Guest Post: The Hipster Techie Mental Map

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog,

Washington D.C. is not even on the Hipster Techie mental map.

We all have inner maps that assign awareness, priority and importance to geographic features. For those who work inside the Beltway, Washington D.C. dominates their mental map of the world. Residents of Manhattan famously regard it as the center of the financial, art, fashion, etc. world.
In the hipster techie mental map, Washington D.C. doesn't exist, and New York has a small tech innovation footprint. In this world view, politics, finance and fashion are not what changes the world for the better; only tech does that.
Everyone wants to defend their city as important, if not the center of the universe, but the reality is that people who want to "make it" gravitate to the capital of their interest, be it Nashville, New York City, Hollywood, San Francisco or a regional magnet-city.
The typical hipster techie works for a start-up or fast-growing company in the social media / e-commerce / marketing mobile/web apps/software space. While these firms can be found in many cities, a great many are located in San Francisco and the S.F. Bay Area (Silicon Valley, etc.) for a variety of reasons, including a culture that celebrates innovation and understands that failure and success are two aspects of the same dynamic.
Having a start-up crash and burn is a disaster in most places; in the Bay Area, it is generally regarded as "getting your sea legs."
Three large research universities--two of the premiere public universities, University of California, Berkeley ("Cal") and University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and one of the premiere private universities, Stanford-- act as incubators of start-ups which have access to seed money from a high concentration of venture capital. Two national labs provide government support of research: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
These elements spawn waves of newcomers and start-ups, most of which eventually fail or are bought up by established tech firms.
Many locales around the world have attempted to recreate the "magic" of Silicon Valley; the recipe is not that easy to duplicate. Many feel the Valley has lost its edge; as global competition increases, perhaps that can be said of every established innovation center.
If you've been offered a job in S.F. with a mobile apps start-up, here are 25 Things I wish I knew before moving to San Francisco by Jason Evanish (via Maoxian).
Here is one approximation of the hipster techie mental map:
SFO: San Francisco International Airport
JFK: John F. Kennedy International Airport
Page Mill Road: home to many start-ups and Stanford Research Park
Not to be confused with Sand Hill Road, the concentration of venture capital (VC) firms (a.k.a. vulture capital)

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edifice's picture

I'd change that to Colorado for microbreweries. :)

The They's picture

what does this have to do with finance?

Raynja's picture

we went over the cliff,,,,,, and discovered we can fly.

enjoy the ride

DeadFred's picture

How ironic. Pass me a PBR

cynicalskeptic's picture

Technically, you're not 'flying' if continually losing altitude - you're 'falling' (at least until you hit the ground and go 'SPLAT')

Pool Shark's picture



"That wasn't flying - that was falling with style."  -  Sheriff Woody

clara-to-market's picture

Looks like finance is moving away from the east coast.

But, until manufacturing comes back, we're fucked.

Just my 2 cents.

Death and Gravity's picture

Now, consider that the Californian Economy is on the brink of collapse, add to that that the superstructire of that, the US Economy is not far behind, add numbers up, make up mind to look elsewhere than the US for tech apprenticeships.

DeadFred's picture

The California state government is close to collapse. The techie economy is roaring. It will be interesting to see what happens when the techies face off against the zombies during the great reset.

Acet's picture

"It will be interesting to see what happens when the techies face off against the zombies during the great reset."

Sharks with Friggin Large Laser Beams on their backs!

(If you frequent techie forums, you'll know the meme I'm refering to)

On a more serious note, remember that Techies are just thinkerers that work mostly with computers. Many of us (me being a techie myself) have thinkering skills that extend beyond computer programming and will have accumulated all sorts of odd knowledge from reading a lot.

That said, this applies to the hacker-types - the eternaly curious types that can't stop themselves from finding out how stuff works and tinkering with it - rather that the (far more common) guy/gal that codes 'cause that's what they learned at University and it pays well.

insanelysane's picture

Who runs Barter Town?  If the communication and media networks shutdown and the sheeple are unable to use their mobile devices and tellies for even a week we would see society crumble.

Acet's picture

The point is that the same mental skills that help you figure out and thinker with a computer program can be used to figure out and thinker with (and fix) any kind of mechanical or electronic device.

I can just as well thinker with a complex financial application system as I can thinker with an actual physical computer or with a bicycle. Funny enough, nobody taught me to do any of those - I fugured it out myself.

Sketch's picture

Give me my DWTS and no one gets hurt.... don't make me hire Anonymous to hack your life. they take EBT, right?


