The past, present and future of Silicon Valley

Photo by geralt on Pixabay

By Jason Middleton

Apparently, it’s book week on Techonomics: all three stories are with, by and from authors of new books.

In segment one, we talk to Leslie Berlin, the Project Historian for the Silicon Valley Archives at Stanford University. So, just imagine the access to archives, records, memos and meeting notes from the earliest days of the Silicon Valley we know today.

It’s all in her new book, “TROUBLEMAKERS: Silicon Valley’s Coming of Age.”  

Berlin highlights origin stories for Apple, among several others. The tales are told with a creative narrative and style that pulls the reader forward from the halcyon days of idealism and overnight coding parties, to today’s fight to keep immigration as open as possible, so as to better feed the economic and innovative beast that is Silicon Valley.

(As an amuse bouche, if you need visuals, here’s a Business Insider video timeline of Silicon Valley that holds up.)

Historical nonfiction continues into the next story as well.

In segment two, we talk to Bhu Srinivasan, author of “Americana: A 400-Year History of American Capitalism.” The book, like the previous one, can be intimidating, but the pages are rife with anecdotal and analytical richness.

Srinivasan is keenly aware that Silicon Valley needs a history lesson if it’s to continue thriving.

The subject is not exactly bite-size — it’s the history of America, told through the lens of disruption. Railroads are a good analogy of disruption and economic adaptation; however, the author thinks that automation and artificial intelligence coming our way may not be as copacetic a transition for Americans — or anyone.

And speaking of ‘coming our way,’ the new book “Soonish” takes a deeper, humorous and informative look at 10 impending technologies that could “improve and/or ruin everything.”

We interview the author, Zach Weinersmith, in our third and final segment. He and his wife/co-author have pulled together some solid research and interviews to help lend the lay-person a hand when it comes to understanding some tech that may seem existentially threatening.

Impending technology like 3D printing of internal organs, traveling through deep space, artificial intelligence and more.

Weinersmith also pens a tech-centric comic online that is well worth the click-through.

Please click on any of the above links for more information. Visit our show page to view all our podcasts (see the ones referred to in this article below). Follow our Facebook page or follow me on Twitter for additional updates.

Have great weeks everybody!


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