From an email conversation with my friend, Laura Golden, about The Latte Manifesto a forthcoming book about culture or lack thereof in Silicon Valley

Or, what do I do about the problem of de-latte-ization in the affluent urban centers?

Hey, here’s an idea!! Let’s use gene therapy to make apes smarter and use
them as domestic servants. Hmm, never mind, need opposable thumbs to serve
coffee, probably would spill. They would revolt, wipe out humans, and take
over the earth? What are you smoking, it would never happen.

We could get Mexican’s, they’d be cheaper. But then every damn politician
that came along would threaten to deport them all for stealing good jobs
away from Americans. Course by then, they’d be TECH jobs, because you’d
need to be a PERL/JAVA/PHP/C++ programmer to operated the web-enabled 5 GHz
Pentium 5(tm) espresso machine and to keep out the 31337 L337 hackers using
Zombie IRC chat servers to Denial of Service attack Starbucks Inc.

We could use robots? Wouldn’t be cheaper or more efficient… probaby would
spill more coffee and cost a lot more, but hell you could put it on the web
and track it… little coffee cam, clip together the funniest spills and
sell the tv rights. Or maybe you could order your drink remotely and then
pick it up… cold. Hmm, too stupid? This is America, I don’t think so

What about 16 year old high school students? That used to work pretty well.
People complained that they were rude and hadn’t a clue about how to serve
coffee, but they at least did the job, and worked cheap? How about them?
What, you say? Too busy anyway rolling in IPO money and they have coffee
makers in their ferraris? Nevermind.

So where are we left? Well, I’m glad you asked that. You see the
problem of de-latte-ization in the affluent urban centers is one that I have
sworn to combat. I’ve been a strong proponate of education and school
vouchers. It is only through education that we can make a difference.