Silicon valley ethos

People talk about the 'silicon valley ethos' as if it'a a good thing. So, let's remember what the silicon valley ethos actually is. It's the ethos that gave us techbros, gamergate and female participation in open source projects sitting at 1 or 2% (who knows what black participation is, but I expect it is very, very tiny). It's the ethos that drove down female CS & IT graduation rates in the US from 38% in 1984 to 18% in 2011. It's the ethos that gave us (male, white) people explaining that women are just less good at this stuff in terms which amount to eugenics (obviously very appealing to Cummings), despite it being trivial to show that there is no evidence for this (indeed data this paragraph shows why there's no evidence).

It's the ethos that gave us social media companies whose core business is harvesting souls and who evolve algorithms which encourage political extremism to do that, leading to the incipient fascism we now see in the US. It's the ethos of the people who continue to work for these companies while knowing what they are doing and where it leads.

It's the ethos that gave us the CEO of a large silicon valley company saying this:

I think that government said that they made a mistake. It's a serious mistake. We've made mistakes too, right, with self-driving... So I think that people make mistakes. It doesn't mean that they can never be forgiven.

The 'mistake' that government made, for which they should perhaps be forgiven, was sawing a journalist up with a bonesaw while they were alive.

That is the ethos of silicon valley: sawing a human up with a bonesaw is a mistake which can be forgiven.

Fuck the silicon valley ethos and fuck anyone who thinks it is a good thing. The silicon valley ethos has brought the US to the edge of fascism and in 48 days will quite likely bring it over that edge. The UK is not there yet, but it's moving in that direction: the Cummings-Johnson junta are clearly aiming to cause the EU to walk away from the negotiations so they can find a suitably identifiable group to blame for the disaster that will befall the UK in 107 days. Finding identifiable groups to blame for things is the fascist playbook.

Yes, it gave us really clever phones on which we waste our lives. But I'd give up the phones if I could avoid the fascism. I'd give up the phones if the 'silicon valley ethos' would help in any way at all with dealing with climate change which isn't 'let's go and live on Mars' (work out the climate impact of lifting a significant number of people off Earth sometime: we're not going to live on Mars unless, perhaps, we're billionaires). But it's OK, you see: climate change will only kill our children and their children and the people who believe in the silicon valley ethos don't care about anyone but themselves, or even in some cases know how many children they have, still less care about them. Oh and yes, it's killing some people now, but those people have dark skins and live far away, and silicon valley ethos people certainly don't care about people with dark skins, still less if they live far away.

It's so easy to laugh at them: Johnson is an upper-class twit who can write amusingly racist and sexist articles and Cummings is a eugenicist crank who, like all cranks, does not know what he does not understand. They're laughable. Trump was laughable. Hitler and Mussolini were laughable.


You'll only receive email when 100 suns publishes a new post

More from 100 suns