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Rory Rory Free Tibet While Supplies Last
  • Come Work on Our Team

    LaBomba wrote:
    Longest post in C9 history      


    Quite possibly Smiley

    I do come around and read posts here from time to time, and this on in particular has...

    Not pissed me off, exactly - not disappointed me - just...

    Obviously I don't know how to say it in a sentence, which is probably why I wrote the small book.

    What gets me is the attitude that, because someone else had this job before, nobody else possibly can now.

    Does that even make sense? Not really, but when you strip away the details, that's the argument.

    Instead of people saying, "I can't do this because it's obvious I wouldn't get hired, " I want them to understand why they *really* wouldn't get hired.

    It's the same argument over and over and over and over... and over.

    If the people who think it's all about nepotism and secret handshakes take the time to read this, then they might see that there's much more to the job that simply knowing Someone.

    It sucks to call Jeff out to suggest that he's not going to hire anyone who isn't already Some Big Blogger or Whatever - when Jeff came here and posted *specifically* to notify the community that he wants people to step up.

  • Come Work on Our Team

    Tensor wrote:
    Rory, I have a lot of respect for you, so please dotn take this the wrong way, but part of your CV was "allready works for microsoft" and also "reasonabley famous blogger".

    Just like BethG. Did we forget that bit? It seems no-one ever talks about it....

    The last two people who joined C9 have done so to be the front people and have had as high profile parts of there cv (1) work for MS (2) well known in the blogosphere. Any real confidence that third wont be the same. Mini for c9?

    Well, let's think about this.

    How do you determine if someone is the right choice for something like Channel 9? There are so many more factors than going for a coding job or other similar straight-up tech jobs.

    I'm going to focus on devs here because my guess is that the majority of the people who'd apply for this position are devs. I know niners come from all over the place and from many different backgrounds, but I think dev is a safe bet to describe many, if not most of the visitors.

    So, when you're a dev, you're hyperfocused on this one duty. You sit at a computer, you type, and you think, and you ponder, and you read, and you pull at your hair, and you spend your time in IDEs, forums, usenet, and working with other dev resources.

    When you're deep into coding, and when you have the unrealistic deadlines that clueless managers put on their teams, you don't have a lot of time for anything else.

    If you want the kind of experience that will put you to the top of the list for something like 9, then you need a range of skills you just aren't going to get from coding all day.

    All in all, I did a terrible job on 9, but that goes back to an overwhelming set of personal problems. I couldn't focus. However, I was absolutely qualified for the job.

    Your duty isn't to be a tech expert or a Supreme Master Coder Person. While it can be a benefit, it can also get in your way.

    Let's just pretend for a moment that my head was in the job when I was up in Redmond, and that I was producing content at the rate I should have been. These are the skills I would have had to apply in full to succeed at 9:

    1. Comfort with knowing that thousands of people are going to watch you fail from time to time. This one is extremely difficult, or at least it was for me. We're all insecure, and geeks are some of the most critical people you'll ever find. They're uptight, pedantic, and, for some reason, angry. When you have all these people telling you that you're a moron, it eats away at you. I'm not rock solid, but I had made enough mistakes through my years of public speaking and (when I was still really into tech) high profile blogging (measured in part by having been in the Technorati 500 until I started writing about how depressed I was all the time). If you don't know what it's like to get angry comments, hate mail, posts in which other industry people talk about how useless you are, then you're not ready for 9.

    2. Comfort with public speaking. I spent over two years doing speaking engagements. 60% of my life from mid-2004 through late 2006 were spent on the road, going from town to town, state to state, and sometimes to other countries to give talks. The majority of those talks went for four hours with a couple short breaks. You have to keep on talking the entire time.

    I started off in user groups. The first few talks I gave were horrible. I froze, stared off into space, forgot what I was saying, made mistakes that left the crowd nailing me with corrections and digging questions. My self-confidence took a few punches, and I felt terrible after those talks.

    I moved on to .Net Rocks where, for the first few episodes, I hardly spoke. The download numbers at the time (I don't know if they've changed) were ridiculous. When I arrived, we were getting tens of thousands of downloads each month. Over the next six months, as .Net Rocks was featured in a few widely circulated publications, our numbers went up to 200,000 downloads per month.

    Think about that. Every one of your blundering errors being captured and available for download by anyone in the world. It's a lot of pressure.

    Then I moved out to the east coast to work with Carl on the show. When I arrived, the first thing I did was give a talk at an MS conference. I had gone three days without sleep (packing/transit/etc.), and I blew it. Completely blew it. I watched Carl in the back of the room - he was the one who got me the job, and he had gone from beaming to looking terrified. It took him the entire drive home to restore some of my self-respect.

    Then he got me a talk in Boston. I didn't screw up as badly. In fact, the talk went pretty well. By that point, I had given, maybe, a dozen talks, most of which *sucked*.

    In Portland, Chris Sells and Chris Tavares were watching my talks and then doing post-mortems with me to tell me everything I did wrong. Sells always said that I had natural talent for speaking, and that I'd be fantastic when I got it down.

    There I was, then, failing talk after talk - and this is after the best speaker I've ever met (Sells) told me that I was a natural. If I was failing as a natural, then this job must have been much harder than I expected.

    Over the next few months, I got my job with the MSDN Events team where I had to learn four hours of content and demos (it's much more than it sounds like) for each quarter, plus miscellaneous content thrown in for user groups and conferences I had to do. I had to keep up with the info, the pace, and, during that process, learn how to stop sucking.

    A year passed, and I was finally able to speak with great confidence, but it took *tons* of experience to get there.

    Working for Channel 9 is a lot like working as a public speaker, except that, now, you have to improvise everything.

    I used to look through my videos and see how many people had viewed them, and it scared me a bit each time. This is after I had become a great speaker (that's the customers talking - I had about as close to a perfect rating as you can get for customer satisfaction).

    So, ask yourself if you could go out, right now, without prep, and give a talk knowing that thousands of people are going to see every mistake in your effort.

    If you don't think you could do it, or take the battering should you choose to do it despite not having experience, then you're going to have a rough start at 9. You're going to have to endure the abuse of people who seem to expect perfection, even though they can't even deliver their condemnations spelled correctly.

    It's harsh.

    Without that training, or without having the confidence that you can keep on keeping on despite the humiliation, you're going to have a hard time at 9.

    Plus, we all have good days and bad, and with a job like 9 or being a public speaker, you don't get to back off when you're having a bad day. You still have to go out and fake it when you don't feel it. You walk away with an empty feeling. Again, it's rough.

    It's vital, then, that you *know* what you're getting into, and that you have *some* experience doing something similar.

    3. You need personality. You can be reserved, you can be obnoxious, you can have fun, or you can be serious, but you have to distinguish yourself with style. You can have the skills down in a technical sense, but you have to have that whatever-it-is that makes people remember you, and even possibly like you. You're an evangelist - if you don't have charisma, you won't make an impact. Sad, but true. If your delivery is flat, and if it sounds like you're talking from a teleprompter, you won't last long.

    Think about it like this... there are people who are natural musicians. They understand that, even if you aren't all that great with the instrument, it's the music that matters. However you feel about them, The Velvet Undergound is a great example. Their timing was atrocious, they apparently didn't know how to tune their instruments, Lou Reed didn't sing - he spoke in melodies, and it sounded like each person in the band was playing a different song.

    But, they *had something*. It wasn't technical skill - it was personality, charisma, creativity.

    Now think about a Velvet Underground cover band. If you go out to YouTube and watch various cover bands - not just for the Velvets, but for any other band they're trying to emulate - you'll often see technical skill, ranging from almost none to having well developed precision, but not *one* of them can duplicate that feeling. They play all the notes, they sing all the parts, but it's all uninspired.

    You can't fake true personality, charisma, or creativity. You'll copy your heroes as best as you can, but it'll never be enough.

    Regardless of technical proficiency, most people just can't play guitar. A great musician doesn't have to know anything about scales, this mode, that mode... BB King can't even play chords. He just doesn't do it. Nor can he play while singing. In those respects, he is, compared to the guitar gearhead playing perfectly in his garage, severly limited. But that gearhead will *never* be able to play like BB King.

    Or, if music isn't your thing, think chess.

    Bobby Fischer didn't always win. Kasparov was a machine almost nobody could take down (I say "was" because Kramnik has taken his place).

    Regardless of his disgusting politics, at his height, Bobby Fischer was, in my opinion, the best chess player we've ever seen. He worked within the limitations of chess and took it from being an intellectual craft and added art to the picture (there are many *possible* games of chess that can be played, but the overwhelming majority won't be since the means by which you win a chess game aren't represented by those other possible sequences - the winning maneuvers are, relatively speaking, very few).

    When you walk through a Bobby Fischer game, you see genius - he didn't just play well - he played with enormous creativity. He took risks based on the (reasonable) expectation that his opponents wouldn't see the atypical thinking behind much of what he did. At its highest level, chess is memorized openings, well traveled middle games, and move counting in the end game. A great chess player can see a loss well ahead of time just by recognizing a position and knowing where it will lead, and assuming that his opponent won't make any mistakes (also reasonable at the highest level).

    Fischer played his games slightly askew. He sucker punched people. He knew where to hit, where they wouldn't see it coming. He'd draw his opponents in, present a clean, theory-driven pattern, and then break it. Sometimes he destroyed the other guy, and sometimes he lost - but, regardless, his games are a joy.

    Kasparov... here's a guy with serious precision. He has it all down - he plays by the book. But to play the way he does is safe. He's well studied in every position worh anything that anyone's ever seen (that's been recorded, anyway). Based on theory and being able to recall those games, he'll win. Period. But his games are *dull*.

    People tend to prefer the winning team. Front runners. It's the same conceit of thinking that, because your proficiency with your musical instrument is just about perfect, you're on top of the pile.

    But you're not.

    If I have to choose between watching Fischer lose and watching Kasparov win, I'll take Fischer every time. He's the one with personality, style, and profound creativity.

    When it comes to public speakers, or hosts for 9, then, do you want to watch a Bobby Fischer or a Kasparov?

    If you want that Kasparov-like linear perfection, then go read a white paper. Watch the average tech tutorial. Get bored.

    If you want to watch someone think out of bounds like Fischer, then natural talent, personality, creativity, etc., are where you'll find it.

    So, if you want to work for 9, then you have to be honest with yourself - do you have that natural ability to do well on 9, or do you *want* to have that natural ability?

    Again, this isn't a tech job. It's not just what you say - it's how you say it.

    You can't be an effective evangelist without, once you've worked out most of your flaws, being able to walk in a room and work it like you own it.

    Back to music - when I was younger, I played in quite a few bands around town. In each band, there was a post-session whining event where the guys I was working with moaned about how we were *soooo* much better than [x band on MTV or radio]. We had our skills down, blah blah blah - they *never* figured out that one of the factors that pushes a band to the top is the stuff you can't fake. Nobody cares how well you play except for a few intellectual snobs. Much more important is how you do it.

    If these examples aren't enough, let's talk about fashion versus style.

    Fashion is looking in a store setup, seeing an outfit, and thinking, "That outfit looks good on that mannequin."

    Style is looking in that same store setup and thinking, "That outfit would look good on *me*."

    In the former, you're pretty much being told what to like - someone else thought it up, and you're ready to wear the other person's idea regardless of how well it actually stuits you.

    In the latter, you *know* that the outfit belongs on you. What the designer thinks is immaterial. You don't care about the label or how much it costs. You'll wear it three years from now, even when fashion has left your outfit years in its wake.

    Most bands play with the same instruments - but some play by rote what other people have written, while others might *learn* from the real musicians, but they know what's theirs.

    4. If you've got the style down, you still need technical skills. If you plan on editing your videos (and this isn't a requirement for 9, though I always wanted to - it's just that the general feeling is counter to editing), then you need to be able to work the software *and* do it with feeling.

    You need to know the software well enough that you can take what's in your head and turn it into something real.

    Unfortunately, I didn't do this much - didn't feel like it would have been welcome - and it took too much time.

    In retrospect, I think it would have been far more worthwhile to have put together a couple great, quirky videos each week than try to put out interview after interview with the same old straight-up delivery - a trim at the beginning, a trim at the end, render, post.

    I don't mean to sound like Mr. Negativitypants, but if you aren't coming to 9 ready *and* prepared to leave each video with your own mark, taking your interviews away from what has become formula, then you shouldn't bother applying. Not because you wouldn't get the job, but because you wouldn't add anything to 9.

    This was my weakest area. I had tons of ideas, but didn't implement them. My biggest regret is that I didn't make any big changes. Other than putting myself in the videos to make them more dynamic (I'm just not into watching one person talk for twenty minutes to an hour - I want to see interaction), I didn't do much. Near the end, I played with things a little - mostly with Adam Kinney's exit interview. It was fun, but a bit late.

    Things like that. You need creativity and you need to be able to think outside the formula 9 has been running on. And it's not enough to think differently - if it's contrived, it won't work. You have to have the kind of ideas that *don't* come from thinking. The ideas you need are the ones that arrive from the back of your head, seemingly without any intervention from your awareness.

    -----------------------

    I think that's enough of that. If you (whoever's reading) still don't understand why Jeff should be super picky about who he hires, then, and I hate to say this, you aren't going to be a good fit. Someone from the team might contradict me on this point, but I had the job long enough that feel confident in this. There's so much more to it than what's listed in the job posting, but most of it you can't put into words that would make sense in a posting.

    Your argument is that I already worked for MS and that I was a "reasonably famous blogger."

    What you're implying here is a combination of nepotism and having a cheap in.

    However, your reasons don't work in favor of an unfair, or disproportionate advantage - they describe in part *exactly* why I was suitable for the job. I got my public speaking work and my blog popularity *because* I had the skills and raw talent necessary for the position.

    It's like the creationist argument that, because all the variables of this universe are perfect for supporting life when, if just one law were changed, there would be no life. They argue that this is proof that a god created the universe specifically for life; that having all the variables in the right places is an argument for design.

    I find that argument astonishing - the leap from "We're here" to "God created this universe" makes a point, but misses the bigger point altogether.

    The simple alternative - the one that doesn't involve the complexity of a "higher" being, the existence of which is a huge assumption - is that, the only reason we're able to recognize that this universe is perfectly configured to support life is that the universe *is* perfectly configured to support life - were it any different, we wouldn't be here to ask the question. The universe doesn't have to have been created by a god to explain its perfection for supporting our kind of life - the fact that we're here indicates that, how many other universes wouldn't support us, our existence shows we aren't in one of them.
     
    Taking this back to my fitness for the 9 position, I didn't get where I have because someone else configured my life or gave me preferential treatment - I got to where I am because I was already that person.

    Being someone else - someone who doesn't have the qualities I've listed - would have been to be someone who wasn't born - configured - for the job.

    I made it because the variables in the Roryverse were right to get me bubbled up through the blogs, the speaking job, the other media work, and so on. My suitability for the 9 job didn't come from my "reasonably famous blogger" or my already having worked for Microsoft.

    I became a "reasonably famous blogger" with a job at MS because I was naturally set up for it. As I've said, were I different, the Roryverse wouldn't have been configured to support life in the positions I've gotten.

    Someone who isn't right for the job is in one of the other universes where things are fundamentally unfit for sustaining a particular phenomenon.

    The universe pops into existence with the parameters set right to support life.

    I popped into existence with the parameters to do what I do.

    It's those parameters that put me here - not the other way around.

    I realize this isn't especially clear, but I wanted to present my thoughts in enough ways that one of them might resonate.

    And, to take this away from my being the right match for the job, I'm going to point out that the Roryverse wasn't properly configured to support life as an underwater welder, or a banker, or a lawyer, or a president, or a barista. Many other people are naturally suited for those jobs. I'm not one of them.

    We all have our natural talents.

    If you don't work for 9, it might just be that the You-o-verse isn't configured for the job.

    I'm going now. My fingers are just about broken from typing.

    Hopefully this'll stop the nepotism arguments.

  • Come Work on Our Team

    pepper wrote:
    Yeah, but have you EVER hired a long time Niner/REGULAR contributor onto your team?