/typing with orange stained fingers

//glass of milk and mayonnaise sammiches.

Aurora Ex Machina's picture

Oh, ffs.


Hang out there for 4 weeks, then watch your dreams of the new flesh die. Aspergers is a kind way of saying they're all totally ignorant, socially incompetent, barely have enough spunk in them to educate themselves, and then come all over their fellows if they "HACK THE PLANET" and manage to have a shower. And they all thought the Facebook IPO was a great deal.

When a VC turns up, it's like the Angel Gabriel is there, and they flock like swallows.

It's that pathetic. Trust me: it's more accurate than this piece.

Full disclosure: I was asked to follow "the Valley" as a side project on something else for 2 years; fuck me, depressing as shit. The amount of talent posting? Code wise: yeah, ok, I'll give you a B+. Human wise? D-. Clever enough not to get raped by the VC hawk swooping in? Omega ---


Amount of hype bullshit to get a large IPO? 10,000,000% Hyper-drive. Total fantasy land. My internal mind was literally just chanting "pathetic cock" for two years while I talked to most of them (notable exceptions - mostly no longer in the Valley), and I usually tried to like... break that down a bit. Hmm. Many tears. You know, like get all NY "authentic". Sadly, "authentic" in SV is talking to the worst mirror image of what might be cool and is trending on the intarweb...


Top tip: actually knowing your Nietzsche and philosophy goes so badly wrong once they realise their game is broken. It's... beautiful. But so fucking angsty. Top tip of Silicon Valley: You can bullshit a bullshiter (your mates) but you can't bullshit a VC (unless they're awesomely dumb - won't say a name to that) but you really can't bullshit someone who knows their philosophy with your shitty wiki scraped / TvTropes Quotations.

Nope. Sorry. It's like coding, see? When you <<THINK>> it does stuff. Faking that <<THINKING>> will never work. It's like, I don't know: "Hacking your brain but in a clever way".  Which most of you, have never done. And no, "bro", shit don't fly if you're not "An Aspie" but you're all like "totally cool with the gays and shit".

Be an adult, or go die. Seriously: there's 7 billion people now, Winter has Come, Snowflakes are common, and we don't give a shit. Especially about your shitty life blog telling us about "your insight" into the world: WHEN YOU'VE NOT EVEN READ A BOOK THIS YEAR, YOU CUNT, AGED ALL OF 26.


If you're reading this, and I know HN reads ZH - Jesus wept: never have I seen so determinedly average / low social ability men decry the least amount of progress as "hacking" before. Seriously: I HACKED MY TOASTER TO MAKE BREAD HOT, FUCK ME, I'M SOMETHING!!! >>Must post on HN to self-validate<<


No. Go find some Russians, and try and run a major ISP with Russian tech; then you're a hacker, especially if you have to gerryrig the generator yourself. Bonus points if you put a nuke or two offline to do it. Better yet: get a one-way ticket to somewhere in Africa, then test that theory that you're the "Next Steve Jobs". If you succeed, you have an entire continent of profit awaiting; if you fuck up, well. Hey, being burnt alive with tires around you is quick, I've heard.

Bonus points: When you "hack" an actually working product, instead of generating hype, and actually make the world a better place, instead of being whored out as fish-bait for the Wall St IPO crowd, then, and only then, you're a proper "hacker". Hmm. Africa - lots of space; Valley / NY - you gotta be shitting me, you fucking fake ass weebo.


Oh, and really: When did "hacker" lose it's actual meaning from proper sources? Gibson ain't making some comically-unselfaware-and-"too much info, ASPIE"-ass-shitty-LED-dildo-with-a-TIMER-and-full-dynamo and calling it hacking. Nah, it's cool: we totally get why you hyped up a MTF trans women's blog about hacking her dildo to maximum, because none of you realised She was like, hmm. Well, She's a she, and she's cool. What was really offensive was when you all realised she wasn't always a she - lulz then got all like totally head-fucked when you realised... yep. She was you, about 6 years ago. Totally not cool on the reaction there. Cruel.

And the worst part? Yep, after geeking out, and masturbating... not so Cyberpunk'd.







Top tip: you don't masturbate over business, you do it. And so, every post on HN is... a wanky tissue that the owners might try to monetise. >Scum<

DJ Happy Ending's picture

How did you "follow the valley" for two years?


Sounds like you hung around SF Jacks and drank coffee with wankers. Nice work.


Aurora Ex Machina's picture

Well, my friend, given you've the name "Happy Ending", and you've just replied to the infamous "Hacking your Dildo" post...

