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Hate It: Silicon Valley

April 21, 2010

I haven’t been around in a long time, I realize that.  But my displeasure for this particular area of the country is so ungodly deep, I had to come back just to complain about it.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I do not by any means dislike the entire Bay Area.  The Bay Area is beautiful–mountains, crazy trees, incredible layers of fog that float in and out of giant bodies of water.  But there is one particular section of the Bay Area that has driven me to such insanity, I’m running back to San Diego screaming.  (That’s beside the point, though–I mean, who wouldn’t run back to San Diego).  Anyhow, that area is Silicon Valley.

Silicon Valley is like an alternate universe.  One giant street runs through it – El Camino Real.  If ever there was a poster child for urban sprawl, this road is it.  Drive along it and you’ll see an innumerable number of asian restaurants–from Thai to Chinese, Vietnamese to Japanese…you name it and you’ll find one of each on every corner. In addition, the area is incredibly flat.  Although mountains are visible in the near distance, not a hill nor dip can be found in Silicon Valley.  Rather, you’ll drive along areas of landfill (also known as Mountain View and Milipitas).  Where once was marsh now lies office buildings full of techies and really, really bad stretches of freeway.

Which leads me to my next point.  The people here are incredibly smart…but not in a good way.  They live to work rather than work to live.  Life literally equals work.  Feel like getting a drink with friends? GOOD LUCK!!!!  If you’re lucky enough to have friends, you’ll be blessed to find some sorry ass place that’s open til 9 and serves alcohol.  It’ll be empty though, because no one bothers to socialize.  Food?  Better want asian food because you’re sh!t out of luck if you’re in the mood for anything else.  I’ve  also seen more people here eating alone than ever in my life.   And try talking to someone about pop culture.  Mention Lindsay Lohan’s latest mishap and they’ll look at you like your eyes just fell out of your head.  Talk about the latest Apple rumors though, and you’re the life of the “party” (i.e. the gathering of people who works til 10:30pm every night because it’s “fun”.)

When someone is willing to talk, it’s usually about their job at <insert big tech company here> doing <insert extremely boring, nonsensical gibberish here> and how confident they are that their stock options are going to buy them a house.  Please.  Either that or they’re telling you about whatever insanely boring company they’ve started up that week, and how it’s going to sell and make them piles of cash.    Look, buddy.  No one cares.  We all want to find our cash cow but we certainly don’t want to hear about your lame attempt at making one.  Leave me alone!

I could go on about the incredibly bad driving, but I’ll try not to (i.e. slow, weaving in and out of traffic as though blind, hybrid cars sputtering along because they’re trying to maximize gas efficiency, etc.)  One of my greatest pleasures while living here was roaring around them at 75 mph in my SUV.  Suck on THAT nerds!

Lucky for me, I managed to live in the outskirts of these low-lying, freakish areas and only had to be exposed to it during work hours.  I spent as much time enjoying CALIFORNIA as opposed to Silicon Valley as possible…as in the ocean, the mountains, the sun…those things that make the REST of the Bay Area amazing.  None the less, any exposure to SV is too much.  So, Silicon Valley?  Hate it.

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22 Comments leave one →
  1. lea permalink
    April 22, 2010 1:05 pm

    Amen!

  2. Maryli permalink
    April 22, 2010 1:07 pm

    hahahah! now i know where not to visit if i ever venture onto the *other* coast again.

  3. Marilyn permalink
    April 22, 2010 1:13 pm

    Well, I think I understand why you’re going back to San Diego! Haha Hope you didn’t lose a few friends from this article! But, it is fun reading!

  4. T. permalink*
    April 22, 2010 1:16 pm

    I SAID the whole Bay Area was ok..except this particular location 🙂

  5. SV Hater permalink
    April 22, 2010 1:24 pm

    Silicon Valley is not a good place to exist in.

    During my brief stint in the valley I contracted nerd-aphobia.

