Still thinking about Bell Labs. I visited there once ‘on business’ when I was working in the acoustics lab at Penn State. I feasted my eyes on The First Transistor, which wasn’t under lock and key. It was just casually displayed in a glass case in the main hall.
One of the Substackers wrote a hardass Then vs Now on California, focusing mainly on its natural beauty. Among the former good parts of Calif he included the vast technical innovation of Silicon Valley.
I’m not arguing with his main theme, but this is just historically wrong. Calif’s innovations are solely Show Biz, and Silicon Valley’s contribution to the world is solely Show Biz. Those “garage inventors” didn’t develop ANY new electronics. They were using and stealing and piggybacking on devices and computers developed in NEW JERSEY and UPSTATE NEW YORK. Edison was in West Orange, RCA was in Camden, Bell Labs was in Holmdel, IBM was in Binghamton, Xerox was in Rochester. Snowy unattractive places packed with REAL talent.
Silicon Valley created new BUSINESS MODELS based on the devices invented in New Jersey. The BUSINESS MODELS were copied from Hollywood. Create addictive content, set up a system to distribute it, charge for viewing and advertising. Pure California.
Reprinting a montage of NEWARK’S tech capability in 1957:
= = = = =
Residents of New Jersey’s largest city might find themselves showered in cash, as Newark Mayor Ras Baraka says the city will study a pilot program to provide universal basic income (UBI) to all residents whether or not they have a job.
“We believe in Universal Basic Income, especially in a time where studies have shown that families that have a crisis of just $400 in a month may experience a setback that may be difficult even impossible to recover from,” said Baraka during last week’s State of the City address at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, noting that 1/3 of the city lives in poverty.
No no no no no no no, you fucking fucking fucking fucking idiots idiots idiots idiots.
UBI is just another way to KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL the poor, and you fucking well know it.
Newark used to have REAL PRODUCTIVE USEFUL USEFUL USEFUL JOBS JOBS JOBS for ordinary men, and a lot of hi-tech jobs for engineers as well.
Here’s just one tiny sample of one sector of industry, from the ads in a 1957 electronics buyers guide.
And the same was true in other sectors of industry.
Newark, Newark, Newark, Newark, Newark. Jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs.
You want numbers numbers numbers? Okay, here’s some data from the 1960 census.
Unemployment: Newark 4.5% vs national 5.1%.
Median income: Newark $7149 vs national $5660.
Newark 10% of pop under $3000 vs national 21%.
Newark 26% over $10000 vs national 15%.
Half the national poor end, twice the national rich end.
[Inflation since then is about 10, so just tack a 0 on those incomes for modern equivs.]
Newark may not have been a pretty place to live, but it was a good place to work.
MEN NEED TO MAKE THINGS. IF MEN ARE NOT ALLOWED TO MAKE THINGS, THEY WILL BREAK THINGS.