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Ask HN: What Happened to Larry Page?
161 points by mrkn1 7 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 252 comments
I can't find any news about him since he left Google.

My guess, which is just a guess, is that the founders got tired of Google Search and advertising and Android and mobile hardware and privacy issues and regulatory issues so much that the “don’t be evil” motto was glaring at their faces and made them uncomfortable enough to step aside and let others run the show (or run things into the ground). This must have allowed them to enjoy their riches in relative peace.

Sometimes the things you create grow way beyond your capacity to handle and become soul crushing endeavors that bear little resemblance to the early years of adventure, fulfillment and satisfaction in serving others, and the wise thing to do would be to step aside and preserve your sanity and peace of mind.

Yup. It is soul-crushing.

My company failed in the back-wash of the "dot-bomb" (we were not strictly a dot-com play - but close enough that we got caught in the back-wash), and while I would have preferred IPOing (not really possible in early 2000) or M&A (actually, similar reasons), I got really DEPRESSED!. Now, I was just the founder, not the CEO, but the journey from garage to supremacy (if you even make it) is a ride, maaan!

I always found the garage loneliness that you find people lamenting on HackerNews to be a lot more bearable than 10 shareholders and 250 employees and (in our case) 20 global enterprise customers. I am certainly not sure that I have it in me to attempt again. Psychologically, I mean.

Yes, that's was exactly the point made by Notch after the Microsoft acquisition of Minecraft isn't? Only that in a lower (not that low) grade... It has to be soul crushing having almost infinite money and not being able to "fix" your brain or buy time...

Last paragraph is the reason why I don't have kids

I entered into parenthood with similar trepidation, but my fears turned out to be unjustified. It definitely means having different experiences, but it's waaaay more fun than I thought it would be.

Same for me. I was telling my wife that we have freedom, money and time. No need to plan anything.

We have two kids and I do not regret one second what we have today, and one second what we used to have.

Equally superbe times in our lives, I wild not go back, and I wild not change what we did.

There is nothing from evolutionary point of view more important than having children. It would be highly unusual if nature didn't make that experience overall speaking as one of best things in life.

And yet, all the studies of people with children show that they make you less happy, while they are around, although more happy later in later, presumably once they have moved out. Years of relief built up I guess (just kidding, more likely the benefits of having an extended close family when you are older).

Speaking for myself, I know that I would hate to have my freedom taken away by having children. I also know that my sister, who has a four year old and a one year old, has been miserable and exhausted for much of the last four years.

I think there's a difference between happiness and fulfillment. Parenthood unlocks a new level of feelings I never experienced before.

I cannot accurately describe the joy that fatherhood brings me.... despite the reduced sleep and increased stress.

By a magnitude of 10x, Fatherhood has surpassed anything i have experienced prior.

I'm curious about these studies, how they measure happiness, and the possible confounding factors. I was really happy before kid (singular), and I'm still really happy. Happier, I think, then I would have been otherwise? I don't really know how to measure that.

As a not-yet-made-it startup guy it definitely feels like playing on "expert mode". But with a supportive partner and some careful life choices, it feels pretty good. It helps that my cofounder has a kid almost the same age as mine, and we've been going through this together.

Happiness is overrated. Like picking a food to eat because it's sweeter.

If you could choose between a future where your happiness doubled but one of your loved ones died, or the unadjusted future, which would you prefer?

Moral framings like this are pointless. That's a scenario that's never going to happen, so why worry about it? Instead, we have a real question to ask:

Which of these would you choose?

A. Have children and be less happy, more stressed, and have less money and less free time for your a ~25 year stretch somewhere between ages 20 and 60.

B. Don't have children, be less happy, poorer, much busier, and more stressed during those years, but potentially more happy in your old age.

The point is the realization that happiness is not the most essential thing in thing. My hypothetical is meant to be similar to the choice between two futures, one, where you have one more loved one and maybe less happiness, and the other where you have one fewer loved one and maybe more happiness - i.e the choice to have a child or not.

Happiness is a kind of short term thing. Life has better things to offer in my view.

>If you could choose between a future where your happiness doubled but one of your loved ones died, or the unadjusted future, which would you prefer?

You'd really have to hate your loved ones for that first option to be viable.

Being a parent with two small kids in a foreign country and no family support (plus, you know, the usual global pandemic), it has definitely been the worse experience of my life. My wife doesn't work, money is not a problem but the lack of sleep and freedom to do a lot of things is hard to swallow.

Nature plays a big role in it: I really felt like having kids (which surprised me) and I sure will do everything I can to protect them, but my life is a constant fight with depression.

There is probably the opposite mechanism at play: having invested years of pain in them, you value your kids the more time passes.

I'm sure things will improve once they're 4-5 and they're a bit better behaved / we can start sleeping again / we can start having some time for ourselves as well.

Glad to hear. That comment was in jest, of course!

With kids, the soul crushing happens up front, and then it gets more rewarding.

Sort of the opposite story.


This sounds like a just-so story. Just as likely they are running sensitive projects inside of Google that interface with the government. I am far more likely to believe that than a billionaire simply enjoying their money for its epicurean aspects. Attaining a billion dollars requires the will-to-power. That's not something that goes away.

I know quite a few billionaires from the Amazon "process" that definitely did not have "the will-to-power". They just got lucky.

How that relates to Page (& Brin) ... I don't know.

This means that it's tougher to be running such a company at this stage. All initial fairy tale is over. Now every day the company will be scrutinized by someone, be it shareholders, customers or even your own employees. There is now less room for error hence less room to be bold and take chances.

He has two "flying car" startups that he is working on: https://www.theverge.com/2018/7/19/17586878/larry-page-flyin...

Considering the relative secrecy that he is building these companies in, I'd guess he has other companies going as well.

Wondering for almost two years after this news we haven't seen a single flying car demo from these companies. Of course Larry Page's money is a good financial support but Elon Musk has repeatedly rejected the VTOL idea, it can pummel populated areas.

He’s in the Caribbean a lot of the time and seemingly spent a lot of time there when he still had the CEO title. I didn’t see him much around google in those days (not that we move in the same circles, so this is purely anecdotal).

One of my friends lives on the same block and said a little while ago that he never sees him any more (they aren’t friends so it’s a “see the neighbors” kind of thing, also not something authoritative).

Maybe he's one of the regulars here on HN using an anonymous handle, taking part in these conversations without anyone judging him or his actions.

Well-known people have used pseudonyms for ages to preserve their privacy (for instance, when staying in hotels) or sometimes to manipulate public opinion -- writing letters to the editor under various names and personalities was a favorite tactic of Ben Franklin, even to the newspapers he owned!

More recently, Mitt Romney's alt Twitter account "Pierre Delecto" was uncovered after he gave away too many clues: https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/10/mitt-romney-has-...

Retired, I presume. Sometimes people just want to spend time with their kids and not have to work all the time. And I'm sure he talks to Sundar Pichai all the time, Alphabet/Google was his baby afterall.

He also probably has a lot more time to think about interesting problems now as opposed to 24/7 managing what's basically a giant utility.

Isn't that the whole point of branching off with Alphabet? Seems like a failed experiment if it didn't create a model for new startups to exist under GOOG.

Alphabet failed because it was clear that despite what Page & Brin initially assumed, shareholders/leadership were not okay with dumping billions of dollars into projects with no clear ROI.

You are probably right in some way here. But it was also Larry that started killing a few product at Google after talking with Steve Job that said "Focus!"

Google has created/acquired many useful products other than search. Useful doesn't mean interesting though. Especially if you have essentially infinite money.

May I ask? In English: "I presume" means that "I have no data and am speculating". I that correct?

If that is correct, why would you give an answer?

My query should not imply any criticism - just that I don't understand. Could you explain to an (Sincerely, From: obvious problematic person, who does want to learn)

If we restricted discussion forums to only people who had any idea what they were talking about, you could fit all of internet discourse onto a floppy disk.

Well played. Still - sometimes I would like to rank answers somehow, like: 1) I was there, 2) My best friend was there, 3) I have a PhD in that theory, 4) I built something from theoretical blocks, 5) My friends and I got high in college, and thought about building something, 6) ....

Speculating, but more of an "assumption".

His paralyzed vocal cords make public speeches hard.

He is still Alphabet board member and employee. His interest has always been futurism and moon-shot projects.

My feeling is that the paralyzed vocal cords are more an effect of the root cause.

I think Larry did not like anymore most of what he had to do in his role and created so much stress to him that his body ended up helping him to get out of that role.

From what I heard on some videos Larry and Sergey were still actively involved in the creation of new things in Google X etc. They are engineers and they love to build and create new ambitious things. But if you are high in the management of a big public company that is not your role anymore.

I think they hoped the creation of Alphabet would have given them the opportunity to go back to work on new products with an impact for good in the world instead of having to keep focussing on the dull and stressful management of Google itself.

But in the end they probably realized that it was not the case and they left.

I know they do angel investing. I guess that with their experience and money, it is more effective to help younger enterpronurs to make the world a better place.

Building his Ex Machina home assistant. Watch your inbox closely and you can win the contest to visit his compound.

Rumor has it Larry Page has already uploaded himself to the cloud, leaving behind his abandoned, lifeless husk inside a closet in a Google data center somewhere.

Huge if true

Having had a high profile in a much smaller community, it can be nice to be forgotten for a while :)

He got sick with an incurable disease which makes him sound like a 80 year old chain smoker, I heard he got a lot less active since then. I bet it made him realize how little money and power can actually do for him so he is focusing more on stuff that matters in his life.

He's still a board member, and if I remember correctly he moved over to the Moonshot factory (X).

He used Google+ a lot.

Somewhere there's an archive of his old posts.

Oh? What happened to the originals?

Google+ died.

Facebook and Instagram killed it!

I wondered why he doesn't have a personal website and saw that Sergey Brin, Tim Cook, and Elon Musk don't either. Ended up at gatesnotes.com and signing up for Bill Gates' mailing list.

Well, somebody seemed to have registered the larry.page domain name when I checked a few months ago. Given that .page is a Google TLD, I just figured...

Shame to be sitting on something like that and not doing anything with it.

Probably because its a lot of work and risk. With such a high profile, controversial points quickly become a lot of trouble. Also, there's a lot of overhead with running and securing the site. So, why bother if you don't have anything interesting to say on there? They are big enough to have Wikipedia host their CV.

> there's a lot of overhead with running and securing the site

Not really. Especially not if you have Google at your disposal.

It's surely possible, I don't meant to suggest otherwise . But still - why bother when you have nothing to say?

A personal website tends to serve as either self promotion or to voice your opinion. I don't think he needs promotion, so unless he wants to start blogging, it's only risk and timesink with no upsides.

Tim Cook and Elon Musk each have twitter accounts. All those points apply except running the site. There's WordPress VIP for that.

I don't think Wordpress and VIP belong in the same sentence. There are vastly superior PHP CMS's such as Grav or OctoberCMS that don't make PHP look like a garbage language.

What problem does he face that a personal website is the best solution to?

He's someone that can ensure that there is no news about him.

Wasn't there was some sort of metoo thing that happened with Page, Brin, and Schmidt right before they all stepped down?

No idea about Page, but I do remember walking by Sergey Brin in a microkitchen about two years ago when I was at Google. He was evidently playing around with Tensorflow in Colab. I actually didn't know it was him when I walked by, someone told me who it was after I left the room.

"I can't find any news about him since he left Google." Not even Google can find him.

Hah, creating your own search engine has its advantages doesn't it.

Or if you don't own Google, you can just claim something related to the search term to hide what you want to hide: https://www.wired.co.uk/article/boris-johnson-model-google-n...

Hanging out with his neighbor Richard Branson I imagine.


Must be busy checking server logs[1]

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9138814

He’s reading this at the moment since it hit the top of HN, but for the last few hours it was all about Animal Crossing.

So many cans of worms

It was clear years ago that neither he nor Brin were interested running Google day-to-day anymore. I'm actually surprised that every billionaire doesn't do the same after reaching a certain point of success.

Like..is calling the shots at Facebook really that big a deal that Zuckerberg spends his life being dragged from one mess to another, put in front of Congress every other week, criticized across the political spectrum (which is an achievement in itself)? Does he really not want to take his $110B and do...literally whatever he wants in peace for the rest of his life? Or is it just that he cannot bring himself to trust anyone enough to hand over the reins of Facebook?

He's still relatively young, and likely realises the near absolute power he holds over one of the largest companies in the world is not something he can get back once he gives it up. Also Gates, to put it in very uncharitable terms, has shown that it doesn't matter if you're seen as a hated, greedy CEO as long as you do enough philanthropy later in life.

What would Bill Gates have to do to finally shed his reputation as a business man?

Honestly, Gates seems like a pretty good guy from interviews he’s given and he’s doing something good with his money.

When you're as rich as Gates and Buffet you not only have a teams of people managing your money, you also have teams of people dedicated to managing your image.

So yes - Gates seems like a pretty good guy. And he'll have paid a lot of money to create that impression.

Zuckerberg doesn't seem to be running the usual PR operation - possibly because he's too young to be bothered, and possibly because he doesn't really care much.

Likewise Bezos. But you can be sure that if/when they turn to philanthropy, they'll consider the option of a similarly wholesome transformation and proceed if it seems likely to provide extra social leverage.

The alternative will be managed media invisibility, which is also an option at that level.

That's pretty cynical. Giving away your entire fortune to charity and convincing others to do the same isn't just PR, it's a genuine effort to make the world a better place. He was a cutthroat businessman and made millions at the expense of other businessmen, many of whom would've done the same to him if they could. I don't think being a hardass in the board room disqualifies you from being a generous and caring person in your private life.

> I don't think being a hardass in the board room disqualifies you from being a generous and caring person in your private life.

