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Monday, September 8, 2008

Reader Mail #65 - Dealing With Scum

This post on no third solution was interesting. His post on "The Constitution isn't a valid contract" was incredibly popular.

I think Spooner’s “No Treason” letters were the clincher, haven’t looked back.

I found Lysander Spooner to be a tough read, because it was written 150 years ago. Has anyone tried translating into modern English? I've considered doing that.

Remember that Lysander Spooner was writing before the income tax and Federal Reserve. Whatever he meant applies much more now!

I'm offended that Lysander Spooner isn't taught in State schools. That's unsurprising. Fortunately, the Internet enables people to share information. Since Lysander Spooner's copyright has expired, his works may be freely published on the Internet. I prefer the same ideas in more modern English.



I liked this article. Someone wrote some software for the Air Force while working at home. His supervisors demanded the source code. He refused, and sold the software to another corporation. The Air Force continued using his software. He filed a DMCA lawsuit, which was thrown out.

"The United States, as [a] sovereign, 'is immune from suit save as it consents to be sued . . . and the terms of its consent to be sued in any court define that court’s jurisdiction to entertain the suit.'"

In other words, State employees may do as it please. You may only sue the State for redress of grievances if it consents to be sued.

This is a bad test case. Morally, the Air Force is correct. If the guy wrote the software while working for the Air Force, then technically they own it. I don't recognize copyright as a legitimate form of property.



This post on Overcoming Bias entirely missed the point. The subject was "Why don't business leaders assassinate their competitors?"

The answer is that it's completely unnecessary. They can lobby the State for new laws.

The movie/music industry doesn't need to assassinate filesharers. It has laws passed declaring such activity illegal. They don't even pay the cost of State crackdowns on filesharers. The cost is externalized to the State.

The banking industry doesn't need to assassinate gold/silver dealers. It has laws passed making such a business impractical/expensive/illegal.

The food industry doesn't need to assassinate small bakers. It has laws passed restricting what they can do (trans-fat bans, mandatory State inspections, etc.)

Large farming corporations don't need to assassinate small farmers. They get raw milk banned and they require RFID chips to be implanted in animals. They only sell terminator seeds, and declare usage of heirloom seeds illegal.

The answer is that large corporations don't need to assassinate their smaller competitors. The State does it for them! Under the guise of "rule of law", all sorts of amazing crimes can occur!



I liked this post on Bill Rempel about the suspicious nature of how the anthrax scare was resolved. If you believe the official story, that paints the State in a bad light. If you don't believe the official story, then a massive con has occurred.



I liked this post on RadGeek about someone who received mistreatment in a mental asylum in 1834.

The title of the post is "Iatrogenesis", which is medical treatment that is itself harmful.

Even in 1834, the mistreatment of people labeled "insane" caused the symptoms of the disease being treated. People's complaints and natural reaction to their abuse was interpreted as symptoms of mental illness.

In the present, the "chemical imbalance" theory of mental illness is complete nonsense. I wonder. Does the typical mental patient receive better care in 1834 or in the present? In the present, at least I had the option of being discharged from the hospital and then refusing to take harmful drugs.



I've heard about the game "Mafia" from many source. It would make a good reality TV show or game show.

Basically, you have a group of n "innocents" and m "mafia" (where m is much less than n). Each round, one person is voted off by everyone. Then, one person is voted off by the mafia. Each survivor of the winning team is a winner.

I saw the Japanese contest "Ninja Warrior". It was interesting. It's very unlike an American game/stunt show. On an American show, the contestants are competing against each other. For "Ninja Warrior", the contestants were competing against the obstacle course. The only way to win the whole competition was to complete all 4 courses. Theoretically, there could be multiple winners. Usually, there are zero winners. There were only two grand prize winners in the 20 years it's been running. The course is intentionally designed to be practically impossible to complete.

It's interesting to see a non-zero-sum competition.

For American reality TV shows, the rules of the contest make it practically guaranteed that the players will lie, backstab, and cheat each other. It's nice to see other perspectives.



I liked this post. US border agents may seize your laptop and hold it indefinitely, without giving a reason. They publicly stated that this is their policy.

Federal agents may take a traveler's laptop or other electronic device to an off-site location for an unspecified period of time without any suspicion of wrongdoing, as part of border search policies the Department of Homeland Security recently disclosed. Also, officials may share copies of the laptop's contents with other agencies and private entities for language translation, data decryption, or other reasons, according to the policies, dated July 16 and issued by two DHS agencies, US Customs and Border Protection and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

[...]

DHS officials said that the newly disclosed policies — which apply to anyone entering the country, including US citizens — are reasonable and necessary to prevent terrorism.

[...]

The policies cover 'any device capable of storing information in digital or analog form,' including hard drives, flash drives, cell phones, iPods, pagers, beepers, and video and audio tapes. They also cover 'all papers and other written documentation,' including books, pamphlets and 'written materials commonly referred to as "pocket trash..."

It's not the policy that's amazing; it's the fact that the government has actually made it public.


I liked what the poster said. If you have important information you need to take across the border, use a network drive. I guess you should reformat your HD with a plain vanilla Windows install before taking it outside the country.

I heard a rumor that the real impetus behind these draconian measures is copyright infringement.



I liked this post on Check Your Premises. The President may name anybody an "enemy combatant" and hold them indefinitely without trial.

As another example, suppose you are the victim in a tax evasion trial. You attempt to present a "jury nullification" defense. The judge may hold you in contempt of court and hold you indefinitely. The arbitrary whim of a judge is sufficient to detain someone for "contempt of court".



I liked this post on SHOW US THE LAW, in reference to this YouTube video. Most Congressmen don't bother reading the details of laws before voting on them. Most laws are written by lobbyists, and the Congressmen vote the way the lobbyists tell them to vote.

On the other hand, I didn't like the solution in the video, which is "Return to a strict Constitutional government." The correct answer is "Scrap this economic and political system and try something else."



I liked this post on Rad Geek. The US used two atomic bombs at the end of WWII. The primary victims were civilians. Was this one of the biggest war crimes ever?



This post on the Picket Line made an interesting point. If you pay taxes, then you're a war criminal. However, the author then backed down from that claim.

Are there some principles of natural law that are superior to any State law? Yes, there is. However, enforcing such law is a technical problem.

For example, was it correct to prosecute Saddam Hussein for war crimes? He was Supreme Leader of Iraq. By definition, everything he did was legal. Saddam Hussein was protected by sovereign immunity, in the same manner as a policeman who shoots someone while conducting a no-knock raid. By that same standard of justice, anybody who enforces an illegitimate law is a war criminal.

There was another interesting bit. Many homosexuals are angry at the State for not recognizing their right to marry. Some of them are practicing counter-economics in protest. I don't know how sophisticated their efforts are. Enforcing marriage contracts should be none of the State's business.



This post on The Picket Line was interesting. It had some interesting Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn quotes.



This post on Check Your Premises had some interesting bits. The opposite of a Boston Red Sox fan is not a Yankees fan; they have more similarities than differences. The opposite of a Boston Red Sox fan is someone who is not interested in baseball at all.

Similarly, the opposite of a Republican is not a Democrat. Both Republicans and Democrats believe "Taxation is not theft." and "There should be small group of people that tell everyone else what to do." The opposite of a Republican is an anarchist/agorist.

This is a common evil fnord. Two similar ideas are falsely touted as opposites. This allows people disgusted with one idea to flee to the false opposite.

As another example, the opposite of "The Federal Reserve should raise interest rates." is not "The Federal Reserve should lower interest rates." The correct opposite is "There should not be a central bank."

Debating false opposites allows true discourse to be suppressed.

This bit deserves its own separate post.



I liked this post by Mark Cuban. Due to a declining dollar, European basketball teams can hire NBA players at attractive rates.

Is that the only thing the USA can export, professional basketball players?

BTW, Mark Cuban likes to plug Hulu.com a lot. However, I read it was written in Ruby on Rails.



I liked this post on Check Your Premises. The world diamond supply is controlled by the DeBeers cartel. There actually are a lot of diamonds held back from the market, artificially inflating the price. For this reason, diamonds are not a solid investment in the same manner as gold or silver.

A massive propaganda/PR campaign was launched to create an artificial demand for diamonds. A man must purchase a diamond ring for his woman, lest he seem like a cheapskate. In TV shows and movies, a woman always gets excited about the diamond her man gave her, or expresses disappointment if it's not good enough. Those are fnords saying "Diamonds are valuable!"

I'm wondering what type of ring is best. I'm thinking a plain gold or plain platinum ring is best. Platinum is more valuable than gold, and it won't seem as attractive to a potential robber. I could always offer a few gold coins on the side, if the ring seems like an inadequate gift.



I liked this article on why Ruby on Rails sucks.

When exactly did MVC turn into "dump everything into the model object and have no other code"? Why are you mixing the controller and the model? Oh wait, that's right, it's because you don't actually know what MVC means, because you've only listened to the RoR propaganda about it that is flat out wrong.

Really, the more I learn about and use Rails-style frameworks, the more I'm convinced they're a bad idea. They're what they say they are: A rail-game in which you have no flexibility or ability to define your own workflow. If you're building something more complex than a blog, it will get in your way. And it's still not MVC. It's a totally bastardized PAC.

If I'm ever in a position to hire someone, and the interviewee says he used Rails and liked it, that should be an automatic "no hire".

That matches my experience at work. Their project was only slightly more complicated than a blog, and Rails was choking on it.

I also liked this article on Rails. Rails is a high level language, but you are denied access to lower level functionality. If what you want isn't directly provided by the framework, you're SOL. Contrast that with ASP.NET, where you can include arbitrary C# code if necessary. (I haven't used ASP.NET, but I assume that's true, because Microsoft is run by people smarter than the Rails fools.)



I liked this article about a project going totally off course. It's a Nasrudin story. A merchant asks Nasrudin for advice on his journey. Nasrudin insists the merchant will not arrive at his destination, despite his provisions. The reason is that he was going North and his destination was South.



I liked this article on lewrockwell.com, referred by out of step, on the decision to use atomic bombs at the end of WWII. Was this a bold decision to end a bloody war? Or, was it one of the biggest war crimes ever?



I liked this article on freedomain. His free online books are worth reading.

Paradoxically, gun control laws make a country a more enticing target for invasion. Once the military defenses are breached, then the population is unarmed and defenseless.

If there isn't a centralized tax collection mechanism in place, then there's no profit from invasion. In a statist society, the people have already been domesticated, making an invasion profitable.

The US government was overthrown not by invasion, but by infiltration and subversion. Over time, more and more bad laws were passed, like the frog in a pot of slowly boiling water.



I didn't like this post on BradSpangler.com. He says that it's time to leave the USA. Where else is there to go?

Brad Spangler isn't writing like a counter-economist. The correct attitude is to stand your ground and fight, rather than run away.

He linked to this article by Wendy McElroy, which had one interesting bit. If you're a sex offender, you are under severe restrictions for the rest of your life, even after you've served out your jail sentence. That's contrary to the former attitude, which was "once you've paid you're debt you're rehabilitated".

In my case, I'm under certain restrictions because I was falsely labeled with a mental illness. For example, it's illegal for me to buy or possess a gun. I'm permanently disqualified from many careers, such as policeman (not that I'd want such a job anyway).

There's one mistake that Wendy McElroy makes. As the State becomes more restrictive, economic activity grinds to a halt. At some point, the State won't be able to pay its thugs/enforcers/policeman.



I liked this post on out of step. It featured an book cover from the novel 1984 when it was first published.

One defect of 1984 is that it didn't take into account the effect of disruptive technology like the Internet. I read an unauthorized sequel called "Orwell's Revenge" by Peter Huber, where the Internet allowed people to organize and overthrow Big Brother.



I was very offended by this pdf, referred by this thread on mises.org. It was a jury questionnaire from a trial. Some of the questions were flagrantly wrong.

#35 If you have sat as a juror in a criminal case, please fill out the following chart:
Date
State or Federal
Type of Case
Jury Verdict, if there was one

In other words, you could be excluded as a juror if you were previously involved in a hung jury. You could also be excluded as a juror if you previously acquitted or convicted someone.

Biased jury selection procedures practically completely eliminate trial by jury.



I liked this article (via Hacker News). A group of MIT students reverse-engineered subway farecard systems.



I liked this article on the NY Times, via Hacker News. Online webmail services don't allow you to use certain names. For example, you can't get an account containing the words "Tibet" or "CitigroupSucks". Microsoft's error message used to say "That account contains forbidden words." Now, it merely says "That name is not available."



I liked this article about the popularity of various programming languages. Apparently, it's a regular feature on that site. (via Hacker News)



I liked this article on computer Go, via Hacker News. Playing with a 9 stone handicap, a computer beat a human professional go player. That really is an incredible achievement, considering the complexity of the problem. According to the article, a year ago, 18 stones would have been required for an even game.



I liked this post, via Hacker News, just for this line:

We need to teach ourself that confrontation is not insubordination.

This is an important part of slave brainwashing. When I say "Taxation is theft!", I'm trying to start a serious debate. Is it a crime to say "Taxation is theft!" and then try to live by your philosophy? Some people say "yes", but I'm not sure.

Is there something about American culture that leads to more original ideas? Other countries' economies seem to be based on exporting technology from the USA, rather than inventing their own.



I liked this post on no third solution. Economies of scale are really false economies. Larger organizations can most effectively lobby the State for favors. The burden of regulation compliance falls higher on small corporations than large ones.

He also writes about the risk of black market work. I'm not sure what advice is proper for an agorist. If you sell to the general public, you risk a State raid. If you sell to the general public, you broaden your reach.

Remember that it is still necessary for the agorist community to sometimes trade with outsiders or people with regular slave jobs. Some Federal Reserve Points are needed for property taxes and other purchases. You can't form a 100% self-sufficient community until the State is defeated.

Small sales to the general public help broaden your customer base. I frequently see unlicensed street vendors. If you operate on small scale, you might be able to fly under the radar.

A drug-smuggler and a raw-milk purveyor face very similar risks.

That's really pathetic, how far the US has fallen. Almost every free market activity is a crime.



I liked this post on BradSpangler.com, referring to this article by Kevin Carson, which referred to this article on mises.org. (What a chain!)

Thus, strikes—and unions in general—represent a conflict between unionized and non-unionized labor much more than between unions and management.

The only way that unions work is by aggressing against non-union members. Non-members are barred from working at the employer ("closed shop"). People are barred from crossing the picket line. Unions aggress against all customers, because the cost of higher union wages are passed on as higher prices.

In a true free market, there would be no unions. If workers feel mistreated, they will just form competing businesses. In the present, State restrictions of the market restrict people's ability to start businesses. Unions evolved to compensate for this. That is the usual problem of the State. Instead of addressing the underlying problem, further rules and regulations are enacted that exacerbate the problem.

Taft-Hartley greatly reduced the effectiveness of strikes at individual plants by prohibiting such coordination of actions across multiple plants or industries. Taft-Hartley’s cooling off periods also gave employers advance warning time to prepare for such disruptions, and greatly reduced the informational rents embodied in the training of the existing workforce. Were such restrictions on sympathy and boycott strikes in suppliers [not] in place, today’s “just-in-time” economy would likely be far more vulnerable to disruption than that of the 1930s.

This is how State regulation of unions crippled their effectiveness.

  1. Workers are required to announce strikes ahead of time, allowing employers to prepare.
  2. Coordinated strikes across multiple industries are barred. Contracts in different industries expire at different times.
  3. Mandatory cooling off periods limit the power of strikes.
  4. Management are typically members of different unions than workers. They may continue working while the other workers strike.
The Wobblies advised the "in-cube sabbatical" (like Wally in Dilbert). You stay on your job, but do the minimum possible work to avoid getting fired.

Before regulation of unions, they were like guerrilla warfare against soldiers lined up in rows.

The best way to deal with abuse by employers is to completely start you own economic system, i.e. agorism. If the rules aren't fair, then the correct thing to do is to ignore them!



I liked this article on 4th generation warfare.

The US government made a stupid tactical move when it destroyed the State in Iraq and Afghanistan. Once you have a semblance of anarchy, it's practically impossible to impose a new State again. In Iraq and Afghanistan, the vast majority of people don't accept the US-sponsored government as legitimate. It's almost impossible to govern people that won't act like cattle.



I liked this article (via Hacker News). A chemist was running a lab in his basement, and was raided by police.

The Worcester Telegram & Gazette reports that Victor Deeb, a retired chemist who lives in Marlboro, has finally been allowed to return to his Fremont Street home, after Massachusetts authorities spent three days ransacking his basement lab and making off with its contents.

Deeb is not accused of making methamphetamine or other illegal drugs. He's not accused of aiding terrorists, synthesizing explosives, nor even of making illegal fireworks. Deeb fell afoul of the Massachusetts authorities for ... doing experiments.

Authorities concede that the chemicals found in Deeb's basement lab were no more hazardous than typical household cleaning products. Despite that, authorities confiscated “all potentially hazardous chemicals” (which is to say the chemicals in Deeb's lab) from his home, and called in a hazardous waste cleanup company to test the chemicals and clean up the lab.

Pamela Wilderman, the code enforcement officer for Marlboro, stated, “I think Mr. Deeb has crossed a line somewhere. This is not what we would consider to be a customary home occupation.”

Allow me to translate Ms. Wilderman's words into plain English: "Mr. Deeb hasn't actually violated any law or regulation that I can find, but I don't like what he's doing because I'm ignorant and irrationally afraid of chemicals, so I'll abuse my power to steal his property and shut him down."

In effect, the Massachusetts authorities have invaded Deeb's lab, apparently without a warrant, and stolen his property. Deeb, presumably under at least the implied threat of further action, has not objected to the warrantless search and the confiscation of his property. Or perhaps he's just biding his time. It appears that Deeb has grounds for a nice juicy lawsuit here.

There's a lesson here for all of us who do science at home, whether we're home schoolers or DIY science enthusiasts. The government is not our friend. Massachusetts is the prototypical nanny state, of course, but the other 49 aren't far behind. Any of us could one day find the police at the door, demanding to search our home labs. If that day comes, I will demand a warrant and waste no time getting my attorney on the phone.

There's a word for what just happened in Massachusetts. Tyranny. And it's something none of us should tolerate.

A mature agorist economy will need chemists. If chemistry is banned, then it must be important!



I liked this post on no third solution. A man lost his house for failing to pay a $50 parking ticket.



I liked this post on no third solution. If you're an agorist, it might be correct to keep your operations small, or only with trusted trading partners. Otherwise, you will attract the attention of the State. I also like the way that David Z commented about the foolishness of pro-State trolls on mises.org. (I might get bored and move on soon, but posting there is driving a reasonable amount of traffic to my blog.)

By the time the State understands and accepts the problem, it will have already gone viral, and it will be probably be too late to prevent the proliferation of agorist praxis. Until that point, the State is looking around and saying, “I don’t see any agorism, therefore it either doesn’t exist or it must be a failure.”

Whether agorism turns out to be a failure, I believe, remains to be seen. However, if agorists can succeed in risk management, where all others have failed, the prospects are promising.

This is a point the pro-State trolls on mises.org make. "We see no agorism. Therefore, it doesn't exist."

Risk management is key. If you restrict yourself to trustworthy trading partner, then you maximize your reach. However, blatant-in-public agorism might be useful to spread awareness.

Also, the cost of working as a slave is steep. You pay a direct tax of 50% on your labor, *PLUS* the cost of regulation compliance, *PLUS* the inflation tax. A true agorist would have his productivity dramatically raised. If you take into account the effect of compound interest, then you have exponential growth once an agorist revolution gets started.



I liked this post on psychological tricks and tips. One person repeating the same thing three times can be almost as persuasive as three different people saying it once. This supports the mainstream media "lie by repeated assertion" tactic. Combined with the Asche Conformity Test and the "value of the first dissenter", repeating a dissenting opinion is valuable, especially if your opinion is better than the majority opinion.

TAXATION IS THEFT!
TAXATION IS THEFT!
TAXATION IS THEFT!

Of course, any regularly reader already knows "Taxation is theft!" or is seriously considering the possibility that's true.



I liked this article, for this quote.

the United Nations was the world’s largest, continuously-run, brainwashing programme for leaders of developing countries

I consider the parasite class as an inferior alien species.



I liked this story (via Hacker News). A group of MIT students exposed security flaws in the subway ticketing system. A judge issued an injunction preventing them from discussing their discovery.

How about fixing the flaws in the security system?

Rulings like this protect corporations and managers that produce crap hardware and crap software.

If you can always get an injunction to silence people who expose your stupid decisions, then why bother to do anything correctly?

Designing a truly secure ticketing system is not hard. Each card has a serial number. The value of the card is stored both on the card and on the server. Then, fraud is practically impossible. If there's a synchronization error, (value on card not equal to value on server), then you let the rider ride and flag it for review later. If someone is counterfeiting, they'll get caught eventually.



I liked this post.



The trend over the past few years is a 30% annualized increase in the price of oil. True inflation is approximately 30%.



I liked this article on jury nullification, which made a point I hadn't noticed before. The author mentioned that he knew someone who was a victim of a crime by the son of a politically connected businessman. The prosecutor decided to offer a generous plea-bargain instead of pursuing criminal charges.

Prosecutors have wide discretion in a case. They may choose whether to pursue charges or not, and they may choose to offer a lenient plea-bargain. However, to suggest that jurors have any discretion at all, is forbidden.

I liked this article. It said that if you're on a jury, you should not discuss jury nullification with the other jurors. You should quietly hold out and refuse to convict. If you mention to the other jurors that you are nullifying, and they tell the judge, then you may be kicked off the jury.



I liked this post on xkcd.




Aside from the fundamental flaw of voting in the first place, the electronic voting machine manufacturers are particularly corrupt and incompetent.

Even if it were possible to 100% fairly and accurately count votes, voting doesn't legalize theft. Taxation is theft, and no amount of voting legitimizes it. A majority of 51%, 75%, 99%, or 99.99% do not have the right to steal from the minority. Of course, if the majority assume they have the right to steal from you, it's tactically difficult to defend yourself. The majority is dangerous because of their numbers, but not so dangerous because of their stupidity.



I liked this post on rec.humor.funny. The computers that operate Olympic graphics were running Windows. A "blue screen of death" appeared during the opening ceremonies. Allegedly, it was XP and not Vista. Photos are available here and via other sources.





I liked this article on why Ruby on Rails sucks. He tried rewriting his website in Rails. He tried for two years without success, hiring one of the world's best Rails programmers to help. He switched to php, then finished in two months by himself. His problem was similar to what I observed. If what you want isn't exactly provided by Rails, then there's no benefit to using Rails. In that case, the restrictions imposed by Rails are a hindrance and not a benefit.

If you have half a clue, any libraries you need can be written yourself. This is easy in Microsoft Visual Studio and even in php.



Someone submitted my post on the Non-Aggression Principle to Digg. According to Google Analytics, my blog has about 100-200 regular readers. That article has 2 Diggs. My old article on "Real GDP is Decreasing" only attracted 5 Diggs.

I conclude that "regular readers of this blog" intersection "active Digg users" is less than 2%.

I lost interest in Digg once I realized that people can game the system. The problem with Digg is that it presents the same "home page" to each Digg user.

A better Digg-like engine would present a custom home page to each user, based on overlaps between "Dugg/buried by A" and "Dugg/buried by B". If two users have a similar profile, then Digg can automatically increase the weight of their ratings. Further, Digg could allow users to specifically "friend" someone, which would also increase their weight.

In other words, if A and B tend to like the same articles, then stories that A likes should be automatically presented to B, even if that's not what a majority of the site users believe.



I liked this post on SHOW US THE LAW. What percentage of cops are bad cops? It's practically impossible to determine, because most instances of police abuse are covered up.

If you're a policeman, and you notice another policeman doing something wrong, the incentive is for you to keep quiet. Someday, you may need another cop to return the favor. It's like being a member of a religious cult or criminal gang.

The bad guys *WANT* police to be corrupt! Most laws are not legitimate, and corrupt police are needed to enforce illegitimate laws!

In fact, the bad guys *WANT* police to be underpaid! This way, they can make most of their income via bribery. This encourages corruption.

Public schooling trains some people to be bullies. How many of those school bullies grow up to be policemen? Based on my experiences, there's always 1-2 bullies per class, and I went to good schools.

There's also the "eliminating bad apples" fallacy. A policeman does something wrong and gets caught. He gets a slap on the wrist or, in the worst case, loses his job. "The bad policeman was fired. Therefore, the remaining policeman was honest." Let's turn this logic on his head. "One person who owned a gun and misused it was caught. Therefore, everyone else who owns a gun is a saint."

You can't draw conclusions based on one instance. "One bad policeman got caught" does not imply "All bad policemen get caught". "One person misused a gun" does not imply "Everyone who owns a gun misuses it". The mainstream media overhypes single instances, with the implication that they're the general case.

A detailed analysis of the flaws of monopolistic State police is the *LAST* thing the bad guys want.

As a rule of thumb, if your salary is backed by State violence, then you are a net parasite. Police are guaranteed their salary by the State. Therefore, police are overall abusive. Individual policemen may be good or have good intentions, but the average over all policemen is abuse.

For example, a policeman who conducts a no-knock violent drug raid is probably not consciously aware that he is committing a crime. His primary goal is to conduct the raid without getting hurt himself. His secondary goal is to make sure no "evidence" is destroyed. His tertiary goal is to make sure that none of the victims are injured/killed.



I liked this post on no third solution, summarizing a flamewar thread on mises.org regarding private justice.

One way that private justice can enforce their verdicts is by private police forces. That would be necessary in the case of a violent murderer or serial robber. However, that is not controversial, because almost everyone agrees that individual theft and individual murder are crimes.

If a private court becomes abusive, then they will lose out to free market competition. The objection is "What happens if a private court gains too much power and can violently impose its will?". That's the present problem. We call this abusive private court the government. Once a true free market is established, nobody would allow a monopoly of violence to form again. First, there would be a change in attitude. Second, free market competition would make it impractical to form a monopoly. If you made 20% progress towards becoming a new State, then everyone else would unite in opposition.

Another way that private courts can enforce their verdicts is the power of ostracism. This would work for contracts and small criminal crimes. For example, suppose the road in front of your house was fixed, and the repairs cost $10,000. If there are 50 houses and you refused to pay your share of $200, and can't prove the repair was improper, then you would be the victim of ostracism for refusing to pay. If the private court has an excellent reputation, then paying $200 would definitely be better than suffering ostracism.

I also liked the way that David Z called out the trolls on mises.org. If someone has a better plan for freedom than agorism, I'd seriously consider it. Some trolls are denigrating agorism, because they think they have a better plan, but it's really a stupid marketing scam. If you have another plan for achieving freedom, I'm not violently opposing you. If your plan is stupid, I'm going to say so.

The biggest risks that agorists will face initially is the State. As part of any agorist contract, there would be a condition "I agree to not complain to the State if we have a disagreement." Until the State is defeated, this is the most important unbreakable rule for an agorist.



This post on no third solution had a nice title. The government cannot "invest in alternative energy". All the government would actually accomplish is "subsidies/kickbacks for lobbyists".

Besides, the whole "alternative energy" debate will seem silly once Zero Point Energy technology is released.



This post on Check Your Premises had two interesting cartoons.



I liked this post on Check Your Premises. A woman lost all her official ID, and is now SOL. You need an ID card to get an official copy of your birth certificate, and you need a birth certificate to get an ID card.

It is amusing how someone who loses all their ID, via accident or theft, can become an "undocumented alien". There have been multiple reported instances of this problem.

For this reason, I advise agorists to still give birth in a hospital. Free market health care isn't viable yet. You need official papers for many tasks. I'd advise natural childbirth, with a doctor available for backup if needed.



I liked this post on BradSpangler.com, in reference to this post on How Stuff Works. It's a cynical look at "How to Start Your Own Country".

Starting your own country is very simple.
  1. Establish of monopoly of violence in an area. Eliminate all your competition.
  2. Collect taxes/tribute from your victims.
  3. Establish a monopoly of money. Replace free market money (gold and silver) with your unbacked paper. Inflate at a carefully controlled rate, so that people's savings are stolen, but not so fast that they get disgusted and boycott your money. Make it illegal to use gold or silver as money.
  4. Brainwash your victims to believe that your theft is morally just.
  5. Establish a system of fake justice, so that your arbitrary decrees are enforced and given an appearance of legitimacy. Make up a Constitution, so that people have the illusion that their rights are protected.
  6. Establish a monopoly of information, via control of TV and newspapers. Require mandatory schooling/brainwashing for all children.
  7. Establish universities, where biased researchers proclaim the brilliance of your leadership.
  8. Now that you have a monopoly of information, allow people to elect their own rulers. Since you control the media, only candidates you approve can be elected. You may rule without anyone being consciously aware of your power.
  9. Pretend to have wars with other leaders, so you can proclaim to your slaves how you are better than all other masters.
  10. Make sure that all workers have most of their productivity drained by taxes. This way, they won't have the resources to oppose and overthrow you.
  11. Establish corporations that control each industry. If any of the people you assign to manage them misbehave, then it is easy to discredit them.
This bit deserves its own separate post.



I liked this post on lowercase liberty. Inflation is pretty bad. Instead of raising prices, corporations are cutting back on the quality of their product.



I liked this article on the 10/120 rule, via Hacker News. If you can't learn enough about a programming language in 10 minutes to do a 120 minute demo project, then that language is useless.

Rails fails this test. Php passes this test. Visual Studio C#/ASP.NET passes this test.



I liked this post on no third solution. I've heard this story cited in *MANY* places. In a marijuana trial, a juror submitted a judge a question saying "Does Congress really have the authority to ban marijuana? A constitutional amendment was required to ban alcohol. Why may Congress ban marijuana without a similar amendment?" The juror was then booted from the jury, after they had started deliberating.

Actually, the correct question is "Does Congress have the authority to do anything at all? Why does Congress have the right to steal from me via taxes and use the profits to hurt other people?"

If you understand jury nullification like I do, you'd probably have to lie to get placed on a jury. Is it worth lying to protect someone else from being the victim of State violence? Is it worth wasting a few weeks of time?

If you do want to nullify and do manage to get on a jury, *KEEP QUIET*. Hold out and acquit, without explaining your beliefs to the other jurors. If the other jurors start sending suspicious questions to the judge, then you'll get booted off the jury.

