3746648 2 months ago

Bloomberg used to be better. This is basically a non-story. The 'secret plan' was to use the nefarious mechanism of... Buying access that was for sale. All the allusions to shadyhandedness are just there to justify the existence of a story about Palantir because the author knew a story about a controversial company would propagate better even if it was devoid of anything meaningful to say.

  • anonymousDan 2 months ago

    This is so disingenuous. The whole point is that in a publicly funded health system many people disagree with this access being available in the first place. The UK government tries to paint a picture whereby giving such access will allow a raft of plucky UK startups to revitalize the NHS, when in reality we are just handing over our data and taxpayer money to the likes of Palantir.

    • kmlx 2 months ago

      publicly funded systems routinely use privately funded solutions. there’s nothing new or special here.

      that fact that people disagree means nothing and should be ignored as people disagree all the times about anything and everything.

      • oliwarner 2 months ago

        No, that's relatively new.

        The NHS used to own its radiography suites. It used to own its land and buildings. It used to hire doctors and nurses and support staff directly.

        But because of a [also recent] forced-tender system, and high breakthrough prices on in-housing projects, it was deemed "cheaper" to let private providers burden the upfront costs of equipment, land and building management, and short contract management.

        Shock, horror! Letting "interface companies" extract profit makes services more expensive, and now we're paying more, it's even less affordable to talk about major public capital investment to bring these critical, primary services back in-house.

        The NHS needs to stand up for itself and politicians need to start talking about 20y plans. Making ends meet today isn't enough. Giving up, adding insurance companies to the mix won't do anything but make it even more expensive.

        • oliwarner 2 months ago

          If you're unaware of how tender breaks public services, here's an example.

          Hospital needs a new MRI suite. To them, this would cost £2m for the machine, £400k for the room, and £500/h in running cost, £1.4m/year. The first 5 years costs are: £3.8m, £1.4m, £1.4m, £1.4m, £1.4m, ...

          But which trust has £4m in their back pocket for y1 cost? Even if they did, it's a large project so has to go out to tender. A capital-investment-backed provider comes back with a flat cost of £2m/year. They might have the additional cost of land but many of these [currently, right now in many hospitals] operate in containers in the carpark. At £2m, they break-even after Y4 and produce £600k a year profit from Y5 for another 11 years. NHS loses £6.6m over 15 years.

          And it's not that simple because their £2m bid will be interesting but there'll another for £1.5m at half-duty that will sell operational time to private providers, even direct-to-public (increasingly popular in the UK) at massive markups. They'll break even in Y3. Possibly even quicker if the hospital realises it needs full duty and pays triple-rate to book the machine out.

          So the NHS picks a private provider. They make a 5 year saving, and take an 11 year beasting. And at the end of it, or even halfway through it when they discover they need even more capacity, they find out that their old suite is now a support ward. Or managers have moved in, or it's just fallen down. The cost to build a new suite isn't the £2.4m it would have been, it's £4m. To get so assuming we would now need two machines, it's an £8m y1 cost to bring this back in-house.

          The long-term budgetary flexibility required to go back to running your own services is staggering and something that is very hard to sell to people not looking at TCO.

          • 1123581321 2 months ago

            What prevents them from accepting an offer that has economics closer to the in-house funding cash flow? I’m not from the UK so please forgive the question.

            Also, since I’m from the US, your example reminds me of Bobby Bonilla Day, jeered at as an awful deal for the sports team but in reality a fair present value exchange for forgoing a large short-term contract. (I realize unit specific numbers are just an example.) Fun recap, analysis and interview: https://www.npr.org/2021/06/25/1010404697/bobby-bonilla-day

            • oliwarner 2 months ago

              You mean an offer that delivers an equivalent 15Y cost to buying it yourself? There's no return on the investment. If the NHS had any sense they'd in-house finance brokering; try and thumb the scales towards the raw £22.4m instead of the external £30m, by offering 15y bonds, but spending time on putting together internal bids with external finance for tender seems to be frowned upon.