No, but it also doesn't somehow wipe away the actions he took to make that money.

He didn't just attack other businesses, he attacked open source, and would have destroyed it if he could have.

By all means, you can think whatever you like about the man. Gates has done some pretty slimy shit. Being nice now is nice, and I applaud him for it, but nobody is obligated to develop amnesia.

Further, there is no obligation to politely applaud the rich person picking and choosing who should benefit from their largesse. Nor in noticing the massive PR campaigns that go along with it.

He's buying what he wants with his money.

> He didn't just attack other businesses, he attacked open source, and would have destroyed it if he could have. By all means, you can think whatever you like about the man. Gates has done some pretty slimy shit. Being nice now is nice, and I applaud him for it, but nobody is obligated to develop amnesia.

I’m not asking you to forget what he did as a business man. But people grow by integrating new information and changing their minds. And Gates seems to be progressing in the right direction.

But all of you anti-Gates people are hell bent on defining him by his actions as the head of Microsoft. And being cynical about his motivations.

I’m grateful that he’s changed his ways and is making a positive contribution to the world. He really does seem to try and understand the issues he wants to tackle and not just hire people to do it for him.

> I’m grateful

Herein lies our difference of opinion. I consider it a positive thing that he's changed and grown. But grateful? Wealth-worship is gross and I'm not his dependent.

Again, he's buying what he wants to buy with his money.

Exactly right. He won the money game, he couldn't feed his ego with that anymore. Now he is feeding his ego with philanthropy. He literally couldn't spend it all on himself. So he sprinkles it around with his name attached. People don't cheer when I give pocket change to the homeless, yet it is a similar percentage of my net worth.

I met Bill G and had dinner with him when he published our software in the 80's. What you see is what you get with Gates. He's not a complicated guy. Smart, but uncomplicated. I liked that about him.

In my youthful days of Microsoft bashing, I learnt that many people couldn't distinguish between the man, the company, and the product. They also seemed to have trouble separating the motivation, the behaviour, and the consequence. In the end, I suspect that the reputation he acquired as a businessman was embellished.

I suspect that Gates will have trouble shedding that reputation since those people will have a hard time distinguishing between his past and present behaviour.

You don't have to "distinguish between the man, the company, and the product." You only have to read his open letter to hobbyists to see how they all intersect.

If you followed his MS days closely, like many in this community, I doubt you'd change your mind about him. But I imagine large part of the public knows about him mostly from his philanthropy. Heck I bet some people only know of him from whatever that 5G conspiracy was.

>If you followed his MS days closely, like many in this community, I doubt you'd change your mind about him

As in, he was a good fella on the net?

> What would Bill Gates have to do to finally shed his reputation as a business man?

I don't think he has to shed his reputation as a business man, if "being a business man" means maximising profits. He was great at that, and his activities were lawful, at least up to the point when he was judged to have acted in violation of anti-trust laws in trying to parlay one monopoly into another.

What he'd have to do to stem my disappointment in him as a leading fellow of the software development community of his day, is to acknowledge that after already earning his first 10 billion from DOS, Office and Windows, he actively worked to impede the progress of the internet, and hold back a generation of young non-millionaire developers, by "cutting off Netscape's air supply".

For many, it seems like his rehabilitation was bought with dirty money:

1. Earn a billion with brutal, unscrupulous business practices

2. Spend half of that charitably, keep the rest, and expect to be seen as a great philanthropist.

Suddenly his charitable works don't seem to offset his reputation so much.

Yup. I understand that Al Capone ran soup kitchens in Chicago.

It's a good thing we have a laundry list of his dastardly deeds so we don't go off what he "seems" like.

Key words: "seems like". Imagine you lived in the same area as Gates and every so often an acquaintance or colleague tells you a story of their encounter with Bill Gates. I have heard many of these stories. One is less likely to see such behaviour from him in public anymore if by chance he is seem in public and over the years one would expect his wife has "reigned him in". Most people are amazed by his interest in vaccines and Africa, and the foundation work, but how many know it is actually his spouse, formerly his employee at Microsoft,^1 who has the sincere interest in Africa and initially he just went along for the ride. When you have that kind of wealth, and so many others are dependant on your "generosity", naturally you have much more potential for control over what is written about you in the press. As such, the impressions you have from merely reading news stories are not exactly "organic", like hearing a story from someone you know. In the earlier days he had less control over what was written about him. Here is one from the archives that I think exemplifies Gates' personality quite well:



Recently, he was attacked online by conspiracy theorists. This prompted an interesting response from him. Perhaps it has also caused some to look closer at how much "control" he can potentially exert on the media these days.


To take your question to an unnecessary extreme, what would Adolf Hitler have had to do in early 1945 to shed his reputation?

Once a nail has been hammered in place, even after removing it the hole in the wood is there to stay.

Not sure if Gates has shown that.

> According to a new Yahoo News/YouGov poll, 44 percent of Republicans believe that Bill Gates is plotting to use a mass COVID-19 vaccination campaign as a pretext to implant microchips in billions of people and monitor their movements — a widely debunked conspiracy theory with no basis in fact.[0]

[0]: https://news.yahoo.com/new-yahoo-news-you-gov-poll-shows-cor...

I think a lot of people say they "believe" that, but really the question they are answering is, "do you like Bill Gates, or do you think him morally capable of doing this horrible thing?" Bill Gates was one of the early, big proponents of Common Core, and educational testing and reform movement which ended up becoming very unpopular on the right.

That’s a massive cop out. You either believe in conspiracy theories or you don’t. People who don’t believe in conspiracies don’t say they do as a way of expressing they don’t like the people involved.

In my experience, your second statement is, factually, incorrect. Nothing personal, but I find that not to be an accurate reflection of human behavior.

Well, it fits with my experience.

It's depressing knowing how large swaths of people are anti science and have made it part of their political identity to boot

It's depressing knowing how many people think all polls are scientifically valid representations of the general population. It's well known that even the way a question is stated or worded can influence the outcome of a poll.

This is an encouraging comment, if more people were actually scientific minded enough to realize this type of thing, perhaps we could get out of the ditch we've driven into.

And polls are used more often to drive opinions than to report on them.

Well, a single poll, sure. Many polls...

Until I was about 28, myself and my whole group of friends would 95% of the time give bullshit (usually whatever was funniest) answers to anything resembling a poll. Didn't matter how 'private' or anonymous. We thought polls were bullshit, and we treated them thus. Other classmates, even more than us, filled them out as the person they wish they were.

We CAN'T be unique...this happens a LOT!

They're not anti-science: they're ignorant.

If we had better basic education, presumably people would be able to understand how things work.

It's a conspiracy theory, so even education doesn't always help. Kary Mullis is one example of someone who was smart enough to win a Nobel prize for his work on PCR... but unfortunately later fell into the conspiracy theory rabbit hole for HIV, climate change, etc.

