Artists live by social inertia and network effects…not art

February 8th, 2010

From Slashdot Entertainment Story | The People vs. George Lucas To Premiere At SXSW

Re:If you don’t like it… (Score:5, Insightful)

by Vintermann (400722) on Sunday February 07, @03:54PM (#31054690)

Let’s forget George Lucas for a moment, and focus on another filmmaker who was in the news recently, James Cameron. Now tell me: Are you of the school of thought that James Cameron is the greatest filmmaker of all time, or do you think that perhaps the fact that he gets to play with new toys before everyone else has something to do with his success?
How about Madonna. How about J.K. Rowling. Success may involve a lot of perspiration, but so does failures. Dumb luck is a far bigger part of it. Once you are established, you don’t have to make the insane grab for people’s attention again – they’ve invested in you, got to know you and your work, and they will want more – even if you strictly speaking don’t deserve it.

Commercial artistic success is rarely something people deserve. Certainly they don’t deserve the insane compensation – if art worked as any other market, you could look at the huge number of would-be supplyers, and the ease of reproduction, and conclude art would be essentially free. The reason it isn’t, is _not_ that George Lucas or J.K Rowling or Mick Jagger or bloody whoever is that much better than all the wannabees. Think about it: if you gave 10000 people James Cameron’s resources and opportunities, set them to make movies, did a blind test, you think Avatar would stand out as clearly the best?

Most successful artists think that they live by their art. They are wrong. They live by social inertia and network effects – lots of people wouldn’t mind being obsessed about a film, few people would want to be obsessed about a film no one you care about has heard of. There can only be so many stars. What this means is this: Star Wars the movies, may be Lucas’ work of art, but no one really cares about the movies. Star Wars the phenomenon is what people really pay for, and Lucas’ role in creating that is small. It’s almost non-existent. If Star Wars hadn’t been created, we the people would have found something different to obsess about.

This is why fans should “have a say in someone else’s art”. In fact, fans are way too subservient, and our culture is hopelessly locked into a view of “the artist” which appeared in the romantic period, and should have died a hundred years ago. Unfortunately, it became institutionalised (in large part through copyright legislation) and walks on as a ravenous zombie.

That is all.

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Dealing with bullies

February 6th, 2010

From Slashdot Science Story | Studies Reveal Why Kids Get Bullied and Rejected

The bully and the outcast – a true story (Score:5, Interesting)

by germansausage (682057) on Tuesday February 02, @11:23PM (#31005654)

Once upon a time there was a bully. He bullied a lot of kids. One day he bullied the outcast. He shoved the outcast from behind as he was walking by. The outcast was slammed into the lockers and split his lip. The bully walked away laughing. That evening the outcast and his one lone friend came back to the school with a hacksaw, a school issue combination lock and two large garbage bags. While the friend stood watch at the end of the hall the outcast sawed the lock off the bully’s locker. It took no more than a minute to empty the bullies locker into the garbage bags. The outcast locked the locker back up with the lock he brought. The garbage bags were tossed into a dumpster behind the gas station.

The next morning the outcast watched from a distance while the bully tried to open his locker. The school locks all looked the same but his wouldn’t open. Eventually the principal and the custodian came with some bolt cutters and the lock was cut. The locker was opened and inside was….nothing. No gym clothes, no textbooks, no almost complete woodwork project, no homework, no notes, no tennis racket, no leather jacket, no anything. The bully may have eventually realized that one of his victims had gotten even, but who it was, he never knew. He bullied a lot of kids.

Re:I could have told you that. (Score:5, Insightful)

by j_w_d (114171) on Tuesday February 02, @09:39PM (#31004622)

Bullies are scum. No ‘if onlies,’ no ‘buts.’ There’s no reason why a kid with difficulty understanding social cues should spend grade school making sure an upper grade bully got fat off his lunch money. No one ‘makes’ a bully steal your stuff, throw tarred rocks at you or generally lurk around for a chance to otherwise make your life miserable. All understanding the social cues offers is the knowledge of whom to avoid. There’s a reason so many bullies go by handles like “Chopper,” “Dumbo” and “Buddy” (all ones that I knew personally) and it isn’t because they’re brightest bulbs in the lamp. However, my dad always said ‘don’t get mad, get even.’ I expect that Buddy never did understand why when he stole my home work he still got D’s, and I still got A’s.

Re:I could have told you that. (Score:4, Insightful)

by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 02, @09:50PM (#31004712)

Some bullies are sociopaths []. Sociopaths are scum. Other bullies simply need a better social environment (including home environment).

And yes, all blame should fall squarely on the aggressor. It’s a teaching mechanism. It should be nothing more, nor less.

Amusing story, though.

Which TFA did you read? (Score:5, Insightful)

by n dot l (1099033) on Wednesday February 03, @03:52AM (#31007378)

The TFA I read discussed social rejection, and noted that bullies often focus on the socially rejected. This isn’t about using your social skills to charm the bully (lol), it’s about using them to get friends and hoist yourself out of the immediate target population, or at least get yourself on a better footing to fight back (most bullies have their own social issues – if you can sort yours out that’s an automatic advantage).

I’ve been bullied. I watched other kids get bullied too. I got rid of my bullies by not behaving like the other victims, not by beating anybody up (as if I could). I realized that the only targets were people who were isolated from the main social group and unwilling to fight back (in most cases by their own low self-esteem) and made an effort to not be one of them. I learned to control my emotions so I could think clearly in social situations that weren’t going how I wanted. I learned to actually pay attention and read other people’s body language properly. I learned the social rules. I made friends outside my usual circle.

The guys that spent 5 minutes between classes laughing at me in the halls every day (not hardcore bullying but hardly pleasant, I assure you)? Most of them weren’t being sarcastic or mean like I thought. They were confused by how incongruously I acted. I was the one that was too stupid to read their expressions correctly. Once I clued in, I stopped escalating simple misunderstandings (I actually thought I was sticking up for myself) and quickly made friends with many of them. I had no trouble ignoring the few asshole opportunists (most of who were doing it due to their own self esteem issues) in the lot who were jumping in with a nasty quip just because they saw they had a chance to get a laugh at my expense. Over the next few weeks I got rid of a good two thirds of the grief I’d get at school (the low grade harassment) in this way. I’d say fixing this one mistake of mine is probably where I started to really build my self-confidence.

The scary looking thug (huge muscles, tattoos, scars, rumors that he’s done nasty things – seriously scary fucker) that went around threatening people into giving him free shit? The confidence I’d gained making some friends was enough to keep me calm around him. Calm enough to see his insecurity screaming through every little gesture (fucked up home life, he had a lot to be insecure about). Flat-out told him “no” when he punched me and told me to give him my CD collection. He was stunned, I don’t think he’d ever seen someone calmly stand up to him before (I admit, it freaked me out afterwards – he had opened up with a punch). He wandered off as though nothing had happened and didn’t bother me again.

The asshole who’d steal my shit, trip me, shove my head into my locker, heckle me in class (WTF teachers, how did that shit ever fly?), throw things at me, etc every single chance he got? I was his favorite victim until a few months after I started turning myself around. He turned out to be desperately afraid he’d lose his friends’ respect if he didn’t act all tough. Getting the courage to go and talk to them (his friends) and find out that they didn’t really like him was the key to getting rid of him. Desperate fuckers turn out to be easy to bait, and I only had to get myself seen with his buddies regularly for a few weeks before he freaked out about them ditching him and did something stupid enough to get them to actually ditch him. He never bothered me again. I’d actually been hoping to get something out of them that I could blackmail him with, but I’m not one to complain if a problem takes care of itself.

So I disagree that TFA’s conclusion is some bullshit way to avoid having to actually punish bullies. We’re social creatures, and learning how to navigate the social web (rather than hovering helplessly around the edges) is definitely empowering. I certainly wouldn’t argue with anyone that would just beat the shit out of a bully, but it’s hardly the only way to deal with things (and I’ve seen a couple of guys that did that get shunned even more for being “dangerous” hotheads).

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Blog about poor customer service

February 6th, 2010

From Slashdot Technology Story | Woz Cites “Scary” Prius Acceleration Software Problem

Re:Typical Customer Service Department attitude (Score:5, Interesting)

by iamhassi (659463) on Tuesday February 02, @11:21AM (#30996726)

“Last time I called Dell about a laptop that was completely dead, no power lights, no fans, they asked me what the error message on screen was and it took a few minutes to explain to them something as simple as the fact that I couldn’t get an error message on screen because the laptop was dead.”

Next time you call support take a video, it might be the next “verizon math fail” with 30,000+ hits. [] All that bad press over $71. []

I had a problem with a Whirlpool wash machine. It was a few years old and the warranty expired, but I took a video of the problem and posted it on Youtube.

Within a week and less than 50 views I had an email from someone claiming to be whirlpool [] offering to help resolve the situation with a 800 number and extension attached.

I use to work tech support for a huge hosting provider (they’re in the top 5). We’d get threats of lawsuits every day, but one time someone blogged about us and management had an all hands meeting, telling us to ignore lawsuits because those are easy to fight but if a customer threatens to blog about us to escalate to a manager immediately (usually we could only offer manager call backs… yes i know stupid).

People forget how powerful the internet is yet we see the effects of millions of /. readers every day.

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Marketing 101 (5Cs, 4Ps, STP)

January 30th, 2010

From Slashdot Ask Slashdot Story | How To Spread Word About My FOSS Project?

Its called marketing. (Score:5, Informative)

by jellomizer (103300) on Wednesday January 27, @10:03PM (#30929100)

The fact the product is Open Source or free will not get any thing out…

Lets figure out some things…

The 5C’s

Customer or for your case you end users what is you app targeted for Corporate users or end users.

Company or your OSS group that has developed the software what are your values why do you want the product to grow what makes your group better then most

Context what itch are you trying to scratch. Does it solve a problem
Collaborators who do you need to work with to make your program run. Is it linux only or does it work on windows… Do you need 3rd party tools to run it. Do you have any people who are willing to push your product.

Competitors Sure you may have some cool new features but are they better then what the other Open Source tools have… Are there closed source application that do the same thing you do. If so how do you defend against any advantages.

Next is the STP

Segmentation What is the product the best fit for.

Targeting Really push to the people the product is the best fit for. If they prefer a closed source solution or a big name you will be wasting your time. However there are other people who want you app in the open source form.

Positioning make sure you make your product to really show off what it needs to do for your targeted group of people

The 4P

Product what is your product what does it do

Price Sure it is open source and it is free are you going to offer consulting or support services if so how much are you going to charge.

Place What will be your range you want the product to first go out

Promotions Well if you are going to do consulting for your product you might as well add some Linux support too.

These is Marketing 101 in a nutshell. Basic marketing isn’t trying to trick people into getting your product but finding where people would like your product.

Sure your product may not have a big following that is ok there are a lot of small software companies to make software to a lot of big players. I myself when I worked as a consultant myself made software for many large companies that was custom for them even if there was Open Source alternatives I created code and documentation for them so the code is theirs and with No strings attached.

For Open Source tools the trick is to make sure that you are willing to back it up and if fail it is possible for others to pick it up.

Open Source Projects do die sometimes so do closed source product. However there are people making closed source products and selling them. The fact that it is open source and has a small comunity isn’t an excuse. You just need to market the product.

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The benefit of experience

January 30th, 2010

From Slashdot Developers Story | Oracle To Invest In Sun Hardware, Cut Sun Staff

Re:Trying to cut salaries? (Score:5, Insightful)

by fhage (596871) on Wednesday January 27, @08:01PM (#30928230)

So that would make you about 35, right? Well, take a look around you. How many technical coworkers do you see that are ten years older than you? How about twenty? And thirty years?

There’s age discrimination in every field, but being a 60-year-old programmer is only marginally more likely than being a 60-year-old stripper.

While you may be correct, I don’t think the current status quo is necessarily evidence of it. I’m 36, and am of one of the first generations where it was reasonable to have a microcomputer around the house as a small child. People 10, 20, 30 years older than me probably got their first computer at a much older age than me and probably don’t have that much more experience than me. When I’m 60, I’ll likely have decades more software experience than they do now.

Of course, the younger kids might crush me in networking experience, since the WWW didn’t exist until just about when I went to University.

It’s a myth that younger people are “better with computers and technology” because they had access to computers in their house as they grew up. I turned 50 this year and have been doing scientific programming for over 35 years. I started at 14 yrs old in ’73, working on time share systems and wire wrapping PDP-11 backplanes. I’ve been on the Internet since ’86 and kids almost always assume they have more “network” experience than I. Some of the recent CS college grads I’ve worked with can’t program their way out of a paper bag without GUI UML tools an IDE and weeks of effort refactoring their work. Young kids take days to do things I’d have it done in several hours because I’d be using use the right tool for the job. ‘Awk’, ‘sed’ , bash, csh are still very useful for “fixing” data sets. ‘perl’, ‘php’ and ‘python’ are used for more complex tasks. Compiled languages and libraries are used when performance matters or complexity is high. We had 10+ yr experience software engineers who would spend weeks writing a Java app, when a one line ‘dd’ would do. They’ve never heard of ‘dd’, so they write their own buggy, hard coded program. This old guy was the first one to make use of AJAX and web apps in our 50+ engineering division. Companies should think about this, as they lay off us older guys so they can hire a new cheap, young kid within a month.

I’m now doing low-level Linux driver and DSP work for a scientific instrument maker, trying to rescue them from the mess the Java programmer they hired to port their old C, C++ DOS code to XP. “interrupt latency jitter? what’s that!?”. How come I can’t do 5k interrupts/sec on this PC?

Right now, in many scientific fields, the new software being written have less features and run slower than they did 20 years ago. NCAR has spent over 5 years and many, many FTE’s trying to replace a C application I wrote in 1991 with a Java version. This 19 year old C/C++ application is still being used quite extensively, even though it’s been “replaced” several times with new the development efforts.

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Mobile phone etiquette

January 30th, 2010

From Slashdot Mobile Story | The Cell Phone Has Changed — New Etiquette Needed

Sometimes, you just gotta get down in the gutter (Score:5, Interesting)

by hyades1 (1149581) <> on Monday January 25, @06:47PM (#30897934)

While taking the bus to work, I endured about 10 minutes of non-stop, high-volume chatter about matters far too intimate for public exhibition. I finally reached my limit…couldn’t concentrate to read, had forgotten my headphones, couldn’t ignore the conversation (which was carried on at a near-shout). The offender was clearly a Jerry Springer fugitive, and if she wasn’t a star of that People of WalMart site, her attire was such that it’s only a matter of time. The faces of the other transit riders made it obvious I wasn’t the only one offended by a conversation that included the woman’s current sex life, how she enjoyed suckering her sister into babysitting so she could go clubbing, and some lovely racial stereotyping about her child’s absentee father.

I pulled out my cell phone and began to carry on a fake conversation about the woman. I’ll admit that I was pretty far over the top, but I was also seriously pissed. The other riders caught on pretty fast and started laughing. For at least a couple of minutes the woman was oblivious. Gradually, though, it sunk in…I think it was when I mentioned how lucky she was that the bus came along before that Inuit with a harpoon caught up with her.

She wound up cursing at me, but that was fine. A lot of people were laughing at her, which was exactly what I had in mind. She got off the bus pretty quickly after that. I don’t know if it was her stop; I hope not.

I wouldn’t recommend this course of action except under ideal circumstances, but I don’t regret it.

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Big Government works in Sweden

January 26th, 2010

From Slashdot News Story | Why the IRS Should Automatically Fill In Returns With What It Knows

Re:works fine in Sweden (Score:5, Insightful)

by nanoakron (234907) on Sunday January 24, @01:05PM (#30880020)

Whilst I don’t live in Sweden (I’m in the UK), I have to ask quite what your point is?

The Swedes may pay more in taxes, but in return get free healthcare, good roads, low crime, free schooling and university, (i believe) free (or heavily subsidised) childcare, efficient public transport, and much more.

They’re also very highly rated in terms of their low wealth disparity (road fines for example are based on a percentage of your annual income so that a rockstar in a ferrari feels the same sting in their speeding ticket as does a poor person in a skoda), and human development index.

I could go on. The key point is that nations all make decisions about their priorities – the US believes in waging war and keeping the poor unhealthy and uneducated, other nations do not.

tl;dr – high taxes are worth paying if you get good services in return. Think of Sweden as the ‘Apple’ of nations, versus the ‘Windows Me’ of the USA.

Re:works fine in Sweden (Score:4, Insightful)

by demonlapin (527802) on Sunday January 24, @10:04PM (#30885346)
Homepage Journal

It works in Sweden. The US is not Sweden – the relative cultural homogeneity of the Scandinavian nations is a really crucial part of their ability to conduct welfare states that are not overwhelmed by freeloaders, because that’s the reason that

[m]ost people who are receiving more money than they’re contributing tend to feel pretty bad about this.

That is not a given in the US. It has been my experience that most Americans I know who are big-government, welfare-state liberals grew up in places where government works. By contrast, most of the small-government, go-it-alone conservatives grew up in places where it doesn’t. Don’t forget that not all governments work…

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Corporate power trumps voters every time

January 23rd, 2010

From Slashdot Entertainment Story | Adding Up the Explanations For ACTA’s “Shameful Secret”

Re:Industry lobbyists hint at the truth of ACTA? (Score:5, Insightful)

by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Friday January 15, @06:06PM (#30785354)
Homepage Journal

This only goes to prove that ACTA is utterly driven by lobbyists for the entertainment inductry (MPAA, RIAA and such).

It also demonstrates that transnational corporations have been more powerful than any government(s) on earth for some time now.

Really, it’s too late to expect government to help us when it comes to standing up to corporate power, because money trumps votes every single time. Any time someone who might pose a threat to corporatist hegemony even comes close to running for national office, they are immediately painted as being nutty, fringe, dangerous (pick your negative smear of choice).

It happened to Dennis Kucinich most recently, and Howard Dean a few years back. If you bring up his name, lots of people will immediately start to say that stuff about him, but if you ask them for an example of a fringe or weird policy he has advocated, at most you’ll get “his wife is a hippie” or something equally inane. Howard Dean had his candidacy destroyed because he hollered. Remember how that one noise he made was used by every mainstream media outlet to indicate he was crazy?

There are others: Ralph Nader, even Ross Perot, who, while a businessman himself, had a distinctly populist approach to the balance of government and big business. The press had a field day tearing him up.

In Europe, the situation is just as bad. If you can’t demonstrate that you’re going to be very friendly to the transnationals, you’ll never get near a national election.

Any international trade agreement is going to be a disaster, just as NAFTA, CAFTA, and all the others have been. Poor countries will stay poor and the citizens of rich countries will get poorer.

It almost makes me a little optimistic about the teabagger movement in the US. If you can get these people to come out and express their anger at “big government”, all you have to do now is fill them in on who the real enemy is and then you’ve got something. Once they figure out that nobody in government so much as scratches their ass without the corporate elites giving them the OK, and no amount of partisan politics is going to change their situation until there is a big thick wall put up between corporate power and government. There is something very transgressive about going out into the street with a sign and hollering, and it’s a waypoint on a continuum that ends up with lighting a torch and a molotov cocktail. The trick now is to dissuade them from their hatred of educated people and their racism, and you’ve got a group that could be a great ally in what will ultimately be a fight by the working class against transnational corporations who are the real “New World Order”.

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Iraq invasion unjustified

January 23rd, 2010

From Slashdot Your Rights Online Story | Why Counter-Terrorism Is In Shambles

Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

By fyngyrz (762201) on Saturday January 16, @04:24AM (#30788798)
Homepage Journal

As much as I hate to defend one of Bush’s decisions, this isn’t true. Osama bin Laden was in Afghanistan, and the Taliban refused to hand him over because (1) they didn’t believe he was linked to the 9/11 attacks and (2) he was a “guest” in their country.

So what? That was entirely post-attack. The attack was paid for by Saudis, and executed by nationals from Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Lebanon and Egypt.

Now, do you see Iraq in that list? Fuck no, you don’t. Do you see Afghanistan there? Fuck no, you don’t. Do you see us attacking Egypt? No. Lebanon? No. The UAE? No. Saudi Arabia? No. Instead, we attacked Iraq (a total WTF) and Afghanistan, a country uninvolved in the attack; no nationals, no funding.

And if you think it’s ok to attack a country because they don’t want to hand someone over, then you better start ducking, because the US holds people back from all manner of countries. A [], B [], C [], D [], etc.

If you think it’s ok to attack a country because you don’t agree with how they do things, then holy chickenshit, you’d *really* better duck, because there’s a whole line of countries that can say that about us.

If you think it’s ok to attack a country because they’re screwed up internally, that is, not obeying their constitution or other founding papers… yeah, you guessed it, duck. because we’re so far away from our constitution it can’t be seen from here.

But I think you might agree with me that if someone attacks you, then you have some justification to hit back at where they come from and/or who paid/ordered the act. Let me repeat, just for the sake of trying to point the objective facts to you:

  • Saudi Arabia
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Egypt
  • Lebanon
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Work is what you make it

January 23rd, 2010

From Slashdot Apple Story | How To Get a Job At a Mega-Corp

Re:Freelance decker (Score:5, Insightful)

by plover (150551) * on Saturday January 16, @01:45AM (#30788366)
Homepage Journal

It’s also really good advice :D
I’ve worked for megacorps for over 15 years. It’s soulless.

I’m not quite sure I agree with your soulless comment. I’ve been at a Mega-Corp for almost 25 years now, and I really still enjoy my job. I got lucky when I was hired, and got in with a development group that has always had work to do. I also got lucky and worked for a pretty good boss for the first 8 years (he knew how to shield his people from crap.)

Since then I’ve had bosses who range from follow-the-3-ring-binder-plan type to some who have more of a sense of humor. Managers have come and gone as they follow the corporate advice to “move around to get ahead”, and there’s a definite correlation between the ones with longer tenures being the most effective. And I’ve had co-workers ranging in talent from “So, wet paper bag, you’ve thwarted me once again, but next time I shall escape!” to “Rock Star!” (seriously, he’s a wicked fine coder AND he plays guitar in a metal band.)

So why do I stay? I *choose* to enjoy it. If I chose to hate it, I would hate it, and it would suck, and I’d leave. Instead, I have a very positive attitude about it. Life is too short to work at a job I hate, and if I didn’t have an income the rest of life would be pretty damn hard. So if I have something I like to do, something I’m good at doing, something I choose to find rewarding, and I get paid to do it, well that’s a winning hand. I’m deliberately going to appreciate it.

Sure, not every day is great, and there are corporate tragedies and comedies, and sometimes the penthouse office gets a bee in their bonnet and hands down their stupid ideas that if we just had one more re-org, everything would be all better; but that’s all noise I simply choose to ignore. Let the managers run around all panicky about how many people they will or won’t have after their re-org. I don’t care. At the end of the day, I’m still doing basically the same thing; maybe for a different boss, but that’s almost an inconsequential detail.

Soul exists only when you put it there yourself. And sure, I know it’d be damn hard to remain positive if I worked under a smothering micromanager, or a screaming executive director. But if you report to someone who’s fairly reasonable, the only reason you can’t thrive is your own choice.

I appreciate your position (Score:4, Insightful)

by Weaselmancer (533834) on Friday January 15, @08:57PM (#30786904)

And it’s good Subgenius rant. But I have to point out something.

I’ve worked at large companies as well as small ones. There *is* slack to be had at larger companies as well. Think Wally from Dilbert. Sometimes you can land a position where your job is to warm a chair. I had a job like that for 3 1/2 years. I was a chair warmer. Sure they gave me work. And I did the work. But. None of it went anywhere. I knew that about 3 months in – a co-worker told me how 99% of the things they make get buried, and my project would definitely be one of them. At hire there were lots of big promises about the new product line and spearheading a new effort and taking the company in new directions and territories. But it became obvious that my job really was to justify the amount of management the company had. A sickly symbiotic relationship began.

And once I had learned that, I had some pretty serious slack.

I used to sneak out to the parking lot and nap in my van, or work on projects from home. I had a laptop pc. I’d run the AC in the big van and just hang out. I even soldered an electronics project in my van. Mostly to see if I could do it. Yes, I could.

Now I’m not saying that every corporate cube has that much ease. But. You shouldn’t discount larger companies out of hand. Some of them are so large you simply “get lost” and people just leave you alone. When that happens you are on your own. Just show up at 8:30, make sure the boss sees you…then sneak out and go to the park or take a 3 hour lunch. When you’re lost in a large company, it’s almost fun to see how much you can get away with. Bring in a portable HD and play games with Portableapps DOSBox, or WinUAE (nothing that installs files on the work PC is the rule). I taught myself Java from downloaded PDF books. And snuck out to take the exam.

Yes, I’ve actually done all of those things. Not every day, not all the time…but I have had some absolutely excellent slack at big company jobs.

How did it end? I got bored and ran out of stuff to do, the economy turned around…so I found a real job. I actually do prefer to work and I do like what I do. But it was an excellent place to lay low and ride out the dotcom bubble. A lovely paid vacation, I like to think of it.

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