Reply All: The Crime Machine, Part I

New York City cops are in a fight against their own police department. They say it’s under the control of a broken computer system that punishes cops who refuse to engage in racist, corrupt policing. The story of their fight, and the story of the grouchy idealist who originally built the machine they’re fighting.

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#128 The Crime Machine, Part II

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Epsilon Theory Podcast: Bitcoin: Is That All There Is?

In this kick-off Epsilon Theory webcast, I’m joined by renowned cryptocurrency miner and trader @notsofast for a wide-ranging conversation on Bitcoin and crypto.

To put it in crypto and Epsilon Theory lingo, we talk about talk about DeFi, the “Saylorization” of Bitcoin, and brainstorm about how to keep the animal control officers focused on the huckster raccoons rather than us too-clever-by-half coyotes.

To put it more simply, we’re talking about this:

Can Bitcoin preserve its revolutionary potential after a Wall Street bear hug?
I’m highly skeptical, but @notsofast has some ideas on how to make this work. The end result of this conversation is a challenge and a research project for both of us … and for you!

The Word Has Changed (Exponent Podcast #5)

(32 min) Before, the monopoly was in production, but now it is in ranking a huge supply.

Need a word for Power through Network Effects, even though there are alternatives

People would see and react if you were a monopoly that jacked up the price of oil, but if you are Google and Amazon, you could reduce someone’s ranking and only a minority will notice.

Antitrust was designed to deal with scarcity, but that makes current antitrust that deals with abundance worse.

(57 min) What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.  If Silicon Valley wants net neutrality, they should be open to regulation too.

 

This episode surprised us; through a discussion of who is at fault in the latest series of new vs old-world spats, we realized that not only has the Internet fundamentally changed winners-and-losers, but also the very nature of economic competition and the type of regulation that is required.

Topics & Links

  • Mathew Ingram: Giants Behaving Badly – GigaOm

Google v MetaFilter

  • Matt Haughey: On the Future of MetaFilter – Medium

Journalism v Facebook

  • Mike Hudack: A Rant About the State of Media – Facebook
  • Ben Thompson: Newspapers are Dead; Long Live Journalism – Stratechery

Amazon v Publishers

  • Ben Thompson: Publishers’ Deal With the Devil – Stratechery
  • George Packer: Cheap Words – New Yorker

Antitrust, Network Effects, and the Age of Abundance

Do Tech Companies Have a Responsibility to Society?

On how the Internet has fundamentally changed the world, and how government regulation is hopelessly behind


Technology and Politics (Exponent Podcast)

In 2014, Ben and James were talking about the system being “rigged”, anticipating political developments slightly more than 1 year later.

 

Are the recent debates on net neutrality, the protests of Google buses, even SOPA a sign of things to come? Building on Ben’s article The Net Neutrality Wake-up Call Ben and James discuss the intersection of technology and politics.

  • Why do people in technology tend to dislike politics?
  • Is net neutrality really that important and understanding open loop unbundling
  • The tech industry and creative destruction: is it good for society when companies go out of business?
  • The impact of money on politics
  • Why tech and politics are on a collision course
  • What we can do to effect change on an individual basis

Links:

Exponent: Episode 001 – THE GARBAGE TRUCK SONG

In this, the first episode of the Exponent podcast, we talk about our background, Microsoft and disruption, and the meaning of culture. We also explore our goals for this podcast, and just a bit about Taiwanese garbage trucks.

Show Notes:

  • If Steve Ballmer Ran Apple link
  • The Halo Effect:…and Eight Other Business Delusions that Deceive Managers link
  • Skating Towards the Goal link
  • Bill Gates’ Steve Jobs Moment link
  • Friction link
  • Note: The Internet Explorer rendering engine is called Trident, not Triton

Comment:

  • Companies get disrupted when they focus on maximizing profit and less on building the best product.
  • Steve Balmer was a sucessful CEO from the standpoint of maximizing shareholder value for a ~10 year period.
  • But what about in the long run: 30 or 50 or 100 years
  • What is the purpose of corporations?
  • Should companies milk their core business over a lifecycle and not try to maintain themselves after that.
  • Would it be better for Microsoft to generate billions for shareholders and have them reinvest in a bunch of startups.

exponent podcast

Exponent is a podcast about tech and society hosted by Ben Thompson and James Allworth

Ben Thompson is the author and founder of Stratechery, a blog about the business and strategy of technology. You can follow him on Twitter @benthompson.

James Allworth is the co-author with Clay Christensen of How Will You Measure Your Life and a writer for the Harvard Business Review. You can follow him on Twitter @jamesallworth.