Yes, it does. That’s, partially, why I’m quitting in the morning.
I hope this works out for you. Don’t be afraid to get some downtime afterwards if possible.
Thanks. I do intend to. I’ve decided that I need to take at least two weeks and force myself to just be able to enjoy things. I’ve gotten to the point where I can’t even get myself to enjoy playing video games or reading books, I just quickly start getting antsy and feel like I’m wasting my time.
I took 2016 off because I’d gotten toasty and started feeling medium burnout at my last gig…it took me something like three or so months before I could even look at a file of code to edit it.
Take the time you need, and don’t feel bad about doing so. :)
I’ve gotten to the point where I can’t even get myself to enjoy playing video games or reading books, I just quickly start getting antsy and feel like I’m wasting my time.
Sounds like classic signs of burn out to me! Enjoy some time away from work to rediscover how to enjoy the things that are really important to you as a human, not as an employee.
I’ve been experiencing something like that, too. Maybe I need to make my own transition soon.
Congratulations. From experience, it feels good.
If you don’t mind my asking, why are you leaving and, if applicable, where are you going?
It does feel good, I just did it.
Luckily the parts that go against my beliefs aren’t as severe as the article, but I have strong beliefs about privacy and I work (worked?) for an IoT PaaS/SaaS company. I’ve justified it in the past with saying that I was working on making things as secure as possible against technical attacks, but over the past few months there’s been a lot of change with how we view ownership of hardware, moving towards “owner” ≠ “end user that bought it”. With that there’s been a lot of talk about suggesting customers “creating new revenue streams” using the aggregate data they then are able to collect. I’ve decided I just can’t keep up that justification and be okay with myself anymore.
I am slightly worried that makes me a bit of a luddite and that this is the new way of things, but on the flip side I’m also worried about how my thinking is being warped by the whole “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!” idea. There’ve also been other issues that have helped push me out the door, but it’ll be refreshing to be able to have a chance to form an unencumbered opinion on it all.
I actually don’t have a ‘next’ yet, I’ve been thinking about leaving for a few months, but I’ve recently decided that I need some me time before I start something else anyway, so I’m just leaving.
So, if anyone needs a hardware/software generalist for remote (or in MSP) in about 2-3 months, especially if it’s working with Rust, let me know!
great! can I make one small request: if you haven’t already, can you let the company know why you are leaving?
I think we employees have more power than we realize to shape what a company does!
Oh, I definitely have. I’ve been having bi-weekly chats with our VP of engineering about what I see bring wrong and he’s known for the last couple months that I’ve been seriously considering leaving. My “I quit” this morning was more just making it official than anything.
That’s the part that kills me more than anything else, I know that I’m super lucky that I work with people who I can be super candid with about things like this, there’s just enough “other things” that unfortunately out-weight it for me. (And it’s not just, not even mostly, my beliefs on privacy, that is just one of the increasing factors.)
can you let the company know why you are leaving?
Not only this, but if you or others refuse to take a job or are contacted by a recruiter from a company with questionable ethics: let them know why you’re turning them down! Word gets around, and it adds up.
It did. I ran a team for a fintech-adjacent company. The macho dick-swinging culture and constant grinding feeling of enabling the psychopaths running the country into the ground got to me. I quit.
Took four months to clear my head and find a job that felt like doing something positive. Now I work on long-term digital preservation for archival institutions.
This hits at something difficult — your job itself, or role anyway, could be something you believe in and feel positively about, but if the company culture and leaders are overall a negative on society… it feels like you’re enabling them, even if indirectly by just moving the business forward. Maybe I’m exaggerating, but especially in small companies, one bad person at the top makes even a charitable business feel like a worsening of things for everyone.
Did you already conclude that FinTech is full of psychopaths too? It’s not only the highest echelons of government - they’re everywhere.
I was referring to Wall Street.
It’s actually both.
And so on. That kind of stuff is what I meant with: “they’re everywhere”.
What professions would you say have the lowest amount of psychopaths?
For the past 12 years or so, the largest customers of the companies I worked for were the United States Department of Defense and its various sub-agencies.
Sometimes the projects contradicted my beliefs. Sometimes they didn’t. One of the more memorable projects was building a mumble tool to detect very specific types of intrusion into mumble systems. There were no offensive capabilities that I could think of. I have no moral qualms about defending my nation’s infrastructure, military or otherwise, so that didn’t bother me too much.
Another time I worked on a very interesting tool dealing with embeddable high-speed event correlation and pattern detection. The work itself wasn’t classified, and I can and did talk about it freely. It was fascinating work (if I ever feel like revealing my personal information on this site, I’ll link to one of the papers published on it). Anyway, when describing what it did to my father, he asked me if it would be useful in catching whistleblowers….
I had a moment of moral ambiguity there, but the tool was just a tool. It could be used to catch whistleblowers, but it was no more specialized for that than a car could be used to drive them to prison. Most technologies are neither good nor bad, and I have to remember that.
One of my closest friends did end up turning down a job a few years ago, when he was told point-blank in the interview process that the technology he’d be researching would be used to better guide unmanned aerial attack vehicles.
