Engine problems versus Crime Scene problems

Anand Giridharadas:

What rich people don't like to do when they solve problems is talk about who did it. There's always this thing when I'm at every event I do, it's always like, "Okay, great. Yeah, yeah. But what are the solutions? Let's just move forward." [...]

I make the following analogy to people, which is, some kinds of problems are like engines that need to be tweaked. Right? And there are many problems that are analogous to that. You turn this dial, you turn this, you tighten that and you fix the engine. Other types of problems are like crime scenes. A crime scene is a very different kind of problem than an engine that's not working.

You don't show up at a crime scene and say, "You know what? Let's just move forward. What's done is done. Let's just solve this." Right?

That's a preposterous response to a crime scene.

A crime scene, it's entirely for the larger sake of preventing it -- for various forward-leaning goals -- you have to first look backwards. "Who did this? How did this happen? Where is the person who did this? How do we help the person to whom this has been done?" [...]

Kara Swisher:

I just had this long argument on a podcast with Mark Zuckerberg, right? I kept saying, "And how do you feel about what you did?"

That was painful. Four times. [...] Four. We didn't edit anything. It was four times that I asked the same question.

"How do you feel about the deaths in Myanmar and India based on your creation?" "What we really want to do is fix the problem. We really want to get to solutions. I think getting to solutions is important."

I was like, "Yeah, I got that. But what was your fault here? What did you do wrong and how do you feel about that? How do you feel about people dying? Right? Dying?" "Well, you know, solutions are what is important to us. I think whenever there's a problem, there's a solution."

"Well, you caused the problem, so how do you feel about causing that problem?" And it went like that, it was four to five times. Finally, he goes, "What do you want me to say?" I said, "I want you to say, 'I'm sorry and I cannot believe that what I made did this and I feel sick to my stomach.'" I said, "You might start there. Not to give you any cues about what it was."

But the point I wanted to make there is they can't get there, they cannot get to that idea that they are at fault or take responsibility and contemplate what went wrong. They don't want to do that. [...]

It goes against the positivity that the elites like, the relentless positivity. And one of the things, I think asked Sheryl Sandberg onstage, "Who got fired for this?" She couldn't answer. "Well, we don't look at it that way." I'm like, "Why? People get fired for all types of things when they fuck up, and it seems like this is a fuck-up. Looks like a fuck-up to me."

And she wouldn't answer... Not wouldn't, couldn't. They don't think like that. "Well, that's not how we wanna... Well, let's just move forward with this." The concept of "The bill always comes due" never occurs to people.

Anand Giridharadas:

It's hard to hear Zuck call Facebook a company. He always calls it a community. Like they're like a drum circle [when] nation state is closer to the reality. It's not just a verbal tic or a clothing thing. They understand completely what they are doing. By not being seen as power, they get to behave like babies. [...]

Emmett Carson said something very interesting. When he was at other foundations, he always talked about social justice and inequality, and those were his buzzwords. He gets out to the Valley, it's made very clear to him, very quickly -- I mean, he's a counselor to Zuck and all these others -- it's made very clear to him very quickly, drop this language. Social justice doesn't work, inequality ... You gotta stop talking like this. Talk about opportunity.

And I said, "What did you understand by having to cater and dance around these people's needs in the Valley?" And what he basically explained to me was they really want to help people, as long as, as you say, they're driving the ship. The help is voluntary. It's not the government compelling them to give money for programs the government decides about. It's them deciding where their money goes. They like to feel useful. They like to feel involved.

But can I tell you what those are the values of? Those are the values of a feudal culture.

This is feudal giving, right? I mean, to go back to where we started, when I used to travel to India as a child, the thing that strikes you is all these affluent families, they all have servants. And they all tell you, "Oh, our servant is just like family to us." The problem is the servant sleeps on the floor. There's no restrictions on their hours. They're not subject to any labor laws. Their passport is usually kept in a lock and key somewhere, which is the definition of human trafficking.

Pretty sure I have more regret for my prehistoric role in enabling the existence of Facebook than Zuckerberg ever will.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

Tags: , ,

The Existential Void of the Pop-Up 'Experience'

By classifying these places as experiences, their creators seem to imply that something happens there. But what? The central experience delivered at all these places is one of waiting.

The aesthetic recalls the line for Disneyland's Splash Mountain, except in here, Fleetwood Mac was playing. One of the features of the Rosé Mansion is a fake gold throne that you can sit on while wearing a fake gold crown, an event akin to hanging out in the lobby of the New Jersey Medieval Times. Each of these experiences culminates in a ball pit -- filled with "marshmallows" at Candytopia, "champagne bubbles" at the Rosé Mansion, and blue-colored balls at Color Factory -- a feature pioneered by the McDonald's PlayPlace. [...]

In an interview with New York magazine last year, the millennial marketer behind the Museum of Ice Cream, Maryellis Bunn, compared her outfit favorably to real museums and also to Disneyland. "I love Disneyland," she said, but "it's not for today." I'm no Disney evangelist, but come on. Disneyland has a ride where you get to experience life as Mr. Toad as he is being sentenced to Hell. To Hell!

There aren't characters in these spaces. Instead there are young temp workers dressed in uniforms who are tasked with wiping down surfaces, chasing down balls that have escaped the pit and fostering cults of personality around the museum creators themselves. At the Museum of Ice Cream's Pint Shop, an employee in a sprinkle crown, pink feathered leg warmers and a lab coat calling himself "Slush" told an assembled crowd about how Ms. Bunn "experimented with 7,000 different combinations of vanilla" to perfect one of the museum's flavors. [...]

The central disappointment of these spaces is not that they are so narcissistic, but rather that they seem to have such a low view of the people who visit them. [...] Stalking through the colorful hallways of New York's "experiences," I felt like a shell of a person. It was as if I was witnessing the total erosion of meaning itself. And when I posted a selfie from the Rosé Mansion saying as much, all of my friends liked it.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

Tags: , ,

  • Previously