Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

Fun With Powerset: An Epedemic Of Thyroid Conditions in Silicon Valley. . . And My Ambulatory Hallucinations

Posted by Tom Foremski - May 12, 2008

I'm having fun using Powerset's semantic search technology on Wikipedia and Freebase. I used it to find out what semantic results it produced for the term "Silicon Valley."

That's how I came across an early newsletter from journalist Don Hoefler, who first used the term "Silicon Valley."

In one early issue of his newsletter from 1975 he cites a medical study that shows that Silicon Valley managers have a 75 per cent rate of thyroid problems compared with the overall population of 12 per cent -- all caused by work related stress!

The symptoms include: inability to translate thoughts into actions; rambling writing; inability to get ideas across; and "a tendency to sweep problems under the rug."

A psychologist is quoted: "A superior under stress will tend to feel more comfortable with weaker and less capable suboridnates. A subrdinate under stress will tend to feel that his boss is over-demanding and 'out to get him."

Anybody you know?

venturecapital.gif I also came across the Silicon Valley Tarot deck and an online reading. My question was: what should I do? In the context of Life, the Universe, and Everything.

I drew the cards: Salesman of Disks, Venture Capital, and Double Latte.

The meaning of this reading:

"You know, you should pay more attention to those ambulatory hallucinations you're having. Oh, sure: they'll say you're psychotic if you talk about them, but if you act on them, they'll think you're brilliant."

Excellent advice.

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