What Big Tech Doesn’t Know

The question is character. How do individuals behave when they have to share things with people that they don’t respect, don’t understand, or even like? And why is the character of the technology industry found wanting? Thus begins the story of the giant firm, Talking & Shopping, and its path through the policy paths of Washington, DC.

Preview: The View of Pennsylvania Ave.

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They don’t talk.

They don’t write.

They don’t really like dealing with each other.

Yet, they need each other, need each other in a fundamental, all consuming way.  

We’re talking about Tech and Government, in case there was any question.  

And do you know how we know, how we know this?  

Because this is one of the things we do at How We Manage Stuff.  We have a small policy office on the unfashionable side of Capitol Hill that is led by Sulley, our Policy and PR Director.  From this vantage, Sulley and his staff help Tech leaders understand why they need government and Washington policy-makers appreciate that tech is not quite as frightening as they thought.

So we’ve got a new client – a hapless Tech Giant called T&S – and we’re about to start a new story.  It features Debbon Ayer as the CEO Abby Alton, Kit Kuksenok as the CTO genius Ed Kowalski, Margaux Amie as Senator Christine Stassen, and Geoffrey Grier as government administrator Morris Fitz.  

 But before we start this narrative, the head of our Washington Office, Sulley, walks down the median of Pennsylvania Avenue to explain what is about to happen.

And so the new series begins “What Big Tech Doesn’t Know” from the audio drama “How We Manage Stuff.”

Cast:

  • Josh LaForce – Sulley, HWMS Washington Director
  • Jake Minevich – Fan in Car; Tour Guide; Cop
  • Sarah Corbyn Woolf – Bicyclist

[19101]

Past is Prologue

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Only rarely do you see the big picture.  

Most of the time, it is a nightmare.  

15,000 people.  Running through the tunnel that lie beneath the US Capitol.  The share information, cut deals, plan strategies, and try to advance their own little agendas. 

Only once in while can they climb to the top and see how the pieces fit together.  

And so our story begins.  The director of the How We Manage Stuff Washington Office, takes two of our staff members to the top of the Library of Congress to show them the view.  Chaos is about to descend but for a moment, they can appreciate a clear day and a beautiful landscape.  

Except that one of them spies a strange building that they hadn’t noticed before.  

So begins our tale.  

First episode in the new series begins “What Big Tech Doesn’t Know” from the audio drama “How We Manage Stuff.”

Cast:

  • Sahara Ale – Attorney-Advisor
  • Josh LaForce – Sulley, HWMS Washington Director
  • Sarah Corbyn Woolf – Anna the Intern

[19110]

Busy Day

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Money isn’t everything 

Ideas are surprisingly important

But people carry the ideas.

And promote the ideas.

And analyze, and dispute, and contradict, and accep,t and reject, and all the rest of the things that you do with ideas.

In the process, the people find themselves carrying, promoting, analyzing, disputing, accepting and rejecting each other.  

The story continues with a meeting of of the HWMS staff in our slightly cramped conference room with its perpetual view of the Capitol Hill Power Plant.  Events start to unfold and they are the events of ideas, ideas that remind us what a busy day can actually be.  

 Second episode in the new series begins “What Big Tech Doesn’t Know” from the audio drama “How We Manage Stuff.”

Cast:

  • Sahara Ale – Attorney-Advisor
  • Geoffrey Grier – Vinny, HWMS CTO
  • Josh LaForce – Sulley, HWMS Washington Director
  • Noah Masur – Executive Secretary of FDF
  • Sarah Corbyn Woolf – Anna the Intern

[19115]

Tongue Lashing

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Speed.  Disruption.  Innovation.  

Not Duty.  Not Deliberation.   Not Honor. 

Tech let us reordered our virtues.  

Policy, if taken thoughtfully, makes us examine that reordering.  

It may not solve anything but it makes us wonder if we’re doing things the right way.  

Policy is never “Us” versus “The Government”.  It’s “Us” versus “Our Neighbors.”  And sometimes, those times when we don’t quite see all of our neighbors clearly, we can be vulnerable.  

Anna, and Yasmin and Sulley, start working to get their client, the Internet Giant  “Talking and Shopping” a better position in Washington.  It doesn’t start well.  We get a tongue lashing, some cryptic advice, and a cup of tea from a slightly batty business woman.  

Third episode in the new series begins “What Big Tech Doesn’t Know” from the audio drama “How We Manage Stuff.”

Cast:

  • Sahara Ale – Yasmin, Attorney-Advisor
  • Margaux Amie – Rachel D’Fino
  • Zoe Anastassiou – Waiter; Newsperson; Faith
  • Josh LaForce – Sulley, HWMS Washington Director
  • Ron Bianchi – Roger, the Congressional Aide
  • Geoffrey Grier – Morris Fitz, of NTIA
  • Sarah Corbyn Woolf – Ann the Intern

[19117]

Kind of Mess

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Does this happen to you?

Your Uber Driver knows more than you’re client?

It’s embarrassing, yes?

Big Tech spends millions, hundreds of millions, of dollars in Washington and what do they get for their money?  

A service.  

Nothing more.

A service.  That’s it.

Why is that a problem you ask?  

It’s the problem of the Gig Economy.  When you hire a contractor to do your bidding, key bits of information don’t flow across the contractual boarder.  Knowledge often fails to make the leap.  History certainly is left on the curb when the driver pulls away.  And wisdom?  Lonely wisdom?  Clutching her purse and hoping for the best?  

Fourth episode in the new series begins “What Big Tech Doesn’t Know” from the audio drama “How We Manage Stuff.”

Cast:

  • Sahara Ale – Yasmin, Attorney-Advisor
  • Ron Bianchi – Bashir the Uber Driver
  • Josh LaForce – Sulley, HWMS Washington Director
  • Geoffrey Grier – Morris Fitz, of NTIA
  • Kit Kuksenok – Ed Kowalski of T&S
  • Sarah Corbyn Woolf – Anna

[19120]

Pillar of Fire by Day

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There’s a reason. 

A senatorial aide who seems inept at social media?

There’s a reason. 

A trade association director who seems to be speaking in tongues?

There’s a reason.  

An administrative assistant who has a little too much data about you, about your roommate, and about the stain on the carpet floor?

There’s certain a reason for that.

The senior leadership of the  Internet firm Talking and Shopping arrives in Washington DC to see how much or how little they understand about national politics.  

There certainly is a reason for this.  

Fifth episode in the new series begins “What Big Tech Doesn’t Know” from the audio drama “How We Manage Stuff.”

Cast:

  • Sahara Ale – Yasmin, Attorney-Advisor
  • Margaux Amie – Rachel D’Fino, Assistant to Senator Stassen
  • Debbon Ayer – Abbe Alton, CEO of T&S – 
  • Ron Bianchi – Roger, Social Media Expert
  • Josh LaForce – Sulley, HWMS Washington Director
  • Noah Masur – Buckley Williams of FDF
  • Jake Minevich – Victor, Assistant to Abby Alton

[19125]

Squirrel Dog

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You’d think they’d be on the same side.

Wouldn’t that be obvious?

But the CTO has arrived in Washington and things that he should be the center, the center of attention.  

But that was never the plan.

And not only will he have to convince his boss, he’s going to have to convince her Wolfhound, Maggy the Fury.

And you’d think they’d be on the same side.  

The senior leadership of the  Internet firm Talking and Shopping starts to encounter the politics of Washington DC.   

Sixth episode in the new series begins “What Big Tech Doesn’t Know” from the audio drama “How We Manage Stuff.”

Cast:

  • Sahara Ale – Yasmin, Attorney-Advisor
  • Debbon Ayer – Abbe Alton, CEO of T&S
  • Kit Kuksenok – Ed Kowalski, CTO of Talking and Shopping
  • Jake Minevich – Victor, Assistant to Abby Alton
  • Skippy – Maggie, the Fury

[19127]

Today’s Special

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Swapping Gossip.  

