The Creepy Cult of Secrecy at Amazon and Apple

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Steve Kovach directs our attention to this excerpt from a New York Times story about Amazon and Jeff Bezos:

He gives interviews only when he has something to promote, and always stays on message….Even a number as basic, and presumably impressive, as how many Kindle e-readers the company sells is never released….There are fewer leaks out of Amazon than the National Security Agency.

….“Every story you ever see about Amazon, it has that sentence: ‘An Amazon spokesman declined to comment,’ “ Mr. Marcus said.

Drew Herdener, an Amazon spokesman, declined to comment.

I am reminded of this parting shot from Ed Bott after writing a long rant about Apple’s “mind-bogglingly greedy and evil” end user license agreement for its ebook authoring program:

Oh, and let’s just stipulate that I could send an e-mail to Apple asking for comment, or I could hand-write my request on a sheet of paper and then put it in a shredder. Both actions would produce the same response from Cupertino. But if anyone from Apple would care to comment, you know where to find me.

I don’t really have anything insightful to say about this, aside from the fact that I tend not to trust people or institutions who are obsessive about secrecy. Keeping the media at arm’s length is fine, but there’s a point at which it starts to seem creepy and sociopathic. And at least to my taste, Apple and Amazon long ago passed that point.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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