This gets to my biggest problem with To Save Everything. The “Silicon Valley” of your book bears little resemblance to the Silicon Valley that I cover as a tech reporter. Your Silicon Valley is a place where everyone is on the same page—where we all evangelically self-track and gamify, where we take it for granted that “open” systems are better than “closed” ones, where we put our faith in algorithms over humans, and where we’re obsessed by jargony pundits like Jeff Jarvis.
But that gets the Valley wrong. In reality, the tech industry is much messier, more contentious, and savvier about hype than you make it out to be. Note that Apple—the most profitable company in the Valley and the brand that outsiders most associate with the place—defies all the archetypes you say typify Silicon Valley’s worldview. Apple just wants to sell you stuff; it has no interest in making you more efficient, in fighting crime, improving politics, or solving any of your other problems. So isn’t Apple a problem for your thesis—if the Valley’s top company doesn’t fit the solutionist model, shouldn’t we be skeptical that it’s a real phenomenon?
Finally, let’s note something about Jeff Jarvis. Though you often associate his views with those of “Silicon Valley,” Jarvis is neither an engineer nor a Californian—he’s a media consultant who lives in New York. Yes, he’s a best-selling guru, but you understand that nobody in the tech industry takes him seriously, right?
Es ist einfacher, das Valley und die Techindustrie wie eine Sekte zu betrachten und sich auf den Menschen zu stürzen, der das Absurdeste von sich gibt.
Reporter wie Farhad Manjoo haben einen besseren Einblick in die Industrie als Morozov je haben wird, zumindest wenn er bei seiner Herangehensweise bleibt. Der einzige Fehler, den Manjoo macht ist, dass er so nie von Frank Schirrmacher zum Abendessen eingeladen wird.