Paul Graham is Still Asking to be Eaten
Holly Wood, PhD 🌹

That Paul Graham himself will be eaten is certain simply because he can’t take it with him, and in the end there’ll be just scraps left over to compensate for the thousands of jobs he’s taken out or off-shored. Who’s counting. But anyway it all evaporates. Except maybe that $500 Holly Wood mentions.

Because Graham brings up Google as an example of a wealth-creating start-up, it’s interesting to look at a Google critique of the settled book digitization initiative, “Google vs Authors.” Here is an example of throwing the 99% under the bus. This alone eviscerates the Graham argument.

Mention for later thought the endless Google search dossiers aggregating anything ever written or known about each of us whether private or not, the enormity of which an economic critique is unlikely to corral. In some countries they have curbed some personal invasions of privacy that publicizing these data represents, and here in the US, DMCA takedowns, “chilling effects,” have curbed intellectual property incursions.

The point here is that the created wealth is at the expense of privacy or copyright or any of a number of other civilized constructs, just as a misnamed sharing economy of taxis or hotels eviscerates legitimate businesses and jobs without taking any responsibility for doing so or even taking out insurance or licenses formerly needed. Some of the wealth-creating sharing barons are beholden to Graham’s notion of wealth creation, but all they’re really doing is gaming the system and laughing all the way to the bank exactly like the hierarchy of Wall Street rentiers.