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Monday, September 28, 2020

The psychopaths of Silicon Valley

The big tech cartel is run by a series of literally psychopathic mediocrities. It's not only worse than you think, it's crazier than you would ever imagine:

Like many people during the dot-com boom of the late 1990s, Ina and David Steiner took a hobby and turned it into a business. Ina worked at a publishing company and collected books. David, a video producer, had been going to yard sales since he was a kid. He liked advertising collectibles, antique tools — anything that caught his eye. In 1999, four years after eBay was founded, when the notion of transacting with strangers online was still for the bold, they started a modest website offering advice to buyers.

They called it AuctionBytes, which later morphed into EcommerceBytes. Eventually, by tracking trends and policy updates across the industry, it became a resource for sellers on a number of platforms, from Etsy to Amazon — a kind of trade publication for anyone whose business is auctioning items out of a garage or storage unit. Today, Ina is in her late 50s and does the writing. David is in his early 60s and is the publisher. Neither has spoken to the press since eBay’s alleged plot against them came to light.

EcommerceBytes may not have been well known, but it was required reading at the highest levels of eBay. In early 2019, Ina Steiner shared the news that eBay had hired a new communications chief, Steve Wymer, who would report directly to Wenig.

The two men shared an aggressive streak. Wenig had spent most of his career in East Coast financial media, as a lawyer and executive at Thomson Reuters, and he maintained a certain New York alpha quality. Before working as a technology spokesman, Wymer had spun for three Republican senators in Washington, and he kept up an interest in politics. When Rep. John Lewis tweeted about the civic importance of getting in “good trouble, necessary trouble,” for instance, Wymer replied that he had “another view on how the USA should be governed. My view is equal to your view.”

Publicly, Wenig celebrated eBay’s five community values — among them, “People are basically good” and “We encourage you to treat others the way you want to be treated.” But together, he and Wymer worked to forge a more combative eBay, one that drew less inspiration from the Golden Rule and more from “The Sopranos.” (They did not respond to multiple requests for comment, and eBay would not make any executives available for interviews.)

While neither Wenig nor Wymer have been charged — both have denied involvement in the intimidation campaign — they clearly loathed Ina Steiner. In April 2019, she wrote about the chief executive’s compensation, noting that his haul of $18 million was 152 times what the average worker got, and mildly suggested it was coming at the expense of eBay sellers. After her post was published, Wymer texted a link to Wenig, adding: “We are going to crush this lady.”

Whether Steiner was breaking news about questionable expenditures, such as a pub eBay built on its campus, or marking more innocuous developments, Wenig seemed to find her existence infuriating. On May 31, 2019, she wrote that he had “promised to give sellers greater protection” from fraudulent buyers.

“Shockingly reasonable ...” Wymer wrote to Wenig.

“I couldn’t care less what she says,” the CEO responded, adding: “Take her down.”

It's pretty obvious who are the ticket takers in this story. The two men who were most responsible for the criminal actions are not only not facing criminal charges like their subordinates, they have been parachuted into plum positions elsewhere.

In June, Wenig was reelected to the board of General Motors, a position that pays $317,000 a year. Mary Barra, GM’s chief executive, called the cyberstalking scandal “regrettable” but noted “it didn’t involve any GM business.” Wymer has a new job, as chief executive of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Silicon Valley. The chair of the board said the nonprofit was “aware” of what happened at eBay, but believes Wymer is “a leader with integrity” and was the unanimous choice for the job.

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62 Comments:

Blogger DannyDanger September 28, 2020 8:24 AM  

"Wymer has a new job, as chief executive of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Silicon Valley. . . was the unanimous choice for the job."

Talk about validation for the idea presented in the previous post:
"And these evil-allied may well turn-out to be almost-everything, and almost-everybody - we should be prepared for that possibility."

Blogger SciVo September 28, 2020 8:27 AM  

Sure, collect all of the most vulnerable local kids in one place, and then give a creepazoid top authority over the org. What could go wrong?

Blogger Haus frau September 28, 2020 8:37 AM  

"Wymer has a new job, as chief executive of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Silicon Valley. The chair of the board said the nonprofit was “aware” of what happened at eBay, but believes Wymer is “a leader with integrity” and was the unanimous choice for the job."

Always with the children's charities.

Blogger Brett baker September 28, 2020 8:43 AM  

How soon before a scandal at the Boys&Girls Club of Silicon Valley?

