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Is the Age of Informality Ending Due to Diversity?
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Tyler Cowen writes at Marginal Revolution about the increasing demands by women professors to be called “Professor” by their students rather than by their first names:

What I expect we will see is that “established” women and minorities will insist on title usage all the more, to command respect, and under the guise of societal feminization we will evolve a new set of non-egalitarian hierarchies, presented and marketed to us under egalitarian pretenses.

An interesting question is whether the women professors who are demanding to be called “Professor” are in hard fields where tech culture is influential and it’s common for professors to become founders or highly paid consultant, or whether they are professors in fields like gender studies that nobody in their right mind who wants to get something hard accomplished would have anything to do with.

Another question is whether the cultural revolution of the Sixties is over and America is going back to more formality and inegalitarianism due to the decline in power of white men with the chops to achieve prestige through their accomplishments.

America has been nominally egalitarian and casual since c. 1968.

The financial success of Silicon Valley has made informal first name culture prestigious.

For example, a guy named John Neilson who worked for me got a job at Microsoft in 1987 and was soon telling me things like, “Bill wants me to go skydiving with him tomorrow.” (Tragically, my friend worked himself to death in 1999 of the same cancer that I barely survived in 1997 due to my lack of career ambitiousness. If he’d lived he might eventually have become CEO of Microsoft. Whenever I lament to my loving wife that I haven’t made us rich, she points out that I’m still around and poor John isn’t.)

Silicon Valley’s egalitarianism preceded even the ex-hippie CEOs like Gates and Steve Jobs. In Tom Wolfe’s 1983 article on Intel, definitely not a hippie company, “The Tinkerings of Roberty Noyce,” he recounts a visit in the 1960s by an East Coast financier in a limousine.

John Carter appointed Noyce general manager of the entire division, Fairchild Semiconductor [the 1960s successor to Shockley Semiconductor and predecessor of Intel], which was suddenly one of the hottest new outfits in the business world. NASA chose Noyce’s integrated circuits for the first computers that astronauts would use on board their spacecraft (in the Gemini program). After that, orders poured in. In ten years Fairchild sales rose from a few thousand dollars a year to $130 million, and the number of employees rose from the original band of elves to twelve thousand. As the general manager, Noyce now had to deal with a matter Shockley had dealt with clumsily and prematurely, namely, new management techniques for this new industry.

One day John Carter came to Mountain Vlew for a close look at Noyce’s semiconductor operation. Carter’s office in Syosset, Long Island, arranged for a limousine and chauffeur to be at his disposal while he was in California. So Carter arrived at the tilt-up concrete building in Mountain Vlew in the back of a black Cadillac limousine with a driver in the front wearing the complete chauffeur’s uniform — the black suit, the white shirt, the black necktie, and the black visored cap. That in itself was enough to turn heads at Fairchild Semiconductor. Nobody had ever seen a limousine and a chauffeur out there before. But that wasn’t what fixed the day in everybody’s memory. It was the fact that the driver stayed out there for almost eight hours, doing nothing. He stayed out there in his uniform, with his visored hat on, in the front seat of the limousine, all day, doing nothing but waiting for a man who was somewhere inside. John Carter was inside having a terrific chief executive officer’s time for himself. He took a tour of the plant, he held conferences, he looked at figures, he nodded with satisfaction, he beamed his urbane Fifty-seventh Street Biggie CEO charm. And the driver sat out there all day engaged in the task of supporting a visored cap with his head. People started leaving their workbenches and going to the front windows just to take a look at this phenomenon. It seemed that bizarre. Here was a serf who did nothing all day but wait outside a door in order to be at the service of the haunches of his master instantly, whenever those haunches and the paunch and the jowls might decide to reappear. It wasn’t merely that this little peek at the New York-style corporate high life was unusual out here in the brown hills of the Santa Clara Valley. It was that it seemed terribly wrong.

A certain instinct Noyce had about this new industry and the people who worked in it began to take on the outlines of a concept. Corporations in the East adopted a feudal approach to organization, without even being aware of it. There were kings and lords, and there were vassals, soldiers, yeomen, and serfs, with layers of protocol and perquisites, such as the car and driver, to symbolize superiority and establish the boundary lines. Back east the CEOs had offices with carved paneling, fake fireplaces, escritoires, bergeres, leather-bound books, and dressing rooms, like a suite in a baronial manor house. Fairchild Semiconductor needed a strict operating structure, particularly in this period of rapid growth, but it did not need a social structure. In fact, nothing could be worse. Noyce realized how much he detested the eastern corporate system of class and status with its endless gradations, topped off by the CEOs and vice-presidents who conducted their daily lives as if they were a corporate court and aristocracy. He rejected the idea of a social hierarchy at Fairchild.

Not only would there be no limousines and chauffeurs, there would not even be any reserved parking places. Work began at eight A.M. for one and all, and it would be first come, first served, in the parking lot, for Noyce, Gordon Moore, Jean Hoerni, and everybody else. “If you come late,” Noyce liked to say, “you just have to park in the back forty.” And there would be no baronial office suites. The glorified warehouse on Charleston Road was divided into work bays and a couple of rows of cramped office cubicles. The cubicles were never improved. The decor remained Glorified Warehouse, and the doors were always open. Half the time Noyce, the chief administrator, was out in the laboratory anyway, wearing his white lab coat. Noyce came to work in a coat and tie. but soon the jacket and the tie were off. and that was fine for any other man in the place too. There were no rules of dress at all, except for some unwritten ones. Dress should be modest, modest in the social as well as the moral sense. At Fairchild there were no hard-worsted double-breasted pinstripe suits and shepherd’s-check neckties. Sharp, elegant, fashionable, or alluring dress was a social blunder. Shabbiness was not a sin. Ostentation was.

By East Coast standards, that was a limo driver’s place and his role. But the Intel engineers were fascinated and appalled by this display of East Coast formality, inegalitarianism, and wastefulness.

When I interviewed at Intel in 1982, they took us on a tour of the headquarters, including the gray fabric cubicle of Robert Noyce, the”Mayor of Silicon Valley” (or perhaps of Gordon Moore, author of “Moore’s Law,” I can’t remember precisely which historic giant). The great man didn’t have an office, he had a cubicle. Granted, it was about 20′ by 30′. And when I lingered behind the tour and stood on my tiptoes to peer in, I saw Monet paintings hanging from the fabric walls. But still, he only had a cubicle …

For example, I started working at a Chicago marketing research startup later in 1982 that was getting ready to do an IPO the next year.

The top executives were always referred to by their first names. The corporate culture was strenuously modeled on Silicon Valley’s culture of informality in order to impress the kind of investors who had made Jobs and Wozniak rich that we were High Tech rather than Corporate America, which paid off the next year when the IPO was a massive success with investors.

(It turned out in the long run, however, that there were crucial differences between Silicon Valley and our customer base of giant corporations. For example, Silicon Valley firms tend to get rich through wielding monopoly power, which the government only occasionally objects to. In contrast, when our chairman arranged a merger in 1987 with our strongest competitor, our clients, who were some of the biggest corporations in the world, went to the government and complained that reducing our industry from 3 to 2 firms would be anti-competitive. So the Reagan Administration struck down the merger on antitrust grounds.)

The marketing research industry was described to me by another CEO in it as one where most of the firms had been “founded by housewives and college professors.” Our firm, in part to contrast ourselves from the dull reputation on Wall Street of our competitors, was distinctly masculine and informal. Thus, the vice-chairman, one of the most distinguished professors of marketing research in the country, was never referred to by his well-deserved honorifics but instead as “Gerry.”

This first name only custom worked well for top executives with moderately unusual first names such as “Gerry,” “Gian,” “George,” “Magid” and “Randy.” But it caused some problems because the top man, the visionary founder/chairman/largest shareholder, was always referred to by employees as “John,” as in, “As John mentioned to me yesterday …”

The problem with this First Name Culture was that there were a lot of people in the company named “John.” Not only was my underling named John and thus always referred to as “John Neilson,” but an executive vice president who had 2000 field workers reporting to him, a truly brilliant manager, was always referred to as “John Johnson.” But if you ever said, “As John mentioned to me …” in reference to John Johnson, that just proved you were a lowly worker who wasn’t on close terms with The One True John (who is an awesome guy, by the way).

 
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  1. How did someone put it? “PBS doesn’t want America to become socialist, it wants us to adopt the English class system.
    Or maybe it’s “I am a princess!” brought to life.

    • Agree: Triteleia Laxa
    • Replies: @El Dato
    @Redneck farmer

    Why not both?

    I would say the Soviet Union quickly stratified into various "classes" - inner party, outer party, this ministry, that ministry, the top of the building, the bottom of the building, those that could procure whiskey and those that could not.

    , @Jack Armstrong
    @Redneck farmer

    England has a class system?

    , @Desiderius
    @Redneck farmer

    Hierarchy appeals to men, especially men who do well with hierarchies of ability and accomplishment, but they’re ultimately enforced and demanded by women and they’re oblivious at best to the merit piece.

    That’s why the HR ladies have imported all these Brahmins to institute and American Caste System and discriminated openly against the men who thrived in the previous arrangement like Damore.

  2. But didn’t American informality start many years earlier than 1968?
    This was around the time I started my university studies in Germany. And even then it was customary to compare German formality (in particular w.r.t. professors) with American informality.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    @Stogumber


    ...it was customary to compare German formality (in particular w.r.t. professors) with American informality.
     
    But every student was on du terms with every other. Even strangers. That seems to be universal in Europe.

    In Scandinavia the last fifty or so years, the whole formal/informal distinction in the second person broke down, and now everybody is du. Quakers wanted us all to use thou, for egalitarian purposes, and got half their wish-- we are all equally you. But the squareheads did it the Quakers' way.
  3. Not just female professors. Jackson State head football coach Deion Sanders insists on being addressed as Coach Prime, using his old nickname PrimeTime. When a reporter addressed him as Deion the other day and repeated the offense, Sanders angrily walked out of his own media day press conference and said that nobody addresses Alabama head coach Nick Saban merely as Nick.

    In fact most reporters covering the SEC and Alabama do address Saban as Nick, and Saban has never objected to ot.

    • Agree: PaceLaw
    • Replies: @El Dato
    @Patrick Sullivan

    But he's Kangz.

    , @Jim Don Bob
    @Patrick Sullivan

    He should have addressed him as Coach Dick. Sanders has been a stuck up loud mouth Dick for years. I predict he will go down in flames as a head coach.

    , @Stan Adams
    @Patrick Sullivan

    Bobby Knight once went ballistic on a kid who called him by his first name.

  4. In a family near me in my childhood the three generations were Old Tom, Young Tom, and Wee Tom.

    Could that not be adapted to your multi-Johnned company? Or think of medieval examples such as The Black Douglas and The Red Douglas – though I can see that that would be “problematic” in the USA.

    There’s a tale from the Hebrides, where many little boys are called Donald Macleod. The school teacher would organise her class as Donnie A Macleod, Donnie B Macleod, and so on. Or take the Welsh example: Jones-the-Milkman is thus distinguished from Jones-the-Butcher.

    Anyhoo, couldn’t your John Johnson just have been called JJ?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @dearieme

    Like Old Tom and Young Tom Morris of St. Andrews:

    https://www.capegazette.com/article/he-died-broken-heart/142454

    Replies: @FPD72

    , @R.G. Camara
    @dearieme

    Rather like the old British sitcom Are You Being Served?, where the last remaining family member owning the store is incredibly old but is still called "Young Mr. Grace."

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gK8FCiXbvoM

    , @kaganovitch
    @dearieme

    There’s a tale from the Hebrides, where many little boys are called Donald Macleod. The school teacher would organise her class as Donnie A Macleod, Donnie B Macleod, and so on. Or take the Welsh example: Jones-the-Milkman is thus distinguished from Jones-the-Butcher.

    When my eldest daughter attended a Chabad school one year (it was the only Orthodox school in reasonable distance at the time), over half her class was named Chaya Mushka, after the late Lubavitcher Rebbe's wife.

    Replies: @Corn

    , @Escher
    @dearieme


    Anyhoo, couldn’t your John Johnson just have been called JJ?
     
    What someone calls their Johnson is their business alone.
    , @Morton's toes
    @dearieme

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCqh5ROtQRg

  5. I grew up in the US and of course was generally called by my first name and even more often by my nickname. When I moved to France I just loved the formality of being addressed as Monsieur X, or just Monsieur. I like to think informality reached its nadir when salesmen cold-calling people at home started using first names to address their targets. But France, too, like all of Europe is still on a trajectory toward more informality. I still find it revolting when TV newspeople address the people they’re interviewing by the first names and vice-versa.

    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
    @Tono Bungay

    Don't they know that you must call people what they demand you call them?: "It is Doctress Duchess Princess Miss Rachel Levine, to you!"

    , @AndrewR
    @Tono Bungay

    Personally I prefer informality. What I really don't like is the obscene deference towards politicians, especially the president. Never in a hundred million years would I say "Mr President," especially to a former president. At most they would get "Mr [Surname]" from me, and if they called me by my first name I would immediately start calling them by their first name. Few things are more degrading than having to use honorifics with someone who doesn't use them with you.

    Being president really went to Trump's head. Before that, everyone just called him Donald and he didn't care. But upon assuming the presidency he expected pure deference. I have always wondered what his boss Jared calls him.

  6. @Redneck farmer
    How did someone put it? "PBS doesn't want America to become socialist, it wants us to adopt the English class system.
    Or maybe it's "I am a princess!" brought to life.

    Replies: @El Dato, @Jack Armstrong, @Desiderius

    Why not both?

    I would say the Soviet Union quickly stratified into various “classes” – inner party, outer party, this ministry, that ministry, the top of the building, the bottom of the building, those that could procure whiskey and those that could not.

  7. @dearieme
    In a family near me in my childhood the three generations were Old Tom, Young Tom, and Wee Tom.

    Could that not be adapted to your multi-Johnned company? Or think of medieval examples such as The Black Douglas and The Red Douglas - though I can see that that would be "problematic" in the USA.

    There's a tale from the Hebrides, where many little boys are called Donald Macleod. The school teacher would organise her class as Donnie A Macleod, Donnie B Macleod, and so on. Or take the Welsh example: Jones-the-Milkman is thus distinguished from Jones-the-Butcher.

    Anyhoo, couldn't your John Johnson just have been called JJ?

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @R.G. Camara, @kaganovitch, @Escher, @Morton's toes

    Like Old Tom and Young Tom Morris of St. Andrews:

    https://www.capegazette.com/article/he-died-broken-heart/142454

    • Thanks: Paul Jolliffe
    • Replies: @FPD72
    @Steve Sailer


    Like Old Tom and Young Tom Morris of St. Andrews:
     
    Or Pliny the Elder and Pliny the Younger (nephew and later adopted son of the Elder) of 1st century Rome.
  8. That was a very interesting post, based on some of your own experience. You’re sort of like a higher IQ California Forrest Gump.

    Fast forward to today’s corporate world. I detest the first name supposed familiarity out of the corporate offices. I am not referring to the way the big cheeses and smaller cheeses likely refer to each other when communicating directly with each other. I refer to the emails from corporate honchos to the underlings.

    Everything is “Jim’s message for the week”. (Luckily, I haven’t seen too many last-name first names like Conner, Conor, Tanner, Tyler, Carlin, Forrest(?), haha, as maybe those types are mostly not old enough to be in these positions.) See, I’m very lucky to be in a position in which I don’t have to know who these corporate big cheeses even are. A lot of times, I don’t. “Jim who?” “Oh, he’s the CEO now?” “Who’s that Tom guy?” “What, I thought it was Neil Branham who is the Chief of _____?” “He left 4 years ago, huh. I need to keep up … NOT.”

    Hey, I’m pretty sure they are all decent people*, at least when they don’t feel they must feed us the woke BS within those weekly emails. It’s just that if you wrote “Company News from President Ross” instead of “Jim’s Message”, I might know who you are and be more sure it’s not spam… well, ….

    .

    * I’ve met many when they visit for “meet and greet” dealies, and they seem pretty down to earth. I try to be careful and act like I recognize the faces if one of them comes up to say hello. “You’re, uh, yeah, … Jim, right, brain fart … yeah, that’s the ticket.”

  9. As for the very first part of the post, as much as I know which fields are BS, where I’m from, all the Professors are called just that, “Professor ABC” by their students. Now, if you mean being called that by their peers or friends, that sounds like Jill Biden, oops, I mean, DOCTOR Biden, vanity.

    • Agree: Dr. X
    • Replies: @JosephB
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Yes. Faculty are typically called "Professor," at least by undergraduates. Grad students are a mix. Certainly students working for me use my first name, as do students from the US. Students from India and China tend to default to "Professor".

    I haven't noticed any trends based on race or sex about being particular about titles.

  10. @Patrick Sullivan
    Not just female professors. Jackson State head football coach Deion Sanders insists on being addressed as Coach Prime, using his old nickname PrimeTime. When a reporter addressed him as Deion the other day and repeated the offense, Sanders angrily walked out of his own media day press conference and said that nobody addresses Alabama head coach Nick Saban merely as Nick.

    In fact most reporters covering the SEC and Alabama do address Saban as Nick, and Saban has never objected to ot.

    Replies: @El Dato, @Jim Don Bob, @Stan Adams

    But he’s Kangz.

    • Agree: Charon
    • LOL: PaceLaw
  11. Anon[405] • Disclaimer says:

    Even in the internet boom era East Coast companies were formal. A division of my company had acquisition offers from a West Coast net company and a very similar East Coast net company. The West guy (a VP) showed up to meet our board wearing casual Friday. The East guys (CEO plus an investment banker) were in three piece suits. The CEO was the former Disney CFO, and in photos from that era was casual, so he “conformed” pretty quickly.

    • Replies: @Charon
    @Anon

    No one still wore three-piece suits by the 1990s, in fact no one did in the 1980a except for doddering old fools. Like the ones who brag on the internet about what school they attended. Sad!

    Replies: @James J O'Meara

  12. Class systems have deep roots and never really change. It’s a whack-a-mole thing where you ostensibly stop following one social code and another similar one replaces it. Informality becomes its own marker of higher class. Like some white kid with dreadlocks and flip-flops is signalling that he is rich enough not to need a normal job.

    • Replies: @Corn
    @TelfoedJohn


    Informality becomes its own marker of higher class. Like some white kid with dreadlocks and flip-flops is signalling that he is rich enough not to need a normal job.
     
    Once someone asked on r/AskReddit “What are subtle signs someone is really rich?”

    Someone replied, “I used to work for a catering company. If you’re at a corporate banquet or seminar look for the guy wearing jeans and a polo shirt in a room full of people in suits and dresses. That guy is usually the owner or CEO of the company.”

    Replies: @Prof. Woland, @Wendy Kroy

  13. Anonymous[247] • Disclaimer says:

    Reminds me of the lady jazz singer (Sarah Vaughn I think) who, when awarded a honorary doctorate by some university, insisted for the rest of her life on being addressed as “Dr.” She would not respond to journalists and interviewers who failed to do this.

    • Replies: @njguy73
    @Anonymous

    And Sir Laurence Olivier, if called "Sir," would respond, "Call me Larry."

    , @Charon
    @Anonymous

    Sounds like something Kathleen Battle would have insisted upon, except that she never got any honorary degrees. I hope.

    , @OdysseusPtoliporthis
    @Anonymous

    I'm from Philadelphia (not Philly), and I seem to remember that in the dim past Temple University bestowed an honorary doctorate to the newly freed Bill Cosby, and he also insisted that he be addressed as Doctor. I don't know if that had any drag at SCI Phoenix (formerly SCI Graterford), but I guess it didn't hurt.

    Replies: @Art Deco

    , @Wendy Kroy
    @Anonymous

    Very Sassy of her.

  14. National Review Uni-party types and plenty of woke grifters all love watching Downton Abbey.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
    @Voltarde

    It was Rod Dreher who was the Downton Abbey aficionado.

  15. The reason that formality is increasing is because Blacks, Mexicans, Indians and other Asians are notoriously demanding of medieval levels of deference once they are promoted or titled.
    India Indians are insanely rigid when it comes to hierarchy (and everything else. Indian code writers are incredibly unimaginative and inflexible.)
    I worked in a corporation that frantically tried to promote Blacks and Mexicans who had little or no merit. Once these Blacks and Mexicans were promoted, as far as they were concerned their work was done. Now everyone was expected to kowtow to them both inside and outside the office. They then spent their days doing all kinds of prestigious things that had nothing to do with actual work. To observe them, they would spend the day talking on the phone and laughing loudly. Then it was off to a 3-hour lunch. Meetings in the conference room were simply an egotistical harangue.
    Formality is increasing because nonWhites value style over substance to an insane degree.
    The lack of formality among Whites is a symptom of their increasing weakness after the victory of (((Leftist parasites and their highly destructive cultural pathology.)))
    When Whites espoused formality, they were notoriously hard-working, imaginative and innovative.

    • Agree: AceDeuce, Joseph Doaks
  16. I think this ethos is reflected in the left’s hatred of memes. Liberals are such easy targets and so sensitive that mocking them is not considered sporting. Occasionally you have to kill a chicken in front of the monkeys. Ironically, in the 70s it was liberals that mocked cultural icons but now we all know who we are supposed to not make fun of even if it would be enormously enjoyable.

  17. “By East Coast standards, that was a limo driver’s place and his role. But the Intel engineers were fascinated and appalled by this display of East Coast formality, inegalitarianism, and wastefulness.”

