Wednesday, March 21, 2012

How the Government Built Silicon Valley

From the article: "The fact that most of the innovations in Silicon Valley can trace their source back to federal support for research seems to escape these folks. In fact, Silicon Valley would still be full of apricot trees without federal support for research…. No, Silicon Valley libertarians want to deny all this. You do not need collective action, they would say, to solve problems (that is, all of us as taxpayers contributing a bit each year so that government agencies like DARPA, ARPA-E, NIH, NIST, and NSF can fund leading-edge innovation around the nation). No, just rely on the rich guys…. But for cyber-libertarians, the world is moving to self-organizing systems where people are empowered by IT networks. Big organizations — government and industry — "don't get it." (That phrase is a cyber-libertanian's favorite insult. If you don't agree with them, you just "don't get it.")… Techno-utopians base their visions on the fact that there are more scientists and engineers on the planet than ever before — and therefore there should be more innovation than ever. It is important to remember, however, that innovation is getting harder to achieve at the same rate, even with the growth of resources we throw at it." Read more