Silicon Valley Techno-Utopianism

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Thread for general discussion of, and feeble resistance to, our new overpaid 20-something savant overlords, starting with this lovely article:

http://thebaffler.com/blog/2014/05/mouthbreathing_machiavellis

Doritos Loco Parentis (Hurting 2), Thursday, 22 May 2014 05:27 (four years ago) Permalink

is the baffler as smug and unreadable as it was in the late 90s/early 00s? to be frank all i ever got from them (or thomas frank solo) was a withering contempt for most of america, rather than any mournful concern.

display name changed. (amateurist), Thursday, 22 May 2014 05:41 (four years ago) Permalink

haha to be frank see what I (unintentionally) did there?

display name changed. (amateurist), Thursday, 22 May 2014 05:41 (four years ago) Permalink

nerds with power

shudder

j., Thursday, 22 May 2014 05:42 (four years ago) Permalink

This is the first Baffler thing I've bothered with in a while. I thought it had its moments back in its earlier incarnation -- there was an essay on cities and the "creative class" that I still refer to mentally sometimes. I think the internet has kind of made the sort of bullshit-skewering it specialized in more widespread and diffuse.

Doritos Loco Parentis (Hurting 2), Thursday, 22 May 2014 05:46 (four years ago) Permalink

oh yeah, they had some good articles from time to time. there was one incredibly condescending and snide and yet fascinating one about gay pornography. unfortinately they also published ray carney's screed against tarantino and a lot of other worthless crap. and i always felt tom frank needed to have a few beer bottles smashed over his head.

display name changed. (amateurist), Thursday, 22 May 2014 05:48 (four years ago) Permalink

Frank seems kind of worse to me now in his Harper's editorials. I always hated Lapham's and it feels like Frank is really trying his best to assume the mantle.

Doritos Loco Parentis (Hurting 2), Thursday, 22 May 2014 05:53 (four years ago) Permalink

Anyway

In a widely covered secessionist speech at a Silicon Valley “startup school” last year, there was more than a hint of Moldbug (see video below). The speech, by former Stanford professor and Andreessen Horowitz partner Balaji Srinivasan, never mentioned Moldbug or the Dark Enlightenment, but it was suffused with neoreactionary rhetoric and ideas. Srinivasan used the phrase “the paper belt” to describe his enemies, namely the government, the publishing industries, and universities. The formulation mirrored Moldbug’s “Cathedral.” Srinivasan’s central theme was the notion of “exit”—as in, exit from democratic society, and entry into any number of corporate mini-states whose arrival will leave the world looking like a patchwork map of feudal Europe.

Forget universal rights; this is the true “opt-in society.”

An excerpt:

We want to show what a society run by Silicon Valley would look like. That’s where “exit” comes in . . . . It basically means: build an opt-in society, ultimately outside the US, run by technology. And this is actually where the Valley is going. This is where we’re going over the next ten years . . . [Google co-founder] Larry Page, for example, wants to set aside a part of the world for unregulated experimentation. That’s carefully phrased. He’s not saying, “take away the laws in the U.S.” If you like your country, you can keep it. Same with Marc Andreessen: “The world is going to see an explosion of countries in the years ahead—doubled, tripled, quadrupled countries.”

Srinivasan ticked through the signposts of the neoreactionary fantasyland: Bitcoin as the future of finance, corporate city-states as the future of government, Detroit as a loaded symbol of government failure and 3D-printed firearms as an example of emerging technology that defies regulation.

The speech succeeded in promoting the anti-democratic authoritarianism at the core of neoreactionary thought, while glossing over the attendant bigotry. This has long been a goal of some in the movement. One such moderate—if the word can be used in this context—is Patri Friedman, grandson of the late libertarian demigod Milton Friedman. The younger Friedman expressed the need for “a more politically correct dark enlightenment” after a public falling out with Yarvin in 2009.

Friedman has lately been devoting his time (and leveraging his family name) to raise money for the SeaSteading Institute, which, as the name suggests, is a blue-sea libertarian dream to build floating fiefdoms free of outside regulation and law. Sound familiar?

The principal backer of the SeaSteading project, Peter Thiel, is also an investor in companies run by Balaji Srinivasan and Curtis Yarvin. Thiel is a co-founder of PayPal, an original investor in Facebook and hedge fund manager, as well as being the inspiration for a villainous investor on the satirical HBO series Silicon Valley. Thiel’s extreme libertarian advocacy is long and storied, beginning with his days founding the Collegiate Network-backed Stanford Review. Lately he’s been noticed writing big checks for Ted Cruz.

He’s invested in Yarvin’s current startup, Tlon. Thiel invested personally in Tlon co-founder John Burnham. In 2011, at age 18, Burnham accepted $100,000 from Thiel to skip college and go directly into business. Instead of mining asteroids as he originally intended, Burnham wound up working on obscure networking software with Yarvin, whose title at Tlon is, appropriately enough, “benevolent dictator for life.”

Doritos Loco Parentis (Hurting 2), Thursday, 22 May 2014 05:57 (four years ago) Permalink

I love this stuff, these guys are like comic book supervillains.

Doritos Loco Parentis (Hurting 2), Thursday, 22 May 2014 05:58 (four years ago) Permalink

yeah i dunno, this seems discountable. it's not going to get much traction.

display name changed. (amateurist), Thursday, 22 May 2014 06:33 (four years ago) Permalink

i still think we shd take these guys out before they acquire sentience

coign of wantage (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 22 May 2014 06:35 (four years ago) Permalink

another school of thought says that they just need to experience a moment of humanity to temper their wild anti-humanist delusions

we could administer this cure from a safe distance thanks to their work

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PspagsTFvlg

j., Thursday, 22 May 2014 06:41 (four years ago) Permalink

Been dismayed with The Baffler since it's new revival. Seems about as shrill as Adbusters these days.

Elvis Telecom, Thursday, 22 May 2014 06:44 (four years ago) Permalink

OTOH, there's these guys to make fun of: http://nymag.com/news/features/laundry-apps-2014-5/#

Elvis Telecom, Thursday, 22 May 2014 06:46 (four years ago) Permalink

i still think we shd take these guys out before they acquire sentience

― coign of wantage (Noodle Vague), Thursday, May 22, 2014 6:35 AM (8 hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

100%

purposely lend impetus to my HOOS (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:10 (four years ago) Permalink

yeah i dunno, this seems discountable. it's not going to get much traction.

― display name changed. (amateurist), Thursday, May 22, 2014 6:33 AM (8 hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

i'd be more willing to discount it if these weren't people with money, political fever dreams, and the ability to build & destory things

purposely lend impetus to my HOOS (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:11 (four years ago) Permalink

Yeah I'm not exactly alarmed yet but I am a little o_O

Doritos Loco Parentis (Hurting 2), Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:12 (four years ago) Permalink

these people aren't good at building things that people actually need to survive so I dunno - the rhetoric is horrible and these people are frightening, at the same time they're woefully inept

Οὖτις, Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:14 (four years ago) Permalink

fantastic article, thank you for sharing

famous instagram God (waterface), Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:15 (four years ago) Permalink

A seafaring community of 10 plutocrats is probably going to do just fine. They can just take a private jet back to the US any time they need fresh virgins to feed on. They don't want the rest of us anyway.

popchips: the next snapple? (seandalai), Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:18 (four years ago) Permalink

Shouldn't that be Tlön, and holy shit we do not need techno-libertarians referencing Borges

a strange man (mh), Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:20 (four years ago) Permalink

I thought the setting up a new country idea sounded really good, hopefully it would end like jonestown

badg, Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:21 (four years ago) Permalink

I am all in favor of techno-libertarian island

a strange man (mh), Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:22 (four years ago) Permalink

me too. preferably one that will be underwater in a few decades.

Οὖτις, Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:25 (four years ago) Permalink

tru

purposely lend impetus to my HOOS (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:25 (four years ago) Permalink

im less worried about these creeps building their own bioshock dystopias than i am about them using their tremendous money and influence to undermine regulation and other democratic things (tm) at home

socki (s1ocki), Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:28 (four years ago) Permalink

yeah that is a more serious danger

Οὖτις, Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:28 (four years ago) Permalink

I wonder if we can convince them to relocate to Canada

a strange man (mh), Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:28 (four years ago) Permalink

I think their politics might go over well in, like, Edmonton

a strange man (mh), Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:29 (four years ago) Permalink

It should be fun to watch what happens when the VC money starts to dry up.

