It's crazy to read about this guy who wonders if this all matters... The amount of money that the government spends to get a marginal improvement on society beyond basic functions of the government should be even more dismaying.
And it's incredibly patronizing to despair from on high that tech doesn't do any good for society.
I"m glad that some people are also getting easier taxi service. But having worked in in SF since the last bubble, there is definitely an intense focus here on solving rich-people problems; when they serve others (e.g., struggling felons and young military personnel) it is often, at best, a side effect.
We built radar so we could detect German bombers; we got microwave ovens from it. We built GPS so we could guide missiles and spy satellites; we got turn-by-turn navigation and Uber out of it. We built Twitter so we could send 140-character text messages; we got the Arab Spring out of it. We built the ARPANet to coordinate top-secret military projects; we got the Internet out of it. We built PCs to play games; we got Visicalc, Word, and all sorts of productivity boosts from it. We built computers to break German codes and guide artillery shells; you know where that went.
Maybe those technologies were expensive at first and came down in price with adoption, but that's different than making the claim that if we just work on whatever rich people want today, we'll automatically get to places that are beneficial for society. Want to help the third-world feed itself? Perhaps you should invest your resources in that, not in a silicon valley nutri-shake startup.
Hell, most of your examples are cases where the military did something to solve a known problem that was too expensive (or too speculative) to be left to private industry. How you turn that into an argument that our best-and-brightest should be working on ad-optimization eludes me.
This industry, I swear: we whine about the loss of space exploration, and wonder what happened to our flying cars, but we brush off criticisms when someone invests millions of dollars in the sixty-seventh niche food-delivery service for the SF bay area. Perhaps the two things are related?
http://www.angazadesign.com/watch-video/ (obligatory: http://careers.stackoverflow.com/company/angaza/)
and many, many others, e.g.
not to mention areas of "SF tech proper" with a direct positive impact, such as medtech or cleantech.
Also, the jury is still rather out on the long-term impact of medications...it sure made a bunch of rich folks richer, though!
Also, most of those solutions came through private industry working on .gov contracts. A better example you might want to use is the innovations out of Bell Labs, all done basically to further solidify the telephone monopoly. That in turn could be argued to be a monopoly granted by a state to solve the communications problem, but still.
I can't speak to your experience, but I would have died as an infant without modern medications and modern medical procedures. I speak to you today as a healthy, relatively happy, productive member of society.
Moreover, I think we can point to the innumerable treated cases of snakebite, lockjaw, rabies, polio, cancer, syphilis, etc. as strong evidence for the positive long-term impact of medication and medical care.
†Saving the world means unwittingly working to further the military industrial complex, undermining your long term interests, terms and conditions may apply, see reverse side of poster for eligibility and placement in the new power superstructure.
That whole pearl harbor thing wasn't really the japanese attacking, it was obviously lockheed.
On a more serious note, you have services which will e.g. Wheel in your bins for you, or manage your grocery delivery and housekeeping services so you never have to see the people doing the work.
Moreover, plenty of things made for rich people stay as solutions for rich people. And some are only valuable because they are priced so only rich people can have them. Note the entire luxury goods market, for example. You could look at houses and cars as well: because those markets focus a lot of their product development on rich people, the non-rich end up with hand-me-downs that don't suit them very well.
I'm wondering how it would work otherwise. Should someone buying a new car who is thinking about its entire lifecycle optimize for fuel efficiency? Resale value? Ease of maintenance? Something else? I suppose a house should be designed so that it could easily be split into apartment units? It doesn't seem impossible to get wealthy people to consider these things, similar to how they consider the effect of the products they buy on the people in the supply chain and on the environment, but it would require a lot of research and marketing.
On the other hand, long-term planning like this is hard to do effectively. It seems like a lot of charity efforts specifically targeting the poor turn out not to be very cost effective, compared to the best approaches highlighted in GiveWell. It's hard to be confident that your average startup would achieve anything more than just showing good intentions.
I agree that do-goodery is hard. Of course, so is producing value in a for-profit context; I'm not sure which is relatively harder.
