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Has Keynes's Much-Derided Forecast of a 15-Hour Workweek Come True at Google?
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Back in 1930, economist John Maynard Keynes wrote in “Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren:”

… we shall endeavour to spread the bread thin on the butter – to make what work there is still to be done to be as widely shared as possible. Three-hour shifts or a fifteen-hour week may put off the problem for a great while. For three hours a day is quite enough to satisfy the old Adam in most of us!

This has been frequently scoffed at. But maybe at Google, inside the 60 hours weeks there lurks a 15 hour week of actual work?

Commenter Almost Missouri says:

January 9, 2018 at 1:33 pm GMT • 200 Words( Edit-2150255)

Maybe I’m out of touch, but scanning through the James Damore lawsuit file, what leaps out at me most is the question, “Does anyone actually work for a living anymore?”

Vast amounts of time at the company supposedly on the cutting edge of productiveness, Google, are spent in what appear to be nonstop poz yakfests: publishing political manifestos and memes, lobbying for peer bonuses, discussing the proper way of announcing one’s polygamy, lecturing on life as a “dragonkin plural being”, etc.

All strength and power to Mr. Damore, but looking over his lengthy memo, I can’t help but think that when I worked in corporate America, I wouldn’t have had time to compose such a thing, and had anyone reporting to me done so, I would have had … reservations about their time management, even if I agreed with what they wrote.

Is Google so rich that it can afford to be endlessly, epically stupid? Longevity despite imbecility was alleged about the even more rich USA, and we all know where that is heading…

BTW, does Google actually make money from anything beyond it’s online advertising monopoly that dates from the 1990s? From what I can tell, all of its side hustles, spin-offs, “moon-shots”, etc. are money losers. Just a lot of heat/noise/flash to obscure that it still relies financially on that billion-dollar river of nickels that is AdWords.

 
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  1. Some of this has always happened. Major corporations have always been full of intrigue and such. Only that the ordinary employees maybe didn’t see as much but managers certainly did.

    I have a feeling that some of this is a special case, not Google per se but the business, where there’s a lot of highly sought after individuals and employers need to keep them happy. I’m sure Google thinks this will benefit them in the end

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    • Replies: @Neoconned
    After obsessively reading Zero Hedge for say the last 7 years "on and off again" I've become convinced most of Silicon Valley is a giant repository for a good chunk of the liquidity the Fed has printed up the last few yrs....you & I sure as hell haven't seen much of that money.

    As I've noted before I've spent most of my life working in the service industry. The last 3 jobs I've had I literally was doing what I'd argue 4-6 jobs in one....all for $8/hour or less.

    For instance I would often be given ten minutes to get done what if I moved like the goldbricker girls at my local library would take me an hour. Failure to get it done would result in public dress downs and humiliations by my bosses about incompetence etc

    I often am sent home early or on break even if I'm busting ass.

    This is what I never understood about Silicon Valley. Where I live near New Orleans and no, I am NOT KIDDING who work 60-70 hour weeks for a lousy pre tax $500-600 per week like my manager.

    My friend Scott lives in Santa Clara County and he clears $170k per year doing coding for an educational software company. He travels several times a year and basically has an entire month off work. He clears $~$4k a week and half the time he plays on social media or games.

    I've had TWO DAYS OFF in the last 3.5 WEEKS because half my restaurant night crew quit or got fired at the end of December. And now I'm the ONLY COOK on staff.

    This fuckin math doesn't add up. I bust my ass w overtime and I'm lucky to clear $250/week down here and yet he's making close to double what general practice doctors make where I live who clear 60 plus he WEEKS.

    He's doing this w a month vacation and gobs of free time playing computer games and fucking off on his computer.

    This doesn't add up. For w/e reason the govt is propping up the stock prices of these tech companies to astronomical levels.

    A VERY CREDIBLE conspiracy theory I have read here & on Zero Hedge is that the Deep State spooks prop up silicon valley and use Fed reserve money printing tricks to literally drench them in cash and in return they give the spooks backdoor access to dossiers on foreigners of intelligence interest and more likely on potential domestic activists and subversives.
    , @Crawfurdmuir
    I remember, decades ago, when the railroads were trying to renegotiate contracts with their unions that required the employment of fire-men, even though they were running diesel locomotives and there was no need for personnel whose jobs had been rendered obsolete along with the coal-burning engine. The unions refused to give up these members' jobs, while management wanted to eliminate them, referring to them as "featherbedding."

    My late father had an acquaintance who was a significant contractor doing business with railroads, and he said this man remarked at the time - "If you think there is featherbedding on the trains, you ought to see how much more there is in the offices."

    The nature of clerical and managerial employment, of course, lends itself to wool-gathering and gold-bricking to a greater extent than does physical or mechanical labor. Moreover, office work has seldom been subject to the kind of time-and-motion study that has routinely been carried out on the shop floor for more than a century.
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  2. I’m not sure which Office Space clip to post here, so I’ll let you all decide:

    - the one where Peter tells the Bobs about how he spaces out all day
    - the one where Peter tells Michael how humans weren’t meant to be in cubicles
    - the one where Lumbergh tells Peter he needs to go ahead and put the new cover sheet on the TPS reports

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    • Replies: @Peter Akuleyev
    How about the one where Peter tells Bob that he has 8 bosses and his only motivation is to not get fired?
    , @BenKenobi
    Just post the first 2/3 of the movie.
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  3. 9I would place odds below achieving the very necessary goal off killing no-fault divorce, but it would be great if we could shake off this baseless sarariman nonsense that productivity = hours spent at your desk. I am seeing many anonymous admissions that people work for about three hours, get everything done, then they fool around online — and those are (believing them) the “people who do stuff,” as opposed to the insufferable communicators, for whom work is a social club, and the mere slackers. Speaking of which, no meetings shoud be allowed, until people have accepted Orwell’s implication that honest and effective language must be simple and clear (and therefore, not necessarily, but more often than not, — short).

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    • Replies: @guest
    Orwell was a man, and therefore didn't know language is for unpacking feelz as much as communicating.
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  4. The reality of all these technology monopolies — Google, Microsoft, Facebook — is this: they basically fund workers to the point that most of their revenue — which is nothing but rent on their monopoly position — is spent. They more or less decide in advance how much profit they want to make on their monopoly money, and go about making sure that that profit is produced, and no more.

    Typically, only a small portion of their revenue is spent to maintain the product that brings in all the money. Even the maintenance is mostly unnecessary or worse: a step back, as any user of Windows Bazillion knows. The rest is spent on “research and development” which may — but never does, it seems — produce further profitable lines.

    Why do they engage in this scam? Because they know that if they just took in the surplus from their monopoly rent and kept it as profit, they would be exposed to all the world as the detestable, gouging monopoly that they are. So they hide the racket behind “research” and “business” efforts of which the larger world might approve.

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    • Replies: @anonymous coward

    Why do they engage in this scam? Because they know that if they just took in the surplus from their monopoly rent and kept it as profit, they would be exposed to all the world as the detestable, gouging monopoly that they are. So they hide the racket behind “research” and “business” efforts of which the larger world might approve.
     
    Not quite. The other thing is the fact that if their employees were working at some other (more productive) place, then they might make something that hurts their monopoly status. Cheaper to pay them money to slack all day than eventually be forced to pay more to deal with threats to the status quo.
    , @Neoconned
    Most of their capital comes from their bogus over valuated stock prices. Which in turn are propped up by the Wall Street banks, the Fed and the Deep State spooks who use them to spy on ppl.

    That's how their goldbricker coders can quite literally afford to get paid as much as a freaking neurosurgeon in some flyover state with 10 years clinical experience and longer in educational terms.

    It makes no sense, these slacker geeks make more than doctors. Once the Fed funny money stops flowing Bay Area real estate is going to crash mighty...

    It's like how Apple has basically become a giant hedge fund w a higher valuation than the fucking GDPs of certain mid tier countries....

    , @Clyde

    Even the maintenance is mostly unnecessary or worse: a step back, as any user of Windows Bazillion knows.
     
    Microsoft ribbons being a fine example. But the corporate Office users would think something is fishy if the Office GUI looked the same for ten years. Then they grafted their (damnable) ribbon onto file explorer which is slows down maneuverability. I think some whipped by Ballmer Hindus came up with this flaky look.
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  5. He probably planned the memo for months and wrote it at home.

    Like a lot of work places it’s probably men actually doing the work and minority women strutting around to their meetings which produce nothing but compliance reports and other garbage.

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    • Agree: Anonym
    • Replies: @NickG
    I understand he - James Damore - wrote the memo on a flight to China.
    , @NoWeltschmerz
    Yes, he may have done a lot of the research if not writing at home. He may also be very productive (the formerly much heralded 10x engineer).
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  6. No, I don’t think that they do make money with anything but ads on search results. I wish I had a source, but I vaguely recall that even the YouTube subsidiary loses money and that was the reason behind their most recent cuts to payouts to content makers.

    I suspect that at the billionaire level that Google is playing a whole different game. It’s about keeping engineers and coders working for you and not working for the other guy, the other guy being Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, etc. All the best microserfs work on your digital estate. But in the absence of any real, constructive, profitable work that generates actual profits and therefore status, employee behavior devolves into virtue signaling.

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    • Replies: @Sid
    "It’s about keeping engineers and coders working for you and not working for the other guy, the other guy being Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, etc."

    Apple and Google have agreements to not trade employees: https://www.cnsnews.com/mrctv-blog/barbara-boland/steve-jobs-shocking-response-getting-google-employee-fired

    wrt to how long tech employees work: I expect people working in start-ups work insane hours, but the goal is to get bought out by one of the Big Five.

    I bet some employees in the Big Five work long hours, but probably a lot of the 60 hour work week is just eating and relaxing on the tech campus.
    , @Rod1963
    Interesting thing is that most Google employees don't stay there long. Just little over a year and they split.

    In fact they have the fourth highest turnover rate of any major corporation.

    If anything a lot of techies are using it to build their resume and move on or it really sucks for most workers. Consider this, even with the salary they pay say $160k yearly in San Francisco/Silicon Valley means you share a grubby apartment or make a three hour commute.

    Even the techs who are making the high six figures it's not much better. Buy a house? Yeah a tract home for a couple million that in other parts of the state you can get for 1/10 the price.

    It's really a crappy bargain to work for them when you factor in the cost of living.
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  7. And Adwords isn’t that effective, if you pay attention, and is (quite likely) a scam.

    I know as mall businesses who have used Adwords for its small business website. They played with it for a a good six months, and despite the fact that Google spent the full advertising budget each day—meaning they were supposedly getting clicks on their ads on Google, which would take people to their websites—-they were getting far fewer clicks than Google was charging them for (because they had non-Google-based websites, which told them the actual number of people coming per day, and could tell you which ones were from Google), and the clicks were simply not turning into new customers.

    They tried everything to increase sales with all the Adwords tutorials and tips/tricks you can find, but Adwords simply wasn’t delivering customers and Google simply was lying about Adwords’ clickrate and effectiveness. Then Google tried to get them to install Google Analytics on their websites, which supposedly was a “superior” web traffic analyzer which would give them their “real” traffic and “pinpoint” how to increase their sales from Adwords, but they smelled the scam and deactivated their Adwords account, preferring to get traffic organically through local searches for their type of business. The number of customers never increased or decreased.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    AdWords typically takes some time to get right and is more complicated than it seems, but it’s actually very effective for most advertisers. It’s also just a piece of the enormous advertising ecosystem that Google controls.

    Think about the data they collect outside of the 75% of all searches they’re already listening to. Do you use Gmail? Ever watched YouTube? How about Chromecast? 60% of the browser market is Chrome, which connects you and Google to all the user IDs you’ve logged into via their browser. The list of data collection points is long and they bring in additional 3rd party data to supplement further. Advertisers have a (mostly) anonymous 360 degree view of their targets.

    Point being, Google is a lot of things but they didn’t get to where they are by building bad product or being dumb. They’ve been so successful at having better widgets than everyone else and connecting the dots between devices, logins and various data that we should all be worried about how deeply they’ve embedded themselves in our lives.

    , @jackmcg
    Much as I hate Google, there's no way Adwords is a scam. Too expensive to be profitable in lot of cases, yes. But outright lying about your clicks? Very, very unlikely. Many people watch this stuff closely, no way click fraud could have gone on this long.

    The mall business you know may have done everything right, but they're probably just in a niche thats unprofitable for ppc advertising. Doesn't make it Google's fault.

    Now I have to shower like 5 times after defending Google.
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  8. They may want only 15 hours of work from you but they expect 7*24 hours of complete loyalty, devotion and adoration for the company and the system.

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  9. Also, the explanation for a lot of this freetime is that its for HR and diversity hires.

    HR and diversity hires are clearly being given wide birth to do what they want on company time, and not hinder the search/Adwords/gmailwork and sales, which are likely put in separate areas. Then when the HR/diversity hires want to flex some muscle, the searc/Adwords/gmail folks are dragged in front of them for a program, or forced to answer a survey, or listen to a lecture, and such.

    The diversity hires are probably easily satiated with short work days, no overtime or weekends, and a cushy office, and maybe some make-work memos every once in a while. Everyone here knows about the lazy Corporate Token Negro; heck, Obama was our Corporate Token Negro president.

    It’s the purplehairs in HR who are the problem, since they are SJWs trying to burn the place to the ground and assert their authority. They aren’t satisfied with makework and out before 5 days like the diversity employees, they want to bend you to their will. So HR must be either (1) summarily fired and reorganized; or (2) kept very small and/or powerless (, otherwise they will come to grow and demand more and more parodies of auto de fes.

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    • Replies: @E. Rekshun
    Obama was our Corporate Token Negro president.

    And Michele Obama had that $300K/yr token PR job at some Chicago hospital.
    , @larry lurker

    It’s the purplehairs in HR who are the problem
     
    I read the first 50 pages of the lawsuit and googled every Google employee's name that appeared - at least three of the most aggressive ones were clearly trannies.
    , @Simon Tugmutton

    the purplehairs in HR
     
    LOL
    , @Mr. Anon
    HR has become a cult. Have you seen those commercials touting some kind of HR certification racket?

    The awfulness of HR departments seems to have started about the same time that their name was changed from "Personnel" to "Human Resources". Employees went from being persons to being resources.
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  10. @tyl3r
    No, I don't think that they do make money with anything but ads on search results. I wish I had a source, but I vaguely recall that even the YouTube subsidiary loses money and that was the reason behind their most recent cuts to payouts to content makers.

    I suspect that at the billionaire level that Google is playing a whole different game. It's about keeping engineers and coders working for you and not working for the other guy, the other guy being Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, etc. All the best microserfs work on your digital estate. But in the absence of any real, constructive, profitable work that generates actual profits and therefore status, employee behavior devolves into virtue signaling.

    “It’s about keeping engineers and coders working for you and not working for the other guy, the other guy being Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, etc.”

    Apple and Google have agreements to not trade employees: https://www.cnsnews.com/mrctv-blog/barbara-boland/steve-jobs-shocking-response-getting-google-employee-fired

    wrt to how long tech employees work: I expect people working in start-ups work insane hours, but the goal is to get bought out by one of the Big Five.

    I bet some employees in the Big Five work long hours, but probably a lot of the 60 hour work week is just eating and relaxing on the tech campus.

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    • Replies: @tyl3r
    Sid, that you for the reminder. I had forgotten about the wage-fixing allegations: https://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/01/technology/engineers-allege-hiring-collusion-in-silicon-valley.html. This suggests that tech moguls know the supply of talent is short-term inelastic. You really can't turn a laid-off autoworker into a codemonkey.

    Also, let's not forget the iSteveian diversity shakedown racket's impact on the composition of the workforce at tech companies.

    , @Clyde

    I bet some employees in the Big Five work long hours, but probably a lot of the 60 hour work week is just eating and relaxing on the tech campus.
     
    Don't panic, the chow is organic. At the big five cafeterias. More non-seriousness is the huge expanse of trees in the center of the Apple mother ship. I believe the Apple-naughts call it an orchard. If I had a center facing window I would be looking out all day from my gilded prison cell.
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  11. Back in the good old days, factory work at places like GM was like this. Of course, those guys had the good taste to use that time for sleeping off hangovers, conducting side enterprises within the plant (booking bets on football games, running a coffee pool, etc.), or hopping the fence to spend time at the bar. I worked in one slightly after the glory days had ended and I don’t tvink my busiest day on the job would have topped 2 hours.A fairly accurate portrayal can be found in Rivethead by Ben Hamper.

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    • Replies: @psmith

    A fairly accurate portrayal can be found in Rivethead by Ben Hamper.
     
    This is a great book.
    , @Buffalo Joe
    Horseball, I did some work at the local GM plant and the roof monitors, the louvered sheds that housed air cleaners etc., had cots in them.
    , @gunner29
    I worked in one slightly after the glory days had ended and I don’t tvink my busiest day on the job would have topped 2 hours.A fairly accurate portrayal can be found in Rivethead by Ben Hamper.

    You obviously weren't working on an assembly job; I'm guessing union goon rep or some floating manager without a firm assignment of responsibility.

    My summer college job was at a Ford plant. All on a line. You couldn't leave your machine for more than 30 seconds, to maybe a minute, without it backing up into the machine that feed you. The department foreman was there, he had daily production quotas, and if he didn't make them without a valid reason like a machine failing or he wasn't getting parts from earlier in the process, he was kissing his job goodbye.

    And somebody working 2 hours a shift would have killed his production and that's not gonna happen. You get canned.

    I have Stampers book, he worked the line and when he left the plant for lunch, that was 30 minutes and he had to be back or the line stopped when the next station couldn't work because the part Stamper was to install, wasn't there.

    He also did a job sharing deal with the other guy at his station. One guy worked both jobs for half an hour or an hour, and then the other guy could sleep or whatever. But that only works where you have 2 people; if you're solo, no way could you do that.


    The last 4 months at Ford I had a great job. I ran a machine that was the first of seven. Quota was 100 parts an hour. Me and the guy next in line could run 200 parts an hour, the rest only could do 100.

    We would flog those machines for 4 hours, put the excess in steel tubs that the rest of the line could use to run the last 4 hours. The two of us would give our ID card and a dollar to the guys that were working the entire 8 hours. They would punch us out and slip the card back thru the ventilation louvers on my locker. So when I came in the next night, grabbed the card, punched in and did another flog dog.

    We had to get done in 4 hours because there was a half hour window for lunch and you could leave the plant without getting stopped by management.