Doritos Loco Parentis (Hurting 2), Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:43 (four years ago) Permalink

they all scramble for the surviving corporate monoliths

Οὖτις, Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:44 (four years ago) Permalink

This Baffler article mentions Nick Land. That's kind of depressing, is he fully in that camp? I've only read some of his stuff but have liked work from his contemporaries.

a strange man (mh), Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:46 (four years ago) Permalink

isn't his own camp bad enough???

j., Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:54 (four years ago) Permalink

maybe! I'm out of the loop

a strange man (mh), Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:56 (four years ago) Permalink

yes, nick land is fully in

goole, Thursday, 22 May 2014 16:19 (four years ago) Permalink

this is all a lil weird to me cos reading these dudes has been a minor internet fascination of mine for a long time

if anything, land's story is evidence against the thesis that an encounter with adulthood will chill these guys out: he was a philosophy professor in the 80s (?) and 90s, left for china at some point to be a journalist, was a pro-war neocon type in the early 00s and at some point during/after the 08 crash flipped to austrian economics, "race realism" (if you don't mind me using their euphemisms for a sec) and all the rest.

i feel super weird that even know this shit tbh

goole, Thursday, 22 May 2014 16:22 (four years ago) Permalink

the connection with silicon valley utopian-supremacy is only one leg of the thing, there are linkages to a lot of weird old righty type scenes that have been left behind by contemporary conservatism, which have been kept alive in its most public face by association with ron paul. but also the remnants of european throne-and-altar type stuff

goole, Thursday, 22 May 2014 16:25 (four years ago) Permalink

this isn't what I think of when I think of 'techno-utopianism' these dudes are just idiots

dude (Lamp), Thursday, 22 May 2014 16:26 (four years ago) Permalink

really the most salient through-line is hostility to democracy.

xp yeah this thread title is a little narrow & off from the corey pein article

goole, Thursday, 22 May 2014 16:28 (four years ago) Permalink

feel like the broader 'apps with solve it'/obsessed with meritocracy and measurement/transnational professionalism stuff that permeates the valley and its politics is way more pernicious and worth countering than these dudes who cant help but marginalize themselves by being themselves

dude (Lamp), Thursday, 22 May 2014 16:28 (four years ago) Permalink

I feel like these guys make better bad guys than the republican party, at least their politics are internally consistent

iatee, Thursday, 22 May 2014 16:30 (four years ago) Permalink

idk i think their predilection for lingo and willingness to set up their own discursive zones is an important idea generator.

there's huge overlap with the PUA/men's rights scene, and *their* language and pop-psych antifeminism is reeeally short work way from being conservative canon

goole, Thursday, 22 May 2014 16:32 (four years ago) Permalink

Definitely seems like there is at the root of a lot of it a bitterness stemming from a dissonance between the "meritocracy" these people have been sold on (in which their particular skillset is supposed to make them the fittest dudes) and the reality they grew up in, and the *other* reality they grew up in (having to attend high school and go on the dating scene and such) in which their supposed superior qualities didn't seem to help so much. I know this might sound like just a rehash of the "butthurt nerd" canard, but I think there's something about the combination of ego inflation AND deflation that they experience -- one world telling them they are geniuses and another telling them they are losers at the same time, that makes them want to remake the entire world in the image of the former.

Doritos Loco Parentis (Hurting 2), Thursday, 22 May 2014 16:49 (four years ago) Permalink

Like you don't get this kind of worldview coming out of getting sand kicked in your face alone, it's more the rage that results from feeling entitled to alpha status and then getting sand kicked in your face.

Doritos Loco Parentis (Hurting 2), Thursday, 22 May 2014 16:51 (four years ago) Permalink

yup

Οὖτις, Thursday, 22 May 2014 16:54 (four years ago) Permalink

And to cross reference that with the "men's rights" stuff, it's not unlike "I'm a *nice* and *intelligent* guy and yet hot babes are not throwing themselves at my feet like they are supposed to. Therefore women are defective and dangerous and I must use 'techniques' to disarm and conquer them."