A pair of old friends meeting for lunch.

What is Talking and Shopping trying to do in DC?  Is Big Tech vulnerable?  Is there some agenda that they don’t see?

And then there is the reporter.  Did I mention the reporter?

What they do see is a little meeting between congressional aides, aides sho are in love, just not with each other.  

The senior leadership of the  Internet firm Talking and Shopping starts to encounter the politics of Washington DC.   

Seventh episode in the new series begins “What Big Tech Doesn’t Know” from the audio drama “How We Manage Stuff.”

Cast:

  • Margaux Ami – Rachel D’Fino, Chief of Staff to Senator Stassen
  • Zoe Anastassiou – Young Female Aide
  • Ron Bianchi – Waiter
  • Geoffrey Grier – Morris Fitz, Department of Commercial Official
  • Noah Masur – Young Male Aide
  • Jake Minevich – Chad Dockerly, Publisher/Reporter Technica Publica
  • Skippy – Maggie, the Fury

[19130]

Mother Comes Home from the Wars

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Hardship means different things at different times.  

Abby Alton, the CEO of Talking and Shopping, finishes a long day of meeting members of Congress.  

In place of a moment of rest, she is faced with an obsequious assistant, an aide who has yet to understand the invasive nature of modern retail, and a consultant who has learned a story of political trouble.  

Birnham Wood may be starting to move to Dunsinane.   The leadership T&S is starting to grasp that success in the market is not the same thing as success in Washington.  

So starts the second act of our tale.  The eighth episodes of the Audio Drama “What Big Tech Doesn’t Know.”

Cast:

  • Sahara Ale – Yasmin, Attorney-Advisor
  • Margaux Amie –  Evelyne, Operations Manager of HWMS
  • Debbon Ayer – Abby Alton, CEO of T&S
  • Geoffrey Grier – Fitz Morris of NTIA; Vinny of HWMS
  • Josh LaForce – Sulley Bowman, Director HWMS Washington Office
  • Jake Minevich – Victor Numerov of T&S; 
  • Skippy – Maggy, the Fury

[19135]

The Dead Don’t Disrupt

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Not everyone presents themselves well.

Not everyone holds to the company policy.

Not everyone is good at working the room.

What skills do you need when your client presents themselves in the worst possible light?    

The Senior Management, Vinny and Evelyn, think that they need a more experienced member of the team.  

The team itself, is bent on proving otherwise.  

  The ninth episodes of the Audio Drama “What Big Tech Doesn’t Know.”

Cast:

  • Sahara Ale – Yasmin, Attorney-Advisor
  • Margaux Amie –  Evelyne, Operations Manager of HWMS
  • Zoe Anastassiou – Faith, Mina
  • Ron Bianchi – Eric, The Ancient One
  • Geoffrey Grier –  Vinny of HWMS; Carl Langston
  • Kit Kuksenok – Ed Kowalski CTO of T&S
  • Josh LaForce – Sulley Bowman, Director HWMS Washington Office
  • Jake Minevich – Victor Numerov of T&S; 
  • Sarah Corbyn Woolf – Anna the Intern
  • Skippy – Himself

[19140]

Farming from San Francisco

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Every job is middle management.

Everyone is caught between someone above and someone below.  

And that hook that captures you is always tricky.  Sometimes that sharp little tine is friendship.  Sometimes, its money.  Sometimes it’s merely the image that we would like to claim for ourselves.

For a moment, we see the CTO Ed Kowalski, never the most sympathetic character, dangling between heaven and earth, between the boss above and the employee below.    

  The tenth episode of the Audio Drama “What Big Tech Doesn’t Know.”

Cast:

  • Sahara Ale – Yasmin, Attorney-Advisor
  • Margaux Amie –  Evelyne, Operations Manager of HWMS
  • Debbon Ayer – Abby Alton, CEO of T&S
  • Geoffrey Grier –  Vinny of HWMS; Carl Langston
  • Kit Kuksenok – Ed Kowalski CTO of T&S
  • Josh LaForce – Sulley, Washington Director, HWMS 
  • Noah Masur – Ben “Bearner” Capardi, Server Director, T&S
  • Skippy – Himself

[19145]

By Any Other Name

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The questions are simple.

