Options Techtonic with Mark Hurst: Playlist from May 21, 2018 Options

Mark Hurst's avatar View Mark Hurst's profile Options

Conversations with creators and thinkers who are charting the way forward in a tech-saturated society. Tech, community, video games, and whatever else is next.

Mondays 6 - 7pm (EDT) | On WFMU | 91.1, 90.1, 91.9 FM & wfmu.org
WFMU LIVE Audio Streams (Get help):   Pop-up  |  128k AAC  |  128k MP3  |  32k MP3

iTunes Feed Also available as an MP3 podcast. More info at our Podcast Central page.

<-- Previous playlist | Back to Techtonic with Mark Hurst playlists | Next playlist -->

Upcoming events:

Mon. Oct 18th, 6pm - 7pm: The return of call screener Phil (More info...)

Options May 21, 2018: Felix Salmon, financial journalist, live in-studio

Listen to this show: Pop-up listen Pop‑up player!

Credit: Ariadne Remoundakis

This week: Felix Salmon, financial journalist and frequent contributor to Slate.

Pointers to Felix's work:

@felixsalmon on Twitter

Why Is It So Hard to Create a Good Bank? (Slate, May 18, about Simple, an online bank)

The Media Narrative Around Amazon Is Out of Control (Slate, April 26): "If Amazon traded on the same multiple of earnings as everybody else, its stock would fall by roughly 90 percent. . . . It’s impossible to predict what’s going to cause the view of Amazon to change or when that’s going to happen. But given the shifting sense of the role that big tech plays in our lives, it’s reasonable to expect that, when that day arrives, the change will be negative. For the company, for its narrative, and for its share price."

Other Slate pieces by Felix

Other tech news

We Made a Tool So You Can Hear Both Yanny and Laurel (NYT, May 16): Helpful slider shows how the audio goes from one side (definitely Laurel) to the middle (also Laurel, as we can all agree), and then all the way to right (OK, no more Laurel there).

How did Google get so big? (60 Minutes, May 21): "The FTC's Bureau of Competition recommended [in 2011] that an antitrust lawsuit be filed against Google . . . It specifically cited Google for stealing competitors' content, and imposing restrictions on advertisers and other websites that limited their ability to utilize other search engines. But the recommendations were rejected. . . . [many] who were directly involved in the investigation have long suspected that the outcome had something to do with Google's political muscle in Washington and its close relationship with the Obama administration. Google spent more money on lobbying last year than any other corporation, employing 25 different firms and helping fund 300 trade associations, think tanks and other groups many of which influence policy."

Note in particular from 60 Minutes: past Techtonic guest Jonathan Taplin (here's the show), antitrust lawyer Gary Reback, and EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager. All on Team Techtonic.

Google’s Selfish Ledger Is An Unsettling Vision Of Silicon Valley Social Engineering (The Verge, May 17): an "internal video from 2016 shows a Google concept for how total data collection could reshape society." Nightmare material, courtesy of Google.

• Oh, and it looks like Google faked their Duplex phone-bot demo (Axios, May 17): "Axios asked Google for the name of the hair salon or restaurant, in order to verify both that the businesses exist and that the calls were not pre-planned. . . . A longtime Google spokeswoman declined to provide either name."

• Don't forget, from last week's show notes: How to Keep Google From Owning Your Online Life, by David Pierce in the WSJ (May 8). Interesting that the Wall Street Journal is offering alternatives to Google services.

• Speaking of alternatives, past Techtonic guest Gabriel Weinberg (here's the show) and his search engine Duck Duck Go are featured here: This Search Engine Is Profitable Without Tracking You Online. And Google and Facebook Could Do It Too.

• Conclusion: We need to break up Big Tech, starting with Google and Facebook. Axios reports that the left (and the right) are turning up heat to break up Facebook: progressive organizations running an online ad campaign saying "Facebook keeps violating your privacy"... the article adds, "The right is just as willing to take on Facebook right now. Conservative lawmakers spent a hearing last month talking about charges that the social network and its competitors have silenced conservative voices." A rare bipartisan agreement!

