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This article was published on January 27, 2012

Technology companies, it’s time to kill our hypocrisy

Technology companies, it’s time to kill our hypocrisy
Brad McCarty
Story by

Brad McCarty

A music and tech junkie who calls Nashville home, Brad is the Director TNW Academy. You can follow him on Twitter @BradMcCarty. A music and tech junkie who calls Nashville home, Brad is the Director TNW Academy. You can follow him on Twitter @BradMcCarty.

Maybe this is better to put on my own site instead of TNW, but I’ve never been one for forethought. I’m bothered by the hypocrisy in technology, be that from the companies, the people or the media. We constantly talk about wanting to change the future, yet we do the very things that hold us back. It’s time to stop.

Let me place some examples out there, that I promise you won’t be so obscure that you’ve never seen them.

First, The Media

Tech (and tech lifestyle) blogs love to talk about how we’re borderless, how we can work from anywhere and do anything. Yet in the next minute you’ll see a job opening at the publication that requires that you live in New York or San Francisco. While we’re at it, requiring a journalism degree for a tech blogging job is sheer stupidity.

We’ll rail endlessly on Kim Dotcom and the Megaupload train wreck, but then not give a second thought to taking an article idea from elsewhere without credit. For the love of God, people, you’re not even expected to pay. Just take the three seconds to provide a link back to your source.

I can’t count the number of times I saw the media lamenting about not being able to hear the voices of those who were involved in the Arab Spring. Yet it seemed a better idea to send people from halfway around the world to tell their story than to pay the people who live there to accomplish the same results.

TNW’s Nancy Messieh, our Middle East editor calls Cairo, Egypt her home. We hired her because she provides us insight that no visitor could grasp and she tells the story like no outsider could.

Now, The Community

Every few days I’ll see a story cross Hacker News about the latest college dropout who’s building something huge. Yet when I go look at the openings at many of these companies, they require a BS or MS in some area. You’re not weeding out the field here, all you’re doing is preventing capable people from applying.

We gripe and moan endlessly when Google collects data on us, then laugh hysterically when that data happens to be wrong. That’s not the way that this works. If you want customization and targeting, you have to give up some information. It’s a simple fact.

We fight like hell against SOPA, then applaud the very actions that could make it rear its ugly head again. Scream about PIPA, but then pay next to no mind to ACTA, which could change the way that most of the world works with intellectual property.

I’m not perfect, neither is TNW. I’m well aware that I’m chucking boulders inside of this crystalline dwelling, but I’m also willing to call myself out on my own BS. Will you? If we really want to change the world, instead of just talking about it, it’s time to stop screwing up the opportunities that we’re given.