Silicon Valley way of life
by Dave Winer Tuesday, July 12, 2016

I'm working my way through Season 3 of Silicon Valley.

Something changed. I really enjoyed the previous two seasons but this one is seriously depressing. 

I recognize all the characters. I have different names for them. I knew the big VC as a partner at Kleiner Perkins

There's a guy who gets a $20 million windfall and blows through it in no time. I know that person too, only the character in the show isn't exhibiting the weirdness of someone who wants to destroy his or her own success. 

I played the role of a number of the characters. Usually the team leader who didn't fit in well with the business types. 

A lot of the systems didn't exist when I showed up in Palo Alto at 24, in 1979. I would have loved being part of an incubator with lots of other nerds to hang out with. There weren't enough independent developer types back then to pull something like that off. And the idea that programming was creative was pretty radical for the tech industry of the early 80s. I think at its core the VCs still don't get that it's creative. 

I once had a CEO tell me he could do my job better than I could. A VC once told me that too. I actually gave him the source code and told him to have fun. 

A lot of people who make big decisions in Silicon Valley think that having taken a comp sci class 20 years ago is the same thing as being a commercial developer. 

It's a lonely place. No social pulse. Everyone works all the time. It has its moments but usually it's not very much fun. 

I became part of it and it very much became  part of me.

One of the most depressing things is that they're still arguing over tabs vs spaces. It bothers me because I'm not a member of either school. I write code in an outliner. My editor takes care of that, I think it uses tabs, but I could easily change it to use spaces. They say, in the show, that it all gets compiled to the same thing when the machine runs it. True! But I've gotten even higher level. The code they edit by hand to me is object code. The depressing thing is the kids who inspired the characters in the show are having an argument that's much, much older than they are. It is resolvable. But they're still arguing about it! No one listens. Progress is made at a snail's pace.