jaron lanier on the internet U curve

I recommend listening to this Jaron Lanier interview (hat tip Travis), with the video part turned off -- you don't really need to see him waving his arms and talking to the camera to get the gist.
He makes a good point that "the internet" in the Apple-Google-Facebook era is creating U shaped wealth (an inverse of the Bell Curve), with people getting rich by controlling hardware and/or data at one end of the U, bottom feeders preying on the poor with insurance and pharma scams at the other end of the U, and the vast majority of the public in the unpaid middle.
He posits Walmart as an example of where this is headed. That company got rich being the first to accumulate the data for a global distribution system, but then their chokehold on the economy became so strong that customers couldn't afford to shop there because they didn't have jobs.
(He doesn't mention Amazon but that's even more Walmart-y than Apple.)

Update: Whoops, just noticed I wrote Jared, not Jaron. Post title corrected.