By design, I know as little about the tech world as possible. I’ve never spent time in northern California, rarely read tech articles (except if they’re bashing the gaetekeepers of social media), and just generally avoid news of that world. I’ve been dipping my toe in the water lately, first with Bad Blood and now this one. That has less to do with curiosity about the world they depict and more to their popularity.
I’m glad this one was written by someone my age because I don’t know if I would have gotten into it otherwise. Anna Wiener’s writing is unfocused and scattered. I understand the effect she was going for; it’s just not my favorite style of storytelling. Nevertheless, she has an interesting story to tell and she does it with a generational voice I’m familiar with. She burrows himself into the tech world, mostly out of a sense of frustration at a lack of upward mobility with her last gig (publishing). As a result, she’s able to write about what life is like in this impenetrable bubble.
I was expecting said companies to have sinister, Firm-like tendencies but in Wiener’s experience, they’re mostly technocratic libertarian bros who are oblivious to how the world works and how their technology impacts others. The memoir is mostly about tech but also surviving in a male-dominant world, especially how it creeps online. Wiener doesn’t draw a straight line from Gamergate to the alt right to Trump but we know the chronology and it shows in her stories. She has a steady voice in telling it but its still scary to read.
It’s an interesting book; I wouldn’t say it’s a great one but definitely memorable. I’ll have to check out more of her New Yorker work.