tv Andrew Keen How to Fix the Future CSPAN February 25, 2018 5:50pm-7:01pm EST
good evening, everybody. can you hear me in the back? my name is jonathan woollen, the event coordinator here at politics and prose. thank you for coming out on this friday night. if everybody could please silence your cell phones, that would be wonderful. just don't want any ringing phones. we are recording on c-span comes in and don't want to be the person who goes off in the middle of everything. also, similar reasons we would like you to come up to the microphone during the q-and-a. your question can be on the recording and c-span so everybody can hear it at a later date. and then the last thing after the talk it would be helpful for the stafthis task if you could d up the chairs and lean up against the bookshelf and what have you done with the grief. in the meantime, we are happy to
have you on your phone takes pictures on social media and such during the event. as long as we can promote us, that's great. #howtofixthefuture would be wonderful and politics and prose. we are happy to welcome andrew keen back. it's been about three years since he spoke at the podium for his last book "the internet is not the answer," which calls for the digital vertigo that has been instrumental providing counterbalance to the narrative of the technological developmenn the digital age pushing us into some progress of utopia. the experience himself having worked oitself havingworked on l silicon valley for many years for the past books and their
critique in the internet's effect on our lives has drawn from a manner of cultural figures from nobel prize-winning authors to the historians like walter isaacson to musicians and copyright commentators like david lowery. his new book is somewhat brighter as a follow-up. how to fix the future in which he does in fact see vital ways in which we can fix the future relationship in the technology into seeing examples of hope over the world from estonia to india to silicon valley itself a. of joining andrew in conversation tonight is christopher, himself a technical entrepreneur, advisor and mustard. his book, start uprising, which we have, chronicles the business boom and the middle east of dubai, cairo and more. please join me in helping welcome them here to politics and prose. >> i would like to start by thinking politics and prose, ann amazing book storandamazing booy
of people who love books. it's extraordinary, not only in washington but everywhere. we think c-span has playe who'sa similar role around the country making people who love books and have written wonderful books really connect in a powerful way and of course thanks to all of you for being here tonight for the wonderful conversation i suspect your questions of the evening we will get to sue an. i was introduced into the venture capital firm from the next billion ventures focusing on technology in silicon valley. i wrote this book which i assure you is the most hopeful book on the air arab world and is still quite relevant about that hopeful place but i have to tell you of all of the journeys i have had none have been more educational or provocative than in my three decades friendship with andrew. just a little more background he was born and raised in london, studied their, got a masters in
history, berkeley and talks in northeastern and more. he probably became himself a tech entrepreneur in the mid mid-1990s a decade o for a decae lived the life in silicon valley firsthand. these books have been phenomenal reads a very provocative and entrepreneurial about the user generated content. it was prophetic in the way that warnings today about addiction and social media and the internet is not the answer it speaks for itself for an international bestseller and i want to add gq magazine has called him one of the top hundred most connected than. there is an opportunity andrew isn't a good global citizen and understands america better than most americans i know, but i wanted to you that you can fully take the english man out of
england because if you turn roughly to page 146 he refers to yogi berra, the capture as a shortstop. [laughter] so you go with that but he also said the future ain't what it used to be which is a perfect segue. i want to get into this marvelous book. if you don't mind if we could spend a couple of minutes about you this journey of a historian who can't be good to so to so compelling is an unusual path and i wonder if you could talk a little bit about that with us here. >> i think one of the nice things about silicon valley as it has attracted a very eclectic crowd when i landed there for various reasons in the mid-90s where a lot of other people were doing things anyone could do it. i have no business background or
experience anyone could do anything. i'm often called a skeptic and a critic but i'm actually a big fan of the openness and excitement of silicon valley. writing these books has been exciting but anything is quite as exciting as the startups in the mid-90s. i have no idea what i would have been doing that none of us did. i feel very lucky to have had the luck to have been in san francisco in the '90s and has no career, no future. like everybody else i became an entrepreneur. >> tell us a little bit about that, it's in the book but still a personal site of you, there was a moment that you were out there in all of the excitement and enthusiasm when you started to say there were things that didn't feel right to you.