    Answer: NO.


    Answer: YES.

    I was aware of 9 from back when it had launched, but I wasn't a regular visitor or contributor.

    I did a handful of Windows Mobile screencasts for 9, but they had little relevance to the kind of work you'd have to do for one of the interviewer positions.

    I had been doing public speaking, and had done a bit of video work for other teams, but not for 9.

    Plus, if you think Jeff won't hire from the outside, then somebody here has the opportunity to definitively turn your "NO" answer around. Remove Jeff's post, and it'll be much harder to accomplish the goal.

    It's like saying that you can't take off, and that you'll never be able to - after you've ordered someone to tear out the runway.

    Bit of a "duh" there, methinks.

  • Hey, um Rory...

    John Melville, MD wrote:
    I feel compelled to mention that just about all the advice about drugs in the prior post is extremely poor medical advice.  The reason he can't find a doctor to implement it is thay any doctor who did would (and should) lose his or her medical license.


    The only thing on the list for which you couldn't find a willing doc is the ketamine thing. It's something supposedly worth paying attention to, but I was bringing it up as something to think about. I wasn't giving advice - I was telling him to go find a ketamine hookup.

    As for the rest of the meds, I feel compelled to mention that the vast majority of the docs I've seen for depression have engaged in this fire-and-forget medicating, and that it absolutely wasn't just limited to me.

    I've gone through quite a few doctors over the years, and I've learned just how excited they are to prescribe SSRIs for depression. Fine, they work for some people, but for many others they barely score higher than placebo. CBT is practically on the level with the therapeutic effect of SSRIs. And, yeah, I'm generalizing about SSRIs when there are many, but - without exception - the docs who've prescribed them for me have always told me they're basically the same. If they want to generalize, I might as well, too. It makes me immature, but what else is new.

    Before I go any further, I should ask about what kind of an MD you are. There are plenty of cars that can be serviced at any old garage, but there are more and more nowadays that require specialized service from a specific dealership. My car is like that - just had to drive it an hour and a half in traffic to get the oil changed.

    So, are you the garage where any car can park it and get a general sort of repair, or are you the dealership that takes only specific cars?

    In other words, do you treat burns, scrapes, and cuts, or do you specialize in treating mental illness?

    Would you want a PHP coder working on a C# project?

    The information I get from my GP - whos fantastic, by the way - is worlds apart from the information I get from the shrinks I've seen. I don't think it's a stretch to say that my shrink is going to be a bit ahead regarding mental illness than a GP (I don't mean to imply that you're a GP - it's just a generic guess).

    Another way to think about it - would you want my shrink treating burns, scrapes, and cuts? Or setting broken bones? Or doing prostate exams?

    I don't think so.

    Now, moving on, everything that I wrote above I wrote with things like this in mind. Regardless of what you believe, there *are* docs out there who will prescribe various seemingly inappropriate meds for treatment of depression. Hydrocodone, for example - I've been spoken to a few times about it as a possible means of getting through a particularly bad episode. 'Course, after self-medicating for depression with morphine for a little too long, I no longer have the hydrocodone discussion. I didn't think I'd want it, but it turns out I wanted it a bit too much.

    So, I'm reporting based on my experiences. Whatever the ethical considerations, I've been a patient for this stuff for well over a decade, and I've learned a little along the way. There are *so many* message boards dedicated to people swapping this kind of information after receiving year after year of useless treatments. When you're desparate, you don't care about anything but getting better. Sometimes - like I did - you'll make stupid decisions, but other times you'll just get nailed without little fault of your own. That's the stuff you pass on.

    I'm not telling him what to do. I'm not pretending to be a doctor. I'm someone who spent years feeling miserable when it probably didn't need to be that way.

    In the end, how is he going to make his decision? Is he going to read my email and then start prescribing meds to himself? Is he going to take my note to the pharmacy? Is he going to hypnotize his doctor?

    Well, these things are all possible, but I think it's far more likely that, were he to act on it (and, fortunately, it sounds like he's improving), then he'd go to a doc or a shrink with a few notes in the back of his head about what to avoid. Like, Effexor. That'd be a good word to have in the Avoid pile.

    Anyway, he's safe now.

  • Hey, um Rory...

    Hey, mon -

    I just went over to your site and left a comment, though I didn't see the comment appear. I don't know if they're moderated or what, but there wasn't a message stating as much, so... I'm going to post the comment here, too. I'll check back at your site later to see what happened:

    ----------

    As someone who has repeatedly cried - sobbed - at work, I can hopefully tell you a few things:

    1. It doesn't help much to hear that life has this way of mending itself, but I still have to say it. I ignored it whenever I heard it because it did *nothing* to fix whatever acute mess I was in, but I've always looked back on those episodes and thought, "Huh. It *did* get better."

    2. Although this won't sound like a bright side to your situation, it sounds like whatever has you down was a specific event. I don't know - judging from the order of photos and the caption for the final one, I can guess. Whatever it is, though, if you're feeling down because things have gone horribly wrong, then that's a good thing. For over half my life, you could have dropped a sack of cash and a gorgeous woman in my lap, and I wouldn't have cared. I probably would have cried Smiley

    Feeling down in response to an event is *completely* normal. Even feeling like life is worthless. I just watched my best friend go through the messiest breakup I've ever seen. He had only been with this girl a couple years, but he had grown quite attached to her. I've been down to Portland a dozen times over the past month just to try and to... *anything* to cheer him up. It's gotten very dramatic, but that's normal, you know?