Blogger Newscaper312 September 28, 2020 8:45 AM  

1. I have often seen that men with the type of confidence, even arrogance, and certain amount of perhaps neccessary bullshit artistry that go with successful entrepreneurship, are the civilized cousins of the con-man. They are as much cousins as opposites.I

2. For someone who started out as a Rand and Rothbard free marketer, the phenomenon of the corporate upper manager types who skate from one job to the next w no failure ever sticking always sickened me.

Blogger rikjames.313 September 28, 2020 8:56 AM  

Mary Barra is not a great manager or boss. She let her tech VP crash a corvette doing drunk burnouts at a grand prix race, and ended up looking like Darth Vader browbeating all the media to spike the footage.

She has been lowballing all the suppliers and then gets confused when the good ones go to do work for china and japan, and the bad ones promote blacks and women to facetime with her, and miss the deadlines.

My personal favorite. She decided GM would partner with Lyft and Shipt and rent small SUVs by the week to people who can't afford them to do the running around. Not only did she insure the cars, she selected a woman who publicly said she hated cars but loved women's fashion to be exec vice president on the project and the other advanced tech stuff. She even named the advanced tech arm "Maven" (not joking)

Then Mary put GM directly in charge of the rentals. None of them could do customer service, so when they jacked up the payment tracking or just felt like it, they would remote kill the cars and then charge an insane recovery fee to the renter.

So when her friend the clothes horse got caught sexing at the office and left, Mary pulled the plug and ate all the costs. Inventory, computer systems, all the prime city rental locations. The new tech boss is also a chick, who used to work on airlines ads and with NBC media.

Blogger Damelon Brinn September 28, 2020 9:08 AM  

I've never been to Silicon Valley, but I've been in the computer/Internet business for 25 years, and none of this surprises me. The people in this industry are *overwhelmingly* atheist, probably more than any other industry, to the point where if I mention prayer or God around colleagues they'll do a double-take like I just sprouted two heads. Believing the Earth is flat would be more acceptable in their circles.

Add to that a very strong smarter-than-thou streak, and you get people who think it's reasonable that they should run the world like a game of Sim City, where the customers or citizens are just dots to be moved around on the screen to improve your score, and they have no moral compunction against doing so. They're very much like the Prometheans, and of course there's a lot of overlap there.

You really don't want to be ruled by technocrats.

Blogger jkmack September 28, 2020 9:19 AM  

@2 that is why he was unanimously selected for the position. The exploiters of these children want fellow enablers, if not partakers, up and down the chain of command.

Blogger Crunchy Cachalot September 28, 2020 9:23 AM  

I've been to Silicon Valley and despite the "revenge of the Nerds" narrative that is often spun around the place, it's really run by sort of people you would expect: the slickee boy sociopaths who know there's no need to rob Peter to pay Paul when it's just as easy to swindle both of them at once, often at Peter and Paul's invitation.

Blogger Barbarossa September 28, 2020 9:46 AM  

$317K/year for a board position. For a man who probably knows less than nothing about the automotive industry. For a man whose supposed managerial experience is in a company with virtually no requirement for capital structures (save the pub). For a position that probably requires (required thanks to the kung flu) him to some board meetings 4-12x per year, where if he's smart, he keeps his mouth shut so as to not reveal that he hasn't bothered reading any of the materials prepared for the board members.

If you want to gen up a quick target list of ticket takers, start with the list of board members of these major corporations. Cull out the handful of finance professors and reps from whatever technical association they're affiliated with, and you'll notice they're not there to govern the activities of that company and that you'll see the same names over and over.

Blogger Scuzzaman September 28, 2020 10:00 AM  

his career in East Coast financial media, as a lawyer and executive at Thomson Reuters

So, a career in East coast financial media (Bloomberg being TR's natural competitor), an executive at TR, a lawyer, and a (((name))) that means "tiny".

What a résumé.

Blogger Up from the pond September 28, 2020 10:03 AM  

Buh... buh... but he's a JOB-CREATOR!

- This is the level of argument I get from the hillbillies in my area. Bend over and take it from Satan's latest soldier, because he's a JOB-CREATOR - even though he's a JOB-DESTROYER in fact.

People who can't tell the difference between good and bad, mistaking one for the other, do not inspire sympathy.

