October 26, 2013

"Apple, Twitter and Tech’s Middle-Aged White Guy Problem"

From Yahoo Finance:
Apple, Twitter and Tech’s Middle-Aged White Guy Problem 
By Lauren Lyster | Daily Ticker – Thu, Oct 24, 2013 11:00 AM EDT 
Anyone who watched the Apple (AAPL) keynote this week (if you’re me) couldn’t help but notice that it was a parade of middle-aged white guys who came on stage to reveal the company’s latest and greatest. 
And Twitter, ahead of it’s planned IPO next month, has come under fire for the makeup of its board of directors: all white men. The executive team isn’t much better (all men except for the general counsel). 
And lest it seems like we’re picking on Twitter and Apple, the lack of women and minorities in leadership and director roles at tech companies is a broader problem.

You might think that the fact that the leadership team assembled by Steve Jobs in his second tenure at Apple -- one of the most successful in the history of American business -- was all middle-aged white guys might raise questions about the dominant assumption, but it never seems to. (Also, the Twitter guys seem to be really good at doing whatever it is that Twitter does.)

But the more evidence that piles up, the more automatic becomes the opposite inference, no matter how it implausible it seems when you try to put it into words: Apple would be so much more successful if it weren't for all those stale pale males that Jobs put together.

76 comments:

Dave Pinsen said...

The middle aged white guy problem would be running out of them.

Orlando said...

Would the stale pale WASP men at top companies boards pleas stand up.
Here goes the minority...

Penny Al Arrabbiata said...

Apple stock is up about 9% just over the last month, though that's still off a bit from its peak about a year ago. If you'd purchased AAPL back in September 2002 and held on you'd be sitting on a 7400% gain.

But what do middle-aged white men know? You should've bought Xerox instead. They're much more committed to diversity. It's a bit ironic that Apple (and a lot of other companies) got so many of its best ideas from pre-diversitopia era Xerox.

Shouting Thomas said...

All successful companies are assumed to be in place for eternity. Great companies don't wither and die. That never happens.

So, all successful and rich companies are cash cows for the purposes of advancing liberal ideals.

Nothing could go wrong.

The Diverse and Excluded said...

Silicon Valley leadership are just so Stone Age because they don't actively promote enough diversity and inclusion within their ranks. We know, because we just looked at them through our inclusion lens and saw the horrible, unvarnished truth. The diverse and excluded demand Inclusion Now! Inclusion Now! Inclusion Now!

Anonymous said...

Maybe there was something to the Oedipus-complex; kill the father, marry the mother. Freud was just wrong about those afflicted with it.

It wasn't white men, but their inverse.

Chubby Ape said...

The hostess in that video segment you linked to has a voice that could de-grease auto parts and kill small birds at a distance.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing how efficient the Narrative is. Not sooner does Kristof blab something about this "problem" then this person decide to chime in.

It's really something to behold.

Anti-Democracy Activist said...

Two reactions:

1) The Great Computer/Internet Revolution of 1985-2010 is basically over. That doesn't mean that it will all go away or anything, but from here on, it will be slow evolution, not "disruptive" revolution. The rise of smartphones and tablets was the last really major innovation that we'll see from it. From here on, devices will get marginally better year to year, a little cheaper, and more ubiquitous, especially in terms of spreading into the "developing world". But for the most part, we've hit the plateau.

2) The Chinese, who, as they recover from decades of disastrous ideology that just about ruined their country, have no time for nonsense like this, are going to eat us alive in the new century. Watch.

Chubby Ape said...

Here's something apropos I just found while checking the news this morning: "Michelle Obama’s Princeton classmate is executive at company that built Obamacare website"

First Lady Michelle Obama’s Princeton classmate is a top executive at the company that earned the contract to build the failed Obamacare website.

Toni Townes-Whitley, Princeton class of ’85, is senior vice president at CGI Federal, which earned the no-bid contract to build the $678 million Obamacare enrollment website at Healthcare.gov. CGI Federal is the U.S. arm of a Canadian company.

Townes-Whitley and her Princeton classmate Michelle Obama are both members of the Association of Black Princeton Alumni.


Apparently the code behind the Obamacare site is jaw-droppingly bad: spelling mistakes, massive amounts of data sent out to visitors to the site for no good reason, "to do" items still mixed in amongst the lines of code that went to production, etc, etc.

Foreign Expert said...

2) The Chinese, who, as they recover from decades of disastrous ideology that just about ruined their country, have no time for nonsense like this, are going to eat us alive in the new century. Watch.

I can't watch. It's going to be too ugly.

Shouting Thomas said...

The Great Computer/Internet Revolution of 1985-2010 is basically over.

I've heard that one repeatedly.

No, it's just beginning. Next up, full 3D immersion environments, replacement organs, 3D printing in all sort of materials, etc.

Be prepared to be astounded. And, not incidentally, wrong.

Anonymous said...

I say make these tech companies comply with Political Correctness at the highest levels. Then maybe they will stop supporting these anti-White Leftist policies.

Bert said...

I can't stand commenters who going O, but I'm about to myself. Did anyone happen to catch Anthony Bourdain yesterday? He was in South Africa.

