Episode 014: The Rise of the Algorithm

In this week’s episode we spend a good bit of time revisiting the native ads discussion, then dive into the different ways that Twitter and Facebook have handled the news this week. From there we discuss Twitter’s timeline changes, the realities of venture capital, and whether or not our entire economic system will survive the automation revolution. Yes, it gets deep quickly!


  • Ben Thompson: Print, Chinese Walls, and “Objective” Journalism – Stratechery (members only)
  • Clay Shirky: Last Call – Medium
  • Jay Rosen: When Quoting Both Sides and Leaving it There is the Riskier Call – PressThink
  • Hamilton Nolan: Time Inc. Rates Writers on How “Beneficial” They Are to Advertisers – Gawker
  • Derek Willis: New Republican Leader Finds New Friends, and Quick Cash – New York Times
  • Marco Arment: I’ll Never Fly Amazon Again – Marco.org
  • Ben Thompson: Twitter is Great for Unprofitable News – Stratechery (members-only)
  • Mathew Ingram: Twitter vs. Facebook as a news source – GigaOm
  • Matt Buchanan: The Twitter of Tomorrow – New Yorker
  • Humans Need Not Apply – YouTube


Podcast Information

2 thoughts on “Episode 014: The Rise of the Algorithm

  1. Interesting podcast as always guys!

    I somewhat agree with Ben about the Horse analogy being a flawed argument., but for a slightly different reason – Horses didn’t invent the technology that affect them, humans did. We invited the technology that was, is and will be affecting us. As a group, we have a say in how we use the technology. Horses do not.

    That said, depending on how you model how society is organised, one can say that people stuck in jobs that are at risk due to automation are becoming society’s horses as they have very little say (politically, economically etc) in how technology is being developed and where technology is applied to lower costs.

    I think the solution to jobs being removed due to automation is probably mostly political and will require fairly deep understanding of technology, which doesn’t sound very easy 🙂

    I personally don’t mind paying more taxes to support people trying to pivot their skill set, but I am sure many people will not want to do this. I also think that many people don’t want to learn new skills, and I am not even sure whether the pool of required labour will be enough for everyone, especially if we don’t move everyone towards a part-time high-pay structure.

    I hope that one day we as a global society can be organised in a way that everyone works less and spends more time doing what they like (ideally something with an educational element to help advance civilisation as a whole); much like the world proposed by Bertrand Russell’s “In praise of idleness”. I just hope that we get there with out a lot of economic and societal misery in between…

  2. I’ve always thought of Twitter as a lost opportunity for a great protocol. It could’ve been the next “email”. And that brings my counter to Ben’s statement that without VCs, Twitter would not be where it is today. Absolutely, Twitter as a company might not be here, but Twitter as a protocol/product might have been better if it was open source.

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