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Mapping: California’s Techno-Sublime

ISSUE:  Summer 2015

Those who complain about California from the outside tend to single out its hippies and bohemians. But when Californians complain about Californians, the eye-rolling is more frequently directed at a (supposedly) new class of slick and humorless “techies.” At its worst, tech is perceived as an invasion into traditionally bohemian spaces—buying up buildings, evicting artists, and dulling everything in the process. Though the two imagined demographics couldn’t seem more different, many places in California actually attest to the deep entanglement of entrepreneurialism, counterculture, whimsy, and a kind of technological sublime already present at the origin of the tech boom here. Underneath it all runs the Californian penchant for the weird, the new, and the supposedly impossible.




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