Debra Vogler, Special to The Desert Sun
Published 2:10 p.m. PT Sept. 9, 2020
As a long-time advocate of bringing high-tech industries and businesses to the Coachella Valley as a way to ensure a more resilient, vibrant local economy, I was encouraged by the recent Valley Voice/Your Turn column, “We must focus on making the desert a draw for “Silicon Valley’ jobs.” For me, it helped to take the sting out of an Aug. 30 letter to the editor, “A theory,” in which the author regarded with great suspicion a number of technologies that represent not only the bedrock of our modern capitalist economy, but also enable our national security.
If the Coachella Valley is to attract high-tech investors to the area, aside from the infrastructure hurdles we will have to overcome to do so, and avoiding the downsides of gentrification (lack of affordable housing for one) that can come with it, it seems that a more welcoming environment needs to be engendered as well. One does not find the same level of hostility or antipathy toward science and technology in Silicon Valley as I’ve witnessed in Coachella Valley.
Nanotechnology is hardly new: it’s been the focus of semiconductor technologists for nearly 20 years, who are now working on 3nm (nanometer) process technology. Nanotechnology in the form of advanced computing systems and servers (e.g., Cloud computing) enables our modern weapons systems and our ability to monitor and stop cyber attacks against our nation’s infrastructure and financial systems.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is only “emerging” in a relative sense compared to its expected market potential. The global market for IoT (which is enabled by sensors of many different varieties that utilize semiconductors) was valued at $212.1 billion in 2018 and is expected to see growth of 25.68% through 2026, reaching $1.32 trillion at that point, according to Verified Market Research.
As for 5G communications technologies, investors are keenly interested in how fast it can be rolled out because it further enables a number of key business growth opportunities, not the least of which are autonomous driving and massive machine-type communications (machine-to-machine and IoT applications).
Many of the corporations with the largest market valuations rely on big data almost entirely for their business models to be successful — e.g., Facebook, Alphabet (Google). Others, such as Amazon and financial institutions, rely extensively on big data to be successful.
Rather than call scientists “elites,” even here close to home we should be thankful we have those who want the U.S. to continue its leadership role. Whether or not the U.S. continues to support innovation, the rest of the world will do so. Not all of those countries are our allies or friendly competitors/collaborators.
Certainly, citizens should demand accountability from high-tech corporations: they utilize our personal data and taxpayers have funded the basic R&D that enabled their business models. But thinking long term, what young person will want to study science if it is constantly panned by those who do not understand its roles in national security and securing our place in the world economy? Additionally, such diatribes won’t serve our local efforts to attract high-tech investments.
Debra Vogler of Palm Desert is a journalist/editor/writer who covers the semiconductor manufacturing industry. Email her at email@example.com.
Read or Share this story: https://www.desertsun.com/story/opinion/contributors/valley-voice/2020/09/09/panning-high-tech-isnt-wise-our-desert-seeks-more-diverse-economy-debra-vogler-valley-voice/5763746002/
Oct. 10, 2020, 4 a.m.
Oct. 10, 2020, 5 a.m.
Oct. 9, 2020, 1:08 p.m.
Oct. 10, 2020, 4:30 a.m.
Oct. 8, 2020, 3:19 p.m.
Oct. 9, 2020, 1:12 p.m.