“Zuck himself so clearly doesn’t even understand Facebook” strikes me as a completely fair and not even controversial position. Mark Zuckerberg built an online facebook for Harvard students. It became popular, and he turned it into a company with a vision “to make the world more open and connected,” and now it is enabling mob violence in India and ethnic cleansing in Myanmar and election interference in the U.S. and corporate emotional manipulation and the transformation of the news media and also probably just making people sad a lot. That list is sort of random, which is the point; no one at Facebook sat down to build an election interference function. They sat down to build a system for purposes that they thought were good, and are happy to brag to you about: sharing baby pictures, connecting the world, making piles of money by showing you ads, that sort of thing. All — most, anyway — of the bad effects of Facebook are emergent features of the system that they built for the good effects; that system itself, and its messy interactions with billions of people out in the real world, creates the bad effects.
Conventional wisdom for a long time was that ad-funded social media was a pretty cool and not-that-bad thing. Those emergent properties might make it a sometimes cool, mostly bad thing.
When the stock price is climbing, I'm sure it's pretty easy for employees to ignore that line of thinking. When it stops—if you agree with the shifting conventional wisdom—then why wouldn't you leave?
I can already imagine the next media scoop: there are scams on the facebook marketplace, and facebook does nothing unless someone reports them. You read it here first, remember! :)
The same argument that paragraph makes could be made about the Internet (it's full of shit and bomb manuals and piracy and hate and extremism regardless of social media, stormfront was nothing new) for example, so I feel that maybe it's something pretty good-sounding but fundamentally empty.
If Facebooks algorithms prioritised content from people I actually interact with, instead of showing the clickfarm-content that some high school classmate of mine liked, I suspect many of their problems would actually dissapear.
I mind seeing the post from WhateverLADMeme that she 'liked'.
It's easy for me to see the difference, and I think it would be easy for Facebook as well.
They already filter what you see and they prefer to choose that because it serves their interests, not yours.
If they wanted to serve the user's interest, that comment would most likely be filtered out.
If they are going to take the role of curator — which they have via their newsfeed algos, then they have become something other than a friend-to-friend sharing platform and they assume the responsibilities therein.
That needs to be moderated.
I put my $ where my fingers are:
I would wager that the primary reason the majority of people are on Facebook (unlike Twitter and Instagram) is still the original reason: to be connected to people they already know. Facebook wants to leverage and interrupt that as far as possible, as far as we will allow.
The WhatsApp founder quit over differences around privacy / advertising, and WhatsApp is only one part of facebook. Facebook can see everything on facebook itself, and Messenger. In addition, they failed to the data that they do have private. The problem is they are failing on both fronts simultaneously, privacy, and preventing harm on their platform.
If they were only failing on one front, then I would have some sympathy for your position.
The particular accusation I was referring to was the one pertaining the mob violence in India, which is a tragedy that was completely orchestrated on whatsapp AFAIK. I'm pretty sure I can find more if I look on the media, more recent also.
The founder of whatsapp quitting does not change anything in the equation.
These are just tools of the trade - which in this case was probably some local politics. Today, when more and more such tools are available with instant communication to a large audience, having an educated opinion and thought about the incoming communication (messages, memes or videos, etc.) is more important. Unfortunately, that is way more easily said than done.
With all the media already causing severe cognitive load, giving a thorough thought to something you come across becomes even more difficult, especially when just reacting to it is so much more simpler.
This applies not only to WhatsApp or FB, but the numerous online platforms that have a wide reach.
Since I may have gone off-topic, I suppose I should end this with a /rant
Some of these things that have occurred could reasonably be argued to be genocide. Calling that ‘local politics’ and minimising FBs role is not the way this should be handled.
In fact, I seem to remember they recently did... The idea was limiting the number of possible recipients of a message, and also limiting forward chains. That would seem a promising policy to stop the sort of mass-coordinated eruptions of violent emotions these products otherwise enable.
The second point is rather more subjective, but in my recollection, there was never a moment where there was a collective sense that the internet is of negative net value in the way that is the case for FB today.
When the internet was small, it was also unknown. At the time where it became part of the general dialog, it often came in the form of CompuServe and AOL. Those were rather sanitised walled gardens, and the obvious positive uses had front page billing in the average person's mind. Sure, there were lots of scare stories of porn and whatever, but I don't remember them ever getting close the far larger narrative of the dotcom boom.
However, who would like to use a platform where things can not go viral ? Certainly not advertisers. This is an impossible conundrum.
I've come to the conclusion that (to a first approximation) anything that the masses want to share, I don't want to see.
They built systems with a dreamy vision that drastically reducing friction for sharing, communicating, grouping and discussion will lead to a better world.
To me, that is a forgivable mistake. But what's not forgivable is not doing proper introspection when something goes wrong. The job of the CEO is to ensure his company does well in the long run. That the company survives and thrives.
Due to this myopic vision of facebook and its assumption that creating such a platform will only foster good, it was too late to build effective controls to it's platform. It assumed that data is a cash-cow that ought to be milked and sold that to anyone willing to pay. It failed to see the repercussions of it's data-for-all approach, in fact it proudly proclaimed that the company's most valuable asset is its data, that data is the new oil, etc. It assumed that the millions of people on it's platform need not be monitored or the use of it's platform need not be regulated. It failed to build adequate tools to help it's own users counter / report abusive / blatantly false / troublesome content. Even if it built them, it failed to hire enough staff to handle the content on it's platform.
>They cannot win, and they're expected to monitor and censor everything in real time (and what they do already apparently is bad enough for people that they get PTSD right now, I don't want to imagine the crap they remove)
When FB is shouting loudly to the world that social is the next big thing, that social is the new google, that social is the new oil, that publishers ought to use it's platform to easily and quickly reach audience (remember that it's algorithms control who will see the publishers content), that everyone ought to be connected to it all the time, that everyone ought to play social games on it's social platform, that everyone needs to search social to make the next purchase, that everyone ought to get their information from social, then it ought to accept responsibility to the actions it's platform has enabled.
FB went to the extent of putting real effort in third world countries to eradicate the difference between the internet and FB. It has succeeded in a few African countries too.
FB's intent is pretty clear, it want's everybody to use it's platform and it want's to remove barriers to human interaction. Then it better not complain that it cannot control itself and it's not responsible for what's happening on it's platform.
If you know a murder is being committed in your basement every Monday, and you fail to do something about it, then you have a very high chance of being convicted to being an accessory to murder.
FB has become a monster and, in my view, a necessary scapegoat to educate the masses and those in power, the destructive effects of social media.
Unrestricted, anonymous human interactions have no hope of making the world good, as it's extremely easy for fringe elements to take control of the narrative and poison the well.
FB ought to die and from it's ashes rise the idea that when given a chance, most humanity will behave as wild animals rather than hermits full of wisdom.
Are we supposed to stop complaining about Facebook's negative impact on the world because their business model makes it impossible for them to resolve those problems?
The most common example of this is the tobacco industry and it's pretty much still there. Smaller, sure.
But do we really regulate the sugar industry killing millions every day? Or the car industries destroying the environment, cities and people? Oil industry perhaps?
There are many other examples of these. They are "regulated" in the strict sense, but in reality, they control governments and keep doing whatever they want.
I don't think anything will ever change in this scenario. After all, capitalism is the answer to every problem, right? /s
Hyperbole much? Only 150,000 people die each day worldwide from all causes.
If an industry was committing a literal holocaust every few weeks I think we would notice.
Again, the problem is not sharing. The problem is that they knowingly manipulate the sharing. How they do that is their problem.
I have no idea how to go about enforcing this. But it's impossible for me to look at it and say "just let it run it's natural course".
Regarding what should be regulated, I’d say that assisting genocide should be blocked for a start.
I'm really hoping we're headed towards decentralised federated social networks. With more control in the hands of the users. Like email + usenet on steroids. Not that those were perfect, but in that kind of environment, everybody can curate their own little corner, rather than putting all that in the hands of a single company.
We have international nuclear arms proliferation agreements that are reasonably effective. We keep the worst actors in the world from possessing biological weapons. But we cannot control what social media company Mark Zuckerberg let's loose on the world?
And we can't stop greed? Compared to the robber baron era we're all bleeding heart socialists. Change is possible and we can determine what technologies we want to live with as a society.
