Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Kara Visits a Hot, Flat and Crowded Book Party for Tom Friedman

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Last Friday, BoomTown attended a packed-out book party at the Silicon Valley home of Gary and Laura Lauder in honor of globetrotting pundit Tom Friedman and his latest weighty tome: “Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution–And How it Can Renew America.”

The New York Times columnist’s book is catnip for the smart set–including greentastic VC John Doerr–gathered under a swanky tent on a stunningly beautiful late afternoon, even though Friedman’s message was that these kinds of days were pretty much numbered for the human race.

Unless, of course, all the big brains in tech figured how to stop the following: overpopulation, too many people on the globe acting like piggy Americans, global “weirding” (Friedman’s more accurate term for warming), petroterrorism, the end to biodiversity and more.

As the old cliché goes: Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?

Although dire, and making the current economic straits seem like a paper cut, Friedman still managed to paint a picture of hope, ultimately delivering a yes-we-can-innovate speech ender that the crowd of high-achieving geeks loved.

The big question: Can Silicon Valley stop dopily Twittering and save the day?

Here’s a video interview with Friedman, as well as some snippets from his very well-done speech:


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik