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The Net on AOL's Time Warner deal
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They've got money, power and huge hard drives,
so why aren't Silicon Valley's finest getting any?

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By Paulina Borsook

Jan. 12, 2000

#if !defined(EROS)

It's been observed that the Victorian era's astounding progress in engineering, communications and global capitalism is a tribute to what harnessing sexuality to commerce can do. The same might be said about Silicon Valley, where no sleep, no life and the residue of the valley's founding Puritanism (military/aerospace and semiconductor fabrication were not party-hearty industries) drive the information economy.

The guys wearing polo shirts who make the cover of Business 2.0 may be enjoying the pop-star eroticization of their image -- but the fact is, the engineers who actually build technology are mostly not singing the body electric. At least not in the way Whitman intended. Ignore the high-profile sexual bad behavior of Oracle CEO Larry Ellison or former Starwave CTO/Infoseek exec Patrick "hotseattle" Naughton -- their antics could have showed up in any industry sector, at any time. The Internet gold rush is not creating a new Barbary Coast in its stampede to the Bay Area.

// warning: works best without a girlfriend

while (alive);


Forget H-1B visas. In Silicon Valley the biggest immigration problem may be sex. People come from all over to work in the valley -- from other states and other countries. It's =hard= to make connections. Foreign nationals may have been schooled in the universal language of mathematics, but they may also be caught in a neuterland. That is, the rules of attraction and courtship they grew up with in Pakistan and Turkey don't apply here; dating, West Coast style, can be confounding even for the natives.

Maybe it's better to stay home with some much-loved Web sites.





At dinner with with several mid-to-late 20s engineers, both men and women, whose countries of origin were all over the Eurasian landmass, I was taken aback when they all shrugged and rolled their eyes at the notion of dating. They were fluent in English, presentably dressed, perfectly poised, all of them decent creatures -- if you had been forced into a blind date with any one of them, you would not have been repulsed and you would at least have had a convivial evening. It didn't make sense, on the face of it, that they had written off the prime recreational activity of most other members of their age group. When I spoke with a young man employed by a major computer company, whom I encountered in a short-term therapy group designed to help males figure out how to score better with females (unlock the key to female hardware and software!), he explained that he had done fine as a teenager in his Indian subcontinent homeland, but when he arrived in the United States to attend university he found there was so much culture shock that it was just too hard to also figure out the mating dance. And, he added, there was something about computer science that leads you away from learning/understanding/valuing the squishy irrational cues that are so necessary to doing well in the realm of spotting and sequestering a desirable mate.




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