(178) The Socials

On this week’s show Chris and Matt talk about why big tech social networks have been in the news again. Chris is also quizzed on his tech company history knowledge.

This week’s transcript:


Matt: [00:00:00] So just the two of us this week very sadly Charlotte G who was supposed to be joining us. Isn’t able to we’ll be getting on to getting her onto the show as soon as possible. But it’s just you and me this week. How are you Christopher?

[00:00:14] Chris: [00:00:14] Well, very well, really. I mean, it’s been a, it’s a shame that Charlotte can’t join us, but when I’m looking forward to when we can get her on, because that’s a good conversation.

[00:00:24] And other than that, it’s been a week. It’s been a funny week. Really? Actually, I can’t remember much has happened last week since we spoke. I mean, It was fine at work. Lots of lots going on. Today was one of those days where nothing went right. In terms of average, just about every call or meeting that I had planned got canceled or moved, and other things came in as kind of, well, we really need to do this now to to fill it.

[00:00:51] So it was a bit of a. That one of those days where it was quite good actually then the day I got quite a lot done, but it wasn’t what I expected to get done. And. Then later this afternoon I was going to take my California OT because I forgot to do the MIT because it got extended during the last lockdown.

[00:01:12] And then, because I took it out of my calendar, I’d kind of forgot about it. So it’s quite egregiously passed or it hasn’t been anywhere. So it was not really been a problem. And when I went to get in the bachelor of flight and so that was a, that was a disappointment. So so that was all exciting, exciting for, you know, five to 10 minutes, but then that’s all resolved now.

[00:01:31] So now tomorrow will be fine, but yeah, one of those days today, how about you?

[00:01:37] Matt: [00:01:37] I can’t believe that it’s only the end of week two last week of 2021. It feels like we’ve been back at least a month. It’s yeah, it’s a strange time. The continuing challenges of homeschooling. I got into a very interesting conversation with Michael Rosen on Twitter last week after having a day of Oh God.

[00:01:59] Adverbials, which is well, I say it’s a branch of grammar that I was never taught in school. I was never taught grammar at school children in the seventies and eighties. We weren’t taught grammar. So I needed the level that my ten-year-old seems to be being taught at the moment.

[00:02:12] Chris: [00:02:12] I agree with you.

[00:02:13] Right. I don’t remember. I remember learning about I’d know. And, and Oh no. See, my vocabulary is is, is fighting even now, but That there are things that my kids learned with primary school that I didn’t learn until, well, probably I learned them myself, you know, as I got older and I didn’t, I never learned them at school, but I remember, I do remember vividly being in primary school and there’s teachers about nouns and verbs and adverbs and all that stuff.

[00:02:41] I’m thinking to myself, I have no idea what all this is about, and I have no interest in it as well. It’s not, it’s just what it’s just, I never learned it. You know, one of them is a kind of action word. One of them describing

[00:02:54] Matt: [00:02:54] words, describing words, herbs are doing nano verbs. Is it, is it

[00:03:02] Nothing. So anyway, the interesting bit from Michael Rosen was his, his take on it. And he’s somebody who is a, he’s an author, a poet, someone who studied English is that it’s basically cause there’s all this stuff came in and Michael Gove, God rest his soul if only he were dead. And the, the, the trouble with it is that these sorts of rules of grammar were designed for being able to study dead languages, particularly Latin.

[00:03:26] And if not ancient Greek, and it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever because they are generalizations. They’re not rules, they’re not equally applicable. I found out relatively recently that the split infinitive, the the thing at the beginning of star Trek that people get so uppity about, if they’re into that sort of thing, to be able to go in, no man has gone before or whatever it was.

[00:03:46] Actually that’s not a law. It’s just, it’s a stylistic suggestion. And you’re quite willing to be able to break it. Spent the only bit of grammar I’ve, I’ve learned how to be able to do for reasons that Farsi detail to go into now. But. The, I mean, Michael was basically saying that this is all nuts because their teachings people really boring things at a very young age, which made no sense at all.

[00:04:10] So just continuing with the the homeschooling and the English grammar is, is an interesting thing. Also being experimenting. And I might, well do a bit more experimenting on this very show with a piece of software called descript. That I was pointed out by Ronan Harvard. Who’s going to be coming up on a show in a few weeks time, and it’s basically a, a visual and text-based editor for audio that enables one to be able to do things at the click of a button that otherwise it’d be a monstrous pain in the bum to be able to do in particular, removing all of the.

[00:04:46]Filler words, words that would say B U M or E R. And I’m going to spell it out because if, if the experiment goes to plan, I’ll have pressed a button and all of the, the filler words like that will have been removed from the speak show and we’ll see how it goes. Very

[00:05:03] Chris: [00:05:03] exciting. Oh, yeah. I look forward to that.

[00:05:07] It’s one of those chores that having does it a few things over the, over the years, removing earth, arms, Audi. I’ve said them now. So we’ll see if it takes them away, but removing them from somebody’s speech, which actually can make a, an interview sound a lot better. But it is a chore. You have to kind of look out for them.

