Wednesday, September 18, 2019

The future is a foreign country: they do things differently there

I went to Big Tech and the Future of Democracy at the RSA last night.
Roger McNamee was the ultimate Silicon Valley insider. A long-time tech evangelist and legendary investor, he had been an early Facebook shareholder and advisor to its founder, Mark Zuckerberg.
But from early 2016, his concerns about the company’s business model, culture and priorities became ever graver, leading to a crusading new role that turned him from fervent champion to fierce critic. In the years since, as tech-driven scandal and crisis has hit countries from the US to the UK, from Sri Lanka to Brazil, McNamee has become a leading light in the fight against the existential threats posed by Facebook and the big tech giants to our privacy, democracy and public health.
It was very convincing (and an lot more nuanced than I was expecting). I've added his book Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe, to my - admittedly long - reading list.

It was strange to be there on a day when Facebook announced a Supreme Court. There's also an upcoming Facebook currency called Libra.  That doesn't leave many boxes to tick before Facebook becomes its own country.

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