Self-Driving Cars and Shit on the Sidewalk

Extreme inequality in the tech utopia
Feb 24, 2022 7:54 AM
Feb 27, 2022 4:54 AM

The median income on my block in San Francisco is certainly in the 6-figure range.

But come to the wrong end of the street, and you might not believe me.

  • On one end, a “hotel” that is the first positive step out of homelessness.
  • On the other end, luxury towers that cater to your average tech, consulting, or finance knowledge worker.
  • In between, a dozen or so people living in tents.

It’s truly a tale of two cities. The top 1% and the bottom 1%, adjacent.

Some would consider this an undesirable place to live. I find the juxtaposition beautiful.

My theory: Some inequality helps society advance. Extreme inequality, on the other hand, means civilization won’t achieve its full potential, from both a quality of life and a technological perspective. Having a roof over your head certainly helps on the mental health front.

People like me have the privilege of living in comfort. We also have the means to start to do something about homelessness and extreme inequality. Witnessing it right at our doorstep makes the problem real.

By the way: the “more government” argument is lazy thinking on both the left and right. So is blaming the other side. Nobody intended this to happen, but the problem is in our face. Let’s start discussing it rationally.