But it will take a massive shift to introduce self-awareness to an industry that has always assumed it was changing the world for the better.

mk b_b: As far as I can tell, you guys are the exception to the quote above. But I do think that generic Valley startups are well past their glory days and that that's starting to show.

Related discussion, for posterity:



I really wanted to dodge that whole Sam Altman thing. Both mk and thenewgreen think he's the shit.

I think he's a shit.

I think Y Combinator is an entitled pot of rich kids most of whom need to be euthanized.

I think tech culture is tone deaf to the point of criminality and I not only long for them to be broke-ass fucks like most of my '99er friends, I want them to feel physical pain as a result. I long for those fuckers - to a man - to develop Lyme disease or colorectal cancer and have no healthcare. And I'll bet every one of those fuckers - to a man - think they're making the world a better place. A better place for me, the guy who wants them to die of leprosy.

Sam Altman's argument isn't "San Francisco is intolerant" his argument is "San Francisco is intolerant OF ME. And they probably are - Seattle is similar, although I'll bet not as bad. And I'll tell you why. The fundamental goal of the tech industry is wealth concentration, and the fundamental effect of wealth concentration is inequality. More than that, the goal is wealth concentration through societal damage and that is something new on this green earth.

Take Uber. It's fundamentally changing the way people get around, but it's doing so by destroying a viable lower-middle-class profession (taxi driving) and replacing it with pocket change for the masses. Uber isn't even getting rich off the idea - they're losing money hand over fist. But the business climate is such that investors trip over each other to lose money first so they can sell their shares to a greater fool.

I use Lyft, which is like Uber but not quite as bad. It helps that I hate the fuck out of taxi drivers in general and the livery industry in particular. I acknowledge and understand that Lyft provides a hard-luck, zombie-like existence to the people who rely on it for their livings and I allow those venture capitalists to lose money giving me rides to and from the airport. I further understand that with the proliferation of personal technology the taxi industry was doomed eventually anyway. Uber, however, made their money by not waiting around for the laws to change. By not investing time or money in shaping legislation. Uber just up and broke the law nationwide and figured they could get away with it for long enough to change the landscape.

We're all used to that landscape. We make our way within it. And Uber decided to gut a part of it ("taxi drivers") so they could roll up everyone else's pennies.

Amazon is the same way - if they can make .01 cents on everyone's transactions, they make more money than the guy who makes $10 on everyone in town. And then they can take away his $10. Google is the same way - you think MovieFan90210 has no business uploading your movie to their website? Well, it's your job to police their content, not theirs. Russian trolls and white supremacists coordinating torch rallies on your website? Well, they deserve free speech, too. Never mind that everyone else has closed commenting because they feel a fundamental responsibility to keep the internet from devolving into a downward spiral of hate and racism.

I think people are starting to wake up to the fact that the tech industry's current business model is to get rich off of the suffering of everyone else. Gamergate? Sam Altman made money off the company that made that possible. The_Donald? Sam Altman made money off the company that made that possible. Fucking Palmer Luckey? Worth $730m. Notch Persson? $1.4 billion. And they're fucking hateful people who use their money to spread hate.

And are they innovating? No, they're making apps. Parasitic software that cannot exist without someone else's hardware. Coding choices that are either viciously opportunistic of human failings or utterly deaf to the greater ecosystem in which they operate. The tech industry feels no compunctions about venturing into the social space despite the fact that they neither have nor want any training or knowledge into social effects.

FirebrandRoaring, I'm not watching a half-hour video on why someone else's Youtube channel sucks. ALL Youtube channels suck. Youtube sucks. Google sucks. Google actually thought all books should be free and figured eventually the courts would tell them just how hard they could crush authors. And in the meantime, they'd crush authors.

Fundamentally? This is a giant corporation with limitless resources arguing that individuals who wish to protect their livelihood should go toe-to-toe with them and if they lose, well that's capitalism.

And I don't mean "google books."

I mean the tech industry, Silicon Valley, Sam Altman and everyone he knows and loves.

posted by veen: 362 days ago