Redefining Society Podcast

Book | The New Technology State: How Our Digital Dreams Became Societal Nightmares-and What We Can Do about It | A Conversation with Author Bill Raduchel | Redefining Society with Marco Ciappelli

Episode Summary

Today, we open the pages of the groundbreaking book "The New Technology State," meticulously penned by the veteran tech luminary, Bill Raduchel.

Episode Notes

Guest: Bill Raduchel, Author

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Host: Marco Ciappelli, Co-Founder at ITSPmagazine [@ITSPmagazine] and Host of Redefining Society Podcast

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Episode Introduction

Hello listeners, welcome to another riveting episode of the "Redefining Society Podcast." I am your host, Marco Ciappelli, here to walk you with open arms into the deep interplays at the intersection of technology, cybersecurity, and society.

Today, we open the pages of the groundbreaking book "The New Technology State," meticulously penned by the veteran tech luminary, Bill Raduchel. With a resume boasting high-ranking roles in globally recognized companies such as Sun Microsystems and AOL Time Warner, and accolades including the CIO of the year, Bill stands as a fortress of knowledge and experience in the tech world, possessing insights forged from over sixty fruitful years on the front lines of the technological revolution.

In this masterwork, the intersections of society and technology are explored with a profound depth, unraveling the threads of a prediction made over sixty years ago by the revered economist John Kenneth Galbraith, a prophecy which posited that the global elite would seize the ever-advancing computing technology to further deepen their vaults and amass unprecedented power.

Drawing from rich personal encounters and dialogues with esteemed figures such as British Army officer turned MP, Tom Tugendhat, and media giant Paul Dacre, Bill paints a vivid picture of a world undergoing rapid and unrelenting change, a transformation facilitated by the relentless march of technology. His narratives vividly illustrate a society teetering on the brink, stretched to its limits by the pace of change which is seemingly only accelerating, spurred on by the democratization of technology creation.

As we delve into their engrossing conversation, we witness a philosophical dance, navigating through the intricacies of technological advancements and their rippling effects on society. Bill's seasoned perspective leads us on a journey from the first encounter with a computer at a tender age of 15 to the dramatic transformations he has witnessed and engineered in the world of technology.

With candid retrospections and poignant illustrations like the Viking’s thousand steel swords analogy, we are invited to ponder on the weighty implications of an increasingly fragile yet efficient society; a society united yet divided, caught in a delicate balance of power that might just be held in the hands of a few prodigiously talented individuals likened to the elite players in a professional sports team.

In today's conversation, we traverse the technological landscape, touching on seemingly fantastical elements that have already become an intricate part of our daily realities, to the resonating echoes from the halls of Harvard where young Bill first grasped the prophetic insights of Galbraith.

As I pick the brains of the man who has lived through the dazzling trajectory of the technological era, we open the floor to ponder on whether we stand on the precipice of revolution, as society grapples with changes that are seemingly too vast and rapid to fully comprehend. We find ourselves asking, was this level of change inevitable, or are we here because we failed to heed the warnings of those who saw what was coming?

Join us as we unfold this rich tapestry of insights, experiences, and foresights into a world rapidly morphing under the influence of technology. Let us together navigate this brave new world, grasping the nuances and understanding the deep-seated ramifications of this technological era, guided by the wise reflections of Bill Raduchel, a man with an intimate understanding of the field.

Dear listeners, as we unravel this tapestry of experiences and foresights, I encourage you to pause, reflect, and possibly redefine your understanding of society as we know it.

Stay tuned, as we dive into a dialogue that navigates the thin line between the real and the digital world, a conversation laden with wisdom, rich narratives, and a deep exploration of our evolving society, here on the "Redefining Society Podcast."


About the Book

This book is about society—how it has changed and what technology is enabling us to do to ourselves.

Sixty years ago, legendary economist John Kenneth Galbraith issued a grim prophecy that the global elite would harness the potential of the burgeoning computing revolution to accumulate even more wealth and power.

