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Silicon Valley Doesn't Have an Attitude Problem, OK?

samzenpus posted about 2 months ago | from the high-horse dept.

Businesses 262

Nerval's Lobster writes: In Silicon Valley they think differently, and if that leads to arrogance, so be it. At least that's what Bloomberg Businessweek's Joel Stein implies in his long meditation on the area's outlook on technology, money and changing the world. Stein set out to examine the underlying notion that Silicon Valley's and San Francisco's tech entrepreneurs are feeding a backlash by being, in a word, jerks. His conclusion seems to be that they may well be jerks, but they're misunderstood jerks. He doesn't deny that there's sexism and boorishness at play in the young tech community, but he sees the industry trying to make itself better. He sees a lot of egotism at work, too, but he says if you're setting out to change the world, you're probably going to need a big ego to do it. But tell that to other people in Northern California: undoubtedly, you've read about the tempest in San Francisco recently, where urban activists are decrying the influx of highly paid tech professionals, who they argue are displacing residents suddenly unable to keep up with skyrocketing rents.

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Wonder how Elon Musk (2)

future assassin (639396) | about 2 months ago | (#47650575)

would reply to this

He sees a lot of egotism at work, too, but he says if you're setting out to change the world, you're probably going to need a big ego to do it.

Re:Wonder how Elon Musk (3, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 months ago | (#47650853)

would reply to this

He sees a lot of egotism at work, too, but he says if you're setting out to change the world, you're probably going to need a big ego to do it.

With a 5 page rant-blog? That seems to be his default response to criticism.

Re:Wonder how Elon Musk (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47650949)

FUCK Elon Musk, he is a scam artist.

It speaks volumes about YOUR intellect that you would even care
what Musk might say. Musk is an ASSHOLE. And yes, I know him
personally, and I would not trust him further than I could throw him.

Re:Wonder how Elon Musk (0)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 2 months ago | (#47651157)

Sounds to me as though you're just sore about no longer being in a position to stick Elon Musk's head in the toilet.

Re:Wonder how Elon Musk (3, Insightful)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about 2 months ago | (#47651197)

If that's the case, he's a terrible scam artist. He's taken money from investors and turned it into function products and services. Which, I've been told, is very expensive and really cuts into a scam artists profits.

You sound like a (1)

future assassin (639396) | about 2 months ago | (#47651457)

woman/man who was refused by Elon.

Re:Wonder how Elon Musk (4, Insightful)

ZeroPly (881915) | about 2 months ago | (#47651081)

Except the Silicon Valley crowd just THINKS they're changing the world. We were supposed to have flying cars, space elevators, real AI, and spacetime manipulation by now. Not communication in 140 characters, and better algorithms to search for Kardashian articles.

Re: Wonder how Elon Musk (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47651261)

This.

Also, who in the world could possibly live without an internet connected refrigerator? ;-)

Re:Wonder how Elon Musk (4, Interesting)

lgw (121541) | about 2 months ago | (#47651427)

Only a corner of Silly Valley is working on "Web 2.0" BS. There's a lot of real work going on too. The products offered by the likes of Facebook and Google may seem frivolous, but the backends needed to offer those products are changing the (back-end) world. As they knowhow to work reliably at a scale of 10k, 100k, 1M servers gets productized and offered in AWS and Azure (OK, those 2 are Seattle, but still) we see the beginning of the end of needing your own data center.

As a back-end guy, the fact I can now write three-tier web service that scales indefinitely as a hobby project, by plugging together AWS parts is pretty amazing. If I need 10000 cores for a few hours to model that flying car, space elevator, or machine learning system, I can not only get that easily on a moments notice, I can get it cheaply (a penny per core-hour cheap - that's something).

Tech workers in Silicon Valley (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47650579)

are like the posters on Slashdot. They're some of the most fairest, open-minded, most professional people around, willing to look hard at both sides of any issue before coming to a conclusion.

Just ask them.

Re: Tech workers in Silicon Valley (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47650629)

If somebody tossed a Molotov cocktail into the g bus, I'd consider it a very slight over reaction.

I can't pick up private friends using public stops. Nobody but the tech scum bro grammars have that type of access to public resources for private gain.

Re: Tech workers in Silicon Valley (1, Insightful)

ganjadude (952775) | about 2 months ago | (#47650655)

hey dumbass, they have permission and they are doing you a service by taking 100 cars off the road for every bus give or take. U mad bro?

Re: Tech workers in Silicon Valley (0)

xevioso (598654) | about 2 months ago | (#47650735)

This ^^^

Re: Tech workers in Silicon Valley (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 months ago | (#47650785)

He is mad, because a corporation is being given a free pass to do something a private citizen would be ticketed for, which is a legitimate bitch, if somewhat petty.

