Category Archives: Technology

A Capitalist Sucker is Born Every Minute

graphic of My Favorite Thing is Monsters

No checks or minimal skepticism among people throwing money around like confetti.

“Elizabeth was so committed to making Quintillion successful that she just dreamt all this shit up,” says a former company executive, who, like many sources, spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation. “The question is not why Elizabeth did it, but rather, how did she think she’d get away with it?”

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Can You Hear This Sound that Young People Can’t?

graphic of WWII poster about careless talk

Last year the CDT alerted the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to a technology called SilverPush. It uses audio beacons to track your activities across devices: Your TV emits a tone during a commercial break, a tone that’s inaudible to you, but your phone is listening for it. Now they can link the TV and phone as belonging to the same person.

What is SilverPush? Here’s a self-description: SilverPush is a technology marketing platform for brands to promote their products and connect with their customers. The company understands what your customers are looking for, what they are saying and what they do. SilverPush understands the importance of every interaction to create a great brand experience for your customer.

According to a recent news item, SilverPush plans ” a deeper penetration within the advertising value chain.” Prepare to be penetrated deeper and longer.

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Your Election Horoscope

graphic of Russian-sponsored clusters of hackers

Capitalism Forces Me to be a Shallow Careerist

Why does this person see no alternative to the life described below, a life the person recognizes is the choice of many who give in to “the economic system”?

Of course we would rather quit Twitter and stop going to conferences and professional mixers and take all our vacation days and develop real hobbies and deeper human connections, but the entire economic system has shown us over and over that we cannot, because we will end up broke disappointments to everyone we know.

Labor Day cartoon

Superstition Takes Over Silicon Valley

photo of Stevie Wonder album

Most of the tech workers interviewed claim that “it’s just fun” (Tarot card readings). Yet, a woman at one company “was perplexed a few weeks earlier when at a meeting several people made reference to their horoscopes to justify company decisions.” The people with the high-tech educations are shaping your future based on astrology, or worse.

Weaponized Children

photo of baby with gun

From today’s London Times:

The man who helped to invent Twitter’s retweet button has compared it to giving a child a loaded gun.

Chris Wetherell, a tech developer who led the team that produced the function in 2009, said he now laments the invention and believes that it has helped to amplify outrage and false news, polarising opinions and creating a gang-like mentality.

Privatization and Efficiency

photo of USPS train stamps

Many MBAs and entrepreneurs try to convince the public that privatization is always better than the alternative. Not the case. The London Times reports today that an international study ranks Britain’s trains as 13th fastest in the world, whereas they were 2nd back in the 1970s before privatization in the 1990s.

Lady Thatcher saw privatization as “fundamental to improving Britain’s economic performance.” She was wrong.