    When my French grandmother died last year, I thought I'd never feel all right again. Yeah, it took nearly a year for me to find my feet again, but life still found its way back. To be fair, though, I'm past my drug addiction, and the suicidal ideations have been medicated out of my mind. Three months ago, I genuinely wanted to die; right now I think I feel better than I've ever felt (sober) since I was about 13.

    Some advice for powering through what you're feeling - all the stuff that's getting you down - upsetting you - it *is* going to take off. You'll adjust. You can speed things up by doing things out of your routine. People create associations left and right in the strangest ways. One reason I've left Microsoft isn't that it was tough, but because I associate it with Kori, Aydika, losing both of my grandmothers, having had my mom thrown in jail, spending time in hospitals, doing tons of drugs to forget about all the other crap, and more... that's just too much. I feel the same way about certain restaurants, cafes, bards - places I immediately associate with a previous life that I'm not ready to think about yet.

    Everybody says it, but exercise is huge. If you pick up a jogging or biking or whatevering habit, you'll eventually get to the point where your body releases endorphins. People talk about these, but don't seem to know what they are - they're naturally occurring opiates in your own body. They aren't the same as morphine or whatever, which is good - there's just a slight hint of mood elevation. It's amazing. The problem is that, when feeling down, people often feel lethargic. Exercise *sounds* like a good idea, but... not today.

    3. Sometimes things reach a point where you need a shove. There are meds that can be used for short periods to get people out of their funks. Some of it's benign, while some *can* produce dependency if taken for too long, but the course of these meds for short term depression are so short that the danger is virtually nonexistent.

    People usually don't want meds, but if you're feeling miserable, and if you know you want to feel better, then meds should be considered. Stay away from the SSRIs (prozac, etc.) - I've taken just about all of them, and they're all messed up. Bad, bad news. However, if your doc recommends something like Wellbutrin, then it'd be worth considering. It's non-addictive, it'll give you a little pep, and it should provide a boost to your sense of well being.

    Some ADD meds are used as well. For short term courses, you'd probably get adderall, which is just a mild amphetamine. That sounds bad, but an amphetamine without the "meth" in front of it is a perfectly safe class of meds. If you have high blood pressure, or if there's a clear history of early stroke or heart attack in your family, then you'd want to stay away. Otherwise, it's a fine med. To keep the story short, it works on some Feel Good bits of the brain while also giving you the energy to stop dreading getting out of bed. There are various stimulants (including non-amphetamines) that can be used for short term depression, and they even come in time release formulations so that you don't have a big down in the day. One was even released in patch form - Daytrana - a formulation of Concerta which is a non-amphetamine stimulant.

    Some docs would prescribe short courses of opioids like hydrocodone or oxycodone. If you can tolerate these meds (some people get really nauseous), then they're fantastic. The problem comes when you move on to bigger opioids after treatment and start an addiction for yourself. That's not how I got into it, but I could see that happening.

    If you can find a doctor who will do it, there's mounting evidence that ketamine can totally alleviate depression for a few days at a time following a single two hour infusion. However, because that's so off-label that there isn't even a label to be off of, it's highly unlikely you'll find anybody besides my old dealer who would do it. But it really is supposed to work amazingly well.

    If you feel like you don't need pep or a distinct mood elevation, you could go on a temporary course of lithium. It doesn't take too long to begin working - it can be within a couple days, or a week, give or take - but when it kicks in, you might find that a lot of the negative feelings in your head recede a bit. Lithium is great because, at least for me, it did away with the extreme thoughts, and left me only feeling bad about what I *should* fee bad about. It was several days into my lithium treatment that, for the first time in a decade, the constant buzzing of suicidal thoughts in my head finally quieted down (and eventually disappeared).

    There are some considerations with lithium, but it's extremely safe for the most part. You'll have to get a couple blood tests to ensure that you have a therapeutic, non-toxic level of lithium in your blood. It's no biggie, and it's totally worth the positive effects. You might also have to avoid certain things - alcohol, excessive salt, most over the counter pain killers other than aspirin - but since this would hopefully only be temporary for you, that shouldn't be a big deal.

    --

    I guess that's about it:

    1. Make some lifestyle changes - temporary or otherwise - to get your mind focused on something other than the pain and things associated with it.

    2. Take solace in the fact that you're reacting normally to a stressful situation. What it is, I don't know, but it's clearly buggin' ya.

    3. If it gets to the point that you think meds would help - if you're almost unable to get out of bed - if you're unable to focus during the day - if nothing sounds "good" to you - if you lose the ability to enjoy life even a little - then, seriously, consider them. And consider the list. I'm very serious about the med stuff, as I've been nailed (and watched other people get screwed) by bad meds. No prozac. No SSRIs at all. They'll make you worse before you get "better" anyway, and "better" is just zombie mode.

    I hope this helps. If there's any other advice I can give that would be of use, then definitely let me know. I've been where you are, and the feelings of isolation are horrible.

    Look forward to the day when you'll look back on this and wonder how you ever could have felt so bad Smiley

    It'll come.

  • C9 Park: The REAL reason Rory quit

    That's the second bloody time my comic style has been ripped off this week. Someone else did one of these comics (though not for public consumption - lots of bad words and stuff).

    But keep 'em coming. I'm taking names, and I'm going to sue the pants off all your heads when the dust settles Smiley

  • scoble...​rory... next?

    W3bbo wrote:
    
    Rory wrote:
    
    W3bbo wrote:
    
    Whilst it can be argued that being a DPE has a positive role for the company, it really doesn't do anything for the advancement of society, computational science, or any of the spin-off areas.


