In the first six episodes of Raw Data we’ve focused on the history of Silicon Valley and its unprecedented rise to power. But as the consequences unfold around us, it’s imperative to ask what checks and balances are in place—or even possible. Our search for an answer begins by looking at the power dynamics within the Valley and, in particular, how the myth of the Silicon Valley entrepreneur has evolved. MORE
The Internet went mainstream at a transformative moment in time. On the global stage, the Berlin Wall had fallen and the Soviet Union disintegrated, signaling a victory for America and its ideals. Within this context, the commercial web took off, championed by Silicon Valley as a technology of open democracy and free market capitalism. MORE
Fred Turner, Kevin Kelly, Lou Montulli, Rosanne Siino, Tim Wu
Most privacy rules in America were written in the 1970s, when concerns about privacy were at or near the level they are today. Nixon’s secret wiretapping was certainly part of it, but so were a number of post-Watergate congressional hearings that exposed wire tapping by agencies like the FBI, the CIA, and the NSA. In this unsettled context, an important technological breakthrough emerged: the modern field of cryptography.
Michal Kosinski, Whit Diffie, Marty Hellman, Henry Corrigan-Gibbs
Phones, computers, tablets, and televisions: screens are everywhere. And while complaining about excessive screen time may seem cliche, there is something unnatural about its place in our lives. Are the fears of screen overload overblown? Is digital addiction really a thing? And how did we get here anyway?MORE
For those of us who did not experience the rebelliousness of the 1960s, there’s a nagging feeling that perhaps we missed out on one of the most charged decades in American history. The 60s generation reshaped society in fundamental ways, sparking-- a grand rethinking of American democracy.. It wasn’t just a battle between the Left and the Right. In the 1960s, the challenge to the establishment was so deep and wide, that everything was up for debate. This energy gave birth to many things, including the commune movement – and it was this moment in history when the ideology of modern-day Silicon Valley was formed.MORE
There’s a good reason you won’t see open air tour buses cruising through Silicon Valley: There is nothing to see. Apple’s new $15 billion “spaceship” headquarters may change all that, but for now, Silicon Valley boasts no real heart, no heroic statues, no iconic signs on a hill. MORE
Daniel Swain, Steve Blank, Margaret O’Mara, Leslie Berlin.