In a post-Trump world, this might make you feel a bit better
On Friday, the The Guardian‘s US technology reporter Julia Carrie Wong wrote about various Silicon Valley leaders backtracking their pre-election negative remarks about Trump and instead, offering to work side by side with the president-elect. What caught the furry of various people on Twitter, however, was a brief section about how Trump’s desire to “deport millions of undocumented immigrants, some of whom form the bulk of the country’s agricultural labor force,” could “create opportunity for the ‘agtech’ sector.”
As Tim Wilson, a venture capitalist with Artiman, told the paper, “If they really are serious and farm labor gets threatened, then anything that automates labor is something that is going to uptrend.”
In a week in which there are very few silver linings, the reactions on Twitter to this quote show that the next four years could be full of decent criticism and satire. Below is a link to the full thread:
— SaucissonSec (@saucissonsec) November 12, 2016
Here are the funniest Tweets:
— Samay Gheewala (@SaGheedog) November 11, 2016
— NATOvLULZ (@NATOvLULZ) November 11, 2016
— Sean McCabe (@darthstar99) November 13, 2016
— Elman Steven (@E_Steven) November 12, 2016
But this best reflected the absurdity of Silicon Valley:
Trump: there will be mass deportations
Silicon Valley: Ooh, can we send them to Mars?
— Pinboard (@Pinboard) November 12, 2016
In all seriousness, Silicon Valley should be getting criticism over its uncritical stance towards automation, which may increase efficiency and eventual meaningful employment, but meanwhile, has displaced millions of workers, many of whom voted for Donald Trump. But a whopping 88% of lost US jobs have been taken by robots and increased homegrown efficiencies, not outsourced overseas.
While, to be fair, many in Silicon Valley would also find such comments offensive, we hope that there would indeed be communal outrage in the Valley if automated labor were to “uptrend” in the midst of massive deportations.