Relying on technology to be the ‘big other’ vs politics is exactly what the technocrats who ran the soviet union strived for. During the 60s, 70s and 80s, it was the big computers in gosplan that made sure the economy went to plan.
The new rhetoric is the same blind faith in technology. Except the difference is that normal people are supposed to suffer under market forces, while the big tech firms suck from the government teat.
What isn’t said is that technology development historically and now comes from public money. The difference between invention and innovation is that innovation is the ability to suck money out of the value invention creates. Public money pays for invention and the private VCs figure out how to draw blood.
That’s actually one of Marx’s most popular metaphors for capital…
You’re using “technology” to mean two different and almost unrelated things in your argument. In the case of the Soviet Union, you are using it to mean “particular big new machines”, which you are using as a sort of metonym for the Organization-Man-driven government bureaus that employed those particular big machines. In the case of the “new rhetoric”, you’re using it to mean “the process of inventing and adopting new machines [and software and other processes],” which I guess is largely carried out by people like Intel process engineers, Bram Cohen sleeping on his friends' couches and living off credit cards, John Carmack, and Linus Torvalds.
The total incoherence of this argument is a perfect example of why I think the word “technology” is unhelpful and misleading. “Technology” is so polysemic that almost any statement one can make about ‘technology" can be either obviously true or obviously nonsense, depending on which of the many interpretations for the word you choose.
Marc Andreessen is a major architect of our current technologically mediated reality. As the leader of the team that created the Mosaic Web browser in the early ’90s and as co-founder of Netscape, Andreessen, possibly more than any single other person, helped make the Internet accessible to the masses.
Typical dramatized journalistic bullshit. Salon apparently felt the need to make this “Marc Andreessen” seem more important than he really is in order to make his viewpoint seem more important and representative (and thus more reprehensible).
How is Marc Andreessen more important than Tim Berners-Lee or Vint Cerf vis-a-vis the Internet? Ridiculous nonsense.
To be fair, I think the focus of the article is on Andreesen’s role as a venture capitalist and the influence that this brings to bear on Silicon Valley. He is clearly not in the same league ad Cerf or TBL, but in the current era his firm–and others like them–do wield (disproportionate) influence both financially and politically.
Confirmation bias writ large…