Cybertopia: Dreams of Silicon Valley

2015 ,    »  -   11 Comments
Ratings: 7.38/10 from 89 users.

Silicon Valley, California. This is where the planet's most forward-thinking dream merchants converge to imagine and create a new digitized reality that can transcend politics, war and other ills that plague the growth and stability of our society. Cybertopia: Dreams of Silicon Valley takes us to the epicenter of this technological revolution, and introduces us to the figures who hope to reshape a brave new world through the force of their vision.

"The internet is the biggest free market worldwide experiment that involves politics, information and commerce," observes entrepreneur Kevin O'Connor. Assisted by a team of bright, young creatives, O'Connor has established an online resource that allows users to compare services and businesses throughout the world, including those related to various governmental agencies. By offering a platform of unprecedented transparency, O'Connor and his team hope to create a more informed and empowered public, greater scrutiny of unethical practices across industries, and a stronger capitalistic system where the cream truly does rise to the top.

The countercultural movements from decades past used to rely on peaceful protests and messages of universal love to inspire change in the world and its governing bodies. Today, a version of that culture still exists. Only the protests and peace signs have been replaced by product development and programming code.

Silicon Valley is ground zero for this ideology. "It's really just that urge to create that suffuses the Valley," says David E. Weekly, a product manager at Google. Sometimes, the results of that creativity and outside-the-box thinking can reshape our way of life, as evidenced by the success stories led by pioneers like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Elon Musk. If there's one thing that drives their philosophy, and the character of Silicon Valley itself, it's in the embrace of previously unimaginable possibility.

The ultimate end game for the leaders of this movement is nothing less than the creation of a utopia, where the environments relegated to virtual reality platforms find flesh and blood expression in the real world. Most intriguingly, Cybertopia: Dreams of Silicon Valley teases us with the notion of such a world where citizens can indulge in interplanetary travel, and redefine the role of government here at home by creating territories where they can choose the representation that works best for them.

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11 Comments / User Reviews

  1. a_no_n

    As with most ideologies, the implied Utopia is only that way for the select few who are deemed to matter...for everyone else whose propping it up it's a pretty raw deal

  2. Fabien L'Amour
  3. Fabien L'Amour

    I have a problem with a documentary that puts a class that will give you the newest electronic gizmo or software to find things on the internet ahead of the class that provides you with food on your table, clean water to drink or a roof over your head.

  4. DigiWongaDude
  5. DigiWongaDude

    Many thanks TDF, I enjoyed this one very much. Recommended.

    ...Anything smelling too strongly of Ayn Rand is probably a bad thing, and Ayn Rand's 'selfish' philosophy is all over this one (it's Silicon Valley stupid), but... this stuff tickles my taste buds and inspires me to code harder - maybe the world can be made better through the self empowerment technology has to offer.

    Check out Adam Curtis' "All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace" (here on TDF) for an in-depth look at many of the topics and themes brought up here, especially for the other side of these utopian ideas.

  6. Chad Butler
  7. Chad Butler

    Paper thin and clear as silicon is, transparency we may see in these interviews of these smiling rich, intelligent, charismatic and well educated entrepreneurs in a small private nation within a great nation (there USA!), less they forget there forefathers that fought the wars and came over the hill to discover California in the first place. History is one part at looking forward, as the present of the 'here and now' makes up the secondary part. These guys do live frankly behind their party masks labelled 'god'. A world without politics? we couldn't feed a mass population without our governments working together to regulate industries, protect borders and threats of new world uprising on every continent today, and not to mention the threat of newer, newer, newer technology! Too me 'Science' has gone to far when everybody has 'Google', 'Twitter' or 'Facebook' in their pockets, good it has done and good it may be, but don't we need to look at our more stronger traditions to invest in, like personal growth or spiritual awareness? rather than being the consumer loyal to their latest and greatest product. The fact is corporate entities do wear 'masks' and do pretend to care how it impacts our globe, they wouldn't however declare they massively exploit Chinese companies and they're workers by making them richer in manufacturing there latest gizmo's. These 'serial capitalists' simply won't 'stay hungry' or 'stay humble' they know what the cake tastes like, and its laying there already cut for them to keep eating and eating, There technology overwhelms us everyday and we don't really know where it should take us next? Too floating cities? It seems fare to say that the 'Arms Race' never died in '89, it just moved over to silicon valley and consumed the whole planet with Google!

  8. ThalesOfAmsterdam
  9. ThalesOfAmsterdam

    I agree Chad.

    By the way almost ALL (read --> all) innovation comes from government funded initiatives.. not private companies. Private companies are just there to soak up all the innovation and commoditize it to and make money from it. A world without government interference would be a sad place indeed..

