Gen Z got disillusioned at an alarmingly fast rate!
September 15, 2020 8:05 PM   Subscribe

Gen Zers Say Silicon Valley Is Elitist and Exclusive. Can They Build a New System? "In the coming months, the group's members plan to form a syndicate or angel fund to invest in community members’ projects. (Mr. Sridharan said the group hoped to raise money from tech investors and TikTok stars.) They view the server as an incubator for ideas and hope to see companies formed as a result of those discussions."
posted by geoff. (26 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
Hahahahahaahahahahahahhhhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Hahahah. Hahaha. Ha.
posted by metametamind at 8:15 PM on September 15 [15 favorites]


Wait, wait, I can't breathe. "Raise money from tiktok stars."
posted by metametamind at 8:16 PM on September 15 [5 favorites]


This is navel-gazing at it's finest. Bravo.
posted by metametamind at 8:17 PM on September 15 [2 favorites]


And finally, since I'm sucking up air here, let me lay it out for you, "Tiktok stars" are product, not owners.
posted by metametamind at 8:18 PM on September 15 [5 favorites]


Please note this is in the Style section.
posted by gwint at 8:26 PM on September 15 [3 favorites]


*Reads Article*

What is the fresh hell is this horse shit? This is terrible even by the expected out-of-touch standard of the NYTimes Style section.

“Taylor Lorenz is a technology reporter in New York covering internet culture.”

Ahhh.
posted by sideshow at 8:28 PM on September 15 [1 favorite]


What a marvelous scam they've cooked up.
posted by aramaic at 8:30 PM on September 15 [2 favorites]


Disillusioned? Cool, so where Boomers and Millennials are at one another’s throats, speaking on behalf of Gen X, you’re absolutely right, the whole thing is carefully designed to fuck you over forever to make somebody else slightly richer. As soon as you figure out it’s fucked beyond repair we’ll be waiting with open arms. Grab a seat and a shot and don’t sprain your middle finger. You’ll need it.
posted by gelfin at 8:33 PM on September 15 [15 favorites]


Gen Z got disillusioned at an alarmingly fast rate!

Honestly, this seems like the, uh, exact opposite of that? These are people under 24 –that is, barely out of college, if not college dropouts or non-attendees– trying to buck an entire system. It seems idealistic and naive in the extreme. Good luck to ‘em, it reminds me a lot of how millenials getting out of college were profiled as wanting to do something good for the Earth as well; the proof will be in the pudding.

Really, the key quote seems to be:
“We wanted to provide an intimate space where people could send memes and be themselves and not be scared to say something because the V.C.s are there,” said Sudarshan Sridharan, 20, a founder of the group. “They’ve got a lot of money though, and we want them to give it to people in the group.”
You can talk all you want, but if you want VC money you have to produce something the VC wants.

“ Taylor Lorenz is a technology reporter in New York covering internet culture.”

Taylor Lorenz has done a lot of really great work, actually, and if you want to know what’s going on with TikTok/Youtube/the kids she’s a great person to keep up with. (We’ve done posts of her work before - see this from a while back about the kind of sexist blowback she’s gotten from Valley types because of her coverage.) However, when thinking about any reporter keeping up with the cool youth, I always remember being a kid and thinking that the trend reporters talking about what the kids were doing seemed to always be describing things that had little-to-nothing to do with my own young life. To be that one person that a paper is relying on to write trend pieces for a generation - it’s an impossible task, and an impossibly thin slice of a world to be depicting.
posted by Going To Maine at 8:36 PM on September 15 [19 favorites]


You can talk all you want, but if you want VC money you have to produce something the VC wants.

Yeah they need to learn the concept of ROI really quick, or at the very least learn to court a famous CEO, come from ServiceNow and Oracle and then get every company in the world to be on your platform.
posted by geoff. at 8:42 PM on September 15 [1 favorite]


Yeah this article shows she really has her finger on the pulse of the Valley.

Anyways, Lorenz's and the NYT Style section's expected bullshit aside, a bunch of kids trying to learn how to network outside the people they went to school with isn't that novel.

But, when your "hammer" is trying to explain kids-these-days to the olds, everything, whether it's "twinfluencers" or the family dynamic of the daughter of George/Kellyanne Conway, looks like a nail.
posted by sideshow at 8:46 PM on September 15


Gen Z got disillusioned at an alarmingly fast rate!

Gen Z was just barely walking when we started our new round of Eternal Wars, elementary school when the Great Recession happened. It's 12 years later and... now this.

