Silicon Valley Disrupts Its Own Ass

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Jasper
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Re: Silicon Valley Disrupts Its Own Ass

Post by Jasper » 16 Jan 2018, 09:19

thoreau wrote:
14 Jan 2018, 13:42
I was talking to someone from a Bay Area quantum computing startup. I asked a simple question about what sorts of applications quantum computing is competitive for and all I got was hype from the late 90's and no straight answer along the lines of "this many qubits for a problem of this type."

Now, granted, this person is a low level technician, not a founder or marketing person, but she said she has a physics degree so I was hoping she might be quantitative rather than a spin doctor (no pun intended).
I absolutely disbelieve you didn't transition into a spin statement pun here.
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Re: Silicon Valley Disrupts Its Own Ass

Post by Dangerman » 23 Jan 2018, 20:10


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Mo
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Re: Silicon Valley Disrupts Its Own Ass

Post by Mo » 05 Mar 2018, 22:07

AHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA. The highlights of the trip were Youngstown and Akron, OH; Detroit and Flint, MI.; and South Bend, IN. I've lived in one of those places and even, unlike most students, interacted, dated and befriended locals. But while SB was nice, there is zero chance those people would want to live there any more than they would want to live in some tiny ass Italian fishing village that was lovely for the 2 days they were docked there. Also, I love how the "companies are expanding outside of SV" mentions Boston like it's some sort of declining cheap city as opposed to the home of the most universities of any big city, including, Harvard and MIT.

Don't get me wrong, tech needs to expand out of Silicon Valley (and it has to a small extent), but if you're going to sell me on a real move, it's going to have to be based on a bit more than a trip to the zoo Midwest.
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Re: Silicon Valley Disrupts Its Own Ass

Post by Aresen » 05 Mar 2018, 22:59

Mo wrote:
05 Mar 2018, 22:07
AHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA. The highlights of the trip were Youngstown and Akron, OH; Detroit and Flint, MI.; and South Bend, IN. I've lived in one of those places and even, unlike most students, interacted, dated and befriended locals. But while SB was nice, there is zero chance those people would want to live there any more than they would want to live in some tiny ass Italian fishing village that was lovely for the 2 days they were docked there. Also, I love how the "companies are expanding outside of SV" mentions Boston like it's some sort of declining cheap city as opposed to the home of the most universities of any big city, including, Harvard and MIT.

Don't get me wrong, tech needs to expand out of Silicon Valley (and it has to a small extent), but if you're going to sell me on a real move, it's going to have to be based on a bit more than a trip to the zoo Midwest.
The trip, which took place on a luxury bus outfitted with a supply of vegan doughnuts and coal-infused kombucha, was known as the “Comeback Cities Tour.”
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Re: Silicon Valley Disrupts Its Own Ass

Post by Eric the .5b » 05 Mar 2018, 23:34

...Coal-infused kombucha.

I could have sword the FDA was supposed to protect people from shit like that.
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Re: Silicon Valley Disrupts Its Own Ass

Post by Mo » 06 Mar 2018, 08:52

Using AI to predict gang crime. In this case, the SV dude is the good guy and the research scientist is the bad guy. He called out the Harvard scientist for being blase of how the tool would be used by saying, "I'm just engineer."
Lemoine quoted a lyric from a song about the wartime rocket scientist Wernher von Braun, in a heavy German accent: “Once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down?” Then he angrily walked out.
his voice is so soothing, but why do conspiracy nuts always sound like Batman and Robin solving one of Riddler's puzzles out loud? - fod

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Re: Silicon Valley Disrupts Its Own Ass

Post by tr0g » 07 Mar 2018, 10:11

Mo wrote:
06 Mar 2018, 08:52
Using AI to predict gang crime. In this case, the SV dude is the good guy and the research scientist is the bad guy. He called out the Harvard scientist for being blase of how the tool would be used by saying, "I'm just engineer."
Lemoine quoted a lyric from a song about the wartime rocket scientist Wernher von Braun, in a heavy German accent: “Once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down?” Then he angrily walked out.
Tom Lehrer! Yay!
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Re: Silicon Valley Disrupts Its Own Ass