The answers?   We don’t know.

At best, we have a senatorial aide who doesn’t know how to type.

Or is incapable of being sociable.

Abby Alton of T&S is preparing for an appearance before the Senate.  Her consultants meeting with key staff members but don’t exactly leave satisfied.   

  The eleventh episode of the Audio Drama “What Big Tech Doesn’t Know.”

Cast:

  • Sahara Ale – Yasmin, Attorney-Advisor
  • Margaux Amie –  Evelyne, Operations Manager of HWMS, Rachel D’Fino, aide to Senator Kristine Stassen
  • Zoe Anastassiou – Habi Zolah, Senatorial Aide
  • Ron Bianchi – Roger of Senator Stassen’s Office
  • Geoffrey Grier –  Vinny of HWMS; 
  • Josh LaForce – Sulley, Washington Director, HWMS 
  • Noah Masur – Buckley Williams, CEO of Foundation for a Digital Future
  • Sarah Corbyn Woolf – Anna the Intern
  • Skippy – Himself

[19150]

Bank Shot

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It’s just physics, right?

 Set the ball in motion, it bounces off the cushion, hits another, falls into the pocket, just as you’d expect.

Except it doesn’t

The leadership of Talking and Shopping is frustrated with Washington and Washington is tired of them.  There are problems on the horizon, balls on the table, and little strategy for how to bring the game to an end.  

And we choose a pool table in a bar to discuss what we might do.  

The twelfth episode of the Audio Drama “What Big Tech Doesn’t Know.”  Special Guest Christian Conn of NYC portrays Gar Simons, the advisor with only one word of advice: “Get Out Now!”  

Cast:

  • Christian Conn – Gar Simons, billiard player & business guy
  • Sahara Ale – Yasmin, Attorney-Advisor
  • Margaux Amie –  Evelyne, Operations Manager of HWMS
  • Debbon Ayer – Abby Alton, CEO of T & S
  • Geoffrey Grier –  Vinny of HWMS; 
  • Kit Kuksenok –  Sulley, Ed Kowalski, CTO of Talking & Shopping
  • Jake Minevich – Chad Dockerly of Technica Publica
  • Skippy – Himself

[19155]

I Know Who You Are

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“Is this you?”

Never be in haste to answer that question

Facts are never just facts.

There’s always a value, a judgement, an opinion.

So when you’re asked “Is this you?” you need to be sure you know who is doing the asking.  

Journalist Chad Dockerly confronts Victor Numerov of T&S and cast members Jake Minevich and Sahara Ale look to make sense of scene.

Because there is always the question of what you do with your facts.  

The fourteenth episode of the Audio Drama “What Big Tech Doesn’t Know.”  

Cast:

  • Jake Minevich – Victor of T & S
  • Sahara Ale – Yasmin, Attorney-Advisor
  • Jake Minevich – Chad Dockerly of Technica Publica
  • Skippy – Himself

[19162]

The Right Clothes

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Gravitas.

How important is gravitas, social authority, to a tech organization?  

Afterall, they are the ones who claim that they are trying to disrupt society, to remove older barriers, to build new structures that are more profitable to all.  

If that is the case, if their power comes from forces outside society, then whey do they need social weight?

And why how do they need to dress if they are to claim that they have gravitas.  

Karine Tisserand, the head of the How We Manage Stuff European Union Office agrees to come to Washington in an effort to fix a project that is sliding, inch by inch, out of control.  Abby Alton, the head of Talking and Shopping, meets with Congressional Staff.  And finally, Sullivan asks if the HWMS Washington office is facing a rebuke for its lack of progress.  

The fifteenth episode of the Audio Drama “What Big Tech Doesn’t Know.”  

