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Rebecca Solnit on the Gold Rush, the Google Bus and the erosion of San Francisco

6 Feb 2013

Rebecca Solnit at the nature walk at Mimms Ranch, 2 September 2012. Photo by Elizabeth Chapman.

In her new diary entry for the London Review of Books, writer and Marfa Dialogues 2012 moderator Rebecca Solnit takes a deep look at the effect that the rise of the Bay Area’s tech industry has had on San Francisco, and “what was once a great city of refuge for dissidents, queers, pacifists and experimentalists.”

In classic Solnit fashion, she takes the analogy between the tech boom and the Gold Rush to its likely — and usually overlooked — end. “San Francisco’s tech boom has often been compared to the Gold Rush, but without much discussion about what the Gold Rush meant beyond the cute images of bearded men in plaid shirts with pickaxes looking a lot like gay men in the Castro in the 1970s.”

The essay is available in its entirety on the LRB website and is well worth a read.

[via Arthur Magazine]