              Publicly Funded Infrastructure is a thing for Big projects, but what usually happens is the people asking for the money are so local and desperate that those with the money call the shots. A recently built nearby hospital has it in their PFI contract that they have to repaint the whole hospital with a specific provider every year for 30 years at whatever number they come up with. I'm not sure if the NHS trust even ends up with the buildings. Many school-improvement projects go through PFI and end up with public land being transferred to private interest. "Give us your old buildings and land, and £50m and we'll build you a new shiny one that's further away that you can rent from us forever." It's the budgetary simplicity that sells these awful deals.

              Where it's important to draw the distinction between the NHS and the Bobby Bonilla deal is the UK government can generate money for public capital infrastructure through public debt and taxation. When they need money for war, state funerals, or propping up banks, they just do it and we burden the cost. They could say "We need a dozen MRIs in the next few years", raise some tax revenue, make a bulk deal, and actually make the saving the NHS was designed to make. They could in-house road building, centralise a prefabricated school building factory, employ local government services directly.

              But public debt is bad and saving up is apparently somehow worse, and in any way competing with private companies [with deep ties to Ministers] is strictly verboten so we're left bouncing between external private providers and PFI.

              Even before the corruption, I do understand the scale of the problem insofar as anyone can understand volumes of money that end in "tn". But shying away from it, cowering behind awful deals while losing public assets isn't a solution either.

              • 1123581321 2 months ago

                Appreciate the response. Hopefully they regain financial aptitude.

          • hotpotamus 2 months ago

            I don't have much to add, but I just took a re-watch of Monty Python's Meaning of Life. The opening scene (after the intro short film) is amazing in that it's only a couple minutes and shows many of the pathologies of a modern health system (despite being 40 years old now), while also being hilarious. It depicts the birth of a child where the mother is basically an afterthought to all the expensive machines that the doctors get to play with. As soon as they have the lady's legs in stirrups, a gaggle of onlookers is welcomed into the room, but the husband is asked to leave since he's "uninvolved". But most important the amongst the crowd is the administrator who explains how they cleverly use accounting to manipulate the costs of the medical equipment.

            To cap it off, when the mother asks if the child is a boy or a girl, Graham Chapman responds, "it's a bit early to start putting roles on it".

          • wil421 2 months ago

            How are you depreciating the MRI machine? Why is the year one cost so high? I would’ve expected the MRI machine to depreciate over a decade.

            • chalst 2 months ago

              Depreciation is a term relevant to valuing assets and liabilities on the balance sheet and P&L accounts. oliwarner's figures are cashflow figures, a completely different kind of account, which is what you look to when asking how much financing is needed, a key factor in whether the purchase is given the go-ahead.

            • oliwarner 2 months ago

              I'm not. I'm assigning a 15y lifespan, building in maintenance into the running cost and assuming we just run it into the ground; buying another every 15 years.

              Year 1 is so high in the in-house models because that's what's paying for the machine.

        • WastingMyTime89 2 months ago

          > The NHS needs to stand up for itself and politicians need to start talking about 20y plans.

          If you are serious, I have bad news for you. The situation is going exactly as expected. That’s the traditional Tory plan. Defund, complain it doesn’t work now that it doesn’t have money then make private.

          British voters can only blame themselves. Between Brexit and decades of voting for the worst of the Tory, if they were less stupid, their country situation wouldn’t be so bad.

          • formerkrogemp 2 months ago

            > If you are serious, I have bad news for you. The situation is going exactly as expected. That’s the traditional Tory plan. Defund, complain it doesn’t work now that it doesn’t have money then make private.

            > British voters can only blame themselves. Between Brexit and decades of voting for the worst of the Tory, if they were less stupid, their country situation wouldn’t be so bad.

            I've yet to see, in decades of Tory rule, much but decline, neglect, and scandal. Tax cuts and service cuts. That's all everyone needs apparently. Unfortunately, labor seems so incompetent at gaining power that it seems almost like a "managed opposition." Maybe I'm being too generous to their electorate as well. The UK is a tourism attraction at this point, a historical relic found in a curio shop or flea market. Or soon will be at its current clip.