was there a moment of epiphany that you started to think this may be too much? >> i think with these kind of evangelical events you get bored hearing the same thing that technology is going to improve the world and change th changedd and make the world a better place. before i was a field of silicon valley entrepreneur i was a failed academic and jim will tell you or not you, but my background was actually in eastern europe in the study of communism, so i think having the this knowledge and interest in seeing the seductiveness of the ideas and the way that the utopian ideas could prove to be not only seductive but very destructive was an interesting
education, which certainly inspired me to write my first book. and the theme of utopia of the east european version of the original english version is a very important theme probably the most central in the book. >> let's get into that a little if you could. there's the question of utopia but if anyone from history decades ago looked up what's going on today, they would be impressed. they are killing each other less, so talk about that. people say things need to be done but this is a good time to be alive. what are you missing and what did see differently? >> i think the work is interesting and the argument is credible, but there is no doubt we are living through a
profoundly disruptive time in human history certainly in western human history the digital revolution as i argue in the book is a consequential structurally dramatic as the revolution of the middle part of the 19th century. sure, no one is starving. they don't have 11-year-olds working in factories. our cities can still walk in the streets into now working class were so-called working class isn't starving on the streets, there is a revolution around the barricades as we walk around outside. but whether or not they are right, we are living out a very troubling time when we talk about fixing the future we assume it is in the same that it's broken and that is for areas in particular associative and thassociatedin the resolutil revolution. the cause and effect is
complicated and i don't want to turn it into the first move of everything on the digital revolution. but certainly the increasingly dramatic, economic cultural inequality of time, the looming threat of the structural unemployment particularly associated with aei is the crisis manifested in all sorts of ways from the eco- chamber culture to fake news to the infidelity of the web to the fact that we have an increasing the assistance xenophobic culture manifested up the road with certain individuals, and the surveillance of the silicon valley companies like facebook and google where we've become the product and these are big issues. i don't know what pinker would think about that and whether it is worse than the death or the industrial revolution. i'm sure you could argue that fewer people have died in
surveillance capitalism but on the western front in the first world war it is neither here nor there. i don't think people need to be reminded of the things were not worth it in history so you shouldn't worry about what is going on in their own society. the deceptions are not always historical and if we feel alienated and exploited and we don't have a job where we are driving in guber car in the morning and renting out our air bnb, whether or not we are more or less exploited is neither here nor there. >> every time, i don't think they were sitting on the beach watching the plane take off and someone says they will use this to bomb. alwaybomb.
it always is a double-edged doud sword to rethink you articulate in the book, particularly you talk about in the book and the problems with facebook and it's interesting because a lot of the places i go on the ground i see these kids who facebook and insta graham is their connection they see what they never could have seen years ago. they think of themselves as small businessmen and women. they can make the same amount of money still get their kids games. >> how do you think about this because there are new issues that come with it but there's also things that have been unleashed by technology that are solving problems we couldn't have dreamed of even five years ago. >> i think we have to get beyond that discussion as black-and-white debate.
