Culture

Cultural disconnect

Black entrepreneurs have a harder time gaining traction in Silicon Valley

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CULTURE

Diishan Imira grew up in Oakland, attended school in Virginia, studied in Paris, learned to speak Mandarin in China, and briefly worked in Ethiopia. Throughout his travels, he taught himself to pick up on phrases and cues that would help him break through cultural barriers. Oddly enough, those skills proved most valuable after he returned to the Bay Area — and became one of a very small number of African American entrepreneurs to try and break into Silicon Valley's tech sector.Read more »

No poetry or magic in being a robot

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I felt yesterday like I had been scooped after reading Jennifer Maerz’s post in the Bold Italic, which asked: Is Talking About High Rents So Often Crippling Our City?

She linked to the blog of “robotics genius” Kal Spelletich, who is a friend of mine. We’ve been getting into heated discussions on this very topic for months. Kal makes fantastical interactive machines that do things like spit fire, harness random mechanical motion to produce musical notes on a piano or a violin, or engulf you in an aromatic bundle of fennel, just for an instant. His creations are robots.

I spent a bit of time in his studio, a giant waterfront warehouse in the southeastern part of the city where strange, sharp-edged contraptions hang from the ceilings. I shared stories about the articles I was writing, increasingly on evictions and the dearth of affordable housing in San Francisco. But as we dissected the problem, Kal rejected what he saw as a narrative of desperation that has been formulated in response to the city's affordable housing crisis.

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Live Shots: Prepping for the Dirtbag Challenge!

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A look behind the scenes of the recently released Dirtbag by Vargas Films, and a sneak peak at the bikes being built for this year's Dirtbag Challenge. Check out the full article on the Challenge, coming up Sun/13, here.Read more »