Doritos Loco Parentis (Hurting 2), Thursday, 22 May 2014 16:58 (four years ago) Permalink

is there an app for that

Οὖτις, Thursday, 22 May 2014 17:07 (four years ago) Permalink

i'm really skeptical of 'just a thwarted nerd' type explanations. some people just end up believing this kind of shit for reasons that aren't readily explicable. in many cases it doesn't appear to be true.

goole, Thursday, 22 May 2014 17:24 (four years ago) Permalink

yeah 'chicks just didn't want him and he's not successful' doesn't explain peter thiel very well

iatee, Thursday, 22 May 2014 17:32 (four years ago) Permalink

will plain ole megalomania do.

ryan, Thursday, 22 May 2014 17:37 (four years ago) Permalink

we got like 4 or 5 Groupons for HelloFresh that made them like $30 a week which is a pretty good deal

as someone with two small children and little time to shop they are kinda useful. I thought the meals were pretty good. but yeah, don't like the wasteful packaging and once the price increases to like $60/week or whatever it's not worth doing. nice to have all those recipe cards though

frogbs, Friday, 8 February 2019 19:01 (one month ago) Permalink

steven spielberg should sue

the scientology of mountains (rushomancy), Saturday, 9 February 2019 00:41 (one month ago) Permalink

just learn to fucking buy food and cook already, these are literally some of the most basic human activities ever

They are also some of the most bullshit human activities, though.

Andrew Farrell, Wednesday, 13 February 2019 13:16 (one month ago) Permalink

Listening to “The Dropout” podcast on the whole Theranos story. What a crazy story! Holmes is such a classic con-(wo)man. It’s great to hear her deposition, where she can’t just keep spinning BS.

DJI, Wednesday, 13 February 2019 17:22 (one month ago) Permalink

it's a good story and a good pod, not necessarily covering tons ground not trod in Bad Blood but it's interesting to hear from some of the principals

Norm’s Superego (silby), Wednesday, 13 February 2019 20:38 (one month ago) Permalink

They are also some of the most bullshit human activities

Only if you are mesmerized by the Food Channel's version of these activities. What's "bullshit" about buying some rolled oats, simmering them in hot water for six or seven minutes, adding a few raisins and brown sugar, and spooning them into your mouth?

A is for (Aimless), Wednesday, 13 February 2019 20:44 (one month ago) Permalink

xposts -- yeah agreed, it's a bit redundant after Bad Blood but it's a nice way to flesh out the story a bit more, hear some voices, etc. Gibney's documentary and the Bad Blood adaptation are both on my 'to watch' list when they come out.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 13 February 2019 20:54 (one month ago) Permalink

I couldn't hear that podcast here on spotify but I'm interested in hearing Holmes directly

kinder, Wednesday, 13 February 2019 21:02 (one month ago) Permalink

i don't even cook much but the idea that making brownies is "bullshit" baffles me

the scientology of mountains (rushomancy), Thursday, 14 February 2019 00:44 (one month ago) Permalink

maybe by bullshit, he means that food should be free and we shouldn't have to buy it? idk i mean, there are definitely times when i wish i didn't need to eat and deal with food because i don't feel like i have time or there are too many other things i wanna do, but it's more or less like sleep -- it's pretty necessary and actually enjoyable most of the time

sarahell, Thursday, 14 February 2019 17:05 (one month ago) Permalink

I guess if you view the human experience as some grand experiment in creating technology, art, and furthering culture then maintenance activities like cooking food and organizing your socks become hindrances that steal your time. Or if you’re really on that edge, the time spent eating food is a barrier to true transendence and you’re chugging soylent or whatever

I like cooking and even, on occasion, enjoy doing dishes

mh, Thursday, 14 February 2019 17:16 (one month ago) Permalink

I'll never forget reading a Michael Jackson interview when i was like, 10, al where he said he hated eating because it was such a waste of time, and that was my first inkling that there was something deeply askew w this dude

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Thursday, 14 February 2019 17:19 (one month ago) Permalink

I'll never forget reading a lex post when i was like, 24, etc

Norm’s Superego (silby), Thursday, 14 February 2019 17:20 (one month ago) Permalink

some part of this is an artifact of an economy in which food preparation is chiefly a private matter. there's an alternate history where it got much more collectivized and we'd view cooking for yourself in the same way as like, generating your own electricity or something. like at the start of the 19th century, most americans bought all their food at the market and someone in their home (probably a wife or mother, or servants) prepared it. gradually different forms of restaurants emerged and became popular and it became more and more normal to take more and more of your meals out of the home, not to mention the role played by room-and-board rooming houses. always so interesting to see those portrayed in old movies. so idk we're on some kind of continuum where there are a range of different versions of your relation to food and cooking.

in the 1920s there was a small constellation of communist, left-socialist, and feminist-reformers who argued that it was crazy to have every individual home kitted out with all this space and hardware and plumbing for cooking, plus the assumption of who was going to do that cooking labor, especially in the context of public housing schemes that were struggling to design minimum-cost dwellings. communal dining for apartment blocks (basically like a cafeteria) were briefly experimented with in a few projects in the USSR before stalin consolidated and deradicalized the state's cultural program etc. moisei ginzburg's narkomfin building in moscow had units with very small, basic modular kitchens that could - in theory - be removed if you realized you were taking all your meals in the attached cafeteria and you'd rather use the square footage for something else. i could imagine someday being wooed by an apartment offering not a gym or a pool but a reliable square meal in the canteen as part of the rent, with some version of a miniature kitchenette (little cube fridge? single-rack oven for when you get the baking urge? i don't know) so you can fix up a few things yourself...

|Restore| |Restart| |Quit| (Doctor Casino), Thursday, 14 February 2019 17:21 (one month ago) Permalink

excellent post, DC!

mh, Thursday, 14 February 2019 17:24 (one month ago) Permalink

. i could imagine someday being wooed by an apartment offering not a gym or a pool but a reliable square meal in the canteen as part of the rent, with some version of a miniature kitchenette (little cube fridge? single-rack oven for when you get the baking urge? i don't know) so you can fix up a few things yourself...

these exist already and are marketed at tech bros, often through renovating former SRO's which entail displacing poor people and other marginal individuals who often end up homeless as a result.

sarahell, Thursday, 14 February 2019 17:38 (one month ago) Permalink

Eating food is enjoyable nearly all of the time! Outside of a few actually quick and simple recipes (and even those get boring) cooking isn't enjoyable - you can do enjoyable things while it happens, and of course of course it's necessary, and good takeaway every or even most nights is definitely a sign of privilege (and I try to pull my own weight in the home), but cooking is time that you could be spending doing something else that actually grows the soul like er ILXOR.com.

Andrew Farrell, Thursday, 14 February 2019 17:39 (one month ago) Permalink

some people like cooking ...

sarahell, Thursday, 14 February 2019 17:40 (one month ago) Permalink

my walking to the grocery store and cooking time is when i listen to podcasts

( ͡☉ ͜ʖ ͡☉) (jim in vancouver), Thursday, 14 February 2019 17:41 (one month ago) Permalink

okay, so maybe Andrew is right

sarahell, Thursday, 14 February 2019 17:42 (one month ago) Permalink

xxp I mean, my opinions are my opinions, not anyone else's..

But also, how?

Andrew Farrell, Thursday, 14 February 2019 17:42 (one month ago) Permalink

I crave to work and to receive immediate clear feedback from that work. Furthermore, I want the product of my work to be enjoyable and depend almost entirely on my own performance. Cooking is a way to satisfy this craving while also making a product that can be shared with the family. I probably wouldn't have the craving if I had a different job.

say it with sausages (Sufjan Grafton), Thursday, 14 February 2019 19:16 (one month ago) Permalink

also, I like holding ladderscooking dinner. It takes me out of myself.

say it with sausages (Sufjan Grafton), Thursday, 14 February 2019 19:20 (one month ago) Permalink

Eating food is enjoyable nearly all of the time!