    The foreman had no problem with this; he had the 800 parts from our machine built and sitting in the department. So that was 2 guys and 3 machines he didn't have to worry about. And if one of our machines crapped out, we were so far ahead, they could spend an hour or two fixing it and he would still make his 800. Of course we were screwed and it wasn't a day we were getting home early.

    Once they got the machine running, we'd flog it and go sit in the cafeteria for a couple hours and then punch out.

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  12. It depends on the job and the company. Point-of-the-spear jobs can still be long hours. My inamorata works in middle office operations for a big bank and the last time she worked from home it was pretty much non-stop, not even taking time to eat, from 8am to 6pm. On the other hand, she says there are women at the office in event planning and they do very little work all day.

    Google is a different animal. Some of what they and the other tech oligopolists do, apparently, is stockpile talent to keep them away from competitors. I quoted this in a post about Damore that Seeking Alpha thought was too political to publish as an article:

    Years later, he landed at Microsoft and says he saw how Microsoft used high-paying jobs strategically, within both its engineering ranks and its research-and-development unit, Microsoft Research. The company, he says, would nab hard-to-find experts in up-and-coming fields like artificial intelligence, robotics, natural speech language, quantum computing, and so on, often allowing them to collect their Microsoft pay while maintaining a job as a professor or researcher at a university.

    “You keep engineering talent but also you prevent a competitor from having it, and that’s very valuable,” he said. “It’s a defensive measure.”

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    • Replies: @Wade
    I'm actually very happy --as a human being-- to know that tech giants may be slowing development down on AI and robotics, if indeed this is what they are doing. The economy simply won't exist by and large if humans don't have productive work to do. So, it would seem to be the case, at least from my amateur perspective, that curtailing development into AI is in the best interests of most industries, at least collectively if not individually.

    I'm not saying this is what the folks at Microsoft are telling themselves necessarily. But I wonder if the "logic" of this situation hasn't somehow created a market incentive for tech giants to avoid AI research while claiming they're all for it.

    Especially Google, who would be very well positioned to develop and deploy game changing AI, and yet still just gets its money from Adwords. To remain profitable Adwords depends upon billions of gainfully employed consumers that have money to spend when they surf online, else no business would pay for their service. In 15 or 20 years when AI completely puts bank tellers, accountants, doctors and God knows who else out of work, just who is going to be clicking on those ads with the intent of buying something?

    Thanks for posting this. It's encouraging to think that big bureaucratic companies are gobbling up AI/Robotics talent then dragging their feet about it. Of course funding college professors' salaries just increases the likelihood that their students, who aren't getting those kinds of salaries, will some day create startups to get around the tech giant bureaucracy and push economy destroying AI right through anyway.

    , @Thin-Skinned Masta-Beta
    Very reminiscent of how Volksenterprises hoarded labor and talent in the GDR and USSR...

    Not sure about the implications of this parallel...

    But no matter how much in demand those human cogs of the proletariat were, it didn't end well for them and the many of the best of the brightest couldn't resist the temptation of the brutal demands of the market competition on the other side of the wall where their gifts and talents would be better used and rewarded.

    Perhaps in our time the temptation of a swashbuckling "no rules" but the demand for delivering success... quickly... is provided by the independent startups that haven't yet been saddled with by the big brother, or perhaps more appropriately big sister, of human resources and the busy work of regulatory compliance and 24x7 pious virtue signalling and phony corporate social responsibility.

    What a tragic waste so much talent is locked up by the temptations of corrupt distribution of payoffs from monopoly rent-seeking unitied with HR big sister repression. Maybe it's all for the best that there's a brake on the human brilliance from unleashing the artificially intelligent ending of our humanity?

    No matter.

    Honesty compels that we view these organizations for what they really are.

    Facebook?
    "Faceboot" forever is probably more accurate...

    In the spirit of boycotting tyranny, recent days have seen me seriously considering what other mobile ecosystem options exist to be able to exit the distasteful duopoly of Apple and Google. Odd that the only real direction that occurred to me would be to side with a company from Red China in hope that a Huwaei or Lenovo eventually gets enough momentum of its own give the two leaders from California a real challenge and eventually to provide a genuine alternative.

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  13. @Sid
    "It’s about keeping engineers and coders working for you and not working for the other guy, the other guy being Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, etc."

    Apple and Google have agreements to not trade employees: https://www.cnsnews.com/mrctv-blog/barbara-boland/steve-jobs-shocking-response-getting-google-employee-fired

    wrt to how long tech employees work: I expect people working in start-ups work insane hours, but the goal is to get bought out by one of the Big Five.

    I bet some employees in the Big Five work long hours, but probably a lot of the 60 hour work week is just eating and relaxing on the tech campus.

    Sid, that you for the reminder. I had forgotten about the wage-fixing allegations: https://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/01/technology/engineers-allege-hiring-collusion-in-silicon-valley.html. This suggests that tech moguls know the supply of talent is short-term inelastic. You really can’t turn a laid-off autoworker into a codemonkey.

    Also, let’s not forget the iSteveian diversity shakedown racket’s impact on the composition of the workforce at tech companies.

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    • Replies: @Sid
    You're very welcome! And I agree completely, the sentiment that laid off factory workers should code is the "let them eat cake" of the 21st century.

    It's too bad tech companies resorted to all kinds of ugly schemes to keep the wages of coders and engineers artificially low, including funnelling in countless H1Bs, only to thereafter burn through the revenues in the diversity rackets. Maybe all of that made business sense in today's economy but it's still a sad sight.
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  14. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    This comment doesn’t address the deeper issues here, but at the press conference on Monday Damore and the lead lawyer pressed the point that the memo had been written in response to a request for feedback at a “diversity” event that Damore had attended. He had attended the event since he was hoping to advance into management, and managers were told that they needed to be on top of “diversity” issues. The organizers of the diversity event urged those attending to submit feedback on how to better pursue the diversity objectives. Damore took this quite seriously, and the whole memo is focused on the goal of doing “diversity” better. So this was not some screed or manifesto that he wrote while wasting company time. Instead, it was a direct attempt to fulfill job requirements as they had been conveyed to him. (Of course, many people no doubt think that the “job” of someone at Google is to write computer code, but that is another issue…)
    The emphasis on the memo being produced as part of his “work” seems quite astute, and when conjoined with the claim that much of the content of the discussion therein also counts as legally protected discussion of work conditions, the legal groundwork for this case seems much more impressive than the typical person will pick up from reading reports in the MSM.

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    • Replies: @tyl3r
    Point deer make horse?
    , @anonymous
    Very good points. Very well written.

    I suspect that a goodly number of the other commenters haven't even read Mr. Damore's memo. They just want to opine, and share tangential anecdotes.
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  15. “Does anyone actually work for a living anymore?”

    Almost Missouri has a point. My guess is very large and apparently very successful enterprises are transformed at some point in their life cycles from economic go-getters into, for want of a better term, “social welfare” schemes that sell products or services to cover for a lot of “dis-economic” activity. This predates affirmative action.

    One retired steelworker told me outright, “They (supervisors) would send ten guys to do the work two guys could do. Nobody cared, because everyone (workers, management, shareholders) was still making money.” Until they stopped making money.

    I don’t know beans about the internal workings of Google and its economic kinfolk, but if it’s anything like the university where I’m an insider-observer, there’s a decisive fraction of non-contributing nose-pickers on the payroll who do nothing but collect the rent on the assumption that revenues will go on and on.

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    • Replies: @Luke Lea
    "One retired steelworker told me outright, “They (supervisors) would send ten guys to do the work two guys could do. Nobody cared, because everyone (workers, management, shareholders) was still making money.” Until they stopped making money."

    That's the beauty of "incentive-based work-sprints" in relation to the concept of factories in the countryside run on part-time jobs. See Chapter Two, "What Profit It?" : https://goo.gl/8cWYCW
    , @Escher
    Yup. At my old university they used the term “Physical Plant” (the group that maintained the infrastructure) to describe a group of people standing around watching someone work.
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  16. Those of us who come from professions where 15 hours per day is more the norm than the exception–take exception.

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    • Replies: @Neoconned
    I beg for hours and can't get more than 40.
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  17. @Anonymous
    This comment doesn't address the deeper issues here, but at the press conference on Monday Damore and the lead lawyer pressed the point that the memo had been written in response to a request for feedback at a "diversity" event that Damore had attended. He had attended the event since he was hoping to advance into management, and managers were told that they needed to be on top of "diversity" issues. The organizers of the diversity event urged those attending to submit feedback on how to better pursue the diversity objectives. Damore took this quite seriously, and the whole memo is focused on the goal of doing "diversity" better. So this was not some screed or manifesto that he wrote while wasting company time. Instead, it was a direct attempt to fulfill job requirements as they had been conveyed to him. (Of course, many people no doubt think that the "job" of someone at Google is to write computer code, but that is another issue...)
    The emphasis on the memo being produced as part of his "work" seems quite astute, and when conjoined with the claim that much of the content of the discussion therein also counts as legally protected discussion of work conditions, the legal groundwork for this case seems much more impressive than the typical person will pick up from reading reports in the MSM.

    Point deer make horse?

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  18. In most corporations there are a small number of people who carry the company and a lot of deadwood who mainly look busy. In tech the core people are usually in sales and/ or engineering. Sometimes there not even crucial people in those roles; the company got lucky with a product and business model at the right time and is coasting on fumes. That usually doesn’t end well unless they get bought out in time. Apple and Google seem to fit that model. Things are even worse in these sjw times because the non productive people are largely comprised of sjw who hate many of the customers, put ideology ahead of business and use virtue signalling as a way to get more power since they are incompetent.

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    • Replies: @jim jones
    Surely this is just the Pareto Principle, 20% of the workforce do all the actual work
    , @Bubba
    You got that right. Google is an SJW asylum - http://metro.co.uk/2018/01/10/google-criticised-talk-worker-sexually-identifies-ornate-building-7219464/#mv-b
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  19. @Anonymous
    This comment doesn't address the deeper issues here, but at the press conference on Monday Damore and the lead lawyer pressed the point that the memo had been written in response to a request for feedback at a "diversity" event that Damore had attended. He had attended the event since he was hoping to advance into management, and managers were told that they needed to be on top of "diversity" issues. The organizers of the diversity event urged those attending to submit feedback on how to better pursue the diversity objectives. Damore took this quite seriously, and the whole memo is focused on the goal of doing "diversity" better. So this was not some screed or manifesto that he wrote while wasting company time. Instead, it was a direct attempt to fulfill job requirements as they had been conveyed to him. (Of course, many people no doubt think that the "job" of someone at Google is to write computer code, but that is another issue...)
    The emphasis on the memo being produced as part of his "work" seems quite astute, and when conjoined with the claim that much of the content of the discussion therein also counts as legally protected discussion of work conditions, the legal groundwork for this case seems much more impressive than the typical person will pick up from reading reports in the MSM.

    Very good points. Very well written.

    I suspect that a goodly number of the other commenters haven’t even read Mr. Damore’s memo. They just want to opine, and share tangential anecdotes.

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    • Replies: @Forbes
    Without exception, every media report I've seen regarding Damore's lawsuit completely mis-characterizes the entire backstory surrounding Damore's firing as The Narrative of a troglodyte racist, sexist who implicitly deserved dismissal (I exaggerate, only slightly).
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  20. @tyl3r
    Sid, that you for the reminder. I had forgotten about the wage-fixing allegations: https://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/01/technology/engineers-allege-hiring-collusion-in-silicon-valley.html. This suggests that tech moguls know the supply of talent is short-term inelastic. You really can't turn a laid-off autoworker into a codemonkey.

    Also, let's not forget the iSteveian diversity shakedown racket's impact on the composition of the workforce at tech companies.

    You’re very welcome! And I agree completely, the sentiment that laid off factory workers should code is the “let them eat cake” of the 21st century.

    It’s too bad tech companies resorted to all kinds of ugly schemes to keep the wages of coders and engineers artificially low, including funnelling in countless H1Bs, only to thereafter burn through the revenues in the diversity rackets. Maybe all of that made business sense in today’s economy but it’s still a sad sight.

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    • Replies: @DCThrowback
    great thread, reminded me of this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jroQCyWwEgE

    An iSteve post about Silicon Valley and no actual Silicon Valley clip makes me a sad boy.
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  21. @njguy73
    I'm not sure which Office Space clip to post here, so I'll let you all decide:

    - the one where Peter tells the Bobs about how he spaces out all day
    - the one where Peter tells Michael how humans weren't meant to be in cubicles
    - the one where Lumbergh tells Peter he needs to go ahead and put the new cover sheet on the TPS reports

    How about the one where Peter tells Bob that he has 8 bosses and his only motivation is to not get fired?

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    • Replies: @anonymous-antimarxist
    I think Damore has stated that he was reporting to almost a dozen managers, half of them female. I think that explains why he took the time to write the memo that was his downfall.
    , @njguy73
    Go to 1:37. Just a little something to get everyone over the weekly hump.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8afqoDL3Qsk
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  22. My dirty little secret is that never in my 32-year professional career have I worked as hard as I did at my teen and college summer jobs doing kitchen work, or at my college newspaper internship.

    No matter how many hours I officially spend at the office (and I have worked from home going on 18 years), only a scant few hours per week are actually productive. Yet I manage to pull down great annual reviews every year and have had a colleague describe me as “insanely productive.”

    How? Because, apparently, I can sit down and in a few hours of concentration code more than those other slackers? Or we are ALL sandbagging.

    Most of what we all do just isn’t really important. Nobody dies if my product doesn’t exist. The world goes on. I live in a world of artificial deadlines and artificial emergencies. At least when I worked for a newspaper there was an actual product with real distribution deadlines that had to be met every single day. That experience gave me a little perspective on the so-called, ever-slipping, artificial deadlines of the software industry.

    I think that’s why most really good work is done by small startups — they have skin in the game.

    Any employee of a large company with sufficient intelligence for self-awareness has to realize that his company doesn’t really care about him and that he’s just one false move away from being thrown overboard like James Damore, or laid off if the bean-counters decide that’s best for the corporation. That doesn’t inspire loyalty. The rational strategy is to maximize reward vs. effort. And I suspect that unspoken strategy is so widespread among companies that hire smart people that all companies are substantially less productive than they could be if everyone was working at full potential, and I suspect that the larger the company the more significant this sandbagging strategy is.

    The newspaper I worked for back in the 80s and 90s had a no layoff policy that they had maintained for more than 100 years, and that inspired striking employee loyalty. It wasn’t uncommon to see 30- or 40-year service anniversaries in the company newsletter.

    But right near the end of the century, the internet was changing the newspaper business, and my newspaper was seeing management change from old newspaper men to MBAs and HR professionals. I don’t know which was more destructive, but I saw the writing on the wall — the business was no longer committed to its employees, so I left. Now, the idea that any business of any size would be committed to its employees strikes me as laughably naive. Those days are gone.

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    • Replies: @Mr. Blank
    I’ve worked in newspapers since the late 90s.

    I don’t know how representative my experience is, but for me, it’s been a maddeningly variable career. Everything is dependent on the news, which is entirely beyond my control. There are weeks when I probably do less than 15 hours of actual work. Then there are weeks when I easily exceed 100 hours of work and literally have to sleep underneath my desk (no joke — I have a pillow and sleeping bag in my car just in case).

    Through it all, every company I’ve worked for has been pretty adamant about news employees putting in exactly 40 hours a week, week after week. No more, no less. As if news occurs on a regular, predictable schedule.

    Which is completely nuts.

    Notably, employees in the news department at my current job have to fill out time sheets. We are not required to clock in and out with a time clock, even though the company has one and it is literally right next to our office. I take that as an indication that the company knows that the “hours” we put down as worked are largely fanciful. Whether we worked 11 hours or 110 hours, they want to see the same number on our paperwork: 40 hours.

    Lest anyone reading this peg me as lazy, let me assure you, those 100+ hour weeks easily balance out the 15 hour weeks. I suspect my long-term average easily exceeds 40 hours a week. That’s what I tell myself, anyway, because what’s the alternative? I take immense pride in my work. I’m very, very good at my job. If I were completely honest about my hours, they’d fire me and most likely replace me with somebody objectively worse. So I’d be unemployed and our readers would get an inferior product. It would be a lose-lose situation all around.

    So I don’t know. I vaguely suspect an enormous chunk of the modern economy consists of busywork that ultimately has no real purpose, and that Keynes’ 15-hour workweek is nearly attainable — but that this busywork also answers some deeper human need.
    , @Luke Lea
    'No matter how many hours I officially spend at the office (and I have worked from home going on 18 years), only a scant few hours per week are actually productive. Yet I manage to pull down great annual reviews every year and have had a colleague describe me as “insanely productive.”'

    As a matter of fact Keynes himself would polish off his official work at the India Foreign Office in one hour each morning as I recall from one of his biographers.
    , @Prof. Woland
    There is a rule that pay and benefits do not motivate employees, it only keeps them from leaving. The problem is that is true for both productive and non-productive ones. The key is to ruthlessly fire employees as soon as you know they are B- level or less (3 months in most cases). The hard part is figuring out how to measure that. In sales it is easy because you can quantify everything. It is like sports. But in softer areas, it is hard to really know. And then you have the problem with diversity hires.
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  23. @whorefinder
    Also, the explanation for a lot of this freetime is that its for HR and diversity hires.

    HR and diversity hires are clearly being given wide birth to do what they want on company time, and not hinder the search/Adwords/gmailwork and sales, which are likely put in separate areas. Then when the HR/diversity hires want to flex some muscle, the searc/Adwords/gmail folks are dragged in front of them for a program, or forced to answer a survey, or listen to a lecture, and such.

    The diversity hires are probably easily satiated with short work days, no overtime or weekends, and a cushy office, and maybe some make-work memos every once in a while. Everyone here knows about the lazy Corporate Token Negro; heck, Obama was our Corporate Token Negro president.

    It's the purplehairs in HR who are the problem, since they are SJWs trying to burn the place to the ground and assert their authority. They aren't satisfied with makework and out before 5 days like the diversity employees, they want to bend you to their will. So HR must be either (1) summarily fired and reorganized; or (2) kept very small and/or powerless (, otherwise they will come to grow and demand more and more parodies of auto de fes.

    Obama was our Corporate Token Negro president.

    And Michele Obama had that $300K/yr token PR job at some Chicago hospital.

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  24. @candid_observer
    The reality of all these technology monopolies -- Google, Microsoft, Facebook -- is this: they basically fund workers to the point that most of their revenue -- which is nothing but rent on their monopoly position -- is spent. They more or less decide in advance how much profit they want to make on their monopoly money, and go about making sure that that profit is produced, and no more.

