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Thread: "Today’s tech oligarchs are worse than the robber barons"

  1. #61
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocker Ute View Post
    This whole Facebook data issue is fascinating. A few years back when people were freaking out post Snowden about what the NSA was monitoring I’d say, “You give all of that and more freely to companies (Facebook, Google, Apple) that have no laws governing how that data can be used!”

    It is time that changed. It also reminds me of this Onion classic:

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.the...1819571369/amp


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    Google knows more about you than any government agency. Even if you turn off the ability for google to track you, they still do. I’ve been shown proof of it. It’s crazy.


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  2. #62
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    One of the problems with big data is that they can choose to allow certain people to use their data, while not allowing others. That’s what this account says, anyway:

    https://ijr.com/2018/03/1077083-ex-o...n-director-fb/

    I don’t mean this as a partisan jab, it’s just what can happen when information that significant is in private hands and unregulated.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  3. #63


    My thoughts exactly.

  4. #64
    Quote Originally Posted by Diehard Ute View Post
    Google knows more about you than any government agency. Even if you turn off the ability for google to track you, they still do. I’ve been shown proof of it. It’s crazy.


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    I guess that is why the ads that pop up most frequently for me have to do with erectile enhancement/disfunction and stool softening.

  5. #65
    Administrator U-Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UTEopia View Post
    I guess that is why the ads that pop up most frequently for me have to do with erectile enhancement/disfunction and stool softening.
    My condolences.

  6. #66
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    I’m sorry to see this being depicted as a political/ideological issue now.

    1B]New Foils for the Right:
    Google and Facebook[/B]

    https://mobile.nytimes.com/2018/03/0...-facebook.html

    I mean, really? Isn’t everyone concerned about Big Data? If the issue starts to be considered an attack on the heroes of the digital industry by the mean old right wing, then that’s going to muddle up the discussion. I wouldn’t be surprised if big data‘s PR people are pushing this narrative..

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  7. #67
    Administrator U-Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    I’m sorry to see this being depicted as a political/ideological issue now.

    1B]New Foils for the Right:
    Google and Facebook[/B]

    https://mobile.nytimes.com/2018/03/0...-facebook.html

    I mean, really? Isn’t everyone concerned about Big Data? If the issue starts to be considered an attack on the heroes of the digital industry by the mean old right wing, then that’s going to muddle up the discussion. I wouldn’t be surprised if big data‘s PR people are pushing this narrative..
    The right complaining about censorship from private companies is hilarious.

    What happened to the free market?

  8. #68
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    WhatsApp Co-Founder Joins #DeleteFacebook Movement

    https://www.pcmag.com/news/359969/wh...ebook-movement

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  9. #69
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    This is an interesting piece about how Russia, China and North Korea control the Internet in their countries, and how we stack up against them.

    Controlling the Web Is the Dream (and the Nightmare)

    In the U.S., we like to pretend we’re better than all that. But of course we’re not. True, we don’t shut down the entire internet. We just restrict access to sites with the wrong politics -- sort of like China. The only difference is that we leave the decision about what information should be available to private corporations rather than government bureaucrats. Internet companies are (on this issue anyway) liberal heroes. In contemporary entertainment, an entire genre -- the New York Times memorably calls it “Yay, rich jerks!” -- is devoted to the idea that billionaire techies really ought to be making behind-the-scenes decisions.

    If we had genuine competition in search or social networking, this state of affairs might constitute an improvement. As a practical matter, however, ideologically driven choices by dominant internet corporations offer little improvement on ideologically driven choices by government agencies. That internet companies suffer no significant market costs for their decisions about whom to serve and whom not to suggests that the public nowadays has little taste for free speech. But that’s exactly when protecting speech assiduously is most important.
    https://www.bloomberg.com/view/artic...ship-in-common

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  10. #70
    Administrator U-Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    This is an interesting piece about how Russia, China and North Korea control the Internet in their countries, and how we stack up against them.

    Controlling the Web Is the Dream (and the Nightmare)



    https://www.bloomberg.com/view/artic...ship-in-common
    Straw man.

