"You briefly use mobile Safari to browse for Vipassana retreats — you hear a 10 day retreat in Soquel may be the ticket to shake things up. You realize it’s not going to be possible. You download a meditation app. You turn it off. You don’t have time."
"Six minutes of continuously refreshing the page later, you get a reply from a throwaway account calling you out for not even skimming the article. You contemplate deleting your comment but decide that would look even worse. You then wonder why you don't set up a throwaway account of your own for your less thought out comments."
But my guess is that Burning Man is rather passé, and has been roughly since people who hadn't been there started hearing about it in large numbers.
What does "cool" mean to you?
Your friend emails you a satire on Bay Area life. It isn't perfectly written, and it surely doesn't fit your life, but it fits so many of your friends' lives. You continue to read it anyway. Something about it bothers you, but you post it to Facebook, because you're sure that it will get many likes. Your friends love reading satires about their lives.
The good thing: I learned that there is no magic in either SV and/or venture capital, they muddle through like everybody else. I learned that I suck at anything "business" (I'm a good techie and communicator, that must suffice).
I also learned that while an American business may be really horrible in many of the details - but on the executive level I experienced (as a techie "guest listener") that when it comes down to business the 0.1% they get right blows most everybody else out of the water. It was so embarrassing for my own executives. At those high-level meetings I gained a huge respect for some of the guys at the top of American firms. It seems they figured out what's important and what is only "nice to have" and concentrate on the former. They also managed to ask exactly the right questions - we didn't have an answer for a single one of them. But we still felt very, very important...
It's not just Silicon Valley though. I remember that my 2nd job after university was with that (foreign) startup (at first in their country). The very first conversation getting a coffee in the kitchen when I came in Monday morning for my first day was a guy heavily complaining about perceived injustices and "office politics": Will I get the (big) office I deserve? I should get the group leader position, that other guy is a leader then so should I be, etc. It was all about status. My 1st job had been with a major multinational company, and while politics certainly existed it wasn't that... childish. Most of the time we thought about and cared about what we were doing, not about status. That's a side effect of joining a huge organization where there isn't nearly as much dynamics, so much less fear of missing out on opportunities of quick advancement. In that startup you have people go from barely-graduated to department head in a very short time (and this was a several hundred people "startup" by that time becoming a "leader" wasn't just an empty title on business cards). Personal connections to the founders mattered a lot!
I think there's a lesson in this. High growth and opportunity for advancing quickly can be quite dangerous for what people are focused on.
At 9am I wake up my wife. She's in SF State getting her MBA. If its not a school day for her, I then go to the office and do a meeting or some more intensive coding, otherwise I'll go teach a spin class or lift weights and come home to hang out with my son and we go to the park or for a bike ride while my wife goes to class.
At night and on weekends I'll find myself sneaking in coding work, mostly to put the brain wheels at ease over whatever thing I'm working on.
We have a baby sitter one night a week when our schedules need it. We aren't a dual income family and I don't make a killing but my work is super flexible. We are barely comfortable and I have to teach spin classes on the side but my son and I have an amazing connection. I don't have much work life balance or separation but I think I prefer it that way.
I've been enjoying this lifestyle for 12 years with no end in sight. Living in Silicon Valley is the greatest thing I have ever done and is absolutely nothing like this article claims.
It also reminds me of an article  about John Carmack and his choice of Dallas. To quote,
> “A lot of people, especially from California, say, ‘Texas? Why the hell are you in Texas?’ But I am generally happy to wave the flag and say, ‘No, I am not here under duress.’ I actually like it here. And we appreciate the sense of the Southern hospitality. You don’t get the sense that everyone needs to be coddled and taken care of. You get the sense of gumption.”
I have since fell in love with that word, "gumption". It's something you don't see in companies where people are being treated as kids and catered to with little superficial perks. But it's what get shit done.
I hope tech "visionaries" don't decide to adopt it and make it a new buzzword, however.
 http://www.dmagazine.com/publications/d-ceo/2015/september/v..., discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10136565
Mind you, I live and work in the suburbs, so I'm not on the street very often, but I used to work downtown and the only harassment I got was from panhandlers. They got really angry whenever I'd say I don't carry cash, and a few got up in my face while I was eating in a restaurant and demanded my food, but they never said anything about my orientation or my gender. Hell, I still go partying in Deep Ellum on occasion, and nobody's ever said anything to me there.
On the other hand, when I visited NYC last year, some guy shouted "FAGGOT!" in my ear as I was crossing the street into Times Square.
