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Silicon States: The Power and Politics of Big Tech and What It Means for Our Future
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Silicon States: The Power and Politics of Big Tech and What It Means for Our Future

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  126 ratings  ·  22 reviews
"Greene looks at the ways in which multinational tech giants, including Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook and others have resisted government regulation while pushing to take over functions traditionally provided by the state . . . An open-eyed analysis of influential technology companies’ ambitions of interest to investors, tech users, and media consumers." —Library Journal ...more
Kindle Edition, 288 pages
Published August 21st 2018 by Counterpoint
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Average rating 3.59  · 
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 ·  126 ratings  ·  22 reviews


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Mike
May 30, 2019 rated it did not like it
Going into this book, I was excited to read a nuanced look at Silicon Valley and its strengths, weaknesses, along with the impact it has on our society. What I experienced instead was an unconvincing attempt to villainize a large and diverse set of industries that happen to congregate in a particular geographical location. The main premise is that Silicon Valley tech companies are slowly taking the role that government has traditionally taken.

A weird cross of grade school persuasive essay and lo
...more
Lynne C.
Aug 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I received an advanced copy from a friend and Greene's account is a must-read read—not only for those in the industry, but for anyone who wants to know where our country (and world) is headed. As a futurist, Greene has a unique outsider's perspective on the inner workings of Silicon Valley and the costs/benefits of these companies encroaching on government and social infrastructures. As someone not working in tech, I thoroughly enjoyed having Greene guide me with with wit, humor, and acute insig ...more
Darnell
Nov 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
There are some decent parts to this book, and I felt it got stronger as it went along, but it's still marred by a reflexive animosity toward Big Tech. It leads to some strange bedfellows, like passages that are supporting of non-tech multinationals, the RIAA, or insurance agencies. The book tends to always take the side opposite Big Tech, brushing past other legitimate concerns on issues like net neutrality or the Apple backdoor controversy. Oddly, it also takes lazy (and unsupported) jabs at mi ...more
Lindsey Leanne
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As a millennial who’s spent the entirety of my career in the tech industry, this was a book that put to words many of the thoughts, concerns and questions I’ve had. As tech rapidly outshines government in its advances and the future overtakes us, how can we enact systemic change, hold big business accountable and disrupt the incremental changes of government? While these are extensive questions still left to be answered, the book is a thought-provoking read. Intuitively organized and well-resear ...more
Luke
Nov 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Pretty biased but still a really interesting read. I hadn't thought in depth about anything she brought up in the book before I began reading it ...more
Suraj Nyalakonda
Apr 05, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: big-tech
The general thrust of Ms. Greene's argument rang true, but many of her specific lines of reasoning were vague. She had a very ambitious aim: examine how Silicon Valley is affecting almost every part of the economy and society. That meant diving into healthcare, hospitality, travel, infrastructure, education, philanthropy, the gender gap in STEM, space exploration, and development in poverty-stricken countries.

Such an ambitious breadth is, almost inevitably, going to lead to a lack of depth or r
...more
Patrick Pilz
Dec 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Silicon Valley does no longer stand just for technology. It is entrenching all aspects of life. The wealth accumulated in the process has more profound impact than governments and it trajectory is getting ever faster. This is a balanced view on the changes the silicon valley attitude makes to our lives and to humanity. It questions the role of governments and their inability to keep pace with innovation and the challenges of society. I pretty solid book in which technology is observed from diffe ...more
Peter Aronson
Sep 22, 2019 rated it liked it
The increasing power of big information companies in our lives is an important topic. Unfortunately, this book is shallow and emotional, without any real answers or sense of history. There's a lot of viewing with alarm, sneering ans sweeping generalizations, but no consideration of "if not this, then what?" How did we get here, and given the that technology exists, how could have things turned out differently, and where do we go from here? ...more
Emily Onufer
Nov 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
"People don't see their futures represented in the parade of white-haired politicians and outdated government websites. While brands are tripping over themselves to seem "transparent" and have "purpose" to win trust from consumers, politicians aren't in any hurry to do the same. They don't need to. Consumers can leave a brand at any second. Elections only happen every couple of years, and that's assuming you even vote." 16 ...more
Heather
Jul 09, 2019 rated it liked it
SWE Book Club July 2019

This was more interesting and thought-provoking than I expected, and actually held my interest. The book was well-researched and was fairly politically neutral considering the industry. I appreciated the author’s background in the industry and I think that made it a more plausible book to read and not some random outsider’s doomsday scenario.
Richard Collins
Aug 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My Valley

I have lived in Silicon Valley all of my life, from picking and cutting apricots to building semi conductor plants. This book is required reading if you have any interest in tech, philosophy and socialism. All three are covered in detail, my favorite chapters were on new age education systems being developed in Silicon Valley.
Mike Stolfi
Sep 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
The topic is so worth thinking about, & it's happening to us whether we think about it or not.
Especially in this day & age where the owners of Cambridge Analytica pulled the usual sleazy contractor scam of reforming under a new corporate entity & are back in business as usual.
But the real question is whether our collective future should be decided by such a narrow demographic within what some people claim is a Democratic template.
...more
JudithCollins
Aug 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
When I close my eyes and imagine the future all I see is a house full of stroppy ponies....wait. And a fork in the road, one path leading to 100 French sticks, the other 50 disposable masks. I think I see hope.
Cristina Gherasim
Nov 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
too biased and self-imposing opinion about the Big Tech's role and involvement in current affairs but a very nice overview of the current situation ...more
Jennifer Gore
May 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is by turns frightening and informative. Think twice before you give away your data; think especially about who you're giving it to. ...more
Nese Tuncer
Dec 27, 2019 rated it did not like it
I don't think the book was edited! The author is spiteful (why?), she didn't get Apple HQ's name correct, there are many half sentences...reads like a high school essay ...more
Ken Hamner
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Very good book. Highly recommended.
Young
Jan 30, 2021 rated it really liked it
Now I am curious about the future steps that the US government will take.
Laurel
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Silicon Valley is the birthplace for city-sized tech ecosystems which may one day dot our maps as Amazon City, NE or Facebook Village, FL.
esteban
Dec 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Blew my mind and totally changed my idea of big tech companies.
Doschev
Nov 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Glad I read it. Read some sections completely and skimmed others. Helped to understand Silicon Valley's world perspective. ...more
Kathy Cramer
Jul 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Scary that no regulations on these companies. It is the Wild West all over again.
James Human
rated it it was ok
Sep 12, 2018
Matt Goldman
rated it really liked it
Sep 19, 2018
Bence Kiss-dobronyi
rated it liked it
Jan 04, 2019
Emma Moore
rated it really liked it
Sep 18, 2020
Marc
rated it it was amazing
May 15, 2019
Min Hui Chua
rated it did not like it
May 22, 2020
Lynn
rated it it was amazing
Jan 25, 2019
Faza Naufal
rated it really liked it
Aug 24, 2018
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