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what the Dickens?

December 1, 2013

I’m seeing more and more articles that discuss a socio-economic shift underway that takes us back to highly stratified societies. And it’s sad, but very appropriate for this season, where one of my still-favorite stories can come out from under the “Christian themed story” rock it gets pushed under to be told once again…

Ever wonder why Bob Crachett had to work those hours, for someone like Scrooge – unable to take his resume across the town to another employer?

Or why Oliver gets beaten over “please, may I have another?”

Or, what the entire point of “Great Expectations” actually was?

London was a brutal place at the peak of its rule over the civilized and uncivilized world. Apparently, San Francisco & NY are next.

From Weekly Standard “Silicon Chasm”

Tyler Cowen in Average Is Over … advises the construction of Rio de Janeiro-style shantytowns for the 85 percent of Americans whose livelihoods will be swept away by the New Knowledge Economy he touts—although no shantytowns, please, in Cowen’s own neighborhood in upscale Fairfax County, Virginia! …Two years ago the Occupy movement of progressives raised a battle cry against the “1 percent,” who were supposed to be striped-pants, Republican-voting tycoons lifted from the Monopoly board. What they didn’t know was that the 1 percent actually wear rubber shower sandals, ride bicycles—$20,000 bicycles—and vote Democratic and green, green, green.

And now from Daily Beast “The Revolt Against Urban Gentry

Couched in progressive rhetoric, the gentry urbanists embrace an essentially neo-feudalist view that society is divided between “the creative class” and the rest of us……This new demography—essentially a marriage of rich, young singles and the poor—has created an urban electorate increasingly one-dimensional, and less middle class, not only in economic status, but also, perhaps more importantly, in attitude

Meanwhile – points to San Francisco for creativity (would we expect anything less?)

Protesters at an anti-gentrification rally this year in the Mission district, home to the city’s oldest building, took baseball bats to piñatas shaped like Google Inc’s  private buses.

Several labor and neighborhood groups planned rallies outside the headquarters of Twitter Inc on Thursday, when the micro-messaging social media company is expected to raise $2 billion in an initial public offering.

The unfortunate thing about nerd gentrification is that it’s pretty unlikely to result in an increase of taste and creativity – just more wealthy folks who don’t know what to do with their money paying a lot of dough for a lot of interesting stuff that falls in the “er, what?” category.

I’m not entirely sure what the answer is – but it is disheartening when we’ve gone from a society where inherited wealth thinks it’s better than everyone else to a society where the Ivy League educated and tech entrepreneurs think they’re better than everyone else.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. December 1, 2013 9:39 pm

    Some of this is probably the “nerd rebellion” that we all heard about as college engineering students, so now we’re living it. Except the new kids coming up in tech are not nerds, but normal kids with a desire to change the world. I wonder what’s going to happen when they get forced into slave labor at the companies that seemed so interesting a few years before?

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