Update 3-4-13: Let it be known that I’ve come to basically agree with Jason’s POV in his Why We Can’t Solve Big Problems. At least I can admin it. My apologies to Jason.
Is Silicon Valley technology real technology? Hopefully that seems like a dumb question to you, but I must bring it up because of a guy named Jason Pontin, the editor of Technology Review, who seems to hate Silicon Valley and all that it stands for (it is certainly evident that he hates blogs that cover Silicon Valley like TechCrunch). You see, Jason feels that Silicon Valley is comprised of a bunch of “hypocrites” and people with “small ideas.” It’s all here in this article he wrote back in October titled Why We Can’t Solve Big Problems (it is interesting to note that the title is phrased in a way that makes him sound like he has all the answers). I reread this piece yesterday and take issue with a number of things.
On Technology Review’s about page is the following quote:
[quote]Our mission is to identify important new technologies—deciphering their practical impact and revealing how they will change our lives.[/quote]
Who decides what is important? Jason and Jason alone? In Jason’s article I linked to above, he seems to think going to Mars is a big enough idea to merit his attention–but how practical is that? Social networking, on the other hand, is useful to billions of individuals–including Pontin. Social networking is feasible and likely to succeed or be effective in real circumstances–the very definition of practical. How has social networking changed your life, Jason? Conversely, how has dreaming of going to Mars changed your life (in a practical way, of course)? In order for Jason himself to not be labeled hypocritical, he should cease using any technology coming out of Silicon Valley immediately–or put a cork in it. Seriously–he should put his money where his mouth is and cease the use of any technology that has any ties in Silicon Valley… although if he were to do that, it might make it hard to review and publish any “big” ideas. I wonder if Technology Review could even persist in this day and age without Silicon Valley innovations… no CMS to run the site, no social media accounts, no CRM, no iPhone/iPad/Mac, no analytics, no Google for research, no email?
Ironically, TR’s about page seems ...