Oh my God, it was terrible. He starts off by insulting John Kruger. Then he goes into an embarrassingly gushing display about how wonderful and glorious Nelson Mandela was. After that he finally gets to talking about food, but every other sentence has crap about apartheid in it. It really had to be seen to be believed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKjVF-r2X-s

The Dude said...

"Aaron Pressman" was the male talking head in the video

Enough said.

When the Jewish Nation puts 20% Arab Israelis and 50% women on all their corporate boards, come talk to me about "healing" America with more Diversity, Aaron.

Until them, I will follow the Golden Rule: I will DO what you DO and IGNORE what you SAY.

If y'all haven't guessed by now, the Narrative is strictly (and only) for European gentile consumption.

Fernandinande said...

...the lack of women and minorities in leadership and director roles at tech companies is a broader problem.

It's only a problem to sexists and racists.

SFG said...

Maybe Marissa Meyer's making it up to all those feminists who got upset she wasn't enough of a feminist?

PatrickH said...

All hierarchies are dominated at the top by males. The NYT is the same. When you hear about some hierarchy coming under attack for being dominated by men, it is another hierarchy, also dominated by men, doing the attacking.

Twitter, Apple, et al, are very dangerous business rivals to the NYT. The NYT seeks to neutralize the threat by forcing women and minorities on them. Twitter and Apple et al should launch a counter campaign aimed at the NYT.

These things are never about equality, diversity, or whatnot. They are how modern business does war. The NYT white male leadership is terrified of the white male leadership of the new social media, and so seeks to destroy them through affirmative action.

I say, destroy the NYT right back.

d..... said...

Aw gee, you mean the fact that the CEO of Apple is a middle-aged white GAY doesn't right things a bit? I mean, he had to overcome all that homophobic oppression and bullying and all.

d..... said...

@Shouting Thomas,

How do you think the computer revolution will advance assisted reproductive technology? (ART or 3PO - third party reproduction).

ART/3PO frankly scares me.

Ichabod Crane said...

The Times article illustrates that Nobody believes 'diversity is our strength,' in the sense of being a benefit of society at large. Just like affirmative action, and possibly immigration reform, this is designed primarily to redress wrongs, and to benefit minorities, while pretending to 'raise all the boats.'

The University's Office of Dean of Students put out a quote about Halloween that doesn't make any sense unless you are aware of the lie behind 'diversity is our strength:' "When you dress up as a cowboy, and you have your sheriff badge on and a big cowboy hat, that's not a representation of a cowboy.... That's a kind of crude stereotype."

Who the hell is offended by cowboy costumes? Well, nobody -- this is just another case of pretending that the society broadly benefits from any kind of diversity initiative. The University of Colorado's main agenda is to ban anything that might offend (the most sensitive members of) minority groups: no sombreros at all, no genies (because of the turbans?), no indians, etc. Adding 'and no cowboys' is part of the lie that white people benefit from diversity initiatives.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps it has something to do with deflecting attention from the women in Obama's life.

Alec said...

One positive result of forcing Silicon Valley heavyweights to integrate at the top levels would be that they have much less spare money to throw around on open borders.

Middle-aged white guy in training (age 33) said...

Jobs was a diverse Arab.

a very knowing American said...

This new meme about the bizarre, inexplicable paradox of wildly successful companies being way too white and male seems to be very much like the classic recurring New York Times headline:

"Falling Crime, Teeming Prisons" Oct 29, 2011

"Despite Drop in Crime, an Increase in Inmates" Nov 8, 2004

"Record 454,136 in prison as crime rates fall" Aug 28, 1984

Less crime, more guys* in prison? What possible connection could there be? Something to do with the enduring legacy of Jim Crow or Prohibition or something. Or maybe there are some things mankind** was just not meant to understand.

* people. Sorry.
** humankind. Really, really sorry.

Anonymous said...

Shouting Thomas is correct; Democrats and other left wingers see successful businesses as just a waterfall of money, and the people who created and run the business as the people standing under the waterfall, catching the money in buckets. Why shouldn't there be more women, blacks, etc., also standing there with buckets? To the leftist, it looks like there is plenty of room left for more buckets, and that the people with the buckets didn't do anything to turn the waterfall on, so there is no risk of anybody accidentally turning the waterfall off.

Luke Lea said...

So where is the successful new company with all white women who come out on stage, if they are so good? Entrepreneurial success is no respecter of gender. Talent will out.

Dan Kurt said...

"The Great Computer/Internet Revolution of 1985-2010 is basically over." Anti-Democracy Activist

1) This is akin to: Patent Office Commissioner, Henry Ellsworth's 1843 [Yes, 1843] report to Congress. In it Ellsworth states, "The advancement of the arts, from year to year, taxes our credulity and seems to presage the arrival of that period when human improvement must end."

2) As long as Moore's Law holds: You ain't seen nothing yet! Intel currently is finishing the building of a $5.2 BILLION wafer fabrication site in Chandler, Arizona. I guess they still believe in Moore's Law.

Dan Kurt

Anonymous said...

Some of the worst on the tech vistas are Republicans like Ted Cruz. This is one reason why I'm not a big Tea Party fan like the two Pats on Vdare.