Sounds like you missed the trap there. Nope, you ran right into it.


(And no, actually; there's more to the Valley than HN, dear, and really.... really... HN life is like 2 hrs max / day even to track all their bullshit, and that includes getting ALL the gossip on VC actions)


Boo-hoo. Center of the universe; but not really. You're really not that sophisticated; it was a working holiday for me. And yes; some of us get two years holidays, as long as we're working on the bare minimums like HN / VC capital deals - deal with it. We tend to do jobs a little outside "hacking the toaster dude". (If you need it pointed out, it's... well. It's all information, darling.)


Ciao. Oh, and dress better when you go out. And change that horrible aftershave, and use less of it.





Not all the ditsy blondes you meet who LUUUV your wit and charm are actually ditsy. Deal with it already. That's not even going outside the people your company is employing. (Major head-fuck: if you're worth enough, they'll employ ringers to keep you around).


>>Do you want to know more?

Manipuflation's picture

Aurora, now that I understand you a little better, I can relate what you can't relate to other ZH'ers.  You can correct me if I am wrong Aurora.  Let me try to explain to other ZH'ers so they understand.

When you have what Aurora claims to have you have both a gift and a disability.  I now believe that Aurora has what he/she claims to.  High functioning Aspergers is hard to explain.  Aurora likely has extraordinary abilities to study data and come to determinations and conclusions.  Aurora likely has no real physical social life and ZH is that social life.  Aurora studies everything we say and calculates the data and Aurora will never forget what we said.  Aurora loves computers for this purpose.  There are certian things that Aurora sees because Aurora's brain can compute certain things very, very quickly.  Social graces are not one of those things that compute in Aurora's brain because it is simply extraneous data.

People with Asperger's are not very emotional people in the least and they have no interest in your emotions as to how they interact with you.  You can tell them to politely leave you alone but usually they won't.  Aurora likes ZeroHedge because Aurora likes to analyze data.  Remember, Aurora likes computer coding and can deconstruct it but has never written a program that we know of.  I would not bet against Aurora's comprehension level on computer coding.  We are likely dealing with someone with an IQ that is off the charts in a very specific area.

Somewhere deep inside of Aurora is a desire to belong.  If I am incorrect, Aurora will tell me.  Of that, I can be sure.

Aurora Ex Machina's picture

Or, I might be just a dab hand at satire. (Clue: when satirising a topic, you assume the modes of expression and internal thought patterns to do so, if you're any good. SF: Swift, and Eating Irish Babies).

Or, to parse this another way; Gibson is essential reading (and perhaps a bit of Stephenson) when approaching the intarweb. None of it is real, and yet all of it is real.



Be Seeing You.

Chump's picture

Seriously: there's 7 billion people now, Winter has Come, Snowflakes are common, and we don't give a shit.

Flat-out lovely.

Manipuflation's picture

"actually knowing your Nietzsche and philosophy goes so badly wrong once they realise their game is broken."

Interesting.  Did not the Nazi's follow Nietzsche's philosophy?

"Go find some Russians, and try and run a major ISP with Russian tech; then you're a hacker"

Interesting comment yet again.  You seem to be assuming that no Russians read this board or that posters here are not in some way directly related by blood to a Russian.

You see, if you do have high functioning Asperger's syndrome, you will make a connection by extremely excessive study of data points that no one else can see which can end up being entirely accurate, yet fail to see the obvious conclusions of your observations or the actions you take based on your conclusions.  I have dealt with a high functioning Aspergers syndrome man before who simply studied charts and the daily fluctuatons in numbers of various stock prices in the WSJ.  Finally, I accommodated him with a sit down talk and told him that silver was the correct play to make for the long term.  He disagreed.

I sat down with this man because he was also studying my wife and child A LOT!  He became aggressive with my wife and then began to stalk her creating unwanted situations to occur.  He would follow my wife up and down the streets on her daily walks.  I was told that he had a large bankroll as well from a source that would have had access to that sort of information.

After repeated incidents with other women as well as other women, that man no longer lives anywhere near me.  Aspergers syndrome is OCD+autism times 1003.1456 for those who do not understand. 

Aurora, I wish you well. 


So it goes. 

Aurora Ex Machina's picture

Only an ignorant ass would buy the bullshit that Nazism and Nietzsche had anything to do with each other. Hint: look into his sister's editing and husband's connections for the reality.

Heidegger? Oooh.. now you've a better case. But that was more Ivory Tower assuming (wrongly) that it could provide "intellectual guidance and leadership" rather than wanting genocide.



