The Fifth Risk: Michael Lewis explains how the "deep state" is just nerds versus grifters


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It’s the cult of “management.” If the knowledgeable geeks tell you something that is not what you want to hear, get new geeks. You can always find somebody to say what you want them to say long enough for your stock options to mature. After all, you’re the genius.


Nerds and grifters aren’t mutually exclusive categories.


Look … no one really likes the boinboing store … but we try not to complain about it too much.


Paging Elon Musk. Please go to the Venn Intersection for your photo op.

Edited to add: Really at that intersection lie those “disrupters” that are so popular in startup Silicon Valley culture. Because from here much of that looks like “My business plan is to ignore the experts (and often the law) and just do it.” So often assholes, but it works just often enough that people keep doing it.



I figure he’s more of a train wreck of a completely driven man rather than a grifter who cares for nothing but money.

Either way, best to keep away, but one has a teeny-tiny chance of going down in history.


Absoloutly, he cares about many other things. Some of which I agree with him on. But he seems to be as convinced with little reason on his innate superiority as many CEOs and hedgies. He seems to have gotten it right with SpaceX and now he is convinced of his own genius and that he has the magic touch.


On a separate note are @doctorow’s books as difficult to read as his titles and articles?


Really this is an extension of the phenomenon described decades ago:

It’s now been turned to the service of corrupt grifters, but it some ways it always was in their service. The modern GOP depends on it to make its margin with the 27% base.

Michael Gove presented the line of the grifters very succinctly in the context of that great Know-Nothing debacle, Brexit:

People in this country have had enough of experts


(in this case, how the guy who runs Accuweather and has been lobbying for years to force the government to stop letting us get weather predictions for free ended up in charge of US governmental weather strategy)

It’s not like he was proposing gathering up all the data and running and updating all the super fancy computer models. That’s the expensive part. He just wanted to make it illegal for the government to distribute that information to the public for free. He wanted to be able to charge people for information gathered and analyzed at taxpayer expense. Seriously, fuck this guy (edited for clarity)


"deep state," which is revealed as nothing more than people who know what they’re talking about.

This is an excellent quote, that I will save and steal often.


Yes, they are.


Give ‘em a go, whadda’ ya’ got to lose?

"I like it (um, them)!


This is the best , and most chilling, book about the current administration that I’ve read.


The book just kinda trails off after discussion of Accuweather paywalling National Weather Service data.
I wish it was longer.


The rest of it was probably too depressing and horrible to write.


Welcome to boing boing!1!! Haha.

Seriously though, the guy is supposed to be a professional writer, right? Amirite?


I have a lot of respect for a real grifter nerd, but these grifters today don’t want to put in the work to understand the great history of grifting.


We just lost one of the authorities on the topic:


I should be saying that to you :rofl::rofl::rofl: