Apple, Google, NASA, and the Rainbow connection
An interesting story about a special sounding residence:
When Sir Roger Penrose visited Silicon Valley this spring, he stopped off at Google, NASA, and the Rainbow Mansion. But he spent most of his time at Rainbow, Silicon Valley’s answer to the 17th-century French salon.
Rainbow Mansion is a place, a house in Cupertino, California, not far from Apple headquarters. But it’s also a community, a kind of science and tech society. It was founded four years ago by current NASA chief technology officer Chris Kemp and four other Young NASA Turks, and it soon embraced other like-minded locals, from former Google senior product manager Jessica Ewing to Sebastian Stadil, CEO of open source cloud computing startup Scalr and the founder of the Silicon Valley Cloud Computing Group, to various other Googlers and, yes, a few members of Steve Jobs’ top secret Apple army.
The mansion has a communal library, and every few weeks, it hosts what residents call, yes, a salon. The last was entitled: “This house believes that in the future the benefits of openness will outweigh those of privacy.” The next: “This house believes that Nationalism is an Infantile Disease.” [Shh… don’t let WND or Glenn Beck read this!] Guest speakers range from Penrose to Lawrence Lessig to Steve Wozniak. One Rainbow founder — Will Marshall, who worked on the NASA LCROSS project, the mission that discovered water on the moon — counted Penrose as a PhD adviser.
Fascinating to hear about what dedicated and bright people are doing to further their causes in a practical manner.
Is the “Rainbow Mansion” and similar efforts a secular answer to the Medieval monastery, where the torch of knowledge can be kept going (by the non-rich) in light of the political and social chaos that is encompassing us?
Is group living part of the future of our society?