    Intel engineers and by implication West Coast standards, have no sense of astheticism. In theory perhaps the limo driver, after dropping off the exec, could have left and returned (promptly on the dot) for the exec when his day was finished. East Coast standards wouldn’t think it was wasteful, after all, what else is a chauffeur for but to serve their betters? Just like their employees. They are being honest about people’s roles and their positions. If one wants to ascend to the board room, then it takes a healthy amount of ambition (or at least marrying into the right family). That’s been the way of the world for thousands of recorded human history. The West Coast way is based on a total lie: Everyone is equal. Then everyone will receive the same paycheck at the end of the year. That of course would be true egalitarianism.

    It would seem more than a bit disingenuous for Noyce etc al to go informal when certain obvious standards remained. After all, for all their joint cubicles, first name basis, etc, the lowly employees and CEO’s did not equally receive the same annual salaries nor equally share in the profits of the company.

    So there remains a facade of egalitarianism but ultimately it is fake and a lie. The East Coast was just being more honest about the divide. Eastern culture was explicit. West Coast culture is implicit, but just as back stabbing as the East.

    Similar to the old joke: How do you say fuck you in LA? Answer: Trust me.

    If honesty is the best policy, then a limo and drive is better. It makes clear who is the employer and who is the employee.

    • Agree: Mr. Anon
    • Replies: @Giant Duck
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Agree 100 percent with this. The West Coast approach hides its extreme economic stratification under an unassuming layer of hoodies and jeans, but it's a total lie. Zuckerberg's bland gray t-shirts, for example, cost $400 each.

    https://www.businessinsider.com/mark-zuckerberg-favorite-tshirt-2017-7

    I also don't like the trend of rich preppies getting to depict themselves as down-and-out rebel lowlifes. The band The Strokes is a good example - a supposed garage band who actually met at boarding school in Switzerland. It's just flat-out greedy for people like this to monopolize the economic high end and the cultural low/rebel end.

    , @Mr. Anon
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Yes, all that New Economy informality is ultimately BS. You may call them "Bill" or "Steve" or "Larry", but they are every bit as much "The Boss" as was any Thurston Winthrop Bankster III.

    , @stillCARealist
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    No, honesty is not always the best policy. I may not be the financial equal of the CEO, but I'm just as much a human being who needs dignity and respect. We live under the same natural law and answer to the same God.

    The old aristocratic models were wasteful and often oppressive. The middle classes of old Europe were happy to decamp to America where they could run a free business and own land. Bowing to someone or doffing your cap because of his blood line? We're all glad that's gone.

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    , @vhrm
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    You're right in some aspects but wrong in key ones:



    East Coast standards wouldn’t think it was wasteful, after all, what else is a chauffeur for but to serve their betters? Just like their employees.
    ...If honesty is the best policy, then a limo and drive is better. It makes clear who is the employer and who is the employee.

     

    You're right in your broader point that there is still hierarchy in the West Coast "model" as well, but your view of employment is rather dark and not particularly useful.
    The chauffer isn't serving his "betters", he's just doing a job and getting paid for it. The CEO is also most often doing a job also and being paid for it. Certainly all the other managers and execs are.

    In small businesses where you have "the boss" (owner) it's different. There it's more "the boss is pissed off and you're fired" sort of thing.

    In the case of barons like Gates, Bezos, Zuckerberg, and, maybe, Musk it's somewhat different, but even they (or people like them) get ousted by the Board of Directors occasionally (in earlier stages at the behest of the VCs to which they are beholden).

    The view implied in your message is the kind of cultural thing keeps people from bettering their lives by getting a job because they don't want to sacrifice their pride.

    There's a world of difference between slavery and a job in a regulated free(ish) market economy.

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    , @Boomthorkell
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Agreed. I would just allow the man a book.

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    , @Peter D. Bredon
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    "“By East Coast standards, that was a limo driver’s place and his role. But the Intel engineers were fascinated and appalled by this display of East Coast formality, inegalitarianism, and wastefulness.”"

    Everyone who talks about the Master Race believes he belongs to it.
    Everyone who talks about the wonders of the Hindu caste system thinks he'd be born a Brahmin.
    Everyone who talks about the wonders of the Middle Ages thinks he'd be a king or at least a prince.

    "How do you know he's a king?"
    "He ain't got shit on him"

    -- Monty Python and the Holy Grail

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

  18. I always referred to professors, male and female, as either ‘professor’ or ‘Dr. X.’ I agree with the formality in that context and I think that female professors are entitled to the respect due them.

  19. @Patrick Sullivan
    Not just female professors. Jackson State head football coach Deion Sanders insists on being addressed as Coach Prime, using his old nickname PrimeTime. When a reporter addressed him as Deion the other day and repeated the offense, Sanders angrily walked out of his own media day press conference and said that nobody addresses Alabama head coach Nick Saban merely as Nick.

    In fact most reporters covering the SEC and Alabama do address Saban as Nick, and Saban has never objected to ot.

    Replies: @El Dato, @Jim Don Bob, @Stan Adams

    He should have addressed him as Coach Dick. Sanders has been a stuck up loud mouth Dick for years. I predict he will go down in flames as a head coach.

  20. Another possibility (who knows) is that the current Woke Hysteria might collapse catastrophically and be followed by a reactionary response. Who knows! I would prefer that possibility, but it is perhaps less likely than the continuation of this incredible Woke Hysteria.

    Jill Biden likes to be called “Dr Biden” due to her worthless crap “doctoral” essay at a crap school, so she is in the new spirit of the times.

  21. Just my observation but in my work life I often have to interact with people who have degrees of the Jill Biden variety or are ministers (annointed by who I have no idea) and they are very insistent on being addressed by their title. On the other hand at my kids private school, none of the MDs insist on it and the kids just call them Mr or Mrs. whatever rather than “doctor”.

    Like a lot of lower achieving cultures, there is an overemphasis on outward appearances of prosperity and importance, even when everyone secretly knows the game.

    • Agree: Johann Ricke
    • Replies: @Mark Roulo
    @Arclight

    "...at my kids private school, none of the MDs insist on it and the kids just call them Mr or Mrs. whatever rather than 'doctor'."

    I worked for a bit with a PhD holding engineer who also was an MD. Brilliant guy in a mad-scientisty way (and a really good guy to have working on engineering problems). He went by "Larry."

    Probably 10-20% of the folks I work with have PhD degrees in various hard sciences (engineering, math, physics, computer science, ...). I don't think I have *ever* heard one of them use his or her title at work. They will put the title on papers or articles they are publishing (if/when they publish), but the degree isn't considered a technical argument when we are trying to solve technical problems.

    Replies: @cthulhu, @R.G. Camara, @AndrewR

    , @Peter D. Bredon
    @Arclight

    "Like a lot of lower achieving cultures, there is an overemphasis on outward appearances of prosperity and importance, even when everyone secretly knows the game."

    Am I right in thinking addressing a lawyer as "Attorney Jones" like Dr. Jones is a black thing, or is it Southern, or modern? I only recall hearing it a few years ago, and among blacks.

  22. At Apple, the informality goes beyond first names and into nicknames. For example, insiders used to refer to Steve Jobs as “SJ.”

    • Replies: @Jack Armstrong
    @Spud Boy

    Fecking jesuits everywhere!

  23. I went to a state school in the 1970s and we students never addressed our professors by their first names. Maybe an oddball outlier professor would have invited it.

    • Agree: Gamecock
    • Thanks: Hibernian
    • Replies: @Hibernian
    @Chriscom

    At Iowa State in the Fall of 1972 I called them Mister until I realized they called us Mister all the time, no just occasionally in sarcasm, like in High School, and the other guys always called them Doctor. I quickly conformed. (I was a Freshman in a Sophomore class.)

  24. Caring about titles strikes me likes a feminine concern, kind of like caring about shoes. What man secretly wants to be a duke? Not any? But plenty of women would love to be called duchess or countess if they could. They like to think about how it feels to be mrs or miss or senorita or doctor.

    To some extent it is perhaps more of a feminine concern because men are not given any choices to consider here as a default. You will be mr. whatever all your life. Girls think about what their future last name will be. Will their husbands name sound good with their first name? Should they take their husbands name? Should they hyphenate? This concern then transfers into the title issue. Should they be mrs or ms? Or should they always be doctor, specifically because it is gender neutral and unrelated to marriage?

    • Replies: @Hibernian
    @Spangel226


    What man secretly wants to be a duke?
     
    It's universal but women are more interested in the trappings. (Those British titles have just about reduced to only the trappings.)
    , @Peter D. Bredon
    @Spangel226

    "What man secretly wants to be a duke?"

    "In our dreams there is only anarchy or monarchy." -- Hakim Bey


    Isn't it common for children to imagine/fantasize/wish that their parents are only caretakers and their real parents are nobles/aliens/wizards? Hence the popularity of the theme in fairy tales, Mark Twain, Star Wars, Harry Potter, etc.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

  25. I went up to Harvard Graduate School in 1959. It was infra dig to address a professor as “Doctor” because it was considered that that title belonged exclusively to the medical profession. Informality ruled and many profs were addressed by their first name. In Germany we were told the manners of the previous century obtained and that professors were addressed as Herr Doktor Professor.

    OTOH, the informality of Anglo-Saxon scholars concealed their privilege, their private sense of self and their utter contempt for students and the uncredentialed in general, an attitude that survives to this day. By contrast, continental professors have dropped the 19th century academic style and adapted informal manners in the Anglo-Saxon style but without the barely concealed hauteur and nastiness of the latter.

    The comments above are based on personal experience.

    • Replies: @prosa123
    @Anonymouse

    Here's my take on using Doctor vs. Mr./Ms. in a formal (no first names) but not professional context:

    Let's say you are on a civic organization's board of directors and as part of the proceedings you have to take a roll call of the other four directors:

    "Mr. Smith, Ms. Jones, Dr. Johnson, Mr. Brown" is required if Johnson is a physician. Even in this completely non-professional context using Mr./Ms. would not sound right and Johnson might take mild offense. Essentially, Doctor replaces all other forms of formal address for a physician.

    If Johnson is a doctorate-level health care professional other than a physician, for example a dentist, veterinarian, optometrist or clinical psychologist, it can go either way. Doctor is fine, but using Mr./Ms. would not be inappropriate and is unlikely to bother Johnson. It might be best to let Johnson express a preference and respect it.

    Finally, if Johnson holds a Ph.D in any non-health care field, using Doctor in this example is presumptuous. Use Mr./Ms. instead. If Johnson insists on being addressed as Doctor it says a lot about his or her personality. And not anything good.

    Replies: @Carbon blob, @Jack Armstrong

    , @Anonymous
    @Anonymouse


    OTOH, the informality of Anglo-Saxon scholars concealed their privilege, their private sense of self and their utter contempt for students and the uncredentialed in general
     
    Why would they have contempt for students? The students come from upper classes and the professors were once students themselves.
    , @Blade
    @Anonymouse

    I like your use of the English language old man, I rarely hear words like "hauteur" and "uncredentialed." I always addressed my professors with their titles. I see nothing wrong with it. I don't want to be buddies with my professors so keeping formality works better for me. If I was a Ph.D. candidate that might change though.

    , @James J O'Meara
    @Anonymouse

    " professors were addressed as Herr Doktor Professor."

    Actually, Herr /Frau Professor Doktor" ; everyone is a Herr or Frau at birth (until today, of course) and titles are in order of importance: not every Dr. rises to the exalted level of Professor. (Ask Schopenhauer).

    " the informality of Anglo-Saxon scholars concealed their privilege, their private sense of self and their utter contempt for students and the uncredentialed in general, an attitude that survives to this day."

    Cousin Jasper advises Charles when he comes up to Oxford in Brideshead Revisited : "Don’t treat dons like schoolmasters; treat them as you would the vicar at home…"

  26. Wasn’t the cubicle craze about saving money? They claimed that cramming everyone in small open cubes would increase productivity. I don’t think that’s been proven. It probably just makes people a bit miserable.

    • Replies: @bigdicknick
    @RichardTaylor

    makes it challenging to take phone calls.

  27. @Steve Sailer
    @dearieme

    Like Old Tom and Young Tom Morris of St. Andrews:

    https://www.capegazette.com/article/he-died-broken-heart/142454

    Replies: @FPD72

    Like Old Tom and Young Tom Morris of St. Andrews:

    Or Pliny the Elder and Pliny the Younger (nephew and later adopted son of the Elder) of 1st century Rome.

  28. Is it Frau Doktor Professor, or Frau Professor Doktor? And stand up perfectly rigid and straight while clicking your heels at least twice, Boy!

    https://german.stackexchange.com/questions/25822/herr-doktor-professor-or-herr-professor-doktor

    • Replies: @El Dato
    @George

    Like this?

    https://youtu.be/_YhfaeGbHEc?t=1185

    You will also address Frau von der Leyen as "Eurowalküre".

  29. I usually find myself addressed as “Yo, man” or “Hey, you.”

    In any event, this thread is a fine opportunity for me to bring up my obsession about the near-universal online practice of first-naming prominent women while last-naming prominent men (for example “Biden and Kamala,” at this point our vice president has almost entirely lost her surname). While there are a handful of exceptions, Nancy Pelosi and Elizabeth Warren to name a couple, it’s otherwise an ironclad rule.
    I deplore it. Everyone loses: the practice both dehumanizes men and infantilizes women.

    • Replies: @dearieme
    @prosa123

    There's more to it than that. The world is awash with Harrises but there's only one notable Kamala.

    Or consider Hillary: there were two leading Clinton crooks - so "Hillary" usefully distinguished her from Slick Willie.

    Tulsi Gabbard seems to called by both names, though presumably she's the only notable Tulsi around.

    Also, to refer to "President Biden" would be ambiguous - would you mean the Commander-in-Chief or her husband Joe?

    Replies: @Prosa123

    , @Bill Jones
    @prosa123


    In any event, this thread is a fine opportunity for me to bring up my obsession about the near-universal online practice of first-naming prominent women while last-naming prominent men (for example “Biden and Kamala,” at this point our vice president has almost entirely lost her surname)
     
    What do you expect if you "elect" Joe and the Ho?
    , @Stan Adams
    @prosa123

    As a rule, I refer to CBS News anchorwoman Norah O'Donnell as that Norah bitch.

    Typical usage: "Oh, shit, that Norah bitch is coming on. Change the channel, now!"

    Sometimes I call her the weight-loss aid, because listening to her voice makes me want to puke.

    Gayle King is Oprah's girlfriend.

    , @anon
    @prosa123

    In any event, this thread is a fine opportunity for me to bring up my obsession about the near-universal online practice of first-naming prominent women while last-naming prominent men (for example “Biden and Kamala,” at this point our vice president has almost entirely lost her surname).

    ¡No problema! "Hologram" and "Whore" are more than adequate, alliterative descriptors. But if you want to be a bit linguistically diverse, then "Puppet" and "Puta" work just as well.

    Happy to help!

  30. @TelfoedJohn
    Class systems have deep roots and never really change. It’s a whack-a-mole thing where you ostensibly stop following one social code and another similar one replaces it. Informality becomes its own marker of higher class. Like some white kid with dreadlocks and flip-flops is signalling that he is rich enough not to need a normal job.

    Replies: @Corn

    Informality becomes its own marker of higher class. Like some white kid with dreadlocks and flip-flops is signalling that he is rich enough not to need a normal job.

    Once someone asked on r/AskReddit “What are subtle signs someone is really rich?”

    Someone replied, “I used to work for a catering company. If you’re at a corporate banquet or seminar look for the guy wearing jeans and a polo shirt in a room full of people in suits and dresses. That guy is usually the owner or CEO of the company.”

    • Replies: @Prof. Woland
    @Corn

    Generally speaking, people who wear suits work for rich people.

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    , @Wendy Kroy
    @Corn

    It's the person wearing the most comfortable shoes.

  31. @Anonymouse
    I went up to Harvard Graduate School in 1959. It was infra dig to address a professor as "Doctor" because it was considered that that title belonged exclusively to the medical profession. Informality ruled and many profs were addressed by their first name. In Germany we were told the manners of the previous century obtained and that professors were addressed as Herr Doktor Professor.

    OTOH, the informality of Anglo-Saxon scholars concealed their privilege, their private sense of self and their utter contempt for students and the uncredentialed in general, an attitude that survives to this day. By contrast, continental professors have dropped the 19th century academic style and adapted informal manners in the Anglo-Saxon style but without the barely concealed hauteur and nastiness of the latter.

    The comments above are based on personal experience.

    Replies: @prosa123, @Anonymous, @Blade, @James J O'Meara

    Here’s my take on using Doctor vs. Mr./Ms. in a formal (no first names) but not professional context:

    Let’s say you are on a civic organization’s board of directors and as part of the proceedings you have to take a roll call of the other four directors:

    “Mr. Smith, Ms. Jones, Dr. Johnson, Mr. Brown” is required if Johnson is a physician. Even in this completely non-professional context using Mr./Ms. would not sound right and Johnson might take mild offense. Essentially, Doctor replaces all other forms of formal address for a physician.

    If Johnson is a doctorate-level health care professional other than a physician, for example a dentist, veterinarian, optometrist or clinical psychologist, it can go either way. Doctor is fine, but using Mr./Ms. would not be inappropriate and is unlikely to bother Johnson. It might be best to let Johnson express a preference and respect it.

    Finally, if Johnson holds a Ph.D in any non-health care field, using Doctor in this example is presumptuous. Use Mr./Ms. instead. If Johnson insists on being addressed as Doctor it says a lot about his or her personality. And not anything good.

    • Replies: @Carbon blob
    @prosa123

    Interesting take, considering that the title of ‘doctor’ has been around for many centuries in academia (‘docere’ meaning ‘to teach’ in Latin).

    Meanwhile medicine was probably net neutral or negative value for humanity until penicillin was discovered.

    , @Jack Armstrong
    @prosa123

    I always call anyone with any type of doctorate “Doctor” — only to be trumped by addressing anyone who holds a professorate as “Professor” — especially if they are a community college teacher or an adjunct.

    It might be best


    might?

    to let Johnson express a preference and respect it.

    Not everyone is worthy of respect.

  32. Steve, I worked a few levels under John Neilson back in the 90s before his cancer diagnosis and had a chat with him that is a little relevant here. I won’t post it here because I’ve told the story enough that it could be doxxing but if you are interested message my twitter handle above.

  33. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    "By East Coast standards, that was a limo driver’s place and his role. But the Intel engineers were fascinated and appalled by this display of East Coast formality, inegalitarianism, and wastefulness."

    Intel engineers and by implication West Coast standards, have no sense of astheticism. In theory perhaps the limo driver, after dropping off the exec, could have left and returned (promptly on the dot) for the exec when his day was finished. East Coast standards wouldn't think it was wasteful, after all, what else is a chauffeur for but to serve their betters? Just like their employees. They are being honest about people's roles and their positions. If one wants to ascend to the board room, then it takes a healthy amount of ambition (or at least marrying into the right family). That's been the way of the world for thousands of recorded human history. The West Coast way is based on a total lie: Everyone is equal. Then everyone will receive the same paycheck at the end of the year. That of course would be true egalitarianism.

    It would seem more than a bit disingenuous for Noyce etc al to go informal when certain obvious standards remained. After all, for all their joint cubicles, first name basis, etc, the lowly employees and CEO's did not equally receive the same annual salaries nor equally share in the profits of the company.

    So there remains a facade of egalitarianism but ultimately it is fake and a lie. The East Coast was just being more honest about the divide. Eastern culture was explicit. West Coast culture is implicit, but just as back stabbing as the East.

    Similar to the old joke: How do you say fuck you in LA? Answer: Trust me.

    If honesty is the best policy, then a limo and drive is better. It makes clear who is the employer and who is the employee.

    Replies: @Giant Duck, @Mr. Anon, @stillCARealist, @vhrm, @Boomthorkell, @Peter D. Bredon

    Agree 100 percent with this. The West Coast approach hides its extreme economic stratification under an unassuming layer of hoodies and jeans, but it’s a total lie. Zuckerberg’s bland gray t-shirts, for example, cost $400 each.

    https://www.businessinsider.com/mark-zuckerberg-favorite-tshirt-2017-7

    I also don’t like the trend of rich preppies getting to depict themselves as down-and-out rebel lowlifes. The band The Strokes is a good example – a supposed garage band who actually met at boarding school in Switzerland. It’s just flat-out greedy for people like this to monopolize the economic high end and the cultural low/rebel end.

  34. @Anonymous
    Reminds me of the lady jazz singer (Sarah Vaughn I think) who, when awarded a honorary doctorate by some university, insisted for the rest of her life on being addressed as "Dr." She would not respond to journalists and interviewers who failed to do this.

    Replies: @njguy73, @Charon, @OdysseusPtoliporthis, @Wendy Kroy

    And Sir Laurence Olivier, if called “Sir,” would respond, “Call me Larry.”

  35. Anonymous[374] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymouse
    I went up to Harvard Graduate School in 1959. It was infra dig to address a professor as "Doctor" because it was considered that that title belonged exclusively to the medical profession. Informality ruled and many profs were addressed by their first name. In Germany we were told the manners of the previous century obtained and that professors were addressed as Herr Doktor Professor.

    OTOH, the informality of Anglo-Saxon scholars concealed their privilege, their private sense of self and their utter contempt for students and the uncredentialed in general, an attitude that survives to this day. By contrast, continental professors have dropped the 19th century academic style and adapted informal manners in the Anglo-Saxon style but without the barely concealed hauteur and nastiness of the latter.

