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Paranerda

1/28/2014

I've been in nerdlandia for a couple of days. Fewer than I should have, thank God for polar vortex and panicking airports, but long enough to remember why it is I don't like Silicon Valley. There are some real social problems out there. I don't think the rest of the country understands what happens when you fill an entire geographic area with people who essentially do nothing, and then make them wealthy. Everyone I spoke with who lived in the area had one topic of conversation. Ebay, Intel, McAfee, Yahoo, Apple, etc... I get it, but I don't understand it. Maybe it's because some of these folks have a vested interest in the health of these companies. But I think it's because the people in that area have a real problem relating to the rest of the planet. Silicon Valley is a dull, suburban place. It's not really attractive, there's a lot of traffic, sprawl and pollution. There are all sorts of things that the area tries to do to create a "quality of life" that are taken for granted in other areas. But I can see that an Indian from Mubai may think that a jogging path through the industrial park is a neat idea. Especially since he's been drinking free Red Bulls one an hour since he got into work and he needs to burn off some steam before returning to the short-term rental he lives in with seven other H1B's. But it's not the H1B's that are the problem. It's the NERDS! NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRDDDDDDDDDDDDDSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! Maybe those nerds just got super excited meeting a "foreigner". Maybe they were trying to impress me. Maybe you've googled me and are reading this. So here's some hints. Don't assume that because you've never been east of Denver that there are no coffee shops in the rest of the country. Everyone drinks coffee. Fried shrimp? You can get those anywhere. Things are cheaper and there's no traffic out here in the sticks, so don't assume I can't afford what you can't afford. Yes, some people here in the middle will spend most of their monthly income on TV, just like you all do. Your weather? Not all that great. Even though we've entered the third ring of hell with this polar vortex thing, I know spring here is nicer than spring there. I've been both places. You need to trust me. If you look like you belong in a Far Side cartoon, do not try and get me to go out to "clubs" with you. Do not complain that there are no "hot chicks" working at {insert famous technology company here} so you'd never work there. Don't assume that I know the names of Google's C-suite executives OR believe that you are on a first name basis with them. I know people you don't care about either, get over yourself, I'm not impressed. Don't talk to me about the relative coolness of your car, bike, phone, or life when you are a three-hundred pound Accord-driver with crossed eyes and an iPhone 4 in a holster. Assume everyone has just about the same experience with affluence and we'll all get along. Stop talking about wine like you live in a winery. I know you don't. Your restaurant selections are disappointing, and they have sports bars everywhere. My college is better than your college (really). You don't really like hockey OR football, or you would live somewhere besides California. But most importantly, shut up about office politics at Symantec, McAfee, Intel, Yahoo, Google, Apple, Microsoft and how you are so glad you went to work for that failed start up right out of college.
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