Facebook and the Future of the Social Internet

Published on
February 22nd, 2019
Topic
Technology, US Economy
Duration
53 minutes

Facebook and the Future of the Social Internet

The Interview ·
Featuring Roger McNamee

Published on: February 22nd, 2019 • Duration: 53 minutes • Topic: Technology, US Economy

In the year since Roger McNamee spoke with Real Vision, Facebook’s world has been turned upside-down amid the company’s handling of users’ private data. In this interview with Brian Price, McNamee discusses how he chronicled these alarming developments in his new book, “Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe”. And, despite Mark Zuckerberg’s recent pledge to spend billions on safety and security, McNamee believes that Facebook’s key issues remain unaddressed as they lie within the overall business model. With this, Roger examines how an investor can differentiate between ethically sound tech companies and those that fail to address major flaws. The Silicon Valley legend also explores the future of tech, namely how artificial intelligence could change our lives, for better or worse. Filmed on February 6, 2019 in New York.

Comments

  • AK
    Anthony K.
    3 March 2019 @ 12:18
    Mr McNamee’s criticisms of FB are undermined from the beginning by his thesis that democratic outcomes that he obviously disagrees with (Trump, Brexit, climate change sceptics, etc) are largely the fault of FB. Also, his “if only they (Mark and Sheryl) would listen to me” to make FB great again similarly smacks of someone with a left wing superiority complex. Glad I purchased RV when it was massively discounted years ago. What used to provide a plentiful amount of insightful long form financial analysis is fast becoming a political platform (cf also Kyle Bass series of Sinophobic pieces on RV).
  • AM
    Amy M.
    1 March 2019 @ 13:34
    An observation about the next generation and Facebook/social media: My kids, two in high school and one in middle school, are not on Facebook, and their friends are not on Facebook. They are much more private about their social media use in general and favor use of SM platforms that allow small group interaction with people they know over the noise and static in the larger networks. This is a big, noticeable shift. If the millennial generation grew up trusting all SM and broadcasting everything everywhere, it looks like the next generation is growing up with far less trust in the major platforms, and a healthy dose of caution.
    • CM
      C M.
      5 March 2019 @ 01:54
      This is a good observation. My kids in their 20s are doing the same thing. FB May die off with the baby boomer generation that uses it to either brag or complain.
  • JD
    John D.
    1 March 2019 @ 10:37
    Fantastic.. Great Job Brian...
  • SB
    Stewart B.
    1 March 2019 @ 10:11
    The best way to learn from this interview is to observe Roger rather than learn from him. As humans, we have many cognitive biases which distort our thinking and can lead to very poor decision making. Kahneman et al have documented scores of these. Roger is an excellent example. Notice how in his mind everything must be undeniably true or undeniably false, and there is no room for uncertainty. As humans, this feels reassuring. But the sad truth is that most things, especially in markets and politics carries uncertainty. If you believe you know that everything is either certainly true or certainly false, you will get destroyed when it comes to forecasting or trading. Can I recommend we get Annie Duke on Real Vision? She is excellent on the subject of uncertainty, forecasting and acknowledging (and overcoming) our cognitive biases. (Hope it's ok to request this here. I have no affiliation - I just liked her book and a couple of podcasts I've heard.)
  • SB
    Stewart B.
    1 March 2019 @ 09:38
    Roger claims that 100% of scientists confirm the connection between human actions and climate change. He is wrong. Many scientists don't. Specifically, most scientists in the field are not so quick to jump to that specific conclusion - ie there is uncertainy. If there is uncertainy, do you really want Roger's people dictating that an issue with uncertainty is certainly true? Just to clarify, climate change itself is near undeniable. However the extent of human's influence on it is uncertain. Personally I am neither a denier or super-alarmist. It's an important issue but I have checked the data myself (from several hundred weather bureaus) and can confirm the 'hockey stick' graphs do not exist in reality. I hate being lied to, or having people claim we should be certain about something (and censored otherwise) when genuine uncertainty exists.
  • SB
    Stewart B.
    1 March 2019 @ 08:58
    A big thumbs down. Who should determine what is true and how much of it get to see? Donald Trump perhaps? Hillary Clinton? Nigel Farage? Donald Tusk? Jeff Bezos? How about Guy Verhofstadt? If you don't feel confident with these suggestions, ask yourself why any other person is more likely to be objective and not swayed by their own political leanings? Disinformation is a problem but the cure is worse than the disease. Roger belongs in a politburo, not liberal democracy.
  • JP
    John P.
    1 March 2019 @ 03:08
    If Facebook is soo addicting then why is it seeing such steep declines in usage?
  • ML
    Michael L.
    27 February 2019 @ 09:16
    why does McNamee think he's the arbiter of whats true and right?
  • JO
    James O.
    25 February 2019 @ 20:29
    He would have been better to stay focused on google and Facebook. The rest of the discussion hurt his credibility.
  • SG
    Sashi G.
    25 February 2019 @ 14:09
    Interesting to read the wide spectrum of comments this interview brought out. Clearly touched a nerve with most people, one way or another, I am guessing since he touched on a few hot topics in today's internet/app world. I disagree that this sort of interview should not be available on RV. Yes, it may not directly be about investing in terms of a trade idea or strategy but everything here need not be. And as Raoul made it clear in his messages - RV is about democratizing the financial/news access. A lot of wide ranging content to be made available and we are free to choose what we wish to watch (or not). I do not see anything to be attributed to politics here. Of course, I am putting my faith in RV that it will continue to be an unbiased media platform but I suspect that if it starts leaning one way or the other, the user base will start to shift as well. In Raoul, Grant, Milton, et al. we trust? ;-)
  • CL
    Clinton L.
    25 February 2019 @ 02:35
    Goofle and FB should pay for their products adictive nature? Wow, traditinal games are adictive. I guess makers of playing cards and foot balls should pay for bad effects?
  • CL
    Clinton L.
    25 February 2019 @ 02:11
    Traditional advertising for mags, road signs, telemarkerts,,,, you say those advertisers collect consumer data to serve consumers and not the advertiser's customers who buy ads? What the speaker says is maybe easily misunderstood?
  • PG
    Philippe G.
    24 February 2019 @ 23:40
    Great conversation. Timely and relevant!
  • CH
    Colin H.
    24 February 2019 @ 22:17
    A great man
  • DF
    Diamantino F.
    24 February 2019 @ 19:08
    Where is the backbone of this guy !! If u believe FB manipulates elections and democracy then you can't be part of it, sorry you either in it or out of it,,,,
  • DP
    David P.
    24 February 2019 @ 11:24
    And the comment section down there is such a sweet illustration of the subject you discussed. Thanks Roger.
  • ml
    michael l.
    23 February 2019 @ 22:34
    I don't get a lot of the negativity expressed here. If you don't agree with Roger's views on climate change, ok fine. But, that wasn't the thrust of the conversation. He was much more focused on the balance of power, or lack thereof, that has developed between FB, Google, their user bases and other industries, and in that regard, he raises a lot of very good questions that need to be debated. I see below that a few comment to the effect that, "Sure, we know FB is using our data and that is ok with us because it's the trade-off for FB being a free service." Ok, but what about FB targeting children with apps, as he pointed out? What about FB being able to pull data from my phone (I am not a FB user)? Seems to me that these companies have defaulted to a model that they will do everything that they can do to profit, regardless of the externalities. Those externalities are beginning to surface (see, for example, screen addictions among children/teens), however, and over time that will require some type of regulatory response.
    • TM
      The-First-James M.
      25 February 2019 @ 13:20
      I agree wholeheartedly. I have a number of nieces and nephews, both with responsible and irresponsible parents. The latter think nothing about sitting down their 2 - 3 year olds in front of YouTube for 2 - 3 hour stretches. We have caught their kids watching some really disturbing material - an old woman locking children in cages to the tune of a nursery rhyme for one! This has been a contributory factor to myself and my GF falling out with the parents of those particular children - we can only take so much stupidity, and witnessing it in a personal capacity hurts! I contrast this to my immediate friends and family who keep their toddlers off YouTube and Smart Devices, or limit them with cast iron control - Amazon tablets for kids come with superior and simple parental controls, so you can at least limit daily screentime and know your children are watching or interacting with appropriate material, vetted by you. These children seem both happier, have better social skills and are better behaved. It annoys the heck out of me when I think of the damage companies like Facebook and Google are doing to the current young generation of toddlers - enabled by stupid, ****witted parents, who hand over their devices to easily gain a few hours of peace and quiet via YouTube. These companies are culpable and irresponsible.
  • MT
    Mike T.
    23 February 2019 @ 20:43
    complementary reading:.... https://www.amazon.com/dp/0525536515/ref=rdr_ext_tmb
  • JB
    Jim B.
    23 February 2019 @ 17:00
    Roger, please do two things: 1) catch up on your scientific reading and 2) stop trying to prescribe what I read or consume on the internet. There are serious First Amendment implications in what you are apparently advocating. You were much better as an investor than you are as a "full time activist." I suspect Roger wants get power, or maybe just attention, by jumping on the anti-tech bandwagon. (Maybe he wants to be regulator-in-chief of the Internet?) His presumption that people are weak or stupid and can't control their impulses - and thus that social media is "dangerous" - is pure arrogance. Listen to his casual disdain for people who believe things that are "demonstrably" untrue. I happen to be a well-read, well-informed investor who understands that CO2 which comes from human activity is unlikely to cause significant global temperature rise - but to Roger, I'm obviously one of the unwashed ignorant who needs to be protected from my own stupidity.
    • TM
      The-First-James M.
      25 February 2019 @ 13:27
      You're wrong. There is no shortage of stupid people and irresponsible parents in the World. I have personally witnessed the children of my GF's brother watching old women shutting children in cages to the tune of a nursery rhyme on YouTube. We have now fallen out with said parents because there is only so much stupidity we can take when it comes to observing how they're 'raising' their children. I don't know what kind of damage is being done to toddlers by allowing them to consume this kind of material in their formative years, but I suspect it's not going to be good and society is going to suffer for it. These companies are culpable.
  • SU
    Shakeel U.
    23 February 2019 @ 11:26
    I trust Mark Zuckerberg alot more than I do Roger McNamee
    • SS
      Sam S.
      23 February 2019 @ 13:06
      Ditto that! Mr. McNamee calls himself an analyst. Why is it I found the link posted in my comments below and he didn't----or he did and ignored it. RV subscribers are very smart people & I love their participation in the discussing the issues.
    • TM
      The-First-James M.
      25 February 2019 @ 13:30
      Would this be the same Zuckberg who, when in college and asked about why people were entrusting their personal data to him, observed that, "People trust me - dumb f***s". Yep, trusting Zuck seems like such a smart thing to do...
    • SS
      Sam S.
      1 March 2019 @ 15:02
      It's "trust" in the discussion, not the honesty of the person. I think Roger really cares, but seems more like a wounded dove who missed out.
  • IH
    Iain H.
    23 February 2019 @ 05:50
    I enjoyed the interview more than I thought I would but I am surprised at the opposition to some of Rogers thoughts. While I don't agree with everything he said, I do think the issues of anti-trust are very real and are at the crux of inequality and the rise of populist politics. I am not just referring to tech anti trust either, oligopolies and monopolistic practices exist cross almost all sectors. From monopolistic practices raise political corruption, bad policy and a weakening of a society through the suppression if ideas and technologies that could challenge the monopolists and oligopolies. Capitalism relies on free markets and competition. Anti-trust is as important to constrain monopolistic activities and maintain free market competition so the power of the capitalist system can deliver equally to all of society as it is equally important to insure authoritarian governments don't restrict competition to benefit the crony's that prop up politicians. Unfortunately I believe today we have the later so anyone cheering for applying anti trust laws in my book deserves supporting.
  • aD
    amol D.
    23 February 2019 @ 02:27
    Really enjoyed the interview, as I do most of the time on Real Vision. Don't always side with the speaker but then that's the point isn't it? I get to hear from a wide variety of opinions that may not agree with my own and decide whether they hold water or not. Not sure why everyone so bothered. If Roger hadn't shown his political stripes would it have made the content more or less true?
  • OC
    OTTO C.
    22 February 2019 @ 22:57
    I love technology and I agree with Roger on some of his points. Nevertheless, we are voluntarily trading our privacy for the free use of these products. Personally, I don't use Facebook because I don't have time for useless information. I use Google, knowingly that they are using my information, because I consider that the value I get from the product is a fair trade. I do agree that we need to be concern with the lack of antitrust enforcement or we'll pay a high price.
  • SS
    Sam S.
    22 February 2019 @ 21:17
    Mr. McNamee, herein is the link to Senate Minority Report regarding Global Warming (now Climate Change once proven warming not the case) that disputes your "facts",. Politicians like Al Gore, demanded Global Warming become "policy" and the hell with the facts. Pollution is everyone's major major issue. and must be battled, even at the cost of higher prices. But to claim humans have control to change the climate is utter shite. We're heading into a mini-ice age, solar minims (less output by the sun) which causes more earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. One volcano produces more deadly pollution and climate change, than man causes in a year or more. Now your asking FB to control what people think and do or not do, based on your assumptions of what people believe. The UN funding grants paid to scientists to search & find the data to prove their conclusions. Einstein would say that's ridiculous. Study the data then draw the conclusions. Policy is nothing more than a huge taxation scheme that changes nothing regarding climate change. Taxing cow farts----really!? I'm 12 minutes into this video and writing the above. The link: https://www.epw.senate.gov/public/_cache/files/8/3/83947f5d-d84a-4a84-ad5d-6e2d71db52d9/01AFD79733D77F24A71FEF9DAFCCB056.senateminorityreport2.pdf You should be promoting the news media getting back to the fairness doctrine, especially with all their fake bullshit news. Their influence is no different than the FB issues you are complaining about. You're talking about human behavior, all on the backbone of FB & Google. Data & Privacy concerns are very important but that will have to happen through laws and politics. The problem, politics has no morality---good luck with that. Only way will be FB customers/users close or just not use their account. However, everyone is either a voyeur or an exhibitionist----or both. If the product is FREE, then you're the product! China is not our friend nor do they have our citizens or our capital structure with best of intentions. The American People are smarter than we give them credit. It's because of the internet & the great technology tools at our finger tips. Your heart is in the right place, so I gave this interview a thumbs up. Many examples of people finding religion, so to speak, after becoming rich.
    • JL
      James L.
      23 February 2019 @ 11:25
      Good one Sam, you said exactly what I was thinking. Scientists quoted by the IPCC sued them to remove their names because it was bunk science.
    • SS
      Sam S.
      23 February 2019 @ 12:58
      Thanks James L.!
    • RD
      Ravi D.
      24 February 2019 @ 13:16
      Well said.
    • C
      Cameron .
      25 February 2019 @ 13:59
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjlC02NsIt0 "lets just take Florida for example.. in the prospectus when you invest, in the footnotes, "if global warming was real and water rises 10 feet, this investment you make is worth fuck all... not one single investment prospectus written this century has alluded to global warming... if it was really true, the banks wouldn't invest, the banks wouldn't finance not one motherfucking condominium" yep..
    • DW
      Doug W.
      25 February 2019 @ 14:39
      Sam, Thank you for your response. Very well said!
  • BS
    Brian S.