Anonymous said...

The article also suggested “shutdown aftershocks” may adversely affect local Republicans. Why would it? Republicans in Orange County and beyond are applauding the courageous Republicans who did their best to delay or stop the hijacking of our country's medical system by those in power. We do not believe medical coverage equates to good medical care.
The “shutdown” was the Republicans' last opportunity to force Democrats to finally listen to realistic concerns about Obamacare and our nation's irresponsible spending and disastrous borrowing/debt problem.
The only Republicans who will suffer are those who caved in to Washington, D.C., political pressures, rather than listening to the concerned citizens they promised to represent.
The right is more responsible for the tech workers since Republicans support more tech vistas, I think they were higher under the Bush administration. Why the leftist this and that, why not kick the right for a changed that wants big bucks even if the Tech Companies are Democrat. In fact the tech bunch went to George H bush for an industrical plan but he reject it. Why not say good bye to both the left and the right here. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee have made me say good bye to the political right and I don't agree with the political left either. Ted Cruz supports a bill for 320,000 tech workers a year. People here that complain about tech vistas should get down on their Republicans they elect for office.

Penny Al Arrabbiata said...

"I say make these tech companies comply with Political Correctness at the highest levels. Then maybe they will stop supporting these anti-White Leftist policies."

This. Apply that to Hollywood, too.

Leftists are really good at tricking conservatives into adopting the most ridiculous aspects of their ideologies. That's why every other Christian fundamentalist has an adopted a black kid from Africa.

Force Leftists into practicing what they preach.

Whiskey said...

Steve this is just women hste hate hating beta male White guys. Alphas like Steve Jobs, Robert Downey Jr., Brad Pitt, etc. Do not get this stuff.

Porter said...

From the article: the lack of women and minorities in leadership and director roles at tech companies is a broader problem.

I macabrely wonder for how long whites will keep swallowing this "minority" hook. Approximately 90% of the Earth's bipedal population are "minority." And the left will be little assuaged until that figure reaches three digits.

It does not require a lurid imagination to see a future island of a quarter million Icelanders in a vibrant sea of 20 billion. And the plaintive cry: But where are the minorities??

ddnonyi said...

Re: Anthony Bourdain's show, He talks about Hillbrow here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKjVF-r2X-s&t=17m12s

That period of taking over buildings is covered in a pretty good movie, "Jerusalema" www.imdb.com/title/tt0783532, based on a true story.

Anonymous said...

When the Jewish Nation puts 20% Arab Israelis and 50% women on all their corporate boards, come talk to me about "healing" America with more Diversity, Aaron.

Aaron Pressman is not Israeli. He's unknown there and has no significant influence. You should consider that American Jews who don't emigrate to Israel might actually have different thoughts and values than Israeli-born Jews or American Jews who choose to emigrate to Israel. Some liberal American Jews specifically don't like the idea of forced Jewish cultural adherence, and they are even less enthusiastic about the influence of the ultra-Orthodox in politics. The Jewish population is not a monolith.

Anti-Democracy Activist said...

"No, it's just beginning. Next up, full 3D immersion environments"

What does that even mean? Is it like The Lawnmower Man? Sounds like buzzword bunkum to me.

replacement organs, 3D printing in all sort of materials, etc.

Maybe, but those aren't really part of the Computer/Internet revolution. Those are, respectively, more biotech and materials science.

"Be prepared to be astounded. And, not incidentally, wrong."

Oh, I'm ready.

"This is akin to: Patent Office Commissioner, Henry Ellsworth"

No it's not. Every technology reaches a point at which it becomes mature; at which everything major that can be done with it has been done, and from there on, it's a continual process of small improvements. Think: how different is your car from one that was on the road 50 years ago? It's more refined, sure - has some nice safety features, lasts longer, and so on - but in basic operation and functionality really isn't any different from a similar device made a half-century ago. This is how things will be with computers and the internet.

"Moore's Law"

...has limits, both in terms of practicality and relevance. Practically, there's a limit to how much you can do with silicon, and we're getting close to it. As for relevance, there comes a point at which computers are plenty fast enough for everything that the average user would ever really want to do with them; a point that was reached in PCs about five or six years ago. If you're not a serious gamer, a high-end number cruncher, or a media editor, then a Core 2 Duo with 2GB RAM and Windows XP will do basically everything you need a PC to do, and will continue to for the foreseeable future. The same point is quickly being reached with phones and tablets.

There will be no great "innovations" in operating systems (Microsoft just tried that, and it was a disaster), Google Glass will never be a mainstream consumer product, smartwatches might - but I don't think are all that likely to - really take off... the metaphors are settled, and the plateau aproacheth.

"Intel currently is finishing the building of a $5.2 BILLION wafer fabrication site in Chandler, Arizona. I guess they still believe in Moore's Law."

I fail to see the logic here. One doesn't have to believe that cars will get twice as fast every 18 months in order to build a factory that makes transmissions. You just need to see a market for transmissions.

king crab said...

If I didn't know better about the rules of the game (or lack thereof), I'd say the title of the piece manages to be blatantly racist, sexist and age-ist.

jody said...

