January 5th, 2007

classic cylon

(no subject)

Aaron Swartz' Raw Thought blog features a piece on how Google is infantilizing its employees by providing free food, lava lamps, etc. It's drawn a lot of comments, some of which should be taken with a grain of salt, but potentially interesting to anyone who wants to work there or get another opinion about the company culture.

One respondent, former Googler David desJardins, was in the MIT class of 1983. I didn't know him very well (he was a friend of a friend). I recall that he was quite brilliant. He was also very much into computer hacking, such as it was back in my day. In fact he was one of the first people who I learned about the ARPAnet from. He had guest accounts on the ITS machines, legendary for "security through obscurity" (meaning there was essentially no security, but generally only the hardcore hackers knew this because of its obscure and complicated command line syntax and programming platform). In fact there were several people I met in the spring and summer of 1980 who all lived in New House and hacked ITS. (Nowadays, it seems you wouldn't find too many west campus folks like that, according to some reports.) Some of them took hardcore to another level – I had to draw the line at using emacs on a DECwriter.
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