Colonial thinking in Silicon Valley

Freedom and democracy for all, but not you

1943, Britain is fighting for democracy. Thousands are dying to save freedom in Europe.

Terra Incognito to us, home to you

In James Gleick’s great book The Information, there is a description of how explorers travelled up the rivers of Africa and were continually suprised that their arrival was expected by local people.

Talking Drum (Wikipedia, Creative Commons Licence)

Ruling like the Raj: doing more with less

Finally, Silicon Valley is beginning to repeat an interesting technique from the days of the Indian Raj. It is an engagment with local thinking but a corrupting one.

Colonial revolution

In the end, it is important both to recognise how colonial thinking like this is embedded in the ways Silicon Valley trades and that it does not need to be accepted.

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Sensory Design Consultant, usability researcher and workshop facilitator. www.linkedin.com/in/alastair-somerville-b48b368 Twitter @acuity_design & @visceralUX

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