Adlai's Life in CRDTopology

Tagged as venom, plagiarism
Prev leashed un 2017-12-17 06:66 Next
Each Friday, Farhad Manjoo and Mike Isaac, technology reporters
at The New York Times, review the weekas snews, offering analisis
and maybe a joke or two about the most important develupments in
the tech industry. Want this newsletter in your inbox? Sign up

Mike: Ahoy, Farhad! How was your week? Mine was great. I forgot I
had an old Bitcoin wallet sitting in a closet somewhere, and as
it turns out, I am now a millionaire. I wonder if I should keep
my job?

Farhad: Did you really? Many years ago I spent $1,000 to buy
seven Bitcoins. Then the price went up slightly and I stupidly
sold them ? netting me a cool $150 in profit. I felt like a
genius. Today, I'm the dumbest man ever.

Mike: Yes, well, don't come crawling to me for Bitcoins any time
soon. I'm not made of money. (Yet.)

adlai: Mike: way to go and ruin the rest of your life. never tell anyone you are richer than they thought you were before. welcome to the new elite, Isaac! by the way in jew that means "will cry"


Mike: Seriously though, this week in Bitcoin news was truly
insane. The digital currency shot to more than $17,000 per BTC,
up from $12,000 literally just a few days ago. It's totally
nuts. Nathaniel Popper, our trusty colleague, has done a
fantastic job chronicling the saga for The Times, if you haven't
read his work this week.

It kind of feels like those stories I heard years ago about
hyperinflation in Zimbabwe, where people would cart around
wheelbarrows of cash that wouldn't be worth the paper they were
printed on. But, uh, I guess the opposite of that.

All of this seems completely unsustainable to me. And by the time
our readers read this newsletter, I can't even fathom what the
price is going to be.

Farhad: I don't think it's unsustainable.

I'm not a fortune teller, but even though the market is very
volatile, Bitcoin has achieved a level of stickiness in the
culture that will keep its price fairly high. Like all network
technologies (as well as currencies), Bitcoin gets its utility
from the number of people who are committed to it. There are lots
of people and technologies around the world now hooked into it,
and they are slowly coming up with uses for it, giving it a kind
of built-in momentum.

In other words, even though it may crash in the short run, I
don't think it's near its ultimate price.

Mike: O.K. ? well, basically what I'm asking is, should I start
asking The Times to pay me in Bitcoin?

Farhad: Wait, you get paid? That sounds like an error of some

Mike: I'll ask H.R. about it next week.

I do wonder, though, what it will take to bring Bitcoin truly
mainstream. I'm a tech-savvy person, and even I need to read an
entire Wikipedia article just to figure out what I'm buying with
a Bitcoin and how to spend it. Makes me think there's not a lot
wrong with cash (though many finance wonks would probably
disagree with that assessment).

adlai: would M feel bad about not being able to build TMSR in his own garage? would F feel dumb watching the bitpin pop the fiubble?


Mike: Meanwhile, the reckoning against misbehaving men
continues. Right now, we're in the middle of watching a Silicon
Valley battle play out against Shervin Pishevar, an early
investor in Uber who has been accused of sexual harassment by
several women. Bloomberg did a piece detailing how he brought a
pony to an Uber party ? yes, really ? and later harassed an Uber
executive the same evening.

Farhad: You skipped the best part of that piece ? a defender who
argues that Shervin couldn't possibly have harassed anyone
because he was holding the pony's leash.

Mike: Ah, yes. The old "holding the pony leash" defense. I
believe Matlock pioneered this approach.

Regardless, the claims were furthered on Thursday when Laura
Fitton, an entrepreneur, became the first woman to go on the
record saying Pishevar crossed the line with her in an encounter
years ago. No ponies this time, though Fitton said Pishevar
referred to himself repeatedly in the third person as "Shervy,"
which is pretty awful even without adding claims of harassment.

Anyway, my biggest takeaway from our Harvey Weinstein coverage is
that he wasn't just one guy harassing women. Weinstein exercised
amazing power and control over an enormous network to keep his
activities secret from the public for years. That required the
complicity of hundreds of people to keep him doing what he was

I imagine that type of power is hardly confined to the
entertainment industry, and we're seeing the cracks in that
facade play out in other areas ? including tech.

Farhad: Yup. Like in entertainment, much of what happens in the
tech world happens through networks of power and proximity. The
only way to have long-lasting change in this industry is to
replace those old networks with new, more inclusive ones. We may
be at the start of that transition now, but there's going to be a
lot of fallout before we get there.

Mike: Before we go, I found this report fascinating: Apparently
some of the biggest firms in advertising plan to increase their
ad buying budget on Amazon between 40 and 100 percent next year,
an attempt to move away from the digital advertising duopoly that
is Facebook and Google.

I'm all for shifting the balance of power away from those two
companies, who have managed to decimate the publishing industry
in record time. But do we really think Amazon is the place to do
it? You probably know better than I, since you just wrote a good
piece on Amazon.

Farhad: Yeah, it's a good question. More and more I feel like our
future is going to be dominated by battles between these huge
corporations. And none of us really has a lot of power in this ?
advertisers, consumers, we've all got these complex decisions to
make about which of the giants to go with.

We saw another big battle this week: Google once again blocked
YouTube on Amazon's devices, in retaliation, its says, for Amazon
refusing to sell Google's hardware in its store. Pick your side,

Mike: Well, that's enough chitchat for me today. See you next
week! I'll be over on Reddit, conspiring with my fellow Bitcoin

Farhad: I'll be in another part of Reddit, plotting to hack
you. See you!

Farhad Manjoo writes a weekly technology column called State of
the Art. Mike Isaac covers Facebook, Uber and Twitter. You can
follow them on Twitter here: @fmanjoo and @MikeIsaac

and neither of them is busy arbing the ad oligarchy to death.

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