Silicon Valley Is In DC's Crosshairs... And Silicon Valley Still Hasn't Realized It

from the time-to-wake-up dept

I didn't cover last week's "net neutrality" vote in the Senate, because the whole thing was silly showmanship. You had a totally toothless FCC rule that was designed by the telcos to benefit the telcos, and the actual Congressional debate was merely a partisan food fight that had absolutely no parallel to reality or actual network technology. The whole thing was a farce, no matter what happened. But, as Stacey Higginbotham writes over at GigaOm, the whole net neutrality food fight is just one example of many of how Washington DC has decided to turn its regulatory eye towards Silicon Valley. Between this, the spectrum fight, SOPA and a few other ideas smoldering through Congress, as Stacey notes, it's:
a frightening reminder of how easily the folks in Washington, D.C. can throw a wrench in the gears of innovation
Of course, as Silicon Valley has done for years, we mostly ignore this kind of stuff. In general, the tech world tends to believe that innovation happens best when politicians stay away, and we've tried to accomplish that by ignoring politicians. However, the politicians aren't ignoring us. The cynical viewpoint on this is that the tech and internet sectors are basically the only real bright spot in today's economy... and with the way DC corruption works, they need to tap into that market for campaign donations. What's the best way to do that? Well, propose a bunch of awful regulations that will massively hinder innovation and the startup economy. In the hive mind of DC, that's how you wake up folks to start contributing to campaigns.

Whether or not that's the actual thinking behind this rash of bad legislation, all aimed at the innovation sector, one thing has become clear: cynical or not, the startup world can't continue to ignore DC. Stacey notes:
While people in the Valley are playing at building companies and technology, the folks in D.C. are playing at politics, and when those worlds collide, its likely technologists that will lose.
That's only true if we let DC play the politics game as usual. But we have an advantage. While we tend to dislike the entire DC/political circus, we are innovative and we are disruptive. It seems like it's about time to turn that innovative and disruptive spirit towards DC, rather than pretending we can continue to ignore what's happening there.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 9:39am

    "I didn't cover last week's "net neutrality" vote in the Senate, because the whole thing was silly showmanship."

    Actually, you were so busy banging on the SOPA drum it's shocking that anything else got posted here at all.

    Now that you appear to be losing that battle, I guess you can move on.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 9:43am

    Re:

    The battle against freedom must won!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Michael, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 10:00am

    Science party?

    Can we please create a -new- party that is actually dedicated to intellectualism, learning, freedom of information and ideas; and most importantly using actual facts to reach decisions?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Matthew A. Sawtell, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 10:04am

    Who are you trying to kid Mike?

    Looks like nothing was learned after Mr. Gates/Yang/Schmidt/ went to Washington...

    Mike, who are you trying to kid? The Valley has ALWAYS been on the radar of D.C. - whether it be the folks at the Pentagon, or the denizens of K. Street.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 10:04am

    Let's

    Flip the internet's off switch ourselves, so Washington can see who is really in charge.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 10:07am

    Re: Science party?

    Socialism is rarely the answer, unless you are asking the wrong question.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    rubberpants, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 10:11am

    Just follow these tips, the industry and their shills here have mastered them.

    1. If opponents of your bill say nothing, accuse them of quitting.
    2. If opponents of your bill speak up, accuse them of whining.
    3. If opponents of your bill continue speaking up, accuse them of grandstanding.
    4. If opponents of your bill point out technical flaws in it, accuse them of nitpicking.
    5. If opponents of your bill point out how ineffective it will be, accuse them of malice.
    6. If opponents of your bill point out how it could be abused, accuse them of over-reacting.
    7. If opponents of your bill talk to their representatives, accuse them of lobbying.
    8. If opponents of your bill try alternative approaches, attack them.
    9. If opponents of your bill catch you in a contradiction, mock them.
    10. If opponents of your bill criticize it eloquently, ignore them.
    11. If opponents of your bill criticize it poorly, address them.
    12. If opponents of your bill start a letter-writing campaign, discourage them.
    13. If opponents of your bill read it, accuse them of over-earnestness.
    14. If opponents of your bill question your good faith, accuse them of stubbornness.
    15. If opponents of your bill win, personally insult them.
    16. If opponents of your bill lose, gloat.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 10:11am

    Re: Re: Science party?

