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6 days ago by thej
John Stoehr on Twitter: "23. Thanks for reading. Please share. And please consider subscribing to the @washmonthly. https://t.co/EMJqByLo2k"
John Stoehr
‏ @johnastoehr
Jan 31

1. Many political scientists believe the greatest peril currently facing the United States isn’t foreign but domestic—extreme forces of political polarization threatening to stretch the union to the breaking point.
thread  polarization  gop  democrats  russia 
11 days ago by tmks9933
Unrolled thread from @patio11
Some people really benefit from hearing advice that everyone
knows, for the same reason we keep schools open despite every
subject in them having been taught before.

In that spirit, here's some quick Things Many People Find Too
Obvious To Have Told You Already. Your idea is not valuable,
at all. All value is in the execution. You think you are an
exception; you are not. You should not insist on an NDA to
talk about it; nobody serious will engage in contract review
over an idea, and this will mark you as clueless.
Technologists tend to severely underestimate the difficulty
and expense of creating software, especially at companies
which do not have fully staffed industry leading engineering
teams ("because software is so easy there, amirite guys?")

Charge more. Charge more still. Go on.

The press is a lossy and biased compression of events in the
actual world, and is singularly consumed with its own rituals,
status games, and incentives. The news necessarily fails to
capture almost everything which happened yesterday. What it
says is important usually isn't.

Companies find it incredibly hard to reliably staff positions
with hard-working generalists who operate autonomously and
have high risk tolerances. This is not the modal employee,
including at places which are justifiably proud of the
skill/diligence/etc of their employees.

The hardest problem in B2C is distribution. The hardest
problem in B2B is sales. AppAmaGooBookSoft are
AppAmaGooBookSoft primarily because they have mortal locks on
distribution.

Everyone in Silicon Valley uses equity, and not debt, to fuel
their growth because debt is not available in sufficient
quantities to poorly capitalized companies without a strong
history of adequate cash flows to service debt.

Investors in venture-back companies are purchasing a product.
It is critically important to understand that that product is
growth. The reason tech is favored as an asset class that it
appears to be one of few sources of growth available on the
market at the moment at any price.

The explosive growth of the tech sector keeps average age down
and depresses average wages. Compared to industries which
existed in materially the same form in 1970, we have a
stupidly compressed experience spectrum: 5+ years rounds to
"senior." This is not a joke.

The tech industry is fundamentally unserious about how it
recruits, hires, and retains candidates. About which I have a
lot more to say than could fit in a tweet, but, a good thing
to know.

If you are attempting to hire for an engineering position,
greater than 50% of people who apply for the job and whose
resume you select as "facially plausible" will be entirely
unable to program, at all. The search term for learning more
about this is FizzBuzz.

Software companies in B2B which aspire to growing quickly will
eventually spend more on sales and marketing than they do on
engineering. You can read S-1s of successful IPOs and
calculate the ratio; it is sometimes 2X++.

The chief products of the tech industry are (in B2C)
developing new habits among consumers and (in B2B) taking a
business process which exists in many places and markedly
decreasing the total cost of people required to implement it.

There is no hidden reserve of smart people who know what
they're doing, anywhere. Not in government, not in science,
not in tech, not at AppAmaGooBookSoft, nowhere. The world
exists in the same glorious imperfection that it presents
with.

Significant advances shipped by the tech industry in the last
20 years include putting the majority of human knowledge in
the hands of 40%++ of the world's population, available
on-demand, for "coffee money" not "university money."

Weak-form efficients market hypothesis is a good heuristic for
evaluating the public markets but a really, really bad
heuristic for evaluating either technical or economic facts
about tech companies, startups, your career, etc etc.
Optimizations are possible; fruit hangs low.

Startups are (by necessity) filled with generalists; big
companies are filled with specialists. People underestimate
how effective a generalist can be at things which are done by
specialists. People underestimate how deep specialties can
run. These are simultaneously true.

Most open source software is written by programmers who are
full-time employed by companies which directly consume the
software, at the explicit or implicit blessing of their
employers. It is not charity work, any more than they
charitably file taxes.

The amount of money flowing through capitalism would astound
you. The number and variety of firms participating in the
economy would astound you.

We don't see most of it every day for the same reason
abstractions protect us from having to care about metallurgy
while programming.

CS programs have, in the main, not decided that the primary
path to becoming a programmer should involve doing material
actual programming. There are some exceptions: Waterloo, for
example. This is the point where I joke "That's an exhaustive
list" but not sure that a joke.

Technical literacy in the broader population can be
approximated with the Thanksgiving test: what sort of
questions do you get at Thanksgiving? That's the ambient level
of literacy.

Serious people in positions of power eat Thanksgiving dinners,
too. Guess what they ask at them.

Salaries in the tech industry are up *a lot* in the last few
years, caused by: a tight labor market, collapse of a cartel
organized against the interests of workers, increasing returns
to scale at AppAmaGooBookSoft, and the like.

Investor money *does not* pay most salaries.

This concludes, for the moment, an off-the-cuff list of things
which would otherwise be too obvious to bring up in
conversation.
thread  reader 
12 days ago by jonschoning
ChuckModi on Twitter: "“30 years ago, we were skinheads. You could identify us. We decided at that time to grow our hair out, trade in our boots for suits & we encouraged ppl to get jobs in law enforcement” Ex-White Supremacist on #60Minutes… https:
“30 years ago, we were skinheads. You could identify us. We decided at that time to grow our hair out, trade in our boots for suits & we encouraged ppl to get jobs in law enforcement” Ex-White Supremacist on #60Minutes
thread  whitenationalist  lawenforcement 
12 days ago by tmks9933

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