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Only the top 1% of people (by creativity) are useful to creative companies. People in the bottom 99% reduce productivity. So yes, creative companies all need to compete for the top 1%.

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That's the point.

Even if that top 1% gets bigger in absolute numbers, there will just be more or bigger companies vying for them, so the problem never goes away.

Even if you magically boost everyone drastically so the average person of the future is equivalent to the top person now, imagine how big an advantage the top 1% will still have.

A company that can't get top people is simply not competing well enough in terms of compensation of whatever sort.

An equivalent article could be written on the problems with employers and what they need to do to meet the requirements of the people they want to hire!

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Downright dangerous, too.

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Exactly

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Todays's logs are similar to other days. I guess the traffic is high for a shared account, but I've never noticed it being slow so I didn't think about it.

I would have been happy to respond to an email saying I should upgrade & pay more, but even after a few emails with tech support that option didn't come up.

The only limit they advertise for that class of account is data transfer, and because it's mostly just serving uparrow.gif -type files we're well below that limit.

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Why would you need 64 bit addressing on an iPad?

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Tax credits are one of the reasons I didn't start my business in Canada. (I'm Canadian and I know the workings of some Canadian tech companies, but my current projects are all in Silicon Valley.)

The way it works is that you get 50% of your R&D expenses back from the gov't, in cash, several months later. To claim it, you have to write reports explaining the R&D value of each project. Besides the obvious bureaucratic overhead, it ends up affecting the organizational structure of the company. It distorts the way the business is run, maybe by only 20%, but that's enough to make you lose in the market in the long run.

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What constitutes R&D expenses if I may ask?

I used to work at a startup that makes no money at all. They asked me to sign some sort of "fake" stock options as part of the SR&ED requirements. Of course the numbers were meaningless (pennies or whatnot). So I'm very interested on how this works.

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I think this includes your salary/compensation. That's probably why they asked you to sign those stock options, so they could say "Hey look, we paid this guy $X for R&D. That's a tax credit of $Y."

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I'm speechless, that's pretty darn good.

What if the startup is a one-man show, making money and start to pay himself? Sort of like owner-but-paid-annually? (Or maybe a one-man consultant).

So let me get this straight, let's say a startup has 4 employees and each employee got paid $50k annually. When the SR&ED is done correctly, the owner can get at least 50% back from the salary alone?

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For my company it's pretty much any expense related to an engineer. Salary, rent, power, computer, etc.

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So to clarify: almost all expenses (hardware purchases included) will be reimbursed 50% by the BC?

Can rent be substituted as mortgage (say working on your own garage)?

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Basically, no. It is 50% of the loaded labor rate of all employees doing R&D activities on projects that your liaison agrees qualify as R&D. When you work out of your home, rent/mortgage on your home are specifically excluded as business expenses (by CRA), so they can't be included. Working out of an office, you get about 65% of salary back; out of a basement (my situation), it is basically 50% of salary.

Oh -- hardware purchases and the like don't count, and you have to be able to prove the salary was paid, so as far as I know there is no game to be played with stock options.

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> hardware purchases and the like don't count

Odd, we got to put the entire amount of the Tesla grid that we put together towards the SRED credits. Having said that I just filled out the paper work and handed it to the lawyers and accountants, perhaps they took it off afterwords?

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In a related study, blind people showed no racial bias due to skin color.

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+1 best this actually does point out something important.

If you are incapable of forming biases about your environment, you are blind to the environment input that generates racial bais in most people. As pointed out earlier, this trait is also fatal in the wild, as blindness would be.

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It was a little more nuanced than that. The point was that young people were willing to take risks because they had little to lose and no responsibilities. He mentioned that (at the time) he slept on a mattress on the floor, so he wouldn't be trapped by possessions and paralyzed by fear of losing everything. People with mortgages and retirement plans are (rationally) conservative, and they won't take big gambles with the company. You have to admire his commitment.

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I was there for Zuck's talk in 2006. It was pretty terrible. He came off sounding like an arrogant jerk.

What you are saying is true. But it is unrelated to what is being said. What we're saying is, Zuck needs to drink less of his own kool-aid and start caring about people other than himself. I admire his commitment, but it's a shame that he doesn't recognize, or isn't thankful for, the large amount of luck that played a role in Facebook's success. If he had attacked the problem of "MySpace, but better" at a different school, or in a different way, or any number of things, then Facebook wouldn't be what it is today.