[00:05:28] You have to cut them out. Bit of a NL magic to get rid of those will be fantastic. I think I do, I’ll also take a little bit of exception to your dead languages thing. I think because Latin is the root of so many languages. If you do learn Latin, I believe it is easier to learn other languages that are Latin based and it can be useful.

[00:05:50] Not

[00:05:52] Matt: [00:05:52] in Latin. No, it’s not. It’s it’s dead. As in it’s it’s frozen. It doesn’t change. In the way that the English language is constantly changing, got through true. And that’s the point? It’s the differences between a language that is a museum piece that can be very valuable as museum pieces are, but you, you know, you wouldn’t want to make your lunch on something in the British museum.

[00:06:13] Chris: [00:06:13] Well, indeed. And then the point about languages, as you say, does change. And it’s important that we recognize it changes. And as somebody who. Despite my lack of mastery of a couple of years earlier now, he’s always been really interested in the language and the different ways it can be used.

[00:06:30] I you know, it’s nice to be able to see language values, but language languages is one of those things that you have to allow to change. And if you are one of those people that say, well, you must never use language in that other way. You are inevitably going to be drowned out by, by history and people do that with Americanisms.

[00:06:49] They are, they say, well, you know, trashes and Americanism and garbage and all these kinds of things. Well, of course, these are all the reason that I made with my organisms is because they were taken to America as commonplace words in, in England. When, when the settlers went to America and they just moved on here, they hadn’t just had, they hadn’t moved on so much in America.

[00:07:06] That’s it? And that’s the crazy thing. It’s a fascinating subject.

[00:07:09] Matt: [00:07:09] It is bill, Bryson’s got a book which is all about the difference between English, English, and American English. And one of the really surprising things from reading that book is how many words that I thought were from English.

[00:07:21] English actually were originally from American English and we’d adopted them. So it’s really not that clean cut at all. Anyway, there we go. That was, is a massive, great filler word I used. There’ll be interesting to see whether that one comes out. We are now I’m really conscious of it. And now I’m trying to be able to not use them in case they get cut out.

[00:07:37] Who knows Liz Stoker would have a field day with this stuff. Wouldn’t she? Because actually you’re taking out context of the conversation that might actually be valuable in this conveying something without us knowing about it.

[00:07:46] Chris: [00:07:46] Yeah. We could be boiling away. The very essence.  it wouldn’t take

[00:07:51] Matt: [00:07:51] much. So what we will be doing this week, we’re going to have a conversation about social networks and how they’ve been in the news a fair bit recently for one reason or another.

[00:07:59] But before that, because we haven’t had one for a while and because I think you look like you need your brain stretching a bit we’re going to have a quiz. So you ready for that, Chris?

[00:08:08] Chris: [00:08:08] I was born ready, man. You know that.

The Quiz!

Matt: [00:00:00] Okay, here we go. Christopher. I wanted to be able to see what you knew about history of technology companies. So I’m going to give you a list of six technology companies, a couple from the United States, four of them from Asia. And I’d like you to tell me the in chronological order of when they were founded.

[00:00:23] Hmm. Okay.

[00:00:24] So first one, Casio.

[00:00:30] You better write these down because fighting memory happens to people my age and younger. So number one, Casio  Casio yet, number two. IBM. Yup. Number three. Samsung. Yeah. Number four. Yamaha. Oh yeah. Number five, Fox com

[00:00:54] Chris: [00:00:54] Fox who.

[00:00:56] Matt: [00:00:56] Come home, the Chinese manufacturing company that make stuff for people like Apple.

[00:01:01] Okay.  And two NS. And then number six is Apple. So Casio IBM, Samsung, Yamaha, Foxconn. And Apple start the oldest first,

[00:01:12] Chris: [00:01:12] please. Right? Okay. So I want to say too, I remember going to what’s that place near Winchester that, Hursley or something I remember going there and seeing that little tiny museum downstairs of the all IBM stuff and weighing machines and God knows what.

[00:01:28] And so I’m guessing IBM is probably 1930s or something when it was, when it, when it might have started something like that. Casio. I know that’s that to me seems like an older business. That’s not older than IBM, maybe, but it seems I’ve got a feeling that’s quite an old business. Yamaha is quite old because it’s machinery and motor motorcycles and got, and all that sort of thing.

[00:01:54] Fox com no idea. Never heard of it until you mentioned it. Apple quite young. So I I’m going to go for really, this is just going to be a gut feeling. I’m going to go Yamaha, Casio. IBM, Samsung, Apple Foxconn.

[00:02:11] Matt: [00:02:11] So Yamaha. IBM

[00:02:16] Chris: [00:02:16] Castillo some stuff. Yeah. I’m going to go Fox com and then Apple. Sorry.

[00:02:23] Matt: [00:02:23] Okay. So the answers are, you had the oldest as Yamaha.

[00:02:32] Yamaha was founded in 1887, jetting. It is the oldest. The, if you’ve ever noticed that their that logo is three tuning forks that they put on the motorbikes and all the rest of it it’s because they started off as a piano manufacturer. And they still make fantastic musical instruments to this day.

[00:02:50] Okay. Next up you had IBM. IBM is the second oldest founded in 1911. Oh,

[00:02:58] Chris: [00:02:58] there we go. I knew it was in fact now I think about it. I remember something to do with them. Yeah. 100 anniversary. I just didn’t. I just didn’t think it was that old. I just thought

[00:03:09] Matt: [00:03:09] so you’re next up you had Casio. Casio was founded in 1946, just after the second world war, but unfortunately Samsung was founded in 1938.

[00:03:25] Chris: [00:03:25] Okay. I got a feeling that Samsung was, was, was also older than That obviously it wasn’t making TVs and smart phones, but those you know, these companies, it’s quite hard to build a highly, you know, massively scaled manufacturing company from nothing.

[00:03:43] Matt: [00:03:43] No. Yeah, absolutely. And Samsung was actually founded in the time when Korea was passed the Japanese empire.

[00:03:50] There you go. Next up you had Fox con correct? 1974. Founding of that company. And then 1976 for Apple, which is the youngest of the loss of them. It’s very well done. No, it’s

[00:04:03] Chris: [00:04:03] not, but for a stab in the dark, but I think my, my reasoning, so me through

[00:04:10] Matt: [00:04:10] absolutely. It’s interesting. I find it actually, how old, so many of the companies that are so central to modern technology actually are.

[00:04:19] I mean Casio falling away a bit. Yeah, I’m a horror, a massive in the music industry, but that they’re not ready now. So they used to Haifa and stuff. I don’t think they do much of that anymore. But you know, IBM still there 110 years old.

[00:04:33] Chris: [00:04:33] It’s interesting. Isn’t it? And I guess a few of them, they came to our notice, you know, Casio probably in the 1970s and Samsung in the 1990s, probably the fact that they came to Western notice at that time, my colors are.

[00:04:47]Perception a bit. And Chinese, I mean, there is not, I, I put Fox come later, is that there aren’t that many Chinese companies that, or that do that kind of thing, because it really wasn’t a, you know, China’s economy really wasn’t based on that, on manufacturing at scale of any sort really until. No well into the well into the second half of the 20th century.

[00:05:09] So yeah, it’s it is interesting that the question is, you know, what happens next and what happens to these manufacturing companies and where do they go? And do we see the India or other places start to start to come through?

[00:05:23] Matt: [00:05:23] And how many of the companies that are leading newer today will be around in 110 years time.

[00:05:31] Chris: [00:05:31] Well amongst things for certain, we won’t be that to to notice

[00:05:36] Matt: [00:05:36] might be anyway, pressing on.

Social Media in the News…

Chris: [00:00:00] So that I’m not, we’re going to talk about social media because it’s been a funny week for or a couple of weeks for social media and the way it reacts and sensors the output of various individuals and probably various individuals. We are essentially talking about Donald Trump and the people in his little retinue as they spread there.

[00:00:25]Most the best way to describe it, the sort of lunatic ideas about the U S election, et cetera, for which they have, we ought to point out, give them this is responsible podcast evidence of to support their claims. Twitter, big girl spice because they Bund Donald Trump and they said, right, you can’t use Twitter anymore.

[00:00:45] And then they, I think they actually banned him completely haven’t these are lifespan or something. Facebook removed him for something do achieve of bundle for two weeks or something because that’s the policy or whatever. And that’s then opened up a whole bunch of conversations about whose responsibility it is to send to people.

[00:01:02] Was it right for them to do so? Should they have the power to do so? How does this fit in with a government regulation of social media, especially some of that which is being pushed through right now in the UK, as in other places that’s the online harms bill or I think they call it it’s it’s quite the kind of worms.

[00:01:23] Isn’t it?

[00:01:26] Matt: [00:01:26] Yes. Yes, it is. There’s, there’s, there’s a bunch of interesting things at play here. There’s the thing about if social networks for a long while social networks and, and others in that sort of space have argued that they are not publishers. They are merely platforms that the people who.

[00:01:48]Put their content out on social media or the publishers, and therefore they have less responsibility for the content that goes out into their channels than say, a newspaper or a television channel would, and therefore leave us alone. It’s not us. It’s all the people using it. Even if what they do is hateful and incites violence.

[00:02:07] And all of this is it’s a really neat media model because not only do you not have to really pay for your content, but then also you don’t get held responsible for the content, even when it goes out. And so it gets over a number of legal hurdles out and they keep saying they’re technology companies.

[00:02:23] They’re not media companies. So when then Twitter and Facebook remove Donald Trump from being able to use those channels as a means to be able to speak directly to people slightly unmediated by the traditional media channels. There’s massive outro outcry by the right. There’s a bit of outcry for free speech people.

[00:02:48] There’s a bunch of. Gnashing of teeth and wailing. And a lot of it seemed to be around how this is terrible, that these unregulated things we’re able to be able to exert power, to be able to describe who had the right to a voice and who didn’t. The thing that I find it a little bit ironic about that is that.

[00:03:10] The traditional media have always had the right to be able to say, who has a voice and who doesn’t. And whilst they are having in the UK television and radio is regulated by a government sponsored regulator. I’ll come and with the BBC is regulated by Ofcom yet or not, but certainly there’s been rumors about that for a while.

[00:03:30] And the BBC board of governors have regulated it before then. And newspapers are. Regulated by themselves, which is why the phone hacking scandal uncovered so much dirt within that world, because basically they weren’t being regulated whatsoever. The ownership of media is a bit dubious. The political affiliation of ownership of the media is mostly biased towards.

[00:03:56] One side of the political spectrum and exert certainly control over setting agenda in UK politics. And that you, what you see often in the TV press is the T sorry, the TBN, the relationship with TV and the traditional press is that TV follows the agenda. That’s set by the newspapers and this close workings between the press and.

[00:04:19]Political parties in particularly between most of the press and the conservative party. So the whole thing is basically there is no such thing as free access to speech at the scale at which networks are currently operating. Social networks are currently operating. This is unprecedented that we do have this, but it’s, it’s a complete anomaly in many ways.

[00:04:38] And so it’s throwing up questions about how should they. Be regulated. Should they have the ability to be able to take people off air? And I think actually it’s interesting. Nobody really is talking much about that. Are they publishers or are they mainly plateau forms and there has been a little bit of thing going, particularly with Twitter in my head because I, I might occasionally have, you know, Thoughts that maybe people aren’t acting in the best of interests.

[00:05:05] I’m wondering whether the delay in Twitter actually getting to this point, it was nothing to do with politics, but it was much more to do with the fact that Donald Trump was top. Top dollar box office for Twitter in particular. And he was a massive drawer and I who don’t follow Donald Trump and kind of missing the ability to watch what the raging ramblings are at the moment, because it’s not there anymore.

[00:05:27] It’s a bit weird. And so there’s, there’s a whole bunch of dynamics at play within that. And it’s a bit of a muddle really, because. I mean the, the, the regulation of the press, I’ve just started listening to Ian dumps, listening and reading in dunce latest book, how to be a liberal. And he starts off with the the, the history of the philosophy of liberalism.

[00:05:47] The idea that we as individuals have rights because we have sentence effectively and. How within the the, the formation of the three pillars of government, there was a central facet of the, both the American revolution and the French revolution. The idea of the separation of powers, particularly America, the separation of powers between judiciary executive and legislature that the, the free press was a vital fourth part of this.

[00:06:13]And. The way in which traditional media has changed under the world of social networks is also leading to weird things because we don’t have a press quite like we used to. And we certainly don’t have things like local press, like we used to and the how holding a political activity to account, especially at a local level in the UK now is massively massively impacted by the fact we no longer really have local newspapers.

[00:06:41] So, and all of that is it, all of these things are interrelated. So it’s a bit of a mess.

[00:06:47] Chris: [00:06:47] It is, isn’t it because it’s really, it’s tempting to try and boil it all down and try and figure out where it all came from. But I think. I’ve been, as you’ve been talking, I’ve been going through that in my mind and I’m not sure it goes anywhere, but I remember the once upon a time when people started blogging and then you’d get a lot of journalists saying, well, of course, you know, you’re not proper journalists.

[00:07:07] If you’re, you’re a blogger, you’re not a journalist. And and then over the years that’s become a little bit less. Easy for them to say, because some bloggers get enormous readership, or maybe now they’ve moved on to being vloggers or, or, you know, the podcast is even right. But there are people with them, an audience who have got that audience through various means whether it’s through fermions or foul.

[00:07:32]But as you say those, those same the journalists and, and certainly the, the media companies have every single option they can take, they take to, to bash Facebook and Twitter and all those sort of things. They take done it because they see them as a massive threat. And just as once upon a time they saw blogging as a, as a kind of a threat or also it was a cheapening right.

[00:07:54] Of what they did because the barrier to entry. To putting your thoughts down and publishing it for anybody to read had gone to zero and also the cost for anybody to read. That was also zero. So they were there, they were publishing what they were considered to be researched, high quality nuanced balance, whatever you like and charging a premium for that.

[00:08:17] And. People were saying, well, why should I buy that? I can get this for free. And often let’s face it. You can look at all the bloggers and you can, you can say, well, okay, 70% of them are adequate or less, but the top that it was, if you can curate a list, you can get a lot of very good information. But the question is.

[00:08:38] Who does that curation, who does that? Who does that work? And when it’s us, actually, maybe one day, we’ll like you and I both subscribed to tortoise, for example, which is I think is, is a decent efforts. Got some very good news news sources in it. I think they do a very good job of research into their stories.

[00:08:55] Some of their stories have been extremely well justified, and, and, and you can see the level of effort that’s going into it. I have a, I also have a problem with tortoise and as much as it seems to me to be very, it’s kind of written by journalists for journalists. And then in a way that seems to me, there’s lots of, it’s kind of, if you read it in a metropolitan kind of educated mindset, it’s gonna make sense, but that’s, that’s the only thing that makes sense too.

[00:09:25] And I, and I, that jars with me a little bit, so. The question about who you’re writing for, what are you trying to achieve? What’s the, what’s the, what’s your plan? Is all, they’re all valid in terms of what blog, whether it’s bloggers, whether it’s news organizations, but as you say, that ability for news organizations now, because, because, because the barriers of entry have come down completely, like we can do this.

