Saturday, April 19, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

"We wanted flying cars, and we got 140 characters"

"We wanted flying cars, and we got 140 characters"

A profile of venture capitalist Peter Thiel in the new New Yorker (yes, the New Yorker) is one of the more thought-provoking pieces I've read in a while. Here's the money paragraph:

The information age has made Thiel rich, but it has also been a disappointment to him. It hasn’t created enough jobs, and it hasn’t produced revolutionary improvements in manufacturing and productivity. The creation of virtual worlds turns out to be no substitute for advances in the physical world. “The Internet—I think it’s a net plus, but not a big one,” he said. “Apple is an innovative company, but I think it’s mostly a design innovator.” Twitter has a lot of users, but it doesn’t employ that many Americans: “Five hundred people will have job security for the next decade, but how much value does it create for the entire economy? It may not be enough to dramatically improve living standards in the U.S. over the next decade or two decades.” Facebook was, he said, “on balance positive,” because of the social disruptions it had created—it was radical enough to have been “outlawed in China.” That’s the most he will say for the celebrated era of social media.

He sort of blames the 1970s. Don't we all?

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Will Bunch
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