Silicon Valley E-vangelism
New media empires arise with the dawning of the age of the Internet, and along with it powerful dogma spawns.
Kids barely out of high school craft websites in 1995. Many of these extremely young, early developers migrate to the Mecca of New Media Upstarts - Silicon Valley.
A never-ending cash infusion from Wall Street, Defense Department, and Intelligence investment agencies supports the adolescent crowd as they fabricate media delivery platforms at the end of the 20th century. Post-teen developers enjoy the accolades, riches, and behavior-enabling that industry monopoly provides.
Cash and lavish stock options incentivize the engineers of new media empires as they produce web browsers, web hosting, and search engines that transport digital packets across 20th century telephone networks.
The young Turks of the new interactive media industry cut their teeth on HTML, Java Script, Python, Photoshop, UNIX, and server-side scripting. The once young Turks, now middle-age corporate chieftains, rule 21st century media empires.
Huge corporate empires arise: Amazon; Apple; Facebook; Google; Microsoft; PayPal; Twitter; YouTube, and more. These 21st century corporate empires are like NBC, Standard Oil, Union Pacific Railroad, and U.S. Steel empires of the 20th century. The 21st century global monopolies, with riches, armies of lobbyists, and new business models, influence the culture at large.
The Internet Revolution's broad cultural influence is no different than the Industrial Revolution's manufacturing management techniques. Frederick Taylor's scientific management (aka Taylorism) spawned dogmatic practices continue to haunt the education system, as just one example, as it cranks out order-followers, but not creative-minded graduates. The failures of extreme Taylorism applied still echo across the culture. The management doctrines of the Internet Revolution are supplanting some of Taylorism, but come with a unique set of issues.
Today, American, Western, and global cultures are hostage, in many ways, to the doctrines of the Internet Revolution. The high-tech industry oligarchic clans are now global power centers, and their acolytes consider their culture supreme.
The Internet Revolution provided the citizenry with an expanded world of entertainment, information, and convenience. Certainly, the creators of this marvelous new world deserve praise, but praise spilled into worship. Many Silicon "Valleyists" come to believe they gift the world with their creations built upon a new, and superior, culture of fairness, justice, and business acumen greatly more enlightened than any generation preceding it.
Abundant wealth, power, and accolades shower down upon the Silicon Valleyist entrepreneurs. Valleyists become drunk on own hubris, and convinced of their superiority, as evidenced by the fawning of the populous. Delusions of grandeur spawns among their cloistered culture.
"The Valleyist culture reigns supreme," many spout this new enlightened doctrine. A dogma is spawned, just like Taylorism before it. The E-vangelists are unleashed to spread the doctrine.
Web industries now reach business maturity, and we see the dogma of these billion dollar empires exported alongside ubiquitous products. The Valleyist dogma possesses a unique morality, philosophy, and vision of the world.
Certainly, some of what the Valleyists practice, and preach, benefits the broader culture, but there is no panacea. The assumption of the Valleyists, and many of their gilded ilk, is that their enlightened vision must be extended to all corners of the globe. The evangelical Valleyists believe their doctrines can save the world.
One Valleyist creed is summarized thusly.
"The astounding benevolence delivered to the world by our creative endeavors is the result of an enlightened new culture first practiced among our ranks. Our superior culture, practices, and philosophies improve the world. Our web platforms, and software applications, are the result of this superior culture, and a subsequent vision for a greater humanity. Humanity must embrace this new way of things for the benefit of all."
Dogma and business entanglement is nothing new. The Industrial Revolution also ushered in social changes, and new concepts of human performance, and factory production techniques washed across the human landscape like a tsunami.
The Internet Revolution provides new tools for our hands, eyes, and ears that connect the globe, and it is certainly astounding. But, the culture that delivers business marvels, and goodies, is never wholly worthy of universal social deployment.
Here we are today. The resistance to Valleyist doctrine appears to be stiffening, and some battle lines are being drawn.
Corporate driven, and government enabled, content censorship is girded by a sense of moral superiority propagating from the Valleyists to the rest of the culture. Valleyist product ships fist-in-glove with their dogma, and behavior suggests the dogma is often more important than the products.
Totalitarian agencies mingle among these multinational corporations. Multi-billion dollar government contracts comfortably enable Valleyist dogma. Totalitarian teet-suckers hide among the so-called "experts" that sit upon hidden committees charged with perusing, and passing judgment upon information; this is nothing more than propaganda, and narrative shaping, justified as Valleyist morality.
"We are protecting the consumers from harmful ("evil") words." The proselytizing is Valleyist E-vangelism. The Valleyists are blinded by their own hubris run amuck.
The 20-somethings now 50-somethings manage multinational corporate behemoths better funded than most nation-states. The money never runs out. The accolades never end. The cloistered culture remains a tight circle. The E-vangelization of their "superior" culture rolls on, and is entangled with their products.
Accept their services; embrace their culture - no choice. Valleyists that proselytize their customers are sustained by the benefit of monopolies, and all thanks to outmoded regulations purposefully left unchanged by careerist politicians on lobbyists' payrolls.
The Valleyist sects believe their way is worthy of adulation, embrace, and imitation by the broader culture. And by god, they demand obedience. The browbeating grows in fervency.
"Look at our success. We brought you the web, with its enlightenment, and all its wonders. Now, bow to our morality and culture. It is superior in every way to the old doctrines."
One powerful tenet of Valleyist dogma is the penchant for central censorship spewing forth from the digital pulpit. Their particular brand of censorship is justified as a necessary protection for the masses from the dangers of extremism - according to their own enlightened definition of course. According to the Valleyist doctrine, censorship is executed by enlightened "public" corporations, and not the government (cough, cough); thus, it is good (holy?), and benevolent.
The unique brand of Valleyist fairness, social equity, message management, and propaganda-protection is sold, and enforced by web providers. May we call them "preachers?"
Blessed be the E-vangelists, but buyer beware.
“Copyright © 11NOV21 by Steven A. Schwab"
The author designed, launched, taught, and managed college degree programs in Telecommunication, Media Business, Web Design, Web Marketing, Advertising, and other design, production, and technology areas. He launched and chaired the first stand alone Web Design degree programs in the state of Florida. He was hired by James Madison University to design and teach a new degree program in Telecommunication. He has published papers in several peer reviewed journals, public radio & podcast appearances, numerous conference presentations, and holds two graduate degrees.