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News + PoliticsDon't be a Stanford asshole

Don’t be a Stanford asshole


David Talbot talks about different world visions for young educated workers from The Farm.

From Ken Kesey to class warfare: A strange trip between SF and Palo Alto
From Ken Kesey to class warfare: A strange trip between SF and Palo Alto

JANUARY 26, 2015 — Editor’s note: Early Sunday morning, I made my way down to the second block of Townsend Street to join in a 24-hour event put on by Pando Daily called “don’t be awful.” The webcast was set up in the Braintree office, a classic wood-and-stone Soma tech nest with open spaces, a big kitchen, lots of takeout food, and a keg of beer.

I talked about community, about what it means for a bunch of better-paid people to move into a place where low-income people already live – and why it’s not okay for the newcomers to force out the longtime residents.

And then I laid out some of my rules for Not Being Awful, starting with: Don’t ever move into an apartment, TIC, condo, or house that has been cleared by an eviction. Don’t assume that because you have more money that you have to right to take someone else’s home away. Don’t treat an existing community like your personal playground.

Afterward, one of the event organizers thanked me for coming, even though, she said, “I disagree with almost everything you said.” Seriously? So it’s okay to evict poor people to make room for new rich people? Is that what the SF Chron talked about today with a story called “psychology studies suggest rising wealth means more jerks in SF?

Then I got an email from David Talbot, the founder of Salon, the author of Season of the Witch, a longtime SF writer and activist, with a copy of a speech he just delivered at Stanford. It sums thing up pretty nicely. I’ve posted the entire thing below (Tim Redmond)

By David Talbot

I would like to come here today with wondrous tales of San Francisco’s future. I would like to tell you that the liberation battles of the 1960s and ‘70s that made San Francisco the soaring capital of the human spirit were not only won – as I wrote about in “Season of the Witch” – but continue to triumph. But, instead, I come not to praise this heroic past, but to bury it. And to bring you grim tidings of the future from the City of Love.

This is not simply a San Francisco story, of course, because the Bay Area is one urban/suburban organism. For good or ill, Stanford and San Francisco have always been closely entwined. There’s “The City” – for that’s what we still call San Francisco around these parts, because it’s the only metropolis in northern California deserving of such a grand title. And there’s “The Farm” – that bucolic sanctuary of higher learning started by Leland Stanford, one of the Golden State’s legendary robber barons. A big pipeline of intellectual and financial capital flows up and down the Peninsula between City and Farm.

For many years, Stanford was the country-club university where millionaires of the West sent their children – the bright and the not-so-bright offspring of privilege. But in the 1930s and ‘40s. things began to change around here. Stanford grads William Hewlett and David Packard began tinkering in their legendary garage. And, after World War II, William Shockley moved west to work on his transistors. Pumped full of Pentagon money, this sun-dappled campus and the green fields and orchards surrounding it suddenly blossomed into Silicon Valley. Engineers and entrepreneurs were the new gods – not farm owners and railroad barons.

Much of the wealth in this new boom was blood money. The shiny new instruments of technology that bloomed here sprang from the Defense Department’s need to identify the enemy, track the enemy and destroy as many of them as possible. Even vaporize entire civilian populations if necessary. It was the Cold War. We were told that we were locked in a fight to the finish with a ruthless foe. There was little moral reflection in the research labs of Silicon Valley or Stanford in those days. As Dylan sang, “We learned to accept it, accept it with pride – for you don’t count the dead, when God’s on your side.”

Back then, you didn’t want to examine too closely the political views of these new gods — these masters of innovation and progress. Highlighting the symbiotic connection between Silicon Valley and the war machine, David Packard would become Secretary of Defense for President Nixon, helping to manage the genocidal war in Vietnam. And Shockley would feel free to vent his master-race views on eugenics and call for the voluntary sterilization of inferior peoples.

From Shockley’s fascist eccentricity to the selfish libertarianism of today’s baby tech moguls, the lords of Silicon Valley have long felt it was their right and duty to impose their views on the rest of us, no matter how noxious they are. And although their greed-based politics don’t usually play well with the voting public – since their ideas are born in the tech bubbles that only they inhabit – these supremely self-confident men and women keep running for high office. Considering the untold wealth at its disposal, sooner of later Silicon Valley will elect one of its own to the executive mansions in Sacramento and to Washington. And resistance will be futile.

When this day comes, it will mark the complete triumph of techno-capitalism – the machine mentality that all social problems can be engineered away. And if your problems don’t fit into this equation, tough luck. You don’t compute. You have no option but to disappear. It’s the law of Darwin. It’s the law of Schumpeter. There is no progress without creative destruction – and, poof! you’re about to be extinct.

For those of us who live in San Francisco, and have called it home for many years and have raised our families there, this is not simply a dystopian nightmare of the future. It’s our daily reality. To paraphrase David Byrne, every day we look around our city, we think, “This is not our beautiful home, this is not our beautiful life.” Every day brings new evictions – the carpenters, shoe repairmen, truck drivers, bookstore owners, grocers, nurses, teachers, firefighters, social workers, chefs and waiters, writers, artists. All the people who make up a living, breathing, multidimensional city – all gone or going. Replaced by the new class — those lucky code-crunchers and marketers who just exercised their stock options and can afford to pay cash and pay above the asking price for a home once lived in by a school librarian and her taxi-driving, poetry-writing husband who was just Ubered out of his job. The irony, of course, is that the young techies now flooding into San Francisco were attracted by the very urban qualities – the colorful social mix, the creative vibe, the city’s progressive and compassionate soul – that are now being rapidly driven out by the rule of money.

Money buys everything in San Francisco these days. It buys entire downtown city blocks, where armies of Oracle workers and other corporate empires are allowed to occupy the streets and throw parties to themselves. These 1% Occupiers are not beaten and teargassed by the police. They are coddled and protected by the city. While the rest of us can only wail to heaven about the massive traffic jams and the blocked routes to work, these corporate occupiers of San Francisco gate off public streets for their own private festivals — listening to world-famous bands and gorging on the cuisine of four-star chefs imported for their exclusive pleasure.

Meanwhile, blocks away in the Mission – the district that is being rapidly depopulated of its Latino and working-class families – kids who show up for soccer practice at their neighborhood park, like they have done their whole lives, suddenly find that the playground has been rented by smugly entitled employees of Dropbox and Airbnb – one of the companies driving the wave of evictions in the city. Sorry kids — in San Francisco these days, it’s pay or don’t play.

Tech money has even bought City Hall. Mayor Ed Lee could have been the leader San Francisco needed. Lee’s father was an overworked short-order cook in a Chinese restaurant. Lee himself was once a crusading housing activist, fighting greedy landlords in Chinatown. He makes all the right noises and gestures about saving San Francisco’s gloriously unique identity. But that’s all they really are – gestures.

In truth, Lee is owned by avatars of the tech future like start-up investor Ron Conway. And most depressing of all, nobody with a more inspiring vision of San Francisco has emerged to challenge Lee for mayor this year. With each passing day, his disastrous, tech-sponsored reign seems like it will go unchallenged for another four years. All the one-dimensional banality of the current digital era is written all over Lee’s bland, bureaucratic administration. He’s a mustache in search of a man.

Here’s the cold reality today. There is a raging war in San Francisco between long-time residents of the city and the new elites. A younger Ed Lee, when he was a Chinatown activist, would have called this a “Class War” – because that’s what it is. A war between the 1% and the 99% over the future of San Francisco’s precious turf.

My own neighborhood – Bernal Heights — has become a frontline in this class war. Not long ago, Bernal Heights was a funky mix of blue-collar workers, lesbian starter-families, counterculture artists, community organizers and Latina grandmothers. But Bernal Heights had the misfortune of being blessed with affordable housing, verdant backyards and parks – and being conveniently located next to the hipster-infused Mission, and even worse, to Highway 101 – the Google bus route to Silicon Valley. Suddenly, this unusually mixed San Francisco neighborhood was transformed into what one real estate web site recently crowned the hottest zip code in the country.  Now, if you stand at the corner of Precita and Alabama – the main checkpoint for the neighborhood — instead of seeing battered Subaru Outbacks and Hondas, you see a steady stream of new-model Teslas, BMWs and Uber limousines. A rapid, seamless flow of gleaming, luxurious metal that never slows down – not even for the children and dogs who come spilling into the street from the nearby park. These Silicon Valley movers and shakers can’t afford to slow down – time is money.

In the old days, the neighborhood’s celebrities were people like Terry Zwigoff — the independent filmmaker who made “Ghost World” and ”Bad Santa” — and underground cartoonists like Robert Crumb and Spain Rodriguez, creators of the most cutting-edge comics in America. These luminaries often retouched the neighborhood in their own inimitable style, building new turrets on their odd castles or painting murals of busty action heroes on their walls. But they didn’t tear down the whole place and start over. The new hot-shots are different, however. They’re knocking down the neighborhood’s ramshackle houses right and left  — and replacing them with cold, futuristic mega-mansions. With every new slate-gray exterior that pops up, there goes the warm and oddball neighborhood.

Last year, a young, Latino man named Alex Nieto was shot 14 times and killed by police near my house, on top of Bernal Hill, a scenic area where people like to stroll and walk their dogs. Someone had reported that Nieto, a 28-year-old security guard who grew up in the neighborhood, didn’t look right. These days, fewer and fewer of us long- time residents look right, look like we still belong in our own homes. Sooner or later, if we’re not removed by force, we’ll be moved by the invisible hand of the market.

The strange thing about the new digital rich is that they don’t want to live among their own tax bracket – in traditional enclaves of wealth like Pacific Heights or  Hillsborough. No, they want to live among the people — the ones they’re displacing — in Noe Valley, the Castro and the Mission. Take Mark Zuckerberg, please. For the past two years, the Facebook zillionaire and his wife have upended a once-quiet, middle-class neighborhood overlooking Dolores Park, as Pharaoh-like construction teams erect a massive $10-million, six-bedroom palace to house the royal couple. Zuckerberg is dying to live in the heart of the city, even though he apparently despises its San Francisco values. His corporate lobby, fwd.us, has championed a laundry list of conservative issues – from anti-labor legislation to the Keystone pipeline – that would make Harvey Milk and George Moscone spin in their graves.

So…where does Stanford fit into this tale of bitter urban struggle? As a breeding ground for the new elite, the Farm is seen by many in San Francisco as the enemy camp, as part of the problem.

My sons — who are 19,  20 and 24 and who grew up in San Francisco – have a name for the new wave of people moving in. The ones who proudly wear their Ivy League hoodies as they jog and hydrate around Precita Park or line up for artisanal chocolate tastings on Valencia Street, forking over enough cash to feed an entire family in the Mission for two or three days.  “Stanford dicks.” That’s what my sons call them. Or Stanford douchebags, or Stanford tools. The term “Stanford assholes” has even made it into “Looking,” the HBO show set in gay San Francisco – and it’s not meant to be flattering.

Of course, it wasn’t always this way. Stanford has not always been synonymous with douchiness. After all, Stanford gave San Francisco Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters – and all the creative visionaries who hung out with them in the hills above Palo Alto, like the great novelist Robert Stone (who recently died) and Whole Earth Catalog publisher Stewart Brand, who was one of the main links between the countercultural ‘60s and the digital revolution.

“It was just incredible to come here from New York to the Peninsula, the Stanford area, the way it was in 1962,” Stone once recalled in an interview with The Chronicle. “It was like a Garden of Eden with no snakes. It was the most beautiful, most mellow — all those kind of dopey California words come true. You could get some little bungalow up a canyon for 60 bucks a month next to a creek and live oaks. It was easy living. Getting the fellowship, meeting the people I met, it was just such an extremely lucky thing for me.”

It was in Palo Alto where Phil Lesh hooked up with Jerry Garcia and started the band that would become the Grateful Dead – the house band for San Francisco’s cultural revolution. In 1965, Lesh saw Garcia playing banjo at Kepler’s bookstore – that essential oasis of the open mind in Palo Alto – and the rest is history. There is no way to imagine the long, strange trip that San Francisco took in the 1960s and ‘70s – soon followed by the rest of the country and the world – without the musical accompaniment of the Dead. They were more than just a band, they were an ongoing cultural and social experiment, one that involved the latest drugs and the latest technologies. The Grateful Dead were living proof that human ingenuity and human liberation could walk hand in hand through Golden Gate Park, after dropping acid together.

Steve Jobs was a creation of this psychedelic world, long before he became a capitalist cover boy. “Taking LSD was a profound experience, one of the most important things in my life,” Jobs once said. “It reinforced my sense of what was important – creating great things instead of making money, putting things back into the stream of history and human consciousness as much as I could.”

In 1984, Jobs declared war on the oppressive mentality behind the top-down information system with his iconic TV ad for the first MacIntosh computer. If ever a TV commercial could stir dreams of personal liberation, that one did – with its sexy, athletic rebel leader hurling her heavy hammer at Big Brother’s looming video image and shattering it forever.

Many people did in fact use Apple tools to launch their assaults on the old order – including alternative journalists, filmmakers, artists, educators and activists. I’ll always remember the sea of candy-colored Macs in the newsroom at Salon, the pioneering web publication I started back in the 1990s. In fact, I felt a strong bond between the San Francisco-style progressive journalism that we were practicing at Salon – defying the East Coast media’s corporate group-think – and the risk-taking spirit of Silicon Valley. The creative young engineers at Salon were always coming up with new ways for us to build our audience and to engage more deeply with them. Forging these digital, two-way bonds with our readers was the only way Salon managed to survive, when we antagonized powerful political enemies and became the target of advertising boycotts, media industry scorn and even bomb threats. So believe me when I say that I’m no neo-Luddite. As a journalist and media entrepreneur, I’ve benefited enormously from the wonders of the digital revolution.

But revolutions can grow old and corrupt. Before he died, Steve Jobs became his own kind of big brother, running sweatshops in China and hiding his loot in overseas shelters to avoid paying his fair share of taxes. It seems that most of the young inventors and entrepreneurs who are so eager to follow in Jobs’s footsteps care less about transforming human consciousness than about making mountains of tax-sheltered wealth.

Every new social wave to roll through San Francisco during its brief history has brought major disruption. Chinese immigrants were the targets of savage riots and official persecution. The hippies and gays of the 1960s and ‘70s sparked police crackdowns, street murders and assassinations. As I write in “Season of the Witch,” what we now call San Francisco values were not born with flowers in their hair, but howling, in blood and strife. But these new waves of human energy that poured into the city in the past not only triumphed, they made the city a more enchanted place. They breathed new life into a city whose foggy mystery and shimmering light demands such everyday magic. They made the food better, the nightlife more fabulous, the music more ecstatic, and the politics more epic. In the end, what will we be able to say about the tech invaders after they’ve had their way with San Francisco?

San Francisco’s new tech masters feel no need to justify themselves. They are absolutely certain that everything they touch turns to gold. They are, by definition, the future. But machines are not destiny, they’re just machines. Some bring social benefits, along with sky-high IPOs – and some don’t. As Leon Wieseltier recently wrote in the New York Times Book Review, “The processing of information is not the highest aim to which the human spirit can aspire…The character of our society cannot be determined by engineers.”

And yet the spirit of engineering is ascendant, and no place more so than Stanford and its urban outpost, San Francisco. On campuses like this one, the humanities departments are increasingly diminished by the reign of engineering and computer science. In a world such as this, rife with technologies and ideas “that flatten and shrink and chill the human subject,” Wieseltier observed, “the humanist is the dissenter.”

The humanities – the study and critical appreciation of the human enterprise – do not require a dose of the hard sciences to become more relevant, as the prophets of techno supremacy like to preach. It’s the other way around. Technology needs to be humanized. It’s not enough to create a cool app – you have to ask what it’s for, and whose needs it serves.

Are you going to create a software tool that lays off an entire industry, and replaces human interaction with bots? Or are you going to find ways to save the planet? And help liberate the human spirit?

Are you going to join America’s perpetual war machine and go to work for the CIA or NSA and spy on your fellow citizens? Or sign up with a Silicon Valley company that feeds private information to the government? Or — in the brave spirit of Edward Snowden — are you going to challenge that Orwellian system of thought control? You know, Snowden is the real-life version of Steve Job’s brave, young rebel – the one who threw that hammer through the Big Brother video screen.

This is what it comes down to…Are you interested in going public, or in serving the public – that’s the fundamental question a Stanford student has to ask these days. When I was in college, we had a saying – “You’re either part of the problem or you’re part of the solution.” Which one are you? A Stanford dick? Or are you different?

True change, the most fundamental change, is always made by freaks and outcasts. These are the people who put San Francisco on the map in the 1960s and ‘70s. For a brief and shining moment, they turned the most beautiful city in the world into a wonderland of human imagination — or as Paul Kantner of the Jefferson Airplane put it:  “49 square miles surrounded by reality.” These seekers of glory, as Allen Ginsberg called them, blew the city’s mind – and then they did the same for the world. Sexual freedom, gay marriage, green cities, livable wage, universal health care, local organic food, medical marijuana, free music in the parks – all of these ideas blossomed first in San Francisco before their seeds spread on the wind.

But that was then. Now we face challenges even more daunting: planetary survival, the growing gap between rich and poor, the steady destruction of democracy by war and oligarchy. You can be part of the next wave of change. You can make history, if you make brave choices.

Back in the days of the Merry Pranksters, they rode a bus to the future. The bus in which Kesey and his merry band rode — setting off from La Honda in 1964 on their magical journey — was christened “Further.” It was a dilapidated, old school bus, spray-painted in electric kool-aid colors, and it was driven — in a NOT particularly professional manner — by a speed-rapping, hot-wired Neal Cassady. It was NOT a sleek, air-conditioned, WiFi-equipped Google bus. But it did indeed go FURTHER than any Google bus ever will.

You’re either on the bus, or off the bus – that’s what the freaks used to say back then.

Make sure that YOU get on the right one…Thank you.


Tim Redmond
Tim Redmond has been a political and investigative reporter in San Francisco for more than 30 years. He spent much of that time as executive editor of the Bay Guardian. He is the founder of 48hills.
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  22. Taylor, from what you’ve written here, you don’t sound like a dick. But I bet you’re a dick.
    Guess what, you don’t have perspective. The fact that you are oblivious and having to even write this post shows you are blind to how douchey you probably are. So you don’t notice the all encompassing, blatant saturation of prick-like-behavior that has blanketed the city? Nothing? Not even a bit? If not, then YOU are a prick and probably with a big hefty serving of douchebagness.


  23. Agreed 100%. The douche bags can’t see it though. They are blind to the fact that they are scum bags.

  24. I think it is impossible to stop progress. I don’t care that “people” are doing well, moving into all kinds of different neighborhoods. What I can’t stand is how much of an asshole you are. Yes you. Most of your types are SUCH ASSHOLES. The reason that this dialogue, this critique EXISTS…is because it’s true. So don’t go walking around like an entitled prick if ya can manage it. Because one day, I swear, you’re going to get punched in the face.

  25. This comment is so ignorant and idiotic, you’re like one of those people who deserve wine thrown in your face.

    I WORKED IN TECH and live here. EVERYTHING he says is true. It made me sick to my stomach watching these tech douches wandering around town acting like the entitled pricks they are. ConverSations are EVERYWHERE in the city about how there are Stanford and tech assholes all over the place. If you don’t live here… WHY COMMENT? You must be some kind of idiot.

  26. I do get a little tired of hearing that the grateful dead were the soundtrack to our lives. never has been for this mission district/noe valley born and bred kid.

  27. Opportunity is not to be found in California cities. These days, it’s in the South and Midwest where you’ll find a better shot at a middle class lifestyle.

  28. Paranoid. The Koch brothers are cool, btw, they are anti-establishment and anti-government. They remember that the only difference between the USA at its founding and the rest of the world was treating a novel and radical concept called “individual sovereignty” seriously. The idea, for example, that the US government has no more right telling a citizen what they are allowed to say or believe or what arms to bear than it is telling such things to sovereign Mexico.

  29. great speech. one note tho — the offshore money Jobs/Apple has overseas isnt them avoiding “paying their fair share”. apple is already one of the largest income taxpayers in america (unlike, say, GE, would famously paid nothing in 2010 but had a massive credit owed). no, the money overseas is money earned on goods manufactured and sold exclusively overseas. it’s not connected to the US thus neednt be imported & taxed at 33% like domestic earnings. the US govt would like for apple to repatriate these funds (import them) but apple doesnt see why they should if automatically giving up a third of it to Uncle Sam. it just doesnt make sense to do.

    big diff than hiding domestic earnings overseas to avoid taxation.

  30. I suppose I should have known what to expect from a Salon founder… the very same publication that allowed Glenn Greenwald to hold up a dried up old christian fundamentalist white supremacist right-wing Bircher as a ‘civil libertarian’: http://dneiwert.blogspot.com/2007/11/ron-pauls-record-in-congress.html

    You had me right up until your Snowden hero worship… the man’s a tool for the very same far right Ron Paul white supremacist Libertarian douchebaggery ruining paradise lost. You’re just as much the problem as the Silicon Valley dicks… where do you think they get their ‘greed is good’ vulture mentality? From the Koch whores circling the corpse of Ron Paul.

  31. Thanks for your perspective Jack. 20+ years in the Mission, 50+ years on the planet, friend and auntie to many. This devisive and angry talk isn’t productive. I hope it stops.

  32. How hypocritical of you to complain about people attacking someone from “behind a fake name” using anonymous as your name. You can’t even be bothered to use a pseudonym.

    You are 100% incorrect that building new market rate housing causes the rental price of surrounding housing to go up. There is no evidence whatsoever so support this absurd claim.

  33. The fact that some folks commenting here speak of “winners” and “losers” tells us all we need to know. They’ve got no sense of community. Take that to Brownbackistan or Scott Walker’s Wisconsin. This isn’t what the Bay Area is about.

  34. There’s only one way this will be solved, and it is a mechanism perfectly aligned with capitalist values and the laws of supply and demand.

    All of the “carpenters, shoe repairmen, truck drivers, bookstore owners, grocers, nurses, teachers, firefighters, social workers, chefs and waiters, writers, artists” need to double or triple their rates.

  35. Well, it’s obvious that this comment forum is not a place where opinions and comments are posted to be read and allowed to be validated/invalidated souly by the reader at home. They have been attacked. Conversations, obfuscated or taken to insignificant subjects of focus/cherry-picked arguments, and participants repetitiously beaten and ganged-up on . . .
    what becomes obvious when you step back and view the pattern is that there is a fear to allow opinions to prevail and create natural conversations that are based on resident’s personal and valid experiences. Bloodthirsty control over the conversation is imperative by some here; intimidating and destructive, often character assassinating occupation of this forum is apparent. I didn’t say it, but I would weigh in on the either-or, on the side of A**hole.
    My father passed on a saying that seemed to work well and it may pose a lesson that certain people with disregard for others may find handy, he’d say, unless someone asks for advice or your opinion, it’s rude to share it. So when you address the opinion of others without respect for their experiences, well, it’s obvious you are using them as means to perform your A-ct.
    With roots in SF and growing up near Stanford, I was privileged to meet many people who were from around here, or immigrants, or transplants who had attended Stanford. Some were A**holes and went on to contribute to a divisive environment and weigh in on politics with a selfish attitude and benefit from and get hurt by the dishonesty and corruption of the many bubbles and to perpetuate that culture. That is why it is the way it is right now here in SF, perpetuation. Then, there were those who went to Stanford that married their hippie wives and had gay friends, and didn’t believe the lies of racist warmongers and TBTF Banks and their fanatically religious counterparts, even when they had half of their millions stolen from their worthy cancer-related drug development companies. That’s what people want, I think, a sort of paradise without people like these troll-wads controlling your thoughts and intimidating your neighborhoods with their confused Castroesque beards and Clark Kent frames.
    Since we are not discussing beards, an ancient Persian king once said . . . By the favor of Ahuramazda, I am of the sort which is friend to right, I am not friend to wrong. It is not my desire that the weak man should have wrong done to him by the mighty; nor is it my desire that the mighty man should have wrong done to him by the weak.
    When new money, with poor culture comes to our town…(yes, our town that many covet for it’s culture. Don’t other cities say, my town?) people like this author and a few of the heart felt commentators deserve respect for their experiences and a humanitarian response should be given, or internalized(even better). I for one, appreciate and try to fit in every day, so as to not be less than my own standard of Character. I often admire those people (keeping in mind, not everyone who went to Stanford was in this state before collige) who get an opportunity to come to a nice academic institution to learn stuff and then after some time give back and appreciate those and their communities that nurtured them and that have afforded their learning and traveling. It’s one way of life. Bringing a lack of humanity and consideration for this micro-culture, and squatting and occupying and displacing with utter disregard . . . animal-like. Sounds sort of like Palestine.
    Next time I may share my experiences on: unethical corporate practices; corporate buses that have nearly killed me because they don’t fit in the lanes on 101 (*then why can’t they stay in their lanes?), damaged my car; degrading sociability and unjustified fearful attitudes; increasing racism toward the other cultural minorities; Ed Lee’s mustache. Thx.

  36. Your facts are in error…

    “In the court document requesting the restraining order, the man said he had been attacked by Nieto in front of his 3-year-old son and that he feared for his wife and his three young children.

    Nieto previously had a restraining order against the man, who described their deteriorated friendship as “bad blood” and in other court filings claimed Nieto had fired his Taser at him at least four times.”

  37. He was a volunteer, not a victim and his own criminal actions (pulling a taser on a police officer) placed him in harm’s way.

    The world is a far better place without Alex Nieto in it and over time even his family will agree.

  38. Are you serious? I work for Rec and Park and am so tired of seeing us desperately underfunded while there is so much wealth in this town. Meanwhile we’re placing fees on the parks and rec centers to keep up. What the hell?

    I just had to move, in the neighborhood Talbot describes so well, and my rent is now so crushing that I have to work on the side of my 40hr a week, highly physical job.

    It’s the same for DPW. 6 gardeners and a city full of people crying about overgrown lots. Everything is funded through regressive bond measures and the work goes to the lowest bidders who change order the shit out of the city.

    You are entirely on point.

    Tax the rich until we get what we need.

  39. So you think that if you live here you OWN the neighborhood?! And the poor people can’t move here from overseas just because you were FIRST?! Or you slaughtered the ones who were TRULY FIRST. As one of the greatest liberal supreme court justices said about you:”Three generations of imbeciles is enough”!

  40. Clearly money is the end all housing policy priority. And as a non-elite who has spent her entire adult life here contributing to the city (public meetings, volunteerism, community building) I do think have a stronger claim to be here than someone who just got here. I’m invested. My family is here and I have decades worth of community ties but no security because I’m a blue collar worker and tenant. But yeah, I do think that folks like myself who have been here and contributed should be a higher priority than someone who’s been here a short amount of time. It’s a transient place and a lot of folks don’t stay long enough to do much more than take.

  41. Thank you, David Talbot. We’re neighbors (though we don’t know each other) and I appreciate your piece. I’m a public servant who’s entirely fed up and equally eager for a mayoral candidate to challenge Ed Lee. Thanks for calling it like it is and being willing to speak up.

  42. I hope this long conversation helps us focus more clearly on the relationship between the private and public realms. I hope that there more advocacy for the funding of the public sphere to create more equity and balance between the public and the private. I hope that people who work in the public sphere advocate for their work and the services they provide. I hope that corporations will rise to the occasion and support the public infrastructure which made their success possible and be generous to future generations by paying their taxes to keep our rich entrepreneurial environment alive. Stop off-shoring their profits and pay their taxes.
    Let’s restore Prop. 13 to its original intent of protecting primary residences instead of corporate landlords and developers.
    The problems of San Francisco mirror the greater problems of economic inequality. If we focus on slowing economic inequality, we will be able to ease some of the tensions we feel in San Francisco. As the cliche, goes “Think globally, act locally.”

  43. Also the arts generate money for cities. There have been numerous studies that show a strong arts communities bring in revenues for other businesses and cities. People like the arts. It might not be your cup of tea, but many people enjoy music, galleries, museums, theater, etc. I consider it to be a civic amenity like a park. The great thing about democracy is that sometimes you fund things you don’t directly use but you know improve the quality of life for others. I might not use a park on the west side of town but I am happy that my tax dollars are helping to support it because I know that it is of value to the people who use it and to my city.

  44. Art is a non-commercial enterprise. It takes endless amounts of time and energy to become proficient at playing the piano, singing an aria, or writing a novel. It’s not a short-term commitment; it is a life-commitment. Art is supposed to reflect our culture, be critical of our culture, and inspire intellectual activity. It needs to be subsidized so that it is kept alive as a practice and so it can be enjoyed by a large part of the populations. Imagine if there were $5 tickets available to SF residents for all live performances at the ballet, the symphony, the jazz center, museums, ACT, and other local venues. Artists need to be supported in a way that is different from commercial enterprises because if they turn into commercial enterprises, we lose their essential function which is to master a skill, critique society, and document our times in a way that reflects an individuals honest experience.

  45. Although, I do have to say, I don’t know how art got lumped together with infrastructure. Totally agree about transit, education etc., but arts funding? Arts should be privately funded. Otherwise, why not also provide generous startup funding for those who fail to attract private one because their ideas or execution suck?

  46. I feel like this is the old adage, “Don’t blame the child for the sins of their father.” The “newbies” were born into this system, they did not create it.

    In fact, it was the failure of the counter-culture that has created this situation. The left let the right defund the government and lower taxes. The left let the goals of second wave feminism such as universal child care and equal pay for equal work be pushed into commercial venues of Oprah and Cheryl Sandberg. The left has not repealed Prop. 13. The left has watched as the right has actively defunded the public sphere so now there is a huge divide between the rich and the poor and most of us have to live in the day-to-day harshness of income inequality with its shabby public institutions.

    To be truthful, the boomers have benefited from the whole cycle. They benefited from the progressive tax structure of the 1950s and 1960s. They received first-class educations for practically free. They had a strong infrastructure to build assets. They had good government and union jobs. Then they got the benefit of lower taxes. From the Reagan revolution through the Bush-Cheney tax code, the boomers have reaped the benefits. In addition, they got the benefit of Prop. 13 so now they sit in houses with 1978 property taxes.

    If we want to address this situation we need to create solutions. It’s not the problem of the individual but a system problem of the whole.

    If we had our progressive tax code of the 1950s and 1960s, we wouldn’t even be having this debate. The rich would grow rich more slowly and the public sphere would be funded in step with the private. Income inequality would not exist because the progressive taxes cause too much friction on the income of the top earners and therefore slow their quick accumulation of wealth.

    It’s a lot easier to live in an expensive city if there are abundant public resources. Three-thousand dollars per month in rent is tolerable for middle class workers if there is subsidized child care, great public schools (pre-k through college), clean parks, excellent public transit, and access to the arts. If you have to pay prohibitive housing costs and also pay for child-care, private school, private transportation, and private recreation, then the city becomes inaccessible for people along the economic spectrum.

    Apple just announced an 18 billion profit for 1 quarter. Apple also has been off-shoring its tremendous cash reserver (at one point during the recession, they had more cash than the government) so it does not have to pay taxes. If we had a government which would enforce proper taxation, then we would also be able to provide more for our lower and middle income citizens. Apple is a California based corporation which enjoys the benefit of our patent laws, our roads, our clean water, our stable society, our judicial system, and innumerable benefits which make businesses want to locate themselves in California versus many other places in the world.

    Shouldn’t we be asking them, not Standford graduates not to be dicks?

    Recently there have been many articles on how Yahoo will avoid billions of taxes on their Alibaba spinoff.
    Shouldn’t we be asking Yahoo not to be an A-hole?

    Shouldn’t we be boycotting Apple until it pays its taxes? Shouldn’t we ask the workers of these companies to ask that their corporate leaders enact policies that create economic stability and sustainability?

    Shouldn’t we be asking the larger stakeholders to behave appropriately rather than individual workers? Shouldn’t we be asking Twitter, Uber, AirBnB, and other monied corporate enterprises to behave responsibly and to actively contribute to the public sphere so our homeless people can be sheltered, our schools can be funded, our parks well groomed, our streets smooth, our artists funded? Shouldn’t we be asking Google, Apple, Facebook, Yahoo, and other large corporations who have many employees who live in San Francisco to pay a municipality fee to the City of San Francisco for each employee who lives in San Francisco and uses our municipal services? The City receives no payroll tax for employees working outside of the city. The City also receives no property tax from employees who rent because the landlord is paying property tax equivalent to the price of when they purchased the building. Shouldn’t we be asking for more from the lords and ladies of the new aristocracy rather than the serfs plowing the digital fields?

  47. It’s about sustaining the city. It’s about fighting for the public sphere. It’s about making an economic decision to fund public resources like parks, public schools, public transportation, maintained streets, well-paid teachers, the funding for non-profits, the funding for the arts. All these vital parts of the city actively being defunded because of our tax structure and prop. 13. This year – a boom year for the private sector – SF Rec. and Parks will cut $1,000,000 from its budget. It’s about demanding that the tech and finance companies located within San Francisco pay their taxes, pay their payroll taxes, and actively sustain our city. It’s about tech companies who have employees living in San Francisco but working at corporate campuses outside of San Francisco paying a municipal sustainability fee for each employee who lives in San Francisco. It’s about Apple – instead of sheltering its billions of dollars off-shore – bringing their money back into the United States and paying their taxes because they are based in California and enjoy all the protections of our legal system, the benefit of our roads, the drinking of our clean water, and the shelter of our shaking but hopefully still stable democracy. What we are fighting for is to restore the balance between the private sector and the public sphere which is greatly out of alignment. Income inequality and the displacement of many communities from the working class to artists to non-profits to teachers from San Francisco show this imbalance. In a city of great economic inequality, you need generously funded public institutions and services to help fill the economic gap. A generously funded public sphere can go a long way for working class and middle class workers. A great public school and fantastic park system and well-funded social services do a lot for the working class and middle class person. Artists can live in cities where there is generous arts funding even if there are lots of people earning in the 1%. Middle class families can stay in expensive cities if there is a great public school system. So yes, there is something to fight for if you want to live in a city that can sustain people working across the economic and professional spectrum.

  48. Though, certainly not to say that there wasn’t a significant population of Robber Barons – including some “Orchard Owners” – enjoying that sprawl of Santa Clara County before they fled further west from Highway 101, or into a norther (as opposed that deadly south, the northers are always benevolent! As are the westers! ) county, when they realized the hideous extent of the damage they had willfully partaken in.

  49. Teeny, Eeeny, as to square miles, San Francisco is a good forty to fifty minutes drive North of Santa Clara County.

    San Francisco, is historically LOADED WITH those Gold Rush Monied Folk “Philanthropists.”

    San Francisco never witnessed that hideous concentration of turning vast orchards into toxin ridden, assembly worker ridden slave factories … for that Financier owned “Department of Defense.” …

    San Francisco did not not have those vast orchards of food ….land “sprawl” ….which Santa Clara County had.

  50. For those young ones in the house, Silicon Valley, has, for over half a century, pertained to Santa Clara County, California (CERTAINLY INCLUDING SAN JOSE) – not to say its perpetrators did not concentrate outside of that valley’s most deadly and cancerous perimeters – that is why the MOST concentrated area of TOXIC AND DEADLY, STILL NOT CLEANED UP, SUPERFUND SITES IN THE PROCLAIMED “UNITED STATES” ARE LOCATED IN SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIFORNIA, WITHIN ONE MINUTE OF HIGHWAY 101.

  51. Please tell me you’re doing performance art and no human being is actually as deranged as you appear to be in 2015. pussy pinko tears? hippy faggits? No one talks like this any more right? Are you sure you’re not Strom Thurmond risen from the grave?

  52. I work at Google but not as a Google employee I can tell you that this new crop of people that are flooding the Bay Area in the form of “techies ” are nothing like the people I knew growing up-this new breed lacks a sense of humor and more importantly a personality,we are literally creating a society of robot like people who have very poor social skills and even worse are often clueless and entitled Douche bags!!!

  53. The phenomenon of rich millenials displacing and crowding out the old guard is not just happening in San Francisco it is happening in many American cities.It is compounded by the fact that many wealthy investors all over the world who are flush with cash from the last decade of Federal Reserve induced cash pumping have been buying property in American cities.New York City is an example of what happens when you have to be a billionaire to live in a city. It becomes a dried up obnoxious crowded place where everyone looks and acts the same, like one of the science fiction horror movies of the 1970s.
    Sometimes the best thing to do in a situation like that becomes Get the Hell Out. Sell your house for ten million dollars to the likes of Mark Zuckerman and move to a nicer remote place in the country. Move to Canada where the minimum wage is $15.00 per hour and the currency is 20% lower than the American dollar and sell products online.Think about it: if the city has no one to serve Starbucks to the Google employees and no one to clean the floors at the hospital or pick up the trash the local government will be forced to do something about it.

  54. I don’t have a problem hating ponzi scheme criminals and their tech bro underlings.

    Tech bros,fyi, getting hard to your jigglin-tit app is not going to save the world.

  55. Debashish ( https://48hills.org/2015/01/26/dont-stanford-asshole/#comment-50408 ),

    If you were so concerned about brown skinned people, one might think you would have some commentary to share about how that ‘brown’ hispanic population, renting and owning homes in Silicon Valley (along with the black population, older population, and female population), has been decreasing in proportion to the national average, for at least the last decade.

    Care to share your thoughts on that?

    (I won’t even bother to extrapolate on the fact that you insanely attempted to imply that, shooters aren’t generally employed by white gloved assholes who never like to ‘dirty’ their gloves.)

  56. I have to reiterate my above comment… we are moving from SV to SF because SF is more urban, not more interesting under your definition of interesting. SF will stay much more interesting than SF as far as I am concerned, it’s just your interesting that will be the collateral victim, which does not really concern me (and should not concern me, mind you). If it concerns other techies, it is probably out of general empathy and not because we value it to any extent when we move here. A minority of us (as far as I can tell) will miss artists and counterculture, and probably none will miss the SRO dwellers, the crime, crap on the sidewalk, etc.

  57. Oh good god! Dear David, ever wonder about the people you ‘evicted’ when you and your kind showed up in SF? Are you suggesting that the cop who shot Alex Nieto was a Stanford Asshole? Do you seriously think everyone Air BnB marketing or tech worker is in the top 1% income bracket? Do you really believe your generalizations are any better than the guys who want to deport 11 million people because every brown person is a criminal?


  58. Re that 1977 search for a liveable space in San Francisco:

    I had no parental money available, I searched for bare bones efficiency/studio apartments in San Francisco, and bare bones minimum wage jobs to afford such bare bones living spaces. I found Absolutely None.

    I suppose I could have sold my body, but fuck me that I didn’t? Fuck me that I found an assembly job in the valley which, while totally fucking me ( though, teasingly, at least allowed me to eat and have a roof over my head) makes me also a boring suburbanite?

    Words do hurt, sticks and stones, have nothing on human words.

  59. And don’t get me started on those predominately white young ACADEMIA males who can bike to their employment, on that car owner HATRED. I take it they’ve never needed to drive their elderly parents to an emergency ward, sans that 2$k-3$K “public service” ambulance, …nor had to take on two to three jobs they can’t possibly make it to on time via bicycle in order to eat and keep their parents from having a tube stuck in their belly by a ghastly “nursing home” in order to extract that parent’s Social Security Income and Supplementary “Blue Cross” for an algorithmic eternity.

  60. Dear KH,

    I hear ya, and I still have my – electricity expense free – land line and realize that the wire tapping laws are likely far protective there (thank you, honey).

    Dear c1ue,

    I’m sorry, but you’re quite mistaken as to just who lives outside of San Francisco, in the “Bay Area.”

    For just one instance, why do you suppose there are such widespread Suburbanite [?] populations of Blacks (East Menlo Park, East Palo Alto, etcetera); Hispanics (all along Highway 101 in that VAST Santa Clara County); and single females, none of whom, for decades now, could/can generally afford to live in San Francisco.

    I moved to the Bay Area in 1977, and tried everything I could to find a liveable space and job in San Francisco. I don’t fault you (unless you’re old enough to know better), but try studying what happened to that once thriving black community in the gut of San Francisco, for just one reason why you’re wrong in your “suburbanite” contempt.

  61. Rob, ( https://48hills.org/2015/01/26/dont-stanford-asshole/#comment-50397 )

    Re your implied defense of Google, and, your phrase:

    most of them [young tech workers] are idealists who genuinely want to improve the world through harnessing technology.

    I’m interested as to your definition of the root word, “HARNESS” (as regards to that mystical word, “Technology”) versus, say, the words STAY EMPLOYED VIA, and, in worst case scenarios, the words: BLINDLY WORSHIP.

    My subjective thought is that those workers are most interested in staying employed and making money, and unfortunately fail to see – many times even fail to acknowledge and attempt to do something about – even when they do see, the devastating effects of their EMPLOYERS on their human neighbors.

    Silicon Valley, for instance, now has the nation’s record of unsheltered homeless people as a direct result of worshipping “ALGORITHMIC” CODING ONLY – as if the human mind is a wasteland; even though those ALGORITHMS are actually creations of human minds; and even though a megalomaniacal handful of humans (Brin and Page, for instance) are the ones who decide which of those Algorithms shall be transformed into the stunningly inhumane law of the land which is spreading like a deadly plague.

  62. I don’t understand why there is a need to conflate the problem of affordable housing and community displacement (which I am sympathetic to) with this idea that people who made money in tech must be ‘assholes’. I am old enough to remember what web searches were like before Google came along; they tended to require you to go through pages of links to find the information you wanted, were easily gamed, and filled with inappropriate content. Google (started by two Stanford ‘assholes’) solved these problems and by doing so made information more accessible to everyone across the world, for free. In what sense are the people who built this technology bad people? Why, instead of focusing on the fact that children born in poor countries can now get good educational materials, or the fact that academics can now search through the literature in their respective fields in hours rather than months, do you choose to focus on the fact that Google employees get to ride in a fancy bus?

    I don’t work in tech, and I don’t live in SF. But I do know a lot of people who fit both those categories. Some of them are greedy and self serving. But most of them are idealists who genuinely want to improve the world through harnessing technology. As far as I can tell, they are succeeding. Please, stop teaching your kids to make lazy, negative generalizations about a broad group of people. It makes you the asshole here, not the people you’re railing against.

  63. Yes. It’s amazing that the government needs to go through a legal process to tap a phone line or to open an individual’s mail but since we’ve started using commercial, digital lines of communication all of our communication is open to the corporations who own them. It’s an amazing shift from the protection of by privacy by the government for the average citizen to a complete lack of privacy by corporate America. I realize that since 9/11 the system has broken down, but in the 1960s if you told someone that all of their personal communication was being monitored by corporate America, they would have cried foul.
    No people say, “Google has all my data, I don’t care.” What a shift from just 20 years ago.

  64. Cheers for a great speech.
    The sad thing is – these techies are moving to SF because it isn’t the boring suburban Peninsula and South Bay.
    Yet their very presence and actions are visibly changing SF to exactly that boring South Bay/Peninsula.
    It is like they are vampires that have to suck the life out of a vibrant neighborhood in order to survive.

  65. Alex Nieto was a community member who did not have even a misdemeanor. Felony? Check your facts. His attacks on people where his job- as an employed security guard with a license to carry a taser. He was scheduled for work the night of his murder.

  66. That was an amazing piece. Many of those points I’ve been thinking of for so long (ever since 2000, actually), but you verbalized them so eloquently. Thanks for this story. Good read.

  67. The point being, with that payphone and the USPS, prior to today’s insanity: both that pay phone, and the USPS were not tracking every single word …syllable .. and accent…written, …or uttered.

    Such “Tracking,” as in, immediately knowing who exactly whistle blew. Previously, the outrage may have been tracked …but those expressing it remained safe if they took well advised precautions regarding uncovering fraudulent and deadly scum, Now?

  68. erk, the following is actually what I intended as my above comment, apparently, I neglected to pull that cursor over all of the previous draft comment in posting my final thought, very sorry:

    yep, that payphone, a last true bastion of whistle blowing. Yeah, the USPS was second to that, but that was nailed to the coffin with that FAKE Anthrax Scare (speaking of which, this seems interesting: 12/19/24 The 2001 Anthrax Deception. Have not read that referred to anthrax book. My thought was that USPS mail scare gave a huge excuse for corporate owned politicians to say that letter addressed to them looked suspicious (and, to shut down that United States PUBLICALLY OWNED Postal Service), and therefore they did not read it, and therefore, anyone who either: couldn’t afford to be ON LINE, or, knew they were being tracked On Line, was fucked)

    The point being, with that payphone and the USPS, prior to today’s insanity: both that pay phone, and the USPS were not tracking every single word …syllable .. and accent…written, …or uttered.

  69. yep, that payphone, a last true bastion of whistle blowing. Yeah, the USPS was second to that, but that was nailed to the coffin with that FAKE Anthrax Scare (speaking of which, this seems interesting: 12/19/24 The 2001 Anthrax Deception. Have not read that referred to anthrax book. My thought was that USPS mail scare gave a huge excuse for corporate owned politicians to say that letter addressed to them looked suspicious (and, to shut down that United States PUBLICALLY OWNED Postal Service), and therefore they did not read it, and therefore, anyone who either: couldn’t afford to be ON LINE, or, knew they were being tracked On Line, was fucked)

    The point being, with that payphone and the USPS, prior to today’s insanity: both that pay phone, and the USPS were not tracking every single word …syllable .. and accent…written, …or uttered.
    yep, that payphone, a last true bastion of whistle blowing. Yeah, the USPS was second to that, but that was nailed to the coffin with that FAKE Anthrax Scare (speaking of which, this seems interesting: 12/19/24 The 2001 Anthrax Deception. Have not read that referred to anthrax book. My thought was that USPS mail scare gave a huge excuse for corporate owned politicians to say that letter addressed to them looked suspicious (and, to shut down that United States PUBLICALLY OWNED Postal Service), and therefore they did not read it, and therefore, anyone who either: couldn’t afford to be ON LINE, or, knew they were being tracked On Line, was fucked)

    The point being, with that payphone and the USPS, prior to today’s insanity: both that pay phone, and the USPS were not tracking every single word …syllable .. and accent…written, …or uttered.
    yep, that payphone, a last true bastion of whistle blowing. Yeah, the USPS was second to that, but that was nailed to the coffin with that FAKE Anthrax Scare (speaking of which, this seems interesting: 12/19/24 The 2001 Anthrax Deception. Have not read that referred to anthrax book. My thought was that USPS mail scare gave a huge excuse for corporate owned politicians to say that letter addressed to them looked suspicious (and, to shut down that United States PUBLICALLY OWNED Postal Service), and therefore they did not read it, and therefore, anyone who either: couldn’t afford to be ON LINE, or, knew they were being tracked On Line, was fucked)

    The point being, with that payphone and the USPS, prior to today’s insanity: both that pay phone, and the USPS were not tracking every single word …syllable .. and accent…written, …or uttered.

  70. Odd, perhaps, but I’ve always thought of them as the Stanford “Indians” — (although I admit I sometimes thought of the Stanford “Indians” as “douchbags” — go Bears!)

  71. While I agree with many points, the author makes and lament the loss of cultural diversity, affordable rents for teachers, artists, nurses, and other non-tech professionals, bookstores, and cinemas, I do not think it is fair to blame the widening income inequality and cultural changes on individuals.
    It is a political problem because we have poor legislation to deal with roller coaster economic cycles and we have poor legislation (Prop 13) when it comes to property taxes. If we had the fantastic progressive tax structure that we had in the 1950s and 1960s, there would not be sudden bursts of wealth and income inequality at the levels that we see today and our public infrastructure would not be defunded. If we had those progressive taxes, we would not be having this discussion.
    Unfortunately, the Bush-Cheney tax code went into effect during the start of the Iraq war which was the start of our now well-defined period of income inequality. You might notice that the .01% increased their wealth during the recession and that many of those people live in the Bay Area so we unfortunately live in a city where homeless people beg on the streets next to stores where you can buy $400 pairs of shoes and easily spend a couple of hundred dollars on dinner.
    Prop. 13, a piece of legislation enacted in 1978 which locks in property tax at the time of purchase, also has its impact in San Francisco. Prop 13’s original intent was to protect elderly homeowners from being unable to pay their property taxes in places where home values rise in a dramatic way. Traditionally, you are taxed annually at the appraised value of your home. Instead, Prop 13 ties your tax rate to the time in which you bought you building.
    This legislation was supposed to protect old people which seems fair and just. Instead, it also protect commercial landlords like people who own huge multi-unit buildings, strip malls, the Ferry Building, and the Transamerica building. Every building in downtown SF has Prop. 13 protection. And the benefit can be passed down from generation to generation. So you could inherit a building that was purchased in 1978 and get the same 1978 tax rate in 2015. Obviously, the cost of running schools, parks, public transit, and all other municipal services go up over time. Therefore, because of Prop. 13, many of our public services are radically underfunded which increases the harsh effects of income inequality. You might notice that I keep talking about the funding of the public sphere. I also believe we would not be talking about this if we had generously funded public institutions, programs, services, and schools. If you could walk out of your house and ride a fast, clean public bus and go to the symphony for free and know that San Francisco public schools were funded at the highest per capita rate in the nation (instead of one of the lowest), I really don’t think people would mind the tech capital. It’s the lack of devastating defunding of the public sphere that creates part of the friction.
    Prop. 13 has a unique impact in San Francisco because as rents rise, the city does not gain any increase in revenue. Therefore, when you pay high rent, the landlord is just increasing their profits. I believe that Prop. 13 also impacts the availability of housing stock in SF because people are encouraged to hold onto their properties instead of selling them because they have artificially low tax rates.
    I don’t think anyone would be complaining so much about the tech workers (they are just workers) if they were more involved in helping to solve some of the city’s key issues like funding social services, funding public schools, helping to house the homeless, contributing to public parks, and public institutions.
    If tech companies offered a way for their employees to donate to the city through their paychecks and would match the contributions (let’s say the employee donated $10 and the company donated $10), everyone would benefit. At the end of year the company and its employees could show that they contributed to the public sphere and were invested in the city.
    If tech companies, instead of asking for tax breaks, offered to pay more in taxes to help ease income inequality, that would also be a way to show a real investment in San Francisco.
    If tech companies located outside of San Francisco (like Google, Apple, Facebook) who do not pay any payroll tax to the city of San Francisco figured out how many of their employees lived in San Francisco and paid the city per employee for use of municipal services like roadways, parks, schools, water, electricity, museums, arts institutions, etc. that would be another way to acknowledge that the city needs active support from the people who enjoy its many assets. At this point the only people who receive any benefit from tech workers living in San Francisco are landlords. The city does not benefit. The long-time residents do not benefit. The arts do not benefit. So there needs to be an acknowledgement that there are some complex economic exchanges happening but like the current tax structure, only a few are receiving the benefit.
    So no, I do not think you or your coding peers are the problem. It’s a political and economic problem so if you want to get on the right bus – advocate for the public sphere, advocate for funding for the public sphere, ask your company to get on the bus to making San Francisco a better place for everyone.

