[MUD-Dev] code base inquiry

Ola Fosheim Grøstad <olag@ifi.uio.no> Ola Fosheim Grøstad <olag@ifi.uio.no>
Fri Feb 18 01:45:20 CET 2000

I think we are getting off topic...

Matthew Mihaly wrote:
> making ungodly amounts of money. I will say though that best != most
> intelligent. A hyper-intelligent lazy person is of much less use than a
> merely very intelligent, very driven person.

I think that one hyper-intelligent lazy person who has some great
ideas/analytic/creative skills can be a great asset for larger
companies, but that is a different issue. (I doubt that you get
hyper-intelligent by being lazy though, it is considered the result of
being somewhat "stubborn", not giving up even if the odds are against
you, having a drive to "get to the bottom" of the issue, underrating the
amount of work it has taken to achieve something etc.)

> I think it probably also has to do with the discipline involved. The best
> business minds, for instance, are definitely not teaching at
> universities. They are out getting rich and powerful.

There are certainly differences between disciplines, in some fields the
commercial sector can provide more interesting job content as well as
many other assets...

Not sure what you mean by "best business minds" though, it's not my
impression that people that get very rich fast in Norway are
particularly intelligent or indeed actually contribute to the business
they gain control over. They seem to take huge risks with borrowed
money, and exploit systems and trust relationships. And, it isn't
obvious that a person who is good at business research has the patience
or interest to deal with the more pragmatic and repetitive aspects of

In compsci you can get a lot of money by doing webstuff (due to
businesses not having a clue), but the brilliant compsci minds don't
want to because it is viewed as "janitor/drop-out jobs" with little
potential for "intellectual growth". *shrug* Actually, some of the most
brilliant minds don't want to write programs at all... (for the same
reason I guess).

> I'm not familiar with that research, but if things like social entworks
> and a meaningful job are good motivators, why are people in the Valley
> working 15 hours a day at companies whose only motivation is to go public
> and thus make lots of money? The job is not meaningful, the social
> networks exist nearly solely to talk about industry (I remember reading
> some quote from a worker in the Valley, saying, "I don't date anyone who
> isn't in the industry. What's the point?" Turned my stomach.)

Some people are brain-dead, for some reason they seem to care
more about money than others... Well, if their peers earn lots of money,
then they want them too, right? If you have grown up with the idea that
all your misery can be attributed to not having sufficient money, then
you will aim for money. Or if your main asset in life has been that your
parents are rich, or if you have a need to increase your status because
you have no status related to personal traits. Or if you have grown up
to believe in The American Dream. Or if your friends constantly talk
about money. There are cultural aspects here...

The real question is, are they doing a better job measured in quality? 
Do you really get the best people by offering high salaries, or do you
get the selfish ones that brand themselves, aim for projects that
looks good on a VC and will leave you in six months.

Actually, the view I presented was incomplete and most likely
inaccurate, and I don't have the text book here so I can't provide the
real theory.  The basic point is that raising the salary is not what
makes things happen in isolation.  When people get ill, they miss "the
feeling of being useful" and "the social network". What destroys the
self-esteem of
unemployed people is not the fact that they have to watch their
expenses, but the feeling of not having a valid place in society and
being viewed as "lazy".

(Regarding future payoff, yes, you can clearly get young men to work for
a fairy tale.)

MUD-Dev maillist  -  MUD-Dev at kanga.nu

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