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Everything is brilliant! Apparently. July 11, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Check out the comments under this thoughtful piece by Karlin Lillington in the IT about how the unmanaged arrival of tech companies in Dublin city centre comes complete with negative knock on effects. As she writes…

On the plus side, the companies helped drive further renovation, and development on former industrial land near the bay. On the negative side, many now argue the companies never fulfilled promises to the existing communities, and that the deal wasn’t structured in a way that enabled the city to gauge compliance or to adequately protect area residents from gradual displacement. Social inequities festered.

And:

Ever more companies have come in [in San Francisco]. Rents skyrocketed (up to 45 per cent) following a 120 per cent rise in computing sector employees between 2014 and 2017. Now, as the Guardian reported this week, even the tech employees who drove this mass gentrification don’t like what they have wrought. With rents hitting $3,700 a month for a one-bedroom apartment (making Dublin’s €1,169/month, about $1,320, seem a bargain), even techies are being priced out.

Living in an area where much of this change is taking place it is noticeable the stresses that are now evident on transport, traffic, the movement of large groups of pedestrians to and from their workplaces, increasing house prices and so on. A small thing but telling – the location of a very famous tech company is in what was an unused commercial block. All for the good most would say, but at night the offices blazed with light generating light pollution around what was and remains a residential area. Secondly workers in those offices arrived and left throughout the night apparently oblivious to the impact of talking loudly as they passed through those same residential areas. Teething problems no doubt and easily enough rectified but evidence of how little thought was put in to what was a massive change in a community.

And Lillington is spot on in the following:

Continuing to bring in big company developments to a city unable to house its existing population, without looking at best practice elsewhere and without working with communities, activists, and informed specialists, means we lurch ever closer to the unwanted example of San Francisco, a renowned city now struggling with problems greatly exacerbated by the poorly planned-for expansion of the tech sector.

As to those comments BTL? Dismissive, uninterested, some filled with class-antagonism and the usual complaints about begrudgery and parasites and so on. And an interesting passivity that one of the few half-useful comments notes in relation to someone complaining about social housing tenants (as an aside the only trouble I’ve ever had with neighbours was with those who owned their own houses – not saying that tenants and residents from any background can’t be problematic but there’s a sort of knee-jerk assumption that only one group is the source of trouble that doesn’t sit with the facts) that ‘you can hardly sit back and do nothing’ and that they should engage if there is anti-social behaviours with management committees and whoever.

Comments»

1. Dermot M O Connor - July 12, 2019

I live in Portland, and have spent a little time in SF and Seattle. These 3 cities are ground zero for tech/gentrification. SF was first to fall, then Seattle, and now, finally, Portland.

3 of the coolest cities in the USA, and are now little more than douchebro central. Full of the worst kind of people… I have a friend who was in the gay / theatre / arts scene in SF in the 80s / mid 90s. On a FB group for SF, a bunch of ‘locals’ were complaining about how boring the city was. Glen told them: “well, people like me used to be able to live there, but now it’s only people like you”.

They kicked him out of the group, kind of proving his point.

Was in SF last year for a few days. Physically a great place, but god almighty, forget about living there. And the homeless, I saw one woman, clearly insane, thousand yard stare, in the doorway of some corporate building, rocking back and forth.

When you see feces on the ground, don’t step in it. Almost certainly NOT canine. When we were there, there had been a story about some medical convention that was canceled because the organisers couldn’t guarantee the health of the attendees, because of the human waste problem.

I moved here 12 years ago; fuck, it was cool. Like a city that capitalism had forgotten about, until that fucking TV show ‘Portlandia’ turned the place into a joke. Now it’s swarming with turds on e-scooters, who barrel down the sidewalk at 15mph. My hope is that I see one of them take a spill and break some bones. I will not call 911, but I will laugh, assuming they don’t take me out in the process.

Three times in the last year I’ve had to physically throw myself out of the way of a speeding car (in the previous ~10 years I’d never had a bad experience with drivers). It’s just becoming too many people in a small city, and too many of those people are fucking awful (blowins from LA / SoCal / Arizona).

If silicon valley had the courage of their disrupting convictions, they wouldn’t take over an existing city, let them build their own from scratch, or better, take over one that’s already dead, like Flint or Detroit. They’ve been telling us since day 1 that their precious fucking technology would have us all working remotely , let them live by their words and do just that, back to their hometowns in Nebraska or bumhole Indiana, and be gone.

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WorldbyStorm - July 12, 2019

It’s the sheer lack of regard for others that is the worst and the pompous self importance as if they’re doing everyone else a favor.

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