Notes From An Emergency

A talk from the re:publica conference in Berlin:

The good part about naming a talk in 2017 ‘Notes from an Emergency’ is that there are so many directions to take it. The emergency I want to talk about is the rise of a vigorous ethnic nationalism in Europe and America. This nationalism makes skillful use of online tools, tools that we believed inherently promoted freedom, to advance an authoritarian agenda.

Playboy Interview: Steven Jobs

Steve Jobs, age 29.

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"It’s often the same with any new, revolutionary thing. People get stuck as they get older. Our minds are sort of electrochemical computers. Your thoughts construct patterns like scaffolding in your mind. You are really etching chemical patterns. In most cases, people get stuck in those patterns, just like grooves in a record, and they never get out of them. It’s a rare person who etches grooves that are other than a specific way of looking at things, a specific way of questioning things. It’s rare that you see an artist in his 30s or 40s able to really contribute something amazing. Of course, there are some people who are innately curious, forever little kids in their awe of life, but they’re rare."

The iEconomy (Pt. 1-7)

The complete (to date) New York Times series on the globalization of high tech industries.

  1. 1. How the U.S. Lost Out on iPhone Work (by Charles Duhigg & Keith Bradsher, Jan 2012)

  2. 2. In China, Human Costs Are Built Into an iPad (by Charles Duhigg & David Barboza, Jan 2012)

  3. 3. How Apple Sidesteps Billions in Taxes (by Charles Duhigg & David Kocienewski, Apr 2012)

  4. 4. Apples Retail Army, Long on Loyalty but Short on Pay (by David Segal, Jun 2012)

  5. 5. In Pursuit of Nissan, a Jobs Lesson for the Tech Industry? (by Bill Vlasic, Hiroko Tabuchi & Charles Duhigg, Aug 2012)

  6. 6. Skilled Work, Without the Worker (by John Markoff, Aug 2012)

  7. 7. The Patent, Used as a Sword (by Charles Duhigg & Steve Lohr, Oct 2012)

Outsourcing Jobs

Walter Isaacson’s book is long, dull, often flat-footed, and humorless. It hammers on one nail, incessantly: that Steve Jobs was an awful man, but awful in the service of products people really liked (and eventually bought lots of) and so in the end his awfulness was probably OK.