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Conversations with creators and thinkers who are charting the way forward in a tech-saturated society. Tech, community, video games, and whatever else is next.
Tonight: Cook, Khan, crypto, Christie's, corona complicity... and Pink Floyd.
Last week ("Cupertino, Cuban, crypto, Cadence, Cena, China, and calling cicadas") I ran out of time, so I'm extending it to this week: crypto FOR REAL this time, as well as a bunch of other C's. And Pink Floyd.
• Stacey Mitchell, today: "This week the House Judiciary will vote on legislation to break up & regulate Amazon. A yes vote backs open markets governed by democratic rules where any business can compete on the merits. A no vote, on the other hand, allows Amazon to continue as a private regulator of online commerce, dictating which businesses can reach customers and the price they must pay to do so. Only a breakup can remove Amazon’s incentive and ability to use its gatekeeper power to self-deal & undermine competitors. Otherwise, Amazon will continue to use the tactics we detail in this factsheet to exploit & hobble independent businesses."
• Biden Names Lina Khan, a Big-Tech Critic, as F.T.C. Chair (NYT, June 15, 2021): "Ms. Khan, who first attracted notice as a critic of Amazon, was confirmed by the Senate as a commissioner on the agency on Tuesday."
• Roger Waters at the People's Forum (June 12, 2021), in favor of Julian Assange and against Zuck and Facebook/Instagram.
• U.S. Seizes Share of Ransom From Hackers in Colonial Pipeline Attack (NYT, June 6), prompting Ted Frank to ask: "If sophisticated hackers can’t launder Bitcoin proceeds from an illegal criminal conspiracy without the government “reaching into a digital wallet” to seize them, I’m very confused what the use case is for cryptocurrency. It’s not a stable store of value. It’s not more efficient than electronic transfers of fiat money. Huge social deadweight loss. The one comparative advantage seemed to be the questionable “avoiding government scrutiny”, but if USDOJ can do this with a warrant, imagine CCP power."
• "#Bitcoin is a swarm of cyber hornets serving the goddess of wisdom, feeding on the fire of truth, exponentially growing ever smarter, faster, and stronger behind a wall of encrypted energy." - Michael Saylor, September 2020.
• Pumping up the worthless with NFTs (by me on Creative Good, March 12)
• Finally, the classic definition of Bitcoin:
|Artist||Track||Album||Label||Images||Approx. start time|
|Cook, Khan, and a crypto explainer. Also, Pink Floyd.|
|Tomaš Dvořák||Game Boy Tune||Machinarium Soundtrack||No label|
|Mark's comments||0:45:17 (MP3 | Pop‑up)|
|Roger Waters at People's Forum||0:49:14 (MP3 | Pop‑up)|
|Andy Rehfeldt||Can't Touch This / Tiny Dancer (Andy Rehfeldt mashup)||None||None|