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On Privacy and Social Welfare

Maciej Cegłowski, founder of Pinboard, wrote an amazing post on advertising, internet privacy, and benefiting the greater good. It’s incredible, and you should go read every single word of it right now.

One of my favorite quotes from the piece:

It’s not that the city’s social problems are invisible to the programming class. But in some way, they’re not important enough to bother with. Why solve homelessness in one place when you can solve it everywhere? Why fix anything locally, if the solutions can scale?

And so we end up making life easier for tech workers, assuming that anything we do to free up their time will make them more productive at fixing the world for the rest of humanity.

This is trickle-down economics of the worst kind.

And also:

Peter Thiel has publicly complained that giving women the vote back in 1920 has made democratic capitalism impossible.

He asserts that “the fate of our world may depend on the effort of a single person who builds or propagates the machinery of freedom that makes the world safe for capitalism.”

I’m so tired of this shit. Aren’t you tired of this shit?

Seriously, go read the whole thing right now. Do it.