Re: Job opportunities

Ron Resnick (
Mon, 08 Dec 1997 17:07:01 +0200

Joe Barrera wrote:
> Yes, I just have to ignore the MS taunting because there's really nothing
> else to do. But it's about as fun as ethnic taunting. If you object, people
> tell you that they're "just kidding", yet it's clear that there's real fear
> and resentment underneath.

Well Joe, I won't patronize you by saying that I'm 'just kidding' -
any MS taunting I do is quite real, and no kidding about it. You're
right there's fear- I do fear MS.
As you're only too well aware, 'Fear of MS' syndrome is at epidemic
levels these days, and ranges from the views of intelligent,
well thought of people, including academics, government leaders and
businesspeople, right to illiterate fanatics. E.g., I
don't subscribe to most of the anti-MS stuff that Ernie & Tim
have put out on FoRK. I don't think Bill Gates is a demon - he's
a smart guy with good business sense who's had 'right place/right time'
luck - we'd all like to have had his good fortune.

And, to make this absolutely clear, as I have before, I do try
to distinguish between anti-MS and anti-people-who-work-for-MS.
Certainly I concur that MS is a law-abiding (or as law-abiding
as most any other) company. The people who work there earn honest
livings, pay their taxes, and are citizens of their communities.
Where I've met individuals who work for MS, and who have shown
me that they are bright, articulate, and have other qualities that
I admire, I accept them on that level- as I do you, or Luca Cardelli,
or anyone else.

However, I wouldn't compare MS taunting to ethnic taunting. A person
is born with an ethnicity (or skin colour, religion, sex,
sexual orientation, physical handicap etc.)
- had no choice in it, and is unable to alter it.
Taunts on that basis are clearly bigotry. However, a person is not
born with his employer - that's a choice made as an adult, and generally
a person is free to make different choices, or change their choice. Not
always - I can conceive of cases - say, a small rural town in North
Carolina, with the tobacco plant as the only industry, and Joe Redneck
with a grade 7 education. Effectively, he's got no 'choice' in his
employment, and suggesting to him that he's in cahoots with a conspiracy
to kill millions as part of the tobacco industry is unfair -he's
just feeding his family.

But in the case of MS employees, typically well educated, with lots
of other job prospects, that doesn't wash. Is MS the same as RJR?
Clearly not directly comparable - MS doesn't produce a product that's
been conclusively linked to fatal diseases - just give them some time
to put Windoze into life support systems and ATC systems ;-).

Well, maybe Joe rejects the comparison (I don't know what you think
of the tobacco industry), but consider the fact that RJR is a legal
corporation, pays its taxes (and then some!), invests in its
provides a legal
product that clearly is in demand,... clearly they're entitled
to resent anti-tobacco government actions, lawsuits, popular sentiment,
press vilification... and yet, I venture a guess that Joe can see
(and might share) the legitimacy of all these actions. Would you be
willing to confront an RJR chemist who's 'just doing his job' by
making tastier menthol cigarettes? Asking him why he doesn't go work
for P&G or someone more benign, instead? If you can see yourself
doing that, perhaps you can understand how I look at MS vs. everybody
else. You don't have to agree with me - just maybe you can see my point.

> Sorry, I'm a bit down, first due to post-partum depression (finally shipped
> a product yesterday that I've been working on for the past year), and second
> due to our kitten getting run over yesterday.

Ouch. My condolences.

> - Joe
> Joseph S. Barrera III <>
> <>
> Phone, Office: (415) 778-8227; Cellular: (415) 601-3719; Home: (415)
> 588-4801
> The opinions expressed in this message are my own personal views and do not
> reflect the official views of Microsoft Corporation.