But sorry, anyway.
In seriousness though, it seems like Carmack hasn't been kicking ass like he used to, though it is probably just a lack of visibility. Didn't he start on rocketry too at some point?
He's still doing a lot in bringing Oculus' software to maturity, and to helping the industry in general. He had some role - both technical and logistical - in bringing Minecraft VR released just recently.
I think he retired from rocket science.
A bunch of made up bullshit, no matter how entertaining, is NOT putting things into perspective. Oh, the irony.
How do we get perspective on all this billshit people made up?
With more made up bullshit, of course.
Coming from my friends who are from Dallas and went to Univerity of Texas.
The first point is the most salient:
> But you’re not keeping Austin weird. You’re engaging in this fake, utterly distasteful blend of irony and feigned enthusiasm that will eventually cause the city to self-implode under the density of its own facetiousness. Soon you won’t be able to identify a single genuine emotion within its borders. You don’t actually care about whiskey-infused bacon. You don’t give a shit about whiskey-infused bacon. You’re pretending to, because that’s what keeps the whole city from feeling like a big lie.
Also, the smugness of a good chunk of Austin's citizens is unbearable. See, this guy: https://np.reddit.com/r/Austin/comments/4ts7mt/hawaiian_fall...
I don't really want to live in a city like that. Honestly, I enjoy living in a safe, quiet suburb with a low cost of living. I have that in Dallas.
And, hey, you know what else we have here? Ethnic food, of every kind. There's at least one good pho joint in every shopping center. We have an amazing Chinatown with some incredibly good Sichuan restaurants, Cantonese barbecue places, and more. We have multiple great Koreatowns. We've got a section of town filled with Ethiopian places. We've got all the ethnic food diversity of a coastal big city, married to the low-key, low-cost lifestyle of the suburbs. I love it here.
I have a fair amount of stock options I've collected from 3 different mid-size companies over the last half decade; all are still in business but none are showing extremely promising outlooks, so I no longer count stock options in my long-term financial planning though it would be a welcomed bonus to my plans. Instead, I count the value of $5000/month left over from my decently high salary minus my non-materialist lifestyle invested in index funds to achieve financial independence the old fashioned way. Somewhat anti-Silicon Valley philosophy? Perhaps, but the Bay Area is all testing diverse ideas and out of the box approaches to life satisfaction. I don't claim my life is superior to the theoretical in this article, but it is much simpler and probably lower stress, and I'm pretty happy on a day to day basis so I'm not yet tempted to dive in to the alternate approach.
Although they obviously spend a lot , at some point discretionary income gets pretty blurry. I'd hope any reasonable society would consider they have a lot more than $60k at their discretion, though. I make about a third of that, putting me just barely in the top 10%, and have more than $60k at my discretion.
Wealth inequality is pretty insane in this country.
The median salary in the US is $52k.
In light of that, I, too, would call his salary "decently high".
It is customary to say you "own" a home you're paying a mortgage on, whether or not you have meaningful equity in it yet.
You can easily find a room in an apartment for less than 1000 $/mo anywhere in the bay. It won't be a nice room if you choose to live in, say SoMa, but it's housing. So you could argue anything over that is "discretionary".
Obviously, many people would consider such a living situation unacceptable. But in the most general sense, it is still a choice.
None of this means that there aren't valid reasons for staying here; even giving up a fairly significant portion of my income as rent leaves me with more money than I'd likely have after rent if I had a comparable job in Tampa, assuming I could even find one. But I don't think this is a sustainable situation for the region. The nanny in the "This is your life in SV" satire, and other people in her salary range (or under it), are on the cusp of being pushed out of the area entirely.
Most people your age do not by any means conduct themselves like this, nor could they if they wanted to. Their "nanny" is their sister or mother or mother in law or a neighbor.
They don't go to a fancy restaurant because they don't have the money for both the fancy restaurant and a baby-sitter.
They're a two income-family forever, not until stock options vest and can be sold on secondary markets to speculators with easy capital.
This whole scenario is ridiculous and not at all representative of anything but a very small demographic. But I guess that's the Valley, at least to this outsider reading articles like this.
In the UK to be a nanny, childminder or work in a nursery you have specific regulation and qualification required. A babysitter requires nothing, it can and generally is some teenage kid.
The difference with all 3 is where the child go. Nursery has special dedicated facilities to take care of several children, number limited by the number of employee and size. A childminder will take care of 1 to 3 children in her own home. A nanny will come to your home and take care of 1 to 3 of your children.
All 3 are available in full-time ( i.e. working hour full time ) or part-time.
The movie type, stay at home Nannies are "Au Pair". Depending on the qualification ( from foreign student doing a bit of cleaning and getting the kid to and from school to fully qualified nanny ) the price varies enormously. Au Pair is not unusual, Au Pair Nannies is rich people stuff.
A nanny is a professional employee of the family, generally has training and certification, has clear duties and makes an actual salary. An "au pair nanny" is an oxymoron, that would be a "live in nanny" and, yes, definitely rich people stuff. Au pairs are definitely possibilities for the middle class.
In the example of leaving your children with a friend, the exemption is for a maximum of 3 hours (per day), if the friend is being paid. Any longer and the friend is obliged to register with Ofsted (with a penalty of an unlimited fine and/or jail for not being registered).
I doubt many people would think to check the legal requirements though.
I mean, that only medium level and upper classes can afford it.
There are many things in life that aren't feasible if you are at the poverty line: Apple laptops, electric vehicles, extended vacations, etc. I would argue that the only difference here is that many people are deeply uncomfortable with the idea of paying someone to take care of their children in the home.
Most of them pay less than that.
So a university degree will land you around 1000 euros, a bit more if you are doing lots of overtime.
Renting a flat will always be above 300 euros, or 500 in the biggest cities.
So unless one if living with a significant other, and reserve one salary for such expenses, they aren't possible at all.
In Spain the salary level on average is around 25% more than on Portugal, but given the actual situation the real numbers on the bank account aren't that much different.
And I am writing about people with degrees, let alone those that only learned their profession hands on the job.
400 euro a month plus food and accommodations is a lot more than $5,500/yr.
I think you ignored the "plus food and accommodations" part.
The key difference is that a nanny is usually a formal salaried employee with regular contracted hours, whereas a babysitter is typically paid an hourly rate and is self-employed.
The phrase "nanny share" is very commonly used. Sometimes the nanny is in their own home, sometimes in [one of] the parents' home.
Babysitter generally means someone who comes occasionally to watch a single family's children.
There are obviously fuzzy lines separating the two terms.
I doubt you know that.
Went here because dude, Silicon Valley! Then ended up spending a year depressed and just burning out on the whole thing because as it turns out changing your entire life down to the language you speak doesn't really remove the fact that you're a huge introvert and procrastinator.
But hey, you have a WiFi coffee maker and Roomba.
Some people want to work outside the home.
You aren't handing off your children to a stranger never to see them again.
I went to a babysitter during the workday for a few years. I bonded with her very strongly and it was nothing but a positive experience.
 No nanny for us... I'm a CTO in a duel-income house and I can't afford that no idea how this character would.
In fact, a nanny is generally cheaper than sending two children to daycare. (point of reference: the closest daycare to me charges $30k/year)
See details here: http://www.city-data.com/income/income-San-Francisco-Califor...
Note that for 2 earner households, median income soars to $131k/year.
31% of married households pull over $200k, which is the highest tier the data has.
But per your point of reference, daycare here "only" costs $18k a year.
A. Your income is below X percentile in your current area. (not sure what X is. Maybe 75th?)
B. You value having a large home more than the average person in your current area.
Two of my co-workers hired a nanny because of the >1 year waitlists for infant daycare around here. It's really tough to find a daycare if you don't sign up in the first trimester.
> Two of my co-workers hired a nanny because of the >1 year waitlists for infant daycare around here.
Given real estate costs in the Bay Area, I'm not surprised that the economics favor in-home nannies (where the day care facility is the home of the family receiving service) over day care centers, compared to areas with more affordable real estate.
The people with this "so sad... you can't get those memories back" attitude never explain why its ok for the working parent to miss out on "memories" while they are at work whereas its absolutely essential that the nonworking parent gets in the maximum amount of "memories" possible. Or why its ok to ever send a child to a public school because "memories" certainly happen during the school day and you're going to miss out! Or why its so terrible for children to bond to several caregivers rather than one or two?
>Time diaries indicate that married fathers spent an average 6.5 hours a week caring for their children in 2000, a 153 percent increase since 1965. Married mothers spent 12.9 hours, a 21 percent increase. Single mothers spent 11.8 hours, a 57 percent increase.
>These increases are powerful because the figures are for "primary care" where the child is the main focus of attention, not for time spent with the child while doing other things. Time-diary numbers, however, do not say whether mothers are as accessible to their children at home during as many hours as they were in the past.
