To Understand Tech, Look Beyond the C.E.O.s

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To understand what’s happening in the world, we need to understand the (mostly) men who rule over global technology superpowers. But I also wish those leaders were less consequential and took up far less of our brain space.

What the 21st-century tech barons like Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos and Jack Ma believe and do matters. But when we focus on the chief executives, we sometimes neglect to recognize that regular people, not poobahs, make tech as we experience it. Volunteer Wikipedia editors, online community moderators, Uber couriers and schoolteachers translate and shape what the tech bosses create into the lived reality for the rest of us.


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