People often are drawn to computer nerdism partly because they prefer interacting with machines rather than with other people. (James Damore made this point while working at Google and learned that free speech is for Americans who don’t need to work!)
Yet the coder in a modern Bay Area software plantation is sandwiched tightly between two other galley slaves (how’s that for a mixed metaphor?). He or she has less personal space than a McDonald’s cashier.
How did it come to pass that people who went into programming because they could be alone with their beloved machines are now packed like sardines into densely populated coding plantations and, after hours, packed like ocean liner steerage passengers into shared apartments?
Will this office structure, ideal for fueling any future pandemic, be reconsidered once this first wave of coronaplague subsides? Or are Silicon Valley nerds being superproductive from their cramped shared apartments such that employers won’t mind sending them into work-from-home status as soon as there is a hint of a second wave of coronaplague or whatever comes next?
Also, since people under 50 are more or less invulnerable to COVID-19 and the big Silicon Valley employers won’t hire anyone over 35, why not reopen Facebook, Google, Apple, et al? The aren’t too many senior citizens in Silicon Valley, except for some rich folks who can afford rings of servants while they keep safe in the innermost ring of their Atherton mansions.
- “What Will Tomorrow’s Workplace Bring? More Elbow Room, for Starters” (nytimes) [a coincidence; I wrote the above and scheduled it before this NYT article came out]