San Francisco’s Controller released the city’s annual Street & Sidewalks Maintenance Standards last week. It covers the general state and upkeep of commercial and residential sidewalks, everything from graffiti to illegal dumping to human waste to needles.
Every map in this report highlights the northeastern quarter of the city, where a majority of the last decade’s gentrification has taken place. D6 and surrounding areas are tech’s playground and it’s no coincidence at all that those are the areas standing out most in every map. So many people in SOMA were barely hanging on before the Twitter tax break. Mid-Market hadn’t been a residential destination of choice for some time. It was a place for people out of choices and chances, attempting to stave off oblivion as long as possible. Once tech disrupted/decimated the services those vulnerable people relied on and forcibly removed them from what safe spaces they had, they literally had no one to turn to and nowhere else to go.
This is business as usual for tech. When it swarmed into SOMA, tech saw these vulnerable people as nothing but dust and cobwebs in a long-vacant building, inconveniences to be swept away to make way for tech’s splendor. As they did in SOMA, so have they done in every other neighborhood they’ve desired. The Mission, Potrero, the Fillmore, the Tenderloin and more. Move into long-neglected neighborhoods, evict and demolish, rebuild to please rich white techies and then take credit for “revitalizing” an area that had been purposely suppressed. And all those vulnerable people evicted and denied access to services? They’re violently herded from sight by police and private security, and used as livestock by the NPIC as reason for their relentless fundraising.
This report is an extension of much of this. A running tab of quality-of-life complaints made by privileged people who refuse to recognize anyone’s humanity but their own.
This is something else.
There is no “technology industry”
The label’s become too big to be useful, and tech could suffer for it.
So a nonexistent industry could suffer because, wait what?
What do an auto leasing provider, a condiment company and the producers of a serious TV drama have in common? If your answer is “almost nothing”, then you’re right. If your answer is “they have such similar roles in society that they should be regulated and reported on the same way”, then congratulations—you still believe there’s “tech industry”.
This is why tech criticism coming from Medium is so ludicrous. It’s always apologist tripe that insists tech is here to nurture and care for us if we’d only stop getting in its way and thinking wrong things about it.
There’s no doubt that technology itself can have a hugely positive impact. But ensuring that it does may depend on us taking apart the idea that technology is created or sustained by a “tech industry” in the first place.
“Maybe tech is actually created by elves, pixies and other small woodland folk. Why overlook such possibilities and risk becoming a society of Luddites?” Medium certainly knew what they were doing when they hired the guy who tried telling us cyberbullying was a figment of victims’ imaginations.
As if committing $1 billion to the police on Day One weren’t enough, Hillary has now promised to bring the “full weight of the law” against anyone who kills police, as if they don’t bring the full weight every time.
“As president, I will bring the full weight of the law on anyone who killed a police officer and see to it that they are brought to justice,” she said. “I also believe that everyone is safer when the police respect the people and the people respect the police who serve them.”
Nobody is walking away from killing police. This is all about the Democrats’ endless respect-the-police narratives. After waves of military assaults against Standing Rock protestors, Hillary decided a gotta-hear-both-sides approach is the way to go. Obama even came in to sing backup.
Asked about “shocking footage” showing police firing rubber bullets at protesters, Obama said: “It’s a challenging situation. I think that my general rule when I talk to governors and state and local officials whenever they’re dealing with protests, including for example during the Black Lives Matters protests, is there’s an obligation for protesters to be peaceful and there’s an obligation for authorities to show restraint.”
He continued: “I want to make sure that as everybody is exercising their constitutional rights to be heard, that both sides are refraining from situations that might result in people being hurt.”
Always lecturing protestors to “be peaceful.” What are protestors going to do against tanks and SWAT and dogs and chemical warfare and whatever else? But the Democrats will always portray police/military terror as good people in tough situations doing the best they can to protect our freedom, etc etc. Protestors need to tuck in their shirts, stand up straight and carry themselves with grace and dignity at all times, though. And don’t forget to vote.
I couldn’t have asked for more of an all-encompassing story to begin with than Ed Lee possibly being Hillary’s HUD (or Education) Secretary. It’s an open secret that Lee & Co. would flee town soon after Hillary’s election. Lee has been a fundraising engine for the Democrats and the billions he’s raised will allow him to escape the fallout from any City Hall pay-to-play scandals. Goodbye, San Francisco; hello United States and the world.
Lee as Secretary of either Department would give Silicon Valley, for starters, unfettered access to that Department. They’re already friendly with Julian Castro, who couldn’t be happier to let the foxes into the hen house. Silicon Valley is already a huge proponent of charter schools and would love using the Department of Education as their laboratory.
Ed will be leaving us one way or another, though. This past year has been about City Hall tying up loose ends, closing their books and setting the stage for whoever stars in the next chapter of The Heist.
Thank you, Shanley.
Mostly because that’s not said enough on the internet, but also because she’s a big inspiration for this blog. Early last year when people began flocking to Medium, she tried drilling it into people’s heads that they could choose any of the many and varied platforms that didn’t grant tech even more reach and influence. Use WordPress, use Tumblr, go whisper it in a dead pigeon’s ear. Anything but feeding the beast you’re pretending to fight.
So as Hillary’s coin ripped apart Twitter this year and it became even less useful and infinitely more depressing, Shanley’s advice to just build your own damn blog finally bounced around inside my head enough to knock something loose and set me in motion. I’m not at all sure which direction this blog could go. It could be all police-propaganda-in-the-media criticism one day, a celebration of Broadway the next. Life is unpredictable.
What it won’t be is a conduit for Democratic/state propaganda, nor will it be a love letter to Silicon Valley. My political party is Lauren Chief Elk. I believe #BlackLivesMatter. #GiveYourMoneyToWomen early and often. #HandsOffAssata and #FreeChelsea before sparing the first thought for Snowden.
This will be a bare-bones operation for a few weeks, or however long it takes me familiarize myself with the platform and fall into a workflow I like. I have a few things in mind to add as I go, hopefully sooner rather than later, but all in good time.