We all know that the bros in charge of Silicon Valley are getting rich off stealing all our personal information and probably secretly listening to us talk in order to use our deepest desires and insecurities to sell us shit. What you might not know about are the tech disasters causing actual physical injuries that have been occurring with terrifying frequency lately. Elon Musk and co. aren’t satisfied with just stealing our identities to get rich, they’re also down to literally kill us to do it. Thus, we bring you a roundup of the most worrying examples so you can be fully aware of the bizarre new ways Silicon Valley is setting us up to die in the future. Happy Monday, I hope you brought Xanax to work today.
Self Driving Car Crash
In late March, a Tesla Model X SUV driver was using the car’s Autopilot feature when the car crashed into a concrete highway divider and literally “burst into flames”. The autopilot system is not designed for true self-driving, but is meant to improve the ease and safety of driving while still requiring the human driver to pay attention. This month, in Tesla’s fourth car crash of the year, a Model S on autopilot hit a stopped firetruck. Meanwhile, Tesla CEO Elon Musk appears to be focused on using another Silicon Valley invention, Twitter, to flirt with pop stars. Clearly he has his priorities straight.
As if there weren’t enough reasons to hate cryptocurrency, now bitcoin thieves are literally holding people at gunpoint for access to their virtual wallets. Bitcoin is seriously layers of fucked up, from the fact that bitcoin mining uses more fossil fuel energy annually than 19 European countries to the influx of Bitcion-rich bros attempting to basically colonize Hurricane ravaged Puerto Rico and replace it with a crypto utopia literally called Puertopia. As though people don’t, you know, live there. Oh, and the value of a cryptocurrency is truly based on bros sitting around using the pure psychic power of being a white dude to think so hard about how cool their Bitcoin is that the Dow literally decides to agree with them. Must be nice.
Anyway, if all of that doesn’t convince you to stick to normal credit cards or at least Venmo, now purchasing cryptocurrencies might literally get you killed. In Canada, a group of thieves tied up employees at a Bitcoin company and held them hostage at gunpoint in an attempt to extort them for cryptocurrency. In December, bitcoin burglars kidnapped a Ukrainian bitcoin executive and in January another group of armed robbers staged a home break-in and forced a cryptocurrency trader to transfer them his Bitcoin, also at gunpoint. Basically, if your Hinge date this week is a Bitcoin bro, he probably has a shitty personality and he also might get you robbed at gunpoint. Swipe left.
As someone who is not ashamed to charge my vape at a pregame and whose limited edition rose gold Juul might be my prized possession, this one is honestly hard for me to write. Unfortunately, last week a Florida man’s e-cigarette literally killed him after it exploded, leaving him with burns and a fatal head wound. I’m not sure if it’s more embarrassing to die in a hover board or vape explosion, but maybe we should all just stick to legal weed at this point.
Solar Panel Burns
Trying to choose my last fave tech bro is honestly harder than ranking the Trump children on a scale of horribleness. Elon Musk is making a strong case for himself though, starting with his self-driving cars that kill people and coming in hot just this month as reports come out of extreme safety violations at Tesla solar energy plants. One employee was electrically shocked and burned after Tesla did not train workers properly or offer them protective gear to wear while installing solar panels. Basically, even renewable energy that might save us from total climate disaster could also kill us. Great.
Literally Just Stress
To conclude this incredibly depressing listicle (sorry), your future job at a tech startup might have beer and nitro cold brew on tap, but the debilitating stress of your work might drive you to develop high blood pressure, heart problems, and a variety of mental health issues. Silicon Valley has been dealing with some bad PR lately for a few minor things like selling our personal data to the Trump campaign and the aforementioned exploding devices, but the companies have also been receiving flak for stigmatizing mental illness and working their employees to the point of mental exhaustion and depression, with some even committing suicide. Amazon in particular experienced some well-deserved public shaming after a New York Times investigation revealed insane expectations of 24/7 availability and a culture of colleagues sabotaging each other that literally led to people publicly crying at their desks. Cool, sounds like Amazon is a more toxic social environment than my middle school.
Now that you’ve been fully informed of the dangers lurking in your self-driving uber, go soothe yourself by buying some overpriced fusion cuisine from a cash only food truck and driving your own car yourself. It’s not the singularity yet!
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