i could sit here and talk about the technical fiction and how uber drivers claim to earn less than the minimum wage. i could talk about the ways that companies like uber even are not covering health insurance. so the argument is also the credible argument on the other side of. i also think that your experience in the developing world in cairo or indonesia is different and the focus of my work has always been in the developed world rather than the developing world so you are absolutely right and certainly services, sharing companies services, innovation startups. they offer remarkable opportunities. though i would say some of it is dreamily seductive i don't know the numbers. but how many people's startups are actually realized and how many kids from the slums of
cairo are getting funding from you? >> you see kids come out of nowhere to become fundamental, but the kid that is now using a mobile phone to reach the other city or town and can tak can't t is an unfortunate two or $5 a day which doesn't sound like much but it is unlocked and so it isn't just a manifestation of silicon valley startups in a lot of the rising markets. it's that people have tools in their hand to see what they've never seen before and reach customers that they were never able to reach before. >> sometimes my work is misunderstood in that sense. my critique is mostly of the industrial west rather than the postindustrial west. to tell you that a startup entrepreneur and africa shouldn't use a smart phone to develop a new business would be absurd and it is an area that i write much about. >> you do something very
interesting that these people are calling for the weather and think they would be doing this. you are calling for more regulation. you believe the government needs to develop in the issues in ways you don't hear the business people call for. what's going on. >> particularly in silicon valley sho with recognized in te values of regulation and one of the things i argue is there is an infinite relationship between innovation and regulations so for example in a late '90s you had one dominant company microsoft that was strangling it so dramatically that the regulators had to come along and focus on antitrust an and undere and weaken them and take their eye off the ball which enabled the explosion of innovation and
we are back to the future again in 2018 we have these companies that are the five largest boost highly valued companies in the world and they are undermining google, apple, microsoft, amazon and facebook. these are not in themselves bad companies. all of our friends companies want to be monopolies. that is natural you want to dominate the market but is it good for innovation.
we need the same kind of regulation today whether it is antitrust regulation, whether it is new walls on protecting the data privacy for consumers, whether it is the law of perhaps even how. sensible business people whether it is bill gates recognized the value and i think silicon valley is changing and more people in silicon valley are recognizing that the technology is about to be regulated. we moved into what steve called the third wave, and the third wave i think he's absolutely right it is the political stage.
the french are excessive regulators which forces them to pay newspapers and it is absurd. and counterproductive. >> i want to get into that because i know that one of the concerns i have is particularly washington where the regulators our age and older to get them to understand what the ramifications are shall we say are often a challenge and in this book you talk about amazing innovators and governments themselves, and i would want you to talk about some of the examples. this is an opportunity so let's begin with one.
you said it was visiting you, why does that matter to the people in this room? >> in the social contract between the citizens and governments around the data i have a whole chapter which i call the utopia. it is a place and what they are doing in terms of experimenting around with digital law and privacy and transparency is important and real and not utopia. what estonia is doing, and it goes back to the point of politicians being technologically literate is the politicians there after, many of which are entrepreneurs that have been moving staircase between politicians and entrepreneurs, they are reinventing democracy by making sure that there is no transparency on data.
i'm not so sure about that, but this social contract that they are architecting in the sense protects privacy and acknowledges in the digital age everything will be known about us. the question then becomes what rights do the government have in terms of if you like snooping on us and the model that they are responding to or acting against the russian model of the kind of troll kingdom and the model where all the data is collected. singapore has this amazing story and sometimes we forget they had no natural resources, no
economic kicked out for all intensive purposes it did have natural resources and became a phenomenal model for trade and business in the 20th century, yet it is now doing the same thing it sounds like from your book in the 21st century which icentury whichis amazing to me e about singapore where they say they thin have inclusive ways technology is being delivered there. what does that mean? >> i'm kind of ambivalent about singapore. its pioneering a smart nation initiative where the government is collecting more of the deep africa singapore generally. they have a weird hybrid of the political system somewhere between the kind of benign authoritarianism and a genuine democracy. what they are doing is like estonia but again they are using technology and the education around the digital to drive the more dynamic democracy.
i have two chapters which i titled utopia. the second is singapore. what these countries are very good at and i know that one of the folks for use in the venture capital and what they are very good that is encouraging innovation. one of the things that interested me about singapore is the socially responsible startups which the government is encouraging is a more corporate top-down kind of model. given again that this functionality up the road which we all know about and what's interesting about america is
that estonia and singapore are much smaller countries, singapore being a city state and estonia being a tiny place on the northeastern edge of europe. what's interesting in america is the real inspiration of singapore and estonia is happening at the local level. you and i both know what the governor of rhode island, she told me and i interviewed her she said we are really inspired by what estonia is doing and we are using it as a model for our government and/or digital initiatives at the same in california. so i think that stuff is happening in america but it's happening on the local level and in terms of scale and nature it is more informative with what is happening in singapore. just as they are good at teaching the world, the silicon valley mentality assumes everyone is listening to them and they have nothing to learn from the rest of the world.