I have read that anxiety issues [1], as well as a personality spectrum called "schizotypy" [2] which in itself can be linked to severe anxiety issues at the heavier end of the spectrum, [3] is linked to the ability to believe conspiracy theories [4]. My guess is that the wide spread of conspiracy theories related material (which COVID-19 has amplified to considerably) boils down to some combination of mental health and other social and/or economic anxieties, and the conspiracy theories really won't go away until some of these anxieties are addressed.

[1] https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/people-drawn-to-c... [2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schizotypy [3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schizotypal_personality_disord... [4] https://www.psypost.org/2017/10/study-links-facets-schizotyp...

I'm not sure whether this holds much merit in reality as it is purely speculation, but I'd strongly suspect that a great deal of modern popular conspiracy theories are designed and initially propagated by PSYOP groups to influence and control certain aspects of reality for whatever intended purpose (that's kind of the essence or purpose of a PSYOP) - like for example, preventing Bill Gates' eliminating third world poverty or whatever his goals are. Some of his philanthropic work will quite possibly have a snowball effect on a certain areas that some countries won't like which would give rise to misinformation campaigns to sabotage and hinder his work.

I'm not saying you're wrong, but a conspiracy theory about a conspiracy to spread conspiracy theories is extremely meta and wonderfully ironic.

Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they don't want you to think they're out to get you.

I don't buy that they're simply ignorant. Yes, perhaps they are but tied into that ignorance for many, many people (that I've met anecdotally and, i'm sure in statistical terms) is a strong willfulness about their postures.

In other words, despite being shown any evidence you'd like, no matter how concrete about the incorrectness of their beliefs, they'll simply disregard said information, because to accept or even consider it would imply the possible disruption of specific political/religious beliefs that a great deal of emotional identification is invested in.

And lack of access to information isn't even an excuse for this in most cases: It applies frequently to people who live otherwise technologically connected lives, with easy access to a vast wealth of extraordinarily detailed knowledge about anything they don't understand in terms of evidence, theories and facts. Despite this, they just.... disregard it, and will even give MORE weight to the most absurdly unsubstantiated "alternative" ideas so long as they don't poke at that emotional investment I mentioned above.

Again, this is not simple ignorance, it's something much more deliberate and to call it anti-science is not at all unfair.

> Again, this is not simple ignorance, it's something much more deliberate

what is it? i couldnt get it from the comment... just curious

I'm tempted to call it a dogma, but it strikes me as something much more visceral than that. The closest that comes to mind is a mulish rejection of reason when it strikes emotionally rooted beliefs. Calling it "Anti-science" is valid but tricky, because the anti-scientific part can be very selective: argue with certain people about the safety of vaccine science and they reject you outright no matter what evidence you offer, but explain how a cell phone works to these same people and they'll happily defer to scientific explanations.

maybe "memes" are a useful term?

seems some memes get stuck in peoples heads and blocks all reasonable discussions?

It's partisanship. Some people will say they believe even the most ridiculous of things if that means they're toeing the party line.

I agree with this. And partisanship is largely the outcome of propaganda peddled by the media to sell ads. I know this is a narrow, arrogant viewpoint, but I view all hardcore partisans as victims of propaganda (with the caveat that perhaps "propaganda" is not the best word here...).

This is ridiculous both-sidesism.

I'm not a both-sidesist. My comment has nothing to do with "both sides have good/bad people." We are currently in a situation where many on the left believe that the far right are pure evil idiots. And those on the right believe that people on the far left are... pure evil idiots. But - guess what - this isn't true.

The American left isn’t currently trying to turn the country into a single party state ruled by an autocrat. I don’t care if they’re idiots or not, but the right have abandoned respect and decency for their fellow citizens. I don’t want any of them dead, I just want free and fair elections in the country I love. It’s their media sources arguing for armed vigilantes to take to the streets to defend their beliefs.

The right-voting populace just wants abortions to be illegal. Everything else that's going on is collateral damage. I know - well, not a lot, but a couple handfuls of - Trump supporters, and 100% of them vote for him because of his purported policies on abortion (and they all lamely defend him on his other actions). I think people underestimate how many voters are single-issue voters, and that this is THE issue.

I want the things you want to - and I am very very left leaning. And I strongly disagree with your "their media" statement. I think many media outlets are contributing to a widening gap between the left and the right, because sensationalism and stupid articles sell. A single example from yesterday: I just read an NPR story that 260 out of 500,000 Sturgis attendees have come down with Covid. And they're trying to pitch that this is... a lot?

You claim to want the things I want, and yet you seem to think that reporting on a spike in COVID cases in a small state due to a large event is comparable to Tucker Carlson shrugging and saying “eh, you can’t blame him” about Kyle Rittenhouse in Kenosha? They’re not even within the same realm of discourse.

I suspected you would conclude I was suggesting equivalence. I am not. I’m trying to discuss the role the media plays in furthering the divide. Many on the right are convinced that the Covid response is overblown and insincere. Can’t you see how this NPR - a supposed liberal media outlet - story, especially the tone of it, could be construed to play directly into that narrative? Hyper-partisanship is not a natural outcome, but is fed into our gullets because news has to be framed in ways that piss off both sides.

COVID is extremely serious, you and I both know this. Accurate reporting on it is going to sound overblown if you're convinced it's not a problem. What would you suggest the news do? Pretend it's not an issue at all?

Also not sure which article in particular you are referring to, but the one I found doesn't seem sensationalistic at all:

"'I think it's still a little early to really know how this is going to play out,' says Dr. Marcus Plescia, chief medical officer for the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials." — https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/0...

I tried arguing with a "Bill Gates wants to kill Africans", and "there's an online furniture store peddling kidnapped teenagers to pedos" girl once, and she thinks I'm the one being brainwashed by MSM and snopes.com (and that they're controlled by the Rotschilds and Rockerfellers), and she thinks she's the one who is enlightened. If I asked for proof, she'd link to some random blog she read and trusts where some lunatic (from my point of view) is asserting some lie. And if I sent her links to MSM sites debunking things, she's claim these are the lies. I posted a link to Snopes and of course she had a link ready showing how Snopes was paid off by someone.

How do you win? In the end I felt like she was just being narcissistic, I couldn't be bothered continuing the discussion, because I knew it would just piss me off...

why do people beleive "wacky" relegions?

my guess is it provides an explanation for things, and for people who might not have some direction in their life, something like conspiracy theories provide some meaning (stop the evil conspiracy) + explanation (so thats why things are so screwed up)...

thats my guess anyways....

> If we had better basic education, presumably people would be able to understand how things work.

Agreed, like the fundamentals of philosophy, psychology, neuroscience, etc. Perhaps then we could rid the world of this widespread perception of clairvoyance (perception of knowing the thoughts of millions of other people, for example).

I think what's missing from education in the US isn't more depth or breadth of facts, but the ability to think independently and critically. We need to gain better awareness that if we're responsible for making an important decision, but we can't be bothered to become informed before making that decision, bad things will happen to us (and others who rely on us) that we could have avoided if we had taken responsibility for our actions like an adult.