Now, if Google paid for and built their own bus stops, or more reasonably, paid a fee to the city and worked with the existing public transit system to set up a schedule for using the existing bus stops? That would be ideal.

Re: Tech workers in Silicon Valley (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47650835)

you understand the concept of ride sharing and car pooling, but you can't grasp bus stop sharing...

Re: Tech workers in Silicon Valley (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47650881)

You understand the difference between a public bus and a private bus ?
You understand the difference between using public space for private gain, vs paying for private infrastructure to server their needs ?

You understand ?

Re: Tech workers in Silicon Valley (4, Insightful)

xevioso (598654) | about 2 months ago | (#47651045)

Except it is paid for. The buses pay the city to use the infrastructure. What is this infrastructure you ask? It's a space on a street. When it is vacated, the city bus, on the rare occasions it's right behind a google bus, will move in and "use the infrastructure." More often than not it's the other way around because city buses are slow, ponderous, and take a long time to get people on them.

I'm assuming you have no issues with taxicabs or Uber drivers using "infrastructure" to pick up passengers for private gain, do you? Right? Do you understand?

Re: Tech workers in Silicon Valley (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47651075)

You understand that "public" anything is already paid for by all of the private entities in the tax district, right?

Google's not in the tax district? Expand the tax district. Problem solved.

Bus stops on public roads, are for public use (1)

jabberw0k (62554) | about 2 months ago | (#47650893)

Isn't it true that a bus stop may be used by any conveyance, public or private? If you are loading or unloading passengers, you may use one, you just can't wait there. So what is the problem?

Re:Bus stops on public roads, are for public use (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 months ago | (#47650987)

Isn't it true that a bus stop may be used by any conveyance, public or private?

Not in my town, bus stops are for city bus use only, period, no exception; they made a big deal about it in the local media about a year ago. Pull into one with your personal vehicle, you're going to be looking at a minimum $250 fine.

So what is the problem?

Your concept of legality, apparently. FWIW, there is no universal, federal law regulating bus stops, as far as I'm aware.

Re:Bus stops on public roads, are for public use (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about 2 months ago | (#47651109)

well then you should complain to the law makers and make it so that you can use it for stopping or picking up IF there is no bus currently using it, instead of complaining about someone who is paying for the right to use it

Re: Bus stops on public roads, are for public use (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47651459)

Because a car sitting in that spot means two things:
1) the bus can't leave the road to stop
2) traffic halts because the bus can't leave the road.

Re:Bus stops on public roads, are for public use (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47651131)

In my city, you can not use the bus lane to make a right hand turn.

Stopping, Parking, and driving in the bus lane, are, for any reason, is prohibited.

Re: Tech workers in Silicon Valley (3, Insightful)

ganjadude (952775) | about 2 months ago | (#47651099)

google is paying the city for the right to do so....

by doing so they are lowering emissions by taking cars off the road

they are lessening traffic, by taking cars off the road

there really is zero reason to be complaining, im sure if they wanted to start a ride shareing program and rent busses to drive their neighbors around and pay the city millions, they could use those stops as well.

Re: Tech workers in Silicon Valley (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47651391)

Full disclosure: I work for Google, but not in the San Francisco / Silicon Valley area. I have no extra inside knowledge, and have only used the buses a handful of times.

As far as I understand, Google already pays a fee to the city for bus stop use, a fee which is the maximum permitted by law without a referendum. This fee is quite low, I think $1 per bus stop per day. In addition, Google has donated several times the fee (about 4x the amount brought in by the fee for *all* companies that use the bus stops) to support transit passes for low-income children.

I don't know anything about scheduling; I haven't had the impression that it was a problem.

Re: Tech workers in Silicon Valley (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47651015)

And if those buses weren't in operation, 99 of those cars wouldn't be on those roads anyway, since those well-paid Googlers would just live somewhere with less shitty traffic instead.

Re: Tech workers in Silicon Valley (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47651409)

That's my take.

Re: Tech workers in Silicon Valley (1)

stephanruby (542433) | about 2 months ago | (#47651053)

I can't pick up private friends using public stops. Nobody but the tech scum bro grammars have that type of access to public resources for private gain.

So instead of having 20 to 30 people in a Google bus during rush hour, you want those 20 to 30 tech scum brogrammers on the road driving their own car?

I'm sorry, but these types of agreements are nothing new. Private car pools often get preferential treatment. For a couple of hours they can get their own lanes and their own pick up/drop off areas (areas which are usually public parking spaces the rest of the time). Not to mention, school buses, university shuttles, and even private university shuttles, often share bus stops with city buses when there is a need and the city agrees to it.

If you ask me, getting as many idiot drivers off the road during rush hours is a good idea (it's not like they don't have the money, so if they don't go by shuttle, they won't have trouble buying their own cars, increasing car congestion, and driving up the rent of private garages in the city).

