De-Bug: Voices from the Underside of Silicon Valley

De-Bug: Voices from the Underside of Silicon Valley
Paperback, 5.5 x 8, 128 pages.
ISBN: 9781597143196.

By Raj Jayadev , Jean Melesaine

Silver Medal, 2016 Foreword INDIES Book Awards.

No shuttle buses here: De-Bug, a new collection of true stories from the social justice organization of the same name, shows a side of working in Silicon Valley that you won’t read about in the business section. As tech moguls land the cover of Forbes, the South Bay’s working class is making ends meet as metal scrappers, factory workers, club bouncers, hairstylists, rickshaw drivers, ice cream cart pushers. The stories in De-Bug are poignant, often very funny accounts of bootstrapping in the land of angel investors and thought leaders. A construction worker predicts which of his customers are about to strike it rich and which are on the edge of bankruptcy based on the states of their swimming pools. A “secondhand hustler” travels the garage sale–flea market circuit in search of treasures to resell online. A temp worker at a medical device manufacturer sells his blood, at the company’s request, to test the equipment. These storytellers are frank when discussing their own flaws, but are equally up-front about the rigged system in which they operate.

Disruptive in the truest sense of the word, De-Bug offers valuable insight into California’s latest boomtown.

Reviews

“Whether selling blood for cash, demolishing pools for rich retirees, or hustling garage-sale goods, Silicon Valley's less-noticed denizens show an unexpected knack for grace, wit, and survival.” Kentaro Toyama, author of Geek Heresy: Rescuing Social Change from the Cult of Technology
“Brilliant! A work of truth. De-Bug captures the heartbeat of the Silicon Valley.” Leila Steinberg, entertainment manager and founder, Aim 4 the HEART
“If you truly want to know Silicon Valley, in all of its complexity, then De-Bug is a must-read.” Tomás Jiménez, associate professor of sociology, Stanford University
+ Show all reviews
Category Politics

About the Authors

Raj Jayadev

Raj Jayadev

Raj Jayadev is the cofounder of Silicon Valley De-Bug. His community organizing and writings about Silicon Valley have been featured in The New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, a PBS-aired documentary, and media outlets across the country. For his work lifting up personal experiences to impact public discourse around social, economic, and political issues, Jayadev has received numerous awards, including the MacArthur Fellowship and the Ashoka Fellowship. He lives in San Jose, California, with his wife and son.

Jean Melesaine

Jean Melesaine

Jean Melesaine is a Samoan American documentary writer-photographer based out of Oakland, California. Working with Silicon Valley De-Bug for over ten years, she was taught conscious photography from community members as a teenager. Her parents are from the villages of Moamoa and Faleali’li in Western Samoa. Jean’s photography and writings have been featured in places such as the Oakland Museum of California, and have earned a number of awards including the Tautai Arts Trust, an international residency for artists and writers.

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