i spent six months and 200,000 miles traveling around the world from a estonia to singapore to germany to india to russia and many of the models, many of the lesson is, some are negative but we have much to learn from the end from the rest of the world. the internet has become the splinter. we could learn from singapore and estonia. we could learn from germany and brussels and the walls and initiatives taking place outside of silicon valley. >> it has become almost a fun game -- >> it's not that fun is it? >> some journalists have fun with it.
there are those that survey articles of silicon valley and has been an absolute proportion of what's going on and she said to me it is true and somewhat generational frankly they are pissed off at silicon valley because they blamed them for disrupting the business and everything else. is that fair, is it right to be sort of coming at them in this way and what do you think are the balanced lessons that silicon valley and the tech people everywhere can go when we have this kind of anti-tech view expressed politically and elsewhere? >> nobody really likes seriously rich people. when a 25-year-old is worth -- >> like the president? [laughter] >> rich in other ways, but yeah how many people actually like a
25-year-old multibillionaire? it's annoying because we know they won the luxury. there is always an element may be a little bit of jealousy or annoyance without deserving it since most of us have real jobs as teachers and professors and people who work in the stores and we know how much money we earn from a real day's work. it is all too human. what i would say about silicon valley is some of the criticism is fair. these people have to grow up and be more responsible. i have a chapter where i talk about moral responsibility. you break it, you fix it.
whether it is the impact on work and his role in the workplace and creating a new kind digital tailor the have the responsibility to at least fix some of this stuff and it also models. he understood that it broke local journalism are having made a lot of money and spend most of their life actually trying to figure out how to reinvent local newspapers. i think that he is a model so silicon valley critique is legitimate and important enough to force these people to grow up. as you say it is very historical you look back at the industrial revolution.
i'm not celebrating robbery but i am suggesting that these people have a moral responsibilities, whether it is craig newmark, they are being forced to grow up and they are growing up so it is legitimate but it's not healthy to just trash them. >> you don't agree with any of that? >> i do agree that there is a lot that we need to make sure we need to do. to remain focused, on the theme i will turn to a couple of things before we open up to
questions. what did you mean by super citizens in this book? >> bill gates and mark zuckerberg of the world but they have more power than the government so they can shape the social policy, they can determine what happens with healthcare. we see this with the initiatives of warren buffett in terms of reforming american healthcare. so they are people that have so much economic power that they can actually shape power more effective than the government particularly given that it is so dysfunctional. >> a show of hands if i could, how many people know what i'm talking about? >> that's typical for me maybe 10% of the audience raised their hands. so one thought is probably the greatest in size development and
initiative that is 40 times the size of today's dollars of the marshall plan and its china that's been building infrastructure that more than that with your giving is not just building infrastructure from the 20th century as necessary but they are building technological infrastructure and the tech companies in china are spending a lot of time expanding the market and working with the markets selling their products and being an ally of those in raising veteran of their economic growth and also being able to benefit from that. i think the loom over some of the stories you talk about in the book. talk about how we should be think about china. >> we should be thinking about it ambivalently. we should certainly respect and even celebrate their innovation. i think many of the companies, and you know this better than i
do, they are more innovative and have better products, consumer friendly products than american companies but i also think that we should be very fearful for the future because what china and the new leadership there is effective and i use that carefully it is a new kind of digital in which they now have the technology through facial recognition and all of the other data collection tools and technologies that are being invented on top of the kind of increasingly sophisticated platform to know what everyone is thinking and doing all the time. now they have a certain accountability. there is no accountability in china and i think what is emerging is the cold war
dichotomy between our far idea as we know it is free and problematic and perhaps in a crisis and a new kind of dictatorship that is enabled by technology. so, while we should respect and acknowledge and celebrate chinese ingenuity and innovation, the problem is that the government itself is still operating on the maoist principles and totalitarianism in using technology for the benefit, so that is something we should be very fearful of. and troubling, the model that you know better than i do for the first time perhaps since nazi germany there is an economic rival to the western democratic capitalist model which is actually credible and which can compete. so i think we have to wake up to that and figure out what is wrong with it.
