Chaos and control: the story of the web

As societies grow more complex, so too do their systems of control. At best, these systems protect personal freedom, by shielding individuals from the disruptive and sometimes violent forces of social and economic chaos. But they can also have the opposite effect. They can be used to constrain and manipulate people for the commercial or…

Secrets Of Sand Hill Road

One of the many great things about vacations is reading books. Vacation is the one time that I can really prioritize reading books (as opposed to everything else I read). I just finished Scott Kupor‘s Secrets Of Sand Hill Road, a book for entrepreneurs about rasing capital from venture firms. Scott makes the point numerous…

What does it mean to build bots ethically?

DammitKarissa | Flickr From “How to Make a Bot That Isn’t Racist,” by Sarah Jeong in Motherboard (3/25/16): “Most of my bots don’t interact with humans directly,” said Kazemi. “I actually take great care to make my bots seem as inhuman and alien as possible. If a very simple bot that doesn’t seem very human…

The map and the script

Shoshana Zuboff’s epic critique of Silicon Valley, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, is out today, and so is my review, “Thieves of Experience: How Google and Facebook Corrupted Capitalism,” in the Los Angeles Review of Books. It begins: We sometimes forget that, at the turn of the century, Silicon Valley was in a funk, economic…

Huawei in a White Box: Podcast

In this podcast, Richard and Shane talk about the Huawei dilemma described in our last post, Putting Huawei in a (White) Box. Some of the main points: 5G’s principal advantage over legacy wireless networks is performance: this means more bandwidth, lower latency, and customization as 5G network slices can be tailored to the needs to…

The Consequences of Russian Misinformation

The New York Times ran a great story Sunday on Russia’s propaganda machine: “Your 5G Phone Won’t Hurt You. But Russia Wants You to Think Otherwise.” The story, written by veteran science reporter Bill Broad, highlights the steady stream of misinformation Russia’s RT America broadcasts daily.  While Putin has announced a 5G rollout in Russia,…