Note — Nov 18, 2018

Greetings From Silicon Beach

At Anthropology News, the LA-SF comparison is not that interesting to me but I like the terroir analogy to encapsulate the different qualities of different tech centres, the idea of a new rising tech place being a good opportunity for a more diverse scene to emerge, and the broader view of “being in tech” the author has observed in Silicon Beach (bleh).

In asking what technology is in LA, I propose thinking about whether there is such a thing as “technological terroir.” Just as local differences between wines and cheeses are studied, sought after, and even cultivated, might the same be true of technology? How might the salty air and imagineering of Silicon Beach texture VR? How might a different sense of technology promote greater diversity in the pool of tech workers? […]

Because neither VR nor technology had clear leaders in LA, here was opportunity. The women I have met during fieldwork are young and old, black and white, straight and queer, and everywhere between these binaries. In this city of fantasy, everyone is well cast to lead this new field. […]

[In LA] Technology is not strictly programming or engineering, but it encompasses working with—storytelling with—emerging tools. It’s not that tech isn’t here, it’s that tech is different here.