          • oliwarner 2 months ago

            Not decades. It's only been 12 years, with every indication that it'll only be two more, perhaps not even that at this pace.

            I've no illusions about the electorate but the Tories have spent their time distilling the party down to the extreme right wing element and that's —frankly— shown us all what a bunch of idiots they are. I can't remember a less electable bunch. https://twitter.com/UKPoliticalPics/status/15765728049624760...

            • Schroedingersat 2 months ago

              The problem with that is the same as it is worldwide. The 'left' parties that replace them are now roughly where the neolibs were when the mess was started.

              They'll make some noise about fixing it initially, but then it's back to the defund-privatise treadmill.

          • linuxftw 2 months ago

            Socialized medicine was always going to be unaffordable in the long term. If it wasn't a burden, then the 'cost cutting' measures probably wouldn't have been implemented.

            Having the government in charge of something means it's always going to be inefficient.

            • WastingMyTime89 2 months ago

              > Socialized medicine was always going to be unaffordable in the long term.

              Why? Sorry but that’s horse shit.

              There is nothing preventing socialised medicine for working. It costs less per capita nowadays than it did when it was put in place and productivity skyrocketed since.

              The economic arguments were always the very privileged hiding their greed and contempt for the rest of us behind a fine veneer. I truly believe some of them even came to believe it to help themselves sleep at night. It doesn’t mean we all have to drink it.

              • linuxftw 2 months ago

                > There is nothing preventing socialised medicine for working. It costs less per capita nowadays than it did when it was put in place and productivity skyrocketed since.

                That's because of the budget cuts. Service will continue to be trimmed until the system collapses.

                • stevezsa8 2 months ago

                  I feel you're kinda moving the goal posts here.

                  From "always going to be unaffordable" to "Service will continue to be trimmed until the system collapses"

                  • linuxftw 2 months ago

                    That's what unaffordable means. If it's unaffordable, you can't maintain it indefinitely. You might maintain it for some time, but inevitably it's going to have its budget cut, which will induce more problems, rinse, repeat.

                    • oliwarner 2 months ago

                      That's not unaffordable, that's not afforded.

                      Choosing not to pay for something —when you pay for so much else— isn't the same thing as not being able to afford its upkeep. It's an active decision, not a passive imbalance.

                      There is a level of healthcare that we cannot afford, but pretending that we're there already when we know privatising elements is going to make it more expensive for everyone is not honest. There are enough variations on the theme to know what works, and that our current system —while starved, and poorly served by central political whimsy— still delivers the best value out of any healthcare system.

                      As I've said elsewhere, subsidised childcare, after-school programmes, and mental and social health care all network together to keep us working at our best. Not only are they cheaper when centralised, relieving the burden makes people happier. Having to choose between your health and your job is no way to live and this ethos of welfare, having your citizens' backs is a key aspect of high-tax society. Once you stop worrying about poor people with less, life is better.

                      • linuxftw 2 months ago

                        What you're describing is a communist welfare system. Little incentive for individuals to work hard, you'll just increase the number of people totally dependent upon the system. Not sustainable.

                        • the_only_law 2 months ago

                          If your definition of “communist welfare system” is a handful of services being subsidized than I’m afraid you’re already living in a communist dystopia.

                          • linuxftw 2 months ago

                            > handful of services

                            Seems like a sizeable portion of someone's personal responsibilities.

                        • oliwarner 2 months ago

                          I'm not. That's socialism. Investing in public services that make life and society better. It's many key components short of communism.

            • jerojero 2 months ago

              Why having the government in charge of something means it's going to be inefficient?

              Ultimately the government needs to be in charge of healthcare because healthcare is not a simple service but a human right. In many ways, we might trade the benefits of competition (which in the long run do end up ruining the system, just look at the USA) for the benefits of democratic ownership.

              In any case, as others have pointed out, the system can be turned inefficient if government by government you dismantle the system a little bit and that's precisely what's been happening in the UK. However, this is not something that has happened in other countries in Europe and in general socialised healthcare gives us the highest life expectancy numbers.

