Danah,

Please do not misunderstand. The reason I constantly trash talk silicon valley techies has nothing to do with how much money they make. Contrary to your stated opinion that “progressive values demand empathy for the poor, and this often manifests as hatred for the rich”, I hold zero disdain for the wealthy as an entire class of persons though of course I do hold great disdain for some. However, it is also true that in many cases I envy and admire them. Similarly though I consider myself quite progressive my values do not demand empathy for the poor. Only conservatives demand that we hold and express certain values for entire classes of persons irrespective of circumstance or individual conditions.

A core tenet of progressivism is that values should spring from the individual and align with his or her understanding of the good and the just. Obviously this will mean that not all progressives share the exact same values. However, because progressives also believe in the inherent goodness of man we do not fear this natural variation. We also do not lump entire classes of persons together into broad categories. Each individual and unique situation is treated as such and judged accordingly. No true progressive would have any feeling or judgement for an entire population of any group or class.

I cannot speak to the motivations and values of the persons whose comments inspired you to write this piece. It may be that they indeed do hold disdain for all the wealthy. If that is so then they are not true progressives and their opinions on the relative merits of silicon valley residents should rightly be dismissed and minimized. However, I have little doubt that many of them feel much as I do. The so called techies of Silicon Valley are deserving of disdain not because of how much or how little money they make, but because of the things that they say, the way that they act, and the things they profess to believe in. Rich or poor has nothing to do with it.

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Research scientist (Ph.D. micro/mol biology), Thought middle manager, Everyday junglist, Selecta (Ret.), Boulderer, Cat lover, Fish hater

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