Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Anna Wiener

Anna Wiener writes about tech culture for The New Yorker; she also wrote a book, Uncanny Valley, about her time working for Silicon Valley startups.

From the transcript of Wiener's NPR interview with Scott Simon:

SIMON: So how does someone with your literary bent wind up in Silicon Valley anyway?

WIENER: I was working in book publishing and, at 25, was sort of just trying to find my place in the world and trying to find a career path that felt like it had momentum. I wanted to be in an industry that felt exciting and felt like there was a future. And tech ticked all of those boxes.

SIMON: You said that big data just became mesmerizing.

WIENER: Oh, yeah. I found that looking at these datasets for different products really showed me what people were doing on the Internet in these digital spaces. And it told a story about how people were engaging with otherwise intangible products. So I think data is also often used to confirm one's assumptions or confound one's assumptions. And so for me, I just found that actually quite compelling on a storytelling level.

SIMON: Is it also a little - forgive me - voyeuristic? I mean, a lot of people aren't aware of the fact that we're being monitored.

WIENER: Oh, absolutely. And I think that that is one of the...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue