Silicon Valley’s myopia


If you thought people lived in their own filter bubbles, echo chambers, etc., it might be because the people building those tools reside in their own world: tech-centered Silicon Valley.

Silicon Valley makes the tools we all love to hate. Smartphones and the internet are simultaneously essential and unbearable, a facilitator of instant global communication yet a hijacker of attention and job-thief. The likes of Amazon and self-driving cars and trucks mean signal the end of retail and truck drivers, “one of the few decent-paying jobs that doesn’t require a college diploma,” writes Om Malik.

Silicon Valley is the new Wall Street, the myopic one percent that controls attention and manipulates the way common folks live and work. Perhaps they’d benefit from seeing how the other half lives, not just in Africa (Re Zuckerberg’s Manifest Destiny), but in their own country’s backyard. The Valley’s parochialism seems to grow wider every every year, along with its ballooning housing prices.

“The lack of empathy in technology design isn’t because the people who write algorithms are heartless but perhaps because they lack the texture of reality outside the technology bubble.” — Om Malik


Start-Up America: Our Best Hope

What a contrast. Silicon Valley: where ideas come to launch. Washington, D.C., where ideas go to die. Silicon Valley: where there are no limits on your imagination and failure in the service of experimentation is a virtue. Washington: where the “imagination” to try something new is now a treatable mental illness covered by Obamacare and failure in the service of experimentation is a crime. Silicon Valley: smart as we can be. Washington: dumb as we wanna be.

Red tape, process, torpidity: DC is preventing America from redefining world order under its leadership. DC is generally a boring place, little creative stimulation and all politics (obviously); the main reasons I moved away after college.


The coming tech-lash


“one of the big developments of 2014 will be the growing peasants’ revolt against the sovereigns of cyberspace. The Silicon elite will cease to be regarded as geeks who happen to be filthy rich and become filthy rich people who happen to be geeks.”

The tech elite lives in a bubble just like the Wall Street bankers.

“and I don’t mean a tech bubble or a valuation bubble. I mean a bubble as in our own little world.” – Eric Schmidt


How Steve Jobs Influenced Google’s Restructuring

Steve Jobs recounts his advice to Google CEO Larry Page:

“The main thing I stressed was focus. Figure out what Google wants to be when it grows up. It’s now all over the map. What are the five products you want to focus on? Get rid of the rest, because they’re dragging you down. They’re turning you into Microsoft. They’re causing you to turn out products that are adequate but not great.”

You can’t do everything.


Five of the six most-visited websites in the world are [in Silicon Valley], in ranked order: Facebook, Google, YouTube (which Google owns), Yahoo! and Wikipedia.

Diary: Google Invades · LRB  (via courtenaybird)

Technology, the new Gold Rush.  


In the Ordinary, Silicon Valley Is Finding the Next Big Thing

On Square:

It linked existing ideas and products with innovation in design and usage to create a new technology.

Not to mention Dorsey’s skillful networking.