Archive for November, 2012

Am I A Luddite?

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

Growing up in Silicon Valley and working in the high tech space for over 20 years gives me a somewhat unique perspective on technology. On the one hand, the advances that have come from the world of high tech, such as cell phones, personal computers, and the mouse on a computer, have greatly enhanced productivity and changed the world around us, and I usually embrace them whole heartedly. It’s amazing to me that my house can monitor and adjust my thermostat to save on energy costs, and that I can be automatically alerted when there’s a bad traffic accident on the road that I can avoid.

Yet when technology has progressed so far that big brother can snoop around and find out almost anything about me and my habits (hello General Petraeus) or Google can share my web history or Amazon my purchasing history, I get a little freaked out. What is considered public and what is considered private? It’s worth noting the startling increase in government requests globally for data to Google. And needless to say, Google is turning it over. Could you or I be next?

Advances in technology, for such markets as medical or environmental, have done wonders for all of us. But how much progress should be considered to be too much progress? Am I an early adopter or am I a Luddite who is scared of the shadow my laptop gives off. With that in mind here is my ode to what most consider to be the birth of the high tech industry, Silicon Valley.

(sung to the tune of “The Beverly Hillbillies”)

Come and listen to a story about the mi-cro-chip,
Was quite a breakthrough, but not seen as very hip.
Then came the IC which gave us a voice,
All to the efforts of Mr. Bob Noyce.

Integrated circuit that is, Fairchild Semiconductor, silicon gold.

Well the first things to go were the orchards and the trees,
Then the buildings went up with relevant ease.
Engineers worldwide said “San Jose is where we outta be.”
So they loaded up their trucks and moved to the Valleeeeey.

Silicon that is, ridiculously priced homes, stock options.

Fifty years later technology rules all,
Weather updates on my phone, but rarely a phone call.
I like digital cameras and a blazing fast PC,
All because of a place called Silicon Valley.

Bottom line is, tech is great, cut the check.

Buy a house, move on in, y’hear?


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