            • psd1 2 months ago

              > Having the government in charge of something means it's always going to be inefficient.

              A peculiarly American dogma. The irony of trotting it out on the field of healthcare is lost on you, I suppose, but gave me a laugh. Thanks.

        • VieEnCode 2 months ago

          This should be the top comment, but this place is full of Thiel Stans, hence their bemusement.

        • stepbeek 2 months ago

          Yes! The UK has viewed private sector efficiency as axiomatic throughout my life. The New Statesmen has a good article on the systemic impact of such decisions in the current issue: https://magazine.newstatesman.com/2022/09/28/dieter-helm-cap...

          • nonrandomstring 2 months ago

            Culminating with us more or less selling-out GCHQ to Amazon. A lot of voices are starting to frame this as national security. Regardless of political alliances and so-called "special relations" this is no longer about mere business. The frame of acquisitions, mergers, and contracts no longer adequately captures the risks. It's about where power lies and who actually runs a nation. If Huawei can be deemed a first-class threat, then so can Palantir, and this sort of revelation only makes that clearer.

        • boomskats 2 months ago

          Sadly, selling it off to private US social care firms will be deemed the only solution to our recently imposed budget deficit.

          • oliwarner 2 months ago

            Maybe, I don't think it'll happen quickly though.

            Nobody wants US healthcare, not even the US; to willingly introduce it here would be instant political suicide. That gives me hope.

            And Conservatives have screwed things so hard in the past 12 years, I think there's genuine appetite for public investment. The current Labour party isn't the government it very nearly could have been in 2017 but if their recently energy policy[1] is anything to go by, they're not afraid of borrowing to invest in long term savings.

            Energy is a great example. If we could become independent of oil and not just swap that for lithium/cobalt dependencies, that probably is worth the outlay. Healthcare falls into a similar bracket.

            The added bonus is that if Labour gets a PR-like voting system implemented, it might be harder for any one (or two) parties to dominate politics and we could focus on goal-orientated politics. Maybe.

            1: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2022/sep/27/labour-will...

            • pessimizer 2 months ago

              This is an extremely cynical and conspiratorial thought, but I wouldn't be surprised if the Conservatives haven't made a deal to hand the next elections over to Labour in return for helping them get rid of Boris, and with this interim sacrificial government of Truss to ram through a bunch of things that even Tories would think it would be political suicide to publicly support.

              Then Starmer can glide in, and do things that the Tories could never get away with doing, like privatizing healthcare.

              > The added bonus is that if Labour gets a PR-like voting system implemented, it might be harder for any one (or two) parties to dominate politics and we could focus on goal-orientated politics. Maybe.

              I doubt the PLP will ever show any serious effort to get this done. There's nothing they hate more than voting, and if there's any consistent policy from Labour it's that voting is an unfair commentary on things that average people are neither qualified nor deserving to discuss. They spend a significant amount of time as individuals trying to find people to remove the vote from.

        • Schroedingersat 2 months ago

          > The NHS needs to stand up for itself and politicians need to start talking about 20y plans.

          There's a 20 year plan.

          Make sure the private system that replaces it after spending 20 years looting it is as profitable as possible.

      • denton-scratch 2 months ago

        The NHS posesses the largest, most-complete collection of national medical and health data in the world. Certain senior managers have been trying to share that collection with private firms for years.

        There have been various contortions along the road; initially, the plan was that all GP surgeries would be required to upload patient data to the (shareable) national collection. The government partially backed down, allowing patients to opt out of that kind of sharing. A separate opt-out was required for data concerning hospital treatment. Both required patients to acquire and submit a paper form; there was no opt-out website.

        Then they changed the structure of the sharing system a little, rendering prior opt-outs moot; you had to opt-out again.

        You'd think the government would be able to make a lot of money out of this data; but one of the scandalous early deals they made was to sell the data of a million patients to the Society of Actuaries. For £3,000. Actuaries work for insurance companies; and insurance companies would dearly love to get their hands on people's health data. But £3,000?

