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Too Many Smart People Chasing Too Many Dumb Ideas?

timothy posted about 10 months ago | from the your-ideas-might-be-dumb-but-mine-are-great dept.

Programming 376

theodp writes "In The Unexotic Underclass, C.Z. Nnaemeka argues that too many smart people are chasing too many dumb ideas. 'What is shameful,' writes Nnaemeka, 'is that in a country with so many problems, with such a heaving underclass, we find the so-called 'best and brightest,' the 20-and 30-somethings who emerge from the top American graduate and undergraduate programs, abandoning their former hangout, Wall Street, to pile into anti-problem entrepreneurship.' Nnaemeka adds, 'It just looks like we've shifted the malpractice from feeding the money machine to making inane, self-centric apps. Worse, is that the power players, institutional and individual — the highflying VCs, the entrepreneurship incubators, the top-ranked MBA programs, the accelerators, the universities, the business plan competitions have been complicit in this nonsense.' And while it may not get you invited to the White House, Nnaemeka advises entrepreneurs looking for ideas to 'consider looking beyond the city-centric, navel-gazing, youth-obsessed mainstream' and instead focus on some groups that no one else is helping."

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376 comments

Mweeehhhh (5, Funny)

kruach aum (1934852) | about 10 months ago | (#43882393)

Smart people aren't doing what I want them to!!! Why aren't they making the world better the way I think it should be done?!

Re:Mweeehhhh (3, Insightful)

mrmeval (662166) | about 10 months ago | (#43882419)

NO ONE IS *insert snot spewing sob* FUNDING ME! --Nnaemeka

Nnaemeka you're a potential demulcent. I'm sure there's billions to be made from people rubbing bits of you on bits of them.

Re:Mweeehhhh (1)

inkcogito (2891523) | about 10 months ago | (#43882577)

He's more of an abrasive advertising himself as a demulcent. I'm sure he's hoping to parasitically shave off what he can before his hosts catch on.

Re:Mweeehhhh (1)

taz346 (2715665) | about 10 months ago | (#43882813)

The "he" you refer to is actually a "she," or did you not even bother to read the article?

Re:Mweeehhhh (1)

mrmeval (662166) | about 10 months ago | (#43882951)

You don't get get cluebat levels of subtly do you? I suppose one could call that entity IT but they'd be wrong as cousin IT was cool and that entity has negative cool value so not cousin IT.

Re:Mweeehhhh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43882785)

I'm sure there's billions to be made from people rubbing bits of you on bits of them.

That's only legal in Nevada.

Re:Mweeehhhh (5, Insightful)

jythie (914043) | about 10 months ago | (#43882563)

To be fair, one can look at it as a balance issue. The most capable people tend to shift their focus to the things society values the most, and right now we place a high social value on getting rich quick through finding some narcissistic niche and building something that appeals to it.

The value of helping others, helping the underclass, solving systemic problems, building shared resources, things that elevate society as a whole rather then the privileged, well, these things are often argued about and I will not even attempt to claim one way or the other is 'best', but I think it is fair to express distress regarding shifts in what people value.

Essentially, this is the same complaint as people talking about how we do not have enough STEM talent or too much manufacturing+research is moving offshore.

Re:Mweeehhhh (5, Insightful)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 10 months ago | (#43882717)

Essentially, this is the same complaint as people talking about how we do not have enough STEM talent

From what I've seen, almost all the people who complain that we don't have enough STEM talents are also people who, themselves, are not in STEM fields. If they think it's so important, why didn't they go into it?

Basically, it's because the people complaining want a larger STEM workforce to make money from, but they don't work in it because they can't make nearly as much money in it as whatever they're doing. So they want other people to work their asses off for mediocre pay.

Re:Mweeehhhh (5, Insightful)

Gorobei (127755) | about 10 months ago | (#43882757)

To be fair, one can look at it as a balance issue. The most capable people tend to shift their focus to the things society values the most, and right now we place a high social value on getting rich quick through finding some narcissistic niche and building something that appeals to it.
 

As you note, capable people focus on things that society values most. "Getting rich quick" is the result of producing what society values most, *not* the thing that society values most. So you make Facebook and get rich because society wants Facebook, not because it wants you to be rich.

So I don't see what Nnaemeka wants to happen: society to invest more money in the underclass, or people to altruistically forgo riches to serve the underclass. Either one may be a noble goal, but he should at least articulate what he wants: he complains about us being to urban-focused, but over 80% of people in America live in an urban environment! And tech apps work better in a dense environment: seamless.com, etc, isn't a business model for a farm community; the big stuff has already been done (amazon.com, youporn.com.)

Re:Mweeehhhh (5, Insightful)

SerpentMage (13390) | about 10 months ago | (#43882791)

How is this funny? He is not trolling. If you read the article what he is getting at is that we are not solving the problem that move society forward. Case in point tumblr. Wow, what a piece of effen work! Yippeee! Or look at all of those one day camps of ideas. All related to simplistic systems, where the business model falls into, "lets make this so that we can get bought out." These days the idea is not about actually building a business that makes money.

Case in point Ubuntu. This is a company that does try to push the boundary and does try to help, all while trying to make a business about it. Same thing with Redhat. Yet are they rewarded like say a Tumblr? I just crack up laughing that a TUmblr is worth a tenth of Redhat. you know a business that is actually making money and solving problems.

Where is the real innovation? The uniqueness? Where are the plans that drive real businesses? I think that is a valid question.

Re:Mweeehhhh (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | about 10 months ago | (#43882979)

Why aren't they making the world better the way I think it should be done?!

Because the industrial and economic policies of their governments are shifting them into increasingly valueless industries.

Too Many Smart People Chasing Too Many Dumb Ideas? (1)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | about 10 months ago | (#43882399)

Many younger people are simply interested in innovative and original ideas?

Re:Too Many Smart People Chasing Too Many Dumb Ide (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 10 months ago | (#43882475)

Many younger people are simply interested in innovative and original ideas?

it's the vc's fault for giving money for dumb ideas. the young people just need the work, dumb or not.

Re:Too Many Smart People Chasing Too Many Dumb Ide (1)

rwa2 (4391) | about 10 months ago | (#43882495)

Skimmed through TFA, it doesn't seem like he has any suggestions on what to focus on, as long as it's not everyone dogpiling on one thing.

