Silicon Valley

Neo-Feudalism in California

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From the beginning, California promised much. While yet barely a name on the map, it entered American awareness as a symbol of renewal. It was a final frontier: of geography and of expectation.
—Kevin Starr, Americans and the California Dream: 1850–1915  read more »

Highest Salaries for Software Developer Remote Work (Metro Areas)

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COVID-19 lockdown and social distancing strategies have led to a huge increase in the number of people working at home (working remotely). According to Gallup, by mid-April, 62% of US employees were working at home. Further, Gallup found that about half of the remote workers preferred to continue working from home, with another quarter interested in remote working out of pandemic fears.  read more »

Who Will Prosper After the Plague?

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The COVID-19 pandemic is likely to widen even further the growing class divides now found in virtually every major country. By disrupting smaller grassroots businesses while expanding the power of technologies used in the enforcement of government edicts, the virus could further empower both the tech oligarchs and the “expert” class leading the national response to the crisis.  read more »

Big Tech's Hypocritical Wokeness May Soon Backfire

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Not long ago, in our very same galaxy, the high-tech elite seemed somewhat like the Jedis of the modern era. Sure, they were making gobs of money, but they were also “changing the world” for the better.

Even demonstrators against capitalism revered them; when Steve Jobs died in 2011, the protesters at Occupied Wall Street mourned his passing.

Increasingly, Americans no longer regard our tech oligarchs as modern folk heroes; today companies including Google, Apple and Facebook are suffering huge drops in their reputations among the public.  read more »

California Preening: Golden State on Path to High-Tech Feudalism

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“We are the modern equivalent of the ancient city-states of Athens and Sparta. California has the ideas of Athens and the power of Sparta,” declared then-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2007. “Not only can we lead California into the future . . . we can show the nation and the world how to get there.” When a movie star who once played Hercules says so who’s to disagree?  read more »

The Slaughter of the Tech Unicorns

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Big tech grows up, get treated with overdue suspicion, and aims to get boring.

After nearly two triumphant decades marked by an unprecedented accumulation of both wealth and power, our tech oligarchy seems to be running out of luck. Newly issued IPOs—Uber, Lyft and Slack—are losing values at breathtaking rates, while others in the on-desk circle, such as the once widely anticipated We, are headed back to the bench.  read more »

Even Before the Blackouts, Most Californians Considered Leaving

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For virtually all of its history from statehood in 1850 to 2000, California was a magnet drawing households from the rest of the United States for better lives. Indeed, in a nation that had its "American Dream," California had its own "California Dream."  There was no Oregon dream, despite its mountains , seashore and proximity to California, nor was there a Maine or South Carolina dream.  read more »

Can California Win the New Space Race?

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Buzz Aldrin, lunar module pilot, walks near the lunar module during the Apollo 11 extravehicular activity. (NASA file photo)

California may have gotten its global allure from the Gold Rush and the movies, but it’s planes, missiles and now drones and spaceships that have underpinned the state’s industrial emergence.

Today, after decades of rapid decline, California’s aerospace employment is growing again, albeit slowly, providing a new chance for the state’s productive economy.  read more »

Silicon Valley's Useful Idiots

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Tech elites paid for the rope that may hang them.

The term “useful idiot,” often credited to Vladimir Lenin, applies to people supporting a cause or movement injurious to their own self-interest.  read more »

The Real Conflict Is Not Racial or Sexual, It's Between The Ascendant Rich Elites and The Rest Of Us

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Despite the media’s obsession on gender, race and sexual orientation, the real and determining divide in America and other advanced countries lies in the growing conflict between the ascendant upper class and the vast, and increasingly embattled, middle and working classes. We’ve seen this fight before. The current conflict fundamentally reprises the end of the French feudal era, where the Third Estate, made up of the commoners, challenged the hegemony of the First Estate and Second, made up of the church and aristocracy.  read more »