- E04 - Leadership! Google, Guido van Rossum, PSF

Anton Vredegoor anton.vredegoor at gmail.com
Mon Jan 2 13:37:59 CET 2006


Alex Martelli wrote:

> Anton Vredegoor <anton.vredegoor at gmail.com> wrote:
>    ...
> > Google's not a nice company (yeah, I know I'm posting from a google
> > account). If you look at their job requirements it's clear they will
> > only hire people with long backstabbing histories.
>
> Such as...? Guido van Rossum?  Greg Stein?  Vint Cerf?  Ben Goodger?
> Please DO share your insider-information about the "long backstabbing
> histories" of each and every one of these people, I'm sure it will be
> most fascinating (as well as useful for self-protection to future
> potential victims), and, after all, they ARE all rather public
> figures... TIA!

No insider information is necessary, the job requirements make it
absolutely clear (at least to me) that Google is a company with an
elitist culture, just like most universities. In fact I am convinced
that universities (and this time I have extensive, first person and
historic information) are elitist.

We can discuss that if you want but to me it's appararent that *titles*
are a strong indication of elitism. Further more I am convinced that
universities spend about 95 percent of their effort into maintaining
the hierarchy (socializing the students), and spend almost no time on
creating new knowledge. A kind of 'piltdown' phenomenon.

Also when considering this massive scientific fraude (because that's
what it is) it is very illustrative to use the same deconstructing
methods that Randi, if that's not the name of a beverage, no:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Randi

uses to discredit paranormal phenomena. For example, careers are
"construed" because scientific success is credited to persons higher in
the hierarchy and mistakes are the faults of research assistents or
students. Only if this system breaks down we see reports of "scientific
fraude" in the media, which according to me is more a sign of the
social network around the scientist collapsing than it is a sign of
their research data being any more "fabricated" than other scientific
data.

There is a lot of this inbred and invisible corruption everywhere in
our societies and I tried to name it by using the term "working for the
man" by which I meant throwing away ones own moral compass and
confining ones efforts to further the interests of a small sub-system
(like soldiers) and thereby stabbing oneself and the rest of humanity
in the back (figuratively) and often not even sparing coworkers in
order to please the master.

Why is this not absolutely clear and apparent? Because when trying to
"feed ones wife and children" it is almost impossible to do so without
*proving* that one has *experience* in working for these corrupt
entities (and possibly having become corrupt oneself)  and doing a lot
for the community but still being blind to the faults of ones employer
does count as condoning corruption, at least in my world.

Most people can survive (without damaging their souls so to speak) when
working for corruption themselves in this way, but sooner or later one
is asked to corrupt others (defending one's title during a promotion,
leading a community and so on). This is the crucial point where
corruption definitively occurs: where silence is not enough anymore to
keep one employed.

The human brain can withstand extreme amounts of conficting sensory
data and still maintain a sense of continuity and order while from all
sides things seem to fall apart. Such continuity is highly valuable
because it is the only thing that keeps chaos at arms length. The same
thing can be applied to whole societies (see for example the state
American politics is in now). So that is the reason these kind of
things normally are swept under the carpet.

However for *me* personally, because I am deserted by my government,
the university community, friends and family, and left to fend for
myself, there is no pressing need to keep up the facade so I can
finally see it for what it is.

I hope this answers some of your questions about my position. Anyway, I
think its better to talk about positive things, like trying to convince
google to hire any and all people who can program irrespective of their
corruption history. For example to help manning their commercial "ask
google" service. I read that nowadays people can get payed for playing
*games*, by taking the virtual personae of people who don't have time
to play themselves.

Oh, and here [1] is another job posting, which seems a lot better than
the Google example IMO, but which still misses a plan for what to do
when thousands of programmers would apply and which also misses a
mission statement for what they plan to do to save the world community
from becoming slaves to a select group of elitists hiding behind
webservices. The junior/senior divisioning in the job offerring below
worries me too. Well I guess it's a step by step process, but if it
were my call (which it obviously isn't, and maybe deciding on the basis
of this data is premature anyway) I'd rather have Guido working there
instead of at google.

Anton

[1]

(snipped from http://www.python.org/Jobs.html)

Posted 19-DEC-2005

Job Description: Senior and Junior positions available. We're building
a small team of outstanding, hard-working engineers dedicated to
solving interesting problems, writing great code and having a lot of
fun doing it.

Run by an engineer, this work environment is a meritocracy. You will be
working on a redesign and rewrite of an existing PHP web application
using a more deserving language/platform as well as developing new
features. This is a high volume system - if you dig concurrency, you
will not be bored. Must be able to handle the excitement.

Requirements: We're looking for great engineers, so we don't care about
your age or education. Python and SQL a must, PHP a plus, C a big
benefit, don't mention Java <0.5 wink>. Understanding of performance
and scalability issues, networking, event driven and multi-threaded
programming models and Async I/O are Good™. If you've used Twisted,
call us right now.

Work conditions: Onsite in NYC strongly preferred, but don't let this
deter you - we can work with remote folks under the right conditions.
Competitive compensation - we know what good people are worth. Flex
time - relaxed culture - getting the job done is all that matters.

What Python is used for: Python/Twisted as middleware/app server.




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