  72. When I read this, all I could think of was, “I liked my life before technology. I liked going to movies and the bookstore. I liked using pay-phones. I liked diners where old people drank okay coffee and read the newspaper.” I miss that world and I can’t say that 21st technology has brought me anything to replace these common joys. It’s just made my work day longer.

  73. And who wants to bet, that those State Review Board workers are only able to condone those disability payments when those algorithms show that those enabled to receive SSDI (i.e. those very close to retirement age, in which case, those workers will never ever be able to make livable wages after being categorized as a lone wolf terrorist with CANCER …. and, therefore will feel forced to attempt to stay on that disability payment), are going to find some way to survive on what is half of what would have been their full Social Security Retirement Pay (which would have amounted to almost double that SSDI ‘income’) just a teeny few years after their cancer, Lone Wolf Terrorist diagnosis.

  74. (Of course, California Governor, Gerald [Formal Usage] the Jesuit, Brown – for some ‘mystical’ reason – downsized that, supposedly Federal, SSDI review board, in California, so horridly (as did that groper before him, etcetera), that even if those – Not even on the Totem Pole – Cali State SSDI Review Board employees are aware of that potential death dealing PROBLEM of vital FORM questions going unanswered, …there’s nothing those who care, on those State Review Boards, are able to do … other than classify those with cancer …as potential Lone Wolf Terrorists …in order to qualify cancer patients for the money those cancer patients were forced to invest in ‘their future’ ..and did so most willingly.)

  75. I find it hard to believe that techie types (or anyone else, for that matter) would want to live in San Francisco if people like you have filled its streets for the last few decades. Views like these illustrate the snobbish, uppity mindset that residents of SF have ALWAYS had, forget the tech boom. So you’re annoyed because people who aren’t similar to you are moving into your city? Come on.This is the same ridiculous reasoning that hillbillies in Arizona talk about regarding Mexican immigrants “changing their communities.”

    If it’s that big of a problem just move to Portland. I believe you’ll find it’s weird enough for your taste.

  76. (And, for those Stanford Teaching Hospital ‘Insects’ (stuck on Medi Cal = stuck in a “Teaching Hospital” – Stunningly Overcrowded and Undertreated County, Government owned, or DOD owned (can we say, The Hoover Institute, in this example), Major ‘University’), applying for SSDI (Social Security Disability Income), the MAJOR form sent by California’s SSDI “Review Board,” which asks the treating doctors about the patient’s disabilities, is sent to Stanford’s Outsourced Medical Records Contractors, who totally ignore it. The Doctors, apparently, never even see it, they did not in my case (verifiable). I took matters into my own hands, if I had not, I would have ended up both cancer ridden, and homeless.)

  77. That you think this is only the 2nd Gold Rush since ’49 speaks volumes about the “if it didn’t happen last year in San Francisco, it didn’t happen” mentality of this comment’s author.

  78. Thank you David, from a Stanford “Teaching Hospital” Cancer patient, whoops I meant insect tumor experiment – whose permanent IT Outsourced Medical “Records” are now likely shared with the Googleplex and littered with Stanford negligence, errors, out and out LIES and Sadistic “Social Worker” Cover Up – stuck on Medi Cal (as, sadistically, even on SSDI, Medicare does not kick in until the most expensive part of the Can$er Treatment$ are charged against everything the patient owned in life being given to their remaining loved ones, under Medi Cal), after being mowed over by the corrupt boyoz in the valley, ending up unemployed for attempting to stand for uncovering fraud and ill intent, and aquiring that cancer while living for decades within the historically poverty ridden (within a minute of Highway 101) hotspots of Stanford’s Grand Silicon Sand Box, in one of the nations largest Cancer Hotspots and, the largest toxic superfund site concentration in the nation.

    (Many are unaware that even when there are errors in their Med Records, they can’t be erased. The patient is ‘allowed’ to add commentary, and we can can all guess as to both: future Doctors even bothering reading patients contesting commentary; and, whether that commentary even ends up being readable (Unless the Patient was a Stanford Doctor themselves, and was accorded what they term the “Red Blanket Treatment,”), in those Written in Stone, Med IT Records.)

  79. “Markets will take care of your doddering dribble” – wow that is such a sad thing to say 🙁

    And it actually makes no economic sense. Markets in themselves don’t erase dissent.

    I have a feeling that grin on your face in your pic is from the market ramming something up your rear end when you were too young to notice. Perhaps it’s time to take a look inside and remove it. You’re hosting a parasite and it’s eating you alive.

  80. The “New Colossus” has become paved with gold and Stanford assholes. Forget San Francisco the former city of the “tempest-tost.” Those denizens are being tost out of the city in the gold rush II of the Silicornhole Valley Greed.

    Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
    With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
    Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
    A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
    Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
    Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
    Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
    The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

    “Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
    With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

  81. Inferiority complexes… This is why Stanford hates Berkeley grads, not because of a rivalry, but because of shit like this.

  82. what a load of crap…Salon published this tyranny, linked below, and you cry out for revolution, wake up, this Salon article is sickening with asserting control of “the man” and forcing people to use pharmaceutical products against their will or have their children brainwashed to someone else’s belief system, you don’t know freedom from tyranny, revolution from reactionary control http://www.salon.com/2014/04/01/vaccine_truthers_scary_new_craze_exemptions_from_public_school_immunizations/

  83. Both Tim and David make the all-too common mistake of reducing conflict in San Francisco to an unnuanced battle between good (“them”) and evil (“everyone else”).
    If I am desperately in search of housing in San Francisco, and I have found a place I can afford and that is available to rent, can I seriously be expected to remain homeless or pay a 25% premium on that rent in order to forgo a unit from which a previous tenant was evicted? Is that a reasonable solution to this problem?
    Tim’s calcified way of thinking is — as always — an historical anachronism that merely serves to fluff the outrage of a permanently angry vector of our community. There’s no interest in common solutions or compromise between adversarial entities, and there certainly isn’t an ounce of empathy between groups with conflicting interests, as typified by the juvenile, ad nauseum outcry against “landlord greed” and “[certain percentage of] profit is enough!”
    Taking advice or criticism from people who give the impression of being so completely ignorant of the mechanisms of real estate investment and management on how to manage and develop real estate in a market like San Francisco is unsound practice. More to the point, their inability to make a persuasive written argument about how to manage the conflicting interests of people who can no longer afford to live in San Francisco at market level rents and the people whose professional careers involve raising the value of real estate suggests that these people have no business participating in this discussion.

  84. So you just spent a couple paragraphs judging people based on how they looked and _they’re_ the shallow ones? Makes perfect sense.

  85. You’re just throwing around a bunch of opinions as facts. Evictions? Even the reviled Ellis Act only results in a couple hundred evictions per year (most of which are actually negotiated between the parties), despite all the handwaving. This is in a market of hundreds of thousands of rental units.

    “Economic overpowering” just a vague, meaningless agitprop phrase.

    And “newcomers demanding neighborhoods change” is just made up nonsense that reveals more about your personal prejudices than about the rental market in San Francisco.

    Here’s the thing: I’m not even disagreeing that there’s a problem with affordable housing in San Francisco. But real solutions won’t come from vilifying people.

  86. Really? And all your cliched paranoid name calling is supposed to make up for the puny size of yours? Move away if you’re so disturbed. You won’t be missed. I promise.

  87. Otto is right. This rant is patronizing, sensationalist, and does a disservice to a real issue that we all care about.

  88. You are not being evicted by a young tech couple. You are being evicted by your landlord because you didn’t pay your rent.

  89. But you have no rights you claim to have. There’s nothing to fight for. City is for the people, and not for the people who happened to be there first (unless you own a property and can afford the taxes). What do you want to do, build a wall? Perhaps you should secede from the Union and impose and H1B cap, or something. Yes, you housing activists sound THAT ridiculous.

  90. “It seems that you want other people to make it so that you can enjoy yourself instead of participating in an urban culture where you all make things for each other to enjoy.” No, I find people with whom we can share activities and enjoy ourselves, contributing to each others’ lifestyle. If I want to go rock climbing and my girlfriend wants to do yoga with her friends and my friend wants to do cooking classes, these “monodimensional” activities will all thrive. Who decides what’s monodimensional? If it just so happens that some disjoint group of people that enjoys different activities cannot afford to live somewhere, what am I to do? Should I not move where I want to live so they could preserve their lifestyle? That almost begs for T. Roosevelt quote 🙂
    That, also because these people have brought the high proces on themselves by their rampant NIMBYism from the 90ies to resisting Vancouver-ization 10~ years ago. You could have your lifestyle affordably between highrises but refused to do so… Now unless you want some dictatorship to decide who gets to live where, you don’t get to have your lifestyle at all. I have no pity.

  91. Google had produced more value last year than your entire hippie cohort of the last 4 decades. No worries – Markets will take care of your doddering dribble.

  92. I was invited to present a paper at a conference in Vancouver on internet library indexing back in the day when the WWW was young and did so. I’ll take SF hands down.

    Techies have been here since before forever. It is the influx of Wall Street speculative capital that supercharges tech work into an engine of gentrification.

  93. The more one tries to look cool the more pathetic one ends up. Either you are cool and you get it or you are not.

    I divorced New York City a few years ago for similar reasons, because while in Manhattan, I noticed that all I saw below 125th Street was upscale whites and Asians there to make money. It was the upscale Asian woman in designer clothes with a designer small dog on a 50′ leash which she was allowing to run across the sidewalk on Central Park South, blocking almost pedestrians while totally involved in her phone convo and not giving a shit that pushed me over the edge. There are urban rules of the City that are second nature to those of us who’ve lived in cities our whole lives and are alien to suburbanites and transplants. That and sitting in Washington Square Park, feeling the sod, and asking “is this all of the nature there is here?”

