Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Click to the see the source.
You’ve probably heard of Angelhack founder Greg Gopman’s Facebook rant about the homeless in San Francisco, which included this neo-Dickensian gem:
The difference is in other cosmopolitan cities, the lower part of society keep to themselves. They sell small trinkets, beg coyly, stay quiet, and generally stay out of your way. They realize it’s a privilege to be in the civilized part of town and view themselves as guests. And that’s okay.
…and this one:
You can preach compassion, equality, and be the biggest lover in the world, but there is an area of town for degenerates and an area of town for the working class. There is nothing positive gained from having them so close to us. It’s a burden and a liability having them so close to us. Believe me, if they added the smallest iota of value I’d consider thinking different, but the crazy toothless lady who kicks everyone that gets too close to her cardboard box hasn’t made anyone’s life better in a while.
It’s a little odd that Gopman complained about the homeless, since he may have done his own little part to exacerbate their situation. SF Weekly reports that the fratboy from Florida (why am I not surprised?) first moved to San Francisco to get closer to the tech scene, he lived in city-subsidized affordable housing meant for low-income families, despite being single and not low-income.
Gopman has since deleted his Facebook post, but thanks to sites like Valleywag, it’ll remain online for some time.
Screen shot of Peter Shih’s Medium post. Click to see at full size.
Gopman’s polemic was echo of an earlier post on Medium made by Celery founder Peter Shih, where he wrote a laundry list of his top ten peeves about San Francisco. One of them, of course, was the homeless:
San Francisco has some of the craziest homeless people I have ever seen in my life. Stop giving them money, you know they just buy alcohol and drugs with it right? Next time just hand them a handle of vodka and a pack of cigarettes, it’ll save everyone some trouble. I’m seriously tempted to start fucking with people and pay for homeless guys to ride the Powell street cable cars in the middle of the day, that ought to get the city’s attention.
Shih wasn’t afraid to extend his rant into other areas, including the women of San Francisco for being, whom he castigated for being, as he oh-so-charmingly put it, “49ers”:
No, not the football team, they’re great. I’m referring to all the girls who are obviously 4’s and behave like they are 9’s. Just because San Francisco has the worst Female to Male ratio in the known universe doesn’t give you the right to be a bitch all the time.
Like Gopman, once word about his post started getting around, Shih also deleted his screed. Unlike Gopman, but like Tommy Wiseau (who realized that people went to see his film The Room not because it was good, but because it was so, so bad), Shih retconned his post as a satirical piece.
This sort of behaviour is almost expected from tech leaders. From Steve Jobs to Bill Gates to Larry Ellison to Eric Raymond to Richard Stallman, many of these people exhibit some strong toolbag tendencies and are perhaps a lab accident away from becoming a supervillain. The problem is that our industry’s Bill Lumberghs’ behaviours are trickling down to the Peters, Michaels, and Sameers, if this Craigslist ad is any indication:
Click the Craigslist ad screen shot to see it at full size.
Here’s the text of the ad:
$1400 Bedroom in North Beach Apartment (north beach / telegraph hill)
The Room: Your room is an unfinished room with closet space. You move in early February. Rent includes utilities and Internet.
The Setup: The two of us will share an apartment with one bathroom, small living area, and full kitchen. Each of us will have our own room. There are laundry facilities in the building.
Me: I am a professional who works in FiDi. I am clean. I don’t cook. I wake up before 7 a.m. and sleep before 10 p.m. I don’t smoke or engage in drug use.
You: You are quiet. You don’t talk on the phone. You don’t listen to music except through headphones. You work a lot. You spend most of your time at work or with a significant other whom you never bring to the apartment. You don’t cook regularly. You sleep early. You don’t smoke or engage in drug use. You are clean.
Our Roommate dynamic: We don’t talk during the work week. We barely talk on weekends. I passively aggressively punch you in the face if you leave dirty dishes in the sink. We clean the apartment every week. Maybe you have access to HBO, and we watch Game of Thrones in complete silence.
If interested, please e-mail your resume, proof of salary (e.g. paystub or offer letter), and the following information:
2. Annual Salary
5. Wake Time
6. Number of Times Per Week You Anticipate Cooking
7. Reason for Moving
There’s a possibility that this may be a little social experiment rather than a genuine post, but having travelled ’round those parts recently for a number of interviews and gatherings, there’s enough in the ad to suggest it’s genuine. Ah, Poe’s Law…
Thanks to Tod Gemeuse for the heads-up about the ad!