        Now Palantir's core business is collecting data. It isn't a medical company. Corellating "anonymised" data is what they do. They are hostile to privacy, and they are famously secretive.

        There are people in government who want to privatize the NHS completely. Unfortunately for them, the NHS is probably the most popular institution in the UK; so they salami-slice. Various NHS services are privatized by stealth; the last CT scan I had was conducted in a van in the hospital carpark, run by some US health conglomerate. Various testing services have been fully privatized, with the original NHS services shut down.

        So there are two threads behind this story: the creeping privatisation of NHS services, and the involvement of this creepy company in handling patient data.

      • dijit 2 months ago

        You’re right, but only symbolically so.

        Sweden walked this same path and is deeply deeply suffering the privatisation.

        Doctors are nowhere to be seen, waiting times are absolutely impossible to work with. You basically have to beg to see a doctor and even then they will likely decline you unless you’re in pain.

        It’s ridiculous. It can be directly attributed to the privatisation of the underlying services.

      • boomskats 2 months ago

        > that fact that people disagree means nothing and should be ignored as people disagree all the times about anything and everything.

        I believe the mechanism you're advocating for is generally referred to as a dictatorship.

        • sleet10 2 months ago

          “”…Patient trust is vital to our NHS, so foreign tech companies such as Palantir, with their history of supporting mass surveillance, assisting in drone strikes, immigration raids and predictive policing, must not be placed at the heart of our NHS,” British lawmaker David Davis, a member of the Conservative Party and former Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, said during a House of Commons debate in June 2021.” “…Palantir’s history as a “Peter Thiel-backed, CIA-initiated company” could deter patients from sharing their data. “We should get rid of Palantir and build our own open-source software…”” …on the other hand, from: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2022/jun/21/palantir-con... “…Louis Mosley said Palantir’s origins were as a defender of personal privacy. “Palantir was actually started to guard against government overreach into personal privacy. Much of the software we’ve built is to prove [sic] those kinds of protections.”…” …from: https://www.tatler.com/gallery/most-glamorous-mitford-descen... : “…Louis Mosley, is the eldest grandson of Sir Oswald and Diana Mosley (née Mitford) and head of London operations for data firm, Palantir. Before Mosley’s successful career at the sleek software company (which had a role in tracking down terrorist Bin Laden in 2011), the 38-year-old was a Conservative party activist. Politics has run through Louis’ family for generations as his grandparents, Sir Oswald and Diana Mosley, became key figures in Britain’s far-right political movement in the 1930s.” ( …Oswald Mosley, btw.: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oswald_Mosley )

        • MaxBarraclough 2 months ago

          Charitably, I think they meant Unanimity is the exception, not the norm.

    • AzzieElbab 2 months ago

      Telus(large Canadian telco) did this in Canada. Never heard a squick

    • MomoXenosaga 2 months ago

      Probably a controversial statement on HN but FUCK AMERICAN DISRUPTORS. I like my socialist privileges thank you very much.

    • roenxi 2 months ago

      One of the lesser-known risks of giving control of the health care system to the government is that the government will have control of the health care system.

      It just isn't news that a company that specialises in getting government contracts has a plan to get a government contract. There are too many tautologies here to get interested in them. Next thing we'll discover that the politicians are running the healthcare system based on political calculations instead of medical advice!

  • skippyboxedhero 2 months ago

    It is the subject: NHS, Peter Thiel, CIA, Silicon Valley, privatization...the media coverage on this sort of stuff in the UK is deranged.

    Palantir is just offering a "shiny dashboard", we should build your own...it is that easy, just knock up a Palantir competitor in a weekend (the NHS has decent tech units, but core NHS is like this...they hire £20k "devs", ask why they are getting hacked all the time, nothing works properly..."this tech stuff is all just rubbish"...it is like the late 90s).

    The author spends an article outlining an elaborate plot then slips in that Palantir didn't actually manage to acquire anyone...and was working with the NHS years before this email was sent (and provided valuable support during Covid).

