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Why you must be suspicious of tech leaders.

Welcome to Wednesday, money nerds!

Let’s start today with a piece that echoes what I’ve been thinking and writing and saying for over five years. Something fundamental has shifted in the nature of the internet, and it’s no longer a place that I want to be. More and more, I’m not.

Why you must be suspicious of tech leaders. [The Honest Broker] — “I lived through the excitement of the early Internet — and even ran two web startups…I was filled to the brim with enthusiasm about the web, but everybody was back then. That was then, this is now. Everybody I talk to now is wary and worried about the dominant digital platforms. They don’t love them, they don’t trust them, and increasingly they don’t even want them.”

Algorithms can aid price collusion, even if no humans actually talk to each other. [The Verge] — “Algorithms might help hotels illegally collude on prices, even if no humans from those businesses actually talk to each other about them, according to US antitrust enforcers.” Could this be part of the reason hotel prices have become so insane in recent years?

Automakers are sharing individual consumer driving behavior with insurance companies. [The New York Times gift article] — “Automakers and data brokers that have partnered to collect detailed driving data from millions of Americans say they have drivers’ permission to do so. But the existence of these partnerships is nearly invisible to drivers, whose consent is obtained in fine print and murky privacy policies that few read.”

How to break dependence on your phone. [Zen Habits] — “A lot of people I talk to want to decrease their usage of phones — not necessarily decreasing to zero, but decreasing impulsive usage of their phones. Many of us tend to grab our phones anytime there’s a lull, and once you get on your phone it can lead to mindless scrolling. So how can we develop more mindful use of our phones, and become less dependent on them?”

Let’s close things down with a video that isn’t really in my wheelhouse…but I enjoyed anyhow. Here’s a 14-minute look at why daredevils all want to leap from the top of this 25-step stairway.

Like I say, not my thing. But fun to watch.

Okay, that’s it for today. Back again tomorrow with more.