Sand sculpture computer

The frustration in Marc Andreessen’s post on our failure to prepare and respond competently to the coronavirus pandemic is palpable, and his diagnosis is adamant: “a failure of action, and specifically our widespread inability to ‘build.’” Why don’t we have vaccines and medicines, or even masks and ventilators? He writes: “We could have these things but we chose not to­—specifically we chose not to have the mechanisms, the factories, the systems to make these things. We chose not to ‘build.’”
Forgetting for a moment that this is coming from the same guy who famously explained in 2011 “why software is eating the world,” Andreessen, an icon of Silicon Valley, does have a point. As George Packer has written in the Atlantic, the coronavirus pandemic has revealed much of what is broken and decayed in politics and society in America. Our inability to make the medicines and stuff that we desperately need, like personal protective gear and critical care supplies, is a deadly example.