But the way things are going, maybe we should all be working on building these:
http://www.designboom.com/design/mobile-homeless-shelter/ [designboom.com]

Mobile Homeless shelter? (1)

Firethorn (177587) | about 10 months ago | (#43882641)

Hmmm....

Well, looks like that's not Nnaemeka's problem, given that it's an old dude making it, not some young guy. Still, I have some concerns. In no particular order

1. Many homeless people in the USA are homeless because of mental problems. Treating said problems is necessary because otherwise they can't take care of themselves, fancy rolling shelter or not. Many will DESTROY said shelter in days, if not hours.
2. Stove inside is just asking for fire.
3. Is water shortage really a problem for homeless people?
4. While it's technically mobile, it's far too heavy. I'm familiar with those castors, the system is far heavier than a shopping cart & a tent, sleeping bag, or even just a bunch of blankets.

Re:Too Many Smart People Chasing Too Many Dumb Ide (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 10 months ago | (#43882925)

Skimmed through TFA, it doesn't seem like he has any suggestions on what to focus on, as long as it's not everyone dogpiling on one thing.

But the way things are going, maybe we should all be working on building these:
http://www.designboom.com/design/mobile-homeless-shelter/ [designboom.com]

that's not a homeless shelter realistically. a true homeless person would sell it for booze.

to who? some guy who needs it for camping(stick to the back of a pickup) or as a rock festival sleeping area. for that it looks nice and you could make a mint renting those for that. the laptop area in the sketch is just funny - it's certainly meant for some different kind of nonexistant type of homeless person.

Re:Too Many Smart People Chasing Too Many Dumb Ide (3, Funny)

g0bshiTe (596213) | about 10 months ago | (#43882765)

Where have you been the last X years, when was the last time you saw something truely original or innovative?

NOTE: Windows 8 doesn't count.

physician, heal thyself (4, Interesting)

waddgodd (34934) | about 10 months ago | (#43882405)

Where does writing inane, self-centric books fit in Nnaemeka's weltanschlung?

Re:physician, heal thyself (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43882433)

weltanschauung.

Re:physician, heal thyself (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43882463)

weltanschlong.

Re:physician, heal thyself (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43882485)

you forgot login again Nnaemeka.

silly (5, Insightful)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | about 10 months ago | (#43882435)

I think there are lots of smart people helping those that fewer people care about (there are no groups that need help that nobody does), you just don't hear about it because they don't get invited to the White House.

Re:silly (2)

Cenan (1892902) | about 10 months ago | (#43882593)

Or they don't shout it from the roof tops everytime they take a longer than usual piss. Not everyone have a need to be heard like Nnaemeka.

Re:silly (2)

tqk (413719) | about 10 months ago | (#43882673)

... there are no groups that need help that nobody does ...

Where'd you get the rose coloured glasses?

After their dreams are crushed... (3, Insightful)

CmdrEdem (2229572) | about 10 months ago | (#43882441)

the "best and brightest" will just go back to feed the money machine. After all, they are competent and they also need to eat when they`re bankrupt. VCs have money to spare and they will benefit either way.

Re:After their dreams are crushed... (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 10 months ago | (#43882941)

the "best and brightest" will just go back to feed the money machine. After all, they are competent and they also need to eat when they`re bankrupt. VCs have money to spare and they will benefit either way.

the money machine is the dumb ideas.
that's why they're chasing dumb ideas. because vc's pay them to. because she told them to.

so the smart people are implementing dumb ideas because that's what pays their living.

Faulty premise (2, Insightful)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 10 months ago | (#43882449)

The smart people don't really want to help the lower class. Ugh, have you actually met any of them? Shudder. If anything they should be vexed even more than they are already.

What the smart people want is to be seen as helping the lower class. This gives you fantastic social status (among other smart people, naturally) and ensures that you will be invited to all the right parties. The lower class will themselves not be attending these parties. Again, a five minute conversation with any of them is quite enough.

Re:Faulty premise (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43882555)

Confusing rich and smart much?

Re:Faulty premise (2, Interesting)

fazig (2909523) | about 10 months ago | (#43882727)

It is really sad, but I can only confirm this from what I've learned from my peers and me.
We mostly chose to stay at the university in a laboratory, have comfortable working hours for less pay, but we're surrounded mostly by smart people all the time. The most annoying things are when I have to explain that LIDAR and laser interferometry, which we mostly do here, aren't quite the same to some business representatives, who obviously also lack scientific education. Which is still magnitudes away from the dull conversations I can have with real 'lower class' citizens because of the huge educational gap.
A short conversation with those 'lower class' people may also reveal that their perception of the 'smart types' often isn't that good anyway. There is a lot of envy because the smart types apparently don't have to work that much, but instead sit in front of a computers and play their little games, write numbers and talk with nerd words all day, and of course they earn a ****load of money for doing 'nothing'.

Re:Faulty towers (1)

mrmeval (662166) | about 10 months ago | (#43882995)

Money for nothing and their checks for free.

I wanted to be a rock star with hot and cold running chicks.
I became a technologist and I have hot and cold running robots.
I am happy.

Re:Faulty premise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43882921)

Larry Ellison.

Re:Faulty premise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43882981)

*OR* you could change your fucked-up society so that the lower classes aren't creepy discontented uneducated idiots. Like providing better education and environments during the critical formative years. More statist socialism means less corpses littering the streets, metaphorically and literally. Seriously, here in Sweden the only "class division" that exists is between immigrants and non-immigrants. In a psychosocial sense at least.

Re:Faulty premise (1)

jcr (53032) | about 10 months ago | (#43883017)

More statist socialism means less corpses littering the streets,

This turns out not to be the case. See north Korea.

-jcr

Nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43882477)

All underclass problems would disappear if poor and starving people just STOP BREEDING before they become filthy rich.

Re:Nonsense (4, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | about 10 months ago | (#43882625)

I realize this is a troll, but there is some truth to this... SOME.

Smart people do not have children they can't raise in a good healthy environment and can't properly give them all the things they need as they grow and graduate into adulthood.

Unfortunately, we have far too many non-smart people. Both rich and poor, they have children they can't or won't care for. Both end up spoiled and neglected and this has been going on for 2-3 generations now. Under these conditions, the results are more than predictable. And the poor become a drain on society.

Now if this notion were followed through and actually happened? Well, that'd be another problem entirely. We need a middle class and we don't have one. The rich send our jobs everywhere else but here and they are slowly running out of people they can sell their crap to. Do you know how poor people are getting their cell phones now? Government subsidized service. Seriously. Welfare mobile phones. And of course they are on welfare everything else as well.

Most of us here on slashdot don't really know what it's like to be poor and on welfare. I've had unfortunate times, though, and I know it all too well. To me it was a nightmare, but most of them were extremely comfortable in their misery. Extremely comfortable.

Shit lost a healthy balance long ago. There is no limit on greed and no limit on laziness. Why there is a dwindling middle-class is partly because they have lowered the measure of what middle-class is and largely because of wealth distribution problems. Like global warming, I think we've gone too far already.

"we live in interesting times."

Re:Nonsense (1)

prefec2 (875483) | about 10 months ago | (#43882775)

Smart people do not have children they can't raise in a good healthy environment and can't properly give them all the things they need as they grow and graduate into adulthood.

This is the normal excuse of "educated" people (have a look at Idiocrazy). What they really don't want, is to risk their careers. You could raise kids with less money. They still could get educated, as long as you support that. For example, in Germany the school system is highly selective. As long as your parents are educated well, you have a much higher chance to graduate from high school and go to university afterwards then children from less educated families. Even if you school system is not that bad, the same effect would still be existent.

A second cause for that imbalance is that educated people form partnerships and families later in life. They would be able to do that sooner if they would not constantly be taught to finish quickly. Otherwise some (more) women would consider have kids during their bachelor and master programs.

But most important. The "not-so-smart" people are not unintelligent. So educate them!

Re:Nonsense (1)

erroneus (253617) | about 10 months ago | (#43883065)

Please check out my other comment about our consumerist society. Our self-esteem comes quite directly from our ability to buy things.

This is our society. We can't change it today or tomorrow. Now explain how you can raise a child with good moral strength and peace of mind without also having any level of financial security and stability. There is more to building a person than education. In fact, I have seen and known some extremely educated people who haven't a clue about how to live.

I actually have three sons. Each of them have had as much as I could give them. The first two graduated with honors under the IB program and on. My little one has even more of my attention. I'm very conscious of what it takes to raise a child. I don't do home schooling because I have to bring money home. But all homework and all in-class work is reviewed and discussed when he gets home and I am in very close contact with the teachers. I'm not making excuses -- I'm telling you what I'm doing because I do as much as I can. And I'm not consumerist personally and so far, neither are my children. But social skills and the ability to function in society is extremely important.

The alternative? It's hard to imagine without living on public assistance.

Capitalism is degenerating. (1)

optikos (1187213) | about 10 months ago | (#43882493)

It is very difficult to make money in discovering something new. The EU & USA governments have already spent themselves to the max, so they cannot provide, say, a trillion dollars per year for needed R&D. The VCs like to pursue something either narcissistic or advertising based (or preferably both), because that is what they understand the most and looks like easy money.

He has a point (3, Insightful)

Typical Slashdotter (2848579) | about 10 months ago | (#43882499)

Everyone's so quick to attack, but he has a point. Whatever the cause, the tech industry seems to want its best and brightest to become toymakers. There are a lot a problems that could be helped by new tech, but none of that seems to be as glorious as working on the new iPhone, a better Google Maps, or the next hit app.

Re:He has a point (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43882639)

This is always been the case. The people working on pure research need lots of funding because, by definition, the payoff won't come for five years or more even in the best case. Usually, this funding comes from a national government, private universities (w/ government funds), or from a huge corporation like IBM, Google, or big pharma - and the people with the purse strings are helping to call the tune. Independent inventors like Dean Kamen are outstanding exceptions.

Re:He has a point (2)

Shavano (2541114) | about 10 months ago | (#43882691)

It's the lure of the $1.1Billion payout for a couple years work that has everybody wanting to be the next Tumblr. Why work on something that will actually do something new and useful when there's $1.1 billion available for the next free porn shovel?

Re:He has a point (4, Insightful)

pla (258480) | about 10 months ago | (#43882697)

Everyone's so quick to attack, but he has a point. Whatever the cause, the tech industry seems to want its best and brightest to become toymakers. There are a lot a problems that could be helped by new tech, but none of that seems to be as glorious as working on the new iPhone, a better Google Maps, or the next hit app.

Even the homeless and destitute in the US enjoy a standard of living far above that of the average human even a century ago. The middle class lives better than most historical kings and emperors.

We value toys because we've made life too easy. We need to get up five days a week and spend a third of the day doing something we'd rather not; what then? That leaves a third of each day (not spent sleeping), and two whole days a week where we need to fill the time. Hell, today, I need to go out and mow the lawn, and I've already put it off wasting time online for three hours (and it'll only take me two to do the task) - Oh, boo-fuckin'-hoo, wontcha have some sympathy for poor ol' me, needing to trudge through the Sisyphean task of walking behind a machine that magically makes the grass shorter and packages it neatly in a bag for me? ;)

Make no mistake, I do not glamorize work or hold the delusion that it somehow counts as in some way noble or good for the soul. But we've already won. We simply don't care about social-issue-X as much as we value cheap tasty calories and cheap immersive entertainment.

Re:He has a pointy head (2)

A nonymous Coward (7548) | about 10 months ago | (#43882721)

You mean companies are hiring smart people to design what other people want to buy?

Oh, the humanity! The humanity!

Re:He has a point (3, Insightful)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 10 months ago | (#43882773)

There's more to it than that.

You're right, there are a lot of problems that could be helped by new tech. Just look at transportation for instance: we spend a ton of money on it in the US, and it sucks: it's slow, we spend lots of time idling in traffic or at stoplights, our cars are driven by oil-burning, pollution-spewing horrifically inefficient engines, and 50,000 people die every year in auto accidents.

Tech could solve a lot of problems outside the online world, but the problem is that you have to have a good government that invests wisely in R&D, or at least you need a regulatory scheme that makes it possible for new tech to improve the situation. Why deal with all that government red tape when you can spend all your time working on a "hit app", Google Maps, a new handheld electronic device, etc.? All those things don't have much red tape at all: you build whatever you want, you put it out in the market, and you make money with it right away. You don't have to deal with all kinds of governmental problems with them.

