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'Increasingly, People in Silicon Valley Are Losing Touch With Reality' (500ish.com) 458

Longtime commentator MG Siegler writes: You can see it in the tweets. You can hear it at tech conferences. Hell, you can hear it at most cafes in San Francisco on any given day. People -- really smart people -- saying some of the most vacuous things. Words that if they were able to take a step outside of their own heads and hear, they'd be embarrassed by. Or, at least, these are stances, thoughts, and ideas that these people should be embarrassed by. But they're clearly not because they keep saying them. This isn't only about Facebook -- far from it. That's just the most high profile and timely example of a company suffering from some of this. And in that case, it's really more in their responses to the Cambridge Analytica situation, rather than the situation itself (which is another matter, though undoubtedly related). They don't know the right things to say because they don't know what to say, period. Because they've slipped out of touch.

But again, I feel like this is increasingly everywhere I look around tech. It's an industry filled with some of the most brilliant people in the world, which makes it all the more disappointing. I won't name names but also because I don't have to. I'd wager everyone reading this will have clear and obvious examples of what I'm talking about in their own circles -- even if only in their own virtual circles. This is everywhere. I don't know the cause of this. Perhaps we can blame part of it on Trump, even if only indirectly (a man who has gotten ahead in life by saying asinine things). If I had to guess, I'd say the root is an increasing sense of entitlement as the tech industry has grown in stature to become the most important from a fiscal perspective and arguably from a cultural perspective as well.

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'Increasingly, People in Silicon Valley Are Losing Touch With Reality'

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  • by CajunArson ( 465943 ) on Thursday April 19, 2018 @10:03AM (#56463799) Journal

    Starts off with: People in silicon valley are in a bubble.

    True statement.

    Ends with: It's basically Trump's fault that people in Silicon Valley are in a bubble.

    Yeah... that basically shows the author is basically in the same bubble as the people in Silicon Valley.

    Lemme guess: The main conclusion is that the elitists in Silicon Valley aren't Pavlovianly "woke" enough, which is why they are in the bubble?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 19, 2018 @10:08AM (#56463835)

      Agreed. Perhaps the real problem is that we are talking about millennials, and in the valley they are all entitled, vapid, egoistic, victimistic, not actually all that intelligent, drug-addled and privileged clods with the emotional maturity of something growing in a petri dish. The post actually serves of a fantastic demonstration of what is wrong, just not for the intended reasons. Self-awareness, much?

      • by david_thornley ( 598059 ) on Thursday April 19, 2018 @01:18PM (#56465569)

        No, the real problem is that we're talking about humans. Washington, D.C. has been in a bubble for a long time (and pretty well satisfies your list of adjectives in many ways), and the millennials don't have the power there.

    • by STRICQ ( 634164 )

      Spot on! The author of the article needs to realize he is in the same bubble.

      • by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Thursday April 19, 2018 @10:29AM (#56464005) Homepage Journal
        Yeah...the author seems to make a LOT of assumptions that everyone knows what he is talking about, as far as opinions and all.

        He never gave a single example of one of these thoughts the Silicon Valley folks have that are out of touch.

        I would agree on many things, they are, but in an article like this, I would expect some specific items they are out of touch with.....

        He mentions Facebook and Cambridge....but what about that does he thing they are out of touch on?

        And just automatically jumping in with a Trump bash....that just derails any other points he was trying to make.

        Poorly written article, with assumptions that everyone things like he does.....without listing out what he thinks.

        • by Lab Rat Jason ( 2495638 ) on Thursday April 19, 2018 @10:41AM (#56464075)

          I came here to say this... without any context he just sounds super pretentious. He may well be right, but good arguments are backed up with evidence, and his is not.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          This is a very common tactic in low quality opinion rags. The article is carefully worded to avoid specifics, so that the reader fills in the gaps themselves and thinks that it's about the people they personally dislike.

          Another example of this is the phrase "SJW". No-one can agree on exactly what it means, which is why it's so successful. It means whoever the reader disagrees with and thinks is an idiot, basically a cheat code to make everyone agree with you.

          • by slinches ( 1540051 ) on Thursday April 19, 2018 @12:50PM (#56465251)

            Another example of this is the phrase "SJW". No-one can agree on exactly what it means, which is why it's so successful. It means whoever the reader disagrees with and thinks is an idiot, basically a cheat code to make everyone agree with you.

            I keep hearing people claim this, but it doesn't make any sense. It has a pretty specific and widely accepted definition.