    I can also never again wear fleeces (which seem to be the uniform of techie employees).

    I also now involuntarily laugh at people who work at “startups”, or even worse, founded one.

    And why is it that the best part of living in the SV/SF Bay area is that there are so many other places to go to. That’s like saying that it’s a good idea to live in New Jersey because its a short drive to New York City. Hmmm…

    And I totally agree about urban sprawl to the max. SV is to suburban as those smelly crowded cow farms on I-5 are to California’s “happy cows”.

    • ale permalink
      December 20, 2011 5:34 pm

      Amen! Nerd-phobia that is! I’m a software engineer and I hate nerds. Work to live, not live to work. SV can go to Hell! Can’t stand disgusting, puny, boring, mousy, annoying little-minded people who live there. Those “start-ups” are mostly disgusting, useless sh*t, like developing some idiotic internet toy in hopes to make billions on it. These people are gross… The reason why they say SV is good because other places are close is cause you can easily find a tech job there, but still be not to far from beautiful mountaineous and coastal locations…. however, with existing real estate and rental prices, no engineering job makes any more sense in that area. Hope it just goes off the face of Earth during next earthquake :)))!

  6. lea permalink
    April 22, 2010 1:27 pm

    two things, i must add. 1) whats with the SV uniform? walk down any of the dozens of downtowns here and you will see men, women and children sporting a fleece, jeans and eco-friendly shoes. they are like robots. 2) speaking of downtowns, they are sorta cute, but then you leave and you are in the land of the strip mall. i lived here for 3 years and discovered something new everyday on the aforementioned el camino real. it was like a game of where’s waldo. dozens of ugly little strip malls. eck.

    • ale permalink
      December 20, 2011 5:35 pm

      Yeah, yeah, that’s true, every one looks like a snotty fake robot there! “Upscale” people 😉

  7. wakedevil permalink
    April 22, 2010 7:03 pm

    Wow…Tara George Adams….sounds like the late, great……Tara George (Carlin) Adams!!!
    Sarcasm and humor to the max….almost gut wrenching sarcasm. I never been to SV, but I guess I never want to be there after reading this. Sure am glad I live in Detroit…on a lake….with bucolic woods and hills….a boat in the backyard….a badminten court, a boulder garden. I never knew I had it so good…….except here..we have Arabic reataurants on every corner….(lots of Asian too!) PS… BTW….the best Arabic food you ever ate!
    See you in PB, Tara
    Wakedadio

  8. Joellyn permalink
    April 23, 2010 12:55 pm

    Come on over to Oakland… there’s a reason I live there.

  9. Joellyn permalink
    April 23, 2010 12:55 pm

    But seriously girl, you gotta ditch that SUV.

  10. March 29, 2011 1:19 am

    I live in SV, and I thought this blog was pretty much on target. There are definitely some advantages to living here: great food from everywhere (not just Asian food!), good-paying jobs, pretty good weather (not as good as SD though), and the fact that you are so near EVERYTHING (as you mentioned as a con). The downside is that it is incredibly average, and boring as hell! Almost everybody is freaking tool who works at , and if you have any game whatsoever you can run it up on them. You just need to talk their lingo (ie IPO, ROI, LAN, KPI), and all their other three-letter acronyms (TLAs). People also drive like tools, and while I consider myself as fairly “green”, living in SV has made me come to hate Priuses and people who drive them; they’re retards! It is like there is a pre-qualification that in order to drive a Prius you have to be very confused and indecisive. At least here. Literally driving 55 mph in the middle lanes…And public transportation sucks the sweat of a deadman’s balls, and as a result you pretty much have to drive everywhere, and if you don’t know yet, the traffic blows (only during rush hour though)! If you’re into Asian girls too, we’ve got plenty of them here (no, really). They’re nice, but the hard part is finding anything else. There is actually some night life; however it tends to attract a bunch of neanderthals (other end of the spectrum of the tech geeks), and if you want to have a conversation with people as opposed to bumping and grinding, good luck! If I go Missouri, and I say hi to somebody, they’ll say hi back. Try saying hi to girl in SV and they will look at you like you’re crazy. To sum up the sociability of the region: my entire childhood I never knew who my next-door Korean neighbors were. I feel as though if I don’t get out this place will swallow me with its averageness, and I will become a tool like the rest of them. Whoever designed this place obviously didn’t anticipate the population growth because SV is literally the world’s largest suburban sprawl. Still, I’ve been to a lot of places , and overall, the greater Bay Area (SV is literally the “anus” of the bay-geographically speaking) is one of the best places in the world to live, and it would be difficult living in another state besides California. Another country though…just counting the days!

