The Coming Backlash Against Silicon Valley

facebookVia the Economist, Adrian Wooldridge on seeing the giant tech corporations for what they really are:

Geeks have turned out to be some of the most ruthless capitalists around. A few years ago the new economy was a wide-open frontier. Today it is dominated by a handful of tightly held oligopolies. Google and Apple provide over 90% of the operating systems for smartphones. Facebook counts more than half of North Americans and Europeans as its customers.

The lords of cyberspace have done everything possible to reduce their earthly costs. They employ remarkably few people: with a market cap of $290 billion Google is about six times bigger than GM but employs only around a fifth as many workers.

At the same time the tech tycoons have displayed a banker-like enthusiasm for hoovering up public subsidies and then avoiding taxes. The American government laid the foundations of the tech revolution by investing heavily in the creation of everything from the internet to digital personal assistants. But tech giants have structured their businesses so that they give as little back as possible.

81 Comments on "The Coming Backlash Against Silicon Valley"

  1. Liam_McGonagle | Feb 14, 2014 at 11:23 am |

    Are you trying to validate bullying? So now it’s okay to beat up on these pastey creeps as kids because they’re going to bankrupt the public treasury when they’re grown up?

    If so, I’m on board.

  2. American Cannibal | Feb 14, 2014 at 11:54 am |

    RIP San Fran.

    • American Cannibal | Feb 14, 2014 at 12:11 pm |

      Boy, I sure am up for a little play today… But:

      18 hrs past deadline +
      a massive amount of Amphetamines+
      writer’s block =
      AC looking for firearm to kill CPU and stop editor’s emailed whiinniinngg

      U HEAR ME BOSS!?
      Internet is dis-con-nected.

      • John123485882 | Feb 14, 2014 at 12:59 pm |

        matt, its friday asshole. you’re a fucking lazy talent cocksucker. you’re fucking me over, you fuck cock fuck. i want pages not excuses. email me fucking pages asshole. you’re wasting my time and the edits money, dickhead sending me to this shit you stupid fucking cunt. i need work now so these people can start to do their jobs. ttyl.

        • Ahahahahaha… now that’s funny. Crack the whip on him. Make him pay.

          • Rhoid Rager | Feb 14, 2014 at 1:29 pm |

            deadlines suck…. but was that actually his editor getting on disinfo to crack the whip? that’s some serious follow-up!

          • Gratuitous internet performance piece?

          • Rhoid Rager | Feb 14, 2014 at 1:41 pm |

            likely. dude’s an artist.

          • American Cannibal | Feb 14, 2014 at 6:59 pm |

            Errr. Yeah. I thought it would be funny to send him an email with a link to this post, instead of actual work. My bad. Sorry this happened.

          • John123485882 | Feb 14, 2014 at 5:33 pm |

            bro, are you one of matt’s dumb internet friends?

          • Ahahahahah!

          • Rhoid Rager | Feb 14, 2014 at 10:37 pm |

            American Cystitis’s plan backfired. teehee.

          • Considering he cited Andy Kaufman, I still wonder. I haven’t laughed this hard in awhile. Not sure if it’s schadenfreude, and I should now feel like a dick. or in genuine awe of a finely crafted multilevel virtual joke/performance.

          • American Cannibal | Feb 15, 2014 at 9:59 am |

            It all got ruinnned.

          • Cortacespedes | Feb 15, 2014 at 10:07 am |

            Nawww man. The deletion was the funniest bit!!

            It just took a turn for the genius.

          • American Cannibal | Feb 15, 2014 at 10:36 am |


          • I think dude may have just got banned too. lol…

          • American Cannibal | Feb 15, 2014 at 1:00 pm |


          • If your intention was to make laughs. It worked. For the record, I was not laughing at you. I was laughing at the awkwardness of the situation.


            Oh right, deleted comments. Such is life. Impermanence.

          • John123485882 | Feb 14, 2014 at 5:38 pm |

            yo. when you see that mother fucker tell him to callme ’cause i have to head out and he’s not picking up the fucking phone. i know he likes to waste fucking time doing this stupid shit instead of being responsible and doing what we fucking pay him to do. you assholes think this is one big fucking joke. yay, ha fucking ha. you’re all a bunch of losers, matt the most. and if you see this dickhead MATT, you better get me pages by tonight, fucker. i got people coming in tomorrow because your a cunt. stop it with the drugs and pussy a-hole. you aint a-list yet.

          • 10-4, you got it.

          • John123485882 | Feb 14, 2014 at 5:44 pm |

            hey fuck you bro. this isn’t a fucking joke. get a life loser, internet loser. have fun jerking off dick

          • How did you know I was jerking off? Shit, you the NSA?

          • American Cannibal | Feb 14, 2014 at 6:58 pm |

            Not cool, John.

