What Tech Calls Thinking - Summary and Key Ideas

What Tech Calls Thinking explores the ideas and concepts that permeate the tech industry, examining their origins and how they shape the industry's understanding of itself and its relationship to the wider world. The book also investigates how these ideas influence the public, press, and politicians' perceptions of the tech industry.

The target group of this book is likely individuals interested in understanding the ideas and concepts that drive the tech industry, as well as those who want to explore the intellectual origins and influences of Silicon Valley.

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What Tech Calls Thinking

Key ideas


The tech industry's dropout success narrative overlooks privilege, connections, and well-rounded education.


The tech industry's false sense of novelty undervalues content creators and overlooks historical context.

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The "genius entrepreneur" myth overshadows the crucial role of collaboration in driving innovation.

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Tech industry's communication style, borrowing from pop psychology, may hinder critical thinking and mask true societal impacts.

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The tech industry's pursuit of novelty risks overlooking deeper societal issues.

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Disruption glorifies tech innovation while often overlooking negative consequences and similarities to traditional business models.

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Embracing failure in tech may perpetuate inequality and hinder collective progress.

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Summary & Review

What Tech Calls Thinking explores the history of ideas in the tech industry, a place that often pretends its ideas don't have any history. The book delves into the origins of Silicon Valley's ideals and how they shape the industry's understanding of its projects and its relationship with the wider world. The author, Adrian Daub, examines concepts like dropping out, content, genius, communication, desire, disruption, and failure, and how they have been repurposed and rebranded in the tech world.

Adrian Daub

Adrian Daub is a German-American academic, cultural critic, and professor of Comparative Literature and German Studies at Stanford University. His research focuses on the intersection of literature, music, and philosophy, with a particular interest in the works of Richard Wagner and German Romanticism.

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