I have a friend who isn't that adventurous when it comes to food selection and tends to pick things that very much fall into a stereotypical kid-like selection: chicken strips, pizza, etc.

it finally, after way too many years, dawned on me over the weekend that part of this is a sensory issue thing. the first clue was his professed dislike of soup, and witnessing him grimacing and kind of powering through a sandwich after cringing at the texture of one of the toppings made it more clear. it's not necessarily flavors, it's textures and consistency and some foods really do bother him when he eats them

I think there's actually a link between the personality and mentalities that SV culture appeals to and an actual dislike of the act of eating. I'm trying to be generous here because there's enough "oh, all the software developers/weird VC guys are on the spectrum" talk and it's gross to frame it that way, but I really think a significant number of these people actually find the sensory experience of eating some foods to be overwhelming

mh, Thursday, 14 February 2019 21:24 (one month ago) Permalink

i wonder how much is whether they raised eating foods like that growing up (basically pandered to) or if they just got smaller portions of adult food. I still have trouble understanding why (except for like, in infancy) kids are fed differently than adults.

sarahell, Friday, 15 February 2019 05:06 (one month ago) Permalink

hmmm. I'm not sure that "not enjoyable" maps very well to "bullshit".

A is for (Aimless), Friday, 15 February 2019 05:08 (one month ago) Permalink

btw, I often enjoy cooking or food shopping. they are a low-stress activities with usually enjoyable results, which stands in stark contrast to my all-too-frequent high stress activities that have nothing remotely enjoyable about them.

A is for (Aimless), Friday, 15 February 2019 05:15 (one month ago) Permalink

Aimless, my friend who works for Salesforce feels the same way

sarahell, Friday, 15 February 2019 20:15 (one month ago) Permalink

For his birthday party in December, he made this really amazing smoked mackerel

sarahell, Friday, 15 February 2019 20:16 (one month ago) Permalink

Meanwhile:

“She was going to herald a revolution in medical treatment in this country.”

From Academy Award-winning director @alexgibneyfilm, #TheInventor: Out For Blood In Silicon Valley premieres March 18 at 9PM on @HBO. pic.twitter.com/8hpnWMS7Zd

— HBO Documentaries (@HBODocs) February 15, 2019

Ned Raggett, Friday, 15 February 2019 22:12 (one month ago) Permalink

I've not seen much video footage of her - is the above stuff all from before or after the scam was outed (so to speak)? She looks shifty as hell in every shot!

kinder, Friday, 15 February 2019 22:40 (one month ago) Permalink

Must be from before. Errol Morris did a whole puff piece promotional thing on her, and I'm guessing a lot of the footage comes from that.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 15 February 2019 22:48 (one month ago) Permalink

shiftiness reads as DISRUPTIVE to minds poisoned by silicon valley cult-of-ceo bullshit iirc

a surprise challenge that ended with a gunging (bizarro gazzara), Friday, 15 February 2019 22:49 (one month ago) Permalink

https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2019/02/researchers-scared-by-their-own-work-hold-back-deepfakes-for-text-ai/

well, as long as this technology is only in the hands of trustworthy people like, er, peter thiel and elon musk

the scientology of mountains (rushomancy), Saturday, 16 February 2019 00:53 (one month ago) Permalink

At the end, Theranos was overrun by a dog defecating in the boardroom, nearly a dozen law firms on retainer, and a C.E.O. grinning through her teeth about an implausible turnaround.

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2019/02/inside-elizabeth-holmess-final-months-at-theranos

mookieproof, Thursday, 21 February 2019 15:12 (one month ago) Permalink

update to my last post here:

https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2019/02/twenty-minutes-into-the-future-with-openais-deep-fake-text-ai/

well i can see why the researchers were so terrified! GOAT-GOAT-GOAT-GOAT-GOAT-GOAT-GOAT-GOAT-GOAT-GOAT-GOAT-GOAT-GOAT-GOAT-GOAT-GOAT

the scientology of mountains (rushomancy), Wednesday, 27 February 2019 15:42 (three weeks ago) Permalink

https://twitter.com/juliacarriew/status/1104944041400004608

hadn't thought of this. VCs are so unbelievably weird.

𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Monday, 11 March 2019 03:39 (one week ago) Permalink

that is a definite angle! people who think you need constant blood tests because you could, and it’d be useful

that’s the high-end money pitch, though. the mass market pitch that they were making was quick blood testing at walgreens or the battlefield and it was a value pitch. no time paying someone to take a blood sample large enough to test that would take a real phlebotomist, no analyst time that took lab shipping. the ability to sit someone in front of a machine and have a teledoc do instant prescription. instant flow from machine to prescription is the profit, nobody having to do the work of touching and talking to a patient

mh, Monday, 11 March 2019 05:01 (one week ago) Permalink

I mean, for people with low insurance coverage it’s a quick up sell — pay for a blood scan and we’ll give you drugs to fix what may ail you, or optimistically, send you to the right doctor immediately so you’re not stumbling through appointments, and all from a quick scan

the scale factor is that the afflictions treatable from a quick blood scan would be at a larger initial audience and it’d make the weekly scanners who are going to be told to eat one more salad the subsidizers of the system but it was still insanely dumb because blood tests don’t work like that

mh, Monday, 11 March 2019 05:10 (one week ago) Permalink

Thousands of New Millionaires Are About to Eat San Francisco Alive

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/07/style/uber-ipo-san-francisco-rich.html

One recent night, in a packed room with a view of the Bay Bridge and an open bar, real estate investors gathered. Standing at the front presenting was Deniz Kahramaner, a real estate agent specializing in data analytics at Compass.

“Are we going to see a one-bedroom condo that’s worth less than $1 million in five years?” he asked the crowd. “Are we going to see single family homes selling for one to three million?”

No, he said, not anymore. The energy rose as he revealed more data about new millionaires and about just how few new units have been built for them. San Francisco single-family home sale prices could climb to an average of $5 million, he said, to gasps.

Andrew Farrell, Monday, 11 March 2019 11:30 (one week ago) Permalink

Theranos-wise, I don't think that "this used to be some hassle and now it's no hassle" is a bad pitch, ever - there was a dedicated Weights & Measures building down the street from my house, where people would bring in things to weigh, and now there's kitchen scales.

Andrew Farrell, Monday, 11 March 2019 12:15 (one week ago) Permalink

crucial difference there is that kitchen scales actually do what they're supposed to

kiss me dadly (bizarro gazzara), Monday, 11 March 2019 12:26 (one week ago) Permalink

Sure, but that never matters to the pitch, right?

Andrew Farrell, Monday, 11 March 2019 13:05 (one week ago) Permalink

As a hypochondriac I do like the idea of running a Star Trek style tricorder over myself at regular intervals instead of worrying about mystery bodily symptoms and then not daring to go to the doctor because it usually sounds silly (plus I am fat so the answer to all mystery symptoms is "you should lose weight, eat better, exercise more" which tbf is certainly true anyway)

however, jabbing myself with anything ever or having anything to do with Theranos-level messianic quacks, not so much

(NB why yes, I would still worry in a different unhealthy way if I had this magical device, but hey, it would bleep and have flashy lights and offer the brief illusion of control)

a passing spacecadet, Monday, 11 March 2019 13:35 (one week ago) Permalink

lmao otm

Men hate vocal fry so much that they gave Elizabeth Holmes 400 million dollars

— Emma (@Merman_Melville) March 19, 2019

𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Tuesday, 19 March 2019 19:53 (two days ago) Permalink

lol

moose; squirrel (silby), Tuesday, 19 March 2019 19:58 (two days ago) Permalink

see also

elizabeth holmes on a rollercoaster carefully screaming in a baritone

— Sarah Lazarus (@sarahclazarus) March 19, 2019

Mince Pramthwart (James Morrison), Wednesday, 20 March 2019 02:09 (yesterday) Permalink

i_remember_nothing.mp3

⅋ (crüt), Wednesday, 20 March 2019 02:47 (yesterday) Permalink

do I have to resubscribe to HBO to see this? dark internet is striking out

akm, Wednesday, 20 March 2019 03:01 (yesterday) Permalink


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