I love the illustration for Christopher Hitchens' Vanity Fair
story, "America the Banana Republic." It's based, of course, on the beautiful Jack Davis poster
for Woody Allen's Bananas
Hitchens' piece is well worth reading, too.
I was very struck, as the liquefaction of a fantasy-based system proceeded, to read an observation by Professor Jeffrey A. Sonnenfeld, of the Yale School of Management. Referring to those who had demanded -– successfully -– to be indemnified by the customers and clients whose trust they had betrayed, the professor phrased it like this:
America the Banana Republic
These are people who want to be rewarded as if they were entrepreneurs. But they aren’t. They didn’t have anything at risk.
That’s almost exactly right, except that they did have something at risk. What they put at risk, though, was other people’s money and other people’s property. How very agreeable it must be to sit at a table in a casino where nobody seems to lose, and to play with a big stack of chips furnished to you by other people, and to have the further assurance that, if anything should ever chance to go wrong, you yourself are guaranteed by the tax dollars of those whose money you are throwing about in the first place! It’s enough to make a cat laugh.
I asked Amy Parness, the co-founder of Sparkle Labs, maker of fantastic educational electronics kits, to write a Medium post about gender and the business of being a maker business person. Her terrific essay calls out the problems with “pink girly engineering kits.” From Medium:
Zero UI is the new term for “invisible interfaces”—what happens in the future when all the clicking and tapping and typing is history: “If you look at the history of computing, starting with the jacquard loom in 1801, humans have always had to interact with machines in a really abstract, complex way.” [Fast Company]
CEO Dick Costolo will resign, to be replaced in the interim by Jack Dorsey
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