Of course, if you want to get out of jury duty, just indicate that you understand jury nullification. If it were a "possession of marijuana" or "tax evasion" case, I'd feel motivated to help out the defendant. If it were drunk driving or murder, I would not be sympathetic to the defendant.



I liked this post on the Liberty Papers. A clueless TSA agent damaged an airplane. He broke temperature/altitude sensors. Luckily, other people noticed the problem before the airplane took off.

The TSA agent is protected by sovereign immunity. This was criminal negligence. A TSA employee should not be touching an airplane if he isn't a mechanic. The TSA agent is absolutely immune from negative consequences for his misconduct.



I liked this article, via Hacker News. What separates a really talented person from a failure? It's knowing when to give up! Someone who keeps following a losing strategy wastes a lot of time and energy. Someone who says "This is pointless! Do something else!" avoids wasting time.

The key skill is recognizing what's worth persevering at, and what's worth abandoning.

For example, should you say "This job is pointless! Go work somewhere else!" or "This is a great career opportunity!"? There's nothing immoral about leaving a dead-end situation.

For example, when I was in graduate school studying for a PhD in Mathematics, I decided "This is pointless!" When I realized that people as smart or smarter than me weren't finding decent jobs, I realized it was time to try something else. It would have been worth it if grad school was enlightening, but it wasn't. I could have learned just as much with a library card or from buying a few Math textbooks.

If I had stayed in the academic career track, I probably would never have discovered the flaws in the economic and political system. I probably would have never started blogging.

My most recent job as a software engineer was a dead end. Pursuing software engineering as a career seems like a dead end. It's time to try something else! My plan is to continue working as a slave software engineer, while pursuing agorism on the side until it's more profitable than working as a slave. I'm also considering experimenting with standup comedy, as a means to promote agorism.

As another example, my blog is worth pursuing. My blog is not a source of income (yet). The quality of my writing and thinking is improving, which is valuable by itself. According to Google Analytics, there are noticeable increases in my readership. I see other people intelligently describing and defending agorism, which may be a direct or indirect consequence of my writing. The quality of other articles on agorism and free markets has increased substantially in a year.

This is an important aspect of pro-State brainwashing. People are encouraged/brainwashed to keep trying, even in hopeless situations. You should always be asking "Is this a waste of time? Should I be trying something else?" By pursuing multiple interests, you may drop those that are the least productive and stick with those that are the most productive.

Of course, the ultimate realization is "The current economic and political system is a complete waste. It's time to try something else."

This bit deserves its own separate post.



Based on the feedback to FSK Asks - Blog and Ex-Employer, I decided against E-Mailing them. If they have a clue, it's their obligation to contact me. I'll ask some of the clueful ones for reference checks, and that's it.

The marketing owners didn't treat me fairly either. They should have offered me a written options plan immediately after I was hired or during the offer stage. The fact that they didn't do this, is a clear indication that they didn't respect me.

Also, I could see how my blog could be interpreted negatively. I don't want other people to know about my history of illness. I blog under a pseudonym because I don't want future employers discriminating against me based on my political beliefs.

Trying to go back to my ex-employer would be like trying to go back to a girlfriend that has dumped you or abused you. I agree that I should just let it go and move on. I feel better now that a week has passed. Also, I feel that my overall enlightenment has improved as a result of the experience.

I learned something from the experience. I have a much better "scumdar" now. I'm able to identify dishonest people quickly. In a few days, I was almost sure that the idiot new manager was a scumbag. My gut reaction was "This guy is trouble!" and I was correct, but I waited a few days to be sure. (Just like gay people can identify gay people via "gaydar", I can identify scum via my "scumdar". I've been abused by enough scumbags that I'm highly sensitized to noticing them now. That should be a really valuable skill!)

Since I learned something, I shouldn't feel too bad. I suspect the Rails advocate learned nothing, except how to be a more efficient scumbag next time. He'll be fired soon, and lie his way into another job he's totally unqualified for.



YOUR STOCK MARKET has left a new comment on your post "The Velocity of Money":

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I thought about rejecting this comment as spam, until I realized it's on-topic.

Maybe you should contact my ex-employer? Do you want their contact information? They have money burning a hole in their pocket and they have no ability to develop anything that works.



David Gross has left a new comment on your post "FSK Asks - What's a Good RSS Reader?":

I'm happy with Bloglines (https://www.bloglines.com/).

I gave it a lookover. It was inferior to Google Reader. I was particularly put off by slow page loading times.

Ansiao has left a new comment on your post "FSK Asks - What's a Good RSS Reader?":

I tried a bunch of them and Google Reader still was the best.

You may "Star" (press s) an item, and use the starred items as a second reading list.

I don't need that. If I see anything good, I'll "share" it and then mention it in my blog.

Google Reader is still the best of the ones I tried. If only they fixed the "automatically expire posts after 30 days" problem!

David_Z has left a new comment on your post "FSK Asks - What's a Good RSS Reader?":

I "star" items all the time, but those get lost in an unfilterable list of all starred items. AFAIK. Admittedly, I probably just don't know what I'm doing...

I just mention the best stuff in my "Reader Mail" posts. That helps keep track of things.

I guess I'll just have to write my own RSS reader. Instead of being a whiny bitch complaining in my blog, I'll write it myself. That's what a real man programmer would do.

I'm looking for a good personal project. Maybe I'll do that. The improvements over Google Reader would be:
  1. DON'T AUTO-EXPIRE POSTS AFTER 30 DAYS!
  2. In blogs with multiple authors, split it into sub-feeds by author. For example, Kevin Carson posts on a multi-person blog, and I am only interested it his posts. (Sites should do this automatically for you, but I'd have to do it in the RSS client.)
  3. For blogs that don't offer full feeds, have an option to automatically open the post in a new window.
  4. For blog-like sites with no RSS feed, offer an option to automatically check the page for new content.
  5. Cache content locally, allowing for fast loading times.
That sounds like a decent personal project.



edzillion has left a new comment on your post "The Compound Interest Paradox":

I often find myself trying to explain this paradox, and have a v. tough time getting it across.

I think you make a good attempt.

There's a mental stumbling block regarding the Compound Interest Paradox. Some people get it, and some people don't. "Joel on Software" says that some people get pointer arithmetic and some people don't. No matter how hard they try, some people won't understand pointer arithmetic. Similarly, some people just don't get the Compound Interest Paradox.

I like my explanation. I've tried explaining it in many different ways in many different places.

It's obvious that fiat money and inflation are evil. You need to understand the Compound Interest Paradox in order to understand the true evil of the US monetary system.

I fully agree with your core point, that the pure-fiat monetary system (and not just that of the Fed) is flawed. That it is based on a system of constantly borrowing to pay back bigger and bigger loans. Since the loans must be bigger every time (to pay back the prinicpal and the interest accrued) it causes an exponential increase in debt and consequently the money supply too.

After that point, I must admit I am lost. Can this system work? Well, for a time it seems to - after all it has worked so far. Is it sustainable? Who knows?

There are a couple of factors pointing in the direction of total collapse.

1. Since real interest rates are negative, the incentive is for large banks to load up on as much leverage as possible. This creates the "moral hazard" problem. When large banks are wrong, they are "too big to fail" and are bailed out directly (JP Morgan Chase, Bear Stearns, FNM, FRE) or indirectly via inflation.

In turn, the "moral hazard" problem means that banks can load up on even more leverage in the next cycle. This causes an acceleration in the inflation rate.

2. Assuming a constant rate of leeching by the financial industry, then it might be sustainable. Total debt grows exponentially, but total money also can grow exponentially. If they grow in tandem at the appropriate rate, then collapse can be forestalled. All indications are towards an increasing rate of parasitism, not decreasing.

3. People might start boycotting the Federal Reserve and income tax. This is agorism. I see such a movement in the seed stages. That will probably be the actual cause of the collapse.

Maybe the wheels are coming off the wagon, though and news such as
Global Derivatives Market now valued at $1.14 Quadrillion! - which is larger that total world wealth!

Negative real interest rates feed the derivatives market.

Each of those trades may only be yielding a profit of 1% or 0.1% of the nominal amount. In other words, only $11.4T-$1.14T is being leeched by the derivatives market.

This would seem to suggest that the system is collapsing due to the weight of it's own contradictions. But who knows? There are stranger systems that seem to trundle on for millenia...

I predict the collapse will occur approximately 20 years from now. I consider that prediction slightly less obvious than "The Ruby on Rails project at my ex-job was a disaster!"



Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The "Low Unemployment Causes Inflation" Fallacy":

One cannot create an inflation by demanding a higher wage. This is because it is a zero-sum game, as someone will have to cut their spending or wage to make your higher wage possible. All it does is it reallocates resources more precisely, according to merit.

A true free market is a positive sum game. The current system is a zero-sum or negative-sum game.

The psychopaths who control the US economy think that wealth is a zero-sum or negative-sum game. The only way they can get more for themselves is by cheating their workers.

Prices for goods won't change because there is no change in quantity of goods produced, nor there will be a change in total money units available to purchase those goods.

It is only the last name of the person who now makes more money and purchases more goods that has changed. It used to be Jones, and now it is Morris. Jones now buys less.

Inflation, being defined as an increase in money supply, cannot originate from one worker getting higher wage and another lower. Unless, you have a socialist government that had set minimum wage laws, which prevent Jones wage being lowered. Now, it is either the prices must get higher, or FED must give in to "inflationary pressures" and print some more money to add to Morris's wage.

So, as you can see, a lot of things that idiot have described (Keynes), were merely consequences of his wrong theories, and not descriptions of how world operated without Keynes wasting the oxygen.
I agree that Keynesian economics is fake economics.

Was he an idiot? By spewing carefully calculated propaganda, he made quite a reputation for himself! If he lived in the present, Keynes might be working as a Ruby on Rails software architect at a startup run by idiots.



Thomas Blair has left a new comment on your post "The Velocity of Money":

anarcho-mercantilist:

Of course. GDP is a nearly useless figure. GDP increases in the face of expanded government spending (theft), increasing inefficiency of corporations, with disaster reconstruction (broken window fallacy, anyone?), yet decreases for increasing private efficiency, and for increasing off-the-books private activity.

There are also questions about which measure of the money supply to use. Broad? Narrow? Gold?

FSK wrote: "Does anybody know what the "velocity of money" in the USA is right now? It can't be calculated from any of the publicly available government statistics."

I was just supplying the answer.

I disagree with the definition you gave.

velocity = national product / money supply

The problem is that money supply affects the calculation of "national product". You have one equation with two unknowns. You don't know "national product" and you don't know "velocity". Uncertainty in the value of "money supply" leads to uncertainty in the value of "inflation-adjusted national product".

I considered this definition:

velocity = unadjusted national product / (money supply)^2

However, that seemed silly. I assume that "national product" = "unadjusted national product"/"money supply".



Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Did the USA Declare Bankruptcy?":

They thought they were going to get our guns this year... THANK GOD... the whole situation is coming to a head...

I assume you're referring to Heller vs. DC? That decision was a masterful piece of propaganda. If the Supreme Court ruled that individuals do not have the right to bear arms, then there might have been a push to amend the constitution (as if the language in the 2nd amendment wasn't clear enough). The Supreme Court gave a narrow ruling and left the possibility open for further restriction in the future.

Here's one of my favorite jokes:

Q: Why do you have the right to bear arms?
A: If you try to take my gun away from me, I'll shoot you!

Individuals don't just need handguns. They also really do need assault rifles. The right to bear arms isn't just protection from ordinary crime, where a handgun suffices. The right to bear arms exists so individuals can protect themselves from their own government.



J has left a new comment on your post "The Compound Interest Paradox":

The terms you need to look into are M0, M1, M2 and M3.
M0 gives you the amount on physical money and from there on the money supplied is created through loans.
In general, Fed (or other central banks) can only have a direct effect on M0 but because of capital requirements of banks it also effects indirectly the whole monetary supply.
So yes, there is less "real" money than the whole amount in the system. My question is that how come all you didn't know this?

I should never have gone back and re-enabled comments on that post. It's bringing out the trolls!

I know all about M0, M1, M2, and M3. I wrote an article on "Money Supply Statistics Explained".

You are exactly wrong. The Federal Reserve directly affects M2 and M3. Federal Reserve repurchase agreements are included in M3 but not M2. Most money is created electronically. M0 is only a tiny fraction of the money created.

My complaint was not "M0 less than M3". My complaint was "M3 is less than total outstanding debt". M2 is less than the Federal government national debt! How can the government be in debt by more money than actually exists? My point is that if all loans are simultaneously repaid, there isn't enough money to go around to repay all of them.

You should work on your trolling.



Monkt has left a new comment on your post "Reader Mail #63":

I think I've reduced the entire pro-state mindset to one phrase. "People are stupid, therefore they should be controlled by not-stupids like me."

That's an oversimplification. There's more to it than that.

"People are stupid, but State employees are magically blessed with intelligence." Similarly, quasi-State employees such as corporate managers are blessed with intelligence while their subordinates are stupid. If they're so smart, then why aren't they the manager! "Of course the Ruby on Rails project is amazing! If I wasn't such a genius, I wouldn't be managing this project! If you're so smart, why are you working for a fool like me?"

"People are evil, but State employees are magically blessed with goodness." Individuals are too stupid/evil to possess guns. Monopolistic state policemen never abuse their power.

How about "State employees are magically blessed with powers that ordinary people lack."?



Zargon has left a new comment on your post "Reader Mail #63":

I liked the details of your personal journey toward the truth. That should definitely be it's own post, even if it's just copy-pasted from this one. My own journey was much more boring, with less "hard-way" learning.

I set those out as separate posts. I have about 4 months of posts in my draft queue. I'll be publishing it then.

I hope that I'm condensing my experiences in a format that will be useful to others. However, "hard-way" learning is more valuable than "easy-way" learning. Based on my recent job experience, I believe I now have the ability to tell almost immediately if someone is a scumbag. After being abused in so many jobs, I've developed a heightened awareness to the possibility of people who are good at promoting themselves, but have no skill at writing software or managing a software project.

I also wondered about those comments that essentially stated you would be better off at your job if you sat down, shut up, and did what you were told. Lots of people think that and live by that, but to see that advice actually given to somebody with a story like yours to tell was kind of shocking. The possibility of a traditional troll crossed my mind, but this doesn't seem like the kind of place people like that would hang out.

I suspect that comment might have been placed by the Rails advocate. (see below)

Every forum attracts trolls. Here, I try to keep them under wraps by ridiculing them.

There are a couple of useful lessons.

First, being able to write a simple website or application is much more valuable than I previously thought. About 10%-20% of the people I've worked with could have handled my ex-employer's project by themselves. From my point of view, it's totally obvious which software engineers know what they're doing, and which ones are faking it. From the point of view of a "marketing wizard", you're almost definitely going to hire someone unqualified who's good at promoting himself.

Second, if you start a software company, you'd better know someone qualified to write the first version of the product by themselves in a few months. If you don't know anyone capable of doing this, don't start a software company.

Third, if you're stuck in a hopeless situation, move on. If you're stuck in a hopeless job, then the correct thing to do is to try and fix things or get fired. "Fire FSK" was not a threat since I'm a really skilled worker and not someone who's faking it. The Rails advocate must do everything he can to hold onto his job. He lied himself into a job he's totally unqualified for, and he's desperate to hang on. My ex-job was nothing special. It could have been cool, but it wasn't. If it didn't have the potential to be cool, then I wouldn't have bothered in the first place.

"Getting stuck in a hopeless situation" doesn't just apply to jobs. If you're dating someone and they're not friendly, then dump them and find someone else. The mark of intelligence is knowing what's worth abandoning and what's worth pursuing.

I also have a job with a financial company (of somewhat larger size), and although our core product is entirely done in C++, I work on the fringes, so to speak, doing other stuff mostly with C#, but other languages as well. I thought that was odd, given that virtually all of my college degree was based on C++ work (this is my first technical job), but I understood that good programmers can pick up any good language pretty easily. Perhaps it's a good thing I'm working on newer languages, since hiring managers don't seem to know that.

Anyone with basic competence of software knows that anyone skilled can pick up any language quickly. (I don't count "Ruby on Rails" as a professional-quality language/platform.) Therefore, I conclude that most hiring managers don't know anything about software. The typical hiring manager is an unqualified idiot who lied his way into his job.

From an "HR buzzword screening" perspective, you need current resume keywords. From a practical standpoint, if you're writing software and know what you're doing, you're picking up good experience.

Good luck with your job search. Staying in the area could make that more difficult, but it sounds like you live in the right sort of area to try.

I'm staying in the same geographic area, but I'm not restricting myself to financial software. On a "buzzword screening" basis, my resume is not impressive. The languages I've worked with the most, C/C++, are not popular anymore.

I live in a large city. There are plenty of possibilities. Looking at the Internet, I'm finding a lot more jobs compared to a few months ago. Plus, I found some developers' mailing lists with decent job postings. They're a higher quality than the Craigslist garbage, but Craigslist is better than Monster/Dice. Monster/Dice are dominated by headhunters. Craigslist has a few small startups, a handful of which are worth seriously considering.

If a hiring manager is using a headhunter, that's actually a bad sign. It says "I'm too lazy to read through resumes and do a first phone screening myself." Hiring is so important that a manager should be willing to invest 1-2 weeks in each hire. Unless you're an expert software engineer yourself, you probably won't do that great of a job screening software engineer hires. A headhunter who is completely non-technical isn't adding much value.



sunni has left a new comment on your post "Reader Mail #63":

Have you tried selling? According to what I read, small transactions aren't reportable.

No, I haven't tried selling yet. Not a good climate for it at present. I bought the metal as a long-term investment, so I'm not looking to sell anytime soon. I hope another reader with experience will contribute to this discussion, as I'd like to know what I can expect, too.

I have zero actual experience investing in money (gold/silver). I've done my background work and I'm ready to get started soon.

My parents say "OMFG!! You can't buy physical gold! What if someone steals it!" First, if I purchase anonymously with cash, nobody will know I have it. This is "security via obscurity". Second, I'm not converting all my savings to money, just a tiny fraction at a time.

Investing in money isn't practical until I achieve more interpersonal freedom.



barry b. has left a new comment on your post "Rent Control":

I read Thomas Sowell's 'A citizens guide to basic economics' and rent control is one of the first socialist fantasies he destroys. To sum it up; rent control is the best way to destroy the housing of any city or country...

Rent control can do more damage to a cities housing than war - and make the recontruction even more difficult.

New construction is usually exempt from the rent control law. Over time, the percentage of rent controlled housing decreases.

Rent control is a patch for a corrupt economic system. Inflation is higher than wage increases. Rent control allows underpaid workers to keep their homes.

Suppose there were no rent control. Workers who don't earn much would be forced to move away. In turn, this would create a shortage of workers in low-paying jobs. Employers would be forced to raise salaries to attract workers. Alternatively, higher rents would create a demand for new housing construction.

In other words, rent control is also a type of subsidy for employers who rely on cheap labor. If the workers live in a rent-controlled apartment, then they're able to underpay them.



sunni has left a new comment on your post "Reader Mail #64 - Job Comments":

Actually, a consultant is just a different class of slave. If you're still billing your hourly wage, your income is limited. Plus, most consultants work at large corporate clients.

True. That's why I wrote exactly what I did: the beginning of a more voluntaryist approach (or something very close to that; I didn't recheck before starting this comment). Your parents would presumably not have issues with a consulting job, right? It might be a way to get from where you are to where you want to be.

For now, I will get some type of regular slave job, employee or consultant, to appease my parents. When I attain more interpersonal freedom, I'll look into starting my own business, either a slave business or an agorist business.

I now have the ability to tell the difference between software engineers and managers who know what they're doing, and ones who are faking it. That is a very valuable skill in the right context. I'll probably have to start my own company to exploit it. Another possibility is that some of the marketing owners at my now-former job will invite me to start their next business with them.

I made the "bold prediction" that it will be a complete disaster and they will never have a working product. They sort of believed me, but they'll need a few more months of failure to be totally convinced.

The idiot new manager may have a chance of success or turning things around somewhat, if he replaces the Rails advocate with someone of average ability. The odds are still incredibly stacked against them.



Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Reader Mail #64 - Job Comments":

"Here's the way I look at it. My *REAL* job is "Get an agorist free market economy started." My "source of income" is writing useless software for idiots."

Very interesting. I'm currently writing useful software for a broad spectrum of people towards the ultimate goal of building agorist software. If it were a few months later, I'd probably be in a position to offer you a job (I'm building a business here and am competing in a fast growing 400M market)

$400M market? Social networking software is a lot bigger than $400M, isn't it?

There are a couple of ways to promote agorism. First, there's directly implementing agorism myself. Second, there's the possibility of writing social networking software that would enable agorists, but run it as a for-profit legal business. Third, there's standup comedy or independent filmmaker, which would also be a for-profit legal business.

I would recommend that you don't use headhunters. They are clueless, as you've discovered.

That is true. If the hiring manager is using a headhunter, that's a big (but not definite) indication that he's clueless. I found my first job via a headhunter and that worked out well, so I wouldn't absolutely bar headhunters.

Anybody who asks you to take a BrainBench test is clueless. I flat-out refuse them now. You can't spare someone to talk to me for 30 minutes to figure out if I have a clue? If you aren't willing to do that, then you aren't serious about hiring someone good.

I've also decided to start refusing programming assignments. They take 6-12 hours to do correctly. Even then, I don't always get an interview.

You'll do much better finding individuals and talking to them. I don't know what city you're in so I don't know what the software scene is like, but in many cities they have startup organizations -like ones where founders meet investors (angel forums and VC forums) they also have "start your own company" type forums and groups-- excellent places to find decent people. You have strong opinions and a strong perspective, if your engineering matches your writing, then I think you should be %50 of a company with some guy you meet at one of these such forums, and the two of you should be going out and getting investment (or better yet, going to market without taking any investment- food is cheap and software doesn't require a lot of capital, just effort.)

Maybe I'll start looking into that. I might accept some wage slave job and look for a startup opportunity.

There's a pretty lousy software scene where I live. It seems to be mostly financial software and web development run by idiots.

Find the founders and the managers of the companies you want to work for- thru linkedin , facebook, the above mentioned forums etc. The jobs you see in craigslist and on boards are generally the worse jobs- the ones where they are looking for cogs. You're not a junior software engineer, you're a senior software engineer (based on 10 years experience.) So if your interview don't pan out, start directly targeting the best prospects and getting to know them. They will not resent the opportunity to get to know and engineer that can help them bring their vision to reality.


I really should be treated as a senior software engineer or startup co-founder, rather than a junior software engineer. It's tricky.

Craigslist is mixed. I've found some promising opportunities, with also a large volume of clueless people. It's a filtering process.

Also, never be "unemployed"... always work on something. Even if its not something that can be profitable, make an open source app or something and you can put that on your resume. Shows you learning new skills. Even better, start a small company. There's lots of small businesses one could start and be essentially instantly profitable. Makes a good thing to fall back on when you find yourself in this situation.

My personal project right now is my blog.

I'm also considering writing my own RSS reader. I'm considering writing an XNA game.

I'm really interested in businesses that would relate to promoting agorism. Those probably wouldn't be software-related. I've been contemplating experimenting with standup comedy.

Sorry I keep giving you advice- I'm constantly telling you what to do. I think this is because I've been in very much the same situation, and it took me several years to get the right perspective. I hope I don't come across as patronizing at all. But I wasted several years dealing with headhunters before I realized I didn't need them, and found I got better offers for better jobs without them.....

You are posting "Anonymously". I have no idea who you are. I can't tell the difference between your comments and the other Anonymous comments. If you want me to track your comments, then get a login. You may use an anonymous label like "FSK" if you want anonymity.

I'll try to take a more active role regarding finding a job. I'm also going to more seriously filter out scumbags this time, even if it means being unemployed longer. I just started looking, so I should be picky at first.



Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Reader Mail #64 - Job Comments":

BTW, if your employer has VC funding, then they already have a stock plan in place. Promising to give you options when they got the plan in place means either that they want to create a second plan for "regular employees" (and deny them access to the same terms as the founders) or they were just shining you on and never intended to give you options. IF you had that promise in writing, it would be actionable legally...

It would not be actionable legally. I was an "at-will" employee and they chose to fire me before any vesting occurred. I have no recourse.

If there were 1 year cliff vesting and I got fired after 11 months, I'm SOL.

It was only a vague promise by E-Mail, nothing specific.

Their business is going bankrupt anyway. What point is there to sue for nothing?

I once got hired by a company that gave me options and then let me go when they hired someone cheaper to replace me... they did this before vesting started, so I got no options at all. As early a stage as the company you were working for, you should have gotten them and had them vesting right away.

They weren't totally early stage. They had a valuation of $20M! That was purely based on marketing hype of a nonexistent product! I would have considered 0.5% to be reasonably fair, 1.0% to be generous, and 0.25% to be stingy. Assuming a sale for $500M, 1% would have been worth ~$4M. (You should assume dilution as more VC is raised.)

A lot of companies like to do no vesting for the first year or 6 months, and its unfortunate that engineers let them get away with this...

The job market is an employers' market. Most software engineers say "Ooh! Equity!" or "Ooh! Options!" without properly pricing them. In my ex-employer's case, it was very likely they would sell the company for $0.5B-$1B if they had a working product. When I first started working there, that outcome seemed plausible. There were promises of "The details of the option plan will be settled soon." They said they were still writing up the legal documents.

I give an illustration of properly pricing equity/options below.

The Rails advocate hinted that he had been given an explicit written options offer. The fact that my boss did not insist that I be given a written options offer is a clear indication that he is a pussy. A real boss would demand fair treatment for his subordinates. I didn't press the issue, because I wanted to judge their character. After the main marketing owner made a promise of "Written options plan soon!", I wanted to see if he would deliver. He didn't, and I shouldn't feel bad that his $500M opportunity got flushed down the toilet. Even then, I still feel kind of sorry for him.



Zargon has left a new comment on your post "Reader Mail #64 - Job Comments":

My parents are not supportive of me. They are giving financial support, but not emotional support. They are saying "FSK got fired because FSK is a loser!" That's the wrong attitude, but they're too old to change. By default, they assume that all the bad things that have happened to me are a direct result of a mistake I made. They don't even get "The 'chemical imbalance' theory of mental illness is nonsense."

Realistically, I can't work on my own business while stuck here. My first goal is interpersonal freedom, which includes getting my own apartment. To appease my parents, I must get a regular slave job for now. (That sucks, but my freedom is restricted due to my illness. If I can avoid relapsing for another year and have a steady job, then I can justify moving out. I'd move out today if I could manage it without resistance from them.)

Working as an agorist while living with my parents is infeasible, because they'd say "OMFG!! That's illegal!" They'd be the first ones testifying against me in the event of an IRS audit.

Do your parents have some state-enforced power over you due to your illness?

Whenever I disagree with them, they view that as a symptom of a new mental break. I never disagreed with them before I got sick. If they thought I was moving out without their consent, they might call 911 and have me hospitalized. I'd been hospitalized previously, so the doctors would accept my parents' word as fact.

For my previous 4 hospitalizations, my parents called the cops/ambulance each time. When you're involuntarily hospitalized for a mental illness, you get escorted there by police. I would not have voluntarily gone to the hospital. I would have waited a few days for the symptoms to wear off.

It sounds as though you'd be better off leaving and never talking to them again, and them being ready and willing to call some goons with guns to imprison you for your own good is about the only reason I can think of that you haven't done that already.

That's about it. That is the "freedomain" approach, which is to refuse to ever again speak to someone abusive.

I actually found an approach that's working to retrain my parents somewhat. I'm using the "Dog Whisperer" approach. I give my parents immediate negative feedback when they do something wrong. It's working somewhat.

The "Dog Whisperer" is right. When someone enters an aggressive/dominant mental state, you need to immediately break their mental state so they can snap back to a "calm/submissive" mental state. I don't think "submissive" is the right word. I think "calm/normal" state is more accurate.

A "red zone" dog is a dog that's so messed up it needs to be murdered. The dog isn't safe to live with humans, because of the risk of someone getting attacked. A normal dog that is well-treated and trained won't normally attack humans.

Just like there are "red zone" dogs, there also are "red zone" humans. These are the true psychopaths. For example, the idiot new manager at my recent job is actually a "red zone" human. He uses lies and manipulation to get his way, but doesn't produce anything of tangible value. His only skill was manipulation; he had no ability to write software or manage a software project. Normally, we call "red zone" humans "leaders". "Red zone" humans excel at using the State for their own personal benefit, without producing tangible goods. Most high-ranking State employees are probably actually "red zone" humans. In situations where there is abusable power, "red zone" humans tend to congregate.

(This bit deserves its own separate post.)

If they do indeed have that power over you, then perhaps getting an out of town job would work in your favor. You could pitch moving out as necessary for your new slave job, because there aren't any good jobs in the area (they don't know otherwise) and you need to avoid another unemployment streak on your resume. (That assumes living with your parents isn't required by court order for the next year, which is entirely possible. That also assumes you aren't staying for other personal reasons).

There is no legal court order. However, my parents could, at any time, call 911 and have me put away. Based on my prior history, the psychiatrists would not question my parents' evaluation of me, if they testified that I needed to be murdered again.

My parents would not consent to me moving. Actually, I kind of like living in this city. It's just that my parents are too annoying. I'm retraining them somewhat.

Revealing where you live for the purposes of getting a job seems reasonable. It's a huge longshot, but any job you got by doing so would likely be at least above-average. It's not as though you would be posting your full name with picture, either. I can't imagine anyone can't figure out who you are now would be able to figure out who you were if they knew the city.

I'll think about it. I might do it. I'll see how my current jobsearch progresses. I'll stick with anonymity for now.



scineram has left a new comment on your post "The Non-Aggression Principle":

Like most anti-voting anarchist in the last paraagraph you concede too much to the statists with that legitimacy bs.

I don't see where I made concessions to the Statists.

Voting provides an illusion of State legitimacy. Voting does not provide true legitimacy to the State. I've made that point repeatedly elsewhere, but I didn't emphasize it directly there.

I'm not anti-voting. I'm indifferent-voting. I don't care if you vote or not. Voting is irrelevant.

I *DO* object when other people pay taxes, because the proceeds are used to aggress against me.