    The way you've described it, DPE is doing exactly what it's supposed to. DPE has nothing to do with "the advancement of society," nor should it.

    If there's a perception here (and I'm making an assumption about your stance) that DPE should be picking up more litter or teaching the children to sing - or that it shouldn't exist at all because it doesn't contribute back to civilization - then any negative fallout of that perception is due to an expectation set against irrelevant criteria.


    But anything can be judged against the criteria "considering the overall grand scheme of things, what's the point?", being a SE or Researcher grades higher than a (perceived) glorified marketing position.


    I'm not arguing about whether something can be judged against any old set of criteria.

    I was arguing that you were judging DPE based on "irrelevant criteria." There's nothing wrong with DPE not advancing society and blah blah blah - DPE is doing exactly what it should be.

    That's the point. All you're doing here removing DPE from its context, setting it out in the wild, and then judging its worth.

    That's just silly. As an exercise, anything can be removed from its context and torn apart.

    What I see here is you placing far more responsibility on DPE than it warrants. If I were to play the same game, I could pull Firefox out of its comfort zone and argue that it isn't curing AIDS or building libraries. What does that prove? Nothing. It isn't a reasonable argument because it implies that the reason Firefox exists is to cure AIDS and build libraries.

    DPE does exactly what it's supposed to. It's not here to cure AIDS or build libraries. The expectation that it should be doing something grand for society is irrelevant because it's so ridiculous.

    W3bbo wrote:
    
    Rory wrote:
    Might as well put a dog to sleep because it won't play Wii with you.


    A better analogy would be putting a dog to sleep because all it could do was play Wii (what? No XBox? ) and provide very little other value to its master or its environment.


    Uh. No.

    My point was that it's ridiculous to expect a dog to play Wii, so you shouldn't punish it for not doing it. This was a lightweight support to the idea that it's ridiculous to expect DPE to better society, so you shouldn't expect it to. That's not what it does.

    Dogs don't play Wii; DPE doesn't advance society.

    W3bbo wrote:
     Microsoft is a convicted monopolist; being a publically traded company means its priorities are to its shareholders rather than its consumers. It's not because Microsoft is Microsoft, but because of the way Microsoft operates.


    I don't understand how you can separate "the way Microsoft operates" from "what" Microsoft is. Microsoft is Microsoft, and an overwhelming part of that is how it operates.

    And as far as it prioritizing shareholders - yes! But whether that's what Microsoft should be doing or not has nothing to do with how it makes you feel. Microsoft is around to make money. Microsoft makes money. Microsoft does this. Microsoft's purpose is fulfilled.

    Dogs do dogly thing; Microsoft makes money.

    W3bbo wrote:
     The same can be said for all the major corporations: Oracle, IBM, even Google all have some number of undesirable aspects (just some have more than others; I've noticed it's a function of how long they've been around for the youthful ideology of the founders to wither away and die).


    BS! The "youthful ideology of the founders" took off running with a big fat check. Why do you think these fancy youthful founders start their companies? To become huge non-profits?

    They do it for money. Some hide it better than others, but it's for money.

    W3bbo wrote:
     Imagine the year is mid-2006. Firefox and Opera currently top IE6 in every comparison matrix out there. For this exercise, the important bits are compliance with W3C Recommendations, general usability, and higher independent security rankings.

    Hypothetically speaking, imagine Microsoft has a team of "IE Evangelists" which scour web development forums (for devs) and business forums (for PHBs). They manage to convince a significant number of PHBs and less experienced devs to use IE-only technologies because of some esoteric feature that really doesn't matter: i.e. through pure marketing gimmick. For argument, let's say "Easier to develop with Visual Studio" (as many of us know, IE-only sites are a common side-effect of relying too heavily on the default behaviour of VS, especially VS2003).

    In this case, the superior product being touted by the smaller company (or fragmented, independent organisations) has lost out because the bigger company could afford to hire people to hype their technologically inferior product out to easily impressionable people. QED.


    I was going to reply, but then I got nailed by the QED. It adds so much gravitas to a debate... but... I shall go on...

    Your entire argument here is the perfect example of why I responded to you in the first place.

    You first set up your own arbitary criteria by which to judge the worth of one web browser over another. Then you went on, with those criteria, to use them to argue that a DPE-like group was turning people away from the Greater Good.

    A conclusion based on a set of assumptions ultimately judged against another set of assumptions.

    You're getting further and further away from the facts.

    Garbage in, garbage out.

    And even though it makes no sense here, I'm going to hit you with my own QED.

    QED. BAM! Can't lose now...

    W3bbo wrote:
    It's happening right now. Head over to Slashdot (or even a fairly balanced FOSS/IT News site) sometime with AdBlock disabled and you'll be bombarded with misleading (or FUD) advertisements about Windows Server System. I'm not saying it's a bad system (not at all, personally I love it), but Microsoft is clearly advertising to PHBs who don't know any better. And who is the PHB going to listen to? The "open-source nutjob in IT" or the "smartly dressed, well presented Microsoft salesman"?


    When was the last time you saw an ad without any spin? This isn't a rhetorical question - I expect you can answer it, but what's the frequency of what you think are truthful ads vs. the spin?

    Not that it matters. It's still irrelevant. So much of what you're saying is founded on the premise that Microsoft is supposed to be saving the world, but that it isn't.

    Again, that's not what Microsoft does.

