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Altruism @ Microsoft

by BigLug (Chaplain)
on Jan 09, 2003 at 03:09 UTC ( #225421=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Top goal for 2003

Its great to see that the option to 'Win the Lottery' is coming last (at the moment). I guess the altruism probably comes with the open source movement. It'd be interesting to run the same poll inside Microsoft :)


Comment on Altruism @ Microsoft
Re: Altruism @ Microsoft
by cLive ;-) (Parson) on Jan 09, 2003 at 07:42 UTC

    Its great to see that the option to 'Win the Lottery' is coming last (at the moment). I guess the altruism probably comes with the open source movement.

    Really? I thought it was because most people here understand how probability works :)

    The lottery is basically a tax on the poor. Publicising people who win makes millions dream it could be them. What about publicising things that have a higher chance of happening to you. Every year the odds of certain events happening to you:

    • being struck by lightening and killed (4,210,857 to 1)
    • being electricuted (550,382 to 1)
    • dying while flying in air/space transport (250,032 to 1)
    • dying as the result of a fall (17,702 to 1)
    • dying in a motor accident (6,078 to 1)

    Whereas the odds of winning the jackpot in the California Super Lotto Jackpot (for example), are about 18,000,000 to 1.

    Sanity Check - what a bummer, eh?

    .02

    cLive ;-)

    Update: To clarify, those stats above are per year, but the lotto odds are per entry, so they are a little screwy, but you get the idea :)

      got me one of them "jobs" so I can help to fund my trip to germany this summer... the hours are going to kill me with school and all, but in the end it will be worth it. I hear German beer is really good.


      work it harder make it better do it faster makes us stronger more than ever hour after our work is never over.
        since you'll be in the region go try it all, dutch beer, belgium beer, its all good. its all beer.
      The lottery is basically a tax on the poor.

      I like to think of it as a stupidity tax :)

      --
      <http://www.dave.org.uk>

      "The first rule of Perl club is you do not talk about Perl club."
      -- Chip Salzenberg

        Im going to go live in the mountains with out any electricity. I will eat wild pigs and dance around the fire. Them I will probably get sick of that and start coding again. Hmm, or I could take that other option and get a life.
        Interesting facts. But I've always wondered how these things are figured.

    • Being struck by lighting and killed (4,210,857 to 1)

        Is this for the whole year or every second of everyday? Does that make any sense?

            --JD      

        Aloha,

        The chance depends on so many variables it's barely even worth considering if you're not planning to spend at least week researching it. As with any event, the chance of it occuring is completely dependent on your current situation. A statistic like that is of very little value as it is at best just the number of people in the world divided by the number of people in the world struck by lightning per year. The measurements of which are also highly unreliable..

        That said, take a look at How Likely Are You to Be Struck by Lightning?.

        Aloha

        Surely they would be the same thing...?

        1 in 4,210,857 of being struck (per second) would equate to a 31,536,000 in 132,793,586,352,000 chance of being struck per year.

        Regards,


        Gerard
Re: Altruism @ Microsoft
by Anonymous Monk on Jan 09, 2003 at 15:38 UTC
    I guess the altruism probably comes with the open source movement. It'd be interesting to run the same poll inside Microsoft

    Yeah, if you ran it inside Microsoft you'd probably find people were actually contributing.

    All this Microsoft bashing seen in the open source community is really pathetic. Microsoft's Chairman gives 5.5 Billion (yes, Billion) to charity and what have these supposedly "altruistic" open source hackers contributed? Well, probably an average of a couple thousand lines of code.

    So these open source people are supposedly better? Any one who believes so is completely delusional.

    Criticize Microsoft for predatory business practices, criticize them for not complying with standards, but do not delude yourself into believing the company, or the people who work for it are somehow lesser than you.

    Have a nice day.

      I'm sorry you felt it best to remain an annonymous monk. If you want to argue something at least show your face. Membership here is completely free and is open to anyone.

      Yes, Bill and Melinda Gate's foundation has given 5.5 Billion dollars to what you call 'Charity'. However I'd like to point out that for someone with a wage of 50K you can guess that their net worth might be about 300K (just a guess) compared to Gates net worth being about 450B. Extrapolating percentages this means that Gates has donated 1.2% of his net-worth. For our 300K person, 1.2% means donating 3.7K to charity.

      Now, lets compare that to a 'couple thousand lines of code'.

      To write this code, to debug it and to maintain it would take 30mins per line. (This is a guess based on my own experience of planning, writing, error-checking, maintaining and documenting). If we take 'couple thousand' to be 2000, then we're talking about 1000 hours. At 1000 hours, you'd be being paid $3.70 PER HOUR to be as 'altruistic' as Mr and Mrs Gates.

      Next, can I point out that the Gates' gave 1.6 billion to 'Education'. Education donations are (annecdotally) in the way of Windows PCs to schools. These computers come with a one year licence to use MS software. At the end of that time, the schools have to either uninstall all the software or pay out huge amount for the licence renewals.

      While I do not consider myself better than anyone, I do not think your arguments hold water. I will criticize MS for whatever I want and will especially criticize Mr Gate's supposed donations to 'Charity'. As Mr Gates does not know me, I cannot talk to him personally about my concerns about his money-grabbing practices. Instead what I can do is talk in such forums as these. I can make people aware of the differences between MS and OS ideologies. Maybe many of the serfs are as altruistic as OS contributors and may write OS in their own time (which their contracts with MS will say belongs to MS).

      I am having a nice day. You do so to, Mr/Ms Anonymous.

        I'm sorry you felt it best to remain an annonymous monk. If you want to argue something at least show your face.

        Sigh. They never learn.

        To write this code, to debug it and to maintain it would take 30mins per line.

        Unless each line is a 150 character regex, this is a completely ridiculous estimate. Two lines an hour? You realize that's not even 50 lines/24hr day right? So you're saying a 100,000 line program would take you something like 6 years to complete, working 24hrs/day 7 days a week? That's flat out insane.

        For our 300K person, 1.2% means donating 3.7K to charity.

        No, for your 300k person, it means donating 5.5 Billion. Money is Money, period. If you don't have 5.5 Billion, well go make it. Striving for mediocrity and then saying you're more altruistic because you give away a higher percentage than a multi-billionaire, isn't very respectable (although it's still better than most).

        Oh, and there's also the minor fact that code doesn't equal money. In the cases of very successful open source projects, they can benefit poorer countries, but they're not money, they're not food, they're not life-saving drugs. Don't forget this.

        I am having a nice day. You do so to, Mr/Ms Anonymous.

        Thank you. It's nice to see flamefests can still be civil :). I'm afraid I'll have to end this one though. Judging by the fundamental differences between fact(me) and opinion(everyone else ;) continuing it would take up far too much of my time. Feel free to keep the discussion going though, I'm sure somebody else will step in.

        Have a nice day :)

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