If twitter would only allow direct sharing between say, a personal circle of friends, I'd bet you a lot of money that we'd see very different outcomes.
At least they do that until genocide in Myanmar turns into a Facebook public relations problem.
You can always complain, but I find it akin to complaining about telephone companies because people use telephone services to plan and perpetrate crimes. Or knife manufacturers because people kill others with knives.
Facebook is a tool, and turned out to be a pretty effective tool. As with many effective tools, there are bad uses for it.
...and so are its users. In any case: people are arguing specifically that the negatives outweigh the positives. While that is obviously subjective and debatable, there really isn't any argument defending Facebook under the assumption that they are net negative.
In fact, there is a rather long list of precedent. That's why you can't really enrich uranium even if it would make a really cool necklace.
That assumption is very much the point of contention here.
As long as you don't believe they can moderate an e2e channel you're fine in my book. :)
It's like these trash psychological studies about conservatives being motivated by "fear" and "disgust" and liberals being motivated by "openness" and some other word with positive connotations. These people aren't lab rats. They have free will, Facebook didn't force them to vote for Trump. If they're able to be influenced by Facebook ads, they were just as well influenced by anything they saw on Fox, CNN, etc.
No doubt, Facebook has an influence on the thoughts of people who use it. But that influence is present in every other medium. Acting like people are two-dimensional characters who made the wrong decisions because they were badly influenced by Facebook, but not me, not me the intellectual who is immune to such influence because I'm not a lab rat but these people are. That attitude drives me up the wall. And the lab rats see it too. They're not so stupid that they're unaware about being talked about like idiotic subhuman specimens incapable of coming to their own conclusions.
And then the same people that talk about them like lab rats get mad at the NPC meme. Okay, I'm laughing again.
Had they stuck to their original vision, share baby photos, life events, etc., the user engagement would be much lower, but it would be a happier place.
But I I get the odd feeling using Facebook that the content is not even so data-optimized for engagement (because surely if that were the case I’d find my feed more interesting than it is) but rather that it is optimized for revenue in ways that are actually negative in terms of real engagement. Example - if I see an interesting article and stop 5min to read it, that’s real engagement for a significant amount of time, but I might see only a couple of ads in that time. Whereas If the content is really dull and I’m just scrolling mindlessly, I’m seeing a lot more ads, and the gap between how interesting the ads are and how interesting the non-ad content is is much smaller.
Does anyone else get this feeling? Ie that facebook is almost intentionally boring?
likely their metrics are way more involved than that because there are inherent trade offs there.
When you optimize for user engagement above all else, this is what happens.
I noticed last summer there was a sharp decline in vacation posts. Instead we shared on Whatsapp groups, so I guess monetizing it makes sense.
This is the most accurate description of what's wrong with Facebook in a single paragraph.
... I'm going to go post it on Facebook.
I always find it curious how Facebook, which is principally a new communications medium, is being blamed for things that happen over virtually every communications medium and are in fact just part of the human condition.
They can't have it both ways. Optimising for engagement is a poisoned pill.
Sorting by most recent, you can only blame your friends for promoting extremism -- FB remains neutral.
But when FB promotes extremist/click bait content in your feed in order to maximize engagement and profit, they're obviously to blame for that.
I think you’re suggesting that the free speech argument is overblown when it comes to online discussion forums, and I agree with that - they can, should and do set house rules.
The problem that Facebook faces is that it has become bigger than government, and so people expect it to obey similar rules regarding the protection of free speech, but Facebook does not have the power to make actual laws, so it is not required to protect free speech on its platform. Free speech is intended to protect democracy from governments that would enact laws to limit dissent. It is not relevant to Facebook.
The argument that a product whose business model is based on artificially weighting communications between disparate groups for profit and engagement should protect peoples right to inject whichever provocative messages they want into it in the name of free speech seems like a perversion of the principal to me, because the result is an erosion of democracy and human rights as we have seen.
They absolutely should ban people for posting stuff that doesn’t align with their brand, and in a free market those people can find another forum for discussion with more permissive rules. Preferably an open, decentralised network that does not rely on ad revenue or have any incentive to automatically promote the growth of groups of algorithmically selected like-minded individuals.
