While reading a recent article on MIT Tech Review that goes by the name The Purpose of Silicon Valley, we were inspired to take this as a topic for our discussion.
To sum up the meet, we worked on the following lines from the article and discussed about the way technology is perceived by present world, specially in Silicon Valley.
This town used to think big – the integrated circuit, personal computers, the Internet. Are we really leveraging all that intellectual power and creativity creating Instagram and dating apps? Is this truly going to change the world?
Withdrawal from Basic Sciences
People say, there are paradigm shifts in the way scientific research is done, and now is the age of Data Assisted Research.
The history of the legendary Bell Labs tells a different story. Its focus has shifted over the years, not much because of the inevitable paradigm shift, but more because of market demands, while other holy seats of development, including CERN, haven’t yielded to their core principles and have maintained sanctity.
Persistence and faith
Much more important issue that came out of the discussion is of persistence, and the way its rewarded in present world. Perhaps, making an app for an idea is more rewarding than researching through a long and harsh road to solve cancer. Perhaps this is the future, the way we are understanding social situations in much greater details, the way these apps are optimizing the usage of resources. But here is something that is a prick in the eye,
The old school of Science is getting neglected.
A better way might be to follow the change while having faith in the fundamentals that have powered us to this time and, most importantly, have provided the platform to sit and play with shiny new toys.
When information is cheap, attention becomes expensive
– James Gleick
Here are a few followup reads to understand what exactly is the situation and how the technology culture has been swinging in recent decades.
- Silicon Valley Youth Problem
- Bell Labs kills Fundamental Physics research
- Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution
- The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood