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I won't try to disagree with the advantages mentioned about Silicon Valley. However, I think there are equally important reasons to live in the UK or in Europe: namely, the quality of life, the way the cities are designed, the public transportation, the people's attitudes. I am an American who prefers Europe and I hope to move over there one day. Silicon Valley is a wasteland. Try riding your bike somewhere. Try strolling around the town center (there isn't one.) If you are going to actually get rich, then it may be worth it to live in Silicon Valley. But if you end up being simply middle class, then quality of life should be considered.

I lived in Fremont for a couple of years, and I can't tell you how much I hated it. Urban sprawl. Nothing to do.


I agree with you that much of silicon valley is depressing. This is actually a really serious problem for valley companies, because employees don't get to know each other as well, and everyone scatters off to various suburbs after work.

My wife worked for a startup in SF next to a cool bar and a cool coffee shop. When you left work, a couple of your friends/coworkers would often be in that bar or coffeeshop. So you'd stop in, and start chatting. Often, you'd chat about work, and come up with new ideas. They might get excited enough to go back into work to hash it out a bit more - at least they'd have something they were charged up about.

At the time, I was working for Sun Micro in Fremont, a spiritually crushing place. On occasion, we'd all agree to get together for drinks at the W nearby. But it took planning, arranging, getting into your car, driving over there... not at all spontaneous. And so we didn't get to know each other as well, and didn't have any fun.

That said - your post is missing one really important thing: San Francisco and Berkeley have a vibe that is very conducive to creativity, and even parts of (admittedly suburban) Palo Alto aren't so bad. This is why I drove a horrendous hour and fifteen minutes to work every day. It's also why I finally got so fed up with the commute that I faced a choice: quit sun, or move to Fremont. I quit.

But hey, would you rather live in SF and be an hour from the valley, or in Munich and be a trans atlantic flight away? One poster called SF a "second rate new york" in a previous thread (obviously not getting it). San Francisco is not a big city like New York, so don't go looking for Manhattan. Look for a small (surprisingly small to some, considering how many comparisons to NY I hear) but very entertaining city with a terrific vibe and a ton of technical and creative people to hang with.


>>>Fremont, a spiritually crushing place.

I remember trying to make the more than 1 hour drive from there to SF, and then back again... just to spend a few hours in a the nice city. Yes, I'd rather live in Munich.

This is a huge topic and it affects the entire USA. Our whole country is stupid automobile sprawl. "The greatest mis-allocation of resources in the history of mankind."


I agree, a lot of the US is pretty awful. I'm not sure that this is specific to the US, though - I think it's specific to places that were largely built after WWII. The outskirts of european cities are generally pretty soulless, too. But since most of the European cities were built before the automobile, they've avoided this truly depressing problem. I really doubt it has all that much to do with Europeans being particularly marvelous people - after all, San Franciscans like to credit themselves with how pretty their city is (and there is some credit due - my dad remembers signing the petition to preserve the trolley cars when he was a kid), but it was too full to build anything else much after the 50s - so I know I didn't have a damn thing to do with it. (Ok, there is the factor that some people value the physical environment so much that they'll shell out 1Mil+ to live in a small 2br house, so some self-selection may be going on here...)

Hang out in the outer suburbs of Paris some time, and you'll see what I mean - not a big improvement over the outskirts of SF or LA (actually, don't - vacation time in the US is precious, and you definitely don't want to waste it on that).


I concur.

There are two possible future outcomes I can think of.

1. We have an oil crisis, and cities return to the way they used to be, over the course of time.

2. Alternative energies gracefully take the place of oil, there is no crisis, and things continue as they have been.

Oddly, the crisis outcome is more appealing.


In the "good old days", a smaller fraction of the population lived in major metro centers than does now.


If you go back far enough, there were no cities at all. Nevertheless, I think there is a wonderful "city" concept in many old towns around the world, and especially in Europe. If you move to Silicon Valley, and you spend some significant fraction of your life there, then your day to day quality of life is seriously affected by this. This discussion thread may be getting "off topic", although it is about an article telling entrepreneurs from all around the world to come to Silicon Valley if they possibly can. I am warning them. It's not a paradise (in my opinion.)