            From Urban Dictionary: "Social Justice Warrior. A pejorative term for an individual who repeatedly and vehemently engages in arguments on social justice on the Internet, often in a shallow or not well-thought-out way, for the purpose of raising their own personal reputation"

            Now you may argue that some abuse the pejorative nature of the term to undermine legitimate advocacy for social causes, but the term itself is not poorly defined. And arguing about who should be considered an SJW is idiotic anyway. It's like trying to draw distinct boundaries around who is and who isn't a fuckwad.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

              My favourite example of how no-one can agree what an SJW is would be this clip from Star Trek The Next Generation: https://youtu.be/Xn5-iG6FX58 [youtu.be]

              It's from the episode "The Drumhead", in which an investigator comes to uncover a conspiracy on the Enterprise. She ends up turning it into a witch hunt, reminiscent of the McCarthy era. Picard shuts her down with a brilliant speech.

              The title of the video is "Triggered SJW Attacks Picard, Instantly Regrets It". The person who posted it seems to think that the investi

        • Yeah, the trump bash was so ironic, but predictable. The article had to stretch outside of it's context to land that one, and on top of that, Trump did not "get ahead by saying inane things"; he got ahead despite saying some inane things, via his actions, over the several past decades.

        • horoscope ethics (Score:5, Insightful)

          by epine ( 68316 ) on Thursday April 19, 2018 @11:33AM (#56464505)

          Yeah...the author seems to make a LOT of assumptions that everyone knows what he is talking about, as far as opinions and all.

          He never gave a single example of one of these thoughts the Silicon Valley folks have that are out of touch.

          Horoscope: Someone you thought was pretty smart will say something odd.

          Reader: Odd how?

          Horoscope: You don't know the first thing about horoscopes, do you?

        • by bsDaemon ( 87307 ) on Thursday April 19, 2018 @12:06PM (#56464827)

          The article is not very well written. He also doesn't give examples, and said as much. That said, it doesn't mean that Silicon Valley isn't a bubble of group think, weird-ass ideas, and other such things. Examples have been repeatedly satirized on HBO's "Silicon Valley," including:

          * Quit college and go live in an incubator, because you know, who cares about a well-rounded education
          * "making the world a better place"
          * "Blood Boys" and parabiosis.
          * The reverse scarlet letter syndrome with the Christian in this past week's episode
          * The Matrix as a pseudoreligion (living in a computer simulation)
          * The obsession with "the singularity"

          If you spend five minutes on twitter looking at tech people you'll see it to varying degrees.

          You have a concentration of people that are generally fairly intelligent but aren't necessarily cut out for dealing with people (nerds) trying to create a nerd paradise while being taken advantage of by much more savvy people who actually control the money. They're probably no weirder than nerds of the past, but they have the platform to broadcast their weirdness and enough money for people to take them at least somewhat seriously. Additionally, because the are living in a bubble of their own creation they assume that their intelligence in one area conveys to other areas as well.

          The "omg Trump" aspect of the article is really just related to an on-going, ever-present aspect of society. Nerds are weird and that weirdness has led to nerds being the traditional victims of bullying. This is the soft of thing that causes resentment, and that resentment is probably manifested in the desire to push "disruptive" technology which is accelerating the destabilization of the economy. The desire to "automate people out of a job" can't really be articulated without a whiff of malice to it. Perhaps there are some people that really think the world will be like Star Trek -- but remember, the world of Star Trek comes after a major global war. "AI" may have the prospect of greatly improving lives, but if not rolled out and implemented correctly, it's going to make life miserable for a whole lot of normal people. The current issues around data collection and analytics, which are stepping stones towards AI systems, is a current manifestation of that every bit as much as automating factory work away is.

          The current and future economic issues are, in large part, what drove many people to vote for Trump. His distaste for silicon valley is palpable. His goals and not those of silicon valley. His base is not aligned with silicon valley. But the Trump issue is more or less a side-show. He can be a useful stand-in for the divergence between "normal, every day Americans" and Silicon Valley types, but it's hard to say it's all about Trump.

      • by execthis ( 537150 ) on Thursday April 19, 2018 @11:19AM (#56464373)

        When they showed videos on the news of employees evacuating YouTube I have to say I was shocked and immediately understood how fucked up Silicon Valley is. The employees are not even close to representative of the people of the Bay Area nor of people anywhere. To say that it's a bubble is an understatement.

      • by nwf ( 25607 ) on Thursday April 19, 2018 @11:47AM (#56464633)

        Spot on! The author of the article needs to realize he is in the same bubble.

        After reading the article, the author is in the bubble, sure. But unlike the people they are ranting agains, they don't appear to be actually intelligent. That article was content, fact and even anecdote free. Basically, "here's my opinion, but I'm above examples that demonstrate it."

        A new low even for slashdot.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Isn't it likely that the writer is in a separate bubble too -- a bubble not exposed to the real world of unregulated commerce, or values different from the writers. I think the Trump reference gives it away, and the shock of finding out that the tech industry consists of people, just like energy, real-estate and banking industries.

    • by AvitarX ( 172628 ) <me AT brandywinehundred DOT org> on Thursday April 19, 2018 @10:24AM (#56463971) Journal

      I stopped reading when it was said there'd be no examples.

      I don't actually know what the author is talking about.

      • by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Thursday April 19, 2018 @11:02AM (#56464243) Journal
        Too bad, because you missed the key sentence:

        I’m honestly not even sure that some individuals—people I know—could pass the Turing test at this point

        This article was clearly written by a robot.

      • The future is autonomous cars. (it ain't gonnna happen. This is tech bro hubris, we can't make people-level AI now)
        100% robot factories are possible. (Nope. Elon figured that out.)
        The free market fixes all problems. (facepalm Pickety's Capital, Klein's Shock Doctrine)
        The Singularity is coming. (bad science fiction by people who grew up on movie sci fi)
        Everyone needs to be retrained in _______ and all will be well. We've had tech employment disruptions before and people recovered fine after; progress goes on

      • ^^^ THIS

        I kind of get what kind of things .. but since he's not willing to give examples I can't be sure that he and I are thinking the same things are asinine.

        The whole article is just a content-free windmill-tilting session

    • by bobbied ( 2522392 ) on Thursday April 19, 2018 @10:33AM (#56464037)

      I read this totally differently... I'm decidedly NOT in Silicon Valley and from my perspective this author is possibly on to something, but totally struck out trying to dance around the bush identifying it.

      The problem with Social media in general is the propensity of people to identify dangerous ideas while wearing political glasses. This makes some feel, for instance, supporting the 2nd amendment is somehow akin to advocating the killing of innocent people in mass shootings. As such, then it justifies the elimination of that kind of message from the platform. The problem is the projection of political interpretations and the use of strong and angry rhetoric into the management of the platform. Such things need to stop and platforms need to not bow to social pressure born of the news cycle in their editorial decisions.

      Where I fully understand the need for moderation of social media platforms and the social necessity of platform operators to keep things under control by putting limits in place and enforcing them, I think that platform operators need to CLEARLY define what sorts of things they will and will not allow then follow the rules they put forth strictly. Where I leave such editorial decisions up to the site owners, I would hope that operators can divorce themselves from political and social perspectives which are truly intolerant of alternate views and fall on the side of allowing folks to be offended by ideas they don't like.

      There are examples of successful moderation techniques to be gleaned from USENET of the past (or even the present). I suggest we take a look at how USENET evolved, look at what worked, what didn't and apply the lessons we learned back then. Strong moderation policies, clearly written, evenly and strictly enforced quickly worked best in my view. Social platforms of today would do well to learn from these successful efforts.

    • by mi ( 197448 )

      Hey, at least, he realizes, there is a bubble — with many people inside it. That's progress, no?

      He raised awareness so now the healing can begin...

    • "I won’t name names or give examples because I’m not an asshole. But also because I don’t have to. I’d wager everyone reading this will have clear and obvious examples of what I’m talking about in their own circles—even if only in their own virtual circles. This is everywhere."

      Also fails to consider people outside these circles. Come on then, what kind of dumb ass shit are they coming out with?
    • by Kohath ( 38547 )

      I think the author doesn't want to be blacklisted. Proclaiming reality -- by pointing out how some particular statements are not reality -- gets you blacklisted.

      You're a monster if you make some specific, very self-involved, very dramatic people feel bad. Meanwhile those people make everyone around them feel bad most of the time. They demand to be catered to and spend their time trying to police others' behavior. But there's a quasi-religious devotion to them. Cults look weird from the outside.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nine-times ( 778537 )

      Ends with: It's basically Trump's fault that people in Silicon Valley are in a bubble.

