Marc Andreessen, a man worth nearly two billion dollars, a man who lives in a $177 million compound in Malibu, a man who has been on the board of Facebook and Hewlett-Packard and who likely hasn’t experienced a struggle in decades, wants you to believe he’s a victim.
I flinched when Marc invoked Adam Smith and knew, KNEW IN MY SOUL, he like so many others has never actually read "The Wealth of Nations" much less understood its lessons.
I read someone who was talking about this screed (oops, *manifesto*) and explained that these stunted man-children all left college to gt rich before learning critical thinking skills.
That resonates. Thiel, Zuckerberg, Musk, Andreesen, et. alia behave like because they made gobs of money, that they are intellectual heavyweights, but in reality, they are pipsqueaks, and are surrounded by a bunch of yes-men who affirm their beliefs as god-like.
They all are awful human beings.
and you didn't even get to the bit where he heartily recommended the co-author of the original Fascist Manifesto
Andreeson is usually credited with programming the first decent browser, but he really wasn’t much of a programmer. He had a good idea: give the web multimedia capabilities like other hypertext systems, like HyperCard, already had. Then he got his coworker, Eric Bina, to actually do the programming. Jimmy Maher has an entertaining (and neutral-minded) retelling on his blog. It starts halfway through this post: https://www.filfre.net/2022/05/a-web-around-the-world-part-10-a-web-of-associations/
Lots of brilliant people get dumb over time, often because they forget to stay humble and keep learning--easy to do when your life is a string of successes. But I’ve never seen evidence that Andreeson was ever particularly smart. He just had the ambition and resources to convince other people to implement a few good ideas at a critical juncture in tech history.
And unlike some critical junctures where it’s easy to see history flowing in completely different directions if not for a few fateful choices, it’s hard to imagine someone *not* thinking to add multimedia to the web in the height of the “multimedia PC” boom.
"Another patron saint is John Galt, the fictional protagonist of Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged" -- you talk about your insta-disqualifiers, that's one right there.
Also per the WSJ article, he's the son of a billionaire, so it's not like he had to pull very hard on his bootstraps.
>Marc’s enemy is “the ivory tower, the know-it-all credentialed expert worldview, indulging in abstract theories, luxury beliefs, social engineering, disconnected from the real world, delusional, unelected, and unaccountable – playing God with everyone else’s lives, with total insulation from the consequences"
Every day, the right finds more self-righteous, more confused, and worst of all more *boring* ways to say "Screw the Enlightenment, I want my serfs!"
"because he is not speaking to people who want their selfish biases confirmed" - should that be "only speaking..."?
As I have written in another context, the "disruptions" of the last two decades or so aren't technological, they are undermining of regulations. Doing the same thing as before - taxis, hotels, deliveries, selling books - but with subcontractors instead of employees, without safety standards, and as a monopoly and/or monopsy instead of a functioning market. If there wasn't an app involved as the merest fig leaf, everybody would immediately realise that there hasn't been any significant innovation since the internet itself. Which makes sense, because everything runs into diminishing returns, but it doesn't match the self-image of these guys.
Aren't 13-year-olds supposed to be incels?
Tech accelerationism has proven itself to be domestic terrorism.
Quite awhile ago, John Kenneth Galbraith observed, "Wealth, in even the most improbable cases, manages to convey the aspect of intelligence." ("The confident speculators", 1982, Atlantic Monthly, 249(5), p. 100) Galbraith was describing the impression wealthy people often make on other people, but his remark may apply even more to the impression wealthy people often make on themselves. Like Elon Musk and Peter Thiel, Marc Andreesen appears to be a man of moderate intelligence who fancies himself a sage merely because he's acquired a pile of money. What other reason could there be? To my knowledge, Andreesen, like Musk and Thiel, has never contributed anything important to science, engineering, or any other intellectual endeavor. (That these men have presided over companies some of whose employees may have made such contributions is irrelevant.) Nor has he or they ever led any effort not devoted to getting money, such as a campaign for civil rights or environmental conservation.
Perhaps Andreesen is even dimly aware that he's a charlatan. That might account for the intensity of his resentment toward "the ivory tower". University faculties are full of people smarter than him.
The whole manifesto brought to mind playwright Sean O’Casey’s quote that there’s nothing so passionate as a vested interest disguised as intellectual conviction.
I had never interacted with him online but found he'd preemptively blocked me one day. All I can pin it on is that I criticised that POS scammer WeWork douchebag and Marc's a tad sensitive about his scammy mates.
What a thin skinned shitweasel.
Andreessen's real innovation was the IMG tag. The IMG tag was an ask-forgiveness-not-permission kludge that brought images to the web via Mosaic, and it belongs to nobody and everybody. Nothing he has done since or ever will do can live up to that. I think he knows that.
Anyway, this is what happens when the contradictions of The Californian Ideology (Barbrook and Cameron) become larded with enough money and power for its adherents to shape the world around their whims. And when the people who lucked into the money and power take inspiration from Marinetti and Moldbug, the latter of whom is always an uncredited presence in these screeds.
I wish he would have gambled all of his money on Crypto and then rued the day that he did so.
It's the same old shit in a shiny new toilet.