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Silicon Valley

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The Way We Work Now

When Google announced we’d be working remotely until at least the summer of 2021, I decided it’s time to pack up and leave

Photo illustration. Source: Carsten Koall/Getty Images

The Way We Work Now is a series chronicling how people’s lives and careers have fundamentally changed because of the pandemic.

This anonymous software engineer is in their twenties and works for Google. They spoke with Mai Tran about the tech company’s decision to extend remote work for at least a year.

I moved to the Bay three years ago for the tech industry. I wanted to be a part of that and to learn more about the software ecosystem around there. Google definitely epitomizes that culture, good and bad.

I think Google was one of the first companies to…

Richie Nakano was a ramen star. But that wasn’t enough for Silicon Valley.

Photo illustration; Source: Caroline Hatchett

Richie Nakano’s Hapa Ramen was launched in 2010 on folding tables at the San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. It didn’t take long for his local pop-up to grow into a Bay Area staple. As people lined up for a taste of his gorgeous bowls of fragrant homemade broth — full of noodles, pickles, kimchi, sous vide eggs, pork leg confit — Nakano quickly earned the reputation as one of the area’s most innovative (and hardest-working) chefs. His fame grew not only through Hapa Ramen, but also thanks to Line Cook, his crackling, salacious blog about restaurant life, sustainability, craft…

The digital economy has been called ‘surveillance capitalism,’ but that doesn’t capture how insidious it really is

Photo: d3sign/Getty Images

During the last decade, thanks to the proliferation of sensors and data-rich devices, a new economic order sprung up around us. Some refer to it as “surveillance capitalism,” a form of accumulation built on the collection and parsing of massive amounts of data. In this arrangement, those who collect the most data can make the most profit (often by selling that data or using it to target ads), which is why companies like Facebook, Google, and Microsoft are among the most valuable in the world.

Surveillance capitalism depends on what the scholar Shoshana Zuboff, whose work has helped popularize the…

Power Trip

Democrats are notoriously bad at turning out for midterm elections. Silicon Valley is directing money and muscle to finding solutions outside the party structure.

Art: Mark Weaver

Understanding the roots of the progressive tech wave that’s risen since 2016 requires looking back more than two years, before the election of Donald Trump, to when the Silicon Valley types first started arriving in Washington, D.C., in droves.

After the disastrous launch of, the Obama administration hired former Google engineer Mikey Dickerson to modernize government from the inside. Dickerson’s credentials were sound. The only question was how he and his ilk would assimilate to life in Washington, D.C. In other words, whether they’d wear suits and ties.

‘Is this the same old business as usual or are they…

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