      More like there's one throw-away line in the middle saying maybe Trump is partially to blame, and then drops the idea.

      Seems like you're being a bit sensitive. I guess he's just not being PC enough for you, and mentioning Trump hurt your feelings. He shouldn't mistreat such a delicate little snowflake.

    • I tried to read the article multiple times because I simply couldn't understand what the person is trying to talk about and thought maybe I missed something. No examples of what these people are talking about that makes them "losing touch with reality". All I got is nerds have taken over the world and it's Trumps fault.
  • Consider this (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Marxist Hacker 42 ( 638312 ) * <seebert42@gmail.com> on Thursday April 19, 2018 @10:05AM (#56463807) Homepage Journal

    That perhaps the real problem is that YOU are measuring reality differently than they are.

    They're measuring reality with the relentless mathematics of financial analysis.

    Your metric may simply be different.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      They're measuring reality with the relentless mathematics of financial analysis.

      I see no evidence of that.

      When I see companies that lose money get valued for billions of dollars, it's obvious that those people need a reality check. They say they are buying growth but they are extrapolating out to infinity; meaning it is impossible for a company to grow as fast as they think it will.

      They pay obscene amounts for earnings when they do arise that I look and just think, they'd be better off buying CDs from a bank.

      Silly Valley people think that their values are shared by the world. For in

  • Person in bubble (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TimMD909 ( 260285 ) on Thursday April 19, 2018 @10:06AM (#56463811) Homepage
    Seems that a person in a bubble is aware enough to notice other people's bubbles but not his/her own bubble.
  • Sooo.... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by olsmeister ( 1488789 )
    I guess the point here is that people cannot have their own opinions, or opinions that are different from yours?
  • by Hugh Jorgen ( 4906427 ) on Thursday April 19, 2018 @10:06AM (#56463817)
    First world countries that think Internet Outages are a disaster and where priorities are selfies and self-driving cars and toilets with LEDs in them ...
    • People who have jobs know that internet outages are just as crippling as power outages. Minor disasters.
    • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Thursday April 19, 2018 @10:12AM (#56463873)

      Hey, internet junkies are just like F18 pilots. Both freak out when they find NO CARRIER.

    • But, that's the thing. Who really IS in touch with reality?

      Have you bought an an ice cream over the last year? You could have bought mosquito nets for poor people living in Malaria ridden countries instead. Do you really value your own sweet tooth more than the lives of others? What about speeding while driving? There's mostly a psychological benefit to you but an increased real risk to anyone around you.

      Humans are not in touch with reality (whatever "in touch" would mean). We care much more about local thi

  • by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Thursday April 19, 2018 @10:06AM (#56463819)

    If I typed that much without saying anything or making a point.

  • by InvalidsYnc ( 1984088 ) on Thursday April 19, 2018 @10:08AM (#56463833)

    Tell us something we didn't know. Didn't even give us anything interesting that they had "heard". Bah. Waste of a couple of seconds to skim that fluff piece.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Listen, not that I disagree with you on silicon valley being out of touch, but WTF is this doing on slashdot?

  • No examples? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by i_ate_god ( 899684 ) on Thursday April 19, 2018 @10:09AM (#56463849)

    > I won’t name names or give examples because I’m not an asshole.

    ok, so I have no idea what you're referring to then

    • Re:No examples? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Zocalo ( 252965 ) on Thursday April 19, 2018 @10:20AM (#56463933) Homepage
      Nor, I suspect, do many people who don't mingle with Silicon Valley types on a regular basis, which essentially turns the whole article into a meta example of what it claims. The author makes a claim that people in Silicon Valley (amongst other groups) are losing touch with reality because they are making vacuous statements, and then renders the article itself vacuous by failing to provide any supporting evidence or examples to back up his assertion. Or maybe it's just meant to be ironic?
    • This is why the world needs more assholes.

      We've become this faux-nice society and have thrown away the entire concept of counter-culture as a necessary ingredient to a healthy society.

      Be the hero this country needs; be an asshole today!

      ( I'm not sure if I'm joking or not )

  • saying what things (Score:4, Insightful)

    by GodWasAnAlien ( 206300 ) on Thursday April 19, 2018 @10:11AM (#56463869)

    "really smart people—saying some of the most vacuous things."

    What things. Just one example.?

    This article is a joke with no punchline.

    • "really smart people—saying some of the most vacuous things."

      What things. Just one example.?

      This article is a joke with no punchline.

