The Know It Alls

Author: Noam Cohen
Publisher: The New Press
ISBN: 1620972115
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Included in Backchannel’s (WIRED.com) “Top Tech Books of 2017” An “important” book on the “pervasive influence of Silicon Valley on our economy, culture and politics.” —New York Times How the titans of tech's embrace of economic disruption and a rampant libertarian ideology is fracturing America and making it a meaner place In The Know-It-Alls former New York Times technology columnist Noam Cohen chronicles the rise of Silicon Valley as a political and intellectual force in American life. Beginning nearly a century ago and showcasing the role of Stanford University as the incubator of this new class of super geeks, Cohen shows how smart guys like Jeff Bezos, Peter Thiel, Sergey Brin, Larry Page, and Mark Zuckerberg fell in love with a radically individualistic ideal and then mainstreamed it. With these very rich men leading the way, unions, libraries, public schools, common courtesy, and even government itself have been pushed aside to make way for supposedly efficient market-based encounters via the Internet. Donald Trump’s election victory was an inadvertent triumph of the "disruption" that Silicon Valley has been pushing: Facebook and Twitter, eager to entertain their users, turned a blind eye to the fake news and the hateful ideas proliferating there. The Rust Belt states that shifted to Trump are the ones being left behind by a "meritocratic" Silicon Valley ideology that promotes an economy where, in the words of LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, each of us is our own start-up. A society that belittles civility, empathy, and collaboration can easily be led astray. The Know-It-Alls explains how these self-proclaimed geniuses failed this most important test of democracy.

The Know It Alls

Author: Noam Cohen
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
ISBN: 1786073684
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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The Beginning: a Stanford University lab embarked on an idealistic quest to create an artificial intelligence that would benefit society, perhaps even profit the makers. There were few women or minorities in the department and its head rejected the very idea of authority, but really – what could go wrong? Now: more and more aspects of our lives are being dictated by a tiny, unaccountable elite, a breakaway sect of free-market libertarians who are determined to bypass government and enrich themselves at the expense of society. Told through its eleven greatest pioneers, The Know It Alls is the first full history of Silicon Valley and a damning critique of the greed, bias and prejudice of an industry that is fracturing America and taking the rest of us with it.

Troublemakers

Author: Leslie Berlin
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 145165152X
Format: PDF, Mobi
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The richly told narrative of the Silicon Valley generation that launched five major high-tech industries in seven years, laying the foundation for today’s technology-driven world. At a time when the five most valuable companies on the planet are high-tech firms and nearly half of Americans say they cannot live without their cell phones, Troublemakers reveals the untold story of how we got here. This is the gripping tale of seven exceptional men and women, pioneers of Silicon Valley in the 1970s and early 1980s. Together, they worked across generations, industries, and companies to bring technology from Pentagon offices and university laboratories to the rest of us. In doing so, they changed the world. In Troublemakers, historian Leslie Berlin introduces the people and stories behind the birth of the Internet and the microprocessor, as well as Apple, Atari, Genentech, Xerox PARC, ROLM, ASK, and the iconic venture capital firms Sequoia Capital and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. In the space of only seven years and thirty-five miles, five major industries—personal computing, video games, biotechnology, modern venture capital, and advanced semiconductor logic—were born. During these same years, the first ARPANET transmission came into a Stanford lab, the university began licensing faculty innovations to businesses, and the Silicon Valley tech community began mobilizing to develop the lobbying clout and influence that have become critical components of modern American politics. In other words, these were the years when one of the most powerful pillars of our modern innovation and political systems was first erected. Featured among well-known Silicon Valley innovators like Steve Jobs, Regis McKenna, Larry Ellison, and Don Valentine are Mike Markkula, the underappreciated chairman of Apple who owned one-third of the company; Bob Taylor, who kick-started the Arpanet and masterminded the personal computer; software entrepreneur Sandra Kurtzig, the first woman to take a technology company public; Bob Swanson, the cofounder of Genentech; Al Alcorn, the Atari engineer behind the first wildly successful video game; Fawn Alvarez, who rose from an assembler on a factory line to the executive suite; and Niels Reimers, the Stanford administrator who changed how university innovations reach the public. Together, these troublemakers rewrote the rules and invented the future.

Who Can You Trust

Author: Rachel Botsman
Publisher: PublicAffairs
ISBN: 1541773683
Format: PDF, ePub
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If you can't trust those in charge, who can you trust?From government to business, banks to media, trust in institutions is at an all-time low. But this isn't the age of distrust--far from it. In this revolutionary book, world-renowned trust expert Rachel Botsman reveals that we are at the tipping point of one of the biggest social transformations in human history--with fundamental consequences for everyone. A new world order is emerging: we might have lost faith in institutions and leaders, but millions of people rent their homes to total strangers, exchange digital currencies, or find themselves trusting a bot. This is the age of "distributed trust," a paradigm shift driven by innovative technologies that are rewriting the rules of an all-too-human relationship. If we are to benefit from this radical shift, we must understand the mechanics of how trust is built, managed, lost, and repaired in the digital age. In the first book to explain this new world, Botsman provides a detailed map of this uncharted landscape--and explores what's next for humanity.

