Wendy Liu: Abolish Silicon Valley: How to Liberate Technology from Capitalism (2020, Repeater Books) 4 stars

Former insider turned critic Wendy Liu busts the myths of the tech industry, and offers …

More Memoir than Manifesto, but not a bad thing

4 stars

"Abolish Silicon Valley" is a timely read, even if published prior to the Global Pandemic. Given the subject matter (Capitalism, Silicon Valley, technology and its impact on society), the fact that it is difficult to ascertain this slight observation speaks highly to the importance of its subject matter. Though not unique in this experience, I came to this book with slightly different expectations; it does have quite a Manifesto-friendly title, in fairness. Initially, I was disappointed by that, but the second half offers more than enough manifesto-friendly "food for thought". Wendy Liu has an interesting story and, coupled with a proclivity for the poetic (Liu has a soft spot for David Foster Wallace and it shows in her writing), still strikes a chord with those even remotely influenced by the decisions and outputs of Silicon Valley (that is to say, a whole lot of people currently). This book promises a lot and promises almost too much for the work of this book to be contained between these modest 214 pages. Heck, I am already awaiting a follow-up perhaps humorously entitled "Pivoting Silicon Valley" - but maybe that is better off belonging on Liu's well-maintained blog.