Home Demo at Google VC's House on Potrero Hill
Kevin Rose: Leech
We are here to tell you about Kevin Rose, an employee of Google. At a glance, he might appear to be any other hipster techie walking down the street, but there is something deeper and far more sinister at play below his well-manicured hair. But first, we have to give you some background.
Behind every gentrifying hipster techie there is a tech company. In the beginning, each of the tech giants was nothing more than a startup, and behind every startup there is always a venture capitalist. Ram Shriram once invested in a startup called Google, the love-child of Sergey Brin and Larry Page, two Stanford students with a search algorithm for the internet. This venture capitalist gambled on the Google startup in 1999 and now he is on the board of a company currently worth around 400 billion dollars. Without venture capitalists like Shriram, there would never have been a Google.
As a way of honoring the system that brought them their wealth, Brin and Page created Google Ventures, the venture capital wing of the corporation. The employees of Google Ventures select startups and existing companies to either fund or acquire. Many of these investments are located in the Bay Area and the employees of these newly funded or acquired startups have moved to San Francisco and parts of Oakland.
It has now come to the point where even Diet Coke advertisements are referencing the influx of techies and their startups. With venture capital in their pockets, these wealthy professionals with few attachments are able to pay hyper inflated rents and property prices, displacing long time residents and increasing the cost of living. Tech-workers on average earn four times the wages of a normal service worker.
Venture capitalists enable these tech-workers by funding their startups. With the success of each startup, more and more ambitious tech-workers flock to the city and displace underemployed service workers to the cities at the far reaches of the BART line. These workers must then commute back to San Francisco or Oakland every morning, in most cases to perform menial tasks for the entitled scum who drove them out in the first place.
Which brings us back to Kevin Rose, founder of Digg.com and current venture partner at Google Ventures. He has already helped Google acquire Nextdoor.com and invested his own money in Foursquare, hoping to cash out when a giant buys it. We are here today because a few of the thousands low-paid, underemployed service workers got fed up with Kevin Rose treating them like the shit one scrapes from their boot, not even worthy of eye contact or the basic pleasantries generally taken for granted in our culture.
Recognizing that Kevin Rose is not just another techie asshole, but rather a meta-leech funding and profiting off the gentrification of San Francisco, we chose to bring the class war to his doorstep on our own terms. Rather than be subservient and do his bidding in exchange for the currency we need to commute home and back, we are here today in uncompromising solidarity with every person forced out of the city by the insane hyper-gentrification created through the tireless efforts of people like Kevin Rose.
Kevin Rose: Serial Entrepreneur
Kevin lives in an expensive duplex atop Potrero Hill. His address is 2004 19th Street in San Fracisco.
Kevin calls himself a ‘serial entrepreneur’ and is very proud of his business accomplishments. In 2004 he helped establish Digg.com, a website that ranked news stories according to number of reader “diggs”. From this, he created a spinoff video podcast called Diggnation, a show he hosted for six years that is widely considered to be the first clear articulation of the current tech-bro culture.
For example, in 2008, Kevin and his cohost began sermonizing on when it would be appropriate for a man to hit a woman. It was determined that if a woman kicked a man in the balls, it was okay to punch her “tit.” Kevin took it all a step further when he connected the expression tit-for-tat to their discussion and then announced, while making a cutting motion, “it hurts them, it does too - or take a scissors to the tit.” His comment was met with widespread criticism and Kevin became the poster boy for tech-misogyny, even after he apologized by saying, “obviously, violence against women is serious and something we don't advocate in any way.”
Eventually the world forgot all about Kevin Rose and Digg and Diggnation. Around that time, Kevin and some of his bros started a company called Milk. This company in turn created an app called Oink. This app allowed anyone to take out their smart-phone and see a map of every nearby restaurant, café, and bar with ratings of specific items at each establishment. In essence, Oink allowed people to consume more according to their own specific tastes and needs, allowing them to browse prices and rank establishments.
Oink meant to capitalize on the way people tend to listen to the recommendations of friends by convincing them to use an ad-laden platform, rather than go out together or discuss favorite restaurants in conversation. Through mechanisms like Oink, Yelp, and Foursquare, people can now drive down business in establishments that no longer serve their luxurious needs by mobbing them with unfavorable reviews and rankings.
And then one day in March 2012, it was announced that Kevin and half of the Milk team were to become Google employees. The Oink app was terminated and Kevin briefly worked at Google+ before moving on to Google Ventures. Based on the various startups that he has funded through Google Ventures or on his own, we can see more disturbing evidence of Kevin’s technological derangement.
Nextdoor.com is a website that helps alienated urban and suburban home-dwellers learn about their neighbors and network their private surveillance feeds together. Like some of Kevin’s other investments, Nextdoor allows residents who use the website to gang up on anyone they do not like (or who does not have a Nextdoor account) and hound them into compliance or eviction. It allows the alienated to connect with others like them who would rather electronically complain than speak to an offline neighbor in real life. Nextdoor.com is a major new platform for the snitch-world, a bubble machine for people who never learned social skills. And it is something Kevin Rose and Google think is a really good idea.
But let’s take another one of Kevin’s investments, the popular app Foursquare. A previous manifestation of it, Dodgeball, was bought by Google in 2005 but then terminated in 2009. That year, the creators of Dodgeball started their new Foursquare app and by 2012 they had collected over 45 millions users. The app allows disconnected and alienated smartphone users to check-in to restaurants, hotels, and bars and in the process alert other Foursquare users of their location. In the world of this app, people can become the “mayor” of an establishment based on how often they check-in and how many “badges” they earn.
After performing fellatio on Foursquare for ten ridiculous pages in his book Smart Cities, Anthony M. Townsend writes, “the city of Foursquare might look like a lattice, but is it becoming an elaborate tree traced by hidden algorithms? Instead of urging us to explore on our own, will it guide us down a predetermined path based on what we might buy?” The answers to his questions are an undeniable yes. Foursquare gathers isolated and unimaginative people and gives them a way to connect without having to think beyond a glance at the food rankings on their smartphones. The system through which Foursquare enables people to connect is called the capitalist system and thus Foursquare will always connect people as consumers, customers, and tippers. It was designed to do this and nothing else.
Kevin Rose: OK Glass, Now Take Over The World!
Unfortunate people like Kevin Rose have never known a world without capitalism and in their ignorance they only know how to fortify it. Everything they do helps to extend the suicidal reign of this world system that renders all life into a commodity and replaces real life with digital distractions that lead people into narcosis, gluttony, and sociopathic greed. Kevin Rose and his employers at Google represent one part of a larger structure that keeps people enslaved to this single economic system that is literally killing the planet and decreasing the chances of continued life.
Tech entrepreneurship is not a harmless or benevolent force. The industry is built directly on the exploitation of millions of faceless people in the global south who are driven off their land and forced to do the dangerous and thankless work of extracting (at great ecological cost) the precious metals and other raw materials that enable the tech world to exist. Once the technology has been shoved down our throats through merciless advertising campaigns, mandatory cell phone upgrades, and jobs requiring instant connectivity of smartphones, we find ourselves tied to their world.
Unlike us, this beast has a head that can be targeted. Kevin Rose and other venture capitalists like him literally design and implement this entire exploitive system. They do it because they are drunk on their own power, caught up in a sense of importance bestowed upon them by the type of wealth most of us will never interact with. Kevin Rose will rise and fall with the elites of the dominant order. While we struggle to be included in the trickle-down of wealth through dehumanizing menial labor, these techies, entrepreneurs, and capitalists take over the world. Knowing that at the vanguard of this tech invasion are people like Kevin Rose only increases our desire to completely stop the current insanity.
Taken as a whole, Kevin Rose invests in startups that perpetuate the process of alienation under the guise of social technology. It is, admittedly, genius: create the technological conditions of alienation that drive people to desperately consume technological products that claim to combat the alienation produced by contemporary technological society. Tech is now about creating and selling the new indispensable commodity that everyone must have in order to be less bored, less lost, less ridden with anxiety. We want no part of this disgusting and creepy game being played by a bunch power deranged man-children.
To this end, we now make our first clear demand of Google. We demand that Google give three billion dollars to an anarchist organization of our choosing. This money will then be used to create autonomous, anti-capitalist, and anti-racist communities throughout the Bay Area and Northern California. In these communities, whether in San Francisco or in the woods, no one will ever have to pay rent and housing will be free. With this three billion from Google, we will solve the housing crisis in the Bay Area and prove to the world that an anarchist world is not only possible but in fact irrepressible. If given the chance, most humans will pursue a course towards increased freedom and greater liberty. As it stands, only people like Kevin Rose are given the opportunity to reshape their world, and look at what they do with those opportunities.