Re: Tech workers in Silicon Valley (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47651155)

You forget, this is NorCal we're talking about. They're homo-grammers.

Seriously though, I've been all around the world and NorCal has the absolute worst people. They're pretty much all two-faced, backstabbing, fair-weather milquetoasts.

Re:Tech workers in Silicon Valley (5, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | about 2 months ago | (#47650641)

I'm as open minded as the next guy.

It's just the unwashed masses and redneck mouthbreathers who are too stupid to understand it!

It's not arrogance if... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47650587)

As the old saying goes "It's not arrogance if you can back it up." Granted, Twitter and Facebook might not exactly be the sort of change we're all excited about but it's undeniable that Silicon Valley and other tech hubs are changing the world.

Re:It's not arrogance if... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | about 2 months ago | (#47650779)

As the old saying goes "It's not arrogance if you can back it up."

Which the overwhelming majority of them can't. That's kinda the point.

The culture in tech hubs today is in a very real sense based on gambling. VCs bet 7-8 figures on a company that might be the one to make 10 figure returns. It's a high variability strategy that rarely pays off, but pays out staggering amounts of money when it does. And because any VC always has a pool of investments on the go, they can stand to play the long game knowing their mean return is always going to be astronomical.

Many founder/entrepreneur types are playing the same game, just with fewer zeroes and one big shot at a time. Some will make it. Most will fail. Some of them will come back and try again. Many of them won't. It's just like the VCs, but a whole lot more personal, because VCs are the house that always wins, while first-time founders are more like the whales who bet it all on number 3.

Almost everyone else working at these businesses is just along for the ride, because the amount of money they're making is relatively good and they have a chance for a nice windfall if their employer's exit strategy does work out. Neither the founders nor the VCs much care because the salary and perks for decent technical staff are just table stakes in a much bigger game.

But you only have to look at the kind of recruitment processes and qualifications some of these big name SV firms advertise/leak, and then look at the quality of the software they actually produce and/or what some people who used to work there can (or can't) do when they move on, and you can see that having Google or Facebook on your resume doesn't actually prove that you're some sort of super-elite 10x genius geek demigod. Unfortunately, a significant proportion of the people working inside the bubble didn't get the memo.

Re:It's not arrogance if... (3, Interesting)

Rob Y. (110975) | about 2 months ago | (#47651321)

Exactly. And it's not just the SV tech sector that's engaged in winner-take-all gambling posing as productive business. US tax policy is slated to encourage it. And it's not all just the Mitt Romney vs his secretary scenario.

Case in point. It used to be that capital gains from the sale of a home could be rolled over into a new one, and taxes would only need to be paid at the end of the line when you finally downsize or cash out, at which time gains over 250K would be taxed. Sometime in the 90's this changed so that you could take the 250K exemption on each sale - effectively eliminating the capital gains tax on real estate, with one catch. You need to sell every time your home appreciates by 250K or more, and because they eliminated the roll-over feature, you get penalized if you stay in your home long enough for it to appreciate beyond that. I only know this, because I bought a New York City apartment in '92, and have lived there ever since. Now I want to move, but because of the crazy run-up in NYC housing prices, I can't - that is, not without incurring a big tax bite, leaving me unable to afford a new place. So in the rush to reward housing speculators, the incentives in the housing market (which in part, dictate the pricing - whether you think those incentives should exist or not) have lined up to punish non-speculators.

And don't get me started on bank account interest rates. Used to be, you could leave your cash in the bank and at least keep rough pace with inflation. Now, you effectively get no interest at all - and are taxed full freight on even that pittance. Meanwhile more incentives to feed the stock market bubble that everyone will claim was obvious - after it bursts...

Steve Jobs set the standard... (1)

SpzToid (869795) | about 2 months ago | (#47650597)

...for others to follow.

Re:Steve Jobs set the standard... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47650615)

"How old were you when you lost your virginity?", Steve asked

The candidate wasn't sure if he heard correctly. "What did you say?"

Steve repeated the question, changing it slightly. "Are you a virgin?". Burrell and I started to laugh, as the candidate became more disconcerted. He didn't know how to respond.

Steve changed the subject. "How many times have you taken LSD?"

The poor guy was turning varying shades of red, so I tried to change the subject and asked a straight-forward technical question. But when he started to give a long-winded response, Steve got impatient again.

"Gooble, gobble, gobble, gobble", Steve started making turkey noises. This was too much for Burrell and myself, and we all started cracking up. "Gobble, gobble, gobble", Steve continued, laughing himself now.

At this point, the candidate stood up. "I guess I'm not the right guy for this job", he said.

"I guess you're not", Steve responded. "I think this interview is over."

Re:Steve Jobs set the standard... (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about 2 months ago | (#47650651)

I dunno if I'd have left. It would have been an interesting change to work for someone who is very obviously more insane than me.

