Favoriting Techtonic with Mark Hurst: Playlist from November 26, 2018 Favoriting

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Favoriting November 26, 2018: Jonathan Tepper, author, "The Myth of Capitalism"

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This week: Jonathan Tepper, author of The Myth of Capitalism: Monopolies and the Death of Competition

Relevant links:

• Twitter: @jtepper2

• Book site: mythofcapitalism.com

• Author site: jonathan-tepper.com

• See also: The Monopolization of America (NYT, Nov 25)

Recent News

• In the aftermath of Delay, Deny and Deflect: How Facebook’s Leaders Fought Through Crisis (NYT, Nov 14), Sandberg first categorically denied any knowledge or involvement in Facebook's anti-Semitic smear campaign against George Soros. Then, as the NYT's Nick Confessore, put it,...
On Thanksgiving eve, Fb dumps the internal memo version of a hostage video.
1) Outgoing Sandberg deputy Shrage takes fall for Definers.
2) Sandberg, who denied knowing Fb hired them, now acknowledges that Definers work product crossed her desk.
More in On Thanksgiving Eve, Facebook Acknowledges Details of Times Investigation (NYT, Nov 22).

• Jason Kint points out Facebook's PR strategy of dumping bad news before holidays:
11/21/18 Thxgiving eve - Soros memo dump
11/5/18 Election eve - Myanmar Report
12/22/17 Fri before Xmas - launches Russia propaganda check tool
11/22/17 Thxgiving eve - announces Russia check tool
4/14/17 Fri before Easter - disclose purge millions of fake accounts
Break up Facebook (and while we're at it, Google, Apple and Amazon), writes Robert Reich (Guardian, Nov 20): "America responded to the Gilded Age’s abuses of corporate power with antitrust laws that allowed the government to break up the largest concentrations. ... It is time to use antitrust again. We should break up the hi-tech behemoths, or at least require they make their proprietary technology and data publicly available and share their platforms with smaller competitors."

Easiest Fix for Facebook: Break It Up, writes Joe Nocera (Bloomberg.com, Nov 21): Facebook is "a monopoly, having either bought or crushed most potential competitors. It stifles innovation; as my Bloomberg Opinion colleague Noah Smith noted recently, potential startups can’t get capital if venture capitalists think they might wind up as Facebook roadkill. (Such companies are said to be in Facebook’s 'kill zone.')"

Embattled and in over his head, Mark Zuckerberg should — at least — step down as Facebook chairman (Washington Post, Nov 19): "Although Zuckerberg often says the right words ('I started this place, I run it. I’m responsible for what happened here'), his behind-the-scenes behavior tells another story: The buck never seems to stop with Zuckerberg, despite his immense and closely held power."

Here’s How To Finally Fix Facebook: Barry Lynn of the Open Markets Institute writes (Nov 16): "It’s vital for the U.S. government to begin immediately to restructure the corporation. This is not a matter simply of replacing Mark Zuckerberg as CEO. Nor a matter only of adopting new national privacy rules, as Europe did earlier this year. What the government must do now is fundamentally alter how Facebook earns its money. The advertising-based revenue model must go."

This would be a good day to delete your Facebook account, writes Keith Olbermann, reacting to this Guardian piece about Parliament seizing Facebook documents at a London hotel.

Do You Have a Moral Duty to Leave Facebook? (NYT, Nov 24): Yes. "Facebook can be time-consuming and addictive... Facebook use can worsen depression and anxiety... Facebook has played a significant role in undermining democratic values around the world. For example, Facebook has been used to spread white supremacist propaganda and anti-Semitic messages in and outside the United States. The United Nations has blamed Facebook for the dissemination of hate speech against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar that resulted in their ethnic cleansing. Facebook also enabled the political data firm Cambridge Analytica to harvest the personal information of millions of voters in the United States... Some people might think that because they mostly share photos of their cats on Facebook, such concerns do not apply to them. But this is not so."

To delete your Facebook account, go to deletefacebook.com. While you're at it, get off of Gmail and Google Search, too! See nomoregoogle.com.

Wanted: The ‘perfect babysitter.’ Must pass AI scan for respect and attitude. (Washington Post, Nov 23): "Predictim, an online service that uses 'advanced artificial intelligence' to assess a babysitter’s personality, aimed its scanners at one candidate’s thousands of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts. The system offered an automated 'risk rating' of the 24-year-old woman, saying she was at a 'very low risk' of being a drug abuser. But it gave a slightly higher risk assessment — a 2 out of 5 — for bullying, harassment, being 'disrespectful' and having a 'bad attitude.' The system didn’t explain why it had made that decision."

