When it comes to visions of the way that technology will intersect with society in the future, Silicon Valley has a near monopoly. It’s been nearly 30 years since Richard Barbrook and Andy Cameron published the essay The Californian Ideology, which they say naturalized and gave a “technological proof to a libertarian political philosophy, and therefore foreclosing on alternative futures,” a “faith” that is “made possible through a nearly universal belief in technological determinism.”
Now, the economic power of Silicon Valley has left its billionaire class fairly certain it is above reproach, unchecked and unchallenged, even as some of the biggest firms spawned there are locked in a staring contest with governments in Washington, Brussels and beyond.
To talk more about the ways in which Silicon Valley elites have captured so much of what people define as “progress” and the pronouncements of some individuals who make wild promises about the abundant future that technology will supposedly deliver, Tech Policy Press spoke to Dave Karpf, who has been thinking about these issues for some time. He is the author of The MoveOn Effect: The Unexpected Transformation of American Political Advocacy, published in May 2012 by Oxford University Press, and Analytic Activism: Digital Listening and the New Political Strategy published in December 2016 by Oxford University Press.