And yes, I am ignoring all the good things about FB here. I don’t believe Facebook has amounted to a net good for society, however good its intentions.
I agree but that wasn't the analogy I was going for, Facebook's (and Twitter's) main issue is the propagation of non-private communication. If the angry mob is meeting at your cafe and everyone in town knows they are meeting there and what they are doing then the microphones etc. are not required. The privacy issues are mostly orthogonal to the disinformation and bad-for-society stuff.
You pick a cafe. I'll pick the phone company. Would it be out of line to ask phone companies to reconsider allowing mobs to use their services?
(Let's temporarily ignore the legal position phone companies have - they are explicitly protected by the law and not held liable).
The phone company isn't calling me up and telling about about all the stuff the angry mob has been up to and inviting me to join in on their next conference call.
We can trade analogies. And figure out where Facebook should lie, on the spectrum of analogies.
There is so much to say about this and its just been accepted. It IS a new communications medium, but very unlike those before it. Its a medium that allows rapid propagation of both information and misinformation. Its sold as a family-friendly media to connect with those you love and care but ends up as a firehose of targeted ad consumption. To dismiss the power of this new communication medium by treating it "just as a new newspaper" is exactly where you are wrong.
You could literally say the exact same things about the postal service.
I don't think so. Its the "rapid propagation" part that makes it different from the postal service.
That being said, Facebook's entire mission statement is to "connect the world" and I think you can make the argument that there are some people, especially all the strangers of the world, that shouldn't be "connected" whatsoever and yet Facebook encourages these kind of connections every single day, although I do think they've realized their mistake and pulled back a little (getting rid of the trending news section and the cesspool of user comments that go along with them).
I always thought forums and message boards were the best part of the Internet. This site in particular (HN) is a great example where people explicitly went to discuss things with a somewhat similar group of people. I'd like to see Facebook embrace the "Groups" feature more, to encourage people to find smaller groups of like-minded people that are interested in having a discussion instead of public comment posts that devolve into a bunch of random strangers shouting at each other. I also like the idea that "Groups" can be decentralized from a moderation point of view. There is no way, as large as Facebook is, that they can centrally moderate the entirety of human thought across all languages and cultures they participate in.
Newspapers already had sufficient scale to start major wars, prop up and/or tear down governments, etc. And, while we may blame those newspapers, should we also blame the companies that manufacture printing presses? Direct mail can be used for similar things; should we blame the USPS?
"The effect of the discovery of printing was evident in the savage religious wars of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Application of power to communication industries hastened the consolidation of vernaculars, the rise of nationalism, revolution, and new outbreaks of savagery in the twentieth century."
-Harold Innis, The Bias of Communication
You seem to be either (intentionally or for the sake of argument) excluding a lot of relevant context in your arguments to make Facebook look similar to a printing press.
AS for Zuck/FB - anyone who creates a destructive technology needs to act responsibly.
Election interference all over the world.
Fiji had elections yesterday. Before election day we have a mandatory 48hr blackout period where the media are forbidden from publishing or broadcasting political news, opinions, or ads.
When the blackout period started, three fake accounts named after and posing as the top media outlets in Fiji appeared and began posting highly controversial and damaging fake news designed to make opposition parties look bad. These fake news posts were all promoted (FB made a lot of money off them).
Despite FB saying they'd make political ads more transparent by showing who paid for them, they have not done so. The fake news could have been generated by Indonesia (in support of the current Fiji govt which turns a blind eye to their occupation/genocide in West Papua) or by Qorvis, the US corp that supports tyrants everywhere with propaganda and media manipulation (and who are on the Fiji govt payroll). Either way, FB is complicit and in refusing to divulge who paid for the ads, is showing they just don't give a damn.
This seems like the kind of law that is fundamentally unenforceable if the Internet exists in the first place. The ability to circumvent arbitrary restrictions on free expression used to be considered a good thing about the Internet.
Yeah, "fake news"--except that has more to do with the cost of publishing news than anything. Back when most people consumed TV news and it was expensive to run a TV network, there was less fake news, at least until TV networks became cheap enough that they could segment the market by bias. During the heyday of newspapers, there was a ton of fake news, except they called it "yellow journalism".
