Michael Lewis Says Silicon Valley Is a Bunch of "Autistic People Wandering Around"

Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

American nonfiction writer and journalist Michael Lewis caused a stir on Wednesday when, during an interview with Bloomberg TV, the bestselling author made a reference to people living with autism when talking about the residents of Silicon Valley. A nickname for the area of the San Francisco Bay Area known for its tech culture, Silicon Vally is the root of such giants as Google, Facebook, Pinterest, Tesla and Hewlett-Packard, to name a few. 

Wednesday's conversation focused on a book Lewis published in the late '90s called The New New Thing: A Silicon Valley Story. "The New New Thing was the single hardest book I wrote," Lewis said during the interview. "It's a hard place to write about because there's a lack of emotional content. It's a cold place."

"It's basically a bunch of autistic people wandering around," Lewis said during the interview. "People get artificially excited about technology but it doesn't feel warm or hot." 

Source: Mic/YouTube

People with mental disabilities, such as autism or down syndrome, have frequently been on the receiving end of offensive jokes or remarks. 

Lewis' comments were in response to a question about his next subject — specifically, if he plans to tackle the inner workings of the tech community's frontline. Lewis has penned a number of books, many of which explore the worlds of business and finance. A smattering of his works include 2003's Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, 2009's Panic: The Story of Modern Financial Insanity and last year's Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt.

Lewis, a resident of Berkeley, California, delivered Silicon Valley a parting blow. "I wouldn't live in Palo Alto. If all I knew of California was Palo Alto, I would't have stayed. It's a nice place to visit, the streets are clean and everybody's rich. But it's hard to find something you love there."

Watch the full video below:

Source: YouTube

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Liz Rowley

Liz is a staff writer at Mic, covering breaking news. She is based in New York and can be reached at lrowley@mic.com.

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