The angst of Silicon Valley
Saturday, August 4, 2007 by Dave Winer.
This NY Times article finally gets the story of Silicon Valley.
For so many years they carried the myth, the genius, driven to create, to make his or her mark on the world, doing technology because it's so challenging, so mysterious, so enabling. The people who have their eye on the future, like people nowhere else do. The air they breathe is finer than us mere mortals do.
The truth is that the people of Silicon Valley toil to find security in money, never getting there, while avoiding the pleasures of life, including the mythological creativity, spinning on a treadmill, doing nothing but striving to make money, but it's never enough.
"Here, the top 1 percent chases the top one-tenth of 1 percent, and the top one-tenth of 1 percent chases the top one-one-hundredth of 1 percent."
The problem could be solved by an engineer, if there were any left. You can't find security through money, because security is impossible. We die. Deal with it.
I left because, even though its climate is ideal, the place lacks heart, the patient is dead, there is no pulse. A friend from New Orleans said it well. "It doesn't feel homey."
You might as well live somewhere else and create, the network effect of being in the valley is negative. At least it was when I left, in 2003. It seems from the Times article that it's getting worse. It's great to see people on the east coast getting the message. Don't live in the shadow of this place. There's nothing there but people trying to make money, without a good idea why.
If you like the climate, as I do, Berkeley ain't a bad place to park your kiester. Or so it seems, so far, knock wood.