The revolutionary script of Silicon Valley

I took a communication class about social revolutions last semester. One of the books from which we read was Scripting Revolution. It was about how many social revolutions come to adopt the same way of using language, dress, and tactics, as a way of building support for their movements via sheer familiarity.

Here’s an excerpt of an excerpt:

This volume argues that the American and French Revolutions provided the genesis of the revolutionary “script” that was rewritten by Marx, which was revised by Lenin and the Bolshevik Revolution, which was revised again by Mao and the Chinese Communist Revolution. Later revolutions in Cuba and Iran improvised further. This script is once again on display in the capitals of the Middle East and North Africa, and it will serve as the model for future revolutionary movements.

For my final paper in the class, I took that argument and applied it to Silicon Valley, drawing majorly from Fred Turner’s excellent book, From Counterculture to Cyberculture. In the paper, I show how tech startups draw from the counterculture with features such as flexible work hours and casual dress codes, to legitimize business practices that would seem totally opposed to counterculture ethos, and to appeal to young people who fancy themselves as revolutionary rebels.

Read a version of my paper on Medium:
The revolutionary script of Silicon Valley.

Startups really are changing the world… in China at least

This is such a cool story {npr}:

When Cici Xu isn’t working as an accountant, she’s driving around Shanghai picking up passengers for People’s Uber, the American company’s nonprofit ride-sharing service that operates in nine mainland Chinese cities.

Xu, 40, makes about $1,300 a month as a driver, but says she doesn’t really do it for the money.

“I hope to meet different people,” she says, explaining her new hobby at a downtown café recently. She wants to “make life more colorful and get to know a different Shanghai. I’ve now discovered, I’m addicted to this work.”