    W3bbo wrote:
     Netscape was a small company that did something great. It challenged the bigger player. The bigger player abused their monopoly and forced them out of business.


    Again, BS. The biggest problem with Netscape was what came after v4. They dropped the ball, creating the buggiest, slowest, most bloated browser I've ever seen. That's when I - and so many other people - switched to IE.

    I understand that your argument is probably based much more on legal dealings, but, seriously, the product was awful.

    W3bbo wrote:
     Painful lessons to learn: "you can't beat goliath".


    Not if you suck, no.

    W3bbo wrote:
     But it's capitalism, not technocracy. You outsmart with business sense, not technical sense, which is the problem I'm addressing here.


    That isn't the "problem [you're] addressing" at all.

    This all started because you were irked by the way DPE doesn't advance society, and so on.

    If you want to argue that Microsoft has probably beaten out competitors because of marketing rather than technical superiority, then I'm right there with you.

    But that's not what you've been talking about.

    W3bbo wrote:
     Oh yeah, my vomits are so powerful they're sentient.


    Ah... Have they been doing all the typing for you? Because that would explain a lot.

  • scoble...​rory... next?

    W3bbo wrote:
    
    Rory wrote:
    
    W3bbo wrote:
    
    Whilst it can be argued that being a DPE has a positive role for the company, it really doesn't do anything for the advancement of society, computational science, or any of the spin-off areas.


    The way you've described it, DPE is doing exactly what it's supposed to. DPE has nothing to do with "the advancement of society," nor should it.

    If there's a perception here (and I'm making an assumption about your stance) that DPE should be picking up more litter or teaching the children to sing - or that it shouldn't exist at all because it doesn't contribute back to civilization - then any negative fallout of that perception is due to an expectation set against irrelevant criteria.


    But anything can be judged against the criteria "considering the overall grand scheme of things, what's the point?", being a SE or Researcher grades higher than a (perceived) glorified marketing position.


    I'm not arguing about whether something can be judged against any old set of criteria.

    I was arguing that you were judging DPE based on "irrelevant criteria." There's nothing wrong with DPE not advancing society and blah blah blah - DPE is doing exactly what it should be.

    That's the point. All you're doing here removing DPE from its context, setting it out in the wild, and then judging its worth.

    That's just silly. As an exercise, anything can be removed from its context and torn apart.

    What I see here is you placing far more responsibility on DPE than it warrants. If I were to play the same game, I could pull Firefox out of its comfort zone and argue that it isn't curing AIDS or building libraries. What does that prove? Nothing. It isn't a reasonable argument because it implies that the reason Firefox exists is to cure AIDS and build libraries.

    DPE does exactly what it's supposed to. It's not here to cure AIDS or build libraries. The expectation that it should be doing something grand for society is irrelevant because it's so ridiculous.

    W3bbo wrote:
    
    Rory wrote:
    Might as well put a dog to sleep because it won't play Wii with you.


    A better analogy would be putting a dog to sleep because all it could do was play Wii (what? No XBox? ) and provide very little other value to its master or its environment.


    Uh. No.

    My point was that it's ridiculous to expect a dog to play Wii, so you shouldn't punish it for not doing it. This was a lightweight support to the idea that it's ridiculous to expect DPE to better society, so you shouldn't expect it to. That's not what it does.

    Dogs don't play Wii; DPE doesn't advance society.

    W3bbo wrote:
     Microsoft is a convicted monopolist; being a publically traded company means its priorities are to its shareholders rather than its consumers. It's not because Microsoft is Microsoft, but because of the way Microsoft operates.


    I don't understand how you can separate "the way Microsoft operates" from "what" Microsoft is. Microsoft is Microsoft, and an overwhelming part of that is how it operates.

    And as far as it prioritizing shareholders - yes! But whether that's what Microsoft should be doing or not has nothing to do with how it makes you feel. Microsoft is around to make money. Microsoft makes money. Microsoft does this. Microsoft's purpose is fulfilled.

    Dogs do dogly thing; Microsoft makes money.

    W3bbo wrote:
     The same can be said for all the major corporations: Oracle, IBM, even Google all have some number of undesirable aspects (just some have more than others; I've noticed it's a function of how long they've been around for the youthful ideology of the founders to wither away and die).


    BS! The "youthful ideology of the founders" took off running with a big fat check. Why do you think these fancy youthful founders start their companies? To become huge non-profits?

    They do it for money. Some hide it better than others, but it's for money.

    W3bbo wrote:
     Imagine the year is mid-2006. Firefox and Opera currently top IE6 in every comparison matrix out there. For this exercise, the important bits are compliance with W3C Recommendations, general usability, and higher independent security rankings.

    Hypothetically speaking, imagine Microsoft has a team of "IE Evangelists" which scour web development forums (for devs) and business forums (for PHBs). They manage to convince a significant number of PHBs and less experienced devs to use IE-only technologies because of some esoteric feature that really doesn't matter: i.e. through pure marketing gimmick. For argument, let's say "Easier to develop with Visual Studio" (as many of us know, IE-only sites are a common side-effect of relying too heavily on the default behaviour of VS, especially VS2003).

    In this case, the superior product being touted by the smaller company (or fragmented, independent organisations) has lost out because the bigger company could afford to hire people to hype their technologically inferior product out to easily impressionable people. QED.


    I was going to reply, but then I got nailed by the QED. It adds so much gravitas to a debate... but... I shall go on...

    Your entire argument here is the perfect example of why I responded to you in the first place.