Suppose I want to solve the transportation problem. An idea already exists: Personal Rapid Transit, such as SkyTran. It wouldn't be that hard to build; the passive maglev rails have already been built and proven to work, the computer/software tech needed for the cars to be autonomous is somewhat trivial compared to Google's infrastructure, and the cars themselves would be dirt-cheap compared to a modern car (gas or electric like Tesla). However, even if you could get funding for the initial R&D and production, there's more to building and deploying such a system than just getting a factory and building them: you have to get governments at all levels (federal down to local) to agree on it, to standardize on one system (so they can all link up), and new regulation set up to police it all and make sure it's safe, to secure right-of-way, etc. Add to that that it competes with existing technologies (namely GM, Ford, etc.), who have lobbyists who will try to shoot down anything that competes with privately-owned automobiles, just like they've done with various public transit systems in the past.

Or how about aviation? Think you can invent a better aircraft? Good luck getting past the FAA.

It's simply much easier to just sit at your computer and write a new software app. You don't have to deal with government regulators (who are applying decades-old regulations to brand-new ideas) when you do that.

Re:He has a point (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 10 months ago | (#43883061)

It's simply much easier to just sit at your computer and write a new software app. You don't have to deal with government regulators (who are applying decades-old regulations to brand-new ideas) when you do that.

This in a nutshell. Sure, you can solve a lot of those big problems technically. But that's not the real issue. After all, we here at Slashdot have solved the world's problems many times over. In fact, we do it each week.

But the problems still remain - it's POLITICS folks. To solve societal ills we're talking about capital that dwarfs Bill Gates, Warren, Elon and Micheal Bloomberg together. Getting that capital requires a political will that simply doesn't exist. At least in terms of 'solving societies problems'.

Go run for office and try not to get corrupted.

I think I'll go outside now....

The USA is a consumer society (4, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | about 10 months ago | (#43882515)

In the USA, it is all about credit (the ability to go into debt for the purpose of buying things) and what you have bought. When we see each other, we assess largely on what they are wearing, driving or have in their possession. Additionally, every time we hear about rich people in trouble or otherwise doing something stupid, we instictively react with "I thought they were [better than us]!!" It's not the presumption that they are just like anyone else and often times dumber, it's the opposite because we pedestrians have been taught to succeed we must be smart or skilled and to work hard. Interestingly, those are the characteristics which keep those "valuable human capital assets" in the trenches where they belong.

All the money circulates around consumerism. That is where the money is. That is what people study to join in to get a share of.

Yes, this is NOT a sustainable model. This is why we are in trouble now.

Re:The USA is a consumer society (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43883045)

We have come to value our role as consumer above that of citizen. In turn we have come to assign wealth with moral superiority.

Misdiagnosis (4, Interesting)

gallondr00nk (868673) | about 10 months ago | (#43882527)

The author seems quite intent on blaming individuals for what is a structural malaise.

There's money in the kinds of fields the author talks about, and it seems a bit harsh to criticize people for trying to make a living. Agreed, Angry Birds isn't pushing the boundaries of human evolution towards a fairer, more peaceful world, but this isn't the 50's - the teet of government research is drying up through constant cuts and marginalisation. Academia and the public sector doesn't seem to have the clout it used to, and as a result long term humanitarian projects are dying off. The death of the public sector is the real reason we've never gone back to the moon. That's neoliberalism for you.

As for the "underclass" (a word I despise), I've been wondering recently whether we're witnessing the technological trend futurists warned us about; persistently lowering labour requirements. Figures certainly seem to point that way.

Outside of tech and Wall Street, making a living is quickly becoming harder and harder. There simply isn't the amount of work there was forty years ago. We're looking at genuine human tragedy if the situation is not resolved.

I feel the only cure is a guaranteed minimum income. Let us solve all these problems at once, forever.

Re:Misdiagnosis (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43882653)

And perhaps an absolute maximum income person (say $500k). Lets encourage societies innovators to build things that benefit us all as opposed to generating piles of useless money.

Re:Misdiagnosis (2)

A nonymous Coward (7548) | about 10 months ago | (#43882737)

Benefit? By whose definition, yours?

I have a better idea. Leave people alone, and they will (a) figure out what other people want, and (b) make it, and (c) make money.

The funny thing is, (c) wouldn't be a problem with the elite nearly so much if it weren't for the fact that (a) was done without the elites' guidance.

Re:Misdiagnosis (1)

siride (974284) | about 10 months ago | (#43882929)

I, too, believe in magic.

Re:Misdiagnosis (1)

A nonymous Coward (7548) | about 10 months ago | (#43883033)

Well, if you're a progressive, collectivist, or any other brand of statist, you surely do.

What astonishes me the most about statists is the amount of lip service they pay to democracy while at the same time having such dismal views of the poor schmucks they "guide". Everything they do is under the base assumption that people are too damn dumb and ignorant to run their own lives, yet they profess belief in these same dumb dimwitted schmucks voting to elect their elite betters.

If you are one of those elites, or at least think you are, I wonder how much history you actually know, how many times the elites have stomped all over private initiatives as intruding on the government's prerogative, and then used the lack of private initiative as an excuse for a vastly more muddled government reduplication which stifles all individual choice in the matter, and locks in the poor choice made without any hope of flexibility as conditions change.

How any rational person can know of these things and think it all just fine, like a cat with a dung covered bottom, is beyond me.

Re:Misdiagnosis (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43882655)

A program like this would be a target from day one, there is no forever in US politics.

Re:Misdiagnosis (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43882687)

Yes, the public sector has in deed died. If by died, you mean grown to several times its size at any other time in history. Just Google "federal budget" or something similar for pretty much any western country (excluding New Zealand and perhaps one or two others).

You are right in that we're seeing a structural failure. The name Solyndra comes to mind. That was the government actively wasting money on a dream, rather than solving a real problem. In addition to that, most startups fail. Angry Bird might have made money but the game industry in general is just about the worst place you can put your money. So when a young founder starts another trendy game company they aren't actually doing it for the money, unless they simply don't know where the money is.

