Re: FUM was Re: Ellison on Loserhood

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From: Strata Rose Chalup (
Date: Wed Aug 16 2000 - 13:07:41 PDT

Jeff Bone wrote:
> [...]
> Integrity? Well, probably not, you've got to do
> that one for yourself. [...] Among your list, I can't find a single
> thing aside from integrity for which money doesn't in some way enhance one's
> prospects. [...]

In the ultimate spirit of YMMV, I find definitely that money can enhance
one's prospects for integrity. Nothing criminal, nothing actionable,
but still there were companies/people I have worked for in the past
which I felt were questionable and would have preferred not to be
employed by. A good example is doing sysadmin consulting for a firm
which continually teetered on the verge of chapter 11, and having to
order supplies from firms knowing that our purchasing dept would
probably be 30/60/90 days late or maybe even fail to pay them at all. I
left as soon as I could.

As I gained more experience and could start to write my own ticket with
respect to consulting, I could choose to avoid those folks. I could
also develop more sophisticated radar, and avoid people and companies
who I thought were soulless money-grubbing steamrollers. Some friends
who've worked for some of the places I avoided are now quite well off.
Many of them lament some of the gradual changes in their personality
that came of spending several years in those conditions. Others of them
have those changes lamented privately by their friends, since they
themselves just see themselves as "more successful" and they don't seem
to remember when they were nicer and less self-important people. :-(

I am very very fortunate in that when I am not working it is generally
by choice. I would still love the freedom that would come of having a
multiyear or lifetime budget in the bank. When I passed someone on the
street who needed money, I could give them $20 instead of $1 - $5. When
I thought someone was being a total jerk, I could more often take the
risk of trying to educate them instead of just quietly letting it pass.
When I had to choose between spending my free time doing long answers to
randoms' emailed requests for help vs sending them a quick pointer and
working on stuff that "furthers my career" (the postmaster booklet for
SAGE, various magazine articles, etc), I could have a bit more choice,
without also choosing to neglect my spouse, my cats, my friends, etc.

And so on. You can't do everything, but a lot of what one chooses to
do, at least in the tech world, is driven at some level by needing to
prioritize things that will keep the path of Maslow's Big Three
sufficiently clear and non-thorny.

Of course, as the Vilna of Gaon allegedly discovered, "if you wish to
bring about tikkun olam (the healing of the world), start with

Back to hacking,

Strata Rose Chalup []   |, KF6NBZ
Director of Network Operations            |       VirtualNet Consulting
KnowNow, Inc []     |

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