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Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

When I heard Epic Games was going to war with Apple over the app store, I didn’t think of Fortnite.

I thought of Travis Kalanick, the co-founder of Uber.

Kalanick has recently been portrayed as the embodied avatar of the worst traits of Silicon Valley upstart CEOs — crudely misogynistic, utterly without respect for privacy, encouraging a deeply toxic workplace — with a startling God complex.

Literally: in Kalanick’s Uber, employees infamously had access to a “God mode” they could use to spy in real-time on the movements of everyone from ex-partners, to politicians, to celebrities.

Mike Isaac’s page-turner, Super Pumped, details Kalanick’s rise and fall painstakingly. But one thing Isaac’s book uncovered that received shocking little attention is the single person in front of whom Kalanick’s God complex entirely deflated: Apple CEO Tim Cook. …


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Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

If it’s not the single most powerful individual position in the world, it only has a few rivals. Think general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party. Or the Pope. Or chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve. Or maybe the crown prince of Saudi Arabia.

It’s a position that’s been embroiled in a contentious conversation for years now about the scope, and possibly criminal misuse, of the current incumbent’s power: the ability to encourage wars between nuclear powers. To rally or slow down global markets. To end, or initiate, horrifying human rights crises around the world.

The conversation has reached a fever pitch this year — just in time for election season. …


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Photo by Lysander Yuen on Unsplash

Do you know a shorter way to write this sentence?:

“A podiatrist, an obstetrician, and a heart surgeon walk into a bar.”

Well, that’s pretty easy: “Three doctors walk into a bar.”

Done.

Let’s try this one on for size:

“An estate attorney, a public defender, and a Harvard Law professor pick up some sorbet together.”

Well, sure. “Three lawyers get some sorbet.” Asked and answered.

One more: a software engineer, a UX designer, and Sheryl Sandberg go for a bike ride together.

What do you have?

Three computer scientists? Absolutely not. Computer science is a defined academic field, and while it’s helpful for working on websites and apps, it’s 100% not required. …

About

Jumana Abu-Ghazaleh

Jumana is the founder of Pivot For Humanity, a non-profit on a mission to professionalize Silicon Valley

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