Re:Steve Jobs set the standard... (4, Insightful)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about 2 months ago | (#47651271)

It would have been an interesting change to work for someone who is very obviously more insane than me.

Insane, eccentric, egotistical, and dick can be shades of the same color. Steve simply sounds like a dick in that story.

Re:Steve Jobs set the standard... (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about 2 months ago | (#47650659)

if that is true, that is the best story i have hear at a hiring ever...err, non hiring anyway

Re:Steve Jobs set the standard... (1)

sycodon (149926) | about 2 months ago | (#47650727)

Was this before he was kicked out of Apple for running it into the ground, or after he spent years in the wilderness learning how to actually manage a company?

Re:Steve Jobs set the standard... (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | about 2 months ago | (#47650833)

Was this before he was kicked out of Apple for running it into the ground, or after he spent years in the wilderness learning how to actually manage a company?

Before.

This is likely from folklore.org [folklore.org] which has all sorts of early Apple history.

Re:Steve Jobs set the standard... (3, Interesting)

VGPowerlord (621254) | about 2 months ago | (#47650871)

Found it [folklore.org] .

Re:Steve Jobs set the standard... (5, Interesting)

Dzimas (547818) | about 2 months ago | (#47650729)

The best hire I ever made was someone that a senior VP disagreed with me about during and after the interview. I saw the skill set and personality that was needed for our team and he didn't. Fast forward 10 years, and I found myself approaching the person I'd hired for funding to keep my little startup alive and allow it to prosper. Because I had treated that employee well, we were able to hammer out the framework of an agreement at our first formal meeting. It was the easiest pitch that either of us had ever been through. Behaving like a tantruming child simply because you have money and the illusion of power is the stupidest approach if you plan on being in tech for the long haul. Sooner or later, someone you've trampled or angered *will* be in a position to give a less-than-flattering opinion of you or shut you out.

Re:Steve Jobs set the standard... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47650845)

Behaving like a tantruming child simply because you have money and the illusion of power is the stupidest approach if you plan on being in tech for the long haul. Sooner or later, someone you've trampled or angered *will* be in a position to give a less-than-flattering opinion of you or shut you out.

Or they may just go for the short game and break their foot off in your ass. Assertiveness and confidence is one thing. Arrogance and rudeness is another, and occasionally has physical consequences for which the vast majority of "rockstars" aren't prepared for.

Re:Steve Jobs set the standard... (1)

boristdog (133725) | about 2 months ago | (#47651061)

Monty Python did it.

"FIVE Four Three Two ONE!"

Re:Steve Jobs set the standard... (2, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 2 months ago | (#47650711)

...for others to follow.

You mean they should all get cancer and die?

Re:Steve Jobs set the standard... (1)

asmkm22 (1902712) | about 2 months ago | (#47650717)

No, Jobs alienated himself from his peers and spent the next few decades doing acid while Apple ran itself into the ground. Meanwhile, Silicon Valley was already establishing their reputation for pushing boundaries, engaging in barely-legal business practices, and working to change the industry as fast as possible.

Jobs came back from his acid trip and turned Apple around, but the industry's attitudes and culture were well-established by that point.

Bill Shockley set the standard (5, Interesting)

RR (64484) | about 2 months ago | (#47650927)

Bill Shockley was the originator of the Silicon Valley arrogant genius archetype. One of the co-inventors of the transistor, he convinced an electronics entrepreneur in the Los Angeles area to pay him to set up a semiconductor laboratory near his mother's home in Palo Alto, staffed with young geniuses. Then his abrasive management drove them away, leading them to found Fairchild Semiconductor, followed by Intel, AMD, and other, less important, electronics companies in the area. In the meanwhile, Shockley went into eugenics.

HP was already around, and Fred Terman of Stanford was encouraging entrepreneurship, but Shockley brought the "silicon" to Silicon Valley. And the arrogance.

Re:Steve Jobs set the standard... (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 2 months ago | (#47651433)

Steve Jobs seems to represent Silicon Valley to the clueless media, but he was unique. The media seems to think that Silicon Valley is overflowing with entrepreneurs when this is not at all the case. Most tech workers here don't come up with new ideas every day, and they most certainly are not thinking about new business paradigms, they're just workers. And media also seems to be confused into thinking that San Francisco is related to Silicon Valley. New York City has more arrogance than Silicon Valley.

Ingrates (3, Insightful)

qbast (1265706) | about 2 months ago | (#47650607)

There is just no pleasing this people: 'undesirable element' moves in - they complain about falling property value, 'highly paid tech professionals' move in - they complain about increasing property value.

Re:Ingrates (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47650673)

Not only that, the article calls these "San Francisco's most desirable neighborhoods". The rents were *already* high in these places, now they're higher. Property values fluctuate for all kinds of reasons, it's part of life.

Re:Ingrates (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47650697)

Just because they're highly paid doesn't mean they're not undesirables, too.

Re:Ingrates (3, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 2 months ago | (#47650755)

There is just no pleasing this people: 'undesirable element' moves in - they complain about falling property value, 'highly paid tech professionals' move in - they complain about increasing property value.

No, they're talking about rent and taxes. When you concentrate that much wealth in one area, it starts a feedback loop in wages. Rent goes up, taxes go up, even gas and groceries go up. Then the lower income people are forced out... the local service industry has to pay more to get people to work, so prices go up even more, until everyone making under $100k/yr has to commute 2hrs just to get to work. The city panics and start enforcing rent control so people can at least afford an tiny apartment. For an example, see Manhattan.

Re:Ingrates (5, Informative)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 months ago | (#47650827)

the local service industry has to pay more to get people to work, so prices go up even more, until everyone making under $100k/yr has to commute 2hrs just to get to work. The city panics and start enforcing rent control so people can at least afford an tiny apartment. For an example, see Manhattan.

NYC has come up with a solution to this issue: Poor Doors [npr.org] , so the goodly rich inhabiting luxury apartments don't have to sully their eyes with visions of the lowly proles who serve them.

Re:Ingrates (1)

xevioso (598654) | about 2 months ago | (#47651195)

San Francisco has had rent control for decades. The Mission, despite all of the recent histrionics, is still a primarily lower-wage Hispanic area.

San Francisco (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47650765)

Such a Great Place to get fucked in the ass...

By your employer.
By the Government.
By your neighbor.

ObBetteridge (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47650619)

No.

SF Rents (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47650627)

The whole mentality is dumb. No one DESERVES to live in a particular place. Pay the rent or move. Pay the taxes, or move and rent out your place to someone who can afford to pay the taxes for you.

Are they going to change what SF is? Of course. But SF isn't what it was 50 years ago, or 100 years ago. These things constantly change. At least it is going upward. It could be changing like Detroit.
.

Re:SF Rents (3, Insightful)

ganjadude (952775) | about 2 months ago | (#47650677)

yeah, ive never seen a group so stuck up and anti money as san fran. perhaps if these people saved up and bought their own homes rather than renting, they wouldnt be in this mess.

if you dont OWN something, you cant complain when someone else buys said item

Re:SF Rents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47651035)

yeah, ive never seen a group so stuck up and anti money as san fran. perhaps if these people saved up and bought their own homes rather than renting, they wouldnt be in this mess.

  if you dont OWN something, you cant complain when someone else buys said item

Kind of hard to save up money when you can barely afford the rent in the first place. Saving up money for a downpayment while living at home is easy, doing it while also paying for your own place at the same time is difficult if you don't make much more than you need to get by on.

Re:SF Rents (0)

ganjadude (952775) | about 2 months ago | (#47651089)

do what im in the middle of doing.... move to somewhere you can afford. by moving to NC ill be able to save about 40% more of my paycheck every week based on less taxes and lower cost of living on the same cash im paid in NY.

if you are in that situation you really cant complain if the person who owns the property thay are letting you use wants to use it for something else. Ive been bought out of my apartment 2 times in the past, and it was always for the better in the end. i mean seriously ive never seen people bitch about other people making the place better, if they dont like it maybe they should all go to detroit, they would be happy there i guess

Re:SF Rents (3, Insightful)

xevioso (598654) | about 2 months ago | (#47651213)

That is true, except that it is incredibly difficult to afford to rent in SF, let alone enough for a mortgage. You people in the rest of the country, unless you live in Manhattan, don't really have much of a clue. "Saving up" to buy a 1.5 million $ home is very difficult here unless you have a very very good job.

Re:SF Rents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47651253)

Ironically I think people buying their home is the problem. People who already have homes in an area with scarce housing want it to be high value so they go NIMBY for anything that solves housing shortages because it would mean their property value would go down. That sort of selfishness induced dysfunction is downright third-world.

The Industrial Era disagrees (1)

pupsocket (2853647) | about 2 months ago | (#47651335)

Henry George looked from a high hill toward the growing San Franscisco in the 1870's and realized that rising land prices were a bug in in the industrial economy. They punished success.

His book sold more copies than any other in the 19th century in the United States: Progress and Poverty.

Re:SF Rents (2)

RR (64484) | about 2 months ago | (#47651385)

It's still frustrating for the residents here.

I, for one, know that the narrative is far more complicated than just VC-funded rich dudes conspiring with greedy landowners to drive up rents. Also, I am well aware of the laws of supply and demand. The supply does not match the demand at all. It's much worse this time than last time, the dot-com bubble of the 1990's.