"Democrats and other left wingers see successful businesses as just a waterfall of money, and the people who created and run the business as the people standing under the waterfall, catching the money in buckets. Why shouldn't there be more women, blacks, etc., also standing there with buckets? To the leftist, it looks like there is plenty of room left for more buckets, and that the people with the buckets didn't do anything to turn the waterfall on, so there is no risk of anybody accidentally turning the waterfall off."

in other posts i've called this the 'from outer space' argument.

everything on earth just falls to the ground from outer space, but the evil, wicked, greedy european men quickly scoop it all up and hoard it for themselves instead of letting anybody else have any of it.

for instance, did you know that ivy league universities were falling out of the sky all over the globe for several thousand years? however, over a 200 year period between 1650 and 1850, european men went to every continent, collected them all, and transported them to the northeastern united states, before anybody else could realize what was happening. 5000 years worth of ivy league rain collected in one white bucket. how rude. how unfair.

Anonymous said...

The 25 countries with the most brainpower.

http://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/25-countries-most-brainpower-211349685.html

Penny Al Arrabiatta said...

OT: useful data for the coming amnesty putsch: Washington Sees Incomes Soar as Most of U.S. Declines.

From 2000-12, median incomes in the U.S. fell by 6.6%. Ten states (FL, GA, IN, MS, MI, NV, NC, OH, SC, TN) saw declines of over 10%.

This week Haley Barbour, who was governor of Mississippi from 2004-12, will be one of the leading Republican voices in Washington twisting the arms of Congress to pass an amnesty. From 2000-2012, including all 8 years of Barbour's tenure, median incomes in Mississippi fell 15% - a larger drop than any state but Michigan.

Anonymous said...

I don't care if they adopt a black kid form Africa. A lot of the right and many of the paleo-con side get upset over things like that. Instead of getting warm feelings over a group that is against blacks, or Asians or Hispanics find out do they support penalizing companies for hiring illegal immigrants. Do they opposed the H1b vistas. Too much of the right is yeah we killed the amensity and we pushed to built a fence but no system is developed to fine guys for hiring illegal immigrants.

Mangan said...

Funny that they should decide that they need different people on Twitter's board right before its huge IPO.

E. Rekshun said...

PatrickH: "The NYT seeks to neutralize the threat by forcing women and minorities on them...
destroy them through affirmative action."

America's enemies abroad might be employing this strategy against the American military,

Anonymous said...

It seems like the Japanese have a thing for humanoid robots cause they keep coming up with more and more interesting models. This robot was designed to be the perfect house maid; it can do laundry, serve your food, do the dishes and even prepare you a microwave oven dinner and after that, sweep the house clean! Neat isn’t she? Well don’t get your hopes up just yet, the team of experts who designed and built this extraordinary creature say that it we won’t see the robot maid in mass production for another 15 years. Till then, we can just look at the video below and hope 15 years pass faster.
This will take care of the other immigrant problem unless they are legalized and can collect lots of welfare because they will basically beocme unemployable with robotics.

Read more: http://www.vyperlook.com/amazing-incredible/robots-replacing-humans-sooner#ixzz2ircNTzAn

Svigor said...

Aaron Pressman is not Israeli. He's unknown there and has no significant influence. You should consider that American Jews who don't emigrate to Israel might actually have different thoughts and values than Israeli-born Jews or American Jews who choose to emigrate to Israel. Some liberal American Jews specifically don't like the idea of forced Jewish cultural adherence, and they are even less enthusiastic about the influence of the ultra-Orthodox in politics. The Jewish population is not a monolith.

Zionists don't feel that way, and they run Israel. They think of Jewry as a global nation, and work to bring any and all of them into the der Fatherland.

"Not a monolith" has always been much more true of YT than it is of Jews, but that hasn't stopped the Jewish cultural assault on YT. Imagine Jews' response if the only defense YT offered for slavery, the Holocaust, etc., was, "YT is not a monolith," lol. Germans have never been a monolith, but that doesn't stop the Jewish assault. Southern YT has never been a monolith, but same deal. The culture of critique treats YT like a monolith; why shouldn't YT return the favor?

America's enemies abroad might be employing this strategy against the American military

Let's hope it works. Easier to remove a diverse military than an effective one. Easier to see them as alien, too.

Anonymous said...

Yet Steve occasionally suggests to us that football teams would be better if they used more white players, despite the fact that black players are now routinely a majority of the players on any NFL team you can name.

Anonymous said...

"The Jewish population is not a monolith."

Hysterical.

Anonymous said...

"Some liberal American Jews specifically don't like the idea of forced Jewish cultural adherence"

The majority of Israeli Jews I've met don't like the idea of Israel as an enforced Jewish state. Of course, these tend to be young, hipster types traveling abroad.

Anonymous said...

"Next up, full 3D immersion environments"

What does that even mean? Is it like The Lawnmower Man? Sounds like buzzword bunkum to me.


Augmented reality has a lot of promise--google glass style devices that project information onto the human view of reality. Or, if you like, Terminator style.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUZgPfdkWis

Anonymous said...

"Not a monolith" has always been much more true of YT ...