If he's acting like Jobs, he's premature. At least Jobs' company was very profitable in the early days. Also, I just left a company run by a Jobs/Zuckerberg type; good sense of design, but very controlling, and needlessly so. I don't envy Facebook employees. There is more to life than working for the arrogant.

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At least Jobs' company was very profitable in the early days.

Brush up on your Apple history. Jobs was fired because he was running his company into a financial mire thanks to his over-the-top idealism.

I don't envy Facebook employees. There is more to life than working for the arrogant.

They chose where to work. Just like Apple employees chose. If you're not the sort of person who works well under a very brilliant, very arrogant man, you're allowed to find other places to work.

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But Apple had already made heaps of money from the Apple II by that stage, no?

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Zuckerberg is neither very briliant nor very arrogant, just plain arrogant and lucky.

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+ annoying

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James cites the law as a good example of drawing fine lines around difficult issues, citing the definition for amounts of LSD. If you don't know about this, 500 micrograms of LSD is a dose, but you can't see anything that small so it's normally distributed on a chunk of blotter paper weighing 1000x as much. So when the law says that possessing X amount of LSD is a felony, does that include the blotter paper? The courts have said it does. Is this a triumph of the law drawing fine lines around difficult issues, or were lawmakers just ignorant of basic measurement techniques, prosecutors greedy, and judges easily fooled?

An example consequence of this interpretation: having 0.5 oz of pot is a minor crime. But if you mix it with 10 lb of lawn trimmings, you now have 10+ lbs of material with a detectable amount of a controlled substance, and you're theoretically guilty of a major crime. This is not a law written by science majors.

Giving credit to the legal system for sorting out such a broken law is like giving credit to Vista for having a stylishly designed BSOD.

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I think you're creating a straw-man here and end up proving jsomers's point.

You jump on the delicacy of the language and that's the point. jsomers doesn't argue _about_ this particular law, he was only giving an example on how pushing and pulling language can have direct pragmatic purposes and real political ramifications.

The point is that since law is mired in language, exploring language becomes an incredibly relevant task and pg's criticism seems to ignore this important function.

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You say jsomers is defending analytic philosophy in this section.

Later jsomers says philosophy was bad but has reformed.

So on the one hand he defends old philosophy. And on the other he claims philosophy was bad, but is OK now because it has reformed. These defenses are incompatible.

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I think the reformation to which he refers would be the advent of modern, analytic philosophy at the turn of the century through the works of Russell, Moore, Frege, and Wittgenstein. If so, the two claims are equivalent.

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You're saying Wittgenstein is part of reformed philosophy, not bad philosophy?

I don't know about that:

http://www.uweb.ucsb.edu/~luke_manning/tractatus/tractatus-j...

1 The world is everything that is the case. * 1.1 The world is the totality of facts, not of things. 1.11 The world is determined by the facts, and by these being all the facts. 1.12 For the totality of facts determines both what is the case, and also all that is not the case. 1.13 The facts in logical space are the world. 1.2 The world divides into facts. 1.21 Any one can either be the case or not be the case, and everything else remain the same.

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I'm saying that Wittgenstein /contributed/ to the advent of modern analytic or formal philosophy; an indisputable claim. While I have a spot in my heart for the Tractatus (if nothing else the method of truth tables in logic was co-invented within its pages, not to mention "whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent"), I'm not defending it and its solipsistic position/obfuscated style per se.

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How did his nonsense contribute to other people writing sense? Who was influenced by Wittgenstein then wrote sense?

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I have great respect for Wittgenstein, certainly far more than for the myriad of analytical philosophers I read a long time ago who all "wrote sense" (comparatively speaking) and all of whom I've forgotten.

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That's wonderful. Perhaps you, as a Wittgenstein buff, would be so kind as to explain how the Wittgenstein quote I gave above, which at first glance appears to be nonsense, is in fact respectable and worthwhile thinking? I don't get it; enlighten me.

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"My propositions are elucidatory in this way: he who understands me finally recognizes them as senseless, when he has climbed out through them, on them, over them. (He must so to speak throw away the ladder, after he has climbed up on it.) He must transcend these propositions, and then he will see the world aright."

I think that's kinda the whole point of the Tractatus: much of philosophy (metaphysics and ethics, particularly) has no sense. Strictly speaking, they mean nothing.

Wittgenstein's early work inspired the development of modern analytic philosophy both in its use of formal methods and its claim that much of what was then considered philosophy was meaningless. The decades immediately following Wittgenstein were concerned with linguistic analysis (what the authors of these papers take fault with), while more contemporary philosophy has conceded to a kind of naturalism, appealing to the sciences.