Basically the whole Orphan Drug market; https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orphan_drug
> Moreover, we suggest that orphan drugs have greater
> profitability when considered in the full context of
> developmental drivers including government financial
> incentives, smaller clinical trial sizes, shorter
> clinical trial times and higher rates of regulatory
Of course, funny enough, many of the same people that complain about this will simultaneously tell you how many unexpected discoveries came from seemingly abstract government funded projects (from pure research that has no clear immediate benefit to huge projects like landing on the moon). Such side effects are not exclusive to government projects however. So too the problems we choose to work on voluntarily. I think its not necessary to get into the great many benefits studying the heart for the sake of heart disease have given the medical community in general. Another example I like to use is how the gaming industry has led to the development of super powerful graphics cards that now have enormous medical uses. Personal computers themselves have enabled so much for our society. But before there could be a 200 notebook there had to be a 10,000$ rich person computer.
In my experience, it is a trap to worry about what is "impactful". You will make a much greater impact on the world working on what you're good at and what you enjoy, because you have more control on making that GOOD than making the alternative impactful. If you look at the history of truly amazing discoveries, they are rarely straight forward, so its a better bet to invest in what you like than what you think is important.
I for one think technology should help the living. The goal should not be to maximize human population on Earth. If we could reduce the birthrate, fewer children would die from disease. Overpopulation is sometimes the cause of widespread disease.
There are certainly some trivial things out there, but I wouldn't include ride sharing in that population.
I agree with the "help the living" objective. Helping poor, sick, foreign children is a fine cause. So is helping Joe Public.
If you make video games, and those games offer a few people a little entertainment and enjoyment, I think you've done some good.
If one is actually concerned about population control, sterilization is an easy, simple, relatively safe, and well understood solution.
About 30% of the debt is owned by federal agencies ... that is the government owes itself that money. Social Security is the easiest (and largest) example. It owns about $3 trillion of the federal debt which it is saving (for now income>expenses for SS) for when it is needed as the population ages.
40% is owned by foreign governments. Being indebted to foreign countries isn't so bad. It means they have faith in you and are rooting for your success. It supports peace and cooperation.
The federal reserve owns about $3 trillion. This is the institution that creates dollars out of thin air. The interest paid to the fed goes right back into the treasury – the fed uses this as a control mechanism to keep the currency stable growing and shrinking the money supply. Lots of mildly ignorant people really hate the idea of the fed, but few of them have even the slightest understanding of how it works.
State and Local governments own another trillion – interest paid here is just like a different route to funding state and local governments, not something you can complain about all that much.
As for "rich people" mutual funds and banks own together about $1.5 trillion. A lot of those are pretty average folks. Even then this is only ~%10 of the $18 trillion debt.
There are a few other owners of us debt... Saving Bonds and insurance companies account for another few hundred billion together. The rest are odds and ends significantly smaller than anything mentioned above.
To summarize, the majority of the US debt is owned domestically, much of it by domestic government. Only a small minority of the interest goes to "rich people".
"As for "rich people" mutual funds and banks own together about $1.5 trillion. A lot of those are pretty average folks. Even then this is only ~%10 of the $18 trillion debt."
Ok so still that's 9 trillion in debt owed to people who get to collect money from the U.S taxpayer. A trillion here, a trillion there, pretty soon you're talking about real money! The annual payment of interest on the debt is 430 billion dollars. So rich people get roughly 43 billion a year totally risk free for doing absolutely nothing courtesy of the tax payer. Meanwhile, in China, whenever the government needs some money they just print it up at the PBOC and hand it out, usually to bail out bad debts to state owned enterprises, but at least they aren't sticking it to the taxpayer like we are.
For instance, of that $1.5 trillion, $50-$100 billion is held in Vanguard's investor shares (by definition, retail investors with less than $10k in the fund). These people (mostly regular people saving for retirement) aren't "doing absolutely nothing"—they're helping fund the US government!
If you look at the interest payments for the US debt over the last 25 years ... despite the recent debt bubble... the actual interest paid when accounting for inflation is flat.
Adjusting for inflation we paid less interest in 2014 than we did in 1988 or 2000 (these are two random years I checked). America does not have a debt problem. The people who obsess over it or yell about the gold standard almost exclusively have absolutely no idea what's been happening or how it works. That's not to say that we should _aspire_ to borrow endlessly, but when times are down and people have faith in you, there's nothing better than borrowing. With the fed pushing the interest rates so low, (and buyers elsewhere running to the Dollar for security in uncertain times) there's just no reason to be afraid of a little more debt. We're far _far_ away from the territory when it starts being a problem. (and the same people who complain about the debt now want tax cuts instead of paying off debts when times are good – fools)
SS works by promising future taxpayers will fund today's taxpayers' retirement benefits. The fact that all of the "saved" money was actually "loaned" back out to the taxpayer (while current taxes fund current beneficiaries) is a perfect demonstration of this facet of SS's internal workings.