Data could be what Ford sells next as it looks for new revenue (Nov 13): "Ford CEO Jim Hackett gave a glimpse into what sounds like a potentially massive data mining plan... 'We have 100 million people in vehicles today that are sitting in Ford blue-oval vehicles. That’s the case for monetizing opportunity versus an upstart who maybe has, I don’t know, what, they got 120, or 200,000 vehicles in place now. And so just compare the two stacks: Which one would you like to have the data from? ... 'The issue in the vehicle, see, is: We already know and have data on our customers. By the way, we protect this securely; they trust us... We know what people make. How do we know that? It’s because they borrow money from us. And when you ask somebody what they make, we know where they work, you know. We know if they’re married. We know how long they’ve lived in their house because these are all on the credit applications. We’ve never ever been challenged on how we use that. And that’s the leverage we got here with the data."

You Snooze, You Lose: Insurers Make The Old Adage Literally True (ProPublica, Nov 21): "Millions of sleep apnea patients rely on CPAP breathing machines to get a good night’s rest. Health insurers use a variety of tactics, including surveillance, to make patients bear the costs. Experts say it’s part of the insurance industry playbook."

The Next Data Mine Is Your Bedroom: Google wants to scan your clothing and listen to you brush your teeth (The Atlantic, Nov 17): In a new Google patent, "Google imagines devices that would scan and analyze the surroundings of your home, then offer you content based on what they detect. According to the patent, the smart cameras in such a device could, for example, recognize Will Smith’s face on a T-shirt on the floor of a user’s closet. After matching this analysis against your browser history, the device might then say aloud, 'You seem to like Will Smith. His new movie is playing in a theater near you.'"
... but it's not just Google: "Just this month, the insurance company United Healthcare began partnering with employers to offer free Apple Watches to those who hit certain fitness goals. Insurers might also offer benefits to residents whose homes prove their fitness or brand loyalty—and punish those who don’t. Health insurers could use data from the kitchen as a proxy for eating habits, and adjust their rates accordingly. Landlords could use occupancy sensors to see who comes and goes, or watch for photo evidence of pets. Life-insurance companies could penalize smokers caught on camera. Online and in person, consumers are often asked to weigh privacy against convenience and personalization: A kickback on utilities or insurance payments may thumb the scales in Google’s favor."

Facebook Filed A Patent To Predict Your Household's Demographics Based On Family Photos (BuzzFeed News, Nov 15): "The social media giant didn’t specify exactly what kind of demographic information its proposed system would predict, other than the number of people in a household, but its data policy specifies that demographics could include gender and age. The application makes clear that the information is intended to help Facebook target advertising more effectively: 'Existing solutions of content delivery to a target household are not effective ... Without such knowledge of a user’s household features, most of the content items that are sent to the user are poorly tailored to the user and are likely ignored by the user.'"

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  Interview with Jonathan Tepper    
0:21:42 (Pop-up)
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Listener comments!

Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:02pm ultradamno:

Hello Mark! Techtonerverts!
Avatar 🤖 6:02pm Bas NL:

Hi Mark and Techtofobians!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:02pm listener james from westwood:

Well, let's just see what sort of reading list there is this wee—hotchie-motchie, that's gotta be a record!!
  6:02pm melinda:

Hello Techtons
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:04pm ultradamno:

Another big tech guy interview on HBO's Axios yesterday. Musk talking about AI.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:04pm queems:

  6:04pm melinda:

@James I'm on the app and have no idea what you're talking about but it sounds intriguing.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:04pm listener james from westwood:

Rents already going up in LIC. Insider buyers snagging condos.
  6:05pm seedfriend:

Yes tectonic!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:06pm listener james from westwood:

@melinda: On the show page, below the playlist, there is one mother-huge mother lode of linked stories with outstanding excerpts. Def. worth a look-see once you're at a desktop browser.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:06pm Webhamster Henry:

T-ecch-tonics <<< MAD Magazine
  6:07pm Roland from Australia:

Yeah you were fired up last week
Avatar 6:08pm TDK60:

Hello, here but gotta run in/outta the room...may hafta check archives later...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:17pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

Just Shared this on facebook
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:18pm queems:

i'm not ready to delete my instagram yet but i know i should
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:19pm mrdonutsu:

Did it actually refer to the babysitters only using female gender?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:20pm dale:

experian knows all that too.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:21pm annie:

hey!!!! i like this show! who are you!? where did you come from?! ... i'm a fan!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:22pm Webhamster Henry:

Years and years ago, GM admitted it makes lots more from it's financing than its manufacturing. It's like Movie theatres, which are really candy shops.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:22pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

Heard some program speculating - if (for example) they know you buy felt feet for your furniture - you are a careful person & your Credit score might be better...Oh - was it here??
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:23pm ultradamno:

