The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google | Scott Galloway

Scott Galloway; The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google; Portfolio; 2017-10-02; 320 pages; ASIN:B06WP982HX: Kindle: $15, paper: $19+SHT.

tl;dr → Yet-Another-Jeremiad (YAJ®), An indictment of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Netflix. They bad.
and → Everyone’s penning these for the fall book release cycle.  This here Youtoobbist has one too.
and → <quote>And he reveals how you can apply the lessons of their ascent to your own business or career.</quote>


  • disruption
  • Something about how Google is the godhead.
  • Game of Thrones, a work of fiction
    • the Iron Throne, a plot device
  • Kardashians
  • Catholics
  • Russia, Russians
  • China
  • Something about how “government” should break up Amazon.
  • New York University (NYU), in (um) New York)
  • Palo Alto, in Cailifornia
  • Hamburg, in Europe


  • Jeff Bezos, CEO, Amazon
  • Margrethe Vestager, the commissioner on competition, European Union (EU).


  • Alphabet
  • Amazon
  • Apple
  • Discover (card)
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • iTunes, of Apple
  • Netflix
  • Pandora
  • Snapchat
  • Swatch
  • WhatsApp, of Facebook
  • YouTube


You Are Already Living Inside a Computer | The Atlantic

You Are Already Living Inside a Computer; Ian Bogost; In The Atlantic; 2017-09-14.
Teaser: Futurists predict a rapture of machines, but reality beat them to it by turning computing into a way of life.

Ian Bogost
  • The Ivan Allen College Distinguished Chair in media studies
  • A professor of interactive computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Play Anything: The Pleasure of Limits, the Uses of Boredom, and the Secret of Games
    Ian Bogost; Basic Books; 2016-09-13; 288 pages; ASIN:0465051723: Kindle: $19, paper: $7+SHT; site
  • Biography, by The Atlantic.

tl;dr → Computers are a fetish (just like any other). The “smart gadgets” are silly.
and → <quote>This new cyberpunk dystopia is more Stepford Wives, less William Gibson.</quote>
and → <quote>There’s some tragedy in this future. <snip/>  It’s [computers] they might remain just as ordinary and impotent as they are today, and yet overtake us anyway.</quote>


  • planned obsolescence
  • Google
  • fidget spinners
  • Roomba
  • GasWatch
  • connected toasters
  • Smartphone-connected bike locks .
  • Samsung TV
  • Automated Content Recognition (ACR)
  • CIA
  • hacked TVs
  • hacked baby monitors
  • botnet
  • Hilton
  • Hampton Inn
  • Twitter
  • Denial of Service (DoS) attack
  • Ring, a “smart” doorbell
  • <quote>these are not the robots we were promised</quote>, attributed to Nicholas Carr, as a “wisecrack.”
  • Alan Turing, paper, 1950
  • Turing machine, 1936
  • Silicon Valley
  • Watson, an “Artificial Intelligence (AI)”, IBM
  • Something about how Twitter will trial Watson to detect abuse.
  • Earlier this year, Chris Moody, Twitter’s vice president of data strategy, because <quote>stopping abuse [as] the company’s first priority</quote>, attributed to Chris Moody, VP Stratego®, Twitter
  • Turing Test
  • reverse Turing Test (the CAPTCHA)
  • Uber
    honorific: <quote>The ride-hailing giant</quote>
  • Ring
  • the “disruption”
  • intelligent machines
  • robot apocalypse
  • pleasure of connectivity.
  • early dystopic scenarios
  • the actions computers take become self-referential
  • cyberpunk dystopia
  • Stepford Wives
  • William Gibson.
  • “hyperemployment”
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • Nick Bostrom
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • “superintelligence”
  • robot apocalypse.
  • David Chalmers
  • Ray Kurzweil
  • the “singularity”
  • Google, which operates
  • a division devoted to human immortality


  • GasWatch
  • Nest
  • Nokē
  • Roomba


  • Nick Bostrom
  • Nicholas Carr
  • David Chalmers
  • William Gibson
  • Ray Kurzweil
  • Chris Moody, vice president of data strategy, Twitter
  • Alan Turing,
  • Joseph Weizenbaum


The editor has helpfully placed certain sentences of the essay in the 50pt font to develop a sort of “spinal navigation” to the piece; and so you can’t miss the point, given all the words.

  • Computers already are predominant, human life already takes place mostly within them, and people are satisfied with the results.</quote>
  • People don’t seek out computers in order to get things done; they do the things that let them use computers.
  • People choose computers as intermediaries for the sensual delight of using computers.
  • The Turing test works best when everyone knows the interlocutor is a computer but delights in that fact anyway.
  • Doorbells and cars and taxis hardly vanish in the process. Instead, they just get moved inside of computers.
  • The present status of intelligent machines is more powerful than any future robot apocalypse.






In Jimi Wales’ Wiki


In The Atlantic

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

Tech is Public Enemy #1. So Now What? | John Battelle

John Battelle; Tech Is Public Enemy #1. So Now What?; In His Blog, white-labeled as NewCo, centrally-hosted on Medium; 2017-09-10.
Teaser: If tech wants to reverse the crushing tide of negative public opinion, it must start creating public good commensurate with its extraction of private profit.

tl;dr → Agree, perhaps. But it’s not clear to what one is agreeing at all; whereas the lede is buried. That being promotion of Richard Florida’s book The New Urban Crisis.
and → Unto the hook of the title: For the sin.