These rules only apply to paid advertising by political campaigns and select broadcasters, and so your discussion of free expression and so on is not really relevant.
In Australia the blackout period only applies to radio and television advertising, while online advertising just requires the person who paid for the advertisement's address and name to be provided with the advertisement.
But too open communication results in knee-jerk emotional assertions and brazen judgement.
As most drunks know, sometimes inhibited communication is better.
In particular there is no specific company necessary to communicate or connect on the internet. There are even fully decentralized messaging programs that operate independent of anything besides an internet connection. The reason it's easy to blame Facebook is because they are a net ill on society for many reasons aside from the ones being discussed here, they have a founder that's both remarkably visible and remarkably uncharismatic, and they or related properties are one of the most common methods of organization simply because they have, by a wide margin, the greatest marketshare of all means to organize.
But I think blaming Facebook for e.g. mob violence in India is akin to blaming the Bell System (which held a monopoly on telephone connections from the 19th century until they were broken up in the 1980s into AT&T, Verizon, etc) for e.g. the KKK organizing through telephone calls. In other words this a people problem, not a company problem. You're not going to solve this through some sort of content filtering or clever algorithms. I have absolutely no love for Facebook, but I think turning them into a scape goat for any social ill is hardly productive. It means you're going to spend all your energy shooting at one target that has nothing to do with what you're actually aiming for.
This statement is imprecise. Most of the bad effects are as a result of Facebook gaming its own system on behalf of both advertisers and valuation-driving metrics (growth, engagement, etc.). A Facebook that just allows people to connect is fairly benign. A Facebook that differentially exposes metadata and drives user attention in return for money is inherently dangerous. Positive feedback loops are mathematically unstable in dynamic systems.
Bigger picture: one problem with moving to give algorithms more control is that you can't always anticipate the behavior of algorithms. Especially when the algorithm is being targeted by an attacker. You need to predict not just best-case or average-case behavior, you need to know all the possible worst-case behaviors.
There's a direct analogy to computer security, where we have no answers to how to make systems hack-proof. Systems and algorithms are hard and we don't have a solution to prevent exploitation.
Humans are much harder to exploit. If Russia tries to get Ukrainians banned from an event by appealing to humans, that's much more attacker-resistent than when Russia gets Ukrainians banned from Facebook by exploiting an algorithm.
Zuck: People just submitted it.
Zuck: I don't know why.
Zuck: They "trust me"
Zuck: Dumb fucks.
This attitude is totally in line with a situation such as the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
"More open and connected" is for the TED Talk. Selling user data to advertisers is for the executive boardroom.
The really bad stuff like mob violence and ethnic cleansing would still happen one way or another, that's blaming Facebook for human behaviour that's been occurring for centuries. The irony is that Facebook also helps to bring such events to public attention.
Most of these cases are via watsapp not facebook.
It mainly has to do with the fact that social media enabled things that these people didn't want like Brexit and Trump. They were singing social media's praises during Arab Spring
They feel like AOL in 1998.
He is pretty balanced in his views. He swears, Facebook interactions are an empty shell of what it was in 2008 and that it is nearly completely irrelevant for the current and incoming generation of students (not including Instagram and WhatsApp, which are FB properties, and very much hot.) He bases this on interactions he has with almost a thousand+ students. For me, this is difficult to fathom, Facebook to me is like General Electric, a bastion of day to day life.
A lot of people don't want their daily musings to be on the "permanent record," regardless of age group, and Facebook is almost a victim of its own success -- it's too good at connecting people by loose ties and encouraging this problem. And then it's not long before you have a huge list of Facebook "friends" which include actual friends, family, extended family, bosses, ex-bosses, co-workers, etc. Now, imagine putting all of those groups of people at your dinner table and try to think of topics you'd be open to discussing among all of those disparate groups.
This is what it comes down to, isn't it? That's all of facebook's problems.
The success of Instagram and WhatsApp comes from them being less connected, that's their core feature. I don't even mind facebook owning them. I like that the big trend is moving away from documenting every minute of your life in an online repository. Instagram is its own, surreal thing and WhatsApp is basically texting.
