A flatbed truck rigged with a dozen 5-foot-tall speakers trundled into Liberty Square at 6 AM. High-pitched feedback startled a flock of birds perched on the surrounding electrical lines and awoke just about everyone in the neighborhood. A man approached a mic in the truck’s cockpit and cleared his throat.
“Disruptive innovation! Blockchain! Series B! Value curve! Web 3.0! Metaverse! 6G! Mixed reality! NFT!”
The voice boomed off the surrounding houses, rattling windows and terrifying pets.
“Hyperautomation! AI! Zettabyte! Deep learning! Biometrics!” it continued. “Predictive analysis! Data mining! SaaS! Quantum computing!”
Residents stepped out of their homes to ascertain the infernal racket’s source.
“This concludes the City of Miami’s community tech education program for Liberty Square,” explained the voice in the truck. “You are now fully prepared to benefit from Miami’s burgeoning tech sector. We will return tomorrow morning at the same time for your next batch of buzzwords.”
Neighbors threw curses and rocks at the truck as it trundled on to Little Haiti, then Allapattah, Overtown, and Little Havana to repeat its cacophonous task.
“We’re well aware of some people’s overblown concerns regarding Miami tech,” explained Brian Lanski, the City of Miami’s 28-year-old Chief Disruption Officer. He made an exaggerated frown and spoke in a whiny, mocking tone. “Like, ‘Oh my God, we can’t pay our rent anymore, and our unique, culturally rich neighborhoods are being destroyed, and we have to move away from our family, friends, and everything we love or we’ll be out on the street.’ Nonsense like that.”
Lanski, who refused to remove his AirPods or Warby Parkers for the entirety of the conversation, leaned way back in his office chair, placing his hands behind his head with a grunt.
“Which is why we initiated our community education project: to help Miami’s pesky Black and Latino—I mean underserved—populations enter the startup sector. There’s no better way to ensure they stay in their homes and stop serving as sources for Atlantic Magazine hit pieces on Miami tech.”
When asked what kind of jobs the program qualified participants for, Lanski replied, “Literally anything! Uber driver, Instacarter, TaskRabbiter, Amazon warehouse employee, there are tons of tech jobs in Miami they could fill after completing the program.”
“Those are all low-paying service sector jobs,” I rejoined. “Why not run free programs that teach coding, business fundamentals, and provide networking opportunities with potential investors? Or even better, just give targeted residents a regular stipend to pursue their own educational or commercial interests.”
Lanski shot me an incredulous look over the wooden sunglass frames.
“Because no one would ever hire them. I certainly wouldn’t.”
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