we have to write about it. i am not an expert on chinese domestic projects. i'm not sure what most people think about it but one has to assume most chinese people at least privately are not happy about it. no one wants to be watched all the time as human beings, one of the most essential things is the ability to protect our private space to determine who we are. i also wanted to add one thing about silicon valley which is also important to note. it's the model, the dominant business model that isn't that dissimilar to what is happening in china and i'm not saying facebook or google or malice or two for terri and, but what , bm seeing is the business models that perpetuate the digital surveillance economy is premised
on us being watched all the time and being turned into products and then t vendor profitability, remarkable profitability is derived from our personal information. so, there is a very troubling kind of symmetry if you like between what's happening with silicon valley and what is happening in china. history tells us and it is an important thing about history which is why my butt is so infused is in the long run these things never work. when you have a product that exploit the consumer and ultimately it is forward and will not last using the example of the automotive industry in the 1950s, the car industry would dominate, so dominant that they became arrogant and started to design what was later called
coffins on wheels. we know what it is toda today, d there are countries like germany that are expert in the reengineering of technology. and what you are going to hear around the world and i'm sure you see it in brazil or singapore or dubai is the reengineering sub consumer is respected. so, ultimately i think in the long run both the chinese and the silicon valley business models are models for establishing the dominant value and is flawed because they don't respect the individual. if we are to be successful in the 21st century as human beings to develop the agency being the key thing in the book, then we need to push back against both of these. in some ways.
>> it's interesting because when i talk to people in these markets, they do ask about the china model law. i'm not sure that they would disagree on the concerns, but they also like the things that work. and the story of the shift of the abject poverty to the standard economics overall in china right now is a mind blowing story. so there's other countries and developing worlds that say i would like to do that. your point about the consumer being forgotten, i would like to push on that. people simply love netflix and the reason is because they use our data to give us better and better experiences that are most useful to us. most of the successful companies that are database data using ai, we are about to see shortly ai used in colorful ways in health where you will never have a radiologist again because there will be much more effective than doing that. and i think the idea that it will have access to data coming into the use of the data doesn't
give the consumers things that are life-changing and life affirming that actually will save lives in short order. that is unlike any of the other analogies throughout history. i wonder if you think i'm wrong. >> of course you are wrong. [laughter] how many of you want an algorithm as a doctor? one, two. >> but how many of you want your doctor to have algorithms into billions oandbillions of other t like your case telling her or him the right answer for what you need for you? i don't think you could ask anyone under 35 who wouldn't say that's not what they want, because they want to live longer. >> you are changing the goalpo goalpost. i celebrate netflix in the book. i think one of the tragedies of digital history is that we fell under the great seduction and incredibly description of free information. and that decimated the news
industry. it decimated the music industry. for a while that decimated the book industry. how many books are free? done, you have to pay. how many newspapers are free? you have to pay for the netflix service. in the book i celebrate subscription models and i see that as a positive development for his netflix or spotify, the prophets and how much others get paid. but there's nothing in the book that undermines netflix. so, i celebrate those things. and in terms of the business model, i still come back to the idea that we do not want to be completely transparent. when it comes to the issue of health care, of course we won't algorithms and of course they can be most effective, but we want to protect the privacy. and the real issue here when it comes to this issue of
algorithms is what are we going to do in the digital 21st century? what are we going to do when we have machines that drive cars and that can be lawyers and doctors and engineers and computer programmers? what is our value? our value as human beings is empathy. the value is communication, creativity. the final chapter of my book focuses on education. we need to be taught how we need to focus on your strengths in terms of what computers can do. computers can have smart algorithms or agencies. they are not able to be empathetic. they can't have these kinds of conversations. they cannot put us in the eye, so i don't see why we can't have both come algorithms and human doctors. let me reverse the question for you. even in the developing world,
with your question, we could have asked that in the 1930s, and indeed there were people in the 30s who were making the statements about the critique of western democracy. look what stalin is doing with his five-year plan, or look what hitler is doing with mussolini making the trains run on time. they are putting the german workers back to work. so i still think focusing exclusively on efficiency and wealth and not looking at democracy or individual rights is deeply problemati
>> basically to see the lastque. i want to open it up for the audience and where do we go from here? there are some amazingly fascinating people. they do some amazing innovation with some very clear ideas of the places in these issues that agree with you on. but you raise ideas of where to go from here. it's really about one quote you quoted them one question you raised. i want you to dig deeper. it says give me somewhere to stand and i shall move the earth. i like you to talk about that. i think it's a very important human element. the questions are perfect way to wrap up our session here.
