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Jake Hamby
Works at Rōnin
Lives in Mountain View, CA
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Jake Hamby

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Two new documents reveal the political blueprint the billionaire developed 40 years ago, heavily influenced by the ultraconservative John Birch Society.
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Jake Hamby

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Here's the part of Atlas Shrugged where the hobo reveals how John Galt became radicalized against Communism. Mountain View isn't a company town, as described in the post, but some people may think it is… There's a bike trail that exits at Heatherstone Way & Dale Ave. that some Googler had been carefully abandoning a Google bike before walking the rest of the way to their home (I saw the bike on several occasions, and the Google employee leaving it once, but didn't say anything to them because I don't care).

The punchline is that I saw a different neighbor steal the abandoned Google bike the other day and take it home. I assume the Googler who's been doing this didn't report a stolen gBike to security because they're not checked out from anywhere. I'm amused that a Googler would be entitled enough to regularly take home a gBike, but not take it entirely home, instead assuming the public sidewalk at the end of the bike trail to be a safe and appropriate place to leave Google property unattended. Company town.
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I'm reading this big series of blog posts about Atlas Shrugged. It really reminds me a lot of how a lot of software engineers are encouraged to behave by their corporate cultures. Google and Microsoft are the two that I have the most experience with.

The best thing I can say about either of them is that at least the CEO of Google is no longer Larry Page and the CEO of Microsoft is no longer Steve Ballmer, and that both companies seem to have learned some valuable lessons about dog-eat-dog corporate cultures lacking empathy for individual employees, while justifying the oversized salaries and powers of those at the very top as entirely deserved.

Atlas Shrugged = #HowGoogleWorks = faith in #meritocracy

This series, and the comments within the posts, are an excellent counterbalance to the “neoreactionary” aspects of popular Silicon Valley worship of laissez-faire capitalism. It's counterproductive in practice but it doesn't correct for its own failings (without, say, getting rid of the CEO, as happened at Microsoft), because of the religious faith by the capitalists at the top that meritocracy is what they had created and that it can never fail.

More thoughts on Twitter later…
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<span>The porn star had a passionate female fan base and an unearned reputation as a feminist--until he was accused of rape.</span>
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The app-gap is still wide open; the Lumia 950 and 950 XL weren't designed 'just for fans'; and Windows Phone share has fallen to a new low. Things may yet improve, but let's be realistic about things.
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Almost half of work activities could be automated now, a new report says. And that includes those in the executive suite.
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Jake Hamby

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I love that patented Ted Cruz sneer.
The New York Times conservative columnist suggests the GOP candidate is anything but kindhearted.
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I mentioned Larry Page-era Google and Steve Ballmer-era Microsoft together in the last post, but I forgot to mention Amazon.com, which had a big exposé this year by the New York Times on their corporate culture of overwork until burnout and encouraging employees to snitch on others who might be making mistakes or not giving 110%, to better reward the most über (and punish the least). This post within the Atlas Shrugged readthrough is about Dagny Taggart heroically burning herself out in a doomed attempt to save the Company, because she is literally the only person über enough to save the day, even temporarily.

I'm not sure that the executives at any of the tech companies with similar workaholic mindsets explicitly think of Atlas Shrugged, but they do all seem to act as if assuming their employees should be able to function as Randian/Nietzschean übermenschen (or else they should be replaced with more über and/or less expensive workers at the earliest opportunity, and implicitly blamed for their failure to thrive as employees in such a place).

This isn't exactly a recipe for retaining key talent or encouraging a cooperative workforce that isn't either excessively risk averse, or forced into taking foolish risks in order to look good at performance review time (or at least to not be blamed for the inevitable failure). I don't think many startups function so diabolically (Clinkle being a somewhat infamous exception due to its recent flameout and how quickly its investors distanced themselves from the CEO), because they know how disruptive it is to lose key people.

Somewhat surprisingly, the bigger the company gets (with Gates/Ballmer-era Microsoft and Schmidt/Page Google being my primary examples, and Apple a partial counterexample, since I haven't worked there but have heard that it mostly does not work this way), the more employees are treated as replaceable cogs, who are extremely well compensated to the extent that they perform to the satisfaction of upper management, but quickly made to feel unwanted and blamed if anything goes wrong, or they get stuck in any kind of personality conflict or technical dispute with management.

I don't know if Google has improved since Sundar took over management with the Alphabet reorg. I don't think I would ever want to go back after how I saw that things were being run (amateurishly, overall). But I was slightly discouraged by the recent Re/code story about sources saying "they'd gotten rid of the assholes." I think the problem is more with Google's culture encouraging assholic (as well as workaholic) behavior. Anyway, don't be like Dagny. She's a fictional character, and not well-written.
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SEC: Josh Garza and GAW Miners "robbed one investor to pay another."
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By KATY HABR The phrase “77 cents for a dollar” is one that is familiar to most. The cry for equal pay has become an integral part of the modern American feminist movement, yet it leaves more out …
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Testimony and documents indicate Walmart hired defense contractor Lockheed Martin to conduct surveillance of employees involved with rights group OUR Walmart and allegedly received assistance from the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force after members of the Occupy movement became involved.
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Apple possesses a big advantage when it comes to owning the hearts and minds of app developers through its iOS operating system.
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Currently
Mountain View, CA
Previously
San Francisco, CA - Austin, TX - Pasadena, CA - Eugene, OR
Story
Tagline
Software engineer specializing in Android and BSD UNIX.
Introduction
I'm a software engineer specializing in mobile telephony for smartphones and related devices.
Bragging rights
Worked at Google from 2010-2014 on Android telephony.
Work
Occupation
Software Engineer
Skills
Android, Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, Java, C++, C#, Solaris, OpenVMS, 3GPP, 3GPP2
Employment
  • Rōnin
    Sr. Software Engineer, present
  • Google
    Software Engineer, 2010 - 2014
  • Danger
    Sr. Software Engineer, 2005 - 2008
  • Microsoft
    SWE II, 2008 - 2009
  • JPL
  • Be, Inc.
  • GoPix
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Male
Apps with Google+ Sign-in
  • Letters From Nowhere:Mystery