Access and Feeds

Technology: Talk Like a Tech Titan Day

By Dick Weisinger

Talk like a Pirate Day is September 19th. Maybe we need to celebrate something similar with the language of tech: Talk Like a Tech Titan day.

Researchers have studied the language used by the top 100 richest tech-world people to glean an understanding of how they perceive and portray the world compared to how people outside of that group do. The researchers initially planned to interview people from within this group, but only one of the hundred agreed to be interviewed. They then instead opted to study the language used by these people by looking at statements made by them on Twitter.

Compared to the average control group, tech titans gravitate toward using phrases that emphasize disruption, positivity and temporality. “New”, “great”, “distinct”, and “excellent” frequented their conversations.

The researchers found that the opinions and decisions of the tech elite strongly influence the workings of democracy, but the elite themselves are ‘ambiguous’ of their support of it.

The researchers termed most of the members of the tech group as having a ‘meritocratic’ world view. Meritocratic systems emphasize talent, effort, and achievement over inherited wealth and social class. The researchers point to the 1958 book published by Michael Young called “IQ + Effort” which predicted the rise of tech elites and warned of a growing social inequality where other groups of people are left behind.

John Torpey, professor at CUNY and one of the authors of the report, told Inverse that “belief in meritocracy is one of the strongest features of the tech elite’s worldview, and this is part of what has made meritocracy so politically contentious now. As Michael Young wrote in the first major book about meritocracy, this ideology makes achievement the measure of worth, and denigrates those who are perceived as ‘low-achieving.’”

The authors point out that the wealth and success of many tech elite may more often be the result of help from family, favorable tax policies, sympathetic intellectual property laws, and just being in the right place at the right time.

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