I'm not sure spending your entire life living through that is being disillusioned at any sort of alarmingly fast rate at all.
posted by hippybear at 9:31 PM on September 15 [7 favorites]


if you want to know what’s going on with TikTok/Youtube/the kids she’s a great person to keep up with

why would you want to know that, though
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 9:36 PM on September 15 [5 favorites]


How else will you know what to get off your lawn?
posted by Going To Maine at 9:51 PM on September 15 [9 favorites]


I do find it odd that we seem to be supposed to view disillusionment as sad or somehow tragic ... as if there's something inherently good about a young person having illusions about important stuff like how the world really works -- being deluded. Brings to mind an old friend, probably in his mid-twenties when he said it, probably at least a little high, we always were in those days. "Go ahead, world. Don't be shy. Remove my f***ing illusions. I'm tired of getting taken for a ride."
posted by philip-random at 10:00 PM on September 15 [7 favorites]


geoff.: Yeah they need to learn the concept of ROI really quick, or at the very least learn to court a famous CEO, come from ServiceNow and Oracle and then get every company in the world to be on your platform.

"SNOW" as a ticker for its IPO is so wildly on (or in) the nose on so many levels it's almost like it was custom built to say "Yeah. That's exactly right. Try regulating this."
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:49 PM on September 15


I do find it odd that we seem to be supposed to view disillusionment as sad or somehow tragic ... as if there's something inherently good about a young person having illusions about important stuff like how the world really works -- being deluded.

Disillusionment usually comes hand-in-hand with resignation and finally acceptance. That's the tragic bit.
posted by Merus at 11:08 PM on September 15 [6 favorites]


This article is hilarious but also I'm seconding that Taylor Lorenz is an ace reporter on youth tech/web culture - and I would point out this NYT report is masterfully crafted by her to be subtly damning and hilarious (while of course the overall good publicity is mostly helpful to the young 'uns she's profiling).
posted by Bwithh at 12:17 AM on September 16 [1 favorite]


Can someone help me? Did I just read a whole NYT article about how some young people set up a Discord sever? My body and brain are fried from wildfire smoke so maybe I missed some important context?
posted by slagheap at 4:11 AM on September 16 [1 favorite]


why would you want to know that, though

It's kind of ironic that the most enduring legacy of the Boomers is the idea of the centrality of "youth culture".
posted by thelonius at 4:40 AM on September 16


if you want to know what’s going on with TikTok/Youtube/the kids she’s a great person to keep up with

why would you want to know that, though


I get the feeling many of you don’t have teenagers in the house.
posted by schoolgirl report at 5:08 AM on September 16 [3 favorites]


Can someone help me? Did I just read a whole NYT article about how some young people set up a Discord sever? My body and brain are fried from wildfire smoke so maybe I missed some important context?

The author's bread and butter is "young people whisperer" and her editors just send out whatever she writes because she "gets it", and if they see it as inane and boring, it must be because they are old and out of touch.
posted by sideshow at 10:34 AM on September 16 [2 favorites]


Can someone help me? Did I just read a whole NYT article about how some young people set up a Discord sever? My body and brain are fried from wildfire smoke so maybe I missed some important context?

In Taylor Lorenz’s thread about her article she tweets something interesting
Even if you don’t know @genzmafia you’ve probably encountered one of their viral products.
This, in some ways, is perhaps the nut of the cause for the article: that their viral products have had some kind of impact, and that’s where you get something subjective. It certainly seems like the eye-heart-eye campaign mentioned in the story produced a measurable viral and financial impact, but I can’t say that it touched my narrow digital life in any way, ditto any of the other specific products mentioned within (although MegaBlock.XYZ seems useful…) There’s a frame in which this particular Discord and its hackathons, etc. are quite relevant, but the article isn’t much help in explaining what that frame is. (OTO, the internet is so dang big that perhaps having a few viral moments, being an active community with membership of hundreds, and some VC interest is sufficient to justify itself. The Discord server is just a tool, the idea that the next tech icon will have gestated on it is the message.)
posted by Going To Maine at 12:04 PM on September 16 [3 favorites]


I'm just struck by the uselessness of what they're doing. It's nice that they're trying to bring a less cutthroat model to the tech industry, I guess... but the problems with that industry go so deep. The entire model of making money via "disruption" is toxic and destructive. They just seem to be moving the deck chairs around on the Titanic.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 1:58 PM on September 16


"How else will you know what to get off your lawn?
posted by Going To Maine at 11:51 PM on September 15 "

Easy - they're busy Flossing.
posted by symbioid at 4:11 PM on September 16


Easy - they're busy Flossing.

Still?
posted by Going To Maine at 4:41 PM on September 16 [1 favorite]


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