Gerard van der Leun deserves profound thanks for laboriously copying and pasting this valuable, but enormously long series, of tweets posted fragment after fragment by someone styling himself “Hazard Harrington” on Twitter (not surprisingly since deleted — dead link) and publishing them complete.
“Make your peace with whatever comes after fancy tech. It probably involves something with a firing pin and an extractor.” — Klahn
I work in Big Tech. A name you would know and have probably used before.
Wanted to give a rundown of what it’s like from the inside right now. Obviously insanely radically leftwing. BLM/LGBTQ. Trans flags hanging in the office. Pronouns are stated before meetings. Special affiliation groups for everyone but white men. All that you’d expect.
But COVID/WorkFromHome (WFH) has totally broken people.
They are fundamentally weak, often with no social support outside of work.
They’re the people with no children, no spouse. Only a dog or cat for emotional support.
There’s constant talk, even now, about how hard things are for everyone. Often meetings start with going around the room to ask “How is everyone feeling?”
Literally, everyone else went on sad rants about their lives. “I’m so MAD a white supremacist shot 3 black men in Kenosha!”
It’s toxic. When it got to me, I said “Good.” and then a (((lady engineer))) literally proposed that we should not be allowed to answer the question positively. I shit you not.
I think it hurt her that I wasn’t as miserable as her.
She made some arguments about “vulnerability”. These people not only want you weak, they want you to expose your vulnerabilities to them so they can exploit them.
Michael S. Malone addresses the great disaster of our times: Free enterprise capitalism metastasizing into Corporate Enforcer of Correct Speech and Thought and China Ally.
You don’t have to be very old to remember when Silicon Valley represented the shiny technological future.
It was the land of brilliant entrepreneurs starting fast-moving new companies. An enclave of perpetual optimism, where the brightest young people went to change the world — and got very rich in the process. A place that didn’t grow old, but revised itself every decade into something perpetually exciting and new.
But today, to many Americans, Silicon Valley has become the locus of everything wrong with a technological revolution that has grown dark and totalitarian. It is the heartland of cancel culture, it’s giant social networking companies censoring free speech. It uses its wealth to influence elections. And its companies are in bed with some of the worst regimes on the planet. Congress and the Federal Communications Commission are looking at ways to break up the biggest Valley companies. Polls show that a majority of Americans no longer trust Big Tech. And surveys have revealed that a sizable number of Valley workers can’t wait to leave.
What happened? How did it all turn so bad so quickly? …
Freeware may be the most pernicious invention of the last few decades. You don’t buy tech anymore; you rent, you subscribe and, most of all, you get it for free. How can you say no, especially if you’re an adolescent? And all you have to give up is every bit of information about your life so that it can be sold around the world.
You no longer own your own data. That may not seem like a big deal now, but we are rushing towards a world of tight social control. The single most soul-rotting characteristic of modern Silicon Valley is freeware. It has granted companies absolute cultural, financial and political power, the kind that no company before them has ever known. And that power has corrupted these companies absolutely. …
Besides freeware, the other great discovery of the last 20 years has been that if you give consumers a platform and the tools to create their own product, they will happily become your unpaid slaves and not only surrender their personal data but also spend thousands of hours making you rich. And because of that, you don’t have to grab increments of market share from your competitors. Instead, you need to scale to an almost unimaginable population of users/slaves who become so committed that it is almost impossible for them to escape. After that, you can even control their words and actions — an opportunity too great to pass up.
My wife Karen forwarded, for schadenfreude laughs, this Zillow record of a recent house sale in San Jose.
San Jose is a depressing, intensely-governed police state of a small city, consisting of truly ghastly cheap suburban houses built of ticky-tacky squatting at the bottom of Silicon Valley and spilling up on to some of the scrub-covered surrounding hills.
Wes Enzinna, in Harper’s, describes the bizarre fringe existence of a millennial bourgeois Bohemian trying to find living space in ever-so-rich, ever-so-f*cked-up Bay Area California.
[T]he year of the Ghost Ship fire, I lived in a shack. Iâ€™d found the place just as Septemberâ€™s Indian summer was giving way to a wet October. There was no plumbing or running water to wash my hands or brush my teeth before sleep. Electricity came from an extension cord that snaked through a yard of coyote mint and monkey flower and up into a hole Iâ€™d drilled in my floorboards. The structure was smaller than a cell at San Quentinâ€”a tiny house or a huge coffin, depending on how you looked at itâ€”four by eight and ten feet tall, so cramped it fit little but a mattress, my suit jackets and ties, a space heater, some novels, and the mason jar I peed in.
The exterior of my hermitage was washed the color of runny egg yolk. Two redwood French doors with plexiglass windows hung cockeyed from creaky hinges at the entrance, and a combination lock provided meager security against intruders. White beadboard capped the roof, its brim shading a front porch set on cinder blocks.
After living on the East Coast for eight years, Iâ€™d recently left New York City to take a job at an investigative reporting magazine in San Francisco. If it seems odd that I was a fully employed editor who lived in a thirty-two-square-foot shack, thatâ€™s precisely the point: my situation was evidence of how distorted the Bay Area housing market had become, the brutality inflicted upon the poor now trickling up to everyone but the super-rich. The problem was nationwide, although, as Californians tend to do, theyâ€™d taken this trend to an extreme. Across the state, a quarter of all apartment dwellers spent half of their incomes on rent. Nearly half of the countryâ€™s unsheltered homeless population lived in California, even while the state had the highest concentration of billionaires in the nation. In the Bay Area, including West Oakland, where my shack was located, the crisis was most acute. Tent cities had sprung up along the sidewalks, swarming with capitalismâ€™s refugees. Telegraph, Mission, Market, Grant: every bridge and overpass had become someoneâ€™s roof.
Down these same streets, tourists scuttered along on Segways and techies surfed the hills on motorized longboards, transformed by their wealth into children, just as the sidewalk kids in cardboard boxes on Haight or in Peopleâ€™s Park aged overnight into decrepit adults, the former racing toward the future, the latter drifting away from it.
To my mother and girlfriend back East, the â€œshack situationâ€ was a problem to be solved. â€œCan we help you find another place?â€ â€œCan you just find roommates and live in a house?â€ But the shack was the solution, not the problem.
As penance for abandoning my girlfriend, I still paid part of our rent in New York, and after covering my portion of our bills, my student loan payment, and car insurance, I had about $1,500 left over each month. That wouldnâ€™t have been so little to live on, except that, according to some estimates, apartments then averaged $3,500 a month in San Francisco, $3,000 in Oakland. That year, 2016, 83,733 low-income San Franciscans would apply for the cityâ€™s affordable housing lottery, fighting for 1,025 slots. There were still cheap rooms available in the Bay, to be sure, mostly in ramshackle Victorians or weathered Maybeck bungalows where artists or activists or punks lived collectively and were protected by rent control, but these rooms were in dwindling supply and astonishingly high demand. On Craigslist or by word of mouth, vacancies were often offered exclusively to â€œQ.T.P.O.C.â€ (queer and trans people of color) or â€œB.A.B.R.â€ (Bay Area born and raised) roommates, a reasonable defensive measure against the ravages of the tech economy, which, block by block, was replacing the weird old counterculture with Stanford M.B.A.s and Google engineers.
For those of us caught in the middle, it meant that to score a bed, you had to have Q.T.P.O.C. friends willing to make an exception for you, or be a member of obscure Facebook groups like (â€™â€™â€™), which served as an underground network for people seeking shared housing. (The page also offered bartered services like massage and childcare and, on at least one occasion, a â€œfree hearse.â€) As in other cities under intense economic pressure, marginalized inhabitants had created an alternate, black-market rental economy: the currency may have been cultural capital, but competition was still fierce.
I spent a few weeks on friendsâ€™ couches before an acquaintance posted on Facebook about a room opening in his eight-bedroom house in Oakland for $475, a steal, and I messaged him immediately. Thirty people had already written, he said, and his roommates had also received scores of inquiries, so the odds werenâ€™t good. He stopped answering my emails after that. The same thing happened with a few vacant rooms I tracked down at illegal warehouses, cavernous lofts where residents scrimped on such things as functioning plumbing or reliable electricity in order to have space to paint and make sculptures and host bands all night, places like the Dildo Factory, or Hecoâ€™s, or Ghost Ship, whose leaseholder posted a roommate-wanted ad on Craigslist that winter seeking
all shamanic rattlesnake sexy jungle jazz hobo gunslingers looking for a space to house gear, use studio, develop next level Shaolin discipline after driving your taxi cab late at night, build fusion earth home bomb bunker spelunker shelters, and plant herbaceous colonies in the open sun & air.