There are a bunch of people trying to make apps that forget over time, eventually, one of them will figure out a way to mass market. Heck, I spent last Saturday at the top of HN with one of those that I made, Aether.  Prior HN discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18370208
Incidentally, this was exactly one of the problems that Google+ was trying to solve with its "Circles" concept.
It's impressive how bad their UI is for my use, though.
It seems like Facebook is trying to be useless for important things, like community groups where you actually have to coordinate things, or events you actually want to show up to. Instead they're working really hard to always shove uninteresting algorithmic suggestions in your face at every turn.
The interesting thing to me was that this girl simply expected that he would be on Snapchat. I guess that's where everyone is these days.
Cars have been the least worst way to get around these hostile environments for a long time, though I think eBikes are starting to become more popular as they can cut around the horrifyingly bad traffic in many of these places, while not requiring one to join the lycra crowd.
I hope they take off, though. Everything I hear about US traffic sounds hopelessly hostile.
Because you get very sweaty trying to ride a bike any distance in 90 degree weather.
Car parks are a mere part of greater reality - what sense of quality does it imbue that is more or less worthy than any other where perchancing on another is concerned?
I'm in my early 50s. None of social media made any sense to me, and I never engaged in any of it. Email seemed (and still seems) to be perfectly adequate for keeping in touch with friends and family.
The rest of it - constant updates about mundane things - in other words, the whole news feed - can be ignored.
This is mostly true of my younger employees, who are a similar age as my son.
If anything it's "what my friends had for dinner" that's dying and that's good thing.
Meanwhile the management team is basically a major flop. They view FB as having the only source of revenue being from ads. That's why they focus so much on increasing DAU. The real value in facebook is that FB has a captive audience which would most likely consume related related products created by facebook. The fact that there is no facebook e-mail service, banking services, dating service or ebay oriented marketplace (the current facebook marketplace is effectively a disaster which is loaded with scammers) basically shows that FB management has failed to utilize the platform to create value for shareholders.
Meanwhile, the over reliance and over pushing of advertising is discouraging people from using the platform.
Facebook used to have email - they retired it few years ago.
Banking services - not there, but you can send money with messenger.
Dating - that literally just launched
Marketplace - it’s still growing
It makes the whole product feel super cheap and needy.
Aol is probably being too complimentary.
I just checked my Facebook feed, and there's an ad every four posts.
But like AOL, it feels like more.
They called under the pretense of 'making sure we were utilizing the full potential of their ads manager' but after about 2 or 3 phone calls with them, my manager and I caught on to their angle.
Their suggestions over these phone calls were for us to test out all of these new features and 'creatives' they were adding to the Ads platform. Testing these new features and methods costs money, and what we had spent years tweaking and perfecting was actually working just fine.
Essentially they were targeting us because we had around $XX,XXX in annual ad spend, which probably put us in some Small - Medium business category where they felt they could extract more ad dollars from us.
It definitely smells like they are desperate for revenue and I can only imagine what they're Ads (read: Sales) teams are pushing to marketers at Enterprise levels with millions in ad spend on FB.
At the end every service will drop to its utility.
I remember sitting in front of my Desktop and searching pointless stuff in Google for hours in the 2000s, these days I do it only when I actually do need to search something. Even there I search for things to buy on Amazon or Flipkart. People I search on LinkedIn or Facebook.
"I'm a little intoxicated, not gonna lie. So what if it's not even 10 pm and it's a Tuesday night? What? The Kirkland dormitory facebook is open on my desktop and some of these people have pretty horrendiedous facebook pics. I almost want to put some of these faces next to pictures of some farm animals and have people vote on which is more attractive."
That is just mean. To me it reveals his vision from the beginning was to prey on people's worst instincts.
Marc Zuckerberg is, I fear (because of his enormous power), a man devoid of empathy. This is the root of Facebook, and that is the problem with Facebook.
"People just submitted it. I don't know why. They "trust me" Dumb fucks"
I know, I know, still just college kids being college kids. How about this one:
"I wonder how similar that is to the Facebook thing. Because they're probably going to be released around the same time. Unless I fuck the dating site people over and quit on them right before I told them I'd have it done"
More? really? ok... how about this:
"So have you decided what you're going to do about the websites?"