  94. Eclectic? Really? Valencia has a bunch of clones staring at phones wandering up and down it as I pass through it twice a day. My family lives right there and it’s not better for all the bougie shops my family and I can’t even afford to shop in. Who needs a lip balm store? Is that eclectic? Seriously?

    And it’s being positively ruined — the actual street and pavement — by those segregated buses known as tech shuttles. I hope Valencia is liberated from Stanford assholes and the entire entitled tech onslaught.

  95. I’m with Ed and Sam! Happy to read this as a long time resident of Bernal myself. Standford dicks are ruining SF and Alex Nieto should have been safe on the hill.

  96. I was in the china-basin neighborhood. I went to order some coffee at this Philz, and I was intrigued by the beautiful, cool and hip clientele who consisted mainly of cool fashionable chinese people and tall handsome white men in tan suede boots, collared shirts and blazers. My concerns have less to do with high rent, gentrification or the tech industry, but I am concerned with what society or the culture values in this age of technology. To me the tech scene is no different than the money hustling Manhattanites, or the pretty young things of Hollywood. Beauty, power and money are the wages of desire and self importance in forging one’s identity. And when we lack, we lose our sense of worth. I suppose my concerns are more philosophical. If one is not a pretty asian girl in social media marketing nor a tall handsome white man who codes, then where does one fit in?

    It’s bizarre how image focused the world has become. Nearly a decade ago I remember walking into Yahoo and it had a semi professional vibe with hints of alternative geek culture and laid back attitude. But when I walked into Facebook, people did dress casually, but everyone was so hip. It felt like everyone all shopped at Hayes Valley or something. This desire to be cool is distressing me.

  97. Thank you David, for speaking truth to assholes. The city I came to 40 years ago, the one that awed me with its creativity, diversity and awesome, adventurous radicalism is being consumed by greed and techies. It pains me…

  98. Is this the same Erica Lopez that’s a TEACHER that is getting evicted? RUFKM? Seriously, you act like that and you teach children?! BTW, you’re from NYC, so, go back there, I mean you don’t want new people in here, and frankly we Californians can’t stand NYers, so go back home. Does that make you feel good when I say that? Well think before you say things about the “new people” then.

  99. OMG, Rebecca Solnit linked this article and told people that she LIVES in SF & told people that “sour people” need to leave her fb page. LOL. the sour ones were the cynical people about SF. I am wondering what neighborhood she lives in now. Pretty sure she UPGRADED her place to something even more spectacular.

  100. Definitely check out her fb pages. I am LOL’g whenever she says X is TRENDING ON TWITTER like anyone cares what is trending on twitter! lol’g. And this is coming from someone (me) who likes/loves tech. No one cares what is “trending on twitter”.

  101. Well that’s just it, the waves of people come in and go out. I dislike the resentment of the “new people” “just because”. Those of us with family here for generations know that it comes and goes, replaced by new people who come and go. That is the nature of SF.

  102. It hasn’t been affordable since the 60s. And you were living in Mendocino? That IS almost as expensive as SF. And LBH, a whole lot of people in that neighborhood you grew up in came and went a lot. It is the nature of SF.

  103. Ed – good luck with that. No one cares if you “hang on” really, no one cares. Hanging on means tons of roommates so, good luck with that too. BTDT and it’s not fun.

    But again, you don’t have to live with tech in the Mission. As I’ve mentioned before, there’s the Outer Mission, OMI, Little Hollywood, 3rd Street / HP/Crocker Amazon, etc. So GL.

  104. Then go to the Fry’s in the E Bay. I think WC (Walnut Creek/Concord), there’s no body searching cavity thing going on there. I miss that computer store in SF that was bought by Carlos Slim who then made it go completely out of biz. Central Computer or Best Buy are poor substitutes for Fry’s. And I know what you mean about poor quality goods from Central Computer & their 20% or 25% re-stocking fee too. Now Fry’s is a dream come true, just wish there were MORE of them. I can’t tell you how far it is from BART, but I think it might be worth your while.

  105. I dare any of you to type: “silicon valley mysogyny” or “silicon valley assholes” in any non Google (who is controlled by in-q-tel) search engine and read the results. There is your description of how the problem is in-bred.

  106. Living in Santa Cruz for two years convinced me of one thing. Never live anywhere cool. Once you move there you find that everything you like about it is constantly under attack from enemies within and without. In a cool place everyone is an a$$hole pointing fingers at other a$$holes blaming them making a cool place uncool. Give me San Jose or Santa Clara any time. No body cares where you work, how you get to work, or what you look like. They can’t tale away anything cool because there no cool to take away. Plus we have Streetlight, the Rosicrucian, and couple of ok caffes. 408 por vida

  107. San Jose (not part of silicon valley) will never be dead to me, we are uncool, uncultured, and nobody cares where you work, how you get to work, or what you do at night (because there is nothing to do at night). Except Obon, Obon is Cool. All I got from this article is that everyone south of San Mateo is an asshole.

  108. Doc, I hear you. My great grandfather moved to SF in 1899 after working his way there with the Union Pacific as a surveyor. He came to the U.S. through Ellis Island from Karlsruhe. My grandfather was born in Stockton and my father in San Mateo. All of them lived in SF, on and off, and I lived at 16th and Guerrero for 9 years in the early 80s. I left that beautiful, fascinating, permissive, multi-generational city in 1988 because I couldn’t tolerate the waves of scrubbed, middling, bland blonde people moving in from the Mid-West who came to work in some Financial District cubicle farm, listen to Smooth “Jazz”, and get drunk in the Marina on the weekends. I guess we all came to SF for one reason and we all leave for another. The Stanford Douchebags will eventually leave for their reasons too, leaving behind the empty partied-out shells of their sad Dwell lives to be inhabited by another wave of urban swells.

  109. Pretty much sums up how San Franciscan feel about the entitlement tsunami washing away sixty years of historical progress.

  110. How sad to have such a captive audience of young, hard-working people and to waste it telling them what they should NOT be, rather than using your experience and wisdom to offer genuine, constructive solutions. Why not spend your time detailing how they might go about realizing a career in public service or creating more human-centered technology or making apps aimed at solving public issues?

    The majority of these kids aren’t the next Mark Zuckerbergs. Silicon Valley isn’t any less expensive these days. This is not a “Stanford” issue, it’s a regional issue. Also, you seem to think you are representing the perspective of the 99%, but you’ve conveniently skipped over the perspective of the very large percentage of people caught in the middle of “I’ve been here for 50 years” and “I have $50 billion dollars”. I’m not saying rent control is bad, or eviction is good. It’s just that having a constructive conversation about what to do about affordable housing and gentrification and transportation in the Bay Area is a really good thing, which you failed at pretty miserably with a bunch of anecdotes. Did you genuinely want to impact the opinions of your young audience? Or did you simply want to vent your frustration about what you and your friends are personally experiencing? Well done. Any member of that audience could probably do the same.

    Even if this speech is aimed only at the next Mark Zuckerberg, spending your time highlighting the questionable actions of a few tech millionaires doesn’t help to inspire a new generation. Implicitly grouping Stanford as “the enemy” only serves to create animosity, not foster amicable dialogue.

    I would hope you are teaching your kids that forming opinions about others based on group identifications such as place of education or attire is offensive.

    Also, what exactly is the intrusion being caused by yuppies going running through a neighborhood park? The desire to be active outside if offensive? It’s not like they are knocking down parks to build gyms. Running is cheaper than a gym membership.

    I must note that I am really sad to read this article. I enjoyed reading Season of the Witch. I also think that a sense of community and cultural cohesion (not “us vs them” resentment) is integral to implementing the type of redistributive and progressive policies needed to fix the issues raised.

  111. Somebody is whining, but it’s not the people politely asking folks like you to leave the City, and go some place where you will do less damage.

  112. Previous migrations did not rely on eviction and displacement due to economic overpowering. There were vacancies and people moved into them in the past. Newcomers did not demand that the neighborhood change to cater to them in their first six months.

  113. Given how many different kinds of people live in the Mission from so many different places and walks of life and economic levels, and given how densely we are packed, we all got along pretty well without killing and hurting one another.

    The Chameleon => Amnesia really says it all.

    Now they’re bringing on the monoculture.

  114. Used to work down on the Peninsula back in the day. It costs more to drive to Fry’s now than I save and there is no insulting post-purchase body cavity search at Central. I bought a travel tripod there last year before a trip and the first time I set up for a night shot in Venice the thing disintegrated irreparably fresh out of the box.

  115. The “new” Mission “too successful???” Has to be the poster boy caption of the cluelessly entitled douchebaggery class now wrecking the City (and specifically my neighborhood, the Mission) that this speech is aimed at. Hilarious! Send in your pic and we’ll post it along Valencia!

  116. Having been in the Mission since the mid 80’s, our beloved Valencia St has become a depressing disgrace. There is a huge number of “no go” places on the ever growing boycott list. And my neighborhood stretch has taken the worst hit. The two blocks between 18th and 20th are mind bogglingly douchey now. It’s like aliens have landed and attempted to “blend in,” while San Franciscans watched in frozen disbelief. Yes, the people I moved here to get away from, are moving in all around me. Never, ever, thought that would happen in the heart of our former utopia. (And the last best hope for a sustainable model of a genuinely “mixed” urban American neighborhood now slips away). Give me back the “crime and grime” any day over another designer eye wear store, or “artisan” (yeah, right) chocolatier. Please, if you didn’t come here to be part of the post war San Francisco revolution, go back where you came from.

  117. The thing that really gets to me about this article, and all the people who blindly cheer “Hazaaa!” in the comments, is that it’s just a rant. Sweeping generalisations. Pure hate mongering.

    Maybe provide a solution to the situation so we can work together to brighten the future of SF instead of just complaining and reminiscing?

  118. If I finally get pushed out of the Mission, the silver lining is that I’ll be far, far away from techie dicks like you who are making it so unbearable now. But I’ll keep holding on, regardless of what you say. Why continue living in a place I can’t afford to keep living in, you might ask? Because fuck you, that’s why.

