5.33: Electronic Technology is 'Footloose'|
The technologies are "footloose". Those industries do not depend on any raw materials which anchor them in some geographical area. The gold-mining industry has to be where the gold is and the timber industry where the trees are but the electronic industry can be anywhere. The basic raw material is silicon - second only to oxygen as the most widely-available element on our planet. Most developing countries have lots of sand. For certain psychocultural reasons, "silicon valley" is in California. So also is "silicone valley" (Broadway street in the North Beach area where the first topless dancers performed). There are no technoeconomic reasons why either of them had to be there. Both commodities are equally available elsewhere. The ubiquitous chip is not only ubiquitous in terms of its use in so many devices, it is ubiquitous in terms of the sources with which it is constructed.