    The comments above are based on personal experience.

    Replies: @prosa123, @Anonymous, @Blade, @James J O'Meara

    OTOH, the informality of Anglo-Saxon scholars concealed their privilege, their private sense of self and their utter contempt for students and the uncredentialed in general

    Why would they have contempt for students? The students come from upper classes and the professors were once students themselves.

  36. I’m surprised that women in academia don’t insist on wearing full academic regalia more often. Elaborate caps and gowns and hoods effectively display your special achievements, and total equality (equity).

  37. There was an article recently about how General Officers (flag officers) at the Pentagon are massive time wasters. The generals demand to have briefings and staff meetings where multitude of underlings have to present to possibly answer a question. The briefing is a great time saver for the general but a massive time waster for everyone one else. The time waste is even magnified since cell phones/tablets are usually not allowed due to the classified nature of the meeting and the culture is that everyone has to be attentive. If someone figured out the hourly payrolls costs for everyone involved and then charged the general’s budget the true cost of the meeting, a different way of conducting business would be created.

    • Thanks: Joseph Doaks
  38. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    "By East Coast standards, that was a limo driver’s place and his role. But the Intel engineers were fascinated and appalled by this display of East Coast formality, inegalitarianism, and wastefulness."

    Intel engineers and by implication West Coast standards, have no sense of astheticism. In theory perhaps the limo driver, after dropping off the exec, could have left and returned (promptly on the dot) for the exec when his day was finished. East Coast standards wouldn't think it was wasteful, after all, what else is a chauffeur for but to serve their betters? Just like their employees. They are being honest about people's roles and their positions. If one wants to ascend to the board room, then it takes a healthy amount of ambition (or at least marrying into the right family). That's been the way of the world for thousands of recorded human history. The West Coast way is based on a total lie: Everyone is equal. Then everyone will receive the same paycheck at the end of the year. That of course would be true egalitarianism.

    It would seem more than a bit disingenuous for Noyce etc al to go informal when certain obvious standards remained. After all, for all their joint cubicles, first name basis, etc, the lowly employees and CEO's did not equally receive the same annual salaries nor equally share in the profits of the company.

    So there remains a facade of egalitarianism but ultimately it is fake and a lie. The East Coast was just being more honest about the divide. Eastern culture was explicit. West Coast culture is implicit, but just as back stabbing as the East.

    Similar to the old joke: How do you say fuck you in LA? Answer: Trust me.

    If honesty is the best policy, then a limo and drive is better. It makes clear who is the employer and who is the employee.

    Replies: @Giant Duck, @Mr. Anon, @stillCARealist, @vhrm, @Boomthorkell, @Peter D. Bredon

    Yes, all that New Economy informality is ultimately BS. You may call them “Bill” or “Steve” or “Larry”, but they are every bit as much “The Boss” as was any Thurston Winthrop Bankster III.

    • Agree: Yojimbo/Zatoichi
  39. @Achmed E. Newman
    As for the very first part of the post, as much as I know which fields are BS, where I'm from, all the Professors are called just that, "Professor ABC" by their students. Now, if you mean being called that by their peers or friends, that sounds like Jill Biden, oops, I mean, DOCTOR Biden, vanity.

    Replies: @JosephB

    Yes. Faculty are typically called “Professor,” at least by undergraduates. Grad students are a mix. Certainly students working for me use my first name, as do students from the US. Students from India and China tend to default to “Professor”.

    I haven’t noticed any trends based on race or sex about being particular about titles.

  40. Just look at all of those informal, down-to-earth Silicon Valley CEOs with their sandals, Bermuda shorts, 500 foot yachts, and 11 figure net worths. How very egalitarian of them to let you call them by their first name.

    I suspect part of the informality in Silicon Valley is due to the fact that A) tons of employees have advanced degrees, so having a doctorate is no big deal; B) many of the founders don’t have advanced degrees – and sometimes have no degree at all.

    I remember hearing a story in one of my business classes about some tech CEO – maybe it was at Apple – who had a doctorate and insisted that everyone call him “doctor.” He didn’t win a lot of fans.

    The companies I’ve worked for tend to have a more West Coast attitude. At one of former employers they promoted a black guy to vice president at one of our divisions. He wasn’t over me but we worked in the same building. The man immediately developed a serious god complex. Half of his division either transferred or quit. The black veep probably held on to his job longer than he should have, because he was black, but he eventually was quietly demoted to some division where he could do less harm and bad about a tenth of the employees as before.

    • Replies: @Alt Right Moderate
    @Wilkey

    It may also be due to Silicon Valley being relatively left wing. The Internet was developed with government aid, and the consumer software industry involves a far number of creative marketing types and graphic designers who tend to be relatively liberal (compared with say bankers or industrialists).

    However, the "consumer tech" revolution appears to be peaking, and the famous starts ups like Apple and Amazon are now mega-cap companies facing government headwinds. Taking its place in the new tech space is industrial tech (robotics, autonomous vehicles, Internet of Things etc) which may well develop a different culture. Already electric car tycoon Elon Musk is coming across as brasher and more politically unpredictable that Zuckerberg, Dorsey etc. Industrial tech it is also likely to be developed outside California with greater involvement from Europe and other parts of the US like Texas.

    Replies: @Prof. Woland

    , @AndrewR
    @Wilkey

    Lol titles go to their heads

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.dailydot.com/irl/white-official-black-woman-doctor-title-video/%3famp

  41. Anonymous[771] • Disclaimer says:

    The other change in formality is being able to joke around in the workplace. Pretty much any light-hearted remark can be taken down in evidence and used against you in an HR tribunal these days.

  42. @dearieme
    In a family near me in my childhood the three generations were Old Tom, Young Tom, and Wee Tom.

    Could that not be adapted to your multi-Johnned company? Or think of medieval examples such as The Black Douglas and The Red Douglas - though I can see that that would be "problematic" in the USA.

    There's a tale from the Hebrides, where many little boys are called Donald Macleod. The school teacher would organise her class as Donnie A Macleod, Donnie B Macleod, and so on. Or take the Welsh example: Jones-the-Milkman is thus distinguished from Jones-the-Butcher.

    Anyhoo, couldn't your John Johnson just have been called JJ?

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @R.G. Camara, @kaganovitch, @Escher, @Morton's toes

    Rather like the old British sitcom Are You Being Served?, where the last remaining family member owning the store is incredibly old but is still called “Young Mr. Grace.”

  43. By East Coast standards, that was a limo driver’s place and his role. But the Intel engineers were fascinated and appalled by this display of East Coast formality, inegalitarianism, and wastefulness.

    The engineers displayed their ignorance of business, just as Congress did in 2008 when attacking Big 3 CEOs flying private jets to Washington, to beg Congress for bailout money.

    CEOs make thousands of dollars an hour. Literally, thousands of dollars an hour. Paying a driver 20 bucks an hour to maximize efficiency of the CEO is a GOOD IDEA, and big companies know it.

    So what we see with the West Cost nouveau riche is that they hadn’t yet learned how to manage money and business.

    Aside: I knew Tom Wolfe in the early 70s. We were members of the same club in Richmond, Va. He was described to me as “a published author.” M’kay. He was just a guy at the club to me. It wasn’t til years later I learned the significance of his work, hence, who he was.

  44. You see this in sports too.

    It used to be that NBA teams had an owner, who may or may not have been actively involved in the day-to-day operations of the team, and a general manager who was, well, exactly what the title implies. Then the titles became more grandiose about the time blacks got front office positions and the GM became “president of basketball operations.” Owners were no longer owners, but “governors,” which is weird because private businesses don’t normally use terms associated with political office. But I guess if a team has a president of such-and-such, then he can’t logically be subordinate to another president, so the guy higher up the pecking order has to be called something else.

    I think “governor” sounds silly and ostentatious. Managing director or CEO makes more sense, to me at least.

    With regard to the use of first names in a business setting, when I first entered the business world it was understood that you did not address the CEO or any other member of upper management by their first name unless and until it was made clear that the executives expected that you would be joining their “club” at some point.

  45. @Tono Bungay
    I grew up in the US and of course was generally called by my first name and even more often by my nickname. When I moved to France I just loved the formality of being addressed as Monsieur X, or just Monsieur. I like to think informality reached its nadir when salesmen cold-calling people at home started using first names to address their targets. But France, too, like all of Europe is still on a trajectory toward more informality. I still find it revolting when TV newspeople address the people they're interviewing by the first names and vice-versa.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa, @AndrewR

    Don’t they know that you must call people what they demand you call them?: “It is Doctress Duchess Princess Miss Rachel Levine, to you!”

  46. One of the main reasons for the breakdown in formality was conscious effort by the Marxists of the 60s onward, who were not in power, to drive down the respect for authority and proper place. e.g. the professor who said, “Just call me Dave” was always a far-left hippie type, and would invariably mock other professors insisting on titles as “stuffed shirt”.

    Question Authority was their bumper-sticker motto.

    But now that the Marxists are in power, this push to re-formalize addresses and position. The over-the-top “horror” they expressed at the Jan 6th riot is one major affectations; the smearing of anyone who questions the rigged 2020 election as a “conspiracy theorist” is another. Or this feminazi insistence on titles — very likely from the women with fake degrees in fake subjects, such as Women’s studies. Or the Left’s wholesale defense of the corrupt FBI and our other alphabet agencies.

    Question Authority, it seems, no longer fits on their bumpers.

    One of the best recent defenses of formality and proper place came from a little-watched but well done cable show called Young Pope, where Jude Law played a young far-right traditionalist cardinal elevated to the papacy. The other corrupt left-wing cardinals, who know little about him, elected him because they thought his youth would make him easy to control as a pawn and didn’t really know his positions. Once elected, however, the Young Pope is shown not only to be his own man but also determined to push the Church right back to its previous exalted status.

    Anyway, in the following scene with an overly-comfortably nun housekeeper the Young Pope made a surprisingly good argument about why her chumminess was inappropriate and why he insisted on formality even among his closest Church associates and servants:

    • Replies: @Rob
    @R.G. Camara


    …comfortably nun…
     
    Bravo!
  47. Sam says:

    The marketing research industry was described to me by another CEO in it as one where most of the firms had been “founded by housewives and college professors.”

    I presume “founded by housewives and college professors” means that college professors built the companies on the back of housewives being the samples used to figure how to market? Or is the quote saying housewives were in some way directly involved in founding the marketing research industry?
    If the latter than please expound a bit because it sounds interesting.

  48. Huh?

    What am I missing?

    I thought that Professors are always called Professor, unless they are Casey Stengel, in which case they are called Perfesser.

    When referring to a famous person, I’d adopt using the last name, as in Feynman or Mozart or Einstein or Chaplin or Chanel. To avoid confusion due to a common name, or with a long name, or just because, use initials: JFK, LBJ, TR, FDR.

    If two famous folks have the same surname and the name doesn’t lend itself to abbreviation, use both: Audrey Hepburn or Kate Hepburn.

    And don’t forget: it’s DR. Jill Biden.

  49. @prosa123
    @Anonymouse

    Here's my take on using Doctor vs. Mr./Ms. in a formal (no first names) but not professional context:

    Let's say you are on a civic organization's board of directors and as part of the proceedings you have to take a roll call of the other four directors:

    "Mr. Smith, Ms. Jones, Dr. Johnson, Mr. Brown" is required if Johnson is a physician. Even in this completely non-professional context using Mr./Ms. would not sound right and Johnson might take mild offense. Essentially, Doctor replaces all other forms of formal address for a physician.

    If Johnson is a doctorate-level health care professional other than a physician, for example a dentist, veterinarian, optometrist or clinical psychologist, it can go either way. Doctor is fine, but using Mr./Ms. would not be inappropriate and is unlikely to bother Johnson. It might be best to let Johnson express a preference and respect it.

    Finally, if Johnson holds a Ph.D in any non-health care field, using Doctor in this example is presumptuous. Use Mr./Ms. instead. If Johnson insists on being addressed as Doctor it says a lot about his or her personality. And not anything good.

    Replies: @Carbon blob, @Jack Armstrong

    Interesting take, considering that the title of ‘doctor’ has been around for many centuries in academia (‘docere’ meaning ‘to teach’ in Latin).

    Meanwhile medicine was probably net neutral or negative value for humanity until penicillin was discovered.

  50. @George
    Is it Frau Doktor Professor, or Frau Professor Doktor? And stand up perfectly rigid and straight while clicking your heels at least twice, Boy!

    https://german.stackexchange.com/questions/25822/herr-doktor-professor-or-herr-professor-doktor

    Replies: @El Dato

    Like this?

    You will also address Frau von der Leyen as “Eurowalküre”.

  51. I taught engineering for 37 years, from 1970 to 2007. No one ever called me “Bob.” I was always addressed as “Professor,” “Doctor,” and occasionally “Sir.”

    By the way, the use of “Doctor” to address a university professor goes back to the early Middle Ages and the first western universities, and even earlier. St. Thomas Aquinas is the “Angelic Doctor.” St. Augustine is the “Doctor of Grace.” St. Anthony of Padua is the “Evangelical Doctor.” Numerous other examples exist in the Catholic panoply of saints. Doctor is Latin for teacher. Doctrine is Latin for the subject matter taught.

    So, it predates the use of “doctor” to mean “physician” by many hundreds of years. Physicians were not trained in universities until the middle 1800’s, and none of the physicians had doctorates back then. Medical schools were stand-alone operations, usually of ill-repute, because the physicians they produced were dangerous to the health and lives of their patients (victims?). Most of the better schools were absorbed into universities during the medical reform movement of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries.

    • Replies: @James J O'Meara
    @bob sykes

    England still has [IIRC] a "bifurcated" profession, with "doctors" and "surgeons" (like barristers and solicitors). You can get a BM degree as well as a MD, and once qualified as an MD you can acquire a BChir, ChB or BS (Bachelor of Surgery). Surgeons typically (i.e. crusty old White guys) insist on being called "Mr." or "Miss" in typical reverse snobbery.

    This is also why Columbia University (i.e. the colonial Kings College) has a "College of Physicians and Surgeons" rather than a "Medical School."

  52. @dearieme
    In a family near me in my childhood the three generations were Old Tom, Young Tom, and Wee Tom.

    Could that not be adapted to your multi-Johnned company? Or think of medieval examples such as The Black Douglas and The Red Douglas - though I can see that that would be "problematic" in the USA.

    There's a tale from the Hebrides, where many little boys are called Donald Macleod. The school teacher would organise her class as Donnie A Macleod, Donnie B Macleod, and so on. Or take the Welsh example: Jones-the-Milkman is thus distinguished from Jones-the-Butcher.

    Anyhoo, couldn't your John Johnson just have been called JJ?

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @R.G. Camara, @kaganovitch, @Escher, @Morton's toes

    There’s a tale from the Hebrides, where many little boys are called Donald Macleod. The school teacher would organise her class as Donnie A Macleod, Donnie B Macleod, and so on. Or take the Welsh example: Jones-the-Milkman is thus distinguished from Jones-the-Butcher.

    When my eldest daughter attended a Chabad school one year (it was the only Orthodox school in reasonable distance at the time), over half her class was named Chaya Mushka, after the late Lubavitcher Rebbe’s wife.

    • Replies: @Corn
    @kaganovitch


    over half her class was named Chaya Mushka, after the late Lubavitcher Rebbe’s wife.
     
    Back in the ‘00s a mother told me of grade and high school age girls starting to go by their middle names because there were already so many Jennifers and Stephanies in their classes.
  53. Noyce was raised in a hierarchy-averse church.

    Though he became an agnostic later in life, this probably influenced his management style. It could also explain the clash with William Shockley.

  54. @dearieme
    In a family near me in my childhood the three generations were Old Tom, Young Tom, and Wee Tom.

    Could that not be adapted to your multi-Johnned company? Or think of medieval examples such as The Black Douglas and The Red Douglas - though I can see that that would be "problematic" in the USA.

    There's a tale from the Hebrides, where many little boys are called Donald Macleod. The school teacher would organise her class as Donnie A Macleod, Donnie B Macleod, and so on. Or take the Welsh example: Jones-the-Milkman is thus distinguished from Jones-the-Butcher.

    Anyhoo, couldn't your John Johnson just have been called JJ?

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @R.G. Camara, @kaganovitch, @Escher, @Morton's toes

    Anyhoo, couldn’t your John Johnson just have been called JJ?

    What someone calls their Johnson is their business alone.

  55. OT: Does getting right with contemporary concepts of anti-racism mean reviving one of the state’s most shameful traditions?

    The [Academic Council’s Standardized Testing Task Force] determined that the obvious challenges faced by low-income Black and Latino students were poverty and poor K–12 education. And they found that the UC’s use of standardized tests did not amplify racial disparities. They agreed that the university should continue using test scores in admissions, but recommended that the UC begin developing its own test, which would be designed to meet the needs of both students and the institution.

    Why did the regents completely ignore this report? I have a guess. People in power today would much rather do something that seems to promote “equity” than make an evidence-based choice that could lead to accusations of racism. This is the kind of infuriating policy decision that looks like it is going to help poor, minority students but will actually harm them.

    The University of California Is Lying to Us

  56. @Redneck farmer
    How did someone put it? "PBS doesn't want America to become socialist, it wants us to adopt the English class system.
    Or maybe it's "I am a princess!" brought to life.

    Replies: @El Dato, @Jack Armstrong, @Desiderius

    England has a class system?

  57. @prosa123
    I usually find myself addressed as "Yo, man" or "Hey, you."

    In any event, this thread is a fine opportunity for me to bring up my obsession about the near-universal online practice of first-naming prominent women while last-naming prominent men (for example "Biden and Kamala," at this point our vice president has almost entirely lost her surname). While there are a handful of exceptions, Nancy Pelosi and Elizabeth Warren to name a couple, it's otherwise an ironclad rule.
    I deplore it. Everyone loses: the practice both dehumanizes men and infantilizes women.

    Replies: @dearieme, @Bill Jones, @Stan Adams, @anon

    There’s more to it than that. The world is awash with Harrises but there’s only one notable Kamala.

    Or consider Hillary: there were two leading Clinton crooks – so “Hillary” usefully distinguished her from Slick Willie.

    Tulsi Gabbard seems to called by both names, though presumably she’s the only notable Tulsi around.

    Also, to refer to “President Biden” would be ambiguous – would you mean the Commander-in-Chief or her husband Joe?

    • Replies: @Prosa123
    @dearieme

    When Amy Klobuchar was seeking the nomination she usually got first named online even though she has a commonplace first name and a distinctive last name.

  58. @prosa123
    @Anonymouse

    Here's my take on using Doctor vs. Mr./Ms. in a formal (no first names) but not professional context:

    Let's say you are on a civic organization's board of directors and as part of the proceedings you have to take a roll call of the other four directors:

    "Mr. Smith, Ms. Jones, Dr. Johnson, Mr. Brown" is required if Johnson is a physician. Even in this completely non-professional context using Mr./Ms. would not sound right and Johnson might take mild offense. Essentially, Doctor replaces all other forms of formal address for a physician.

    If Johnson is a doctorate-level health care professional other than a physician, for example a dentist, veterinarian, optometrist or clinical psychologist, it can go either way. Doctor is fine, but using Mr./Ms. would not be inappropriate and is unlikely to bother Johnson. It might be best to let Johnson express a preference and respect it.

    Finally, if Johnson holds a Ph.D in any non-health care field, using Doctor in this example is presumptuous. Use Mr./Ms. instead. If Johnson insists on being addressed as Doctor it says a lot about his or her personality. And not anything good.

    Replies: @Carbon blob, @Jack Armstrong

    I always call anyone with any type of doctorate “Doctor” — only to be trumped by addressing anyone who holds a professorate as “Professor” — especially if they are a community college teacher or an adjunct.

    It might be best

    might?

    to let Johnson express a preference and respect it.

    Not everyone is worthy of respect.

  59. @Spud Boy
    At Apple, the informality goes beyond first names and into nicknames. For example, insiders used to refer to Steve Jobs as "SJ."

    Replies: @Jack Armstrong

    Fecking jesuits everywhere!

  60. Homer J: “I wish just once someone would call me ‘sir’ without adding ‘you’re causing a scene.’”

  61. @Anonymous
    Reminds me of the lady jazz singer (Sarah Vaughn I think) who, when awarded a honorary doctorate by some university, insisted for the rest of her life on being addressed as "Dr." She would not respond to journalists and interviewers who failed to do this.

    Replies: @njguy73, @Charon, @OdysseusPtoliporthis, @Wendy Kroy

    Sounds like something Kathleen Battle would have insisted upon, except that she never got any honorary degrees. I hope.

  62. @Anon
    Even in the internet boom era East Coast companies were formal. A division of my company had acquisition offers from a West Coast net company and a very similar East Coast net company. The West guy (a VP) showed up to meet our board wearing casual Friday. The East guys (CEO plus an investment banker) were in three piece suits. The CEO was the former Disney CFO, and in photos from that era was casual, so he "conformed" pretty quickly.

    Replies: @Charon

    No one still wore three-piece suits by the 1990s, in fact no one did in the 1980a except for doddering old fools. Like the ones who brag on the internet about what school they attended. Sad!