His masterwork The New Industrial State redefined our perception of ourselves and our society. The computing revolution has turned his predictions into a reality that triggered conversations between technology pioneer Bill Raduchel (a former colleague of Galbraith's at Harvard) and British Army officer turned MP Tom Tugendhat.

The New Technology State recounts their discussions and reveals how the wealthy and powerful have used the incredible technological advances of the past half-century to gain unprecedented advantages and what we can do to reclaim control of our future.



The New Technology State: How Our Digital Dreams Became Societal Nightmares-and What We Can Do about It (Book):


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Episode Transcription

Please note that this transcript was created using AI technology and may contain inaccuracies or deviations from the original audio file. The transcript is provided for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for the original recording, as errors may exist. At this time, we provide it “as it is,” and we hope it can be helpful for our audience.


[00:00:00] Marco Ciappelli: Hello, everybody. This is Marco Ciappelli on ITSP Magazine. The show that I am hosting today is my, uh, my baby. My favorite show is Redefining Society podcast. And, uh, what I do here, I muse on the relationship between society and technology and the other way around because It's not just a one way street. 

It goes both ways. Um, today we are talking about a book that is not out yet, from what I understand. And the author is here. He has a long story, uh, history with technology. And, uh, this touch actually on, uh... Something where that is familiar with my, my theme. I usually talk about dystopia and utopia and, uh, the book is called the new technology state. 

How our digital dreams became societal nightmares. So there is, uh, a little bit of, uh, you know, uh, touch, I think on utopia, dystopia, and probably the reality will be in the middle, but. I'm not the author, the author is with me, is uh, Dr. William James Reduchel, or Reduchel. I tried to understand how to pronounce this before and we went into phonetics and all of this and I'm sure I didn't give the right pronunciation. 

So uh, Bill, um, I'm calling you Bill if it's okay with you, uh, welcome to the show. Please tell me how badly I pronounce your name and tell a little bit about yourself to our audience. Thanks,  

[00:01:37] William Raduchel: Marco. I learned to accept in a long life and career many pronunciations, so normally I would do reducial, but don't worry about it. 

Reducial, okay. So I, uh, I grew up with technology. I, um, I was 15 when I saw my first computer, and it was a huge machine used to fire anti aircraft missiles against Soviet bombers. Uh, it was at the KSR Air Force Base in Michigan. And... I got hooked, and I have been following computers ever since then, and I'm now 77, so that's 62 years of growing up with technology, and I've seen it from when it was completely, you know, nascent, when you could do very little with it, but what you could do seemed magical at the time to everything we've seen today. 

I originally was an economist. And economics got me into statistics, and statistics got me into computing, because that's how you did it, and eventually I became more a technologist than anything else. And I grew up with tech, and I've seen it, and I've been Chief Technology Officer, uh, at AOL Time Warner was my last job, I was Chief Strategy Officer for Sun Microsystems before that. 

I understand tech. I've implemented it. I've done huge systems and I understand software. I've written, you know, lots and lots of code over the years. And what I remember from my days at Harvard, where I got my PhD, is I taught with John Kenneth Galbraith in his class, The New Industrial State. And one of the things that he said repeatedly was that the global elite would use technology to gain wealth and power. 

Well, guess what? That was said in the mid 60s, and 60 years later, he was right, and that is exactly what has happened, and I had this observation, and I thought about it a lot, but one day I was having a, um, just a conversation with Paul Dacre, and Paul Dacre in the UK, people would know, he was the editor in chief of the Daily Mail, and most people would have considered him, at the time, to have been the 4th, 5th, or 6th most powerful person in Britain because millions of people read his views every single day and were influenced by them. 

And he was taking me through, getting me to talk about technology and how it was changing and where it came from. And he paused suddenly and he looked at me and he goes, You know, Bill, This means revolution and that that society can't handle this amount of change this fast and you know, he may be right. 

I mean, we, you know, change is becoming faster and faster. And when Galbraith wrote. Technology change meant hardware, and it took years to go do, but today it's software. One person can go write software that changes the world. I mean, Google Maps, uh, is one person. Uh, I mean, there's some earlier inventions, but you're changing the world and just one person can go do it. 

