How Silicon Valley is erasing your individuality | Foer (Washington Post)

How Silicon Valley is erasing your individuality; Franklin Foer; In The Washington Post; 2017-09-08.
Teaser: The perils of monopoly.

tl;dr → A jeremiad. They’re stealing your soul, you know that don’t you? The book promotion. It’s so bad, even the good parts are bad. The youngs, these days, they have no sense of the noblesse oblige, as we, their betters and progenitors, did. They are untutored, unwashed, and self-absorbed. As ingrates they come. The Republic will fail for it. Mark the time, and where you were.


Franklin Foer; World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech; Penguin Press; 2017-09-12; 272 pages; ASIN:1101981113: Kindle: $14, paper: $18+SHT; previously filled.


  • Exxon
  • McDonald’s
  • Walmart
  • Google
  • Larry Page
  • Sergey Brin
  • Amazon
    “the everything store”
  • Whole Foods
  • cloud, The Cloud
  • Jeff Bezos
  • The Washington Post
  • Facebook
  • Microsoft
  • Apple
  • “personal assistant”
  • artificial intelligence software
  • Google Glass
  • Apple Watch
  • Brin has
  • Some Book, cited via Google Books.
  • An Article; Some Cub Reporter (SCR); In Esquire (the lad’s mag); WHEN?
  • Facebook
  • Mark Zuckerberg, “chief,” Facebook.
  • Zuckerberg on Privacy; Some Cub Reporter (SCR); In VentureBeat; 2010-05-13.
  • Silicon Valley Libertarian Revolution; Some Cub Reporter (SCR); In Politico; 2014-07.
  • Silicon Valley’s Ayn Rand Obsession; Some Cub Reporter (SCR); In Vanity Fair; 2016-10.
  • Ayn Rand
  • the titans of tech
  • Facebook Newsfeed Personalization Hussein Mehana; Some Cub Reporter (SCR); In Motherboard; WHEN?
  • The big tech companies (again)
  • The Europeans
  • Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon (GAFA)
  • shredding the principles that protect individuality.
  • Authors Guild v. Google; status statement; WHEN?
  • Some Jeremiad; Some Cub Reporter (SCR); In Wired; WHEN?
  • Peter Thiel, boffo
    investor, Facebook
  • Peter Thiel, Blake Masters; Zero to One, Crown Business; ;2014-09-18; 224 pages; site, ASIN:0804139296: Kindle: $15, paper: $9+SHT.
  • the tech companies (again)
  • <paywalled>A Complaint; Staff; In The Financial Times; WHEN?<paywalled>
  • algorithms, their algorithms
  • monopolies

Something about agriculture; Big Food. Big Food is bad.
The Extraordinary Science of Junk Food; Some Cub Reporter (SCR); In The New York Times (NYT); 2013-02-24.
Author?; The Omnivore’s Dilemmna: The Natural History of Means; Publisher; WHEN; ASIN:0143038583
It is without any indication of irony that Franklin Foer cites Amazon as the authoritative site for the book; not the publisher of the book, nor its companion promotional site, but Amazon. <belaboring>Amazon bad, remember?<belaboring>
industrial farming

  • Facebook Live
  • Facebook
  • Very Long Title (something about Facebook, audience, advantage); Some Cub Reporter (SCR); In The New York Times (NYT); 2016-05-06.
  • Article (about that “blue” dress); Some Linkbaitist; In Buzzfeed; WHEN?
  • “Game of Thrones,” the evergreen content fountain.
  • <quote>Old media had a pack mentality, too, but the Internet promised something much different.</quote>
  • Facebook
  • Authors?; Some Article; In An ACM Publication; WHEN?; paywall
  • two hive minds, The Archetypes
    • the entrepreneur
    • the author
  • Eli Pariser; A Talk; performed at Theater, Entertainment & Delight (TED); WHEN?
  • Eli Pariser; The Filter Bubble; Publisher; WHEN?; N pages; ASIN:B0050FLOMI
    tl;dr → unironic. op. cit, supra.
  • feedback loop
  • Facebook Filter Bubble; Some Cub Reporter (SCR); In Motherboard; WHEN?
  • the 2016 presidential election
  • The Russians
  • dubious agitprop via Facebook.
  • Occupy Democrats
  • The Angry Patriot
  • Being Liberal
  • Facebook
  • elites
  • gatekeepers.
  • sycophantic to power and snobbish
  • Executives of Silicon Valley
  • Silicon Valley (again)
  • lead-footed government
  • dynamism of [publishing] technology
  • Google
  • Eric Schmidt, of Google.
  • Eric Schmidt Testimony; Some Cub Reporter (SCR); In Search Engine Land; 2011-09.
  • free products
  • next-day delivery
  • Why Startups are Struggline (because, there be The Giants…); Some Cub Reporter (SCR); In MIT Technology Review; WHEN?
  • the proliferation of falsehoods and conspiracies through social media
  • the dissipation of our common basis for fact
  • conditions ripe for authoritarianism.


  • a coterie, of corporations
  • the tech monopolies
  • the technologist’s view of the world
  • Ayn Rand
  • the titans of tech
  • The big tech companies
  • The big tech companies (again)
  • Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon (GAFA)
  • shredding the principles that protect individuality.
  • hostility toward intellectual property
  • the tech companies (again)
  • algorithms, their algorithms
  • monopolies
  • <quote>They have compiled an intimate portrait of the psyche of each user — a portrait that they hope to exploit to seduce us into a compulsive spree of binge clicking and watching. <quote>

<commentariat>Whereas history rhymes, in another age: someone, many ones, wrote this same piece against railing against the uber-baddies of the era: Uber (sic), Microsoft, Oracle, Intel, Big Oil, Big Auto, Big Steel, Big Meat, ITT, IBM, AT&T, Western Union, Standard Oil, The Trusts, The East India Company.</commentariat>
<commentariat>You know, if you don’t like what’s in the news, then go out and make some for yourself.</commentariat>


In The Washington Post

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