Nellie Bowles is one of the few journalists who lives and writes in the Venn diagram of both Adaam and Vanessa’s interests. For years she was the tech reporter for The New York Times and her epic 2022 piece on San Francisco’s decline for The Atlantic deservedly kicked up a lot of attention, including from your podcast hosts — for different reasons, of course. In 2021, she left “mainstream” media and started the independent media outlet The Free Press with her wife Bari Weiss (where she writes the TGIF newsletter). In this conversation we talk about SF (following up on our conversation with Vishaan Chakrabarti), tech culture, ideological capture, media mediocrity, and the joys (really) of parenthood.
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On the agenda:
-Nellie, great writer, enthusiastic new parent [0:00-7:24]
-The shit show that is San Francisco [7:25-17:56]
-Preserving painted ladies vs. laundromats [17:57-29:18]
-The saga of Chesa Boudin [29:19-44:15]
-Covering tech’s heart, mind, and scams [44:16-1:09:19]
-Wrapping Up and Being Kind [1:09:20-1:13:52]
Uncertain Things is hosted and produced by Adaam James Levin-Areddy and Vanessa M. Quirk. For more doomsday rumination, subscribe to: uncertain.substack.com.