So the pace of change is going up, not down. And that's hard for people to handle. My economic history professor at Harvard gave us a trick question one day. He said, what was the most important technology to enable the industrial revolution in Britain? And being good students, we guessed the steam engine, the railroad, all sorts of things. 

He said, nah, it was the gin sill. The industrial revolution made people so stressed that you couldn't brew enough beer to get everybody drunk. We needed to get drunk every night and was only by increasing the efficiency of making alcohol with the gin sill that the revolution could occur. Uh, I don't, I mean, He was an esteemed professor, Alexander Gershengrom, but, uh, it's the same kind of thing. 

I mean, we are stretching society in all ways and we've ended up in a society in which we are now very efficient, but fragile. We are united but divided and we are increasingly unequal.  

[00:05:50] Marco Ciappelli: So there is so much, I'm gonna stop you here, there is so much already packing, you know, three minutes of your conversation and it's inevitable that it is like that. 

I mean every time I talk about it, even my show itself, I had to adopt the, the abstract for it. I, now it's, it's more about the fact that I am saying that this , divider between the real world and the virtual hybrid digital. World that we live in, it doesn't exist anymore. I mean, we pretend that there is this, but we are living our life online. 

We are living our life on social media. AI is already everywhere. And people think that they need to realize that it's more pervasive than what we think it is. But... I think that one of the things that I would like to ask you is with the quotes that from John Kenneth Galbraith that you mentioned before, how much of that has become true because we ignore the alerts and alarms of people that in the 60s were telling us that, or is because it's kind of inevitable? 

That society is going to make more beer and, and that's how we deal with the, with the future.  

[00:07:15] William Raduchel: Well, I mean, the reason it took a book is because I don't believe there's one thing that did this, Marco. What it is, it's the cumulative effect of a lot of things, including The way the stock market works, including reforms in the United States in the 80s, to tie executive compensation very closely to stock price. 

It's the fact that we have a very fragile stock market in which a few pennies in earnings per share can mean hundreds of billions of dollars in valuation gain or loss. And it's the fact that We assume that lots of people can write software, when in fact very few can. I mean, When I was running, you know, a big programming shop in the 90s, you know, there was an accepted rule of thumb in the industry that maybe only 10, 000 great programmers existed at any one time. 

Maybe it's 20, 000 or 30, 000 today, but it's not millions. It's tens of thousands and almost all of them work for the top five tech companies because they can afford to pay them the money that they're worth and other companies have trouble doing that. I mean, I think that if you look at the future, almost every company is going to end up looking like a professional sports team with players and employees and the players get paid enormously because they're that valuable. 

The advantage of pro sports has is I know whether you're a great player. I see it on the court or the field, uh, the rink. And I can see that you, you, you are worth that, but I don't see that with software. And so companies have trouble paying people what they may in fact be worth, but the big tech companies understand it, and they go off and recruit these people. 

They pay them. They, they coddle them. They give them the things, and, and they haven't. I mean, one of the things I read a, an article on a year ago is that the Vikings had a thousand steel sorts. And one Viking had gone to Iran or Iraq, somewhere in that area. And it brought back the ability to make steel. 

And so they found about a thousand steel swords that they had. But, you know, if you have an iron sword and I have a steel sword. You're going to lose because I can cut your iron sword in half. And the Vikings conquered the world on a thousand steel swords. And this is what the tech companies have done. 

They've gotten the great programmers and the great programmers aren't better by 20 percent they're better by 200 percent or 300%, maybe even more. Um, there was a story about a, a, a, a columnist in, uh, the Silicon Valley, well known, Robert Scoble, who went down to SpaceX. And one of the things he asked to do was to interview the team that wrote the software that took a rocket into the sky and then landed it back on the landing pad. 

And they said, well, okay, it's over here. He's here. And they go, what do you mean? I want to see the team. And they go, well, there was only one person. And I mean, that's the thousand steel swords, right? And these brilliant programmers that go and create it. There are lots of people then who build derivative stuff around it. 

