Monday, March 28, 2016

Google and Apple: the High-Tech Hippies of Silicon Valley - The New York Times

A long-view perspective on the new Apple and Google campuses

"These images and experiments fueled the imagination of Silicon Valley, even as the young tech entrepreneurs began converting their ramshackle means to far different ends. It was, after all, an earth held in common that inspired the hippie Modernists to find new ways of designing and living. The new unearthly Silicon Valley campuses represent the triumph of privatized commons, of a verdant natural world sheltered for the few. Neither the Google nor Apple campus is open to the public, nor are their designs replicable on the scale that the ’60s utopians imagined for their designs. Well after the orchards of Northern California were overwhelmed by glass boxes and suburban tracts, the tech companies find themselves looking longingly at an Edenic, prelapsarian moment, when it seemed that — to adapt a more recent slogan — another world was possible. But what was originally borne from improvisation and a desire to live simply is now borne from unimaginable mountains of cash. The new Apple office will cost an estimated $5 billion, making it possibly the most expensive office building in history. We are dealing with a bubble of a different kind."
Google and Apple: the High-Tech Hippies of Silicon Valley - The New York Times
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