Oh, this sleep apnea machine thing is particularly diabolical
Avatar 6:23pm TDK60:

"They know everything about you at Data Control" -Husker Du, 1982.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:23pm queems:

oh hell no
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:23pm Fuzzy:

What queems said.
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:23pm chresti:

Never! Too creepy!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:24pm listener james from westwood:

And as often happens, re: the CPAP thing, the Simpsons got there first: www.youtube.com...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:24pm Webhamster Henry:

Do we want annoying ad "avatar friends" butting in your life to upsell you?
Avatar 6:24pm βrian:

Soon they'll be selling faraday cage baggies to keep about the household.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:24pm dale:

I've miles
And miles
Of files
Pretty files of your forefather's fruit
And now to suit our
Great computer,
You're magnetic ink.

moody blues - 1969
  6:24pm herb.nyc:

I do have a surveillance device. But I'm not worried, I bought a second one to watch the first one!
  6:24pm Daybreak, sneaking in a break!:

Progressive Car insurance ADVERTISES you the opportunity to have a Chip installed in your computer to track your driving habits and lower your insurance for what they deem as safe driving.

They’ve advertised this in radio advertisements for the last several years.

I’m sure the argument is you can use your data to save money. But as Mark always talks about nothing is free.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:24pm queems:

@dale i'm more than that. at least, i think i must be
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:25pm chresti:

I don't have anything they want, that is $$$
Avatar 🤖 6:25pm Bas NL:

Tim Berners-Lee for president!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:26pm dale:

there you go queems! keep as cool as you seems!
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:26pm chresti:

haha herb!
  6:27pm Daybreak, the off duty teacher.:

Hey Queems, Dale and other Glisteners! Are we Tech-nisners here?
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:28pm chresti:

Avatar 6:28pm geezerette:

Regulated capitalism is fine. That's not what we're living under.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:29pm dale:

i only have access to dsl. unless i got cable tv, which i don't want.
  6:29pm COLINfromvictoriabritishcolumbiacanada:

Great show
Avatar 6:29pm geezerette:

Amazon is a zombie vampire.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:30pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

They rant about a Free Market when 1/10th of 1% own more than the rest of us. After the Great Recession even. Madness.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:30pm dale:

what's a technisner daybreak? i'm a somewhat connected luddite.
  6:31pm Eugene R.:

But in our Utopian high-tech, AI-run future, all the ills of capitalism will ... remain, as UC Berkeley found out when they discovered that African-American and Latino-American on-line mortgage shoppers get charged higher rates than Euro-Americans, just like in-person shoppers: https://www.courant.com/consumer/hc-ls-bias-online-minority-borrowers-20181125-story.html
Avatar 6:31pm geezerette:

Free for THEM.
Avatar 6:31pm TDK60:

I would say capitalism is totally flawed, either more competitive, or more monopolized, or state capitalism.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:34pm dale:

this reminds me of the great show here by douglas rushkoff.
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:37pm chresti:

why does google want to listen to me brushing my teeth? Can't they focus on useful technology that helps humanity?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:38pm Mark Hurst:

Hi everyone, thanks for the good comments!
@chresti - it's their business model - Growth At Any Cost. they must use their surveillance devices to extract valuable data (audio, in this case) wherever they can
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:40pm melinda:

@James I've logged in now,I think it was the phrase hotchie-motchie that had me intrigued.
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:40pm chresti:

There's something juvenile about developing ways to spy on ...hey! what about "smart" toilets? EEEW!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:41pm melinda:

@chresti gross! but it seems like the direction things are going in.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:41pm annie:

@Dale: yep i was thinking the same thing; and i stillfollow him,too. dave emory as well.
  6:42pm mary:

mrdonotsu- same thought, were only females studied re fitness for babysitting?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:43pm Mark Hurst:

@mary @mrdonutsu - yes, I was just using "she" as shorthand given that the story went to an example of a female babysitter.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:43pm annie:

someone recommended "StartPage" to me as an alternative to DuckDuckGo....i was NOT impressed... i'll stickwith DDG
  6:44pm JakeGould:

Technically speaking, stores like Radio Shack in the 1990s asking for phone numbers are the same as Facebook and Google collecting data. Anyway, deleting one’s Facebook, Instagram or Google account is a naive way of dealing with this. The real issue is big data and the ease at which data can be crunched compared to the past.

Big data is the “enemy” but it’s like nuclear technology: it’s not inherently bad or good, but it’s being used in questionable ways.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:44pm dale:

what about those people who get nest cameras linked to their wifi? you KNOW anyone on the other end can hack in to it and know when you leave the house or where you hide the spare key.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:45pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

I always say the Bill of Rights didn't extend to Digital.
It's your Data
...but it's not YOUR Data...
  6:45pm JakeGould:

@dale: To be fair, ALL internet enabled cameras can be hacked. And most often are. That is the sad reality. It stinks.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:46pm Webhamster Henry:

I have a special phone number that I give out now; if I get calls on it, I know it is probably junk.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:47pm Mark Hurst:

@JakeGould I wouldn't say it's "naive" - thoughtful case made in the NYT here www.nytimes.com...
  6:47pm mary:

not on fb or instagram .
will you remind us what email service to use? I have to get off google even though I perceive gmail to be convenient. love your show!
Avatar 6:47pm βrian:

@WH: How does that work? Can you alias a fake number to a real one?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:47pm Mark Hurst:

@mary - thanks - FastMail.com or ProtonMail.com
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:47pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

Steve Jobs bio: When he was a kid - he turned his parents' phono speakers into microphones...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:48pm annie:

phone numbers are now "hijacked" in order to place garbage calls from telemarketers. i called one once and the people i called had NO idea that their phone was being used for that.
  6:48pm JakeGould:

@Mark: Yeah, but when Facebook goes away, social media is not going to die. Neither is the ability to crunch data and profile people based on data.
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:49pm Ken From Hyde Park:

Good evening, Mark and tech-nots. How is social engineering going in China? www.wired.com... The articles quotes last week's guest Frank Pasquale.
  6:49pm JakeGould:

@Annie: Phone number spoofing is pretty common and easy to do. Not saying that it is right, but phone numbers are kinda silly nowadays.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:49pm Mark Hurst:

@JakeGould true the data-genie is out of the bottle. but at least we can shut down the worst business model & change the incentives - see Barry Lynn's piece on the importance of the model - www.thedailybeast.com...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:50pm annie:

@Jake: i'm finding that out...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:50pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

(In England w/ the Monarchy - 'Anarchist' is the big swear word. Here it's 'Commie'...)
Avatar 🤖 6:51pm Bas NL:

Thanks Jonathan Tepper!
Avatar 6:51pm Fox:

That was a fascinating interview.
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:51pm chresti:

  6:52pm herb.nyc:

I'd like to shake yr hand, Mr Tepper. Very inspiring childhood story.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:52pm annie:

wow....i like this show!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:53pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

Every conversation comes down to the Price Tag.
But...that would cost too much...
But what if we change the Market so it doesn't?
...But...that would cost too much...
  6:53pm JakeGould:

@Mark: The subhead on that piece reads, “The government tamed AT&T into behaving like a utility.” Hahahahah! That is laughable! Really? The Ma Bell breakup only divided the Bell System into a short while and then it all reformed. Verizon, anyone?
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:54pm chresti:

Beware of Geeks bearing gifts!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:54pm Webhamster Henry:

@RRabbitt'53 The rich are just not rich enough, don't you know!
  6:55pm Jonathan Tepper:

Thanks to all who llistened. I'm sorry I didn't join the comments until late. I hope you liekd it. I'm on Twitter as @jtepper2 and always enjoy coments and interactions.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:55pm Webhamster Henry:

@chresti - Beware of geeks bearing gifs!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:55pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

“We all too often have socialism for the rich and rugged free market capitalism for the poor.”

― Martin Luther King Jr.
Avatar 6:55pm TDK60:

..growth at any cost is capitalist.
Avatar 6:55pm geezerette:

A carousel of Trojan horses,Chresti.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:56pm melinda:

@chresti indeed.
Great interview, Mark and Jonathan!
@Rabbit true
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:56pm annie:

the only time i saw a good outcome from GPS in a car is when a man was tracked by his wife...he ended up killing the babysitter on a moutain top, and the gps is what led the cops to the site
  6:56pm JakeGould:

And I will say this: If there were a realistic way to control data collection like this, I am all for it. But I don’t see dumping social media accounts as being an effective way to do this. It makes you feel good, but it doesn’t change the fact you will be profiled in some way.
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:56pm chresti:

Hah! Webhamster!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:57pm annie:

agreed, jake
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:57pm listener james from westwood:

Thanks, Mark!
Avatar 🤖 6:58pm Bas NL:

Would be good to identify clients of big data. Who's buying?
  6:58pm JakeGould:

@Annie: And Jamal Khashoggi’s iWatch is what recorded the sounds of his murder. But having that evidence did what? Not much.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:58pm annie:

yes, thanks mark!
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:58pm chresti:

Avatar 🤖 6:58pm Bas NL:

Thanks Mark!
Avatar 6:59pm geezerette:

what they said!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 7:00pm Mark Hurst:

Thanks, everyone!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 7:01pm Mark Hurst:

@Jonathan Tepper - thanks for joining in!
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