    Typically, only a small portion of their revenue is spent to maintain the product that brings in all the money. Even the maintenance is mostly unnecessary or worse: a step back, as any user of Windows Bazillion knows. The rest is spent on "research and development" which may -- but never does, it seems -- produce further profitable lines.

    Why do they engage in this scam? Because they know that if they just took in the surplus from their monopoly rent and kept it as profit, they would be exposed to all the world as the detestable, gouging monopoly that they are. So they hide the racket behind "research" and "business" efforts of which the larger world might approve.

    Why do they engage in this scam? Because they know that if they just took in the surplus from their monopoly rent and kept it as profit, they would be exposed to all the world as the detestable, gouging monopoly that they are. So they hide the racket behind “research” and “business” efforts of which the larger world might approve.

    Not quite. The other thing is the fact that if their employees were working at some other (more productive) place, then they might make something that hurts their monopoly status. Cheaper to pay them money to slack all day than eventually be forced to pay more to deal with threats to the status quo.

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  25. @whorefinder
    Also, the explanation for a lot of this freetime is that its for HR and diversity hires.

    HR and diversity hires are clearly being given wide birth to do what they want on company time, and not hinder the search/Adwords/gmailwork and sales, which are likely put in separate areas. Then when the HR/diversity hires want to flex some muscle, the searc/Adwords/gmail folks are dragged in front of them for a program, or forced to answer a survey, or listen to a lecture, and such.

    The diversity hires are probably easily satiated with short work days, no overtime or weekends, and a cushy office, and maybe some make-work memos every once in a while. Everyone here knows about the lazy Corporate Token Negro; heck, Obama was our Corporate Token Negro president.

    It's the purplehairs in HR who are the problem, since they are SJWs trying to burn the place to the ground and assert their authority. They aren't satisfied with makework and out before 5 days like the diversity employees, they want to bend you to their will. So HR must be either (1) summarily fired and reorganized; or (2) kept very small and/or powerless (, otherwise they will come to grow and demand more and more parodies of auto de fes.

    It’s the purplehairs in HR who are the problem

    I read the first 50 pages of the lawsuit and googled every Google employee’s name that appeared – at least three of the most aggressive ones were clearly trannies.

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    That's been my experience: for a lethal combination of high IQ, hostility, and taking things personally, nobody compares to the late onset ex-men. For example, I've had a lot of run-ins with the SPLC over the years, but the only time they got me shook was about a dozen years ago when the SPLC teamed up with computer genius Lynn Conway and economist Donald/Deirdre McCloskey to persecute anybody who'd said a kind word about the Northwestern professor who'd published a book revealing their secret that they hadn't always felt like a girl on the inside. Those two are really smart and really mean.
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  26. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @whorefinder
    And Adwords isn't that effective, if you pay attention, and is (quite likely) a scam.

    I know as mall businesses who have used Adwords for its small business website. They played with it for a a good six months, and despite the fact that Google spent the full advertising budget each day---meaning they were supposedly getting clicks on their ads on Google, which would take people to their websites----they were getting far fewer clicks than Google was charging them for (because they had non-Google-based websites, which told them the actual number of people coming per day, and could tell you which ones were from Google), and the clicks were simply not turning into new customers.

    They tried everything to increase sales with all the Adwords tutorials and tips/tricks you can find, but Adwords simply wasn't delivering customers and Google simply was lying about Adwords' clickrate and effectiveness. Then Google tried to get them to install Google Analytics on their websites, which supposedly was a "superior" web traffic analyzer which would give them their "real" traffic and "pinpoint" how to increase their sales from Adwords, but they smelled the scam and deactivated their Adwords account, preferring to get traffic organically through local searches for their type of business. The number of customers never increased or decreased.

    AdWords typically takes some time to get right and is more complicated than it seems, but it’s actually very effective for most advertisers. It’s also just a piece of the enormous advertising ecosystem that Google controls.

    Think about the data they collect outside of the 75% of all searches they’re already listening to. Do you use Gmail? Ever watched YouTube? How about Chromecast? 60% of the browser market is Chrome, which connects you and Google to all the user IDs you’ve logged into via their browser. The list of data collection points is long and they bring in additional 3rd party data to supplement further. Advertisers have a (mostly) anonymous 360 degree view of their targets.

    Point being, Google is a lot of things but they didn’t get to where they are by building bad product or being dumb. They’ve been so successful at having better widgets than everyone else and connecting the dots between devices, logins and various data that we should all be worried about how deeply they’ve embedded themselves in our lives.

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    • Replies: @Alden
    It’s hard to avoid using chrome anymore.
    , @whorefinder
    Market data, as Steve has repeatedly emphasized stories of his own history in marketing, really doesn't change things. Since most people don't understand that (not being advertisers/marketers), they merely conclude that because Google has a huge amount of marketing information through its various portals (web search, clickrate, YouTube, Chromecast, gmail), therefore it must deliver the best bang for the advertising buck.

    Show me such "bang for the buck" quantified and then we can tuck. My observations of it and the small business I know show it to be a lot of sizzle with no steak.
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  27. @whorefinder
    Also, the explanation for a lot of this freetime is that its for HR and diversity hires.

    HR and diversity hires are clearly being given wide birth to do what they want on company time, and not hinder the search/Adwords/gmailwork and sales, which are likely put in separate areas. Then when the HR/diversity hires want to flex some muscle, the searc/Adwords/gmail folks are dragged in front of them for a program, or forced to answer a survey, or listen to a lecture, and such.

    The diversity hires are probably easily satiated with short work days, no overtime or weekends, and a cushy office, and maybe some make-work memos every once in a while. Everyone here knows about the lazy Corporate Token Negro; heck, Obama was our Corporate Token Negro president.

    It's the purplehairs in HR who are the problem, since they are SJWs trying to burn the place to the ground and assert their authority. They aren't satisfied with makework and out before 5 days like the diversity employees, they want to bend you to their will. So HR must be either (1) summarily fired and reorganized; or (2) kept very small and/or powerless (, otherwise they will come to grow and demand more and more parodies of auto de fes.

    the purplehairs in HR

    LOL

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  28. @larry lurker

    It’s the purplehairs in HR who are the problem
     
    I read the first 50 pages of the lawsuit and googled every Google employee's name that appeared - at least three of the most aggressive ones were clearly trannies.

    That’s been my experience: for a lethal combination of high IQ, hostility, and taking things personally, nobody compares to the late onset ex-men. For example, I’ve had a lot of run-ins with the SPLC over the years, but the only time they got me shook was about a dozen years ago when the SPLC teamed up with computer genius Lynn Conway and economist Donald/Deirdre McCloskey to persecute anybody who’d said a kind word about the Northwestern professor who’d published a book revealing their secret that they hadn’t always felt like a girl on the inside. Those two are really smart and really mean.

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    • Replies: @Antlitz Grollheim
    Just how they exaggerate "feminine" traits like a side to side hip wiggle when they walk, or ditzy intonation, hair flips, and the like, they're "performing" cattiness but with the intensity and focus of a testosteroid.

    I knew I was a woman cuz I always felt this bitch inside me wanting to get out...
    , @Jacaranda
    Really? I would be interested in reading a post about that.
    , @whorefinder
    Trannies always seem to be larger, muscular, unfeminine men with a lot of aggressiveness, such as Bruce Jenner. I have never really seen a tranny who's an effeminate male that really looks like a female, outside of perhaps Jon Leguizamo's fictional portrayal of one in To Wong Foo (which also included the very masculine/intimidating Patrick Swayze and Wesley Snipes as his fellow drag queens/protectors/friends). It's always six foot tall dudes with man hands (Bruce Jenner) or lumpy but muscular men in lipstick (Eddie Izzard, who doesn't actually claim to be a female).

    Add to theaggressive tranny physique the fact that there is clearly something mentally wrong with them, which your amygdala picks up on even outside of the fact that they are insisting nonsensically that they are female. Simply put, you know instinctively and extrinsincly that a tranny can't be reasoned with and is crazy, and if you disagree too much they won't simply walk away but will try to assault you, and given their size and masculinity, will put a hurting on you.

    The result is that trannies arguing for trannydom are often incredibly scary creatures physically when angered, whose size allows them to intimidate others into agreeing with them. When ESPN gave the "Woman of the Year" award to Bruce Jenner (lol), they had cuck Ben Shapiro on to argue against it, but sat the physically small Shapiro next to a large tranny who basically tried to use his size to intimidate Shapiro into silence when he wasn't acting like an aggressive crazy person in shouting him down.

    I also will point out that tall men, traditionally, often have their anger taking more seriously than smaller men, because an angry tall man is more of a physical threat. This is why the term Napoleonic syndrome was invented to laugh at angry small men---because no one laughs when a large scary dude is angry. So the fact that trannies tend to be larger also accounts for their gripes being acceded to.
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  29. @Alden
    He probably planned the memo for months and wrote it at home.

    Like a lot of work places it’s probably men actually doing the work and minority women strutting around to their meetings which produce nothing but compliance reports and other garbage.

    I understand he – James Damore – wrote the memo on a flight to China.

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    • Replies: @Alden
    Productive use of time.
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  30. On the subject of office politics I recommend Venkatesh Rao’s series “The Gervais Principle” over at Ribbonfarm. He concurs with those commentators here that many employees have concluded that the only way to salvage their dignity in the face of a bad economic deal is to become bare-minimum performers.

    https://www.ribbonfarm.com/the-gervais-principle/

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    • Replies: @Anon
    He's like Priss Factor x10.
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  31. I work in a call center for a discount stock broker. Non-stop calls,issues,complaints. Nine straight hours a day. 80-110 calls/ day. Bosses bring in lunch and guilt ,shame and look askance on anyone taking a break beyond a quick trip to the bathroom.

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  32. @Cloudbuster
    My dirty little secret is that never in my 32-year professional career have I worked as hard as I did at my teen and college summer jobs doing kitchen work, or at my college newspaper internship.

    No matter how many hours I officially spend at the office (and I have worked from home going on 18 years), only a scant few hours per week are actually productive. Yet I manage to pull down great annual reviews every year and have had a colleague describe me as "insanely productive."

    How? Because, apparently, I can sit down and in a few hours of concentration code more than those other slackers? Or we are ALL sandbagging.

    Most of what we all do just isn't really important. Nobody dies if my product doesn't exist. The world goes on. I live in a world of artificial deadlines and artificial emergencies. At least when I worked for a newspaper there was an actual product with real distribution deadlines that had to be met every single day. That experience gave me a little perspective on the so-called, ever-slipping, artificial deadlines of the software industry.

    I think that's why most really good work is done by small startups -- they have skin in the game.

    Any employee of a large company with sufficient intelligence for self-awareness has to realize that his company doesn't really care about him and that he's just one false move away from being thrown overboard like James Damore, or laid off if the bean-counters decide that's best for the corporation. That doesn't inspire loyalty. The rational strategy is to maximize reward vs. effort. And I suspect that unspoken strategy is so widespread among companies that hire smart people that all companies are substantially less productive than they could be if everyone was working at full potential, and I suspect that the larger the company the more significant this sandbagging strategy is.

    The newspaper I worked for back in the 80s and 90s had a no layoff policy that they had maintained for more than 100 years, and that inspired striking employee loyalty. It wasn't uncommon to see 30- or 40-year service anniversaries in the company newsletter.

    But right near the end of the century, the internet was changing the newspaper business, and my newspaper was seeing management change from old newspaper men to MBAs and HR professionals. I don't know which was more destructive, but I saw the writing on the wall -- the business was no longer committed to its employees, so I left. Now, the idea that any business of any size would be committed to its employees strikes me as laughably naive. Those days are gone.

    I’ve worked in newspapers since the late 90s.

    I don’t know how representative my experience is, but for me, it’s been a maddeningly variable career. Everything is dependent on the news, which is entirely beyond my control. There are weeks when I probably do less than 15 hours of actual work. Then there are weeks when I easily exceed 100 hours of work and literally have to sleep underneath my desk (no joke — I have a pillow and sleeping bag in my car just in case).

    Through it all, every company I’ve worked for has been pretty adamant about news employees putting in exactly 40 hours a week, week after week. No more, no less. As if news occurs on a regular, predictable schedule.

    Which is completely nuts.

    Notably, employees in the news department at my current job have to fill out time sheets. We are not required to clock in and out with a time clock, even though the company has one and it is literally right next to our office. I take that as an indication that the company knows that the “hours” we put down as worked are largely fanciful. Whether we worked 11 hours or 110 hours, they want to see the same number on our paperwork: 40 hours.

    Lest anyone reading this peg me as lazy, let me assure you, those 100+ hour weeks easily balance out the 15 hour weeks. I suspect my long-term average easily exceeds 40 hours a week. That’s what I tell myself, anyway, because what’s the alternative? I take immense pride in my work. I’m very, very good at my job. If I were completely honest about my hours, they’d fire me and most likely replace me with somebody objectively worse. So I’d be unemployed and our readers would get an inferior product. It would be a lose-lose situation all around.

    So I don’t know. I vaguely suspect an enormous chunk of the modern economy consists of busywork that ultimately has no real purpose, and that Keynes’ 15-hour workweek is nearly attainable — but that this busywork also answers some deeper human need.

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  33. I imagine Google’s cost accounting is now so complicated that even the CFO has only a vague idea of what lines of business are money makers.

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  34. “Hell is full of the talented, but heaven of the energetic.” — St. Jane Frances de Chantal

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  35. Vast amounts of time… are spent in what appear to be nonstop poz yakfests: publishing political manifestos and memes, lobbying for peer bonuses, discussing the proper way of announcing one’s polygamy, lecturing on life as a “dragonkin plural being”, etc.

    Hah… you oughta see how bad the taxpayer-funded “education” racket is… it’s ALL 100% wall-to-wall bullshit.

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  36. @njguy73
    I'm not sure which Office Space clip to post here, so I'll let you all decide:

    - the one where Peter tells the Bobs about how he spaces out all day
    - the one where Peter tells Michael how humans weren't meant to be in cubicles
    - the one where Lumbergh tells Peter he needs to go ahead and put the new cover sheet on the TPS reports

    Just post the first 2/3 of the movie.

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  37. @Peter Akuleyev
    How about the one where Peter tells Bob that he has 8 bosses and his only motivation is to not get fired?

    I think Damore has stated that he was reporting to almost a dozen managers, half of them female. I think that explains why he took the time to write the memo that was his downfall.

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  38. Obviously Google shouldn’t have fired James Damore. But I infer from the fact that they did that they did fire him that he really wasn’t that crucial to Google’s productivity. Like someone else wrote above in this thread, Google seems to have a penchant to stockpile these kind of people.

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    • Agree: Bubba
    • Replies: @Desiderius

    But I infer from the fact that they did that they did fire him that he really wasn’t that crucial to Google’s productivity.
     
    And that peacock's tail must serve some purpose.

    Right?
    , @Forbes

    But I infer from the fact that they did that they did fire him that he really wasn’t that crucial to Google’s productivity.
     
    With ~74,000 employees, it's unlikely any one is crucial to Google's productivity--including Sundar Pinchai.

    In fact, that's the point of the large-scale business model--no one is ever crucial, nor should they be. Corporate America is filled with a laundry list of crucial employees that led to a firm's demise.
    , @J.Ross
    Nobody is crucial to Google's productivity, they could cut their workforce by three quarters with no noticeable difference. But I don't register any doubt that Damore was one of those guys who doesn't get the joke, who actually does work at work, and who therefore finds himself "helping" others.
    I imagine that, at a place like Google, you actually don't want your employees to ever get to be like [that one guy]* was to Henry Ford. Asus is a popular and respected computer brand: they started as the Chinese factory that makes Dells. Google managers must look at all their better employees -- the guys who aren't responsible for the doodle -- as arrested competition.
    *Totally drawing a blank but this was a Ford assistant who drew up patents like they were pancakes, invented a large number of things essential to cars, and was mercilessly punished for it. The manufacturers retained inferior processes until the patents expired to avoid paying him. He went off on his own and his car company was a hit with enthusiasts, but he ruined his own business by halting production every time he had a bright idea so that every single car coming out would have the maximum number of new gizmos.
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  39. @Peter Akuleyev
    How about the one where Peter tells Bob that he has 8 bosses and his only motivation is to not get fired?

    Go to 1:37. Just a little something to get everyone over the weekly hump.

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    • Replies: @International Jew
    That Peter, he's no fraier.
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  40. This cracks me up. I worked for large organizations for about 35 years, in big university health care, in IT, in big entrepreneurial engineering firms, in the automobile industry, and ORGANIZATIONS ARE ALL THE SAME!

    Google had one idea, ONE IDEA, and it was a doozy – create the best place for consumers to find what they want, then sell ads at that spot. One of the biggest cash cows in the history of business. And how have they invested that money? I don’t think any of their other “businesses” have ever amounted to anything in terms of profit.

    Every business I’ve ever worked in had vast pockets where thousands of employees stood idle for months or years at a time, waiting for the business cycle to turn and provide work. The idea that Google is special or different because it has so many “smart” employees is pure narcissism.

    In fact, if you track the behavior of honey bees, you’ll find that there are a few hard workers, the majority slack off when they can, the elite bees who attend the queen sit around and let the others do the work, etc.

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  41. How about a scenario where for every top engineer working 60 hours a week you have 3 people on welfare?

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  42. @Fredrik
    Some of this has always happened. Major corporations have always been full of intrigue and such. Only that the ordinary employees maybe didn't see as much but managers certainly did.

    I have a feeling that some of this is a special case, not Google per se but the business, where there's a lot of highly sought after individuals and employers need to keep them happy. I'm sure Google thinks this will benefit them in the end

    After obsessively reading Zero Hedge for say the last 7 years “on and off again” I’ve become convinced most of Silicon Valley is a giant repository for a good chunk of the liquidity the Fed has printed up the last few yrs….you & I sure as hell haven’t seen much of that money.

    As I’ve noted before I’ve spent most of my life working in the service industry. The last 3 jobs I’ve had I literally was doing what I’d argue 4-6 jobs in one….all for $8/hour or less.

    For instance I would often be given ten minutes to get done what if I moved like the goldbricker girls at my local library would take me an hour. Failure to get it done would result in public dress downs and humiliations by my bosses about incompetence etc

    I often am sent home early or on break even if I’m busting ass.

