The Gabfest on California’s college sexual consent law, political television, and Silicon Valley’s culture of disruption.

Is Silicon Valley Ruining America?

Is Silicon Valley Ruining America?

Slate's weekly political roundtable.
Oct. 10 2014 10:34 AM

The “Live in San Francisco Superfest” Edition

Listen to Slate's show about California’s sexual consent law, political television, and Silicon Valley’s impact on American culture.

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On this week’s Slate Political Gabfest, Emily Bazelon, John Dickerson, Stephen Metcalf, David Plotz, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner discuss California’s sexual consent law, political television shows, and Silicon Valley’s culture of disruption.

Here are some of the links and references mentioned during this week's show:

  • California’s new affirmative consent law improves upon the flaws of the previous “no means no” consent model.
  • The bill passed the California state Senate with unanimous approval.
  • In 2011, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights sent a letter to colleges urging them to curb sexual assaults on campus. By refusing to punish offenders, many universities could be violating of Title IX.
  • Harvard University recently announced the foundation of a new investigative body that will be dedicated solely to examining allegations of sexual assault on campus.
  • Last year, Emily Yoffe wrote a provocative article about the dangers that college women face when getting drunk in predatory environments.
  • Most research shows that almost all sexual assaults are committed by a very small percentage of men who often are repeat offenders.
  • Fox News has been predictably critical of Madam Secretary, hypothesizing that the show is essentially a campaign ad for a Hillary Clinton presidency.
  • Though some Silicon Valley companies are wrestling with unions and regulatory agencies over tech companies’ ability to employ contractors as a way to lower prices, some companies are moving away from this model.
  • Rebecca Solnit argues that tech companies are colonizing San Francisco, raising rents and not contributing to the local culture or giving back to the community in any civically responsible way.
  • Many universities are implementing bystander intervention programs that are aimed at diffusing predatory situations that may lead to sexual assault.
  • According to the Economist, over 17 million Kenyans—an enormous proportion of the population—use mobile banking.

Topic ideas for next week? You can tweet suggestions, links, and questions to @SlateGabfest.

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The email address for the Political Gabfest is (Email may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)

Podcast production by Ann Hepperman and Mike Vuolo. Links compiled by Maxwell Tani.

Emily Bazelon is a staff writer at the New York Times Magazine and the author of Sticks and Stones.

John Dickerson is a co-anchor of CBS This Morning, co-host of the Slate Political Gabfest, host of the Whistlestop podcast, and author of Whistlestop and On Her Trail.

Stephen Metcalf is Slate’s critic at large. He is working on a book about the 1980s.

David Plotz is the CEO of Atlas Obscura and host of the Slate Political Gabfest.

Dana Stevens is Slate’s movie critic.

Julia Turner, the former editor in chief of Slate, is a regular on Slate’s Culture Gabfest podcast.