SXSW: Al Gore takes swing at 'stalker economy' and Rupert Murdoch

SXSW: Al Gore takes swing at 'stalker economy' and Rupert Murdoch

People are reaching their “gagging point” with the “stalker economy”, with former US Vice President Al Gore citing sexting app Snapchat as an example.

Gore also took a swing at media mogul Rupert Murdoch during the interview with Wall Street Journal technology writer Walter Mossberg, at the South by SouthWest festival.

When asked why the keen environmentalist had sold his TV network to Al-Jazeera, owned by the Qatar government which gets its wealth from oil and gas, he drew parallels with Mossberg’s working for the Murdoch owned paper.

When Mossberg said Murdoch was “not in the oil and gas business” Gore snapped back “He’s not properly in the journalism business either”.

Gore identified six major changes which are occurring in the world, including growth, power shifting from west to east and the climate crisis.

The emergence of a “global mind” driven by more social networking and the internet has driven the “stalker economy”, which for Gore includes geo-location apps, cookies and smart devices.

The controversial Snapchat, which allows people to send pictures to each other which are deleted after a few seconds, is a symbol people are reaching the end of the line with it, he added.

“The Global Mind is the linking of thoughts and feeling of billions of people to each other and increasingly intelligent devices,” he added.

Another change cited was a new “Earth Inc”, a new era of global inter-dependency, which presents “opportunity and challenges”.

Gore has just published his new book The Future, which discusses these emerging trends, and includes 150 pages of footnotes.

In the interview Gore also called on people to examine more closely the “rapid” developments happening in the world today.

He said: “There is definitely a difference between scary and creepy. Creepy is a kind of fear when people do not completely know what’s going on.”

Pic: Heather Kennedy

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