Beware the Tech Oligarchs: ‘Don’t Be Evil?
This post has to be kept brief. I want to reduce the opportunity for vigorous debate or even an unvigorous one. “Go west young man” was the glass half full, my wisdom is the glass half empty: “beware the tech oligarchs in politics.’
Before I begin reading any article about politics I look to the author information. Who are they and what is their bias. Here is me and mine:
- I was born and raised in NYC. I am 50 years old. My bio is here.
- I am a (liberal?) Democrat. I have given, hosted, bundled, been on finance committees.
- I was infrequently in school, I cut a lot of classes. I was inadequately indoctrinated and only partially assimilated.
- I did very well on Wall Street in my second career (after pizza delivery) and became an investor in several companies that have, oh so thankfully, done amazingly
- Hobbies: I study Supreme Court decisions, Roman, Greek & American History. I play scrabble. I play whack a mole in smoky illegal gambling dens.
- I have an unpleasant but occasionally profitable habit of asking ‘why’ until I understand all the complexity of something.
- Favorite quote: “I don’t judge people by what they have, I judge people by what they give back” — mom
I have known many of the big names in political funding, think tanks and field operations. Many of the people way on the right side, all the way over to the left and also the bulge of thinkers and money in the middle.
This election revealed the unconcealed start of something different, scary. For decades the hedge fund managers and corporate oligarchs (um, business titans) have been the primary funders of parts of everything above and below the surface of politics. They were the proxies for the Government, in many in cases they could do things that the Constitution couldn’t. They could meddle in overseas affairs, start or stop civil wars. Internally, within America, they had more access to the media, there is a lot of them and their surrogates for TV news shows, op-eds and visibility, they could drive public opinion, they have authority and better persuasion.
Now comes the tech oligarchs, young(ish) people with their business interests and also the proxies for the Government, fused to the State. As an example Google could suppress YouTube to not show events overseas, they could change search algorithms to bias whatever they favored. Whether they have or haven’t is bait for a debate I have no interest in engaging.
The tech oligarchs are different, they are really really rich, they are not humble, they have never lost. Mark Zuckerberg decides to visit the real America for a dinner meeting a family that voted for Trump. He wants to hear their issues, no doubt he already knew this information gleaned from the family members likes, shares and comments on Facebook.
The new oligarchs are exterminists, they want the ‘MVP’, the minimum viable population. Their short-term vision is to demobilize the population, reducing the vote to a Facebook ‘like’ and nonsensical public protests. Their long-term vision is lots of death, they want a world with far, far, far fewer people.
The new Oligarchs are changing language, adding words, taking more away. They can make something never have happened by disappearing it on the internet.
I’m not going to dig you deeper, just remember to ‘Beware the tech oligarchs’