    The irony is that this media coverage explains why healthcare tech is so bad in the UK (there is actually a listed company, worth £10m+...that is just a staff directory for hospitals, it is pre-MySpace tech, and tons of trusts use it...it is actually comic).

    • anonymousDan 2 months ago

      So **ing what if UK healthtech isn't up to silicon valley 'standards'. As if the US healthcare system is anything to be envious of.

      • pessimizer 2 months ago

        You can't defend inefficiency. The reason to have an NHS isn't to have artisan healthcare, it's to have free healthcare. The fact is you have a system that is large enough to totally justify doing this stuff in house, but instead the work is going to private firms doing the least for the most.

      • bidirectional 2 months ago
        • EdwardDiego 2 months ago

          I feel like healing the sick, and caring for the poor, is something from a certain religion that some aspects of the Republicans would like to make the state religion.

          I've never understood the dichotomy between America's religious zeal, and the disinclination to put it into practice unless you're targeting abortion or gay people. Very selective.

          • bidirectional 2 months ago

            I'm not American, I'm British and feel as though our approach to healthcare is hobbled by people who think the NHS is some saintly miracle and not a very expensive bureaucracy which provides mediocre value for money.

            • EdwardDiego 2 months ago

              Firstly, I apologise for assuming there.

              Secondly, I agree that the NHS is described in almost hagiographic terms by some, especially left-leaning Americans.

              On the mediocre value for money, I don't doubt at all that the NHS could change to be better.

              That said, from my antipodean point of view, it appears to me that the Tories have been running the classic neoliberal play of "Set metrics that the public service will need more funding to meet, underfund them, point to the inability to meet your metrics as a) obvious proof that the government is inefficient and n bloated and b) reason to carve off the easy services for private sector businesses to fulfill at taxpayer expense, aforementioned private sector businesses often having been good donors, or close personal affiliations to members of your Cabinet. Bonus points if retiring MPs become members of their C-suites or board of directors"

              So yeah, the NHS definitely could be better, but I don't think the issues are inherent to it.

              Incidentally, our Tories have used that play repeatedly, hence why it's so familiar to me.

        • MattPalmer1086 2 months ago

          Where do you see fanaticism in that comment?

          I read it as not wanting a US style system. Which pretty much nobody in the world does, including a lot of Americans! So not that controversial...

          We generally like healthcare to be free at the point of use. There are many ways that can be funded.

      • drstewart 2 months ago
        • hef19898 2 months ago

          The US system isn't up to anyones stabdard except the rich and powerfull.

          On Palantir, all I've seen from them so far is one orbtwo levels shinier then what you can build in Excel, while costing more and providing less value.

          • drstewart 2 months ago

            Can you tell me more about this low "stabdard"? Are the doctors undertrained and poor quality? No equipment? Please elaborate. Clearly you know about high "stabdards"

            • throwaway743 2 months ago

              Don't be an ass.

              Affordability and access is a major issue here in the US, even with employer provided insurance. Most aren't making tech level salaries nor benefits, nevermind those who are unemployed and don't meet stringent requirements in states that haven't adopted medicaid expansion.

            • esperent 2 months ago

              Affordability is a standard. Ease of access to all demographics, rather than just rich people, is a standard.

              • drstewart 2 months ago

                So is healthcare IT, considering how many patients die due to medical charting errors alone.

                And the NHS isn't up to anyone's standard.

                • hef19898 2 months ago

                  Such a strong statement, the patients dying due to charting errors, crys for a source. As does the fact that the NHS is not among the better systems, because any statistic, spending, outcome, average life span of people, shows the various single payer systems (in order to group all state sponsored systems together even if their are differences) out perform the US one.

                  Let's entertain so that charting errors cause patient deaths. In order to judge how the NHS performs relative to other systems would require statistics on that fact alone. Not sure those even exist.

                • esperent 2 months ago

                  Whataboutism at it's finest.

                  You asked for an example, I gave you a clear and unrefutable example, and you refused to address it.