Blogger Homesteader September 28, 2020 10:04 AM  

When we lived in Silicon Valley,
our neighbors were upper management types, with a couple at C Suite level, in mamy of the larger firms.

We, most definitely, were not.

It was fascinating, watching them
socialize. They were the SSH in the flesh- deltas, omegas, and gammas were heavily represented.

Leftism was social currency; virtue signalling mandatory. Atheism and Democratic sensibilities were the reflexive positions, naturally.

(Here, we must acknowledge our enemies. They knew that the key to America was its education system- that, if you controlled the colleges, you controlled the country.)

I suppose, in the ensuing years, it's only gotten worse, if that's possible.







Blogger ThatWouldBeTelling September 28, 2020 10:09 AM  

@7 Damelon Brinn and @9 Crunchy Cachalot: I too haven't been to it, but I know of several factors that play into this. In addition to the following comment I made in another forum based on a different paper's review of the book, in general it's going to attract a lot of people, companies, and funders for startups because by very long standing public policy non-competes are unenforceable, so it has the most liquid pool of talent in the US.

Back when the Bay area was sane, not including SF which didn't matter in this period, that was critical in the development of Silicon Valley, we'd otherwise be decades behind our current level of designing and fabricating chips. And now to time slip to describe some of the whys of its current status, which I'll add SF is a big part of:

New computer and electronics technology companies as a sector almost entirely stopped making big money after the dot.com bust, and SarbOx then closed the IPO window for all but a few monsters, ending the long run of venture capital starting in the 1950s. "Wall Street" is where the big money is made, and where all the best talent goes nowadays, leaving VC companies with the dregs....

And all of the above has turned this sector of venture capital into a rent seeking operation, with the hope that a firm will land one true "unicorn." But if they don't, the people running the VC firms make OK money in managing their funds, a lot of which comes from blind sector allocation by huge institutions pension funds, which put in a very small fraction that's still overall fairly big in absolute numbers.

Note also there's almost no real innovation coming out of the Bay area, one question I ask is "who's going to come up with the next FPGA like thing?" Except maybe for silicon that's designed for AI/ML applications, that seems to be extremely unlikely, it's all refinement, or advertising driven social media and the like. Even more so now that so much of it is run by non-northwestern foreigners.

Blogger OneWingedShark September 28, 2020 10:27 AM  

Newscaper312 wrote:2. For someone who started out as a Rand and Rothbard free marketer, the phenomenon of the corporate upper manager types who skate from one job to the next w no failure ever sticking always sickened me.
There's one of the reasons I want anti-monopoly and RICO applied to big-corporations, esp. tech, and harshly.

Blogger gunner451 September 28, 2020 10:28 AM  

Not surprising, they reward the people that do their bidding. Just look at those involved in Ruby Ridge, Larry Potts, Lon Horiuchi and even William Barr. The system rewards those that are loyal to the system.

Blogger kmbr September 28, 2020 10:33 AM  

Also, I would add to everything stated here, very many gravitate to the industry who are on the spectrum and completely lack empathy.

Blogger Crush Limbraw September 28, 2020 11:00 AM  

A perfect example of Ephesians 6:12 - the foul smell of dark spirits through human action!
Read more at - https://crushlimbraw.blogspot.com/2019/07/what-happened-to-church-in-america-here.html?m=0 - DaChickens are coming home to roost.
And BTW - this item links pretty well with Vox's previous post on discernment - on which I commented already.

Blogger Jeffrey Johnson September 28, 2020 11:07 AM  

Silicon Valley is what you get when you give gamma males unlimited money and massive power. It's passive aggressive bullying and abuse from the top down. It's one of the most miserable places on Earth.

Blogger kurt9 September 28, 2020 11:08 AM  

Silicon Valley is a long way from the days of Jerry Sanders and T.J. Rodgers.

Blogger Ahuehuete September 28, 2020 11:14 AM  

"I've never been to Silicon Valley, but I've been in the computer/Internet business for 25 years, and none of this surprises me. The people in this industry are *overwhelmingly* atheist"

Yup.

About a year ago I had lunch with some former colleagues. Somehow the topic of Billy Joel's "Only the good die young" came up. The table was nearly unanimous that they would "rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints" and laughed. Once the laughter died down I calmly said "No one is laughing in Hell".

The table became quiet enough to hear a pin drop. The topic of discussion quickly changed to the local National Felons' League franchise.

