Technology and its discontents

  @FortuneMagazine December 19, 2013: 9:29 AM ET
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(Fortune)

As I'm sure you've heard, Silicon Valley has been experiencing growing pains. This is true in physical terms: Traffic and congestion are getting worse, and there's all that construction and (gasp) gentrification in San Francisco. But what I'm really talking about is the very audible angst and agita coming out of this part of the world. Let me explain.

Silicon Valley has become the epicenter of the nation's -- maybe even the world's -- economy. Over a few decades, life-altering products, gigantic companies, whole new industries, and billion-dollar fortunes have been created. That's not just heady stuff; it's unprecedented in the history of the planet. It's only natural that so much success will give rise to pie-eyed pronunciamentos and even boorish behavior by technorati -- and, in response, hand-wringing and teeth-gnashing by the itchy tech media corps.

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