My congratulations to Korezaan, it made me smile when I learned about it. I get a lot of high quality commenters here who take time from their day to contribute to the creative process, so it’s nice to see one of them getting recognition.
Robert Stark interviews Korezaan about Transit & Urbanism
Korezaan recently wrote a comment about the deficiencies of urban planning and public transit in the Bay Area:
I’d love to do work and play the same rat race, but I’m basically not even allowed to. Look up non-Starbucks jobs in Silicon Valley; “entry level” is 3-5 years experience generally, 5-7 isn’t difficult to find either. “Entry level” is just a phrase in a search engine, it’ll mean whatever people putting up offers label it to be. Unlike maybe some other periods or locations, these numbers aren’t a joke – if they call you at all, they’ll ask about it, and then tell you you’re unqualified.
If you do get one that is “actually” entry level, they’ll give you 40k, or if you’re really lucky 50, and that sounds great if you live in “flyover country”, but even the feds classify low income in silicon valley from, depending on which area in it, as 80 to 105. 80k is *low* income. Also to qualify for california state health insurance, your income must be below 10. I won’t go into how much other health insurance costs here.
All the jobs are in San Francisco and San Jose, and at 6:30 in the morning it’ll take you, if you live in the wrong direction, 60 minutes to go 20 miles. Distance between SF and SJ is ~50 miles. There is a metro here called BART, which is a joke, has murders and robberies left and right, takes 15 years to build 1 station 5 miles from the previous terminal, and is essentially a glorified parking lot shuttle for SF (it doesn’t reach SJ). And it can’t even do that properly because people literally don’t use BART because there is no parking space.
The new station is “right next to” the TESLA factory. Quotes because even though property lines are bordering, it’s 2 miles from the exit of the station to the entrance of TESLA. 1 mile of which is no sidewalk, 45mph road, the other 1 mile being parking lots.
Guess we’re all just not passionate enough about our field / about saving the planet.
If within 30 years Silicon Valley isn’t another Chicago or Detroit, I will be thoroughly surprised. Those walled and guarded neighborhoods in South America will appear here for sure.
Company housing is just marketing. I saw pictures about it 10 years ago in Popular Science. What have they done in the past 10 years? Buying up small lots to make a big one? They’re not going to do it.
On one hand they proudly allow articles to be published about their employees living in trucks in their parking lots to show how “motivated” their employees are, what a great company they are to work for etc. etc.
On the other hand it doesn’t get them anything. Google Fiber is no longer coming to a home near you because they decided doing all that extra work at that cost didn’t get them any money. Do you have any idea how unprofitable it is to build and then make back that moeny off of high rise apartments? That’s assuming they get around the zoning laws and NIMBYism, which they probably could if they wanted to simply because of how much money they have. But they don’t. They don’t care.
These thoughts caught the attention of Robert Stark who lives in the same area. They met up and had a talk.
The main focus of the discussion was to expand on the original comment regarding urban planning in the Bay Area and in general. They go into some detail on Hong Kong as well and discuss differences between Eastern and Western cyberpunk aesthetics.
They do make mention of me at a few junctures.
Korezaan makes clear he has a mind of his own but describes himself as being on the “same vector” with the sort of ideas I have put forth.
Later on, they bring up my recent post about traditional marriage. I will clarify here briefly:
I am not saying there’s some future where men and women no longer fall in love and become attached to each other. I would not so blatantly disregard such basics of human nature.
I am saying that traditional marriage has lost relevance as the foundational institution of society. To be truly foundational, you have to be able to assume it will be central to most people’s lives. Now it’s just another “lifestyle choice.” If a substantial portion of the population defects on the deal, it destabilizes a social contract that requires self-discipline and sacrifice. When the naughty kids gorge on dessert first, the patient and disciplined kids who ate their vegetables end up missing out.
I pose the problem that having a decades-long union might not be viable as a founding social norm in an information age, post-agrarian, post-industrial society. We’re entering unexplored territory so I am speculating what social systems that organically spring up under new pressures might look like.