I believe Silicon Valley suffers from a broader problem, which is an almost evangelical belief that Capitalism is a meritocracy. It is not. I do not for a second dispute that many of the people who made their wealth in tech are brilliant, nor that they work hard. But brilliant people work hard all the time, all over the world and die in poverty and obscurity. As Malcolm Gladwell demonstrated in his book Ouliers, people such as the kind sponsor of this discussion (Bill Gates) benefited from an unique set of opportunities to do with background, timing, education and connections which were not universally available to others. I don’t hold it against them, it’s just that pointing out the fact that it’s not all down to their own “go-getter” attitude seems to go against gospel. The other related point is that capitalism, in its current form is just not sustainable, nor is it compatible with the information economy. We should have learned lessons from the dot.com crash and 2008 crisis, yet we’re busy burying our heads in the sand and making a lot of the same mistakes all over again. I’m not arguing for us all to give up material possessions and go live in a commune somewhere, but the excesses and extremes sanctioned by capitalism are just as ridiculous as that notion, only in a different way. There are alternatives, however, and I urge you to read Paul Mason’s excellent book Postcapitalism for some excellent background, insight and ideas around this. http://www.amazon.co.uk/PostCapitalism-Guide-Future-Paul-Mason/dp/1846147387/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1458668137&sr=8-1&keywords=paul+mason

Technology writer for FastCo, Quartz, The Next Web, Ars Technica, Wired + more. Consultant specializing in VR #MixedReality and Strategic Communications

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