    22 February 2019 @ 21:11
    My reaction to this interview was, for the first part of it, very negative. I almost stopped watching. However, it's good to listen to people with whom you disagree, so I finished watching. Overall, I see I am in agreement with most of the people's comments. Roger did make some good points, but in my view, people like him are dangerous. They are so SMART, smarter than the average bear, and they will tell the regulators how to fix things. People like him obviously hate a free society. For example, his analogy of the chemical industry to FB/Google was ridiculous. The chemical industry caused real harm to people through their actions; of course they should be held accountable. FB/Google doesn't. If you don't like it, don't use it (that's why I quit using it). Of course they're not really free. If you don't realize that, then too bad. Again, you either have a free society or you don't. Also, his comment about climate change was simply a bold faced lie. Let me repeat, he LIED about climate change. He said ALL scientists believe it. I can find plenty who don't. He also implied that the science behind climate change is correct. Well, he obviously hasn't studied it (or has he...?). One of the tenets of the global warming theory is that CO2 is causing global warming. The problem for these people is that when the earth goes through a warming period, CO2 does not increase prior to the warming period (which would indicate it might be causing the warming). Rather, it increases AFTER the warming period, which disproves the theory. Yet people like this guy hang on to it. He's a statist who thinks, much like all Democrat and Republican politicians, that government regulation will "fix" things. It never does and never will. Believers in global warming have a God-less view of life. If you think the burps and flatulence of a cow puts our planet at risk, the implication is you don't believe there is a God who created everything and somehow managed to take that into account. Having said all that, this was not a particularly helpful video from an investment/finance perspective. But, it is a good reminder that the world is full of statists like this guy who think they know better and want the government to enforce their views on everyone else.
    • HK
      H K.
      23 February 2019 @ 13:31
      Excellent comment - you've said every single point that rose in my mind watching this.
    • AC
      Andrew C.
      25 February 2019 @ 16:32
      God ? Really? Which one? Zeus? Shiva? Ra? Sheesh !
  • WM
    William M.
    22 February 2019 @ 20:54
    Roger expresses no concern about AMZN - which probably has destroyed more competitors than FB & GOOG with it's massive loss leader anti-competitive sales practices (i.e. it doesn't really make any profit on anything but cloud services). Also TV and newspapers used to get most of their revenue from ads - and viewers and readers figured out how to tune them out - just as most of us ignore most internet ads (if we can't outright block them). Also is our data ultimately really all that valuable that we should be paid for it? Many of us are fine getting useful and/or fun free services from the likes of Google, just as we grew up watching the major networks like ABC, CBS & NBS for free from our TVs with rabbit ear antennas.
  • GO
    Greg O.
    22 February 2019 @ 20:25
    Really good interview on important subject, that most people don’t pay any attention to (and they should). Intersting that besides an honest concern for the things that matter (or should matter) to many (even they are not yet awere of them) I didn’t notice any biases political or otherwise. But I’m sure that all of the bashers here would love another „trade ideas” video instead by some CTA schmuck that will them how to trade . This is exactly the type of crowd that don’t undersand WTF is going on around them. Oh well...
  • SS
    Steven S.
    22 February 2019 @ 18:33
    The last interview Roger did on RV stunk so very badly that even seeing his image on here again made me vomit a little in my mouth -no thanks.
    • SS
      Steven S.
      22 February 2019 @ 18:34
      who's next in the returning deep state line up Bill Browder ????
    • RP
      Raoul P. | Founder
      22 February 2019 @ 21:11
      Let's keep our politics and ad hominem's out of this. Frankly, whether Roger upsets your political sensibilities are not our or anyone else's concern. We gave Steve Bannon an hour so why not Roger? We expect a level of politeness and discourse in Real Vision. You are free to not like it, debate it, etc but let's do it intelligently. This isn't youtube or Facebook..
    • CC
      Christopher C.
      22 February 2019 @ 21:41
      Agree on the flagrant employment of ad hominems. That being said is it correct or even possible to ask to keep politics out of the conversation when the interview guest is suggesting legal (and thus by their nature political) remedies to the matter at hand? How does one discuss Brexit, as an example, without at least tangentially discussing politics? Or the issue of stock buybacks which seems (hopefully?) to migrating to the political realm? Or legislated clawbacks for fiscal executive malfeasance, etc.
