The Creepy Cult of Secrecy at Amazon and Apple


Steve Kovach directs our attention to this excerpt from a New York Times story about Amazon and Jeff Bezos:

He gives interviews only when he has something to promote, and always stays on message….Even a number as basic, and presumably impressive, as how many Kindle e-readers the company sells is never released….There are fewer leaks out of Amazon than the National Security Agency.

….“Every story you ever see about Amazon, it has that sentence: ‘An Amazon spokesman declined to comment,’ “ Mr. Marcus said.

Drew Herdener, an Amazon spokesman, declined to comment.

I am reminded of this parting shot from Ed Bott after writing a long rant about Apple’s “mind-bogglingly greedy and evil” end user license agreement for its ebook authoring program:

Oh, and let’s just stipulate that I could send an e-mail to Apple asking for comment, or I could hand-write my request on a sheet of paper and then put it in a shredder. Both actions would produce the same response from Cupertino. But if anyone from Apple would care to comment, you know where to find me.

I don’t really have anything insightful to say about this, aside from the fact that I tend not to trust people or institutions who are obsessive about secrecy. Keeping the media at arm’s length is fine, but there’s a point at which it starts to seem creepy and sociopathic. And at least to my taste, Apple and Amazon long ago passed that point.

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