Amazon: Death Star

Here’s Morning Brew talking about Amazon’s decision to split HQ2 in half:

“This news will definitely fuel criticism that Amazon used the entire HQ2 search process to pit regions against one another to secure the most generous tax breaks (not to mention, all the valuable data it collected on the biggest U.S. cities).”

That data is actually a huge deal

When Amazon first launched its HQ2 search last year, 238 cities “applied.” And that application process not only gave Amazon information on cities’ demographics (which is public)…but also more behind-the-curtain insights into cities’ overarching approach to economic development.

Those insights could include…

  • Where a city predicts future development happening
  • How much it’s willing to offer in tax incentives
  • Future transportation and infrastructure plans

Talking to the FT, Brookings’s Joseph Parilla could hardly contain himself: Amazon now has “the largest database of political and civic intelligence at the local level in the world,” he said.

Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash

This reinforces my belief in what Yuval Noah Harari said in his book “Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow”.

He describes Dataism, a new faith-based around the power of algorithms. Mr. Harari’s future is one in which big data is worshiped, artificial intelligence surpasses human intelligence, and some humans develop Godlike abilities.

For more information on Noah Harari check out this fantastic article: Tech C.E.O.s Are in Love With Their Principal Doomsayer”.

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