Why we will and will not survive Palo Alto.
One of the truly horrible and most unfortunate experiences in our lifetime is the rise of Palo Alto, California as a power center.
The people who operate their digital kingdoms there are amazingly deficient.
For being educated, they’re not educated.
It’s important to remember that most of these computer geeks have degrees in mathematics.
The problem with mathematicians is that they are not scientists.
If only they were.
Scientists are trained to make observations in the real world, the world as it is.
It’s a messy world, the real world is, not for the faint of heart.
Mathematicians receive a degree in the arts, not the sciences, as mathematics is a language not a science.
People in the arts tend to see the world as they want it to be. They desire to change it as well, but not as the scientist does. The man of science accepts what exists in its hard, cold brutality. The man of arts, forever in denial, desires to rewrite what exists.
Mathematicians represent the extreme in desiring to see and fashion the world as they want it to be. They rebel against the real world and retreat into the beauty of numbers. There is no messiness in numbers. It is a beautiful world of fractals and Fibonacci sequences.
Rules are simple, neat, orderly, logical and dependable. A computer program once perfected works with spellbinding, replicative efficiency. It never fails.
Ha ha, there is none of that human imperfection to deal with.
Mathematicians are purists.
And so Palo Alto foists its misguided, perfect vision upon us.
They envision million-man colonies on Mars. Not ten or one hundred man colonies. That would be too mundane. No, not even a thousand, ten thousand or even one hundred thousand man colonies. Those numbers are chicken feed for a god. No, they insist upon million man colonies.
And how far is Mars? 40 million miles at its closest, 160 times the distance to the moon.
We will not survive.
And if failed missions to Mars do not dispirit and bankrupt us, then self-driving cars and algorithm-driven medicine will surely kill us.
We will not survive.
And yet we will.
We will survive because Palo Alto’s efforts to attain perfection are betrayed by man’s imperfection.
Man can not be perfected.
Moreover man’s success in attaining a better world is driven by his imperfection.
The freedom to succeed is inextricably bound to the freedom to fail.
Yet Palo Alto toils on reinforced by their belief in themselves as living gods.
To no avail.
Just as you cannot pound a square peg into a round hole, you cannot pound an imperfect humanity into a perfect utopia.
It will not fit.
Unfortunately, we are in for a whole lot of pain as they try.
Their failures will not dissuade them as they believe themselves to be the smartest guys in the room.
They believe such because society has bestowed upon them unwarranted billions of dollars.
The inquisitive man asks himself why this might be so, why he has become so wealthy, and the correct answer is because that is the way things are.
The Palo Alto superstar rejects that reality and sees himself as having evolved beyond humanity. He sees himself as a living god sent to Earth by himself to rescue us.
And so he coins noble phrases like, “Do no evil.” He delights in deciding for us what is politically acceptable.
What he doesn’t know is that the only reason he is wealthy is because a clueless, paid-off Congress placed no controls on what a Palo Alto god can earn.
A cardiothoracic surgeon or any doctor for that matter, or a teacher, or a policeman, or a fireman adds far more value to society than these pretenders.
None of these professionals who toil outside the beauty of numbers and deal with blood, sweat and tears, anathema to Pali Altoans, are paid enormous amounts of money because we have a social contract which states that it’s harmful and unreasonable for people to make such exorbitant salaries.
Our fucked up Congress failed to consider this when it came to computer programmers and Palo Alto gods.
And so they permitted Palo Alto to rape America and the people who built it.
Not to worry, though.
The people who built America will rise again and rebuild after Palo Alto has destroyed it.