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Track Changes

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Jan 23, 2018

Are we experiencing bitcoin’s tulip-mania moment? Do we need to care about the iPhone X? Is Russia our biggest threat? Paul and Rich talk about the top three letdowns of last year, and make predeictions for what’s coming down the pike.

A Bad Technology Year: This week Paul Ford and Rich Ziade sit down to talk scrutinize 2017. We talk about being letdown by iPhone X, relate the bitcoin economy to tulipmania, and question how we will deal with cyberwarfare in the future. We also make goals for the year ahead —  Paul wants to go to more museums; Rich wants a good omelet!


5:01 — Rich: “I think if you trace money back to its roots it’s goods and services, right? … So, I don’t understand where the dotted line goes from Bitcoin. It seems to go back to Bitcoin.”

5:40 — Paul: “we live in an economy that favours bubbles…It takes an entire aluminum smelting plant in China to process one transaction on wish.com with Bitcoin… At what point do you look at this and go, ‘Maybe this isn’t sustainable.’”

6:05— Paul: “The Silicon Valley ethos around technology, if you talk to venture capital people they are very, very focused not necessarily on making amazing, awesome products. That’s a big part of what they do but what they really wanna do is make the marketplace. Google is a great search engine. Truly great. Probably the best in the world. However, where it really is, is a marketplace for ad distribution.”

11:19 — Rich: “If you can maintain scarcity that’s where value lies.”

13:26 — Rich: “This is a big deal, right? Because what we saw is that platforms can be consolidated to the point on the internet that they have massive, direct cultural power. And then you can feed that with complete garbage information that satisfies the users.”

17:17 —Paul: “We’re two Mr. Digital Guys and we went to war without knowing it. And we just got the crap kicked out of us….the Russians were like, “Well, what can we do?”… “We can’t use nuclear weapons. That’s really bad. Let’s avoid that, at least so far.” ... “But boy, you know, with one relatively cheap cable modem line we can destabilize a giant global democracy”.

A full transcript of this episode is available.

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Track Changes is the weekly technology and culture podcast from Postlight, hosted by Paul Ford and Rich Ziade. Production, show notes and transcripts by EDITAUDIO. Podcast logo and design by Will Denton of Postlight.

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