Monthly Archives: November 2013

“Get back to work, and stop asking questions like that.”

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Daniel Payne, commenting on “Revisiting Andy Grove’s Only the Paranoid Survive“,

Ed, great story on how Intel has changed over the years. I was at Intel designing DRAM chips from 1978-1980 and will never forget coming into work one day and reading that Mostek had leap-frogged Intel by introducing the first 64Kb DRAM, while I was working on a 16Kb DRAM. I asked my manager why we were a generation behind, and he simply said, “Get back to work, and stop asking questions like that.”

During the time period of 1982-1986 about 25% of Intel employees quit the company or were down-sized after going through a hiring freeze, wage freeze, 10% pay cuts, and being asked to work 2 extra hours per day (unpaid). It was especially difficult to hear the continued bad economic news from executives like Dave House, who would drive up in his expensive sports car.

Having said all of that, Intel was still the best-run hardware company that I’ve worked at. Their Management By Objectives worked quite well.

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Britain’s glorious war resisters

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According to Adam Hochschild about some anti-war heroes from nearly a century ago

It was in Britain that significant numbers of war resisters first acted on their beliefs and paid the price. They did not even come close to stopping the bloodshed, but their strength of conviction remains one of the glories of a dark time. By the conflict’s end, more than 20,000 British men of military age would refuse the draft. Many, on principle, also refused the noncombatant alternative service offered to conscientious objectors, and more than 6,000 served prison terms under harsh conditions: hard labor, a bare-bones diet, and a strict “rule of silence.” This was one of the largest groups ever jailed for political reasons in a Western democracy. War opponents behind bars also included older men—and a few women—as well. If we could time-travel our way into British prisons in late 1917 and early 1918 we would meet the nation’s leading investigative journalist, a future winner of the Nobel Prize, more than half a dozen future members of Parliament, one future cabinet minister, and a former newspaper editor who was now publishing a clandestine journal for his fellow inmates on toilet paper. It would be rare to find a more distinguished array of people ever imprisoned together.