Blogger phil g September 28, 2020 11:16 AM  

But, but, but the results don't match the predictions so it must be FRAUD or RUSSIA or maybe both.

Blogger PolitiCrump September 28, 2020 11:39 AM  

Incredible how these "entrepreneurs" just like politicians and bureaucrats and other global elites, always seem to fail upwards. These people have skated from one disaster to the next, never having to reap the consequences of their actions so that they can effectively delude themselves into believing that they are successful, all of which only fuels their sociopathy. At least we can take solace that their reckoning will come on the day of judgement

Blogger Damelon Brinn September 28, 2020 11:55 AM  

one question I ask is "who's going to come up with the next FPGA like thing?"

We're getting to the point where the talented people stay busy just keeping the current systems running. The last several years of cloudification and platformification (I'm coining words today) have greatly increased the level of complexity underlying all of our computer technology, and we haven't increased the number of people to keep up with it all.

Blogger crescent wrench September 28, 2020 12:12 PM  

"Psychopathic Mediocrities" is a perfect descriptor that fits with my experiences with SV upper management over the years.

It explains the utter disregard for work/life balance at these offices, the complete garbage in garbage out that is the hiring process, and the utterly disastrous decisions I've seen come down from on high through product management.

I contend a fast food evening manager would do a better job with most of these companies.

Blogger Scuzzaman September 28, 2020 12:18 PM  

So why do you guys think “these people” continuously fail upwards? Why do other wealthy and powerful people basically give them wealth for doing nothing? Do you think the wealthy and powerful long for the company of mercenary midwits lacking any semblance of decency loyalty curiosity honesty or any other virtue? What’s really going on here?

Blogger crescent wrench September 28, 2020 12:32 PM  

ThatWouldBeTelling wrote:Except maybe for silicon that's designed for AI/ML applications, that seems to be extremely unlikely, it's all refinement, or advertising driven social media and the like.

And let's not mention that current applications of AI/ML are highly unethical snake oil for all parties.

RE: advertising
If an actual person were doing what AI/ML ad profiling algorithms do they'd be subject to cyber-stalking convictions, and these algorithms are fraudulently peddled to clueless company execs as magically predictive when all they end up doing is badgering you to re-buy the last thing you just bought.

RE: trading
Since everyone at the pinnacle of the trading sphere comes from the same couple of institutions, their algorithms all end up based on the same training, resulting in massive and self-re-enforcing lurches in the markets which harm national economies.

RE: content moderation
The false positive and negative rate results in arbitrary censorship and the utter destruction of the stated purpose of open social media platforms, and that's before intentional malice is introduced into the process by the usual cohort.

RE: self-driving cars
Google has been caught wiping the logs of failed road tests which have resulted in nasty hit and run collisions and/or near misses.

AI/ML is currently unfit for purpose. I charge it's fundamentally incapable of becoming fit for purpose, but these people keep saying "just wait the next generation will be better" just like they do with socialist political policy.

Blogger crescent wrench September 28, 2020 12:54 PM  

Scuzzaman wrote:So why do you guys think “these people” continuously fail upwards?

For the same reason others fail upwards:

There is a lag time for terrible decisions to wreck an established product enough to shift customers to a new one and impact the balance sheets.

All they have to do is present their horror shows as visionary in their CV's and jump ship before that happens. Interesting how much more often "talent" in Silicon Valley jumps companies every 2 years vs other industries.

Blogger Yossarian September 28, 2020 1:11 PM  

Have you guys heard of the saga of Bindu Reddy (Dindu Reddit) and Harmful Opinions? It's almost the exact same thing.

Dindu Reddit has quite the CV in working for AI development for major companies including Amazon and currently Google. She created Candid, an "100% anonymous" instant messaging app. Long story short, the app was used to train YT's AI to demonatize and ban all the wrong-think accounts. She promoted the app by giving money to the wrong-think youtubers themselves to spread the word about Candid. Thus the people who are to blame for the current state of YT are the very same people who keep complaining about the current state of YT. Go figure.

Harmful Opinions was at the time offered the same ticket. He said no. Days later a massive online campaign began against him. He didn't know why because he was literally a nobody by YT standards. Through process of elimination he saw that everyone who attacked him was linked to Candid in some fashion.

