I’m in the Northern Hemisphere until 3 August. USA and Italy. Arrived Friday/Saturday in SFO …

The weather has been good for the first two days and it was fun to reaquaint myself with the city by the bay. Russian Hill, Stanyan Street, Larkspur, Haight-Ashbury, the Castro, the Mission, Market Street and SoMa–where I’m staying–seems now a happening place for the young players and hopefuls of the Silicon Valley Start-Up tech/info revolution.

SFO is a city of cultural revolutions and in any revolution there are always casualties. So I was sad to see how many homeless there are in SFO. Today’s paper says 8000 (probably more). One can see the long term casualties of the two earlier SFO revolutions: the Flower People of the 60s and the Rainbow revolution of the 80s.

Lifestyle has taken it’s inevitable toll on a percentage of these revolutionaries. No longer Flower Children or Gay and Proud they are old now and living on the streets perhaps as a result of the long term ravages of alcohol, s-x and drugs. Perhaps not. Many are shuffling around in wheelchairs, skinny, zombie-like, alone and hopeless. I’m afraid it put me in quite a melancholy mood on Sunday.

Now it’s Monday morning and there’s an attractive Melbourne-like coffee place across the road from where I’m staying. It’s buzzing and animated. Full of fresh, cool, bright young things, smartly presenting in Converse and Diesal and hell-bent on making a billion from their Silicon Valley start-ups.

As I sit here with my mug of coffee and my Mac I can’t help wondering what the inevitable percentage of casualties of this Start-Up revolution will look like when, having missed the billionaire boat, they are homelessly wandering the streets of SFO in 2040.

And, what will the young revolutionaries of THAT generation be obsessed with as SFO evolves it’s next big cultural revolution?

3 thoughts on “I left my mind in San Francisco

  1. Two years ago I was back in San Francisco again, and my impressions were very similar to these described in the article. Yet, I could not but admire the spirit of a city that, no matter the situation, remains vibrant, optimistic and forward-looking. I rank San Francisco among the three most spectacular cities everyone trying to absorb the American spirit should know. The other two towns are New York and New Orleans.

  2. Well observed. There are winners and losers in a system that judges you as a success or failure by the amount of money in your bank account. There are over three and a half million people homeless in America, the so-called land of the free. A country that has evolved into a two-tier society, between the haves and the have-nots.
    How free are you if you do not have the basic requirements for survival, a roof over your head, and at least one substantial meal a day? In a land that flaunts its wealth, its superiority in technology, its ability to reward some individuals with enormous wealth, but is lacking in a social conscience to look after its most deprived and disadvantaged citizens.How successful is such a system?

  3. Welcome to the Northern Hemisphere Michael! America just got x10 times smarter with your arrival. Thanks for all your insights over the years. Maybe if I miss the billionaire boat I could find one of the millionaire dinghies.

    take care,
    rob

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