    • ale permalink
      December 20, 2011 5:38 pm

      I am thinking where to go… I’m a software engineer, so most jobs in my field are there, unfortunately… however, the “culture” (lack thereof) is completely disgusting in SV, I hate this place with intensity. Like a big sea of nothingness and boredom. Planning to move to some other, better place, where life has more normal pace and people.

  11. MBG permalink
    August 6, 2011 9:19 am

    Wow! I have lived both places, and although I am a native Southern Californian and I live in San Diego (Rancho Bernardo) I am looking very forward to my move back to the bay area. I look forward to the Los Gatos Mountains, to Santa Cruz, to my week-end or day trips all over the bay area. You’ve got to work somewhere, you’ve got to make money to exist, so why not work someplace where jobs are plentiful, pay is good, and you can take public transportion to the many campus’ where (nerds) are making millions. I agree, it is ugly, traffic is horrendous, people are not social, and you may not know your neighbors (should you choose to live in urban sprawl), but you will have beautiful, peaceful surroundings to visit, or live, friends aren’t necessarily those you work with. Have you heard of making friends who share your interests? ie..mountain biking, hiking, wine tasting etc… The bay area has a tolerance San Diego has lost. You’re opinion is valid and you are entitled to it, but a little less judgement regarding people, companies, and environment may get you a bit father in life. That is the reason I can hardly wait to leave my beautiful San Diego, it has changed, it has become wound so tight, ultra conservative and intolerant. I will keep my home, Why not? I can rent it for double my mortgage payment to someone transfering in to work for Sony or HP… Ooooh aren’t those high tech companies? Might as well make some money off a fool who’s company is willing to pay $3000.00 p/mth in rent. (Which is not much less then the rents or mortgages in the bay area) You think San Diego’s moderately priced? Maybe Mira Mesa, or Clairemont, but do you really want to live there? WaAt one point about 14 years ago, San Diego was trying to lure companies south and possibly take the lure away from Silicon Valley, but people in San Diego are so programed to be just shy of racist, they would never let that happen. Enjoy your San Diego, I have for years, now I’ll make some money from my home, eventually sell it when the market returns and you can find me in the mountains or on the shoreline enjoying the vast beauty Northen CA has to offer…

    • ale permalink
      December 20, 2011 5:43 pm

      Good luck, dude… sounds like you’re in for a big shock. I worked in SD… the rental prices were high and salaries not too high–but Bay area rents are going to blow your mind off. Also, it’s very hard to get an apartment, there’s shortage of housing. They want you to be perfect to sign their precious lease, perfect credit, not to mention perfect job. All normal people got pushed out of SV long time ago. I was quoted 1500 for a rental room without private bathroom in SV—!!!!????? Others rent out small rooms for 2000… The crappiest studio costs about 1500. Some apartments have dozens of people show up to view them and file applications. Trust me, you ain’t seen nothing in San Diego yet!… Mira Mesa/La Jolla greedy and snobs got nothing on the Hellhole of the SV… plus, real estate prices are much higher in the Bay (unless you live find living next to oil refineries)