>> that sand and the beginning. by first and favorite chapter in the book is the first one. the traditional text of it is gordon, the cofounder of intel came up with a scientific insight that suggests that every 18 months computer chips will double in their power. that's the engine of the digital revolution. that's why it has the power of the supercomputer in 1960 or 1955 that would've filled this entire building. also striving these changes. in 20 years the computer will be a chip in my arm or an idea or something like that. i've come up with another version that is the 16th
century author of utopia. to me this theme of utopia runs through the book. for me thomas -- is about the importance of agency. the importance of human shape in their own future. the real challenge about this, give me somewhere to stand, is that we feel in this world of massively powerful tech companies the inevitability of ai and smart cars and augmented reality and virtual reality, we feel less and less a powerful and as if we can control anything. that is the problem. what makes humans humans, what defines our species is that our ability to shape our future in society. that's always been a challenge. it's been that way well and
fought against this national predestination. it was in the 19th century war fought against many of the corrosive and explosive consequences of the revolution. it's a challenge today as we fight against our technology which replicates and mimics us. it is most of the things that historically we have done for work. so in the book it's about agency. it's about us defining the world when defining the future before the future defines us. the point of the book is to not make this question theoretical. i spent six or nine months traveling around the world. the book is full of examples of entrepreneurs, lawyers and kids
who are changing the world. it's all around us. you are a great example of an american entrepreneur dedicating his life to enabling innovation overseas. it is not unique or special. rather than focusing on our powerlessness. the key is to focus on what we can do to change the future and fix the future. as parents, teachers and controlling our own technology use. of electing politicians who will become the responsible regulators. i have five tools for changing the future. innovation, regulation, consumption, consumer power, civic power and education. one where the other we are all powerful. we my not be market zuckerberg
or eli must but we can do something. if we acknowledge that an act to make the future a better place. if we do nothing that inevitably the future will be bleak. >> you the sense of this remarkable man in our conversation. i have time for some questions. for some applause for this great author. [applause] >> my name is richard smith, i'm a frequent audience member here in this community.
i would really appreciate the talk and i must appreciate the debate like format that things went rather than just facilitating the authors driving his plane home. >> no one has a more gloved fist. [laughter] one of the main things one of the books deals with the developing world are not for better or worse i want to talk about it. it seems like it's possible that your conclusions depend on how technology and set up shaping the developing world and how technology shapes the economic world order.
>> i say that the issues that andrew debates in the book, short order and even talk about use the word developing world again. >> america will become the developing world. >> these things that are positive and cautionary ways all the issues you raise in this book are ones that are made in the middle east. you talk about certain cities you talk about dubai, will talk about rwanda and other places. >> i should've introduce chris. i think is also very educational because these countries were incredibly poor years ago.