I'm even aware of a little-discussed wildcard: China. The financial system there is corrupt, and the people have no safe way to invest for retirement. The burgeoning middle class is desperate for options. You might remember how they drove the price of Bitcoin to over $1000 before the regulators caught on and outlawed Bitcoin exchanges. Well, another option is real estate. The poorer people invest in Chinese cities, fueling an unsustainable construction boom over there. The richer people invest overseas. Whenever a single-family dwelling goes on sale in San Francisco, it's immediately snapped up by a Chinese investor with cash. No need for a mortgage.

The effect is that I don't know any ordinary young people who can afford to live in San Francisco except with their parents. When people do move out, they move to South San Francisco or Oakland and commute, or further. A few people manage to win the lottery of Section 8 Housing or other subsidized housing. These ordinary people include the professionals who teach your children and staff your restaurants. High living costs are natural, but they are not sustainable and you shouldn't think of them as desirable. For one thing, making all your workers commute is bad for the environment.

Some San Francisco natives work in tech. For the rest, this is not a good situation.

Tech Community (5, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | about 2 months ago | (#47650639)

Can we, perhaps, not refer to the entire tech community as one thing? Let's have the tech community, and then have the community that makes parking space auctioning apps, social websites, and "break-through" instant messaging apps who think they're on par with Tim Berners-Lee or Packard or Wozniak, because they made an iphone app where you can leave reviews for your favorite pigeon feeding seat in the park.

Re:Tech Community (0, Offtopic)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 2 months ago | (#47651153)

Let's have the tech community, and then have the community that makes parking space auctioning apps, social websites, and "break-through" instant messaging apps

A yes... the old no true Scotsman [wikipedia.org] fallacy once again makes it's rounds.

Beware of the Gift of Pride (2, Insightful)

LifesABeach (234436) | about 2 months ago | (#47650647)

It's the first gift the Gods give you before they start to F' you up.

San Francisco mentality... (5, Insightful)

superdave80 (1226592) | about 2 months ago | (#47650649)

They are all about 'diversity', 'inclusiveness', and 'peace'... until you try to move into their area and don't think, talk, and act just like them. Then they start slashing your tires and blocking your buses. Say, didn't school segregationist use the same bus-blocking techniques to try and keep those 'others' out of their wholesome little schools? Oh, the irony...

Re:San Francisco mentality... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47650757)

And look, conservatives are victims!

Re:San Francisco mentality... (2)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 2 months ago | (#47651219)

No we're not. That's why we have guns and money.

Re:San Francisco mentality... (0, Redundant)

houghi (78078) | about 2 months ago | (#47650911)

They [...] their [...] them. [...] they [...] your [...] your [...] Oh, the irony...

Also:
People are group animals. News at 11.

Re:San Francisco mentality... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47651007)

Democrats being democrats. Just a new shellacking of paint on the wagon.

Silicon Valley is overrated (4, Informative)

pak9rabid (1011935) | about 2 months ago | (#47650663)

Having almost passed the 90-day mark at my first Silicon Valley job, my experience has been that it's a highly overrated (and overpriced) place to start a new tech company. Compared to where I'm from (and currently still reside), Austin, I haven't really been wowed with the talent over there vs over here. The big difference I've seen is that the people over in Silicon Valley just seem more big-headed about what they do.

Re:Silicon Valley is overrated (5, Interesting)

geek (5680) | about 2 months ago | (#47650707)

I grew up there and moved away. There is zero difference in talent. The difference is one of leadership and money. The money is already there, so there is where people go. The difference in leadership is, that's where they choose to live. My current company is based out of Boise Idaho. All the top execs I can think of have homes in the San Jose area because they like the weather. So naturally, they've opened a few more offices over there to justify their move to San Jose away from Boise. This costs the company a great deal of money as the techs they hire are paid twice as much as here due to cost of living. They don't care though.

Re:Silicon Valley is overrated (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47650837)

I'm in Seattle and likewise the talent here is no different from the midwestern city I came from. Beautiful city but the talent is nothing special. I would say my midwestern colleagues were more experienced and my Seattle colleagues are more booksmart but lack real world experience.

Silicon Valley is overrated (1)

bigsexyjoe (581721) | about 2 months ago | (#47650983)

I agree. Most of the tech universe is outside the valley. Who would want to live in a giant overpriced suburb? And who would want to work in a field in which moving to one area was a must?

Re: Silicon Valley is overrated (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47651431)

People who want to surf.
People who want to climb mountains.
People who want to bike the coastline.

Cmmon bubble, Just pop already. (4, Insightful)

Lanboy (261506) | about 2 months ago | (#47650669)

Tired of these fuckers thinking they are the promised people guiding us out of ignorance.

Re:Cmmon bubble, Just pop already. (1)

qbast (1265706) | about 2 months ago | (#47650769)

Do your part in bubble popping and start short selling.

Open contempt for rest of the country (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47650701)

They're misunderstood alright. People think they're just awkward around other people because they spend their time staring at a computer screen all day. Everyone else just calls them assholes.

