In his latest novel, The Circle, Dave Eggers brilliantly captures the capital G-goodness of the tech utopia mission inherent in Silicon Valley culture.
There is no doubt, for one, that workers are increasingly being squeezed out by robots and automation. And we’re not talking only about jobs at the lowest end of the pay scale– what were once considered “middle-class” jobs are also being hollowed out.
Catalin Voss ’16 founded his first startup, Sension, a visual interface company that aims to make human experiences with computers more interactive.
At the Facebook London offices, our conference rooms are plastered with posters shipped from the Menlo Park headquarters, commanding us to “move fast and build things.” We are reminded to value “people over pixels,” and asked “what would you do if you weren’t afraid?”
For all its achievements in innovation, Silicon Valley hasn’t made much progress on inclusion. Only 6.8 percent of technical employees in Silicon Valley are from underrepresented minority groups in a county that is almost 30 percent black or Latino.
CS 184: Startup Engineering, a course first offered in winter quarter 2012, has moved online this summer as a free offering on Coursera, with enrolled students challenged to apply academic theories to the real world through the creation of a bitcoin crowd-funding system.
Has the convenient scapegoat of the financial industry given us an excuse to forget common, reasonable concerns we should have about corporations that crunch Big Data , or from another perspective, the arguably minimal social value of many of the tech firms that grab headlines today?