TWIG 580: Non-Flying and Gregarious

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What are your thoughts about today’s show? We’d love to hear from you!


@JeffJarvis was really obnoxious at the beginning of the podcast. Talking over the others and not letting them finish what they were saying. Then ranting on about things that they hadn’t said or weren’t even in the documents he was rebuking.

He really should let the others finish their sentences first, and actually digest what they are saying. He complains that his opponents don’t listen to the facts, yet he himself is guilty of the same thing, when it comes to criticising Big Tech. He “knows” that it is an old-media conspiracy and he “knows” what they want to do, yet his rantings were way off mark, because he didn’t actually listen to what was being said.

It is shame. This is one of those few times where I very nearly turned off the podcast. I am glad I persevered, the rest of it was good, as usual.

Big Tech is out of control. Being big isn’t the problem, although it does contribute to the problems. It is their abuse of that power in many areas. Yet Jeff seems to gloss over that and gives petty examples of where past investigations went after the wrong thing, yet he completely ignores the new evidence.

He also completely accept Big Tech’s FUD sprayers without question. He seems to have listened to Google’s FUD-sayers, when it came to GDPR and the Right to be Forgotten, repeating the Google company line, which is completely at odds with what is actually written down in the laws. When Google lost their FUD campaign on RtbF, they then completely misinterpreted their responsibilities, going way beyond what the law required, to try and make the law look silly. But he never mentioned that, just kept to the Google FUD. RtbF is not perfect, but it is nowhere near what Jeff has always insisted it is.

I agree with him on things like Leistungsschutzrecht, in fact, in Germany, a majority of the media agreed with him. None of the serious media outlets seemed to want to have much to do with it. Just Axel Springer Verlag.

The same seems to be true with the current Australian situation. He said last week, he had spoken to people at Google or Facebook about it, but he never mentioned having spoken to representatives of the Australian Government to get their side of the story.

Surely, as a journalist, he shouldn’t be looking at just one side of the story, he should be looking at it from all sides and reporting it without prejudice? That is certainly what I learnt about good journalism, growing up. Some prejudice is inevitable, it is in human nature, but surely a trained journalist should recognise that in themselves and try and avoid it as much as possible.

Yet Jeff often seems to make foregone conclusions about these things (especially the findings of the majority report) and won’t even listen to the arguments being made.

Maybe my expectations of Jeff are too high, because he is a Professor of Journalism?

Edit: I didn’t want this to be a personal attack on Jeff. That certainly wasn’t my intention. I just want to point out his prejudice, when it comes to criticising big tech. I generally respect Jeff and follow him on Twitter, but his Sturheit when it comes to Big Tech is not what I expect from someone in his position, who is forming the minds of the next generation of journalists.


Just to be clear, Mr. Jarvis is not a journalist any more, he’s a journalism professor who plays the role of pundit on TWiG.


Which is even worse, he is the one forming the impressionable minds of the next generation of journalists.

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Well come on now… I don’t think he’s in the business of telling the students how to think ABOUT the news topics… he’s supposed to teach them how to report on them… if he is teaching how to be a reporter. And since he teaches graduate level courses, one has to assume the students don’t get to that level without learning critical thinking skills.

Hopefully they have learnt some critical thinking skills.

But the point is, when it comes to Big Tech, he shows a lot of prejudice, which isn’t a good look for someone who is supposed to be teaching people to view things neutrally.

TWiG has become a political dumpster fire - and is fun to watch because of that! I no longer expect any appreciable tech news when I watch, just a lot of hoo hah :joy:


I turned into This Week in Jeff Interrupts Stacey for the 1st time in awhile. I really wanted to hear what people thought of the report from the Democratic party on the monopoly of the companies. It has been a long time since I’ve listened to the show and Mr. Jarvis did not disappoint. I feel bad for Stacey and the points that she kept trying to make but didn’t get a chance to finish.
@Leo has stated several times that he will never get rid of Mr. Jarvis but I think he’s become a liability to the show. Look at this thread there is no love for him… He’s the reason I don’t listen to the show.

I don’t know why Mr. Jarvis has bought into the line that tech can do no harm. Not only does he seem to beleive this statement, he doesn’t think anyone else should believe anything contrary to him and doesn’t even allow those who do to debate him.

Take a look at the report, take a look at all the people who are moving away from Facebook/Twitter/etc. something needs to be done and I find it interesting it is the Democrats who are doing it.

Find someone else to replace Mr. Jarvis and I bet listeners and advertisers will come back

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Have to agree that Jeff was, sadly, not a good discussion companion this round. Reminded me of the negative influence titles, awards, and seniority can have on even smart and industrious people.

The share of what he thinks and said before being gospel (given that it’s partial if not fringe views), talking fast like being rushed by his own thoughts, and the necessity to defend every inch of the discussion almost compulsively to the blood simply made this episode tough and at times cringy to listen to. Be it the shouting match between Leo and him or Stacey’s evaluation as stupid and him being offended. If a long term colleague says you’re saying something stupid, it’s not in your best interest to question their choice of vocabulary but to reflect on what you just said.

Not to complain, to attack him, not to spread bad vibes - just as feedback and maybe an input to rev down a bit. I think Jeff’s got interesting views (not mine) but I don’t want him to suffer a nervous breakdown discussing them or facing opposition. It’s twice the value at half the excitement. Got to tell that to myself sometimes, too.

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I did shut off this podcast in the middle of the Jarvis rant, and did not finish it! Why Stacy continues to be a part of this show when she is constantly interrupted and talked over is beyond me. I’ve listened and watched TWIG for a long time, but it is getting harder and harder to enjoy this podcast. And while I respect Jeff and follow him on Twitter, he was out of control on this podcast, at least the the part I did listen to until I shut it off.


As well I don’t understand either. I’ve heard @Leo mention the 'interurpting" is due to the delay over Skype but I just can’t believe it.

I feel bad for Stacy, she brings a good view and great ideas to the show. She’s awesome on the IoT Podcast.

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I usually listen to the show at faster than normal speed so it is a little hard for me to judge to what degree people are being interrupted or talked over.

I do have a couple comments regarding the antitrust report and the resulting discussion.

I have a lot of problems with some of the ways the big tech companies do business but I would have thought if it was so obvious that we need significant revision of antitrust laws that there would be better examples of how powerful they are and how much harm they are doing than Leo’s assertion that Zuckerberg could influence the presidential election if he wanted to (an opinion but hardly evidence of harm) and Stacy believing she has too many options for video calling (this may be annoying but hardly and indication of consumer harm in need of federal regulation).

It would be great to hear a discussion of the need for for changing antitrust laws that generated a little more light and a little less heat.

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I did actually turn it off because of Jeff, and will never return.

“ Those who can do, Those who can’t Teach, and those who can’t Teach lecture every Wednesday on TWIG.”

TWiG is the only TWiT show I watch in real time and one of the few I still subscribe to as podcasts. I agree that there is something Panglossian about Jeff’s attitude to social media. He often, for example on the use of personal health data, argues that the ends justify the means. And I find the continual accusations of ‘moral panic’ or ‘techno panic’ to be a cheap debating trick. When someone objects to the way an issue is being handled in the media, treating their position as panic is an excuse to avoid addressing their objections.
Let me add that Jeff has an admirable respect for the intelligence of the average person who, he claims, can tell truth from lies, can decide for themselves that much of the ‘news’ on Twitter or Facebook is propaganda, and does not need the tech companies to censor the ‘news’ for them. This respect may be admirable but it is destructively naïve when you consider that over 40% of the US population still support a proto-fascist.
I do not agree that Jeff interrupts other speakers inordinately. Leo is the chief interrupter, he has been for years on all the panel shows, and he doesn’t deny it. Stacey has said on more than one occasion that she does not feel she is treated less respectfully than other hosts and also that she is quite capable of standing up for herself.


I agree, apart from the last part. Mostly you are correct, but in this particular episode, Jeff was really shouting the others down. That wasn’t Skype delays or anything like that, it was simply Jeff doing the equivalent of sticking his fingers in his ears and shouting “lalalalala I can’t hear you!”

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TWiG has almost always been conducted with remote hosts/guests with just Leo and Ant in studio. It would be so much more effective if it everyone were in the studio but even without the pandemic that is just about impossible. Jeff is a near-neighbor of mine here in New Jersey (at least he lives in the next door county) and Stacy is West of Seattle. This Week in Tech used to be all in studio and will improve when it returns to that format. Roll on 2022!

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Part of me wants that time machine that brings us to 2022. Part of me wonders whether 2022 is 2020 and then some. Maybe just keep reliving 2019.


May I introduce a lighter topic here? The Zoom meeting costume was great, but the creator of the costume posted a “how it came together” video on YouTube. The making of this costume on YouTube


2011 would be what I’d go back to if I could. Either that, or I’d travel 100 years in the future to a time after, hopefully, climate change would have been reversed.

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You’re more optimistic than I am. I suspect the Earth is gonna get a reset from a nasty incoming asteroid, which will reset the climate, but probably we won’t be around after to acknowledge it. (Sorry for the downer, but statistically the Earth gets hit like this every so often, and by some accounts, we’re due.)

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