  119. No, calling such thoughtful speech “common” or “a rant,” is the typical response of a boring mind, one finding himself confronted with an awful truth that conflicts with his own self justifying delusional world view. If you don’t “get” this speech, you don’t belong in San Francisco. Period. Which is fine with us. As long as you don’t move here and attempt to wreck what is left of it.

  120. Stanford graduate (possibly dick?) here. I’ve always been fascinated with this issue facing the city of SF and I wanted to ask a few questions and describe my situation and see what people have to say about it.

    I was born in SF and grew up in the north bay in what I would describe as middle/lower middle class white family. I got into Stanford and didn’t have to pay tuition because my parents’ combined income was under a certain level. There I ended up studying and double majoring in Computer Science and Mechanical Engineering, not because of the amount of money it would make me when I got out of school, because it was something I was genuinely interested in and loved doing. After graduating school I got a job as a software engineer and promptly moved up to San Francisco to live close to where my job was located. I’ve been living and working here for about a year now and don’t consider myself a dick or a bad person who is kicking people out of their housing. In my mind I grew up worked hard took advantage of every opportunity given to me and am wondering why it is a bad thing that I want to live and work in San Francisco. Do you think I qualify as a Stanford dick?

    Separate question, could someone explain to me how you are able to evict someone from their house while they are living there and if so, how is this the fault of someone like me and not the landlord deciding to evict the person. I know my existence creates opportunity for the landlord to make more money, but is it not more their actions, or the city for allowing these evictions than it is mine for existing as a Stanford graduate/tech worker?

    All thoughts and opinions are greatly appreciated! Thank you

  121. Questions: 1) Who did you displace when you moved here from LA? Or DC or wherever. 2) I moved to SF from the Midwest, then went to Stanford. Was I a d-bag when I moved here 11 years ago, or sometime after I started at Stanford? Or do I get a pass because I’m a “long time resident”? 3) Seems like you’ve done allright with your online magazine. Is that considered blood money too? You know–if not for Cold War fascists, there would be no internet. 4) Throughout its short history, people have come to SF mostly to make money. Brief interlude in the 60s and 70s when the immigration was more social in nature. 5) Displacement would be a non-issue if progressives would allow housing construction. Progs’ unrealistic expectation that they can sustain in some sort of fantasy land via semi-socialist housing policies demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of economics or history. The current “crisis” is a predictable outcome of flowers-and-rainbows, idealistic mismanagement principles. 6) people make individual decisions to move here. Similarly, people make individual decisions to stay here (facilitated by rent control). So someone gets a job here and decides to move in–so what? It’s not some tech industry conspiracy. 7) I don’t think it’s a tech thing or wealth thing that causes a lack of respect for a neighborhood. Mostly it’s a maturity thing.

    Disclaimer: I read the 1st 10 of so paragraphs and quit. I think I get the idea, having read Tim’s and sfgate’s summary as well. But I might have missed something.

  122. This speech is equally as dumb and hypocritical as Spike Lee’s dumb gentrification rant:

    If you are a millionaire living in the place, you can’t complain that new millionaires are somehow worse than you. And you have don’t have a no moral high ground because you sympathize with blue color people (in theory) that you’d never associate with in real life.

  123. …but the point is: you tried to get rich off Salon. Certainly that was your intent back in the day.

    How do you feel about all the tradesman jobs (typesetters, printers, distribution drivers etc.) that have evaporated because of your work in the pioneering dot-com era?

  124. Yes, tech companies should be forced to move to Toledo. Their employs should wear something at all times so we know when they leave the ghetto to send them back (maybe a yellow star?).

    SF should be the sole dominion of homosexuals and ghetto dwellers who “keep it real.”

  125. So it’S “long-term residents” against “elites”? What about “non-elites” who happen not to be long-term residents? Why should incumbency, in an of itself, be the end-all priority of housing policy?

  126. He’s calling “dicks” and “dbags” better educated, more ambitious people who are, get ready for this, it’s crazy… _meeting the demands of the marketplace_ rather than bitchin’ that their circle jerk on salon is not paying the bills.

    zero fucking sympathy for these kinds of assholes. You want your market economy when it comes to the shit you buy, but then you expect to be subsidized because people are not interested in buying the crap you’re selling (Marxist re-treads).

    You want to make a point? Stop buying iPhones. Stop surfing the web. All these people you despite will be out of work tomorrow. No, you expect them to service you at a rate you approve of, markets be damned, while you perambulate among the ghetto hellions for your “culture.”


  127. Let me get this straight (so to speak). Self enabled people who come to San Francisco are to be demonized, but legions of washed up drug addicts who defecate in the streets and cost hundreds of millions of per annum while contributing nothing to the city, but disease and degradation, are to welcomed ? I declare David Talbot to be an unredeemable idiot and “progressivism” in SF to be dead and brainless.

  128. Not strange at all, rather typical of passive aggressive leftists whose testicles never descended fully enough to actually do anything more violent than moan like an over-employed prostitute.

  129. What good would Wikipedia, Twitter, and Genentech serve if they did not empower people to protect their neighbors, and did not empower local government to protect its constituents?

    Yes, “protect constituents”. Protect “real ‘murkins!” Not tech workers, those scabs, but ghetto hellions and other cretins suckling on their rent control teat after decades of… what exactly? “Keepin’ it Real?”

    Thanks for your contribution, Hippie Dippie, now off to Modesto with you!

  130. So this pinko faggit Talbot made his money “the right way” and an Android developer or project manager is doing it “the wrong way.”

    Why kind of high-functioning retardate are you?

  131. “about what it means for a bunch of better-paid people to move into a place where low-income people already live – and why it’s not okay for the newcomers to force out the longtime residents.”

    They used to say this about negroes moving into white neighborhoods. Keepin’ it classy, you simpering homosexuals!

  132. Talbot – typical pinko faggit fare of SF. I bet he still has his panties in a wad after The Guardian shut down. Let’s be honest – people who matter don’t give a shit about Talbot et al. Sure, their will be a lot of moaning that retardates like Talbot can’t make a living selling their collages but their ass will be on the curb in short order.

  133. The only dicks in the Bay Area are the resident hipsters and homosexuals who feel entitled to something because they were here x years ago.

    Grow a pair and move on already. Do you think anyone who matters gives a rat’s ass about what is issuing from your billowing pie holes?

  134. I used to be ambivalent about gentrification, but with all these moaning hippie faggits weeping their pussy pinkos tears, banging their nasty alms bowl against my windows with their leprous appendages, I’m doing all i can to accelerate the process.

    I’ve read about all that needs to be read by pederast homosexuals and leftist cretins like Talbot. Looking forward to seeing them continue to eat turd and suffocate on it.

  135. I was wondering what kind of pinko faggot this (since we’re throwing around “dick” and “dbag”) Talbot might be, then I see he’s with Salon.com. ‘Nuff said.

  136. Pls answer if your children went to the LOCAL public school up there on that hill or they went to private school. I notice you avoided that question. And what school they went to for middle and hs since they’re out of school now. My sense is as I said before, they did not attend the LOCAL public schools. Pls answer WHICH schools they went to and then we shall see how much of a hypocrite you are, or not.

  137. Sorry but this is no more and no less than the common rant. Ranting is always done by those who seem to not understand certain immutable facts of life such as that people are always and forever being displaced by changing times and forces beyond their control. Sure, you can do the displacing with a certain panache’ and without excessive amounts of douchebaggery but it will continue to occur. As such, and ironically for what I perceive are the speechmaker’s politics here, it is strangely reactionary. NOT revolutionary.

  138. Tim, as a war-weary San Franciscan, I am so glad to see so many people visiting your most excellent blog. Also relieved that “Sam” is still arouund–how would we know how to find the middle ground if it wasn’t for his extreme views? I love David Tablot and loved his book, “Season of the Witch,” a true love letter to San Francisco.

  139. I get it why some people want to stereotype me and flatten what I’ve written — because they think I’m stereotyping all techies. But it’s not all technology that I’m against (as I clearly have stated)– it’s the way that our public leaders have failed to manage the social convulsions brought about by the tech boom. I’m a media entrepreneur for God’s sake, as well as a writer. I tend to like people who are bright and take risks — even more so when they create things of actual value to society, rather than simply stuffing themselves with stock options.

    And I’m not from Hollywood royalty — how many of you have even heard of my father, Lyle Talbot?He was a working actor, and that means — as anyone familiar with the profession knows — our lives were a roller coaster ride. Some good years, some bad ones. Yes, he helped form the Screen Actors Guild. God bless him. He was a union man. And he took any job that he had to support his family — including parts in Ed Wood movies!

    Yes — most years — my wife and I have made a decent living. Some good years, some very rough. That’s the life of a writer. It was our decision to pursue this profession while raising our kids — so we subjected them to the same ups and downs that I went through as the son of a working actor.(Salon too was a roller coaster ride — we were always on the brink of bankruptcy.) I could have gone the corporate digital media route. But the point is, not everyone can or should have to do that, in order to live in San Francisco. What kind of a one-dimensional city are we becoming if everyone around us is working for the Google Company Store?

    The only way we can counter this one-dimensionality is to FIGHT BACK. Build on the work already being done by housing activists, street artists, unions, community organizers etc. and elect leaders who care more about the needs of the public than the corporate elite. That’s how we did it back in the Season of the Witch days — we fought for our rights, and the fights were sometimes bloody.

    We all need to get that fire in the belly again. And we need to start by rallying around a strong challenger to Ed Lee. Even if it’s a long shot, even if we don’t win this time. I don’t respect the progressive leaders who’ve given Lee a pass this year. Where’s the courage? We all need to muster it.

    And btw, any movement for change in San Francisco MUST include the many young tech workers who are just as fed up with the Tech Gods as the rest of us are. They are tethered to their cubicles and those commuter buses. They want a more soul-satisfying life. They have nothing to lose but their digital chains.

  140. LOL, that has to be a hoax post. If it wasn’t SOMEONE forgot their chill meds. LOL. I am LOL’g at EWT, it can’t be a real post. Especially since he hates tech/techies but posted this….ON THE INTERNETS! LOL!! #DYING #DEAD #LOL

  141. Marcos were you here before Tech was? Because you work in it. BTW, I suggest you go to a conference in Vancouver, you will see what a great city actually IS rather than SF. Because Vancouver is much much greater than SF. Bonus – the people are much friendlier than SF too.