January 4, 2020

"It’s possible to create a realistic portrait of contemporary San Francisco by simply listing all the harebrained new-money antics and 'mindful' hippie-redux principles that flourish there."

"All you have to do after that is juxtapose them with the effects of the city’s rocket-ship rents: a once-lively counterculture gasping for air and a 'concentration of public pain' shameful and shocking even to a native New Yorker. [Anna] Wiener deploys this strategy liberally, with adroit specificity and arch timing... By the end of the book, she shows that technologists are not interested in 'systems' thinking only because it can fix what’s broken; they are 'settling into newfound political power,' with armies of trolls now serving as foot soldiers in what founders call a 'war' for market share. Being skilled at deconstruction is a disadvantage for a customer-support specialist hoping to find 'meaning' in her work, and for a millennial who values moving through the world with a clear sense of right and wrong. For a writer, though, it’s a pickax, and we’re living through a gold rush, as they might say in San Francisco."

From "A Tech Insider Stylishly Chronicles Her Industry’s ‘Uncanny Valley’" (NYT) by the novelist Lauren Oyler (reviewing "Uncanny Valley" by Anna Wiener).

While I was at Amazon getting that link, I did a search inside the book for "blogging," and so here's a screenshot, just one thing that I found (click to enlarge and clarify):
Forget the musician boyfriend. Just have sex with the room. Apparently.

44 comments:

Swede said...

Shit Francisco or San Franshitsco?

I'm leaning towards the latter.

Karen of Texas said...

"Forget the musician boyfriend. Just have sex with the room. Apparently."

L.O.Freaking.L

Classic, Althouse.

Shouting Thomas said...

I lived in SF during the brief interval between the hippie Utopia and the AIDS epidemic.

SF was a hetero party town in that era, cheap to live in and the tech industry and Silicon Valley didn't exist yet.

Everybody wanted to get laid and nobody wanted to work. Work was just another place to find somebody (or somebodies) to screw. The ethos of the Beats still prevailed.

My first apartment in The Presidio cost $125 a month. About $800 a month in today's dollars. I worked half time to pay the rent.

Poor kids. They missed out on the high times.

wild chicken said...

This, too, shall pass.

Fernandistein said...

Just have sex with the room. Apparently.

Some algorithms are "sexy".

AllenS said...

Either-or will work, Swede.

traditionalguy said...

Having sex with the room is one more thing I missed out on because I did not take drugs. Choices, choices.

Shouting Thomas said...

The hippie Boomers took over academia and exploited the guaranteed student loan programs to dump a shitload of debt on their kids.

So, now, the kids have to be deadly serious about a job from the moment they graduate. The hippie Boomers in academia are now retiring with golden benefits.

I graduated from the University of Illinois in 1971 without a penny in debt.

What a con we hippie Boomers played on the kids. They should hate our guts.

Temujin said...

Here is your realistic portrait of contemporary San Francisco. SF Wasteland

Big Mike said...

Forget the musician boyfriend. Just have sex with the room.

@Althouse, if you wrote for SNL they might actually be funny.

pacwest said...

"eat fistful of MDMA"

Better living through chemicals.

Heartless Aztec said...

The ambiance of place heightens the experience - alone or not.

Michael K said...

Tucker Carlson has a staff currently filming in SFO to show next week. Should be interesting. That is his home town.

gilbar said...

What a con we hippie Boomers played on the kids. They should hate our guts

What's the worst lie in America? The one that's hurt the MOST people??
"Everyone should go to college"

It'd be one thing, if people went to college; and Got Degrees
It'd be other thing, if people went to college; and got useful degrees

But that's not the point. The Point is increased college enrollment; and increased money
Who CARES, that the kids aren't Graduating?
Who CARES, that if they graduate, it's in something like Gender Studies?

By going to school for a few years, they've sent hundreds of Thousands of dollars to the school; AND enslaved themselves with crippling debt: It's a WIN WIN!

meanwhile, the few that ignored the wisdom; and went out and got jobs, are buying houses, and voting republican.... Does the lie makes sense, now?

exhelodrvr1 said...

As a native San Franciscan, I'm embarrassed.

Jeff Brokaw said...

Fortunately for Democrats, the politicians are not the problem here.

Right? Right!

They’re sure of it because they’re sure of it, and that’s all they need.

gg6 said...

"... have sex with the room. Apparently."
That's hysterical/brilliant!

