Giridharadas

That billionaire who paid off a graduating class's student loans also supports the hedge-fundie's favorite tax loophole

Billionaire Goldman Sachs alum Robert F Smith made headlines when he donated enough cash to pay off the student loan debt of the entire Class of 2019 at Morehouse College; but Smith is also an ardent supporter of the carried interest tax loophole, which allows the richest people in America to pay little to no tax on the bulk of their earnings, while working Americans (like the Morehouse Class of 2019 will be, shortly) pay their fair share. Read the rest

Chase's idiotic poverty-shaming "inspirational" tweet, and Twitter users' magnificent responses thereto

Every Monday, some poor "brand ambassador" at Chase has to post a "Monday motivation" tweet aimed at convincing people that one of America's largest, most rapacious banks is actually a cuddly, responsible business whose $12 billion bailout from Uncle Sam was perfectly justifiable and sure to be put to excellent use. Read the rest

NYC! I'm coming to The Strand tonight at 7PM with my new book RADICALIZED! Next up: Toronto, Chicago, San Francisco...

Thanks to everyone who came to last night's launch event at San Diego's Mysterious Galaxy! The next stop on my tour is an event at 7PM at The Strand in NYC where I'll be appearing with the award-winning investigative journalist Julia Angwin, who is pinch-hitting for Anand Giridharadas, who has had a family emergency. Read the rest

Los Angeles! I'm launching my new book Radicalized with Lexi Alexander tonight (next: San Diego, NYC, Toronto...)

Tonight is the launch for my latest book of science fiction for adults, Radicalized: I'll be at the Barnes and Novel at The Grove in Los Angeles, in conversation with director/activist/stuntwoman/champion kickboxer Lexi Alexander, starting at 7PM. Read the rest

There is a federal criminal investigation into Facebook's data-sharing deals

The Eastern District of New York empaneled a Grand Jury into the dirty data dealings of Facebook.

I'm going out on tour with my new science fiction book RADICALIZED and I hope to see you!

Radicalized is my next science fiction book, out on March 18 from Tor Books: it contains four novellas about the hope and misery of our moment, from refugees resisting life in an automated IoT hell to health care executives being targeted by suicide bombers who have been traumatized by watching their loved ones die after being denied care. Tor Books is sending me on tour with the book in the US and Canada and I hope you can make it to one of my stops! Read the rest

Artist Nan Goldin leads protests at the Guggenheim and the Met over their reputation-laundering of the Sacklers' opioid epidemic fortunes

The Sackler family (previously) is one of the richest in the world, and if you've heard of them, it's probably because their family name adorns so many art galleries, museums, and academic institutions around the world: but they way they got that money is less-well-known. Read the rest

Harvard Humanists troll the elites who fund the Harvard endowment by awarding Anand Giridharadas a prize

Anand Giridharadas (previously) is the Aspen Fellow/McKinsey consultant turned anticapitalist gadfly whose brilliant book Winners Take All exposes the "philanthrophy" of the ultra-rich as a form of reputation-laundering with the side benefit of allowing some of history's greatest monsters to look at themselves in the mirror. Read the rest

Mark Zuckerberg's 15-year Facebook anniversary post dunks on journalism, omits Myanmar

On the 15th anniversary of Facebook's launch, Mark Zuckerberg says his company will spend more on safety and security in 2019 than the total amount of revenue his company had on hand at the date of its IPO. In a Facebook post today, Zuckerberg takes a swipe at America's technology journalists, and complains about news coverage in 2018 that was critical of Facebook. Read the rest

The plane(t) has been hijacked by billionaires, and we're all passengers

Anand Giridharadas is the Aspen Institute Fellow and former McKinsey consultant whose book Winners Take All is a must-read indictment of the way that charitable activities are used to launder the reputations of billionaires who have looted and boiled our planet, amassing titanic fortunes while starving the public coffers, and still retaining sterling reputations and massive influence thanks to the trickle of funds they release through "philanthropy." Read the rest