I had a moment of moral ambiguity there, but the tool was just a tool. […] Most technologies are neither good nor bad, and I have to remember that.
You have to think about the context. Designing autonomous flying machines for dropping things is different if you work for a DoD contractor compared to working for Amazon. You can guess at how your tools are going to be used, and decide if you’re okay with it. If you just decide a tool is a tool, you don’t really have to worry about ethics at all.
This line of self-questioning applies to pretty much every discipline it seems. I think a lot of people will find uncomfortable answers. I’ve worked in tech media for a hot minute, and I started out at a company that used a lot of deceptive and purposefully abusive methods which some would call the cornerstone of digital marketing, but to me felt awful. I’d say that there’s probably a lot of marketers and advertisers that are aware that they’re not always doing things they believe are okay to do as well.
I worked for a software company right out of college that as soon as I got wind of my software being used in the Iraq War, I quit. Don’t do anything against your beliefs. Not worth the money. Money is a tool of control.
Money is a tool of control.
Actually, money is just a medium of exchange.
Someone may be able to use it to control someone, but that doesn’t mean money itself is inherently flawed, evil, or oppressive.
You are right that money is a medium of exchange, but that’s a secondary effect. Actually money as we use today was designed to be oppressive. It’s purpose is to provision the government with resources. First you establish a tax that can only be paid in the currency you create. Then you spend the currency so people have the money to pay the tax. Suddenly you have people willing to work for you and give you their private resources.
Money is a tool. It is designed. It has a primary purpose. The fact that it is a medium of exchange between private persons is a secondary effect.
I can’t tell if you’re trolling, but you’re looking suspicious there.
But no seriously. Money is fundamentally just a medium of exchange. If you have an apple and John has an orange, but you don’t both want what the other has, then you can’t trade!
That’s where a medium of exchange, i.e. “money” comes in handy. If you don’t want John’s orange, but you’re willing to accept some money in exchange for your apple, then you can trade with John.
You’re right in that money has a “primary purpose”, but it’s just to facilitate trades between people. It’s not a “secondary effect”, whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean.
Fiat currencies certainly are bullshit, and it’s bullshit that we’re forced to use them. But that’s not related to what I just explained.
Not trolling. This is a real view. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chartalism
While most economists favor your view, most scientists like anthropologists favor the Chartalist view. I favor it because it’s based on evidence vs conjecture.
I favor it because it’s based on evidence vs conjecture.
Really? What evidence is that?
I assume @mempko is referring to gift economies and debt. Even commodity money, when it arose, was often a mixed basket of useful goods (haha, I’m so punny) and transient.
Chartalism in Macroeconomics is a theory of money which argues that money originated with states' attempts to direct economic activity rather than as a spontaneous solution to the problems with barter
As early as 9000 BCE both grain and cattle were used as money
Isn’t it clear that “Chartalism” is nonsense? What evidence was mempko supposedly talking about?
Don’t just link me to something that may or may not contain something related to the evidence that may or may not exist.
I Am Not An Archaeologist / Historian / Anthropologist:
Isn’t it clear that “Chartalism” is nonsense?
AIUI, both are nonsense. The evolution of money wasn’t and isn’t so linear. wrt. the “grain and cattle” point, the state / army direct economic activity argument works something like this:
You’re an army marching through the lands. Do you: a) have an increasingly long and vulnerable supply chain? b) get the locals to feed you. Option B, without devolving into Rape and Pillage, is full of wins because it transitions well into becoming the local state state nee monopoly of violence. Thus, you give a bunch of tokens to your soldiers, and tell the locals that at the end of the month they need to pay up X tokens of lose their heads. Voilà: money.
That narrative goes along with spread of agriculture and agricultural civilization. Read: grain and rice kingdoms. Our world has been pretty well conquered by kingdoms and their descendants (the modern state), so I think the Chartalists argue regardless of various historical non-state monies (gift economies, debt and reputation economies, etc.) that’s the reality we live in now.
Thus, you give a bunch of tokens to your soldiers, and tell the locals that at the end of the month they need to pay up X tokens of lose their heads. Voilà: money.
It’s difficult to imagine how people would not have started trading with a medium of exchange before some invaders had that idea, if it ever happened.
We can’t really prove it either way, but that doesn’t mean “both are nonsense”.
If we’re talking about Chartalism, then AIUI the argument is the locals used debt and trust. Money-cash-barter and such was for the very rare trade with external parties. And even then, usually they tried pulling those parties into the local system.
Given the incredible documented variation of trade systems throughout human history, yeah, I doubt there’s an ur-Philosophy for the non-existent ur-Money. As you noted, it’s difficult to imagine how people would not have figured money out many times over, IMHO, for many different reasons.
If we’re talking about Chartalism, then AIUI the argument is the locals used debt and trust. Money-cash-barter and such was for the very rare trade with external parties.
That would have been awfully convenient for proponents of Chartalism $X thousand years later.. but it just doesn’t make sense.
Why would people only use a medium of exchange with external parties, when it would make trade within their own community much easier too? The obvious answer is: they wouldn’t.