We know that your security advisors are taking our analysis seriously, so if you are confident that your system is the best, it would be wise to give us three billion to see if we fail. Our wager is that you are scared of the viable alternative we would create. If you are not scared, contact us at our Wordpress website. Send us a message and we can go from there. Otherwise, get ready for a revolution neither you nor we can control, a revolution that will spread to all of the poor, exploited, and degraded members of this new tech-society and be directed towards you for your bad decisions and irresponsible activities. We advise you to take us seriously.
For a world without bosses, rulers, or cops! Down with the Empire, up with the Spring!
PS: The following devices and programs were used in this action: Microsoft Word (for Mac) MacBook Samsung Nexus (powered by Google) Gmail Youtube Electrical Socket
Kevin Rose @kevinrose
My house was protested today by anti-tech folks, they had a large banner saying "Kevin Rose Parasite",… http://instagram.com/p/mdW5tsQRJv/
11:38 AM - 6 Apr 2014
Kevin Rose @kevinrose
they recoded video on an android phone and said they were going to post it to youtube, which i thought odd.
11:41 AM - 6 Apr 2014
Kevin Rose @kevinrose
that said, I did agree w/ them that we need to solve rising rents, keep the SF culture, and crack down on landlords booting folks out.
11:42 AM - 6 Apr 2014
Kevin RoseVerified account @kevinrose
SF is such a great place, definitely need to figure out a way to keep the diversity
11:43 AM - 6 Apr 2014
Kevin Rose @kevinrose
flyer got cut off, but it also mentioned diggnation, calling it a "terrible program" and quoted my bad joke about scissors and teat
12:47 PM - 6 Apr 2014
Kevin Rose @kevinrose
crazy how they went back into the diggnation archive to find some bad jokes, always knew those would come back at some point.
12:49 PM - 6 Apr 2014
Kevin Rose @kevinrose
so now that we've had raccoons and humans, thinking birds, possums, or possibly cats are next to attack.
12:51 PM - 6 Apr 2014
Confused San Francisco protesters distribute leaflets to Kevin Rose's neighbors.
Morons picketing Kevin Rose's house demand $3 billion from the capitalists so they can create anti-capitalist communities.
oh, and I'm also proud of my suburban backyard pizza oven that I spent thousands of dollars on
The attached picture is of the Gold Dust Apartments in Missoula a beautiful and sustainable low and medium income co-op apartment complex built and managed by HOMEWORD
The problem is not tech - which is simply a thriving industry that keeps SF one of the few places with economic stability. The real problem is the lack of new, affordable construction or creative solutions to maintain the service industry that's growing because of the successful tech industry. You want to live in the most desirable neighborhoods in one of the most popular cities in the world - but you don't want to pay for it. I feel bad that you don't understand how ridiculous that is. You made a conscious choice not to get into a career that pays well - totally fair and admirable - but it's childish to think that you wouldn't have to make sacrifices (like moving to less desirable neighborhoods).
It's clearly a changing dynamic in the bay area - and that's okay. A new, cheap neighborhood will take over, and you'll enjoy that because it's "more authentic." Go start it. West Oakland is my suggestion (close, cheap, full of potential). Stop whining about inevitability.
And no...I'm not in tech. I just can't stand hypocrisy, ignorance and most of all liberals who aren't actually open-minded, under the guise of being "independent thinkers."
It's a shame, because everyone seems to agree that the Bay Area is in serious need of reform, but IMO this reform needs to come from the government. The people investing money in the area are the most likely to be listened to by governments. You should try to get these people on your side, not vilify them.
Hyperbolic stunts like this make it very easy for people to dismiss your arguments.
- we need to solve rising rents, keep the SF culture, and crack down on landlords booting folks out.
- SF is such a great place, definitely need to figure out a way to keep the diversity
That's inching along the discussion right there, folks. If he actually ever does anything is another matter, but this action at least has him paying lip service to the fact that there is a serious problem going on that needs addressing. And he's embarrassed that they didn't let him forget his scissors to breasts "joke".
I've always said one should not be protesting the working stiffs or their mode of transportation but the owners and others exploiters that exploit both their own workers and the neighborhoods among other things. Protesting and actions at Mr. Ross's house is a good start. Those people who are making billions of dollars off of their workers and us, the the consumers, should be protested, exposed and removed. We should be fighting the divide and conquer bullshit epitomized by telling tech workers to "get the fuck out of Oakland", and instead be embracing the slightly more highly paid workers and working with them, against the bosses and venture capitalists. To do that those of us who have made missteps should attempt to gain the trust fo those on the buses. It's going to be hard, but if you want things to change, and not just kinderspiel, it will be necessary.