I didnâ€™t answer the Ghost Ship ad, but I went to a few â€œauditionsâ€ at other lofts. There were so many people vying for the spaces, I rarely got a call back and was never offered a room. Iâ€™d squandered whatever cool I once possessed, it turned out, by building a â€œnormieâ€ career as a writer and editor on the East Coast.
Wired explains why there has recently been a huge exodus of Astrophysicists out of Academia and into Silicon Valley where they are highly paid for studying consumer preferences instead of Stellar Dynamics.
To understand whatâ€™s driving astrophysicists into consumer product startups, consider the recent explosion of machine learning. Astrophysicists, who wrangle massive amounts of data collected from high-powered telescopes that survey the sky, have long used machine learning models, which â€œtrainâ€ computers to perform tasks based on examples. Tell a computer what to recognize in one intergalactic snapshot and it can do the same for 30 million more and start to make predictions. But machine learning can also be used to make predictions about customers, and around 2012, corporations started to staff up with people who knew how to deploy it.
These days, machine learning drives everything from Stitch Fixâ€™s curated boxes of clothes to Netflixâ€™s personalized movie recommendations. How does Spotify perfectly predict the songs that will surprise and delight you in its weekly personalized playlists? That’s machine learning at work. And while machine learning now constitutes its own field of study, because scientists from fields like astrophysicists have been working with those kinds of models for years, theyâ€™re natural hires on data science teams.
â€œWe were already in Big Data before Big Data became a thing,â€ says Sudeep Das, an astrophysicist who now works at Netflix.
Das got his PhD at Princeton, where he researched cosmic microwave backgroundâ€”basically the electromagnetic radiation left over from the Big Bang. Afterward, he spent a few years studying data from the Atacama Cosmology Telescope in Chile. The telescope collects nearly a terabyte of data from the cosmos every night, and from this massive data set, Das detected an elusive astrophysical signal. It was a rare payoff after years of painstaking work. The discovery earned him the attention of the University of Michigan, which offered him an assistant professorship.
But Das turned it down and moved to Silicon Valley insteadâ€”first to work as a data scientist at Beats Music, then at OpenTable, and now at Netflix.
The decision to leave academia came down to a few factors: The pay was certainly better, and the jobs were more plentiful. â€œThereâ€™s a bottleneck of getting into tenure-track positions,â€ he says. And being in the Bay Area meant he and his wifeâ€”who is also an astrophysicistâ€”would never have to worry about both finding jobs. But the real surprise, he says, was that the work in tech companies was actually interesting. At Beats, he says, he found â€œlike-minded people who were working on problems that didnâ€™t take away the intellectual high.â€ Same math, different application.
Das says heâ€™s noticed that more and more physicists are trading the difficult slog of academiaâ€”which can involve a decade of financially dicey postdoctoral workâ€”to take cushy jobs in tech. â€œOnly two people from my PhD batch at Princeton are not working in industry,â€ he says. â€œYou have to be a die-hard academic to stay.â€
This big bang extends across the industry. â€œAstrophysics is our number one domain,â€ says Eric Colson, Stitch Fixâ€™s chief algorithms officer emeritus. â€œMost folks have a PhD in a quantitative field, but if we did a histogram, I think astrophysics is number one. They teach math really wellâ€”a lot of physicists are better mathematicians than mathematicians. They also teach coding well. Theyâ€™re better computer scientists than most computer scientists.â€ …
In academia, astrophysicists can spend years stuck on a singular problem. And many of the exciting problems have already been solved, says Amber Roberts, a former astrophysicist who now helps academics transition to industry at Insight Data Science. â€œWe discovered the size of the universe. We measured the speed of light. We found pole stars. We found black holes,â€ she says. â€œA lot of those big things, like understanding how space-time works or how gravity distorts, are what get people interested in the study of space and cosmology. But what youâ€™re really doing is contributing to a very small subfield where youâ€™ll work about three years on a paper that about 10 people in the world are going to read. Youâ€™re not going to be Carl Sagan.â€
Simone Stolzoff visits Facebook and concludes that cushy office perks Silicon-Valley-style are a trap.
