Glory and Agony of Silicon Valley
Silicon Valley is a very important place. It is the birthplace
of the Third Wave. It was here that computer hobbyists took
outrageous risks with good humor, vision, and courage in order
to start the PC revolution.
Mistakes were always part of the process. Personal computers
were built in garages for the sheer fun and art of it. Regardless
of whether there were potential applications for the technology
or not. It was a time of pure experimentation with no rules,
boundaries or limits. People were simply manifesting things
inside their heads.
The arrival of the transistor and integrated circuit allowed
the novice to start playing with computer chips and to start
the process of building a personal computer. The idea of sharing
computer design ideas allowed for the building of a computer
community with profits as a much later consideration.
Once investors began throwing money into the new industry; software
and hardware products were often announced before being even
designed, let alone built. Inventions sold quickly and there
was a close relationship between the inventor and the investor
in Silicon Valley. The demand for private computers was so high
and the innovation was so rapid that few business managers could
be found to handle the quick boom and bust cycles.
Finally the PCs were fused with each other and cyberspace was
born. One could now travel the globe with one's computer. The
magic of software allowed for constant mutations in the computer
technology. New software codes constantly changed the configuration
of the PC industry leading to hyper-cycles of boom and bust.
With the internet we are now in the post-PC era. Cyber portals
are becoming as important as PCs. How you connect and to whom
is the new challenge. This is how the Harvest project was born.
We are in an age of virtual community creation. We are on the
verge of virtual politics and virtual economics. We are learning
the rules as we go along. Not just in technology, but culture,
politics, and economics.
New kinds of technologies remold the human enviornment in faster
and faster cycles of change. Computer code is the source of
all technological change in today's digital enviornment and
group minds need to contend with the changes of this powerful
The idea of OPEN SOURCE of sharing information and techniques
is how you get more intelligence out of any organization. This
kind of psychic boot-strapping was conceptualized by Douglas
Englebart who I had the privilege to meet in 1995. This computer
giant invented the mouse, e-mail, visual graphics and demonstarted
all this new technology in 1968 before there was even any conception
of a world wide web.
Today we need to simulate how computer innovation can effect
society before it's even applied. Leaving it to business and
the military is extremely short-sighted. The opportuities for
hyper-media and also giant information libraries free for all
was part of Douglas Englebart's vision. We are creating vast
new kinds of wealth that can benefit every single human today.
How to automate society so people have the leisure to create
and participate in all kinds of group-minds is the challenge
of the current era. It demands radical forms of reconceptualization
for new kinds of social engineering that are still poorly understood.
This is all about following one' s instincts and letting concepts
Hyper-media and hyper-education is a rich cultural procress
which has potential benefits far out-weighing the emphasis today
on dumb digital special effects found in computer games and
Harvest of Gems is about discovering a psychic and spiritual
portal badly needed in today's accelerated society. The Harvest
of Gems project is about creating a digital portal for this
badly needed and unfolding psychic and spiritual portal. It's
been an exciting journey for me so far and I hope it has been
an exciting journey for all of you as well.
The story is still unfinished.