If the State had no taxation power, then voting would still be irrelevant. Without taxation power, the State can't do anything abusive.

Paying taxes is immoral. Voting is irrelevant. I'm much more offended by taxpayers than voters.



Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Compound Interest Paradox":

Another problem is that interest is a cause of inflation.

That isn't 100% technically correct. There needs to be inflation so that there's enough money to make payments on outstanding loans. You're confusing causes and symptoms.

Most people argue that this is not true but when you buy a house for $350,000 and at the end of 30 years it costs you $647,514 how could it be argued that is not inflation? There are other causes such as supply and demand and hyperinflation when people start dumping dollars for commodities but interest is the biggest cause of inflation in our system.

The cause of inflation is the Federal Reserve. Due to the Compound Interest Paradox, the Federal Reserve has no choice but inflation to best "manage the economy". With fiat debt-based money, boom/bust cycles are inevitable, no matter what the Federal Reserve does. With fiat debt-based money and the Compound Interest Paradox, boom/bust cycles are built into the rules of the monetary system!

The money loaned out is supposed to be backed by a depositors money so the money they earn through interest should flow back into the economy. It would be interesting to see some figures for loans given out, deposits and loan defaults. With enough information it would be possible to work out how big of a problem this is and possibly how long it can go on for.

The Federal Reserve ceased publishing M3. They are intentionally preventing access to information. I like using gold or silver as an inflation proxy. That is imperfect, due to gold market manipulation.

Even if the money does make its way back into the economy there is still the problem of the interest debt compounding and increasing forever until someone defaults. There is no easy way to explain this unfortunately but here is an example:
If a bank lends 5 people call them A-E a $1000 at %5 interest they owe $5250 if the $250 interest gets lent to someone else F and the first 5 A-E earn it from F he (F) owes $262.50 still. The bank lends $262.50 to someone else G and F earns it from G then he G owes $275.62. This will go on forever increasing forever until someone defaults.

I gave more detailed examples.

If banks accepted goods in lieu of payment then they could be paid with goods instead unfortunately they do not.

That is the entire reason that sound money is banned. If gold or silver were accepted as legal tender, with the value based on the spot price, then there would be a total boycott of the Federal Reserve and Federal Reserve Points would be truly worthless.



I liked the September 2 Dilbert. Alice asks for a raise. The PHB instead offers her "If you quit, I'll give you a lousy reference and you'll never find a job again."

I noticed that better employers don't ask for reference checks. They trust their own judgement ahead of 4 cherry-picked strangers. Most people can find four people willing to lie and say "This guy is awesome!"

I liked the September 3 Dilbert. The PHB is bragging about adopting best practices, because everyone else is doing the same thing. Dilbert points out that "If everyone else is doing it, then 'best practices' is the same thing as mediocrity."

The goal of a typical PHB is to avoid disaster or getting fired. If you do the same thing as everyone else, you don't get blamed for failure. If you do something different, you risk losing your job.

Most PHBs are like the Rails advocate at my last job. They lied their way into a job they're totally unqualified for, and are desperate to hang on at any cost.



DixieFlatline has left a new comment on your post "FSK Asks - Blog and Ex-Employer":

If you're considering doing that, then you are not thinking rationally in my opinion.

I'm not sure it's irrational. If you have two options "A" and "not A", then both are almost always rational options.

You're going through the anger/justice phase. Unless you stand to gain materially, then why would you help them with their business after they fired you?

The material gain is that they might hire me when they start their next business, after this one goes down the toilet. There's still a slim chance that they could salvage things and decide to bring me back. However, the idiot new manager is in firm control, via his evil jedi mind tricks. They aren't going to be able to get rid of him.

Your responsibility is first to FSK, and staring into the rear view mirror isn't going to help FSK advance, but it's going to trap him in the false paradigm of a bad relationship.

Perhaps that is correct. I should walk away, and be glad to be rid of a hopeless situation.

The marketing owners seemed like genuinely nice people. I feel bad that they got exploited by scum. It's annoying to see the bad guys win.

On the other hand, the marketing owners are adults and are 100% responsible for their business.

Usually, someone scummy takes advantage of someone with sincerely good intentions. Two highly-skilled scumbags rarely wind up exploiting each other, because they know all the dirty tricks. A high-ranking scumbag needs to take advantage of someone with good intentions who doesn't consider the possibility of extreme evil.

Profit from this scenario by finding better work, learning something, or owning their project, but if you do the latter, do it for the right reason (profit) not the wrong one (revenge).

I did learn something. I think I now have the ability to nearly instantly identify psychopaths and stay away from them. Even though everyone else was conned, I was not fooled. That ability should be incredibly valuable, in the right situation. I can tell the difference between someone who truly knows what they're doing, and someone who is faking it.

FYI, democracy has nothing to do with seeking counsel and opinions. Don't confuse the art of listening with popularity contests. The state doesn't want you to be a good listener. It wants you to overreact and look for you to defer not only your own judgment, but the better judgment and wisdom of others. It's a way to keep critical thinkers from associating.

I never suggested I was using democracy to help me decide what to do. I'll ask some of the marketing guys for reference checks. I'll wait awhile until I'm more relaxed and their business is obviously going down the toilet.

It's important to keep smart people segregated. If they work together and start comparing notes, then bad things could happen to the bad guys.



Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "FSK Asks - Blog and Ex-Employer":

Don't do it. IF you want to reach them out of some lasting loyalty, you could email them ant talk to them. Your posts here are generally rants,and while they are justified, from the perspective of the people who fired you, they are going to sound bitter. (timing doesn't matter, their minds aren't open to the idea that you're the right guy, or they wouldn't have fired you.)

I think what you need to do is let the company go. There's nothing to be gained, and rightly or wrongly they had the right to fire you, just as you had the right to quit.

For your emotional health, stop caring about them.

You are correct. I'll just ask them for reference checks and only provide more details if they ask.

I feel bad. According to my pro-State brainwashing, "I'm a smart guy! I can go into any situation and make it work if I try hard enough!" That is false. Some situations are truly hopeless. The correct strategy is to abandon them and move on.

I don't think I should completely stop caring about them. The marketing owners did seem nice. I did my best while I was working there. I am no longer responsible for them.

Zargon has left a new comment on your post "FSK Asks - Blog and Ex-Employer":

It's hard to say. I think the marketing owners already suspect their best engineer got fired, and they know where to find you if they want you back. I don't think them seeing your blog would help convince them to rehire you at a lucrative rate. If they can't come to their senses on their own, while watching their business crumble around them, I can't see your blog do that for them. And that's really the only potential upside for you for sending the blog.

One downside I could see is if they see the non-related articles and conclude you're insane. That could be a barrier to them rehiring you at a real rate to save their business.

I'll just wait for them to contact me, if they want to. I'll ask some of them for reference checks and that's all I'll do.



thomasblair has left a new comment on your post "FSK Asks - Blog and Ex-Employer":

I would opine that you should send the marketing guys a pleasant e-mail thanking them for the opportunity. Let them know in simple terms that you could provide them a working product in 6 weeks time and that in exchange for 3 months' salary, you'll demonstrate a working product. If they like it, they can bring you on at whatever terms you negotiate and if not, you both walk away.

If they say no to the offer, then you lost the time it takes to compose the email.

Do not mention your blog. You're just burning bridges with that and it'll do you no good.

I think I'd be better off trying to join their next project as co-founder rather than trying to salvage this one. At this point, the idiot new manager is in firm control. Via his evil Jedi mind tricks, he now has full allodial title to their business.

I still feel bad that I couldn't help them. I tried my best.



tomofindiana has left a new comment on your post "FSK Asks - Blog and Ex-Employer":

You should probably send the marketing owners and email and just explain your thoughts. It always makes sense to not burn bridges, especially if they were sincerely nice to you (and may be able to help you in the future).If you are unemployed, it may be worth a shot to try doing the project (outsourced not dealing with the idiots) as you can earn a few dollars and maybe show the Rails guys how to code.
You may not want to show the the blog for a variety of reasons, especially due to the fact that it may be pretty offensive to the owners which were the ones that did like you.

I thought I had a good relationship with the marketing owners. The idiot new manager hated me, because I could tell he was faking it. The Rails advocate hated me for saying "Rails sucks! This project is a disaster!"

Their customers are close to dropping them. The VCs won't give them more capital, since they have no product. They're going to burn through their current funding trying to get the Rails project working and the idiot new manager will waste money on an outsourcing firm.

I'd be better off working on a personal project instead of something for them. I have some promising interviews lined up.



Mike has left a new comment on your post "Reader Mail #64 - Job Comments":

Should I reveal where I live, in case I can get a job via my blog?
This is actually a chance to consider attaching your real identity to your blogging identity, since the primary risk you faced previously in revealing who you are has just cut the cord.

I'll think about it some more. I was planning to do that eventually, but waiting a few more years.

That might make obtaining future jobs in the corporate slave world more difficult. One might view that as a good thing, however, a useful filter to deflect you away from "opportunities" for further suffering at the hands of nitwits.

That is an interesting point. Anyone who would discriminate against me based on my blog is a twit I wouldn't want to work for in the first place.

I'm probably going to take a regular wage slave job for now. It would be nice to hook up with someone with good marketing connections and join a startup from the beginning.

That said, sorry to hear you got fired. Not so much for the fact you don't have the job anymore as for the fact that getting fired is always a shock, and a psychological blow. As someone else wrote, I also suggest taking a few weeks to really just do nothing before charging out in search of a new master again.

As part of your pro-State brainwashing, getting fired is always bad. Financially, I can afford to be unemployed. (I was practically working for free anyway.)

Sometimes, it's correct to just walk away. I might have directly quit sooner, but my parents would have freaked out if I did that. If I weren't living with my parents, I should have immediately quit once it was obvious that the idiot new manager was total scum. I thought the new manager would turn things around, so I thought there would be a chance things would get better. Also, I was curious to see what would happen.



Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Reader Mail #64 - Job Comments":

i wouldn't send them a copy of your blog. May come back to haunt you...

How so? I'll explain things to them if they ask, without referencing my blog.



I was spending time on my blog at work. My attitude was "This job is hopeless! I might as well do something useful!" Even so, I still was their most productive worker.

It turns out that the Rails advocate was reading my blog! Some comments were suspicious. He didn't even notice all the other people saying "What a troll!" I didn't mind him reading my blog, because I hoped he would read it, understand it, and improve his behavior. I assumed he wasn't reading it, because he was still acting like a twit. I underestimated his stupidity. Some people are just too stubborn/stupid to learn anything.

When I first started working, I didn't access my blog at all at work. I was thinking "This sounds like a cool job! I'll do my best!" Once I realized things were hopeless, I figured I might as well do something productive with my time.

I also realized something else. If I directly quit, my parents would freak out. When I passive-aggressively get myself fired, I don't have to worry about my parents getting mad at me for quitting. There was a chance that things would get turned around in a few months, and I was getting enough progress done on the old Java system that I would wait for the Rails project to get scrapped. Once I saw the idiot new manager, I realized the situation was nearly completely hopeless.

I am responding to this comment not because I hope to enlighten the Rails advocate, but because the response is amusing. The Rails advocate has chosen the path of the dark side and is beyond my ability to help him.

I normally have a "no profanity" policy, but it was necessary to suspend it here to convey the appropriate atmosphere.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Reader Mail #64 - Job Comments":

FSK, I tried to warn you, but you believe that it was the marketing manager that wanted you fired. That wasn't the case at all.

I never referred to him as "marketing manager" in my blog. I always referred to him as the "idiot new manager". He is the new CTO and chief software architect. He told everyone but you that he was the new chief software architect. If he told you, then you would have realized he was threatening your turf. You would have focused on him as your biggest enemy instead of me. Then, he wouldn't have been able to manipulate you into firing me. He made you think he was only interested in marketing, and not taking control of the software development group. Via his Sith Lord powers, he now has full allodial title to my now-former employer's resources. He has everyone wrapped around his finger.

When you say "FSK is my enemy", you are saying "Reality is my enemy." When you say "Hooray! I just fired FSK! I'm glad that scumbag FSK isn't working for me anymore!", you are really saying "Hooray! I just fired reality! I'm glad that reality isn't working for me anymore!" Reality is no longer working for you. You are working for anti-reality. You're like Anakin Skywalker bragging at what a big genius he was for murdering all those asshole Jedis.

You have the power to bend time and space. I cannot have a logical disagreement with someone who has the power to bend time and space. You rearrange your own memories so that whatever you want to believe is true. You even try to distort the memories/perceptions of others to suit your interests. You aren't a Sith Lord yet, like the idiot new manager, but you are firmly on the path of the dark side. The idiot new manager doesn't rearrange his own memories. He rearranges the memories of others. That's a true Sith Lord power.

Unfortunately for you, the idiot new manager has a much stronger reality distortion field than yours. Once the idiot new manager realized I was immune to his evil Jedi mind tricks, his top priority was eliminating me. He arranged my firing. I could sense a lot more hostility from you in the last two weeks since the idiot new manager was hired. The dark side of the force is strong in this one!

The idiot new manager appealed to your ego, your stupidity, and your pro-State brainwashing. He said "FSK isn't a team player!" or "FSK needs to get with the program!" or "Make an example of people who disobey you!" He has you totally wrapped around his finger. While he was manipulating you into firing me, he was telling everyone else that I was a valuable employee. That makes you look even stupider for firing me. He wants me to seem valuable enough that my firing is seen as a dumbass move, but not so valuable that they start asking for me to come back. Why would they need me? They've got the idiot new manager!

You don't have enough free will to resist the manipulations of scum like the idiot new manager. I do, which is why he had to eliminate me first. He couldn't directly fire me, because that would get his hands dirty. By arranging you to fire me, he accomplishes two goals simultaneously. First, he gets rid of me, his primary target. Second, he makes it obvious to everyone else that you're a dumbass. Making you look like a dumbass is not hard, because it's true.

When the idiot new manager gets you fired, he isn't even going to have to lie! All he has to do is say "The Rails project is a disaster!" and "Firing FSK was a mistake!" He won't explicitly say "Firing FSK was a mistake!", because then there would be talk of bringing me back. He'll say "The Rails advocate isn't qualified to manage people or make personnel decisions.", which indirectly references your dumbass move to fire me, without lending credibility to me. He probably arranged to have your "hire and fire" power revoked. You no longer may fire anyone without permission of the owners, right? When the FSK-replacement is buttered up as a replacement for you, you will be helpless.

The idiot new manager knows that the Rails project is a disaster, because I was saying it. Also, it's obvious even to a totally unqualified asshole like him that the Rails project is a humongous clusterfuck. He has enough experience covering up clusterfucks to recognize that a coverup is in progress. In that big meeting three weeks ago, he didn't question the Rails project because he didn't want to endorse what I was saying. Now that I'm out of the picture, he can carry the "Rails sucks!" banner. There will be memories of me saying it, so he will seem credible when he says it. He won't be lying when he says "The Rails project is a disaster!"

The idiot new manager knows all the evil Jedi tricks. When you attempt to cover up your mistakes, it's totally transparent to him. It's obvious to him that you're lying to cover up a disaster. He's got you totally outclassed when it comes to screwing over people. When he gets you fired, he's even doing his job properly!

