There's a lot of talk out there about the changes that the city of San Francisco is going through during the current tech boom. A lot of it is blather, as satirized in Joe Garofoli and Peter Hartlaub's What Out Of Town Writers Need To Know About SF.
These are the articles I regard as actually illuminating:
Diary by Rebecca Solnit: The article which gave us the Google Bus as symbol, though I note that it has a much more ambivalent sense of those busses than later protestors have expressed.
Other days I think of them as the company buses by which the coal miners get deposited at the minehead, and the work schedule involved would make a pit owner feel at home. Silicon Valley has long been famous for its endless work hours, for sucking in the young for decades of sixty or seventy-hour weeks ....
How Burrowing Owls Lead To Vomiting Anarchists (Or SF’s Housing Crisis Explained) by Kim-Mai Cutler is smart about policy and history.
San Francisco’s orientation towards growth control has 50 years of history behind it and more than 80 percent of the city’s housing stock is either owner-occupied or rent controlled. The city’s height limits, its rent control and its formidable permitting process are all products of tenant, environmental and preservationist movements that have arisen and fallen over decades.
A tale of two cities: how San Francisco's tech boom is widening the gap between rich and poor by Laurie Penny does a good job of getting the flavor of the current state of the City right.
There are two things every child knows about bubbles: they are beautiful, and they burst. Time and again, I am told that San Francisco is “a bubble” – referring both to the gorgeous, insular never-neverland where workers in the city’s tech and associated industries live and play and to the localised economic boom that has fuelled the fat years.
And while we are here, I cannot resist linking a post of my own. As a pre-Boom San Franciscan and a tech professional, I personally embody the split. Carpetbaggers is a comment on the effect the two tech booms I have seen have had on San Francisco.