The puzzling indifference of Silicon Valley companies making a difference

Summary:Technology makes a transformative difference in the world. Yet tech companies are indifferent to their neighborhood problems.

IntegrationMural-1
A mural in the Mission district of San Francisco celebrating integration.

 

The indifference of tech companies that make a difference — to the plight of their local communities — is astounding. San Francisco and Silicon Valley schools and neighborhoods suffer from the very same problems that affect schools and cities everywhere.

Tech companies such as Google, don’t see a contradiction in their claims of making a big difference in the world — but not in the places where they live. 

It seems tech companies need “Big Data” to decide what is the right thing to do? They’ve lost empathy with the world outside of their blackened bus windows and security patrolled campus enclaves.

Without empathy there is no compassion. Without compassion there is no comprehension that there is even a problem that needs to be solved.

This can all be fixed because where there is a will, there is always a way.

If tech can help sell shoes it can help sell us on empathy. But the self-segregation of the tech community needs to be stopped. Integration is the answer. Segregation is at the root of community conflicts because they aren’t known by their neighbors. And  segregation keeps the tech workers from knowing the issues their neighbors face daily.

San Francisco should be working to integrate its tech firms instead of doubling up on police patrols to sweep away the unpleasant grime of urban life from outside their offices. 

The answer is here…

The answer to these issues is right here at our door. We have an amazing resource: Silicon Valley. It has proven itself time and again, the global engine of innovation; and its visionary leaders have time and again, proclaimed that there is no problem too hard that can’t be solved. 

Let Silicon Valley and San Francisco tech companies prove it.

The streets of SF…

The police should not clear away local street people from tech company doors in downtown San Francisco.  Let that sharp ammonia smell of urine in the early morning act like smelling salts, to revive their conscience, and rouse them to action.

Integrate the tech community and they’ll be part of the solution. 

If Silicon Valley can fix the future — it can fix the problems on our streets and in our schools. And if we can fix it here, we can fix these issues anywhere — what an amazing business opportunity. And what a great advertisement for Silicon Valley companies. 

- - -

Coming up next, “Why do tech companies segregate their workers?”

Please see: Is Segregation The New 'Gentrification'? SF Sweeps Locals From Twitter's Doorstep

Topics: Tech Industry

About

In May 2004, Tom Foremski became the first journalist to leave a major newspaper, the Financial Times, to make a living as a full-time journalist blogger. He writes the popular news blog Silicon Valley Watcher--reporting on the business of Silicon Valley.Tom arrived in San Francisco in 1984, and has covered US technology markets for leadi... Full Bio

zdnet_core.socialButton.googleLabel Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.