I assumed you were sincerely mistaken when you said "Rails is awesome! This project is a success!" I was trying to politely improve your behavior. I didn't realize you were a total scumbag. In the future, I won't give scum as much credit as I gave you.

You spent all day on the blog in the am and posted at noon.

I use "scheduled posting" to queue up my posts. When I first started working, I didn't access my blog at work. Once I realized things were hopeless, I figured "I might as well do something productive with my time." I realized that the idiot new manager was angling to get me fired. I didn't think he would succeed so quickly.

If you look at the bug tracking system and do a serious evaluation of my performance, I was the most productive person by a wide margin. That nasty duplicate/corrupted/missing/slow messages bug probably could not have been fixed by anyone else, without totally rewriting that part of the program. It was only a few lines of code to fix it, but which few lines to fix? That's the hard part. I made it look easier than it actually was.

The idiot new manager is going to say "Scrap Rails! Let's fix/refactor/patch the old Java/swing/jsp/beans system." He saw me easily doing it, but I made it seem easier than it was. Rewriting that pile of garbage was a good decision, but using Rails was a mistake and the way you managed the Rails conversion was idiotic.

You only worked a couple hours a day.

I was doing positive work. I wasn't doing negative work and wasting tremendous time and resources like you. I was the most productive worker there by any objective standard. I was a huge bargain for what you were paying me.

Here's an example of you doing negative work. I wrote an SSL E-Mail client. It wasn't functioning. I looked at the logfile, and concluded "It looks like a server-side problem. Check the mailserver." I suspected that without checking the logfile. I had thoroughly tested the code and it hadn't been changed. Code doesn't magically stop working like that. You insisted that the mailserver was up, and it was totally my code's fault. It was an urgent bugfix, because an important customer wanted that feature, even though nobody had noticed that it wasn't working properly for a month. You assigned another programmer to work with me fixing this urgent bug. After a few hours and one of the owners looking over my shoulder, I tried connecting to the E-Mail server in Outlook. I could not connect. Finally, after wasting 4 hours of my time and 4 hours of someone else's time, you checked the mailserver. It was down. YOU ARE SUCH A STUPID DUMBSHIT!! IF I ASK YOU TO CHECK IF THE FUCKING SERVER IS DOWN, YOU SPEND A MINUTE AND CHECK THE FUCKING SERVER!! DON'T LIE TO ME AND TELL ME YOU DID CHECK THE FUCKING SERVER, BECAUSE THEN YOU'RE WASTING MY FUCKING TIME!! The mailserver was down a whole month and nobody had noticed. I couldn't check myself, because you refused to give me access to the production server passwords.

You were concerned about your job security, and refused to give me the login passwords to the production servers. Your excuse was "We don't trust FSK to log into the production server." Do you realize how pathetic that is? You trust me to write software for you, but you don't trust me to log into a server so I can troubleshoot problems? You think I've never worked for unqualified scum trying to protect their jobs before? That's a common scumbag tactic. You withhold information so that nobody else has it, making you irreplaceable. You couldn't be fired, because you were the only one who knew the passwords to the production servers. I was prepared, if necessary, to reinstall the OS on the production servers so I could get back in if you were fired and refused to give up the passwords. You knew that scumbag tactic pretty well, so I assumed you knew all the other common ones. I overestimated your ability.

About half the time when you checked in a bugfix, I wound up having to fix your code afterwards. You usually assigned it to me as an "Urgent critical bugfix". Here's one of my favorite code fragments of yours that I fixed.

Array = new empty array
[LOTS OF CODE THAT DOESN'T MODIFY 'Array']
For each element of Array do
{ [LOTS OF CODE] }

Do you realize how pathetic that code is? The problem is "[LOTS OF CODE THAT DOESN'T MODIFY 'Array']" had a bug that was throwing an exception. It was breaking other things. I fixed the code so that it didn't throw an exception. (Do you ever check for NULL pointers?) I never could figure out what that code actually was supposed to do. With a null loop, that code was doing nothing. Nobody ever complained that something was broken, so I left it alone.

Here's a tip for you. WHEN YOU CHECK IN A CODE CHANGE, DO SOME SIMPLE TESTING TO VERIFY THAT YOUR CHANGE DIDN'T JUST BREAK THE ENTIRE FUCKING APPLICATION! IDEALLY, THIS CHECK SHOULD BE PERFORMED SOMETIME BEFORE THE CODE IS RELEASED TO PRODUCTION AND YOU ASK FSK TO URGENTLY FIX IT! Even better, you could learn to write code that works. When I write code, I can usually figure out what potentially could be broken by my change, and check those cases.

I also know the difference between logical and and logical or. You do not. You wrote "if ((a!=1) OR (a!=2))". In other words, "if true". You used OR when you should have used AND. A simple unit test would have uncovered the fact that you just broke everything. Then you say "OMFG!! NOTHING WORKS FSK! FIX IT!" After a few such encounters, I start wondering "Why am I working for an idiot?"

I didn't make a scene every time I had to clean up after one of your screwups. I just fixed it and moved on. I only bothered to publicly criticize your major screwup, which was the Rails project. The other screwups were negligible compared to the Rails project, so I didn't bother mentioning them at all.

However, whenever there was a minor problem, almost always not directly caused by me, you said "OMFG!! THIS IS A DISASTER!! FIX IT RIGHT AWAY FSK!! THIS IS FSK'S FAULT!!" I just fixed it.

I offered to implement the whole project by myself in 1-2 months using Visual Studio. If you accepted my offer, I would have gone full steam ahead just to prove to you what a twit you are. I've completed more complicated projects than their website in less time.

You didn't decline my offer because you were afraid I would fail and waste one or two months. You were afraid I would succeed. Suppose you let me work on a Visual Studio implementation of the website for two months, instead of firing me. How much would that have cost? Compared to saving a $500M business opportunity? Does that sound like a rational economic calculation, or the ravings of an insane lunatic? You were only concerned about your ego, and not about succeeding as a manager or software engineer.

A good manager would have said "You think you can turn this around in a month by yourself? Go ahead!"

In your negative infinite wisdom, you fired the only person who could have saved the situation.

Due to a statistical anomaly, you were able to hire me at a bargain price. Due to my illness, I'd been unemployed for awhile and wasn't very marketable. Now that I have recent work history, and more self-confidence, I'm getting much more traction on the job market. Plus, the market is better right now. Whenever I'm talking to a potential employer that sounds a little like you, I give up and move on. This is the first time I got screwed over and completely understood what had happened. However, if I say "I refuse to work for scum!", I'm cutting out 99%+ of the available jobs. For now, I'm maintaining a strict "No scumbags!" policy.

Maintaining crappy legacy code is a drag. Working on a project with a retarded design in a retarded language/platform (Rails) is depressing. It's hard to get excited about it. If you let me follow a non-retarded approach, I would have been super productive.

They needed a team player and you refused to learn ROR.

I looked at the web resources for Ruby on Rails and realized it's a piece of shit language/platform that only a twit like you would voluntarily use.

I'll repeat for you the deal we made. I said that I would maintain the crappy legacy Java system while everyone else worked on Rails. If the Rails project got into decent shape, then I would move. I stayed in the only area where I could make a difference, which was supporting the old Java system. I thought that was the arrangement we made.

I was embarrassing you by getting more done in the crappy Java legacy system than everyone else was in Rails, even though I wasn't putting forth my best effort. I gave the best effort possible, given the circumstances.

Also, I made all these offers to you directly to your face. I wasn't a coward pretending to post anonymously. When I realized you weren't listening, I started telling other people. I was hoping you could be convinced to change your attitude, rather than it being necessary to fire you. You did seem to enjoy going to meetings with customers, saying "I'm the hot shit software architect!" I figured it was better for you to waste time doing that than me.

In retrospect, I should have blatantly said to the owners, "If you want to save your business, fire the Rails advocate and let FSK do it. If you want a trial run, I'll develop the whole product by myself in 2 months." I kind of felt sorry for you and was trying to avoid making it necessary to fire you. In the future, I won't make that mistake when dealing with scum. I probably should have also fired the owners, for mismanaging their business. Instead of explicitly quitting, I passive-aggresively got myself fired.

You fired me to cover your pathetic ass. It totally backfired. The idiot new manager had to eliminate me before coming after you. Have you noticed a lot more hostility directed towards you after I got fired?

The idiot new manager is the type of person who likes to rip the wings off flies and watch them die. He isn't going to arrange for you to be fired right away. He's going to torture you and make you suffer first! HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! I'm glad I'm out of there. There was urgency for the idiot new manager to get rid of me, because I knew what was going on. There is no urgency to get rid of you, because you're totally clueless. He can get you fired without telling a single lie.

You know you're in a job you're way underqualified for. You'll twist and turn and do everything you can to hang on. I knew my job wasn't anything special. I figured I'll get something just as good or better. It'd be hard to get something worse. I really know what I'm doing, and I'll always be able to find someone willing to give me a chance.

When you first got hired/promoted, you were taking your job seriously. You hired me because I was the best person available for the pathetic salary you were offering. (You probably wouldn't have found someone actually better for 5x as much, although you might have found a great cocksucker and hired them over me.) Besides me, you actually hired average-quality software engineers for the pathetic salary you were offering.

If I were making a betting line on how long it takes for you to get fired, I'd place the over/under at 5 weeks from now, 6 weeks after you fired me. You aren't even going to see it coming! You aren't even going to learn anything! You aren't thinking "How could I have been a better software engineer?" or "How could I have been a better manager?" You're thinking "How could I have distorted reality better to cover my tracks?" or "How can I more efficiently shift the blame to others?" You'd better work on your dark side powers, because that's the only useful skill you've got!

Remember that the chemical imbalance theory of mental illness is nonsense. When you have a mental break (you're close), then make sure you don't take any medication. You're in the "prodromal" phase for someone about to have a mental breakdown. If you're involuntarily hospitalized, take the drugs while you're there and stop taking them when you get out. If you follow this advice, you will recover. I doubt you will.

Actually, most of the marketing owners were close to having a mental breakdown, based on my inspection of them. The idiot new manager's reality distortion field was clashing with my reality stabilization field, and they got caught observing the collision. At this point, they won't be able to think sensibly until their business completely collapses. They're going to waste another 6-12 months. They might sell off some assets or go into debt. They did it all just to feed your ego and the ego of the idiot new manager.

Their concerns are for getting a project done and working together.

Your concern was that you wanted me to suck your dick. I can't suck your dick, because you don't have one.

Really talented software engineers don't like the taste of dick.

Also, I was being a "team player". I was doing all the support for the old Java system, so everyone else could focus 100% on Rails.

When I said "The Rails project is a disaster", you interpreted it as an insult to your manhood rather than me trying to set things on the right course.

Let's do some translations.

Idiot: FSK is not a team player.
Translation: FSK refuses to suck my dick.

Idiot: FSK is a loose cannon.
Translation: FSK tells me when I do something stupid. When I ignore his advice and things don't go well, he starts telling other people.

You quit as soon as you chose to not try ROR.

I quit once I realized you were a twit and that the marketing owners refused to take personal responsibility for the mismanagement of the software aspect of their business. Software was 50% of their business, and they treated it as if its importance was 1%.

You were very well liked and although I never met you, I wanted you to get hired. I had to appologize to the owners because I felt bad that you were so smart and so accomplished yet something that didn't make perfect sense to you made you quit a job and halt production.

What? You never met me, but you're apologizing to the owners at my ex-employer for my firing? What do you do all day? You walk into random office buildings and apologize to people you've never met?

Wait a minute. Did you tell the owners that I quit? You fired me, remember?

I didn't halt production. You did. You wasted 5 people for 3 months working on the Rails project. If you had the budget to hire more people, you would have wasted even more.

You assume that I was well liked because I'm a cocksucker like you. You're an incompetent cocksucker, so you automatically assume everyone else is also one.

The marketing owners liked me because the tasks that were assigned to me got done. I rejected the "Work on Rails, FSK!" order, because I saw that was hopeless. I decided to work on the only aspect of the business that was salvageable, given the circumstances. Some of the owners said "FSK worked on this feature, so it's probably done right."

It sure is easy to trash talk me when I'm no longer around to defend myself! Too bad you didn't tell the marketing owners what scum I was while I was still working there.

Whenever there was an urgent bug that you created in the production system, I was the one who fixed it. Whenever you completely fucked things up with an idiot code change, I patched it up. I didn't go around saying "Look at how I fixed up the huge clusterfuck the Rails advocate caused." I just fixed it and moved on to the next thing. I assumed you were merely stupid, rather than a total scumbag. Unfortunately, "He's stupid" and "He's a scumbag" are highly correlated. I forgot that.

Here's a tip for improving your dark side powers. Next time, when you're firing someone who doesn't deserve it, make sure you sell it to the owners and/or your boss ahead of time! I assumed you knew that basic evil concept. I didn't get any feedback from the owners that I was about to get fired, so I figured that it would be awhile before the boom was lowered. I didn't realize you were stupid enough to fire me without trashing my reputation first!

Here's another tip. The person who orchestrated the firing is never present at the firing meeting. Did you notice that the idiot new manager left early? He knew you were firing me that day, because he has you totally wrapped around his finger. I cursed at you on the way out. If he were there, I would have cursed at him also.

I am pointing this out to you not because I hope to convert you to the light side. I am pointing this out to you so you can improve yourself on your path towards becoming a Sith Lord like the idiot new manager. Your only marketable skills are evil ones, so you've got to stick with what you know.

Let me guess what happened after I got fired. You said "That FSK was a loser. We're glad to get rid of him." At the same time, you said "OMFG!! We have to replace FSK!! No work is getting done!! We need more warm bodies!!"

The idiot new manager recommended a headhunter, and you are using him. Perhaps the idiot new manager or the headhunter knows "just the right person". The headhunter is working for the idiot new manager and not you. You're in a hurry to replace me. I was getting no work done, and therefore it's a big crisis that I'm no longer there. Superficially, you made the decision to pull the trigger and get rid of me. The idiot new manager is pulling the strings.

You hired the "FSK-replacement" that the idiot new manager selected. The FSK-replacement is being groomed by the idiot new manager to take over your job. It will take a few weeks for him to gain enough confidence in maintaining the old Java system that you can be safely jettisoned. Has the FSK-replacement started working there already?

The person who is sitting at my former desk is not replacing me. He is being groomed to replace you. He is inheriting all the beneficial psychic energy that I left behind.

The idiot new manager has a strong reality distortion field. However, there still are remnants of my reality stabilization field. They will be used by the idiot new manager. Everyone knows "FSK said the Rails project was a disaster." The marketing owners are thinking "FSK shouldn't have been fired. The Rails advocate should have been fired and replaced with FSK." The FSK-replacement is going into a situation with just the right energy. He's going to be a total cocksucker, but a much better one than you. He may even have some basic software engineering competence. The idiot new manager will be highlighting the size of the FSK-replacement's dick. You don't have a chance.

This is a variation of the Strawman Fallacy! "We should have fired the Rails advocate and kept FSK. Therefore, the person who replaces FSK should be promoted to the Rails advocate's job!" The idiot new manager will be promoting this, and his reality distortion field is much stronger than yours. He's a Sith Lord, and he demands much higher quality dicksucking than you can provide.

