Artifacts: An Archaeologist's Year in Silicon Valley by Christine A. Finn

By Christine A. Finn

Silicon Valley, a small position with few identifiable geologic or geographic beneficial properties, has completed a legendary acceptance in a truly little while. The glossy fabric tradition of the Valley could be pushed via expertise, however it additionally encompasses structure, transportation, foodstuff, garments, leisure, intercultural exchanges, and rituals.Combining a reporter's intuition for an outstanding interview with conventional archaeological education, Christine Finn brings the views of the prior and the long run to the tale of Silicon Valley's current fabric tradition. She traveled the realm in 2000, a interval whilst people's fortunes may switch in a single day. She describes a computer's swift trajectory from great tool to laptop to be junked to collector's merchandise. She explores the experience that no matter what one has is readily outdated through the subsequent new factor -- and the impact this has on monetary and social values. She tells tales from a spot the place fruit-pickers now recycle silicon chips and the place extra money should be made babysitting for post-IPO than operating in a manufacturing facility. The ways in which individuals are operating and adapting, have gotten filthy rich or slightly getting by means of, are obvious within the cultural panorama of the fifteen towns that make up the realm referred to as "Silicon Valley."

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Xxxiii Painted Highway, Silicon Valley. | Photo Essay xxxiv | Photo Essay Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, San Jose, September 2000. xxxv | Photo Essay Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum entrance, San Jose. Mycenean columns, Treasury of Atreus, Greece, artist’s impression, early twentieth century. Sistrum. Artifact number RC1765, Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, San Jose. xxxvi | Photo Essay Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, San Jose. xxxvii Fry’s Electronics, store exterior, Campbell, May 2000. | Photo Essay xxxviii | Photo Essay San Jose Mercury News ad.

The process of technology, as much as the tangible effects of it, is important here. The majority of people using a computer with “Intel InsideTM” never see the chip. “This is a new industrial age—we can’t just talk about it, we have to know how it works,” says Rachel Stewart, a curator. So, engineers donate artifacts, and they usually come with a descrip- 11 | The Way to San Jose “Witch in a bottle,” Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford. tive label explaining not only how the item was made, but what it does and how in fact it fits in with the product’s cultural history.

Computer defense language. Had I actually left journalism then for a career in computing, this would be a very different story. As it was, I bought the BASIC 5 | The Way to San Jose books, completed the course, and promptly did nothing more about it. But within six years, I was experiencing computers in the workplace, as typesetting evolved from hot metal to web-offset and editing on screen. In 1976, when I began work as a local newspaper reporter at sixteen, we thumped out our stories on old Remingtons or Coronas, the typesetters clacked out the words in lead, we checked the long galley proofs, and made alterations by hand.

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