in high-tech culture
July 27, 2000
of The Dallas Morning News
A Critical Romp Through the Terribly Libertarian Culture of
by Paulina Borsook
In business: the survivors aren't always the ones with the best products,
government is often useful and giving a bunch of computers to a school might not
be the best thing for the kids.
extended essay, Paulina Borsook begins with the anarchist spirit of many
high-tech people who express themselves at a personal level with funky clothes
and at a national level with ultra-tree-market views
culture, someone who points out that government provides road, police protection
and safe buildings is an extremist,
Much of the
book is devoted to Bionomics, a sort of economic Darwinism in which the fittest
product survives and tampering with the free market is akin to messing with the
rain forest. Ms. Borsook thoughtfully analyzes the philosophy, then provides a
few graphic examples of how change isn't necessarily good: "Black Death
resulted in a major reforestation of Europe… but not before a lot of
pokes at other geek-establishment sacred cows as well, such as the price that
women, older workers and immigrant engineers pay in a field where youth and
flashy trends-of- the-moment prevail.
Ms. Borsook is
at her best in her metaphors. Consider a cat, which brings you its most precious
gift of a dead rat - whether or not you wanted one. And it can't understand why
you're not happy. Now consider a computer firm that provides a computer system
for a very poor school -never mind that no one there knows how to use it or that
there's not enough room or the building is disintegrating.
With humor and
grace, Ms. Borsook I provides a platform for those who look at the high-tech
whirl and think, "Are those people nuts?"