Paul Smalera

The piracy of online privacy

February 10, 2012

Online privacy doesn’t exist. It was lost years ago. And not only was it taken, we’ve all already gotten used to it. Loss of privacy is a fundamental tradeoff at the very core of social networking. Our privacy has been taken in service of the social tools we so crave and suddenly cannot live without. If not for the piracy of privacy, Facebook wouldn’t exist. Nor would Twitter. Nor even would Gmail, Foursquare, Groupon, Zynga, etc.

Facebook.coop

February 2, 2012

Facebook shouldn’t pay its users. Its users should pay to own Facebook.

“Facebook was not originally created to be a company,” founder Mark Zuckerberg wrote in his letter to investors announcing the IPO of his already hugely successful and profitable company. “It was built to accomplish a social mission — to make the world more open and connected.”

Twitter’s censorship is a gray box of shame, but not for Twitter

January 29, 2012

Twitter’s announcement this week that it was going to enable country-specific censorship of posts is arousing fury around the Internet. Commentators, activists, protesters and netizens have said it’s “very bad news” and claim to be “#outraged”. Bianca Jagger, for one, asked how to go about boycotting Twitter, on Twitter, according to the New York Times. (Step one might be… well, never mind.) The critics have settled on #TwitterBlackout: all day on Saturday the 28th, they promised to not tweet, as a show of protest and solidarity with those who might be censored.

How Obama wins the election: the economy, stupid, and everything else

December 9, 2011
By Paul Smalera
The opinions expressed are his own. 

Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, and the entire Republican presidential field before them, have enjoyed painting Barack Obama as a European-style socialist, an apologizer, an appeaser, a president who is ceding America’s place in the world. Their stump speeches and debate soundbites seem to always end with some variety of the phrase, “when I’m your president, I’ll make America great again.” It would seem the nation is hungry for that kind of leadership; after all, polls now say that Obama’s job approval ratings are worse than Carter’s at the same point in his term. The game clock would seem to be running down on his re-election hopes. But what if it turns out we’ve been reading the scoreboard wrong, and Team Obama already has the lead? What if, by the time Americans get to vote, less than a year from now, America is already great again?

from Ian Bremmer:

New world, new rules

October 26, 2011

By Paul Smalera

Welcome to the new world of volatility, globalization and a host of emerging markets. Merrill Lynch Chief Investment Officer Lisa Shalett and Eurasia Group President Ian Bremmer tell me, Reuters' Deputy Opinion editor Paul Smalera, their views on how best to navigate today's economy. To learn more about the report, including Bremmer's analysis of debtor nations and creditor nations, and the tremendous GDP growth among developing world nations in recent years, watch the video below. To read the entire report, check out ML.com.

from Ian Bremmer:

Obama’s secret for new jobs

By Reuters Staff
September 7, 2011

Ian Bremmer sat down with Reuters' Paul Smalera to discuss President Obama's plans to boost the American economy. Watch here:

from Felix Salmon:

Paul Smalera on spinning off Slate: the video IMterview

By Felix Salmon
September 2, 2011

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Felix Salmon Paul Smalera, you're the king of all media!

Paul Smalera Well yes, I suppose I am.

Felix Salmon First you post a piece about how Slate should spin itself off to some VCs

How to reboot Slate

August 29, 2011

By Paul Smalera
The opinions expressed are his own.

There’s really no schadenfreude to be had for Slate, which laid off four staffers and a few freelancers last week. After all, this is the online magazine that gave birth to a Twitter meme, #Slatepitches, that was instantly understandable by almost anyone who has ever read an article on the site, ever. The publication’s formula of taking an already counter-intuitive conceit for a story and adding an extra inversion might be easy to poke fun at, but it’s also become, like so many other of its early innovations, a signature of writing online.

Downgrading democracy

August 8, 2011

By Paul Smalera
All views expressed are his own.

The Washington debt ceiling debate over these past months was the throwing open of the doors to the democratic slaughterhouse — let’s please not ever complain again about not being able to watch the sausage get made. Though our media window onto the killing floor surely contributed to the S&P’s downgrade of U.S. debt, that’s not an entirely bad thing, as I’ll explain in a moment.

Krugman says Thoma’s right, except when he’s wrong

July 26, 2011

By Paul Smalera
The opinions expressed are his own.

Reuters invited leading economists to reply to Mark Thoma’s Op-Ed on the “great divide” in economics and will be publishing the responses. Below is a recap of Paul Krugman’s reply in the New York Times.   Here are responses from Roger MartinAshwin Parameswaran, James HamiltonDean Baker and Lawrence Summers.