Last off... How exactly is going back to the moon going to help strugling people here on earth? Poor people were starving in the states while Kennedy taxed them to put a bunch of people on a barren piece of rock. It's exactly the sort of grand sounding schemes which Nnaemeka writes about.

Re:Misdiagnosis (4, Insightful)

siride (974284) | about 10 months ago | (#43883027)

Solyndra was one failure out of many many successes or break-evens. That's the market. The government didn't actively waste money on one bad idea, they've provided funded a whole range of companies, with the expectation (apparently lacking in conservative circles) that some would succeed and some would fail. They aren't picking winners and losers, they are picking a good area of the market that needs some help, and it's gotten some good help. Look at Tesla. It's going to be paying off its government loans early. And all of these companies have gotten considerably more in outside funding than from the government. The market thinks they are a good idea too, and the market probably understands that not all good ideas pan out for a variety of reasons.

The federal budget is huge for three reasons: medicare/medicaid, social security and defense. You take out those three and you have a vastly smaller federal budget, which has been shrinking and shrinking over the years as we keep cutting those "wasteful" federal programs (by which I mean the ones that actually do useful stuff as opposed to providing a stopgap against a mismanaged healthcare system or lining the pockets of defense contractors). More importantly, though, is that the right has successfully convinced the public that academia and the public sector cannot be a source of good in society, and so there is now a concerted effort to destroy the ability for the government to do one of the few things government is actually good at (NSF funding provides great bang for buck over the long term), leaving R&D up to the fickle and short-sighted market. That's not to say the market is bad, but rather that there's a valid role for the public sector to play by virtue of its being outside of the market and disconnected from the short-term fluctuations and the need to make money NOW that the market requires. Also, the idea that we can contribute to a *res public* which will be a common effort to effect positive outcomes for society as a whole as part of the common good is dying a swift death. Government is evil, government is bad, working together (if there isn't a price tag or contract involved) is bad.

Re:Misdiagnosis (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about 10 months ago | (#43882753)

Even the high-tech teat will dry up. What happens when most new tech tools and toys that typical people find worth paying for are already last year's news? What happens when a million programmers are all the world needs, and all the goods anybody can afford can be produced by 500 million of the world's 10 billion people? Do you think the other 9.8 billion can be employed providing services to those 5% of people?

Re:Misdiagnosis (2, Insightful)

roman_mir (125474) | about 10 months ago | (#43882755)

I feel the only cure is a guaranteed minimum income.

- provided by??? You already have that, you have tens of millions of people on food stamps (snap), you have tens of millions of people not working ever, whether welfare or disability (real or imagined) or the never ending 'employment insurance', etc.

What is it that you want more of, you want people to be born and raised into perpetually doing nothing at all with themselves?

You already have that, many people end up killing themselves because of this nothingness.

It's not true at all that there is this 'limited' amount of work out there, there are literally BILLIONS of people on this planet whose needs are NOT SATISFIED in more ways than one. How come you don't want your fellow citizens to work towards satisfying those needs in the free market and would rather see all those potential resources being wasted just because your ideology makes you feel good (because you are obviously not going to be the one being directly forced to subsidise this worthless crowd, and it's worthless if it does nothing of any use to other people).

Re:Misdiagnosis (2)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 10 months ago | (#43882801)

I feel the only cure is a guaranteed minimum income. Let us solve all these problems at once, forever.

Wasn't a society like this depicted in "Judge Dredd" (or rather the newer "Dredd" movie)? 98+% unemployment, everyone living in gigantic public housing buildings, crime rates out of control with ultraviolent gangs controlling things, etc.

Re:Misdiagnosis (2)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about 10 months ago | (#43882907)

Western Europe is already a society like this, and the crime rates seem to be well in hand. And before anyone starts talking about Greece or Spain, the Scandinavian countries are more socialised than almost anywhere and are doing just fine.

"Heaving Underclass" is maintained by the State. (0)

couchslug (175151) | about 10 months ago | (#43882529)

We inherited a baseline underclass which was useful when manual labor was valuable. Now, most manual labor is not valuable yet deliberate policies ensure immigration (legal or otherwise) of people who are unskilled and compete with domestic unskilled people for the economic scraps remaining.

The War on Some Drugs coerces people to immigrate to the US for safety, but they have few jobs and end up ghettoized, disenfranchised, and self-destructive.

A variety of political calculation by both Parties ensures open borders and destroys what exclusivity (overloaded lifeboats SINK, the Industrial Revolution is OVER) might somewhat protect.

Underclasses are a result of surplus people. Too few humans of the right age mix weakens an economy, too many for available jobs (which are rapidly being destroyed by technology) and there will not be work for them so the State must provide bread and circuses. Populations which practice birth control including abortion have high quality of life. Uneducated groups who breed what they can't care for (even if Uncle Sugar is paying for the food) have chosen a lower quality of life.

When members of the underclass reject the old ways (consider the increasing number of Black women in higher education), they move up the ladder.

The only "solution" is "every man for himself" and his politically active subgroup. As long as we are rich enough to feed the underclass, we'll have domestic peace. People revolt for lack of food, nothing else.

Re:"Heaving Underclass" is maintained by the State (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about 10 months ago | (#43882763)

The only "solution" is "every man for himself" and his politically active subgroup. As long as we are rich enough to feed the underclass, we'll have domestic peace. People revolt for lack of food, nothing else.

Please explain the American revolutionary war. Americans were better fed than the people of the British Isles, at the time.

"Every man for himself" isn't a solution. It's a problem with no solution.

No real savings = no real businesses (2)

roman_mir (125474) | about 10 months ago | (#43882565)

It's about lack of real savings, it's about lack of investment, not abundance of 'dumb idea' chasers.

If there was much more savings in the system then there would be much more diversity in what businesses can get capital, but as is there same few investors are getting chased by a huge number of potential 'facebooks' or 'tumblers', etc.

So in reality what is happening is that smart people are choosing the most obvious path, they are simply chasing the very small amount of capital savings that exist and today the belief is that you need 'eyeballs' and that's it. Profits don't matter, as long as you can show revenues and eyeballs you can be the next billionaire.

