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Workers at the Facebook office in Menlo Park, Calif. Silicon Valley. Jeff Chiu / AP

Franklin Foer — former editor of the New Republic, now with The Atlantic — is out today with a book on the dark side of Silicon Valley, "World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech":

  • "[T]he Big One, the inevitable mega-hack that will rumble society to its core[,] ... might be an exposed cache of intimate information that disrupts marital relations en masse ... It might disrupt our financial system, so that fortunes disappear in an unrecoverable flash. Or it might trigger an actual explosion of infrastructure that kills."
  • "The tech companies can see the Big One coming ... Their companies have created devices and code that enable omnipresent surveillance; their pack-rat servers hoard personal data."
  • "The best analogy is the financial crisis of 2008. There was nothing that the banks could do to gain political traction in the face of the catastrophe that they unleashed. When the Big One arrives, the tech companies will be vulnerable to the regulation that they have skillfully avoided."
  • "Just as the financial crisis triggered the creation of Elizabeth Warren's Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — the rare launch of a new agency — the Big One has the potential for creating a sizable regulatory infrastructure."
  • "Silicon Valley routinely trashes cultural and economic gatekeepers — while its own companies are the most imposing gatekeepers in human history."

Frank's big 💡: "We have deluded ourselves into caring more deeply about convenience and efficiency than about the things that last. Compared to the sustaining nourishment of the contemplative life and the deep commitment to text, many of the promiscuous pleasures of the Web are vanishing."

Go deeper

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Fauci: Omicron variant will "inevitably" be found in U.S.

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, cautioned on Sunday that the COVID-19 Omicron variant will "inevitably" be found in the United States.

Driving the news: Fauci, Biden's chief medical adviser, told ABC's George Stephanopoulos on "This Week" that U.S. officials will meet with colleagues from South Africa later on Sunday to try to determine the severity of the cases, as countries scramble to learn more about the variant.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Dems fear supply-chain blame

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

As supply-chain kinks drive up prices and disrupt holiday shopping, Democrats are scrambling to show action and deflect blame.

Why it matters: With their party controlling both the White House and Capitol, vulnerable Democrats worry supply-chain snafus will hurt them in next year's midterms.

5 hours ago - World

Scoop: Germany urges Congress not to sanction Putin’s pipeline

Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

The German government has urged members of Congress not to sanction the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, arguing that doing so will "weaken" U.S. credibility and "ultimately damage transatlantic unity," according to documents obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: At a time when roughly 100,000 Russian troops are massing at its border, Ukraine views Nord Stream 2 as an existential threat to its security. The pipeline would circumvent Ukrainian transit infrastructure and deliver Russian gas directly to Germany, eliminating one of the last deterrents Ukraine has against an invasion.