Is silicon valley a scam?

I heard about this a few times in leftist circles. Basically that most of what silicon valley and other tech research things do is pretty much a scam that isn't going to show any real results (particularly things like AI). Also I heard that there are a bunch of go-fund-me tier projects that somehow get funded like the Theranos thing. So, are these claims about the high-tech industry being bullshit true or just overblown? I would like some sources on this.

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Silicon Valley is certainly a capital sinkhole due to various pie-in-the-sky programmes sure.

Silicon valley in a nutshell

The perfect one two punch of a useless and retarded

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It's what you get when people are constantly pressured with neoliberal tier expectations to artificially innovate and are thus forced into creating retarded Ponzi schemes like the one OP pointed out.

AI has been showing incredible results, but I don't know how much money is actually being made off of it by Silicon Valley companies. I think in most areas Silicon Valley relies on getting money out of gullible investors.

I cannot speak for specifically silicon valley-based tech research, but I, myself, am well-acquainted with the research world in academia and a general sphere of industrial/commercial research. All I can say is that no one ever chose to do research for a company because they thought the research was going to make a difference. It's always for the money, it has become extremely hard to sustain and continue consistent levels of work and output as a scientist under the pressures of payments, mortgages, and the like - so people abandon their passion and go futz around with these companies. To give you an idea of how exactly that stands right now, for the consistent siphoning and concentration of the most brilliant researchers and the like, nearly none of the published research (still under awful and shitty conditions in academic or defense contracted environs) comes from these forums. Everyone chooses to go there because it will be easy and you basically just perform mundane tasks.

Well AKSHULLY you can grow corn on fields fertilized using compost, then harvest the corn and let it ferment to produce ethanol and then put the ethanol into the car.

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I work in biotech in San Francisco and oh god the culture is so horrible. Most of these people think they are going to be billionaires and that they're doing more important work than the NASA and the NIH combined just because they're creating shitty spyware and Juicero-style firmware. Nothing of value would be lost if 95% of these startups disappeared overnight, and it could be argued it would be a net positive.

Capitalism is so inefficient that we're redirecting our society's resources and talent towards things like (actual shit I've seen):
-Wifi-enabled sandwich slicers
-Infinite rehashes of google glass
-"Smart" fridges that cost like $8k and they can… Play music?
-Homeless tracker maps that also works like Pokemon Go so you can monitor and report specific homeless people
-A voice assistant that is "better" than regular voice assisants because it says "ohh" and "umm" every few sentences and has a Valley girl accent to make your incel techie ass feel less lonely

Unironically kill me fampai-tachi

but would you prefer slaving your arse on academia?

I am a physicist who works in an academic context, but have worked in the commercial sphere as well and I can tell you that they're both soul-crushing in different ways; however, I would prefer my present work one-thousand fold more than the meandering and mundane pointlessness of the shit you have to do in the private sector - without a shred of doubt in my mind

I'm far from SV but I've just stopped reading Hacker News because I noticed how their technocratic (and sometimes libertarian) discourse drags me into their insane proto-fascist groupthink.

Not only they're obsessed with success and "changing the world" but they also praise working yourself to the bone to get the best possible surplus value.

Silicon Valley was a mistake.

In large part yes.
Even where companies do produce something (like Apple) they're engaged in comically scammy behaviour.
So right now, interest rates are low because the economy is shit. Ideally, companies would borrow and invest in something productive - new machinery, etc - and that'd put them in a good position for the future and also get people employed doing something useful. But what a lot of companies are doing, especially tech companies, is borrowing money to buy up their own shares. This produces nothing. But it does push up the share price. This is great, because a lot of CEOs have performance-related pay based on share price. Some might think this provides an incentive for them to take decisions detrimental to the company because it's in their own self interest, particularly if they won't be hanging around too long.

So long as interest rates remain low this is a great idea. Share prices go up and the debt repayment isn't a problem. I don't know what happens when they go up. Probably nothing. I don't know why I told that story.
On an unrelated note:

do not take from this post that high interest rates are a good thing. the problem is the stock market, high interest rates also kill productive investment. see: Britain in the 1980s. Manufacturing was obliterated partially by interest rates making investment in new machinery impossible and past investments bankruptcy inducing. A short sharp shock of higher rates would be fun to watch though.

Man all these sounds retarded. I know someone who does chemistry in the commercial stuff who at least improves and create new manufacturing or recycling methods. Although even that person complains about the chemist approach to things (lower cost and simple solutions for effective results) being considered outdated and passed over for SV shit.

Holmes is from a prominent Jewish and Freemason family whose dad was a VP of Enron iirc. Theranos was the equivalent of an ICO exit scam for politically-connected wealthy persons in the US, except Feinstein, Kissinger, Shultz etc. didn't get to dump their bags before the whole thing collapsed. This sort of thing (not campaign donations or lobbying) is how you get rewarded for pleasing the American oligarchy.

I don’t think the tech sector is a scam. While their profitability is quesinble, they are producing stuff that has use value, which as a Communist is what I care about. But Silicone Valley is a scam. In the 90s make techies argued that computers will enable people to live anywhere and work whatever job they want. Yet these retards decided that anywhere meant the place with the world’s highest rent.

