Tuesday, August 18, 2020

CURMUDGUCATION: Silicon Valley and the Surveillance State

 CURMUDGUCATION: Silicon Valley and the Surveillance State

Silicon Valley and the Surveillance State


Peter Schwartz is an American futurist, innovator, author, and co-founder of the Global Business Network, a corporate strategy firm. He's done sexy things like consult for futury movies, including WarGames (ew), Minority Report, and Sneakers (an under-appreciated gem). He's written an assortment of books; he also wrote the 2004 climate change report that predicted that England would be a frozen wasteland by, well, right now. (This Peter Schwartz should not be confused with this Peter Schwartz, Ayn Rand-loving writer. )

Schwartz was the subject of an interview in yesterday's San Francisco Chronicle, reminding us that there's an entire sector of future-looking tech-loving folks who think the advent of the surveillance state is pretty swell.

Schwartz is not in Silicon Valley-- he's a Beverly Hills guy. And not everything he says is alarming. For instance:

Every single time, with no exceptions, that I’ve gotten the future wrong, it’s because there was an inadequate diversity of people in the room. It was not that it couldn’t be seen; it was that we were just talking to ourselves.

Technocrats desperately need to hear that, but the prevailing ethos is the idea of a single visionary CEO without other voices to hold him back. As in Zuckerberg's unwillingness to let go of control of CONTINUE READING: 
 CURMUDGUCATION: Silicon Valley and the Surveillance State