Thomas Friedman—The revolution now underway in Silicon Valley

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I was on Wall Street two weeks ago, and I've been in Silicon Valley this past week. What a contrast! While Wall Street is being rattled by a social revolution, Silicon Valley is being by transformed by another technology revolution - one that is taking the world from connected to hyperconnected and individuals from empowered to superempowered. It is the biggest leap forward in the IT revolution since the mainframe computer was replaced by desktops and the Web. It is going to change everything about how companies and societies operate.

The latest phase in the IT revolution is being driven by the convergence of social media - Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Groupon, Zynga - with the proliferation of cheap wireless connectivity and Web-enabled smartphones and "the cloud" - those enormous server farms that hold and constantly update thousands of software applications, which are then downloaded (as if from a cloud) by users on their smartphones, making them into incredibly powerful devices that can perform myriad tasks.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate Life

9 Comments
Posted October 26, 2011 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Capt. Father Warren wrote:

While Wall Street is being rattled by a social revolution

Is it really?  Seems WS is more concerned about the Euro debt crisis, how to wiggle amongst the latest Dodd-Frank laws spit out by Washington, and then the prime function of WS which is to make as much profit as possible for the investors in WS.

If my mutual funds, stocks, and financial advisors are spending time watch the OWS “useful idiots” instead of making me the highest possible returns on the money I have entrusted to them, they will be fired.

Similarly, Silicon Valley is doing its thing; not to connect the world, but to meet market needs in order to generate the highest profits possible on money entrusted to them.

Friedman’s hyperbole is just food for NYT readers who gush over the melodrama he writes.

October 26, 8:22 am | [comment link]
2. evan miller wrote:

I agree 100% Capt. Deacon Warren.  Friedman is, as usual, full of it.

October 26, 9:35 am | [comment link]
3. Connecticutian wrote:

“...biggest leap forward in the IT revolution since the mainframe computer was replaced by desktops and the Web.”

I’ll have to run down to our data center to see why all those mainframe engineers are loitering around with nothing to do!

October 26, 10:00 am | [comment link]
4. Creedal Episcopalian wrote:

The cloud is a bunch of vapor. Would you entrust all of your data to Microsoft? Google?

October 26, 10:08 am | [comment link]
5. Teatime2 wrote:

#4—Yeah, that’s what I don’t understand. Why do people entrust so much of their lives and give up privacy to a phone? I’ve used Virgin Mobile for years and now that they Android models and really inexpensive monthly service for them, my son has been trying to convince me that I should go that route so I can have “apps.” Granted, some of the apps look like they might be helpful but I feel weird about giving away so much of myself, my shopping choices, privacy/location, and likes/dislikes in the bargain.

I have a very simple phone that I only use for calling and texting. I think I’d like to keep it that way. If I lost my phone (which cost me about $15 a couple of years ago), the only worry I’d have is that someone would use up all of my minutes and I’d have to buy another phone. I don’t understand why people want to have so much personal and financial data stored in their Android phones. I do get why businesses love it, though!

I am thinking of getting an E-reader (Kindle color knock-off) this Christmas, however. The autoimmune stuff has affected my eyesight and I think it might be an easier way for me to read. But i know e-readers are basically tablets that run Android systems. Are they as intrusive on one’s privacy as smartphones are? This is certainly turning into the stuff of Sci Fi prognostication, isn’t it?

October 26, 5:54 pm | [comment link]
6. Cennydd13 wrote:

Thanks, but I’m sticking with my basic flip-type cell phone with a built-in camera..  I neither need nor want all of that extra stuff.

October 26, 6:13 pm | [comment link]
7. Cennydd13 wrote:

And I don’t text.

October 26, 6:14 pm | [comment link]
8. Teatime2 wrote:

Haha, Cennydd, that’s what I have, except it slides rather than flips. smile I only text my son because he doesn’t have many talk minutes but he does have unlimited text. It has to be just a quick conversation or inquiry, though. I’m horribly slow at texting, lol.

October 26, 7:43 pm | [comment link]
9. Cennydd13 wrote:

And if I want access to my email, I’ll use either my own computer or the one at the hotel where I happen to be staying.

October 26, 8:22 pm | [comment link]
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