As for Russians: um, yeah - that might have actually been a joke for them, not at them there sparky.

aerojet's picture

It seems like you have some interesting insights and when you sober up, people might be able to actually freaking understand them.

PlantGuy's picture

Hey Tyler, this is plantguy from kitco (long since permenently banned). I'm over at Just click on the pop out chat window. ZH is mentioned a lot there. Keep up the good work.


The Shootist's picture

I remember that cautious vet from Kitco, but I doubt its him. BTW, everyone gets banned there and the co. is under many investigations.
Always wondered if he was a "plant" guy. Literally, a gov plant.

zorba THE GREEK's picture

"Everyone wants to defend their city as important"

Lets see how well they defend their city when the SHTF...Coming

to every big city near you, thanks to the 'Spend and pretend'

policies of politicians everywhere.

A Lunatic's picture

In my mind NONE of these places exist...............

Squid Vicious's picture

don't forget to learn how to talk like an effeminate man-boy before you get to your new tech job, it's all the rage

Tsar Pointless's picture

And don't forget to learn how to use the English language and its grammar correctly when you post on Internet comment sections. It's all the rage!

Squid Vicious's picture

sorry ...I fixed it for you, better now dickface?

Manipuflation's picture

Do we have a Fight Club scenario developing here Yen?  You and I had ours recently but remember that there are only two people to a fight.  And those two people are not us so let them go.

Yen Cross's picture

  I think not. Germany, Japan, and North Afirica ran three fronts during WWII.  I won't even go into the Roman Empire, and the church. I'll make my own decisions , when to imbibe thank you. There is a reason why we disagreed

Manipuflation's picture

"There is a reason why we disagreed"

Is that so?  I'm glad you can make your own decisions.  We can always take up the issue as to why we disagreed but I would like to do it man to man. 

"Germany, Japan, and North Afirica ran three fronts during WWII.  I won't even go into the Roman Empire, and the church."

The church and myself?

Not sure what you are talking about on that.  Save it for the chatroom.

Tsar Pointless's picture

No, but thanks for the thought.

Now, go back to your homework. Isn't your bedtime soon? Don't you have school tomorrow?

The fourth grade is difficult, isn't it?

aerojet's picture

Not where I work.  I run the place more like Bane and his mercenaries but with a little more class.

Xibalba's picture

Al Jazeera is on a hiring spree in NYC

Tsar Pointless's picture

I didn't realize that, when we turned calendars for the New Year, we went back in time to 2000.

Freddie's picture

Rotting carcass of Mr. Softee.  LOL!

I thought that was Warner Buffert and his buddy Charlie Mungo.  Both of them are barabric relics.

Hey Buffett!  Go take a dirt nap.

j12t's picture

You are missing Facebook, which needs to be about as big as Google.

otto skorzeny's picture

author forgot to mention how those fucks at the NSA have their tentacles into all of these universities(including MIT) to increase their electronic Big Brother monitoring capabilities. I guarantee silicon valley is crawling with more government snoops than there are Godless sodomites in SF

knowless's picture

portland is the financial capital of a backwoods mentality.

no matter how much the motherfuckers who bought real estate here and reneged on their contractual obligations to not only fund high end(worthless) condos, but also drop a dollar or two on reinvigorating infrastructure and not pushing out the communities which were the definitions of the neuighborhoods they sought to emulate...

Totentänzerlied's picture

"Everyone wants to defend their city as important"

Speak for yourself. Who wants to defend Sodom, Gomorrah, or Babylon?

DeadFred's picture

Aren't those located somewhere near Sausalito? I'd look them up but iPhone map app really sucks.

Cardinal Fang's picture

Didn't those guys at Los Alamos or Livermore predict the Solyndra bankruptcy to the day/hour/minute from two years prior without even knowing how much zombie cash Obama was gonna pump into them ? That's some serious voodoo mojo they got goin' out there.

knukles's picture

Fucking need a shower ... you people are creepy

Gypsyducks's picture

+100 Now just listen while I tell you how great of an investment you can find in LNKD.

IcantstopthinkingaboutNINJAs's picture

Fact: I am an electrical engineer.

Fact: I write embedded firmware as a primary job function.

Fact: People who talk about "code" in the abstract, do not write any code.

Fact: Do not mistake activity for progress.

otto skorzeny's picture

mike d grabbed the money

mca snatched the gold

i grabbed two girlies and a beer that's CODE

-beastie boys-paul revere