Marc Andreessen stated it first. Now every person wanting to be taken seriously in tech is throwing this phrase in their daily conversation to signal that they belong. The phrase in its literal sense means nothing, though going by its increasingly wide adoption, I get the sense that I am supposed to feel a certain urge to roll up my sleeves and start “disrupting” more than ever before. This new fad phrase is “time to build”.
According to Andreessen, the COVID-19 crisis we are in today is a “failure of action, and specifically our widespread inability to *build*.” But I fail to understand from the 1,800 word essay what I should be building to prevent future health crises. My first instinct was to build a better, accountable government. Because they’ve built things before in their glory days, haven’t they? Highways, post offices, schools, etc.
But Andreessen explicitly says I am on the wrong track as he argues that the government “has never built a system to distribute money to us when it’s needed most”. I suppose social security checks don’t count. I am sure there’s a reason other than pure and simple greed, a reason more valiant and philosophical, that justifies tech billionaires’ blatant disregard for government (and taxes by association).
Frustrated with my own inability to “build” and consequently more determined to correct my derelict ways, I make a list of things that would help solve the COVID-19 problem. Vaccines. Yes. Surely even this problem of no vaccine can be solved with AI and IOT and Neural Networks. We just need an Uber for non-infected human cells if a coronavirus infected cell is in the vicinity. There. That’s the solution. Quod erat demonstrandum. Governments and funding for non-profitable vaccine research rendered obsolete. Time to build this uber for cells. Seed investment welcome.