Amazon and the Nerd Factor

Philip Roth isn’t happy with Jeff Bezos. A lot of other authors aren’t either. Going out on a limb here, but my guess is that Bezos is thrilled that such an important novelist as Roth is pissed.

Bezos has always been a courageous, bright guy. From relatively humble beginnings he went to Princeton, became a dot-com superstar fairly quickly and is now worth something like $32 billion, give or take.

He plays life as though adversity and danger don’t faze him much. He was in a helicopter crash that almost killed him, and reportedly thought, ‘This is a dumb way to die.’ In accounts of the fear-fatal accident that I’ve read, he never talks much about fear.

This bothers me.

As member of the bunch of Uber-Nerds who are pretty much running things now, Bezos is no doubt a super-achiever, but a human factor is missing. The question for me is: Can you be driven, directed, focused on world domination, and also be compassionate and feeling?

Amazon is a great platform for authors. It’s remaking the publishing industry and in …

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