With that said, Google and the other projects Kevin Rose has been associated with treat their employees pretty well. The biggest complaint would probably be the long hours. They get everything else like free transportation, unlimited free food, and a high salary - the things that other workers are struggling for.
I am one of the families that was forced to move out of SF by rising rent, and of course I think the cost of housing is ludicrous, but I don't see how attacking local corporations helps at all. I mean, the alternative is Detroit, right? No wealth in the area and awful poverty? Help me out here.
[The giveaway that your comment, "amy k", was concern troll BS is that the very same Detroit analogy keeps popping up in SF tech blogs/rants about anti-gentrification protests. It's doubtful that you yourself coincidentally came up with the idea to use Detroit as a counter argument. Now, piss off, with your barely disguised corporate apologism.]
in an anarchy, there would be no protections from whoever had the means to push you out of your little plot (land) and then what? you'd band together with your anarchist minions to do what? hypocrisy in its highest form right here.
Progressives and liberals in no way condone the tactics and opinions of these so called activists. They are so far to the left it makes us look like we are far to the right, which we are not. Well, relatively, we are to the right of them, but so are all reasonable, thoughtful human beings. Even the lower wage workers amongst us think these people are basically idiots.
Progressives and Liberals of the World
Their fawning over Obama proves that. Democrats would have been screaming bloody murder had Bush been exposed by Snowden for supporting the NSA's "collect it all" practices, having secret kill lists for drone missiles overseas, deporting more undocumented workers than any other president ever, convicting more whistleblowers than all other presidents combined, and the list goes on and on.
So-called liberals and progressives now act as apologists for all of those right wing policies, circling the wagons to protect their guy. Just because you are not quite as crazy or selfish or racist as a hardcore republican or Tea Partier from the Deep South does not mean you are not right wing in political and economic outlook.
Even locally here in the Oakland, worthless democratic politicians support building an unprecedented city-wide surveillance apparatus known as the Domain Awareness Center, and virtually every last one of them support using police and the ever-growing prison system as the primary means to deal with the serious social issues that inevitably arise from long-term economic inequalities. J Edgar Hoover, Nixon, and Reagan would be so proud of democrats today.
So, yes, you are far to the right of a great many sensible and compassionate people. Don't kid yourself that because you wear the "liberal" label that you are not right wing. The corporate apologism you offer here is but one way you reveal your true self.
Does it imply that TED is "vacuous superficial celebratory self-indulgent ideological infomercial fluff for patriotic mythmaking for Silicon Valley elitists?"
"It seems that TED hires preening, vain, egotists with great used car salesman/cable tv news pundit speaking skills who espouse popcorn intellectualism but have little actual engineering background who deliver bite sized tidbits of information but no actual depth for delivery to the lowest common denominator of wide eyed UFO enthusiasts and hipsters."
"Charismatic intellectual gurus wrapped in TED showmanship and glitz cause cults full of Kool Aid drinkers to buy into their crap-peddling in order to get VC funding. Utopian fake intellectualism is the vat of poo that Silicon Valley Vc's revel in because the rest of society thinks they are such arrogant weasals."
The writer seems to say that TED is a festival of self-importance. A waterfall of ego and a back-patting extravaganza of the loud and self-centered telling the masses how much louder and more important they are than the attendees. To talk at TED you have to hire a ghost-writer to write you a book about some amorphous topic that sounds important in a one sentence description but accomplishes nothing nor instructs anyone how to do anything tangible that will have visible results. Almost no speaker leaves TED and does anything tangible. Almost no speaker at TED has, or will, do anything that you can pull metrics on except get their PR agent to book them in more seminars. “But they inspire us to do great things”, cry some of the middle class attendees”…
See the details at: http://wp.me/P4e1uX-22I
Instead - vote for tighter rent control. Foreign investment will keep sending rents up even if you drive out the tech industry.
After slogging through their 2,000-word anti-Google ransom note , I did not expect to engage in a remotely reasonable discussion with the Counterforce . Not when the anti-capitalist protestors distributed fliers to Kevin Rose's neighbors in San Francisco demanding that Google pay them $3 billion—and especially not when the group " stalked " Google X engineer Anthony Levandowski.
But the Counterforce caught me by surprise during the Q&A, conducted via email, below.
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