In yet another example of the ways in which the newer denizens of New San Francisco don't exactly appreciate the place, local tech jerk Benedict Evans took to Twitter last night to vent his frustration about being stuck in this podunk hellscape for work, far from "the riches... of human civilisation." And in a fine twist of irony, the easily bored Evans spent at least three hours on Twitter defending his claims about SF's worthlessness and boringness. He must be a real joy at parties, in the corner, checking his Twitter.
Evans works for VC firm Andreessen Horowitz where he's responsible for evangelizing about the wonders, and future, of mobile computing. He has almost a 100,000 followers on Twitter, and an ever growing number of podcast listeners and newsletter subscribers, as Quartz tells us, so therefore he's come to believe his opinions matter.
And in the grand tradition of Peter Shih and Greg Gopman, we can now include Benedict Evans among tech jerks who aren't doing their industry any favors, PR-wise, in the community they call their "capital."
Here's the tweet that started it all.
You move to SF for tech and spend all your money on rent. Well, there’s nothing else here. Maybe I’ll crack and go run in circles— Benedict Evans (@BenedictEvans) December 21, 2015
The English-born Evans goes on to suggest that we are lacking in all the basic amenities of a great city, from shopping to museums and I guess he hasn't tried / doesn't care about the food? And apparently he's been sorely disappointed on the carpet front.
With few distractions, you could get a lot of reading done in SF. Except you’d need a good bookshop— Benedict Evans (@BenedictEvans) December 21, 2015
I wish I had a dollar for everyone who's ever said 'San Francisco is so great - if you leave it and drive 3 hours, you can see some trees!"— Benedict Evans (@BenedictEvans) December 21, 2015
Respondents brought up City Lights bookstore, but SF is actually home to quite a few great independent bookstores, and Evans finds them merely "good."
Having not learned anything from the uproar caused by Gopman's comments two years ago, Evans expounds on the homeless problem too, by way of declaring SF dumb and gross.
When it rains in SF, the homeless build encampments under the elevated freeways. In the capital of tech in the world’s richest country.— Benedict Evans (@BenedictEvans) December 21, 2015
He finds Golden Gate Park worthless, too, and many of his tech-centric followers seem just as ignorant of San Francisco as he is.
Because that's the measure of a great city: whether someone from London will come to see your park. https://t.co/TYS3byCGyk— Anonymous Guest (@AnonymousGuest_) December 21, 2015
He retweeted this, to prove his point, only it's incorrect. The SFMOMA has been closed a while for a major expansion, but will be reopening in the spring, more than doubling in size, with a big new building by acclaimed architects Snohetta.
There is SFMOMA, but it's temporarily closed. Come back in about 3 years. https://t.co/EA1e07HE1E— Amjad Masad (@amasad) December 21, 2015
Come May, in fact, SFMOMA will have 20,000 more square feet of gallery space than New York's MoMA, so, Evans should probably note that too.
For the most part, locals were quick to shut him down, but Evans remained stubborn throughout, and sounds simply angry and/or depressed that he has to live here in order to be the guru of mobile that he is.
@MJB_SF I envy your stoicism. I'd rather enjoy the riches of, you know, human civilisation.— Benedict Evans (@BenedictEvans) December 21, 2015
And naturally Evans blames the ire that he brought on himself on SF's "insular, ignorant hatred of strangers." And no, he doesn't want to be told to just leave.
@djbtv that's exactly the insular, ignorant hatred of strangers and difference that SF is supposed to be against. Maybe you should leave?— Benedict Evans (@BenedictEvans) December 21, 2015
Of course, there was some sarcasm about the fact that tech wealth isn't exactly being invested back into cultural and civic institutions the way industrialist riches once were.
@BenedictEvans It's too bad there's not a highly-educated class of wealthy industrialists to fund civic/cultural institutions...oh wait.— Maria Chong (@mariachong) December 21, 2015