And when PBOC prints up that money to bail out state owned enterprises it devalues existing currency by the same amount. Inflation by this manner is functionally indistinguishable to a tax.
Just printing money is not a good solution. Inflation (despite what Paul Krugman says) is very bad for the poor. One: If it weren't bad for the poor, why is there a need to periodically raise the minimum wage? Two: The common refrain is that the poor are indebted and benefit from nominal devaluation while the rich will stuff their matresses full of bills if we had deflation, but the rich do benefit from quasi-loans, like leveraged investments. Leveraged investments get very favorable interest rates, and the poor, typically are not offered low interest rates. I will be impressed if you can find an urban money lender that offers an interest rate below inflation, but if you have access to IMF funds (which sometimes are below inflation!), you're probably not in the 99%.
Marginal increases in spending once revenues are completely used may be, in effect, equivalent to increases in borrowing, but spending in general is not equivalent to borrowing, so the mechanism for government borrowing money should not be presented as the mechanism for government spending money.
People are too convinced Uber is too expensive, I suspect.
: I've never actually used Uber
I have yet to work for a company, from non-profit internet companies to product-oriented SaaS startup powerhouses, that didn't enable some great initiative or program that could not have existed without that company creating and improving their product and making it accessible, via availability or cost, to the non-profit that needed to worry about doing their actual work.
Take the author's old company, Google, for example. They don't do anything "that matters"? I assure you there are many non-profits, charities, and important initiatives around the world that would have a much harder time if they didn't benefit from technologies that Google ushered in to the world. Mass, cheap communication via free email that is highly-available and untied from specific ISPs. Free, globally available document storage to safely store records and share documents across the globe, saving on the cost of having an entire department to handle the same task.
These products may seem frivolous and unnecessary to us, because we can (maybe) live without them. But there are organizations directly doing important, charitable work that can't. Saying product companies that don't directly work on the world's poverty, social, or health (etc.) problems are not working on "things that matter" is just pretentious, in my opinion.
All that said, the author has the right to feel the way he feels and work wherever and on whatever he wants to. Just don't tell everyone else what they do doesn't really matter.
But that's just my two cents =)
Where do you believe he said that?
The things he called out were "helping rich people find taxis more easily, selling ads more effectively, or building sexting apps". He also said that he believed "the advancing state of computing technology has overall benefitted peoples’ lives".
So I think you're mainly arguing against a straw man here.
He says quite clearly: "I’m still a believer in technology, particularly in the web platform, as a force for good." He also is explicit that for himself he wants something farther toward the clear-impact end of the spectrum: "I needed to redirect my energies towards problems that society wasn’t adequately addressing."
"Even though I’m still a believer in technology, particularly in the web platform, as a force for good, society needs more people working directly on problems that matter."
While the author acknowledges in the abstract that the internet has improved people's lives, I still see the tone implying we should all be directly working on more worthy causes if we really want to be doing stuff that "matters".
Er, no. Again, you are engaging in binary thinking not warranted by what was actually said. He doesn't say or imply "we should all" be doing any one thing, he very directly says that "society needs more people working directly on problems that matter."
Note, particularly "more people" (not "we...all" as you would present it), and "directly". That is, there are plenty of things that indirectly matter, and plenty of people working on those, but, in the author's view, not enough people working directly on certain important applications.
The judgement you are reading into it that everyone not working in certain preferred areas is doing something less-than-ideal and not doing stuff that matters is simply nowhere in the text.
This does not imply that "we should al be working directly on more worthy causes". My impression was that the author was simply making an observation about the relative distribution of labor (specifically: that there are not enough people working directly on causes that "matter"), which should by no means be reduced to the absurd by saying that all people should be working on those causes.
I also don't think he is against working for profit companies (Google being one of them).
I think you are reading more between the lines than what he meant.
I have many of the same thoughts as the author (feel like my dev skills could be used to help some greater causes), but not sure where else I could make an impact. Particularly in government where I have alot of interest.