[00:09:50] I mean, it’s. There’s nothing, something that’s doing this, or we could go on YouTube. Right. And it would be even easier almost. And we could spare to crap to the, to the world and anybody could watch, nobody might watch, but anybody could watch that that’s that stranglehold, maybe that the, the media companies had on who could ask a question of the government or the prime minister has gone away.

[00:10:15] Right. Knock us Rashford is a really good example. Right. So he’s got. He’s got a platform because he’s got followers and he’s famous, right? It’s not the most famous football by any means. He’s kind of, he’s a decent player and he’s played for number. This is not, he’s not probably charting or Gary Lineker or, you know, whenever these know gas going on, one of these players that would have been massive.

[00:10:36] He’s a, he’s a good player with a decent audience, but he’s managed to get. Well, I not the prime minister to do pretty much everything he says, right. I’m waiting for the thing that he asked that the government to do that they don’t do, but I’m wondering what it would be that he would ask for that they, that they could deny.

[00:10:55]And maybe it’s because of the power of his argument, or maybe it’s because of the subjects he chooses, but everybody is now in a position where they can sort of pick into their new source and they can pick and choose their influencers. And the question for the big. Those big aggregators. Cause that’s what Twitter is really.

[00:11:13] It’s an aggregator. It’s an aggregator of 12 feeds from people. Facebook is an aggregator of conversations once upon a time, the BBC or the guardian or the Telegraph, might’ve seen themselves as an aggregator of information and, and, and they would go out and interview people. And I know it brings all this information together and it, the question is what are they doing there?

[00:11:36] What’s that question? Those Benz five questions. You know, what part have you got? In whose interest do you exercise it? How can we take it from you? How did you get it all up? There’s another one as well. I can’t remember what it is, but if you were in a position of power, like Twitter, those questions apply to you.

[00:11:54] How, you know, since, since you have this power, what, what, in what position do you exercise this power and on what we give them? What can we do about it?

[00:12:06] Matt: [00:12:06] I think there’s tape. Two elements of it. And you talked about journalism and you also talked about opinion writers. I think one of the things with the era of Trump in particular, what we’ve seen is that there has been a move from journalism where people who are trained to be journalists are trained in being able to report not necessarily objectively, but based around truth.

[00:12:34] And people who have opinion there to be able to spout opinions. So we’re speaking opinion. This show is about opinion. It’s not about necessarily objective truth. When we bring people into the show, it gives us an opportunity to find out about other people’s opinions, but it’s just opinion. There’s, you know, apart from the fact that we know that Yamaha is older than Apple it’s not often that we bring you hard edge facts within this, but we’re not proporting to the blurring of the lines between fact opinion and fiction that’s happened in the last 10 years and the accountability for that amongst social networks.

[00:13:15] And the impact that social networks, because of the way in which they work is having on traditional media. So that the big hitting journalists now on the big titles, mostly aren’t journalists, they’re opinion writers. And actually at the moment we have in Michael Gove and in Boris Johnson, two opinion writers who’ve then got to the top of the political part as well.

[00:13:41] And I wonder even actually, if they could have even begun to imagine, to have become in that sort of position of power in an era before social networks changing the way in which we perceive the difference between news

[00:13:53] Chris: [00:13:53] and opinion. Well, that’s true. And we, we always see the end of people like that as some, some sort of glorious day where better, better will come, but we could have a prime minister and Alison Pearson or or Toby young or Julia Hartley brewer before you know it, right.

[00:14:05] This isn’t, this is possible. Let’s, let’s hope that doesn’t happen. But these are, these are all possibilities. I think, I think there’s something, what you say is absolutely. Right, right. And that’s remember that Boris Johnson was ostensibly. Okay. He’s writing opinion, but apparently it was sent to sensibly.

[00:14:22] He was writing it in an informed capacity about the European union. But once, once upon a time and he’s recorded her saying, you know, he, he would make this stuff up and then people lumped it up and it didn’t matter what nonsense he made up about the inefficiency and bureaucracy of the year. It would be seized upon by readers and they would love it.

[00:14:41] And that’s why it was published. And when you publish those things in a, what you might call respectable paper, newspaper, then that has an effect. But then I guess, There’s always been this

[00:15:02] tendency to believe what’s in the newspaper in a, in a, in a respectable newspaper. And you read the, the column by the health correspondent or the law correspondent or the motor and correspondent or the legal correspondent or whatever. And you. You say, okay, these guys know what they’re talking about.

[00:15:20] And the only rejoinder to that would be maybe in the next week, that’d be an editor, a letter to the editor published saying when your correspondent talked about this, actually he was, or she was mistaken, whereas now they can be challenged and. Corrected very, very quickly by, by a whole sort of swarm of people say, you know, they can contact and publicly contact the journalist or the newspaper concern.

[00:15:48] And I think what, you know, we will both have seen technology, for example, stories in the newspapers in the last 10 years that we look at and go there this down. Well, it’s talking about, and that’s because we happen to know maybe. More than the journalist who’s covering that because that they’re trained in journalism, not in tech, for example, and doctors will probably look at medical stories and go, they’d end up where they’re talking about because they’re trying to medicine and the journalist isn’t trained in medicine.

[00:16:17] They’re trained in journalism, but happened to be covering medicine that may be of color to come to for many years, but they don’t have the depth of experience and knowledge of a doctor. But with me and you reading that column, we’ll probably take it as that was fine. We believe that because we, we don’t, we aren’t a doctor, but what we don’t realize is actually it’s all good kind of half, half baked, and it’s all educated kind of guests kind of stuff.

[00:16:44] That’s been thrown together at the last minute for a deadline by somebody who has three or four facts and knows how to spin them out into 400 words. And maybe this is the right thing. Maybe, maybe it’s, it’s a good thing that we’re able to challenge. And we, haven’t got this powered vested in a small number of journalists anymore.

[00:17:05] Matt: [00:17:05] So let’s think a bit then about the other side of what’s been going on with social networks and big tech companies over the last few weeks. And. Yeah. I mean, this is an ongoing story, but it’s particularly been highlighted with the news a week or so ago that Facebook we’re going to start to link data between WhatsApp, which is the messaging service that they have owned for quite some years now, but actually starting to link its data into the broader Facebook.

[00:17:34] A world of data, and they’ve done this in the past with other things that said Oculus the virtual reality thing, you have to use a Facebook identity now to be able to log into that. And the gendered station is together. And the the WhatsApp news for quite a lot of people prompted a a level of soul searching about whether they should continue to use WhatsApp as a platform for what is described as being.

[00:18:01] Secure messaging because the, the, I think that the thing was, well, how can it be secure if they’re then going to start to increase any tie these things together? And in fact our very own WB 40 WhatsApp group has now migrated on to signal as a result of that, a democratic process. And we’re now using a different platform and I’m one that proposed to not one, to have the ability to build lots of data about its users.

[00:18:27] In similar sort of working models of that Wikipedia, I guess. W w how are you feeling about Facebook having all your data?

[00:18:37] Chris: [00:18:37] Well, as somebody who doesn’t use Facebook really very much these days, I, I, I kind of soap in self-imposed or that a year ago, because I was just so depressed with everything I was reading on it.

[00:18:49]But I haven’t deleted my account. And I, and the reason why I guess is because. Yeah, there are lots of people, or maybe I know for people who care about where, who I am and where I am, and therefore might want to be able to see that. But Oh, I have been extremely, I guess, concerned about Facebook for awhile and if I could delete it and it wouldn’t cause anybody else, any problem, I probably would the whole WhatsApp thing, I guess I’ve.

[00:19:17] The one thing about WhatsApp, which is very good is that there’s always had that end to end encryption. You can, you can have a pretty good certainty that nobody not, nobody wants to read my stuff. Right. But at the end of the day, As that data is collected about it as an aggregated over years and years and years, who knows what that might use for today in future and whatever.

[00:19:40] So if you can chip away at that a little bit, I think that’s nice. That’s worthwhile. So you think, okay, it’s good. Also what’s up really is useful. It’s usable and a lot of people have it, so it’s a good tool, but when it loses that intern, the encryption and say, or the, the. The trend is towards them, moving away from that.

[00:20:02] And maybe, you know, we’ve seen lots of pressure from home secretaries in this country, for example, and, and, and elsewhere, you know, the security organizations around the world saying, give us a back door, et cetera, anywhere that leads to the potential for that happening. Ah, it just makes me feel uneasy from a, should we allow this kind of thing?

[00:20:21] Should we just stop and let this happen? Or could we do something about it? Could we. We vote with our feet and go somewhere else. And that’s why I was very happy to move to signal and the WB 40 group, I’m not going to do what delete WhatsApp, but it’s still too useful for me. But the more traffic that can move, maybe that’s you know, it puns a flag in the ground and makes people think slightly differently.

[00:20:43] So it’s, it’s hard to be absolute about these things, right? Because we live in a world where data is collected and shared and, and. Exploited in good ways, as well as negative ways. And we kind of have to get used to that, but it’s, I guess you just have to make value judgments each step. What do you think in that?

[00:21:07] Matt: [00:21:07] I think it’s all about being able to understand value exchange and what things are worth. And for me, Personally. And I don’t think that this is a view that this isn’t a view that I think everybody should agree with because different people will have different views on it. I have data that is about who I am, what I do, where I go.

[00:21:30] And if I were to go to a technology company and say, here’s all my data, would you like to buy it from me? They would say no. And if I say, please, and they really wants to get rid of me, they might give me a couple of quid. Because my data on its own, I don’t believe has any gray value where the likes of Google and Facebook.

[00:21:54] And to an extent, Twitter, I still come back. I have Twitter has any sort of commercial model. I love it as a platform, but I just don’t understand how it could ever make any money. But where those platforms are where their wealth comes from. Is through the data of their users. But the key point for me is it’s not, they’ve bought my data so therefore, or they have my data and therefore they can make money from it.

