[Read] ➼ Uncanny Valley ➹ Anna Wiener – Savesu.co.uk
Try as I might I could not get into this book I think the story itself was informative, and it could have been interesting had it been written in a different style I really struggled with the lack of names Instead of just calling her co workers John or Mary or whatever name she felt like, the author referred to them by their job description, making it impossible for me to connect with any of them This was a goodreads giveaway and I appreciate the opportunity to try reading something new and different, but it was not my cup of tea. I won this novel via Goodreads Giveaways.Who would have thought that a memoir about working in the startup boom would be so interesting, funny and full of feeling Anna Wiener does a magnificent job of making the reader feel like they are taking this journey with her I love her dry wit, descriptions of her mostly male, highly driven co workers She takes the role seriously, but not too seriously and that perspective is what makes Uncanny Valley informative but fun I especially enjoyed her time working in customer service at the Analytics company, figuring it out as she went along.Even if you aren t interested in big tech, this is one not to miss A fast paced, witty, and unflinching account of the Silicon Valley San Francisco tech ethos in the years leading up to the infamous 2016 election Wiener s story lends significant insight into this world, which at times feels very much like an alternate reality from the rest of the country A truth she seems aware of and as the memoir progresses, hyper aware of I lived and worked in the Bay Area for 5 years, only a very small part of that time at a major tech company What I learned from this memoir is that being around it is miles away from being in the belly of the beast, or at least belly adjacent I wouldn t have been able to do it The way many of the tech bros she describes talk, behave, and live not to mention what they believe frankly, turns my stomach Throughout the memoir, she becomes woke to the absurdity of it all herself Having come from the publishing industry in New York, she has a leg up from the start In other words, this wasn t her original plan, and she gives the sense that she always kind of feels like an outsider.Having come full circle in a sense, I find myself very happy that Ms Wiener was able to extricate herself from tech and move into writing It s only natural to write about what you know and I think this memoir is necessary and timely I only hope that such a talented writer moves on to write about new and different topics in the future I have no doubt she will and I will certainly continue to read her sharp prose.Politically speaking, she really sinks her teeth into the problems with the industry late in the book She goes so far as to say, What were we doing, anyway, helping people become billionaires Billionaires were the mark of a sick society they shouldn t exist There was no moral structure in which such a vast accumulation of wealth, especially in a country that punished poverty and illness and race, should be acceptable I couldn t agree However, just pages later she recounts her experience leading up to the 2016 election and what seems like enthusiasm for Sec Clinton s candidacy Now, perhaps this is simply because she felt the alternative was so unpalatable, and God knows she s not wrong However, having spent the last 270 pages revealing the problems and social costs of the tech industry, she fails to address the truth that Sec Clinton was in deep with the industry, that Sec Clinton took money from many billionaires, and that indeed she would not have addressed or even attempted to address many of the problems and costs of late capitalism that the tech industry so embodies All that being said, I enjoyed this memoir very much and would recommend it to anyone, especially people who have no idea what goes on in that strange enclave of nerdiness wealth that is the Bay Area I want to thank MCD FSG for my free advanced copy of this book I really enjoy reading and reviewing books well in advance of their release. Anna Weiner s Uncanny Valley is a memoir of working in Silicon Valley in her mid twenties for me, it felt like a good online article that had been stretched out into than three hundred pages Weiner has nothing especially insightful to say about tech, and rehearses familiar critiques the dominance of young white men, the lack of concern for data security, the distance from the real world I also found the way Weiner presents herself as totally unrelatable she seems to think it s a classic example of millennial drift, but there s no solid core to anything about this version of her self, and she comes across as unbearably obtuse You re probably better off reading her online output I stopped reading this around the halfway mark.I received a free proof copy of this memoir from the publisher for review. The Prescient, Page Turning Account Of A Journey In Silicon Valley A Defining Memoir Of Our Digital AgeIn Her Mid Twenties, At The Height Of Tech Industry Idealism, Anna Wiener Stuck, Broke, And Looking For Meaning In Her Work, Like Any Good Millennial Left A Job In Book Publishing For The Promise Of The New Digital Economy She Moved From New York To San Francisco, Where She Landed At A Big Data Startup In The Heart Of The Silicon Valley Bubble A World Of Surreal Extravagance, Dubious Success, And Fresh Faced Entrepreneurs Hell Bent On Domination, Glory, And, Of Course, ProgressAnna Arrived Amidst A Massive Cultural Shift, As The Tech Industry Rapidly Transformed Into A Locus Of Wealth And Power Rivaling Wall Street But Amid The Company Ski Vacations And In Office Speakeasies, Boyish Camaraderie And Ride Or Die Corporate Fealty, A New Silicon Valley Began To Emerge One In Far Over Its Head, One That Enriched Itself At The Expense Of The Idyllic Future It Claimed To Be BuildingPart Coming Age Story, Part Portrait Of An Already Bygone Era, Anna Wiener S Memoir Is A Rare First Person Glimpse Into High Flying, Reckless Startup Culture At A Time Of Unchecked Ambition, Unregulated Surveillance, Wild Fortune, And Accelerating Political Power With Wit, Candor, And Heart, Anna Deftly Charts The Tech Industry S Shift From Self Appointed World Savior To Democracy Endangering Liability, Alongside A Personal Narrative Of Aspiration, Ambivalence, And DisillusionmentUnsparing And Incisive, Uncanny Valley Is A Cautionary Tale, And A Revelatory Interrogation Of A World Reckoning With Consequences Its Unwitting Designers Are Only Beginning To Understand One of the clearest eyed analyses of Big Tech s transformation of our definition of professional and personal success and understanding of privacy, as well as on the city of San Francisco Wiener was already one of my favorite writers on Silicon Valley, but she has set an entirely new standard on observation and prose Finished in one week, and I ll be thinking about this book for years. This book unfortunately did not hold my attention well In some ways, it is interesting, especially if you are interested in the economics of tech companies Definitely wasn t my thing, and the writing itself was rather dry and boring to me. Thank you Goodreads for the ARC of this book Anna Wiener does a fantastic job of making you feel you are taking this high tech journey with her I have been curious about the silicon valley This book is very well written Very informative but Ms Wiener keeps it fun. Does this confirm all my priors Sure, but it s so well written, so easy to read and a perfect portrait of a culture. Clear eyed, personal and universal at the same time I will be thinking about this book for a long time.