, 16 tweets, 7 min read Read on Twitter
Toronto is getting slow played like a sucker and the only beneficiary of this delay is Sidewalk Labs. This thing needs to be done and over a long, long time ago now. #BlockSidewalk

We've arrived at what may be peak amateur hour from this vendor, and it works to their advantage
More time lobbying all levels of govt. More time for Dan Doctoroff to be on a speaking tour with their messaging. More sales and marketing and public relations and crisis comms.

Waterfront Toronto, and by extension all levels of govt, and by extension the public appear to be held hostage by, among other things, a "good faith" clause in this contract. Not the only thing but has to be "a" thing.

You want to get into another reason that it matters that Waterfront Toronto is dealing with Alphabet on this thing? That argument you hear: "it doesn't matter who the vendor is with this thing, we'd have to deal with anyway yadda yadda." Yeah no. LEGAL REASONS.

I think the public needs to start to think about questioning the legal advice that Waterfront Toronto has been receiving throughout this entire affair. Will Fleissig is gone but I don't think legal counsel has changed.

Because as a resident of the City of Toronto, I can't believe this is still going on. And I'm not super clear on who answers to me about it right now. This is a problem.

The parties involved in this are making efforts to normalize the situation. To call on past projects and other processes. When they do that, they are trying to assert legitimacy. It's not possible here. This it not a project to mitigate. It's a project to stop.

This deal plays into the psychology of local actors to exert that "they've got this". That this is a negotiations challenge. We have incredibly skilled people involved in this project on team public interest and yet this is still the narrative they're going with

I'll continue this in a post about why the plan that is coming forward will probably seem fine and why everyone has played right into Sidewalk Labs' slow play lab strategy, which is basically to have tested us to see what they can get away with. Bad actor.

I'll be saying this on repeat until this thing is gone. If this deal moves into "assess the plan" phase the public has lost and Sidewalk Labs has won. This is not a stupid set of people. They will walk back the contentious parts, they've already started.

They will bury potential problems in tiny burrows in legalese in the most hard to see places, using language they'll invent. Then they will always be able to argue that they maintain a right to do things, things they don't have to clarify or explain in the plan.

This entire project has been run on marketing, communications, and rhetoric. If you don't think the "big reveal" of the plan won't be the most overwhelmingly carefully designed product for public consumption you haven't followed the plot.

The trick here is to stop looking forward at the nothing space they are pointing to, start looking backwards at history. There is no version of the actors involved in this project or the structure it has been forced into that ends well for the public, long-term.

There will be a whole lot of "this component of the plan is just like x, so what's the big deal?" and some things won't seem like/be a big deal stand-alone. It's the nature of the package, the broker role they are trying to play, the impacts on govt operations...

I'm drowning in the nonsense. Tonight will write about some of the data things Sidewalk "we're not about data" Labs has done over the last 17 months to influence the framing of data collection in cities, including inventing things that aren't real (urban data).

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