On a rainy night in December 1983, I drove to the mall in Columbia, Maryland. On the way home, the cold rain turned to freezing rain, and the roads became ice rinks. I almost slid off the road multiple times and passed numerous car accidents. Eventually, I decided to park close to a ditch and walk home before I hit a tree or worse. Icicles hung from my hair, and I could barely feel my feet. That was the night I decided to move West.
Spring break is a stretch that affords some of us in Silicon Valley a moment to pause and reflect. Driving around during my downtime, I was caught off guard as an older, gray Chevy sped by with a digital billboard attached to its roof. The word “byte” in bright red jumped out at me, but it quickly flipped to another ad — after eight seconds, it turns out — this one with smaller, harder-to-read type.
I sped up to see what the sign said. I already was going fast, but the Chevy was faster. I caught up briefly but still…
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