[00:22:16] It’s the fact that they have all of my data and all of everybody else’s and that the, the way in which they can make value from that is only an aggregate. And most that might mean that occasionally I get a bit weirded out by an adverse it’s put in front of me. It also means that when I start to search for something I’ll Google, it gets me to where I want to be quicker than I can even think about it.

[00:22:40] It means that I have the ability to be able to communicate with people across the entire planet for free in terms of, you know, no paid for cost at the point. And for me at the moment that is a value exchange that I’m happy with because I know that there is nobody sitting, pouring over my data, particularly because it’s just machines and it’s machines and algorithms.

[00:23:07] And there might be a point at the future where somebody or something happens, sorry, and I will then go, Oh, I was such a naive fall, but I kind of think that’s unlikely. And the benefit that I get from all these remarkable bits of technology that my exchanges for data, that if I were to sell on its own would have no value whatsoever is worth it.

[00:23:30] I get far more weirded out by the fact that people are experience. Have access to all that data about my financial history and I have no ability to give them permission and they have sought no permission from me to be able to monetize that information. And I get nothing back from it. Other than that creepy feeling, whenever you’re applying for credit, somehow that they might say no, which is a really, that’s a really, that for me is way more dysfunctional than the value that I get from a Google or from a Facebook.

[00:24:01] Chris: [00:24:01] Yeah, I guess the only thing that worries me slightly is that this could come, it could become a kind of diabolic pact. You know, there’s kind of sold their soul to the devil. It all seems fine until the point at which you’re being load lower testicle first into the, into the molten lava lakes of Hades.

[00:24:21] Matt: [00:24:21] Sorry, you bought me a cream for that. That’s

[00:24:22] Chris: [00:24:22] good. I did. Didn’t I say you’ll be well-prepared you be moist. And I. I guess I understand what you’re saying. I think, I think you can venue one person to stay too. I think the people that, that did that quite a long time ago were people like Sainsbury’s right.

[00:24:38] And who would give you essentially money or money off your shopping or? Well,

[00:24:45] Matt: [00:24:45] yeah. And my point exactly is that was worth about 30 quid a year.

[00:24:49] Chris: [00:24:49] Oh, well, because equity is to equity here. It’s not

[00:24:52] Matt: [00:24:52] cause that could have, they could have just dropped their prices and not bothered with all that nonsense because they wouldn’t have had to spend all the money on the technology

[00:25:00] Chris: [00:25:00] for the next year.

[00:25:00] Yeah. Well, but the reason they did spend the money for the next card is they sold that data. They used it for their own purposes. Absolutely. But they sold a lot of it as well. And as you say, it wasn’t useful because they hadn’t that Valentine’s shopping to. They hope it was useful because they had.

[00:25:15] Thousands and millions of people who shop shopping data and then they could sell it. So they made more money on that data. I remember somebody telling me who was working with Sainsbury’s then that then they did on Viceland, fruit and veg in a period of time in the nineties. So or maybe the early 2000.

[00:25:32] So you can, I don’t know for the value of somebody’s data and you can recommend some for that. The question really is, as you earn a little bit, like you stay with experience, I mean, that experience aren’t getting the data from you. Aren’t they experiment getting data from financial institutions that tell them that, Oh yeah, you’ve got a mortgage and you, you know, you generally pay off, but generally speaking around Christmas when you go out in that bender, you you know, I forgot to pay it.

[00:26:00] And the question is, Who owns your data? How can they use it? And GDPR comes along to try to regulate that. And it’s actually really, I mean, GDPR let’s face. It is not, it’s really worthy. And I support the of GDPR and I think it’s very important. But as legislation. It’s rubbish. And as much as nobody really knows what’s going on, nobody really knows whether they’re acting inside GDPR or not.

[00:26:24] If we’re completely honest with each other. And therefore, if you could find a way of saying, well, actually, no, we’re not going to do it like that. We are going to prohibit anybody from holding personal data about you, but you will have, you will have a personal data store that you can give organizations permission to.

[00:26:41] Access for the period during which your, your you’re working with them or you’re using them, and then you can turn it off. And at that point they must by law delete any information they have on you, but that, you know, but don’t worry company eight, if you ever need months data, again, he can press the button and open it up again.

[00:26:59] That model is probably something that we need to get to, frankly. Yeah, it’s technologically very difficult and culturally quite difficult, given all the things that have gone before, but maybe we are, maybe we really are selling us all to the devil. Well, maybe we really do need to fix it in a way like that.

[00:27:20] Matt: [00:27:20] Maybe the experience recently of what has happened with politics coming about in the first part of this conversation though, is maybe that’s the faster, the impact. Actually, what it does is it enables us to have Despicable individuals being able to speak until far too many people at the same time. .


Chris: [00:00:00] So that was an in-depth conversation. I was a bit old school. We haven’t done that for a little while.

[00:00:05] Matt: [00:00:05] Yeah, that’s good. That’s good. It

[00:00:07] Chris: [00:00:07] was. But nor shall we, because we’ve got a stellar lineup of guests, you know, you did a, an amazing thing this week, where you listed all of our guests for since the day we started this Merry little podcasting and there were 122,

[00:00:23] Matt: [00:00:23] is that 122 people have appeared.

