I missed the chance to post links last week, as I combined a quick weekend trip to Indiana for NEXT with our big office move. It’s exciting to be in some new, larger space that feels a little bit more “us” than the starter arrangements we’re leaving. Skipping last week led to one of those small reminders of how quickly the world changes: the totally crazy stories about the DNC emails and Trump’s potential connection to Russia seem dated. The fact that that’s true is yet another anecdote about this election tipping into farce.
After Brexit & Trump: what’s next?
When people are living amidst history, it’s impossible to understand the full context of how the contemporary feeds into the universal narrative of humanity. People get wrapped in the present, and their own surroundings, which keeps them from fully understanding what’s happening. Historian Tobias Stone asks whether the events unfolding today are like the powder kegs of the past: smaller moves that might unleash significant global impact. What’s most terrifying about these events is that the people involved think they’re doing the right thing, and the long-term effects are not what was intended.
Yahoo failed because Jerry Yang is too nice
I did not realize until I read this article that Yahoo! had opportunities buy both Google AND Facebook. What made Yahoo! different from its former acquisition targets was a comfort at the top with their business as it was. Great technology businesses are defined by ruthless decision making and risky innovation — Bloomberg makes the compelling case that Jerry Yang’s low-key, nice-guy attitude doomed Yahoo! from the beginning. That left them flat-footed, and unable to keep up once they realized who their real competitors were.
It’s definitive: Obamacare increased premiums
It’s possible to argue the pros and cons of the Affordable Care Act. While I believe it was a gross misapplication of government power that failed to solve any of the (legitimate) problems that begat it, there’s a reasonable case to be made around the idea of expanding access to health care and protecting those with preexisting conditions. What’s no longer a tenable argument, though, is that it made care more affordable in any way. This isn’t surprising to anyone who’s taken basic economics: if you’re insuring a larger, sicker, pool of people, costs will need to increase to mitigate risk. Healthcare costs have risen at a higher rate since Obamacare was enacted, confirming that the main problem the bill sought to resolve (high health care costs) has only been made worse by government interference.
Who owns what’s published online?
The New Yorker profiles the travails of Dennis Cooper, a writer who’s blog and Google accounts were deleted without explanation. Every brand or content creator is entirely at the whims of the services that host their work, from Twitter to Google to Squarespace. While these companies are under no obligation to host the work of their clients, the idea that the work can be deleted without any recourse or recovery is problematic. Does Google need to host your blog? No. But should it allow you to recover the data you created? Absolutely. People think I’m crazy keeping backups of everything on physical media, but this is exactly why.