: 168,518

MacroWikinomics: Rebooting Business and the World by Don Tapscott, Anthony D. Williams

accounting loophole / creative accounting, airport security, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Ben Horowitz, bioinformatics, Bretton Woods, business climate, business process, buy and hold, car-free, carbon footprint, Charles Lindbergh, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, cloud computing, collaborative editing, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, demographic transition, disruptive innovation, distributed generation, don't be evil, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, energy transition, Exxon Valdez, failed state, fault tolerance, financial innovation, Galaxy Zoo, game design, global village, Google Earth, Hans Rosling, hive mind, Home mortgage interest deduction, information asymmetry, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, medical bankruptcy, megacity, mortgage tax deduction, Netflix Prize, new economy, Nicholas Carr, oil shock, old-boy network, online collectivism, open borders, open economy, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, scientific mainstream, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, social web, software patent, Steve Jobs, text mining, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, transfer pricing, University of East Anglia, urban sprawl, value at risk, WikiLeaks, X Prize, young professional, Zipcar

In other words, will there be one Internet for the free world, and one for people in China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, and other places where they see only what their leaders allow them to see? Or will the Internet become a place where everyone is free to see everything, minus that limited set of things which clear, explicit global rules specify should not be available? Moreover, what would you do in Google’s shoes? Would you stick to your principles (don’t be evil), even when your share of the world’s largest market for Internet services is at stake? Or would you compromise now and hope that China’s leaders eventually loosen the reins on free speech and democracy? Tough questions. Some companies will argue that it is not their responsibility or indeed their prerogative to meddle in the domestic affairs of sovereign nations. To be sure, bad things can happen when powerful companies have too much influence over the rules or rulers that govern their conduct.


pages: 615 words: 168,775

Troublemakers: Silicon Valley's Coming of Age by Leslie Berlin

AltaVista, Apple II, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, beat the dealer, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Bob Noyce, Byte Shop, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, computer age, discovery of DNA, don't be evil, Donald Knuth, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Thorp, El Camino Real, fear of failure, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, game design, Haight Ashbury, hiring and firing, industrial robot, informal economy, Internet of things, inventory management, John Markoff, Kickstarter, Kitchen Debate, Leonard Kleinrock, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Minecraft, Mother of all demos, packet switching, Ralph Nader, Robert Metcalfe, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, software as a service, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, union organizing, upwardly mobile, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, women in the workforce

She and the other workers also had more control over the pace of their work, since it could take hours to add parts to all the printed circuit boards in a box.8 “It wasn’t Lucy in the chocolate factory,” she explains, referring to the classic 1952 episode of I Love Lucy in which the title character is overwhelmed by the onslaught of candies that she is supposed to wrap as they speed past her on a conveyor belt.9 A quarter century before Google included “Don’t be evil” in its code of conduct, ROLM listed “Be a great place to work” as a corporate goal alongside profits and growth. Aside from stock options, which were reserved for those cofounder Bob Maxfield calls “our most creative and top people,” every benefit or perk at ROLM was available to every employee in the company.10 Everyone could participate in generous medical and dental plans, as well as profit sharing and reduced-rate stock purchase plans.


pages: 579 words: 183,063

Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice From the Best in the World by Timothy Ferriss

23andMe, A Pattern Language, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Bayesian statistics, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, corporate social responsibility, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, dematerialisation, don't be evil, double helix, effective altruism, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, family office, fear of failure, Gary Taubes, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, Google Hangouts, Gödel, Escher, Bach, haute couture, helicopter parent, high net worth, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, income inequality, index fund, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kevin Kelly, Lao Tzu, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, Mikhail Gorbachev, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Naomi Klein, non-fiction novel, Peter Thiel, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Saturday Night Live, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart contracts, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, TaskRabbit, Tesla Model S, too big to fail, Turing machine, uber lyft, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

Brian Erwin, at the time my VP of marketing, came up with this line at a company executive retreat in about 2000, when I remarked wryly that more than one Internet billionaire had told me that he’d started his business with what he’d learned from an O’Reilly book. Brian suggested we embrace that principle, and I’ve never looked back. I once tried to explain to Eric Schmidt why I thought this would be a better guiding light for Google than “Don’t be evil!” It’s measurable—you can actually compare what you get out of an activity to what others do. Google actually does do some of that measurement in its annual economic impact report, but I don’t think they’d be heading into antitrust trouble right now if they had spent more time thinking about the health of their ecosystem as they develop new services. It isn’t enough just to think about yourself and your users or customers.