    You first set up your own arbitary criteria by which to judge the worth of one web browser over another. Then you went on, with those criteria, to use them to argue that a DPE-like group was turning people away from the Greater Good.

    A conclusion based on a set of assumptions ultimately judged against another set of assumptions.

    You're getting further and further away from the facts.

    Garbage in, garbage out.

    And even though it makes no sense here, I'm going to hit you with my own QED.

    QED. BAM! Can't lose now...

    W3bbo wrote:
    It's happening right now. Head over to Slashdot (or even a fairly balanced FOSS/IT News site) sometime with AdBlock disabled and you'll be bombarded with misleading (or FUD) advertisements about Windows Server System. I'm not saying it's a bad system (not at all, personally I love it), but Microsoft is clearly advertising to PHBs who don't know any better. And who is the PHB going to listen to? The "open-source nutjob in IT" or the "smartly dressed, well presented Microsoft salesman"?


    When was the last time you saw an ad without any spin? This isn't a rhetorical question - I expect you can answer it, but what's the frequency of what you think are truthful ads vs. the spin?

    Not that it matters. It's still irrelevant. So much of what you're saying is founded on the premise that Microsoft is supposed to be saving the world, but that it isn't.

    Again, that's not what Microsoft does.

    W3bbo wrote:
     Netscape was a small company that did something great. It challenged the bigger player. The bigger player abused their monopoly and forced them out of business.


    Again, BS. The biggest problem with Netscape was what came after v4. They dropped the ball, creating the buggiest, slowest, most bloated browser I've ever seen. That's when I - and so many other people - switched to IE.

    I understand that your argument is probably based much more on legal dealings, but, seriously, the product was awful.

    W3bbo wrote:
     Painful lessons to learn: "you can't beat goliath".


    Not if you suck, no.

    W3bbo wrote:
     But it's capitalism, not technocracy. You outsmart with business sense, not technical sense, which is the problem I'm addressing here.


    That isn't the "problem [you're] addressing" at all.

    This all started because you were irked by the way DPE doesn't advance society, and so on.

    If you want to argue that Microsoft has probably beaten out competitors because of marketing rather than technical superiority, then I'm right there with you.

    But that's not what you've been talking about.

    W3bbo wrote:
     Oh yeah, my vomits are so powerful they're sentient.


    Ah... Have they been doing all the typing for you? Because that would explain a lot.

  • Bye, and good luck Rory

    Hey -

    Thanks, everybody Smiley

    It was a tough year. The past several months - due more to my medical leave than the usual on-the-job insanity - have been a dry spell for me here, and I know that's had a negative impact on 9.

    Since you're all here to get from 9 what 9 should give you, I wanted to... "apologize" (I'm not sure if this is the right word given my reasons for disappearing) for not having produced much. Whether good or bad, you people expect videos. It was my job to deliver, and I think I sucked.

    And thank Charles Torre as much as you can and as often as possible. He's a machine. He never complained (to me, anyway) about having to work with an emotionally and mentally unstable nutball. He's been patient and tolerant this whole time.

    Really - if I were in his position, I'd have broken every last one of my legs.

    Yep.

    Thanks again - it was an odd, odd, odd year...

  • scoble...​rory... next?

    W3bbo wrote:
    
    Rossj wrote:
    
    Zeo wrote:
    Developer Platform Evangelism


    Bleurgh. Sorry no offense, but isn't that another name for Marketing?


    Whilst it can be argued that being a DPE has a positive role for the company, it really doesn't do anything for the advancement of society, computational science, or any of the spin-off areas.


    The way you've described it, DPE is doing exactly what it's supposed to. DPE has nothing to do with "the advancement of society," nor should it.

    If there's a perception here (and I'm making an assumption about your stance) that DPE should be picking up more litter or teaching the children to sing - or that it shouldn't exist at all because it doesn't contribute back to civilization - then any negative fallout of that perception is due to an expectation set against irrelevant criteria.

    Might as well put a dog to sleep because it won't play Wii with you.

    W3bbo wrote:
    By (aggressivly) promoting the company, isn't it to the detriment of third-party solutions which might be technologically superior, but lost out because Microsoft can afford to put you in that position?


    Why do geeks always make Microsoft the focal point of inequality of power in the universe?

    What does it even mean to say that "[smaller companies] lost out because Microsoft can afford to put [them] in that position"? How do you afford to put someone in the position of sucking?

    In the states, our utilities have traditionally run as what are basically legal monopolies. One company provides your landline, one company provides your gas, one company provides your energy, etc... It's not like that across the board, but it's close enough.

    I had a contract with a natural gas company for nearly three years. I got to know the place well. In my second year, I offered to replace their entire marketing department with a pin that read, "Don't like it? Try the other gas company."

    There wasn't, of course, another gas company.

    Pretty solid. Energy companies were the last I expected to see undermined, but it's happening. There are so many alternative energy companies coming onto the scene now that power is shifting. Portland General Electric is in the business now of buying power back from customers who generate their own - that's how much life has changed.

    If a smaller company does something great, there's no reason it can't challenge the bigger player. Besides, people love all that David and Goliath stuff.

    But Goliath is always there. Regardless of the industry, there is always a big guy that some people want to topple.

    The way you topple Goliath is by outsmarting him. Microsoft is big, but it moves slowly. If you've got something better to offer, then give it.

    W3bbo wrote:
    Kinda sickens me, Zeo...


    Zeo - you are offically syrup of ipecac to W3bbo.

    Use your power wisely Smiley