          • Rhoid Rager | Feb 14, 2014 at 10:33 pm |

            That went well.

          • American Cannibal | Feb 14, 2014 at 6:58 pm |

            I am so, so sorry, Echar. This has gotten out of hand. I feel terrible.


          • No worries. I laughed my ass off. I figured it was a joke. I hope it hasn’t caused you any losses.

          • American Cannibal | Feb 14, 2014 at 6:57 pm |

            Duuude, John. WTF? This is embarrassing. I thought you’d at least get a chuckle, not fly off the handle like usual. Kids read this, you know. Leave everyone here alone, you’re pissed at me. I get it.

            Listen, the piece is done. I buckled down today and it’s finished. I just need another hour or two, tops – promise. I want to give it one more read before I let it go. You’re gonna love it.

            (BTW – your avatar fucking sucks. Now you know why you’ll never be a creative. And your choice in language is crude & rude, considering your position. Grow up.)

          • John123485882 | Feb 14, 2014 at 7:51 pm |

            i dont give a shit what you think. I’m at dinner with people and can’t be playing these games on the phone. call me at home at 10, jackass.

          • American Cannibal | Feb 14, 2014 at 8:10 pm |

            Sent. Copy editor better do a good spell check on that piece of brilliance.

          • John123485882 | Feb 14, 2014 at 9:10 pm |

            got it, tx. matt, stop sending me emails through this shit. youre not funny.

          • He’s certainly nowhere near as funny as you are.

          • John123485882 | Feb 14, 2014 at 10:29 pm |

            i dont give a fuck loser

          • Rhoid Rager | Feb 14, 2014 at 10:32 pm |

            what publishing you working out of? you just do fiction? or do you work with non-fiction too?

          • American Cannibal | Feb 14, 2014 at 10:36 pm |

            Yo, dude. We should stop. He’s seriously pissed. Sorry.

          • Rhoid Rager | Feb 14, 2014 at 10:38 pm |

            It was actually a straight inquiry–no joking.
            Remember, American Cystitis, what comes after Hubris… 😉

          • American Cannibal | Feb 14, 2014 at 10:42 pm |

            This idiot is clueless. Everyone fucking hates him, but they keep him around because he’s a dick, keeps everyone in line. He’s just jealous.

          • American Cannibal | Feb 14, 2014 at 10:42 pm |

            I got to go. See ya. Sorry.

          • Rhoid Rager | Feb 14, 2014 at 10:43 pm |

            Seriously, though. What publishing house is it? When is your work slated for publication?

          • American Cannibal | Feb 14, 2014 at 11:06 pm |

            Media, you know.

          • American Cannibal | Feb 15, 2014 at 9:59 am |

            Dude! Look how they messed this thread up! I can’t believe this. I really didn’t think someone would delete this delightfully funny bit.

          • Why should we stop? We could easily give him an aneurysm and you wouldn’t have to deal with him any more.

          • Death by blogging.

          • American Cannibal | Feb 14, 2014 at 10:36 pm |

            Sorry, Andrew. He’s actually really angry. Like animal angry.

          • Oh, it’s clear he’s really angry. That’s what’s so funny (to me). I’m laughing at him, not with him.

          • American Cannibal | Feb 15, 2014 at 9:59 am |

            Disinfo killed the laughter. I am sad now.

          • Well, you know, sending him here wasn’t the brightest of ideas. Perhaps there are decisions you shouldn’t make while on “a massive amount of Amphetamines.”

          • American Cannibal | Feb 15, 2014 at 10:19 am |

            I can’t function without my uppers! All day, all night. Moderation is for cowards, like Disinfo.

          • Well then, don’t let the door hit you on the way out, hero.

          • American Cannibal | Feb 14, 2014 at 9:38 pm |


            Stop responding. Your boss loves me, so does Lewis. He thinks I’m hilarious.

          • John123485882 | Feb 14, 2014 at 10:27 pm |

            dick, stop. you sound like a fucking jackass right now MATT. i don’t have time for this shit you made me look like a fucking idiot in front of the EIC today, asshole. fuck you. you should be unemployable. lewis is old and retired dips hit, get that through your fucked up head. check your fucking email. this shit is fine. talk on monday.

          • American Cannibal | Feb 14, 2014 at 10:39 pm |

            Cool. Thanks, John. I’ll check my email and we’ll take this offline. Could we talk Tuesday instead because of the Holiday? I’m busy Monday with projects, Tuesday is just easier.

          • John123485882 | Feb 14, 2014 at 10:47 pm |

            fuck you call me monday. im done, you and your druggie friends stop emailing, dickheads. phone is OFF

          • American Cannibal | Feb 14, 2014 at 10:48 pm |

            Monday’s a HOLIDAY, ASSHOLE!