I live in Kansas City, and there's a fascinating startup here working on enabling farming with an open-data platform. They build hardware pucks to go on combine harvesters and stream the data collection to a Django front-end. They're also working on ingesting legalese forms that farmers have to file and putting web-based (Django) interfaces over them (c.f. how TurboTax will show you a tax form that's missing a form entry).
So, as someone else mentioned here, if you're willing to look outside the Valley, there's lots of interesting, high-paying work that helps the common good.
That said, I really, really want to get involved in something that matters. My dream, for lack of a better phrase, no matter how cheesy it may sound, is to change the world. I want to solve what I call Epic Problems: malaria, clean water, homelessness, HIV, slavery, human trafficking. Or even something as simple as making a trip to the DMV as painless as picking up a prescription at the drug store.
You can direct your work efforts towards goals that are important/meaningful to you without necessarily sacrificing everything else in your life. Conversely you can give up a good deal of your life to work on unimportant problems, and many people do.
Odds are at some point you will be forced to make choices; how many people are so lucky that their dream job is walking distance from their dream house in their dream city?
I don't see any reason I need to give up anything (other than maybe a huge salary) to work on these problems. The true roadblock for me, I believe, is just a lack of knowledge and education on those particular issues.
Our friends at 18F (https://18f.gsa.gov) have a lot of people working remotely, as well as offices in SF, Chicago, and New York. The nature of their work is simply different (and just as awesome).
I'd be interested in learning about the restrictions at USDS that prevent it from going remote. Perhaps taking the conversation off thread is best. I imagine it's a combination of being embedded at agencies and perhaps a clearance issue?
Remote work does work at 18F, where they are often shipping projects that are self-contained and executed in-house. It's also a lot easier to build a remote-friendly culture if you start on day one, which 18F did. It's really just about the nature of the work we do, embedded on these agency projects, that necessitates being in D.C. The role of USDS HQ is simply different -- we're often grafted onto existing 'culture' elsewhere (I work on a floor with more than a hundred of product and engineering folks who were here years before we arrived), and are then tasked with helping to advise/fix/transform those projects as quickly and effectively as possible. (I'd also read https://blog.newrelic.com/2014/03/26/depth-look-team-saved-h..., which was a precursor effort.)
If you're interested in serving in the U.S. Digital Service but are in a position to be only able to work remotely, 18F is a pretty great option.
How would all of that healthcare exchange work have gone if the tech industry didn't build the massive infrastructure it relies on (database tech, network tech, version control, the Internet)?
It feels like the person that wrote this article is the guy in the war movie yelling at the people designing new defenses for not being on the front lines firing a gun. There is a place for both roles, and shitting all over one half doesn't make you better than them, it just makes you myopic.
I see this from people that live in the Bay too.
I would also love it if anyone could explain why so many people don't feel compelled to do anything about the poverty in Silicon Valley that is becoming much, much worse and drastically curtailing social mobility for poor people in the area, and instead promote this idea of "efficient charity" or whatever to help people far away, instead of fixing the problems caused by the kind of people who focus solely on earning a lot of money. Problems that exist whether those people spend that money on mosquito nets or hookers and blow.
These talking points get thrown around over and over again, largely without evidence, and it's starting to feel like it's just people trying to justify their desire to make a pile of money without feeling bad about it.
Android. It was a technology startup purchased by Google.
Stripe, it has enabled small working class merchants throughout the US to make multiples more money. Every farmers market I go to now days has merchants who can now accept credit cards (my spending has increased dramatically!)
Multiple other mobile payment and banking solutions have helped people around the world gain economic freedom.
I don't really see where you're going with Android.
The internet has already redistributed earth shattering quantities of wealth in record time. Besides, to actually solve the "real problems" (no true scotsman, but we won't go down that path) you still need massive amounts of capital. Where else are you going to get that capital except for individuals who have gained their wealth through industry?
Can't help but feel that there's a serious holier-than-thou tone throughout the article just because the author spent 6 months in DC. Thought experiment: who is helping the 1% more, people who generate products for a public company or people who work on pet political projects for the DC elite? (Not implying there's a right answer to that question, and not implying that's all the OP did with their time in DC)
I also didn't read the article as being 'holier-than-thou' (in fact, entirely secular, but hey). It sounded to me more like someone narrating their own, personal, feelings on a topic and giving some context to why he might not give an unequivocal affirmative response to coworkers' queries about staying at one or the other job. Because life is complicated and there often aren't binaries. It's not a sentiment that gets a lot of traction on HN, but it's also not proselytizing.