But it's thousands of people and they, they provide the cutting edge. Well, so then that drives, um, what Ricardo would have called economic rents into the people who hold them or manage them and the big tech companies go out and recruit them. And that's where they are. I mean, they're not, they make double, triple, quadruple what they make elsewhere. 

And so they're able to pay them, you know, a lot of money, but it's way below the value they produce. So it's very worthwhile.  

[00:11:00] Marco Ciappelli: So to run a parallel and to make it, you know, you use a few very interesting and easy to understand metaphor. I mean, the Vikings with the knowledge, one knowledge to change the course of history in that particular period of history. 

Um, I like the idea of. The running as a, as a, as a sport team. But the difference is that, as you say, people do understand basketball. They understand soccer. They understand football while in the technology industry. They use what they produce, the masses, but they don't understand it. So they, it's hard to even evaluate not only from a financial perspective, but also from what changing is making to our society, the knowledge that they have in their hands. 

So am I, am I getting somewhere here in creating more divide because of knowledge and power and money?  

[00:12:00] William Raduchel: I mean, anybody who flies will occasionally, and they, if the airplane you're on has seat back entertainment, occasionally they have to restart it. And you should just look at that screen, and it goes on for two or three minutes, and it teaches you the amount of technology. 

I mean, we talk in software all the time about stacks, and it's now a very complicated stack. And you see it at the top, and computer scientists would call it an abstraction layer. And you see that abstraction layer, it's your phone. And you can figure out how to understand it, but what's below it? It's just layer and layer and layer of very complicated technology, and the people who are very good at the very bottom of that stack are very rare. 

I mean, hundreds of people like that in the world. And, you know, the result is that you, you own it. I mean, one of Steve Jobs great, uh, conclusions when he was running NeXT after, uh, Apple is that the operating system was everything. And he was fortunate. He hired a brilliant guy and he named Avi Devanian. 

And Avi came in and wrote the next operating system. And then everything that you run on Apple today is a derivative of the stuff that Avi did. And, you know, because only the operating system, that is the key linchpin technology, but I'll tell you, there are a lot of people who didn't get it. Um, there was a Fortune reporter who interviewed Bill Gates in 99 and in 1999, and Gates was being cocky as he could be. 

And the reporter finally said, how can you be so self confident that you're going to beat all of these other great CEOs that were out there? And he said, I understand software. They don't. He was right.  

[00:13:45] Marco Ciappelli: It's the knowledge of the shaman that the knows how to do things, but he wants to keep the secret, kind of like the alchemist. 

Let's get a little bit more into into the book. So the main title is the new technology state, and I think that you painted already a pretty a pretty clear vision, although I'm sure you have to go deeper in the, in the book. But then, you know, you, you talk about this idea of going from a dream state into a nightmarish state, but you also finished to say that maybe there is something we can do about it. 

So tell me a little bit about the structure of the book and, and, you know, where you start. And don't tell me the end, of course, but, you know, kind of like to give a teaser to what the book structure is and maybe who you write it for as well, who you had in mind as an audience.  

[00:14:36] William Raduchel: Well, there's sort of an overview. 

Um, and I am an economist, so it talks about neoclassical economics and how that's become the linchpin in public policy. And we did a lot of things that we thought were going to do with, you know, um, neoclassical economics, but neoclassical economics states from. The late 1700s. Uh, and tech was not, you know, there wasn't any tech, right. 

And economic growth was very low. And the foundation of, uh, neoclassical economics comes from Ricardo and Adam Smith and Smith wrote two books. And to your point of the podcast, the second book is The Wealth of Nations, which has the phrase as if by an invisible hand, and is the one that says that pre market economics works. 

But in his earlier book, Smith says that he believes that human beings want to be both loved And that that tempered capitalism because people wanted to be lovely. I'm not so sure that we have that ethic anymore, if we ever did. People may still want to be loved, but they now want to be rich. And the rich may be overpowering the lovely. 