They’d happily trade using a medium of exchange whenever possible, because it’s the simplest and easiest way.
Because it didn’t make trade within their own community easier. Moreover, going back to the original position about the primacy of money as a tool for oppression, its use hurt social cohesion.
I recommend Debt: The First 5000 Years for a pop-accessible perspective that cites its sources. Crooked Timber (left-learning) had a “seminar” with both additional criticism and support.
Because it didn’t make trade within their own community easier.
It’s eminently obvious that it does: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coincidence_of_wants
But alright, I’ve had enough of explaining things that don’t actually need to be explained.. and of being trolled with plausible deniability.
I’m curious, if money is a tool designed to be oppressive, what is the alternative?
Glad you asked. Fully automated space communism.
No but seriously, you likely experience one every day at work. When a coworker asks you for something, you don’t say “how much you giving me”. You usually just do it.
Lots of theories of alternatives. Their are debt systems (you do this, so I owe ya),Communist systems (your work place), paracon, etc
When a coworker asks you for something, you don’t say “how much you giving me”. You usually just do it.
Might it be because you’re not at your workplace to trade with your co-workers?
The exchange is a trade, however, just as in agrarian societies neighbors would exchange products and thus have a more balanced diet. For example, if I grow apples and you keep bees, I might trade some apples for honey. It’s a reciprocal relationship without formal accounting.
Freely competing currencies, which may or may not be backed by physical goods and/or favors and the like.
Bartering is one. It has side effect of building the people skills you need to get better opportunities in the first place. There’s been a resurgence of it on Craigslist they call “swaps” these days. I remember one story where, after 10-20 swaps, one person had gone from something trivial to a car. Exceptional case but shows the potential. Average case is what you’d expect: get something worth around time, effort, money, etc you are giving tweaked up or down with persuasion.
I work for a startup so almost by definition, yes it contradicts my beliefs. I’m not thrilled about it.
What is it about startups that inherently contradict your beliefs?
Primarily that it is a mechanism for investors to become wealthy at the expensive of employees, even more parasitically than in traditional capitalism. Startups don’t IPO anymore, and ordinary employees may become fully vested without any liquidity (although always with the promise of liquidity and the dangling carrot of being part of the next unicorn).
It’s yet piece of economic machinery funneling money from those lower down to those higher up on the wealth charts. But I have to pay my bills too, for now at least.
Add to that the risk of copyright law (esp use of API’s) and patent suits that the large company gets during the acquisition. They can use that to sack decades worth of competition if it’s a good enough API or patent.
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I pay taxes on my income, so fundamentally yes. As long as I work I contribute to statism.
This is rank silliness. Government is not the same thing as statism, and it’s this sort of all-or-nothing thinking that makes Ayn Rand “libertarianism” and the techie alt-rightism that brought to the US what will probably be one of the worst elected governments in living memory– something we’ve been building up to for decades, because the US conservative movement has set out to prove that “government doesn’t work” by acquiring position and then failing badly (see: 2013 government shutdown) once in the job.
The existence of a government does not mean that a nation has become statist. Governments do a lot of good and even necessary things, like preserve national parks and fund the long-range R&D that the cowardly private sector won’t touch.
Take this back to Hacker News where it belongs.
I agree the point about taxes has better forums than this, but you are really sure on an incompletely accurate statement here about national parks and long-range r&d.
This thread has to die here but it’s a shame if it dies in a strawman.
I have archived over 10,000 papers of cutting-edge research on various topics in IT with a number becoming FOSS or commercial. They almost all say they’re funded by NSF, DARPA, etc. Many game-changers in IT came with the Strategic Computing Initiative that DARPA ran over decades. A few others came out of private labs like Xerox’s that basically don’t exist in that form any more. The existence of these government funding has been great for many fields and our economy even if we counted cell phones, HPC, Internet and GPS alone.
The secret is they do the unprofitable, not-guaranteed stuff the private sector won’t for public benefit the private sector rarely cares about. Good to have them around. How things are spent is quite debatable in terms of what’s effective. That there’s was a benefit for a good chunk of it that private sector alone resisted isn’t.
As long as I work I contribute to statism
As long as you don’t work in the grey or black market.
Not contradicting my beliefs as such but it is very disappointing compared to what I imagined myself working in. Thankfully I’ve never worked in a job which I’ve found to have any ethical conflict in the end product, however I do have issues with some of the lies which are told to clients along with subpar engineering practices which worries me that I don’t learn as much as I could elsewhere. Lies told to clients are things like ‘this feature works out of the box’ then a massive rush to implement said feature… Suppose programmers in boring financial services jobs still have to feed the family.
I work for a place that helps non-profits and other folks take donations and tips, so I’m perfectly happy with that. We work with some great orgs like the Salvation Army.
I don’t support the salvation army due to the political stances they push using the money they get https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Salvation_Army#Controversy. If it was just political stances of the owner or something (Like Chik-fil-a) then I wouldn’t care, but the organization itself uses the money given to push their political agenda that I strongly disagree with.