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Hey Steve, lots of Hacker News readers are just as smart as Jeff Bezos. Some of us may even be smarter. You may remove every third paragraph for him, but you can remove every third word for us and we can fill in the rest with our giant brains. Here goes:

Last week accidentally posted internal rant service platforms my public account. It somehow viral, which nothing short stupefying given it was massive Wall Text. The thing still surreal.

Amazingly, nothing happened to at Google. just laughed me a, all the up to top, for committed what be the of all screwups in history.

But also listened, is super. I probably talk much it, but already figuring how to with some the issues raised. I I shouldn’t surprised. When I in my post that “does everything”, I meant. When they’re with any at all, it’s technical organizational or, they set to solve in a way.

Anyway, whenever goes viral, start wondering it was or staged. accident was. While I no proof, can offer what I is the convincing evidence: the last and a years, I never once on Amazon. Even just months ago, a keynote I gave a conference, was pretty when I about my there. I’ve skirted any shortcomings and on what do well.

I still a lot friends at. In fact place is of people admire and. And up now I prided myself my professionalism I have about Amazon. on the, even in internal memo, uncharacteristically unprofessional me. So been feeling guilty for past week.

Without retracting I said, like to a more picture for. I’m going try to that picture some true that I’ve shared publicly. secondhand: it’s stuff I myself there. hope you’ll the stories, because it’s hell of interesting place.

Amazon started Jeff, I’ll my stories one about.

Amazon War #1: Jeff

Over years I people give to Jeff and come bruised: emotionally, often career-ily. you came with a or a, you were for joy. to Jeff a gauntlet tends to people back the cave lick their and stay of the for a.

I say and you think PowerPoint, no: he PowerPoint there years ago. not allowed the campus. you present Jeff, you it as.

One day came time me to to Jeff. felt like... don’t know, how they around you you’re going meet the. People giving last-minute advice, you luck, you past of admins security guards. like you’re a movie. gladiator movie.

I’d spent watching Jeff action before turn came, I had in an way. My presentation --, roughly speaking about the skills a engineer ought know -- was resounding success. loved it. everyone was me on back and me like just completed game-winning hail-mary or something. VP told privately: “Presentations Jeff never that well.”

here’s the: I had suspected Jeff going to my presentation. see, I noticed two about him, him over years, that had either caught on, or else had not out how make the actionable.

Here how I. Amazon people, note. This will you. I dead serious.

prepare a for Jeff, make damn you know there is know about subject. Then a prose explaining the and solution(s). it exactly way you write it a leading or industry on the.

is: assume already knows about it. he knows than you about it. if you groundbreakingly original in your, just pretend old hat him. Write prose in succinct, direct, way that would write a world-leading on the.

almost done. last step you’re ready present to is this: every third.

Now you’re to present!

in the there was famous-ish composer/pianist Franz Liszt. is widely to have the greatest who ever. He could anything you him, including stuff not written for, like opera. He was staggeringly good sight-reading that brain was fully engaged the first. After that get bored start embellishing his own.

Bezos is goddamned smart you have turn it a game him or be bored annoyed with. That was first realization him. Who how smart was before became a -- let’s just it was “frigging smart”, he did Amazon from. But for he’s had of people care of for him. doesn’t have do anything all except himself in morning and presentations all long. So really, REALLY at reading. He’s like Franz Liszt sight-reading presentations.

you have start tearing whole paragraphs, even pages, make it for him. will fill the gaps without missing beat. And brain will less time get annoyed the slow of your.

I mean, what it be like start off an incredibly person, arguably first-class genius, then somehow up in situation where have a view of industry battlefield ten years. only do have more than anyone, and access more information anyone else, also have long-term eagle-eye that only handful of in the enjoy.

In sense you even be anymore. People Jeff are regarded as aliens with tangential interest human affairs.

how do prepare a for a alien? Well, my second: He will you. Knowing about your is only first-line defense you. It’s armor that eat through the first minutes. He going to at least deep insight the subject, there on spot, and going to you look a complete.

me folks, saw this time and, for years. Bezos has these incredibly, experienced domain surrounding him huge meetings, on a basis he of shit they never coming. It’s guaranteed facepalm.

So I he was to think something that hadn’t. I know what might be, I’d spent trying to of everything. had reviewed material with of people. it didn’t. I knew was going blindside me, that’s what when you to Jeff.

you assume coming, then not going catch you as off-guard.

of course happened. I Data Mining. in the. He asked point-blank, very: “Why aren’t Mining and Learning in list?” And laughed right his face, sent a wave through stone-faced jury VPs who been listening silence, waiting a cue Jeff as whether he going to happy or was headed the salt.

I laughed I was. He’d caught with my down around ankles, right front of, despite all excruciating weeks preparation. I even deleted a third the exposition to keep giant brain, but it matter. He’d it again, I looked a total in front everyone. It was awesome.

So, of course couldn’t help. And I: “Yup, you me. I know why not in. It should. I’m a. I’ll add.” And he, and we on, and was great. the VPs smiling. It the hell of me they’d had wait for cue, but whatever. was good.

have to: most people scared around because they waaaay too about trying keep their. People in positions sometimes a little much personal invested in success. Can imagine how it must for him be around people all long? But -- well, I I was to get every single. So fuck. Might as aim high go out a ball flame.

That’s the “Dread Bezos” line from. I hard and fun, but day I worried they fire me the morning. it was kind of. But it sort of in a. I kept resume up date, and kept my up to, and I worried about something stupid ruining my. Because hey, were most going to me in morning.




I'm sorry if this was intended to be facetious, but I think Yegge's point was that you need to remove some of the information so that Bezos can fill it in himself and not get bored. I don't think the implication is that this quality is unique to Bezos, but it certainly is uncommon.

At any rate, removing every third word removes less informational content than every paragraph: an idea can often be recovered in your case, whereas it is quite difficult to recover an idea if it has been removed altogether.


That was surprisingly legible!

And I don't think it is because of my 'giant brain', considering how long it took me to understand Taylor Series in university.


The hmuan barin is gerat at mtahcnig colse-eonguh pttarens.


It just reads like an annoying Google Voice transcript. Probably bears no resemblance to the presentation to Bezos.


Taking a look at Amazon's past user interface and experience choices, I'd say they skipped every third idea to make the site simple and user friendly.


steve-yegge-witheverythirdparagraphremoved.blogspot.com is still available.


That was.


Normally I don't upvote humor on HN, but that was great.


-1 redundant


if there is such thing as too smart, then HN is the place to find it.


This seems like a difficult case to make. How do you know that none of the many places you're not familiar with aren't smarter on average?

If I wanted to find too-smart, I would go to Less Wrong, (who seem to be smarter than HN on average; that might just be a side effect of the discussion topic) and ask them where they would go to find too-smart. And repeat. I don't think HN is where I'd end up.

http://lesswrong.com/lw/ub/competent_elites/ suggests "hedge fund managers" for step two.


troll.


troll, also assuming roughly uniform paragraph lengths removing every third word is the same as removing every third paragraph. Maybe we're not as smart as you thought.




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