What does YT mean?

Anonymous said...

For Anonymous 10/26/14, 7:57 PM, "YT" is short for "whitey."

Svigor,

I'm not an Israeli Zionist, and I could care less what they want. Unfortunately, I have about as much influence over them as I do over the politics of my liberal Jewish acquaintces, i.e. none. Trust me, I would love to see more Jewish opposition to the amnesty legislation that I think will be so harmful to American workers of all backgrounds. But I can't get anyone to listen. So from a political standpoint I understand your frustration that Jews can appear monolithically liberal. However, when I wrote that Jews weren't a monolith, I was specifically thinking about the degree of ethnic/cultural/religious commitment. American liberal Jews are hostile to religious and cultural restrictions of most kinds. American and Israeli Orthodox Jews are less hostile to religious and cultural conformity. Secular and traditional (nominally Orthodox) Israelis are a mixed bag. Some are patriotic and "volkish," but others are not.

Dan Kurt said...

re: "Intel currently is finishing the building of a $5.2 BILLION wafer fabrication site in Chandler, Arizona. I guess they still believe in Moore's Law." Dan Kurt

"I fail to see the logic here. One doesn't have to believe that cars will get twice as fast every 18 months in order to build a factory that makes transmissions. You just need to see a market for transmissions." Anti-Democracy Activist

False Analogy. The shrinkage of micro-electronics has two chief results:
1) shrinking, yes, in size and shrinking of costs, and 2) diminishing power consumption. The obvious results have been the explosion of powerful, affordable personal computer machines that you have recognized but as the electronics development continues, thanks to Moore's Law, imbedded devices will appear every where automating daily life. One example is the end of personal driving is only a few generations of Moore's law away: autonomous vehicles are the future. As the price drops of micro-electronics their usage will become more and more universal. We can only guess at what brilliant minds will do with the power inherent in these tiny and tinier and tinier yet again and again devices. The end is not in sight.

As to the Intel Chandler, Arizona facility. It is actually expected to be useful for three or possibly four Moore's Law generations at which time it will be obsolete. That does not mean it will be razed but at that point it will not be producing cutting edge products and may yet have a long production life just as obsolete steel mills keep making steel.

As to the theoretical end of the silicon era due to the approaching limits imposed by atomic structure, who ever said that silicon was the only possible substance? Other elements may be used. One is Germanium. And who ever said that lithogaphic construction of micro-electronics is the end point. Circa 20 years ago I attended a seminar on theoretical direct ion depositon (desublimation) of electronic circuitry. The research is ongoing and if Silicon Technology stalls it is in the wings awaiting its turn at achieving cheaper, smaller electronic devices.

As to your thoughts on Microsoft and the end of operating systems, etc. You don't know what you are talking about. There is nothing special about an "operating system." It is really not even needed. My introduction to computing when I was in school was sans operating systems as they didn't exist. I wrote an algorithm to solve mathematical problem, used FORTRAN to write code to implement the algorithm and then had to make a stack of punch cards that were the program. I also had to have punched out the cards that had the data being analysed. The operating system was my leaving the department crossing the campus to the computing center and presenting my two bundles of cards to the OPERATERS in white coats not the operating system. The next day or later that day if I were lucky I would pick up my cards with, rarely, a printout of results sans graphics which didn’t exist. Usually I was confronted with "run time error." Which I had to debug and recode and repeat the cycle until it worked.

The operating system as you know it is just the interface to the computer and the programs one uses to use the computer some of which are utilities. As the power available in computing increases the operating system will recede into the fabric of the platform. It will be less and less visible to the user, appearing to cease to exist but it will be there doing its job without one's input or knowledge.

Dan Kurt

Anti-Democracy Activist said...

"Augmented reality has a lot of promise--google glass style devices that project information onto the human view of reality. Or, if you like, Terminator style."

Google Glass (and similar devices) will see use in a few vertical markets, but will never see wide consumer adoption. Once you get past the initial "gee whiz" factor, it's distracting and intrusive, less useful than a smartphone, and makes the wearer look like he just got assimilated by the Borg. It's a sure mugger attractor and chick repeller (at least you can hide a smartphone in your pocket), and will make anyone who's ever heard of the NSA avoid you like you were a medieval leper.

So no, not impressed.

Glossy said...

"there comes a point at which computers are plenty fast enough for everything that the average user would ever really want to do with them; a point that was reached in PCs about five or six years ago."

People hate latency. You click on an icon, then wait for a second or two for the application to load. You touch a text input field on an iPad, then wait for a fraction of a second for the keyboard to appear. Web sites always take time to load. It's annoying. Theoretically GUIs can have as little latency as command-line interfaces.

Google Glass will never be a mainstream consumer product...

I'm expecting it to be huge. Getting it to work with contact lenses could be the next step. After that: integrating electronic processors and sensors with the brain. Thought recognition. Downloading a brain's contents onto something more durable. This last one won't be achieved in the foreseeable future, but it seems to be theoretically doable. And finally, better AI.

Anti-Democracy Activist said...