However your quibble with my phrasing of "holier" and the fact that you needed to point out that there aren't binaries in life kind of shows your true intentions in disagreeing, don't you? Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but when you start moralizing and implying that your opinion is preferable on moral grounds, well... I'm gonna call you out.
>>> "Working for the U.S. Digital Service showed me that, indeed, there were far better ways for me to spend my time if I really wanted to make a difference in people’s lives."
What about the Green Revolution?
From my understanding it followed the pattern exactly by spawning the creation of the huge food production conglomerates we have today while also greatly enriching vestiges of colonial powers as the movement grew to feed the "global hungry".
The last three paragraphs of this section of the wikipedia page more or less confirm it fit the pattern: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Revolution#Criticism
> What about the Green Revolution?
The "Green Revolution" is a term applied largely to the wealthiest 1% deciding to fairly directly forgo some part of the short-term returns from certain technical developments to purchase longer-term sociopolitical security and greater long term profits, specifically, to forgo some of the short-term profits of new agricultural technology to head-off dissatisfaction that might lead to Communist revolutions and instead get large parts of the world positively engaged with both specific product lines and the more general neoliberal economic model.
It certainly is not a counterexample to the technological changes benefitting the wealthiest in the short term.
Given that inequality has been steeply rising, you must mean that it has redistributed wealth further from the poor to the rich.
Your presentation presumes that the internet is the only redistributive factor that existed in the time under consideration.
That's because they're stuck in the stone-ages and don't have the imagination to use and create software (aka they're run by marketers, managers and people who want to feel good about themselves). The charities/non-profits are treated as non-technical users, the donors are treated as non-technical, the board members and C-level execs are all conservative. It's a wonder that there's been any use of software in automating and lowering the costs for non-profits to operate.
It's more meaningful to work on Uber because at least there you have the potential to deliver food using the service to more homeless people than any other food delivery service.
The beginning of this post was good; fighting malaria is a big enough problem that could use better software (or at least more big-picture thinking). That's the kind of stuff we should be working on; being able to distribute malaria nets as fast, as cheap and as efficiently as possible.
I don't know, you can't expect too much from companies and you can't expect much from non-profits either. At least while working at Google you have the chance to use some of your time for things like the disaster reporting/mapping tech or something else that can directly help someone like Gmail (charities do need a way to communicate!)
For example, a large international NGO (Mercy Corps) used our platform to do a financial education program using voice calls & sms soap operas with quizzes (to reinforce and test comprehension) for 20,000 people affected by a natural disaster: http://solutionscenter.nethope.org/blog/view/hitting-it-home...
And Cebu is a great place to live. If you're a diver, you can be diving in warm tropical waters in less than an hour from the office!
"Quit your high paying job and indefinitely work for the government" is a hard sell; "come do something awesome for 6 months then go back" is much easier.
(Disclaimer: I don't work there but know a number of people who do and, as a taxpayer, am cheering them on)
My impression from the outside is that people are working on a more permanent system to keep people around indefinitely without losing a way to jettison the retire-in-place types and are working to get something in place by the time it starts to matter. I don't think age discrimination is a goal – the people I know value experience and most of them are 30-somethings, mid-career and looking for something more sustainable than death-marches, churning institutional knowledge, etc.
From what I understood, rather than go through the job listing process with position writeups, giving veteran and disability preferences, dealing with HR on the certification process, getting various new office reorganizations approved by congress (they literally have to approve each individual office creation) and so on, they simply got an approval for 200-300 "innovation specialists" (that's what everyone's job title is there) and then they can informally cherry-pick whoever they actually want without going through the red tape. The mechanism is like having a standing approval for hiring 20 French speaking translators at all times, since that's a specialized standing volume-based need.
Anyhow, guess my question was more about the author's motivation for not choosing to extend the tour. It wasn't really spelled out in the post.
The goal is to get to 500 by the end of next year. 
(This is not to excuse other cases where donors, fundraisers, etc. get dubiously-appropriate jobs. That certainly happens but it's not the only option)
Spending 6 months or whatever working as a programmer for the US Digital Service and then going back to a job in industry is something quite different.
The only difference is the intent and motivation you're ascribing to the respective actors.
 I think very few people would disagree with the assertion that a Googler knows tech better than anyone in government. The fact is that pretty much everyone in every industry feels the same way. Everyone thinks that the public interest would be served if only the government folks in charge were people who "get it" like they do.