> Try riding your bike somewhere.

You're kidding, right? Silicon Valley has the best year round cycling anywhere, and some of the best cycling, period. Maybe Switzerland in the summer is better, but that's about it (and it frequently rains in the summer in Switzerland). I lived in Silicon Valley without a car for 7 years. It's flat, and by drawing a 16 mile radius around my apartment in Sunnyvale, I can hit nearly every important tech startup of any consequence.

The quality of life in Silicon Valley sucks if your idea of fun is visiting bars, going to rock concerts, or top quality museums. For people for whom outdoor life is important, Silicon Valley is great. I regularly run into famous outdoorsy types (Brian Robinson, Jacquie Phelan, Jobst Brandt, Tom Ritchey) just by riding around in the area. On my cycling trips around here, I've met the former VP of IT at Adaptec, the VP of Engineering at Portal Player, etc.

And much as you might want it to be true, Fremont isn't Silicon Valley. Neither is Redwood City.


I have heard this evolution versus adaption/assimilation/conformation argument before, from a very religious person. Their idea is that evolution may be happening on a small and limited scale, but no further than that. They don't want to think about the more long-term and general implications of the theory. That is - if small adaptations can occur over a few years, what might happen over millions of years?

Assuming the earth is only 6,000 years old there isn't enough time for animals to evolve. All that can be seen are some minor "adaptations".


Religion apart, only a fundamentalistic person would say that the earth is only 6,000 years old.

The problem is not earth, but animals. The real problem is that 'millions of years' period. Anybody can make up a nice theory involving 'millions of years'. But how do you prove it? You can't. That's the real question and real problem with the evolution theory. It's only a theory which nobody can prove. (But a time machine would certainly help :)


What problem do you have with 'millions of years'?

Forget about proof. Just consider this: Imagine small changes, occurring continuously over millions of years. Would they still be 'small' changes after a while? Of course not. They would be small_changes * millions_of_years = big_changes

Or do you disagree that millions of years passed?


I don't have personally any problem with 'millions of years', and I don't say that the evolution theory is wrong, but for me it simply stays a nice theory, which can't be proven, and which isn't able to explain everything.

I do believe that the universe is millions of millions of years old, but I also believe that the humans arrived last (much later than any animal). And that humans have many attributes which can't be explained by an evolution theory.

Please offer me something more intelligent, I simply refute to think that some monkey thought by himself: "And now let's develop/incubate/whatever self consciousness, to be finally real humans!". Sorry, but that's too stupid.


Evolution is an observed fact and even religious leaders 150 years ago did not argue this. Natural Selection is a theory which explains, without reference to any supernatural agent, how evolution might have happened. Darwin didn't posit evolution as it wasn't a subject that was very exciting. It happened, everyone agrees.

Natural Selection, on the other hand, is more than just a hypothesis (you're using the word "theory" incorrectly). It (with refinements) is one of the most widely established explanations for all of the observed phenomena of lineages, species differences. It also made a number of testable predictions that have since been borne out (it predicted DNA, among other things). More recently, natural selection has led to the development of new sciences, like evolutionary biology, evolutionary psychology, evolutionary linguistics, etc. which are taking our understanding of biology and behavior further than ever.

Evolution is a fact. Natural Selection is a theory (and not a hypothesis). No scientists are "moving away" from natural selection. Anyone who told you that is uninformed or lying.


> Evolution is an observed fact [...]

Has it been 'observed' for a few years or for millions of years ;)

Again, it can't be observed for a period that would be sufficiently long to really prove for evidence.

Hence it's still a theory, sorry.

(Most 'scientists' need to learn philosophy, especially the greek one. It would help very much to understand logic, and to understand terms like 'theory'.)


I am a big PG fan, and I generally prefer the non-startup articles, such as this one. Just wanted to cast my vote here to counter-balance things. :-)


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