But you can't be a billionaire if there is no investor willing to put a sizable chunk of money aside for your business to run debts for 5-10 years. The risk of losing that money is enormous in the system that basically punishes real capitalism and promotes socialism or fascism, whatever you want to call this system of collectivism and lack of individual rights. It's the freedoms that are the missing ingredient. Lack of freedom, huge collective that took over all the powers, enormous amount of regulation and extreme taxes and inflation. This is killing any business opportunity, carefully examine what happened to every real business in America (and Europe as well) since at least 1971, when the gold was no longer money and the entire world switched to fiat paper overnight.

The governments grew, so the spending grew, the taxes grew, the regulations grew, the number of various inspectors and regulators, the amount of legislation that businesses have to comply with, the new departments... all of this created enough barriers to businesses that they started looking for new ways to survive and they moved on to other, less regulated locations.

The inflation, the artificial unreal interest rates destroyed incentives to save, the entire policy of the modern Keynesian state is: spend, spend, spend, borrow, borrow, borrow, spend, spend, spend, print, print print what you can't borrow to spend.

There is NO PLACE there for: produce. Nothing about production, it's all about consumption, debt, spending and printing. There is nothing there that does NOT stand in the way of production.

With that in mind reassess the story here, the story here is not about smart people doing dumb things, the story here is that there are no savings, there are no investments to try something different. So people only try what they saw work the last time and they are very averse trying anything that did not already make money hand over fist for SOMEBODY, never mind how many failures this type of economy has produced trying to do the same thing over and over.

Re:No real savings = no real businesses (2)

couchslug (175151) | about 10 months ago | (#43882637)

There are plenty of capital "investments". Take the State I live in as an example. Continental Tire is spending more than half a billion dollars on a new tire plant, while Michelin and Bridgestone are expanding theirs. BMW exports SUVs to mainland China! Infrastructure investments are being made so the port of Charleston can handle greater traffic from these and other domestic businesses.

The main barrier to marketing "new ideas" is that we have all the basics and most luxuries covered! There is almost nothing American consumers "need" that they don't already have.

The main barrier to more employment is high productivity. You don't need meatsacks running manual production machinery when fewer meatsacks can produce vastly more product supporting machining centers and other automated production equipment.

Re:No real savings = no real businesses (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about 10 months ago | (#43882709)

You are giving examples of companies that HAVE savings, it's their money, that's not what I am talking about. The people who have savings because they already run successful businesses are more likely to expand their successful business model than invest in your weird long shot that nobody see succeed before.

You are not giving any example to the contrary, you are proving my point: if there are savings there is investment. The people you are talking about have savings (whatever wasn't taken away from them by the socialist / fascist State).

But there are no real savings in the system, the interest rates are artificially low, savings rate is probably at historic lows, people are paying historic high prices for things and government calls that "economic growth". It's not economic growth if the consumers have to spend more to buy fewer consumables this year than they paid for more consumables last year.

There are no real savings in the banks, banks post record profits from the carry trade between the fake money given out by the Fed and the low yielding papers sold by the Treasury, this carry trade gives creates the bond market inflation and gives them enough revenue to pump inflation into the stock market as well, while the Fed is also pumping inflation into the housing market (and other gov't guaranteed loan markets, like education, health care, etc.).

But there are no savings in the banks, there is no real money, nobody is saving when they have to pay more and more for the same goods this year that cost less last year.

There are people that are able to live on a wider margin because of the Fed, that's why there are all these hedge funds buying up single family homes in USA, bidding up prices, hoping to rent them. So it's the same money that comes to Treasury market and to stock market, actually in USA the Bond, the Stock and the Housing markets are the same market, they have the same exact risk rating in reality! There is no difference.

If somebody has real savings they can still expand their business, but why would they take a risk in this low savings environment to invest into new businesses, into your ideas?

Hooray! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43882569)

Yay! Another technocratic asshole to tell us what to do with our own productive effort.

Duh! The main reason few are focused on helping (2, Insightful)

mark_reh (2015546) | about 10 months ago | (#43882589)

the less fortunate is that you can't make any money off of them. Guys like Bill Gates, with all the money in the world, can afford to focus on that portion of the human population because they don't have to make money off of them. The rest of us have to eat and feed our families and send our kids to school.

Bullshit! (1)

lahvak (69490) | about 10 months ago | (#43882701)

That is complete bullshit, and you know it! There are many people who manage to eat, feed their families and send their kids to school, an in general make their living while helping what you call the less fortunate. It is hard work, it is often frustrating because it may often seem like it does not make any difference, but it is entirely possible. Of course, you may not be able to afford your huge house, new car, the newest TV and cable, but it is entirely possible to "make a living" that way.

Re:Bullshit! (1)

mark_reh (2015546) | about 10 months ago | (#43882859)

OK, I see you're a literalist. Let me put it this way: if you're trying to sell a product or service that costs $10, how much effort will it take to get $10 from a poor person who has to work for a couple hours to earn $10 (in the US anyway) vs getting $10 from someone who makes $10 in a couple minutes? It is harder to get a poor person to part with their money than a relatively rich person.

Slick Willie Sutton summed it up nicely when someone asked why he robbed banks: "that's where the money is".
(yes, I know, you take things literally and there is some disagreement about the origin of that quote...)

Bah (1)

swillden (191260) | about 10 months ago | (#43882607)

I have no patience with people who take it upon themselves to tell other people what they should be choosing to do with their lives and their businesses. If someone wants to write silly phone apps and there are enough people willing to shell out their own hard-earned money to buy them, then the existence of the customer base is enough justification for the existence of the apps. Apparently enough people find enough value in them to make them profitable. If not, well, then the "best and brightest" will go find something that more people do find valuable.

This argument about the "underclass" is particularly silly, because a large percentage of the American "underclass" has smartphones and buys the apps! Essentially, this guy isn't just telling the "best and brightest" what they should be doing with their time, he's also telling the "underclass" what they shouldn't be doing with their money. That sort of condescension is elitism of the worst order, because it allows elitists to feel they aren't being elitist, but rather "serving" the underprivileged -- who are clearly too stupid to make their own decisions.

Loaded words and misfired analysis (1)

Tony (765) | about 10 months ago | (#43882613)

His entire rant is a string of strawmen, ad hominems, non sequiturs, and question-begging. The problems he mentioned are all either social or political in nature. Otherwise, he's piling a lot of abuse and loaded words on people doing what they want to do: write programs.

The weird thing is, he identified the sources of the problems right in his rant. Single mothers living at or below the poverty line? The jobs they have don't pay well, are inflexible, and provide no relief for raising kids while trying to earn a living. Veterans waiting 8 months for medical attention? A processing system that is out-of-date and understaffed, and a health care system that has been gutted of funding.

What bright ideas are young software entrepreneurs are going to solve this? The software exist to make the VA more efficient, and it's not like you can just write a new piece of software and expect the government to make use of it (just like you can't do that for a big company).

These Big Problems don't have a software solution. He certainly didn't provide any ideas on how software might solve these Big Problems -- he just insisted on judging the career decisions of a group of people based on his preferences.

Fuck. That.

Re:Loaded words and misfired analysis (2)

taz346 (2715665) | about 10 months ago | (#43882927)

I think her point is exactly that these are problems that are "social and political in nature," and that our brightest minds are mostly writing inane apps instead of tackling them. Software solutions would help solve many of them but, as she says, doing that work is hard and doesn't offer much of an opportunity to strike it rich.

Okay, hire me - Oh, you don't want to PAY? (3, Informative)

pla (258480) | about 10 months ago | (#43882615)

Nnaemeka advises entrepreneurs looking for ideas to 'consider looking beyond the city-centric, navel-gazing, youth-obsessed mainstream' and instead focus on some groups that no one else is helping.

Mr. too-many-Ns: Smart people still need to eat. To put a roof over their heads. They may even hope to "get ahead" a bit, enjoy a life of reasonable comfort, and retire early with enough wealth to not end up a decrepit dependent of the state like most people.

Solving "important" problems doesn't accomplish those goals. Until you want to demonstrate the "importance" of your pet interests by paying me as much as industry does to work on inane, self-centric apps, GTFO.

That said - Come up with funding, and we can talk. Honestly, I believe virtually everyone would rather work on solving real problems than on building shoddy consumer crap to pad $CEO's bonus this quarter. But Einstein gots ta get paid, son.

That's his name you xenophobic shit (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43882713)

Apparently I have to type something here, but really, what more needs to be said than the headline

Re:That's his name you xenophobic shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43882861)

author is female

She not he.... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43882619)

From TFA: C.Z. Nnaemeka studied Philosophy at Wellesley; logically, she has spent most of her time in finance, beginning at Goldman Sachs. Born in Manhattan to Nigerian parents, she attended French schools, graduating from the Lycée FranÃais de New York. Since then she has alternated between writing, banking, and consulting to startups in Europe, Latin America, and Australia. Previously, she lived in Paris where she founded a political discussion group and was a foreign affairs commentator for the conservative newspaper, Le Figaro. She graduated from MIT in 2010, focusing on Entrepreneurship + Innovation.

Don't be stupid. If you don't bother to read, don't assume gender in your response.

Re:She not he.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43882681)

It just makes the phrase "self-righteous cunt" that I was going to use even more appropriate.

goldman fucking sachs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43882879)

this asshole wants to moralize lecture to people when she worked for one of the worst, most immoral companies on the planet?

Goldman Sachs caused the great recession. She needs to STFU

Score -1 Flamebait for energy/infrastructure (2)

TheRealHocusLocus (2319802) | about 10 months ago | (#43882621)

I found this article courageous interesting, though it bogs down in examples it stands apart from a great many rants I see day after day.

The author is NOT just attacking "silly things"... but referring to a decline of interest in building, maintaining and improving physical infrastructure. That complacency is real, it is dangerous and ultimately fatal.

Physical infrastructure is the entirety of things that make a comfortable existence possible. Safe drinking water and the system that delivers it, affordable electricity, sufficient food with variety and the global transportation and trade that make them affordable.

The desire to deliver a modern comfortable standard of living, through innovation in the building of infrastructure, is a moral imperative. As things stand we do not seem to be equipped or even interested to deliver these things. Before long we might not even be able to deliver Frito-Lay products.

The United States is losing ground on these things because in great part, we have diverted from the path that leads to total self-sufficiency for energy. Energy is a key to all of this. Anyone who runs the numbers on wind power should realize it is a crap solution. An obscene amount of investment capital has and is being spent on it. And too many people (including these 20 and 30-somethings unfairly singled out in the article) are brushing across lone voices in the wilderness suggesting a directed focus to solve this problem [slashdot.org] and thinking maybe, gee that's interesting... and moving on... not feeling that there is any kind of existential threat.

Rumors of the planet melting and sea levels inundating the shore have been greatly exaggerated. This is part of the problem, for some of the dumbest ideas ever conceived have arisen from it. And some of the smartest ideas for providing us with enough baseload energy to --- among other things --- heal the planet or offset our impact (yes it takes additional energy!) have gone unheard.

It's time to "grow up" a little, and take some time to set in motion certain real-life initiatives that will tip the balance to lock in this modern way of life, until it is really sustainable.

Then back to the fun and games.

In other words, clean your room.

The dumb ideas don't come from the smart people (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | about 10 months ago | (#43882629)

The dumb ideas come from dumb people with money - politicians.

Think for Yourself (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43882649)

People need to look beyond themselves. Remove the Google Glasses, put down the smart phones for a minute, get away from the TV and Internet for awhile. Why? Those are not your thoughts, they're thoughts of other people and strangers being absorbed into your mind. People need to step back and practice reflection and developing their own thoughts. Make it second nature. Else, apps and VC's are the least of our concerns.

VC's follow the money.

If the money's in shallow, narcissistic, navel gazinf apps, then that's where society is. Makes sense to me, at least look at the direction America is heading. We're not 'evolving' into a modern, accepting society, we're turning into an immature, intolerant and self absorbed society where every person is a self-important drone in their own private universe.

It's where the money and fame is... (1)

HockeyPuck (141947) | about 10 months ago | (#43882715)

VC's want to invest in the next Angry Birds app... short term return, not 20 year return on the creation of a drug that'll cure XYZ disease.

So where do the 20somethings want to go? Do they want to spend their time sitting in a lab somewhere at Big Pharma researching a drug? Or working for Cisco trying to create 1Tb Ethernet? Nope. Not sexy. Nobody is going IPO there.

