Authors Antonio García Martínez
We're basically fucked.
The tech world has gotten so huge, self-reinforcing, and insulated from reality they can no longer even vaguely look at themselves (and their actions) as others do. They just live on a different planet than most people.
Conversely, the average tech consumer doesn't understand the technology that has slowly taken over their lives, and their designated emissaries to figure it out--politicians, pundits, regulators, journalists--understand it barely better than they do, and have their own agendas.
To say more than generalities for a moment, here's what I think is likely the core problem.
Techies take weird, improbable visions, and make them realities: some BS pitch deck to a VC, mixed with money and people, really does turn into some novel thing.
Most people work inside a legacy industry that's evolved that way over time (usually for good reasons), and they think about the future via some analogy with their present (which is a function of a long-ago past). The interruption that tech will introduce is often hard to grasp.
I've been a @23andMe customer for a while, and have followed their ancestry updates closely.
All is more or less as expected....except for this bit about Native American.
The family is almost completely composed of Spanish peasants (from various regions) who emigrated, along with a massive wave in the late 19th-cent./early 20th-cent., to Cuba back when it was a booming economy (richer than Spain's) and worth emigrating to (Communism killed that).
Also, the native population of Cuba was annihilated early on---was the first place the Spanish colonized after all. Having a native background in Cuba would be like having the same in, say, Massachusetts, particularly if you're (say) mostly Irish. Just really, really unlikely.
(Note: the North African/Arab background is less mysterious. The Iberian peninsula was part of the Muslim world for centuries. It would be odd *not* to have some Arab/Middle Eastern background coming from Spain. Given the family is mostly from Northern Spain, it's small though.)
I have a Spanish passport, have been back to the ancestral villages in Spain, seen the church where my grandmother was baptized, my grandfather told me stories about growing up as the child of Spanish colonists in rural Cuba. The native bit just clashes with all the family lore.
Current SF spending on homelessness: $380M
Projected revenue from Prop C: $300M
Number of SF homeless: 7,500
Post-C, that means SF will be spending $90k/homeless person.
That's $30K per year *more* than the median SF teacher salary.
I don't get SF.
Note that despite that massive spending, SF has one of the lowest 'sheltered rate' among big US cities. SF homeless isn't particularly high, per capita, but more of them are on the street than elsewhere (which is why the problem looks bad).
Within that context, Prop C is a vote to spend even more, to the point the city is paying (per homeless person) just under what Google pays (in cash) to new college hires. And yet these people are on the street somehow.
I don't claim to understand the dizzyingly complex urban policy issues around homelessness. But neither do most SF taxpayers, and I think they'd like to know just how we got here.
For some coverage on Prop C (where I got the spend numbers
\u201cMore of us are plac\xading pol\xadi\xadtics at the cen\xadter of our lives. Both sides increasingly be\xadlieve a grand so\xadlu\xadtion to our po\xadlit\xadi\xadcal dys\xadfunc\xadtion can be found in\xadside pol\xadi\xadtics. In the Weekend Essay, Sen. Sasse explains why he thinks this won\u2019t work\u201d https://t.co/dCpDjo96Rv— Ben Sasse (@BenSasse) October 13, 2018
This isn't a novel idea, and in fact more than one commenter has made some version of this point recently, without (apparently) this level of scorn.
This is a reaction to the author's politics, which ironically lends credence to the original argument.
Another negative reaction is: You're a senator. Do something!
And another point of the essay is that we can't rely on a political system to forge our communities or sense of belonging for us. That can only come from an engaged citizenry.
Thus, another very ironic reaction.
This critique is more self-aware. It's also a trendy post-modern deconstruction of the argument: everything is power relations, 'all politics is identity politics', etc.
In brief: Apolitical identity is impossible, and we're cursed to debate the meaning of small-town football games...forever.
Not the same ironic backhanded endorsement of the argument, but what a future that implies.