[00:00:26] Well there’s, some of them are the same person. Cause a few people have appeared more than

[00:00:29] Chris: [00:00:29] once. Well, you know what I mean? And we all, we all move and grow. Right? We’re different people in the future from the past. I reckon they’re all different people. And going through that list is really, it’s kind of eye-opening because every time I, you know, I was always sort of scrolling through it and you sent it to me and I looked through it and I thought I could remember the conversation.

[00:00:47] Most of the time I can remember the conversation. And it takes you back to a time and a reason for having that conversation as well. We went, Oh yeah. Everybody’s been brilliant on the show, right?

[00:00:59] Matt: [00:00:59] Yep. And we’re continuing that trend. So we all get Charlotte’s on at some point in the near future.

[00:01:03]Hopefully everything is well with you, Charlotte. If you’re listening we next week have got Richard. Sage coming in,

[00:01:10] Chris: [00:01:10] which is Sage. Who’s going to talk about it. Strategy. He’s got a a mailing list and a website that he runs that is co it turns out some regularly, really, really good stuff on it.

[00:01:22] Strategy. And makes you think about, you know, how you’re going to manage different parts of an it organization. So, yeah, looking forward to talk to him about that.

[00:01:32]Matt: [00:01:32] We’ve got, I think this is the right article Berlin Howard. Coming in to talk about his business liminal. We talked about liminality a few months ago, but he’s coming into to give us the full SP on it.

[00:01:46] We’ve got Julia Hobsbawm coming on to talk about the simplicity principle and how within the world that we’re in at the moment, it’s a massively complicated world when he was things we’ve just been talking about now, how do you make your life manageable? We have got. Anthony, slumbers coming in to talk about, yeah,

[00:02:05] Chris: [00:02:05] property what’s going on in what’s going on in the property market, you know, this business of moving to remote, working and how that’s affecting the, you know, the landlords and, and, and things like prop tech and what we can expect to see in future.

[00:02:18] Matt: [00:02:18] And we’ve also got Edward , who is the head of the computer. I can’t remember the name of the publication, but apart the new statesman group, he’s formerly the head or the editor in chief at CIO magazine. And he’s going to come in and talk about what he’s up to now. And I think I’ve also got somebody to talk about the world of insurance tech in the next few weeks as well.

[00:02:41] So I’m quite a lineup. Hey.

[00:02:44] Chris: [00:02:44] Yeah, absolutely. So, you know, we’re going to have guests after guests. We’re not going to have the the chance to indulge ourselves with a conversation like we’ve just had for a wall Mount. So I hope you made the most of it.

[00:02:54] Matt: [00:02:54] I did. And the quiz, I forget the quiz.

[00:02:58] Chris: [00:02:58] No, they’re good.

[00:02:58] Queers. I enjoyed that. Chris, what have you got coming up this week, Matt?

[00:03:02]Matt: [00:03:02] We have got Oh, things, staff there’s a group of housing association peers. So CEO’s and other housing associations who meet up every self since we’ve got a meeting of that group one evening I have we’ve got, of course the risk panel.

[00:03:19] And one of the things that we’re gonna be talking about is the housing white paper, which was published just before Christmas. One of the things in there is the the commitment from the government to introduce level of freedom of information. Similar to that within the freedom of information act for housing associations.

[00:03:34] And one of the things we need to talk about in emerging risks for our organization is the impact of that. Because having seen freedom of information in government organizations the, the aim is good. The the way in which he gets manipulated by. People fishing for stories in the press and people trying to be able to do weird stuff with commercials is a little bit of a downside of it.

[00:03:59]So yeah, that’s going to be there and the thing that’s yeah, that’s, that’s about main things that are in my head at the moment. How about you?

[00:04:09] Chris: [00:04:09] Well, it’s another, another week back at work and gearing up for some events that I’m doing some presenting out. And of course these are virtual events that I’m going to be sitting in the same place as I am talking to you.

[00:04:21] But I was just thinking about this time last year. I’d I’d already been to Vienna. I know there’s so much year I was in Istanbul. And if you remember, we recorded a podcast where, when I was in Istanbul and some people reported the most terrifying noise that happened during that. Do you remember that?

[00:04:38] Matt: [00:04:38] Oh, yes, there’s a big motorbike or

[00:04:40] Chris: [00:04:40] something, but it was that kind of out of context, but yeah, so that, so the, the world of the wilderness shrunk for me a great deal. So I’ll be presenting in Or rather I’m preparing for one event in which is ostensibly in Sweden and one which is extensive, but in Austria, but they will be doing the, from here.

[00:04:58] So that’s, that’s, that’s my weakest is preparing some of those and doing the usual rally. So I’m looking forward to it. It’s it’s always good to be talking to people, even if it’s virtual.

[00:05:08] Matt: [00:05:08] Absolutely good. Well I hope you have a good week. Thank you, dear listener for listening in hope you have a good week and we will see you again next week.

[00:05:18]Bank here on WB 40.

Leave a Reply