The startup industry has dramatically changed over the years.

In the 80s and before, the purpose of a startup was to build a successful, long term business.
In the dotcom era, the purpose was to go public (IPO).
Post dotcom era, now that it's become so far to go public, the startups now just want to get bought.

So in the past two generations of startups, nobody has cared about building a long term successful business. The VCs have investors behind them that want immediate returns and it's not about making a living for yourself and your employees but "striking it rich" for the investors behind the VCs. Note that those people that invest in the VC are already *rich* so adding another $100k to their portfolio is not worth it.

Also as a 30something year old, who was 20something in the dot com bubble, fun atmospheres driving by promises of "retiring by 30" are like a drug.

The smartest don't want to become Social Workers, they want to make a killing with Social Networking.

Which smart people? (2)

prefec2 (875483) | about 10 months ago | (#43882725)

People who went to university are not smart. They have some more education, and some of them are even brilliant in their distinct field, but beside that, they are morons like everyone else. If you want to help the lower and middle classes, first, you have to provide a decent social security system, like Danmark, Norway, Sweden, Germany and similar countries. Second, you have to train people in a way so that they can find a purpose in life. That purpose is more important, than above minimal-income income. Third, there are people who really are not able to decide what they want in life. They need guidance. SO we as a society have to deliver that. But most prominently, we have to change the primary attitude in society or at least in economy: ME FIRST!

There are many excellent ideas on this planet. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43882733)

Still, it seems that most of the geniuses who invented and developed these ideas are mostly and gradually superseded by those whom strive or seek to exploit these ideas to their own advantage and enrichment. This pattern had been witnessed time and again. If the smart would build wise, most problems could be solved within half a century (a daring conjecture/forecast). With all resources combined and with coordinated efforts (on a global scale), infrastructure could be built from which all of mankind would benefit. Namely, access to free sustenance/water/power/culture/technology/etc. imagine the productivity of free minds that are able to develop and build at their own discretion. Certainly coordinated in one way or another.... Sublime. ;} *mind is an almost inexhaustible resource*

What I'd love these days here on earth, would at least be proper and accessible archives. Geez. Mankind.. so fine at times, and yet so undeserving at other times.

We are the 20% (2)

taikedz (2782065) | about 10 months ago | (#43882771)

I'd expect nothing less from a 1st world culture in general that says "do what YOU want to do," "find YOUR dream," "YOU're the most important to YOU." Reading the comments on this thread so far, it is evident that we'd rather remain blissfully ignorant and shift the burden elsewhere.

It's gruelling work to sort out the world's problems, and with no one-right-answer, fraught with the possibility of failure, as some commenters here can attest: one commenter demonstrates the core attitudinal problem - it takes effort to connect with someone from a different social background, with different concerns, priorities and fears for continued livelihood, to try and understand the problem, and formulate some answer, ANY answer, but at least to give a damn and TRY; some of us just aren't up to the task (though we can't necessarily be blamed for that much so long as we're not in denial). It's much easier to cater to the quick-wins, the plugged-in smart-phone-wielding, TV-watching, internet-addicted, money-squandering market and keep them happy. Fast money, cheap glory.

The first commenters demonstate the very sentiment under fire, that rather than recognizing that there are much more worthwhile questions to ponder than how to make the next best cheap app on the most expensive phones to date, or how to make their privileged lives even more privileged, they prefer to suggest that Nnaemeka is the whiny my-problems-aren't-solved person. Thing is, privileged netizen, YOUR problems ARE being solved.

Thankfully I too know the kind of people "O('_')O_Bush" points out, those who are toiling away, and even setting up locally successful ventures, to make communities, environments and the Environment better; though it's either an uneven distribution, in terms of attention gained vs actual work being done and achievements being made. I suspect we all know some such people. But we'd rather comment on the "celebrities" than focus on the great things happening on our own street.

We've riled as the 99% against the 1% and the sheer injustice of it all, but we forget that we're still part of the upper 20% that are still quite plumply sitting on another lowly 80%. We are the 20%, and we are unashamed.

They arent important problems to were the money is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43882797)

Or someone would have allready solved it.

Now shut up and get back to making more money for me ya nerd.

Or maybe... (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about 10 months ago | (#43882825)

We measure success with money and we assume that people are really smart because they figured out how to make money.

Despite the fact that the author is whining about people not doing what *he* thinks they should be doing, he is assuming that a person with the skill set to create a popular internet application of the year has the same skill set needed to solve real world problems.

Re:Or maybe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43882973)

I think the author is thinking about all the engineering skills that are needed to keep a Facebook or Google running and that the folks involved are very bright (I think they are) and they could be focusing their brains on something more worthwhile to the world instead of making sure people can share cat pictures. Hard not to agree.

Best and Brightest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43882843)

Demonstrating, once again, that intelligence is overrated. "Best and brightest" appears to be increasingly an oxymoron.

those 50+ unemployeds would love to work for (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43882855)

some of these 'bullshit' startups.

this guy acts like if you 'work on the problem of unemployment' you will somehow solve it.

yeah, by giving people fucking jobs.

so the 50+ could be working on doing stupid shit like instagram.... as opposed to what? greeters at walmart? id take working at fucking instagram 7 days a week over chasing down gangbangers shoplifting tube socks.

this guy decries the culture of inflexible work hours for single moms. so hire the single moms to work on instagram and other bullshit companies from home.

now, the vets cant get VA care because the VA is an inefficient shit hole.

oh no, wait, you want to send the 'best and brightest' to fight the bureaucracy. no, thats not how it works. you dont make a bureaucracy more efficient by throwing more money at it and hiring more people to do more studies of it. besides... what is your result going to be? throwing a lot of 50+ paper shufflers at the VA out of work and replacing them with computers. alot of those 50+ paper shufflers are themselves vietnam veterans. now you got a whole new class of underclass unemployed veterans with no health care ---- that you caused.

unless these people can find jobs in the new, bullshit startups, they might become homeless.

There is no problem that cannot be solved (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43882899)

if everyone would stop working on their problems and just work on your problem instead.

Defensive much? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43882943)

It's interesting to see the Slashdot crowd going into defensive mode. Makes the author's point perfectly.

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