Not making a difference since 2006. Blog motto: Always be sincere whether you mean it or not.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Paul Graham is no gentleman

Paul Graham is a startup guru who writes about that culture and reveals something about himself and his class.  In a recent

post on his own site, he argues to let the floodgates open to talent.

He posits that as;

The US has less than 5% of the world's population. Which means if the qualities that make someone a great programmer are evenly distributed, 95% of great programmers are born outside the US.

Though he says if certain qualities are evenly distributed, he is not arguing whether or not that if is correct. Without doing that, there is no point in opening the sluices. Of course, as he has said the technology companies are right, so that implies he is using his words in the paragraph quoted as justification.

Now Mr. Graham is not so much an idiot to believe much is evenly distributed in this world.  It is possible that it was something off the top that he didn't pay much attention to.  Not a quality prized in someone in the business of choosing startups.

That is not the question the voice of humility wishes to address.  Rather it is that there is a class of vastly successful entrepreneurs who have no sense of fellow feeling for their countrymen.  They probably make some nice noises, but the general tenor is the lumpen Yank is slow and we can't do without the more advanced peoples from exotic locales.

Here at the tvoh we have looked askance at the antics of our foreign policy elite.  Even if our wish came true and the foolish overseas adventures ended, we would still need an army.  None of the startup class would rush to the colors.

this is the point, these men are not an aristocracy.  They are just smart guys who made big money on their ideas.  We are not without libertarian leanings and to a degree many of those who have done well have such a point of view.  One hardly has to agree with Liz Warren to think these guys want a bit of a free ride.

They may see their assets protected in Singapore and could possibly duplicate some of Silicon Valley culture there, but few other places would they feel safe.  The brainiac class depends on the goodwill of their lower orders more than they think.  That they have so little fellow feeling means the class lacks nobility.  That they don't seek out talent among American citizens is damning.  There is probably a pool of gringos out there who could rise to the higher level of programming Graham wants, but he ain't looking for it.

In Downton Abbey, the snobbish dowager says; "An aristocrat with no servants is as much use to the county as a glass hammer."  She knew that not providing employment for those she lived amongst took away some of the rationale for her class.  This doesn't mean I'm suggesting titles be given out, we hardly need Earl Paul of Central Square or Count Sergey of Mountain View.  It would be nice, however, if they felt themselves part of the nation.  Of course, one should not think they lack for servants.

The voice of humility is not against all immigration.  If Gupta is a true super programmer, let him in.  We have average enough that if he is run of the mill, let's not be overly ready.

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