Poking Fun at Cyber-Brattery

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Never has there been a better moment on TV for poking fun at the open-office-space, creative-energy-brewing, euphemism-slinging culture of big tech companies, such as Google. Not only is the show Silicon Valley doing a bang-up job navigating its reluctant “hero” (a coder with an in-demand compression app) through the pitfalls of doing a start-up – and giving us a handful of memorable characters along with it – Veep recently aired an episode in which titular character, Vice President Selina Meyer, visits a Silicon Valley company that is an over-the-top but spot-on caricature of those types of companies. The jargon, the lingo, the setting, the eccentric characters – all of it was right on the money. But just poking fun of it by having it there was not enough. The core characters (Selina’s staff and Selina herself) took it a step beyond by either making comments that deflated the “mystique” the company aimed to achieve or outright eviscerating the whole concept (“kindergarten for cyber-brats”). Selina’s chief of staff is offered a job at the company they’re visiting and basically tells them she’s too negative and is “an adult” and can therefore not work there.

Sure, working in politics or a public-sector machine can sometimes be the antithesis of a tech-sector powerhouse… always fighting for more tech resources and expertise. But it can reach this ridiculous point of being out of touch with reality at either extreme.

Meanwhile in the ever-expanding world of Nordic crime dramas, I have just begun watching the Norwegian series, Mammon. So far I am not drawn in or impressed the way I have been with shows like Bron/Broen or Forbrydelsen (or their remakes). Is it because I am so naturally biased against Norwegian things? I don’t know but it’s just not doing it for me so far.

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