Monthly Archives: February 2012

Kill Science

Image representing Hacker News as depicted in ...

Image via CrunchBase

Saw something really fascinating on Hacker News.


I only skimmed the article and bookmarked it, but just love the approach.

Too bad most people don’t rethink the fundamental basis of sciences once they become dogma.

There should be a field of science that does nothing but read original sources and scour them for corrections we’d make given current knowledge.I’ll give you an example in Dentistry.

An image from 1300s (A.D.) England depicting a...

Image via Wikipedia

There is a debate about mercury fillings. Since so many people have mercury in their teeth, the ADA obviously would look bad if they would suggest anything other than it being harmless.

But can you imagine if the “science” of filling teeth began in today’s world? Picture a researcher suggesting the following substances:

* Arsenic
* Mercury
* A non-toxic substance

to fill teeth. It’s pretty obvious that Mercury would be almost as much of a non-starter as arsenic. But because it’s already an established process, it is still being done by some dentists and the practice is defended by the industry.

The modern Dvorak Simplified Keyboard (US layout)

Dvorak Keyboard Image via Wikipedia

There are countless qwerty-keyboards in the sciences and we should begin to systematically find them and refactor.

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How to hire a programmer in this market

Illustrates the intersection of supply and dem...

Image via Wikipedia

I get at least 2 people a day who email me something similar to this. I’ve combined a couple of emails from today to give you the flavor and anonymized it.

Hi Joe,

My name is redacted, and I attended the meet up at redacted.

I’m trying to hire a programmer and thus far found it challenging.

Are you interested in or do you happen to know any reputable developers looking for work right now?

Thanks so much for your help.


I’m writing this post so I can refer to it and save myself from rewriting the same reply every day.

Security guard hitting on promo girl

Security guard hitting on promo girl (Photo credit: San Diego Shooter)

First of all, there is something to be said about the laws of supply and demand. However, I believe as a result of VCs being very sharp, they have created an environment where programmers are expected to work at a certain rate for their field. When no one is available at that rate, instead of increasing the rate, companies are not finding employees.

That said, if you understand the market, you can pretty easily find someone. Here’s how:

* Understand that no one decent is “available”. It’s like trying to date a pretty girl. Based on the experiences a friend regaled our dinner table with, they can get hit on multiple times a day at least. Whether they have a boyfriend or not. So the chances that you hit on a model/developer the moment they left their partner/job, are low. Therefore:

* To hire someone, you need to “steal” them from where they are. Identify someone you know. And offer them above market rates. You’ll probably need to go about 20% above what they make to entice them.  If enough people do, then the artificial imbalance will go away and the laws of supply and demand will function as they’re supposed to.

That’s really all there is to it.

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Google’s Plus integration has gone far too far

Google search is starting to feel like a used car salesman who’s really desperate to sell you a Google+ lemon. — Rob Sheridan

I’m surprised that Google hasn’t gotten more grief for this. When Google Buzz came out, people were furious that they used gmail information to integrate with that early attempt at a social network. Well they’ve done it again and for some reason people aren’t as upset, or as aware.

Image representing Duck Duck Go as depicted in...

Image via CrunchBase

I have some friends that *HATE* all social networks with a pure passion. I have been asked if I want to add their profile, which is nonexistent. Actually, now it shows “Add and invite”.

If I told them that their use of gmail is causing their name to be flashed to every person they’ve ever emailed, boy would they be furious. But they don’t know. Because this breach of privacy is happening in kind of a subtle way.

English: Gmail logo

Image via Wikipedia

It was scary and intrusive when Google started reading our email content and spit out ads related to our personal email. But back then they had earned some degree of trust. We understood the product was top quality and we understood they needed to pay for the cool stuff somehow. We gave them a HUGE break back then.

But they no longer have that trust. We now view them as just another public company. Not a “special”, “humanitarian” company. So each time they break our trust, we should be on their ass.

Social network

Image via Wikipedia

If I sent a gmail 3 years ago to someone I hate, someone who stole my content and put it on his content farm, that doesn’t mean I want my name to appear in his screen on a Google platter to be added to his circle.

That is a breach of trust. Email is personal and private. Social networks should be Opt-In. I am pissed that my gmail is being used in such a cheap way.

I’m dependent on gmail. But will one day get rid of it. I can’t trust Google anymore. They are no longer my default search engine. DuckDuckGo is.

And I’m trying to use them as little as possible.


Make sure you check the comments. Gmail community manager @sarahpriceless responded. I’ll reply in the comments as well.

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