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Why SF Bay Area friendships suck

Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to North America. For those looking to relocate within the US or Canada, discuss your experiences and pros/cons of each domestic region.

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Why SF Bay Area friendships suck

Postby Winston » Wed Apr 28, 2010 6:14 pm

Karen, that Chinese American girl I met in Arizona, shared with me this new post of hers about why Bay Area friendships suck. I thought it was interesting and revealing.

http://complaineranonymous.blogspot.com ... ships.html

Bay Area friendships

I never thought that being in the socially isolated landscape of Columbia, Missouri would make me realize how limited Bay Area friendships are, but here I am. Where to start?

1. People are obsessed with resume oriented conversation. If you don't provide a answer that satisfies one of five categories in terms of what you do: law school, med school, consulting/i-banking/b-school, engineering, or the occasional wild-card category of enterprising travel blogger/start-up founder, you are shit out of luck. The stream of conversation following that will usually end in smug questions about what you really do and interrogation about your life plan in the event that your career choice doesn't work out. This does not make for satisfying social interaction.

2. Pursuing hobbies is considered a waste of time. Seriously. Anything I enjoy needs to be parlayed into a resume building exercise... running marathons? Great to demonstrate stamina and motivation. Travel? Proves you are an interesting person. I once finished a memoir that I self-published and had someone ask me what was the purpose unless I would actually publish it or use it towards building my future. Forget that I loved writing it. And I'm sure if I told people that I have recently resumed hobbies (since there is nothing else to do in Missouri) such as singing female barbershop with the Sweet Adelines chorus or making scrapbooks they would ask me why i was wasting so much time. I also think there are four acceptable categories of hobbies in the Bay area: 1) Triathlon 2)Rock-climbing 3)Cycling 4)Playing video games. Oh yea, and visiting places like Las Vegas, San Francisco, or Los Angeles to prove you are an interesting, active person with lots of interesting, active friends.

3. Establishing relationships is also considered a waste of time. I actually think Midwesterners have it right in this regard-- their love and priority for family has a noticeably stabilizing presence in their lives, one that I have come to cherish and respect. If you prioritize a loving, doting boyfriend in the Bay Area it is considered a sign of weakness. And if you prioritize your friends... you are labeled self-indulgent.

I have vowed never to raise a family in the Bay Area-- the futility and emptiness of the culture is something I will never subject my children to. I don't think I've even met people over the age of 50 in the Bay Area... how can you possibly age gracefully by continuing to adhere to this mentality.

4. Presenting a surface level happiness is equated with success. If you display any sign of frustration, anger, sadness, guilt, anxiety, etc. etc. you put yourself at risk of losing social capital. This inevitably has a neutering effect on your personality. Since life is naturally filled with frustration and pain (and if its not, you are probably stagnating normal development... another point I will hit soon) it would make sense to feel some of these emotions. The pressure to maintain a placid appearance inevitably forces you to reduce Bay Area friends to activity partners-- people who you pass the time with but not really people you can trust will maintain respect for you if you are entirely honest. It is refreshing to be able to discuss normal emotions with people in Missouri (especially since it is fairly difficult to maintain an artificial appearance of happiness in the face of snowstorms, tornado warnings, humidity, etc.).

5. People act like they are 15. Do people actually develop in the Bay Area?

In sum, a place that encourages you to denigrate family, hobbies, emotions, and interests outside of aforesaid areas is a place that has a stagnating effect on personality and efforts to attain true joy or happiness. What is the point of life then if the very things that make us human and make life worth living for are denigrated? If you are a dorky engineer/programmer who is content with reaching middle management and doggedly pursuing rock-star status as the next Google co-founder this is the place for you (even though achieving the status is probably harder than getting into the NFL). Good luck to you.
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Postby globetrotter » Wed Apr 28, 2010 6:25 pm

She is describing The Corporate Personality, but now it is all the time in SFO.

I explained this to a Brit I met last month, that the reason Americans cannot be direct anymore is that the corporate culture has infected much of society, especially the big cities and on the coasts. Upper class people and leaders speak obliquely and indirectly all the time about everything. It is all allusion and implication and inference. Nothing is direct, ever. The richer and more powerful the less direct speech they have. CEO's and world leaders are the worst. You cannot get them to answer a direct question. Watch Bernanke, GS or Geithner testify to Congress - that is the way those people talk, all the time.
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Postby dano » Wed Apr 28, 2010 7:59 pm

globetrotter wrote:She is describing The Corporate Personality, but now it is all the time in SFO.