The Upstarts

Author: Brad Stone
Publisher: Little, Brown
ISBN: 0316388386
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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ONE OF AMAZON'S BEST BOOKS OF 2017 A look deep inside the new Silicon Valley, from the New York Times bestselling author of The Everything Store Ten years ago, the idea of getting into a stranger's car, or a walking into a stranger's home, would have seemed bizarre and dangerous, but today it's as common as ordering a book online. Uber and Airbnb have ushered in a new era: redefining neighborhoods, challenging the way governments regulate business, and changing the way we travel. In the spirit of iconic Silicon Valley renegades like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, another generation of entrepreneurs is using technology to upend convention and disrupt entire industries. These are the upstarts, idiosyncratic founders with limitless drive and an abundance of self-confidence. Led by such visionaries as Travis Kalanick of Uber and Brian Chesky of Airbnb, they are rewriting the rules of business and often sidestepping serious ethical and legal obstacles in the process. The Upstarts is the definitive story of two new titans of business and a dawning age of tenacity, conflict and wealth. In Brad Stone's riveting account of the most radical companies of the new Silicon Valley, we discover how it all happened and what it took to change the world.

World Without Mind

Author: Franklin Foer
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1101981113
Format: PDF
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Elegantly tracing the intellectual history of computer science, Foer puts the DNA of the very idea of "tech" under the microscope. Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon, he argues, are breaking laws intended protect intellectual property and privacy. This is not the path towards freedom and prosperity, but the total automation and homogenization of our social, political, and intellectual lives. Today's corporate giants want access to every facet of our identities and influence over every corner of our lives. Foer both indicts these companies, and shapes a path towards reining them in.

Move Fast and Break Things

Author: Jonathan Taplin
Publisher: Little, Brown
ISBN: 0316275743
Format: PDF, ePub
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*The book that started the Techlash* A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice An Amazon Best Business & Leadership Book of 2017 Longlisted for Financial Times/McKinsey Business Book of the Year 2017 A strategy+business Best Business Book of 2017 A stinging polemic that traces the destructive monopolization of the Internet by Google, Facebook and Amazon, and that proposes a new future for musicians, journalists, authors and filmmakers in the digital age. Move Fast and Break Things is the riveting account of a small group of libertarian entrepreneurs who in the 1990s began to hijack the original decentralized vision of the Internet, in the process creating three monopoly firms--Facebook, Amazon, and Google--that now determine the future of the music, film, television, publishing and news industries. Jonathan Taplin offers a succinct and powerful history of how online life began to be shaped around the values of the men who founded these companies, including Peter Thiel and Larry Page: overlooking piracy of books, music, and film while hiding behind opaque business practices and subordinating the privacy of individual users in order to create the surveillance-marketing monoculture in which we now live. The enormous profits that have come with this concentration of power tell their own story. Since 2001, newspaper and music revenues have fallen by 70 percent; book publishing, film, and television profits have also fallen dramatically. Revenues at Google in this same period grew from $400 million to $74.5 billion. Today, Google's YouTube controls 60 percent of all streaming-audio business but pay for only 11 percent of the total streaming-audio revenues artists receive. More creative content is being consumed than ever before, but less revenue is flowing to the creators and owners of that content. The stakes here go far beyond the livelihood of any one musician or journalist. As Taplin observes, the fact that more and more Americans receive their news, as well as music and other forms of entertainment, from a small group of companies poses a real threat to democracy. Move Fast and Break Things offers a vital, forward-thinking prescription for how artists can reclaim their audiences using knowledge of the past and a determination to work together. Using his own half-century career as a music and film producer and early pioneer of streaming video online, Taplin offers new ways to think about the design of the World Wide Web and specifically the way we live with the firms that dominate it.

Emotional Success

Author: David DeSteno
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN: 054470312X
Format: PDF, Mobi
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A pioneering psychologist reveals how three emotions can provide the surest, quickest route to success in any realm. A string of bestsellers have alerted us to the importance of grit – an ability to persevere and control one’s impulses that is so closely associated with greatness. But no book yet has charted the most accessible and powerful path to grit: our prosocial emotions. These feelings – gratitude, compassion and pride – are easier to generate than the willpower and self-denial that underpin traditional approaches to grit. And, while willpower is quickly depleted, prosocial emotions actually become stronger the more we use them. These emotions have another crucial advantage: they’re contagious. Those around us become more likely to apply them when we do. As this myth-shattering book explains, prosocial emotions evolved specifically to help us resist immediate temptations in favor of long-term gains. Originally, they enabled us to build lasting relationships with other people, and they still do that brilliantly. But they can also be adapted to strengthen our bonds with our own future selves – who will benefit most from the grit we need to succeed in life. No matter what our goals are, EMOTIONAL SUCCESS can help us achieve them with greater ease and deeper satisfaction than we would have thought possible.

The Path to Hope

Author: Stephane Hessel
Publisher: Other Press, LLC
ISBN: 1590515617
Format: PDF, Kindle
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An incisive political tract that calls for a return to humanist values: equality, liberty, a return to community, mutual respect, freedom from poverty, and an end to theocracy and fundamentalism. The authors argue that a return to these values constitutes “a path to hope,” leading the way out of the present worldwide malaise brought on by economic collapse, moral failure, and an ignorance of history. For the authors, 20th-century fascism was no mere abstraction—it was a brutal system brought on by a similar malaise, a system they fought against. The uncertainly of our current political moment gives their book special urgency. The Path to Hope is written by two esteemed French thinkers—Stephane Hessel, editor of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and renowned philosopher and sociologist Edgar Morin. Their writings have become bestsellers throughout Europe, and have also become foundational documents underpinning the worldwide protest movement.