Luke HillmanWhen utopian scifi is your escape from small-town Southern living, it’s easy to feel like the ideals it depicts are already a foregone conclusion for civilization, and that everyone agrees the world of Star Trek is what we should be striving for. No discrimination. No poverty. Top-notch education and medical care for everyone. An environmentally-sustainable way of life. Discovery, both outward- and inward-facing, as the highest calling available to humans and our friends throughout the galaxy. And when you finish reading and go back to reality, and realize how far we still have to go, you want to do your part.

I figured when I joined the tech world I’d be part of a diverse community of people who were of similar mind — sure, we’d have different ideas about how best to bring about this future, but at least we could all agree it was a worthy goal. Designing technology to serve humans and humanity, all the while pushing the limits of possibility, seemed to me like a natural first step. So I packed up and moved to San Francisco, erstwhile Mecca of the tech world and future site of Starfleet Academy.

Surprise! Turns out that the struggle is as real here as it was there, the contrasts starker, the outcomes just as uncertain.

Nothing to do but get to work, I reckon.

Note: Regrettable experience has taught me to be firm: DO NOT contact me about opportunities in the fintech, marketing/advertising, social media, gaming, or retail spaces. If you’ve got an interesting proposition for me that passes this filter, feel free to get in touch and we’ll take things from there.

When I’m not at work, I’m likely tending my small flock of chickens, playing my concertina for a mischievous band of stick-wielding Morris dancers, or 3D printing custom lab equipment.