            • hef19898 2 months ago

              Access, affordability, wether or not people have to ruin themselves for treatment... And well, on mobile "b" and "n" are too close to one another for my fat fingers...

    • wuschel 2 months ago

      I thought that Palantir is way more than a “shiny dashboard”, but that they managed to integrate data access and visualisation very well e.g. BASF is their customer for their Foundry product.

      Is there a detail overview somewhere what products Palantir actually has, and what technology it uses for these products?

      • robertkoss 2 months ago

        The documentation is public. I think that Foundry is waaay more than a "shiny dashboard". Especially the concept of the ontology is ingenious in my opinion. Also the closing the loop concept is one of its kind.

    • stuaxo 2 months ago

      And the UK already has GDS, who in the main are very good at building digital services for government itself, they could join up more with.

    • wanderlust123 2 months ago

      Can you link the listed company? Curious to see what they actually do

    • LightG 2 months ago

      Seriously ... take your drip-drop, Palantir normalisation and shove it up your orifice.

      I would then be able recommend a decent NHS doctor who can look at that for you, free at the point of use, on my dime.

      Very best,

  • LightG 2 months ago

    Horsesh!t, greeney ... Palantir are controversial for a reason. And so I want to know everything single thing about them even tangentially touching the NHS so I know how to fight against it.

    But thanks for your input.

atoav 2 months ago

There are not few companies that do more damage to the societies on earth than they do good. Palantir must be easily in one of the top places of the worst offenders.

  • A_D_E_P_T 2 months ago

    Their products are fairly mundane and seem ethically neutral in themselves, so why do you suppose this is?

    There are probably thousands of companies that do more damage to society than Palantir. For e.g., every company associated with an unhealthy vice, like alcohol, tobacco, opioids, and especially gambling.

  • missedthecue 2 months ago

    What does Palantir do? What do customers pay them for?

    • hsjdhdhskdh 2 months ago

      A.I. in general, when tied to police making is, which is the main offering of palantir (count their press releases that mention it) is a way to justify ends.

      want to continue to subjulgate a minority?

      pre 70s: racial laws

      70s: science says this totaly not racially inclined test will select the best humans for a job.

      80s: red zoning and other purely financial reasons

      ...

      A.I.: the "data" says so.

      with AI, just like the other methods, you can justify anything. juicy contracts to your brother in law firm? the data says so. a tank for your police dept? the data says so.

      That is what palantir sells. insidious justification, disguised as a dashboard.

      • snidane 2 months ago

        Technology can be both good and bad, depends on the holder.

        The government clearly has a goal they want to achieve and cleaning up their data with AI seems like a solution more likely to work than throwing a small army of bureaucrats at it.

        The right wingers when it comes to government control advocate for either 1. don't let government have much control (starve the beast) or 2. if govt already has control, let them at least do it efficiently without wasting taxpayers' money.

        The left on the other hand want to empower governments with more and more control, but once the govt has it, they want to prevent it from doing it efficiently - by disallowing efficient use of data and technology - which catches them red handed as they pretty much just want to empower themselves through grants, inefficient paper shuffler bullshit job and other forms of transfers at the expense of others.

    • fooker 2 months ago

      Dashboards. That’s it.

      • ethanbond 2 months ago

        In the same way that pharma companies produce “powder. That’s it.” or in the way that oil companies produce “liquid. That’s it.” or in the way that Apple produces “rectangles. That’s it.”

      • hef19898 2 months ago

        Nah, also white washing data access in cases were a private company can get data and governments cannot.

      • robertkoss 2 months ago

        It seems like you know nothing about the product at all.

whalesalad 2 months ago

This is a pretty common practice in all sorts of industries. If you can’t compete somewhere, you buy someone who is already competing.

gsatic 2 months ago

There has been talk of an EU version of Palantir for a while now. Anyone know what the latest news is? Technically it doesnt look like there is anything too complex about what Foundary does.

  • gberger 2 months ago

    Helsing https://helsing.ai/ is gearing up to be the Palantir of Europe - at least in the military AI field. One of its cofounders was a software architect at Palantir.

