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Silicon Valley’s Youth Problem -

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Fantastic article -- well worth reading the whole thing.

This paragraph really stuck with me:

The marketplace is competitive, and if you’re not working on this or that potentially industry-disrupting idea, someone else will get there before you. But it breaks down when you begin to question whether or not your idea is actually industry-disrupting or, really, meaningful at all. I was asking a friend, a former computer-science major who now works for a hedge fund in New York, why he chose finance instead of tech. “There are so few start-ups that are doing things that are worthwhile to me,” he said. I protested: “What about Facebook?” He looked at me, and I thought about it. No doubt, Facebook has changed the world. Facebook has made it easier to communicate, participate, pontificate, track down new contacts and vet romantic prospects. But in other moments, it has also made me nauseatingly jealous of my friends, even as I’m aware of its unreality. Everything on Facebook, like an Instagram photo, is experienced through a soft-glow filter. And for all the noise, the pinging notifications and flashing lights, you never really feel productive on Facebook. A couple of months ago, I installed a Google Chrome extension called “Kill News Feed,” built by Neal Wu, a senior at Harvard who incidentally previously worked at the social network. Now when I absent-mindedly surf to, my News Feed is gloriously blank except for one line of text: “Don’t get distracted by Facebook!” it says.

The article goes on to explain why there are so few 50-somethings in startups.

One thought provoking post that got my attention thanks for posting  this is what made me smile... "But hopefully, others among us will go to work on tech’s infrastructure, bringing the spirit of the new guard into the old"

That's a really good line.

What I love most about this New York Times magazine article is that the author realizes that the young people in Silicon Valley have the kind of opportunities that very few others in the world have, and yet, that's neither going to necessarily bring them happiness nor bring good to the world.

We see the best minds of the Millennial generation focussed on... things that don't matter.

Microsoft Founder Bill Gates doesn’t worry that Silicon Valley is the home of billion-dollar texting apps and farming games:

“Innovation in California is at its absolute peak right now. Sure, half of the companies are silly, and you know two-thirds of them are going to go bankrupt, but the dozen or so ideas that emerge out of that are going to be really important,” Gates told Rolling Stone, in a wide-ranging interview on government surveillance, financial inequality, immigration reform, and the cultural backlash against Silicon Valley.

Despite our political problems, Gates remains optimistic, “Our modern lifestyle is not a political creation. Before 1700, everybody was poor as hell. Life was short and brutish. It wasn’t because we didn’t have good politicians; we had some really good politicians,” he argues.

What really lifted humanity out of poverty was technology, from electricity to genetics research.

“Innovation is the real driver of progress,” he said.


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