I think a huge fraction of society are used to living like a child -- we're used to being told what to do in every part of their lives. So we never learn to accept responsibility... for a business, or an investment, or the health/welfare of others, or for their jobs and livelihoods. We reject accountability.

I think most people believe they're powerless to control their lives, that they're helplessly propelled by giant forces far beyond their control, so their individual decisions and actions don't matter. Thus they don't need to know the facts or consider the consequences of their choices. The collective they belong to will make that decision for them. Their only decision is what sociopolitical gang they should join. They delegate all authority to the group's leaders to think for them after that.

> I think what's missing from education in the US isn't more depth or breadth of facts, but the ability to think independently and critically

Absolutely. I've long thought a modern version of rhetoric is perhaps the most important class to mandate in a democracy.

At least one full semester of a teacher trying to lie or convince you of things using common approaches, coupled with an analytical study of what they are and how they work.

> We need to gain better awareness that if we're responsible for making an important decision, but we can't be bothered to become informed before making that decision, bad things will happen to us

IMHO, democracy is predicated on the ratio of informed_voters : total_voters. That ratio has never been 1, but it feels like it used to be higher.

I think the next version of democracy is going to use a pre-test of objective facts (so loaded!) to weight votes.

Many people are willfully ignorant. Dinosaur bones are "carved from stone" so that their infallible written timeline of events remains unchallenged.

The unnecessary dismissal of these theories as having "no basis in fact" probably contributes to their stickiness. This absolutely does have basis in, arguably misconstrued, fact:

>The claim emerged after a Reddit Q&A in which Gates mentioned foreseeing the use of “digital certificates” to show who has been tested for COVID-19 or who has recovered from the disease . Most of the iterations of this claim misleadingly refer to “quantum dot dye” technology, which was founded by the Gates Foundation. Kevin McHugh, one of the lead authors of the “quantum dot dye” research paper, confirmed to Reuters this technology is not a microchip or human implantable capsule. Instead, it is similar to a tattoo, which would help provide up-to-date patient vaccine records for professionals in places lacking medical records. [0]

[0] https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-factcheck-gates-fauci/fal...

This isn't arguably misconstrued, it's deliberately twisted by actors with an agenda.

It's also an own-goal on the part of the Gates Foundation. Any adult in the US should know better than to tap into "mark of the beast" hysteria; anything which smacks of Revelation is politically a non-starter.

I think the greater source of damage is squarely on WHO and CDC: they baldly lied about masks for almost two months, then turned around and made them mandatory.

That was incredibly reckless and stupid: I was furious about it at the time, and the consequents have played out exactly how I envisioned at the time.

Our authorities spectacularly blew their credibility, out in the open where everyone can see it. Now we need them to have that credibility back, but, it doesn't work that way.


>having been "perceived" in a way by some (possibly) [redacted]

Perhaps you're a young man.

Warranted or not, 90s Gates was the prototype for the asshole tech CEO. Only Larry Ellison came close, and that's saying something ...

I'm pretty sure that Shockley, the founder of Shockley Semiconductor has them both beat. His management style was described as autocratic, erratic, and hard-to-please as well as domineering and paranoid. Not to mention his questionable views on race and eugenics.

In 1957, eight of his researchers (the "traitorous eight") had enough, so they left and founded Fairchild Semiconductor, (co)invented the integrated circuit, and essentially started Silicon Valley. Gordon Moore and Robert Noyce, two other members of the traitorous eight, went on to found Intel. If Shockley had been a nicer guy, Silicon Valley might not exist.

Has anyone ever found a study/research of how (in detail) Shockley hired technical staff?

In an industry famed for unicorns and associated prescient hiring, Shockley still has a distinguished track record for picking some pretty respectable bets on young researchers and engineers.

IIRC https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004RTH6WK (about Robert Noyce) covers it in some detail. And I'm sure it's documented in more detail in https://www.amazon.com/Broken-Genius-Shockley-Electronic-Mac...

He did identify some very talented individuals but apparently was constantly slipping into paranoia and eugenics theory.

> Perhaps you're a young man.

The funny thing with condescending people is that they are so sure of their opinions, and usually as you did not, provide no argument to their cause.

The point is that any CEO or person in a competitive environement is going to be attacked for using aggressives practices at some point and winning.. but that's ultimately the definition of the game, especially in business.

I've read a great bit of Gates' life and never found anything really so unethical or unhuman. Seriously the guy sis not Assad. It was just business. And it's kilometers away from Uber practices and Apple having their smartphones built by children in China.

I’m sure there is a way to phrase that same thought without disparaging the mentally disabled.

You are the one disparaging them by thinking its a negative comment.

my "insider" knowledge from the FB upper management is that Zuck is considering a future presidential candidacy so all of this congress stuff, dealing with political correctness, etc is great training wheels when he eventually gets into it. If you look at it from that lens, it makes sense right?

Disclaimer: note bunny ear quotes and like any 2nd hand information, there might be some stretched out truths attached to it.

Zuckerberg owns Facebook in a way that no other major company (to my knowledge) is owned. He is a monarch that can override any and all board politics. While power sloshes around in other companies by tug of war, Zuckerberg's word is final. Given this, I don't think it's unusual that Zuckerberg would stick around. He, with Facebook, explore new possibility space in how a company can be run that few other companies in history can access.

> Zuckerberg owns Facebook in a way that no other major company (to my knowledge) is owned. He is a monarch that can override any and all board politics.

So can brin/page. They own more than 50% of the voting rights of alphabet. Zuckerburg modeled facebook's IPO and voting share structure after Google's IPO and their share structure.

Maybe he doesn't want that power, though. People start to do weird things to please a supreme leader.

Here's a story from my first couple months at Google. When I joined, I worked on payments. We were about to launch a new credit card thing. I honestly don't remember what value this had to anyone, but it seemed like a big deal at the time. Anyway, one morning we all gathered into a conference room to hear "an update" on the project after a review with Larry Page -- we're doing a total rewrite on everything, because we were switching the network that processed the cards. Why? Because at the review, Larry made a face when told the name of the network that processed the cards. Note that nobody in this meeting was at the meeting with Larry Page. We were throwing away a partnership and thousands of hours of work because someone said someone else saw Larry make a face.

(We did switch networks. The new network was more popular, but with that popularity came so many restrictions that the product could no longer do what we originally intended. It failed. Fortunately, nobody cared, because who ever even asked for a credit card from Google anyway?)

My point is, do you want one random grimace to control the fate of an entire organization? Probably not. But that's how people treat authority figures. You have to do some serious work to get people to talk, rather than to react. So maybe he just opted out of that after seeing it play out over and over again.

That seems to be the case with most corporations: one executive glance or quip -- and thousands of employees scramble.

If you are feeling less charitable: the Eye of Sauron looks into a particular corner of Mordor and the orcs in that corner suddenly start scurrying harder.

There's a big difference between two people and one person holding all power.

You mean in terms of a publicly-held company, right? Because there are plenty of massive corporations still privately owned that are controlled by one person or one family.

