Silicon Valley millionaires are people, too

Craig Calcaterra on a lovely bout of naked self-interest:

The Silicon Valley Leadership group has sent a letter to Bud Selig in support of the Athletics moving to San Jose. You can read a press release about it and -- if you click an extra link -- a copy of the letter here. It's signed by the CEOs of Cisco, Yahoo!, eBay, Adobe and seventy others. The upshot: they think a ballpark in downtown San Jose would be swell and that it would "create jobs" and "strengthen the economy."


Of course, the move wouldn't hurt too terribly if this was primarily a private project, which the A's and San Jose leaders claim it will be. I just find it weird that putatively forward-thinking tech companies would get into this kind of boosterism. Maybe I'm just idealizing Silicon Valley in this regard, however, and they're no different than the insurance companies and car dealers and stuff that get on these kinds of bandwagons back east.

Craig, you are idealizing Silicon Valley.

Most of those guys know exactly what they're doing.

Humans are primarily motivated by self interest, by superstition and by tribe. They (OK, we) will ignore, forget or subconsciously twist the truth to serve one or more of those imperatives.

The magnates of Silicon Valley would love to see the A's in San Jose because it would give them more sporting options, and because the new ballpark would be closer than AT&T Park to Mountain View and Los Gatos and Sunnyvale and Los Altos and Cupertino and Saratoga.

And if the magnates have to tell a few white lies to make it happen ... well, that's what we do.