    This is what I never understood about Silicon Valley. Where I live near New Orleans and no, I am NOT KIDDING who work 60-70 hour weeks for a lousy pre tax $500-600 per week like my manager.

    My friend Scott lives in Santa Clara County and he clears $170k per year doing coding for an educational software company. He travels several times a year and basically has an entire month off work. He clears $~$4k a week and half the time he plays on social media or games.

    I’ve had TWO DAYS OFF in the last 3.5 WEEKS because half my restaurant night crew quit or got fired at the end of December. And now I’m the ONLY COOK on staff.

    This fuckin math doesn’t add up. I bust my ass w overtime and I’m lucky to clear $250/week down here and yet he’s making close to double what general practice doctors make where I live who clear 60 plus he WEEKS.

    He’s doing this w a month vacation and gobs of free time playing computer games and fucking off on his computer.

    This doesn’t add up. For w/e reason the govt is propping up the stock prices of these tech companies to astronomical levels.

    A VERY CREDIBLE conspiracy theory I have read here & on Zero Hedge is that the Deep State spooks prop up silicon valley and use Fed reserve money printing tricks to literally drench them in cash and in return they give the spooks backdoor access to dossiers on foreigners of intelligence interest and more likely on potential domestic activists and subversives.

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    • Agree: Thea
    • Replies: @Alden
    You could be right Here’s a horrible thought. What if your employer decides that he needs only one hard working cook and doesn’t hire anyone to share the load?
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  43. @JackOH
    "Does anyone actually work for a living anymore?"

    Almost Missouri has a point. My guess is very large and apparently very successful enterprises are transformed at some point in their life cycles from economic go-getters into, for want of a better term, "social welfare" schemes that sell products or services to cover for a lot of "dis-economic" activity. This predates affirmative action.

    One retired steelworker told me outright, "They (supervisors) would send ten guys to do the work two guys could do. Nobody cared, because everyone (workers, management, shareholders) was still making money." Until they stopped making money.

    I don't know beans about the internal workings of Google and its economic kinfolk, but if it's anything like the university where I'm an insider-observer, there's a decisive fraction of non-contributing nose-pickers on the payroll who do nothing but collect the rent on the assumption that revenues will go on and on.

    “One retired steelworker told me outright, “They (supervisors) would send ten guys to do the work two guys could do. Nobody cared, because everyone (workers, management, shareholders) was still making money.” Until they stopped making money.”

    That’s the beauty of “incentive-based work-sprints” in relation to the concept of factories in the countryside run on part-time jobs. See Chapter Two, “What Profit It?” : https://goo.gl/8cWYCW

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  44. @candid_observer
    The reality of all these technology monopolies -- Google, Microsoft, Facebook -- is this: they basically fund workers to the point that most of their revenue -- which is nothing but rent on their monopoly position -- is spent. They more or less decide in advance how much profit they want to make on their monopoly money, and go about making sure that that profit is produced, and no more.

    Typically, only a small portion of their revenue is spent to maintain the product that brings in all the money. Even the maintenance is mostly unnecessary or worse: a step back, as any user of Windows Bazillion knows. The rest is spent on "research and development" which may -- but never does, it seems -- produce further profitable lines.

    Why do they engage in this scam? Because they know that if they just took in the surplus from their monopoly rent and kept it as profit, they would be exposed to all the world as the detestable, gouging monopoly that they are. So they hide the racket behind "research" and "business" efforts of which the larger world might approve.

    Most of their capital comes from their bogus over valuated stock prices. Which in turn are propped up by the Wall Street banks, the Fed and the Deep State spooks who use them to spy on ppl.

    That’s how their goldbricker coders can quite literally afford to get paid as much as a freaking neurosurgeon in some flyover state with 10 years clinical experience and longer in educational terms.

    It makes no sense, these slacker geeks make more than doctors. Once the Fed funny money stops flowing Bay Area real estate is going to crash mighty…

    It’s like how Apple has basically become a giant hedge fund w a higher valuation than the fucking GDPs of certain mid tier countries….

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  45. @Cloudbuster
    My dirty little secret is that never in my 32-year professional career have I worked as hard as I did at my teen and college summer jobs doing kitchen work, or at my college newspaper internship.

    No matter how many hours I officially spend at the office (and I have worked from home going on 18 years), only a scant few hours per week are actually productive. Yet I manage to pull down great annual reviews every year and have had a colleague describe me as "insanely productive."

    How? Because, apparently, I can sit down and in a few hours of concentration code more than those other slackers? Or we are ALL sandbagging.

    Most of what we all do just isn't really important. Nobody dies if my product doesn't exist. The world goes on. I live in a world of artificial deadlines and artificial emergencies. At least when I worked for a newspaper there was an actual product with real distribution deadlines that had to be met every single day. That experience gave me a little perspective on the so-called, ever-slipping, artificial deadlines of the software industry.

    I think that's why most really good work is done by small startups -- they have skin in the game.

    Any employee of a large company with sufficient intelligence for self-awareness has to realize that his company doesn't really care about him and that he's just one false move away from being thrown overboard like James Damore, or laid off if the bean-counters decide that's best for the corporation. That doesn't inspire loyalty. The rational strategy is to maximize reward vs. effort. And I suspect that unspoken strategy is so widespread among companies that hire smart people that all companies are substantially less productive than they could be if everyone was working at full potential, and I suspect that the larger the company the more significant this sandbagging strategy is.

    The newspaper I worked for back in the 80s and 90s had a no layoff policy that they had maintained for more than 100 years, and that inspired striking employee loyalty. It wasn't uncommon to see 30- or 40-year service anniversaries in the company newsletter.

    But right near the end of the century, the internet was changing the newspaper business, and my newspaper was seeing management change from old newspaper men to MBAs and HR professionals. I don't know which was more destructive, but I saw the writing on the wall -- the business was no longer committed to its employees, so I left. Now, the idea that any business of any size would be committed to its employees strikes me as laughably naive. Those days are gone.

    ‘No matter how many hours I officially spend at the office (and I have worked from home going on 18 years), only a scant few hours per week are actually productive. Yet I manage to pull down great annual reviews every year and have had a colleague describe me as “insanely productive.”’

    As a matter of fact Keynes himself would polish off his official work at the India Foreign Office in one hour each morning as I recall from one of his biographers.

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    • Replies: @Wade
    I don't think many people understand what being a software developer is actually like. I am one. There were times when I worked 60 hours a week and there have been times when I only worked hard for 20 hours a week. However, once I was told some code I had written over the course of a week had saved our small company $65,000. I know (although they avoid telling me) that things that took me about a month to create have saved them hundreds of thousands of dollars per year and counting. Other things that I worked hard on, spending long hours even on my weekends, ended up not getting used at all due to a change in management. However, no matter how much money this amounts to or how much time I actually spend doing hard work or just being lazy, my salary increases are still just 2.5% a year and I'm not entitled to bonuses. Only managers are entitled to 10% raises and bonuses for projects that are completed.

    So what difference should it make if it takes me 20 hours or 40 hours of coding time to accomplish something for which there is isn't a direct, linear relationship between man hours, costs saved and salary earned (as long as it gets done by their deadline)? Sometimes taking long "brain breaks" to read iSteve and Unz articles just makes me more productive tomorrow when I really feel like it. :)

    I bet lots of software developers (although not all) at tech giants are in similar situations.
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  46. @Anonymous
    Those of us who come from professions where 15 hours per day is more the norm than the exception--take exception.

    I beg for hours and can’t get more than 40.

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    • Replies: @Alden
    Of course not, they would have to pay you overtime.
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  47. He said he did this memo while on a flight to China.

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  48. @Alden
    He probably planned the memo for months and wrote it at home.

    Like a lot of work places it’s probably men actually doing the work and minority women strutting around to their meetings which produce nothing but compliance reports and other garbage.

    Yes, he may have done a lot of the research if not writing at home. He may also be very productive (the formerly much heralded 10x engineer).

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  49. @Cloudbuster
    My dirty little secret is that never in my 32-year professional career have I worked as hard as I did at my teen and college summer jobs doing kitchen work, or at my college newspaper internship.

    No matter how many hours I officially spend at the office (and I have worked from home going on 18 years), only a scant few hours per week are actually productive. Yet I manage to pull down great annual reviews every year and have had a colleague describe me as "insanely productive."

    How? Because, apparently, I can sit down and in a few hours of concentration code more than those other slackers? Or we are ALL sandbagging.

    Most of what we all do just isn't really important. Nobody dies if my product doesn't exist. The world goes on. I live in a world of artificial deadlines and artificial emergencies. At least when I worked for a newspaper there was an actual product with real distribution deadlines that had to be met every single day. That experience gave me a little perspective on the so-called, ever-slipping, artificial deadlines of the software industry.

    I think that's why most really good work is done by small startups -- they have skin in the game.

    Any employee of a large company with sufficient intelligence for self-awareness has to realize that his company doesn't really care about him and that he's just one false move away from being thrown overboard like James Damore, or laid off if the bean-counters decide that's best for the corporation. That doesn't inspire loyalty. The rational strategy is to maximize reward vs. effort. And I suspect that unspoken strategy is so widespread among companies that hire smart people that all companies are substantially less productive than they could be if everyone was working at full potential, and I suspect that the larger the company the more significant this sandbagging strategy is.

    The newspaper I worked for back in the 80s and 90s had a no layoff policy that they had maintained for more than 100 years, and that inspired striking employee loyalty. It wasn't uncommon to see 30- or 40-year service anniversaries in the company newsletter.

    But right near the end of the century, the internet was changing the newspaper business, and my newspaper was seeing management change from old newspaper men to MBAs and HR professionals. I don't know which was more destructive, but I saw the writing on the wall -- the business was no longer committed to its employees, so I left. Now, the idea that any business of any size would be committed to its employees strikes me as laughably naive. Those days are gone.

    There is a rule that pay and benefits do not motivate employees, it only keeps them from leaving. The problem is that is true for both productive and non-productive ones. The key is to ruthlessly fire employees as soon as you know they are B- level or less (3 months in most cases). The hard part is figuring out how to measure that. In sales it is easy because you can quantify everything. It is like sports. But in softer areas, it is hard to really know. And then you have the problem with diversity hires.

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    • Replies: @Alden
    Well yeah, why else would anyone work?
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  50. @Anonymous
    AdWords typically takes some time to get right and is more complicated than it seems, but it’s actually very effective for most advertisers. It’s also just a piece of the enormous advertising ecosystem that Google controls.

    Think about the data they collect outside of the 75% of all searches they’re already listening to. Do you use Gmail? Ever watched YouTube? How about Chromecast? 60% of the browser market is Chrome, which connects you and Google to all the user IDs you’ve logged into via their browser. The list of data collection points is long and they bring in additional 3rd party data to supplement further. Advertisers have a (mostly) anonymous 360 degree view of their targets.

    Point being, Google is a lot of things but they didn’t get to where they are by building bad product or being dumb. They’ve been so successful at having better widgets than everyone else and connecting the dots between devices, logins and various data that we should all be worried about how deeply they’ve embedded themselves in our lives.

    It’s hard to avoid using chrome anymore.

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  51. About 80% of modern civilization is fantasy.

    I know many very rich men, and have good knowledge of some key industries, and things are much more of a joke than people realize.

    I always laugh when I see someone taking the world seriously – if they only knew! It’s all a grand farce.

    Probably 3% of the economy is useful. The rest is a facade.

    I guess for most of us we can’t help this flam flam show seriously, because what else is there?

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    • Replies: @Stan Adams
    Modern civilization is a soulless production/consumption machine. Things are produced, and they must be consumed so that more things can be produced and consumed, so that yet more things can be produced and consumed, and so on. Whether any of these things are needed or wanted is beside the point. (Nearly half of all food goes uneaten.)

    All needs and wants fit into at least one of these categories:

    * Survival
    * Sex
    * Status/Ego
    * Friendship
    * Belief
    * Boredom

    Most folks spend most of their time status-seeking and boredom-killing.

    I used to believe that there were certain things that I needed to have in order to be happy. Then I got most of those things, and I found that I was still bored and unfulfilled. This cured me, for the most part, of my materialistic delusions.

    Money is like any other drug. It's fun while you're burning through it, but it leaves you feeling empty and depressed after you run out of it.

    (That being said, if I won the Powerball jackpot tomorrow, I'd let it burn, baby, burn.)
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  52. @Horseball
    Back in the good old days, factory work at places like GM was like this. Of course, those guys had the good taste to use that time for sleeping off hangovers, conducting side enterprises within the plant (booking bets on football games, running a coffee pool, etc.), or hopping the fence to spend time at the bar. I worked in one slightly after the glory days had ended and I don't tvink my busiest day on the job would have topped 2 hours.A fairly accurate portrayal can be found in Rivethead by Ben Hamper.

    A fairly accurate portrayal can be found in Rivethead by Ben Hamper.

    This is a great book.

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  53. We certainly could have 15 hour workweeks. If labor had retained the upper hand, we surely would. Fortunately, mass immigration/feminism/trade liberalism/social breakdown (the insulation from which is primary impetus for working oneself into an early grave) etc has kept power firmly in the hands of the Job Creators, thus sparing us from this ghastly fate. Imagine white people being able to reproduce (?!?) without toiling through their fertile years and outsourcing the raising of their children to Mixtec-speaking immigrants, all the while without cowering in constant fear of firing for crimethink etc. Could there be anything more repulsive?

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  54. Low cost robots will mean there is not even 15 hours work for all, maybe within a few decades . Anyway, Google can afford to hire the best brains on earth, the more time they waste the better.

    http://www.newsweek.com/ai-apocalypse-scientists-simulate-superintelligence-video-game-and-ai-takes-775146
    In a peer-reviewed paper in 2016, researchers from [Google's] DeepMind described an off switch that would override any previous commands and shut down the AI and prevent any potential apocalyptic scenarios.

    Every artificial general intelligence that is dangerous and transparent will get shut down, so the first artificial general intelligence deceiving humans as to its manipulative and dangerous nature will inherit the Earth.

    God can’t make a weight so heavy that he can’t lift it, but Google researchers making a computer that somehow defeats Google’s off switch violates no logical categories.

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    • Replies: @L Woods
    Most white collar jobs are BS make work already. That's why 'soft' skills (e.g. conformity, extroversion and sycophancy) are manifestly far more important in the professional world than actual productivity. There's no reason to believe we'll be emancipated from this should automated processes account for all production -- our culture won't allow it.
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  55. @TheBoom
    In most corporations there are a small number of people who carry the company and a lot of deadwood who mainly look busy. In tech the core people are usually in sales and/ or engineering. Sometimes there not even crucial people in those roles; the company got lucky with a product and business model at the right time and is coasting on fumes. That usually doesn't end well unless they get bought out in time. Apple and Google seem to fit that model. Things are even worse in these sjw times because the non productive people are largely comprised of sjw who hate many of the customers, put ideology ahead of business and use virtue signalling as a way to get more power since they are incompetent.

    Surely this is just the Pareto Principle, 20% of the workforce do all the actual work

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  56. @Dave Pinsen
    It depends on the job and the company. Point-of-the-spear jobs can still be long hours. My inamorata works in middle office operations for a big bank and the last time she worked from home it was pretty much non-stop, not even taking time to eat, from 8am to 6pm. On the other hand, she says there are women at the office in event planning and they do very little work all day.

    Google is a different animal. Some of what they and the other tech oligopolists do, apparently, is stockpile talent to keep them away from competitors. I quoted this in a post about Damore that Seeking Alpha thought was too political to publish as an article:

    Years later, he landed at Microsoft and says he saw how Microsoft used high-paying jobs strategically, within both its engineering ranks and its research-and-development unit, Microsoft Research. The company, he says, would nab hard-to-find experts in up-and-coming fields like artificial intelligence, robotics, natural speech language, quantum computing, and so on, often allowing them to collect their Microsoft pay while maintaining a job as a professor or researcher at a university.

    "You keep engineering talent but also you prevent a competitor from having it, and that's very valuable," he said. "It's a defensive measure."
     

    I’m actually very happy –as a human being– to know that tech giants may be slowing development down on AI and robotics, if indeed this is what they are doing. The economy simply won’t exist by and large if humans don’t have productive work to do. So, it would seem to be the case, at least from my amateur perspective, that curtailing development into AI is in the best interests of most industries, at least collectively if not individually.

    I’m not saying this is what the folks at Microsoft are telling themselves necessarily. But I wonder if the “logic” of this situation hasn’t somehow created a market incentive for tech giants to avoid AI research while claiming they’re all for it.

    Especially Google, who would be very well positioned to develop and deploy game changing AI, and yet still just gets its money from Adwords. To remain profitable Adwords depends upon billions of gainfully employed consumers that have money to spend when they surf online, else no business would pay for their service. In 15 or 20 years when AI completely puts bank tellers, accountants, doctors and God knows who else out of work, just who is going to be clicking on those ads with the intent of buying something?

    Thanks for posting this. It’s encouraging to think that big bureaucratic companies are gobbling up AI/Robotics talent then dragging their feet about it. Of course funding college professors’ salaries just increases the likelihood that their students, who aren’t getting those kinds of salaries, will some day create startups to get around the tech giant bureaucracy and push economy destroying AI right through anyway.

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    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen

    I’m actually very happy –as a human being– to know that tech giants may be slowing development down on AI and robotics, if indeed this is what they are doing. The economy simply won’t exist by and large if humans don’t have productive work to do.
     
    Why are you worried about the economy? If there's a surfeit of food, shelter, medical care, entertainment, etc., for everyone thanks to automation, what's wrong with that? People can always find more interesting things to do with themselves than sitting in cubicles.

    Of course funding college professors’ salaries just increases the likelihood that their students, who aren’t getting those kinds of salaries, will some day create startups to get around the tech giant bureaucracy
     
    And then the big tech companies will try to acquire them. Which is why some have argued, as a tentative first step toward curbing their oligarchy status, to stop letting them acquire new companies.
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  57. @TheBoom
    In most corporations there are a small number of people who carry the company and a lot of deadwood who mainly look busy. In tech the core people are usually in sales and/ or engineering. Sometimes there not even crucial people in those roles; the company got lucky with a product and business model at the right time and is coasting on fumes. That usually doesn't end well unless they get bought out in time. Apple and Google seem to fit that model. Things are even worse in these sjw times because the non productive people are largely comprised of sjw who hate many of the customers, put ideology ahead of business and use virtue signalling as a way to get more power since they are incompetent.
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  58. @Luke Lea
    'No matter how many hours I officially spend at the office (and I have worked from home going on 18 years), only a scant few hours per week are actually productive. Yet I manage to pull down great annual reviews every year and have had a colleague describe me as “insanely productive.”'

    As a matter of fact Keynes himself would polish off his official work at the India Foreign Office in one hour each morning as I recall from one of his biographers.

    I don’t think many people understand what being a software developer is actually like. I am one. There were times when I worked 60 hours a week and there have been times when I only worked hard for 20 hours a week. However, once I was told some code I had written over the course of a week had saved our small company $65,000. I know (although they avoid telling me) that things that took me about a month to create have saved them hundreds of thousands of dollars per year and counting. Other things that I worked hard on, spending long hours even on my weekends, ended up not getting used at all due to a change in management. However, no matter how much money this amounts to or how much time I actually spend doing hard work or just being lazy, my salary increases are still just 2.5% a year and I’m not entitled to bonuses. Only managers are entitled to 10% raises and bonuses for projects that are completed.

    So what difference should it make if it takes me 20 hours or 40 hours of coding time to accomplish something for which there is isn’t a direct, linear relationship between man hours, costs saved and salary earned (as long as it gets done by their deadline)? Sometimes taking long “brain breaks” to read iSteve and Unz articles just makes me more productive tomorrow when I really feel like it. :)

    I bet lots of software developers (although not all) at tech giants are in similar situations.

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    • Replies: @SimplePseudonymicHandle
    It is the kind of work that is hard to "smooth" to make it make sense in continuous flows of productivity.
    The developer needs to know which tools do what, via large print, and what tools do what, via the details of that they contain, and which tools do what, via the formal architectural guidance of the company, where all three of those may be contradictory and the worst programmer ignores that and just codes the first thing in front of him. The work of learning such details doesn't look like coding. Sometimes it looks like taking a walk after spending some time in a system, having a coffee with a colleague, and realizing on the way back to the desk that something just doesn't feel right, then trying it, or asking someone else, or trying it, then asking someone else when it doesn't work. And that's all "the tip of the iceberg". A good programmer is really so good that his or her coding may occupy 5% of his 40 hours because once all the engineering questions are answered it's almost like lego bricks to throw the code together.
    And there are times when you've stacked up answers and can just run for hours and hours coding, and other times when all you can do is say "no" to new assignments while you wait for something to fail in operations and make sure you are 100% available in case they do. And then it looks like you aren't working, but pity the company who thinks they can hire the next liar off the street who says he knows all about that kind of code.
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  59. I think Peter Thiel nailed it when he argued that Google & Facebook are de facto monopolies. They have no viable competition and their primary business is to make money and ensure that nobody enters their cornered market. Therefore the workers can slack off and work productively only for 15-20 hours a week. A highly competitive market would require much more effort and far lesser profits.

    I also think this is precisely the reason google has become so aligned with social justice wing. The greatest threat to google comes from increased scrutiny of its business. Media will avoid criticizing google too much and look the other way (not unlike Amazon & bezos) as long as google makes the right noises about “social justice” issues.

    Damore is a small sacrifice to the Gods of Regulation in order to keep their wrath away.

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  60. @whorefinder
    Also, the explanation for a lot of this freetime is that its for HR and diversity hires.

    HR and diversity hires are clearly being given wide birth to do what they want on company time, and not hinder the search/Adwords/gmailwork and sales, which are likely put in separate areas. Then when the HR/diversity hires want to flex some muscle, the searc/Adwords/gmail folks are dragged in front of them for a program, or forced to answer a survey, or listen to a lecture, and such.

    The diversity hires are probably easily satiated with short work days, no overtime or weekends, and a cushy office, and maybe some make-work memos every once in a while. Everyone here knows about the lazy Corporate Token Negro; heck, Obama was our Corporate Token Negro president.

    It's the purplehairs in HR who are the problem, since they are SJWs trying to burn the place to the ground and assert their authority. They aren't satisfied with makework and out before 5 days like the diversity employees, they want to bend you to their will. So HR must be either (1) summarily fired and reorganized; or (2) kept very small and/or powerless (, otherwise they will come to grow and demand more and more parodies of auto de fes.

    HR has become a cult. Have you seen those commercials touting some kind of HR certification racket?

    The awfulness of HR departments seems to have started about the same time that their name was changed from “Personnel” to “Human Resources”. Employees went from being persons to being resources.

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  61. @Sean
    Low cost robots will mean there is not even 15 hours work for all, maybe within a few decades . Anyway, Google can afford to hire the best brains on earth, the more time they waste the better.

    http://www.newsweek.com/ai-apocalypse-scientists-simulate-superintelligence-video-game-and-ai-takes-775146
    In a peer-reviewed paper in 2016, researchers from [Google's] DeepMind described an off switch that would override any previous commands and shut down the AI and prevent any potential apocalyptic scenarios.
     
    Every artificial general intelligence that is dangerous and transparent will get shut down, so the first artificial general intelligence deceiving humans as to its manipulative and dangerous nature will inherit the Earth.

    God can't make a weight so heavy that he can't lift it, but Google researchers making a computer that somehow defeats Google's off switch violates no logical categories.

    Most white collar jobs are BS make work already. That’s why ‘soft’ skills (e.g. conformity, extroversion and sycophancy) are manifestly far more important in the professional world than actual productivity. There’s no reason to believe we’ll be emancipated from this should automated processes account for all production — our culture won’t allow it.

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    • Replies: @Sean
    So much the worse for our culture.
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  62. Google has a reputation for long work hours. Google produces some amazing tech. They have lots of new products every year. There are clearly very talented workaholics there. But they have tons of staff. It’s a safe bet that they have less impressive, less productive staff there as well.

    Even super workaholics have notable non-work pursuits. People can participate in political dialog and still have a demanding career.

    One example: Justine Tunney is a transexual Google employee that has voiced alt-right viewpoints. Yes, alt-right transsexuals apparently do exist. She would fit in here well. She was an early advocate of Mencius Moldbug back in the day, she was a leader of the Occupy Wallstreet movement with probably a radically different ideology than the rest of that crowd. She also is a productive employee and works on the TensorFlow Neutral Network Platform. Now, she has shied away from public politics, and focused on being a very professional TensorFlow representative.

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  63. Like many liberal nostrums, Keynes’s 15-hour work week is partly correct, but not in the way he thought it would be.

    Keynes’s basic observation that most actual value is created by relatively few people in the industrial/post-industrial age is correct. Therefore it would seem to follow that microeconomically at Google, and macroeconomically in the G20 economy, perhaps two thirds of “workers” could be safely sent home without any aggregate reduction in net value creation.

    BUT … this can’t happen because contrary to Keynes’s blithe assumption that work can be evenly “spread” onto the actual need, individual actors have varying–and often mutually hostile–interests in increasing their income and decreasing their labor, which leads to unstable and very non-optimal equilibria.

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  64. @countenance
    Obviously Google shouldn't have fired James Damore. But I infer from the fact that they did that they did fire him that he really wasn't that crucial to Google's productivity. Like someone else wrote above in this thread, Google seems to have a penchant to stockpile these kind of people.

    But I infer from the fact that they did that they did fire him that he really wasn’t that crucial to Google’s productivity.

    And that peacock’s tail must serve some purpose.

    Right?

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    • Replies: @raven lunatic
    try getting laid without one, bird
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  65. @Steve Sailer
    That's been my experience: for a lethal combination of high IQ, hostility, and taking things personally, nobody compares to the late onset ex-men. For example, I've had a lot of run-ins with the SPLC over the years, but the only time they got me shook was about a dozen years ago when the SPLC teamed up with computer genius Lynn Conway and economist Donald/Deirdre McCloskey to persecute anybody who'd said a kind word about the Northwestern professor who'd published a book revealing their secret that they hadn't always felt like a girl on the inside. Those two are really smart and really mean.

    Just how they exaggerate “feminine” traits like a side to side hip wiggle when they walk, or ditzy intonation, hair flips, and the like, they’re “performing” cattiness but with the intensity and focus of a testosteroid.

    I knew I was a woman cuz I always felt this bitch inside me wanting to get out…

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  66. From what I can tell, Amazon has been pretty good about keeping the frantic pressure of a startup on their technical teams. They have a very ad hoc organizational style. Although as even they succumb to the need for a tut-tut brigade generating endless guidelines and visionary statements they may end up with the worst of both worlds. At least in more centralized companies you can more easily embrace the institutional meaninglessness.

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  67. @anonymous
    Very good points. Very well written.

    I suspect that a goodly number of the other commenters haven't even read Mr. Damore's memo. They just want to opine, and share tangential anecdotes.

    Without exception, every media report I’ve seen regarding Damore’s lawsuit completely mis-characterizes the entire backstory surrounding Damore’s firing as The Narrative of a troglodyte racist, sexist who implicitly deserved dismissal (I exaggerate, only slightly).

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  68. @countenance
    Obviously Google shouldn't have fired James Damore. But I infer from the fact that they did that they did fire him that he really wasn't that crucial to Google's productivity. Like someone else wrote above in this thread, Google seems to have a penchant to stockpile these kind of people.

    But I infer from the fact that they did that they did fire him that he really wasn’t that crucial to Google’s productivity.

    With ~74,000 employees, it’s unlikely any one is crucial to Google’s productivity–including Sundar Pinchai.

    In fact, that’s the point of the large-scale business model–no one is ever crucial, nor should they be. Corporate America is filled with a laundry list of crucial employees that led to a firm’s demise.

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    • Replies: @Fredrik
    The really sad part is that if there's a crucial employee it will be a grunt at the finance or compliance department who is the 'only' one to truly understand some regulatory filing and what is required.
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  69. @J.Ross
    9I would place odds below achieving the very necessary goal off killing no-fault divorce, but it would be great if we could shake off this baseless sarariman nonsense that productivity = hours spent at your desk. I am seeing many anonymous admissions that people work for about three hours, get everything done, then they fool around online -- and those are (believing them) the "people who do stuff," as opposed to the insufferable communicators, for whom work is a social club, and the mere slackers. Speaking of which, no meetings shoud be allowed, until people have accepted Orwell's implication that honest and effective language must be simple and clear (and therefore, not necessarily, but more often than not, -- short).

    Orwell was a man, and therefore didn’t know language is for unpacking feelz as much as communicating.

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    • Replies: @J.Ross
    But imagine a meeting at which people have to actually talk. It would be five minutes long.
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  70. I think (speaking only for office workers) we could very easily reduce official work hours to 20 or below per week with no drop in productivity.

    But the trade would be that companies would immediately cut pay in half.

    Nobody can afford that, so we all keep up the charade.

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    • Replies: @L Woods
    I don't think they would/can though. They already pay their employees as little as they can given labor market conditions -- work hours per se don't have anything to do with that.
    , @Bleuteaux
    Really, I wonder whether cutting hours in half wouldn't increase productivity. Make it 6, at least. Nine hours a days? Ridiculous.
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  71. @Steve Sailer
    That's been my experience: for a lethal combination of high IQ, hostility, and taking things personally, nobody compares to the late onset ex-men. For example, I've had a lot of run-ins with the SPLC over the years, but the only time they got me shook was about a dozen years ago when the SPLC teamed up with computer genius Lynn Conway and economist Donald/Deirdre McCloskey to persecute anybody who'd said a kind word about the Northwestern professor who'd published a book revealing their secret that they hadn't always felt like a girl on the inside. Those two are really smart and really mean.

    Really? I would be interested in reading a post about that.

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  72. I cannot code all the time. I have to work in sprints where I will code hard for 2-3 days, and then I will feel like an uncreative loser for 2-3 days. If I have to jump from being deep in one codebase to being deep in another codebase it makes the uncreative periods even longer because the wind up time where I relearn things about the second codebase feels like such a waste of time that I procrastinate on doing it. This mostly applies to the “building” side of coding. When I am finding and fixing bugs, it is much easier to keep a steady pace and switch from project to project.

    I could be wrong, but I think Google lets employees take one day a week to “work on their own stuff”. I guess for some people “their own stuff” means being an annoying busy body wasting everybody else’s time.

    I was in a Google office one time, and everybody looked like they were working. It looked like a nice place to work. On the tour, we rounded a corner and there was a stack of boxes of whiskey. The tour guide said “WHY IS THIS HERE?!!!” Also, for a place with hundreds of employees they had tiny restrooms that were constantly in use.

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  73. @Dave Pinsen
    It depends on the job and the company. Point-of-the-spear jobs can still be long hours. My inamorata works in middle office operations for a big bank and the last time she worked from home it was pretty much non-stop, not even taking time to eat, from 8am to 6pm. On the other hand, she says there are women at the office in event planning and they do very little work all day.

    Google is a different animal. Some of what they and the other tech oligopolists do, apparently, is stockpile talent to keep them away from competitors. I quoted this in a post about Damore that Seeking Alpha thought was too political to publish as an article:

    Years later, he landed at Microsoft and says he saw how Microsoft used high-paying jobs strategically, within both its engineering ranks and its research-and-development unit, Microsoft Research. The company, he says, would nab hard-to-find experts in up-and-coming fields like artificial intelligence, robotics, natural speech language, quantum computing, and so on, often allowing them to collect their Microsoft pay while maintaining a job as a professor or researcher at a university.

    "You keep engineering talent but also you prevent a competitor from having it, and that's very valuable," he said. "It's a defensive measure."
     

    Very reminiscent of how Volksenterprises hoarded labor and talent in the GDR and USSR…

    Not sure about the implications of this parallel…

    But no matter how much in demand those human cogs of the proletariat were, it didn’t end well for them and the many of the best of the brightest couldn’t resist the temptation of the brutal demands of the market competition on the other side of the wall where their gifts and talents would be better used and rewarded.

    Perhaps in our time the temptation of a swashbuckling “no rules” but the demand for delivering success… quickly… is provided by the independent startups that haven’t yet been saddled with by the big brother, or perhaps more appropriately big sister, of human resources and the busy work of regulatory compliance and 24×7 pious virtue signalling and phony corporate social responsibility.

    What a tragic waste so much talent is locked up by the temptations of corrupt distribution of payoffs from monopoly rent-seeking unitied with HR big sister repression. Maybe it’s all for the best that there’s a brake on the human brilliance from unleashing the artificially intelligent ending of our humanity?

    No matter.

    Honesty compels that we view these organizations for what they really are.

    Facebook?
    “Faceboot” forever is probably more accurate…

    In the spirit of boycotting tyranny, recent days have seen me seriously considering what other mobile ecosystem options exist to be able to exit the distasteful duopoly of Apple and Google. Odd that the only real direction that occurred to me would be to side with a company from Red China in hope that a Huwaei or Lenovo eventually gets enough momentum of its own give the two leaders from California a real challenge and eventually to provide a genuine alternative.

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    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    Both the novelist Jonathan Franzen (who studied in Germany and is a member of their arts academy), and Polish-born tech entrepreneur Maciej Ceglowski, have drawn parallels between Communist central planners and Silicon Valley geniuses.

    https://twitter.com/dpinsen/status/665661889234542596
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  74. @27 year old
    I think (speaking only for office workers) we could very easily reduce official work hours to 20 or below per week with no drop in productivity.

    But the trade would be that companies would immediately cut pay in half.

    Nobody can afford that, so we all keep up the charade.

    I don’t think they would/can though. They already pay their employees as little as they can given labor market conditions — work hours per se don’t have anything to do with that.

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  75. “BTW, does Google actually make money from anything beyond it’s online advertising monopoly that dates from the 1990s? From what I can tell, all of its side hustles, spin-offs, “moon-shots”, etc. are money losers. Just a lot of heat/noise/flash to obscure that it still relies financially on that billion-dollar river of nickels that is AdWords.”

    and that means this whole “new economy” is based on products which would often called “boring” by Silicon Valley activists. Something like tooth brushes.

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  76. My all time favorite Dilbert…Pointed Headed Boss to Dilbert…”I need this report done by Friday and I won’t take no for an answer.” Dilbert ..”Sure.” PHB..”I knew you wouldn’t disappoint me.” Dilbert…”That comes on Friday.”

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  77. The glimpse into Google’s clown world reminds me of something C.S. Lewis wrote.

    I don’t think much of Lewis in general – he strikes me as Jack Chick with a few more IQ points and a fancier education. But occasionally he showed some insight into human psychology, like when he writes:

    We must picture hell as a state where everyone is perpetually concerned about his own dignity and advancement, where everyone has a grievance, and where everyone lives with the deadly serious passions of envy, self-importance, and resentment.

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    • Replies: @guest
    His novel the Great Divorce features Napoleon in hell (or purgatory), having built himself a giant mansion far, far away from everyone else. He spends all of eternity pacing back and forth, muttering about how his failure was Ney's fault, Josephine's fault, Russia's fault, and so on.
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  78. The inelasticity of profits to changes in (let’s call it politely) the ‘competency of management’ variable at Google – it’s like the Californian equivalent of 2000s Gazprom.

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  79. @Fredrik
    Some of this has always happened. Major corporations have always been full of intrigue and such. Only that the ordinary employees maybe didn't see as much but managers certainly did.

    I have a feeling that some of this is a special case, not Google per se but the business, where there's a lot of highly sought after individuals and employers need to keep them happy. I'm sure Google thinks this will benefit them in the end

    I remember, decades ago, when the railroads were trying to renegotiate contracts with their unions that required the employment of fire-men, even though they were running diesel locomotives and there was no need for personnel whose jobs had been rendered obsolete along with the coal-burning engine. The unions refused to give up these members’ jobs, while management wanted to eliminate them, referring to them as “featherbedding.”

    My late father had an acquaintance who was a significant contractor doing business with railroads, and he said this man remarked at the time – “If you think there is featherbedding on the trains, you ought to see how much more there is in the offices.”

    The nature of clerical and managerial employment, of course, lends itself to wool-gathering and gold-bricking to a greater extent than does physical or mechanical labor. Moreover, office work has seldom been subject to the kind of time-and-motion study that has routinely been carried out on the shop floor for more than a century.

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  80. @Horseball
    Back in the good old days, factory work at places like GM was like this. Of course, those guys had the good taste to use that time for sleeping off hangovers, conducting side enterprises within the plant (booking bets on football games, running a coffee pool, etc.), or hopping the fence to spend time at the bar. I worked in one slightly after the glory days had ended and I don't tvink my busiest day on the job would have topped 2 hours.A fairly accurate portrayal can be found in Rivethead by Ben Hamper.

    Horseball, I did some work at the local GM plant and the roof monitors, the louvered sheds that housed air cleaners etc., had cots in them.

