m Ferriss, the author of “The 4-Hour Workweek” and “Tribe of Mentors,” left Silicon Valley after living there for 17 years. Not only did he want the sunshine of Austin, Texas, but Silicon Valley had become for him an echo chamber that wasn’t really about open-mindedness anymore. Following is a full transcript of the video.
Tim Ferris: My name is Tim Ferriss, angel investor and author of books including “The 4-Hour Workweek” and the latest, “Tribe of Mentors.”
I lived there, past tense, for 17 years. Despite the incredible friends I have and the brilliant, brilliant people that I’ve had the good fortune of encountering in Silicon Valley, there has come to be a level of intellectual smugness that I found with every passing month that I spent there a little less tolerable. Closed-mindedness masquerading as open-mindedness. And if you were to go there and ask people if folks there are open-minded — and of course there are truly open-minded people there — but the party line is: Yes, we court diversity, and we want to hear every and any opinions that we can pull the best from different worlds.
In practice, I find that things more resemble McCarthyism right now. And people instead of inviting and courting dissenting opinions lash out and attack people if they don’t conform to — and I’m certainly very socially liberal — if you don’t conform to what Silicon Valley views as the established set of credos and beliefs for a hyperliberal, you do get attacked. People do not ask many questions of your beliefs. They do not necessarily try to unpeel the layers or look at the nuances but instead respond immediately with this very, very violent opposition and ad hominem attack. And that really depresses me.
For the last few years at least, I’ve witnessed what appears to be the forming of an echo chamber that is even tighter, even more hermetically sealed than it usually is in Silicon Valley. And that’s unfortunate.
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