Turned out Bindu Reddy was so obsessed with Harmful Opinions that she was paying people to make videos about him. She even got on a livestream to sperg out about him. That's what she occupied most of her day with.

These are the sort of people who are in charge of deciding who gets to use Google, Amazon, Uber, and so on. Never forget this. And never forget how childish they are.

Blogger Chris Ritchie September 28, 2020 1:40 PM  

I remember reading about the whole saga. I worked at a dot com in 2000. The ridiculous 5 year ROI would never pan out. I saw that after a month on the job. After our illustrious CEO ran out of the investor's money, the company went completely bankrupt. I looked him up a couple of years later - he had been named CEO of another company. Figures.

Blogger OneWingedShark September 28, 2020 1:53 PM  

Damelon Brinn wrote:one question I ask is "who's going to come up with the next FPGA like thing?"
We're getting to the point where the talented people stay busy just keeping the current systems running.

This is literally my job.
The frustrating thing is that despite seeing how things are a cludgepile of 30-years worth of software, originally with dozens of guys for many systems, now there's just me... and I'm not allowed to really do anything. My bosses want me to keep everything running, and if there's any improvement it should be incremental, not holistic, not actually designing a system.
It's very frustrating in some respects.

The last several years of cloudification and platformification (I'm coining words today) have greatly increased the level of complexity underlying all of our computer technology, and we haven't increased the number of people to keep up with it all.
As noted above, we have 4 people total doing what took 40 people to do for sustaining normal operations. As a result our bus factor is essentially "anybody" and we're shut down.

crescent wrench wrote:RE: self-driving cars
Google has been caught wiping the logs of failed road tests which have resulted in nasty hit and run collisions and/or near misses.

That's interesting.
I keep asking myself who is pushing the "self-driving cars", and why.
It seems absolutely inorganic, as if it's an objective on a checklist. The things that come to mind are things like "controlling the logistics", which could be key for the "kill massive numbers of people" ideology presented in the Georgia Guidestones, it could also be useful for the elite preventing things like the rolling roadblocks truckers did to protest fuel-prices/-tax, it could also be useful for "Michael Hastings"-ing political dissidents.

Blogger DannyDanger September 28, 2020 1:57 PM  

I was looking into the backgrounds of the players involved and came across this in an article about Wymer's stint as student president at WSU:

"At most meetings, I was the only student there,” he says. “I got there early and went around the table and lowered the chairs at the table and raised mine up. I didn’t want them to think I was a joke."

Whatever it takes, eh buddy? It's hard to imagine Trump behaving this way; no wonder they hate him.

Blogger Major Styles September 28, 2020 2:04 PM  

"About a year ago I had lunch with some former colleagues. Somehow the topic of Billy Joel's "Only the good die young" came up. The table was nearly unanimous that they would "rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints" and laughed. Once the laughter died down I calmly said "No one is laughing in Hell"."

You could have also said, "I heard that Billy Joel is Jewish. Didn't they kill Christ?"

Blogger Jack Amok September 28, 2020 2:05 PM  

The last several years of cloudification and platformification (I'm coining words today) have greatly increased the level of complexity underlying all of our computer technology, and we haven't increased the number of people to keep up with it all.

Yeah, I call it the Java-ication of software. A coworker from way back once described Java as a language written by a handful of smart people so a bunch of idiots could "monkeypatch" things together an probably get it to almost work. And let's just say, the people monkeypatching have a lot of native experience with monkeys. "The Cloud" and software as a service are just continuations of this pattern, where the people building the system understand almost none of the parts.

In a way, it's like the growth of retail - a guy who has no idea how to make a bicycle, or car, or toaster oven, sells them at a markup that has him making more money than the people who actually make the things. The ticket-takers squeezing out the doers.

Blogger rikjames.313 September 28, 2020 2:41 PM  

OneWingedShark wrote:

It seems absolutely inorganic, as if it's an objective on a checklist. The things that come to mind are things like "controlling the logistics", which could be key for the "kill massive numbers of people" ideology presented in the Georgia Guidestones, it could also be useful for the elite preventing things like the rolling roadblocks truckers did to protest fuel-prices/-tax, it could also be useful for "Michael Hastings"-ing political dissidents.


Self driving trucks on the freeway will save shippers and corporations billions a year. Running the trucks 23 hours a day to and from changeover lots just off major freeway exits to get a driver for the last 10 miles like pilots in a harbor. And the tech for that is almost there. In Michigan the 'platooning' trucks on 69 are working really good.

