I was lucky enough to see Thomas Friedman on his "recent trip to... Silicon Valley" that he talks about in his latest column. He's a very impressive thinker who has a ton of very smart things to say on the Middle East and globalization - areas in which he's specialized. However, he might not want to go too far beyond what he knows, because he begins to get careless in his thinking. His latest NY Times Op-Ed piece talks about how Silicon Valley regrets the role we've played in building technology that can be used by terrorists. While he comes up with some anecdotal evidence, and names a few "big" names to support his argument that we never should have stopped the Clipper Chip, he seems to miss the point. The fact is that the technology is out there, and people are going to continue to create new technologies all the time. It is simply a tool - and that tool can be (and always has had the ability to be) used for both good and bad purposes. Anyone looking to blame (or hold back) the technology is going to find that not only can it not be done - it probably causes more problems in the long run. Technology is just a tool.
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