Silicon Valley and the war

Does Silicon Valley have a split personality in the war? The Frisco Chronicle thinks we do, because we produce high-tech weaponry but harbor a boatload of anti-war sentiment. Wind River’s president Jerry Fiddler’s not confused:

“This war is a catalyst that is shining light on a military that is always strong and present and here for one reason — to keep us safe,” he said in an e-mail. “The world today is a safer place because of American military capabilities. We’ve seen those capabilities used to end conflict recently in Kosovo, Bosnia, Rwanda and elsewhere. We owe a debt to our soldiers.”

And neither was former deputy secretary of defense David Packard.

But others are: Bob Taylor, ex- of Xerox PARC, Lee Felsenstein, once a personal computer pioneer of sorts, and a number of the elf bloggers, like Marc Canter, David Weinberger, Howard Rheingold, Lisa Rein, Meg Hourihan, Steve Kirsch, Joi Ito, et. al. Generally, the techies who oppose the war — and implicitly support a status quo that leaves Saddam Hussein in power — are not engineers, but “social implications of technology” people, self-appointed visionaries, dot-commers, and marketeers. The reality-based thinking that engineers practice doesn’t leave room for coddling dictators and sanctioning torture, so we want regime change. Besides, many of us have worked for managers who remind us of the Butcher of Baghdad, so we naturally sympathize with the oppressed.

Hollywood’s a different story, of course, because it’s full of the fuzzy-minded, who tend to have the same tunnel-vision we find in the Valley’s paratechnicals.

4 thoughts on “Silicon Valley and the war”

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  2. Where did you find my position on the Iraqi war stated?

    And do you agree with Jerry Fiddler that American military might stopped anything in Rwanda?

    Inquiring minds want to know…

  3. Lee, your opposition to the liberation of Iraq was stated in the article I linked: “Lee Felsenstein, who invented the Osborne 1, the world’s first portable computer, blasted what he called the political decadence behind the Bush administration’s decision to invade Iraq.”

    Is that a misquote?

    And yes, I agree that American military might could have stopped the genocide in Rwanda had they been given a green light to do so. Mr. Clinton now readily admits he made a mistake in not responding when he could have.

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