      I think the article itself might have been the example? Maybe it's too meta for us non valley folks.

  • by Actually, I do RTFA ( 1058596 ) on Thursday April 19, 2018 @10:14AM (#56463891)
    FTFS:

    People -- really smart people -- saying some of the most vacuous things

    The entire article is written at this level of generality. As such, you can search/replace Silicon Valley with Wall Street and the same article applies. Hell, you can probably replace it with "That McDonald's, no the one by the Burger King".

    His point may be valid, but he hasn't offered a single example to back it up.

    And, as a public service, he has links out of his article that imply he links to the "vacuous things", but it's just another shitty page with nothing on it and he's just trying to drive up page views.... like those articles across 12 pages.

  • Color me shocked that an established echo chamber leads to unchecked bad behavior - as seen from the outside. Obviously the solution is to create new silicon valleys - like the 'silicon prairie' in the mid west, silicon hollar, or silicon river.

    On that note I am pretty certain the Simpsons addressed this at Gazebo 7.

  • by rs1n ( 1867908 ) on Thursday April 19, 2018 @10:16AM (#56463903)
    ...the article itself was example.
  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Thursday April 19, 2018 @10:16AM (#56463913)

    For themselves and everyone around them. From celebrities to soccer moms to, yes, why not SV inhabitants. I have no idea where this urge comes from, but listen to anyone, literally anyone, who doesn't have any real problems to deal with, i.e. those that have the first and pretty much the second level of the pyramid of needs fulfilled and overfulfilled. You'll notice them lament about problems that are none. They actually start inventing problems they can lament about if they really can't find any.

    Meanwhile, out here in reality, we shake our heads about them and wonder whether these are really role models and something to aspire to.

    • I'd add that even people with real problems also say vacuous things, out of touch with reality. Go stand in line at Wendy's and listen to the people around you, and the conversations between the cooks in the back. You will hear lots of vacuous and inane things.

      I don't know why someone would think SV would be in touch with reality. Intelligence doesn't solve cognitive biases.

      Nobody's in touch with reality. And being surprised that someone else isn't in touch with reality is a pretty good sign you're far out

    • human... possibly most existence is or has to be relative perspective.

      The 1st world problems can feel just as severe and important to them as the 3rd world problems do to their people. Isolated, they won't ever be aware of what can happen outside of hypothetical fictional musings. Being aware does not put it into conscious thought all the time without reminders and your conscious mind has limitations on how many aspects it can deal with at a time.

      For example, in the USA when it was 3rd world and quite bar

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Wouldn't it be great if people stopped inventing boogie-men and fake problems? No more ranting about SJWs, no more panic over which bathroom someone uses, no more gynophobia and being alone and angry...

      But they won't, because inventing problems gives them someone to blame for the problems in their lives. Don't get me wrong, the deck is stacked, but inventing new problems isn't going to fix anything.

  • by vadim_t ( 324782 ) on Thursday April 19, 2018 @10:18AM (#56463921) Homepage

    No examples, no specifics, just some vacuous rambling.

    Damn, I miss the good old days when Slashdot posted stuff of interest.

  • by jelwell ( 2152 ) on Thursday April 19, 2018 @10:18AM (#56463927)

    This has got to be one of the worst articles I have read in a long time. There isn't a single example of what he's talking about.

    "I won’t name names or give examples because I’m not an asshole. But also because I don’t have to. I’d wager everyone reading this will have clear and obvious examples of what I’m talking about in their own circles—even if only in their own virtual circles. This is everywhere."

    Actually, I have no idea what you're talking about. Maybe you could write an article to explain yourself.
    Joseph Elwell.

  • by beheaderaswp ( 549877 ) * on Thursday April 19, 2018 @10:23AM (#56463965)

    There is far to little "naming of names" these days.

    Without it... one cannot gauge the veracity of a conclusion.

    Name names- or shutup!

  • by Kohath ( 38547 ) on Thursday April 19, 2018 @10:27AM (#56463995)

    Yeah, ideologues are at odds with reality. And ambition is looking past current reality toward a less real (but better) future. So when ambitious ideologues get ahead of themselves, they seem out of touch with reality — because they are.

    It's not reality that Silicon Valley needs, it's humanity. Don't "make the world a better place"; make things better for people instead. People need your help, they don't need you to be their overseer, they don't need your ideas for how they should think or how they should live their lives. Don't impose. Don't preach at people. Don't try to engineer or optimize people who didn't ask you. Don't be a bully.