If you place any value on modern analytic philosopher (even as a Popperian), you have to at least give Wittgenstein some historical credit even if the philosophical travesties of the logical positivists can be attributed to misinterpretations of the Tractatus.

With regards to decent philosophers with direct influence from Wittgenstein, what's your take on Kripke and Anscombe?

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OK looking them up. Kripke's wikipedia entry is full of stuff about logic. I don't really have a problem with logicians. I don't think they are in the primary philosophy tradition pg was criticizing (and which I don't like). If he learned something about logic from wittgenstein, then great i guess.

Anscombe wiki has:

For years, I would spend time, in caf├ęs, for example, staring at objects saying to myself: "I see a packet. But what do I really see? How can I say that I see here anything more than a yellow expanse?"

I think that stuff is a dead end. We should solve problems we have, not question all traditions simultaneously for no particular reason.

By the way, I do think there are good philosophers, who made useful progress, but they are largely neglected. e.g. xenophanes, godwin, burke, feynman. (neglected as philosophers)

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Above you say that this is an honest request to know more so I will treat it as such.

In philosophy a method proposed by Descartes to find the foundations of knowledge was to doubt everything that possibly could be doubted which includes the external world. Wittgenstein in his Tractatus similarly starts from a blank slate and tries to define and describe the world without crossing his own boundaries and definitions of what can be considered sensible to say (and fails. To objectively describe the world is an attempt to step outside it and his bounds of sense).

I would also like to note that this early is work very different from his later work where he completely rejected the Tractatus, writing with a different style and focus. His later work (especially Philosophical Investigations) has some extremely interesting ideas regarding language, its use and development which I believe would interest those working in the areas of semantic web and NLP.

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It's always hard to judge tone online, but yours appears sarcastic and indicative of petty sparring rather than anything I would enjoy.

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Your post had no content. It made a bald assertion that ignored what had been said before. I would genuinely like it if you posted some actual content, and I hoped to indirectly encourage you in that direction. The tone is from a book I've been reading today (The Diamond Age).

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Your post had no content. [...] I would genuinely like it if you posted some actual content, and I hoped to indirectly encourage you

Heh. Something about this comment seemed very familiar to me, and after a while I figured out what it was: the distinctive sound of xlnt aka curi. Yay web history!

While I have an enduring if inexplicable affection for you, and get that you weren't being sarcastic, the last thing I want to do is have an argument about Wittgenstein together :)

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ok. hey i don't seem to have written anything in my profile. how'd u figure that out?

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you submitted entries from your blog

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Ah. That would have been the easy way. I figured it out because xlnt stopped commenting on the same day that qqq started.

Edit: Besides, there can't be that many people who go on about Godwin, Burke, and Feynman.

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There should be :(

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Well, to cheer you up let's talk about Godwin. I read Caleb Williams years ago. It was great - like an 18th century anarchist version of Enemy of the State!

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Noam Chomsky

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But he writes nonsense. What did he ever get right? Besides the obvious point that "we learn language by copying sentences" can't explain where new sentences come from.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noam_Chomsky#Contributions_to_l...

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Can't think of anything that sounds impressive and fits in 2 sentences?

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Absolutely not. But linguistics seems like a legitimate enough field, and Chomsky is considered rather influential there.

His work seems to follow logically from Wittgenstein's point that a lot of philosophy comes down to the precise meanings of words.

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So you're just going by his reputation? I have read about some of his ideas and formed the opinion that they are bad (apart from the one i mentioned).

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Ignore his politics, though I personally have a great deal of respect for people with extreme politics.

The Chomsky hierarchy -- a method of classifying formal grammars. Seems computer science-y enough that you'll consider it as something real. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chomsky_hierarchy

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Wise advice. Some of the things you have to do to succeed -- firing dud employees, saying no to early acquisition offers, telling girlfriends that work is more important than them -- are at least as hard as drowning a puppy.

Maybe the next round of YC interviews should have a qualifying event requiring a big tub of water and a trip to the humane society.

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A better example might be shooting a terminally wounded horse or something. Killing a puppy for no reason is just messed up and drowning it is really messed up.

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If you are going to kill a puppy for no good reason, drowning is a relatively humane way to do it. Once you're at the killing a puppy for fun stage in your decisionmaking, most of the fucked up has already happened. Drowning doesn't make it more fucked up.

It's not like someone is gonna say "you killed that puppy for no reason. But you really crossed the line with drowning."

I can think of many cases where drowning would be a preferable alternative to other modalities of needless puppy murder.

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