Waymo Cars and Honey Bears

Gentrification has no shortage of first-order sins: displacement in the name of “progress” is bad enough. But after the displaced have been pushed to the margins, what’s left in their stead is a stunning homogeneity — not simply demographic, but dystopian. Anna Wiener’s latest “Letter From San Francisco” sums up the vague malaise that comes from lurching into the future.

Maybe this is what is meant by “tech culture.” A self-driving car named Sourdough ferries novelty-seeking passengers across the Inner Sunset while capturing footage that might be useful for the cops. A local artist scales by adopting political causes as if they’re software skins. At the grocery store, a man and I stand beside each other, deliberating over mustards—but I am running errands, and he is on the clock.

Source: The New Yorker
Published: Jul 20, 2022
Length: 10 minutes (2,699 words)
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