I was there to see the headquarters of one of the most influential technology companies in the world, and it looked like a Lego fortress. The campus was all primary colors and serrated edges, as if cut from card stock for an elementary-school bulletin board.
Street art hung from the walls. Bicycles and scooters were strewn like forgotten toys. The corporate name was decapitalized. (Something about trying to be cool.)
â€œWe repurposed the sign from the old Sun Microsystems campus,â€ my greeter said when she met me at the campusâ€™ entrance. â€œWe leave it as a reminder to stay motivated.â€
As we walked past the iconic thumbs up on the front of the sign, I turned around to see the faded â€œSunâ€ on the back of it.
â€œWelcome to Facebook.â€
For a company built on openness and connectivity, the office felt like the walled garden Facebook itself has become. My greeter walked me to one of the complexâ€™s main arteries from Hacker Way toward Main Street. â€œThe campus was designed to be a cross between Disneyland and downtown Palo Alto.â€ I could tell. Thousands of employees filled the streets of Facebookâ€™s downtown area, a Main Street USA in a Magic Kingdom partial to hoodies and t-shirts.
There was a barbershop, a dental office, a bike shop.
If I worked here, I would never have to leave.
The gilded offices of Silicon Valley have both the amenities and exclusivity of a country club. The need to keep the outside world locked out is understandableâ€”tourists come from halfway around the world just to take pictures from Googleâ€™s drivewayâ€”but I worry that the locks go both ways.
â€œOrwell warns that we will be overcome by an externally imposed oppression. But in Huxleyâ€™s vision, no Big Brother is required to deprive people of their autonomy, maturity, and history,â€ wrote media theorist Neil Postman. â€œAs he saw it, people will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think.â€
The office is also a technology, a tool used to help get work done. And though there is something special about a workplace where you can get your dry-cleaning done between meetings, the blurring of work and not work can also veer toward oppression.
There’s no such thing as a free cupcake, as Robert A. Heinlein could have told you. All the good stuff in corporate headquarters is there to make you not want to leave, so that you’ll happily put in all sorts of unpaid overtime.
Adding to the whole thing is the fact that those are not even ducks on the artificial Foster City Lake, they are lousy seagulls!
Sunil Rajaraman sucks at Ornithology, but he knows the Silicon Valley life really well. If you’ve been there and done it, you will laugh.
You canâ€™t fall back asleep. You reflect. You turn on the Headspace app and give yourself 10 minutes of peace. You have no idea whether meditation works or not. Itâ€™s really boring, and all your mind can think about is Instagram. It feels good, though.
Now you can spend the rest of your sleepless hours looking for new jobs on LinkedIn.
Your last start-up failed. You ran business development. It turns out your 27-year-old CEO, who never ran an enterprise software start-up, ran the company straight into the ground. You reflect for a bit on the reasons why this happened.
Your company had a â€œno egoâ€ and â€œno assholeâ€ hiring policy. He was somehow exempt from both rules.
Open-office concept by David Basulto
Maybe the company failed because, not unlike the companyâ€™s open-office concept, the companyâ€™s databases were open to hackers. Or maybe itâ€™s because you donâ€™t know who was actually doing work. To your knowledge, most of your coworkers were ordering stuff on Amazon, talking about each other on Slack, watching the World Cup, or WFH. The companyâ€™s business model should have been subleasing its $75-square-foot office space on Fridays, since no one showed up.
But life is better now. Forget start-ups; they are not for you. You used to think that life was over. Youâ€™re 35, and you havenâ€™t had an exit. You donâ€™t own a house, but now you tell people that renting is part of your â€œlong-term planâ€ to provide more flexibility. You used to think youâ€™re a failure.
But then you discovered Botox and realize you have more time than you think.
You drop off your kid at elementary school. Parents are part of an intricate social hierarchy. Itâ€™s public school, but somehow you are guilted into a â€œdonationâ€ every quarter. You run into Janice. She got drunk at the parent auction and bid $25,000 for Taylor Swift tickets. A week earlier, Dropbox IPOâ€™d. You do a calculation of her approximate net worth in your head. Drop in the bucket for her. Sheâ€™s now one of the â€œcoolâ€ parents. FML.