Bob Smith said...

I had a crush on a girl like that once. Only she wanted to ride around in a black Chevy Impala with chrome wheels and I didn't have one.

chuck said...

>> if people went to college; and got useful degrees <<

You know who had a degree in art history? J. P. Morgan, that's who :)

Phidippus said...

San Francisco: It is a silly place.

exhelodrvr1 said...

It's only a model!

Char Char Binks said...

San Franshithole

rehajm said...

She sure likes the stuff money can buy.

Yancey Ward said...

Char Char for the win!

Seeing Red said...

Sex with rooms don’t require consent forms.

Char Char Binks said...

I got "Shithole City" from Seeing Red.

Seeing Red for the win!

Yancey Ward said...

Whoever is to be credited, San Franshithole literally roles off the tongue just like the actual name does.

hombre said...

The Professor’s closing observation, ending with “apparently,” somehow depicts what I like about her blogging. Not the sex part, the droll part.

Earnest Prole said...

Tucker Carlson has a staff currently filming in SFO to show next week. Should be interesting. That is his home town.

He was born at an airport?

Michael K said...

He was born at an airport?

Very funny. You can spell out the name of the city all you want. I still refer to LA and SFO in lieu of long words.

Michael K said...

huck said...
>> if people went to college; and got useful degrees <<

You know who had a degree in art history? J. P. Morgan, that's who :)


If you do, it helps to have a rich father like JP did. "The House of Morgan" is good reading.

robother said...

Hearing moans of ecstasy from the next room at the Mark Hopkins, I will no longer assume 2 partners in congress; perhaps its only a blogger preparing to blog.

Mr. Forward said...

“Get a room!”
“Got one.”

Char Char Binks said...

I’m halfway through “Morgan, American Financier” by Jean Strouse. He was a very practical, capable, and in some ways blunt man who also knew a lot about fine art, and seemed to love it.

Ace Sullivan said...

I understood not a word of this post and certainly not the excerpt... Maybe I'm just an egg. Apparently.

Paul Snively said...

I've written software and been published in one form or another for about 40 years, and I'm here to tell you, Silicon Valley self-selects for sociopaths the way San Francisco self-selects for homosexuals and Los Angeles self-selects for the extraordinarily physically attractive.

walter said...

Potential musician boyfriend was doing a solid on the corner.
If I was willing to subsidize the NYT, I could read further about Wiener's uncanny valley.
I will use my imagination.

daskol said...

Apparently The New Yorker's Jia Tolentino really liked the book. Guess she's also one of those big city gals who really dig real estate:

"A definitive document of a world in transition: I won't be alone in returning to Uncanny Valley for clarity and consolation for many years to come." ―Jia Tolentino, author of Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion

Bilwick said...

Are there still hippies around? I mean, real hippies? Some people seem to think I'm a hippie because I'm not running into a barber shop to get my haircut every other week. I wonder if the real hippies have yet resolved the conflict between "Do your own thing" and "live and let live" on the one hand, and "Serve the State" on the other hand.

DavidUW said...

real hippies are still around.

getting around in a wheelchair as they're in their late 60's to 70's. You can also recognize (the men) by the balding pony tail look.
They're living in the same rent controlled apartment they've had since 1971.
They'll tell you how SF has gotten worse since 1969 when they moved here from (pick a spot, mostly east coast, some midwest and soCal) and could pack all their stuff in a VW bug, that they naturally drove here.
Then they'll complain about how it's changed without a moment of reflection on it was they that changed it.

DavidUW said...

Shouting Thomas, if you're a rare heterosexual in town, you have a choice:

1) if female: soy boys or rich divorcees (sugar daddies).
2) if male: bitter gender studies grads, sugar baby wannabes, rich divorcees (aka cougars, if you're young enough, but man, when you're under 35, and in decent shape you have no excuse for not bagging a cougar every single weekend).

if male you'll notice the '49er' problem. the '4s in this town think they're 9's.
or, swear off USA women. If you like Asians, no problem. If you don't (like me and are over 40 so too old for cougars), be prepared for slim pickins.



Seeing Red said...

What can I say?

You all inspired me.

Char Char Binks said...

Red, I said it wrong. I come up with “Shithole city” on my own. You came up with the much better “San Franshithole”!

Iman said...

This wastrel eats a fistful of MDMA, she’ll be leaving in a body bag...