  • I see people here asking for examples of out of touchness:

    https://ijr.com/2018/04/108406... [ijr.com]
  • Particularly when in tight groups or quarters.

    Groupthink allows one to feel safe.

  • No substance, no point, just saying people are out of touch about... uh about .. he doesnâ(TM)t say... and the problem is... wait there is no problem... and the cause of this he says is... maybe trump because... uhh ... well that was a very big waste of time. If you havenâ(TM)t read the article donâ(TM)t bother.
    • From the article:
      "Instead, I fear IQ has won at the expense of EQ"

      In his own words, rational thinking has won out over emotions. If that's out of touch then I fear his idea of in touch.

  • Lets think about other recent vapid silicon valley cycles: app economy, social, messaging, sharing economy.

    Exactly how many of these changed the world?

    App economy - people churning out bad games designed to prey on suckers

    Social - while a few sites survived every beneficial use of social graphs failed leaving only sleazy actors like Cambridge Analytica

    Messaging - still irrelevant, no western company managed to replicate the Asian market where messaging apps became platforms (probably because those apps star

  • The submitter will continue to be only a commentator. The post meanders along with no substance, then eventually gets to the point that it is just a political hit piece.
  • by borcharc ( 56372 ) * on Thursday April 19, 2018 @10:52AM (#56464153)

    Tech people are really good at falling victim to the Dunning–Kruger effects https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]. They equate their highly specialized technical abilities or "smarts" with being at the upper end of the cognitive spectrum overall. Where in fact, they are unable to baseline a "smart" person, so they assume they are one, because of their success in a very limited area. This is reinforced by people telling them how smart they are. Where in reality they understand a somewhat simple topic that the person giving the compliment lacks an understanding of.

    The Dunning–Kruger effect is not just in tech, most people who are less than average overall assume they are at the upper end of the spectrum. This is entirely caused by a lack of a real point of comparison, they are ignorant of what they are ignorant of and no one dares tell them differently. They then feel they have authority to speak on topics where they have no more expertise than the average fifth grader. A great example of this is a genetics professor I once had given a lecture (in a high-level genetics class) about computer security. He was repeting a perspective that had recently been published in the media. He spoke with complete authority on the topic, but due to my lifetime in security, I know everything he was saying was sensationally fake. He lacked the perspective to understand that he wasn't smart in this area but claimed his high-level knowledge in biology allowed him to be an expert in every possible field. This is the exact same force at work...

  • ... with meager quality hippster column on how silicon valley is bad, Peter Thiel and Co. are on koke, Ellison and Co. can be A-grade dicks and Mark talks big nothing in press release. Film at eleven.

    I want my 3 minutes back.

  • by thinkwaitfast ( 4150389 ) on Thursday April 19, 2018 @10:53AM (#56464167)
    In the Beginning was The Plan

    And then came the Assumptions

    And the Assumptions were without form

    And the Plan was completely without substance

    And the darkness was upon the face of the Workers

    And the Workers spoke amongst themselves, saying

    "It is a crock of shit, and it stinketh."

    And the Workers went unto their Supervisors and sayeth,

    "It is a pail of dung and none may abide the odor thereof."

    And the Supervisors went unto their Managers and sayeth unto them,

    "It is a container of excrement and it is very strong,

    such that none may abide by it."

    And the Managers went unto their Directors and sayeth,

    "It is a vessel of fertilizer, and none may abide its strength."

    And the Directors spoke among themselves, saying one to another,

    "It contains that which aids plant growth, and it is very strong."

    And the Directors went unto the Vice Presidents and sayeth unto them,

    "It promotes growth and is very powerful."

    And the Vice Presidents went unto the President and sayeth unto him,

    "This new Plan will actively promote the growth and efficiency of this

    Company, and in these Areas in particular."

    And the President looked upon The Plan,

    And saw that it was good, and The Plan became Policy.

    And this is how Shit Happens.

  • by plopez ( 54068 ) on Thursday April 19, 2018 @10:54AM (#56464173) Journal

    No content was harmed in the making of the article. 500 words on a complex social, economic, political, labor, gender roles, and political topic. Common now there is no way to do that except to rely on sweeping generalizations, stereotyping, unsupported assumption, and simplistic conclusions. Maybe this actual is intended to be an illustration of the arrogance and lack of intelligence I see in Silly Valley.

    And a slashdot post is too short for me to even begin my ranting and raving. Maybe a journal entry.