Winners Take All: the Davos Edition (how elites launder looting with phoney philanthropy)

With the World Economic Forum kicking off in Davos, Switzerland -- where the super-rich are already decrying Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's massively popular 70% tax-rate on earning over $10,000,000 -- it's a great time to revisit Anand Giridharadas's must-read 2018 book Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World, in which the former McKinsey consultant and Aspen Institute fellow catalogs the way that the super-rich have starved their host-nations of the funds needed to operate a functional civilization, and then laundered their reputations by dribbling back some of that looted booty in the form of "philanthropic donations" that always seem to redound to their personal benefit. Read the rest

Billionaire Beach Villain Vinod Khosla has a thought concerning Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Vinod Khosla is a Silicon Valley venture capitalist who chose to define his legacy through a spectacular legal battle to block access to the public part of a beach area he owns in California.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is the youngest woman ever elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, whose openly progressive positions (especially a proposal to tax rich people's incomes at 70% after the first $10,000,000 a year) have shocked conservatives into an all-consuming hysteria. Moreover, she's very good at Twitter.

Political analyst Anand Giridharadas remarked, this weekend, that the right's condescension and sneering at "AOC" threatened to expose its parochial instincts:

"If you think a freshman congresswoman who actually connects with people and actually understands new technology is the problem with America," Giridharadas wrote, "it may be that you are the problem with America."

Vinod Khosla, however, doubled down on the condescension.

"That is assuming she understands basic economics, actual humans and technology. I doubt if any of those are true."

This would be an unremarkable sentiment if its author had 22 followers and an 8-digit number in their Twitter handle. But in this case it's one of America's richest men. It's so wrong at each turn it only illustrates the hapless self-regard for which The New York Times mocked him as the "beach villain" this generation deserves—and an obvious proxy for the Valley's broader culture.

That is assuming she understands basic economics

Ocasio-Cortez holds a degree in Economics from Boston University and worked 18 hours a day to fend off a bank's attempt to foreclose on her family home. Read the rest

Winners Take All: Modern philanthropy means that giving some away is more important than how you got it

Anand Giridharadas was a former McKinsey consultant turned "thought leader," invited to the stages of the best "ideas festivals" and to TED (twice), the author of some very good and successful books, and as a kind of capstone to this career, he was named a fellow to the Aspen Institute, an elite corps of entrepreneurs who are given institutional support and advice as they formulate "win-win" solutions to the world's greatest problems, harnessing the power of markets to lift people out of poverty and oppression. Read the rest

How "philanthropy" is a way for rich people to preserve the inequality that benefits them

Since its publication in August, Anand Giridharadas's Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World has been tearing through the world, changing the way we think about inequality, philanthropy and elites; Giridharadas is an Aspen Institute Fellow who's long traveled in elite circles, but who concluded that the philanthropy of the super-rich isn't just an inadequate substitute for a fairer world -- it's actually part of the system that perpetuates the gross unfairness of mass inequality. Read the rest

Origins of using "so" as a sentence opener

Anand Giridharadas of the New York Times traces the origins of using the word "so" to start sentences, and its widespread adoption.

So, it is widely believed that the recent ascendancy of "so" began in Silicon Valley. The journalist Michael Lewis picked it up when researching his 1999 book The New New Thing: "When a computer programmer answers a question," he wrote, "he often begins with the word 'so.'" Microsoft employees have long argued that the "so" boom began with them.

...

This logical tinge to "so" has followed it out of software. Starting a sentence with "so" uses the whiff of logic to relay authority. Where "well" vacillates, "so" declaims.

"So" Pushes to the Head of the Line Read the rest

Small, cheap, and not American: the next big thing in mobile

"What if, globally speaking, the iPad is not the next big thing? What if the next big thing is small, cheap and not American?" Anand Giridharadas on the global possibilities involving cheap, accessible, simple cellphones for texting and voicing, "in an age when more humans have access to cellphones than clean toilets." Read the rest

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