This is also why libertarianism mates well with computationalism (the idea that the world is best understood and operated through computers). Both adopt a burn-it-all-down attitude toward the institutions that have held them back. What is “disruption” but the act of stripping everything from society and reinventing it inside the computer?
.. It’s more surprising that everyone in the Valley doesn’t support Trump than that Thiel and Luckey do.
.. Successfully exerting force of any kind on the universe is the ultimate goal of nerddom. Silicon Valley just institutionalized the idea. That common mantra—“change the world”—means nothing more than “witness myself the force I can exert upon it.”
.. Those who see VR as a temporary, occasional tool for entertainment miss the obvious truth of its ambition. VR is a symbol of the misfit’s ultimate victory over a world that would hold him back from other victories. A tool with which to fashion virtuous, mediated lives outside the boundaries of cruel, brutish normalcy. The nerds never wanted to become popular. They want to end populism entirely.
A couple nights earlier, at the New York Times building, Wizner had watched Snowden trounce Fareed Zakaria in a public debate over computer encryption. “He did Tribeca,” the lawyer added, referring to a surprise appearance at the film festival, where Snowden had drawn gasps as he crossed the stage at an event called the Disruptive Innovation Awards.
.. Snowden’s body might be confined to Moscow, but the former NSA computer specialist has hacked a work-around: a robot. If he wants to make his physical presence felt in the United States, he can connect to a wheeled contraption called a BeamPro, a flat-screen monitor that stands atop a pair of legs, five-foot-two in all, with a camera that acts as a swiveling Cyclops eye.
.. It all amounts to an unprecedented act of defiance, a genuine enemy of the state carousing in plain view.
.. Glenn Greenwald, one of Snowden’s original journalistic collaborators, jokingly talks about taking the Snowbot on the road. “I would love to let it loose in the parking lot of Fort Meade,” where the NSA is headquartered, he said.