People, Parties, and the Whispers of SF
2 dozen, new people I talked to
1 dozen, house parties I went to
½ dozen, new friends I've made
Ever since I decided that I wanted my identity to grow beyond just
work towards art and music, I've felt a growing sense of disconnect from
most (young) people I meet in SF. I've gotten much better at knowing
people outside of the usual stories they tell about themselves --
"what've you been into lately?" is a favorite questions of mine, but
outside of raising fat VC rounds the only aspirations (most) people have
are those that they aren't currently working towards realizing in any
"I'd like to do climate research after I sell my crypto
"What've you been learning / reading / researching about that?"
"I haven't had time to do any of that. Too busy with work."
And as soon as I let others lead the conversation, it goes back to
which startup just raised a Series A, what crypto community is hot right
now, or the latest in theoretical AI alignment research.
But I'm not throwing in the towel yet!
In 2020, I went to university for a month, and left as soon as I was
sure that I wouldn't want to become close friends with or date anyone
I don't want to give up and leave SF before I've given it a chance,
while also making the most of my time here.
This month, I've been put much more effort into making close friends.
Going to parties, becoming an honorary housemate at a group house,
hosting dinners at my place, going to concerts and rock climbing with
others, and drinking enough caffeine to stay productive in my 9 to 5
despite staying up to 3am talking with newly made friends.
I've made quite a few friends, but in the process of doing so I've
been surprised by how few (young) people I meet attempt to understand
paths of life that aren't travelling towards being a founder. It seems
as though the city whispers to everyone "you should be giving your
entire self to startups" -- and people who once dreamt of working as an
engineer and chef have been forced, both financially and mimetically, to
reserving the latter for another life.
Sometimes the city will get into my head. I'll be at a party with a
bunch of people in their late 20s who have research jobs at high-status
labs like OpenAI / Deepmind / Anthropic, or amongst a crowd of founders
raising at a >$100 million valuation for their companies they started
less than a year. I'll start to grow jealous, and my self-esteem will
It won't be until I sit alone with my thoughts that I'll snap out of
it and realize that the lives of these people I respect is no longer the
life I want to live.
I haven't travelled enough to know what New York / Boston / Austin /
LA would whisper if I lived there, but I feel like SF's been in my ear
for long enough.
Apart from live music. Musicians can keep whispering to me in this
Lizzy & Dodie at The Warfield
Chiptune Rave at DNA lounge
Algoraves at Grey Area