  • by jbmartin6 ( 1232050 ) on Thursday April 19, 2018 @10:58AM (#56464201)
    Due to limited resources for intake, analysis, correlation of information, EVERYONE lives in a bubble. If it was possible for one person to know and understand everything, we would elect that person king of the world.
  • "Losing touch with reality" -- makes the implication that someone has an authoritative perspective on reality.
  • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Thursday April 19, 2018 @11:10AM (#56464303) Homepage Journal

    We're nerds.

    We say blunt and undiplomatic things, and are comfortable with other people like ourselves because it's easy to know what's on their mind. Of course that's a stereotype; it represents the extreme of the scale, but most of us at least lean a bit toward that end of the spectrum.

    The thing is as you get older you realize that sustainable success in life has two sides: exploiting your strengths and compensating for your weaknesses, and a preference for bluntness over social nuance is both a strength and a weakness. The dangers of social nuance are a fact, as objective as any other fact, and that means you can't blythely ignore other peoples' feelings and consider yourself a realist.

    Mark Zuckerberg is 33, an age which, back in the day, a bright young guy would maybe have just clawed his way onto the bottom rung of the upper management. Now he's one of the masters of the universe, and still making the kind of mistakes that didn't prevent him from getting where he is today. The thing about mistakes though is that they don't always get you right away. Sometimes they catch up with you. But he's a young dog yet; maybe he'll learn new tricks.

  • The topic is right on. I see it all the time in trading... The Firehouse Effect is a notion attributed to a veteran market trader Marty O’Connell “that firemen with much downtime who talk to each other for too long come to agree on many things that an outside, impartial observer would find ludicrous”. Also Silicon Valley violates the principles of good decision making as outlined in Wisdom of the Crowds by James Surowiecki. Good decision making by groups: Diversity of opinion - Each pe
  • Seriously, this is like Antifa trying to explain fascism to itself.
  • I've seen this effect outside of Silicon Valley as well. Particularly in a one company or industry town. Seattle and Boeing some 20 or 30 years ago come to mind. People only associate with their company/industry peers and they develop a group think that begins to diverge from the rest of the world.

    Scott Adams (Dilbert) referred to these people as technological savants. Smart enough to solve the most challenging problem in their own field. But too stupid to compare two paychecks. The problem goes way beyond

  • by jader3rd ( 2222716 ) on Thursday April 19, 2018 @11:24AM (#56464417)
    The author makes some vague references, but doesn't provide any examples. I don't know what he's talking about. For all I know the people in Silicon Valley are in touch with reality and the author is so far out of touch that he can't recognize when he sees it.
  • by es330td ( 964170 ) on Thursday April 19, 2018 @11:37AM (#56464553)

    a man who has gotten ahead in life by saying asinine things

    The left, and many on the right, fail to grasp how incredibly shrewd Trump is. I don't much care for him as a person but the facts are undeniable that he is a successful real estate developer in NYC. It doesn't matter if his original seed money came from his father, one does not build ANYTHING in Manhattan without having a lot of clues. A great many things involving a large number of stakeholders have to happen to build a project and he did it multiple times.

    In his first full attempt at public office (continued to the actual election), he ran for the highest office in the world and won. The man beat first the GOP, of which he was only peripherally a member that was united against him, and then beat the MSM and the career politician who was supposed to be the pre-determined next POTUS.

    People think him to be a clown because he doesn't talk like a lawyer and then underestimate him. Sun Tzu said "If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles." Only one side in this battle knew the truth about the enemy.

    Most people forget that what a person wants is very different from what they buy. A person buying a drill didn't want a drill, they need to make a hole. Even the hole was only necessary because the person actually just needed to mount a shelf. The Democrats kept saying "Look at our great drill and all the features it has. You have to get it because it is the best drill." Trump said "I'll hang your shelf."

    • by benjfowler ( 239527 ) on Thursday April 19, 2018 @01:04PM (#56465409)

      He's NOT successful. He is a terrible businessman, who's declared bankruptcy six times.

      Furthermore, he has a terrible reputation for stiffing his suppliers and creditors. And he has managed to lose money operating casinos. If he isn't an outright criminal, laundering money for the Mob (as is strongly suspected to be a de-facto member of Russian organised crime, having repeatedly failed as a legitimate businessman, only to find himself "bought" by the bratva), then he would have to be utterly useless as business.

