22 May 2017

Slate Star Codex: “Silicon Valley: A Reality Check”

When Capitol Hill screws up, tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis get killed.

When Wall Street screws up, the country is plunged into recession and poor families lose their homes.

When Silicon Valley screws up, people who want a pointless Wi-Fi enabled juicer get a pointless Wi-Fi enabled juicer. Which by all accounts makes pretty good juice.

Scott Alexander

That’s a very convenient way to frame the problem, while circumventing the fundamental issues entirely. Silicon Valley’s deeper issues are not silly products like Juicero; they are companies like Theranos, who consistently lied about having developed revolutionary blood-testing technology; Uber, who consistently disobeys laws in their quest to monopolize local transportation, and may have gone so far as to steal trade secrets from Google’s self-driving division; and let’s not forget Google and Facebook themselves, who with their lax treatment of propaganda and ‘fake news’ helped get Trump elected president. Silicon Valley’s real problem is a lack of accountability, of a sense of responsibility and maturity, and I don’t see any signs of improvement.

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