A Little Bit of Treason

Like the public, I am conflicted about Snowden.

Clearly he’s a whistleblower, what he did required courage, and I have no reason to question his beliefs or motivations. Moreover, his revelations about government surveillance are very important and in some ways necessary for an informed debate about what our government is doing. I am better off knowing what I know. At the same time, we can’t have insiders scooping up mass documents and taking them out of security controls whenever they personally believe that they are serving the public’s interest.

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A Little Bit of Treason

No, San Francisco is not losing its soul

The Guardian has piled on now about tech workers driving out artists in San Francisco. As a long time resident and techie who thinks the city has far too little in the way of tech jobs (vis-a-vis the Goliath that is Santa Clara county), I want to offer a different perspective. San Francisco has not lost its soul, the soul has been carefully preserved in amber, wrapped in a Grateful Dead t-shirt, and kept in the basement of a rotting Victorian. No one knows which Victorian, so all of them must be preserved as well.

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No, San Francisco is not losing its soul

On Uber and other electronic market places

A lot of the Uber criticism seems, to me, a red herring. Cities extract enormous rents from the taxi business by selling medallions and collecting licensing fees. These fees substantially increase the price that riders must pay. Additionally, local regulators fix prices that all taxis must charge at all times. Whether it is Friday night at 2am or Sunday afternoon, you pay the same high price. But the pool of potential drivers is vast — really anyone with driving skills. This means that cabbies are willing to work for less than what they do work for, creating additional rent-extraction opportunities.

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On Uber and other electronic market places