Even if the FSK-replacement is a failure, then it will be the FSK-replacement's fault and not the idiot new manager's fault. The idiot new manager will be blameless, no matter what happens. Even after the company fails completely, everyone will say "Everything got better after the Rails advocate was fired! The idiot new manager did a brilliant job!" They won't even know that the idiot new manager manipulated you into firing me. The blood for that decision is on your hands, and not the idiot new manager. You don't know that you were manipulated, even after I carefully explained it to you!

It's one thing to have a traumatic experience. It's pathetic if you learn absolutely nothing from it.

Most managers in the corporate world are scum. You are falsely using them as your role model. You aren't skilled enough to get hired into a good development group. Your only alternative is to con clueless scumbags into hiring you. Alternatively, you need to con someone who has zero knowledge of software into hiring you as chief architect and letting you wreck their business. If there's nobody knowledgeable about software managing you, then you can keep the scam going for quite some time.

You did have shares, and would have gotten a raise had you tried to do the new project.

OK, this is a giveaway that it's someone from my ex-employer. Only the Rails advocate would be stupid enough to say something like this.

Previously, I always said "Those scumbags at my ex-employer didn't give me any equity." Rounding to the nearest 0.01%, that is a true statement.

Here is the pathetic equity grant I was offered. I was granted 500 shares at a valuation of $2/share, where the whole company had a valuation of $20M, subject to a 4 year vesting schedule. Do you realize how pathetic that is? I'll illustrate another light-side Jedi mind control trick that I know and you don't. It's called "arithmetic".

Suppose there was a successful sale for $500M and no further dilution of my pathetic 500 shares. That would represent a 25x gain. My share grant was 500 shares times $2 per share, for a total value of $1000. After the 25x gain, that would be worth $25000. That's less than I would make in annual bonus plus benefits at a typical large corporation. (Did you notice that I wasn't getting health insurance or a 401(k) plan or much vacation time? Did I get paid for the vacation day or two I earned but never used?)

$1000 divided by $20M is 0.00005. I was given an equity grant of 0.005%, which is equivalent to 0%.

I'd have a better chance of making a 25x gain by investing $1000 in Microsoft options. I know Microsoft will still be in business 2 years from now, and there's a chance their stock price could double or triple in that time. In that case, I would make more than 25x on my options trade. Compared to a typical startup, there's the same chance of a 25x gain. Microsoft options are great compared to a startup run by idiots, where there is zero chance of a 25x gain.

You implied that you were granted options but not me. If the marketing owners actually did that, do you realize how insulting that is to me? Are you capable of calculating what percentage of the company your options are? Are you capable of figuring out what they would be worth after a sale?

Your options/equity are worthless. First, you will be fired before any of it vests. Second, the company is going to be a failure anyway. One year cliff vesting is typical, and I don't think you've been there for a year. (You worked as a consultant for a few months before being converted to an employee.) I didn't bother asking for the written details of the option/equity grant program, because the offer was so pathetic.

What would have been fair? If I were really a junior software engineer, 0.25%-0.5% would have fair. For a senior software engineer, 0.5%-1% would be fair. Repeat the above calculation for 1%. In that case, that's worth $5M in the event of a successful cashout, which isn't bad for 2-3 years of work. If they had a working product, a $500M+ cashout would have been a near-certainty. Actually, 1% right now is worth somewhat less than $5M in a $500M sale, because of the dilution when new VC is raised. However, with a smashingly successful slick product, a sale for $1B or more might be possible. The marketing owners would have done a good job negotiating selling their business at a fair price, if they had something worth selling.

If I singlehandedly wrote their product, 1% is a bargain. I'd willingly accept it, because it's still a great deal from my point of view.

A real software architect would be worth 10%-30% of their business. An unqualified faker like you is worth *NEGATIVE* $500M. You singlehandedly wrecked a $500M business opportunity. You had the chance to make their business a success, merely by following my advice. Even though I wasn't getting paid anything, I would have done it just to prove I can and that the Rails project was pathetic.

Are you seriously telling me you would have given me a raise if I worked on Rails instead of maintaining the Java crap? Why didn't you make me that offer to my face when I was working there? You had no intention of ever giving me a raise. You were interested in empire building. You think you are a hot shit up-and-coming manager who is qualified to manage a 100 person team. You were trying to hire as many warm bodies as possible, because you know that the skill/dicksize of a manager is proportional to the number of people he's managing, and not the amount of actual working software he produces. You can't even check in code without breaking something else, much less manage, design, or architect a software project. You aren't qualified to architect a crayon drawing.

What do clueless managers do? They micromanage everything, urinating everywhere to mark there territory. This is a result far worse than doing absolutely nothing.

Here's another observation. When the other software engineers were stuck on something, who did they ask? Did they ask you? No, because you know nothing. Whenever someone else got stuck on something, they asked me for help. I usually gave them an answer that was actually useful. Now, that resource is also gone. You aren't just cutting out all the productivity I was generating. You also trashed other people's productivity by getting rid of me.

If I'd worked on the Rails project and then it inevitably failed, then you would have blamed me for the failure. I knew the Rails project was a disaster in progress. I avoided it so I'd have clean hands. I guess it was a no-win situation for me. If I worked on the Rails project, I would have been blamed for the failure. I avoided the Rails project, and I was blamed for "not being a team player". I thought you had to clear my firing with the owners ahead of time, and figured I was safe for awhile.

You assumed "FSK is doing a good job with Java/spring/jsp/beans. FSK did a good job with PHP. Why won't FSK work his magic in Rails?" Rails is a piece of shit, and you can't even use shit properly. When you take a dump, do you stick your face in the toilet like Eric Cartman? I'll give you a useful hint. When you take a shit, it isn't supposed to come out of your ears. That advice makes as much sense to you as all the other advice I'm giving you here.

Don't post this, I don't want to embarrass you or them, I just wanted you to know that it's hard to get something new out and has been stressful for everyone.

Gee! It sure is stressful when you trust your software development for your huge business opportunity to someone completely unqualified! Who would have imagined that? Software development is fun and pleasant, when done correctly. I wasn't totally stressed out, and therefore I wasn't doing my job properly.

What kind of dumbasses hire someone right out of college to manage a $500M business opportunity, and then don't bother checking to see if he's doing a good job? The only way a recent college graduate deserves to run a $500M business is if he built it himself.

If you want embarrassment, I'll give you embarrassment. My blog has a pretty high PageRank. If I write a post titled "The Rails Advocate is a Scumbag!" (using your real name), then that would be the #1 search result in Google for anyone who ever searches for your name.

Don't worry. I won't actually do it. Scum like you always sues someone who publicly criticizes them. I'm not interested wasting time and money defending myself from a frivolous lawsuit. Besides, anyone dumb enough to hire you is dumb enough to not do a Google search on your name beforehand.

You have about 5 weeks left until you get fired. In the meantime, you're being tortured by a Sith Lord, and you got rid of the only person who could have distracted his attention away from you. YOU AREN'T EVEN GOING TO LEARN ANYTHING! You're going to think "How can I avoid getting caught next time?" and not "How can I be a better manager or software engineer?"

You said you liked hiring people smarter than you. Well, I've got news for you. You literally can't hire anyone dumber than you. Someone dumber than you would not be able to safely cross the street and arrive at work. Someone dumber than you could not handle E-Mailing their resume to apply for a job.

You've "learned" that hiring someone as smart as me is a "mistake". From now on, when you're making a hiring decision, and the interviewee reminds you of me, you will flat-out reject him. You'll tell him that you're rejecting him because he's not smart enough. If he's not as strong-willed as me, you'll enjoy torturing him as you reject him. You'll push him along the virtuous feedback path towards enlightenment. I need to increase your power as a future Sith Lord, so you can help train more FSKs for me!

By software engineer standards, you're in the bottom 0%-20% of the people I've worked with. By boss standards, you actually were average until you went off the deep end with the Rails project. I didn't mind the other numerous minor annoyances, because I've seen them all before. The Rails disaster needed to be corrected, because it was a business-killing mistake.

You lied yourself into a job you were completely unqualified for and failed miserably. Your entire career is going to be like this. You aren't going to become a better software engineer or a better manager. You're just going to become a better liar. You're totally on the path of the dark side. The only way to change course is via a complete mental breakdown. Remember what I said! The "chemical imbalance" theory of mental illness is nonsense! Remember that when you're being restrained in the mental ward! If you refuse all medication when not in the hospital, then you will recover. (When in the hospital, you must take the medication or you will never be released. Once you're out, you can stop taking the medication. The withdrawal symptoms last 3-12 months after you stop taking them.) You will relapse a bunch of times, but if you can handle it, then everything will be all right. BTW, the voices are real. When you start hearing them, say hello to them for me!

What are you going to write on your resume? You won't consider honesty.

XXXXXXXX Software
2007-2008
Executive Scumbag Cocksucker Software Architect
- Singlehandedly wrecked a $500M business opportunity.
- Fired the best software engineer.
- Micromanaged all my subordinates.
- Refused to give management an honest assessment of the project's progress.
Key technologies: lying, reality distortion, bullshitting, memory alterations, silencing dissenters, and blaming others

Here's what you probably will write. Go ahead and use it.

XXXXXXXX Software
2007-2008
Executive Software Architect
- Led the successful design, development, and deployment of a Ruby on Rails project.
- Designed new software system that was then sold for $500M.
- Was the thought leader for an excellent team of software engineers.
Key technologies: Ruby on Rails, LAMP/WAMP, Java/spring/beans/jsp, [Whatever the cool management buzzword methodologies are. You know them. Put them here.]

You'll lie your way into another job you're unqualified for, and you'll fail again!

What kind of dumbshits hire someone right out of college to manage their $500M business opportunity? Some recent college grads maybe could handle it. I probably couldn't have at the time. If I had the right manager he would have let me build the website for him, even though he was just leading me to do what I lacked confidence to directly do myself. Right now, I almost definitely could handle managing a software project or small team of programmers without fucking everything up.

If the marketing owners had hired me instead of you, then they would be raising their next round of VC right now, with a valuation of $100M-$200M or more.

I'm pretty sure I now have the ability to tell the difference between someone who knows what they're doing and who's faking it. I'm able to tell very quickly. That should be an incredibly valuable skill.

I'll let you in on a neat story. Every time I've been screwed over at a job, someone said "FSK, you're a loser. The reason you failed is that you're not smart enough." That was what my pro-State brainwashing indicated, and what the boss who fired me said. He must be smarter than me, because he's the boss and I'm not. These people had me totally conned! I sincerely thought that my problem was that I wasn't smart enough, even though I was fired for being smarter than my bosses! I worked on getting smarter. As I started realizing the truth, that these people were liars, I had a mental breakdown. The shock was too much. I managed to break my pro-State brainwashing and arrive at my current mental state. It was all indirectly thanks to the scumbags who tried to make me think the reason I failed was that I "wasn't smart enough". They were total scumbags, but they did train me well.

When a scumbag says "You're not smart enough!", he really means "You're not smart enough to figure out my version of anti-reality and help me project it." When I hear "You're not smart enough", I always thought they were referring to genuine intelligence and not fake intelligence. I worked on increasing my real intelligence, and not my bullshit skills. Nobody ever said when firing me "FSK, your problem is that you're not dishonest enough. You need to become a bigger scumbag."

At least I learned something from all the bad things that have happened to me! (I don't consider getting fired by you to be really a bad thing. I should be able to get a better job.)

I'm sorry you were fired, but this blog was too consuming for you.

You're only sorry that you're about to be fired yourself. You're only sorry that the marketing owners are giving you shit over your totally dumbass move. As long as I was around, I was the idiot new manager's public enemy number one. With me out of the picture, he can come after you. While I was around, he lulled you into a sense of complacency, because he needed to manipulate you into firing me.

If the idiot new manager fired you before me, then I would have been promoted to take your job. I would have done well enough that I could not be fired later. It's very hard/impossible to spin a project that's a success into one that's a failure. It is very possible to market failure as success.

The idiot new manager wants to make sure that the new person leading the development group is someone he controls.

My blog is more valuable than anything you will ever create. So far, your career has led to total wealth destruction of $500M. You've had other jobs, so the total may be higher. My blog is useful to myself and other people who read it regularly. Someday, I may turn it into a free market business. Even if I lost the login and blog, I still have all the accumulated knowledge.

I only started working on my blog a lot at work once I realized the situation was hopeless. I figured I might as well do something productive with my time. I wasn't afraid of "Fire FSK", because I thought the marketing owners would have warned me if they were unhappy, the company was going broke anyway, and the job was nothing special. I didn't realize you would fire me without clearing it with them first. I thought you had passed "Scumbag 101" in school.

Enjoy your torture! I'm glad to be out of that hopeless situation. For the past few weeks, I felt stress, and now I'm relaxed. I'm going to do a much better job screening potential employers. Last week, I refused an onsite interview after two clueless phone interviews. (They were a startup with a stupid business plan. I said "Your business plan is stupid." They responded "We know, but we're doing it anyway." They deserve to waste a lot of time, money, and stress on something pointless.) I probably could have had the job if I wanted it. Once I had the attitude, "Why am I wasting time on these losers?", they really wanted to hire me! But I wasn't faking that attitude! They really were losers!

That's another Sith Lord tactic. Always act as if the other person is a pathetic loser who is graced with your presence.

The Sith Lords are emulating the behavior of a true leader, without having any true leadership qualities. Someone who knows what they're doing can see through them, but such people are usually a minority. A true leader acts like he's confident, because he's right. Therefore, a fake leader acts like he's sure he's right. The trick is evaluating the content and not the body language. "The Rails project is a disaster" is obvious to anyone with a basic competence in software. You acted like you were supremely confident "The Rails project is a smashing success!", so you could cancel out my accurate feedback.

The marketing owners at my now-former job actually had a good business plan. If they could have hired someone capable of writing a simple website, they would have had a $500M-$1B business. They knew nothing about software. They hired a software engineer based on his marketing ability. When you do that, you're guaranteed to get someone totally unqualified. The people who are best at marketing themselves are the least skilled software engineers. If you suck at writing software, you develop great marketing/bullshit skills to compensate.

When the idiot new manager manipulates the marketing owners into firing you, he won't even have to lie. In fact, he may be improving the odds of success from 0% to 10%. There are some programmers that have reasonable competence, and also are comfortable working for scum. If the idiot new manager picks such a person to replace you, he might even succeed. The project won't be a smashing success, but it might just barely work good enough. The odds are against the idiot new manager, but he has a better chance than you.

The marketing owners would have been better off hiring someone completely at random. They should have put an ad on Craigslist, selected a resume at random, and hired that person. Then, they would have had a 10%-20% chance of success. Based on the salary they were offering, they could have hired 20 different people, selected completely at random, to develop their product independently for 3 months, and then selected the best version along with the person who wrote it. That would have cost approximately $200,000, which would have led to a working product and would have been cheaper than what they actually paid.

If someone hires a software engineer based on marketing ability, then they are almost guaranteed to fail. If they do that, they're going to hire an unqualified cocksucker like you instead of someone who knows what they're doing.

This is the really pathetic part. YOU AREN'T GOING TO LEARN ANYTHING! You're only going to learn how to be a more efficient scumbag. Even though I've carefully explained everything to you, you aren't going to learn anything!

