Skip to main content

Why is Verizon buying Yahoo?

Verizon 2015 logo -vector.svg

I have a yahoo! email box. I have other email addresses, too, but the yahoo box is the one I've had longest, its use is second nature to my personal friends, so it has long functioned as my default.

I don't believe that is about to change. Verizon is buying the core of yahoo, and it will presumably continue to be happy to allow me to get my mail in the old way.

But that isn't why Verizon is spending the $4.83 billion buying the venerable internet company's core operations. Verizon doesn't likely care about preserving the convenience of lil ole me. So what do they care about here?

Well, Verizon already owns AOL, another venerable internet brand, going back to the '90s of blessed memory. Presumably it can wrap the two companies together now, eliminate 'redundancies,' and look for 'synergy. All that business school stuff.

Beyond that, I suspect that there is some empire building at work. Somebody in executive ranks wants to be a somebody in roughly the sense that was true of the characters in On the Waterfront. This person or these people don't think that being a wireless provider makes them somebodies. Getting into the content, web design and search businesses, though: ah, there is a scratch for the Napoleonic itch!

I read too much John K. Galbraith in my impressionable youth perhaps. He would have jumped on this hypothesis.


Popular posts from this blog

Great Chain of Being

One of the points that Lovejoy makes in the book of that title I mentioned last week is the importance, in the Neo-Platonist conceptions and in the later development of the "chain of being" metaphor, of what he calls the principle of plenitude. This is the underlying notion that everything that can exist must exist, that creation would not be possible at all were it to leave gaps.

The value of this idea for a certain type of theodicy is clear enough.

This caused theological difficulties when these ideas were absorbed into Christianity.  I'll quote a bit of what Lovejoy has to say about those difficulties:

"For that conception, when taken over into Christianity, had to be accommodated to very different principles, drawn from other sources, which forbade its literal interpretation; to carry it through to what seemed to be its necessary implications was to be sure of falling into one theological pitfall or another."

The big pitfalls were: determinism on the on…

A Story About Coleridge

This is a quote from a memoir by Dorothy Wordsworth, reflecting on a trip she took with two famous poets, her brother, William Wordsworth, and their similarly gifted companion, Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

We sat upon a bench, placed for the sake of one of these views, whence we looked down upon the waterfall, and over the open country ... A lady and gentleman, more expeditious tourists than ourselves, came to the spot; they left us at the seat, and we found them again at another station above the Falls. Coleridge, who is always good-natured enough to enter into conversation with anybody whom he meets in his way, began to talk with the gentleman, who observed that it was a majestic waterfall. Coleridge was delighted with the accuracy of the epithet, particularly as he had been settling in his own mind the precise meaning of the words grand, majestic, sublime, etc., and had discussed the subject with William at some length the day before. “Yes, sir,” says Coleridge, “it is a majestic wate…