In this sentence – The technology trends may push Silicon Valley back to the future – what does "back to the future" (especially "back") mean?
Take it easy. There's no time machine involved here.
In the 1985 movie Back to the Future, Michael J. Fox's character traveled in a time machine back to 1955. Naturally, when he got there, the present day (1985) became a future date. Literally, Fox's character had to fly "back to the future" to come back into the present world.
That gives you an idea of what "back to the future" means.
The Silicon Valley case involves a similar concept. Silicon Valley, in northern California, has been known for its silicon chip innovators, software programmers, high-tech incubators and the way it draws venture capital by the millions. In short, Silicon Valley represents the future.
Or at least it used to represent the future, from the 1970s throughout the 80s and early 90s. In the middle of the 90s, however, the so-called dot.com bubble came about and Silicon Valley had since suffered a great setback as investors began to look elsewhere. The Silicon Valley train to the future of hi-tech and wealth was temporarily slowed, if not altogether derailed.
If this report – The technology trends may push Silicon Valley back to the future – is true, however, Silicon Valley may well be back on its feet. The train to the future of cutting-edge technology may have been pushed back on to the fast track again. Silicon Valley is given a new lease on life. The future is back.
And that's what "back to the future" means here. It's a pretty safe bet.