I explained this to a Brit I met last month, that the reason Americans cannot be direct anymore is that the corporate culture has infected much of society, especially the big cities and on the coasts. Upper class people and leaders speak obliquely and indirectly all the time about everything. It is all allusion and implication and inference. Nothing is direct, ever. The richer and more powerful the less direct speech they have. CEO's and world leaders are the worst. You cannot get them to answer a direct question. Watch Bernanke, GS or Geithner testify to Congress - that is the way those people talk, all the time.


This is very true. Never trust someone that gives you an indirect answer to a yes or no question. I used to work for a multi-national corporation and the level of psychopathy there was the highest of any place I have ever worked. No one ever stayed in a management position unless they were an aspiring psychopath. Managers were selected for there ability to lie and manipulate other employees. I saw several managers get demoted because they were to nice.
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Postby momopi » Wed Apr 28, 2010 9:24 pm

People give you yes or no questions when they want something from you and don't want to pay for it.
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Postby Winston » Fri Apr 30, 2010 11:17 am

Perhaps at a certain level, if you give yes or no answers it can be used against you as incriminating evidence? When you state a position, you automatically are expected to support that position with good reasons and evidence. An honest person can do that, for he/she has nothing to hide. But a person who has a lot to hide and has enemies may not want to make any claims, so they become evasive.

For example, an Atheist may say "I do not hold a belief in God" rather than "God doesn't exist" in a public debate or forum because if he states the latter, there will be a burden of proof on him to prove his claim. He doesn't want that. Instead, he wants to put the burden of proof on the Theists. That is a standard tactic I've seen from philosophical Atheists. I've exposed it in my debunking pseudoskeptics treatise here:

http://www.debunkingskeptics.com/Page29.htm
Check out the latest posts in our blog The Happier Abroaders.

Don't forget my HA Grand Ebook and Dating Sites!

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Postby jamesbond » Fri Apr 30, 2010 1:58 pm

Companies in the US want ABSOLUTE loyalty from their employees but aren't loyal to them in return. Corporate america runs america and the politicians know that. Welcome to the American work place, now get back work! lol :lol:
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Postby momopi » Fri Apr 30, 2010 5:41 pm

Winston wrote:For example, an Atheist may say "I do not hold a belief in God" rather than "God doesn't exist" in a public debate or forum because if he states the latter, there will be a burden of proof on him to prove his claim. He doesn't want that. Instead, he wants to put the burden of proof on the Theists. That is a standard tactic I've seen from philosophical Atheists. I've exposed it in my debunking pseudoskeptics treatise here:

http://www.debunkingskeptics.com/Page29.htm



Sima Qian (司馬遷), author of Records of the Grand Historian wrote about Ximen Bao (西門豹), minister of Wei during the Warring States era. When Ximen Bao was appointed to resolve local flooding issues, he found the locals worshiping 河伯, a river deity who lived in the Yellow River and rode on a giant white turtle. The shaman in charge of annual sacrifices had demanded the villagers to give a daughter every year to be sacrificed as a bride to the river deity, or else the river will flood.

Every year, the Shaman and her assistants would roam the villages to find the best looking "bride', then report to the local Magistrate to seize the girl, keep her for 10 days then cast her into the river for a sacrifical ceremony. The local farmers are also made to pay extra taxes for the ceremony, which was split between the magistrate and the shaman's pockets.

Ximen Bao listened to the villagers and said nothing. Then on the day of the river sacrifice, he approached the "bride" and said, "d@mn, this women is ugly, you can't marry her off to the river god! Hey witch, you need to go tell the river god that we're going to find him a better looking hoe. GUARDS! Throw her into the river and send her to see the river god!"

Everyone was shocked and stood at the river bank. Then after a while, he said "she's slow, someone throw her assistants in to tell her to hurry up!" So the guards seized the shaman's assistants and tossed them into the river. And when they failed to return, he said "GUARDS! Send the magistrate to see the river god and demand that they come back!" Upon hearing this, the magistrate fell on his knees and begged for his life.

Ximen Bao turned to the villagers and said, "Fools! There is no river god! Next time, if some dumb a$$ try this sh*t again, I'm going to toss him into the river!" Afterwards, he fixed the flooding problems with hydraulic engineering, created a large irrigation reservoir and many canals for irrigating fields. The people benefited greatly from his scientific management (around 400 BC), many farmers were overjoyed that they didn't have to lose their daughters to the sacrifice and offered to marry them to Ximen Bao. And thus he lived happily ever after, porking farmer's daughters.

And that concludes the story telling, and why I think some people who believes in the supernatural should go for a swim. If the high priest says you need to sacrifice virgins to the volcano god, toss the priest in the volcano to negotiate a better deal, and keep the virgins for yourself. Welcome to my religion, and volcano gods be dammed!

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