The Prescient, Page Turning Account Of A Journey In Silicon Valley A Defining Memoir Of Our Digital AgeIn Her Mid Twenties, At The Height Of Tech Industry Idealism, Anna Wiener Stuck, Broke, And Looking For Meaning In Her Work, Like Any Good Millennial Left A Job In Book Publishing For The Promise Of The New Digital Economy She Moved From New York To San Francisco, Where She Landed At A Big Data Startup In The Heart Of The Silicon Valley Bubble A World Of Surreal Extravagance, Dubious Success, And Fresh Faced Entrepreneurs Hell Bent On Domination, Glory, And, Of Course, ProgressAnna Arrived Amidst A Massive Cultural Shift, As The Tech Industry Rapidly Transformed Into A Locus Of Wealth And Power Rivaling Wall Street But Amid The Company Ski Vacations And In Office Speakeasies, Boyish Camaraderie And Ride Or Die Corporate Fealty, A New Silicon Valley Began To Emerge One In Far Over Its Head, One That Enriched Itself At The Expense Of The Idyllic Future It Claimed To Be BuildingPart Coming Age Story, Part Portrait Of An Already Bygone Era, Anna Wiener S Memoir Is A Rare First Person Glimpse Into High Flying, Reckless Startup Culture At A Time Of Unchecked Ambition, Unregulated Surveillance, Wild Fortune, And Accelerating Political Power With Wit, Candor, And Heart, Anna Deftly Charts The Tech Industry S Shift From Self Appointed World Savior To Democracy Endangering Liability, Alongside A Personal Narrative Of Aspiration, Ambivalence, And DisillusionmentUnsparing And Incisive, Uncanny Valley Is A Cautionary Tale, And A Revelatory Interrogation Of A World Reckoning With Consequences Its Unwitting Designers Are Only Beginning To Understand The writing in the book had the power to knock the wind out of me There s a sentence on every page that I wanted to shout out my window I hope this book gets all the support and praise it deserves It s masterful. I thought I was burnt out on reading about tech, but many parts of this excerpt made me laugh out loud Job listings are an excellent place to get sprayed with HR s idea of fun and a 23 year old s idea of work life balance.Also, this To solve our problem, management arranges for a team building exercise They schedule it on a weeknight evening, and we pretend not to mind Our team building begins with beers in the office, and then we travel en masse to a tiny event space at the mouth of the Stockton Tunnel, where two energetic blondes give us sweatbands and shots.https nplusonemag.com issue 25 on t Try as I might I could not get into this book I think the story itself was informative, and it could have been interesting had it been written in a different style I really struggled with the lack of names Instead of just calling her co workers John or Mary or whatever name she felt like, the author referred to them by their job description, making it impossible for me to connect with any of them This was a goodreads giveaway and I appreciate the opportunity to try reading something new and different, but it was not my cup of tea. A fast paced, witty, and unflinching account of the Silicon Valley San Francisco tech ethos in the years leading up to the infamous 2016 election Wiener s story lends significant insight into this world, which at times feels very much like an alternate reality from the rest of the country A truth she seems aware of and as the memoir progresses, hyper aware of I lived and worked in the Bay Area for 5 years, only a very small part of that time at a major tech company What I learned from this memoir is that being around it is miles away from being in the belly of the beast, or at least belly adjacent I wouldn t have been able to do it The way many of the tech bros she describes talk, behave, and live not to mention what they believe frankly, turns my stomach Throughout the memoir, she becomes woke to the absurdity of it all herself Having come from the publishing industry in New York, she has a leg up from the start In other words, this wasn t her original plan, and she gives the sense that she always kind of feels like an outsider.Having come full circle in a sense, I find myself very happy that Ms Wiener was able to extricate herself from tech and move into writing It s only natural to write about what you know and I think this memoir is necessary and timely I only hope that such a talented writer moves on to write about new and different topics in the future I have no doubt she will and I will certainly continue to read her sharp prose.Politically speaking, she really sinks her teeth into the problems with the industry late in the book She goes so far as to say, What were we doing, anyway, helping people become billionaires Billionaires were the mark of a sick society they shouldn t exist There was no moral structure in which such a vast accumulation of wealth, especially in a country that punished poverty and illness and race, should be acceptable I couldn t agree However, just pages later she recounts her experience leading up to the 2016 election and what seems like enthusiasm for Sec Clinton s candidacy Now, perhaps this is simply because she felt the alternative was so unpalatable, and God knows she s not wrong However, having spent the last 270 pages revealing the problems and social costs of the tech industry, she fails to address the truth that Sec Clinton was in deep with the industry, that Sec Clinton took money from many billionaires, and that indeed she would not have addressed or even attempted to address many of the problems and costs of late capitalism that the tech industry so embodies All that being said, I enjoyed this memoir very much and would recommend it to anyone, especially people who have no idea what goes on in that strange enclave of nerdiness wealth that is the Bay Area I want to thank MCD FSG for my free advanced copy of this book I really enjoy reading and reviewing books well in advance of their release.
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- 288 pages
- Uncanny Valley
- Anna Wiener
- 01 November 2017 Anna Wiener