Wikibollocks Alert: Peer-to-peer sharing went big in 2012

Wikibollocks entry for today comes from Grist magazine, a "source of nonprofit, independent green journalism", who just ran a piece on peer-to-peer sharing which includes sentences like this.

We’re choosing peer-to-peer because we want to do business differently. We actually kind of want to pretend like we’re not doing business at all.

Some questions for Grist.

  • Why do you think that you are on the same side as Uber (based in the SF Bay area, funded by Jeff Bezos, Goldman Sachs, and a host of venture capitalists), Sidecar (based in the SF Bay area, funded by Google and other venture capitalists), and Lyft (based in San Francisco, in early-stage VC funding) and AirBnB (based in San Francisco, funded by Jeff Bezos, Andreessen Horowitz, Crunch Fund, Ashton Kutcher and other venture capitalists)?
  • Does it not occur to you that when billionaires promote "pretending like we're not doing business at all" then maybe there's something a bit dodgy going on?
  • When Jeff Bezos (personal wealth $18.4B) and Marc Andreessen (personal wealth, $600 million) are one one side and taxi drivers are on the other, what makes you think that Bezos and Andreessen are the progressive side?

Look, Grist, I understand that words like "peer-to-peer" and "sharing" sound nice and egalitarian, but in pieces like this you're actively working against the things you claim to stand for.


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  1. Ouch! That article hits so many themes of net-business propaganda that it reads like a PR piece, not journalism. It ends saying outright it’s good for you and opponents are bad – “delighting new consumers and frustrating established business owners.”.
    I presume you’ve seen this take-down of that ideology:
    “Laws don’t exist merely to frustrate the business ambitions of coastal hipsters: They also exist to protect the more vulnerable members of society.”

  2. Seth. Good to hear from you again. Yes, I had seen the Paul Carr piece, which brings some needed sanity to the issue. I was really disappointed to see Tim Wu’s New York Times piece: I expect better from him.

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