So the New York Times science section this week mentions that Barlow is vice president (doing what?) of a new energy company sourcing algae and located somewhere near a swamp in Alabama. Considering that Barlow started as an patrilineal cattle rancher in Pinedale, Wyoming running for governor of that state as a Republican, became a contributing writer for both Wired and NeXT magazine chronicling Steve Jobs’s boomerang hiatus from Apple, then cofounded the libertarian Electronic Frontier Foundation, and has consorted with more women than Don Juan (perhaps his inspiration), including a psychiatrist whose early death spawned endless odes to their blissful but brief union, it’s no surprise that the coiner of such phrases as meatspace is now heralding a new technological breakthrough that might save the planet. At the very least, we know his job description includes putting this company on the media map, which he has done before it’s even produced a drop of Menorah oil.
Some people just come round full circle, no matter what happens in tech. Take Marc Canter, founder of MacroMedia then MacroMind, whose announcement about his ThingFace – a new publishing platform for nontechnical app developers in the Internet of Things space – showed up as a longwinded blogpost on Medium, which now seems to itself have become a placement medium for new product. Maybe I’m cynical, but who is exactly funding this ThingFace? And what’s the point of having two old tech media friends like Dan Farber and Robert Scoble endorse a product that we used to call vaporware?
Next we’ll hear that Steve Ballmer is launching a new operating system for the sports industry. And that Nolan Bushnell is modifying Pong for the education industry (which might be half true). It would be nice if there were an app to eradicate racism in the U.S., but since -- according to new reports that we already knew would confirm this -- tech companies themselves rank low on diversity, we might have to wait until for that ThingFace antidiscrimination app to appear.