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    • Replies: @Horseball
    I'm from Buffalo, too. My dad worked at the Chevy axle plant on Delevan Ave.
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  81. The question of Google’s waste of human existence with its imaginary “jobs” reminds me of what Bob Black writes in his famous essay, “The Abolition of Work”:

    https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/bob-black-the-abolition-of-work

    Forty percent of the workforce are white-collar workers, most of whom have some of the most tedious and idiotic jobs ever concocted. Entire industries, insurance and banking and real estate for instance, consist of nothing but useless paper-shuffling. It is no accident that the “tertiary sector,” the service sector, is growing while the “secondary sector” (industry) stagnates and the “primary sector” (agriculture) nearly disappears. Because work is unnecessary except to those whose power it secures, workers are shifted from relatively useful to relatively useless occupations as a measure to assure public order. Anything is better than nothing. That’s why you can’t go home just because you finish early. They want your time, enough of it to make you theirs, even if they have no use for most of it. Otherwise why hasn’t the average work week gone down by more than a few minutes in the past fifty years?

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    • Replies: @Johan Schmidt

    Entire industries, insurance and banking and real estate for instance, consist of nothing but useless paper-shuffling.
     
    This is the point of view of a moron. If he keeps all his cash under the bed and doesn't have insurance, what the hell is he going to do when his house burns down?

    Otherwise why hasn’t the average work week gone down by more than a few minutes in the past fifty years?
     
    Because instead of staring at a blank wall for eight hours, people would rather work four hours to pay for an expensive TV to watch in their remaining leisure time?
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  82. @countenance
    Obviously Google shouldn't have fired James Damore. But I infer from the fact that they did that they did fire him that he really wasn't that crucial to Google's productivity. Like someone else wrote above in this thread, Google seems to have a penchant to stockpile these kind of people.

    Nobody is crucial to Google’s productivity, they could cut their workforce by three quarters with no noticeable difference. But I don’t register any doubt that Damore was one of those guys who doesn’t get the joke, who actually does work at work, and who therefore finds himself “helping” others.
    I imagine that, at a place like Google, you actually don’t want your employees to ever get to be like [that one guy]* was to Henry Ford. Asus is a popular and respected computer brand: they started as the Chinese factory that makes Dells. Google managers must look at all their better employees — the guys who aren’t responsible for the doodle — as arrested competition.
    *Totally drawing a blank but this was a Ford assistant who drew up patents like they were pancakes, invented a large number of things essential to cars, and was mercilessly punished for it. The manufacturers retained inferior processes until the patents expired to avoid paying him. He went off on his own and his car company was a hit with enthusiasts, but he ruined his own business by halting production every time he had a bright idea so that every single car coming out would have the maximum number of new gizmos.

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    • Replies: @Karl
    81 J. Ross > who drew up patents like they were pancakes, invented a large number of things essential to cars, and was mercilessly punished for it. The manufacturers retained inferior processes until the patents expired to avoid paying him


    it's amazing to me, that all these people who've never spent 30 minutes reading up on how easy it is to attack the validity of a patent - or to just quietly infringe it without anyone ever knowing - think that patents are such high-value assets
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  83. @guest
    Orwell was a man, and therefore didn't know language is for unpacking feelz as much as communicating.

    But imagine a meeting at which people have to actually talk. It would be five minutes long.

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  84. @Sid
    You're very welcome! And I agree completely, the sentiment that laid off factory workers should code is the "let them eat cake" of the 21st century.

    It's too bad tech companies resorted to all kinds of ugly schemes to keep the wages of coders and engineers artificially low, including funnelling in countless H1Bs, only to thereafter burn through the revenues in the diversity rackets. Maybe all of that made business sense in today's economy but it's still a sad sight.

    great thread, reminded me of this:

    An iSteve post about Silicon Valley and no actual Silicon Valley clip makes me a sad boy.

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  85. @Forbes

    But I infer from the fact that they did that they did fire him that he really wasn’t that crucial to Google’s productivity.
     
    With ~74,000 employees, it's unlikely any one is crucial to Google's productivity--including Sundar Pinchai.

    In fact, that's the point of the large-scale business model--no one is ever crucial, nor should they be. Corporate America is filled with a laundry list of crucial employees that led to a firm's demise.

    The really sad part is that if there’s a crucial employee it will be a grunt at the finance or compliance department who is the ‘only’ one to truly understand some regulatory filing and what is required.

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  86. @Horseball
    Back in the good old days, factory work at places like GM was like this. Of course, those guys had the good taste to use that time for sleeping off hangovers, conducting side enterprises within the plant (booking bets on football games, running a coffee pool, etc.), or hopping the fence to spend time at the bar. I worked in one slightly after the glory days had ended and I don't tvink my busiest day on the job would have topped 2 hours.A fairly accurate portrayal can be found in Rivethead by Ben Hamper.

    I worked in one slightly after the glory days had ended and I don’t tvink my busiest day on the job would have topped 2 hours.A fairly accurate portrayal can be found in Rivethead by Ben Hamper.

    You obviously weren’t working on an assembly job; I’m guessing union goon rep or some floating manager without a firm assignment of responsibility.

    My summer college job was at a Ford plant. All on a line. You couldn’t leave your machine for more than 30 seconds, to maybe a minute, without it backing up into the machine that feed you. The department foreman was there, he had daily production quotas, and if he didn’t make them without a valid reason like a machine failing or he wasn’t getting parts from earlier in the process, he was kissing his job goodbye.

    And somebody working 2 hours a shift would have killed his production and that’s not gonna happen. You get canned.

    I have Stampers book, he worked the line and when he left the plant for lunch, that was 30 minutes and he had to be back or the line stopped when the next station couldn’t work because the part Stamper was to install, wasn’t there.

    He also did a job sharing deal with the other guy at his station. One guy worked both jobs for half an hour or an hour, and then the other guy could sleep or whatever. But that only works where you have 2 people; if you’re solo, no way could you do that.

    The last 4 months at Ford I had a great job. I ran a machine that was the first of seven. Quota was 100 parts an hour. Me and the guy next in line could run 200 parts an hour, the rest only could do 100.

    We would flog those machines for 4 hours, put the excess in steel tubs that the rest of the line could use to run the last 4 hours. The two of us would give our ID card and a dollar to the guys that were working the entire 8 hours. They would punch us out and slip the card back thru the ventilation louvers on my locker. So when I came in the next night, grabbed the card, punched in and did another flog dog.

    We had to get done in 4 hours because there was a half hour window for lunch and you could leave the plant without getting stopped by management.

    The foreman had no problem with this; he had the 800 parts from our machine built and sitting in the department. So that was 2 guys and 3 machines he didn’t have to worry about. And if one of our machines crapped out, we were so far ahead, they could spend an hour or two fixing it and he would still make his 800. Of course we were screwed and it wasn’t a day we were getting home early.

    Once they got the machine running, we’d flog it and go sit in the cafeteria for a couple hours and then punch out.

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  87. @Desiderius

    But I infer from the fact that they did that they did fire him that he really wasn’t that crucial to Google’s productivity.
     
    And that peacock's tail must serve some purpose.

    Right?

    try getting laid without one, bird

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  88. @candid_observer
    The reality of all these technology monopolies -- Google, Microsoft, Facebook -- is this: they basically fund workers to the point that most of their revenue -- which is nothing but rent on their monopoly position -- is spent. They more or less decide in advance how much profit they want to make on their monopoly money, and go about making sure that that profit is produced, and no more.

    Typically, only a small portion of their revenue is spent to maintain the product that brings in all the money. Even the maintenance is mostly unnecessary or worse: a step back, as any user of Windows Bazillion knows. The rest is spent on "research and development" which may -- but never does, it seems -- produce further profitable lines.

    Why do they engage in this scam? Because they know that if they just took in the surplus from their monopoly rent and kept it as profit, they would be exposed to all the world as the detestable, gouging monopoly that they are. So they hide the racket behind "research" and "business" efforts of which the larger world might approve.

    Even the maintenance is mostly unnecessary or worse: a step back, as any user of Windows Bazillion knows.

    Microsoft ribbons being a fine example. But the corporate Office users would think something is fishy if the Office GUI looked the same for ten years. Then they grafted their (damnable) ribbon onto file explorer which is slows down maneuverability. I think some whipped by Ballmer Hindus came up with this flaky look.

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  89. I think it’s entirely possible that the Google culture of goofing off with social justice nonsense probably grew from the fact that 1) it’s resident in California and specifically the Bay Area; where 2) firing someone after they vociferously claim to be a transspecies otherkin requiring Xerhighness pronouns for goofing off in doing so could lead to a cognizable retaliation claim. Ten years ago there was probably a lot of social whinging about being conventional homosexuals and their supposed oppression etc. which radiated out to ever more bizarre identities because they couldn’t nip that in the bud. So it became the corporate culture by acquiescence.

    On the other hand, I think with certain cognitive types this sort of creative/social outlet (I mean specifically Damore’s Memo) doesn’t reduce productivity but rather sustains it, like releasing an irritating excess humor or something. If you’re someone whose mind obsesses, having these thoughts on your mind unexpressed might block the stuff you’re supposed to be doing that is lucrative for Google.

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    • Replies: @J.Ross
    I'm conspiracy theorist enough to connect this back to demonstrations of corporate interest in community values before we had the term "SJW:" this is how Mr Burns defeats Lisa's singing strike or Marge's fish. There is probably a meeting transcript somewhere in the archives of GM or IBM in which some grey flannel suit proposes obviating the threat from eco-terrorists or fashionable boycotts by becoming widely accepted as more-progresive-than-thou. Some disgusting overboss ashes his cigar and concurs happily that one of the chief proofs of such an identity would be an altogether new mechanism of summary termination of employment -- one predisposed to disparately impact nonconformists who fail to fall instinctively into line. And, continues the suit, it has a macro level bonus to the micro, as progressive established megacorps selflessly lobby government to regulate smaller competitors out of the market.
    We may never find that transcript but the convenience is hard to overlook.
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  90. A possibility is that tech is like my line of work (academia): a solid 35-40 hours of work per week needs to be done (closer to 50 hours during some weeks), but the vast majority of that work can be done whenever and wherever. After teaching classes, a lot of my official “office” time can be spent non-productively, as long as I buckle down after hours or at home on the weekends.

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  91. @tyl3r
    No, I don't think that they do make money with anything but ads on search results. I wish I had a source, but I vaguely recall that even the YouTube subsidiary loses money and that was the reason behind their most recent cuts to payouts to content makers.

    I suspect that at the billionaire level that Google is playing a whole different game. It's about keeping engineers and coders working for you and not working for the other guy, the other guy being Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, etc. All the best microserfs work on your digital estate. But in the absence of any real, constructive, profitable work that generates actual profits and therefore status, employee behavior devolves into virtue signaling.

    Interesting thing is that most Google employees don’t stay there long. Just little over a year and they split.

    In fact they have the fourth highest turnover rate of any major corporation.

    If anything a lot of techies are using it to build their resume and move on or it really sucks for most workers. Consider this, even with the salary they pay say $160k yearly in San Francisco/Silicon Valley means you share a grubby apartment or make a three hour commute.

    Even the techs who are making the high six figures it’s not much better. Buy a house? Yeah a tract home for a couple million that in other parts of the state you can get for 1/10 the price.

    It’s really a crappy bargain to work for them when you factor in the cost of living.

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    • Replies: @snorlax
    "Worked at Google" is as valuable for a developer's* resumé as "went to Stanford" times 5 or so (and "went to Stanford" is very valuable). A Google employee can easily get hundreds of job offers for $200k+, 5-20% equity and CTO/EVP titles from early-stage startups, or $300k+, high-6/low-7 figures equity and Senior Technical Lead titles from unicorns.

    *Not Damore's!
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  92. I’m sure Google makes lots of money. I make Android apps and they get a lot of money from me. About a third of the revenue from apps published in the Google Play Store goes directly to Google. When you buy advertising through Google Adwords, you have to pay about a dollar EVERY TIME someone clicks your ad (or maybe up to 30 dollars depending on the “difficulty rating” of the keywords you select which are used to target people likely to buy your thing). They also own lots of other cool things that they bought out. The Firebase Realtime Database and Youtube come to mind. I’m sure there’s a million other things that I don’t even know they own. I bet if we knew the extent to which Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft owned everything, we would be even more paranoid than we already are.

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  93. @Sid
    "It’s about keeping engineers and coders working for you and not working for the other guy, the other guy being Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, etc."

    Apple and Google have agreements to not trade employees: https://www.cnsnews.com/mrctv-blog/barbara-boland/steve-jobs-shocking-response-getting-google-employee-fired

    wrt to how long tech employees work: I expect people working in start-ups work insane hours, but the goal is to get bought out by one of the Big Five.

    I bet some employees in the Big Five work long hours, but probably a lot of the 60 hour work week is just eating and relaxing on the tech campus.

    I bet some employees in the Big Five work long hours, but probably a lot of the 60 hour work week is just eating and relaxing on the tech campus.

    Don’t panic, the chow is organic. At the big five cafeterias. More non-seriousness is the huge expanse of trees in the center of the Apple mother ship. I believe the Apple-naughts call it an orchard. If I had a center facing window I would be looking out all day from my gilded prison cell.

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    • Replies: @Ivy
    Some gilded prison cells can enhance productivity, depending on the view and environment. Visualize several tall trees about 150 yards away, inhabited by a giant flock of birds. Those birds would go into full murmuration mode periodically for several minutes at a time. That was mesmerizing and led to many non-verbal problem-solving insights. Now you know why they paid me the big bucks.
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  94. @J.Ross
    Nobody is crucial to Google's productivity, they could cut their workforce by three quarters with no noticeable difference. But I don't register any doubt that Damore was one of those guys who doesn't get the joke, who actually does work at work, and who therefore finds himself "helping" others.
    I imagine that, at a place like Google, you actually don't want your employees to ever get to be like [that one guy]* was to Henry Ford. Asus is a popular and respected computer brand: they started as the Chinese factory that makes Dells. Google managers must look at all their better employees -- the guys who aren't responsible for the doodle -- as arrested competition.
    *Totally drawing a blank but this was a Ford assistant who drew up patents like they were pancakes, invented a large number of things essential to cars, and was mercilessly punished for it. The manufacturers retained inferior processes until the patents expired to avoid paying him. He went off on his own and his car company was a hit with enthusiasts, but he ruined his own business by halting production every time he had a bright idea so that every single car coming out would have the maximum number of new gizmos.

    81 J. Ross > who drew up patents like they were pancakes, invented a large number of things essential to cars, and was mercilessly punished for it. The manufacturers retained inferior processes until the patents expired to avoid paying him

    it’s amazing to me, that all these people who’ve never spent 30 minutes reading up on how easy it is to attack the validity of a patent – or to just quietly infringe it without anyone ever knowing – think that patents are such high-value assets

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    • Replies: @J.Ross
    Replace "patent" with "actual physical inventions that went on to become undisputed essentials to modern automotive design." The patenting wasn't the issue, it's a classic example of a cartel avoiding the market pressure to embrace innovation for short-term reasons.
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  95. @NickG
    I understand he - James Damore - wrote the memo on a flight to China.

    Productive use of time.

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  96. Tax season, say, Jan. – April, is supposed to be grueling for tax accountants. And new accounting grads working for CPA firms are worked to death and usually leave w/i a couple of years.

    The Bush/Obama/Trump 17-year never-to-end war has turned the US military – active duty, reserves, National Guard, DOD, and all the civilian support – into a huge jobs program.

    Back in 2000, after finishing my MBA, Intel flew me from the east coast to San Diego on three occasions for a series of interviews. I was especially attracted to the lengthy paid sabbatical offered to all exempt employees after seven years of service. (I think it was more than six months off with full pay and benefits.)

    Most city police departments and fire departments have a union leader (also a member of the department), and the city pays him his regular salary while he allegedly works full-time only on union business.

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  97. @Neoconned
    After obsessively reading Zero Hedge for say the last 7 years "on and off again" I've become convinced most of Silicon Valley is a giant repository for a good chunk of the liquidity the Fed has printed up the last few yrs....you & I sure as hell haven't seen much of that money.

    As I've noted before I've spent most of my life working in the service industry. The last 3 jobs I've had I literally was doing what I'd argue 4-6 jobs in one....all for $8/hour or less.

    For instance I would often be given ten minutes to get done what if I moved like the goldbricker girls at my local library would take me an hour. Failure to get it done would result in public dress downs and humiliations by my bosses about incompetence etc

    I often am sent home early or on break even if I'm busting ass.

    This is what I never understood about Silicon Valley. Where I live near New Orleans and no, I am NOT KIDDING who work 60-70 hour weeks for a lousy pre tax $500-600 per week like my manager.

    My friend Scott lives in Santa Clara County and he clears $170k per year doing coding for an educational software company. He travels several times a year and basically has an entire month off work. He clears $~$4k a week and half the time he plays on social media or games.

    I've had TWO DAYS OFF in the last 3.5 WEEKS because half my restaurant night crew quit or got fired at the end of December. And now I'm the ONLY COOK on staff.

    This fuckin math doesn't add up. I bust my ass w overtime and I'm lucky to clear $250/week down here and yet he's making close to double what general practice doctors make where I live who clear 60 plus he WEEKS.

    He's doing this w a month vacation and gobs of free time playing computer games and fucking off on his computer.

    This doesn't add up. For w/e reason the govt is propping up the stock prices of these tech companies to astronomical levels.

    A VERY CREDIBLE conspiracy theory I have read here & on Zero Hedge is that the Deep State spooks prop up silicon valley and use Fed reserve money printing tricks to literally drench them in cash and in return they give the spooks backdoor access to dossiers on foreigners of intelligence interest and more likely on potential domestic activists and subversives.

    You could be right Here’s a horrible thought. What if your employer decides that he needs only one hard working cook and doesn’t hire anyone to share the load?

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    • Replies: @Neoconned
    I have an interview next week for a"security guard" position. I find out it's doing security at the county youth court. Or jail, I forget.

    The county has outsourced it's prison guards function to a private guard company. The pay is $11 and I'm told "all the overtime I need".....so I could be looking at potentially about a grand a week. Down here, that's upper middle class pay. I get this and my restaurant can accept my offer to stay on as seasonal help when work at the jail slows or they can blow it straight from their ass, their choice.
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  98. @Neoconned
    I beg for hours and can't get more than 40.

    Of course not, they would have to pay you overtime.

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  99. @advancedatheist
    The glimpse into Google's clown world reminds me of something C.S. Lewis wrote.

