Weekly Links: January 5th

Working in The Tech Industry

To Serve Man With Software | Jeff Atwood - This is a great review of the ethical questions that software developer’s face in the modern world. Is your work actually serving anyone who isn’t invested in your employer?

Basecamp doesn’t employ anyone in San Francisco, but now we pay everyone as though all did | Basecamp - On a similar vein, this is a tech employer holding themselves to a higher standard in terms of benefiting their employees1. Also this quote is a fantastic summary of the type of software companies I want to work for:

Especially in software, which is a profitable business when run with restraint and sold to businesses.

There’s a glorification of the unicorn startup in the tech world, but you can go a long way with low costs and high paying customers (and it’s easier to “serve man with software” without outside pressure to grow like crazy)

Non-Tech (“Less-Tech”?)

Perceptions of Probability and Numbers | Zoni Nation - This is simply a collection of visualizations of a dataset pulled from Reddit of what probabilities people associate with common english phrases used to express uncertainty. I found it fascinating.

An example graph from the repo

Stop Using Facebook and Start Using Your Browser | Foster Kamer - This is a call for people to get out of their social media bubble and internet like it’s 2005. Use bookmarks, type in URLs directly, basically go to sites directly for content instead of relying on social media algorithms to find stuff for you. I think this is easier said than done. Social networking sites are ingrained into our culture at this point. You don’t replace culture by condemning it, and telling everyone to go without but by creating something new or better2. So what can we make as Internet users that provides something as easy or easier than the mindless serendipity of social media, but produces better outcomes?


  1. Feel free to be cynical about this as a marketing ploy, but I’m all for companies marketing themselves by actually improving how they compensate their employees.

  2. If you’d like to read a whole book making that argument, I recommend Culture Making by Andy Crouch

Subscribe via email