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 The Twitter Paradox
Charles.haddock 8 posts, incept 2022-11-02
2022-11-19 14:53:26

Note how poorly the entire NASDAQ has done this year, with Big Tech at the forefront of the losses. It has the feeling of "Dot Bomb 2.0". Though it will never be said on the news, a good part of this was the companies shooting themselves in both feet by banning and/or censoring a significant portion of their potential users. The "reputational risk" stuff is BS, but it's very real in the minds of C-level execs, boards, and the upper echelons of business in general because they are all marching in woke lockstep these days.

The wider picture is that corporate software engineering has been broken for a long time. It is getting worse objectively -- while hardware capabilities have continued to improve, though maybe at a slower rate, software capabilities have stayed the same or slowed which means their performance must be worse. I'd pinpoint the beginning of the decline in the field to the H1B abuses. Many of the people brought in were incompetents with forged credentials, and this has been going on since the 2000s at least. Real compensation for engineers declined for a long time and this was the real reason for the policy in the first place, but the quality in the industry suffered terribly as a consequence.

It got much worse again in the last 5 years with the unmeritocratic hiring and promotion policies. The result is that at the enterprise level, software sucks now. Think about it: When was the last time one of these major companies put out a product you would want to use? I'd say since 2017 it's close to nil. They have focused mainly on legacy products and even many of these got worse (e.g. Google search -- censored/bowdlerized almost to uselessness). Most of the innovation I've seen in software recently has come from smaller firms.
Phoenix800 130 posts, incept 2021-09-18
2022-11-19 14:58:21

Probably a square root of those people are really productive.

Yes. This is known as Price's law.
Reformedhippy 3k posts, incept 2020-07-01
2022-11-19 15:04:41

I've never worked at a company larger than 100 employees that did not hire or keep some dead weight or destructive employees, even white males. Some are obviously nepotism or network hires, son of the investment firm president or former employee of the competition for instance. Others seem to hold some cards. I doubt many are sole holders of critical keys or skills; more likely they have some dirt on their managers or otherwise do their dirty work. Often the actual hook is cloaked in contrived loyalty.
Tickerguy 190k posts, incept 2007-06-26
2022-11-19 15:06:35

I call such "company pets" and most firms, even very small ones, have them.

If they just consume some output then as long as it's small it's not a big deal. If they wind up causing damage it can ruin the outfit.

The difference between "kill" and "murder" is that murder, as a subset of kill, is undeserved by the deceased.
Phoenix800 130 posts, incept 2021-09-18
2022-11-19 15:52:41

I'm a disenfranchised engineer. I checked out. I'm all fucking done.

I gave it my all. I worked my ass off. I will never work for anyone ever again. What the fuck is the point when merit doesn't matter but DIE status does?

I had twenty-five engineers reporting to me and we supported $100M annual production. I reported to the division VP. I checked out when a new human resources VP was appointed.

She was a middle-aged lesbian and had previously worked in inside sales. She was dumb as a rock but got her PHR certificate and became HR manager. She was so dumb that she would use a calculator to add things up and enter them into cells in a spreadsheet because she didn't know that the spreadsheet could do it for her. She once hired a new manager and was so excited about it that she emailed out the guy's offer letter, including his salary information, to all of the other managers in the company. The guy ended up declining the job. She boasted that she paid female engineers more than male engineers because they should be 'encouraged'. She completely missed that it might be discouraging to the male engineers.

One day the old HR VP retired and she got the job. Got a company car, parking space, stock options, big bonus plan, and a salary about twice what mine was. I couldn't take it any longer.

Fuck it. Corporations that are run this way should die. Fuck them. Fuck them to Hell.
3-market-thinker 55 posts, incept 2022-02-06
2022-11-19 17:15:11


Join the club.

I owned and run my own business here in the UK.

I now work a part-time job with no responsibility or skin in the game.

Rent a small apartment. Drive a 20 year old car.

No debts. No stress and no worries.

I have never been happier.

Go to bed when I want. Get up when I want.

Have time to read and just do the things I want to.

The hamster wheel no longer yields any healthy fruit.

There is no incentive unless you are on big big salaries.

CEO salaries and the like.

It's end of empire time. The 4th turning.

Whatever you want to call it. It's the cycle we are in and there is nothing you can do about it unless you think you can change human nature.

I would rather watch from the sidelines than get my hands dirty taking part.

Life is too short.

The system will squeeze every last drop of blood out of every sucker who thinks he can "get ahead" in this game.

Boomers were probably the luckiest generation in the history of mankind.

They managed to have their cake and eat it too.

A generational lottery and their ticket came in.

Cheap oil, the onset of technological breakthroughs and post industrial revolution gave them along with many other factors gave them the golden ticket to enter Willy Wonkas factory and eat all the chocolate they liked.

America just after World War 2 had over 50% of global GDP.

Think about that and marvel over the wealth and luxury that provided.

I think it is now around 15% or so or somewhere under 20%.

Boomers were the luckiest generation probably in the history of mankind when you consider all those factors that contributed to their well being.

Evolution of law and being citizens of a new nation blessed with enormous natural resources.
Bakerv 1k posts, incept 2021-04-21
2022-11-19 17:15:51

My ex-wife convinced me to hire her sister's husband to drive a delivery truck for me.

Five days later I fired his ass because he was a dumb fucking loser who couldn't handle the job. I knew this going in but after a brief thought about saying no I thought it might be of more value to go ahead and do it and then be able to hoist one of those flag thingies that El Jefe uses every other day. Of course he immediately went out and filed a workers comp claim for a hurt back.

Did I mention this was my ex-wife?
Metalqueen 203 posts, incept 2021-09-10
2022-11-19 17:16:03


I had a short internship at the Department of Labor back in the mid 90s as a part of a program I was taking. The only people doing any work were (1) the attorneys and (2) the interns who the attorneys would go to when they needed help. The actual administrative staff spent most of the time either talking on the phone or playing solitaire on their computer. Need I say being DC that these were mostly black women? Stereotypes in action to the point you would just smiley

Get rid of 80% of the Federal agencies and there would not even be a 1% decline in production. Probably a huge gain.
Ronniemcghee 317 posts, incept 2012-07-28
2022-11-19 18:08:28

Its as if Twitter had multiple alternative streams of income other than advertising.

I wonder if those are still streaming in with Elon at the helm.
Tickerguy 190k posts, incept 2007-06-26
2022-11-19 18:09:55

Note @Ronniemcghee that if there were as a public company concealing or otherwise falsely stating so is a criminal felony with every person who knows of it with responsibility in the financials and their reporting being jointly and severably liable.

Note also that a private company is under no obligation to disclose anything in that regard.

The difference between "kill" and "murder" is that murder, as a subset of kill, is undeserved by the deceased.
Generalee 97 posts, incept 2011-04-30
2022-11-19 18:43:25

@Traelin0 about that Explorer annoyances, get you an usb obdii adapter and a copy of ForScan and edit the vehicle configuration to stop the horn and change a lot of those electronic features. Check out the forum for how to. Make it yours!
Veeger 875 posts, incept 2013-02-13
2022-11-19 18:43:37


Sorry. I can't answer your specific question. Our company is too small for that to happen. But if I ever was in that position, I'd quit. I essentially did 'retire' (I.e. quit in good graces) from my career when it became obvious that my bosses were just 'learning' the management trade before being promoted elsewhere up the ladder. They didn't care one whit about the folks they were supervising except to make themselves look good on our back and by slashing wages / work conditions to look good quickly on their way up said ladder. The fact that this approach was successful meant that the rot extended further up than my managers. It really wasn't a surprise.

When my wife looked at me one day and asked, "Why DO you keep working there?" And my only answer was, "For the money". Well I said that wasn't a good enough reason and put in my papers for early retirement ( a paltry lump sum cuz I was 'too young')

I remember the Diamond Princess.

Slowly at first, then all of a sudden.
Daw39 48 posts, incept 2009-08-23
2022-11-19 19:35:32

My understanding........If you have a talent, the underground economy has a 0% unemployment rate....just saying...
Ascenzm 134 posts, incept 2021-09-12
2022-11-19 19:35:37

No debts. No stress and no worries.

I have never been happier.

Go to bed when I want. Get up when I want.

Have time to read and just do the things I want to.

Yep. I took a voluntary separation in 2015 at age 58 - six months severance pay, pension starting right away (I had over 30 years service to qualify) and I got to purchase my employer's group health insurance at a reasonable cost until I turned 65. Best decision I ever made. Love being my own boss, no longer having a commute and getting to sleep in.
Tsherry 11k posts, incept 2008-12-09
2022-11-19 20:46:11

Twitter's workforce needs to be 10% of what it was before Musk bought it.

Prove me wrong.

This business will get out of control. It will get out of control and we'll be lucky to live through it. - The Hunt for Red October
Fasteddie81 43 posts, incept 2017-05-11
2022-11-19 20:46:14

I never understood Twitter, and I still don't.

I have what I'd like to think is a large, diverse social circle. No one I know is one Twitter regularly. Facebook, Instagram, sure. Some folks are on Reddit. But next to no one is on Twitter.

The question of what percentage of Twitter users were "bots" was really hot for awhile, then the discussion went cold. Was hoping, now that Elon has settled in, he'd comment on the bot problem.