    • Replies: @James J O'Meara
    @Charon

    I know Mad Men was "just a TV show" but they did a great job capturing the look of the era. Already in 1960 WWII veteran Roger still wears three piece suits, Korean vet Don has dropped the vest, and new kid Pete wears two button, narrow lapel suits a la JFK. (As per an episode title, Don and Pete are "Nixon v. Kennedy.") In later seasons the "hip" 60s office "suits" the even younger staff wear are hilariously awful and authentic: brown corduroy suits, orange ties, yellow shirts.

  63. What I expect we will see is that “established” women and minorities will insist on title usage all the more, to command respect, and under the guise of societal feminization we will evolve a new set of non-egalitarian hierarchies, presented and marketed to us under egalitarian pretenses.

    This theory only works for blacks. I can see a reason why a black professional with a less-common first name would want to be addressed by their title and last name (Prof. Smith). But blacks aren’t the only minorities. What if your last name is hard to pronounce for English speakers or immediately identifies you as non-American? Jose Aguirre might be happier if you call him “Joe.” Antoine Frangieh may prefer “Tony.” I don’t think I’ve ever met a Nigerian who didn’t have a nickname. Or what about Chinese immigrants who have given themselves a Western name, which is common. They’d probably rather be addressed by their chosen name than have students or colleagues butcher their Chinese name.

  64. When I interviewed at Intel in 1982, they took us on a tour of the headquarters, including the gray fabric cubicle of Robert Noyce, the”Mayor of Silicon Valley” (or perhaps of Gordon Moore, author of “Moore’s Law,” I can’t remember precisely which historic giant).

    Learning about the founding of Silicon Valley and the advancements made by American scientists from roughly 1920-1960 really shows how underappreciated the historic Anglo-American nation is. All of those guys- Noyce, Moore, Shockley, Fairchild, Arnold Beckman- are heritage Americans and all of them came from small towns in the heartland. It proves Steve’s point that the most overlooked talent today is white boys from flyover country. It also shows that, contra the Narrative, America was doing just fine in terms of innovation and invention prior to receiving other countries’ wretched refuse. How did Intel ever function without H1bs?

    • Replies: @Hibernian
    @Magic Dirt Resident

    Wasn't one of the founders of those companies a Hungarian Jewish dude?

    Replies: @Magic Dirt Resident, @AnotherDad

  65. Anonymous[771] • Disclaimer says:

    Meanwhile…hahaha!

    Two white male creative directors at a top London advertising agency have won a sex discrimination claim after a female director vowed to “obliterate” its Mad Men reputation of being full of straight, white men.

    https://www.theguardian.com/media/2021/jul/23/top-ad-men-who-feared-obliteration-win-sex-discrimination-claim

  66. Anonymous[366] • Disclaimer says:

    IIRC a guy waiting around in a limo doing nothing was integral to the plot of the 1st “Die Hard” film

  67. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    "By East Coast standards, that was a limo driver’s place and his role. But the Intel engineers were fascinated and appalled by this display of East Coast formality, inegalitarianism, and wastefulness."

    Intel engineers and by implication West Coast standards, have no sense of astheticism. In theory perhaps the limo driver, after dropping off the exec, could have left and returned (promptly on the dot) for the exec when his day was finished. East Coast standards wouldn't think it was wasteful, after all, what else is a chauffeur for but to serve their betters? Just like their employees. They are being honest about people's roles and their positions. If one wants to ascend to the board room, then it takes a healthy amount of ambition (or at least marrying into the right family). That's been the way of the world for thousands of recorded human history. The West Coast way is based on a total lie: Everyone is equal. Then everyone will receive the same paycheck at the end of the year. That of course would be true egalitarianism.

    It would seem more than a bit disingenuous for Noyce etc al to go informal when certain obvious standards remained. After all, for all their joint cubicles, first name basis, etc, the lowly employees and CEO's did not equally receive the same annual salaries nor equally share in the profits of the company.

    So there remains a facade of egalitarianism but ultimately it is fake and a lie. The East Coast was just being more honest about the divide. Eastern culture was explicit. West Coast culture is implicit, but just as back stabbing as the East.

    Similar to the old joke: How do you say fuck you in LA? Answer: Trust me.

    If honesty is the best policy, then a limo and drive is better. It makes clear who is the employer and who is the employee.

    Replies: @Giant Duck, @Mr. Anon, @stillCARealist, @vhrm, @Boomthorkell, @Peter D. Bredon

    No, honesty is not always the best policy. I may not be the financial equal of the CEO, but I’m just as much a human being who needs dignity and respect. We live under the same natural law and answer to the same God.

    The old aristocratic models were wasteful and often oppressive. The middle classes of old Europe were happy to decamp to America where they could run a free business and own land. Bowing to someone or doffing your cap because of his blood line? We’re all glad that’s gone.

    • Agree: JMcG
    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @stillCARealist

    "No, honesty is not always the best policy."

    Didn't say that. Re-read what I said. IF honesty is the best policy (didn't include the world 'always').

    "We live under the same natural law and answer to the same God."

    Wait, we do? Muhammad, Chetty, and Chang Ho Wang all answer to Jesus? They do? Seriously? Oh, perhaps you meant it figuratively. But then, the concept of Natural Law is quite Western, which was formulated during Christendom's heyday (or at least while it was still relevant). Also, if we all answer to the same God from an ethical viewpoint, then honesty is included and ranked very high among the virtues. But you said honesty isn't always a good thing. So that's an apparent contradiction, especially if one expects to answer to the same God.

    Also, while one may be equal before God and answer to Him, on earth humans are not all equal. That expectation would be extremely naive. There have always been leaders and there will always be followers.


    "Bowing to someone or doffing your cap because of his blood line? We’re all glad that’s gone."

    That was the polite way of showing respect to one's betters. Or at least, allowing one to feel that they were paying their respects.

    I'm not. Then the rules were much clearer. Now, if you offend the "wrong" party, because of something you thought was your own right of exercising one's own opinion, its tough luck. End of career, possibly prison, motives suspected of the new litany list of -isms, many of which were non-existant several decades ago.

  68. jb says:

    When Lloyd Blankfein was CEO of Goldman Sachs we would get voicemail announcements from him that always began “This is Lloyd…”. Now that David Solomon has the same position we get recorded messages from “David”. This practice has always kind of grated on me; it comes across to me as both ostentatious and condescending (I am definitely not on a first name basis with “David”!), which I’m sure is the exact opposite of the intention. I wonder if there are other employees who feel the same way but would never say anything, or if it’s just me.

    • Replies: @Jack Armstrong
    @jb

    Lloyd Blankfein. I always call him “yedid” or “yeddi” (amercanized yiddish for “buddy/pal”.

    , @James J O'Meara
    @jb

    Right, it's covertly infantilizing: one big happy family, so that makes you the kid.

    I once worked for a hip spa lifestyle promotion company (transitioning from magazine to website) whose headquarters had a spa-like reception area before you got to the cubicle farm -- water features, New Age music, even sand! All the execs/bosses were on a first name basis, the head honcho being Pete. Each week everyone would gather for a company wide meeting, which was called, I kid you not, "the Family Gathering."

    The CEO gets all the advantages of being Dad, but with the ability to fire family members (as we found out when they let go 1/3 of the staff during the 2008 downturn: to make it "fair" since it had nothing to do with our actual work, each department had to designate a scapegoat: me, for example).

  69. Received an email from Intel this morning lauding these these two people, with Intel providing the links shown below.

    Intel exec Huma Abidi on the urgent need for diversity and inclusion in AI
    https://venturebeat.com/2021/07/08/intels-huma-abidi-on-the-urgent-need-for-diversity-and-inclusion-initiatives-in-ai/

    Intel’s Lisa Spelman on the Interconnectivity between Curiosity and Innovation
    https://hbr.org/sponsored/2021/07/video-quick-take-intels-lisa-spelman-on-the-interconnectivity-between-curiosity-and-innovation

    How do either of these two people add value to Intel?

    • Agree: J.Ross
    • Replies: @Alfa158
    @Voltarde

    Influence peddling in various forms.
    Load your board of directors and ceremonial executive positions with politically connected hacks and they can use their Rolodex to influence legislation, awarding of government contracts, regulatory actions etc.
    Elizabeth Holmes loaded up Theranos with political hacks like Kissinger who knew nothing whatsoever about the industry, but could be lured in by promises of stock equity with no investment on their part. Their names could provide enough credibility to get suckers to cough up real investment money. If regulators start getting too curious about your product efficacy, where the investment money is going, if employees are being exploited etc. you can have them make calls or just wave their presence in your company around like a torch to keep the wolves at bay.

    Replies: @Muggles, @Art Deco, @James J O'Meara

  70. @prosa123
    I usually find myself addressed as "Yo, man" or "Hey, you."

    In any event, this thread is a fine opportunity for me to bring up my obsession about the near-universal online practice of first-naming prominent women while last-naming prominent men (for example "Biden and Kamala," at this point our vice president has almost entirely lost her surname). While there are a handful of exceptions, Nancy Pelosi and Elizabeth Warren to name a couple, it's otherwise an ironclad rule.
    I deplore it. Everyone loses: the practice both dehumanizes men and infantilizes women.

    Replies: @dearieme, @Bill Jones, @Stan Adams, @anon

    In any event, this thread is a fine opportunity for me to bring up my obsession about the near-universal online practice of first-naming prominent women while last-naming prominent men (for example “Biden and Kamala,” at this point our vice president has almost entirely lost her surname)

    What do you expect if you “elect” Joe and the Ho?

  71. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    "By East Coast standards, that was a limo driver’s place and his role. But the Intel engineers were fascinated and appalled by this display of East Coast formality, inegalitarianism, and wastefulness."

    Intel engineers and by implication West Coast standards, have no sense of astheticism. In theory perhaps the limo driver, after dropping off the exec, could have left and returned (promptly on the dot) for the exec when his day was finished. East Coast standards wouldn't think it was wasteful, after all, what else is a chauffeur for but to serve their betters? Just like their employees. They are being honest about people's roles and their positions. If one wants to ascend to the board room, then it takes a healthy amount of ambition (or at least marrying into the right family). That's been the way of the world for thousands of recorded human history. The West Coast way is based on a total lie: Everyone is equal. Then everyone will receive the same paycheck at the end of the year. That of course would be true egalitarianism.

    It would seem more than a bit disingenuous for Noyce etc al to go informal when certain obvious standards remained. After all, for all their joint cubicles, first name basis, etc, the lowly employees and CEO's did not equally receive the same annual salaries nor equally share in the profits of the company.

    So there remains a facade of egalitarianism but ultimately it is fake and a lie. The East Coast was just being more honest about the divide. Eastern culture was explicit. West Coast culture is implicit, but just as back stabbing as the East.

    Similar to the old joke: How do you say fuck you in LA? Answer: Trust me.

    If honesty is the best policy, then a limo and drive is better. It makes clear who is the employer and who is the employee.

    Replies: @Giant Duck, @Mr. Anon, @stillCARealist, @vhrm, @Boomthorkell, @Peter D. Bredon

    You’re right in some aspects but wrong in key ones:

    East Coast standards wouldn’t think it was wasteful, after all, what else is a chauffeur for but to serve their betters? Just like their employees.
    …If honesty is the best policy, then a limo and drive is better. It makes clear who is the employer and who is the employee.

    You’re right in your broader point that there is still hierarchy in the West Coast “model” as well, but your view of employment is rather dark and not particularly useful.
    The chauffer isn’t serving his “betters”, he’s just doing a job and getting paid for it. The CEO is also most often doing a job also and being paid for it. Certainly all the other managers and execs are.

    In small businesses where you have “the boss” (owner) it’s different. There it’s more “the boss is pissed off and you’re fired” sort of thing.

    In the case of barons like Gates, Bezos, Zuckerberg, and, maybe, Musk it’s somewhat different, but even they (or people like them) get ousted by the Board of Directors occasionally (in earlier stages at the behest of the VCs to which they are beholden).

    The view implied in your message is the kind of cultural thing keeps people from bettering their lives by getting a job because they don’t want to sacrifice their pride.

    There’s a world of difference between slavery and a job in a regulated free(ish) market economy.

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @vhrm

    "your view of employment is rather dark and not particularly useful."

    No, but it's quite accurate. Thousands of yrs of recorded human history is on my side as well regarding human nature, (men in particular). Leaders and followers, Alpha and betas. Historically, the top dog, the top of the totem pole (or pyramid) was expected by society (or at least among his peers) to "show", demonstrate that he was indeed at the top. A chauffer and a high end car (limo, Rolls, etc) is an explicit way of demonstrating that fact.

    "The chauffer isn’t serving his “betters”, he’s just doing a job and getting paid for it."

    So is a whore. Ultimately, they are providing a service (whores, chauffers, to a large extent employees, etc). Traditionally, a chauffer is serving his betters. That's what the entire point of having a driver, usually dressed in a uniform, while driving a high end limo is about. It's purpose is to make it clear that this is a VIP. Now, obviously, to have the driver sit and wait outside for several hrs is definitely over the top, and pointless. Perhaps that's not the usual way back East. Rather it makes sense for the driver to drop him off and return at the appointed time.

    But one of the main points of having a chauffer is to visibly demonstate that this is a VIP, captain of industry, big man, honcho, etc. and has the means available to have another human being actually drive him around all day or to whatever destination he so chooses. A chauffer in this sense has traditionally served a similar role as a butler, a nanny, etc. They're the hired help that are serving their betters. Traditionally in the UK this message regarding the servant and the VIP was loud and clear.


    "Certainly all the other managers and execs are."

    Not all mangers and execs are created equal. Only the ones who have a chauffer driving them around in a high end limo (preferably a Rolls Royce). This is partly to an extent what Thorstein Veblen termed conspicuous consumption. It's not wasteful for the VIP, for the Alpha to be driven around. After all, he's the one that makes the economic magic happen. The rest are just hired help (albeit well compensated hired help). Conspicuous consumption serves a useful purpose: To show who is really at the top, in charge, etc. and who is the hired help, the lesser serving their betters.



    "In the case of barons like Gates, Bezos, Zuckerberg, and, maybe, Musk it’s somewhat different,"

    SOMEWHAT? Come on. Don't forget to include Warren Buffett as well. People at that level call major shots for the rest of the nation. If Bill Gates "requested" a driver and limo to visit Apple, Google, etc. then Bill Gates will receive a driver. 'The rich are different from you and me'.



    "but even they (or people like them) get ousted by the Board of Directors occasionally"

    Survival of the fittest. Referring to the ones at the top who are clearly at the top. Very few of them don't have ways to make it explicitly clear to their peers and others that they are at the top.


    "There’s a world of difference between slavery and a job in a regulated free(ish) market economy."

    Not always. One way to keep people in bondage is to persuade them that they are quite free indeed when in fact the opposite is true.

    But the larger point remains: There's basically only one reason to hire a chauffer and a limo, and that's to impress upon the underlings that this VIP is most definitely an important person.

    Perhaps the Noyce reference that got the wind up of so many at Silicon Valley-ites was that the driver actually waited the entire day in the car for the VIP to emerge so he could proceed to drive him around again. That is a bit excessive, and I'd suggest that most from the East Coast Way don't go to that length, but rather have their chauffer drive away after drop off and return on the dot when it's time for the VIP to leave the meeting, conference, etc. Having a driver wait in a car for several hrs is pointless a waste of time etc. but having a chauffer drive one around in a high end limo demonstrates who is in charge. Who is the inferior serving their betters.

    Even if they have the privilege of calling them by their first name. A limo and drive separate the Alpha from the rest of the mundane pack.

    Replies: @Stan Adams

  72. Early in my days in Europe, I mortified my colleagues by writing an e-mail to a senior colleague with the opening, “Hi Daniel.” I was told it would be acceptable to write, “Dear Daniel” instead, which reminded me of all the cheesey letters we had to write in school.

    As for formality, I hesitate to use my Dr. title, since I am not a MD, but in some places the authorities insist on one using it if one has it. I’m surrounded by a half-dozen doctors, some of whom actually worked on the degree rather than simply purchasing the thesis.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    @The Alarmist


    Early in my days in Europe, I mortified my colleagues by writing an e-mail to a senior colleague with the opening, “Hi Daniel.”
     
    Well I hope that you signed it off with "I do, of course, remain your most humble and obedient servant", to make up for it.
  73. @prosa123
    I usually find myself addressed as "Yo, man" or "Hey, you."

    In any event, this thread is a fine opportunity for me to bring up my obsession about the near-universal online practice of first-naming prominent women while last-naming prominent men (for example "Biden and Kamala," at this point our vice president has almost entirely lost her surname). While there are a handful of exceptions, Nancy Pelosi and Elizabeth Warren to name a couple, it's otherwise an ironclad rule.
    I deplore it. Everyone loses: the practice both dehumanizes men and infantilizes women.

    Replies: @dearieme, @Bill Jones, @Stan Adams, @anon

    As a rule, I refer to CBS News anchorwoman Norah O’Donnell as that Norah bitch.

    Typical usage: “Oh, shit, that Norah bitch is coming on. Change the channel, now!”

    Sometimes I call her the weight-loss aid, because listening to her voice makes me want to puke.

    Gayle King is Oprah’s girlfriend.

  74. @Patrick Sullivan
    Not just female professors. Jackson State head football coach Deion Sanders insists on being addressed as Coach Prime, using his old nickname PrimeTime. When a reporter addressed him as Deion the other day and repeated the offense, Sanders angrily walked out of his own media day press conference and said that nobody addresses Alabama head coach Nick Saban merely as Nick.

    In fact most reporters covering the SEC and Alabama do address Saban as Nick, and Saban has never objected to ot.

    Replies: @El Dato, @Jim Don Bob, @Stan Adams

    Bobby Knight once went ballistic on a kid who called him by his first name.

  75. As far women insisting on the title of professor, I don’t know that it’s a female thing so much as a prestige thing. The less prestigious the degree, the more insistent on being called professor or doctor. Education doctorates are notorious for this, e.g., Jill Biden.

    As far as first name basis, I found it really annoying when leaders in the military started addressing subordinates by their first name. As if a subordinate would ever dare to address his superior by their first name, so it was just one more way to emphasize the power differential. It implied a sense of bonding and respect that was completely at odds with the real culture.

    It also made it awkward when my superiors were shrieking at me…. Much more professional to scream someones last name than his first when you’re in the middle of a meltdown and publicly insulting him.

    • Replies: @Cool Daddy Jimbo
    @anon12

    "As far as first name basis, I found it really annoying when leaders in the military started addressing subordinates by their first name. As if a subordinate would ever dare to address his superior by their first name, so it was just one more way to emphasize the power differential. It implied a sense of bonding and respect that was completely at odds with the real culture."

    You're exactly right. It always grated on me, but I could never articulate exactly why.

  76. @kaganovitch
    @dearieme

    There’s a tale from the Hebrides, where many little boys are called Donald Macleod. The school teacher would organise her class as Donnie A Macleod, Donnie B Macleod, and so on. Or take the Welsh example: Jones-the-Milkman is thus distinguished from Jones-the-Butcher.

    When my eldest daughter attended a Chabad school one year (it was the only Orthodox school in reasonable distance at the time), over half her class was named Chaya Mushka, after the late Lubavitcher Rebbe's wife.

    Replies: @Corn

    over half her class was named Chaya Mushka, after the late Lubavitcher Rebbe’s wife.

    Back in the ‘00s a mother told me of grade and high school age girls starting to go by their middle names because there were already so many Jennifers and Stephanies in their classes.

  77. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    "By East Coast standards, that was a limo driver’s place and his role. But the Intel engineers were fascinated and appalled by this display of East Coast formality, inegalitarianism, and wastefulness."

    Intel engineers and by implication West Coast standards, have no sense of astheticism. In theory perhaps the limo driver, after dropping off the exec, could have left and returned (promptly on the dot) for the exec when his day was finished. East Coast standards wouldn't think it was wasteful, after all, what else is a chauffeur for but to serve their betters? Just like their employees. They are being honest about people's roles and their positions. If one wants to ascend to the board room, then it takes a healthy amount of ambition (or at least marrying into the right family). That's been the way of the world for thousands of recorded human history. The West Coast way is based on a total lie: Everyone is equal. Then everyone will receive the same paycheck at the end of the year. That of course would be true egalitarianism.

    It would seem more than a bit disingenuous for Noyce etc al to go informal when certain obvious standards remained. After all, for all their joint cubicles, first name basis, etc, the lowly employees and CEO's did not equally receive the same annual salaries nor equally share in the profits of the company.

    So there remains a facade of egalitarianism but ultimately it is fake and a lie. The East Coast was just being more honest about the divide. Eastern culture was explicit. West Coast culture is implicit, but just as back stabbing as the East.

    Similar to the old joke: How do you say fuck you in LA? Answer: Trust me.

    If honesty is the best policy, then a limo and drive is better. It makes clear who is the employer and who is the employee.

    Replies: @Giant Duck, @Mr. Anon, @stillCARealist, @vhrm, @Boomthorkell, @Peter D. Bredon

    Agreed. I would just allow the man a book.

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @Boomthorkell

    He probably has his phone, and plenty of time to play games, read, net surf, etc.

    Replies: @Boomthorkell

  78. anon[689] • Disclaimer says:
    @prosa123
    I usually find myself addressed as "Yo, man" or "Hey, you."

    In any event, this thread is a fine opportunity for me to bring up my obsession about the near-universal online practice of first-naming prominent women while last-naming prominent men (for example "Biden and Kamala," at this point our vice president has almost entirely lost her surname). While there are a handful of exceptions, Nancy Pelosi and Elizabeth Warren to name a couple, it's otherwise an ironclad rule.
    I deplore it. Everyone loses: the practice both dehumanizes men and infantilizes women.

