February 2, 2017

There’s no escape from politics now

The United States and consequently much of the world are in political uproar. Much of that is about very general and vital issues such as war, peace or the treatment of women. But quite a lot of it is to some extent tech-industry-specific. The purpose of this post is outline how and why that is.

For example:

Because they involve grave threats to liberty, I see surveillance/privacy as the biggest technology-specific policy issues in the United States. (In other countries, technology-driven censorship might loom larger yet.) My views on privacy and surveillance have long been:

Given the recent election of a US president with strong authoritarian tendencies, that foot-dragging is much more important than it was before.

Other important areas of technology/policy overlap include:

And just over the past few days, the technology industry has united in opposing the Trump/Bannon restrictions on valuable foreign visitors.

Tech in the wider world

Technology generally has a huge impact on the world. One political/economic way of viewing that is:

Further, technology is affecting how people relate to each other, in multiple ways.

For those of us with hermit-like tendencies or niche interests, that may all be a net positive. But others view these changes less favorably.

Summing up: Technology induces societal changes of such magnitudes as to naturally cause (negative) political reactions.

And in case you thought I was exaggerating the political threat to the tech industry …

… please consider the following quotes from Trump’s most powerful advisor, Steve Bannon:

The “progressive plutocrats in Silicon Valley,” Bannon said, want unlimited ability to go around the world and bring people back to the United States. “Engineering schools,” Bannon said, “are all full of people from South Asia, and East Asia. . . . They’ve come in here to take these jobs.” …

“Don’t we have a problem with legal immigration?” asked Bannon repeatedly.

“Twenty percent of this country is immigrants. Is that not the beating heart of this problem?”

Related links

I plan to keep updating the list of links at the bottom of my post Politics and policy in the age of Trump. Also:


5 Responses to “There’s no escape from politics now”

  1. Politics and policy in the age of Trump | DBMS 2 : DataBase Management System Services on February 2nd, 2017 12:32 am

    […] The technology industry in particular is now up to its neck in politics. I gave quite a few examples to show why for tech folks there’s no escaping politics now. […]

  2. Cory Isaacson on February 3rd, 2017 10:50 am

    Very good post, I totally agree that as members of the tech community we have to take more responsibility for the impact of what we do. I recently have participated in various sessions in the Bay Area for new startups. The activity level is infectious with bright, motivated people, ideas and companies. We are changing the world for sure, and how we do it and what we enable will form a big part of the civilization we create for our future.

  3. Politics and policy in the age of Trump – Cloud Data Architect on February 4th, 2017 1:25 am

    […] The technology industry in particular is now up to its neck in politics. I gave quite a few examples to show why for tech folks there’s no escaping politics now. […]

  4. Stoking a fear and promising a fix | Strategic Messaging on February 15th, 2017 4:57 pm

    […] been insistent that everybody needs to pay attention to politics now, which is being conducted with greater cynicism than technology marketing ever could be. But in […]

  5. One bit of news in Trump’s speech | DBMS 2 : DataBase Management System Services on March 1st, 2017 12:26 am

    […] disagreements had been in their view of skilled, entrepreneurial founder-type immigrants: Bannon opposes them, but Trump has disagreed with his view. And as per the speech, Trump seems to be maintaining his […]

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