Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

The Moral Economy of Tech

Maciej Cegłowksi has published his remarks from a SASE conference panel on Sunday:

In our attempt to feed the world to software, techies have built the greatest surveillance apparatus the world has ever seen. Unlike earlier efforts, this one is fully mechanized and in a large sense autonomous. Its power is latent, lying in the vast amounts of permanently stored personal data about entire populations.

We started out collecting this information by accident, as part of our project to automate everything, but soon realized that it had economic value. We could use it to make the process self-funding. And so mechanized surveillance has become the economic basis of the modern tech industry.

If you want a smart ten-minute summary of many of the most pressing issues facing the tech industry today — and what it has beget — this is a landmark essay.

Update: Chris Chelberg has posted a video of Cegłowski’s speech.