    • SS
      Sam S.
      23 February 2019 @ 13:11
      Hey Raoul, while I agree Steven's word choices are strong, it's nothing compared to many comments over many video presentations, that I've read in the past. RV Platform is all about free speak and free thinking. True open debate, even if the message is hard to swallow. Let it ride.
    • SS
      Steven S.
      25 February 2019 @ 19:17
      Raoul - sorry for my harsh initial delivery. Love RV....but as you say -RV gave us Roger McNamee to Steve Bannon -so to remain impartial can I suggest that you/RV get Martin Armstrong on as a direct rebuttal to Bill Browder from his first hand knowledge? And while we are at it -how about having RV open up the membership to crowdsource some questions to featured guests in advance of taping???? This may help you achieve your stated RV mission... My questions for ROGER would have been - 1)What was Lifelog? and did it or its' principals influence his FB investment? 2)Who is Michael McKibben of Leader Technologies ? What can he offer to this story of social media and patent law? 3)Considering Michael McKibben's disclosure along with Bill Binney (4th Amendment rights) - now Roger please please tell us about the future of Social Internet.............................start at the the beginning say-wireless technology & the wellington house/tavistock institute.
  • CC
    Christopher C.
    22 February 2019 @ 18:20
    A few questions. A.) Do people deny the connection between human action and climate change? Or do the thinking souls amongst us understand, 1.) Climate change on Earth has been and will be the constant. 2.) Human action is absolutely impacting that change. 3.) We are REALLY FUCKING SUSPICIOUS of attempts to centralize power under any banner given the complete moral bankruptcy of those fighting to "lead the charge" in any direction given the depths they are willing to debase themselves to achieve/maintain their grip on power? 4.) And given Antarctica is littered with the fossils of ferns and reptiles, species which can only occur at such latitudes with a much warmer Earth, who's to say we are not reverting to the mean? Such questions would only be asked by thinking folks. Such askers of such questions are immediately squashed as climate change deniers by folks who seek power at any cost, or the vast majority who just wish to be amongst "the consensus" at any price.. I could be wrong. B.) Throwing all of the legitimate fears of the risks of vaccines into the dustbin labeled, "Thoughts only wacko's think" would seem to come down squarely in the camp of thought suggesting Corporations always put the best interest of their customers and society at large ahead of profits. That is the height of inanity. Here is a short video from a fella that used to sell them. And chose not to vaccinate his kids. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YVPkCQxqz4 I am not shilling for either camp, but to make blanket statements like the ones presented in this interview as settled fact ignores such inconvenient truths like the American Food Pyramid as published by the United States Department of Agriculture, is now proven propaganda, published at the behest of their masters. Social Media has many challenges, not the least being the mainstream media's fiscal AND control model being completely disintermediated. Just not sure there was much value added to the necessary nuance to have a thoughtful conversation around the germane issues in this interview, except to be a shining example of what will not work if you want to truly explore the issues at a level that is edifying long term. There is value in recognizing that in and of itself. Everyone who is not suspicious of social media's new demonstrated global macro bias toward limiting free speech and defunding/demonetizing its proponents is a short sighted fool. I could be wrong and am willing to be disabused of my position given a logical, rationale alternative.
    • GF
      Gordon F.
      25 February 2019 @ 23:47
      Let me toss out one more suspicion. I suspect that the fundamental reason that FB, Google, et al. are not worried about anti-trust, liability, etc., is that they are KNOWINGLY the chief intelligence collecting venues for the US security apparatus, and thus know that any actions taken against them will be superficial. Even worse, they may be under "guidance" to help make their products even more addictive or "useful" so as to get ever larger swaths of the human race in their nets. For example, I live in Ecuador, and Whatsapp is used by all sorts of groups to coordinate their members. Do you think that the security apparatus doesn't find that a gold mine? Of course, it is advertised as totally encrypted, but you can believe as much of that as you want to. Big Brother has found better tools than George Orwell ever dreamed of, in that they don't have to impose surveillance on the world - the world eagerly adopts it! And they do all they can to make it MORE addictive. Thus, I have no expectation that the big tech companies will do anything to really address the issues addressed in this interview.