If you had half a clue, instead of angling for another software architect job, you should get an entry-level junior software engineer job. There's one problem with that strategy. You can't code for shit! You aren't qualified for an entry-level junior software engineer job, at least not by a hiring manager who knows what he's doing. You'll wind up working for a scumbag, where you won't learn anything except how to be a better scumbag. What you really need is a junior software engineer job working for someone who knows what he's doing. Someone who knows what he's doing will never hire a twit like you.

You only option is the path of the dark side. After you get fired, you will find someone else's business to ruin. You will find another clueless schmuck to hire you as software architect. After all, you have 1 year of experience as a software architect! Next time, you'll do a better job of covering up your errors and shifting the blame to others.

In a large corporation, a clueless scumbag cocksucker manager can make a career out of it. In a small startup, that's the kiss of death. A small software startup should be led by someone who will do most of the coding themselves. A small software startup doesn't need an architect who can't code for shit. That applies to both you and the idiot new manager.

You deserve the failure you are experiencing! The pathetic part is that you won't learn anything, except how to be a more efficient scumbag. You won't become a better software engineer and you won't become a better manager.

Congratulations! You just failed a Turing test!

Enjoy your mental breakdown! They actually are quite fun, except for the "murdered by psychiatrists" part. If you refuse all medication, you might recover. While hospitalized, you must take it or you'll never be released. Stop taking your medication as soon as you're released from prison.

(I considered making this bit its own separate post, but decided against it.)



adam has left a new comment on your post "Water Powered Cars and Zero Point Energy":

hey there is an actual zero point energy generator i havent used it or messed with it any but it looks interesting and i hope to see if it cna be duplicated on a grander scale. heres a link to the site that sells it. http://www.thinkgeek.com/stuff/looflirpa/zero.shtml

That is almost definitely a fake. If it worked, then "Men in Black" would have come to shut him down.



Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Employee Free Choice Act":

Workers should be screwed. Remember, they have a choice of leaving. Always. There's never a "wrongful quitting". Government never gives a shit about an employer being screwed, nope, it only cares about an employee. This is not openly fair. Therefore, an employer should have a choice of firing anyone for anything, always. But, they don't. "Screwing a worker" is their only alternative. This is the hidden balancing power for the openly disadvantaged employers. It is only fair.

What? This is pro-State trolling.

Suppose you're a unionized worker, and you need 25 years of service to qualify for a pension. If you have 20 years of service, you *CAN'T* quit your job, because you'd give up your pension. In this case, unionizing is your only option.

The correct answer to worker/employer friction is a free market. Workers should be free to say "**** you!" and start their own competing business. In the event of a strike, employers should be free to fire everyone and hire permanent replacements.

My main argument is "All State regulation of the market is evil!" Arguing in favor or against specific regulations is missing the point.

A true free market maximizes workers' rights. A true free market maximizes the profits of employers who are most skilled.



Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Eli Lilly, Zyprexa, and Diabetes":

The general public has a presumption "If the FDA approved it, then it must be safe." That is *FALSE*!

It's not the general public's mistake, but the doctors who prescribe medication. The doctors are actually the agents of the pharmaceutical companies. Pharmeceutical companies has lobbied the state to prohibit unlicensed doctors. They spread propaganda that unlicensed doctors are harmful. If you want to become a doctor, you must be taught that the drugs from the pharmaceutical companies are beneficial, in order to get a medical license. Medical licenses are written by the pharmaceutical companies, which also influence the things taught in medical schools. Therefore, the medical schools are funded by the pharmaceutical companies. Non-existent "disorders" such as schizophrenia and attention deficit disorder are taught at the pharma-regulated curricula in medical schools for over ten years, which would make all licensed doctors believe that these "disorders" are real. All licensed doctors are taught to diagnose non-existent "disorders", that could be corrected by just diatary changes.

Licensed doctors get no real competition from the unlicensed doctors, who would practice non-drug cures for diseases that would be better than drug treatments. Because the only legal kind of doctor is the kind that trusts the pharma-companies, no real competition is available in the medical sector. The whole medical sector is parasitic, and grows larger and larger, like the financial industry and the military-industrial complex.

I've mentioned these points before, but not explicitly like that.

The solution, as usual, is a true free market. All State licensing requirements for doctors must be eliminated. All State restrictions on drugs and drug research must be eliminated.

In a true free market, a bad doctor would be subject to malpractice claims. Free market doctor rating associations would help identify good doctors.

The general public has a presumption "If the FDA approved it, then it must be safe." That is *FALSE*!

It's not the general public but the lack of competition of doctors.

A corrupt system must be continually hyped as super-awesome, lest people become aware of the scam. Even though there is a State granted monopoly, massive propaganda and brainwashing must continue so people don't question the corrupt system.

Almost every doctor won't rock the boat and risk losing his lucrative job and career.



Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Restraining 9 Year Olds Who are too Talented":

So, then it is not a 8-10 year old league, but in fact, a league of weak throwers. They have prooved that the age is not an indicator for them, but only a weakness. They should stop their lies and rename themselves by their guiding principle. (Don't hold your breath. Everything is based on lies).

You're entirely missing the point. I said it was an 8-10 year old recreational league, not an 8-10 year old professional league.

Getting hit by a 40 mph fastball really is dangerous. Children playing baseball for the first time should not be exposed to such a risk.



Why is it that the people who say "FSK, you're totally wrong!" are always spouting incoherent gibberish.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Restraining 9 Year Olds Who are too Talented":

this is TOTALLY unrelated, but i had to post this. i found this post of yours in the archives, wherey you can't comment:

I had a problem with spam blogs when I first started. I turned back on comments for that post.

(When I first starting blogging, a spam blog copied my content and Google banished me to "Supplementary Results".)

http://fskrealityguide.blogspot.com/2007/05/discounted-cashflow-paradox-aka-st.html

There are so many errors in teh way you explain the DCF, that Ihave to keep toggling back and forth to the post itself to keep track of them all.

1) the DCF reflects the PV of free cash flow, not net income, but that's a small one (unless someoone actually pays you to do a DCF, in which case it's a significant mistake), so we'll let it go.

You can use it to value the cash flow of a business or a dividend payout stream.

2) the discount rate used is not the rate of LT bond yields. typically using the CAPM, an equity risk premium is added to LT bond yields, and than beta may or may not serve as a multiplier to this number. (in fairness, it could also diminish it). then, the specific company's Alpha, which accounts for the risk inherent in that specific company (in excess of equity market risk), like maybe they have shaky management, or maybe they have a weak balance sheet, low growth, don't manage their working capital well, etc etc... this number typically turns out atleast 10% higher than LT bond yields. maybe that's why your DCF is so off..well, plus...

It does not make sense to do a comparison based on "LT bond plus premium". Do you know a bond I can buy that pays that yield?

That's like saying "Santa Claus would beat Satan in a fistfight". Well, maybe, but it's an imaginary comparison.

3) the DCF is NOT the most conservative method of valuation. capitalizing cash flow is. think about it, in a DCF, you're allowing whoever is producing the cash flow forecast to make all kinds of predictions. they are usually aggressive, as mngmt like to claim that growth will be strong going forward. there are more reasons for this but i'll move on...

Discounted Cashflow is what Warren Buffet typically uses. He's pretty conservative.

4) your assertion that DCFs typically run 10 - 20 years out. this is sometimes true, but usually it's much lower..most commonly you see 5 years out. after all, what kind of genie can predict the future that well??

It does not make sense to run a simulation for only 5, 10, or 20 years. My life expectancy is greater than 20 years.

5) This is another biggie. you say that we assign a value of zero to all cash flow after year 20. IN FACT, you assign some sort of exit value, EBITDA multiple, or PV of the last year's CF in perpetuity. This is often referred to as the terminal value. it is common for 40% - 80% of company value lies in its terminal value. again, another litttle reason your DCF might be off..

Assigning an exit value or terminal value is cheating. That's just a fudge factor to ignore the flaw.

6?) your assertion that the dollar is worthless is ridiculous. if so, can i have all your money?

The US dollar has temporary value right now. I'm referring to the long-term value of the dollar. If you hold dollars or bonds over an expended period of time, you are guaranteed to lose almost your purchasing power to inflation.

I'd trade my dollars for gold at the spot price. I'm going to start making that trade soon, exchanging my slave points for money.

I'll make the following trade. You agree to pay me the return on a gold investment, and I'll pay you the Fed Funds Rate, over a 20 year period. Is that fair? Why not? If you're a bank, you'll say "sure", but you'll make me post margin and collateral and sell my position during the next bust. If you're an individual, you'd be stupid to offer such a deal.

i'm gonna stop there ...i'm tired of going back and forth...

anyway, this comment is meant to help...not to flame....but you should really know what you're talking about if you're gonna be posting this stufff.

You should know what you're talking about before criticizing me. Your comment sounds like a pro-State troll to me. You've probably received extensive brainwashing as an economist, and therefore can no longer think clearly in that area.

i'm not even gonna click on your 'black scholes is wrong' post lol...

Don't waste your time. You're too stupid to read that. Have you considered a career as a Ruby on Rails developer? I hear my ex-employer is hiring!



Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Black-Scholes Formula is Wrong! - Part 3/12 - ...":

"You pay short interest fees on a short stock position..."

This is patently wrong. You get interest when you short a stock. Shorting means that money comes into your account from the sale of stock. That money accrues interest in your account.

----------------------------

Yes, as literally stated it is wrong. The author is being elliptical. You "pay" on short stock in the sense that your interest is reduced below the market rate (so freeing up your capital...). Another way to make the point is that if you are leveraged (eg, a market maker), you are borrowing on your long position (the call) at a higher rate than your rebate on your short stock position. This spread is often more than 1% at a clearing firm. That is what you pay to carry the deep-in-the-money call. And it may be, 1. considerable, 2. much more than the time value of the synthetic put. The model assumes borrowing and lending at the same rate--which no one can do.

I answered that in a Reader Mail post. When a hedge fund makes a short stock position, they both collect interest and pay a fee. Suppose the Fed Funds Rate is 2% and the short stock fee is 0.25%. Then, the credited interest rate on the short sale proceeds is 1.75% instead of 2%. According to the model, the expected gain in the stock is 2%. Therefore, there is an expected loss of 0.25% on the short stock position.

The actual expected loss on a short sale is greater, because the expected gain on the stock is much greater than the Fed Funds Rate. Most professional options trader are net long calls, net short puts, and net short stock. The errors in the model partially cancel and overall work in their favor.



Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "A List of Harmful Drugs I've Been Given":

Here's a link: http://www.naturalnews.com/023334.html

That's a good beginner introduction. It contained no new information from my point of view.

The key points are:
  1. ADHD is a made-up disease. That article is criticizing ADHD and not the psychiatry industry overall.
  2. There are suppressed studies that show negative side-effects for children who take these drugs over an extended period of time.
  3. ADHD may have other causes. Diet is cited as a possible cause. I consider a defective schooling system to be the primary cause. It's easier to say "The children are defective." rather than "The system is defective.".
  4. The mainstream media is untrustworthy.
  5. Profits take priority over sound medicine.
  6. When people are publicly critical, they are pooh-poohed by others.
  7. Massive drugging for ADHD is more serious than a war crime. It is mass murder.
  8. The death industry is very profitable. Therefore, they can afford to lobby for favors and pay to cover up their misdeeds.
  9. Parents must take individual responsibility for their children. Just because a doctor says something or recommends an expensive treatment, doesn't mean the parent has to do it.
The entire economic and political system must be overhauled/discarded, and not just the medicine/pharmaceutical/psychiatry/death industry.



20000miles has left a new comment on your post "Restraining 9 Year Olds Who are too Talented":

Good post! My primary school reluctantly bumped me up one grade, all the while assuming my parents my elitist.

Athletically gifted students are given loads of funding to develop their talents while intellectually gifted students are denied similar programmes.

A one-grade bump-up is really not much of a boost, but it's better than nothing. I am nearly convinced that homeschooling is the only morally acceptable choice, if you can afford to keep one parent at home.

If you homeschool and the parent gives the child 5 minutes of attention per hour, that will still be better than a school. If the parent had a work-at-home job, then it would be feasible to homeschool. For example, if I started an agorist business, then I probably could also afford to homeschool.



Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Destruction of Trial By Jury":

Time and time again you prove that the state is actively seeking to enslave the people, and to remove their freedoms.

I hold this a a self-evident truth. For it it were not so, there never would have been a need for founding fathers to declare an independence.

They did not declare it against a foreign state, but their own.

Those who think that the times of need for such declarations have passed, are asleep at the wheel.

One of my favorite Thomas Jefferson quotes is that there should be a revolt every 20 years, just to keep the State leaders in check. By that standard, we're over 200 years overdue.

This time, it will be an economic revolt instead of a violent revolt. Only an economic revolt has a genuine chance of both succeeding and sincerely improving people's quality of life.

I consider "The State is evil and should be eliminated!" to be obvious now.

4 comments:

Zargon said...

That's about it. That is the "freedomain" approach, which is to refuse to ever again speak to someone abusive.

Yeah, I initially broke out of my statist thinking through freedomain, though I don't take their view on relationships as far as they do. My parents were somewhat abusive while I was growing up (though I suspect far less than average), but now I live almost a thousand miles away, and only see them a few times a year. So even though they're willing to put the gun to my head in terms of supporting taxes, I don't really see any benefit to breaking from them now. They're practically a non-factor in my life nowadays.

Reading about your situation with your parents, it seems like a rather scary situation. You might be able to control their everyday abusive behavior with the techniques from the Dog Whisperer (interesting section, btw), but if you relapse, or you get serious about moving out, or you simply get depressed about a bad relationship or some random thing, your parents are right there to see it and send you back to an institution worse than prison before you can take a few days to recover.

You're already trying to get them to see the reality of the psychiatry industry, but I highly doubt they will ever "get it", because doing so would entail them realizing what a monstrous thing they did/are doing to you, even though they aren't being intentionally evil.

It would seem somehow moving out and keeping them at arm's length like I'm doing would be ideal (as opposed to moving out and never talking to them again, which would likely just get you some goons at your front door), even though it seems to not be currently possible given your parent's state of mind. Perhaps in that respect staying in the same town and moving out when you can would be best (as in you could get out sooner than if you were trying to move to another city), as you could pitch moving out as not that risky, since they can come and check up on you whenever they want. That would allow you to escape being recommitted in the event of a relapse by checking into a hotel and telling your parents you went on a skiing trip, or some other lie.

---

I'm entertained that the rails advocate found your blog. I don't suppose you can track where he was referred from? That would be interesting.

eagledove9 said...

I'm guessing that the Rails advocate might have had spyware installed on the computers at the office, and found out that FSK was blogging, just by observing his computer directly. I've had numerous experiences of coworkers putting spyware on the office computers back when I used to do data entry jobs. (Long story as to how I found out about it.)

Francois Tremblay said...

Watch the movie The Business of Being Born: it should change your tune about giving birth at a hospital.

Fen said...

Esolz (as well as their latest ventures) are just the best example of most violent approach to outsource customers. Working on large numbers of freelance websites, selling non-unique templates, asking crazy amount of money for the job, that could be done much better and cheaper even by average european child.

If you are going to invite Esolz or their Infy ventures to participate in your IT-project - you should know there are better services offered over the web. Don’t let the cheap and lame bastards from India cheat you.

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