  • badrabbit 2 months ago

    Do people know you can do wjat palantir does with Splunk?

    • jonnybgood 2 months ago

      A lot of people don’t know what Palantir does. Only what they’ve heard.

      • sangnoir 2 months ago

        Well, I've heard Palintir is no better than any other body-shop: hype-up their tech/senior engineering acumen, get the contract and throw anyone with a pulse at the project while using boring technology (SQL, spreadsheets).

        • badrabbit 2 months ago

          I've used their products. Very nice and cool looking UI. Their magic is they have a stupid-friendly UI.

          You can puta username, license plate, file name,etc... and it will dump everything about thay in a nice looking way. It also indexes regular documents, dbs,etc... and gives you a search engine. There are similar products out there.

          That's why I said splunk. Actually if it was me I would use Graylog and use it's frontend friendly api to query ES on the cheap and have a cool and friendly UI.

    • frozencell 2 months ago

      How to discover services like this, the Internet is so big..

  • enviclash 2 months ago

    Indeed the tasks described in the article were not tough nuts, which is surprising.

  • iLoveOncall 2 months ago

    Palantir is a contracting company. What do you mean by an "EU version of Palantir"? It doesn't make sense.

  • wuschel 2 months ago

    What do you mean by EU-Version? A EU spin-off, or competitor?

w0mbat 2 months ago

One employee suggests doing X in an email is not the same as “company has secret plan to do X”.

mhh__ 2 months ago

NHS should be aggressively acquiring data science talent.

Unfortunately current gov doesn't give a shit about anything other than next week (science funding being cut to boost growth somehow)

finikytou 2 months ago

do airbus and palantir now bloomberg

collegeburner 2 months ago

oh no, strategic m&a to enter a new market, getting a customer base and acquihiring a team with local experience? that's evil!

i have lots of issues with palantir's applications spying on law abiding citizens and expanding government power but, uhh, this aint it chief.

  • anonymousDan 2 months ago

    I think you're missing the forest for the trees here. The NHS is supposed to be a public service, but to undermine public support for it the UK government have been slowly trying to hack off bits of it to give to the private sector and strategically underfunding it. If they could get away with it they would probably sell the NHS down the river to US healthtech in order to get a US trade deal. So people are rightly sensitive to anything that appears to point to large private sector companies gaining an increased foothold in the NHS

    • timellis-smith 2 months ago

      Do you have any evidence for this or are you just sprouting tired old anti-government rhetoric.

      > Overall, there is no evidence of a significant increase in spending on private providers or widespread privatisation of services in recent years. https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/publications/articles/big-elect...

      • stuaxo 2 months ago

        You really don't have to look very far it's really well known.

        Just look up the NHS and public private partnership.

        The numbers were cooked from the beginning to make it look cheaper, see issues of private eye from around the y2k till about now.

  • jonnybgood 2 months ago

    Note that Palantir doesn’t spy on anything. It’s a shiny dashboard placed on top of an organization’s database. That’s all it is. Palantir does not provide data. It is the customer’s data.

  • paganel 2 months ago

    > that's evil!

    Not a Brit, so not directly involved, but, yes, letting private enterprise sneaking their way in into a government-run health system is the beginning of pure evil.

    • missedthecue 2 months ago

      It doesn't sound like they're sneaking their way in. It sounds like they are acquiring private enterprises that already deal with the NHS, therefore getting exposure to that market. The private enterprise relationship with the NHS already exists before Palantir acquired it.

      The NHS isn't completely vertically integrated. They buy their gowns, needles, rubber gloves, thermometers, and bedsheets from for-profit companies too. Is that "pure evil"?

      • paganel 2 months ago

        In a way, yes, especially the medical-related things.

    • collegeburner 2 months ago

      how is publicly acquiring a company, then entering a competitive bid priced against competition, "sneaking in"? nobody's sneaking here.

funstuff007 2 months ago

There's much to not like about Palantir. I'm particularly averse to the extreme puffery regarding their tech's abilities, but buying your way into a market is far from nefarious.