  • Enumerate.
  • Confess,
  • Repent,
  • Restitute, reparate.
  • Return.


John Battelle interviewed Richard Florida towards a book promotion.


Richard Florida The New Urban Crisis: How Our Cities Are Increasing Inequality, Deepening Segregation, and Failing the Middle Class—and What We Can Do About It 1st Edition ; Basic Books; 2017-04-11; 336 pages; ASIN:0465079741: Kindle: $18, paper: $12+SHT.


  • Where “tech” is Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google, and maybe Netflix (rly?).
  • And JB foresaw it in a vision of 2017-01; fair. he also “saw” it in 2011-12, had Microsoft in the cohort, and pitched “The Internet Big Five” as a gushing chronicle-of-the-times, only-time-will-tell honorific of boosterist veneration. It’s okay to change one’s mind.
  • Richard Florida is granted 191 words at the end to speak as a threat.
    Whereas Richard Florida has a direct line to Congress.
    Unless his demands are met … something will happen
  • Google Apple Facebook Amazon (GAFA),
    Google Amazon Facebook Apple (GAFA)
  • Facebook Amazon Netflix Google (FANG),
    Facebook Apple Netflix Google (FANG)
  • No Wintel
    • No Microsoft?
    • No Intel?

Separately noted.


How the Economists Got It Wrong | The Prospect

How the Economists Got It Wrong; James Galbraith; In The Prospect; 2001-12-19.

James K. Galbraith
  • Lloyd M. Bentsen Jr. Chair in government-business relations at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin
  • senior scholar of the Levy Economics Institute
  • chair of the Board of Economists for Peace and Security.
  • Welcome to the Poisoned Chalice: The Destruction of Greece and the Future of Europe; Yale University Press; 2016-06-21; 232 pages; Yale.; Amazon:0300220448: Kindle: $15, paper: $19+SHT.

tl;dr → So much fail. <quote>So what is modern economics about? It seems to be, mainly, about itself</quote>


The Annual Meeting, (maybe) 2000 (2000-01-07 → 2000-01-09) of the American Economic Association (AEA), in Boston, MA.


  • American Economic Association (AEA)
  • “The Golden Virtue of Eclecticism”, a talk by Paul Samuelson.
  • Other talks, not cited; by others, named below.


<quote ref=”there“>Practical men who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back </quote>

The Rant

<pull-quote> Leading active members of today’s economics profession, the generation presently in their 40s and 50s, have joined together into a kind of politburo for correct economic thinking. As a general rule–as one might expect from a gentleman’s club–this has placed them on the wrong side of every important policy issue, and not just recently but for decades. They predict disaster where none occurs. They deny the possibility of events that then happen. They offer a “rape is like the weather” fatalism about an “inevitable” problem (pay inequality) that then starts to recede. They oppose the most basic, decent, and sensible reforms, while offering placebos instead. They are always surprised when something untoward (like a recession) actually occurs. And when finally they sense that some position cannot be sustained, they do not re-examine their ideas. Instead, they simply change the subject. No one loses face, in this club, for having been wrong. No one is disinvited from presenting papers at later annual meetings. And still less is anyone from the outside invited in. Only the occasional top-insider-turned-dissident–this year the admirable Stiglitz–can reliably count on getting a hearing. </pull-quote>

No young economist better exemplifies the club spirit than MIT’s Paul Krugman.


Some academic scribbler of a few years back

  • Milton Friedman
  • Robert J. Gordon
  • John Maynard Keynes
  • Malthus
  • Karl Marx
  • Alfred Marshall
  • Mill
  • Adam Smith
  • Paul Samuelson
  • Ricardo

The Celebrity Economists, Today

  • Anders Aslund, adviser to Boris Yeltsin
  • David Card, University of California, Berkeley
  • Ping Chen
    • a “good guy” in the narrative
    • ex physicist
    • University of Texas at Austin
    • China Center for Economic Research at Peking University
  • Stanley Fischer, International Monetary Fund (IMF)
  • Alan Krueger, Princeton
  • Paul Krugman
  • Andrei Shleifer, adviser to Boris Yeltsin
  • Myron Scholes formulist.
  • Joseph Stiglitz, chief economist, World Bank
  • Lawrence Summers, Treasury Secretary, U.S.


The “missing” ideas. [the falseness of...]

  • <quote>Inflation is everywhere and always a monetary phenomenon</quote>

    • cost push
    • wage-price spirals
  • Full employment without inflation is impossible
    • Full Employment Act
    • NAIRU
    • 4% is the rate
  • Rising pay inequality stems from technological change
    • Skill-biased technological change
    • markets (in everything)
    • meritocracy
    • third way politicians
  • Rising minimum wages cause unemployment
  • Sustained growth cannot exceed 2.5 percent per year
  • Price and quantity are set in free competitive markets through the interaction of supply and demand

California’s New Feudalism Benefits a Few at the Expense of the Multitude | The Daily Beast

Joel Kotkin; California’s New Feudalism Benefits a Few at the Expense of the Multitude; 2013-10-05.
Teaser: Once famous as a land of opportunity, the Golden State is now awash in inequality, growing poverty, and downward mobility that’s practically medieval, writes Joel Kotkin.

Joel Kotkin is a presidential fellow in urban futures at Chapman University and a contributing editor to the City Journal.