Monday, September 09, 2013

Be Evil

"Tech world conspicuous consumption isn’t quite the same as Wall Street conspicuous consumption. A Silicon Valley executive isn’t likely to spend his cash on bottle service and a Porsche; a trip up Kilimanjaro and a Tesla is far more the norm. Slate’s Farhad Manjoo, who lives in San Francisco and is hardly a kneejerk critic of wealth, told me he plays a little game with himself where he counts the number of Teslas he sees in any given day. It used to be one a day, now it’s up to five or ten. That kind of lifestyle is certainly expensive (Teslas start at $62,000 or so, without any of the add-ons), but there’s also an element of virtuousness to it—which to some can be more grating than the unapologetic materialism of a stereotypical banker: I spend a lot of money, but it’s to save the earth, not to burnish my own image. And then there's Google Glass: an unsettling-to-the-rest-of-us status symbol that only a tech-head could love."

Noreen Malone in The New Republic asks, "[a]re tech entrepreneurs replacing Wall Streeters as the rich bad guys in the popular imagination?"

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