it's very interesting between the two. >> i think that chris is writing and i think the righteous country in the world now the best education system in the world. fifty years ago service and uninhabitable island. >> will for technology to affect the political future of the rising third world is certainly increasing technology the economic well-being of people around the world. as you say, chinese don't like to be surveilled. the technology enable them to
limit that or change a? >> we need to move on to the next question. i think the model in particular speaks countries can use technology creatively to enrich democracy but at the same time i think we have to be careful about expecting too much of technology and again democracy is a human invention and it will be fixed by us humans. the idea of them being a device whether it's lock chain or something else will ask our democracy is it's all part of the problem. >> i suggest most here last
week. my question is actually, what kind of things that countries like estonia, and singapore, what kind of policies are they doing and if they're not applicable here. >> that's interesting, i spent some time in india the classic 19th century liberal when it comes to the issue of identity and privacy. what's interesting is the underclass from india yourself? the underclass in india what is
undermined and has made them poor and undermined their opportunity is the fact that they don't have an identity. they cannot prove who they are. it's like having our privacy stolen which is a nightmare. but if it doesn't have an identity to be stolen it's even worse. i talked to people who are our identifying the id system, with estonia and singapore, my senses the estonia contributions is to change the debate. not about whether or not the government knows anything about us but they probably will. google and facebook know about this. the issue is the transparency of how they use the technology. the estonia model is interesting.
they have focused on making the government accountable and transparent and how they access our data. as data becomes a more central feature of problems with democracy think it's extremely important to making the government accountable without in an adverse note in manner the government isn't the problem, not every government in the world is snooping on us. the same time we have to acknowledge the government sometimes does have the right to access our data if done something wrong. i think it's an interesting one. i hope it will inspire other governments. initiatives on these systems and in brazil are being inspired by
these models. what do you think? >> thank you for interesting ideas. the question is on china last time i looked the n-uppercase-letter china was that say it was ten now and it took ten years of openness in the world to reach that i think we do get a wrong idea about china. >> what's your point? >> my point is just giving the government a little bit out of the way has that much. china could be richer with a different government approach in my opinion the question is on digital revolution. regarding big data, let's talk about algorithms.
it's a marvelous tool but the assumption that the data speaks for itself and big data speaks better than other data is an assumption. i don't think it does. >> when you hear about big data having more data is better than having less it will speak for itself, my question is do you understand things better now that we have more data than 500 tv channels they can get strained or not? i'm a skeptic there is a society in general does have a better understanding of fundamental issues particularly social and fundamental.
but more broadly because we have more data. >> i think it's possible to make the argument that we need a technology. because as government becomes more more knowledgeable about it the technocratic solution will become more self-evident. what's interesting is the reverse as more and more is known about us and we have a more rationalize digital world, our politics heart going into xenophobia in chauvinism and narcissism. not just in the u.s. but all over the world. the question is interesting but maybe it's good to end on a question, the interesting and is in terms of a question, is all
of this data good for democracy? is it enriching our democracy and our ability to talk to one another? in our social media age the spend most of our time insulting to trivializing each other particularly women are people of minorities doesn't seem to be enriching our democracy. certainly in an age of self-knowledge and details knowledge of how consumers and citizens act for not becoming more rational or reasonable. >> not sure the answer but i think the mark of a great democracy is the ability to self correct.
that should say and it's an irony to say i'm quite respectful -- the very often the technology allows us to know people in a way we would not have been able to. it has also allowed us to get into her own and go chambers and get us. i think that is the first evidence of the possibility of some self correction. however will happen and will it happen on its own i don't think so but i'm quite excited that people are excited about it in a positive way. the last thing i would end up is very often when were in the press you want to have an answer and that weather is much more honest in our google searches.
there's new data that can give us better information than what were thinking. but we don't talk about this you look at almost any issue could be anything in the get people my age and older people 35 and younger and it's astronomically different. i found it extraordinarily helpful. i see there is a new generation coming up now and politics were running for office and running businesses, and teaching, their connected to women and men just like them and i think we can have an encouraging future because were asking questions in a very fresh lines. >> finally, i cannot agree more
my optimism about historically is called digital -- but i think it's a realist and those going up in the digital is more realistic in building a better world. the other ones find vinyl and they're the ones paying for their content. so like chris remind out always agree on everything that we are optimistic. that is not derived by some utopia distraction of middle-aged people theorized that people who have gone out and see what's happening in the world. you do that and there's reason to be optimistic. [applause]
>> here's a look at authors recently featured on book tvs have towards. i weekly author interview program. we share thoughts on partisanship in the senate. patrice talked about her life and birth and growth of the movement. george w. bush speechwriter, david argued that the trump administration is damaging democracy. in the coming weeks former usa today editor-in-chief joanne let me look at improving workplaces through gender equality. this weekend, will discuss the experience growing up isolated
and subsequently earning a phd at cambridge university. >> people seem to have taken to heart this idea that to something you have to have a degree in an institution in place to teach it to you. i was not raised to think that. when i decided to go to college when i was 16 and felt like something i could do, i will buy a book and learned. i kept going with that really and are prepared. i had never heard about the holocaust before. i would say this was the ideal education that i think they had something.
about people feeling ownership over what they learned. if you think of education a lot of people talk about education as a way to get money and get a job. but i think it's about making a person. everyone should have the opportunity to participate in the making of their mind. it needs to be more active people need to be more involved in their own education. >> all previous afterwards are available to watch online on our website, booktv.org. >> i had three criteria, the criteria were the person had to be important for teach something important about the valley. and two, they had to have a truly interesting story. for fun, and i almost
exclusively read fiction. i think a narrative arc especially when you're talking about something as complicated as technology and the notion of building a company, to take a person until their story was important. i needed people who had interesting stories. it was important to have people who is not as well known. when the book opened i talk about a party that i went to a long time ago. and there was the cio of a tech company with a very famous celebrity ceo. this person started singing a little song and the only lyrics were i did all the work and he got all the credit part. and i think that innovation is a team sport.
the analogy i use is of a baseball game where the pitcher has thrown a perfect game. anybody who was at that game watches and on is the first baseman stepped on the bag at the last minute and the catcher is making it a perfectly calibrated call but the only thing goes in the history book is at the picture through a perfect game. anyone who is honest about how they succeeded in the valley is going to tell you it was a team effort. i really wanted a way to tell the story of the people who were just outside the spotlight but without him the person the spotlight would not have been there. i'll tell the story of mike,
it's always dangerous on the person sitting in the audience because they can jump up and correct too. i think many people in the room my kiss. as i go around to other places not many people do which is a surprise to me. when people know about the founding of apple they know about steve jobs in the garage in 1976. what they don't know is there someone else who on the third of apple and that was mike. the way that mike's story came to me, we had gotten friendly after my first book was important friend to mike sisson say do a lot of history i knew there were so many of these
little start up computer companies all over the valley and all over the country. they all had their brilliant engineers and their brilliant marketing guy but what was it that made apple, the more i looked into it i realized -- you would say there were a lot of people in one of those people is mike because when you look at apple in 1976, steve jobs was 21 years old. he had 17 months a business experience in his entire life and that was working as a attack for atari. then steve wanted to stay at hewlett-packard. he don't want to start a company.
so how did those two guys end up the youngest company ever to hit the fortune 500 and the answer is, mike came in and brought with him a cadre of people from the microchip industry including jean carter who is here. if you look at apple's s-1, when they went public you had the president, the vp manufacturing, the vp marketing, the vp sales, the cfo the vp of hr, several of the major investors like van rock and sequoia, all brought him by mike through his connections to the semiconductor industry. that's a story that's remarkable that people do not know that.
because back to the importance of building on what came before. how foolish would've it been for those two guys to feel like were gonna do it ourselves because everyone around them tried it and they didn't have the same success. >> good evening and welcome to tonight's program hosted by the commonwealth club of silicon valley. my name is maria and i'm the market president for the northern california division. were delighted to support the program tonight. the commonwealth club convene some of the most informative and thought-provoking conversations from world affairs to the workplace. they support learning and engagement in our