From googles perspective having 2 or 3% suboptimal query's is fine but that wont pass muster for other types of work.
Try building billing systems for a global Telco and have one of Vint Cerfs reports nudge you and say this had be right otherwise we are both out of a job :-)
But I think you misunderstand software engineering and the nature of engineering skill or fields of experience. There may be no such thing as "100% right" when it comes to which hits are included in the result set for a google query, but I have no doubt that nearly any google engineer needs to write all sorts of code on a regular basis that indeed needs to be 100% right with regard to specifications or requirements.
Sorry after having been one of my country's 3rd line osi team I take a fairly hard line on correctness.
Ah so hobby programmers then.
That system handles hundreds of millions of people and trillions of dollars.
Calling it "rather basic CRUD work" is incredibly myopic and/or arrogant.
Calculate 1 in a 1000 tax returns or bank statements wrong and some one will want blood.
Is making $40K/yr doing something "meaningful" better than making $100K/yr doing something "meaningless" and donating $60k/yr to meaningful causes?
I support the idea of effective altruism, but at this exact moment, I believe that technical people donating time goes further than technical people donating money.
That's a great thing to do.
It doesn't directly address the problem of insufficient talent being directed to those projects, though of course the money might allow the people running those projects to offer more to talent, which might deal with the problem.
Of course, choosing to work on the project yourself deals with that issue more directly.
In other words, if you're a "10x" malaria killer and if 10xers are rare in the malaria killing business, then probably it's better for everyone (except you) that you kill malaria for a living. Rather than paying someone 60k to take your place (esp. if that other person is a 1xer or -10xer.)
I've definitely seen people start out on that road. But either they eventually quit and find jobs with meaning or they gradually end up not caring about meaning and spend the money on creature comforts.
I also know a number of folks at Google who are very charitably active despite working big-corp jobs. Usually they compartmentalize very drastically, though, so I never heard about their charitable activities at work and only learned about them second-hand, through chance encounters with mutual acquaintances.
It seems important to note the difference because I don't find it hard to imagine how a person whose motivation is to help the public good might not be passionate about a job which doesn't inherently do "good".
I suspect that as far as Bill Gates is concerned, he considers it all a game and just wants to win. For the first half of his life, the game was maximizing the money he makes. For the second half of his life, the game was maximizing the money he donates. This is all just suspicion, though.
Plenty of rich people, after spending their lives in business, eventually switch to philanthropy. Presumably because they discover, like the OP, that they value doing something more meaningful than stacking up money. But that's entirely different than somebody who has that realization young and does corporate stuff as a way of extracting cash, which is what alwaysdoit was suggesting.
In the future, if you want to make this kind of point on HN, please do so more thoughtfully. Slinging insults provokes flamewars and makes the site worse.
I'm sorry, but that strikes me as a pretty privileged sentiment. Would you say that everyone who feels a calling to work in the nonprofit/humanitarian sphere is merely doing so to assuage their "teen angst"?
If someone else feels compelled to work more directly to help those in need, and he or she is perfectly respectful of others' work (as OP clearly is), why do you feel compelled to reduce their desire to "standard liberal guilt" or "teen angst"?
How does any of the prior statement sound "privileged"? Or was that just a hamfisted attempt at using a dog whistle?
Um, this, for one. I see no possible reality in which a disease that kills almost one child every minute could possibly take a backseat to you not being able to get a taxi when you call for one. The above could be put in the dictionary next to "first world problem".
I would love to hear your reasoning if you have some opinion to the contrary.
Actually, that is a pretty neutral position. Your position sounds much more "privileged", as you appear to be attempting to tell people not only what they should do, but how they should feel. I'm going to assume that you didn't imply that anybody holding a contrary opinion on the best use of their time is somehow cheering on malaria :)
And it's one that'll be solved if enough of us start/sell businesses at a level of profit that'll move the needle on the amount of money Bill has.
Losers like you are the reason HN is a piece of shit now.
I don't think this is acceptable at all.
I've flagged that comment, though I'm sure you realized that would happen - and I suspect that was the point you were trying to make.
> 2) I am advocating banning people for being rude.
five seconds to write a throwaway troll line versus fifteen minutes of outraged huffing and puffing and demands of bans over someone saying something stupid on the internet.