BOOK REVIEW: In the future of “Unscaled”, AI will keep the rich different from you and me

“The rich are different from you and me.”

“Yes, they have more money.”

No exchange like that between F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway ever took place, but it’s a lot more fun to imagine that it did. The initially curt put-down contains within it the germ of a much more intense concurrence the more you think about it.

Unscaled by Hemant Taneja, or “How AI and a New Generation of Upstarts Are Creating the Economy of the Future” manages to embody both readings of that exchange.

The multimillionaire venture capitalist’s book often reads like a literal vanity-press product, talking of its subjects as an excuse to brag about all of the occasions Taneja’s investments thus far have paid off. That includes investments you’ve heard of like the temporary-messages app Snapchat as well as those you probably haven’t, like the “consumer digital health company“, Livongo.

In that way, the experience of reading Unscaled is very much like anyone who’s ever been cornered at a house party by someone you’ve just met, quite sure everything they do will be as interesting for you to hear as it clearly is for them to recount.

But, the rich are different from you and me, and what interests Taneja versus what does not is almost like reading an alien species talk about the implications of technology for the future.

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BOOK REVIEW: We’ll be reading Zoë Quinn’s “Crash Override” to understand the Trump era for decades to come

In response to the recent Buzzfeed article about behind-the-scenes goings-on of Milo Yiannapoulus’ and Breitbart’s racism laundering, Washington Post journalist Philip Bump said, “An early chapter of every book documenting the Donald Trump era will be about Gamergate.”

If so, Zoë Quinn’s book Crash Override will be cited by nearly all of them as the autobiography of the person most affected by Gamergate and how she’s worked to defend everyone against online mobs since.

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Conversing with brave devil’s advocates in defense of creepy guys

Two comments threads in response to the above image on Faceyspace.

HUMAN 1:
Not trying to be a jerk, honest. But if you think a guy can date a guy, a girl can date a girl, a guy can say he’s a girl and date a guy or girl. Then why is age gap bad?

Up to a certain age, everyone is the equivalent of falling-down drunk in their decision-making.

Now, some people can hold their liquor better than others. And some people, even blitzed, might not think unkindly on their drunken hookup when sobered up.

Yet: This is in no way a justification for sober people trying to have sexual involvement with drunk people.

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‘Change isn’t good or bad. It’s just change.’

The other day, Twitter did a complete overhaul of their website in terms of appearance and functionality.

It rolled out gradually but suddenly: not everybody got it at once, but once they did, it was immediately and completely different.

I hated it at first, but I’ve gotten used to it now. It was actually an improvement, rather than just a change, I will grudgingly admit.

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It’s a good idea to put your name to (some of) what you say

The other day, oaoa.com made the switchover to a public comment system based, primarily, on the social media giant Facebook.

For the most part, I’m happy with it. As a practical matter, there have been less comments by volume, but the sound-to-noise ratio of what’s come in has been considerably higher; as people adjust to New Things, hopefully that will continue.

The shift represents the end of an era for the website, and may be part of the ongoing trend to “publicify” the Internet, largely because of social media.

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The cartoon virus makes the world a more colorful place

The other day, I realized I probably enjoy Facebook a little too much, or at least for the wrong reasons. The social network super giant makes it almost too easy to creep — or rather keep up with everyone you kinda sorta met one time. Or might someday.

But Facebook is a lovely thing, as much as it is a monster.

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