So many voices in the public sphere cannot register that there’ll soon be a time when you can’t fly wherever you want, when you can’t assume a Chinese person is willing to give his or her life and habitat to make sure you have a wide angle lens on your smartphone. When humanity finally emerges out of the horror that is modern-extractive klepto-capitalism (it ain’t free market), big technology’s net benefit will evaluate whether it was all worth it. One need not look further than the suburban home and car to see how objects that once represented freedom can be re-branded as destructive shackles.
My dad understood this before he died of cancer, though many want to remember him for his startup successes and how he leveraged that for his climate action.
As a promoter of technologies like LAN computing and big storage that accelerated the rate of industrial growth, my dad understood the dubious legacy he was leaving behind. This is why he spent his final breaths speaking out against climate change. He said the best thing he was doing for the planet was not making any more money—money being the main predictor of whether someone was a super-climate driver.
Besides Steve Jobs, few tech pioneers saw the world so holistically. Most of his peers defined themselves as pro-technology, because technology was the way they succeeded — even when that success came at the expense of people and planet.
My father wasn’t pro-technology. He was pro-evolution and pro-nature.
I was reminded of my father’s uniqueness the other day when I reached out to a couple so-called tech-pioneers: early Apple guy, Guy Kawasaki, and tech-investor, Ramprate’s Tony Greenberg. I’d met the former as a child when he was promoting his book “The Macintosh Way”; my mom was the publisher’s handler. I think he knew of my dad, as they ran in similar elevations in the tech world. I never met Tony, but he was supposedly my dad’s friend who lived in Aspen and had private jets. My brother worked with him as well. I felt fine leveraging my family connections in the service of getting the meager $100,000 I was last raising for Change Order Group — especially when my work directly builds on my dad’s legacies in both big tech and climate action.
Their responses show why nothing changes. Guy is doing a podcast about “Remarkable People,” who all seem to be chosen for their relevance in 1990. Clownish Tony said my deck was ugly, despite going through many rounds with people with 1,000x the style as him.
These guys — both multimillionaires, at least — are sitting on the media channels and investment capital. They don’t help because they don’t want anyone or anything to call question to their legacies, now that the world is going to shit. Their plan is to clutch the money and maintain the popular narrative of their own greatness and utility right to their graves rather than give younger generations, who might further erode the value of their legacies, a leg up.
If either of these farts are remembered for more than 100 years, it will be because of this post, and that makes me sad.