“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.
Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: In the future of “Unscaled”, AI will keep the rich different from you and me”
There’s never a good time to tell people about how their sausages are made, but Dana R. Fisher’s “Activism, Inc.” came out at just about the worst time possible for its message to be heard.
Part research, part hunchy anecdote, this short work is largely a post-mortem on the failures of paid, third-party canvassing operations, especially as connected to the Democratic Party and progressive Left that used them during the 2004 Presidential Election between John Kerry and George W. Bush.
Democrats relied on paid—but still highly intrinsically motivated—mostly young canvassers working out of temporary offices around the country to mobilize voters quickly. Meanwhile, Republicans tapped more permanent civic institutions for mobilizations, such as white evangelical churches.
For Democrats, Fisher concludes, “very few enduring connections remain at the local level after campaigns are concluded that can be used in the next campaign cycle”. Unlike volunteers, people who rely on wages to do election work can’t be expected to show up when the money isn’t there.
Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: “Activism, Inc.” and the sin of ideals procrastinated”
Just remain silent and understand you’re actually the empowered one.
I mean, maybe it’s actually this. To some extent, I understand that the underlying message is that “these people are angry” and that the use of “white male” as a scapegoat is just “the easiest tangible target for anger.”
However, when I feel specifically targeted, I can’t help but feel like it is in my personal self-interest to actively undermine movements that use this sort of rhetoric.
Assume for a moment reincarnation does exist and when you die, you’ll be reborn as a human again.
Without any guarantee of what your demographic characteristics would be, what sort of society would you want to live in?
Continue reading “‘As a white male, how can I be sympathetic to movements that demonize my being?’”