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Politics and Innovation, Silicon Valley-Style

George Packer 1, Steven Johnson 0.

Johnson tries to take down Packer’s critique of the contemporary Silicon Valley plutocracy, but he misses the mark.  Packer, a Palo Alto native, knows what he’s talking about when he compares the Valley today to the Valley he knew growing up there in the 1960s and 1970s.  (Read Packer’s New Yorker piece — link below — then read his Blood of the Liberals.)

What might our innovation economy look like if it were suffused today with the political culture that gave us Pete McCoskey, rather than a culture that still evokes Ed Zschau?


  • George Packer, Change the World
  • Steven Johnson, Learning From Los Gatos (full marks, however, for the wink and nod to Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown, even if Los Gatos has long been far from the soul of the Valley)