CRF Blog

What Foreign Policy Staff Read in 2016

by Bill Hayes

Another post almost too late to post, but still worth taking a look at: The writers and editors of Foreign Policy magazine share What Foreign Policy Staff Read in 2016.

James Palmer, Asia editor

Disrupted: My Misadventures in the Start-Up Bubble, by Daniel Lyons

This has been the year that proved that everything people liked in the 1990s — the internet, the Clintons, the triumph of American capitalism — is actually awful, especially the internet. Disrupted wasn’t my favorite book of the year, but it’s the one I’ve found myself referring to most often in conversation. On the surface, it’s a funny, sly memoir of being out of place — too old, too cranky, and too skeptical — but beyond that, it’s an exposé of how unsustainable, absurd, and corrupt the world of “tech” is.

“Tech” is very different from actual technology. “Tech” means Uber, losing nearly a billion dollars a year, bulldozing their way through regulations thanks to a virtual blank check from investors. The mix of venture capital and the belief that apps can solve everything is, as Lyons shows, financially and socially dangerous. Like “finance” in the run-up to 2008 (and, well, finance today), it’s a ticking time bomb that will cover us all in shrapnel when it explodes. [more]