Right. Facebook, a young and suddenly influential company is a very different thing then the very large privately held companies. Those are usually very old, owned by multiple family interests, or associated with a government.

The way Elon Musk put it, who rarely says stuff that doesn't sound completely crazy, is that his grandchildren will be running Facebook. It's truly totally crazy.

His grandchildrens' AI, anyway

Their brains hooked to Neurolink, no less

I was going to point out that BMW is still family run...but then again, I realize that BMW isn't also a publicly traded company...and subject to public regulation thereof...

BMW is a public company

oops, I should have looked it up beforehand. But somehow, the Quandt family maintains a lot of control over the company despite this?

It's not a company, it's the a virtual state.

Don't forget Notch. He took his money and bought a mansion and became a DJ.

TBH, if I made a pile, my interests would change dramatically. And running a successful company would not be nearly as validating.

Lately, I thought a lot about an anecdote we used to tell in Germany about business consultants. It goes somewhat like this: A consultant meets an old fisherman at a small port. The fisherman is done fishing and enjoying himself. The consultant asks why the fisherman isn't taking a loan to get a bigger ship and fish more. Because he would make a lot of money to do whatever he wants. The fisherman said that he is already doing that, fishing in the morning and enjoying the sun on a bank at port in the evening.

I came to realise, that I'd rather be the fisherman. Which doesn't mean the other approach is wrong, so.

How would the fisherman feed himself if he broke his arms? Alternatively, what if he wakes up one day and finds that all the fish near his village have been fished out of the ocean by other, more entrepreneurial fishermen?

If had money saved up, at least he could buy food for him and his family.

Social safety net and sustainability regulations. It’s not normal in much of the world to spend your life with the looming fear of being bankrupted by a serious illness or to treat natural ecosystems as a zero sum game to be exploited.

And please, can we agree that this our collective project and that we want to pool money so all of us have backup if/when needed?

To be a creator with the freedom to create and not have to make money anymore would be amazing.

Look at Jim Carrey and George W Bush for example. They're pretty much set with money, and now they can paint their hearts out.

W was set for money two generations before he was even born. Imagine if he'd just stuck to painting...

Look, I'm no fan of Bush II and I don't want to turn this into political theater, but the presidency was corrupted long before Bush II. I'd almost guarantee that his policy was set forth in an almost "dynastical" form, that has been around since Carter's interventions in the Middle East. Maybe before.

That being said, I wish they had all stuck to their post presidential passions... minus the political fund raising.

The bush family has a history of being politicians all the way back to the late 1800s

> Don't forget Notch. He took his money and bought a mansion and became a DJ.

Or the CEO of Goldman Sachs, a successful DJ who became a banker.

Just looked him up - he had a crazy year in 2018. Became CEO of Goldman, divorced his wife, released an EDM single that debuted at #39 on the Billboard EDM charts, and his personal assistant committed suicide after getting caught stealing $1.2 million of wine from his private cellar.

Only if my company was in the business of breaking new ground, i.e. scientific discovery or innovative engineering. That's why the likes of Alphabet and Facebook have research divisions (including for things rather far afield from their core money-making products): to give execs and talent a greater sense of purpose and to create/develop important stuff.

He has a lot more power as the CEO of Facebook than "just" a retired billionaire. Which is what humans have craved since the dawn of time.

The "thirst for power" is too much of a normie thing for Mark Zuckerberg to be interested in. I feel like he has this genuine delusion that Facebook serves this higher purpose and wants to see it through until people agree with him. I think he would prefer people to consider him as more innovative than Elon Musk than to have 'power'. Whether or not he will achieve this, well...

Zuckerberg has always been obsessed with power.

He was leading all-hands meetings by having the teams shout "Domination!"[0][1] He's always been obsessed with Roman Emperors too, particularly Augustus (though as a Romanophile myself, I relate). Kara Swisher mentions this a lot. Even in his early days he was the "alpha nerd." Dude is obsessed with power and always has been. He explicitly cultivates this image of being above it all and just wanting to connect the world, but if you watch Facebook/Zuckerberg's actions they're always about expanding power. Similarly, Augustus PR was legendary enough to found a dynasty. He never called himself an Emperor, just the "first citizen", a citizen like everyone else, and he only was the "first" one to provide peace and stability to the people.[2] He only acquires personal power at all costs for you. Also, Zuckerberg builds shadow profiles of everyone that ever browses a website that has a facebook 'Like' button on it because it and will never delete your data because he's creating a connected global utopia.

[0] https://www.wired.com/2012/05/network-effects-and-global-dom...

[1] https://www.vox.com/first-person/2018/4/11/17221344/mark-zuc...

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Princeps#Roman_Emperor

I never knew about Zuckerberg's interest in Roman Emperors, but it sure fits now that I'm thinking about it. One more parallel would be Augustus dressing in plain outfits, much like Zuckerbergs's jeans and hoodie. I'd guess there's some pretty effective signalling there: making them appear more relatable to the masses, while also letting elites know that they are above their normal formal-wear rituals.

A genuine belief in what you are doing—and then effectively pursuing that over opposition—is going to depend on having and using power. It's not pure "thirst for power" in the sense that power isn't the ultimate motivation, but it's almost indistinguishable operationally. (And, historically, it seems hard to tell when one becomes the other or vice-versa...)

This was probably true in the earlier days of Facebook.

At this point, Facebook isn't even about Facebook. Facebook is a typical giant that acquires other companies. I would argue WhatsApp has more impact on the world than Facebook. Zuckerberg can't be proud of WhatsApp though, since he didn't build it.

To me, there is clearly no higher purpose here besides power.

Sure it's probably more about his ego and his belief that FB is somehow a net positive force in the world. To me that just implies that he wants to steer Facebook and with it some portion of the world which just sounds like applying "power" to me.

Plus, nobody wants to go out on a low note.

>Which is what humans have craved since the dawn of time.

In any political system other than Western democracy power is essential for physical and financial safety, if you are wealthy. Power, of course, can be attractive on its own, but in a Western democracy it can also be optional. In all other political systems it's absolutely mandatory - wealthy people without power quickly cease being wealthy.

Not necessarily. Bill Gates has a lot more "power" today than he did as Microsoft CEO. And I bet his life is a lot easier as well.

More power? I would disagree. Maybe more impact, but not more power or influence.

Disagree completely. Bill Gates is easily one of the dozen most powerful people on earth due to connections and money. He is not beholden to shareholders and can apply his considerable influence wherever he likes without getting board approval.

We can disagree.

I think once he’s no longer at the helm of one of the largest tech firms in the world, he’s lost a lot of leverage.

Not to say he isn’t still very influential, but he’s on the sidelines of business now. And being a leader in business means having a lot of power.

Gates foundation with an endowment of 46.8 billion, and around 5 billion annually to research. That is a lot of influence to direct.

Oh he’s still very influential, but in a much smaller pond of philanthropy. When he was CEO of Microsoft he captained a much bigger ship.

He has a very strong reputation but does he have more power now? Being CEO of Microsoft when he was was powerful enough to get congress interested...

His foundation has massive political clout, especially in developing countries. And he has no shareholders to answer to.

I didn’t say he wasn’t powerful now, but he was CEO of Microsoft before they were investigated for violations of anti trust law.


Lol. You think there is a single member of congress that tells their secretary "take a message, ill call him back" when Bill Gates calls?

I totally understand this. I believe BG's ability to influence, guide and sway global efforts must be enormous. I would think he can probably setup a call with any leader in the world.

Some people only understand "power" in the sense of military or corporate decisions. (This is where Trump misses the big idea.) But imagine how powerful it is to be able to set the agenda, and have most of the world follow you and agree to commit resources in the direction you set.

I would say soft power generally beats hard power, due to being more efficient in terms of costs, creating more buy-in and generating less resistance.

I think most people would agree that today’s Facebook has more of an impact than Microsoft.

I strongly disagree.

Microsoft is largely responsible for introducing computers to everyday people. They championed a mission of “a computer on every desk and in every home” in a way no one else was. I have strong doubts that PCs as we know them today would be a thing without Microsoft’s influence. We should also not discount the timing of highly usable Windows and Microsoft software with the explosion of internet usage in the developed world.

In the 90s and early 2000s Windows/Intel introduced computers and the internet to the masses.

Edit: Microsoft’s portable and highly desirable software lead to computer hardware being a commodity and drastically lower prices. This, combined with the timing of WWW, ignited a revolution for which Facebook is just a subset of its impact.

Everything you said is absolutely true. I don't disagree with Microsoft's impact in the world is substantial.

But it is arguable that Facebook's ability to control/spread disinformation and propaganda in regards to political elections around the world is a different, but just as powerful impact.

Facebook is the internet of the masses today

>It was clear years ago that neither he nor Brin were interested running Google day-to-day anymore. I'm actually surprised that every billionaire doesn't do the same after reaching a certain point of success.

“For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”

“I'm convinced that about half of what separates successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.”

“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”

It's an inspirational message, sure, but it's VERY easy for a billionaire to say something like that.

Many have the exact opposite advice: "Don't turn your passion into a career."

Some could say it's a sad way of thinking, but when you're making a good living and have kids to raise, gambling away your career to pursue a dream isn't necessarily selfish... yet it could be irresponsible. Taking the advice of a lucky billionaire at face value is risky.

> ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’

Am I weird for rarely ever answering 'No' to that question? These days I mostly play computer games and still I'd answer 'Yes'.

It’s also kind of a dumb question because there is a 99% chance it’s not the last day of your life AND most people would spend their last day of their life with loved ones, but if I’m alive for the next few decades, my loved ones have better things to do than hang out with me.

It sounds deep, but it’s not.

My question is, does a person really need $110b, or even $1b or $500m to retire and live a life of leisure and luxury until they die a natural death from old age at 95? How much is enough?

MySpace Tom took his money and went off to do other things.


>Does he really not want to take his $110B and do...literally whatever he wants in peace for the rest of his life?

I mean if I got the chance of running a company of that size, in particular if I started it I wouldn't leave it voluntarily either. He's still in his 30s, what is he going to do with his time, play bridge?

I personally understand Zuckerberg or say Musk much more than Brin or Page. I couldn't retire when I'm barely 40 to sit on some yacht, I'd think I'd be wasting my life, money aside.

It's just a personality thing; your perspective mystifies me, and I suspect mine mystifies you. Playing bridge is the best you can think of? What about going to a top university to study and research something interesting with the potential to contribute to humanity? That would be so much more useful and less boring than running Facebook. The only one of these people that makes even a little bit of sense to me is Elon Musk; at least his vanity companies are ambitious.

I think the difference is the stability of their finances. Facebook is not nearly as big or inevitable as Google is.

I guess calling shots at Facebook is pretty unique experience and he likes it.

It must be at least a little enticing to be one of the most powerful people in the world. I don’t know what his true goals are, but that must contribute a little.

Do you realize 110b is not liquid assets? If he sold all his stock Facebook would plummet into oblivion

He can borrow against it and do whatever he wants while maintaining ownership. Whether that's a good idea is debatable.

Only for as much as he has present cash flow to pay for the loan. I'm sure he has quite a bit of that, but I highly doubt he has enough to take a loan for more than a fraction og his holding.

Awww, maybe he could only get $10B liquid.

He could sell 1b and keep 109b in illiquid assets

Gates still owns a lot of MSFT shares

Do you realize big trades don't happen in public markets all at once? Dark pools, private share sales, debt-equity swap are a thing.

>If he sold all his stock Facebook would plummet into oblivion

No, it wouldn't.

It's funny how Larry Page very much seems to like his privacy these days... after taking it from everyone else.

Come on, please don't post this sort of baity, unsubstantive, generic swipe to HN.

When someone's pre-existing agenda starts showing up in arbitrary ways like this in every conceivably relevant thread, it becomes a moderation issue.

Larry didn't take it from anyone. We gave it to him. He just monetized it.

You cannot give something away without realizing it. Google's collection of shadow data on people is not "Given" to them. Most people don't know when and how they collect it. I didn't "Give" Google data any more than I gave data to the guy who drove by my car and collected the plate number when I went to the store a few weeks ago.

Alternatively, data could be considered not to exist until it is collected. In this way Larry is neither stealing it nor are you giving it. I personally find this interpretation more compelling. Otherwise you'd get weird conclusions, like Darwin stealing evolution from nature, rather than being the creator of the idea and the data that supports it.

We're off in the weeds now.

The point here is that there was no agreement about this... or even knowledge about the collection of data. There was unilateral action on the part of Google/ Facebook to secretly create data collection points all over our lives.

The person I replied to suggested we volunteered this information to Google. Which is almost entirely untrue. Most people Google and Facebook track have zero knowledge they are being tracked.

I don't want to blame "most people". But had they read the agreements (!) and understood them (!!) they were told they were being tracked.

So I blame the people a bit, but I blame a media culture that didn't make it clear, and an educational system that prevented them from understanding what was happening.

While it may be true that what Google has become played a major role in taking everyone's privacy, I don't think it's fair to blame this on Larry. Much like Larry chose to remove himself from the public stage, so, too can we stop using Google products.

I realize it's a bit more complicated than this, but I'm not fond of your take here.

I’m of the opinion they definitely misled everyone to get users. Hey look at this! It’s FREE! Gmail, maps, youtube, all free! Not once did anyone ever say free except you must surrender all of your inner secrets first

They told what you they were collecting. It wasn't "all of your inner secrets", but it turns out that it's enough to infer what those probably are.

I mean I don't think that was the idea back in 2003, maybe I'm naive.

IIRC, Google's respect for privacy only took a significant downturn only once Page left the company.

Page still runs the company. He and Sergey have unassailable voting power over the board. The lack of official title not withstanding, they are still in charge.

this must be the classic Oxymoron in the dictionary!

Most of the sources that made Google a privacy eating beast didn't came from Larry, they came from: The market, The intelligence agencies(probably), and by people's own indifference.

With all the respect to Larry and Sergey, i'm sure they could have done very little to stop those forces, and if they've tried, some other company would have become "Google".

Notch is said to be a deeply unhappy person, or at least he was a few years ago. He also made a hard right-wing turn.



Please don't put ideological flamebait into HN threads like this. It leads to ideological flamewars.


(We've detached this thread from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=24376865).


The rest of us have a right to set ourselves apart from people who spread hate and ignorance, and if "the right" wants to identify itself with such views then that's a problem it created for itself. Equating racist, misogynist, paranoid insanity delivered 280 characters at a time with any sort of intellectually substantive "right-conservatism" is really a slur against all people who label themselves as the latter, but I guess when you're all tangled up in ideological confusion that kind of introspection gets very difficult.

While your argument may or may not have some merit generically, what the previous poster likely referred to is Notch's apparent belief in the PizzaGate and QAnon-conspieracies.

I'm of the opinion that Notch has kind of gone off the deep end, which makes me a bit sad. I'm not sure that money brought him the happiness he rightly should have gotten.

you're kindof proving his point though. Notch is "bad" because he believes in the "wrong" conspiracies, that all the trusted authority figures have ensured us are untrue. A few years ago the Epstein stuff would have been considered within the realm of wacky conspiracy theories, but it is receiving legitimate attention now.

Pizzagate and qanon stuff is all bs. They're not specific enough to ever be disproved, and when they are, they are summarily dis-proven. e.g. the guy who broke into Comet Ping Pong to save the kids, only to realize there are no kids.

Epstein was convicted in 2008 of procuring an underage girl for prostitution and of soliciting a prostitute. So, I don't think that anybody was surprised when it turned out he was still a pedophile a decade later.

All billionaires are right-wing. They uphold and embody social inequality. Whether they endorse rigid social divisions along cultural lines is just extra gravy.

Buffett for one is notably democrat leaning. Also Soros and others.

And Bezos and Bloomberg and...

Buffett calls himself a 'card carrying capitalist'. Have you looked at democrat policy in the past 4 years?

Democrats have yet to really propose abolishing capitalism, just taxing/regulating it a bit more usually.

Democrats are right wing by the standard that they uphold social inequality. They certainly market themselves as left-leaning, but if I had space and sufficient interest, I could easily discourse about the ways in which they are anything but.

Though by that standard most humans would be right wing.

Most politically visible Americans yes. People in other countries hold different perspectives, especially in former colonies. People that don't benefit from social inequality (i.e. the majority) are relatively easy to convince the system doesn't work for them.

>> All billionaires are right-wing.

Not sure about their beliefs. I suspect they just endorse the party most likely to give them a tax break. This may also explain why many are going against Trump - he's been telling the public they've been given a bad deal and he's spoken against some big pork behavior. Who knows what he might do. Biden OTOH seems business friendly enough.

That's kind of what I'm talking about. Social inequality and economic inequality are tightly intertwined.

Only if you consider everyone that does not support full on Authoritarian Communism "right wing", and allow for zero classic liberals, libertarians, and 100's other world views.

This is the problem with the narrative on the internet today, anyone that is not collectivist, is not full on Socialist must be "Right wing"

During the monarchy, liberals were left wing (the "radical republicans"). After they won, liberals became the defenders of the status quo and are thus the right wing. There are people further right that wish to roll the clock backwards.

The Radical Republicans refers to a group of anti-slavery congressmen in the 1800s up to, during, and after the American Civil War. There was no monarchy at the time.

That was one later instantiation. Republican radicalism was feared by the aristocracy in the 1700s-1800s. Perhaps they weren't uniformly called "radical" but republicanism was hated.

The group you're referring to was part of the "Republican Party" which was created after republicanism was victorious in the united states after the revolution. I'm not intimately familiar with the iconography around that period, but I would speculate that they were drawing on the old symbols of radicalism when creating that name.

>He also made a hard right-wing turn.

Is that problematic in and of itself?


Stop thinking thoughts I don’t like!!

He still believes in the QAnon and PizzaGate conspiracy. That is kind of “problematic”.

Unfortunately this doesn't seem as unfounded as I had initially thought: https://web.archive.org/web/20200118060902if_/https://twitte...

Yet I couldn't clearly claim that he does on the basis of this, as it's just confusing to me, no sure whether that's his flavor of irony. Do you have some more evidence to prove that he believes these things? I had previously seen him as weird and provocative, but not definitely right-wing.

It isn't problematic, just silly. There is no need to police other people's thoughts as long as they keep within the bounds of the law. He is even free to express those thoughts, within the bounds of the law, just like people are free to hollder 'death to America' during demonstrations in Oakland. One of the pillars of a well-functioning state is that things which are not forbidden by law are allowed. It might not be wise, it might not be smart, it might sound stupid (Qanon) or reprehensible (death to America) but it is allowed.

I'm confused, you started the argument off by claiming that spreading PizzaGate isn't problematic and then went into a series of arguments for why it should be legal? Can legal things not be problematic?

I'm confused by your confusion given the fact that I clearly stated that whatever someone says has to be within the bounds of the law. As far as I can see there is no room for confusion here, freedom of expression is bounded by certain laws which forbid a number of things. As long as you don't violate those laws you can say whatever you want.

Some people still think Trump is a Russian agent, on account of 3 years of conspiracy theories being promoted by the left wing media and their loyalists in the CIA and FBI. That's extremely problematic. QAnon and PizzaGate are fringe at best (and its not entirely clear how consequential they are), but probably half the country still does not realize that the Obama administration (and its loyalists) illegally spied on the Trump campaign, entrapped members of Trump admin (General Flynn), and did worse than Nixon could have ever dreamed of.

I'm not sure I understand your point?

People like to magnify fringe conspiracies while completely ignoring mainstream ones, when the mainstream ones are actually dangerous for democracy. The police power of government was leveraged against a political rival for explicit political reasons and no one has been punished for it. Extremely dangerous precedent.

Thta's not what was being discussed, though.

Yes, it's called a segue. Original topic was Larry Page and neither Q nor pizzagate have anything to do with him.

> A Microsoft spokesperson told Variety that the reason for his exclusion is the "comments and opinions" Persson has expressed on Twitter, saying that they "do not reflect those of Microsoft or Mojang, and are not representative of Minecraft."

Apparently you're only allowed to have freedom of speech if it fits in the tech left narrative. Show me an example of a extremist left person being denied access to a company event, let alone the founder of the company? Seems downright hypocritical to me.

I've met several people involved in union organizing at household name tech companies who have been disciplined by the companies they work for for exercising their "free speech" rights. You don't mean "tech left" here, you mean "liberal".

They're talking about the variety of "left" endorsed by tech companies; of course that doesn't include organizing unions.

organizing unions against your employer is not free speech. Mojang was on social media and got blacklisted (cancel culture), completely different.

It's actually an activity protected by law.

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