Hats off to The New York Times for a superb article on Amazon. It barely scratches the surface but it is a very good start. I am the one who inspired Amazon in 2007 with my briefing, “Amazon as the Hub of the World Brain,” but they went down the rabbit hole which was not my intention, I had hoped they would become a source of power for the public rather than an extension of the police state. Amazon is gobbling up — some would say very unethically — both normal online businesses (e.g. Netflix) and open source offerings (e.g. Elastic) while doing mass and a la carte surveillance (e.g delivery drones with cameras on call for law enforcement missions) beyond the pale.
If you read my briefing, note that Amazon has leveraged the first part of my vision, and gone after big data piles that it is now cross-fertilizing, often, I speculate, in violation of its customer expectations of exclusivity. Amazon has not leveraged authors, created journals, provided a citizen intelligence minuteman sense-making suite of tools such as Diane Webb designed in CATALYST, and they are clearly now the “China” of the online world — what China did to our manufacturing, with the complicity of CEOs and the US Government, Amazon is going to do to the online mom and pop stores.