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

Dave Winer On Silicon Valley And Tech: 'Clowns To The Left Of Me, Jokers To The Right'

Posted by Tom Foremski - November 21, 2014

Lem Cyberiad

Dave Winer is a serial innovator and father of the Blogosphere, if such a thing exists anymore. His recent post is one of his best. It's worth reading because he's a long-time Silicon Valley watcher and he brings his long experience with the tech industry to the article.

Stuck in the middle

 

The latest Uber "scandal" makes a few things clear, to me at least.

The tech industry needs to change, to adjust to the reality that it's no longer a startup industry. Our products are used everywhere. They are infrastructure, culture, part of our work and family lives, our intellectual, financial and emotional lives. 

Tech products are utilities, not miracles. ...Tech is the fabric of our civilization. It's not a mystery

I agree. In my writing and speaking I often remind people that we are in a post-technology world. Our technologies are disappearing from view, into the woodwork, into the everyday framework of our lives.  

Tech reporting, with its dreary focus on products, is an anachronism, the true tech stories will come soon, they are the people stories, stories about the transformation of people and communities.  

Dave Winer writes:

Sources now have the power of the press. There is nothing surprising or wrong with the idea of a tech company investigating reporters. The idea that only reporters have the ability to publish is a 20th century idea. Now anyone who wants to speak can start a blog or a podcast and get up and speak.

...What an embarrassment for the industry. That the tech press is willing to go to war over Pando, just shows how ridiculous the whole thing has gotten.

Dave is right: anyone can start a blog and publish but the Uber scandal is not about that. And it is not about Pando's coverage of Uber. The press is not defending Pando it is attacking clueless Uber execs.

It is about Uber trying to intimidate critics in the media as it preps for an IPO. And that's unacceptable. Everyone has a right to publish but everyone does not have the right to threaten and intimidate.

[True, there's nothing much to find out, most journalists live lives of shocking normality — private investigators would die of boredom.]

Dave Winer ends,

Our work is important for the future of our civilization. Let's get serious about what we're doing. It's important. We should have fun, but let's behave like what we do matters, because it does.

The work does matter and clueless tech execs will come and go.  Meanwhile, time marches us onwards, into a common future where our technologies create a blended world of analog and digital experiences that will help us to better understand ourselves.

The progress of technology will gradually distill and discover the essence of what makes us human, and what's not, what's replicable and machinable. It's an exciting and scary journey.

[Stanislaw Lem brings us stories directly from that future. I recommend, "The Cyberiad" (illustration above) "Tireless themes of absurdity, satire and philosophy."]

- - -

News Is Not Free: Uber Exec's Threat Against Reporters Reflects Ugly Amoral Culture -SVW

The Future Of Tech Journalism In A Post-Technology World -SVW

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The Holmes Report names Tom Foremski one of the top 25 Innovators of 2013.




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