Ferdinand is out on the playground again 30 minutes after he dropped off his kid. He likes to chat up any mom who will flirt with himâ€Šâ€”â€Šwith that mesh baseball cap. He doesnâ€™t work. You give him a high five and a bro hug.
You realize high school never ends.
You took a job at a big company. Big, predictableâ€”thatâ€™s what you needed. You commute to Foster City. Way better than San Frat-cisco. You love the faux landfill lake filled with sickly ducksâ€”it inspires you on daily walks. The geese sometimes chase you around and make hissing noises, but so much lower key. You go to a poke place every day for lunch.
Faux Foster City Lake with ducks hanging out
You donâ€™t wear start-up logo hoodies anymore, and you instituted a household ban on Patagonia. Youâ€™ve attempted to read Manâ€™s Search for Meaning multiple times.
You donâ€™t need the excitement anymoreâ€”boring is where itâ€™s at. Your wife is the high flyer now. Her start-up took off. You are the junk bond; she is the high-growth stock. Youâ€™ve accepted your place in the portfolio.
You spend a lot of time in meetings. Meetings create a great rhythm for the day. Especially standing meetings. Youâ€™ve been to three meetings today with the same four people. Maybe you should put your desks together; then the whole day will be a meeting.
That one meeting last week was rough. You closed it out with, â€œThanks, guys.â€ You got reminded by the smug 24-year-old growth managerâ€”whose entire life experience has been comprised of private schools, vacationing in Laguna Beach and deciding what color BMW 3 Series to driveâ€”that you probably offended a large portion of the room by using that term. You vowed to be a better person.
You are standing beneath a company-values sign that reads, â€œHumility above all else!â€
Antonio GarcÃa MartÃnez analyses the California dystopia where everyone talks and votes left, but lives in an unequal (and rather squalid) society that makes Norman England look like the land of Equality.
Data shows that technology and services make up a large fraction of citywide employment. It also shows that unemployment and housing prices follow the tech industryâ€™s boom-and-bust cycle. Amid the current boom, a family of four earning $117,400 now qualifies as low-income in San Francisco. Some readers laughed when I wrote in a memoir about working at Facebook that my six-figure compensation made me â€œbarely middle class.â€ As it turns out, I wasnâ€™t far off. With that credential, consider this rumination on bougie life inside the San Francisco bubble, which seems consistent with the data and the experience of other local techies.
San Francisco residents seem to be divided into four broad classes, or perhaps even castes:
The Inner Party of venture capitalists and successful entrepreneurs who run the tech machine that is the engine of the cityâ€™s economy.
The Outer Party of skilled technicians, operations people, and marketers that keep the trains belonging to the Inner Party running on time. They are paid well, but they’re still essentially living middle-class livesâ€”or what lives the middle class used to have.
The Service Class in the â€œgig economy.â€ In the past, computers filled hard-for-humans gaps in a human value chain. Now humans fill hard-for-software gaps in a software value chain. These are the jobs that AI hasn’t managed to eliminate yet, where humans are expendable cogs in an automated machine: Uber drivers, Instacart shoppers, TaskRabbit manual labor, etc.
Lastly, thereâ€™s the Untouchable class of the homeless, drug addicted, and/or criminal. These people live at the ever-growing margins: the tent cities and areas of hopeless urban blight. The Inner Party doesnâ€™t even see them, the Outer Party ignores them, and the Service Class eyes them warily; after all, they could end up there.
Mobility among the castes seems minimal. An Outer Party member could reach the Inner Party by chancing into an early job at a lottery-ticket company (such as Facebook or Google) or by becoming a successful entrepreneur. But thatâ€™s rare; most of the Outer Party prefers working for the Inner Party, gradually accumulating equity through stock grants and appreciating real estate.
The Service Class will likely never be able to drive/shop/handyman enough to rise to the Outer Party, at least not without additional training or skills. They’re mostly avoiding the descent to Untouchable status, while dealing with precarious gigs that disappear semi-regularly. Uber, for example, has made no bones about its intent to replace its drivers with robots. Delivery bots have already been deployed on city streets, though they were later restricted.
