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Spielberg v Netflix, Silicon Valley v the Meat Industry and Philadelphia v the Cashless Economy

Steven Spielberg lobbies against Netflix movies at the Oscars

Spielberg is looking for support from the academy to remove Netflix movies from future nominations on the basis that they make "TV movies". Netflix responded by saying:

We love cinema. Here are some things we also love:

  • Access for people who can't always afford, or live in towns without, theaters
  • Letting everyone, everywhere enjoy releases at the same time
  • Giving filmmakers more ways to share art

These things are not mutually exclusive.


Key Takeaway

We're seeing two complete different fights between two very different heavy weights. An artist is upset because their art form is being challenged by a technology company, and a technology company is upset because their medium is being challenged by an artist.

This is another interesting test to the McLuhan assertion that the Medium is the Message. Does content trump the medium? Or was McLuhan right? If we choose content over medium - do we risk future quality of said content?

A gene editing startup is experimenting with scalable synthetic meat production

A Silicon Valley based startup (endorsed by Bill Gates) is getting close to producing an easy way to synthesize meat without the use of animals. Think of it as mass production of the meatless burger that A&W sells.

While it has challenges ahead - the solutions will mean the disruption of the current $200 billion meat industry.


Key Takeaway

AI, and digital transformation are not just new ways of performing faster / better work. They're allowing us to completely change the way we think of the world, and act within it. In this particular case, AI has allowed genetic scientists to remove animals from our food production cycle. You can imagine what it might do to other industries like fossil fuels and waste management.

Philadelphia bans cashless stores

In an effort to protect its residents that cannot access debit, credit cards or other digital forms of payment (most people who live below the poverty line) - Philadelphia will be the second area in the US to ban cashless stores (Massachusetts being the first since the 70s).

The move is being contested by Amazon, who's been pioneering completely cashless and cashier-less stores for the past year. They and others are advocating for a more future tolerant version of the ban that will allow the city to advance in payment systems and retail experiences along with the rest of the world.


Key Takeaway

Think of this less as Philly vs. Amazon - and more like the latest front on the end of the Industrial Revolution, and the beginning of the Data Revolution. Those who have no access to their own data, or understanding of it, will continue to be marginalized as the world moves forward. Right now - the homeless are being hit hardest - but expect to see this trend move up through the middle class beyond just affordable housing.

Cities like Philadelphia can try to put safeguards in place, but without proper community engagement between tech companies that enable the progress, and the people affected by it - we'll continue to avoid dealing with a real solution that works for everyone.

Spielberg v Netflix, Silicon Valley v the Meat Industry and Philadelphia v the Cashless Economy
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