Quotebag #66

“France is a hybrid. Day to day operations are run by a prime minister who works out of parliament… but the president is strong. Russia has oscillated between these two, depending on which office happens to be occupied by Putin.”—David Brin

“But in capitalism, no wage is ever low enough. And there is always someone poorer than you, somewhere, who can be exploited.”—Purple

“I don’t understand it at all. It’s almost like a prisoner’s dilemma, where if nobody ‘networked’, or if everybody ‘networks’, the end result is the same. But if only a few do it, more people know them (superficially) thus giving them a very slight advantage.”—B. Hrebec

“A quick search — I’m not going to link to them because they don’t need any more traffic — will turn up any number of blogs about blogging about blogging, internet businesses about starting internet businesses to sell internet businesses, and so on and so forth. There’s a whole subculture around it, in fact. Some of them even make a great deal of money, and insist that you too can be just like them. Self-help at its finest.”—Brian

About n8chz

पृथ्वी की उच्च किराया जिले में उद्यमिता कौशल अभाव
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7 Responses to Quotebag #66

  1. ricketson says:

    Could you explain the model of human interaction that underlies B. Hrebec’s attitude towards networking? It makes no sense to me… as far as I can tell, this model assumes that everyone is identical, and therefore it doesn’t matter who you develop relationships with. Or else, people are different but they only differ on a single axis so that they can all be ranked “better” or “worse”, so that networking just sorts the good from the bad.

    My view is that people have complementary characteristics/skills, so that there is no objective ranking of people as “better” or “worse” partners — there is just “better for me” or “worse for me”, which is independent of “better for you” and “worse for you”. In this situation, it is important for us to gather information about a wide variety of people (i.e. network) so that we can find the best partners for ourselves. My finding a good partner does not necessarily detract from anyone else’s ability to find a good partner (especially if the alternative is for me to have a mismatched partner, which would still prevent that person from being available).

    Even if there were a universal/objective ranking of “better” and “worse” partners, extensive networking could still be beneficial because it would help the “best” partners to find each other. In this case, networking increases the reward of being a good partner, so provides some encouragement to be a good partner.

    Of course, networking has some costs (if you don’t like parties, I guess) and the benefits will be a function of decreasing returns– so there’s some point at which more networking is a net loss, but I’d bet that’s only after we’ve done a substantial amount of networking.

  2. n8chz says:

    I love parties. I hate networking. Your argument for networking sounds suspiciously like the stock arguments for “gains from trade.”

    If extensive network is necessary for the best partners to find each other, then our information processing capabilities are in the stone age. If its compementarity we’re looking for, why not instead tally the n*(n-1) ways to stack two IBM punch cards on top of each other, and list the pairings in order of how much light passes through each. We could all save ourselves a lot of preening and schmoozing.

  3. ricketson says:

    Does the “punch card” analogy require that human characteristics and desired can be expressed in a standardized format?

    Maybe we’re talking about different things with the word “networking”. In the context of academic research, “networking” means going to meetings, conferences, and departmental coffee hours and talking with other scientists about their work… or their administrative headaches, or whatever. Everyone understands that they are on the job. Also, we mainly interact as peers — at worst it is “student-professor”, but even then the professor recognizes that the student has his own, independent research project. Sometimes people are looking for jobs, sometimes people are recruiting, but that all just comes off as part of the normal academic career path.

    So, it’s not at all unpleasant. It’s a good way to learn something new. It’s a good way to learn about potential collaborations.

    I’d think that even for more standardized jobs that don’t have conferences (car repair, perhaps), that it’s good and proper to tell people “hey, I’m a mechanic” at a party and maybe discuss a few of the interesting aspects of the job. And if your car needs to be repaired, it is good and proper to take your business to the friend of a friend (i.e. that guy you met at a party) rather than a complete stranger.

  4. @ricketson

    And how networking could be sustainable in an anti-capitalist setting, where jobs aren’t scarce?

    • …wouldn’t be scarse.

    • ricketson says:

      Well, I think that’s a loaded question (albeit, unintentionally).

      First, I only see two “anti-capitalist” situtations where networking would be irrelevant: abundance, and centralized planning where a job is guaranteed to everyone and every job is essentially identical. The first I think is unlikely to occur (at least in the near future), and the second I think is undesirable.

      I know that anagory is opposition to market-type transactions (so I guess it’s more of a vision of an abundance economy, or at least extending an “household mentality” to larger economic units). Anyway, I don’t see either of those as being incredibly likely, so the “non-capitalist” economy that I focus on is one where individuals and small groups have control over all the materials that they need to make a living — housing, land, and tools. In this situation, the employer/employee power relationship doesn’t exist, and so neither does the conventional idea of a “job” being something that you have or don’t have (or something that could be abundant). All we would have is time and tools and the need to decide how to use our time and our tools most effectively to satisfy our desires. “Jobs” would be small, specific tasks. I see no reason that it would be easy to find the optimal jobs — it would still require a lot of planning and multi-person coordination. Maybe things would be “easy” in the sense that a typical worker could take care of their needs with only 20 hours of work each week… but someone could still want to hunt for the more rewarding jobs that allow him to achieve the same goals by working only 10 hours a week.

  5. Pingback: Landing that small, specific task by networking | In defense of anagorism

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