More time spent with children != over-parenting. That's your own personal opinion.
The OP also was explicitly stating that they don't have time with their child and that they pay for a full time nanny (a situation not mentioned in your linked report).
Dual income households have indeed increased massively since the 1960s: http://www.pewresearch.org/ft_dual-income-households-1960-20...
Prior to modern times, groups of people (maybe related, maybe just neighbours) shared childrearing responsibilities. It's unlikely anybody was a dedicated caregiver in the same sense as modern parenting.
You only get ~8 Christmases where the "magic" is still there for kids... from roughly 2-10 and then it's just another day of gifts and (potentially) envy.
I'm traveling a ton right now with an 18 month old and dying to get back there.
Edit: PG said it here: http://www.paulgraham.com/vb.html
Clearly a plant from the LA startup scene.
Puzzler: at what latitude does 101 become "Teh 101"?
Source: I lived in LA for nearly a decade.
I really enjoyed this piece.
Want a bold stand? The (now defunct) blog The Last Psychiatrist spent years arguing that narcissism was society wide and generations deep.
see 75% of the posts, but maybe these in particular (?) http://thelastpsychiatrist.com/2010/11/a_generational_pathol...
Social media certainly hasn't helped. It appeals to the worst in human behavior. Communication devoid of truth or nuance in exchange for the shallow and sadly addictive approval of strangers. It teaches us to play games in which we are rewarded for what we portray outwardly rather than to be introspective. It is unfortunate that this mindset has been brought into the workplace, but perhaps much sadder that it likely affects relationships (parenting in particular) as well.
Silicon Valley didn't win, they were colonized.
I am curious if the emphasis on status symbols was meant to be so exaggerated? The first joke was funny, but there were several on the same theme. By the time he got home and was thinking about watching stuff on Netflix, only because other people were talking about it... by that point, either the joke is over-used, or if it's meant to represent "real life" then it is just sad.
I don't think I've ever done a '+1' style comment on HN before but couldn't resist. I really love that idea.
> But in 1999 I took my leave of that whole sick, navel-gazing mess we called the software industry. Now I'm in a more honest line of work: now I sell beer.
Why wouldn't the majority of your friends on Facebook share similar political views? That's surely a factor of why you are friends in the first place. You wouldn't share a political article to them with the intention of proving an argument. There isn't much debate to be had with them.
Why would you not use small apps that make small things convenient? This is brought to attention so often in the article but it's not even unique to Silicon Valley. It's common to a whole generation.
The constant use of social media also makes it painfully obvious that this article isn't following the life of an engineer.
Most of this probably is satire, but it seems in poor taste.
If you don't have any friends with different political views, this is an unlikely enough occurrence via chance that it seems like it's a deliberate choice, and that's not a choice that I have anything good to say about.
I think what it's getting at is the attitude of 'I'm willing to spend $20 on this simple thing I could do myself for free because my time is worth $x per hour so those 10 mins would really be a waste of $40. I think the point is, chill. Your time may be valuable but you don't need to earning every second you are awake.
Edit: and, to be honest, this isn't exclusive to NorCal: this also reminds me disturbingly of NYC culture, and I'll describe NYC as a place I like to visit but would never, ever want to live. I have no interest in coastal urbanite culture.
Oh, and the kicker: they shop for clothes for their kids exclusively on Amazon. How do they know the clothes will fit? They don't; they order the clothes in every single size Amazon has available. I don't know what they do with the stuff that's the wrong size.
Eloquent synopsis a certain well-funded, highly buzzed-about "disruptive" startup I know.
Which I could not recommend enough, I'm having wumo flashbacks all the time just as with obligatory XKCD.
Something something something unexamined privilege, I rather suspect. It'd be funnier if the author wasn't trying to make some kind of political point muddled by half-baked humor.
Silicon Valley is famous for its navel-gazing. There's even a hit television show devoted to it. The privilege is well and rightfully examined. That's why, I think, this satire falls flat -- it doesn't say anything that isn't painfully obvious to anyone who has even a casual familiarity with the local culture, and even worse, it doesn't say the painfully obvious in any new way.
It doesn't 'bite' like the onion does, where it comes too close to reality for comfort. It's not zany and off-beat like a Mad Magazine bit. It's just... not that good.
No, seriously, stop that. Narrate in the first or second person; those are easier to relate to rather than the not-so-abstract "you". Invent a protagonist for your story if it doesn't already have one. Character building seems to be quickly fading into obscurity as a lost art of sorts, and you can help revive it.