    The government doesn't control access like those other countries do. They are controlled by private entities who are influenced by the free market. If the folks on the right don't like it, they're more than free to start their own company.

  11. #71
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by U-Ute View Post
    Straw man.

    The government doesn't control access like those other countries do. They are controlled by private entities who are influenced by the free market. If the folks on the right don't like it, they're more than free to start their own company.
    I was thinking the same thing. Why do people go along with Facebook and Twitter et al. making decisions for them?

    That internet companies suffer no significant market costs for their decisions about whom to serve and whom not to suggests that the public nowadays has little taste for free speech. But that’s exactly when protecting speech assiduously is most important.
    Part of the reason (I think) is that people see those outlets as entertainment rather than serious news or opinion sources. Or maybe people are generally dumber than I give them credit for being. The last thing we need is a conservative version of social media. Then everyone would retreat into their own bubbles (think Fox News vs. CNN) more than ever before.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  12. #72
    Administrator U-Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    I was thinking the same thing. Why do people go along with Facebook and Twitter et al. making decisions for them?



    Part of the reason (I think) is that people see those outlets as entertainment rather than serious news or opinion sources. Or maybe people are generally dumber than I give them credit for being.
    I think it is less about "dumb" and more about "lazy".

    I read an interesting book named Influence by Robert Cialdini. In it, he discusses how we make decisions and how people are able to influence those decisions. One of the takeaways I got from the book (outside of the list of traditional sales techniques: Reciprocation, Social Proof, etc), is that people rely on a lot of short cuts to make decisions because trying to evaluate all of the data before making a decision is hard. It takes a lot of thinking, and people don't want to have to think. So people rely (too much IMO) on the shortcuts to make decisions for them.

    The last thing we need is a conservative version of social media. Then everyone would retreat into their own bubbles (think Fox News vs. CNN) more than ever before.
    You hit the nail on the head here. I posted a link recently about a possible future for journalism and one of the comments in that link specifically calls out the fact that if we get to a point where we are able to pick and choose our news/information sources, we will become more polarized. When we only had 3 stations and 2 newspapers, you would at least get some semblance of a contrarian view to things. That has gone away with the 24 hour news cycle.

  13. #73
    Quote Originally Posted by U-Ute View Post
    The right complaining about censorship from private companies is hilarious.

    What happened to the free market?
    What happened to government being the be-all, end-all of entities that are a threat? We've been so fixated on government that private corporations have run amok.

    Europe has some robust privacy laws - not the "better read the fine print - three times - if you want to opt out" system we have. They have some new regulations coming that will be a challenge for US companies to meet.

  14. #74
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  15. #75
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    This is both eye-opening and disturbing.

    Are you ready? Here is all the data Facebook and Google have on you

    https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...on-you-privacy

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  16. #76
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    This is both eye-opening and disturbing.

    Are you ready? Here is all the data Facebook and Google have on you

    https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...on-you-privacy

    Add apple to the list (and microsoft etc)...

    Most people don't realize that your iPhone logs everywhere you go unless you disable it. Wanna see? Go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services (you have to scroll allllll the way to the bottom) > Significant Locations (another bit of a scroll). Scroll down to see the history. That's right LA, it recorded that visit to the BYU bookstore and even took note that you bought a few items.

    We surrendered our privacy to private corporations a looooong time a go.

  17. #77
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocker Ute View Post
    Add apple to the list (and microsoft etc)...

    Most people don't realize that your iPhone logs everywhere you go unless you disable it. Wanna see? Go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services (you have to scroll allllll the way to the bottom) > Significant Locations (another bit of a scroll). Scroll down to see the history. That's right LA, it recorded that visit to the BYU bookstore and even took note that you bought a few items.

    We surrendered our privacy to private corporations a looooong time a go.
    I purchased only a caffeine-free Diet Coke.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  18. #78
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocker Ute View Post
    Add apple to the list (and microsoft etc)...

