So I’ve decided to believe in Heaven. God too, if that’s what it takes, but it’s Heaven I’m really after here, because the only way I’ll be able to find it in myself to continue trudging along through a life I already know to be ultimately meaningless, to be veering hopelessly and irrevocably towards an anonymous, lonely, forgotten death, is if I can at least rest assured knowing that all of these tech founder types will some day have to stand before the pearly gates and testify to what good they did during their time on this Earth, and one by one these people will look up ever so briefly from the glow of the handheld screens on which they furiously refresh their Klout scores and declare, by rote, in language so rehearsed as to suggest that admission into this industry comes with a prepared set of self-congratulatory talking points, that they used technology to change the world for the better—and this is when St. Peter will laugh a great thunderous mocking laugh, and he will lean over and press the button that opens the hole in the clouds and every last one of these assholes who ever deceived themselves or anyone else into believing that “changing the world for the better” means “making it easier for well-off upper-middle class urban types to catch cabs home after a night out on the town” will fall the many miles back to the fiery Inferno below and spend the rest of eternity in a dark corner of Hell where there is no light save for the glow of an old flickering cathode ray set in the corner playing this video on repeat, forever, until the end of time.
Augustine heard the voice of a child singing in a garden; I got trolled by a YouTube video. We don’t get to choose our conversion experiences. Blessed be the lord, etc.
“In San Francisco, 150,000 people struggle each day to feed themselves and their families.”
At least, in Memphis, we tend to worry about things like the fact that poor people don’t have access to nutritious food, the fact that our city’s infant mortality rate is higher than some underdeveloped countries, the fact that domestic violence runs rampant in our poor neighborhoods, the fact that the legacy of segregation and white flight has left our public schools in shambles, the fact that people are still racists, and things like that.
Maybe we just aren’t as evolved as San Francisco and we can worry about our bus stop Wi-Fi hotspots later. But that doesn’t ring true.
What rings true is that these “tech people” could be spending their time and energy on fixing fundamental problems in their city, not on making it easier to get home from their douchebag tech conferences. Maybe they could recognize that they’re in a unique position to be able to make a lasting change for people in their city who could use a helping hand to pull themselves out of generational poverty cycles.
Maybe those cycles of poverty have simply been priced out of San Francisco by the douchebags.