Tim Ferriss recently left Silicon Valley, citing liberal McCarthyism as one of the catalysts for his departure.
Seen this quote surface a bunch in the last 24hrs in similar befuddlement.
Reminded me of this post by @jesslivingston from nearly a year ago with a similar theme https://t.co/3MIVjMopfW https://t.co/15vofrD88A
— Bryce Roberts (@bryce) November 24, 2017
People seem awfully puzzled that there are things you can’t say in Silicon Valley. I can’t tell if these people are willfully ignorant, or if their heads are jammed so far up their asses that they can’t conjure a single controversial idea.
Here, I’ll help you guys out.
Stuff You Can’t Say
- It’s okay to support Trump.
We agree that people shouldn’t be fired for their political views, but this isn’t a disagreement on tax policy, this is advocating hatred and violence. —Ellen Pao, after her company severed ties with Y Combinator for refusing to fire Peter Thiel
- Diversity of thought is more important than diversity of skin color.
Apple diversity head Denise Young Smith apologizes for controversial choice of words —Techcrunch, Oct 13 2017
- Silicon Valley uses H-1B visas to lower wages and crowd out American minorities.
- If San Francisco residents really believed that sea levels were rising, they’d have all sold their homes by now.
- “The distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes and these differences may explain why we don’t see equal representation of women in tech…”
Google Fires Author of Divisive Memo on Gender Differences —Bloomberg, Aug 7 2017
- The only way to achieve equality is by hatchet, axe, and saw…
^ I am confused that an independently wealthy man, who doesn’t live in SV, posting on a global website to a global audience can’t share his true feelings because SIlicon Valley is a singularly intolerant culture.
Go for it. We’re not going to Putin you, man!
— Parker Thompson (@pt) November 24, 2017
Parker Thompson raises a valid point: Why is it so hard for Tim Ferriss to speak his mind? After all, I just spouted a bunch of crimethink, and I’m but a lowly peon. Tim is independently wealthy; the worst that could happen to him is he loses some Twitter followers, or maybe Silicon Valley’s squawking heads call on tech leaders to cut ties with him.
We tend to toss these threats around lightly, but remember — rich investors have really fragile egos. Their world revolves around thinking about what the world thinks of them. Self-absorption is one of the key factors to success around here. Why do you think tech leaders spend so much time on Twitter? Heck, why do you think Parker Thompson is virtue-signaling so hard right now? These guys aren’t worried about being persecuted; they’re worried about being ignored. Just like Bill Gross, these people are empty narcissists on a neurotic quest for love. That’s another thing you can’t say in Silicon Valley.
What You Can’t Say –Paul Graham
25 thoughts on “Stuff You Can’t Say in Silicon Valley”
Why do you think San Francisco residents don’t believe that sea levels are rising?
“If San Francisco residents really believed that sea levels were rising, they’d have all sold their homes by now.”
Sorry, I mean what is your theory as to why San Francisco residents don’t believe sea levels are rising?
I wish I had an answer, but we can’t talk about such things around here. 🙁
I live south of the peninsula, so I don’t think about sea levels much myself.
They probably believe in some sort of Musk ex machina.
“Musk ex machina” sounds like a cologne for robots.
dug the line – “empty narcissists on a neurotic quest for love”
Yeah you’re definitely right about that one.
I admire your bravery but I do think you are walking a very limited plank and it will run out if you keep going. I would honestly be prepared mentally for a very nasty backlash once the Bay Area tech press notice that you are going “off ranch.” It is the reason I generally don’t comment online, because I know they will come for me and drive me out of the job as a white Man in tech if I actually express myself.
I think you in particular can say these things now because you are a “minority woman.” Even though Asian folks actually are vastly outnumbering any other ethnicity and Chinese / Indian men and women out earn white men in tech…the Left in general have some tolerance for someone they think should be in their side, it’s how Michelle Malkin gets away with it.
So Instead of engaging in conversation, they will just ignore you for now.
I really like your writing and I think you are the only person in Silicon Valley tech actually willing to address these concerns. There are many men and women I know keeping their heads down who share your beliefs but they don’t write them down out of fear of harassment.
I think there is a huge gap you can fill in high tech as a conservative commentator who can call people on their nonsense in the Valley. I have been hoping someone would step up for a long time. Please keep writing!
At some point, they are going to make an example of you. It will come in the form of an online hate mob, probably backed by the likes of Pando etc decide to target you, then it will happen. Stay strong!
Thanks (and sorry for the extremely-delayed reply)! I deliberately chose rather “moderate” ideas, and I think these only barely scratch the surface. There are far, far worse things that people want to say, but can’t. For example, the CEO of Mozilla was fired after he opposed gay marriage (http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2014/04/03/brendan_eich_why_mozilla_s_ceo_had_to_resign_over_gay_marriage_views.html). Actually, that one is not even that bad. Curtis Yarvin aka Mencius Moldbug has been kicked out of multiple tech conferences for blogging about human biodiversity and nationalism (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9674643 )
I think you’re right in that I get a free pass for being an Asian female. I also work for a small company that doesn’t get the kind of attention that Google or Facebook would get.
I am a liberal in the Bay Area who recently bought a house here. Here’s a map of the effects on SF of various levels of sea level rise: http://geology.com/sea-level-rise/san-francisco.shtml.
It’s up for interpretation, but overall I think you are wrong to imply that it is inconsistent to choose to buy a house in most areas of SF and to be concerned about sea level rise. Even if you are talking about the Bayview or the Sunset, there are plenty of reasons to be willing to take on the risk (e.g. lower prices or enjoying it while you can).
Also, FWIW, I think a better title would have been something like: “Stuff I can and will say in Silicon Valley”
Congratulations on the new house! I guess it’ll be beachfront property soon?
btw, I’m a random person with a blog, so I can say whatever I want without fear of backlash. I tried to choose examples of things people have said that resulted in persecution. People who work for well-known companies, or who are in positions of power, are more likely to attract negative attentions for their unconventional views.
Hunter Walk from Homebrew is a massive hypocritical virtue-signalling empty narcissist. His twitter account is embarrassing.
you should let him know 🙂
“Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain..” -Oz
This article made it to the front page on HackerNews. It’s funny how it got flagged soon afterwards, ironically confirming your point.
Do you really think SV political correctness is that much worse than it is on, say, Wall Street?
I don’t know, I’ve never worked on Wall St. I think it’s worse than it was 10 years ago.
It is WAY worse, although I have had far more experience on Wall Street than in tech, but from a purely geographic perspective, San Fran is simply more PC. In NYC you can still be an alright guy with “crazy” views (that would be mainstream in 1995).
I’m on the left and grew up in an all Republican family and in a far-right area so I can empathize with those on the right who feel like they can’t say what they feel.
I’m not sure if there is an easy solution. I think it could be human nature because it happens on both sides in terms of the majority in an area squashing the minority. As an example, being anti- Iraq war or pro gay marriage long before that was an accepted position would get you called all kinds of names in an instant by people on the right and that too stifled conversation. That still happens now when one questions the police, military, American foreign policy or might question certain aspects of capitalism. Both sides have their own forms of political correctness or safe spaces and if you are a political minority in an area then you’ll like feel effects of that in day to day life.
I dig your writing style. It not only shows moxie, it’s clever, entertaining and interesting subject matter. Keep up the good work.
what’s hilarious to me is uncle scam sez “you can NOT discriminate on the basis of…” but in the real world yo azz can be torched for talking about speech restrictive authoritarian environments (or at least “interrogated” as the crazy post mods say).
for what it’s worth, i’m a poc. i’m also a boomer. what a stupid world we’ve left you x-ers and millenials. sorry bout that.