Jaron Lanier tells New York Magazine how Big Internet Tech Companies went wrong.
We used to be kind of rebels, like, if you go back to the origins of Silicon Valley culture, there were these big traditional companies like IBM that seemed to be impenetrable fortresses. And we had to create our own world. To us, we were the underdogs and we had to struggle. And weâ€™ve won. I mean, we have just totally won. We run everything. We are the conduit of everything else happening in the world. Weâ€™ve disrupted absolutely everything. Politics, finance, education, media, relationships â€” family relationships, romantic relationships â€” weâ€™ve put ourselves in the middle of everything, weâ€™ve absolutely won. But we donâ€™t act like it.
We have no sense of balance or modesty or graciousness having won. Weâ€™re still acting as if weâ€™re in trouble and we have to defend ourselves, which is preposterous. And so in doing that we really kind of turn into assholes, you know? …
when you move out of the tech world, everybodyâ€™s struggling. Itâ€™s a very strange thing. The numbers show an economy thatâ€™s doing well, but the reality is that the way itâ€™s doing well doesnâ€™t give many people a feeling of security or confidence in their futures. Itâ€™s like everybodyâ€™s working for Uber in one way or another. Everythingâ€™s become the gig economy. And we routed it that way, thatâ€™s our doing. Thereâ€™s this strange feeling when you just look outside of the tight circle of Silicon Valley, almost like entering another country, where people are less secure. Itâ€™s not a good feeling. I donâ€™t think itâ€™s worth it, I think weâ€™re wrong to want that feeling.
Itâ€™s not so much that theyâ€™re doing badly, but they have only labor and no capital. Or the way I used to put it is, they have to sing for their supper, for every single meal. Itâ€™s making everyone else take on all the risk. Itâ€™s like weâ€™re the people running the casino and everybody else takes the risks and we donâ€™t. Thatâ€™s how it feels to me. Itâ€™s not so much that everyone else is doing badly as that theyâ€™ve lost economic capital and standing, and momentum and plannability. Itâ€™s a subtle difference. …
I think the fundamental mistake we made is that we set up the wrong financial incentives, and thatâ€™s caused us to turn into jerks and screw around with people too much. Way back in the â€™80s, we wanted everything to be free because we were hippie socialists. But we also loved entrepreneurs because we loved Steve Jobs. So you wanna be both a socialist and a libertarian at the same time, and itâ€™s absurd. But thatâ€™s the kind of absurdity that Silicon Valley culture has to grapple with.
And thereâ€™s only one way to merge the two things, which is what we call the advertising model, where everythingâ€™s free but you pay for it by selling ads. But then because the technology gets better and better, the computers get bigger and cheaper, thereâ€™s more and more data â€” what started out as advertising morphed into continuous behavior modification on a mass basis, with everyone under surveillance by their devices and receiving calculated stimulus to modify them. So you end up with this mass behavior-modification empire, which is straight out of Philip K. Dick, or from earlier generations, from 1984.
Itâ€™s this thing that we were warned about. Itâ€™s this thing that we knew could happen. Norbert Wiener, who coined the term cybernetics, warned about it as a possibility. And despite all the warnings, and despite all of the cautions, we just walked right into it, and we created mass behavior-modification regimes out of our digital networks. We did it out of this desire to be both cool socialists and cool libertarians at the same time.
The Washington Post reports that many of the key companies providing social networking, financial transfer, and even web-site registration have now decided to take it upon themselves to decide just who is, and who is not, worthy of Internet services and access.
Silicon Valley significantly escalated its war on white supremacy this week, choking off the ability of hate groups to raise money online, removing them from Internet search engines, and preventing some sites from registering at all.
The new moves go beyond censoring individual stories or posts. Tech companies such as Google, GoDaddy and PayPal are now reversing their hands-off approach about content supported by their services and making it much more difficult for alt-right organizations to reach mass audiences.
But the actions are also heightening concerns over how tech companies are becoming the arbiters of free speech in America. …
The censorship of hate speech by companies passes constitutional muster, according to First Amendment experts. But they said there is a downside of thrusting corporations into that role.