  10. matt732
  11. matt732

    So, instead of creating a paradise on Earth, we should limit
    ourselves to our imaginations and emotions. You saying that science is a
    threat equals to saying that reality is a threat. Since you hate and
    want to escape reality, probably because of failure, you need to imagine
    some other reality, where you don't fail, that's where the spiritual,
    emotional realm comes in.
    People like you existed in every time in
    history, they always say that progress is a threat, and if we would have
    listened to them, we would live in caves without electricity... To say
    that progress is a threat is to say that greatness is a threat, which
    has grounds in the wanting of a world where there is no greatness, where
    everyone is little, since greatness is an insult to your self-esteem.

  12. Chad Butler
  13. Chad Butler

    Human cloning, atomic bombs, genetic modifications of food and weapons of mass destruction can be a negative of scientific discovery my friend. This needs sensible governments to regulate these ideas from private enterprises luring us into our minds and lives. Technologies like these harm life on this earth, or could destroy it, its a future we don't need to live with, and its where technology went over board in order for science to dominate the real spiritual nature of man... to 'Protect us' they keep on saying. The great religious differences and conflicts of today and yesterday fuel this debate of science 'protecting us', over the spiritual values and sensibility of man's own true nature (and women's I should say) OK Google, Facebook and the Internet are a positive part of science and technology, I did mention that, please read my post again. My opinion is only to be aware it can take over us, like being in every pocket, wrong or right this is ? is purely ones own right to seek and discover what is truth for them. Yes my opinion is a bold one, but similar to yours on the other scale of supporting progress way, way, way away from the cave man lifestyles...well it seemed anyway, or ? but why do we all like to still go outdoors into nature, camping like the primitive did once live like? Because our souls truly need nature, in its simplest way, and a much needed break from our stress it creates with over technology use, I'm afraid to say. Many successful entrepreneurs have admitted to wanting to live a simpler lifestyle, with the simpler things in life again (closer to caveman) and did you see those old hippie photos from the 60's & 70's in the doco? those crew/folk went back to basics as well, with lesser technology and more contact with sustainability in communal living.(not to escape reality but to recreate a brighter one, with less friction) I have lived in and truly believe also in community, where nobody is richer or poorer, greater or smaller, littler or bigger than the other, it isn't needed! Believe me, my ego isn't jealous of these entrepreneurs riches or success at all, I can assure you, I was only boldly putting an opinion out there, that I have a distaste with there measurement of success in money, status, technology and global elitism..which is full power egoistic and paper thin in there self esteem raising, don't worry this caveman loves can openers and computers as well, there all products of greatness, like my ego too!

  14. Sixlo
  15. Sixlo

    Textbook Capitalist propaganda. Selling us the idea that Capitalism can now fix all of the problems Capitalism causes. Kevin O'Connor, the inventor of Doubleclick, the epitome of privacy invading cookies, gets facetime in this.
    Capitalism is as old as civilization. If it was going to work, it seems logical it would have done so before now.

  16. Auri
  17. Auri

    May I add that this film actually represent the most dystopian thing I've ever seen?
    Let's just admit this (because we're among "us"): as computer scientists, we are autistic and we should not shape society because we have no idea about the social animal. Fundamental knowledge of others has just not being built into our brains.
    Adding capitalism to autism based technology (with totalitarian tendencies built into as a 'feature') is the reason why the internet didn't become the place we wanted it to be in a first place. We are moving away from our ideals every day. Inequality only grows because of technology and we are not making the world a better place as we promised - we work quite on the opposite.
    I still wonder if this is because we integrated capitalism into technology or if technology itself is to blame for the mess we created. Let's stand up and change this.

  18. Adventurer
  19. Adventurer

    When anyone talks of supporting the philosophy of Ayn Rand I become very suspicious. Because NO company and NO person stands alone, neither do they "come-up" with these clever ideas and become successful alone. What I've garnered from reading about millionaires/billionaires is that they have this very hubrious attitude.

  20. Adventurer
  21. Adventurer

    It's amazing that Draper's "super heroes" look amazingly like images of a "super race." Let's get this straight, a lot of these very, very successful and "intelligent" people are so because of the backs of other people they needed to stand on to have an opportunity at success. Maybe the luxurious high-rise is beautiful but it didn't get built without that jack-hammer. Do we celebrate the jack-hammer? Not necessarily but we don't discount it. There are people who have been "forced" to be the backs other people could stand on in order to say, "look at me." If this "new" future is not all inclusive - then it's not new. It's just the same shape morphed to look different but it's not. Because if it doesn't represent the intrinsic valley of people and doesn't recognize OR appreciate the sacrifices of the majority that allows this small number of people to succeed - expecting them to not become elitist but grateful to be allowed the privilege of moving ALL people forward towards a higher consciousness.

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