But today there is a third city affecting the other two. Silicon Valley, this third city, is not governed primarily by reason (it is practically the mark of a great entrepreneur to not be “reasonable”), nor by the things of the soul (the dominant belief seems to be a form of materialism). It is a place, rather, governed by the creation of value. And a large component of value is utility—whether something is useful, or is at least perceived as good or beneficial.
I realize that some people in Silicon Valley think of themselves as building rationalist enterprises. Some of them might be. The city’s guiding spirit, however, is summed up by investor and podcast host Shane Parris, popular among the Silicon Valley set, when he says: “The real test of an idea isn’t whether it’s true, but whether it’s useful.” In other words, utility trumps truth or reason.
Our new century—the world from 2000 to the present day—is dominated by Silicon Valley’s technological influence….