  12. San Franciscan permalink
    October 29, 2011 11:24 am

    FINALLY, a good “blog” about that stupid world we know as Silicon Valley, or “the Valley” for those transplants who’ve never lived in LA. I was born and raised in THE city that is responsible for California being what it is today – San Francisco. Growing up here, my father was a programmer, (he met Steve Jobs back in the late 70s). In the 80s, he used to take me to his office which were these huge rooms with machines, and what looked like spinning white record-sized disks on them. The place was cold. Star Wars figures always in hand, the place reminded me of the Death Star, and was fun to play Star Wars in with my brother. I was as techie as it got. Being conditioned with video games, and always under the teachings and just around the influence of the old man, my brother and I were becoming used to everything tech. It seemed like just an extension of real life, BUT, we grew up normal kids. We went outside to play. We had…you know, imagination. We had PC’s galore, an Atari, Commodore 64, Sega System, and of course the much heavily family debated, but hugely overly appreciated, Nintendo. Still, our parents always had to struggle to get us to come back from the park, because we would be playing in the playground, or on the baseball diamond, until sunset. We had a great and fun childhood that focused heavily on our playing time outside and creativity due to our various external activities. Wouldn’t change it for the world. Today, EVERYTHING is different. Children are less focused. They don’t have any concept of the bigger picture. They don’t have any manners, they live and die on a “me first” attitude. They struggle to communicate with an actual individual. When they do play, they don’t like to share, and everything that they want, which is very mind numbingly little, can be found on a stupid device that people call a “smart” phone. Oh you think I’m talking about ‘real’ children? Ha ha….NNNNo. I’m talking about the “children” that I’ve worked alongside at your average startup. I HATE TECH EMPLOYEES. Can’t stand them. I am 34 now. Have worked in the software industry in sales for the past few years now, and have come to loathe everything tech. Being in the sales departments of various companies, and starups gives you a unique perspective to tell whats really going on in the company, because you are either really connected to the high level types, or you are seen as the backbone of the large company. What sucks is that the technology itself is not the problem, it is the douche bags who have tried to exploit it as better than life itself. People who are from here do not refer to “Silicon Valley” as Silicon Valley, we call it what it is, Mountain View, San Jose, you sound like a tool and an obvious tourist when you say “Silicon Valley” in any meaningful conversation. EVERY one of these companies or loser starups promises to make something better, or enhance my “experience” in some way. Here’s a little known secret that I think many people in tech find themselves realizing one day after some prospect didn’t want to “go forward” with your stupid technology – you realize how STUPID your product or service really is. You ask yourself, “what the hell am I selling?” Which of course leads to the next epiphany moment – that all of this “tech” crap, the web based stuff like Facebook Salesforce, Yelp, LinkedIn, Reputation.com, all of these things are the wheel being reinvented over and over again. Add to that, the people that work at these places are a bunch of aholes, driven by greed deluding themselves in thinking that they are doing anything positive. All of these places are SCAMS. Ever try and get a hold of someone at these companies via phone? They say right on their pages, “because we are an internet company, we communicate only via email.” RUFKM? Why? I’ll tell you why, because the whole “Silicon Valley” is comprised of lesser people who are soul sucking wimp leaches in real life. Drop these people in the middle of the jungle, and they would get eaten alive by insects.

  13. ale permalink
    December 20, 2011 5:51 pm

    You nailed it on the head. I come from several generations of engineers outside the US (think: first space ship) and being an engineer myself I find most of the “tech personnel” living in SV to be complete idiots with only few functional brain cells. The place is driven by disgusting greed, and these people are. I really laugh at their extremely high sense of self-esteem 😉 I came to almost believe that Khmer Rouge were the good guys… I’d be happy if they came to SV and sent those greedy tools to work in California fields! 🙂

    • ale permalink
      December 20, 2011 5:56 pm

      PS: And yes, most of these “start ups” produce useless garbage designed to waste human time or to defraud people of their hard earned money or provide the wealthy with new toys. Class segregation is horrible in Silicone Valley. They have destroyed the communities and they are destroying the land. They pushed out many native residents. They want to live as the class of the wealthy with slaves who serve their lattes working for $10/hour and living in sub-human conditions. These business owners should be taxed 98%, like in some Northern European countries. Every one can move here and profit, without paying enough taxes–a lot of scum had moved here just to do so–they use all kinds of schemes to evade taxation–they use this country, it’s safety, infrastructure, law-controlled, beneficial environment to make their billions without having to give back really. These should be shipped to Somalia, I firmly believe so.

