This week I sit down with technology entrepreneur, activist, and writer Anil Dash. He is currently CEO of Fog Creek Software, incubator of startups Trello, Stack Overflow, and Glitch. He serves on the board of the Data & Society Research Institute Dash was an advisor to the Obama White House’s Office of Digital Strategy.
In 2002, he became employee #1 at Six Apart, the innovative blogging software firm behind Typepad. He began by observing: “Any new form of electronic communication will first be dismissed as trivial and worthless until it produces a profound result, after which it will be described as obvious and boring.” Blogging blew up, eventually became a feeder for all manner of professional and social media, and other expert sourcing.
Dash explains how the digital commons has become derailed by those whose goals are not to create but to purposefully prevent online conversations from progressing. He describes his mission as a technology entrepreneur as “making the tech world more humane and ethical.”
His advice for the company Twitter is that they should be much more aggressive in clearing out and banning its most destructive elements, from White Nationalists to Neo Nazis. For users, he recommends a free service called “Block Together” to help manage the more difficult participants in your feed. (I imported Wil Wheaton’s NeoNazi block list).
Some of his favorite books are referenced here.
You can stream/download the full conversation, including the podcast extras, on Bloomberg, iTunes, Overcast, and Soundcloud. Our earlier podcasts can all be found on iTunes, Soundcloud, Overcast and Bloomberg.
Next week, we speak with Bruce Bartlett, an American historian whose area of expertise is supply-side economics. He served as a domestic policy adviser to Ronald Reagan and as a Treasury official under George H. W. Bush and is author of 8 books on economics and politics, most recently, The Truth Matters: A Citizen’s Guide to Separating Facts from Lies and Stopping Fake News in Its Tracks
Anil Dash Favorite Books
The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York by Robert A. Caro
Respect: The Life of Aretha Franklin by David Ritz
High Line: The Inside Story of New York City’s Park in the Sky by Joshua David