This caught my eye in the Twitter feed of Mariana "everything comes from the State" Mazzucato:
Sure enough, DARPA appears to have had squat all to do with the development of the first microprocessors:
Three projects delivered a microprocessor at about the same time: Garrett AiResearch's Central Air Data Computer (CADC), Texas Instruments (TI) TMS 1000 (1971 September), and Intel's 4004 (1971 November).I don't know about the CADC, but Tim Jackson's excellent book "Inside Intel" is very clear that the 4004 was a joint Intel-Busicom innovation, DARPA wasn't anywhere to be seen, TI's TMS 1000 was similarly an internal evolutionary development targeted at a range of industry products.
Looking at a preview of Mazzucato's book via Amazon, it seems that her claims about state money being behind the microprocessor are because the US government funded the SEMATECH semiconductor technology consortium with $100 million per year. Note that SEMATECH was founded in 1986 by which point we already had the early 68000 microprocessors, and the first ARM designs (from the UK!) appeared in 1985. Both of these were recognisable predecessors of the various CPUs that have appeared in the iPhone - indeed up to the late iPhone 4 models they used an ARM design.
I'm now curious about the other boxes in that diagram. The NAVSTAR/GPS and HTML/HTTP claims seem right to me, but I wonder about DARPA's association with "DRAM cache" - I'd expect that to come from Intel and friends - and "Signal compression" (Army Research Office) is so mind-meltingly vague a topic that you could claim nearly anyone is associated with it - the Motion Picture Experts Group who oversee the MPEG standards have hundreds of commercial and academic members. If Mazzucato's premise is that "without state support these developments would never have happened" then it's laughably refutable.
At this point I'm very tempted to order Mazzucato's book The Entrepreneurial State for the sole purpose of finding out just how misleading it is on this subject that happen to know about, and thus a measure of how reliable it is for the other parts I know less about.
Update: it seems that associating the DoE (US Department of Energy) with the lithium-ion battery is also something of a stretch. The first commercial lithium-ion battery was released by Sony and Asahi Kasei in Japan. The academic work leading up to it started with an Exxon-funded researcher in the early 70s . The only DofE link I can find is on their Vehicle Technologies Office: Batteries page and states:
This research builds upon decades of work that the Department of Energy has conducted in batteries and energy storage. Research supported by the Vehicle Technologies Office led to today's modern nickel metal hydride batteries, which nearly all first generation hybrid electric vehicles used. Similarly, the Office's research also helped develop the lithium-ion battery technology used in the Chevrolet Volt, the first commercially available plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.That's a pretty loose connection. I suspect, since they specifically quote the Volt, that the DofE provided money to Chevrolet for research into the development of batteries for their cars, but the connection between the Volt and the iPhone battery is... tenuous.
For fuck's sake, Mariana. You could have had a reasonably good point by illustrating the parts of the iPhone that were fairly definitively state-funded in origin, but you had to go the whole hog and make wild, spurious and refutable claims just to bolster the argument, relying on most reviewers not challenging you because of your political viewpoint and on most readers not knowing better. That's pretty despicable.