By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN NY Times Jan 12, 2013
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That one word seems to have two different meanings on the two coasts.
col-lab-o-rate [k uh-lab- uh-reyt]
verb (used without object), col-lab-o-rat-ed, col-lab-o-rat-ing.
1. to work, one with another; cooperate, as on a literary work:They collaborated on a novel.
2. to cooperate, usually willingly, with an enemy nation, especially with an enemy occupying one’s country: He collaborated with the Nazis during World War II.
IT is often said that Britain and America are two countries divided by a common language. That is also true of Washington and Silicon Valley. The other day, I was interviewing Alan S. Cohen, an expert on networks who has been involved in several successful start-ups. At one point, Cohen began talking about the importance of “collaboration” both within and between firms in Silicon Valley. Then he stopped and said it’s interesting that in Silicon Valley “collaboration” is defined as something you do with another colleague or company to achieve greatness — something to be praised — as in: “They collaborated on that beautiful piece of software.” But in Congress “collaboration” means something very different today. It’s the second definition — collaboration is an act of treason — something you do when you cross over and vote with the other party. In Silicon Valley, great “collaborators” are prized; in Washington, they are hanged. Said Cohen, who was vice president at Nicira, a networking start-up that recently sold for $1.26 billion: “In Washington, when they say ‘collaborator’ they mean ‘traitor’; here they mean ‘colleague.’