newmedia on Sun, 25 May 2014 12:18:19 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Star Wars and Silicon Valley


As can be seen on any Google Maps, in the 200 block of University Avenue, there is VANS shop with a giant Star Wars display in the window.  

On my way to a meeting at the Institute for the Future, I walk in and declare, "I'd like some Yoda shoes."  Without a blink, the clerk says, "Like everyone else, you'll have to wait for June 1st."  

So, I try on some of the same cut-of-shoe.  I'm a 10 1/2 -- so now I can order them online.

Star Wars really means something around here.  This is where the SDI flubber hit the road.  This is where Jay "The Leaker" Keyworth did his magic tricks.  Way up in space (without ever getting off the ground.)  This is where the "evil empire" was finally defeated.  You see -- the USSR has no Silicon Valley (still).

The VANS generation has no idea about any of that.  They are busy designing hover-boards so they can flash their Yoda shoes.

The Cold War is dead; long live the Cold War.

"The Singularity gets no respect where I come from," I am told by a Whole Earth stalwart.

"When we started making microprocessors, there was no need to make moral decisions but now whatever you do is filled with moral implications," a veteran of Moore's Law tells me.

"The problem with Silicon Valley," an original Silicon Valley journalist says,"is that it's filled with really smart people without any brains."

The courtyard at the Rosewood, on Thursday's "Cougar Night." has three black Ferrari 458s poised by the door ready to whisk the lucky MILFs off to more secluded rendezvouses.

The owner/founder of Bucks walks by the table and my breakfast companion introduces us.  Jamis, whose account of the recent TED 2014 decorates the front of his "steal this menu," seems a little confused when complimented on the Abby Hoffman reference.

"Oh yeah, that," he concedes,"You know, they're going to start filming a television series here soon.  Startups pitching their deals to the VCs who eat here all the time."

Anil Kumar walks by and I'm introduced.  Anil was once the head of the McKinsey & Company offices in Silicon Valley.  Until he became the "star witness" in the trial of Raj Rajaratnum and his Galleon "gang of four."  It seems that his son has just graduated from Harvard Business School, where 100 of the 500 graduates got a job at McKinsey (and the other 400 wanted one.)  The junior Kumar was not picked.

"Remember the earliest settlers up north were the Russians," I'm reminded.  And, in the words of someone who recently met with him for an hour, "Sergey is just a stoner," which gets me thinking about Dmitri Istkov and the one place on earth where the Singularity *is* being taken seriously.  Moscow.

It appears that the HBO comedy, "Silicon Valley," has had its intended effect.  All is not well in Mudville.  The Empire has struck back.  Yes, you can see Siberia from here.

Mark Stahlman
Cardinal Hotel
Palo Alto

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