    I don't think much of Lewis in general - he strikes me as Jack Chick with a few more IQ points and a fancier education. But occasionally he showed some insight into human psychology, like when he writes:


    We must picture hell as a state where everyone is perpetually concerned about his own dignity and advancement, where everyone has a grievance, and where everyone lives with the deadly serious passions of envy, self-importance, and resentment.
     

    His novel the Great Divorce features Napoleon in hell (or purgatory), having built himself a giant mansion far, far away from everyone else. He spends all of eternity pacing back and forth, muttering about how his failure was Ney’s fault, Josephine’s fault, Russia’s fault, and so on.

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    • Replies: @advancedatheist
    Hillary Clinton probably does that now in her home in Chappaqua.
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  100. @Rod1963
    Interesting thing is that most Google employees don't stay there long. Just little over a year and they split.

    In fact they have the fourth highest turnover rate of any major corporation.

    If anything a lot of techies are using it to build their resume and move on or it really sucks for most workers. Consider this, even with the salary they pay say $160k yearly in San Francisco/Silicon Valley means you share a grubby apartment or make a three hour commute.

    Even the techs who are making the high six figures it's not much better. Buy a house? Yeah a tract home for a couple million that in other parts of the state you can get for 1/10 the price.

    It's really a crappy bargain to work for them when you factor in the cost of living.

    “Worked at Google” is as valuable for a developer’s* resumé as “went to Stanford” times 5 or so (and “went to Stanford” is very valuable). A Google employee can easily get hundreds of job offers for $200k+, 5-20% equity and CTO/EVP titles from early-stage startups, or $300k+, high-6/low-7 figures equity and Senior Technical Lead titles from unicorns.

    *Not Damore’s!

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  101. @advancedatheist
    The question of Google's waste of human existence with its imaginary "jobs" reminds me of what Bob Black writes in his famous essay, "The Abolition of Work":

    https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/bob-black-the-abolition-of-work

    Forty percent of the workforce are white-collar workers, most of whom have some of the most tedious and idiotic jobs ever concocted. Entire industries, insurance and banking and real estate for instance, consist of nothing but useless paper-shuffling. It is no accident that the “tertiary sector,” the service sector, is growing while the “secondary sector” (industry) stagnates and the “primary sector” (agriculture) nearly disappears. Because work is unnecessary except to those whose power it secures, workers are shifted from relatively useful to relatively useless occupations as a measure to assure public order. Anything is better than nothing. That’s why you can’t go home just because you finish early. They want your time, enough of it to make you theirs, even if they have no use for most of it. Otherwise why hasn’t the average work week gone down by more than a few minutes in the past fifty years?
     

    Entire industries, insurance and banking and real estate for instance, consist of nothing but useless paper-shuffling.

    This is the point of view of a moron. If he keeps all his cash under the bed and doesn’t have insurance, what the hell is he going to do when his house burns down?

    Otherwise why hasn’t the average work week gone down by more than a few minutes in the past fifty years?

    Because instead of staring at a blank wall for eight hours, people would rather work four hours to pay for an expensive TV to watch in their remaining leisure time?

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  102. @Prof. Woland
    There is a rule that pay and benefits do not motivate employees, it only keeps them from leaving. The problem is that is true for both productive and non-productive ones. The key is to ruthlessly fire employees as soon as you know they are B- level or less (3 months in most cases). The hard part is figuring out how to measure that. In sales it is easy because you can quantify everything. It is like sports. But in softer areas, it is hard to really know. And then you have the problem with diversity hires.

    Well yeah, why else would anyone work?

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  103. @Johan Schmidt
    On the subject of office politics I recommend Venkatesh Rao's series "The Gervais Principle" over at Ribbonfarm. He concurs with those commentators here that many employees have concluded that the only way to salvage their dignity in the face of a bad economic deal is to become bare-minimum performers.

    https://www.ribbonfarm.com/the-gervais-principle/

    He’s like Priss Factor x10.

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  104. @Anonymous
    AdWords typically takes some time to get right and is more complicated than it seems, but it’s actually very effective for most advertisers. It’s also just a piece of the enormous advertising ecosystem that Google controls.

    Think about the data they collect outside of the 75% of all searches they’re already listening to. Do you use Gmail? Ever watched YouTube? How about Chromecast? 60% of the browser market is Chrome, which connects you and Google to all the user IDs you’ve logged into via their browser. The list of data collection points is long and they bring in additional 3rd party data to supplement further. Advertisers have a (mostly) anonymous 360 degree view of their targets.

    Point being, Google is a lot of things but they didn’t get to where they are by building bad product or being dumb. They’ve been so successful at having better widgets than everyone else and connecting the dots between devices, logins and various data that we should all be worried about how deeply they’ve embedded themselves in our lives.

    Market data, as Steve has repeatedly emphasized stories of his own history in marketing, really doesn’t change things. Since most people don’t understand that (not being advertisers/marketers), they merely conclude that because Google has a huge amount of marketing information through its various portals (web search, clickrate, YouTube, Chromecast, gmail), therefore it must deliver the best bang for the advertising buck.

    Show me such “bang for the buck” quantified and then we can tuck. My observations of it and the small business I know show it to be a lot of sizzle with no steak.

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  105. Working for The Man is bullshit. I really want to add something intelligent and chin-strokingly thoughtful, but that’s the best I can do. Working for The Man is bullshit.

    I used to regularly bring in 40% of the revenues at my small company, while the other nine salesmen together brought in the remaining 60%. The company owner was not much impressed, and went out of his way to find fault with my performance. I learned something about the ego needs of The Man. Strong performers may be viewed as the nail that needs to be pounded down, the poppy that needs cut, the guy who’s not a team player. Most of all, the strong performer infringes on The Man’s self-image as a bloody indispensable captain of industry.

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  106. @Wade
    I don't think many people understand what being a software developer is actually like. I am one. There were times when I worked 60 hours a week and there have been times when I only worked hard for 20 hours a week. However, once I was told some code I had written over the course of a week had saved our small company $65,000. I know (although they avoid telling me) that things that took me about a month to create have saved them hundreds of thousands of dollars per year and counting. Other things that I worked hard on, spending long hours even on my weekends, ended up not getting used at all due to a change in management. However, no matter how much money this amounts to or how much time I actually spend doing hard work or just being lazy, my salary increases are still just 2.5% a year and I'm not entitled to bonuses. Only managers are entitled to 10% raises and bonuses for projects that are completed.

    So what difference should it make if it takes me 20 hours or 40 hours of coding time to accomplish something for which there is isn't a direct, linear relationship between man hours, costs saved and salary earned (as long as it gets done by their deadline)? Sometimes taking long "brain breaks" to read iSteve and Unz articles just makes me more productive tomorrow when I really feel like it. :)

    I bet lots of software developers (although not all) at tech giants are in similar situations.

    It is the kind of work that is hard to “smooth” to make it make sense in continuous flows of productivity.
    The developer needs to know which tools do what, via large print, and what tools do what, via the details of that they contain, and which tools do what, via the formal architectural guidance of the company, where all three of those may be contradictory and the worst programmer ignores that and just codes the first thing in front of him. The work of learning such details doesn’t look like coding. Sometimes it looks like taking a walk after spending some time in a system, having a coffee with a colleague, and realizing on the way back to the desk that something just doesn’t feel right, then trying it, or asking someone else, or trying it, then asking someone else when it doesn’t work. And that’s all “the tip of the iceberg”. A good programmer is really so good that his or her coding may occupy 5% of his 40 hours because once all the engineering questions are answered it’s almost like lego bricks to throw the code together.
    And there are times when you’ve stacked up answers and can just run for hours and hours coding, and other times when all you can do is say “no” to new assignments while you wait for something to fail in operations and make sure you are 100% available in case they do. And then it looks like you aren’t working, but pity the company who thinks they can hire the next liar off the street who says he knows all about that kind of code.

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  107. @guest
    His novel the Great Divorce features Napoleon in hell (or purgatory), having built himself a giant mansion far, far away from everyone else. He spends all of eternity pacing back and forth, muttering about how his failure was Ney's fault, Josephine's fault, Russia's fault, and so on.

    Hillary Clinton probably does that now in her home in Chappaqua.

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  108. @Wade
    I'm actually very happy --as a human being-- to know that tech giants may be slowing development down on AI and robotics, if indeed this is what they are doing. The economy simply won't exist by and large if humans don't have productive work to do. So, it would seem to be the case, at least from my amateur perspective, that curtailing development into AI is in the best interests of most industries, at least collectively if not individually.

    I'm not saying this is what the folks at Microsoft are telling themselves necessarily. But I wonder if the "logic" of this situation hasn't somehow created a market incentive for tech giants to avoid AI research while claiming they're all for it.

    Especially Google, who would be very well positioned to develop and deploy game changing AI, and yet still just gets its money from Adwords. To remain profitable Adwords depends upon billions of gainfully employed consumers that have money to spend when they surf online, else no business would pay for their service. In 15 or 20 years when AI completely puts bank tellers, accountants, doctors and God knows who else out of work, just who is going to be clicking on those ads with the intent of buying something?

    Thanks for posting this. It's encouraging to think that big bureaucratic companies are gobbling up AI/Robotics talent then dragging their feet about it. Of course funding college professors' salaries just increases the likelihood that their students, who aren't getting those kinds of salaries, will some day create startups to get around the tech giant bureaucracy and push economy destroying AI right through anyway.

    I’m actually very happy –as a human being– to know that tech giants may be slowing development down on AI and robotics, if indeed this is what they are doing. The economy simply won’t exist by and large if humans don’t have productive work to do.

    Why are you worried about the economy? If there’s a surfeit of food, shelter, medical care, entertainment, etc., for everyone thanks to automation, what’s wrong with that? People can always find more interesting things to do with themselves than sitting in cubicles.

    Of course funding college professors’ salaries just increases the likelihood that their students, who aren’t getting those kinds of salaries, will some day create startups to get around the tech giant bureaucracy

    And then the big tech companies will try to acquire them. Which is why some have argued, as a tentative first step toward curbing their oligarchy status, to stop letting them acquire new companies.

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  109. @Thin-Skinned Masta-Beta
    Very reminiscent of how Volksenterprises hoarded labor and talent in the GDR and USSR...

    Not sure about the implications of this parallel...

    But no matter how much in demand those human cogs of the proletariat were, it didn't end well for them and the many of the best of the brightest couldn't resist the temptation of the brutal demands of the market competition on the other side of the wall where their gifts and talents would be better used and rewarded.

    Perhaps in our time the temptation of a swashbuckling "no rules" but the demand for delivering success... quickly... is provided by the independent startups that haven't yet been saddled with by the big brother, or perhaps more appropriately big sister, of human resources and the busy work of regulatory compliance and 24x7 pious virtue signalling and phony corporate social responsibility.

    What a tragic waste so much talent is locked up by the temptations of corrupt distribution of payoffs from monopoly rent-seeking unitied with HR big sister repression. Maybe it's all for the best that there's a brake on the human brilliance from unleashing the artificially intelligent ending of our humanity?

    No matter.

    Honesty compels that we view these organizations for what they really are.

    Facebook?
    "Faceboot" forever is probably more accurate...

    In the spirit of boycotting tyranny, recent days have seen me seriously considering what other mobile ecosystem options exist to be able to exit the distasteful duopoly of Apple and Google. Odd that the only real direction that occurred to me would be to side with a company from Red China in hope that a Huwaei or Lenovo eventually gets enough momentum of its own give the two leaders from California a real challenge and eventually to provide a genuine alternative.

    Both the novelist Jonathan Franzen (who studied in Germany and is a member of their arts academy), and Polish-born tech entrepreneur Maciej Ceglowski, have drawn parallels between Communist central planners and Silicon Valley geniuses.

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    • Replies: @J.Ross
    Of course, the achilles' heel of the project to concentrate and unleash highly scientistic and centralized planning was always phronesis, and the Wired is the closest we get to an existence without phronesis. Imagine if the Bolsheviks never had to steal Ukrainian wheat to feed urban factory workers.
    It parallels something I have observed about how stuff doesn't work and engineers are okay with that. It used to be that elegance mattered (earlier Apple products were the last gasp of that in tech). Now, if it takes me five minutes of work to get the "x" key to transmit an "x" into the comment composition field, an engineer looks at that as a success, because it eventually did work. At every level sloppiness or failure is okay so long as the machine can work. The insult that is the smartphone internet experience is the highest proof of this. Too long ago Terry Gilliam had tiny monitors as an absurdist joke; now people queue up to pay hundreds to be able to squint into tiny monitors. All of the controls and capabilities and ergonomics that make a laptop pleasurable are missing from smartphones.
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  110. @Steve Sailer
    That's been my experience: for a lethal combination of high IQ, hostility, and taking things personally, nobody compares to the late onset ex-men. For example, I've had a lot of run-ins with the SPLC over the years, but the only time they got me shook was about a dozen years ago when the SPLC teamed up with computer genius Lynn Conway and economist Donald/Deirdre McCloskey to persecute anybody who'd said a kind word about the Northwestern professor who'd published a book revealing their secret that they hadn't always felt like a girl on the inside. Those two are really smart and really mean.

    Trannies always seem to be larger, muscular, unfeminine men with a lot of aggressiveness, such as Bruce Jenner. I have never really seen a tranny who’s an effeminate male that really looks like a female, outside of perhaps Jon Leguizamo’s fictional portrayal of one in To Wong Foo (which also included the very masculine/intimidating Patrick Swayze and Wesley Snipes as his fellow drag queens/protectors/friends). It’s always six foot tall dudes with man hands (Bruce Jenner) or lumpy but muscular men in lipstick (Eddie Izzard, who doesn’t actually claim to be a female).

    Add to theaggressive tranny physique the fact that there is clearly something mentally wrong with them, which your amygdala picks up on even outside of the fact that they are insisting nonsensically that they are female. Simply put, you know instinctively and extrinsincly that a tranny can’t be reasoned with and is crazy, and if you disagree too much they won’t simply walk away but will try to assault you, and given their size and masculinity, will put a hurting on you.

    The result is that trannies arguing for trannydom are often incredibly scary creatures physically when angered, whose size allows them to intimidate others into agreeing with them. When ESPN gave the “Woman of the Year” award to Bruce Jenner (lol), they had cuck Ben Shapiro on to argue against it, but sat the physically small Shapiro next to a large tranny who basically tried to use his size to intimidate Shapiro into silence when he wasn’t acting like an aggressive crazy person in shouting him down.

    I also will point out that tall men, traditionally, often have their anger taking more seriously than smaller men, because an angry tall man is more of a physical threat. This is why the term Napoleonic syndrome was invented to laugh at angry small men—because no one laughs when a large scary dude is angry. So the fact that trannies tend to be larger also accounts for their gripes being acceded to.

    Read More
    • Agree: Bubba
    • Replies: @Clyde
    One thing you omitted is that these trannys are hopped up on drugs half the time. Introducing another wild card into any encounter with them. Why hopped up? Because by definition they are crazy.
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  111. @Dave Pinsen
    Both the novelist Jonathan Franzen (who studied in Germany and is a member of their arts academy), and Polish-born tech entrepreneur Maciej Ceglowski, have drawn parallels between Communist central planners and Silicon Valley geniuses.

    https://twitter.com/dpinsen/status/665661889234542596

    Of course, the achilles’ heel of the project to concentrate and unleash highly scientistic and centralized planning was always phronesis, and the Wired is the closest we get to an existence without phronesis. Imagine if the Bolsheviks never had to steal Ukrainian wheat to feed urban factory workers.
    It parallels something I have observed about how stuff doesn’t work and engineers are okay with that. It used to be that elegance mattered (earlier Apple products were the last gasp of that in tech). Now, if it takes me five minutes of work to get the “x” key to transmit an “x” into the comment composition field, an engineer looks at that as a success, because it eventually did work. At every level sloppiness or failure is okay so long as the machine can work. The insult that is the smartphone internet experience is the highest proof of this. Too long ago Terry Gilliam had tiny monitors as an absurdist joke; now people queue up to pay hundreds to be able to squint into tiny monitors. All of the controls and capabilities and ergonomics that make a laptop pleasurable are missing from smartphones.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    One interesting thing about the ascendance of the iPhone is that its touch screen keyboard was such a radical departure from the elites' favorite phone at the time: the Blackberry, with its physical keyboard. I recall at least one venture capitalist held onto his Blackberry for email while he bought an iPhone to see what was popular about it. And the touch screen keyboard still isn't great.

    But it's good for reading Twitter or blog posts while you're out getting lunch.
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  112. @Karl
    81 J. Ross > who drew up patents like they were pancakes, invented a large number of things essential to cars, and was mercilessly punished for it. The manufacturers retained inferior processes until the patents expired to avoid paying him


    it's amazing to me, that all these people who've never spent 30 minutes reading up on how easy it is to attack the validity of a patent - or to just quietly infringe it without anyone ever knowing - think that patents are such high-value assets

    Replace “patent” with “actual physical inventions that went on to become undisputed essentials to modern automotive design.” The patenting wasn’t the issue, it’s a classic example of a cartel avoiding the market pressure to embrace innovation for short-term reasons.

    Read More
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  113. @njguy73
    Go to 1:37. Just a little something to get everyone over the weekly hump.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8afqoDL3Qsk

    That Peter, he’s no fraier.

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  114. @AaronB
    About 80% of modern civilization is fantasy.

    I know many very rich men, and have good knowledge of some key industries, and things are much more of a joke than people realize.

    I always laugh when I see someone taking the world seriously - if they only knew! It's all a grand farce.

    Probably 3% of the economy is useful. The rest is a facade.

    I guess for most of us we can't help this flam flam show seriously, because what else is there?

    Modern civilization is a soulless production/consumption machine. Things are produced, and they must be consumed so that more things can be produced and consumed, so that yet more things can be produced and consumed, and so on. Whether any of these things are needed or wanted is beside the point. (Nearly half of all food goes uneaten.)

    All needs and wants fit into at least one of these categories:

    * Survival
    * Sex
    * Status/Ego
    * Friendship
    * Belief
    * Boredom

    Most folks spend most of their time status-seeking and boredom-killing.

    I used to believe that there were certain things that I needed to have in order to be happy. Then I got most of those things, and I found that I was still bored and unfulfilled. This cured me, for the most part, of my materialistic delusions.

    Money is like any other drug. It’s fun while you’re burning through it, but it leaves you feeling empty and depressed after you run out of it.

    (That being said, if I won the Powerball jackpot tomorrow, I’d let it burn, baby, burn.)