  • SL
    Shanan L.
    22 February 2019 @ 18:14
    Agree or disagree, it was a good and interesting interview. Keep it up RV
  • MM
    Michael M.
    22 February 2019 @ 14:53
    This guy might be smart but his political opinions and biases are absolute elitist garbage.
  • MW
    Myron W.
    22 February 2019 @ 14:46
    I still appreciate that RV brings on a variety of perspectives, but this might be the exception. A patronizing, paternalistic guy shilling his book... not for me. Brian did a solid job as usual, but didn't push back on anything - but I get that's the RV approach for the most part.
  • JM
    Jim M.
    22 February 2019 @ 14:40
    Everything this guy says has to be considered through the prism of his politics - far Left.
    • MM
      Michael M.
      22 February 2019 @ 15:02
      Like most of them - a wealthy far left virtue signaller getting their dopamine fix from their peers at vapid cocktail parties.
  • SW
    Scott W.
    22 February 2019 @ 13:01
    It is NOT demonstrably NOT true that humans AREN'T causing "climate change". Yes. Parse that. It's possible that humans have caused global warming. It's possible too that we've influenced it but that other factors have far greater impact. It's possible that we've had negligible impact. What is demonstrably true is that predicted effects are not borne out by data with enough consistency to support assertions sans nuance. And when this occurs, one must re-evaluate the underlying hypothesis. That's where we are. Science is not a vote. And not every scientist tows the company line on "climate change". We don't know enough at the moment to have the same confidence as McNamee.
    • EW
      Evan W.
      22 February 2019 @ 14:28
      I was talking to a PhD (you know, a scientist) at work the other day, and I said we need to consider climate change, and he said there isn't enough evidence. I said, but almost all scientists say climate change is real. He got angry and said he is tired of hearing that because most scientists do not agree with climate change propaganda.
    • MM
      Michael M.
      22 February 2019 @ 15:00
      Exactly. The appeal to authority is precisely the opposite of how science (not a priestly Scientism) is supposed to work. Never mind the fact that literally all of their nonsense predictions have failed to materialise.
    • CK
      Chris K.
      22 February 2019 @ 17:29
      It all comes down to what one means by climate change. It's hard to argue that increased CO2 does not alter the energy balance of the atmosphere: the energy spectrum of incoming (shortwave) sunlight and outgoing terrestrial (longwave) radiation is well known, as is the absorption spectrum of CO2. The debate is about the impacts of increased CO2 levels (and other greenhouse gases) in the atmosphere: how much excess energy is absorbed by the ocean, how much is converted to latent heat, over what time scales, etc. And how does this translate (if at all) to things like sea-level rise, more severe storms, colder winters? One could argue that the system is too complex to every fully comprehend, and the question is whether one is comfortable with the (potential) risks of altering a system we don't understand but depend on.
    • AC
      Andrew C.
      25 February 2019 @ 04:10
      But what if humans are not causing climate change and we create a better world for nothing?
  • MP
    Matthew P.
    22 February 2019 @ 12:56
    Unfortunately we can’t fix mass ignorance and manipulation. What we can adjust is the recommendation algorithms that create feedback loops and echo chambers of people’s only intake for information (these social platforms). However, this creates a new problem. The bias on the software engineers part on how they adjust the recommendation system. E.g. Google’s search engine returning crime statistics that minimize detailing of majority being black young males, due to racism allegations. Thus the recommendation is altered to show less of this, less of “the truth” which in itself is a manipulation. Very tough paradox to solve for, and identifying the problem is only the first step in resolution. Saying “somebody should regulate this” and giving it to the hands of legislators is a sure way to make a bad thing terrible, in my opinion.

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