Roger Mcnamee, Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg discussed on Making Sense with Sam Harris


Welcome to the making sense podcast. This is Sam Harris. Okay. Very short housekeeping here. Many things happening in the news. The Muller report just came in. I think I'll do a podcast on this one. There's real clarity around it uh, get some suitable scholar on. So I will defer that for the moment and just introduced today's guest today. I'm speaking with Roger McNamee Roger has been a Silicon Valley investor for thirty five years. He is co founded successful venture funds, including elevation where he's partnered with U2.'s Bano as a co-founder a whole day BA from Yale an MBA from the tuck business school at Dartmouth. But of relevance today is that he was an adviser to Mark Zuckerberg, very early on and helped recruit Sheryl Sandberg to Facebook. And he is now very energetic critic of the company and many of these platforms, Google Amazon Facebook. Et cetera. We focus on Facebook in particular. We talk about Google to some degree. But this conversation has a very deep look at all that is going wrong with digital media. And how it is subverting tomography making it harder and harder to make sense to one another. It's a growing problem that I've discussed many times on the podcast. But today's episode is an unusually deep dive. So now without further delay. I bring you Roger McNamee. I am here with Roger McNamee Roger thanks for coming on the podcast. Oh Sam what an honor to be here. So I got connected to us through Tristan Harris who who's been on the podcast, and who many people know has been dubbed the conscience of Silicon Valley. And but I also realize another podcast guest. Who I also got through Tristan is another one of your partners in crime Rene Directa who gave us a fairly heroin tour of the Russian influence into our lives through social media and other hacking efforts. So, you know, both of those people, and they have they really been allied with you in your efforts to deal with the problem that we're about to talk about which is just what is happening on our social media platforms with bad incentives and arguably unethical business model. Sales. So as to all to reliably corrupt are public conversation, and you very likely undermine our democracy. So let let's just just start with your background and and house at that. You come to have an opinion. Yeah. And and knowledge to back it up on on this particular problem yet. So Sam I began my career in the tech world professionally in nineteen eighty two. And when I when I was going back to college in nineteen seventy eight I dropped out for a period of time. My brother had given me a Texas Instruments. Speaking spell, you know, the toy for teaching kids how to spell, and it was brand new that year in Hansa to me in Christmas time, nineteen seventy eight and says, you know, if they can make this thing talk with a display and keyboard, you're going to be able to carry around all your personal information device. You can hold in your hand and probably will take that law. So this is one year after the apple two three years before the IBM PC. And I think rough. Seventeen or eighteen years before the palm pilot, he planted that seed in my head, and I couldn't get rid of it. And I spent four years trying to figure out how to become an engineer discovered. I was just terrible at it. And so I got a job being research analyst covering the technology industry, and I ride in Silicon Valley just before the personal computer industry started. And that was one of those moments of just pure dumb luck that can make a career in a lifetime. And in my case it did both. So

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