"thanks to Moore's Law, imbedded devices will appear every where automating daily life. One example is the end of personal driving is only a few generations of Moore's law away: autonomous vehicles are the future. As the price drops of micro-electronics their usage will become more and more universal. We can only guess at what brilliant minds will do with the power inherent in these tiny and tinier and tinier yet again and again devices. The end is not in sight."

Since the Anti-Democracy Activist is my secret identity, I don't want to give away too much about myself here, but I will say that I'm familiar enough with the tech industry to recognize silicon snake oil when I see it.

The self-driving car is indeed pretty promising (it has a lot of hurdles, including non-technical ones like questions of law and liability, left to overcome), but it exists now, if only in test form, so it's not really a "future development". As for the other stuff, I'm much less sanguine. I'm all for smartphones and such, but the practicality and desirability of having every single thing I own connected to the internet all the time eludes me. How would having my toilet or my bed connected to the internet make it appreciably better? Knowing what I do about the NSA, why would I even want it to be?

"As to the theoretical end of the silicon era due to the approaching limits imposed by atomic structure, who ever said that silicon was the only possible substance? Other elements may be used."

Sure. How practically? How cheaply? Diamond wafers would work great. Want to take a guess how much an iPhone made with them would cost?

Also, what would the practical advantages be to average end users? What would a laptop made out of diamonds do that one made out of silicon wouldn't? Run Facebook in 3D virtual reality, so I could reach out and touch all the crap joke links and internet hoaxes that my mom forwards to me?

"As to the Intel Chandler, Arizona facility. It is actually expected to be useful for three or possibly four Moore's Law generations at which time it will be obsolete."

Since a "Moore's Law generation" is 18 months, you're telling me that Intel is spending $5.2 billion dollars to build a plant that it only plans to keep producing top-of-the-line components for six years, tops. Sorry, I don't buy that.

"As to your thoughts on Microsoft and the end of operating systems, etc. You don't know what you are talking about. There is nothing special about an "operating system." It is really not even needed. My introduction to computing when I was in school was sans operating systems as they didn't exist..."

You seem to have missed my point completely, as this has nothing to do with anything I talked about, but thanks for the shaggy dog story.

Glossy said...

"It's a sure mugger attractor and chick repeller"

Chicks will probably be using Glass the most. Right now they have to take their phones out of their purses to chat, take pics, share pics with other chicks and look at other chicks' pics. Google Glass makes it all easier. It will already be there on their faces. No need to rummage though a purse every time someone calls.

Aesthetics? Cute frames. And in a few years Glass on contacts.

Anti-Democracy Activist said...

"People hate latency. You click on an icon, then wait for a second or two for the application to load. You touch a text input field on an iPad, then wait for a fraction of a second for the keyboard to appear. Web sites always take time to load. It's annoying. Theoretically GUIs can have as little latency as command-line interfaces."

I stand by my statement. Give me a circa-2006 Core 2 Duo machine, let me install a respectable amount of RAM (2-4GB) and swap out the spinning hard drive for an SSD, do a fresh OS install, and keep it running clean in terms of bloatware/crapware/malware/viruses, and you've got a system that does everything that the vast majority of users need it to do now, or will need it to do for the foreseeable future.

Also, the vast majority of people don't care that much about a couple tenths of a second of latency. I do, you do - but most people don't.

Whiskey said...

Tech guys save Jobs don't have charisma. This stuff wasn't said with Jobs around. Women only complain about pale and male when the guys don't have charisma. You don't see Hollywood being criticized for that. Most of their leading men are oale and male, and on tv also middle aged.

This is basically a rebuke to Zuck, Ballmer, the rest that they are boring and unsexy. And ******that it is being said******* is a sign of social weakness by tech. You dont attack the strong only the weak.

Who whom is entirely a matter of power and weakness. Draw your own conclusions.

Dan Kurt said...


re: "...you're telling me that Intel is spending $5.2 billion dollars to build a plant that it only plans to keep producing top-of-the-line components for six years, tops. Sorry, I don't buy that." Anti-Democracy Activist

Unfortunately that is the truth. The cost also goes up to build the future new generation plants as well. It is true for Samsung and Taiwan Semiconductor not just Intel.

The soon to be obsolete plants will continue to build legacy chips but the cutting edge devices will take new tooling. This is not a new problem for manufacturers. Rapid obsolescence is a corollary of Moore’s Law. More and more capital is needed to keep in the game. Intel will make money with the plant if they can find customers for the chips. Unfortunately they missed the boat with Apple turning down being a foundry for Apple Chip designs. Oh well, they might get another chance in the future if Apple continues to succeed.

BTW, are you some kind of lawyer or professional writer? You don't appear to be an Engineer or Scientist. I perused your web site and see where you stand. That said we have a lot in common but you are not the technical whiz you think you are but do continue the good fight. I too find Democracy otoise.

Dan Kurt

stari_momak said...

"We can only guess at what brilliant minds will do with the power inherent in these tiny and tinier and tinier yet again and again devices. "

Can we get a robotic strawberry picker?

Dan Kurt said...

re: "Can we get a robotic strawberry picker?" stari_momak

It is already here:

http://tinyurl.com/kdgxotu

Dan Kurt

Mr. Anon said...

"Dan Kurt said...

That does not mean it will be razed but at that point it will not be producing cutting edge products and may yet have a long production life just as obsolete steel mills keep making steel."

If a steel mill is still producing steel, then it's not obsolete.

I'm with Anti-Democracy Activist on this stuff. I'm not sold on our brilliant, wired, electronic future. A lot of it is just ephemeral crap. A lot of it will be of little real use to anyone except the secret-policeman.

Anononymous said...

"** humankind. Really, really sorry."

hu MAN kind

Dan Kurt said...

re: "If a steel mill is still producing steel, then it's not obsolete." Mr. Anon

Where do commentators like you come from?

My father was an employee then a consultant in the ferrous and non-ferrous foundry industry including the steel industry. He also designed and built three non-ferrous foundries and lectured regularly at meetings and conventions for the metals industry. I was a boy during the 50s and 60s listening to his table talk and believe me the metals industry in the now rust belt was mostly obsolete yet trying to compete with overseas competition during those years. According to my father, the battle to save the American metals industry became something in which they failed for the most part. Due to mainly union intransigence and corporate cowardice the steel mills did not make the shift from open hearth to oxygen lance steel production fast enough so that they are for the most part gone. (Electric Arc steel furnaces are a recycling tool not a primary steel source.) The non-ferrous industry died because much of their work was in supplying the bearings for the rolling mills which also disappeared. The lingering death of the entire metals industry was epitomised by the obsolete steel factories producing steel as long as they could over the course of decades. Most now are rusted hulks sitting on toxic waste sites. If one is interested get a copy of And the Wolf Finally Came: The Decline and Fall of the American Steel Industry by John Hoerr.

Dan Kurt

Pochinko said...

"You might think that the fact that the leadership team assembled by Steve Jobs in his second tenure at Apple -- one of the most successful in the history of American business -- was all middle-aged white guys might raise questions about the dominant assumption, but it never seems to."

- True, but then again if the last half millenium of achievements by the white man doesn't pop the delusion for these people, then nothing will.

Anonymous said...

Google Glass (and similar devices) will see use in a few vertical markets, but will never see wide consumer adoption.

AR doesn't have to be done via wearable glasses. You can also do it via cell phone. Just hold up the cell phone and view the environment through the screen. It's pretty compelling for maps/navigation, or, say, point it at your car engine bay and get directions for replacing the water pump overlaid on the image.

There's a lot more disruptive things as well. Siri and voice recognition can potentially replace a lot of customer service. Similar things for low cognitive tasks. Think of the computers that keep the idiots in "Idiocracy" alive.

David said...

>Anyone who watched the Apple (AAPL) keynote this week (if you're me) couldn't help but notice that it was a parade of middle-aged white guys<

This is the big thing someone notices? How racially obsessed does such a person have to be?

White guys may not be interested in anti-white nuts, but the latter are certainly interested in the former.

Apropos of the 75th anniversary of Orson Welles's "War of the Worlds" broadcast this Wednesday, here in an excerpt from the script:

"Intellects vast, cool and unsympathetic regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us."

Anonymous said...

"The Chinese, who, as they recover from decades of disastrous ideology", no matter how bad and damaging the days of Mao were, they always had the potential to recover. Had China decided to follow the Western ideology and replace Chinese with non Chinese, there would be no hope for it, just like the West is already dead and we all look on bewildered.

Anonymous said...

It's a sure mugger attractor and chick repeller (at least you can hide a smartphone in your pocket)

Mugger attractor, OK. Do smartphones repel chicks?

jody said...

"Yet Steve occasionally suggests to us that football teams would be better if they used more white players, despite the fact that black players are now routinely a majority of the players on any NFL team you can name."

this is because players who can perform better than some existing players, are deliberately removed from the game.

in the case of computer science companies, no highly capable programmers are being deliberately removed from the team and replaced with much inferior ones. not until a company gets a large and sustained cash flow, anyway. then that might start happening. and often does.

government IT is another animal. it uses an extremely aggressive version of the football process. for implementing PPACA, it eliminated all highly capable programmers from contention right off the bat.

Derb's Mossberg said...

""You might think that the fact that the leadership team assembled by Steve Jobs in his second tenure at Apple -- one of the most successful in the history of American business -- was all middle-aged white guys might raise questions about the dominant assumption, but it never seems to."

- True, but then again if the last half millenium of achievements by the white man doesn't pop the delusion for these people, then nothing will.'



Its all driven by tremendous emotional insecurity. Its something that a minority won't admit, but on some level, they know white men tend to perform better than people from their group. You can see that by how ferociously and overwhelmingly they shriek down questioning the narrative even when providing facts to support it (or, more correctly stated, especially when providing facts).

Humans have a basic need to feel they are better than those they are around. And these feelings extend outwards to groups that they are naturally closest to. So if the world doesn't confirm this for them, then it is much easier to swallow that the world must be sexist or racist, even when it defies facts and logic than to either admit that the average member of their group cannot perform as well, or to expend the effort and prove they can achieve themself (even worse for a fragile ego, that can potentially open the door to failing after one has worked hard to try, which means they don't have the potential to achieve if they only tried).

This desperate need to fulfill a psychological void is preyed upon by the elites, who are happy to fill it in exchange for slaves to their cause.

jody said...

i don't want to get into a big semiconductor discussion right now, but the ride is coming to an end. the PC revolution is about concluded, and year over year improvements in CPU production have slowed down significantly. robert colwell, who was the chief CPU architect at intel from 1990 to 2000, has spoken about this extensively and believes the wall will be hit around 7nm.

look at the trajectory from like 1970 to 2000. that exponential increase in computer power WILL NOT be repeated from 2000 to 2030. colwell says those glory years of nearly free gains being realized every couple years yielded a 3500 fold increase in power. are our PC sized computers going to be 3500 times more powerful in another 30 years? no way. more like 50 times or maybe 100 times at best.

the reason those intel fabs cost so much, 5 billion for the latest, is because that's what it costs to take the next step downwards. and every step downwards gets more and more expensive until you are paying megabucks just to take a one more small incremental step downwards. not to mention there are technical limits with existing materials.

i don't think the computerization of society is at an end, but the time when every new intel CPU was a big step forward over the last one, is long gone. i remember in the 80s, every new computer, HUGE improvement. in the 90s, such a big improvement with every new chip. these days you are looking at a 10% improvement every 2 years. it used to be like 50% every 2 years in the heydey of the 80s and 90s. from commodore 64 to pentium 4. today there's no reason to even bother getting the latest intel architecture. you can safely skip entire generations.

you can envision this for yourself by imagining what the arcade games looked like in 1979 versus 1989, then 1989 versus 1999. notice the explosive improvement during that first decade - almost to the point where a game from 1979 looks like it comes from a completely different era than a game from only 10 years later. notice the big, but less big, improvement from the second decade. 1989 doesn't look as good as 1999 but it's in the same ballpark and looks like it's from the same human time period. those 1979 games look ANCIENT.

or, consider the increasingly large time between each generation of home console. we're now on the largest gap ever, 7 years, between the previous xbox 360/playstation3, and the incoming generation. 7 years was a LIFETIME in the console wars of the 90s.

by the way, the most important company here, one which is NEVER talked about, is applied materials. they are the company that makes the machines that make the CPUs. and they then sell their machines to intel. who puts them in their factories and churns out wafers which are cut into processors. whenever the guys at applied materials start running out of ideas, the world is in trouble. kinda like the guys who design new anti-biotics.

Anonymous said...

arcade games looked like in 1979 versus 1989, then 1989 versus 1999.

In the late 90's 3D graphics video cards for PCs hit the market, which enabled a huge step forward in game graphics quality. Things that had been possible only on SGI machines were suddenly on commodity PCs.

If a CPU speed wall is hit I don't think it will change the disruptive effects of computing. Innovation will concentrate on software, and mobile or embedded computing. PCs are a bit passe now--it's phones and tablets. You can scale CPU on the server side in the cloud.

The future is probably lower power consumption CPUs with about the same benchmarks as current desktops, in mobile devices, communicating with giant shared compute farms for the heavy compute lifting and scale-out.

Alan D said...

Anononymous said...
"** humankind. Really, really sorry.

hu MAN kind"

Mankind
Sorry, Humankind
Sorry, Hupersonkind
Sorry, Huperoffspringkind

OK, I'll stop now. This non-sexist language is a real nighthorse.

pat said...

About 8% of all computer programmers are black. That number is a little deceptive because most of them are in the federal or state government. In private industry, which is not under as much pressure to meet color quotas, blacks are probably only about 2% of the coder population.

Coders are a reasonably bright group. The web says the average IQ is something like 120. Given the normal z-score table you expect whites to be about five times as likely to be at that level as blacks. I fired the only two black coders I ever supervised. They couldn't code very well.

As every coder knows the guys who can't really code tend to get promoted to 'systems analyst' positions. Government data processing organizations fill up with these mid level managers who attend meetings and socialize rather than code.

That's of course why government relies so heavily on contractors. That's why things like the Obamacare website screw up happen.

See my video on YouTube.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ra5sZ_zZD9o

Oddly enough although like everyone else in the business I lusted after Chinese technical staff, They weren't drawn to the 'heads down' coding jobs as much as the white or Indian guys were. Or they didn't seem to be. My sample size was what it was. I could be wrong.

Of course all my white guy staff were young. I was the only 'middle age' guy. But I'm not sure the older guys had dried up creatively so much as they have been plucked off the floor to go into management.

There was a study years ago that showed - to no one's surprise - that scientists work less hard after they win the Nobel Prize. That may be also in play at Apple. Microsoft created more millionaires that any other company in history. Those guys could probably continue to crank out innovations - but why bother?

Albertosaurus



Mr. Anon said...

"pat said...

Coders are a reasonably bright group. The web says the average IQ is something like 120. Given the normal z-score table you expect whites to be about five times as likely to be at that level as blacks. I fired the only two black coders I ever supervised. They couldn't code very well."

I once (ca. 2003) met a kid who was a masters student in computer science at a black university, after just having got his bachelors degree from the same place. He had never written a program in C++. I don't know about any other languages.