Syntagma Digital
Editor, John Evans

Sunday with : Techmeme and Silicon Valley

Sundays are usually “put your hands up time” where I come from. In other words, a time to fess up to your faults. #

So here goes. I have an addiction. A serious addiction. It causes me no end of problems and sweaty-palmed angst. I am addicted to …

Techmeme! #

Like many a tech-oriented internet user, I find Gabe Rivera’s almost-perfect creation irresistible. There are times when it seems to be the centre of the universe, with huge galaxies and bright stars spinning off in vast numbers from this fiery firmament of knowledge and innovation. Heck, Syntagma is quite often in there too.

Okay, I’m exaggerating a bit to get your attention. Because there are also times — increasingly so — when a blanket of gloom settles over me as I trundle through the familiar stories on shiny new applications and hardware which deliver to the user the tiniest smidgeon of improvement over their current expensively-procured setup. And the orgasmic excitement over the tweeniest fall from grace, or the most overblown prediction, has to be experienced to be believed.

I was glad, therefore, to wake up this Sunday morning to a cool blast of common sense by Dave Winer. Spinning off a New York Times article about Silicon Valley, he pens the following :

“The truth is that the people of Silicon Valley toil to find security in money, never getting there, while avoiding the pleasures of life, including the mythological creativity, spinning on a treadmill, doing nothing but striving to make money, but it’s never enough. … You can’t find security through money, because security is impossible. We die. Deal with it.”

The reason that hit home to me is that it’s what I’ve been doing all this year. Pulling back from the mesmeric allure of the “blog network industry” dream which promises that the creation of mediocre content online can produce an eight-figure fortune in a couple of years or so.

I’ve written about my disillusionment on that score many times here, and also on the alternative of simply running a relaxed, quality content business for fun and a decent, regular income. In turn, this creates time to operate in the real world as a hedge play and a grounding exercise.

Either way, Silicon Valley is for obsessives who continue to believe the Faustian deal with venture capital is the path to enduring happiness.

To paraphrase that old IRA man, Gerry Adams : Mephistopheles hasn’t gone away, you know.

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