  3. BuzzCoastin | Feb 14, 2014 at 12:12 pm |

    yeah, you would think that rich geeks would act different
    from rich non-geeks
    but money is not a respector of persons
    and it makes it users greedy
    regardless of their background or personal inclinations

    • Simon Valentine | Feb 14, 2014 at 2:34 pm |

      and the jealousy accelerates disparity
      and the disparity increases both ease and difficulty
      and the easy getting easier and the difficult getting more difficult is all just going to have to [insert solution]
      {error: stream identified, bracket flow channel detected, initialize eminent domain, claim the flow for dams and water wheels}

      cuz when everybody has ingenuity
      nobody has ingenuitious conservation
      and when somebody has ingenuitious conservation
      everything’s still broken anyway, because fail, just another wheel for the waters of blame and the dams of ‘authority’, because the human animal is a broke-ass two-legged ant failure

  4. emperorreagan | Feb 14, 2014 at 12:15 pm |

    Why do you think DARPA was funding such a network? So geeks (scientists) working at government labs, universities, and private labs could share information. The military subsequently separated its military network from the one intended for academic users and maintains separate networks to this day.

    Government funding through the NSF also played a huge role in the subsequent development and commercialization of the internet. Agencies like NASA and the DOE got on board with funding networking initiatives, too, for the same reason. Mosaic, for instance, was developed using federal grants, among the many things the NSF funded.

    Of course, the original financing of the R&D and commercialization effort isn’t the only subsidy given to tech companies, nor the only one referenced in the article. The companies that have capitalized on the internet play the tax/subsidy game as well as anyone.

  5. American Cannibal | Feb 15, 2014 at 9:51 am |

    Whomever (whoever? Whatever)… Yeah, thanks a lot A-HOLES. This goes out to this idiots who flagged my boss and/or the MODS who deleted his comments from this post. F U, pea-brained morons. YOU RUINED A VERY FUNNY and HIGHLY CONTROLLED BIT.

    Get a life, you uptight ninnys. I’d love to know who deleted those comments before I had a chance to archive them. Come out the closed, JERK. You anti-Speech, K U N T. Seriously, whoever did this is a giant douche-wad that I’d like to flush down the toilet. You’re a god damnn vandal and nothing more. Get a real job.

    • I was the one who flagged a couple of his posts, because he started insulting other disinfonauts. I don’t have the power of deletion, however.

      No apologies.

      • American Cannibal | Feb 15, 2014 at 10:21 am |

        Really? Who did he insult? YOU, Rhoids, and Echar — all in on the joke. Anyone else? HMMM????

      • American Cannibal | Feb 15, 2014 at 10:22 am |

        Way to go, genius. I would never expect an apology from you because CLUELESS. ^^^^^

      • American Cannibal | Feb 15, 2014 at 10:24 am |

        Dude. I can’t believe you admit to flagging. U, Sir, Are a loser. Only losers flag posts, even the most retched, vile comments should never be deleted. That’s called censorship.

        Andrew, you’re in the dog house with me. Later.

    • I am still laughing. This joke keeps giving.

      • American Cannibal | Feb 15, 2014 at 1:04 pm |

        ((he, he!))

        • Add them together!

          • American Cannibal | Feb 15, 2014 at 1:54 pm |


          • not like that!

          • American Cannibal | Feb 15, 2014 at 2:19 pm |

            I had the giggles all last night…did you?

          • I am still giggling. Good show, don’t let it get to your head,

          • American Cannibal | Feb 15, 2014 at 2:35 pm |

            Grrr.. I hate my boss.

          • Who doesn’t hate their boss?

          • American Cannibal | Feb 15, 2014 at 2:37 pm |

            It’s just, I’m embarrassed, you know? He made me look like an ass. And then today Matt Staggs called me a Troll! I want to cry.

          • I don’t know if I should take this seriously. If serious, you created this yourself. Use the experience to grow. As for embarrassment, psshhh! At least he didn’t post pics of you in drag (not that it’s a problem) or some other such way too revealing ugliness. This is coming from a dude that’s been homeless and eaten my fair share of humble pie. Hopefully those pics have been ruined. *wink

            If not serious. I suggest that you refrain from taking advantage of peoples kindness. Also don’t emotionally blackmail people. If it’s Andy Kaufman act. Mind blown.

            Finally…. Matt Staggs is fucking awesome. Don’t be a dick to him. I gotta run some errands. Later.

          • American Cannibal | Feb 15, 2014 at 3:00 pm |

            Who’s Andy Kaufman?

          • Who’s Pierrot?

          • American Cannibal | Feb 15, 2014 at 5:23 pm |


          • American Cannibal | Feb 15, 2014 at 2:42 pm |

            ((hey – go check out my replay post)) ((giggly!))

Comments are closed.