      What's Trump's edge? Balls-out shamelessness, a massive ego, and a total lack of self-awareness that would enable him to gamble (and lose) in a way no ordinary, rational person would. The only people who associate with him are oligarchs and gangsters (usually the Russian kind).

      Charles Munger famously said that if Trump wasn't such a dickhead, and has put his inheritance into a passive stock fund, he'd be richer than he is today, with far less effort.

      THAT'S how much of a fucking idiot Trump is. No credit where it isn't due, please.

      • by es330td ( 964170 )

        He's NOT successful. He is a terrible businessman, who's declared bankruptcy six times.

        Trump has never personally declared bankruptcy, only entities he has formed. This is part of business. In any business transaction both sides hope to gain from the interaction and should price the risk of non-payment or default into the deal. Only the foolish assume the other party will perform. If one is unwilling to risk then pass on the deal.

        In baseball a batter that is successful one time in three is considered an overwhelming success. Trump is principal owner of over 500 businesses. If failure is six

  • by quantaman ( 517394 ) on Thursday April 19, 2018 @12:01PM (#56464759)

    I remember working in a moving company in high school, some of the guys would make ridiculously racist jokes they'd be ashamed to repeat elsewhere.

    I've been in a bar with skilled labour types, they made dumbass political statements that have no bearing on reality.

    Every little subculture creates their own little reality, of course silicon valley folks are making statements among themselves that make sense in no other context. I don't think silicon valley is worse than any other culture in this regard. And outside of the occasional bad startup idea I don't think their weird quirks are really causing problems.

  • by CaptainDork ( 3678879 ) on Thursday April 19, 2018 @01:19PM (#56465577)

    ... because we already knew about it and we've fixed it.

    WE VOTED TRUMP INTO THE WHITE (GLASS) HOUSE

    Yes, we targeted Trump and his entire orbit including those guilty of systemic sexual harassment, white nationalism, fraud, blackmail, money laundering, electioneering and, yes, even the people who wouldn't do anything sensible to at least try to reduce injuries and deaths by way of personal handguns and rifles.

    We knew that Trump, as a president, would be under the microscope.

    The Access Hollywood tape had been around awhile and we wanted that out there.

    During the campaign, sure enough, the KKK people took off their hoods! Bonus. Notice that fire is tamped down now, but it's too late. Our LEOs have a year of video and photographic evidence that we have scanned through facial recognition and all your base are belong to us.

    Our work has been fruitful.

    Think of the many politicians that have met their political demise via exposure of their sexual indiscretions.

    Look at Trump's lawyer, Cohen, who is in deep shit.

    Look at Hannity. We wanted him and Bill O'Reilly and. we calculated to bring down Fox News and flat-line its bias and influence as fake news. That's a work in progress.

    Appreciate that all the work done by lawyers and acquaintances of Trump, intended to shield him from negative press during the campaign, have a dollar value and are categorized as campaign contributions.

    In some cases where individuals said they did shit for Trump on their own, the value of the work exceeds the limit of private campaign donation limits.

    Cohen created companies in Delaware as a dodge in order to hide the transactions, but the companies did not claim the payout as campaign contribution. That's money laundering and other stuff.

    ==

    Intelligent, reasonable, people have long asked for implementation of rational firearm regulation.

    We were not out to get the guns.

    Because more traditional approaches failed to move the needle, (and for other obvious reasons) we decided to pass on Hillary Clinton in favour of Trump.

    Our strategy has worked in that gun sales are at record lows and some gun manufacturers are having fire sales because the batshit crazy #2A assholes were gearing up for a Hillary win and the manufacturers over-produced, and have a shit-load of inventory.

    Gun maker stocks are down and some are even filing for bankruptcy.

    SO, WE DIDN'T TAKE THE GUNS --WE FIXED IT WHERE FEW PEOPLE ARE BUYING THEM

    OK, You may applaud now, and thank you for not cheering and yelling during this presentation.

    Tip jar's on the piano, try the fish.
    .
    .
    © 2018 CaptainDork

  • by luis_a_espinal ( 1810296 ) on Thursday April 19, 2018 @03:42PM (#56466839) Homepage
    Whatever your take on this story is, read Chris Hayes' "Twilight of the Elites". A lot of the stupid shit you seen in politics, academia, and well, SV, it's all about elites and supposed meritocracies that, acting as optimization systems without proper health-checks, then end up moving into a degenerated state.

I THINK MAN INVENTED THE CAR by instinct. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.

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