Brutal wars, quakes, global warming and Donald Trump. That's 2016, an annus horribilis if there ever was one. Many will be happy to see this year out.

Next year doesn't look too hopeful either, unfortunately. The tech industry has already been at odds with the Obama administration, and looks set for a further mangling by the incoming government. It'll be self-inflicted pain too, mostly.

One reason for the tech industry being a square peg in a round hole is the sector's lack of engagement with society. The Obama administration fought with Silicon Valley regularly, but rules were mostly followed and argument was allowed. With Trump in charge, the tech industry worries that process will be replaced by edicts and Twitter rages.

It's a disconnect between technology people and the rest of the world, which is even more apparent in the collection of high-profile tech-connected celebrities that hope Trump will deliver for them.


It goes all the way to the top, with Paypal founder and Facebook and Xero investor Peter Thiel joining Trump's transition team.

Thiel is no stranger to wild notions, having long backed the libertarian Seasteading Institute that wants to establish nations floating in the oceans where, uh, enlightened self-interest rules.

He is gay, and will work with vice president-elect Mike Pence.

That's the same Mike Pence who vehemently opposes marriage equality which he thinks will lead to "societal collapse" and who believes anti-discrimination laws for LGBT people threaten freedom and religion in the workplace.

Social collapse sounds bad, but perhaps Thiel and Pence will organise a seasteading plan to see us through it?

Wikileaks' Julian Assange who took a very partisan, anti-Clinton tack with selective data leaks during the presidential election will be hoping the new administration will reward him for his 'work'.

Assange will be hoping to piggyback on any potential presidential pardon of whistleblowers Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden, as he withers without wi-fi in the Ecuadorean embassy in London.

An agenda that that ignores societal change that technology wreaks upon the world wasn't ever going to be accepted, and that should've been apparent to the Silicon Valley illuminati years ago.

It's possible that one loose cannon will bond with another of course, and Trump will intervene in favour of Assange instead of waterboarding him, but it's a narrow one.


Locally, Kim Dotcom was celebrating Trump's win too, with the same dank "Crooked Hillary" meme that was used during the election campaign. Will Trump now ignore the powerful entertainment industry and intellectual property interests and dump the extradition case, because that was all so very Obama, right?

To think that a government of anti-science reactionaries, who openly oppose LGBT people, who are creationists and advocate torture as a national security device will do the opposite of everything they fervently believe in is quite a leap of faith. I'll leave it to the readers to work out what the chances of that happening are.

We'll see next year if the above hopefuls will get what they wish for, or if the chickens will come home to roost for them instead.

Other people like Thiel's venture capitalist partner Geoff Lewis think it'll be the latter, and are preparing for the worst.

An agenda that ignores societal change that technology wreaks upon the world wasn't ever going to be accepted, and that should've been apparent to the Silicon Valley illuminati years ago.

Instead of social awareness, change for good and hope for the future, we got fake Facebook news stories and Twitter giving the alt-right nazis a pulpit to spread their poison. That was the tech industry's greatest contribution to this US presidential election, and it's one they should regret.