Beating up on the nerds

Joel Kotkin pens a provocative critique of the new wealthy of Silicon Valley, and their growing political aspirations.

It’s a characteristically good piece of writing, full of much new reporting and many specifics. One still stretches to liken this lot of nerds to the industrialists at the turn of the 20th century, though. The Googlers’ private planes might keep people up at night; the Carnegiers’ private lake killed two thousand people.

The victims of the smartphone boom are real, and as Kotkin points out, Chengdu and Guangzhou aren’t represented in the U.S. Congress. But no one is about to stop using smartphones.

And while the techies’ endless tour of TV shows grows tedious, have they really succeeded in making many political changes at the expense of the public good?

Whatever their aspirations, neither the Googlers nor the Koch Brothers, George Soros, Chris Hughes, Shelly Adelson nor any of a dozen other favorite targets has managed to install a puppet regime in Washington.

So, a bunch of guys are throwing tasteless parties and trying to pay as little as possible in taxes. What else is new?

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