Yesterday I found out the CIA hangs around in unmarked cars by Philz Coffee in downtown Palo Alto. Philz is on the same block as Palantir on the Alma Street side. See my post on Palantir, the CIA funded start up and why I was asked to show my phone to a Palantir guard and why it doesn’t surprise me to be told the CIA hangs out around the area. (Congratulations to Palantir Founder Alex Karp for making the list of Most Influential in changing our world in the upcoming Vanity Fair. Thanks to SF Chronicle for this info.)
This data point of unmarked CIA agents takes me down memory lane. The summer between high school and college I worked as a teacher’s assistant in a Head Start program. I was pulled out of class one day by a Federal employee because I had not been fingerprinted. So, I got fingerprinted and went back to the kids and forgot all about it until recently. Somehow Palantir and the CIA and seeing where Silicon Valley is heading has reminded me of that incident. I didn’t mind being fingerprinted and I still don’t so why does it come to mind?
I was surprised by it because I did not and do not associate fingerprinting with kids. Yes, I know – pedophiles, sex offenders and more and there is a perfectly good reason to do fingerprinting for those that work with kids and I’m all for it.
It doesn’t matter that I know the history of Silicon Valley is just as much military as agricultural. I am still in yesteryear when I think of technology in many ways. The past year has changed my thinking though. It’s not just Palantir though I admit it was a big catalyst.
It is also things like realizing the world is changing at warp speed through technology and it is happening here and now and yesterday and tomorrow. Now that I know Facebook is disrupting technology to tech giants like HP and Cisco and Dell and threatening their existence with their just south of the Arctic Circle (Sweden to be exact) data center and by giving away the blueprints for equipment design for anyone to copy, I am awake and aware and listening in a way I was not previously doing.
If Facebook can threaten HP, what does that say about, well, about everything? It threatens the fabric of life in a way perhaps only comparable to the Industrial Revolution. And I think this is bigger, much bigger.
If this wasn’t so big, Condoleeza Rice wouldn’t be embedded in Palantir along with George Tenet and David Petraeus. And the Bay Area from south of San Francisco to south San Jose would not be interested in combining into one unified area.
Facebook disrupts old guard tech companies of Silicon Valley and the CIA hangs at Philz. Just forget it for a moment and go to Canva.com – I’m loving this idea! And Flipboard too. (of course Mike McCue hosted Obama recently, but as I was saying…welcome to the newest new new thing – life as we know it is over. Technology is government and government is technology. There is no separation and what that says is monumental. Now that the futurist Kurzweil is head of engineering at Google maybe he’d like to speak of it.)