So then I talk about something called Halstead Length. And Halstead Length goes back to a professor from Purdue, Maurice Halstead, who wondered in the 80s... Why were some programmers a hundred times better than others? And he then studied the human brain, and what he came up with is this concept of how large is a memory chunk. 

And the theory of the brain that works, whether it's completely true or not, I don't know. We can't, you know, we don't know how to pull apart a brain yet. But that we store memory in chunks, and the chunks vary in size. And he came up with a bunch of really clever heuristics to measure size. And he found that for the average person, the size was a number that he labeled 250. 

And that turned out to be 50 lines of software. He found out that the very best programmers, that was in 65, 000. Hundreds of times longer. And so you think Beethoven or James Joyce, or, you know, um, the Aborigines in Australia who can tell you where every water hole is in the Outback and how to get between them. 

The London cab driver who understands how to get you to any street address and had to be taking a test on it. It's all about Halstead Lane and great Halstead Lane makes you a fantastic programmer because you understand the interactions and you're much faster. And that means that there's a scarcity and anytime there's a scarcity, there are economic rents and that is what's happened is that the tech companies have basically harvested up all of the people who are great programmers that they get paid very well. 

But the companies get paid even better. And that's where it's come from. And then, you know, I remember when Facebook started. I knew a lot of the people. I spent a lot of time with Sean Parker, uh, for random reasons. But when he introduced the social network, the feed. They didn't really know what it was. 

And actually one of my employees was the first to use it, um, uh, for business purposes and marketing. And he got, you know, hundreds of thousands of people to sign up and it was the first time, and then they shut it down, which they should have. But I then go through how, if you look at the 2016 election, Trump spent 150 million. 

In the last three weeks of the campaign in five counties, there are 30, some 3, 000 plus counties in America. You spent that money on Facebook in five counties and that's why he won. He won by 78, 000 votes and those votes came from those counties and it was understanding how you could use data to target people and what Trump did, which no one had ever done before because they couldn't, is he put out. 

Ads to discourage people from voting. He knew he wasn't going to convince someone to vote for him, but it could convince the person not to vote at all. That was very effective. And so he ran ads primarily to Afro Americans, uh, on Hillary Clinton's support of three strikes in your outlaws, and he got the people not to vote. 

I mean, that's the margin in Detroit, the margin for Michigan. Uh, and it was a brilliant use of technology and, and, you know, the, the young guy that helped them do it was down in the polling headquarters in Texas. And he then became, he then repented because all his friends hated him and he tried to help defeat Trump in 2020. 

Uh, but it was just this use of technology and, you know, it was pretty simple, nothing wrong with it. It's just, he didn't have to say, I'm Donald Trump and I paid for this message. And what you saw was a clip of Hillary Clinton urging three strikes in your outlaws, which, you know, turn out to be a very racist effect on society. 

And he was able to do that. And, you know, people began to pay attention and look at it more. So, you know, it, it just, it continues down this path of how people have found them than having aggregated data. Which then allows you to build algorithms, and you then apply the algorithms, you can then target messages, and that ends up being very effective, makes more money, or, in the case of the Trump campaign, got you more positive votes. 

And so, you know, we tried, I mean, I re engineered companies, I saved, you know, I did one project which we estimate made 1. 4 billion dollars for us, over time. Uh, you know, remarkable gains in efficiency with tech and, you know, even up until then, you know, really up until the 2010s, nobody ever looked at the negatives, always with the positive, the great things you got, Google Maps, um, gaming, um, you know, the ability to have video conferences, the ability to do this, all of that seemed great. 

It's only in the last 10 years or so that we've begun to see, oh, wait a minute. There's a downside to all this, and, you know, we then had compensation schemes in place that allowed people to make enormous amounts of money, and in fact, it's tax advantaged because the tech companies are allowed to deduct from their taxes. 

the actual income that the employee gets from a stock option, not the, they don't have to take that out. So they give an option and the option at grant is zero because it's at the current market price. And then the market price goes up 20 fold. When the employee sells that option, so converts the stock and sells it, they get to deduct the gain. 

