Theft in the Computer Industry

I got to witness this, first hand, working in Computers in Southern California in the Eighties, and in Silicon Valley in the Nineties.

The Computer was making money, and tons of people showed up grab some of it – using any means possible. People can smell money a mile off, they follow their noses to where it is – and then steal some of it.

At the time, this was just considered human nature – this was just the way people behaved – people told each other. And in a way, they were right – this was how people behaved in certain situations. It was context-dependent – and always resulted in the destruction of the society that sponsored it.

The classic case being that of the Spanish Empire – in its time the largest and richest empire in the world – due to the silver from its mines in the New World. Today it has been forgotten. It resulted in Latin America – the parody of a Christian society.

I got to witness the self-destruction of the Computer Industry – as it was then. Most did not notice what was going on – and for the most part, ignored it.

This unconscious self-destruction – at all levels, from the personal to the national – has fascinated, and horrified me.

I also got to watch the rise of new computer industry – sometimes referred to as Artificial Intelligence – an umbrella term that includes many new technologies – including the Internet, the Cloud, and the Smartphone.

It is trying to define itself – but doing a poor job of it. I think its most important discovery was that – cooperation worked better than competition. Theft is no longer as acceptable – but it is very skittish about saying this.

Capitalism is being redefined – in a form that is no longer recognizable to most.

And they are freaking out.


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