  14. ale permalink
    December 20, 2011 5:58 pm

    There need to be more blogs like this. The Silicone Valley greed is out of control and nobody can do anything to save South Bay… except….it will go down with the quake (and no, it does NOT have water resources to deal with earthquake events). It will go down in flames and riots. So it be.

  15. Gary permalink
    September 24, 2012 9:39 pm

    Lived in Silicon Valley over 25 years. I think you find what you’re love and hate wherever you go. Silicon Valley is no exception.

  16. Anonymous permalink
    December 12, 2012 7:13 pm

    I’ve been here for 2011 Summer road trip. Fun but hated it! (I hated Hollywood even more!)

    I’ve been there with a close friend of mine, for a 2011 summer road trip, I only been part of the high-tech, futuristic part of the city which looks like 50+ years ahead of the future, I felt like an outcast because I was driving my friend’s 1987 black Pontiac Fiero, with 2 mufflers and the custom ABS gold-painted rims, at night my friend was piss drunk so I was lucky to drive the Fiero at an empty parking-lot of some high-tech building which was across from Adobe building performing a tire burnout, mostly for fun AND too piss off (in other words “trolling”) these smug-ass, yuppie hybrid drivers! It was so funny til’ I got ticketed for $1500 dollars! Luckily my friend did carry a guitar and played some songs in order to pay off that ticket, but nobody, absolutely NOBODY bother to drop some change or two! (WTF?!! I’m trying to get out of this city with my friend!) Well none of us had any “Nerd” clothing at all! The ONLY way I paid off that ticket was taking some odd jobs around the Silicon Valley, mostly by washing their hybrids that they drive, but it has to be LITERALLY spotless or you get NO tips at all, but I only got at least $500 and that’s it, but my friends cousin was very nice and helped out a LOT (NOT everyone that live in Silicon Valley are total @$$holes.) Then I paid off the ticket. (The cops was SOOOOO rude and mean-spirited!)

    The worst about is that, if you wear a devilock (Misfit’s hairstyle that I STILL wear to this day) they’ll give you a dirty looks like you’re from the Dark Ages or something. Next time if I come here I’ll dress up like an very disgruntled geek (think the Angry Video Game Nerd) instead of my Misfits looks, but at the same time I really don’t give a single F**k about my look as long as I’m with my closest friend who’s also a metalhead and a punk (like me!)

    The MAIN reason why I went to Silicon Valley is because my friend invited me to visit his cousins that he hasn’t seen in years. (He’s really cool, but his high-techie friends are such snobby, smuggy @$$holes though) But it was totally fun and adventurous. (I would HATE it if I went alone).

    P.S. If ANY if any of you wanna visit Silicon Valley all I can say is: BRING YOU CLOSE FRIEND OR TWO, OTHERWISE YOU’RE LITERALLY AN OUTCAST AND A MISFIT TOO!

    • Anonymous permalink
      January 2, 2013 11:43 pm

      Then live in Slab City Southern California, AKA high-tech hobo camp in the middle of nowhere. BTW I’ve been to Silicon Valley alone, I looked like a total bum compared to these high-tech yuppies and crap. I’ve been there for NO more than couple of days, I only went there to escape the punishing heat in Southern Cal, dude. Well I’m back in the Slabs. Maybe you should live here. There’s a lot drunks, hippies, stoners, tweakers, metalheads, veterans, etc that really minds their own. and it’s the most free land without any power structure. The only thing you’ll hate is the scorching heat. Peace.

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