Subject: Re: Anyone looking for a Lisp/AI job in Pennsylvania?
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: Thu, 21 Mar 2002 21:14:52 GMT
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Eric Moss
| It's great that everyone here is a great hacker (in the subversive
| sense), but when you get told "you will be fired if you subvert the
| security measures on this machine", it's just not a workable solution.
| Can they catch me?  I don't know, but getting fired for breaching
| security, and losing 401(k) vestings is too much of a punishment to risk.

  I think you misunderstand the mood here.  Only one person has argued that
  one should disobey direct orders and defraud their bosses, but that is
  not what this is about.  This is about proving that something you would
  like to do but need experience with before you can get permission to do
  it officially.  If phrased properly, you will get permission to do this
  in any environment.

| I said "Not to pee in the punchbowl, but..." to indicate that I think
| it's great if people *can* get root and do "the right thing" and so on.
| However, it would be a mistake to think that everyone can and will and
| *should* risk it.

  I think you take this "risk" out of thin air.  Nobody has asked you to
  _risk_ anything like you think, but if you are good at what you do, and
  you work in a reasonable place, competence will be rewarded with trust.
  If you are not trusted to be constructive in your creativity and have the
  company's best interests at heart, not being able to use Common Lisp is
  such a minor problem.

| I have seen this discussion before.  Someone asks "how can we get into
| the corporate world?"  Someone else says "Stop whining--just do it",
| thinking that will work for everyone.  It will not, and short-circuits
| meaningful discussion about what could be used as ammo in a corporate
| environment.

  Please, if you think "just do it" means violate your current trust, you
  have precluded yourself from understanding and appreciating the options
  that lie before you.

  However, if you are in a position that only involves coding and you think
  you will not be promoted, a promotion is usually only given to people who
  show initiative and the ability to make decisions and take risks within
  the framework of the company's structure.

  Please realize that using or investigating to use a different programming
  language is a managerial decision.  You have to maneuver yourself into a
  managerial position to make such a decision.  This is impossible if you
  just sit on your ass and think you have no chance of such a position.

  I have always read "just do it" to be a self-esteem-boosting "mantra", a
  "take charge" attitude.  If you think it means to do something _without_
  the self-esteem, breaking the law or violating somebody's trust or taking
  a destructive risk simply follows from the premises.  But you cannot ask
  someone who does not even trust himself to "just do it", because what
  they will do is not good for _anyone_.

  In a fight against something, the fight has value, victory has none.
  In a fight for something, the fight is a loss, victory merely relief.