    Most people don't realize that your iPhone logs everywhere you go unless you disable it. Wanna see? Go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services (you have to scroll allllll the way to the bottom) > Significant Locations (another bit of a scroll). Scroll down to see the history. That's right LA, it recorded that visit to the BYU bookstore and even took note that you bought a few items.

    We surrendered our privacy to private corporations a looooong time a go.
    In my experience, Apple keeps very little data. They take their customer’s privacy and security very seriously. If you enable Location Services for an app, that app developer might be collecting data.

    We we recently completed a project with Apple. We were a bit shocked at what Apple couldn’t provide us in terms of customer identity, geolocation, etc. (we weren’t using our own app, we were using one of Apples native apps.
    Dyslexics of the world, untie!

  19. #79
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocker Ute View Post
    Add apple to the list (and microsoft etc)...

    Most people don't realize that your iPhone logs everywhere you go unless you disable it. Wanna see? Go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services (you have to scroll allllll the way to the bottom) > Significant Locations (another bit of a scroll). Scroll down to see the history. That's right LA, it recorded that visit to the BYU bookstore and even took note that you bought a few items.

    We surrendered our privacy to private corporations a looooong time a go.
    Apple keeps far less, even their message system isn’t accessible.

    But you’re naive if you think turning off location actually turns it off.

    Google tracks you regardless of those settings, and it’s extremely accurate. (10-15 feet) Google spends more time and money fighting to keep hidden what they know than any other company....because people have no clue how much they really know


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  20. #80
    Quote Originally Posted by Diehard Ute View Post
    Apple keeps far less, even their message system isn’t accessible.

    But you’re naive if you think turning off location actually turns it off.

    Google tracks you regardless of those settings, and it’s extremely accurate. (10-15 feet) Google spends more time and money fighting to keep hidden what they know than any other company....because people have no clue how much they really know


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    You really think Apple keeps less data? Who is being naive?

    The point of my post is that all of these tech companies big and small are keeping tons of data about you and it is a bell that can't be un-rung.

  21. #81
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocker Ute View Post
    You really think Apple keeps less data? Who is being naive?

    The point of my post is that all of these tech companies big and small are keeping tons of data about you and it is a bell that can't be un-rung.
    From actual experience I know they keep less.

    Of course there’s the other end of the spectrum as well. People who think the phone companies have copies of every text you’ve sent, when some have no copies and others delete them after 3 days.


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  22. #82

    "Today’s tech oligarchs are worse than the robber barons"

    Quote Originally Posted by Rocker Ute View Post
    Add apple to the list (and microsoft etc)...

    Most people don't realize that your iPhone logs everywhere you go unless you disable it. Wanna see? Go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services (you have to scroll allllll the way to the bottom) > Significant Locations (another bit of a scroll). Scroll down to see the history. That's right LA, it recorded that visit to the BYU bookstore and even took note that you bought a few items.

    We surrendered our privacy to private corporations a looooong time a go.
    Thanks, I just cleared that location history and turned off most of the location services.

  23. #83
    Quote Originally Posted by Diehard Ute View Post
    From actual experience I know they keep less.

    Of course there’s the other end of the spectrum as well. People who think the phone companies have copies of every text you’ve sent, when some have no copies and others delete them after 3 days.


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    You are in infosec?


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  24. #84
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocker Ute View Post
    You are in infosec?


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    Some parts of my job require some special training....from the really smart tech guys from
    Quantico


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  25. #85
    Quote Originally Posted by Diehard Ute View Post
    Some parts of my job require some special training....from the really smart tech guys from
    Quantico


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


    People have a lot of misunderstandings about this stuff, and often confuse cell carriers with cell makers, etc.

    But most iPhone users use iCloud backup which contains EVERYTHING... stuff not even Google has, and yes even all of their iMessages. (I recently had to do a full restore from cloud backup when I accidentally submerged my phone - my text messages were all restore dating back go when iMessages first came out). So not only can Apple access where you are and what you are searching and emailing but also what apps you use and that related data. Worse, it is a closed system so we really don’t know all they are doing.