• Oh, and as for Facebook: Zuck testifies tomorrow in the EU, and meantime New data shows people actually increased their Facebook usage after the Cambridge Analytica scandal (Business Insider, May 20). It's not too late to delete your Facebook account: easy how-to at deletefacebook.com.

- - -

...and if we have time for a sing along tonight:

Building a Surveillance State

Building a surveillance state
Google, Google
Privacy is what they hate
All Google day

It's Facebook, too
They're spying on you
We've got to change before it's too late
All Google day

- - -

Subscribe to the Techtonic podcast

Artist Track Album Label Images Approx. start time
  Mark speaks with Felix Salmon, financial journalist and frequent contributor to Slate. Also, Mark's commentary on Google.
Tomaš Dvořák  Game Boy Tune   Options Machinarium Soundtrack  No label     
  Mark's intro      
  Interview with Felix Salmon      
0:18:16 (Pop‑up)
Kosmischer Läufer  Morgenröte   Options The Secret Cosmic Music of the East German Olympic Program 1972-83, Vol. 2  Unknown Capability Recordings    0:40:43 (Pop‑up)
  Your calls and comments 201-209-9368      
0:41:10 (Pop‑up)
Jarby McCoy  English Lesson Unit One   Options Décollages  No label    0:57:35 (Pop‑up)

<-- Previous playlist | Back to Techtonic with Mark Hurst playlists | Next playlist -->

RSS feeds for Techtonic with Mark Hurst: RSSPlaylists feed | RSSMP3 archives feed

| E-mail Mark Hurst | Other WFMU Playlists | All artists played by Techtonic with Mark Hurst |

Listen on the Internet | Contact Us | Music & Programs | WFMU Home Page | Support Us | FAQ

Live Audio Streams for WFMU: Pop-up | 128k AAC | 128k MP3 | 32k MP3    (More streams: [+])

Listener comments!

Avatar Swag For Life Member 5:59pm listener james from westwood:

Early howdy, Mark and all!!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:01pm Greg from ZONE 5:

Evening, Mark and all!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:01pm ultradamno:

Hello Mark and Techtonic Youth.
Avatar 6:01pm TDK60:

Good day.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:01pm Rob (Jerzcity):

Avatar 👻 6:01pm Bas NL:

Hi Mark & all!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:01pm mrdonutsu:

Your theme music really needs to be much more menacing... ;)
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:02pm Michael 98145:

hashtag hello world
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:02pm mrdonutsu:

Given the general content of recent shows.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:03pm Ken From Hyde Park:

Good evening, Mark and Tekkers!
Avatar 👻 Swag For Life Member 6:03pm Webhamster Henry:

Sound like "Yerry"
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:03pm queems:

laurel 4 ever
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:04pm Michael 98145:

  6:04pm melinda:

Avatar 6:04pm Sandy:

Hi Mark! LAUREL!!!!!!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:04pm ultradamno:

Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:04pm listener james from westwood:

I was hearing "Boo-urns."
Avatar 👻 6:05pm Bas NL:

Avatar 👻 Swag For Life Member 6:05pm Laurel Yanni:

Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:05pm Rob (Jerzcity):

black n blue?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:05pm Michael 98145:

heh :)
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:06pm ultradamno:

Blue and black, was the other option, I think
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:06pm Ken From Hyde Park:

What's the gag with the GIF saying "Flannel" over there?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:09pm chris:

hi, Mark n tonics
Avatar 👻 6:09pm Bas NL:

What do we need to know from you to day? [............................................................]
Avatar 👻 Swag For Life Member 6:11pm Webhamster Henry:

It's a well documented startup business plan:
- have a niche idea
- go practically broke developing it and putting up a credible front
- make some noise to attract attention/
- get acquired and either integrated or bought out.
- $$$$
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:12pm listener james from westwood:

Hell, even the Simpsons got in fast enough to spoof Microsoft's glom-tacular late-90s habits:
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:13pm Michael 98145:

many, many organizations are outsourcing their email to gmail just to avoid record-retention requirements
Avatar 6:14pm northguineahills:

I only use google on a certain browser I don't have personal info. and then, it's only for obscure cultural and arts subjects in the vain hope said subject will get more hits and someone might accidentally click on it.
Avatar 6:15pm Linda Lee:

'species-level impact'?
is this what keeps capitalism viable?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:15pm Mark Hurst:

Sorry not 30 seconds long, actually 3 minutes - I misspoke!
Avatar 6:16pm Jeff Moore:

There was a 3 in it!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:16pm Ken From Hyde Park:

Google roulette: Do a Google search on your credit card number.
  6:17pm melinda:

This guy sounds just like the guy on my meditation app. My world is crumbling.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:17pm Smokestack:

I just saw an article this morning that Google has quietly dropped it's motto "Don't Be Evil" within the last couple weeks.

  6:17pm JakeGould:

This will all help us get better ads for socks.
Avatar 👻 6:17pm Bas NL:

*raspberry sound in back of classroom*
  6:18pm JakeGould:

Yeah, Google! Solve that poverty!
  6:18pm JakeGould:

Avatar 6:18pm Linda Lee:

yes, we must have overwhelming instrusiveness into human life since we can't possibly figure out the interelationship between poverty, depression & the environment without it.
  6:18pm Warren in Australia:

Avatar 6:18pm northguineahills:

@listener james: ArcGIS did the same in the GIS market, it out muscled the competition, and it's far from the best platform. I had a professor in grad school who was threatened to not be invited to GIS conferences (outside of purely academic) if he didn't purchase ArcGIS licenses.
  6:19pm JakeGould:

I meant Google should pay taxes. More of it.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:19pm Buffalo's Tom:

That just sounded like an excerpt from the creepiest audiobook ever.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:20pm Michael 98145:

let us prey
Avatar 👻 6:20pm Bas NL:

Hey Warren!
Avatar 👻 Swag For Life Member 6:20pm Webhamster Henry:

Just undo Alphabet.
Avatar 6:20pm Linda Lee:

smash the monster by starving it. let's try!
Avatar 6:21pm TDK60:

Google pay more taxes?!! That's creeping Stalinist totalitarianism!! My word! (Kidding.)
  6:21pm sim:

Once the avalanche has started, it is too late for the pebbles to cry stop.
Avatar 6:21pm TDK60:

Hi Linda Lee, Bas, and all the other Teks.
Avatar 6:22pm Linda Lee:

Felix Salmon is hot stuff.
Avatar 6:22pm Jeff Moore:

Oh, and speaking of patent portfolios - one absolutely necessary thing for the betterment of the world is to completely nuke the notion of software patents.
Avatar 👻 6:22pm Bas NL:

Hi TDK60!
Avatar 👻 Swag For Life Member 6:23pm Webhamster Henry:

The Baby Bells all kind of re-conglomerated within a few years.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:23pm ultradamno:

Maybe we could trick Eric Schmidt into buying a newspaper critical of the president.
Avatar 6:25pm Linda Lee:

the indiividual consumer is basically given the task of ending global pollution as well, by avoiding plastic bags & so on, when we're really not the problem there either.
Avatar 6:25pm Linda Lee:

we just can't be goal driven relating to lifestyle choices. we have to be morally driven.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:26pm ultradamno:

Or Sundar Pichai, rather.
Avatar 6:26pm Linda Lee:

hey there TDK60! miss the morning chats!
Avatar 6:28pm TDK60:

Linda, I'm still often on the Wake show, but busier right now, so less chatty.
Avatar 6:28pm Linda Lee:

i'd just like to know how the human beings working directly for google or facebook justify their positions.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:29pm Michael 98145:

@LL, $ $ $ $ $
Avatar 6:29pm Linda Lee:

(even though many of us work for them without pay.)
Avatar 6:30pm Linda Lee:

@TDK 60 ~ see? i didn't know you'd chilled out a bit, since i keep missing the show! :-D
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:30pm Michael 98145:

once upon a time, the largest employers of engineers were military contractors.

probably still the case ...
  6:31pm jeremyb:

this debate is fantastic
Avatar 6:32pm Linda Lee:

Michael 98145 ~ is there anything at all that humans will not do for money? for the chance to acquire things like gold-plated toilet seats? this is a serious question.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:33pm Michael 98145:

@LL, history answers no
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:33pm Buffalo's Tom:

Chris Morris? I think he means Charlie Brooker. #nitpick
Avatar 6:34pm Linda Lee:

no wonder we're suicidal.
Avatar 6:35pm TDK60:

I'm Tek Savvy? Well! (dusts suit jacket front.) heheh.
Avatar 6:35pm Honeybear:

and phishing emails made to look like "there's been an important update to our privacy policy" emails
Avatar 👻 6:36pm Bas NL:

And again.. With all the years of data gathering.. How much more would Google be able to learn from us?
Avatar 6:36pm Jeff Moore:

"All of this is in advance of the effective date for the European Union’s “GDPR” laws. If you’re not familiar with the GDPR, it’s basically the latest hypocritical move by the EU on their relentless march toward dictating the control of personal data globally and to further their demands to become a global censorship czar — with the ability to demand the deletion of any search engine results around the world that they find inconvenient. Joseph Stalin would heartily approve."

"One can assume that Google’s privacy team has been putting in yeoman’s service to meet the EU’s dictatorial demands, and it’s logical that Google decided to make other changes in their privacy ecosystem at the same time, and now is informing users about those changes."

Avatar 6:37pm Linda Lee:

the next level is predetermining our activity!
Avatar 6:38pm Linda Lee:

.. completely eliminating free will.
  6:38pm jeremyb:

didn't apple give a back door to uber that allowed them to capture users screens?
Avatar 6:38pm Neckbard:

The sentiments Salmon is expressing are ones any Vichy collaborationist would recognize.
Avatar 👻 6:39pm Bas NL:

@LL Would one be able to give up free will?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:39pm Michael 98145:

( like the comment about yer snazzy real estate :)
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:39pm chris:

there's always the Black phone, Mark - en.wikipedia.org...
Avatar 6:40pm TDK60:

gotta run..,
Avatar 6:40pm Linda Lee:

i think we already have, for the most part, Bas, if we're generally already doing as we've been trained to do.
Avatar 6:41pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

...granular grannies...
Avatar 6:41pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

...for a grand...
Avatar 6:41pm Linda Lee:

it's not totally ok with us yet, though. we still need the illusion that we do have free will. so that's something.
Avatar 6:42pm Honeybear:

Uncle Joe would probably approve of a well-funded Department of Motor Vehicles, and laws that say ya hafta drive on the right side of the road (at least most of the time) as well. But that doesn't mean that everything bureaucratic and regulatory is Stalinist
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:42pm chris:

google's presence in chelsea may explain the preponderance of supercars there.
Avatar 👻 6:43pm Bas NL:

I still have good all out discussions with my friends..
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:43pm listener james from westwood:

I used to work in that 14th St Google building (not for Google). It was like a first-person shooter level inside. Kept expecting various DOOM baddies to jump out at me.
Avatar 6:43pm Linda Lee:

sounds like a great environment!
Avatar 👻 Swag For Life Member 6:44pm Webhamster Henry:

As a person who tirelessly lectures about teleworking, any company buying office space seems very 19th century to me.
Avatar 6:44pm Linda Lee:

i'm very glad for that Bas. honestly. i can too.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:45pm Michael 98145:

this little listener-support station continues to be well worth our support
Avatar 6:45pm Jeff Moore:

I think the thing which got Weinstein going with calling the EU's interference in Internet services Stalinist is the outrageous invented "right to be forgotten" - reminiscent of how people were airbrushed out of history in the Stalin regime - rather than purely the institution of any regulations.
Avatar 6:45pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

'The President's Analyst' (1967) seeming more prescient all the time...
...'You know - wherever I go - patients all hate the PhoneCo. !'...
Avatar 6:46pm Linda Lee:

& i'm also always examining the modes of thinking that i bring to the conversation!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:46pm listener james from westwood:

Oh, jeebuz, our floor was right below Google's kitchen. It was torture.
Then there was the day someone at Google's snake escaped its tank. I feared using the john for a week.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:47pm chris:

free food and bev in exchange for work/life balance (i.e. stay in the office, don't go anywhere)
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:47pm Greg from ZONE 5:

You hear all of that, Jeff Moore? STEP UP YOUR GAME!
Avatar 6:47pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

...& w/ that listener james who needs metaphors...
Avatar 6:47pm Linda Lee:

every possible need met by your employers? so then: company prostitutes?
Avatar 👻 Swag For Life Member 6:47pm Webhamster Henry:

I hate the free food incentive; the only reason to come into NYC or other sophisticated city to work is to support the local restaurants.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:47pm Michael 98145:

( james wins the comment prize :)
Avatar 6:47pm Neckbard:

Or you can just destroy labor protections.
  6:47pm JakeGould:

Hey folks! You know what else is right near Google on 14th Street? A creepy windowless government building between 16th Street and 17th Street and 10th Avenue and 11th Avenue. It has DEA offices but who knows what else.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:48pm listener james from westwood:

Friend who co-founded a day trading firm had the traders fed during the dot-com heyday so they wouldn't have to leave for lunch.
By coincidence, I and another friend who worked there and our mates used to roll down to that Jersey City office and use their network for LAN parties.
Avatar 6:48pm Linda Lee:

i love you too my dear. ;-)
Avatar 6:48pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

Like in our NorthNewEngland smalltowns: used to be your employer was your landlord & the whole thing...seems they want to take us back there step by step...
Avatar 6:49pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

There was a blow to Labor Protections in the Supreme Court today, actually...
  6:49pm herb.nyc:

I've had lunch at Google Chelsea 2,3x. I bumped into a grad student I knew from my ccny job, crazily. (Kinda like "stay in times sq for 30" and you'll see someone you know")
Avatar 6:50pm Linda Lee:

saint peter don't you call me 'cause i can't go. i owe my soul to the company store.
Avatar 6:50pm Honeybear:

@JM well I disagree, and happen to consider the internet surveillance machine generally to be (much) more of a dystopian menace than the 'right to be forgotten' legislation. but that's ok, you can send me to the gulag (and/or picket my house) for saying that if you want
Avatar 6:50pm Fredericks:

Amazon paid no income tax, last year, on a $5.6 Billion profit.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:51pm Michael 98145:

arbitration decision : www.washingtonpost.com...
Avatar 6:51pm Jeff Moore:

Intellectual Ventures is the evillest of the evil.

And speaking of not always acting on one's principles - yes, we bought the devil's cookbooks. Because there's some pretty fascinating stuff in there.
Avatar 6:51pm Neckbard:

Over-fished oceans = no more free sushi = our only hope for a curb on Big Data
  6:52pm herb.nyc:

I think such a fed windowless bldg is near city hall, on Thomas St(?) and Church(?).
Avatar 6:52pm northguineahills:

I've been inside that building when I worked for the Feds (Census Bureau), but only to visit the offices of the Dept of Commerce (whom we were under at the time)(obviously stopped working for them).
Avatar 6:53pm Linda Lee:

then they're fish farming, Neckbard. & that means no one has access to fish if they aren't purchased.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:53pm Ken From Hyde Park:

Some kind techie with a drone and a camera might provide us with a picture of that rooftop.
  6:53pm JakeGould:

@herb.nyc: Yeah there is that famous one on Worth Street between Church and Broadway. But there are more creepy buildings that just don’t have fancy design.