    Replies: @dearieme, @Bill Jones, @Stan Adams, @anon

    In any event, this thread is a fine opportunity for me to bring up my obsession about the near-universal online practice of first-naming prominent women while last-naming prominent men (for example “Biden and Kamala,” at this point our vice president has almost entirely lost her surname).

    ¡No problema! “Hologram” and “Whore” are more than adequate, alliterative descriptors. But if you want to be a bit linguistically diverse, then “Puppet” and “Puta” work just as well.

    Happy to help!

  79. I’m surprised they were able to hire a limo and uniformed chauffeur in the Bay area, and by phone. I suppose some rich dowagers in urban SF didn’t have garages.

    As a Pentagon contractor, I attended a large meeting of mid-grade officers seated in a too small room. An admiral (not their boss) walks in, and the simultaneous attention was frightening.

  80. I remember when these grad-school women teaching fellows (gonna have to change that one) got all mad at this open mic host calling the piano player “Professor,” because they deserved the title more than he did.

  81. I knew a professor who used to introduce himself to his class thus:

    My name is Bud Smith. You can call me “Bud.” You can call me “Mr. Smith.” I happen to have a doctorate, so you can call me “Dr. Smith.” But I prefer to be called “Your Majesty.”

  82. @Anonymouse
    I went up to Harvard Graduate School in 1959. It was infra dig to address a professor as "Doctor" because it was considered that that title belonged exclusively to the medical profession. Informality ruled and many profs were addressed by their first name. In Germany we were told the manners of the previous century obtained and that professors were addressed as Herr Doktor Professor.

    OTOH, the informality of Anglo-Saxon scholars concealed their privilege, their private sense of self and their utter contempt for students and the uncredentialed in general, an attitude that survives to this day. By contrast, continental professors have dropped the 19th century academic style and adapted informal manners in the Anglo-Saxon style but without the barely concealed hauteur and nastiness of the latter.

    The comments above are based on personal experience.

    Replies: @prosa123, @Anonymous, @Blade, @James J O'Meara

    I like your use of the English language old man, I rarely hear words like “hauteur” and “uncredentialed.” I always addressed my professors with their titles. I see nothing wrong with it. I don’t want to be buddies with my professors so keeping formality works better for me. If I was a Ph.D. candidate that might change though.

  83. Steve, isn’t the pronoun brouhaha part of the same phenomenon?

    “Thou shalt address me as SHE-HE-IT! I am SHEIT! I am SHEIT! I am SHEIT!!!”

    This reminds me of a Calvin and Hobbes storyline where Calvin demanded that everyone address him as “Calvin the Bold”:

  84. @dearieme
    In a family near me in my childhood the three generations were Old Tom, Young Tom, and Wee Tom.

    Could that not be adapted to your multi-Johnned company? Or think of medieval examples such as The Black Douglas and The Red Douglas - though I can see that that would be "problematic" in the USA.

    There's a tale from the Hebrides, where many little boys are called Donald Macleod. The school teacher would organise her class as Donnie A Macleod, Donnie B Macleod, and so on. Or take the Welsh example: Jones-the-Milkman is thus distinguished from Jones-the-Butcher.

    Anyhoo, couldn't your John Johnson just have been called JJ?

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @R.G. Camara, @kaganovitch, @Escher, @Morton's toes

  85. That Wolfe profile of Robert Noyce is brilliant, one of TW’s best. Originally the centerpiece of Esquire’s 50th anniversary issue, “Fifty Who Made A Difference”, it’s currently available in the anthology “Hooking Up” which came out in 2000.

    And it reminds one of how good Esquire used to be, and how terrible and banal it has been for at least the last decade.

    How I miss Tom Wolfe…

  86. What do you think caused you to get cancer?

  87. When I was working at a client’s office some of the Hispanic women who worked there (all younger than me) started calling me “Mr. XXXX.” Using my first name, not using my last name.

    At first it seemed odd to me but I took it as a sign of respect (due to my age and outsider status).

    I have come to hear this from other younger people, not always Hispanic. I don’t know if this derives from Spanish usage or not.

    So just adding the honorific “Mr.” (or whatever applies) seems to bridge the formal and informal. Though I think you would need to have some sort of status to qualify, like age or position of authority.

    So if they insist upon it, Professor Lakisha it is…

    • Replies: @NJ Transit Commuter
    @Muggles

    Used to do quite a bit of business in the South and this was common there. Men referred to as Mr. and women referred to as Miss, followed by their first name (Mr. Sam, Miss Loretta). Normally this was used for one’s elders, and the Miss was used regardless of marital status.

    I think this an excellent compromise between respect and friendly informality.

  88. @Arclight
    Just my observation but in my work life I often have to interact with people who have degrees of the Jill Biden variety or are ministers (annointed by who I have no idea) and they are very insistent on being addressed by their title. On the other hand at my kids private school, none of the MDs insist on it and the kids just call them Mr or Mrs. whatever rather than "doctor".

    Like a lot of lower achieving cultures, there is an overemphasis on outward appearances of prosperity and importance, even when everyone secretly knows the game.

    Replies: @Mark Roulo, @Peter D. Bredon

    “…at my kids private school, none of the MDs insist on it and the kids just call them Mr or Mrs. whatever rather than ‘doctor’.”

    I worked for a bit with a PhD holding engineer who also was an MD. Brilliant guy in a mad-scientisty way (and a really good guy to have working on engineering problems). He went by “Larry.”

    Probably 10-20% of the folks I work with have PhD degrees in various hard sciences (engineering, math, physics, computer science, …). I don’t think I have *ever* heard one of them use his or her title at work. They will put the title on papers or articles they are publishing (if/when they publish), but the degree isn’t considered a technical argument when we are trying to solve technical problems.

    • Replies: @cthulhu
    @Mark Roulo


    Probably 10-20% of the folks I work with have PhD degrees in various hard sciences (engineering, math, physics, computer science, …). I don’t think I have *ever* heard one of them use his or her title at work. They will put the title on papers or articles they are publishing (if/when they publish), but the degree isn’t considered a technical argument when we are trying to solve technical problems.
     
    This is my experience too. I’m an engineering “tech fellow” at work, somewhat unusual for someone without a PhD, but I work with several PhD’s every day, and without exception, the only times they use their titles are when it’s advantageous for us to advertise to a potential customer, “you can trust us, we have the PhD’s on the problem!”

    In the past, I have worked with a couple of PhD’s who were snobbish about it (especially that I was a tech fellow without a PhD, and they weren’t at the tech fellow level), and they pretty much ended up leaving after a few years. Fortunately for me, my employer tends to prioritize having people who get shit done over those with PhD’s who don’t have a track record of getting shit done.
    , @R.G. Camara
    @Mark Roulo

    The less deserving of a title someone is, the more they will insist upon it.

    Recall the minor furor over Jill Biden's people demanding to be publicly called "Dr. Biden" despite her PhD being in a non-entity course.

    I'm sure Dementia Joe's handlers get furious whenever someone refers to him as "Biden" or Joe or "former vice president Biden" or Senator Biden instead of President.

    People who insist on their titles at all times know they need to remind people of them or else people might think they aren't worthy of the respect afforded the title. In contrast, the guys who actually deserve the title don't need to insist on it, because they know they are worthy and observant people will know it if necessary.

    Who's the toughest guy in the room full of shouting mafioso? They guy who only needs to whisper.

    , @AndrewR
    @Mark Roulo

    Um call me Dr Rosario

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.dailydot.com/irl/white-official-black-woman-doctor-title-video/%3famp

  89. Manager types want to be able to step out of their offices and see all the people they’re the boss of. They couldn’t care less how it affects productivity. Low cubes where they can see everyone are their favorites.

  90. @vhrm
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    You're right in some aspects but wrong in key ones:



    East Coast standards wouldn’t think it was wasteful, after all, what else is a chauffeur for but to serve their betters? Just like their employees.
    ...If honesty is the best policy, then a limo and drive is better. It makes clear who is the employer and who is the employee.

     

    You're right in your broader point that there is still hierarchy in the West Coast "model" as well, but your view of employment is rather dark and not particularly useful.
    The chauffer isn't serving his "betters", he's just doing a job and getting paid for it. The CEO is also most often doing a job also and being paid for it. Certainly all the other managers and execs are.

    In small businesses where you have "the boss" (owner) it's different. There it's more "the boss is pissed off and you're fired" sort of thing.

    In the case of barons like Gates, Bezos, Zuckerberg, and, maybe, Musk it's somewhat different, but even they (or people like them) get ousted by the Board of Directors occasionally (in earlier stages at the behest of the VCs to which they are beholden).

    The view implied in your message is the kind of cultural thing keeps people from bettering their lives by getting a job because they don't want to sacrifice their pride.

    There's a world of difference between slavery and a job in a regulated free(ish) market economy.

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    “your view of employment is rather dark and not particularly useful.”

    No, but it’s quite accurate. Thousands of yrs of recorded human history is on my side as well regarding human nature, (men in particular). Leaders and followers, Alpha and betas. Historically, the top dog, the top of the totem pole (or pyramid) was expected by society (or at least among his peers) to “show”, demonstrate that he was indeed at the top. A chauffer and a high end car (limo, Rolls, etc) is an explicit way of demonstrating that fact.

    “The chauffer isn’t serving his “betters”, he’s just doing a job and getting paid for it.”

    So is a whore. Ultimately, they are providing a service (whores, chauffers, to a large extent employees, etc). Traditionally, a chauffer is serving his betters. That’s what the entire point of having a driver, usually dressed in a uniform, while driving a high end limo is about. It’s purpose is to make it clear that this is a VIP. Now, obviously, to have the driver sit and wait outside for several hrs is definitely over the top, and pointless. Perhaps that’s not the usual way back East. Rather it makes sense for the driver to drop him off and return at the appointed time.

    But one of the main points of having a chauffer is to visibly demonstate that this is a VIP, captain of industry, big man, honcho, etc. and has the means available to have another human being actually drive him around all day or to whatever destination he so chooses. A chauffer in this sense has traditionally served a similar role as a butler, a nanny, etc. They’re the hired help that are serving their betters. Traditionally in the UK this message regarding the servant and the VIP was loud and clear.

    “Certainly all the other managers and execs are.”

    Not all mangers and execs are created equal. Only the ones who have a chauffer driving them around in a high end limo (preferably a Rolls Royce). This is partly to an extent what Thorstein Veblen termed conspicuous consumption. It’s not wasteful for the VIP, for the Alpha to be driven around. After all, he’s the one that makes the economic magic happen. The rest are just hired help (albeit well compensated hired help). Conspicuous consumption serves a useful purpose: To show who is really at the top, in charge, etc. and who is the hired help, the lesser serving their betters.

    “In the case of barons like Gates, Bezos, Zuckerberg, and, maybe, Musk it’s somewhat different,”

    SOMEWHAT? Come on. Don’t forget to include Warren Buffett as well. People at that level call major shots for the rest of the nation. If Bill Gates “requested” a driver and limo to visit Apple, Google, etc. then Bill Gates will receive a driver. ‘The rich are different from you and me’.

    “but even they (or people like them) get ousted by the Board of Directors occasionally”

    Survival of the fittest. Referring to the ones at the top who are clearly at the top. Very few of them don’t have ways to make it explicitly clear to their peers and others that they are at the top.

    “There’s a world of difference between slavery and a job in a regulated free(ish) market economy.”

    Not always. One way to keep people in bondage is to persuade them that they are quite free indeed when in fact the opposite is true.

    But the larger point remains: There’s basically only one reason to hire a chauffer and a limo, and that’s to impress upon the underlings that this VIP is most definitely an important person.

    Perhaps the Noyce reference that got the wind up of so many at Silicon Valley-ites was that the driver actually waited the entire day in the car for the VIP to emerge so he could proceed to drive him around again. That is a bit excessive, and I’d suggest that most from the East Coast Way don’t go to that length, but rather have their chauffer drive away after drop off and return on the dot when it’s time for the VIP to leave the meeting, conference, etc. Having a driver wait in a car for several hrs is pointless a waste of time etc. but having a chauffer drive one around in a high end limo demonstrates who is in charge. Who is the inferior serving their betters.

    Even if they have the privilege of calling them by their first name. A limo and drive separate the Alpha from the rest of the mundane pack.

    • Replies: @Stan Adams
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    This is how black people think. The Big Man has to show off his wealth every minute of every day.

    It seems quite tedious and pointless.

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi, @Peter D. Bredon

  91. @Redneck farmer
    How did someone put it? "PBS doesn't want America to become socialist, it wants us to adopt the English class system.
    Or maybe it's "I am a princess!" brought to life.

    Replies: @El Dato, @Jack Armstrong, @Desiderius

    Hierarchy appeals to men, especially men who do well with hierarchies of ability and accomplishment, but they’re ultimately enforced and demanded by women and they’re oblivious at best to the merit piece.

    That’s why the HR ladies have imported all these Brahmins to institute and American Caste System and discriminated openly against the men who thrived in the previous arrangement like Damore.

  92. The defenestration continues.

    Why name a school after a pioneering frontiersman who founded a city of 250,000 when you can name it after a colored grade-school teacher with a hyphenated name and the title of “doctor”?

    https://wham1180.iheart.com/content/2021-07-23-rochester-middle-receives-a-new-name/

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nathaniel_Rochester

  93. @RichardTaylor
    Wasn't the cubicle craze about saving money? They claimed that cramming everyone in small open cubes would increase productivity. I don't think that's been proven. It probably just makes people a bit miserable.

    Replies: @bigdicknick

    makes it challenging to take phone calls.

  94. @Mark Roulo
    @Arclight

    "...at my kids private school, none of the MDs insist on it and the kids just call them Mr or Mrs. whatever rather than 'doctor'."

    I worked for a bit with a PhD holding engineer who also was an MD. Brilliant guy in a mad-scientisty way (and a really good guy to have working on engineering problems). He went by "Larry."

    Probably 10-20% of the folks I work with have PhD degrees in various hard sciences (engineering, math, physics, computer science, ...). I don't think I have *ever* heard one of them use his or her title at work. They will put the title on papers or articles they are publishing (if/when they publish), but the degree isn't considered a technical argument when we are trying to solve technical problems.

    Replies: @cthulhu, @R.G. Camara, @AndrewR

    Probably 10-20% of the folks I work with have PhD degrees in various hard sciences (engineering, math, physics, computer science, …). I don’t think I have *ever* heard one of them use his or her title at work. They will put the title on papers or articles they are publishing (if/when they publish), but the degree isn’t considered a technical argument when we are trying to solve technical problems.

    This is my experience too. I’m an engineering “tech fellow” at work, somewhat unusual for someone without a PhD, but I work with several PhD’s every day, and without exception, the only times they use their titles are when it’s advantageous for us to advertise to a potential customer, “you can trust us, we have the PhD’s on the problem!”

    In the past, I have worked with a couple of PhD’s who were snobbish about it (especially that I was a tech fellow without a PhD, and they weren’t at the tech fellow level), and they pretty much ended up leaving after a few years. Fortunately for me, my employer tends to prioritize having people who get shit done over those with PhD’s who don’t have a track record of getting shit done.

  95. My experience with College professors or other professionals in the private sector always was: the more said guys were capable, the unliklier it was for them to insist on formal titles. The real hot shots never cared to be called “Dr.”

  96. @Corn
    @TelfoedJohn


    Informality becomes its own marker of higher class. Like some white kid with dreadlocks and flip-flops is signalling that he is rich enough not to need a normal job.
     
    Once someone asked on r/AskReddit “What are subtle signs someone is really rich?”

    Someone replied, “I used to work for a catering company. If you’re at a corporate banquet or seminar look for the guy wearing jeans and a polo shirt in a room full of people in suits and dresses. That guy is usually the owner or CEO of the company.”

    Replies: @Prof. Woland, @Wendy Kroy

    Generally speaking, people who wear suits work for rich people.

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @Prof. Woland

    That makes sense in DC. All the bought and paid for (by the donor class) politicians are in suits.

  97. Anonymous[771] • Disclaimer says:
    @The Alarmist
    Early in my days in Europe, I mortified my colleagues by writing an e-mail to a senior colleague with the opening, “Hi Daniel.” I was told it would be acceptable to write, “Dear Daniel” instead, which reminded me of all the cheesey letters we had to write in school.

    As for formality, I hesitate to use my Dr. title, since I am not a MD, but in some places the authorities insist on one using it if one has it. I’m surrounded by a half-dozen doctors, some of whom actually worked on the degree rather than simply purchasing the thesis.

    Replies: @Anonymous

    Early in my days in Europe, I mortified my colleagues by writing an e-mail to a senior colleague with the opening, “Hi Daniel.”

    Well I hope that you signed it off with “I do, of course, remain your most humble and obedient servant“, to make up for it.

  98. @Stogumber
    But didn't American informality start many years earlier than 1968?
    This was around the time I started my university studies in Germany. And even then it was customary to compare German formality (in particular w.r.t. professors) with American informality.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    …it was customary to compare German formality (in particular w.r.t. professors) with American informality.

    But every student was on du terms with every other. Even strangers. That seems to be universal in Europe.

    In Scandinavia the last fifty or so years, the whole formal/informal distinction in the second person broke down, and now everybody is du. Quakers wanted us all to use thou, for egalitarian purposes, and got half their wish– we are all equally you. But the squareheads did it the Quakers’ way.

  99. The top executives were always referred to by their first names. The corporate culture was strenuously modeled on Silicon Valley’s culture of informality in order to impress the kind of investors who had made Jobs and Wozniak rich that we were High Tech rather than Corporate America, which paid off the next year when the IPO was a massive success with investors.

    SV marketing guru and venture capitalist Guy Kawasaki recounted some sage advice his father Duke, a Honolulu politician, gave him: “Always dress better than your audience. It shows respect.”

    Guy has since had to walk that back somewhat, as it can backfire in the Valley.

    Still, it was impressive how Donald Trump held to that standard. Few noticed.

  100. That limo driver had a great job as far as I see it. He could sit there and get paid to read books all day, then drive the CEO home.

    What a lot of people don’t understand about hierarchy is that serving a higher up puts people in a higher position. People who served lords and kings were usually aristocrats themselves, not despised peasants. They weren’t expendable or interchangeable to the extent we are today. Both parties are privileged and honored in service.

    Having the idea that privilege confers the right to demean and abuse people is practically the opposite of nobility, but it seems to be commonly held these days. We are surrounded by base mediocrities who have nothing but contempt for virtue and honor, thinking them only for suckers, and yet these are the people now demanding special treatment.

    • Replies: @prosa123
    @Bill P

    That limo driver had a great job as far as I see it. He could sit there and get paid to read books all day, then drive the CEO home.

    Quite often the drivers for large-company CEO's also serve as bodyguards.

  101. When I interviewed at Intel in 1982

    When I was finishing my MBA at the University of Florida in 2000, Intel flew me out to interview for jobs in San Diego on three occasions. I thought everything was going well and even started looking at apartments ($1200/mo !), but I never got an offer. One attractive job benefit they were touting was the 6-month paid sabbatical after every seven years of work.

  102. @Voltarde
    Received an email from Intel this morning lauding these these two people, with Intel providing the links shown below.

    Intel exec Huma Abidi on the urgent need for diversity and inclusion in AI
    https://venturebeat.com/2021/07/08/intels-huma-abidi-on-the-urgent-need-for-diversity-and-inclusion-initiatives-in-ai/

    Intel’s Lisa Spelman on the Interconnectivity between Curiosity and Innovation
    https://hbr.org/sponsored/2021/07/video-quick-take-intels-lisa-spelman-on-the-interconnectivity-between-curiosity-and-innovation

    How do either of these two people add value to Intel?

    Replies: @Alfa158

    Influence peddling in various forms.
    Load your board of directors and ceremonial executive positions with politically connected hacks and they can use their Rolodex to influence legislation, awarding of government contracts, regulatory actions etc.
    Elizabeth Holmes loaded up Theranos with political hacks like Kissinger who knew nothing whatsoever about the industry, but could be lured in by promises of stock equity with no investment on their part. Their names could provide enough credibility to get suckers to cough up real investment money. If regulators start getting too curious about your product efficacy, where the investment money is going, if employees are being exploited etc. you can have them make calls or just wave their presence in your company around like a torch to keep the wolves at bay.

    • Replies: @Muggles
    @Alfa158


    Influence peddling in various forms.
    Load your board of directors and ceremonial executive positions with politically connected hacks and they can use their Rolodex to influence legislation, awarding of government contracts, regulatory actions etc.
     
    "Paging Dr. Jill, paging Dr. Jill."

    "Will Hunter Biden please pick up the courtesy phone..."
    , @Art Deco
    @Alfa158

    George Schultz and Henry Kissinger are grandees, not political hacks. A political hack would be someone like John Podesta.

    Schultz and Kissinger are properly excoriated for allowing themselves to be used as window dressing. The nonsense corporation law under which Theranos was chartered allowed her to constitute a board of directors with weighted votes, with she herself holding a majority of the weighted vote. One of Schultz grandchildren worked at the firm and waved red flags in front of his grandfather to the effect that the technology was fake. Schultz had no constructive response.

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    , @James J O'Meara
    @Alfa158

    In her case, I assume an added incentive to keep quiet was the old guys like Kissinger and Schultz treating her like their favorite daughter. If not, um, more.

  103. @anon12
    As far women insisting on the title of professor, I don't know that it's a female thing so much as a prestige thing. The less prestigious the degree, the more insistent on being called professor or doctor. Education doctorates are notorious for this, e.g., Jill Biden.

    As far as first name basis, I found it really annoying when leaders in the military started addressing subordinates by their first name. As if a subordinate would ever dare to address his superior by their first name, so it was just one more way to emphasize the power differential. It implied a sense of bonding and respect that was completely at odds with the real culture.

    It also made it awkward when my superiors were shrieking at me.... Much more professional to scream someones last name than his first when you're in the middle of a meltdown and publicly insulting him.

    Replies: @Cool Daddy Jimbo

    “As far as first name basis, I found it really annoying when leaders in the military started addressing subordinates by their first name. As if a subordinate would ever dare to address his superior by their first name, so it was just one more way to emphasize the power differential. It implied a sense of bonding and respect that was completely at odds with the real culture.”

    You’re exactly right. It always grated on me, but I could never articulate exactly why.

  104. @Muggles
    When I was working at a client's office some of the Hispanic women who worked there (all younger than me) started calling me "Mr. XXXX." Using my first name, not using my last name.

    At first it seemed odd to me but I took it as a sign of respect (due to my age and outsider status).

    I have come to hear this from other younger people, not always Hispanic. I don't know if this derives from Spanish usage or not.

    So just adding the honorific "Mr." (or whatever applies) seems to bridge the formal and informal. Though I think you would need to have some sort of status to qualify, like age or position of authority.

    So if they insist upon it, Professor Lakisha it is...

    Replies: @NJ Transit Commuter

    Used to do quite a bit of business in the South and this was common there. Men referred to as Mr. and women referred to as Miss, followed by their first name (Mr. Sam, Miss Loretta). Normally this was used for one’s elders, and the Miss was used regardless of marital status.

    I think this an excellent compromise between respect and friendly informality.

    • Agree: Muggles, AnotherDad
  105. Looked up CEO compensation on duh web. Philippe P. Dauman of Viacom gets $54 million a year. That’s $26,000 AN HOUR. Paying a chauffeur to wait is NOTHING.

  106. tldr the basis of workplace informality was actually being able to do stuff and caring more about work than about the symbols of work. So yeah, informality’s dead.

  107. @Alfa158
    @Voltarde

    Influence peddling in various forms.
    Load your board of directors and ceremonial executive positions with politically connected hacks and they can use their Rolodex to influence legislation, awarding of government contracts, regulatory actions etc.
    Elizabeth Holmes loaded up Theranos with political hacks like Kissinger who knew nothing whatsoever about the industry, but could be lured in by promises of stock equity with no investment on their part. Their names could provide enough credibility to get suckers to cough up real investment money. If regulators start getting too curious about your product efficacy, where the investment money is going, if employees are being exploited etc. you can have them make calls or just wave their presence in your company around like a torch to keep the wolves at bay.

    Replies: @Muggles, @Art Deco, @James J O'Meara

    Influence peddling in various forms.
    Load your board of directors and ceremonial executive positions with politically connected hacks and they can use their Rolodex to influence legislation, awarding of government contracts, regulatory actions etc.

    “Paging Dr. Jill, paging Dr. Jill.”

    “Will Hunter Biden please pick up the courtesy phone…”

  108. @dearieme
    @prosa123

    There's more to it than that. The world is awash with Harrises but there's only one notable Kamala.

    Or consider Hillary: there were two leading Clinton crooks - so "Hillary" usefully distinguished her from Slick Willie.

    Tulsi Gabbard seems to called by both names, though presumably she's the only notable Tulsi around.

    Also, to refer to "President Biden" would be ambiguous - would you mean the Commander-in-Chief or her husband Joe?

    Replies: @Prosa123

    When Amy Klobuchar was seeking the nomination she usually got first named online even though she has a commonplace first name and a distinctive last name.

  109. @R.G. Camara
    One of the main reasons for the breakdown in formality was conscious effort by the Marxists of the 60s onward, who were not in power, to drive down the respect for authority and proper place. e.g. the professor who said, "Just call me Dave" was always a far-left hippie type, and would invariably mock other professors insisting on titles as "stuffed shirt".

    Question Authority was their bumper-sticker motto.

    But now that the Marxists are in power, this push to re-formalize addresses and position. The over-the-top "horror" they expressed at the Jan 6th riot is one major affectations; the smearing of anyone who questions the rigged 2020 election as a "conspiracy theorist" is another. Or this feminazi insistence on titles --- very likely from the women with fake degrees in fake subjects, such as Women's studies. Or the Left's wholesale defense of the corrupt FBI and our other alphabet agencies.

    Question Authority, it seems, no longer fits on their bumpers.

    One of the best recent defenses of formality and proper place came from a little-watched but well done cable show called Young Pope, where Jude Law played a young far-right traditionalist cardinal elevated to the papacy. The other corrupt left-wing cardinals, who know little about him, elected him because they thought his youth would make him easy to control as a pawn and didn't really know his positions. Once elected, however, the Young Pope is shown not only to be his own man but also determined to push the Church right back to its previous exalted status.

    Anyway, in the following scene with an overly-comfortably nun housekeeper the Young Pope made a surprisingly good argument about why her chumminess was inappropriate and why he insisted on formality even among his closest Church associates and servants:

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

    Replies: @Rob

    …comfortably nun…

    Bravo!

  110. @stillCARealist
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    No, honesty is not always the best policy. I may not be the financial equal of the CEO, but I'm just as much a human being who needs dignity and respect. We live under the same natural law and answer to the same God.

    The old aristocratic models were wasteful and often oppressive. The middle classes of old Europe were happy to decamp to America where they could run a free business and own land. Bowing to someone or doffing your cap because of his blood line? We're all glad that's gone.

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    “No, honesty is not always the best policy.”

    Didn’t say that. Re-read what I said. IF honesty is the best policy (didn’t include the world ‘always’).

    “We live under the same natural law and answer to the same God.”

    Wait, we do? Muhammad, Chetty, and Chang Ho Wang all answer to Jesus? They do? Seriously? Oh, perhaps you meant it figuratively. But then, the concept of Natural Law is quite Western, which was formulated during Christendom’s heyday (or at least while it was still relevant). Also, if we all answer to the same God from an ethical viewpoint, then honesty is included and ranked very high among the virtues. But you said honesty isn’t always a good thing. So that’s an apparent contradiction, especially if one expects to answer to the same God.

    Also, while one may be equal before God and answer to Him, on earth humans are not all equal. That expectation would be extremely naive. There have always been leaders and there will always be followers.

    “Bowing to someone or doffing your cap because of his blood line? We’re all glad that’s gone.”

    That was the polite way of showing respect to one’s betters. Or at least, allowing one to feel that they were paying their respects.

    I’m not. Then the rules were much clearer. Now, if you offend the “wrong” party, because of something you thought was your own right of exercising one’s own opinion, its tough luck. End of career, possibly prison, motives suspected of the new litany list of -isms, many of which were non-existant several decades ago.

  111. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @vhrm

    "your view of employment is rather dark and not particularly useful."

    No, but it's quite accurate. Thousands of yrs of recorded human history is on my side as well regarding human nature, (men in particular). Leaders and followers, Alpha and betas. Historically, the top dog, the top of the totem pole (or pyramid) was expected by society (or at least among his peers) to "show", demonstrate that he was indeed at the top. A chauffer and a high end car (limo, Rolls, etc) is an explicit way of demonstrating that fact.

    "The chauffer isn’t serving his “betters”, he’s just doing a job and getting paid for it."

    So is a whore. Ultimately, they are providing a service (whores, chauffers, to a large extent employees, etc). Traditionally, a chauffer is serving his betters. That's what the entire point of having a driver, usually dressed in a uniform, while driving a high end limo is about. It's purpose is to make it clear that this is a VIP. Now, obviously, to have the driver sit and wait outside for several hrs is definitely over the top, and pointless. Perhaps that's not the usual way back East. Rather it makes sense for the driver to drop him off and return at the appointed time.

    But one of the main points of having a chauffer is to visibly demonstate that this is a VIP, captain of industry, big man, honcho, etc. and has the means available to have another human being actually drive him around all day or to whatever destination he so chooses. A chauffer in this sense has traditionally served a similar role as a butler, a nanny, etc. They're the hired help that are serving their betters. Traditionally in the UK this message regarding the servant and the VIP was loud and clear.


    "Certainly all the other managers and execs are."

    Not all mangers and execs are created equal. Only the ones who have a chauffer driving them around in a high end limo (preferably a Rolls Royce). This is partly to an extent what Thorstein Veblen termed conspicuous consumption. It's not wasteful for the VIP, for the Alpha to be driven around. After all, he's the one that makes the economic magic happen. The rest are just hired help (albeit well compensated hired help). Conspicuous consumption serves a useful purpose: To show who is really at the top, in charge, etc. and who is the hired help, the lesser serving their betters.



    "In the case of barons like Gates, Bezos, Zuckerberg, and, maybe, Musk it’s somewhat different,"

    SOMEWHAT? Come on. Don't forget to include Warren Buffett as well. People at that level call major shots for the rest of the nation. If Bill Gates "requested" a driver and limo to visit Apple, Google, etc. then Bill Gates will receive a driver. 'The rich are different from you and me'.



    "but even they (or people like them) get ousted by the Board of Directors occasionally"

    Survival of the fittest. Referring to the ones at the top who are clearly at the top. Very few of them don't have ways to make it explicitly clear to their peers and others that they are at the top.


    "There’s a world of difference between slavery and a job in a regulated free(ish) market economy."

    Not always. One way to keep people in bondage is to persuade them that they are quite free indeed when in fact the opposite is true.

    But the larger point remains: There's basically only one reason to hire a chauffer and a limo, and that's to impress upon the underlings that this VIP is most definitely an important person.

    Perhaps the Noyce reference that got the wind up of so many at Silicon Valley-ites was that the driver actually waited the entire day in the car for the VIP to emerge so he could proceed to drive him around again. That is a bit excessive, and I'd suggest that most from the East Coast Way don't go to that length, but rather have their chauffer drive away after drop off and return on the dot when it's time for the VIP to leave the meeting, conference, etc. Having a driver wait in a car for several hrs is pointless a waste of time etc. but having a chauffer drive one around in a high end limo demonstrates who is in charge. Who is the inferior serving their betters.

    Even if they have the privilege of calling them by their first name. A limo and drive separate the Alpha from the rest of the mundane pack.

    Replies: @Stan Adams

    This is how black people think. The Big Man has to show off his wealth every minute of every day.

    It seems quite tedious and pointless.

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @Stan Adams

    Up until recently, it's how all cultures thought and acted: If the Alpha has it, then he must demonstrate it. After all, a smooth talker could be lying. They want to see the proof of his Alphaness. But not just for the sake of showing off; wealth must be a direct extension of an Alpha's power (political, economic, etc). It must tangible and explicit, not merely subtle. That way, the correct message is sent loud and clear.

    Louis XIV built Versailles, one of the most amazing palaces the world has ever seen. That is a tangible example of demonstrating wealth. In the late eighteenth early twentieth centuries the top 1% built their versions of palaces in Newport, RI. Also should be mentioned is the Biltmore Estate outside Asheville, NC.

    Between SF and LA lies Hearst Castle, certainly one of the largest monuments to a single man, and now a CA tourist attraction.

    , @Peter D. Bredon
    @Stan Adams

    Speaking of Big Men:

    "That's it, baby, when you've got it, flaunt it!"

    -- Zero Mostel, The Producers

    https://youtu.be/SP3QDczTxXg

  112. @Boomthorkell
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Agreed. I would just allow the man a book.

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    He probably has his phone, and plenty of time to play games, read, net surf, etc.

    • Replies: @Boomthorkell
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    No, I mean "I would only allow him a book."

    My servants will only be allowed to better themselves in the old ways, through physical reading or meditative exercises and drills.

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

  113. Wolfe also eviscerated first-naming in his essay “The Mid-Atlantic Man”:

    “[….] — oh, god, he’s doing a hell of a job of it, introducing everybody by their first names, first-naming everybody, first-naming the hell out of everybody, introducing them to George, who just arrived from New York: George is an American, and the key man in the Fabrilex account. [….]”

    A classmate of mine, after receiving a Phd., insisted on calling himself “Doctor ________ (friend’s full name)” until enough people had explained to him that no humanities professors ever used the title, not wanting to be confused with some sawbones, with some disciple of Doctor [Martin Luther] King, or with some Phd. reduced to teaching in a high school.

    A propos of little, “John Carter” is also the name of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ second-most-famous hero — the astral body, or some such, of an ex-Confederate soldier which or who spends most of his time on Barsoom, aka. Mars.

  114. Also regarding first-naming, either Stephen Potter or Paul Fussell — so far I’ve been unable to find the passage — explained its place in the curve of corporate hierarchies of the period (at least thirty years ago) with a short guide that went something like this:

    Corporation’s CEO calls the corporation’s president Michael Smith “Mike”.
    He calls CFO Michael Smith “Michael”.
    He calls Vice-President for Human Resources Michael Smith “Mr. Smith”.
    He calls salesman Michael Smith “Smith”.
    He calls front desk manager Michael Smith “Mr. Smith”.
    He calls doorman Michael Smith “Michael”.
    He calls janitor Michael Smith “Mike”.

  115. I think the informality of Silicon Valley came from the fact that none(?) of the big guys or their employees came from money. They were largely small town boys from the Midwest. Rich guys did not major in any field that would lead to integrating a circuit (integral of circuit is .5*circuit^2, right?) because that would involve work. This was mostly before the great meritocratic sorting of white people. There were exceptionally sharp people in the working class.

    Having been very smart kids, they probably realized what I did: if you say sir when you mean asshole, adults will think you ‘reapect’ them, and you can pretty much do as you like. Because they mostly never respected anyone sincerely who was not family, they were extremely sensitive, perhaps overly so, to the many, many smarmy assholes who fake respect to get favor.

    There was also the fact that SV was a tribe. Tribes have ways of doing things. Doing things that way distinguishes us from them. Everyone today knows SV etiquette is super-informal, so if you insist on formality, you are a social clod, and probably a jerk in more ways.

    It was also a flex. They produced so much wealth for their investors that they could call the investor from NYC “Skippy”, and the investor would start thinking of himself as “Skippy”. It was also a meritocratic flex. You were supposed to respect them because you realized how smart they were.

    There was also the fact that they were nouveau riche. If they tried to play East Coast wealth’s status games, they could not win. So they made a new game. I have read that when Zuckerberg was climbing in wealth, everyone in SV wore hoodies. But you could not wear just any old hoodie. You had to wear the right brand of hoodie. I have read that to get popular in SV, a brand needs a performance hook. Like, an expensive, flashy watch is gauche. A mechanical watch that keeps time better than others winds itself with a nitinol spring that can last for days unworn, made of an alloy that won’t scratch easily, and water resistant to x feet, that might get popular. Or, they may all go for smart watches. But I doubt it.

    Like, I will bet that SV wealth has chosen a few boarding schools, not Exeter or Andover, where the fancy pants ones send their kids. They are so wealthy and influential, and their kids likely smart enough, that they can turn any school into well-thought of ones.

    It’s kind of interesting that we have not seen SV culture be more influential on corporate culture around the country. I think most of the business class is not bright enough to risk it. Nor are they actually respected by the people who show them “respect.”

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @Rob

    "Everyone today knows SV etiquette is super-informal, so if you insist on formality, you are a social clod, and probably a jerk in more ways."

    Or it means that one has standards, taste, and class. Who is really gauche and tacky when it comes down to it? The nerdy wannabe who thinks he's the smartest in the room but can't knot his own tie much less wear a suit jacket that fits correctly, or the classic Alpha who traces his heritage back to the Mayflower (or at least one of the earliest arrivals)?

    Again, as SV is West Coast it is as narrow provincial as any other region of the US. And, unlike the masculine explicitness of Eastern way, SV is somewhat effeminate, low energy, and low testosterone. It is more female in nature, whereas Eastern demonstration of power is more direct, authentic, and Alpha.

    Your example of the "right" kind of watch aptly makes the point: Only those in the Beta SV know would take the hint and clue that that dude has really got something. Whereas a traditional Breitling or Rolex makes the point worldwide: Timeless, classic, effortless graceful, while maintaining an explicit demonstration of power.

    Replies: @Rob

  116. @Tono Bungay
    I grew up in the US and of course was generally called by my first name and even more often by my nickname. When I moved to France I just loved the formality of being addressed as Monsieur X, or just Monsieur. I like to think informality reached its nadir when salesmen cold-calling people at home started using first names to address their targets. But France, too, like all of Europe is still on a trajectory toward more informality. I still find it revolting when TV newspeople address the people they're interviewing by the first names and vice-versa.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa, @AndrewR

    Personally I prefer informality. What I really don’t like is the obscene deference towards politicians, especially the president. Never in a hundred million years would I say “Mr President,” especially to a former president. At most they would get “Mr [Surname]” from me, and if they called me by my first name I would immediately start calling them by their first name. Few things are more degrading than having to use honorifics with someone who doesn’t use them with you.

    Being president really went to Trump’s head. Before that, everyone just called him Donald and he didn’t care. But upon assuming the presidency he expected pure deference. I have always wondered what his boss Jared calls him.

  117. @Stan Adams
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    This is how black people think. The Big Man has to show off his wealth every minute of every day.

    It seems quite tedious and pointless.

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi, @Peter D. Bredon

    Up until recently, it’s how all cultures thought and acted: If the Alpha has it, then he must demonstrate it. After all, a smooth talker could be lying. They want to see the proof of his Alphaness. But not just for the sake of showing off; wealth must be a direct extension of an Alpha’s power (political, economic, etc). It must tangible and explicit, not merely subtle. That way, the correct message is sent loud and clear.

    Louis XIV built Versailles, one of the most amazing palaces the world has ever seen. That is a tangible example of demonstrating wealth. In the late eighteenth early twentieth centuries the top 1% built their versions of palaces in Newport, RI. Also should be mentioned is the Biltmore Estate outside Asheville, NC.

    Between SF and LA lies Hearst Castle, certainly one of the largest monuments to a single man, and now a CA tourist attraction.

  118. @Mark Roulo
    @Arclight

    "...at my kids private school, none of the MDs insist on it and the kids just call them Mr or Mrs. whatever rather than 'doctor'."

    I worked for a bit with a PhD holding engineer who also was an MD. Brilliant guy in a mad-scientisty way (and a really good guy to have working on engineering problems). He went by "Larry."

    Probably 10-20% of the folks I work with have PhD degrees in various hard sciences (engineering, math, physics, computer science, ...). I don't think I have *ever* heard one of them use his or her title at work. They will put the title on papers or articles they are publishing (if/when they publish), but the degree isn't considered a technical argument when we are trying to solve technical problems.

    Replies: @cthulhu, @R.G. Camara, @AndrewR

    The less deserving of a title someone is, the more they will insist upon it.

    Recall the minor furor over Jill Biden’s people demanding to be publicly called “Dr. Biden” despite her PhD being in a non-entity course.

    I’m sure Dementia Joe’s handlers get furious whenever someone refers to him as “Biden” or Joe or “former vice president Biden” or Senator Biden instead of President.

    People who insist on their titles at all times know they need to remind people of them or else people might think they aren’t worthy of the respect afforded the title. In contrast, the guys who actually deserve the title don’t need to insist on it, because they know they are worthy and observant people will know it if necessary.

    Who’s the toughest guy in the room full of shouting mafioso? They guy who only needs to whisper.

    • Agree: Wendy Kroy
  119. @Rob
    I think the informality of Silicon Valley came from the fact that none(?) of the big guys or their employees came from money. They were largely small town boys from the Midwest. Rich guys did not major in any field that would lead to integrating a circuit (integral of circuit is .5*circuit^2, right?) because that would involve work. This was mostly before the great meritocratic sorting of white people. There were exceptionally sharp people in the working class.

    Having been very smart kids, they probably realized what I did: if you say sir when you mean asshole, adults will think you ‘reapect’ them, and you can pretty much do as you like. Because they mostly never respected anyone sincerely who was not family, they were extremely sensitive, perhaps overly so, to the many, many smarmy assholes who fake respect to get favor.

    There was also the fact that SV was a tribe. Tribes have ways of doing things. Doing things that way distinguishes us from them. Everyone today knows SV etiquette is super-informal, so if you insist on formality, you are a social clod, and probably a jerk in more ways.

    It was also a flex. They produced so much wealth for their investors that they could call the investor from NYC “Skippy”, and the investor would start thinking of himself as “Skippy”. It was also a meritocratic flex. You were supposed to respect them because you realized how smart they were.

    There was also the fact that they were nouveau riche. If they tried to play East Coast wealth’s status games, they could not win. So they made a new game. I have read that when Zuckerberg was climbing in wealth, everyone in SV wore hoodies. But you could not wear just any old hoodie. You had to wear the right brand of hoodie. I have read that to get popular in SV, a brand needs a performance hook. Like, an expensive, flashy watch is gauche. A mechanical watch that keeps time better than others winds itself with a nitinol spring that can last for days unworn, made of an alloy that won’t scratch easily, and water resistant to x feet, that might get popular. Or, they may all go for smart watches. But I doubt it.

    Like, I will bet that SV wealth has chosen a few boarding schools, not Exeter or Andover, where the fancy pants ones send their kids. They are so wealthy and influential, and their kids likely smart enough, that they can turn any school into well-thought of ones.