From their taxes without any cash expense. So effectively it's a huge subsidy to companies to pay via stock. And then analysts starting in 2000 began to let them use, you know, non gap earnings where they would ignore stock compensation and reporting it, and it didn't show up. So you've got a whole bunch of little things compounding that make it very, very useful. 

In the eighties. Congress went against corporate pensions and up until the eighties, if you were a CEO of a company, you took you, your biggest wealth was your corporate pension, which only was valuable if your company was healthy 10 years down the road to pay the pension. So you managed differently, but when we changed it, so the only way to have a retirement was to make wealth. 

The only way to get wealth was to get your stock price up and sell. So you change the incentives on corporate management from, you know, uh, harvesting the, you know, maintaining the company and sustaining it for long term growth to harvesting it, you know, pump and dump.  

[00:23:15] Marco Ciappelli: So you pretty much take your pension right away. 

Yeah. No, no matter how the company then,  

[00:23:20] William Raduchel: no matter how the company does, and then you don't care what happens to the company after you retire,  

[00:23:24] Marco Ciappelli: which is not very ethical if you think about it. So, so there is the, the people that. Own the technology, understand the technology. Then there is the people that understand the technology and use it, not necessarily being technologists, but as the example of politicians and example of people that play in the stock market. 

And then there is the rest of us. I'm going to put myself into that where We use this technology, we have fun with it, we watch YouTube, TikTok, and all of that, and at the same time, we're being instrumentalized by those that understand. And so we see the top of the iceberg, which is white and shiny, and then there is the bottom of the iceberg, which is much, much bigger, and we have no idea what is under the stack. 

So, the question comes to my mind, it probably is in the mind of the audience, at least right now, which is... Are we screwed or is there something we can do about it? I'm thinking legislation. I'm thinking And I'm even thinking AI that you haven't even mentioned right now, but that's another big headache probably coming down the line so  

[00:24:34] William Raduchel: I mean, there are a couple things even the top of the iceberg Has insidious effects, right? 

I mean, in the fifties, we were united because there were three, four, five television networks and we all watch the same shows. We all had the same thing. You know, today, I mean, YouTube just reported that the majority of their viewing is on smart TVs. People aren't watching these unifying things. They're on YouTube watching individual shows. 

So we be end up being, we don't have any unifying thing. I mean, people  

[00:25:12] Marco Ciappelli: like a common culture,  

[00:25:14] William Raduchel: right. And that I think is, is very insane. I mean, I talked to younger people and they all have my show. They all have a show that they're binging on, on watching and they're not the same. I mean, and then one of the elements of friendship is you agree to watch. 

I mean, it's, it's a interesting dynamic to me who grew up on, you know, um, you know, broadcast television. In fact, in my case, the first TV I watched was all Canadian because I live closer to Canada than any TV station. So I watch Canadian TV. Um, the other thing. is that we've turned our kids into answer seekers. 

Instead of knowing how to solve a problem, the first thing they do is they go to Google or Facebook or YouTube, which is also Google, and look for an answer. And if they don't find an answer, they're not sure what to do. AI is going to be a 10x on that. Right? AI, you know, already, I mean, I use Poe a lot and I go to the various, uh, LLMs that are out there and you get great answers. 

I mean, in general, they're better than you're going to get from search if it isn't current. I mean, because the, the, these AI engines aren't current, they only go through right now through last year. So I think that those two effects are, are, are very, you know, very harmful. I'm not sure how to, uh, I mean, uh, you know, it, you know, having only, you know, and when everybody, you know, you see a family go to a restaurant and sit down and they all pull out their devices and they sit there during the whole meal all, you know, they don't even talk. 

Uh, and you know, I, you know, I don't know why you go out to a restaurant anyway. That's another thing. Um, you know, so, you know, look, I'm, I'm a believer that, um, competition is still the right answer. And there's no reason why Google needs to be one company. It could be many companies. There's no reason why Facebook needs to be one company. 

