Options Techtonic with Mark Hurst: Playlist from February 24, 2020 Options

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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.

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Mon. Jun 1st, 6pm - 7pm: Ryan Walsh, of Hallelujah The Hills, on the Open AI Jukebox (More info...)

Options February 24, 2020: Rana Foroohar, author, "Don't Be Evil: How Big Tech Betrayed Its Founding Principles – And All Of Us"

Listen to this show: MP3 - 128K |  Pop‑up player!



Tonight: Rana Foroohar, author, Don't Be Evil: How Big Tech Betrayed Its Founding Principles - And All Of Us

Rana Foroohar (website)

Don't Be Evil (Rana's book on Indiebound)

Recent tech news:

Coronavirus global tracking map from Johns Hopkins

IRS sues Facebook for $9B, says company offshored profits to Ireland (Fox Business, Feb 18): "The IRS argues that Facebook understated the value of the intellectual property it sold to an Irish subsidiary in 2010 . . . From 2010 to 2016, Facebook Ireland paid Facebook U.S. more than $14 billion in royalties and cost-sharing payments, according to the court filing."

• Google continues to knowingly profit from hosting, displaying, and RECOMMENDING videos of murder on YouTube. Father of slain journalist Alison Parker takes on YouTube over alleged refusal to remove graphic videos (Washington Post, Feb 20): "Eric Feinberg, vice president of the Coalition for a Safer Web, said he has presented his solutions to YouTube. 'There's no incentive for them to do it' because of the site's massive profitability, Feinberg said. Google does not report YouTube's annual earnings, but Google itself reported revenue of $160.7 billion in 2019."

"Feinberg said using key data points — in Parker's case her name, her station’s name and words like 'shooting' or 'killing' — would enable YouTube to remove not only existing videos but also to stop or flag potentially offensive videos for review before they are posted. Instead, Feinberg said, YouTube uses 'algorithm amplification' to suggest one video after another that are related to the ones being watched, supplying a steady stream of content related, at least initially, to the first videos. Feinberg said that after he watched about 20 videos of the Parker shooting, YouTube began recommending other versions of the event to him."

July 22, 2019 Techtonic featured footage of hearings on YouTube and other Big Tech companies.

• Meantime, YouTube Gaming's Most-Watched Videos Are Dominated by Scams and Cheats (Wired, Feb 18): "YouTube is littered with bot-driven videos promising big in-game riches—that also try to steal your personal information."

Google Resists Demands From States in Digital-Ad Probe (WSJ, Feb 21): Google reports to be defying efforts of 48 state AGs to investigate its anticompetitive behavior. “It’s the Google playbook—stall, stonewall, deflect and deny, because they are afraid the public will finally get the truth.” (via Jason Kint)

Terry Clague writes (Twitter, Feb 13): "My 8yr old's school wants me to sign a two page 'participant release' contract which grants Goooogle unrestricted global access to his voice, image, persona, etc. Would you sign this?"

- - -

Check out techtonic.fm for recent Techtonic interviews and Little Slice of Tech Pie segments.

PODCAST: Subscribe to the Techtonic podcast

Artist Track Images Approx. start time
  Rana Foroohar, author, "Don't Be Evil: How Big Tech Betrayed Its Founding Principles - And All Of Us"
Tomaš Dvořák  Game Boy Tune   Options
Options
 
  Mark's intro  
Options
 
  Interview with Rana Foroohar  
Options
0:21:44 (MP3 | Pop‑up)
  Your comments  
Options
0:49:34 (MP3 | Pop‑up)
The Hood Internet  1980, by Steve Reidell   Options
Options
0:55:54 (MP3 | Pop‑up)


Listener comments!

Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:00pm ultradamno:

Hi Mark! Techsplorables!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:01pm ultradamno:

Oooh, I'm with the rollerzombies!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:01pm Handy Haversack:

Hi, Mark and all the Teching Points! Tech Gin is poured: bring on the Tonic!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:02pm brainiac:

I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell, "Techtonic with Mark Hurst!"
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:02pm Ken From Hyde Park:

"Why, you green-blooded ... !"
  6:02pm melinda:

Howdy
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:02pm Bas NL:

Hi Mark! Hi Techbetrayedtonicals!
  6:02pm David in London:

Hello Techniks.
  6:03pm Dave Miss:

Let’s not be evil. Unless we all make billions is dollars.
Avatar 6:08pm Mayuko:

Hi Mark and all!
  6:10pm John from Florham park:

Hello fellow technoids
Avatar 6:10pm Fredericks:

I like the meme.
  6:12pm Dave Miss:

And happy Lundi/Mardi Gras!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:15pm Handy Haversack:

"Duty" -- what a concept.
Avatar 6:15pm Fredericks:

I remember this clearly.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:16pm ultradamno:

It's the you do all the work, we reap all the rewards You Tube mode.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:16pm ultradamno:

...in esp. cruel form.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:17pm ultradamno:

(err., model)
Avatar 6:17pm coelacanth∅:

and still several wfmu show hosts play songs over the air directly from youboob
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:18pm Granny Spicy Tuna (e/em):

UGH
  6:19pm queems:

this is some wild shit
  6:19pm P-90:

“Recommended for you: More Parker shooting”
  6:20pm carrots:

right on mark!
  6:21pm ?:

I saw that video on YouTube . . It was a very strange video . .
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:21pm Granny Spicy Tuna (e/em):

uh oh
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:22pm Ken From Hyde Park:

"Don't be evil" >/dev/null
  6:22pm John from Florham park:

This is the kind of stuff that makes me want to go on a tropical island and to say hell with the internet
  6:22pm queems:

great job youtube
  6:22pm John from Florham park:

@Queems NOT
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:23pm Fox:

Hey, Mark! I'm curious if you are aware of the whole Onision saga?

He's a youtuber from the beginning, who has long been embroiled with scandals involving being inappropriate to underage women. and YouTube won't take any action to penalize him, even though his Patreon and Instagram have been taken down. Chris Hansen of To Catch a Predator fame has started investigating Onision, and for months now, at the end of each interview, Hansen asks the woman who heads YouTube to come and speak to him.

The forbidden words, like "predator" can't be said lest videos get demonized (how does someone post a documentary about lions?!), and yet, this Onision guy was posting images of 15 year olds and rating them with utter impunity.
  6:24pm ignatatus666:

YouTube is a video monopoly
There is no alternative
Once you upload to YouTube they own the rights to do whatever they want with that content as does FB when you upload pictures etc.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:24pm ultradamno:

And has been pointed out many times, they can police nudity and explicit pornography. They do it constantly. So they absolutely could fix these situations if they didn't choose not to.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:25pm Ken From Hyde Park:

@me@6:22 - (Google's motto, not the guest's book)
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:26pm Mark Hurst:

Hi all, thanks for joining the chat this evening!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:26pm Mark Hurst:

@Fox thanks, hadn't heard about Onision
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:27pm Mark Hurst:

@ultradamno - true, these fixes are well within their capacity. They just refuse to do it & will likely continue to refuse any action until & unless they are forced to make a change...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:28pm Mark Hurst:

@Mayuko, thanks for joining! Nice to see you.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:28pm Mark Hurst:

@brainiac: "We're not gonna take it any longer!"
  6:29pm jumana:

If Google can use choice architecture to improve how their employees eat, then they can use choice architecture to improve the way they build their products so that they "do no harm" and protect humanity
  6:29pm queems:

does anyone remember the search engine froogle or did i invent that in a dream when i was 15
  6:31pm Jessica:

Hi. Thank you for discussing this issue. As a parent of two children, 10 and 7 years old. Over the ten years of being a parent, I've come to realize that the people I am blessed to help me raise my children (grandparents, family and friends) really don't understand how to monitor the content my children watch while in their care. Even with all my repeated directions, they still allow them to watch commercials and sit on Youtube for long enough periods of time to be auto-played to inappropriate content.
As adults, we all must learn the art of editing. I've even explained this to my children, to make them aware of what they are watching, learning, exposed to and digest. We must use our money to cast our real vote$. Thank you.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:33pm Mark Hurst:

@queems yes froogle was a shopping-oriented search feature that Google launched. There's an interesting story about how a UK couple's startup (shopping search engine) was downlisted in Google results around the time Froogle launched. =more egregious anticompetitive behavior
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:34pm Mark Hurst:

@Jumana, thanks for joining! I agree, choice architecture is eminently useful & available - Google just seems not to want to make any significant improvements.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:34pm Handy Haversack:

To her point that we need all these voices: Moreover, any voice of dissent that can actually reach people and point out that the existence of Google, Big Tech, all of it is *contingent* -- it doesn't have to be, and it doesn't have to be this way.

Because the other edge of that sword is when Google can make more money doing something *else* with everyone's e-mail or videos and Gmail and Youtube or whatever other product just disappear. Because, again, we are not the users. We are the product.
  6:35pm queems:

@mark YIKES
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:35pm Mark Hurst:

@Jessica good point, totally agreed - *never* let kids watch YouTube unsupervised (if in fact they're allowed to watch YT at all)
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:37pm Mark Hurst:

@Handy, true. The anticompetitive issue is not just a minor business issue: it actually, as you point out, prevents other ideas/companies/products/voices from thriving. We're losing an immense amount of potential good tech because Google actively snuffs out good ideas when it sees people trying them out.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:38pm brainiac:

Well said @Handy. Reminds me of this -->en.wikipedia.org... Just replace 'television' with 'google'
  6:40pm jumana:

And surveillance in schools! absurd. terrifying
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:41pm ultradamno:

Speaking of kids, I brought this up during Daniel Blumin's talkback on Fri. I saw this Amazon Fire tablet on sale for $100-120 at a supermarket and was flabbergasted, beyond even the wider implications, that anyone is buying this kind of tech for little kids o.aolcdn.com...
  6:41pm Jessica:

Why is it we cannot block content on sites like Netflix, YouTube? If there is a low quality content video--I should be able to block the channel/user/movie/show.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:42pm ultradamno:

And Jake Gould posted a link to this monstrosity b3h2.scene7.com...$690$&wid=690&hei=690
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:42pm Mark Hurst:

@ultra good point. And no need for even $100, as Google (or is it Amazon?) is giving away surveillance devices for *free* to New Yorkers.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:43pm Handy Haversack:

@Mark, that reminds me! Did you read the SF novel _Infinite Detail_? It's a post final-hack future when the entire internet has been shut down, and just far enough into the future that all the cities were "smart" and all the car self-driving -- so recovery was that much harder. The author might be an interesting guest for you? Tim Maughan.
  6:44pm queems:

still devastated about fitbit + google
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:45pm Mark Hurst:

@Handy, I interviewed Tim Maughan about "Infinite Detail" last November: www.wfmu.org... ... enjoy!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:45pm Ken From Hyde Park:

Amazon has started mowing down trees in Orange County for a new warehouse. www.poughkeepsiejournal.com... Enjoy your $20.5M tax break, Bezos.
Avatar 6:45pm coelacanth∅:

Mark (@6.42) google
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:45pm chresti:

Insurance companies can raise the rates based on what a sticker tells them?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:46pm Mark Hurst:

@coel thx
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:46pm Handy Haversack:

Well, good! Jeez, where was I? Will check in the archives, @Mark. And I will do better research!
  6:46pm jumana:

this is one of the reasons I hate the metaphor of needing to "win the AI race" - this is not the olympics
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:46pm Mark Hurst:

@Handy No worries, it was a good suggestion!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:46pm chresti:

Or a watch?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:46pm Mark Hurst:

@Jumana good point, I hadn't thought of it that way
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:47pm Mark Hurst:

@chresti they'll use any surveillance sensor they can - tho preferably they'll use fusion to collate data from multiple devices.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:47pm Mark Hurst:

(preferably for *them*, that is)
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:48pm Mark Hurst:

@queems true - fitbit is absolute google feeder now
Avatar 6:49pm coelacanth∅:

my nephew is hoping for a job with gobble within a year or 2, and he'll probably get it.
he thinks google is benevolent and thinks apple also works hard to protect your privacy...but not as hard as google.
  6:49pm John from Florham park:

I refuse to use an Apple Watch it a Fitbit
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:50pm Mark Hurst:

@coel inbound resumes & job apps to G have apparently risen quite a bit in the past year or two.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:50pm melinda:

@coel yikes
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:50pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

AntiCompetitive.
Imagine we had choices for Tech here...
No Digital Free Market.
No Digital Rights for Individuals.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:52pm chresti:

ft.com/content/42f6b93c-54a4-11ea-8841-482eed0038b1

Facebook offering to pay 5 bucks to users for their voice recordings
Avatar 6:52pm geezerette:

We've got a dictator now. How do we turn things around when democracy is grievously ill?
Avatar 6:52pm coelacanth∅:

in one way i hope he gets it because i think (hope) once he's on the inside he'll eventually see what's going on. he has a great capacity for objectivity.
...that's all i can do. he thinks i'm just a crazy "conspiracy theorist".
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:52pm Handy Haversack:

I'm about to start stirring and frying, but once again, Mark, THANK YOU for the absolutely invaluable service you give for all of us. Your show is crucial, and I encourage everyone I know to listen -- past the point of annoying them!
  6:53pm P-90:

Another solid interview. Now I want her book.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:54pm chresti:

Thanks Mark!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:54pm melinda:

Thanks Mark! @Handy I try to turn people on to Techtonic as well.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:55pm Handy Haversack:

It's the good fight, @melinda.
  6:56pm John from Florham park:

@P-90 put the book on hold at the library
  6:56pm jumana:

@mark great show!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:56pm Denis down under:

Thanks for the show, Mark. And ditto, John: reservation placed at my library, too.
Avatar 6:57pm coelacanth∅:

Thanks Mark! Thanks Rana!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:57pm chresti:

I think AI is controlling Google
Avatar 6:57pm geezerette:

Thanks Mark! {:(
  6:57pm John from Florham park:

@Denis cool
  6:58pm P-90:

Mark + Mary will be awesome
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:58pm Bas NL:

Thanks Mark!
  6:58pm John from TX:

I have a whole shelf of books from Mark's guests.. Good to support these folks... Plenty of good reading, even if it seems we are still in the 'problem' phase, as the 'solutions' seem a bit in the future still. Great work Mark!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:59pm Ken From Hyde Park:

You matter! Don't give up!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 7:00pm Mark Hurst:

Thanks, everybody, for your encouragement! Really appreciate it. Hope to see you here next week!
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