SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The transcript of a recent speech Salon.com founder David Talbot made at Stanford University has spurred some lengthy and heated comment threads.
In it, Talbot’s paints a grim picture “of the future of the City of Love.” He chronicles the rise of Silicon Valley, from its birth as the incubator for the technology that helped fight the Cold War, to its present day form – a breeding ground for the “selfish libertarianism of today’s baby tech moguls.”READ MORE: Looming La Niña May Push Western Drought From Bad to Worse
Talbot decries the triumph of techno-capitalism, “the machine mentality that all social problems can be engineered away.”
He describes his own neighborhood Bernal Heights — once home to filmmakers, cartoonists, counterculture artists and community organizers who lived side-by-side with blue-collar workers and Latina grandmothers. Now, he says it is overrun by Teslas and Beamers… “transformed into what one real estate website crowned the hottest zip code in town.”
Talbot’s rant is not new. Complaints about the changing face of San Francisco and the gentrification of working-class neighborhoods are almost mundane, so common is the practice of urban reclamation and redevelopment. The difference, perhaps, is to hear it from the mouth of someone who admits to having “benefited enormously from the wonders of the digital revolution.” Sadly, Talbot feels that revolution has grown old and corrupt.READ MORE: Update: Fawn Fire Near Redding Grows To 7,500 Acres Overnight; Firefighters Look To Cooler Weather
In the end, Talbot challenges his Stanford audience, “Are you interested in going public, or in serving the public… you’re either part of the problem or part of the solution… which one are you, a Stanford dick? Or are you different.”
Judging from the comments, articles, and reactions to Talbot’s speech, no one is indifferent. They run the gamut. One commenter wrote, “…Grow a pair and move on already.” The person who wrote that, said it right after another who claims he was reading Talbot as, “my wife and I are being evicted from our home of twenty years by a young tech couple.” There’s finger pointing at the finger pointers, and they all point back.
Perhaps the ensuing conversations about Talbot’s speech are the best part of his rant. Check it out:MORE NEWS: Air Quality Advisory Extended Through Monday Due To Wildfire Smoke
READ: Talbot’s Speech
Don’t Be a Stanford Asshole.