Head over to Varick and Houston Street and go into the official entrance on Houston and tell me what that experience is like.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:54pm Greg from ZONE 5:

According to a girl I dated, that building has something to do with the FBI (which she knew because they would frequent her coffee place and hit on her…)
Avatar 👻 Swag For Life Member 6:54pm Webhamster Henry:

It's the Techtonic Filk song hour.
  6:54pm JakeGould:

The government offices on Houston and Varrick do some kind of nuclear test work on the top floors. Worked near there. Researched that building and it’s no joke.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:55pm ultradamno:

Ah, a music of mind control moment.
Avatar 6:55pm Jeff Moore:

That windowless building at 33 Thomas Street is the former AT&T Long Lines building. Not sure what it's used for now.
Avatar 6:55pm Folsom:

Mark what do think of the sneaky copyright extension?
  6:56pm JakeGould:

@JeffMoore: Exactly. All the old NY Telephone switching station buildings are emptier but still being used for something by someone.

Maybe that’s where all the porn is?
Avatar 6:56pm Neckbard:

Wasn't usenet all we ever needed?
Avatar 6:57pm Honeybear:

well, logs of everyone's porn watching habits at least
Avatar 6:57pm Linda Lee:

*everyone* knows monopolies don't guarantee serviceability!
  6:57pm JakeGould:

I want to know where all the porn is stored.
Avatar 6:57pm Honeybear:

which that building just might be big enough to hold
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:57pm Michael 98145:

at 33 : www.dailymail.co.uk...
Avatar 6:58pm northguineahills:

@Greg: Yep, most of the floors were for the FBI, CIA, DHS, etc. It was weird that Dept of Commerce was there (you needed clearance to go to certain elevators that went to certain floors).
Avatar 6:58pm Jeff Moore:

Oh, look: "33 Thomas was described as the likely location of an NSA mass surveillance hub codenamed TITANPOINTE in an investigation by The Intercept, and in a documentary short film by Henrik Moltke and Laura Poitras titled Project X"

Avatar 6:58pm Neckbard:

Google is just a 21st century instantiation of primitive accumulation, pure and simple.
Avatar 6:58pm northguineahills:

@Jeff: That's a different windowless building.
Avatar 6:58pm northguineahills:

Thanks Mark & Felix!
Avatar 6:59pm Neckbard:

Way to put over your thought leadership.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:59pm Phil with the phone:

No way you can fit all the porn in that building. It'd need to be like 3 times that size
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:59pm Greg from ZONE 5:

Great talk, guys!
Avatar 6:59pm Linda Lee:

that's the bind .. where's the audience?
Avatar 👻 7:00pm Bas NL:

Yeah.. thanks Mark & Felix! one hour.. to short..
Avatar Swag For Life Member 7:00pm chris:

thanks, Mark and Felix and folks.
Avatar 👻 Swag For Life Member 7:00pm Webhamster Henry:

"Arguing that you don't care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different from saying you don't care about free speech because you have nothing to say."
– Edward Snowden
Avatar Swag For Life Member 7:00pm Michael 98145:

thanks again, Mark
Avatar Swag For Life Member 7:00pm listener james from westwood:

Thanks, Mark and Felix!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 7:00pm Ken From Hyde Park:

On third and long, Staubach to Preston Pearson was always money.
Avatar 7:00pm Linda Lee:

if the tweet fails in the forest, is there a sound?
Avatar 👻 Swag For Life Member 7:00pm Webhamster Henry:

Thanks Mark & Felix!
Avatar 7:01pm Linda Lee:

excellent quote, webhamster Henry!
(C) 2021 WFMU. Generated by KenzoDB, (C) 2000-2021 Ken Garson