Google/Ford/GM level self driving cars are the holy grail. No more uber drivers, amazon workers sorting in the vans as they drive themselves, selling everyone over 60 a new car, no more freeways tied up for hours every day for accidents.

Insurance companies dropping their pay outs to almost nothing compared to now.

Here in Metro Detroit, no more blacks racing Challengers at 120 on the freeways at midnight, no more side shows on a 5 lane freeway at 2 am. Easy to catch all of them doing drivebys

Blogger kurt9 September 28, 2020 2:46 PM  

The silicon valley start-up scene has been more about looting investors than about creating successful companies since the dot-com era of the late 90's. The reason why this even exists is partly because of the tidal wave of money coming out of the FED since 1995 as well as a little-known Clinton era regulatory change that required that pension funds invest a small percentage of their portfolios into "speculative" ventures. I believe this latter policy came about in 1996 when Clinton was courting silicon valley support for his re-election campaign. Clinton's 1996 re-election campaign was one of the dirtiest in history with regards to corruption. Clinton also pushed for the take-down of Glass Steagal which, in turn, opened the doors to a lot of the financial corruption we have today.

Blogger Jack Amok September 28, 2020 3:16 PM  

Do you think the wealthy and powerful long for the company of mercenary midwits lacking any semblance of decency loyalty curiosity honesty or any other virtue? What’s really going on here?

Loyalty to who? Or perhaps what? Ticket-takers aren't really their own bosses in the end, and they'll have to put up with someone who's loyal to the real boss.

Blogger ThatWouldBeTelling September 28, 2020 4:03 PM  

Sorry I wasn't clear about my FPGA question, it has nothing to do with people like those who replied and myself who keep systems going, it's hardware, as in chips, not software and systems. My point is that outside of AI/ML to an small extent maybe, I'm not aware of any serious and credible efforts to make the next big categories of hardware. As far as I can tell, "Silicon Valley" is simply no longer interested in such things.

That said, the general points you and others are making about today's systems are spot on.

@27 crescent wrench:

RE: trading
Since everyone at the pinnacle of the trading sphere comes from the same couple of institutions, their algorithms all end up based on the same training, resulting in massive and self-re-enforcing lurches in the markets which harm national economies.


So what's the one other that MIT? Who's EE graduates get poached by finance because they know math for real.

@34 Jack Amok:

A coworker from way back once described Java as a language written by a handful of smart people so a bunch of idiots could "monkeypatch" things together an probably get it to almost work.

That's what it's become as the replacement for COBOL, but it was originally designed to run on small computers, including the sort that are now in the category of the Internet of Things. Gosling and company forced Sun to open it after his experience with NeWS window system, which lost to X due to cost and licence, and with C++ still being the rage at the time, a simpler version of it without memory bugs was catnip for the degraded Object Oriented crowd, who weren't about to acknowledge they were just plain wrong in what OO was useful and good for. That Java is still big, and there are still "Javaschools" says a lot of bad things. (The JVM is another matter.)

Blogger Zeroh Tollrants September 28, 2020 4:34 PM  

We always called her Hindu Dindu.

Blogger Zeroh Tollrants September 28, 2020 4:39 PM  

Truck driving is the number one job in the US, doofus. Self driving trucks are NOT a net positive. It's a nightmare, considering how many under-educated white men are drivers.
I loathe tech worshippers. They have zero humanity.

Blogger Newscaper312 September 28, 2020 5:21 PM  

@40 Zeroh
For a long time Ive had the idle thought that if my life somehow just fell completely apart, wrt wife, career, etc, long haul trucker could be an interesting completely left field job for a while.

One issue w automating trucks on long stretches of interstate, is the hijacking factor. Seems trivial to game the safety features to make the truck stop.

Blogger Jack Amok September 28, 2020 6:04 PM  

it was originally designed to run on small computers, including the sort that are now in the category of the Internet of Things. Gosling and company forced Sun to open it...

Yeah, I should remember to differentiate between Java the language and Java the ecosystem. Java itself is no more idiotic than any managed language, but the whole beans, springs, etc. patchwork framework that grew up is a grade A engineering fiasco.