Silicon Valley firms may be ill-prepared to manage such a large societal responsibility, they added. The companies have limited experience handling these issues. They must answer to shareholders and demonstrate growth in users or profits â€” weighing in on free speech matters risks alienating large groups of customers across the political spectrum.
These platforms are also so massive â€” Facebook, for example, counts a third of the worldâ€™s population in its monthly user base; GoDaddy hosts and registers 71 million websites â€” it may actually be impossible for them to enforce their policies consistently.
Still, tech companies are forging ahead. On Wednesday, Facebook said it canceled the page of white nationalist Christopher Cantwell, who was connected to the Charlottesville rally. The company has shut down eight other pages in recent days, citing violations of the company’s hate speech policies. Twitter has suspended several extremist accounts, including @Millennial_Matt, a Nazi-obsessed social media personality.
On Monday, GoDaddy delisted the Daily Stormer, a prominent neo-Nazi site, after its founder celebrated the death of a woman killed in Charlottesville. The Daily Stormer then transferred its registration to Google, which also cut off the site. The site has since retreated to the â€œdark Web,â€ making it inaccessible to most Internet users.
PayPal late Tuesday said it would bar nearly three dozen users from accepting donations on its online payment platform following revelations that the company played a key role in raising money for the white supremacist rally.
In a lengthy blog post, PayPal outlined its long-standing policy of not allowing its services to be used to accept payments or donations to organizations that advocate racist views.
You won’t however find any mention of ANTIFA, the CPUSA, or any group on the Left receiving this kind of attention.
Hiroshi is an unusual restaurant for unusual clientele.
Located in Los Altos, California, the newly opened Japanese restaurant accommodates only eight people per night and has no menus, no windows, and one table. Dinner costs at minimum $395 a head, but it averages between $500 and $600 with beverages and tax. …
Located in a plaza in Los Altos â€” residents past and present include Sergey Brin, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg â€” Hiroshi looked plain from the outside.
There were no hours posted on the door. A sign read “Open by appointment only.” …
Dim lighting cast a yellowish hue on the dining area, which was nearly swallowed whole by a single wooden table.
It was made from an 800-year-old Japanese keyaki tree. .. [I]t took 10 men and a small crane to lift the table into the restaurant. New walls were constructed around it.
I followed the aroma of meat crackling over an open fire to the kitchen, where I found the chef and owner, Hiroshi Kimura. He arrived at noon to prepare for the evening’s dinner.
On a business trip to the Bay Area in 2016, Kimura surveyed the restaurant scene and decided that few locations served the region’s wealthiest.
He decided the tech elite needed a high-end place to eat. The restaurant’s details â€” from the privacy shades on the windows to the discreet back entrance â€” caters to their needs.
Hiroshi accommodates just one seating of up to eight people per night. If a customer’s party has only six people, they must buy out the whole table. Dinner starts at $395 a head, but Biggerstaff said it averages much closer to $500 to $600 with beverages and tax.
Dinner is about 10 courses, and the menu changes daily. One dish, the tonkatsu sandwich, consists of a breaded, deep-fried pork cutlet prepared in a demi-glace.
Kimura and his sous-chef, who has a background in French cuisine, present each dish â€” like these sÅmen noodles topped with caviar â€” simply and tastefully.
Kimura specializes in a rare dish. “Since the age of 16, I have spent 40-plus years in pursuit of perfecting the art of wagyu steaks,” he wrote in a statement on the website. …
Wagyu fetches high prices. The American steak purveyor Allen Brothers sells four two-ounce tenderloin medallions for $165 online. Two rib-eye steaks cost a whopping $280.
Hiroshi has whole tenderloins flown in weekly from Japan. A supplier sends them sealed and packed on ice, via FedEx and includes a certificate of authenticity.
Kimura did not reveal much about how his wagyu steak is prepared. But we know he cooks the steaks over a hibachi â€” a traditional Japanese stove heated by charcoal. …
The wagyu steak is sprinkled with gold flakes and served with white asparagus and a ponzu sauce. “The gold is more for show,” … “It doesn’t really have any flavor.”
The dish arrives on a sheet of thin, fragrant wood, which prevents the sharp cutlery from destroying the plate.
Each guest has a miniature hibachi stove so they can cook their steak longer or reheat it.