Seeing like a Valley: Studying the Global Impacts of Silicon Valley's Moral Visions

Program Series:

Seeing Like a Valley, led by Massimo Mazzotti (History) and Marion Fourcade (Sociology), seeks to understand the role the Valley plays in shaping not just new technologies but moral visions, and how moral visions are ‘exported’ alongside technologies. How do the moral visions of this powerful region relate to past and current alternatives, and how do they interact with contradictory and complementary visions around the world? Like modern states, Silicon Valley attempts to regularize, rationalize, and codify the world to make it legible to machines and technological practices. Often, this ‘valley vision’ willfully ignores local practices and historical precedent in favor of universalism, institutional ‘disruption’ and beliefs of exceptionalism. It is our aim to examine the ethical and value-laden judgments these moral visions imply, who they leave out, and what they mean for our own commitments to social justice.