Blogger bw September 28, 2020 6:22 PM  

been parachuted into plum positions elsewhere

....swear we've read this book before somewhere
Oh, the SEC, FDA, etc
Govt is the literal extension of private money

Blogger van helsing September 28, 2020 6:23 PM  

6. mary is a cabal wannabe. a woman I know adores her as they both went to GMI/Kettering. Mary did whatever Obama wanted, and serves cabal still, obviously.

Blogger map September 28, 2020 6:27 PM  

Ugh...

You know trucks all have manual transmissions, right? That's right...a 16-gear manual transmission, no automatics.

Have they invented an AI robot arm to shift the truck?

Blogger map September 28, 2020 6:43 PM  

ThatWouldBeTelling wrote:My point is that outside of AI/ML to an small extent maybe, I'm not aware of any serious and credible efforts to make the next big categories of hardware. As far as I can tell, "Silicon Valley" is simply no longer interested in such things.

But isn't this the case with all engineering? Something like 80% of all of the tech is recycled from product to product because it is too expensive to build from scratch every time.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash September 28, 2020 6:53 PM  

map wrote:You know trucks all have manual transmissions, right? That's right...a 16-gear manual transmission, no automatics.
No they don't. Thanks to the scam of federally subsidized driver training, the trucking industry has been taken over by Africans and Sub-continentals. Given the technical prowess exhibited by these primates, the big truck makers are now offering fully automatic transmissions:
https://www.kenworth.com/news/news-releases/2017/march/allison-tc10/
Sure they break down more and are less efficient, but the cab apes are less likely to ruin the engine.

Blogger map September 28, 2020 6:58 PM  

kurt9 wrote:The reason why this even exists is partly because of the tidal wave of money coming out of the FED since 1995 as well as a little-known Clinton era regulatory change that required that pension funds invest a small percentage of their portfolios into "speculative" ventures. I believe this latter policy came about in 1996 when Clinton was courting silicon valley support for his re-election campaign.

This is very interesting. One of the techniques used to invest in distressed debt is to buy company bonds that sell well below par but have little if any chance of going bankrupt. This occurs because when a bond rating for a company goes down, big institutions are required by law to sell the bonds, even if analysis shows that there is little chance pf the change in bond rating tanking the firm. You can pick up a $1,000 bond for, say, $800 and, when the bond comes due, make $200 when the company pays the debt.

This is a regulatory rule creating this inefficiency.

Blogger map September 28, 2020 7:20 PM  

Snidely Whiplash wrote:No they don't. Thanks to the scam of federally subsidized driver training, the trucking industry has been taken over by Africans and Sub-continentals. Given the technical prowess exhibited by these primates, the big truck makers are now offering fully automatic transmissions:

https://www.kenworth.com/news/news-releases/2017/march/allison-tc10/

Sure they break down more and are less efficient, but the cab apes are less likely to ruin the engine.


Thanks for the link. Looks like the automatic transmission for this can is designed for shorter hauls:

"The Allison TC10 is designed for line haul, regional haul, and pick-up and delivery tractor applications. The transmission provides 10 forward and two reverse speeds. A patented torque converter and twin countershaft gearbox optimize acceleration while improving fuel economy through engine down-speeding and uninterrupted power shifting in all ranges. The TC10 is integrated with multiple engine offerings and will be offered by Kenworth for applications requiring torque up to 1,850 lb.-ft. and up to 110,000-lb GCW."

This looks like a very limited use application that does not include long haul trucking.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine September 28, 2020 7:26 PM  

"Do you think the wealthy and powerful long for the company of mercenary midwits lacking any semblance of decency loyalty curiosity honesty or any other virtue? What’s really going on here?"

Because psychopaths are entirely, only, and forever self-interested, they're reliable, predictable, and easily controlled by the threat of exposure. People with a sense of righteousness or even duty to society are a threat of exposure who might not care enough about going down with the ship, so only fellow psychopaths need apply once they're inside the organization upper management. They all risk exposure if one of them gets caught, so they'll all cooperate in a panic and frenzy to destroy anyone else.

Blogger Crunchy Cachalot September 28, 2020 7:35 PM  

Given the technical prowess exhibited by these primates, the big truck makers are now offering fully automatic transmissions

To be fair, many younger Americans are stupefied and terrified by that third pedal. Of course, none of them are being given the controls of a triple-trailer juggernaut of disaster.