    Since when is science and knowledge socialism? Are you just trying to attach a label?

    Let me guess, your one of those Nazi-loving members of the GOP (Guardians of Privilege)!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 10:14am

    Re: Re: Science party?

    Since what you propose is basically corporate socialism (the worst kind) I'm surprised that you can say that with a straight face!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    anonymous, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 10:22am

    Re: Let's

    that's the most sensible idea i've seen here in a long while! couple that with censoring ALL websites owned by, run by, rented by, have anything whatsoever to do with the entertainment industries, then perhaps things will carry on working as they should. they think it's perfectly ok for them to force sites, companies and individuals to be banned from using the 'net', let them have a taste of that treatment! if not, just be prepared for the monmental f**k up that is fast approaching!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 10:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Science party?

    It also reveals something about the current American political psyche when people like you think that "using actual facts to reach a decision" is

    a) Socilaism

    and

    b) Bad

    America is doomed!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 10:25am

    Re: Science party?

    Oddly enough, rumor has it the ruling party in China is made up of engineers, scientists, etc...

    Around here, we invented showmanship; and ever after will our politics continue to be the biggest show ever.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Another AC, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 10:26am

    Re:

    So many words, such little point to them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 10:28am

    Re: Re: Let's

    Just leave my World of Warcraft alone please. I have 5 different raids to get to, and another alt to get leveled up.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 11:05am

    Re: Just follow these tips, the industry and their shills here have mastered them.

    As for you, if you can't come up with anything new to add to the discussion, you can just try to discredit the other side by attacking their opinions as a whole.

    You don't think that Mike's SOPA-thon over the last 10 days or so hasn't been exactly all of this, from personal attacks on the bills' sponsors to accusations or suggestions of malice, regulatory capture, and bribery?

    Thankfully, what Mike and a few others here want isn't what the public really wants, no matter how much you all bring the "public interest" thing into the game.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    MrWilson, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 11:17am

    Re: Re: Just follow these tips, the industry and their shills here have mastered them.

    17. If opponents of your bill come up with a clever list that covers your entire shilling playbook, project all your behavior onto them without any sense of irony.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    icon
    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 11:23am

    Lifespan

    the startup world can't continue to ignore DC

    I don't really see how a bunch of startups, who's company may only last a few months to five years can have the foresight to think/organize/plan a cohesive lobbying effort. When lobbying is led by industries that have existed for half-centuries or more they have the time to pull together and gain clout in political circles. The tech world is fast-paced and ever changing...DC works at a snails pace. If the federal government would do away with 3/4 of it's laws and regulations and hand those responsibilities off to local governments (who can respond and interact within rapidly changing economic/technological climates) then you would see a government more adept to handling advancement, innovation, and progress. The only problem is you are asking the lumbering dinosaur and all the industries that fight rapid change to give up its power and authority.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 11:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Let's

    Aww! What good is a HERF gun if you don't use it?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    icon
    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 11:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Let's

    When does American Idol start up again? =]

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    icon
    Berenerd (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 11:39am

    Re: Science party?

    HERETIC!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 12:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Let's

    I have no clue, I cut the cable YEARS ago. WoW has my attention now. :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Michael, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 1:09pm

    Re: Lifespan

    This is precisely what either a new party or a 'technology' PAC should use as their platform. That way an entity can cohesively compose a single strong message instead of a bunch of flickering candle-lights.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    icon
    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 1:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Let's

    I think you missed the snarky in my comment. Sorta the point like, "First they came for TV, but I did nothing cuz I don't watch TV, then they came for pirates, I did nothing cuz I don't pirate, then they came for me and nobody was left to help."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    icon
    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 1:11pm

    Re: Re: Lifespan

    But then you are playing the same slow changing game that is broken in the first place.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 1:19pm

    Silicon Valley to Washington DC:

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 1:22pm

    Who is John Gault?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 2:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Just follow these tips, the industry and their shills here have mastered them.