    Yes, blah blah, encryption, anonymization. I have some beachfront property to sell anyone who believes there is no backdoor and even IF that is true my whole life in tech I’ve heard about “uncrackable” encryption and the seemingly unfathomable computing power it would require to decrypt things, only to have that hurdle cleared in a matter of years.

    If I was Apple I would also claim to encrypt like they do because I wouldn’t want a revolving door from the government asking for requests to access client data and showing exactly what they know.

    So yes, perhaps when it comes to subpoenas and police investigations it may be easier to get info from Google but let’s not pretend like Apple isn’t on equal footing regarding privacy challenges with Google and Facebook. At best they are merely sitting on a mountain of data waiting to be compromised, at worst (and most likely) they know exactly what they are looking at.



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  26. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    This is both eye-opening and disturbing.

    Are you ready? Here is all the data Facebook and Google have on you

    https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...on-you-privacy
    Good thing I have all my tracking turned off.

  27. #87
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Trouble in paradise, er, Silicon Valley:

    Zuckerberg to 'Frenemy' Tim Cook: You're 'Extremely Glib'

    http://www.newser.com/story/257341/z...mely-glib.html
    Last edited by LA Ute; 04-02-2018 at 12:22 PM.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  28. #88
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Among all the concern about the big tech companies, I don’t really see Amazon as the threat others see. I think it is simply a disruptive technology-based company that is making life easier for people and creating jobs. Am I missing something? I don’t see the same problem with Amazon that I see with Big Data.

    I do hope that there’s an effective market response to Amazon via some kind of healthy competition. Right now Amazon seems to be driving a lot of companies out of business. (I miss book stores.) I hope some others will learn to fight back. It won’t be pretty if Amazon ends up as the only serious retail option. So far that doesn’t really seem to be happening. (I think Trump is attacking Amazon simply because he doesn’t like Jeff Bezos owning the Washington Post, which attacks him. Dumb reason. A POTUS shouldn’t be scapegoating a private company.)

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  29. #89
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    Among all the concern about the big tech companies, I don’t really see Amazon as the threat others see. I think it is simply a disruptive technology-based company that is making life easier for people and creating jobs. Am I missing something? I don’t see the same problem with Amazon that I see with Big Data.

    I do hope that there’s an effective market response to Amazon via some kind of healthy competition. Right now Amazon seems to be driving a lot of companies out of business. (I miss book stores.) I hope some others will learn to fight back. It won’t be pretty if Amazon ends up as the only serious retail option. So far that doesn’t really seem to be happening. (I think Trump is attacking Amazon simply because he doesn’t like Jeff Bezos owning the Washington Post, which attacks him. Dumb reason. A POTUS shouldn’t be scapegoating a private company.)
    Well... an Echo is an Amazon device in your home that is listening and logging what you say at all times. If you have one you can actually go back and listen to the actual recording of each thing you ask it. It also tracks your shopping and search behavior and tracks similar info.

    They absolutely belong on the list, and I happen to be a big fan of Amazon.


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  30. #90
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocker Ute View Post
    Well... an Echo is an Amazon device in your home that is listening and logging what you say at all times. If you have one you can actually go back and listen to the actual recording of each thing you ask it. It also tracks your shopping and search behavior and tracks similar info.

    They absolutely belong on the list, and I happen to be a big fan of Amazon.
    I think they belong on the list but maybe at the bottom. I don't have an Echo (I do have Fire TV). You can choose to get an Echo. With an iPhone it's less of a choice -- I can't function without my iPhone, and I did not consciously sign up for the data mining Apple does. Same for GMail. Google is even worse. It's virtually impossible to use the internet today without using Google.

    I'd rank the companies this way:

    1. Google
    2. Apple
    3. Facebook
    4. Amazon

    Facebook and Amazon are lower on the list because we have to choose to use them. (They're still too powerful.) Amazon is last because it is actually tied into the existing economy and traffics in goods and services, not just information.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

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