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Sunday Paper - Surveillance Capitalism, Amazon & Whole Foods, Quitting Facebook, Photographic Vision, Uber Burns

Trading privacy for peanuts.

... “Surveillance”, as the security expert Bruce Schneier has observed, is the business model of the internet and that is true of both the public and private sectors. Given how central the network has become to our lives, that means our societies have embarked on the greatest uncontrolled experiment in history. Without really thinking about it, we have subjected ourselves to relentless, intrusive, comprehensive surveillance of all our activities and much of our most intimate actions and thoughts. And we have no idea what the long-term implications of this will be for our societies – or for us as citizens.John Naughton writing for the Guardian

There can be only one.

The similarities go deeper, though: both Colligan and Mackey made the same analytical mistakes: they misunderstood their opponent's goals, strategies, and tactics. This is particularly easy to grok in the case of Colligan and the iPhone: Apple’s goal was not to build a phone but to build an even more personal computer; their strategy was not to add on functionality to a phone but to reduce the phone to an app, and their tactics were not to duplicate the carriers but to leverage their connection with customers to gain concessions from them.

Mackey’s misunderstanding was more subtle and more profound: while the iPhone may be the most successful product of all time, Amazon and Jeff Bezos have their sights on being the most dominant company of all time. Start there, and this purchase makes all kinds of sense.Ben Thompson

I have recently seriously considered the idea of deleting Facebook, Instagram and Google+. I don't interact much on them anymore. I have not actively engaged with anyone on Google+ in months. David Dennis is pulling the plug.

... there's the more relevant fact that once the 'honeymoon' period, where everything felt new, wore off a familiar sense of frustration returned. The truth is that I just don't enjoy having these services in my life anymore, and the period I spent on hiatus was notably more pleasant. This time around I can see that without the distraction of a number of unpleasant Twitter experiences, which while contributory to the magnitude of my frustration at the time were not the sole or even most significant factors, my experience is predominantly one of dissatisfaction and occasionally one of stress. Unfortunately, there is nothing that social media offers to balance the scales; my satisfying and meaningful social interactions come while face–to–face, or through a direct, private channel such as iMessage when immediate proximity is not an option.David Dennis

David duChemin on photographic vision.

From my perspective a depressing vision of the future. Is this what the Native Americans felt when they realized that Europeans and their descendants would soon replace them? Is this what Neanderthals felt when they realized that Homo sapiens would soon replace them?

This is the true essence of life: the struggle to overcome, to be victorious, to survive, and to expand. It’s the same with battling against other animals in the African plains as it is looking to find another star before ours burns out.Daniel Miessler

I'm feeling a lot of schadenfreude. But I don't care.

Some people attribute the company’s missteps to the personal failings of founder-CEO Travis Kalanick. These have certainly contributed to the company’s problems, and his resignation is probably appropriate. Kalanick and other top executives signal by example what is and is not acceptable behavior, and they are clearly responsible for the company’s ethically and legally questionable decisions and practices.

But I suggest that the problem at Uber goes beyond a culture created by toxic leadership. The company’s cultural dysfunction, it seems to me, stems from the very nature of the company’s competitive advantage: Uber’s business model is predicated on lawbreaking. And having grown through intentional illegality, Uber can’t easily pivot toward following the rules.Benjamin Edelman writing in Harvard Business Review