Cast:

  • Sahara Ale – Yasmin, Attorney-Advisor
  • Margaux Amie – Evelyn of How We Manage Stuff
  • Margaux Amie – Rachel D’Fino aid to Senator Stassen
  • Zoe Anastassiou – Faith of Beva’s Place
  • Debbon Ayer – Abby Alton of T&S
  • Ron Bianchi – The Ancient One
  • Anastasia Deloret – Karine Tissarand, Head of HWMS EU Office
  • Geoffrey Grier – Vinny of How We Manage Stuff
  • Josh LaForce – Sullivan of How We Manage Stuff
  • Jake Minevich – Victor of T & S
  • Skippy – Himself

[19160]

Best For All

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IAD?

IDA?

What’s the difference?  

What is the import of the flip of one letter? 

The expanded team gathers in Washington.  Vinny from Washington.  Karine from Brussels.  Time to get the leaders of the tech giant Talking and Shopping ready for a Congressional Hearing.  

But there is that little issue.  IAD vs IDA.  It changes the plans but the results might be best for all.  

The sixteenth episode of the Audio Drama “What Big Tech Doesn’t Know.”  

Cast:

  • Sahara Ale – Yasmin, Attorney-Advisor
  • Anastasia Deloret – Karine Tissarand, Head of HWMS EU Office
  • Kit Kuksenok –  Ed Kowalski of T & S
  • Noah Masur – UPS Delivery Person; FedEx Delivery Person; Hyung Tai, Delivery Person and part owner of Gangnum Cleaners 
  • Skippy – Himself

[19165]

All Gone Wrong

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It was supposed to be easy. 

A way to build trust. 

A simple public talk at a sympathetic organization.  

But there were protestors. And a badly prepared speech. And a host who didn’t seem to realize what was happening.  

Abby Alton, CEO of Talking and Shopping, addresses the public and finds herself backed into a corner when all goes wrong.

The seventeenth episode of the Audio Drama “What Big Tech Doesn’t Know.”  

Cast:

  • Debbon Ayer – Abby Alton, CEO of T&S
  • Anastasia Deloret – Karine Tissarand, Head of HWMS EU Office
  • Geoffrey Grier –  Vinny of HWMS
  • Josh LaForce – Head of HWMS Washington Office
  • Sarah Corbyn Woolf – Anna of T&S
  • Skippy – Himself

[19167]

He’s Not Here

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He doesn’t visit often.

When he does, there’s always trouble.

Or he thinks there’s trouble. 

Or maybe heard that there might be trouble. 

The Producer comes to visit our Washington Office and faces a cast that thinks (or wishes or hopes) that things are better than they are.  

The eighteenth episode of the Audio Drama “What Big Tech Doesn’t Know.”  

Cast:

  • Sahara Ale – Yasmin
  • Margaux Ami – Evelyn
  • Ron Bianchi – The Producer
  • Anastasia Deloret – Karine from the EU Office
  • Josh LaForce – Sulley 
  • Skippy – Himself

[19170]

Famous Person

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Are you famous?

Fame we court.  

Fame we try to wield (before it weilds us.

But are you famous?

Not the best question to hear when you are trying to understand what is happening. 

Even if you’re not famous. 

Not famous at all.  

The nineteenth episode of the Audio Drama “What Big Tech Doesn’t Know.”  

Cast:

  • Zoe Anastassiou – Wee Sister #1
  • Debbon Ayer – Abby Alton
  • Anastasia Deloret – Wee Sister #2
  • Geoffrey Grier – Vinny 
  • Kit Kuksenok – Kowalski 
  • Skippy – Himself

[19175]

a Cup of Coffee

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Are you coming? 

Are you going? 

Do you have a place in this world?

Or do you not? 

Roger.  Yasmin.  Existential questions.  And the power of warm drinks.

The nineteenth  episode of the Audio Drama “What Big Tech Doesn’t Know.”  

Cast:

  • Sahara Ale – Yasmin
  • Zoe Anastassiou – Faith
  • Ron Bianchi  – Roger
  • Geoffrey Grier – Customer #1
  • Josh LaForce – Customer #2
  • Noah Masur – Barista & Andre
  • Skippy – Himself

[19180]