Doesn’t matter if a company is profitable to investors. All that matters is that the stalk price goes up.

Somebody is going to fucking die for this.

biofuels are a meme
the energy output of the ethanol is less than the energy inputs required to grow the corn

When will Zig Forums be able to distinguisj the two on their schizo minds

Elizabeth got away with it only because Silicon valley is right next to San Francisco at the heart of SJW forced diversity "Starbucks socialism".

She was the youngest strong independent female billionaire in history. Therefore there was no way she could possibly be lying, and anyone who disagreed or suspected her of overstating the efficiency of Theranos as an investment fraud must be a horrible sexist pig!

The funny thing is Holmes was probably aware of this and intentionally exploited it. It was only until she was crazy enough to think she could actually get away with releasing a product in her Walgreens deal that quite literally did not work and was basically an expensive box that did nothing did people FINALLY start taking a serious look at her bullshit claims.

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not just that, it's a scam.

This is technically definitionally true of all fuel unless you discount the solar energy going into it. There's other plants than corn that have much better energy rates though.

Its not just Silicon Valley, its the IT industry all over the world. That's my experience as a European in the business. There's sooooo much bullshitting going on many people wouldn't believe it I expect. Selling non-existing products is like, a default thing to do.

How do you get away with that? Or is it just somehow mutually beneficial for all the parties involved?

but I thought that was how thermodynamics work? What are you proposing as alternative exactly?

No, the thing about biofuels (especially corn as you note) is that EVEN when discouting the solar energy it still comes out as a net negative. Industrial agriculture has huge energy inputs: diesel, gasoline, irrigation, pesticide, herbicide, labor, land, ect. Even if you consider the Sun to be free energy you are always losing on biofuels. Even if you grow something more efficient, like hemp or palm oil, you're still losing.

what is with the silicon valley aesthetic?
it seems obtusely dystopian. It is the same way in make-up stores.

Obviously the way thermodynamics work means you always get less energy if you factor in literally everything in a system.
That's not what I'm talking about. At their most basic, biofuels are supposed to be a way for us to turn sunlight into stored energy. Basically just a complicated battery, right? Except, that's not how it works. They actually need a bunch of energy inputs from industrial agriculture just to be productive, which means you end up just inefficiently turning fossil fuels into biofuels. It's pointless.

What about woodgas made from rice hull or other unused biomatter?

IIRC the EROEI looks a lot better for waste products, since they aren't being properly utilized by industrial agriculture anyway. There are some interesting bioreactor concepts I've seen where a multistage process produces both a fuel AND compost from waste byproducts. It's very promising.
But, none of these systems are good at producing fuel for cars, which is what the original post was about. Producing gas to heat, cook, or generate electricity is a much better use for these fuels.

Wood gas is already currently being used for cars and it was very widely used during WWII when gas was in critical supply though.

Wow, somebody has never been outside before. Ethanol is maybe acceptable to put through a quality diesel engine. It fucking destroys anything else.

I'm aware, but that would require quite a change.
Also, I don't know how that compares to electric vehicles. Would it make more sense to use biofuel to generate electricity and charge a battery, than to convert a gas car to run on woodgas? I don't know.

Probably not, unless for some reason solar, wind, hydro, or nuclear are not available. For example, truck drivers in siberia where the infrastructure is not developed enough would have to stick with gas/diesel vehicles for some time.

it's just steve jobs dick riding mixed with rainbow capitalism.

It's an NSA data mining operation.

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While we're talking about the tech industry being a scam, anyone seen this monstrosity yet?


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Maybe when Silicon Valley finally collapses global capitalism will go with it? It would be nice.

does anyone else think it's embarassing how Zig Forumsacks have to do massive mental gymnastics to explain how problems of capitalism are actually the fault of the eternal SJW boogeyman?

Everything people describe as "SJWs" is literally just capitalism trying to adopt a "woke" image. Rich college kids pretending to be oppressed, corporations cashing using feminism to improve their brand image, con artists playing into progressive biases to make a quick buck, capitalist social media fostering circlejerks to optimize engagement, critical theory departments producing meaningless drivel because they avoid the role class plays in Marxist theory…
Somehow Zig Forumsacks convinced themselves that there's some socialist effort behind it. The opposite is true! "SJWs" is what you get when socialist politics falls apart.

Capitalism doing something and socialists being blamed for it must be one of the most recurring themes in modern political history. It's all so tiring

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Wait, I thought that the corn was going to be turned into oil which would be turned into fuel?

I thought the big deal with bio fuel was we could continue using "conventional" engines. As opposed to electric ones. If everything we make had a battery in it, the logical next step is that we will begin to run out of materials for batteries. Just like how we're beginning to forecast the time the world's oil reserves become economically unfeasible.

You realize you’re guilty of doing the same? Feminism is the female collective unconscious pushing for its ultimate reproductive strategy, “SJWs” are a manifestation of someone who has inferiority complexes, under this light it all becomes very clear. These are hardly the fault of capitalism, they’re a result of industrialized society, technology, not ideology.

Why the fuck would feminism begone from the world simply because we stopped being capitalists or why would the problems of sheep who are psychologically disturbed from living in an industrialized society go away?

You’re the same as the “traditionalist” who believes an 80 year old social movement can undo millions of years of evolution, these traditionalists ironically believe monogamy to be natural, and feminism to be a social manipulation imposed on us, much like you believe feminism is a consequence of capitalism.

Probably the most retarded take. Have you read anything about her? She is incredibly well connected and has/had lots of DC porkies on her board. That probably contributed to her "success" more than anything else.

Obviously it's a scam. Has babby only just starting reading about 21st century capitalism?

Actually, any kind of idpol is a capitalist shill.
SJWism is just bourgs tryna be "woke" and "valid" and alt-right is bourgs pretending to be "we're not like the sjws who are evil buy our shit". The fight is just a veil under which fuckery takes place

hahaha what the fuck

why do you have to write like a twitter/SA sycophant

But are we here witnessing a universal law of programmers under capitalism becoming fuckwits? IBM and Microsoft and Google are all American, almost all Euro programmers can read Yank and consume the thonking of the Yank gurus – so another explanation for the similarity could be the historical and current (lesser, but still significant) importance of the USA in the field and that "programmer culture" is very Americanized.

That would explain why so many women are in the peace movement. They selfishly want to prevent global thermonuclear war only for the reason that the species survives.

I beg your pardon?

The absolute state of right-wing theorizing.
lmao. You have no idea what capitalism is.
Feminism wouldn't be gone. It'd succeed. We'd all be better off because of it.
The primary psychological burden of industrialized society is alienation, which is a necessary consequence of the capitalist mode of production that can be overcome with socialism. Put people in control of their own labor. Have you read any socialist literature?

AI, at least the way they are selling it, is bullshit. AI is great at doing repetitive things in a very controlled environment. Like putting the same items into the same box. But AI robots have been doing that type of work for close to 15 years now. They can't even get AI to pack Amazon boxes, since the items, and even the size of the box, can be different for each customer.
This AI driving bullshit is a complete meme and was done better in 1960's anyway. Some University in the 1960's built a self driving car by putting in steel rails inside the roads that the cars could pick up magnetically, then all the cars had to do was be programmed to not run into the car directly in front of them. Silicon Valley doesn't want that type of solution because then they'd have to rely on the state to setup the infrastructure and couldn't completely own it.
If they do force AI cars on everyone they'll make a dedicated lane for them, which will ironically make them no different than railroads.
All these scaremongering stories are just PR to get porkies to invest more money into this bullshit technology. There are a few proven AI applications that haven't fully rolled out, like fruit and vegetable picking robots. Again these robots aren't exactly new and still have shortcomings, namely their ridiculous expense.
Image analysis is pretty much the only thing AI has really revolutionized, but again most of the potential has already been leveraged in stuff like geological surveying, and image categorization, there's no major revolutionary breakthrough on the horizon.

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People put the stuff in boxes and get advice from the COMPUTERGOD which box to use. The advice is non-binding because it is often wrong. Packing things gets quickly complicated, even if all the objects are rectangular boxes themselves and you only want to know the most efficient arrangement when limiting yourself to using right angles, you still have a combinatorial explosion. But that doesn't explain the common wrong advice when putting two or three items into a box or even just a single one.

Barcodes have brought a drastic improvement in tracking flows, but these still treat items as identical that are merely supposed to be identical. It is annoying that information-richer 2D codes aren't the norm yet. The scanning devices used at Amazon and many other places can read them. If the packaging of an item changes, it still comes with the same barcode, so advice based on old measurement leads to confusion. There is a hodgepodge of different barcode norms and Amazon workers memorize a ranking of five different standards if several are found on an item (which happens almost always).

These are problems that you drastically reduce by coming up with standards and enforcing them. It is idiotic and autistic to even think of them as "problems of AI". They are the idiotic outcomes of an autistic society.

I completely agree with this post.

I am a bit surprised no one has mentioned Evegeny Morozov in this thread yet (he may be a little off-topic).
He coined the term "solutionism" for the pattern Silicon Valley has when it tries to "save the world" by shoving tech tools into made-up problems.


He’s a fucking idiot. He didn’t critique Silicone Valley in any meaningful sense. All he did is say it’s bad for liberal democracy. As if liberal democracy in this day and age is something worth defending.

The Internet has dramatically changed some Industries though. For example, just look at print media. Newspapers and Television stations are collapsing, and their being replaced by a bunch of small decentralized online media sources.

Capitalism and SJWs are not mutually exclusive parties. Not only can you blame them both, but in many cases they are working together.

Elizabeth Holmes is one such case. And this isn't just theorycrafting, if you go back and look at news regarding her before 2018 you will see the "muh sexism" card being used in her defense. It's a classic scam: Exploit the broken nature of capitalism like a true Porky, label anyone who criticizes you of being morally bankrupt or having some ulterior motive.

Just read some of this shit. You cannot make this up.

Idpol is used as a tool of Porky to get away with Porking the worker all the time. Thinking that it somehow needs to be one or the other, or that calling out SJWs is somehow diverting the blame from Porky, is 100% exactly what Porky wants you to think.