It could be several companies. And I think the world's better off if we have that. I think if we have more companies. So the one, one radical thing that I propose is that we tax. Market capitalization and that companies that are bigger than, I said, a hundred billion dollars have to begin to pay an annual tax for having a market cap above a hundred billion. 

It basically is market enforced antitrust. Make the companies break themselves up. Instead of aggregating so that we have a handful of huge companies, let's have a universe of ten times as many and, and let the companies do it in a, in a way that's shareholder friendly. I'm not trying to take wealth away from anybody. 

In fact, I think there would be more, um, more wealth, um, generated this way. Um. I certainly, you know, would change the tax incentives that, uh, favor the dynamic of allowing the big tech companies to get this huge tax break by paying their favorite programmers a lot of money and then getting a tax break for it rather than actually paying for it. 

Uh, so I think there's a set of taxes we could do that, not necessarily to raise revenue, but to drive behavior. And go make that. I mean, there's a simple suggestion is to allow the post office to postmark emails for a very small sum, because if you had postmarked email, you could set your email system to reject it if it wasn't postmarked, unless it was an address you knew, and it would then cost money to send political. 

Uh, emails or on solicited things, which today is relatively costless and force people to make a decision. And I think that even a tiny amount, the day before the Georgia Senate runoff in December of, uh, last year, I got 500 emails soliciting money from both Democrats and Republicans. They were all alike. 

They all had fear because fear is profitable. The problem is technology has made fear the most profitable way to get it. You don't get money by putting out a reasoned analysis. You get money by sending out a appeal that goes to your emotion, that goes to fear. And as long as that is the way to make money, then that is the way politics is going to go. 

And so you have to address that now. I, do I think that politicians would like doing this? No. Uh, I, I don't have much hope that this would ever get enacted. But, uh, I mean, I got 500 emails in one day. Uh, and about 300, 300 from one party, 200 from another, but it didn't matter. And they were all just very, very, uh, fear, you know, if this happens, this is what, you know, the world and, you know, you can't, we've made fear the optimal strategy means we're divided  

[00:30:22] Marco Ciappelli: in a, in a lot of industries too. 

I mean, it's not, I mean, politics is certainly true and it's more true than ever, although it's always been a very strong argument to, to be fair. Fearful. I mean, I fear of the enemy, whatever that enemy is  

[00:30:37] William Raduchel: excels. It's the same thing.  

[00:30:39] Marco Ciappelli: Exactly. Yeah, but so your point and we're going to start wrapping here about um, Breaking this larger company into minor One, um, do you think this will help to create more transparency and, and of course, and healthier competition, but also more transparency so that, um, the educator, the parents, uh, the, the politicians can really start to understand what has been so secretive. 

Right now. I mean, is that, is that the idea? Cause I can see that to be one of the thing, like, you know, if you have a huge castle, it's easy to build walls around it, but the smaller the castle is, the more, you know, you can fly over  

[00:31:23] William Raduchel: it, you can get more innovation. You get more, you get more decisions that are there. 

And, you know, if you go to a venture capitalist today and say, I've got this great startup and we're going to compete against Facebook, they say, gee, it's. Great to see you. Uh, time's up. Uh, you know, because they don't believe you can, you can attack them. And, uh, so you get more innovation, you get more variety, you get more diversity. 

I mean, they used to be, I mean, but you need interoperability between them. And as long as they have these big castles, they don't have any interoperability. And that, you know, and you see the struggle that all these sites have, even Discord. Um, you know, it's just very hard to compete against the monoliths. 

[00:32:09] Marco Ciappelli: And sorry, you're an economist, so I look more at the societal thing, but this idea that sometimes you then develop something... But your competitors coming up, you just go and swallow it and buy it. So you're worried is that doesn't matter. You have enough money to say, well, the new thing is not going to hurt me, but it's actually going to benefit me because I'm going to put it under my umbrella. 

And again, you're just building bigger and bigger and bigger. So, um, I mean, do you have hope that the U. S. are going to move in this direction?  

