Forgoing sleep is like borrowing from a loan shark. Sure you get those extra hours right now to cover for your overly-optimistic estimation, but at what price? The shark will be back, and if you can’t pay, he’ll break your creativity, morale, and good-mannered nature as virtue twigs.
But here’s the thing. You can’t help Uber build Greyball during the day, or help Palantir design databases to round up immigrants as your main gig, and then buy ethics offsets by doing a non-profit side hustle. We need you to work ethically during that day job much more than we need you working with that non-profit.
Look. Online advertising and privacy has always been at war. Listening in on your conversations because you placed an always-on speaker in your home is just the next obvious hill to capture. Google has already normalized reading your emails for context-aware advertisement. Listening to your dinner conversations is just a natural jump.
Selling 7% of a mere startup idea for tens of thousands of dollars, mentorship from Silicon Valley royalty, and the contacts that come with it seems like a no-brainer proposition. No wonder the mostly young, fresh-eyed recruits are lining up for that deal. But that’s because they’re not reading the fine, implicit print.
… I repeated my point and this time, I raised my voice to show that I was unhappy with his attitude. Visibly angry, Mike #2 covered the microphone of the conference phone, he reached over to hold my hand tightly and told me to stop being a whiny little bitch. Two of the men in the room looked at each other and laughed while the rest of the men, like me, were shocked. For the next few minutes, it seemed as if my brain was paralyzed. I could not remember what happene…
Yeah, the automatron class. People treated as literal cogs in transportation and delivery machines. Complete with machine-like tolerance specifications for quality. Dip below a 4.7? You’re in trouble. No explanations. No room for a bad day or a bad week because the bills were mounting. No room for humanity, no room for frailty. Just put on your happy face and Have A Great Day.
We are disappointed to see that Uber has selected a team of insiders to investigate its destructive culture and make recommendations for change. To us, this decision is yet another example of Uber’s continued unwillingness to be open, transparent, and direct.
It wasn’t until I discovered programming at a high level of abstraction, the kind suited for making business and information systems, that I started to realize programming, perhaps, was something for me after all. And even then, the original impression of programming being all about these low-level concerns stuck for years, and kept me from imagining a future where this would be my profession.