Zuck: "Yeah, I'm going to fuck them. Probably in the ear"
"Haha man come on. You can be unethical and still be legal that's the way I live my life. haha."
I think my favorite part is the "haha" at the end. haha indeed.
This one is probably the most relevant today:
"We copied his account like his profile and everything except I made his answers all like white supremacist."
That is why people like me love to vilify his character. He's an entitled asshole and always has been. He probably sits around in his house with Sheryl and Joel Kaplan laughing about how they have Washington by the balls and they can all do whatever the fuck they want.
Link to quotes:
It's not like AT&T and Xerox were hiring thousands upon thousands of inventors. Xerox was a photocopy company and they pretty much stuck to that (hence their downfall). I don't know exactly how many people worked at PARC, but it wasn't massively huge at any time.
AT&T was an evil monopolistic company that also had a good research division. However, the research division was not its main function. You could compare it to Microsoft now (there are incredibly brilliant people working there right now).
Trust me, it's not worse than it was before.
The other places were companies like IBM, and Xerox who had to do new things to stay relevant.
I can translate by pointing Google Translate at a thing and having it be in English on the thing. Wicked shit.
Nah. I love these guys.
Took me a few weeks on the job to actually understand exactly what we do. When people ask me what the software I work on does, I just tell them "it's complicated".
There is so much b2b software that fills a specific niche in a specific industry that makes absolutely no sense to people outside of that space.
Unfortunately, the parts of the industry I interacted with share your golden rule so many years ago I found refuge in infrastructure/backend where being enthusiastic about the product is never on the list of stuff to care about.
Such hiring practices is how cults start.
I'm sure there's room for the guy who wants to just build what you tell him to do and he's great it. I just don't want to do that and I want to be surrounded by people not like that.
Not to say that they don’t do some such screening, but I thought I’d add another data point.
Maybe just the people that don't know how to fake it?
On the other hand, there are several interesting groups created in Facebook that I cannot find on other sites. While the reverse is also true Facebook makes group creation frictionless and connected to many other services.
“When the stock price is 30% higher this month, don’t feel 30% smarter. Because when it’s down, no one likes feeling 30% stupider.”
Forget his Baby Boomer conservative investment guru facade. Thats not how he generated wealth, it is a component to how he preserves wealth because he has a liquidity issue.
All I can find is a description of Buffett betting that AmEx would recover after this crisis.  That sounds in line with Buffett's reputation: bet on a good company that for whatever reason has a low price.
His switch to mild mannered thought leader is probably a story of redemption after corporate raiding caught on - in the pejorative - during the 80s.
It is surprising to me that people want a particular image of him, when I see the opposite of what he projects and I like it. I like the influence. I forgot other people hadn't seen it, but I am surprised how important his image is to people.
I think these privileges are a part of his type-A trader life, and is par for course for successful traders living that life.
Perhaps you decided to latch on to "highly speculative" as "wild swing and got lucky". Lets talk about the curve of risk, buying distressed companies after consolidating your friends and family's money with the addition of massive borrowing on top of that to accomplished your 'principled investing' would still be called highly speculative. This exists within the category of "highly speculative". There is nothing wrong with that?
I find it entertaining that his approach to inspiring people is the exact opposite of risk, as he could easily just be another Carl Icahn or Soros if he wanted and only inspire finance majors to make massive bets against governments. He is so successful at this image that people would actually ask me to post a source for my allegations.
This is obviously a lot more important to you than it is to me, and your cognitive dissonance is showing. This has been enlightening.
Again, I am more surprised people care
For example, I am surprised people need a "mild mannered Nebraska man" in their minds, when its really "type-A trader doing type-A things but check out the thought leadership my publicist suggested I do"
I'll consider coming back with sources, I don't really think these are worth "proving", they aren't accusations, they're privilege, and are par-for-course for traders living that lifestyle.
People don't "need" anything—well adjusted people usually assume better of random strangers, unless actual proof is provided otherwise. Saying it's because he's a "trader" is very low-quality discourse.
Prove it. I'm willing to bet you cannot.
Those leaks would make Sandberg portrayal in "Chaos Monkeys" look like a glowy puff piece in Vogue.