    When proven wrong, just keep piling it on.

    You guys are classic.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 2:27pm

    Re: Re: Science party?

    How dare you call democracy socialism.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 2:33pm

    Re: Science party?

    Crowdsourced law making, if Washington start making to much fuzz Silicon Valley will just have to make them redundant.

    Imagine every citizen has his own GIT of US laws and can make changes and submit them to the wider audience where it gets revised by others.

    Code is just text like laws and programmers actually found a way to work in a decentralized fashion that works pretty well and it is robust.

    Then we take some pages from Japan(i.e. Koizumi children) and the Tea Party and elect officials just to pass those laws, it gets all done in the public eyes and there is no stopping people from doing except the will to do it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 2:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Just follow these tips, the industry and their shills here have mastered them.

    I believe that is #8 but it could also be #2 :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    icon
    hmm (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 3:59pm

    innovation and disruption

    Is what DC will be getting sooner that it thinks as they've pushed the US public almost to breaking point.

    Recent discussions regarding forcing protestors out of New York via imposing localized martial law were just the icing on the civil war cake.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 4:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Just follow these tips, the industry and their shills here have mastered them.

    "When proven wrong, just keep piling it on."

    I think that applies to people like yourself more so than anyone else. As has been evidenced by "this ONLY applies to foreign sites". That alone is proof enough of "when proven wrong, just keep piling it on". At that point, giving up won't be seen as a bad thing. It just means you acknowledge that you were wrong and can be dignified about admitting defeat. Rather than continuing to lie or spread FUD.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Nov 15th, 2011 @ 2:26am

    Re: Who are you trying to kid Mike?

    Remember that Silicon Valley designs the guidance systems for the missiles you use in wartime...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Nov 15th, 2011 @ 2:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Just follow these tips, the industry and their shills here have mastered them.

    Where's your proof?

    And please, don't link to DMN, it's about as honest as Fox when it comes to reporting.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Vlas porter, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 3:35am

    Rights

    What's happening in DC is simply a continued march towards taking away our rights and away from the free market. Its just reached the internet now. This trend is a long time coming. I don't think its about lobbying money opportunity.

    We need to vote with our feet and put libertarians and Libertarians in office. That's the only way it will change.

    Ron Paul 2012

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    Clouser, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 3:37am

    Re: Science party?

    Libertarian party is the closest thing to it and also the 3rd largest party in the USA.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 8:20am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Let's

    Ahh...but it's all a part of helping sink those greedy #$$%@. They are not getting my money, at all.

    10 million people play WoW. They all pay for all of the expansions (800 mil?) then subscription of $15 per month....$150,000,000?

    I have 2 accounts, so I personally pay $30 subscription fees per month.

    Not counting all the pets ($10 ea), mounts ($25 ea) that I bought for myself, and friends...trading card game...

    Guess what? I don't have Blizzard coming down on me with DCMA and 'omg copyright' when I make a machinima and stick it on youtube. They even hold contests during Blizzcon for the best machinima.

    Better entertainment than anything I have seen out of Hollywood lately.

    I quit giving my money to the evil greedy ones.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Nov 15th, 2011 @ 9:28am

    Re: Re: Science party?

    a better idea would be for Google to just combine the voting records and the constitutionality of the laws passed and add it as an app for G+.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    icon
    DHinDublin (profile), Nov 16th, 2011 @ 8:31am

    Re: Re: Science party?

    so true. you want government off our backs, Ron Paul and a very small handful of current 'politicians' are our only salvation. all the others are neocons who love government controls over free markets and regulations over innovations.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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