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, disintermediation, 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 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, zero day

In exchange, Google could now track you anywhere and everywhere you took your smart phone. Of course if Google told you all this, you might be freaked out, so instead a pretty ruse was created, a fig leaf of sorts. When Google was founded, it projected itself as the underdog, the little guy battling evil Microsoft. In fact, Google would tell its users that it was so benevolent that it decided to make “Don’t be evil” its official company motto. To allay any lingering doubts, Google’s icons and graphics, like its childlike multicolored logo and the adorable little green Android guy, were created to be so cute and nonthreatening that surely they could be trusted. Google Doodles, drawings on its home page celebrating everyone from Martin Luther King to Gandhi, further reassured the public that these were the good guys.


pages: 903 words: 235,753

The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty by Benjamin H. Bratton

1960s counterculture, 3D printing, 4chan, Ada Lovelace, additive manufacturing, airport security, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, carbon-based life, Cass Sunstein, Celebration, Florida, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, dark matter, David Graeber, deglobalization, dematerialisation, disintermediation, distributed generation, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Eratosthenes, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Georg Cantor, gig economy, global supply chain, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Guggenheim Bilbao, High speed trading, Hyperloop, illegal immigration, industrial robot, information retrieval, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jacob Appelbaum, Jaron Lanier, Joan Didion, John Markoff, Joi Ito, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, liberal capitalism, lifelogging, linked data, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, McMansion, means of production, megacity, megastructure, Menlo Park, Minecraft, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Monroe Doctrine, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, peak oil, peer-to-peer, performance metric, personalized medicine, Peter Eisenman, Peter Thiel, phenotype, Philip Mirowski, Pierre-Simon Laplace, place-making, planetary scale, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, reserve currency, RFID, Robert Bork, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, semantic web, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Slavoj Žižek, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, software studies, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spectrum auction, Startup school, statistical arbitrage, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Superbowl ad, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, TaskRabbit, the built environment, The Chicago School, the scientific method, Torches of Freedom, transaction costs, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, undersea cable, universal basic income, urban planning, Vernor Vinge, Washington Consensus, web application, Westphalian system, WikiLeaks, working poor, Y Combinator

(The next five sentences then repeat the oldest and most conventional calls for general well-being through measured oversight.) By comparison Assange's When Google Met Wikileaks is a fascinating, self-contradictory, hyperactive tangle of ideas, accusations, and bizarre rationalizations. Within critical Google discourse it is in a league of its own, for both better or worse. Julian Assange, When Google Met Wikileaks (New York: OR Books, 2014). 64.  See Julian Assange, “The Banality of ‘Don't Be Evil,’” New York Times, June 1, 2013, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/02/opinion/sunday/the-banality-of-googles-dont-be-evil.html It was later republished in Assange, When WikiLeaks Met Google. 65.  As recently occurred in Turkey, when the AK Party tried to shut down Twitter, and the government also tried to shut off access to Google DNS as well. Steven Carstensen, “Google's Public DNS Intercepted in Turkey,” Google Online Security Blog, March 29, 2014, http://googleonlinesecurity.blogspot.com/2014/03/googles-public-dns-intercepted-in-turkey.html. 66. 


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The Age of Surveillance Capitalism by Shoshana Zuboff

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, 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, 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 Jobs, Steven Levy, structural adjustment programs, 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

Menell, “2014: Brand Totalitarianism” (UC Berkeley Public Law Research Paper, University of California, September 4, 2013), http://papers.ssrn.com/abstract=2318492; “Move Over, Big Brother,” Economist, December 2, 2004, http://www.economist.com/node/3422918; Wojciech Borowicz, “Privacy in the Internet of Things Era,” Next Web, October 18, 2014, http://thenextweb.com/dd/2014/10/18/privacy-internet-things-era-will-nsa-know-whats-fridge; Tom Sorell and Heather Draper, “Telecare, Surveillance, and the Welfare State,” American Journal of Bioethics 12, no. 9 (2012): 36–44, https://doi.org/10.1080/15265161.2012.699137; Christina DesMarais, “This Smartphone Tracking Tech Will Give You the Creeps,” PCWorld, May 22, 2012, http://www.pcworld.com/article/255802/new_ways_to_track_you_via_your_mobile_devices_big_brother_or_good_business_.html; Rhys Blakely, “‘We Thought Google Was the Future but It’s Becoming Big Brother,’” Times, September 19, 2014, http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/technology/internet/article4271776.ece; CPDP Conferences, Technological Totalitarianism, Politics and Democracy, 2016, http://www.internet-history.info/media-library/mediaitem/2389-technological-totalitarianism-politics-and-democracy.html; Julian Assange, “The Banality of ‘Don’t Be Evil,’” New York Times, June 1, 2013, https://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/02/opinion/sunday/the-banality-of-googles-dont-be-evil.html; Julian Assange, “Julian Assange on Living in a Surveillance Society,” New York Times, December 4, 2014, https://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/04/opinion/julian-assange-on-living-in-a-surveillance-society.html; Michael Hirsh, “We Are All Big Brother Now,” Politico, July 23, 2015, https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/07/big-brother-technology-trial-120477.html; “Apple CEO Tim Cook: Apple Pay Is Number One,” CBS News, October 28, 2014, http://www.cbsnews.com/news/apple-ceo-tim-cook-apple-pay-is-number-one; Mathias Döpfner, “An Open Letter to Eric Schmidt: Why We Fear Google,” FAZ.net, April 17, 2014, http://www.faz.net/1.2900860; Sigmar Gabriel, “Sigmar Gabriel: Political Consequences of the Google Debate,” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, May 20, 2014, http://www.faz.net/aktuell/feuilleton/debatten/the-digital-debate/sigmar-gabriel-consequences-of-the-google-debate-12948701-p6.html; Cory Doctorow, “Unchecked Surveillance Technology Is Leading Us Towards Totalitarianism,” International Business Times, May 5, 2017, http://www.ibtimes.com/unchecked-surveillance-technology-leading-us-towards-totalitarianism-opinion-2535230; Martin Schulz, “Transcript of Keynote Speech at Cpdp2016 on Technological, Totalitarianism, Politics and Democracy,” Scribd, 2016, https://www.scribd.com/document/305093114/Keynote-Speech-at-Cpdp2016-on-Technological-Totalitarianism-Politics-and-Democracy. 2.


pages: 889 words: 433,897

The Best of 2600: A Hacker Odyssey by Emmanuel Goldstein

affirmative action, Apple II, call centre, don't be evil, Firefox, game design, Hacker Ethic, hiring and firing, information retrieval, John Markoff, late fees, license plate recognition, Mitch Kapor, MITM: man-in-the-middle, optical character recognition, packet switching, pirate software, place-making, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, RFID, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, spectrum auction, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer, undersea cable, Y2K

Have fun with your Dell and, hey, have fun with Dell too! Fun with 802.11b at Kroger’s (Spring, 2003) By Kairi Nakatsuki This guide assumes you already have a working wardriving setup on a *nix machine. This isn’t necessarily meant to be a guide to hacking your friendly neighborhood Kroger’s location. Though I do hope that this information will be of use in case you stumble upon a Kroger’s location where an 802.11b network is present. Remember, don’t be evil children! Info The particular Kroger’s I did most of my dirty work at didn’t have a terribly great security model, as you might expect. Evidently, management doesn’t care much about their data being broadcast in clear text over the airwaves for 100 feet in every direction, though they seem to think that cloaking their ESSID would suffice. Since Kroger’s wifi network(s) are mainly set up to allow their POS terminals to telnet into a SCO OpenServer machine, it is expected that these machines will have to be rebooted from time to time; so if the ESSID is not “kroger/barney” at your Kroger’s, then it would be easy to obtain within short order.