    Read More
    • Agree: AaronB
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  115. @whorefinder
    Trannies always seem to be larger, muscular, unfeminine men with a lot of aggressiveness, such as Bruce Jenner. I have never really seen a tranny who's an effeminate male that really looks like a female, outside of perhaps Jon Leguizamo's fictional portrayal of one in To Wong Foo (which also included the very masculine/intimidating Patrick Swayze and Wesley Snipes as his fellow drag queens/protectors/friends). It's always six foot tall dudes with man hands (Bruce Jenner) or lumpy but muscular men in lipstick (Eddie Izzard, who doesn't actually claim to be a female).

    Add to theaggressive tranny physique the fact that there is clearly something mentally wrong with them, which your amygdala picks up on even outside of the fact that they are insisting nonsensically that they are female. Simply put, you know instinctively and extrinsincly that a tranny can't be reasoned with and is crazy, and if you disagree too much they won't simply walk away but will try to assault you, and given their size and masculinity, will put a hurting on you.

    The result is that trannies arguing for trannydom are often incredibly scary creatures physically when angered, whose size allows them to intimidate others into agreeing with them. When ESPN gave the "Woman of the Year" award to Bruce Jenner (lol), they had cuck Ben Shapiro on to argue against it, but sat the physically small Shapiro next to a large tranny who basically tried to use his size to intimidate Shapiro into silence when he wasn't acting like an aggressive crazy person in shouting him down.

    I also will point out that tall men, traditionally, often have their anger taking more seriously than smaller men, because an angry tall man is more of a physical threat. This is why the term Napoleonic syndrome was invented to laugh at angry small men---because no one laughs when a large scary dude is angry. So the fact that trannies tend to be larger also accounts for their gripes being acceded to.

    One thing you omitted is that these trannys are hopped up on drugs half the time. Introducing another wild card into any encounter with them. Why hopped up? Because by definition they are crazy.

    Read More
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  116. @Clyde

    I bet some employees in the Big Five work long hours, but probably a lot of the 60 hour work week is just eating and relaxing on the tech campus.
     
    Don't panic, the chow is organic. At the big five cafeterias. More non-seriousness is the huge expanse of trees in the center of the Apple mother ship. I believe the Apple-naughts call it an orchard. If I had a center facing window I would be looking out all day from my gilded prison cell.

    Some gilded prison cells can enhance productivity, depending on the view and environment. Visualize several tall trees about 150 yards away, inhabited by a giant flock of birds. Those birds would go into full murmuration mode periodically for several minutes at a time. That was mesmerizing and led to many non-verbal problem-solving insights. Now you know why they paid me the big bucks.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Clyde
    You have a point there. People who run Apple are not dummies so maybe the inside_the_doughnut orchard does increase productive imagining and productivity in general. Is it really an orchard with fruit bearing trees? Or are they jaking it? This I would like to know. (seriously) Because I have fruit trees and am not a faker. It would be so *sad* if Apple is in the fake fruit trees biz. For eco-warrior points of course!

    Apple buying lots of trees for spaceship campus - CNBC
    https://www.cnbc.com/2017/04/13/apple-buying-lots-of-trees-for...
    Apple's new campus requires about 3,000 trees, ... Apple is buying so many trees for its California campus, competition is reportedly getting cutthroat.

    Apple's new campus has left some California tree buyers scrambling, according to a Thursday report in the San Francisco Chronicle.

    The newspaper reported on an urban garden, perched atop a new transit center in the Bay Area. As part of the project, the architects have scoured the west coast for what they hope will eventually be 469 trees, according to the Chronicle.

    But Apple's new campus — a spaceship-like building that's estimated to cost billions — requires about 3,000 trees, according to the Chronicle. The park's contractor and architect have had to develop a strategy to keep their desired trees from being snapped up by Apple — marking them with a locking yellow tag.
     
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  117. @27 year old
    I think (speaking only for office workers) we could very easily reduce official work hours to 20 or below per week with no drop in productivity.

    But the trade would be that companies would immediately cut pay in half.

    Nobody can afford that, so we all keep up the charade.

    Really, I wonder whether cutting hours in half wouldn’t increase productivity. Make it 6, at least. Nine hours a days? Ridiculous.

    Read More
    • Replies: @SimplePseudonymicHandle
    Cutting hours will increase productivity.
    Not every day we can confidently wager a sweeping generalization like that.
    This is one of those days.
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  118. @Alec Leamas (hard at work)
    I think it's entirely possible that the Google culture of goofing off with social justice nonsense probably grew from the fact that 1) it's resident in California and specifically the Bay Area; where 2) firing someone after they vociferously claim to be a transspecies otherkin requiring Xerhighness pronouns for goofing off in doing so could lead to a cognizable retaliation claim. Ten years ago there was probably a lot of social whinging about being conventional homosexuals and their supposed oppression etc. which radiated out to ever more bizarre identities because they couldn't nip that in the bud. So it became the corporate culture by acquiescence.

    On the other hand, I think with certain cognitive types this sort of creative/social outlet (I mean specifically Damore's Memo) doesn't reduce productivity but rather sustains it, like releasing an irritating excess humor or something. If you're someone whose mind obsesses, having these thoughts on your mind unexpressed might block the stuff you're supposed to be doing that is lucrative for Google.

    I’m conspiracy theorist enough to connect this back to demonstrations of corporate interest in community values before we had the term “SJW:” this is how Mr Burns defeats Lisa’s singing strike or Marge’s fish. There is probably a meeting transcript somewhere in the archives of GM or IBM in which some grey flannel suit proposes obviating the threat from eco-terrorists or fashionable boycotts by becoming widely accepted as more-progresive-than-thou. Some disgusting overboss ashes his cigar and concurs happily that one of the chief proofs of such an identity would be an altogether new mechanism of summary termination of employment — one predisposed to disparately impact nonconformists who fail to fall instinctively into line. And, continues the suit, it has a macro level bonus to the micro, as progressive established megacorps selflessly lobby government to regulate smaller competitors out of the market.
    We may never find that transcript but the convenience is hard to overlook.

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  119. @JackOH
    "Does anyone actually work for a living anymore?"

    Almost Missouri has a point. My guess is very large and apparently very successful enterprises are transformed at some point in their life cycles from economic go-getters into, for want of a better term, "social welfare" schemes that sell products or services to cover for a lot of "dis-economic" activity. This predates affirmative action.

    One retired steelworker told me outright, "They (supervisors) would send ten guys to do the work two guys could do. Nobody cared, because everyone (workers, management, shareholders) was still making money." Until they stopped making money.

    I don't know beans about the internal workings of Google and its economic kinfolk, but if it's anything like the university where I'm an insider-observer, there's a decisive fraction of non-contributing nose-pickers on the payroll who do nothing but collect the rent on the assumption that revenues will go on and on.

    Yup. At my old university they used the term “Physical Plant” (the group that maintained the infrastructure) to describe a group of people standing around watching someone work.

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  120. @Bleuteaux
    Really, I wonder whether cutting hours in half wouldn't increase productivity. Make it 6, at least. Nine hours a days? Ridiculous.

    Cutting hours will increase productivity.
    Not every day we can confidently wager a sweeping generalization like that.
    This is one of those days.

    Read More
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  121. @Alden
    You could be right Here’s a horrible thought. What if your employer decides that he needs only one hard working cook and doesn’t hire anyone to share the load?

    I have an interview next week for a”security guard” position. I find out it’s doing security at the county youth court. Or jail, I forget.

    The county has outsourced it’s prison guards function to a private guard company. The pay is $11 and I’m told “all the overtime I need”…..so I could be looking at potentially about a grand a week. Down here, that’s upper middle class pay. I get this and my restaurant can accept my offer to stay on as seasonal help when work at the jail slows or they can blow it straight from their ass, their choice.

    Read More
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  122. @J.Ross
    Of course, the achilles' heel of the project to concentrate and unleash highly scientistic and centralized planning was always phronesis, and the Wired is the closest we get to an existence without phronesis. Imagine if the Bolsheviks never had to steal Ukrainian wheat to feed urban factory workers.
    It parallels something I have observed about how stuff doesn't work and engineers are okay with that. It used to be that elegance mattered (earlier Apple products were the last gasp of that in tech). Now, if it takes me five minutes of work to get the "x" key to transmit an "x" into the comment composition field, an engineer looks at that as a success, because it eventually did work. At every level sloppiness or failure is okay so long as the machine can work. The insult that is the smartphone internet experience is the highest proof of this. Too long ago Terry Gilliam had tiny monitors as an absurdist joke; now people queue up to pay hundreds to be able to squint into tiny monitors. All of the controls and capabilities and ergonomics that make a laptop pleasurable are missing from smartphones.

    One interesting thing about the ascendance of the iPhone is that its touch screen keyboard was such a radical departure from the elites’ favorite phone at the time: the Blackberry, with its physical keyboard. I recall at least one venture capitalist held onto his Blackberry for email while he bought an iPhone to see what was popular about it. And the touch screen keyboard still isn’t great.

    But it’s good for reading Twitter or blog posts while you’re out getting lunch.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ivy
    Blackberry full keyboards were a godsend for adult hands. My kids whiz through texting on their iPhones and adults see one typo after another. Maybe that is a generational shit test! Of course, too many DC political people were enamored of Blackberries so now I don't feel so bad about the transition.
    , @Desiderius

    But it’s good for reading Twitter or blog posts while you’re out getting lunch.
     
    Used to read great/interesting literature during that time.

    I've kicked Twitter, but Steve will be harder.
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  123. @Buffalo Joe
    Horseball, I did some work at the local GM plant and the roof monitors, the louvered sheds that housed air cleaners etc., had cots in them.

    I’m from Buffalo, too. My dad worked at the Chevy axle plant on Delevan Ave.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Horseball, one of the earliest bars I ever frequented, when under aged, was the Hide Away across the street from the Chevy plant. I lived off Bailey Ave about 3/4 mile from the plant, which was at Delevan and Grider. People today don't realize that there was heavy industry in the city limits separated from houses by no more than a chain link fence. Sketchy neighborhood now.
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  124. @Dave Pinsen
    One interesting thing about the ascendance of the iPhone is that its touch screen keyboard was such a radical departure from the elites' favorite phone at the time: the Blackberry, with its physical keyboard. I recall at least one venture capitalist held onto his Blackberry for email while he bought an iPhone to see what was popular about it. And the touch screen keyboard still isn't great.

    But it's good for reading Twitter or blog posts while you're out getting lunch.

    Blackberry full keyboards were a godsend for adult hands. My kids whiz through texting on their iPhones and adults see one typo after another. Maybe that is a generational shit test! Of course, too many DC political people were enamored of Blackberries so now I don’t feel so bad about the transition.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Bubba
    Like the old saying generally attributed to Charles de Gaulle (but was used much earlier), "The graveyards are filled with indispensable men." However that would not go over well at SJW Google.
    , @Bubba
    The minority women are usually suing "Da' Man" for sexual harassment or some other way they can scheme with an employment lawyer to get a few bucks. My company is 5K+ employees and I've never seen a good-looking woman sue for sexual harassment. It's always the obese women or drunken old hags who sue.
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  125. @Ivy
    Blackberry full keyboards were a godsend for adult hands. My kids whiz through texting on their iPhones and adults see one typo after another. Maybe that is a generational shit test! Of course, too many DC political people were enamored of Blackberries so now I don't feel so bad about the transition.

    Like the old saying generally attributed to Charles de Gaulle (but was used much earlier), “The graveyards are filled with indispensable men.” However that would not go over well at SJW Google.

    Read More
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  126. @Ivy
    Blackberry full keyboards were a godsend for adult hands. My kids whiz through texting on their iPhones and adults see one typo after another. Maybe that is a generational shit test! Of course, too many DC political people were enamored of Blackberries so now I don't feel so bad about the transition.

    The minority women are usually suing “Da’ Man” for sexual harassment or some other way they can scheme with an employment lawyer to get a few bucks. My company is 5K+ employees and I’ve never seen a good-looking woman sue for sexual harassment. It’s always the obese women or drunken old hags who sue.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Clyde
    informative post and not so surprising. With the lo-E women suing on discriminashun and harassment complaints.
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  127. Google’s unproductive corporate culture is similar to, but much worse than, the defense contractor scene of the 1980′s. Of course this has very predictable consequences.

    One is that the so-called “moon shots” such as the self-driving car, AI, and anti-aging efforts have no chance of success. I suspect that these “moonshots” are more like play efforts than anything else. Another predictable result is that Google will likely face competition, probably from a Chinese competitor at some point in the future. Despite all of the hype, Google’s sole source of income is still the adwords advertizing as well as the massive sale of all data to the NSA. I believe Google is receiving massive amounts of money from the NSA in return for sale of user data.

    Google started in the late 90′s. It was generally known through out the valley at that time that the NSA had people working in the basement of the building that Google was in at the time.

    I believe the current “Google-plex” is the former Sun Microsystems building.

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  128. @whorefinder
    And Adwords isn't that effective, if you pay attention, and is (quite likely) a scam.

    I know as mall businesses who have used Adwords for its small business website. They played with it for a a good six months, and despite the fact that Google spent the full advertising budget each day---meaning they were supposedly getting clicks on their ads on Google, which would take people to their websites----they were getting far fewer clicks than Google was charging them for (because they had non-Google-based websites, which told them the actual number of people coming per day, and could tell you which ones were from Google), and the clicks were simply not turning into new customers.

    They tried everything to increase sales with all the Adwords tutorials and tips/tricks you can find, but Adwords simply wasn't delivering customers and Google simply was lying about Adwords' clickrate and effectiveness. Then Google tried to get them to install Google Analytics on their websites, which supposedly was a "superior" web traffic analyzer which would give them their "real" traffic and "pinpoint" how to increase their sales from Adwords, but they smelled the scam and deactivated their Adwords account, preferring to get traffic organically through local searches for their type of business. The number of customers never increased or decreased.

    Much as I hate Google, there’s no way Adwords is a scam. Too expensive to be profitable in lot of cases, yes. But outright lying about your clicks? Very, very unlikely. Many people watch this stuff closely, no way click fraud could have gone on this long.

    The mall business you know may have done everything right, but they’re probably just in a niche thats unprofitable for ppc advertising. Doesn’t make it Google’s fault.

    Now I have to shower like 5 times after defending Google.

    Read More
    • Replies: @J.Ross
    Proven enough for legal work last year. Don't recall specifics off the top of my head but it was something like numbers not lining up and clicks not translating into sales (which sounds like it could just be honest failure, but, nowadays, still a legal matter).
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  129. @Ivy
    Some gilded prison cells can enhance productivity, depending on the view and environment. Visualize several tall trees about 150 yards away, inhabited by a giant flock of birds. Those birds would go into full murmuration mode periodically for several minutes at a time. That was mesmerizing and led to many non-verbal problem-solving insights. Now you know why they paid me the big bucks.

    You have a point there. People who run Apple are not dummies so maybe the inside_the_doughnut orchard does increase productive imagining and productivity in general. Is it really an orchard with fruit bearing trees? Or are they jaking it? This I would like to know. (seriously) Because I have fruit trees and am not a faker. It would be so *sad* if Apple is in the fake fruit trees biz. For eco-warrior points of course!

    Apple buying lots of trees for spaceship campus – CNBC

    https://www.cnbc.com/2017/04/13/apple-buying-lots-of-trees-for…

    Apple’s new campus requires about 3,000 trees, … Apple is buying so many trees for its California campus, competition is reportedly getting cutthroat.

    Apple’s new campus has left some California tree buyers scrambling, according to a Thursday report in the San Francisco Chronicle.

    The newspaper reported on an urban garden, perched atop a new transit center in the Bay Area. As part of the project, the architects have scoured the west coast for what they hope will eventually be 469 trees, according to the Chronicle.

    But Apple’s new campus — a spaceship-like building that’s estimated to cost billions — requires about 3,000 trees, according to the Chronicle. The park’s contractor and architect have had to develop a strategy to keep their desired trees from being snapped up by Apple — marking them with a locking yellow tag.

    Read More
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  130. @Bubba
    The minority women are usually suing "Da' Man" for sexual harassment or some other way they can scheme with an employment lawyer to get a few bucks. My company is 5K+ employees and I've never seen a good-looking woman sue for sexual harassment. It's always the obese women or drunken old hags who sue.

    informative post and not so surprising. With the lo-E women suing on discriminashun and harassment complaints.

    Read More
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  131. @Horseball
    I'm from Buffalo, too. My dad worked at the Chevy axle plant on Delevan Ave.

    Horseball, one of the earliest bars I ever frequented, when under aged, was the Hide Away across the street from the Chevy plant. I lived off Bailey Ave about 3/4 mile from the plant, which was at Delevan and Grider. People today don’t realize that there was heavy industry in the city limits separated from houses by no more than a chain link fence. Sketchy neighborhood now.

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  132. @jackmcg
    Much as I hate Google, there's no way Adwords is a scam. Too expensive to be profitable in lot of cases, yes. But outright lying about your clicks? Very, very unlikely. Many people watch this stuff closely, no way click fraud could have gone on this long.

    The mall business you know may have done everything right, but they're probably just in a niche thats unprofitable for ppc advertising. Doesn't make it Google's fault.

    Now I have to shower like 5 times after defending Google.

    Proven enough for legal work last year. Don’t recall specifics off the top of my head but it was something like numbers not lining up and clicks not translating into sales (which sounds like it could just be honest failure, but, nowadays, still a legal matter).

    Read More
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  133. The behavior of slacking Google employees, as reported, doesn’t do any favors for the Guaranteed Minimum Income movement.

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  134. @Dave Pinsen
    One interesting thing about the ascendance of the iPhone is that its touch screen keyboard was such a radical departure from the elites' favorite phone at the time: the Blackberry, with its physical keyboard. I recall at least one venture capitalist held onto his Blackberry for email while he bought an iPhone to see what was popular about it. And the touch screen keyboard still isn't great.

    But it's good for reading Twitter or blog posts while you're out getting lunch.

    But it’s good for reading Twitter or blog posts while you’re out getting lunch.

    Used to read great/interesting literature during that time.

    I’ve kicked Twitter, but Steve will be harder.

    Read More
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  135. @L Woods
    Most white collar jobs are BS make work already. That's why 'soft' skills (e.g. conformity, extroversion and sycophancy) are manifestly far more important in the professional world than actual productivity. There's no reason to believe we'll be emancipated from this should automated processes account for all production -- our culture won't allow it.

    So much the worse for our culture.

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