And if our future was played on the side of Silicon Valley?

Here is a brief history of Silicon Valley, the “new center of the world”: the cradle of the digital revolution is the world’s sixth largest economy, ahead of France! Its slogan is simple: “We own the future. »

If we have to find a starting point for the history of Silicon Valley, the creation of Stanford in 1891 is obvious. It will be at the base of the magic triangle: “State, business, university”, keystone of the success of the Valley.

Several inventions will accompany the development of this region: invention of the vacuum tube which will give birth to television, radio, radars, satellites, transistor, semiconductors, microprocessors which will boost the computer industry then the arrival of the internet with webs 1, 2 and 3 today, the advent of the internet being the ultimate form of the free market, an era of deregulation synonymous with the end of the state or at least its narrowing.

For its heroes, we can list from Hewlett Packard to Larry Page (Google), the greatest entrepreneurs from Stanford, those behind Facebook, Snapchat, GE, Kodak, Cisco, Yahoo…

In the early days of computing, hackers (originally MIT students) dreamed of human-enhancing technology, free, decentralized technology. Their enemy has always been the state and the politicians; their goal: to perfect man. They see human nature as weak and flawed.

This philosophy has disappeared, gradually being replaced by an ultra-capitalistic ecosystem that wants to replace humans with machines.

It is the beginning of venture capitalists and business angels and the new gold rush (this theme is recurrent in the history of California).

The digital revolution is the extension of the “libertarian” tradition established for a long time in the United States. It is the power of individuals against the collective.

Nick Clegg, former leader of the British Liberal Democrats hired by Facebook in 2018, defines his political position as follows: “The left is obsessed with the state. The right worships the market. We, as liberals, believe in individuals, in people who have power and create opportunities. Macronism in France is a very good example of this.

In politics, the left and the right are replaced by the pros and the anti-techs. The buzzword is “disruption” or “uberization” of the economy: a new company enters a market losing money until it gets rid of its competition. The consumer no longer has any choice but to use its services… Of course, prices will increase later: this is the case of Uber vs taxis, Airbnb vs hotels, Google vs other search engines…

The Silicon Valley model is ultra-monopolistic, this is where the artificial intelligence (AI) developed in the 1960s in the SAIL (Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory) comes into play. AI has exploded in recent years with machine learning made possible by the proliferation of big data on the internet.

Blockchain technology will accelerate the decentralization of the internet, the creation of virtual currency and the creation of new worlds called metaverses… We are always in the idea of ​​bypassing States and their regulations.

Peter Thiel, one of the big players in Silicon Valley, is very radical. What he basically wants is to destroy the institutions he considers oppressive. And for him, technology can help. In fact, it embodies Silicon Valley. He is one of a handful of brilliant people who want to make the decisions on their own, rule the world and replace all institutions. These people, called hard-line “libertarians,” are anti-democratic, hyper-individualistic, selfish, and anti-social.

The Seasteading Institute, supported in particular by Peter Thiel, plans to create artificial islands in the open sea, outside state jurisdictions and their binding laws. Large companies want to emancipate themselves from States to push their technological experiments further, particularly in the fields of biotechnology, nanotechnology and medical sciences.

We talk about the quantified self or “quantified self” to measure all the possible parameters of its existence thanks to connected objects, sensors and other smartphones.

The wildest dreams are now within reach: to create a machine superior to man, to prolong human life and even to achieve immortality and finally to transport our spirit outside our body and inside computers.

Singularity University is the temple of Silicon Valley, its church. It professes a total, blind belief in technology and its transformative potential – positive, it is necessary to specify… It disseminates a transhumanist vision of the future. Man must and will merge with technology.

This is what awaits us (really) in the years to come!

Issa JAZRA

Texts published in the Courier section engage only their authors. In this space, L’Orient-Le Jour offers its readers the opportunity to express their ideas, their comments and their reflections on various subjects, provided that the remarks are neither defamatory nor offensive or racist.

Here is a brief history of Silicon Valley, the “new center of the world”: the cradle of the digital revolution is the world’s sixth largest economy, ahead of France! Its slogan is simple: “We own the future. “If there is a starting point for the history of Silicon Valley, the creation of Stanford in 1891 stands out as a…

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