[00:32:43] William Raduchel: Well, certainly, you know, there are a lot of, there are a lot of politicians that are nervous. I'm afraid that they're lawyers and lawyers think that they should, um, uh, regulate. 

And I've had my encounters with regulators over the years, uh, and they're, they're just, I mean, you know, they get paid a fraction of what the big tech giants pay. Uh, I mean, they are just not, I mean, the better teams are always on the other side. And I mean, if you go to Washington and you ask people, they're talking about regulating AI and I listened to the conversation, you don't have any idea, or I saw a task force. 

Uh, I mean, I looked at the names on there and I looked at the resumes, there wasn't one person on the task force that even knew what a stable coin was or how Bitcoin worked or where, where it went. I mean, the government's always going to be behind. So what regulation does is regulation builds barriers to entry for your competitors. 

And so you'd love to be regulated once you've won because that's another barrier that keeps competition away. So they're all favoring regulation. I mean, we have the Graham, um, Warren bill to create a digital, uh, commission. And I mean, I don't, I mean, I'm sorry that I mean, I think one of the worries that we have to have as a country is that China is run by engineers for the most part. 

Um, we're run by lawyers and in the longer term, engineers win, uh, lawyers worry about dividing the pie, not about growing it. And I mean, that's, I mean, that's a challenge and tech isn't going to stop. I mean, you know, it's not going to stop at all. Yep. Yep.  

[00:34:37] Marco Ciappelli: All right. So, uh, before I close, uh, with the, with the name of the book and then many other things, I like to leave you a couple of minutes to just make a pitch for, for the book and who you have in mind as your audience. 

I mean, it seems like you're going deeper into economics and politics. So you, you, hopefully everybody will read it. Of course, that's the dream of every author, but do you have? Some, some target audience that you think there'll be more affected by and benefit by reading the book.  

[00:35:12] William Raduchel: Well, you know, I think I was very strongly motivated by John Kenneth Galbraith. 

I mean, he was very good to me, uh, when I worked with him years ago, 50 years ago. And he was very prescient in seeing how the world went. And so this book tries to mimic in some ways the new industrial state and being a more general view, but I also admit that it's at least a medium lift because it's talking about a very complex issue and trying to explain how we got to where we are, and it's not one simple thing. 

It's not, I mean, there isn't one thing that you go and flip a bit, and now the problem goes away. We have engineered this through lots of policies and through, you know, History that's gotten us to where we have these global monopolies, uh, that are there. I mean, the idea in 2002, 2003, if you had a hundred thousand users, boy, that was a success. 

You know, today there are multiple sites that have over 4 billion. Uh, I mean, you think of that. 

Uh, I mean, Pope Mark or, you know, I mean, it's, uh, it's such a change so, well, I hope, I mean, that there's going to be some classroom use. I assume that people in studying economic history or, or political science on how do you regulate change? Um. But I really wrote it much in the tradition of Galbraith and, you know, in his honor, uh, to try and educate the public at large as how we got to where we are. 

And, you know, nobody did anything wrong. I mean, I make the point repeatedly that no one did anything wrong other than maximize profits. Um, and we just created a set of incentives that have gotten us here. And if we don't change those incentives, We won't change it. And as long as we have the incentives in place, this is where we're going to be. 

[00:37:13] Marco Ciappelli: Yep, and I think you said something that we we all agree when we talk about technology which is not going to be stopped, but we can't kind of try to direct it and to regulate it again, um Definitely with you in that. So, uh, this is the end of this bill. I really thank you so much for being on it for all the audience Uh, the book is the new technology state on how our digital dreams became societal nightmares and what we can do about it Is going to come out of september 12 2023. 

I'm going to put All the links in the notes for the show and how to get in touch with Bill and whatever he wants to share resources up, uh, up to you and everybody else. Uh, I, I'm definitely as a, you know, doctor in political science is interested in technology. I'm definitely going to read it. So Bill, I'm looking forward to, to that. 

And again, thank you so, so much for taking your time.  

[00:38:07] William Raduchel: Thank you.