Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

TechBroAristo Proposes SF Homeless Are Simply Too Uppity

Seasons Greetings from Valleywag, which introduces us to the delightful Greg Gopman. "GOP Man" (seriously?), has been "fluffed by Business Insider," we are told, and "written up by TechCrunch" for his startup. "AngelHack," the startup in question, is a kind of metahackathon for hacking hackathons, which is to say it is a nothing trying to pretend not even pretending to be something may be something. I quite agree with Sam Biddle that this makes Master Gopman "a perfect Silicon Valley denizen, an archetype." Now, via his Facebook page, ecce homo!
Just got back to SF. I've traveled around the world and I gotta say there is nothing more grotesque than walking down market st in San Francisco. Why the heart of our city has to be overrun by crazy, homeless, drug dealers, dropouts, and trash I have no clue. Each time I pass it my love affair with SF dies a little. 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. In downtown SF the degenerates gather like hyenas, spit, urinate, taunt you, sell drugs, get rowdy, they act like they own the center of the city. Like it's their place of leisure... In actuality it's the business district for one of the wealthiest cities in the USA. It a disgrace. I don't even feel safe walking down the sidewalk without planning out my walking path. 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 is easy to agree with Mr. Gopman's suggestion that he has "no clue" why homeless, poor, distressed people throng the streets of one of the world's richest and, presumably, most liberal and cosmopolitan cities. And I do believe him when he declares it is quite a "burden" to have to confront the visible evidence of such realities. When GOP Man declares he finds confrontation with such realities frightening, who am I to doubt our GOPmanly ubermensch? One wonders just what unspecified solution to the problem of "having them so close to us" he would "consider thinking different[ly]" about were someone to manage to convince him that poor, distressed human beings sharing his city and his historical moment might conceivably have "the smallest iota of value"? I daresay GOPman might find himself flummoxed over his glib assignment of the pronouns "us" and "them" -- for I know some of "us" who would assess the value of certain "theys" to whom he might be said to belong rather differently and who might even have a clue why poverty exists and how it should be ameliorated and how progressive the taxes need to be (and how fraud should be defined and regulated in the context of digital/networked enterprise) to provide for the support of all people so that they can contribute their right measure of creative expressivity, problem-solving intelligence, and cooperative effort to the planet and moment we all share. I suspect Mr. Gopman might not like the answers those of us who are not clueless would be more than happy to provide him with.

1 comment:

jollyspaniard said...

One solution that has been trialed successfully here in the UK is to give them a small private apartment for a while. Most of them tend to get themselves back on their feet and their substance abuse problems abate once they have a place of their own to take care of. When people fall down, sometimes they just need a bit of help getting back on their feet. In the long run, everyone benefits. It also coincidentally happens to be a humane decent thing to do. Another preventative solution is not to send so many men to war.