Post by dead_elvis » 07 Mar 2018, 16:16

Dangerman wrote:
23 Jan 2018, 20:10
And the circle of life is complete:

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Re: Silicon Valley Disrupts Its Own Ass

Post by Mo » 02 May 2018, 13:05

What the shit is this? Don't these people have high paying jobs?
“Activists at Google” helped organize a rally critical of President Donald Trump’s policies. “Militia at Google” members discussed their desire to overturn a prohibition on guns in the office. “Conservatives at Google” allege discrimination against right-leaning job candidates. “Sex Positive at Google” group members are concerned that explicit content is being unfairly removed from Google Drive file-sharing software.

“Googlers For Animals” invited the PETA president, only to be undercut by members of the “Black Googler Network.”
I can imagine the group that I bolded saying, "What do you mean my pictures are 'not safe for work'? You're not safe for work, Puritan!"
his voice is so soothing, but why do conspiracy nuts always sound like Batman and Robin solving one of Riddler's puzzles out loud? - fod

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Re: Silicon Valley Disrupts Its Own Ass

Post by Warren » 02 May 2018, 14:08

Mo wrote:
02 May 2018, 13:05
What the shit is this? Don't these people have high paying jobs?
Which would serve to reinforce their sense of entitlement.
“Activists at Google” helped organize a rally critical of President Donald Trump’s policies. “Militia at Google” members discussed their desire to overturn a prohibition on guns in the office. “Conservatives at Google” allege discrimination against right-leaning job candidates. “Sex Positive at Google” group members are concerned that explicit content is being unfairly removed from Google Drive file-sharing software.

“Googlers For Animals” invited the PETA president, only to be undercut by members of the “Black Googler Network.”
I can imagine the group that I bolded saying, "What do you mean my pictures are 'not safe for work'? You're not safe for work, Puritan!"
Stymied by paywall.

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Re: Silicon Valley Disrupts Its Own Ass

Post by Eric the .5b » 02 May 2018, 14:29

Eh, I'm fine with Googlers reacting politically when there are political implications.
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Re: Silicon Valley Disrupts Its Own Ass

Post by Mo » 02 May 2018, 14:31

I've worked at companies with well-paid professionals who knew better than to have political arguments on internal company boards.
his voice is so soothing, but why do conspiracy nuts always sound like Batman and Robin solving one of Riddler's puzzles out loud? - fod

no one ever yells worldstar when a pet gets fucked up - dhex

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Re: Silicon Valley Disrupts Its Own Ass

Post by nicole » 02 May 2018, 14:36

This was my reaction to the James Damore lawsuit filing. Why on earth did you let your workplace descend into a sportsbar comments section.
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Re: Silicon Valley Disrupts Its Own Ass

Post by Mo » 02 May 2018, 14:43

It's the like the comments section at the NY Times, but at work.
his voice is so soothing, but why do conspiracy nuts always sound like Batman and Robin solving one of Riddler's puzzles out loud? - fod

no one ever yells worldstar when a pet gets fucked up - dhex

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Re: Silicon Valley Disrupts Its Own Ass

Post by Eric the .5b » 02 May 2018, 14:50

Mo wrote:
02 May 2018, 14:31
I've worked at companies with well-paid professionals who knew better than to have political arguments on internal company boards.
Yeah, but how often did your employers do things that put thousands or tens of people around the country in danger, as the recent SESTA-provoked changes around sexually explicit file hosting have have done for sex workers?

It's not about NSFW stuff in the Google office, it's how sex workers used that hosting to market to clients without needing pimps. It's a continuation of the last couple of decades of police and policy effort to make prostitution more dangerous
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Re: Silicon Valley Disrupts Its Own Ass

Post by thoreau » 02 May 2018, 15:00

TFA is paywalled, but in general I think there's a difference between "We, as professionals, should consider how our product is affecting users from vulnerable communities" and "We, as employees who have decided to organize around [insert political or personal interest here] think we should consider..."

Yes, it's inevitable that personal factors affect what you will notice, and that's why it's important to have people with many different perspectives. But the goal should be to let your considerations of professional responsibility be informed by personal knowledge, not to encourage everyone to wear their backgrounds on their sleeves. One keeps the focus on professional responsibility: We've become aware of this, now how do we respond professionally? The other encourages formation of tribes and the airing of tribal politics at work.
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Re: Silicon Valley Disrupts Its Own Ass

Post by JasonL » 02 May 2018, 16:33

nicole wrote:
02 May 2018, 14:36
This was my reaction to the James Damore lawsuit filing. Why on earth did you let your workplace descend into a sportsbar comments section.
Because it was unimaginable that openness among educated people would be anything other than mutual validation of liberal bonafides by way of "open" castigation of the other. That's the only way you get there.

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Re: Silicon Valley Disrupts Its Own Ass

Post by Eric the .5b » 02 May 2018, 17:11

thoreau wrote:
02 May 2018, 15:00
TFA is paywalled, but in general I think there's a difference between "We, as professionals, should consider how our product is affecting users from vulnerable communities" and "We, as employees who have decided to organize around [insert political or personal interest here] think we should consider..."
You prefer all the political issues being received wisdom from the usual suspects in your sector? :)
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Re: Silicon Valley Disrupts Its Own Ass

Post by Jennifer » 02 May 2018, 17:34

JasonL wrote:
02 May 2018, 16:33
nicole wrote:
02 May 2018, 14:36
This was my reaction to the James Damore lawsuit filing. Why on earth did you let your workplace descend into a sportsbar comments section.
Because it was unimaginable that openness among educated people would be anything other than mutual validation of liberal bonafides by way of "open" castigation of the other. That's the only way you get there.
Or, because they didn't think an educated professional would nonetheless blame "Marxists" for attempts to eliminate sexism and racism.
James Damore wrote:Communism promised to be both morally and economically superior to capitalism, but every attempt became morally corrupt and an economic failure. As it became clear that the working class of the liberal democracies wasn’t going to overthrow their “capitalist oppressors,” the Marxist intellectuals transitioned from class warfare to gender and race politics. The core oppressor-oppressed dynamics remained, but now the oppressor is the “white, straight, cis-gendered patriarchy.”
Yeah, if you think black Americans just might suffer problems stemming from white racism, you must be a goddam Commie. :roll:
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Re: Silicon Valley Disrupts Its Own Ass

Post by thoreau » 02 May 2018, 17:39

Eric the .5b wrote:
02 May 2018, 17:11
thoreau wrote:
02 May 2018, 15:00
TFA is paywalled, but in general I think there's a difference between "We, as professionals, should consider how our product is affecting users from vulnerable communities" and "We, as employees who have decided to organize around [insert political or personal interest here] think we should consider..."
You prefer all the political issues being received wisdom from the usual suspects in your sector? :)
Fair enough.

But I do think there's a difference between "I'm aware that there are customers with this concern, how do we as professionals respond?" and "As a [insert identity here] I think you need to pay attention to customers with this concern or you are against them and me." One approach keeps it professional, the other erodes professional distance.
"ike Wile E. Coyote salivating over a "4000 Ways To Prepare Roadrunner" cookbook without watching his surroundings, the Road Runner of Societal Inertia snuck up on them both and beepbeeped them off the mesa."
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Re: Silicon Valley Disrupts Its Own Ass

Post by JasonL » 02 May 2018, 19:20

Workplaces play footsie with openness in a bunch of ways, but there are lines of demarcation pretty much everyone would recognize, and those are well short of the sorts of discussions that were actively encouraged in that forum. Open dialogue with management, in decent orgs where it isn't an outright lie, doesn't mean give em both barrels - it means you don't have to be a good news shop which is toxic over the long run. You can in a sense have that kind of openness because people get a feel for the boundaries and nobody is going in full blast.

If you are actively encouraging open dialogue about any area where there is only one right answer, you are either again outright lying in your plea for openness, or, more likely, you have lost the ability to recognize that it's not just mud people from Mississippi who would challenge axioms. Google having an open dialogue about gender differences is like Chick Fil A having an open dialogue about jesus.

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Re: Silicon Valley Disrupts Its Own Ass

Post by thoreau » 02 May 2018, 20:00

JasonL wrote:
02 May 2018, 19:20
If you are actively encouraging open dialogue about any area where there is only one right answer, you are either again outright lying in your plea for openness, or, more likely, you have lost the ability to recognize that it's not just mud people from Mississippi who would challenge axioms. Google having an open dialogue about gender differences is like Chick Fil A having an open dialogue about jesus.
I wonder how much of it is Google trying to blur personal/professional boundaries to also blur the work time/personal time boundaries. Cafeterias and on-site daycare are nothing new, but free or heavily discounted food around the clock, lots of daycare centers, gyms, game rooms, drycleaning, all of the amenities amped up to 11, those things are in place to keep people at work as much as possible.

And if you try to keep people there as much as possible, and you do so by encouraging them to use the workplace for things that would normally be personal, I guess it's inevitable that people will start holding their political meet-ups and sexuality discussion groups and whatnot at work.

And that can work great until some idiot doesn't know how to read signals and tries to respond in earnest to the request for feedback on their gender-related policies.
"ike Wile E. Coyote salivating over a "4000 Ways To Prepare Roadrunner" cookbook without watching his surroundings, the Road Runner of Societal Inertia snuck up on them both and beepbeeped them off the mesa."
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Re: Silicon Valley Disrupts Its Own Ass

Post by thoreau » 02 May 2018, 20:12

A related thought:

My understanding is that, historically, all-inclusive perks have been for people who are in roles that require blurring of boundaries in one's life. Aren't personal assistants who handle your drycleaning and dinner reservations and gifts for your spouse generally for managers who aren't really allowed to have a concept of personal time because they are always on call? University presidents get free housing because they're expected to host fundraising dinners there. It's not like a university president could decide to rebuild an old car in the driveway just for fun.* The Board of Trustees would never allow it.

Many people see those all-inclusive perks as affronts to some notion of egalitarianism, and leaving aside the usual libertarian things to say about managerial compensation, there's also the fact that those perks come with a pretty heavy burden. And one of those burdens, besides being always on-call, is that they aren't really allowed to have opinions in public. Google gave all-inclusive perks to everyone, because they wanted all-inclusive scheduling from everyone. But then they also encouraged everyone to form affinity groups and "express themselves."

As I get older I'm developing more and more appreciation for the drawing of lines.

*Though they might make an exception if the president were an engineer converting a cool-looking car to burn biodiesel as part of some well-photographed PR move, but that goes back to my point about not being allowed a personal life.
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Re: Silicon Valley Disrupts Its Own Ass

Post by JasonL » 02 May 2018, 21:21

Drawing lines is what makes amicable casual social bonds possible. It's goofy to treat cow orker like bff but that doesn't mean cow orker is a piece of shit commie. I mean, they may be, but contextualized you don't have to care about that ... unless you invite it in. It's like not caring to hear about musician politics - the context is music. It's fine. Until the musician makes it all consuming then it spoils the context because they are intentionally pressing the boundary that allows me to ignore all that shit.

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Re: Silicon Valley Disrupts Its Own Ass

Post by Jasper » 03 May 2018, 09:23

The most recent Fifth Column podcast touches on this a bit. I's a conversation with Bret Weinstein and his wife about the Evergreen College & free speech on campus thing, and they mention Google & Damore early on. (I'm only about 20 minutes in.) Weinstein is careful to point out that yes, "free speech" blah blah first amendment blah blah government censorship, but then makes the point that Google did invite feedback on female engineers in Google, and that by firing Damore over his memo, and the huge outpouring of support over that decision, reveals something perhaps dangerous to the overall American culture of free speech since Google is a huge 'gateway' (my word) to how people consume information, media, and news.

I'm not sure if I'm adding anything to the conversation here. As I said, I'm barely into the podcast, so I don't know if they hash this out further, but I thought I'd mention it in case folks wanted to listen to it too.
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