Mammon category archive
And, in related news (more at the link),
Having conserved power after briefly losing it twice during rolling blackouts, Astrein, 36, said he was shocked when he logged on to view his electric bill from his provider, Griddy: $2,796.85 since Feb. 1.
I sometimes watch streaming video on Tubitv.com, which is free. (It’s free because it has commercials; in fairness, it has far fewer ads than commercial television and the volume of the commercials is lower than that of the shows. All-in-all, I find it a fair trade-off.)
Last night, as I watched an episode of the 1960s ITV series, The Saint, new commercials appeared for a cell phone app called “Stash” for stock trading (no link–look it up yourself). In the ad, clueless 20-somethings confess that they don’t know anything about the stock market, but then decide that they’ll give the app a whirl and make their fortunes. My guess is that the recent Game Stop kerfuffle inspired this.
So I have one question for novice investors who think an app can turn them into financial wizards.
Wanna buy a bridge?
Harry Shearer interviews Matt Stoller about how America’s monopolistic health care industry (and it’s an industry, not a system) gives you the business, with a focus on the roll-out (stagger-out might be a more appropriate term) of the coronavirus vaccines.
This is a must listen.
At Above the Law, Joe Patrice explains why the Morgan Lewis law firm’s attempts to claim attorney-client privilege regarding certain Trump transactions and conferences that were not subject to said privilege were rejected by the judge. A nugget; follow the link for the details.
At Psychology Today Blogs, Utpal Dholakia marvels at the loyalty of Tesla owners, which seems contraindicated by any rational measure. A snippet (emphasis in the original):
In the 2020 Initial Quality Study conducted by the marketing research company J.D. Power, Tesla was the worst-performing company, reporting 250 problems per 100 vehicles during the first 90 days of owning a newly purchased vehicle.
Tesla Customer Satisfaction
The 2020 J.D. Power Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study measured owners’ satisfaction based on their “experiences with design, performance, safety, usability, comfort, perceived quality, and other factors.” In the study, Tesla received the highest score of 896. To give context, Porsche had the next highest score of 881.
Follow the link for his theories as to the reasons for this.
Bob Molinaro, sports-writer extraordinaire:
The Orlando Sentinel’s Scott Maxwell can voucher that it is–er–questionable.
Cathy O’Neil skewers the Zuckerborg’s argument that it is to big and complex to break up. A snippet (emphasis added). As an aside, I suspect that U. S. Steel, American Sugar, and other trusts busted by Teddy Roosevelt made similar arguments.
So what would happen if, as a result of the antitrust suits filed by the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general, a court ordered Facebook to split up, reversing its acquisitions of WhatsApp and Instagram? The company’s lawyers argue that the various businesses have become so inextricably interwoven that a breakup would be extremely difficult, generating costs and chaos that would harm users worldwide. In other words, don’t mess with us, or else.
Really? No doubt, the breakup would be difficult for Facebook’s managers, who rely on data sharing among WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook to create the most complete possible profiles of users and then sell their attention to the highest bidder. If the companies were separated, all the investment they’d been making into surveillance and targeting wouldn’t immediately work out as well as they had hoped. For them, the product is the advertising, not the service to users.