    It’s kind of interesting that we have not seen SV culture be more influential on corporate culture around the country. I think most of the business class is not bright enough to risk it. Nor are they actually respected by the people who show them “respect.”

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    “Everyone today knows SV etiquette is super-informal, so if you insist on formality, you are a social clod, and probably a jerk in more ways.”

    Or it means that one has standards, taste, and class. Who is really gauche and tacky when it comes down to it? The nerdy wannabe who thinks he’s the smartest in the room but can’t knot his own tie much less wear a suit jacket that fits correctly, or the classic Alpha who traces his heritage back to the Mayflower (or at least one of the earliest arrivals)?

    Again, as SV is West Coast it is as narrow provincial as any other region of the US. And, unlike the masculine explicitness of Eastern way, SV is somewhat effeminate, low energy, and low testosterone. It is more female in nature, whereas Eastern demonstration of power is more direct, authentic, and Alpha.

    Your example of the “right” kind of watch aptly makes the point: Only those in the Beta SV know would take the hint and clue that that dude has really got something. Whereas a traditional Breitling or Rolex makes the point worldwide: Timeless, classic, effortless graceful, while maintaining an explicit demonstration of power.

    • Replies: @Rob
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Actually rich people don’t wear Rolex. They wear stuff that their class knows, but not peons.

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

  120. @Voltarde
    National Review Uni-party types and plenty of woke grifters all love watching Downton Abbey.

    Replies: @Art Deco

    It was Rod Dreher who was the Downton Abbey aficionado.

  121. @Anonymous
    Reminds me of the lady jazz singer (Sarah Vaughn I think) who, when awarded a honorary doctorate by some university, insisted for the rest of her life on being addressed as "Dr." She would not respond to journalists and interviewers who failed to do this.

    Replies: @njguy73, @Charon, @OdysseusPtoliporthis, @Wendy Kroy

    I’m from Philadelphia (not Philly), and I seem to remember that in the dim past Temple University bestowed an honorary doctorate to the newly freed Bill Cosby, and he also insisted that he be addressed as Doctor. I don’t know if that had any drag at SCI Phoenix (formerly SCI Graterford), but I guess it didn’t hurt.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
    @OdysseusPtoliporthis

    He actually has an EdD, for what that's worth. (Picked up part-time 30-odd years ago).

    I've attended a commencement address given by Cosby. He earned his fee.

  122. You know, that is one of the things that most earns me my pseudonymic handle. Yokels like Cancer Ron at Montgomery Ward trying to sell me an oven REPEATEDLY calling me by my first name. I NEVER do that. If you tell me only that your name is Steven, I call you MR. Steven. If you tell me your name is Steven Roberts, I call you Mr. Roberts. I expect some goddamned respect too.

    Am I wrong? Does anyone remember old movies and books where the gentleman calls the the lady Ms. Roberts, and Ms. Roberts says, “oh, call me Dolly, please.” Whatever happened to those boundaries?

    I don’t want Cancer Ron or the trash man calling me by my first name, and it’s not a class thing, either. I don’t want Corpsident Biden calling me by my first name, nor The Donald either. I don’t know either of them.

    Boundaries.

    • Replies: @AnotherDad
    @Pissedoffalese

    Montgomery Ward?

    Ms. Roberts?

  123. @Bill P
    That limo driver had a great job as far as I see it. He could sit there and get paid to read books all day, then drive the CEO home.

    What a lot of people don't understand about hierarchy is that serving a higher up puts people in a higher position. People who served lords and kings were usually aristocrats themselves, not despised peasants. They weren't expendable or interchangeable to the extent we are today. Both parties are privileged and honored in service.

    Having the idea that privilege confers the right to demean and abuse people is practically the opposite of nobility, but it seems to be commonly held these days. We are surrounded by base mediocrities who have nothing but contempt for virtue and honor, thinking them only for suckers, and yet these are the people now demanding special treatment.

    Replies: @prosa123

    That limo driver had a great job as far as I see it. He could sit there and get paid to read books all day, then drive the CEO home.

    Quite often the drivers for large-company CEO’s also serve as bodyguards.

  124. It should go without saying that chiropractors often insist on “Doctor” based on their possession of bogus degrees. As far as I’m concerned they’re quacks and the entire practice should be illegal.

  125. @Chriscom
    I went to a state school in the 1970s and we students never addressed our professors by their first names. Maybe an oddball outlier professor would have invited it.

    Replies: @Hibernian

    At Iowa State in the Fall of 1972 I called them Mister until I realized they called us Mister all the time, no just occasionally in sarcasm, like in High School, and the other guys always called them Doctor. I quickly conformed. (I was a Freshman in a Sophomore class.)

  126. @Spangel226
    Caring about titles strikes me likes a feminine concern, kind of like caring about shoes. What man secretly wants to be a duke? Not any? But plenty of women would love to be called duchess or countess if they could. They like to think about how it feels to be mrs or miss or senorita or doctor.

    To some extent it is perhaps more of a feminine concern because men are not given any choices to consider here as a default. You will be mr. whatever all your life. Girls think about what their future last name will be. Will their husbands name sound good with their first name? Should they take their husbands name? Should they hyphenate? This concern then transfers into the title issue. Should they be mrs or ms? Or should they always be doctor, specifically because it is gender neutral and unrelated to marriage?

    Replies: @Hibernian, @Peter D. Bredon

    What man secretly wants to be a duke?

    It’s universal but women are more interested in the trappings. (Those British titles have just about reduced to only the trappings.)

  127. @Prof. Woland
    @Corn

    Generally speaking, people who wear suits work for rich people.

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    That makes sense in DC. All the bought and paid for (by the donor class) politicians are in suits.

  128. @Magic Dirt Resident

    When I interviewed at Intel in 1982, they took us on a tour of the headquarters, including the gray fabric cubicle of Robert Noyce, the”Mayor of Silicon Valley” (or perhaps of Gordon Moore, author of “Moore’s Law,” I can’t remember precisely which historic giant).
     
    Learning about the founding of Silicon Valley and the advancements made by American scientists from roughly 1920-1960 really shows how underappreciated the historic Anglo-American nation is. All of those guys- Noyce, Moore, Shockley, Fairchild, Arnold Beckman- are heritage Americans and all of them came from small towns in the heartland. It proves Steve's point that the most overlooked talent today is white boys from flyover country. It also shows that, contra the Narrative, America was doing just fine in terms of innovation and invention prior to receiving other countries' wretched refuse. How did Intel ever function without H1bs?

    Replies: @Hibernian

    Wasn’t one of the founders of those companies a Hungarian Jewish dude?

    • Replies: @Magic Dirt Resident
    @Hibernian

    Edward Teller and Leo Szilard were both Hungarian Jews. They were involved with the Manhattan Project but not any SV companies afaik.

    , @AnotherDad
    @Hibernian


    Wasn’t one of the founders of those companies a Hungarian Jewish dude?
     
    As i understand it: Andy Grove wasn't a founder, but Noyce and Moore knew him from Fairchild and wanted him on board. Grove ran Intel effectively for years and was an American jobs patriot.

    Hungarian Jews seem to be a really smart bunch. At first glance America seems to have gotten far more actual advancement from them--i can think of guys like Teller and von Neumann--and less toxic b.s. per capita than Jews from other places. But then there's the Dark Lord--Soros!

    So maybe Hungarian Jews are just really competent at both the STEM stuff and the regular Jewish toxic minoritarian crap.

    Replies: @Rob

  129. @Hibernian
    @Magic Dirt Resident

    Wasn't one of the founders of those companies a Hungarian Jewish dude?

    Replies: @Magic Dirt Resident, @AnotherDad

    Edward Teller and Leo Szilard were both Hungarian Jews. They were involved with the Manhattan Project but not any SV companies afaik.

  130. @jb
    When Lloyd Blankfein was CEO of Goldman Sachs we would get voicemail announcements from him that always began "This is Lloyd...". Now that David Solomon has the same position we get recorded messages from "David". This practice has always kind of grated on me; it comes across to me as both ostentatious and condescending (I am definitely not on a first name basis with "David"!), which I'm sure is the exact opposite of the intention. I wonder if there are other employees who feel the same way but would never say anything, or if it's just me.

    Replies: @Jack Armstrong, @James J O'Meara

    Lloyd Blankfein. I always call him “yedid” or “yeddi” (amercanized yiddish for “buddy/pal”.

  131. When a few of my VR associates and I visited the Intel headquarters in 1992, more than one mid-level employee told us, in tones of some pride, that “Andy [Grove, then the CEO] has a cubicle just like mine.” Quel scam, we said on the way out. As though there’s no difference between these guys and a billionaire with absolute power over them and everyone else. It’s the equivalent of Castro wearing issue khakis with no decorations except his rank insignia on the shoulder straps. Evidently it works every time.

  132. My father was head of a medical department. His staff referred to him as “chief”, because Dr ABC was too formal, but Mike was too informal. The word “chief” is sort of a funny word, but also denotes respect.

    Is there something analogous for a “professor”? E.g., prof or don or sage?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @ziggurat

    Being called "chief" by the other doctors sounds quite satisfying.

    Replies: @ziggurat

  133. @Hibernian
    @Magic Dirt Resident

    Wasn't one of the founders of those companies a Hungarian Jewish dude?

    Replies: @Magic Dirt Resident, @AnotherDad

    Wasn’t one of the founders of those companies a Hungarian Jewish dude?

    As i understand it: Andy Grove wasn’t a founder, but Noyce and Moore knew him from Fairchild and wanted him on board. Grove ran Intel effectively for years and was an American jobs patriot.

    Hungarian Jews seem to be a really smart bunch. At first glance America seems to have gotten far more actual advancement from them–i can think of guys like Teller and von Neumann–and less toxic b.s. per capita than Jews from other places. But then there’s the Dark Lord–Soros!

    So maybe Hungarian Jews are just really competent at both the STEM stuff and the regular Jewish toxic minoritarian crap.

    • Replies: @Rob
    @AnotherDad

    When it came to pretty much everything in Austria-Hungary, except probably owning farmland, Jews were the dominant ethnicity of the dual kingdom. It was an ethnically diverse place, so they felt confident, unlike in America, where the blue-eyed blond beasts could rise up at any time in reaction. So Jews did not have to trash the place with a multicult, it was pre-trashed.

    Hungarian Jews seem like they behaved like a more-or-less responsible elite. Perhaps because they did not have Israel to fall back on. Perhaps because the pogroms were over, and the Holocaust had not come, so they did not have American Jews’ hate and fear of whites.

  134. @Pissedoffalese
    You know, that is one of the things that most earns me my pseudonymic handle. Yokels like Cancer Ron at Montgomery Ward trying to sell me an oven REPEATEDLY calling me by my first name. I NEVER do that. If you tell me only that your name is Steven, I call you MR. Steven. If you tell me your name is Steven Roberts, I call you Mr. Roberts. I expect some goddamned respect too.

    Am I wrong? Does anyone remember old movies and books where the gentleman calls the the lady Ms. Roberts, and Ms. Roberts says, "oh, call me Dolly, please." Whatever happened to those boundaries?

    I don't want Cancer Ron or the trash man calling me by my first name, and it's not a class thing, either. I don't want Corpsident Biden calling me by my first name, nor The Donald either. I don't know either of them.

    Boundaries.

    Replies: @AnotherDad

    Montgomery Ward?

    Ms. Roberts?

  135. Rob says:
    @AnotherDad
    @Hibernian


    Wasn’t one of the founders of those companies a Hungarian Jewish dude?
     
    As i understand it: Andy Grove wasn't a founder, but Noyce and Moore knew him from Fairchild and wanted him on board. Grove ran Intel effectively for years and was an American jobs patriot.

    Hungarian Jews seem to be a really smart bunch. At first glance America seems to have gotten far more actual advancement from them--i can think of guys like Teller and von Neumann--and less toxic b.s. per capita than Jews from other places. But then there's the Dark Lord--Soros!

    So maybe Hungarian Jews are just really competent at both the STEM stuff and the regular Jewish toxic minoritarian crap.

    Replies: @Rob

    When it came to pretty much everything in Austria-Hungary, except probably owning farmland, Jews were the dominant ethnicity of the dual kingdom. It was an ethnically diverse place, so they felt confident, unlike in America, where the blue-eyed blond beasts could rise up at any time in reaction. So Jews did not have to trash the place with a multicult, it was pre-trashed.

    Hungarian Jews seem like they behaved like a more-or-less responsible elite. Perhaps because they did not have Israel to fall back on. Perhaps because the pogroms were over, and the Holocaust had not come, so they did not have American Jews’ hate and fear of whites.

  136. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @Boomthorkell

    He probably has his phone, and plenty of time to play games, read, net surf, etc.

    Replies: @Boomthorkell

    No, I mean “I would only allow him a book.”

    My servants will only be allowed to better themselves in the old ways, through physical reading or meditative exercises and drills.

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @Boomthorkell

    Phones have Kindle, you know...

  137. For some reason I’m reminded of John Ashcroft, Bush’s Attorney General on 9/11, who despite rising to the rank of Attorney General was such a dullard that he thought “attorney general” was a kind of general, and insisted that his staff address him as “General Ashcroft.” Imagine being smart enough to get through law school and get hired by the Department of Justice and having to work for this fool.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @James J O'Meara

    The Surgeon General has his own military uniform.

    , @Art Deco
    @James J O'Meara

    I'm fascinated to know which peddler of fictions sold you on this idea.

  138. @bob sykes
    I taught engineering for 37 years, from 1970 to 2007. No one ever called me "Bob." I was always addressed as "Professor," "Doctor," and occasionally "Sir."

    By the way, the use of "Doctor" to address a university professor goes back to the early Middle Ages and the first western universities, and even earlier. St. Thomas Aquinas is the "Angelic Doctor." St. Augustine is the “Doctor of Grace.” St. Anthony of Padua is the “Evangelical Doctor.” Numerous other examples exist in the Catholic panoply of saints. Doctor is Latin for teacher. Doctrine is Latin for the subject matter taught.

    So, it predates the use of "doctor" to mean "physician" by many hundreds of years. Physicians were not trained in universities until the middle 1800's, and none of the physicians had doctorates back then. Medical schools were stand-alone operations, usually of ill-repute, because the physicians they produced were dangerous to the health and lives of their patients (victims?). Most of the better schools were absorbed into universities during the medical reform movement of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries.

    Replies: @James J O'Meara

    England still has [IIRC] a “bifurcated” profession, with “doctors” and “surgeons” (like barristers and solicitors). You can get a BM degree as well as a MD, and once qualified as an MD you can acquire a BChir, ChB or BS (Bachelor of Surgery). Surgeons typically (i.e. crusty old White guys) insist on being called “Mr.” or “Miss” in typical reverse snobbery.

    This is also why Columbia University (i.e. the colonial Kings College) has a “College of Physicians and Surgeons” rather than a “Medical School.”

  139. @Anonymouse
    I went up to Harvard Graduate School in 1959. It was infra dig to address a professor as "Doctor" because it was considered that that title belonged exclusively to the medical profession. Informality ruled and many profs were addressed by their first name. In Germany we were told the manners of the previous century obtained and that professors were addressed as Herr Doktor Professor.

    OTOH, the informality of Anglo-Saxon scholars concealed their privilege, their private sense of self and their utter contempt for students and the uncredentialed in general, an attitude that survives to this day. By contrast, continental professors have dropped the 19th century academic style and adapted informal manners in the Anglo-Saxon style but without the barely concealed hauteur and nastiness of the latter.

    The comments above are based on personal experience.

    Replies: @prosa123, @Anonymous, @Blade, @James J O'Meara

    ” professors were addressed as Herr Doktor Professor.”

    Actually, Herr /Frau Professor Doktor” ; everyone is a Herr or Frau at birth (until today, of course) and titles are in order of importance: not every Dr. rises to the exalted level of Professor. (Ask Schopenhauer).

    ” the informality of Anglo-Saxon scholars concealed their privilege, their private sense of self and their utter contempt for students and the uncredentialed in general, an attitude that survives to this day.”

    Cousin Jasper advises Charles when he comes up to Oxford in Brideshead Revisited : “Don’t treat dons like schoolmasters; treat them as you would the vicar at home…”

  140. @Spangel226
    Caring about titles strikes me likes a feminine concern, kind of like caring about shoes. What man secretly wants to be a duke? Not any? But plenty of women would love to be called duchess or countess if they could. They like to think about how it feels to be mrs or miss or senorita or doctor.

    To some extent it is perhaps more of a feminine concern because men are not given any choices to consider here as a default. You will be mr. whatever all your life. Girls think about what their future last name will be. Will their husbands name sound good with their first name? Should they take their husbands name? Should they hyphenate? This concern then transfers into the title issue. Should they be mrs or ms? Or should they always be doctor, specifically because it is gender neutral and unrelated to marriage?

    Replies: @Hibernian, @Peter D. Bredon

    “What man secretly wants to be a duke?”

    “In our dreams there is only anarchy or monarchy.” — Hakim Bey

    Isn’t it common for children to imagine/fantasize/wish that their parents are only caretakers and their real parents are nobles/aliens/wizards? Hence the popularity of the theme in fairy tales, Mark Twain, Star Wars, Harry Potter, etc.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Peter D. Bredon

    "Orphan of Destiny"

  141. @Arclight
    Just my observation but in my work life I often have to interact with people who have degrees of the Jill Biden variety or are ministers (annointed by who I have no idea) and they are very insistent on being addressed by their title. On the other hand at my kids private school, none of the MDs insist on it and the kids just call them Mr or Mrs. whatever rather than "doctor".

    Like a lot of lower achieving cultures, there is an overemphasis on outward appearances of prosperity and importance, even when everyone secretly knows the game.

    Replies: @Mark Roulo, @Peter D. Bredon

    “Like a lot of lower achieving cultures, there is an overemphasis on outward appearances of prosperity and importance, even when everyone secretly knows the game.”

    Am I right in thinking addressing a lawyer as “Attorney Jones” like Dr. Jones is a black thing, or is it Southern, or modern? I only recall hearing it a few years ago, and among blacks.

  142. @James J O'Meara
    For some reason I'm reminded of John Ashcroft, Bush's Attorney General on 9/11, who despite rising to the rank of Attorney General was such a dullard that he thought "attorney general" was a kind of general, and insisted that his staff address him as "General Ashcroft." Imagine being smart enough to get through law school and get hired by the Department of Justice and having to work for this fool.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Art Deco

    The Surgeon General has his own military uniform.

  143. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    "By East Coast standards, that was a limo driver’s place and his role. But the Intel engineers were fascinated and appalled by this display of East Coast formality, inegalitarianism, and wastefulness."

    Intel engineers and by implication West Coast standards, have no sense of astheticism. In theory perhaps the limo driver, after dropping off the exec, could have left and returned (promptly on the dot) for the exec when his day was finished. East Coast standards wouldn't think it was wasteful, after all, what else is a chauffeur for but to serve their betters? Just like their employees. They are being honest about people's roles and their positions. If one wants to ascend to the board room, then it takes a healthy amount of ambition (or at least marrying into the right family). That's been the way of the world for thousands of recorded human history. The West Coast way is based on a total lie: Everyone is equal. Then everyone will receive the same paycheck at the end of the year. That of course would be true egalitarianism.

    It would seem more than a bit disingenuous for Noyce etc al to go informal when certain obvious standards remained. After all, for all their joint cubicles, first name basis, etc, the lowly employees and CEO's did not equally receive the same annual salaries nor equally share in the profits of the company.

    So there remains a facade of egalitarianism but ultimately it is fake and a lie. The East Coast was just being more honest about the divide. Eastern culture was explicit. West Coast culture is implicit, but just as back stabbing as the East.

    Similar to the old joke: How do you say fuck you in LA? Answer: Trust me.

    If honesty is the best policy, then a limo and drive is better. It makes clear who is the employer and who is the employee.

    Replies: @Giant Duck, @Mr. Anon, @stillCARealist, @vhrm, @Boomthorkell, @Peter D. Bredon

    ““By East Coast standards, that was a limo driver’s place and his role. But the Intel engineers were fascinated and appalled by this display of East Coast formality, inegalitarianism, and wastefulness.””

    Everyone who talks about the Master Race believes he belongs to it.
    Everyone who talks about the wonders of the Hindu caste system thinks he’d be born a Brahmin.
    Everyone who talks about the wonders of the Middle Ages thinks he’d be a king or at least a prince.

    “How do you know he’s a king?”
    “He ain’t got shit on him”

    — Monty Python and the Holy Grail

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @Peter D. Bredon

    ““By East Coast standards, that was a limo driver’s place and his role. But the Intel engineers were fascinated and appalled by this display of East Coast formality, inegalitarianism, and wastefulness.””

    This quote was from Steve, not from me.

    But this is from you...

    "Everyone who talks about..."

    There's a difference between just talking and doing. Those who have the driver driving them around in the limo, along with the title to back it up. Those who are in the top 1% aren't subtle 100% of the time; they make their influence, persuasion, power, etc known when necessary. And the outer trappings such as a driver is a very direct way to demonstrate this. Where does the limo park at SV headquarters? Wherever it wants to.

    The Monty Python line, while hilarious, isn't quite historically accurate. The Medieval Kings, those who personally lead their armies on horseback and fought in the battles alongside their men, would definitely have had their uniforms covered with excrement.

  144. @Anonymous
    Reminds me of the lady jazz singer (Sarah Vaughn I think) who, when awarded a honorary doctorate by some university, insisted for the rest of her life on being addressed as "Dr." She would not respond to journalists and interviewers who failed to do this.

    Replies: @njguy73, @Charon, @OdysseusPtoliporthis, @Wendy Kroy

    Very Sassy of her.

  145. the top man, the visionary founder/chairman/largest shareholder, was always referred to by employees as “John,” as in, “As John mentioned to me yesterday …”

    Oddly, this never seemed to be a problem at Cisco. With a W VA hillbilly named “John Chambers”, Cisco came to an absolute domination of the tech infrastructure industry. Cisco was the definition of the “800lb Gorilla in the room back in the aughts.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_T._Chambers

    Sometimes Steve, you just reach too far. Look at the “Greatest” (ie Worst Ever) generation and their children (your peers). Extrapolate to the third generation of people gung-ho to sacrifice their own children for government propaganda.

    “There is no greater sacrifice”. Except that none of these cunts was ever in any danger of their lives (after ‘45 or even their well-being (outside being raped, mugged, murdered by negroes back home).

  146. @Corn
    @TelfoedJohn


    Informality becomes its own marker of higher class. Like some white kid with dreadlocks and flip-flops is signalling that he is rich enough not to need a normal job.
     
    Once someone asked on r/AskReddit “What are subtle signs someone is really rich?”

    Someone replied, “I used to work for a catering company. If you’re at a corporate banquet or seminar look for the guy wearing jeans and a polo shirt in a room full of people in suits and dresses. That guy is usually the owner or CEO of the company.”

    Replies: @Prof. Woland, @Wendy Kroy

    It’s the person wearing the most comfortable shoes.

  147. @Peter D. Bredon
    @Spangel226

    "What man secretly wants to be a duke?"

    "In our dreams there is only anarchy or monarchy." -- Hakim Bey


    Isn't it common for children to imagine/fantasize/wish that their parents are only caretakers and their real parents are nobles/aliens/wizards? Hence the popularity of the theme in fairy tales, Mark Twain, Star Wars, Harry Potter, etc.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    “Orphan of Destiny”

  148. @ziggurat
    My father was head of a medical department. His staff referred to him as "chief", because Dr ABC was too formal, but Mike was too informal. The word "chief" is sort of a funny word, but also denotes respect.

    Is there something analogous for a "professor"? E.g., prof or don or sage?

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    Being called “chief” by the other doctors sounds quite satisfying.

    • Replies: @ziggurat
    @Steve Sailer

    Yes, I think everyone enjoyed the moniker. I recall once as a child picking up the phone and someone asked "is chief there?" I said "who?" The caller clarified "is Dr ABC there?"

    I guess the professor is the head of the classroom. Perhaps, "chief" could be used?

    Replies: @Ralph L

  149. @Boomthorkell
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    No, I mean "I would only allow him a book."

    My servants will only be allowed to better themselves in the old ways, through physical reading or meditative exercises and drills.

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Phones have Kindle, you know…

  150. @Peter D. Bredon
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    "“By East Coast standards, that was a limo driver’s place and his role. But the Intel engineers were fascinated and appalled by this display of East Coast formality, inegalitarianism, and wastefulness.”"

    Everyone who talks about the Master Race believes he belongs to it.
    Everyone who talks about the wonders of the Hindu caste system thinks he'd be born a Brahmin.
    Everyone who talks about the wonders of the Middle Ages thinks he'd be a king or at least a prince.

    "How do you know he's a king?"
    "He ain't got shit on him"

    -- Monty Python and the Holy Grail

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    ““By East Coast standards, that was a limo driver’s place and his role. But the Intel engineers were fascinated and appalled by this display of East Coast formality, inegalitarianism, and wastefulness.””

    This quote was from Steve, not from me.

    But this is from you…

    “Everyone who talks about…”

    There’s a difference between just talking and doing. Those who have the driver driving them around in the limo, along with the title to back it up. Those who are in the top 1% aren’t subtle 100% of the time; they make their influence, persuasion, power, etc known when necessary. And the outer trappings such as a driver is a very direct way to demonstrate this. Where does the limo park at SV headquarters? Wherever it wants to.

    The Monty Python line, while hilarious, isn’t quite historically accurate. The Medieval Kings, those who personally lead their armies on horseback and fought in the battles alongside their men, would definitely have had their uniforms covered with excrement.

  151. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @Rob

    "Everyone today knows SV etiquette is super-informal, so if you insist on formality, you are a social clod, and probably a jerk in more ways."

    Or it means that one has standards, taste, and class. Who is really gauche and tacky when it comes down to it? The nerdy wannabe who thinks he's the smartest in the room but can't knot his own tie much less wear a suit jacket that fits correctly, or the classic Alpha who traces his heritage back to the Mayflower (or at least one of the earliest arrivals)?

    Again, as SV is West Coast it is as narrow provincial as any other region of the US. And, unlike the masculine explicitness of Eastern way, SV is somewhat effeminate, low energy, and low testosterone. It is more female in nature, whereas Eastern demonstration of power is more direct, authentic, and Alpha.

    Your example of the "right" kind of watch aptly makes the point: Only those in the Beta SV know would take the hint and clue that that dude has really got something. Whereas a traditional Breitling or Rolex makes the point worldwide: Timeless, classic, effortless graceful, while maintaining an explicit demonstration of power.

    Replies: @Rob

    Actually rich people don’t wear Rolex. They wear stuff that their class knows, but not peons.

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @Rob

    Way wait. The wealthy aren't familiar or know about Rolex? But Breitling will also suffice.

    Exactly who drives (or has a driver drive them around in) a Rolls Royce? Answer: the top 1% of wealth and income earners. Namely because those are the ones who can afford it.

    Rolls, Bentley, Astin Martin, Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc. these are explicit ways of demonstrating one's status.

    The phrase "an embarrassment of riches" really should be retired. What's there to be embarrassed about by having wealth? If anything, poverty should be shameful, not riches.

    Again, it is naive to think that the very rich don't purchase items that are/have been explicitly designed, created with them specifically in mind.

    Perhaps it is becoming a racial cultural thing. POC's, when they make it big, see no problem in purchasing the top status markers. It appears to be a SWPL, or WASP thing not to purchase items that explicitly demonstrate status and wealth.

    It makes no sense to assume that Gates, Bezos, Zuckerberg, etc all shop mainly at WalMart. Or at Target. With very few exceptions, these tech wealthy billionaires don't live in a 1200 sq ft middle class residence, so lets dispense with the utter bullshit that they don't purchase explicit status markers of wealth (conspicuous consumption).

    Granted, going to space like Bezos, is the latest in creating new "keeping up with the Gates and Bezos" forms of status markers, but to suggest that the traditional status markers don't exist is ridiculous.

  152. @Steve Sailer
    @ziggurat

    Being called "chief" by the other doctors sounds quite satisfying.

    Replies: @ziggurat

    Yes, I think everyone enjoyed the moniker. I recall once as a child picking up the phone and someone asked “is chief there?” I said “who?” The caller clarified “is Dr ABC there?”

    I guess the professor is the head of the classroom. Perhaps, “chief” could be used?

    • Replies: @Ralph L
    @ziggurat


    Perhaps, “chief” could be used?
     
    Wise up, 99 out of a hundred would 86 that idea.
  153. @Alfa158
    @Voltarde

    Influence peddling in various forms.
    Load your board of directors and ceremonial executive positions with politically connected hacks and they can use their Rolodex to influence legislation, awarding of government contracts, regulatory actions etc.
    Elizabeth Holmes loaded up Theranos with political hacks like Kissinger who knew nothing whatsoever about the industry, but could be lured in by promises of stock equity with no investment on their part. Their names could provide enough credibility to get suckers to cough up real investment money. If regulators start getting too curious about your product efficacy, where the investment money is going, if employees are being exploited etc. you can have them make calls or just wave their presence in your company around like a torch to keep the wolves at bay.

    Replies: @Muggles, @Art Deco, @James J O'Meara

    George Schultz and Henry Kissinger are grandees, not political hacks. A political hack would be someone like John Podesta.

    Schultz and Kissinger are properly excoriated for allowing themselves to be used as window dressing. The nonsense corporation law under which Theranos was chartered allowed her to constitute a board of directors with weighted votes, with she herself holding a majority of the weighted vote. One of Schultz grandchildren worked at the firm and waved red flags in front of his grandfather to the effect that the technology was fake. Schultz had no constructive response.

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @Art Deco

    "Schultz had no constructive response."

    Oftentimes the grandees get swindled and fooled a lot easier than the standard political hack. They don't live in the real world nor mingle with regular people. Bernie Madof would've run circles around the likes of Kissinger.

  154. @OdysseusPtoliporthis
    @Anonymous

    I'm from Philadelphia (not Philly), and I seem to remember that in the dim past Temple University bestowed an honorary doctorate to the newly freed Bill Cosby, and he also insisted that he be addressed as Doctor. I don't know if that had any drag at SCI Phoenix (formerly SCI Graterford), but I guess it didn't hurt.

    Replies: @Art Deco

    He actually has an EdD, for what that’s worth. (Picked up part-time 30-odd years ago).

    I’ve attended a commencement address given by Cosby. He earned his fee.

  155. @James J O'Meara
    For some reason I'm reminded of John Ashcroft, Bush's Attorney General on 9/11, who despite rising to the rank of Attorney General was such a dullard that he thought "attorney general" was a kind of general, and insisted that his staff address him as "General Ashcroft." Imagine being smart enough to get through law school and get hired by the Department of Justice and having to work for this fool.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Art Deco

    I’m fascinated to know which peddler of fictions sold you on this idea.

    • Agree: black sea
  156. Tragically, my friend worked himself to death in 1999 of the same cancer that I barely survived in 1997 due to my lack of career ambitiousness

    Sorry about your friend and glad that you are still around.

    This insight into your logic for working and cancer goes a long way toward explaining your Get The Vaccine Irrespective rant from a week or so ago.

  157. @Charon
    @Anon

    No one still wore three-piece suits by the 1990s, in fact no one did in the 1980a except for doddering old fools. Like the ones who brag on the internet about what school they attended. Sad!

    Replies: @James J O'Meara

    I know Mad Men was “just a TV show” but they did a great job capturing the look of the era. Already in 1960 WWII veteran Roger still wears three piece suits, Korean vet Don has dropped the vest, and new kid Pete wears two button, narrow lapel suits a la JFK. (As per an episode title, Don and Pete are “Nixon v. Kennedy.”) In later seasons the “hip” 60s office “suits” the even younger staff wear are hilariously awful and authentic: brown corduroy suits, orange ties, yellow shirts.

  158. @jb
    When Lloyd Blankfein was CEO of Goldman Sachs we would get voicemail announcements from him that always began "This is Lloyd...". Now that David Solomon has the same position we get recorded messages from "David". This practice has always kind of grated on me; it comes across to me as both ostentatious and condescending (I am definitely not on a first name basis with "David"!), which I'm sure is the exact opposite of the intention. I wonder if there are other employees who feel the same way but would never say anything, or if it's just me.

    Replies: @Jack Armstrong, @James J O'Meara

    Right, it’s covertly infantilizing: one big happy family, so that makes you the kid.

    I once worked for a hip spa lifestyle promotion company (transitioning from magazine to website) whose headquarters had a spa-like reception area before you got to the cubicle farm — water features, New Age music, even sand! All the execs/bosses were on a first name basis, the head honcho being Pete. Each week everyone would gather for a company wide meeting, which was called, I kid you not, “the Family Gathering.”

    The CEO gets all the advantages of being Dad, but with the ability to fire family members (as we found out when they let go 1/3 of the staff during the 2008 downturn: to make it “fair” since it had nothing to do with our actual work, each department had to designate a scapegoat: me, for example).

  159. @Alfa158
    @Voltarde

    Influence peddling in various forms.
    Load your board of directors and ceremonial executive positions with politically connected hacks and they can use their Rolodex to influence legislation, awarding of government contracts, regulatory actions etc.
    Elizabeth Holmes loaded up Theranos with political hacks like Kissinger who knew nothing whatsoever about the industry, but could be lured in by promises of stock equity with no investment on their part. Their names could provide enough credibility to get suckers to cough up real investment money. If regulators start getting too curious about your product efficacy, where the investment money is going, if employees are being exploited etc. you can have them make calls or just wave their presence in your company around like a torch to keep the wolves at bay.

    Replies: @Muggles, @Art Deco, @James J O'Meara

    In her case, I assume an added incentive to keep quiet was the old guys like Kissinger and Schultz treating her like their favorite daughter. If not, um, more.

  160. @Stan Adams
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    This is how black people think. The Big Man has to show off his wealth every minute of every day.

    It seems quite tedious and pointless.

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi, @Peter D. Bredon

    Speaking of Big Men:

    “That’s it, baby, when you’ve got it, flaunt it!”

    — Zero Mostel, The Producers

  161. @Rob
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Actually rich people don’t wear Rolex. They wear stuff that their class knows, but not peons.

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Way wait. The wealthy aren’t familiar or know about Rolex? But Breitling will also suffice.

    Exactly who drives (or has a driver drive them around in) a Rolls Royce? Answer: the top 1% of wealth and income earners. Namely because those are the ones who can afford it.

    Rolls, Bentley, Astin Martin, Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc. these are explicit ways of demonstrating one’s status.

    The phrase “an embarrassment of riches” really should be retired. What’s there to be embarrassed about by having wealth? If anything, poverty should be shameful, not riches.

    Again, it is naive to think that the very rich don’t purchase items that are/have been explicitly designed, created with them specifically in mind.

    Perhaps it is becoming a racial cultural thing. POC’s, when they make it big, see no problem in purchasing the top status markers. It appears to be a SWPL, or WASP thing not to purchase items that explicitly demonstrate status and wealth.

    It makes no sense to assume that Gates, Bezos, Zuckerberg, etc all shop mainly at WalMart. Or at Target. With very few exceptions, these tech wealthy billionaires don’t live in a 1200 sq ft middle class residence, so lets dispense with the utter bullshit that they don’t purchase explicit status markers of wealth (conspicuous consumption).

    Granted, going to space like Bezos, is the latest in creating new “keeping up with the Gates and Bezos” forms of status markers, but to suggest that the traditional status markers don’t exist is ridiculous.

  162. @Art Deco
    @Alfa158

    George Schultz and Henry Kissinger are grandees, not political hacks. A political hack would be someone like John Podesta.

    Schultz and Kissinger are properly excoriated for allowing themselves to be used as window dressing. The nonsense corporation law under which Theranos was chartered allowed her to constitute a board of directors with weighted votes, with she herself holding a majority of the weighted vote. One of Schultz grandchildren worked at the firm and waved red flags in front of his grandfather to the effect that the technology was fake. Schultz had no constructive response.

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    “Schultz had no constructive response.”

    Oftentimes the grandees get swindled and fooled a lot easier than the standard political hack. They don’t live in the real world nor mingle with regular people. Bernie Madof would’ve run circles around the likes of Kissinger.

  163. People have to walk on eggshells around the minority or wimmen.
    They need degrees since they lack any perceivable skills.

    Like Mrs. “Dr.” Biden, a doctor of education that has never done anything.
    These worthless titles and degrees are cover for the tokens of largesse..

    The mandarins give out these worthless things to their friends.
    Its all a silly club of fools. They will never actually contribute anything.

    Much like diversity itself. A luxury we can no longer really afford.
    Opportunity is not as available as it once was.

    Can we afford this nonsense, when the electrical grid could fail?

  164. @Wilkey
    Just look at all of those informal, down-to-earth Silicon Valley CEOs with their sandals, Bermuda shorts, 500 foot yachts, and 11 figure net worths. How very egalitarian of them to let you call them by their first name.

    I suspect part of the informality in Silicon Valley is due to the fact that A) tons of employees have advanced degrees, so having a doctorate is no big deal; B) many of the founders don’t have advanced degrees - and sometimes have no degree at all.

    I remember hearing a story in one of my business classes about some tech CEO - maybe it was at Apple - who had a doctorate and insisted that everyone call him “doctor.” He didn’t win a lot of fans.

    The companies I’ve worked for tend to have a more West Coast attitude. At one of former employers they promoted a black guy to vice president at one of our divisions. He wasn’t over me but we worked in the same building. The man immediately developed a serious god complex. Half of his division either transferred or quit. The black veep probably held on to his job longer than he should have, because he was black, but he eventually was quietly demoted to some division where he could do less harm and bad about a tenth of the employees as before.

    Replies: @Alt Right Moderate, @AndrewR

    It may also be due to Silicon Valley being relatively left wing. The Internet was developed with government aid, and the consumer software industry involves a far number of creative marketing types and graphic designers who tend to be relatively liberal (compared with say bankers or industrialists).

    However, the “consumer tech” revolution appears to be peaking, and the famous starts ups like Apple and Amazon are now mega-cap companies facing government headwinds. Taking its place in the new tech space is industrial tech (robotics, autonomous vehicles, Internet of Things etc) which may well develop a different culture. Already electric car tycoon Elon Musk is coming across as brasher and more politically unpredictable that Zuckerberg, Dorsey etc. Industrial tech it is also likely to be developed outside California with greater involvement from Europe and other parts of the US like Texas.

    • Replies: @Prof. Woland
    @Alt Right Moderate

    Growing up there, I always thought Silicon Valley was more libertarian. The attitude was basically people could do or be anything they wanted but should stay out of everybody else's business. That included religion, politics, and business. Making money was a good thing.

    You are right about companies splintering. High tech gadgets such as robotics, DRIVERLESS CARS, pharmaceuticals are all potential vulnerable spots to attack tech giants for their other low tech money making enterprises. Driverless cars will be ambulance chasing attorneys gift from heaven. They might end up being like the airlines where they are incredibly important to some people but marginally profitable whereas Amazon will always make the most money selling cheap low risk high mark up plastic junk. Companies, and their employees, will have to decide which one they want to pursue.

  165. @ziggurat
    @Steve Sailer

    Yes, I think everyone enjoyed the moniker. I recall once as a child picking up the phone and someone asked "is chief there?" I said "who?" The caller clarified "is Dr ABC there?"

    I guess the professor is the head of the classroom. Perhaps, "chief" could be used?

    Replies: @Ralph L

    Perhaps, “chief” could be used?

    Wise up, 99 out of a hundred would 86 that idea.

  166. @Wilkey
    Just look at all of those informal, down-to-earth Silicon Valley CEOs with their sandals, Bermuda shorts, 500 foot yachts, and 11 figure net worths. How very egalitarian of them to let you call them by their first name.

    I suspect part of the informality in Silicon Valley is due to the fact that A) tons of employees have advanced degrees, so having a doctorate is no big deal; B) many of the founders don’t have advanced degrees - and sometimes have no degree at all.

    I remember hearing a story in one of my business classes about some tech CEO - maybe it was at Apple - who had a doctorate and insisted that everyone call him “doctor.” He didn’t win a lot of fans.

    The companies I’ve worked for tend to have a more West Coast attitude. At one of former employers they promoted a black guy to vice president at one of our divisions. He wasn’t over me but we worked in the same building. The man immediately developed a serious god complex. Half of his division either transferred or quit. The black veep probably held on to his job longer than he should have, because he was black, but he eventually was quietly demoted to some division where he could do less harm and bad about a tenth of the employees as before.

    Replies: @Alt Right Moderate, @AndrewR

  167. @Mark Roulo
    @Arclight

    "...at my kids private school, none of the MDs insist on it and the kids just call them Mr or Mrs. whatever rather than 'doctor'."

    I worked for a bit with a PhD holding engineer who also was an MD. Brilliant guy in a mad-scientisty way (and a really good guy to have working on engineering problems). He went by "Larry."

    Probably 10-20% of the folks I work with have PhD degrees in various hard sciences (engineering, math, physics, computer science, ...). I don't think I have *ever* heard one of them use his or her title at work. They will put the title on papers or articles they are publishing (if/when they publish), but the degree isn't considered a technical argument when we are trying to solve technical problems.

    Replies: @cthulhu, @R.G. Camara, @AndrewR

  168. @Alt Right Moderate
    @Wilkey

    It may also be due to Silicon Valley being relatively left wing. The Internet was developed with government aid, and the consumer software industry involves a far number of creative marketing types and graphic designers who tend to be relatively liberal (compared with say bankers or industrialists).

    However, the "consumer tech" revolution appears to be peaking, and the famous starts ups like Apple and Amazon are now mega-cap companies facing government headwinds. Taking its place in the new tech space is industrial tech (robotics, autonomous vehicles, Internet of Things etc) which may well develop a different culture. Already electric car tycoon Elon Musk is coming across as brasher and more politically unpredictable that Zuckerberg, Dorsey etc. Industrial tech it is also likely to be developed outside California with greater involvement from Europe and other parts of the US like Texas.

    Replies: @Prof. Woland

    Growing up there, I always thought Silicon Valley was more libertarian. The attitude was basically people could do or be anything they wanted but should stay out of everybody else’s business. That included religion, politics, and business. Making money was a good thing.

    You are right about companies splintering. High tech gadgets such as robotics, DRIVERLESS CARS, pharmaceuticals are all potential vulnerable spots to attack tech giants for their other low tech money making enterprises. Driverless cars will be ambulance chasing attorneys gift from heaven. They might end up being like the airlines where they are incredibly important to some people but marginally profitable whereas Amazon will always make the most money selling cheap low risk high mark up plastic junk. Companies, and their employees, will have to decide which one they want to pursue.

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