Notes from Silicon Valley

As fun as this blog might be for me to write, and as many random ideas might play out (and succeed!) here, I still haven’t talked very much or very directly about myself or what I think about my own situation, as it didn’t really occur to me that certain people might care about that too. Family and friends, feel free to consider this The Return On Your Investment, Part 1, or whatever:

– The simulacres phenomenon is very real indeed. Humans may have bootstrapped their own existence all along, but moving to a place like this really underlines how far we’ve come as a species. I’m still not completely able to relax and enjoy myself when the ambient temperature is more than three degrees from whatever would seem “ideal” at any moment, because I have never known survival that does not require a carefully-constructed box. My ancestors fled nameless European tyrants in a box, and each subsequent generation of Northeastern Americans go on reproducing their boxes like some quasi-species of box-creature, just so that come springtime the whole lot of us aren’t frozen up in a giant cube. The problem is, boxes cut both ways, and people get soft. Like me.

– Maybe you think, ah, it must be that famous “crunchy” perspective from the camping trip, but this is not true either. Many people here seem to know their environment better than they know themselves. Some would not even regard that kind of statement as an insult.*

– Ever talk to one of those people who are too clever for their own good? Where we should probably just stuff them in the nearest closet or mental institution for a few hundred years while everyone else grows up? You’ll run into a lot of those people here.

– On the other hand, we have a verifiable shortage of free lunches, as people keep asking me to replace theirs. Actually, I did get a free lunch last week, but of course there was a waiting list involved. And the best free food is still reserved for the best free programmers, somehow.

– If I am willing to deal in money, there are many lunches available for purchase, most of which are delicious.

– As delicious as the marine life might be, Italian Food in City X doesn’t hold a candle to the real thing. Which, of course, doesn’t hold a candle to the real thing.

– No matter what happens, the hipsters have no choice but to become old with me.

– In the end, nothing outlasts a weird uneasiness about this whole endeavor, a sense that the things I write and the things I know might be the only things standing between me, the street, and some totally crazy sign. And that the street itself is the only thing standing between humanity and all those impregnable woods. And that I might actually need to earn a master’s degree before these strangers start taking me seriously. I still don’t want to.

*If there are any specific people who believe I am picking on them, the answer is NO!!! Everything is caricature!!!

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