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Dispatches from the SF Culture War
Ian Eck | Photo: Courtesy GigaOM | February 18, 2014
GigaOM Executive Editor Tom Krazit makes a modest proposal—move Silicon Valley to the Oakland.
"Dispatches from the SF Culture War" is our new, semi-regular look at the Tech versus San Francisco cage match.
Culture Warrior: Tom Krazit, Executive Editor at GigaOM
Take-Away: There's no stopping tech expansion. It's just a matter of where. Oakland's got affordability, SF proximity, and its own rich culture. Meanwhile, tech companies could provide the city with some much-needed financial help.
Sample Line: "Oakland’s social problems—crime, inequality, and lack of opportunities for its young people—are never going to truly change if its northern and western neighborhoods evolve into bedroom communities for lucrative companies located in other cities [...] The movement of tech workers into Oakland is irreversible at this point, and if their employers were also located in the city, all residents could stand to benefit from the increased tax revenue."
Mood: Careful and concilliatory.
Head-Scratching Moment: The elephant in the room—crime—gets hardly a footnote in the whole piece.
Tech Friendliness Rating (1 = technophobe; 10 = technophile): 6. The author and his wife work in tech, but they're not unaware of their own guilt as Oakland gentrifiers.
Fallout: Commentor Jonathan Claybaugh points out: "Why no mention in the article about Oakland’s incredible lack of political leadership? And for all the mention of conflict in San Francisco why no mentions about the recent history of rioting in downtown Oakland? I would be much, much more worried about the Black Block, et. al. protestors in Oakland harming my business than I am about some folks standing around a bus in San Francisco. You are not seeing people throwing bricks through plate glass windows in downtown SF. I don’t see any significant increase in Oakland’s tech related commercial tax base happening without these issues systemic, and long running issues being addressed."
More Dispatches from the SF Culture War:
Benioff thinks that his fellow tech employees suffer from self-inflicted wounds.
Progressives who worry about the effects of tech on gentrification and displacement are doing what the Nazis did to the Jews.
"You Techies Just Don't Get It," a satirical essay supposedly written by an anti-techie San Franciscan.