East coast moving in? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47650739)

Sounds like the East coast is moving to the West coast...

They want the good but not the bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47650759)

Sounds like the residents in the vicinity want all the benefits of living around Silicon Valley without any of the challenges.

Entitlement is alive and well in The Bay Area!!!

Envy (0)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | about 2 months ago | (#47650775)

It basically boils down to "cool" people mad that the "uncool" people have more status than them.

And they wouldn't dream of "occupying" Apple or Google, it's too far from the city and they'd look like hypocrites. Hippies tend to have more iPhones than mutual funds.

Watching Bubble 2.0 deflate... (5, Interesting)

ErichTheRed (39327) | about 2 months ago | (#47650781)

Hmm, let's put thousands and thousands of socially maladjusted techies together in one region, appoint a bunch of hypersocialized "brogrammer" types as their bosses, and see what happens. What could possibly go wrong???

I work in the "tech industry" but I work for a specialized IT services firm, which is almost the polar opposite of a bubble-fueled Internet startup. I watched the dotcom bubble inflate and pop, and now this one's on the way out too. By contrast, the people I work with are totally normal. Some have their quirks, but we have very few jerks. Steve Jobs may be the poster child for "tech visionary" but people conveniently forget that he was an absolute jerk and people hated to work for him. In my mind, anyone who emulates that is someone I definitely don't want to work with.

The "techie asshole" personality really does feed on itself. Take a bunch of recent grads with no real world experience and put them under someone trying to channel Jobs, Zuckerberg or similar. Pretty soon, everyone starts acting like that. I'm not surprised at how much sexual harassment goes on in these environments given this fact. It doesn't help that the press is falling all over itself to pump these guys up and give them superhuman status. Yes, smartphones are cool. Yes, people are walking around with $800 touchscreen computers in their pockets that let them do more than they used to. But in my mind, all these late-bubble-stage startups are doing is creating one-off websites competing for everyone's attention. No one's really inventing much new -- it's all about advertising, page views and the sale of your personal data. Some stuff that has come out in the last few years is extremely cool, but a lot of it seems a lot like the very late 90s when the bubble was the frothiest it had been and everyone is piling on hoping to cash out before the big pop.

Bro, u jelly? (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | about 2 months ago | (#47650903)

I like how you recognized that the "brogrammer" stereotype contradicts the "socially maladjusted" stereotype, so you had the presence of mind to frame the "brogrammers" as only managers.

specialized IT services firm

Is it Wipro? I have heard such good things about Wipro.

Re:Bro, u jelly? (1)

ErichTheRed (39327) | about 2 months ago | (#47650959)

Nope. Our customers have experienced all of the bad things you've heard about with Wipro and their ilk.

And yes, there are plenty of stereotypical brogrammer worker bees as well. I was just highlighting the fact that putting these types in charge just breeds more of them over time as they try to act like the boss.

Re:Watching Bubble 2.0 deflate... (1)

xevioso (598654) | about 2 months ago | (#47651245)

What I find amusing is the idea that people think all techies work at startups in SF. There are a ton of people who work in tech who handle Hospital IT, or work for a legal firm, or manage the servers for a real estate company, who are in tech but have nothing in common with the new wave of techies moving in. And that is all it is, a wave.

Arrogance is bad even if it is true (4, Insightful)

gurps_npc (621217) | about 2 months ago | (#47650839)

I've heard this crap before.

I call it the "Dr. House" excuse. Basically it goes "Look, who do you want treating you, the a$$hole who's brilliant, or the above average guy who's nice?"

And the honest truth is that 99% percent of the time, we want the above average guy who's nice.

Yes, if you have something incurable, (or something that no one else can figure out what it is in the case of the TV show's Dr. House), then you want the genius no matter how arrogant he is. But in every day issues, you want someone that is going to be nice and do a reasonably good job - not a genius that is going to cure your wart while calling you an idiot and revealing to your wife that you sleep around.

Genius is NOT an excuse to be arrogant. Especially as sometimes the guy you are insulting is actually smarter than you (i.e. look at at Edison and Tesla - 2nd brightest man of his time refused to pay the first brightest man what he was worth and screwed himself ).

Part of being smart is having social skills. Part of being in business is using those social skills. If you can't or won't gain them and use them,

What's different from the last quarter century? (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | about 2 months ago | (#47650945)

undoubtedly, you've read about the tempest in San Francisco recently, where urban activists are decrying the influx of highly paid tech professionals, who they argue are displacing residents suddenly unable to keep up with skyrocketing rents.

That was decades-old news in Silicon Valley when I moved here in the late '80s. (A couple who'd gone there for the same project a few years earlier had bought, rather than rented, had the price of their mortgaged house skyrocket over a couple years, and bailed out of High Tech to start a new career as landlords.)