Blogger Ransom Smith September 28, 2020 8:32 PM  

Google/Ford/GM level self driving cars are the holy grail. No more uber drivers, amazon workers sorting in the vans as they drive themselves, selling everyone over 60 a new car, no more freeways tied up for hours every day for accidents.
It'll never happen in a million years.
Like I tell my idiot coworker who actually thinks machine learning is real, it's all just one giant boondoggle to pump cash in and keep people employed without ever delivering results.
The day a big rig can dive itself hundreds of thousands of miles with minimal issues, will be the same day I'm the starting right back for the USMNT as we lift the World Cup.

Blogger RedJack September 28, 2020 9:58 PM  

Having been involved in big projects, I have seen this up close. The CEO who was getting a BJ in a marketing meeting with a client (who we lost). The Board Member who was so incompetent, another board member said "never do anything he says".

At times I wonder just why so many corporations actual stay solvent.

Blogger crescent wrench September 29, 2020 12:41 AM  

Ransom Smith wrote:Like I tell my idiot coworker who actually thinks machine learning is real, it's all just one giant boondoggle to pump cash in and keep people employed without ever delivering results.

Most useful meme on the subject i've seen yet.
https://pics.me.me/al-machine-learning-statistics-if-go-deeper%E2%80%A6-62013620.png

Blogger LAZ September 29, 2020 1:22 AM  

Automatic trucks became popular about 20 years ago and I wouldn't be surprised if most are now automatics. And there's not many English as a first language white truckers left.

Blogger Valar Addemmis September 29, 2020 2:53 PM  

Ransom Smith wrote:
It'll never happen in a million years.

Like I tell my idiot coworker who actually thinks machine learning is real, it's all just one giant boondoggle to pump cash in and keep people employed without ever delivering results.

The day a big rig can dive itself hundreds of thousands of miles with minimal issues, will be the same day I'm the starting right back for the USMNT as we lift the World Cup.


You'd have self-driving cars already if not for the regulatory patchwork and uncertainty in terms of how fault determination would work and how the NHTSA would bankrupt you when accidents inevitably happen.

One place where government inertia is working for the good.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine September 29, 2020 7:44 PM  

"You'd have self-driving cars already if not for the regulatory patchwork and uncertainty in terms of how fault determination would work and how the NHTSA would bankrupt you when accidents inevitably happen.
"


Nah, it's a pipe dream. It's a low education high skill cap job. The minute you get fully automated trucks on the road in some places, one of two things MUST happen:

#1: They get robbed left, right, and center, by, as pointed out above, gaming their safety features to force them to stop.
#2: They get fitted with cattle plows and laws get passed so they're not responsible for any damage they do, at which point they just get land-mined instead and no one at all feels sorry for the owners because of all the innocents they're running over.

Blogger Ransom Smith September 29, 2020 8:57 PM  

You'd have self-driving cars already if not for the regulatory patchwork and uncertainty in terms of how fault determination would work and how the NHTSA would bankrupt you when accidents inevitably happen.
No, it's not going to happen. And I can give you a multitude of reasons why.
1. It's an expensive fix for a problem that doesn't exist.
2. A whole new generation of mechanics would need to be trained to work it.
3. Manufacturers would pull a Boeing and hiring the cheapest Indian programmers possible.
4. As Jeremy Clarkson would say, it's stupid.

Blogger Akulkis September 29, 2020 9:47 PM  

"Mary Barra is not a great manager or boss."

Hearing Paul W. Smith do short interviews of her in the mornings, on 760 AM, WJR, Detroit, the woman is absolutely a token.

I've known incredibly savvy and intelligent women, for example the woman who came up with the "gravity slingshot" technique of using planets to vastly increase the speed at which space probes can be sent to the outer-districts of the solar system and beyond. Professor Kathleen Howell.

Mary Barra is no Kathleen Howell.

Blogger Akulkis September 29, 2020 10:18 PM  

>> About a year ago I had lunch with some former colleagues. Somehow the topic of Billy Joel's "Only the good die young" came up. The table was nearly unanimous that they would "rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints" and laughed. Once the laughter died down I calmly said "No one is laughing in Hell".


The older I get, the more I despise Billy Joel's recordings. ALL of them.

Blogger Bezzle October 02, 2020 2:35 PM  

Female CEOs are corporate death.

Blogger Unknown October 04, 2020 2:56 PM  

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