"Tivo-ifies the web" Paul Kedrosky

Mr Untouchable (Trailer)

The original documentary has been taken down, however if you get a chance to see the original it is a ground breaking film about the biggest heroin dealer in Harlem in the 70s. The premise is that drug lord, Nicky Barnes was different in that he delivered a ‘good’ product and was professional.

This has been something that has been on my mind lately, I recently met someone who made his money from Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants, he was a personal friend of Colonel Sanders and said that what made him different was that he cared about the product.

When I worked at an Internet incubator as an ‘Entrepreneur in Residence’, we looked obsessively at how we would build a viral product, any viral product. In essence this seemed to be the moral equivalent of selling bad drugs, possibly a more dubious standpoint than Nicky Barnes’ good drugs.

What I am getting at here is not that selling KFC is morally bad, but that it is wrong to think that cynically selling a bad product well marketed, will succeed. McDonalds sell incredibly tasty food – it just happens to be bad for you. But when it comes to capitalism there is a responsibility not just to believe in a good product, but a product that is good for people. i.e. not tobacco or slave harvested cotton or heroin. The line moves. Kentucky Fried Chicken only becomes a moral hazard when it is too cheap and too delicious that people become habitual users.

Throughout Mr Untouchable, including in this trailer, people correct themselves after using terminology such as ‘successful entrepreneur’. That this kind of language is used at all, smacks of a society as a whole, which needs moral regulation, not just banks on Wall street which have reward without risk.

This clip contains this unbelievable line: “he was giving something back to the community that he was abusing and killing”, wherever this line applies, unregulated capitalism has failed.


One comment on “Mr Untouchable (Trailer)

  1. Steve Nordquist says:

    No, this was a kind of regulated trade; there are some neat details in New York Magazine’s articles, where they take notes on the film and interview the subjects of the film, who eventually served lots of jail time and and are -retired- now, which is a whole other thing failing, mister enemy-of-libertarians.
    I think there’s a matter of what messed-up situations we would choose to publicly declare our desires and/or have them checked. It used to be that people would ask one another whether illicit substances were worth pursuing and tell one another how to run an awesome general store or smithy and still take a profit, or have functionaries who were worth a lick ponder that stuff. That kind of behavioral shit is so totally taboo, now, that it is sensible for the yellow pages to have some grey-coded category where one could just get a Whitman’s Original-Recipie Fried Meth Sampler. Risk compliance filing FAIL.

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