I thought Hi Tek had been doing the same to Berkeley and (to a lesser extent) SF since before then, as well. SF prices have always been high - though perhaps not as high as mid-peninsula around the Stanford tek-lek.

So what's new? Did Hi Tek start buying spaces in the slums and drive the prices further up than SF's already astronomical highs? Did public assistance not rise to track the new rents?

This is SO last millenium...

Joel Stein is a Hack (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47650953)

This is the same douchenozzle behind the Time Magazine "The Me Generation" slander piece against the millennial generation.

So? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47650961)

We've had this for decades in New York.

Stock/Bond traders are the most arrogant, drug-addled S.O.B.'s you've ever met. They are the platonic ideal of "prick."

But they are forgiven, because they spend money like crazy (often on activities that would make Charlie Sheen blanche).

They also don't save a dime. I know folks that made seven figures for five years, burned out, and now paint houses for barely enough to make the mortgage.

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47650981)

Oh yes. Wolf of Wall Street is a documentary. Anyone who survives the first few years in that environment is made for that kind of work and becomes one of the most toxic personality types known to man. It's funny because if I were lucky enough to do well enough in that environment, I'd be socking every cent away that I could knowing that nothing that good lasts forever.

That Hamptons mansion and the 3 Bentleys can be awfully tempting though!!!

Welcome to our world (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47650963)

Congratulations California, now you know how Oregonians have felt for the last 20 years. Obnoxious jerks with too much money moving here and driving up prices beyond what the locals can afford, sounds familiar doesn't it?

Rents in SF are a GOVERNMENT problem. (4, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | about 2 months ago | (#47651041)

SF is extremely hostile to new property development that would increase the supply of housing in the city.

-jcr

Adam Orth (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47651055)

He's a prime example of what the tech industry has turned into.

The problem is hipsterism, not engineer culture (1, Interesting)

Prune (557140) | about 2 months ago | (#47651065)

This should concern everyone, because this attitude reflects itself in the products.

We have now had an entire generation of programmers raised on walled garden apps, cookie-cutter scripting libraries, and above all a wave of cheap VC funding and hardware. How many people are left out there that can build the likes of Bittorrent, Bitcoin, a language like C, a game like Elite, or even a site like Slashdot? How many people, young people, are there who can write an OS kernel, design a basic circuit, and at a more pertinently serious level, reliably write software to implement mathematical encryption algorithms. Reading this I'm inclined to believe that recent meme post about how the programming/silicon valley community has been taken over by "brogrammers", "hipsters" and "neckbeads", which to my mind are simply constitute cultural re-skinnings of the infamous Visual Basic programmers of old. I worry that the unglamorous, mostly uncompensated, and largely intellectually driven practice of pure software programming and creation has been left behind in recent years. I personally have noticed little progression and indeed in many areas a general regression in the quality and reliability of software since approximately 2006/7. While I would attribute this to my general "civilization is in decline" zeitgeist worries, my frustrations with software, UIs, and websites in particular has undoubtedly increased manifestly in the last 2-3 years or so. Maybe I'm just getting old -- or maybe programmers really are getting worse.

-- ObsessiveMathsFreak

Re:The problem is hipsterism, not engineer culture (1)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 2 months ago | (#47651351)

Yes, a culture ripe for the next phase of disruption. Instead of the next social app that's slightly different from last week's social app, I hereby dare Silicon Valley to take on two challenges:

1. On a ship adjacent to SF in international waters, set up the first fully open-market hospital. Staff it with real doctors who prescribe conventional medicines, procedures and devices, but all of it operating in open competition instead of under the thumb of medical boards whose real purpose is to protect incumbents and keep prices high. Let's see what an open market can accomplish in this one specific area.

2. Develop innovative, lower-cost technologies for desalinating ocean water for California coastal cities. Can they come up with a technology that can be scaled to supply Los Angeles?

Any other challenges we can think of, folks?

Re:The problem is hipsterism, not engineer culture (2)

AaronW (33736) | about 2 months ago | (#47651357)

While I think many of the programmers in my group could do many of these things most are not young. Also most of the positions we open are for more senior people since we need people who can do things like write compilers, kernel developers, bootloader developers, etc. who understand the details of CPU architecture. When I talk with young people getting a CS degree I tell them that there is a huge demand for people with these skills. Few software people have a good grasp of hardware.

One a$$hole does not a great company make! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47651229)

And a whole company of them doesn't either. Silicon Valley is so screwed up they don't realize that their biggest problem with them not changing the world like they think they are going to is diversity and a safe environment where diversity can be made use of. I'm not talking about safe as in no conflict, but safe as in if you offer an alternative solution and it will be measured on it's merits (or results from an experiment) vs inter office politics.

And the liberatarian and fiscal conservatives... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47651307)

Will claim that's how capitalism works. If there is a problem, the market will correct itself... long after any long term residents have been priced out of the market, that is.

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