It does make one think that was some other source of funding coming it to prop up the company and support all that massive employee bloat.
Throughput 123 posts, incept 2021-09-21
2022-11-19 21:14:36

Re: your boss and excel.
I recently had a boss (in her 50's, at T-Mobile) who thought that if you marked an email with an exclamation point (as high priority for the recipient), it was sent super-fast, faster than all other emails.
My friend and I couldn't believe it when she first said it. So, in the next team meeting, naturally, we made sure to ask a leading question to her to see if she'd say it again. She didn't disappoint.

Ronniemcghee 317 posts, incept 2012-07-28
2022-11-19 21:34:39

@TG ~

Does it really just boil down to public ($$) vs private (control and secrecy)?

Why did Elon take it private??

Supertruckertom 7k posts, incept 2010-11-07
2022-11-19 22:44:34

@ Metalqueen

You just described my wife's work situation.
She is counting the days.
State DOL just had over a 50% budget cut.
50% RIF coming as funds and responsibilities are transferred to the TCSG,Technical College Sytem Georgia.

She had job offers at TCSG but was counter offered a raise and promotion to stay at DOL.

Only the productive will remain.
She personally handled over 22k difficult claims and complaints for Constituent Services for the Governor and other legislators during Covid.
She has the spreadsheet.
Getting a new Labor Commissioner in January.
We will see how that goes.

Preparing to go Hunting.
Rufust445 973 posts, incept 2007-08-11
2022-11-19 23:18:52

Bluto wrote..
For example, the number of employees who do any real work in corporate America is "about half".
The philospher Bertrand Russell once said: "There are two kinds of work in the world. One is to move matter from one point on the surface of the earth to another, the second is telling someone else to do it."

"The stock market isn't bullish, it's bull$hit." -- Alan King
Rufust445 973 posts, incept 2007-08-11
2022-11-19 23:19:07

Blanca wrote..
Most of the stuff that we use now is bloated, inefficient, and contains numerous useless features.
There is a time honored principle in marketing: "Bells and whistles sell, even when the customer doesn't know how to ring all the bells, or blow all the whistles."

"The stock market isn't bullish, it's bull$hit." -- Alan King
Adgc1971 5 posts, incept 2022-09-03
2022-11-19 23:43:27

My advice to anyone getting this "Musk Twitter Directive" [i.e. email him a section of their code, the actual code itself, and explain (1) why they wrote it and (2) why its good code], would be:

(1) Go make sure to put the code in a branch where you open up permissions to Musk and possibly others & verify that the URL works for you/others internally.
(2) In the body of your reply write a link to the code, small snippet of the code, explain that you answer the questions below more in-depth with additional code snippets, and provide additional relevant info. Finally, offer to provide additional assistance in your contact info below.
(3) In the PS section of the email have 3 parts - (a) your contact info & make it very easy to find you & your supervisor & their supervisor, (b) answer to 2 specific questions, (c) additional information.
(4) Concisely answer the question on why they wrote the code.
(5) Concisely answer the question on why its good code.
(6) In the "Additional relevant info" section provide more context on the code to better explain why its important/useful, be honest about its shortcomings based on lessons learned & the future & how to do it better, provide information on additional people who know more about the code, additional code repos you know about, how it works with other code/systems, links to other code examples of which you have knowledge/awareness, ideas you have on other improvements/opportunities to do even better code in the future, and express a personal commitment to be aligned & your enthusiasm about Twitter for the future.
Tickerguy 190k posts, incept 2007-06-26
2022-11-19 23:43:51

You are assuming it's not 💩

The difference between "kill" and "murder" is that murder, as a subset of kill, is undeserved by the deceased.
Idiom 312 posts, incept 2015-02-20
2022-11-20 09:18:02

One of the joys of Rust is that if you don't understand what you are trying to do, you are never going to get it to even compile.

The whole point of an employer is to outsource your risk and overhead to them. You do what you can to move the company towards the goal they designate. You get paid. If the goal is wrong you walk and they're fucked.

Their main talent is supposed to be knowing what to do, and convincing others that their time is best deployed following their lead.

As soon as you get past like 12 people though...

The argument made for UBI is that there won't be enough jobs...

The real argument should be if we paid all the fuck ups to stay home the productivity of the rest of us might sky rocket and more than make up the difference.
Quantum 649 posts, incept 2021-05-18
2022-11-20 09:18:27

@Elua Related to your comments: I'm sure Musk is smart enough to have assessed the protected characteristics of staff released and retained. California and the EEOC would probably be very aggressive if a case could be made that there was any discrimination.

I suspect Twitter was over-weighted in some of the protected classes, so it might be interesting either way.

Our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this great multitude that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you. --2 Chron. 20:12
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