Links for December 29, 2017

The tech industry needs a moral compass

The “ethical pivot” could be respected by shareholders, and CEOs could say, “We were wrong. We didn’t need to verify that account/monetise that content/harass those employees, so we’ll stop now and make some reparation.”… To make this a reality, we need a set of values to rally round and a set of willing actors: people who will visibly decline investment opportunities, challenge business cases, and champion alternative models of success.


My Internet Mea Culpa

For the last twenty years, I believed the internet prophets of old. I worshipped at the altar of Stewart Brand and Kevin Kelly. I believed that the world would be a better place if everyone had a voice. I believed that the world would be a better place if we all had no secrets. But so far, the evidence points to an escapable conclusion: we were all wrong.


In the Maze

Still, I had sympathy for what I recognized in some peers as professional anxiety and fear. The way they had learned to live in the world — to write novels, to make art, to teach, to argue about ideas, to conduct themselves in sexual and romantic relationships — no longer fit the time in which they were living. Especially the men.... Authors and artists whose work was celebrated as “thoughtful” or “political” not eight years ago were now being singled out as chauvinists and bigots. One might expect this in old age, but to be cast out as a political dinosaur by 52, by 40, by 36? They hadn’t even peaked!


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