Putting Elon Musk and Steve Jobs on a Pedestal Misrepresents How Innovation Happens


  • Tech’s Enduring Great-Man Myth (Putting Elon Musk and Steve Jobs on a Pedestal Misrepresents How Innovation Happens) | Amanda Schaffer, MIT Technology Review

    l’inverse du portrait habituel de l’entrepreneur mythique self-mad-man-qui-a-tout-inventé

    #SpaceX is not driving the future of space exploration. It is capitalizing on a deep pool of technology and highly trained people that already existed, and it is doing so at a moment when national support for #NASA has diminished and the government is privatizing key aspects of space travel.

    (...) the great-man narrative carries costs. First, it has helped to corrode the culture of #Silicon_Valley. Great-man lore helps excuse (or enable) some truly terrible behavior.

    (...) If tech leaders are seen primarily as singular, lone achievers, it is easier for them to extract disproportionate wealth. It is also harder to get their companies to accept that they should return some of their profits to agencies like NASA and the National Science Foundation through higher taxes or simply less tax dodging.

    And finally, technology hero worship tends to distort our visions of the future. Why should governments do the hard work of fixing and expanding California’s mass transit system when Musk says we could zip people across the state at 760 miles per hour in a “hyperloop”? Is trying to colonize Mars, at a cost in the billions of dollars, actually the right direction for future space exploration and scientific research? We should be able to determine long-term technology priorities without giving excessive weight to the particular visions of a few tech celebrities.

    #disruption #silicon_army #énergie #automobile #espace #privatisation #start-ups

    (ajoutons à cet article que ces “great men” ne contribuent pas à valoriser la place des femmes dans la technologie)

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