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Discussions générales, liens…

I promised it. I’m gonna give it to you. It might seem exaggerated, but it’s not. At all.

How my capitalist job turned out being soviet hell

I’ve been working in the computer’s departement of this insurance company for 20 months now. This insurance company is a subset of a large French bank, which is owned by a subset of the Banque de France (sort of). This insurance company makes warranty on money loans ; banks all over France pay this insurance company to be sure the money they lend to small emerging companies will be back in the safe eventually. To put it bluntly, the insurance company makes (a lot of) money over money made over people willing to earn money by people whose main interest is money.

It should be a very capitalist job, even for a computer engineer. But the last half-dozen months have been quite disturbing. In a totalitarian way.

The head of the IT department has been fired, sort of. It has been replaced by random consultants (from a big French computing company) whose methods are rather unexpected.

All of what has been made before was crap. All of what is going to be made now is going to be made differently, even if it implies loss of efficiency and productivity. (also known as « the 1917 revolution »)

– You are not allowed to know what the head thinks and wants. You just do your job. You aren’t smart enough to understand the System. By the way, you shouldn’t be able to do various tasks anymore. You’re a specialized worker from now. (aka « the proletarian revolution »)

– If a mere (productive) worker leaves, he/she won’t be replaced. His/her job will be atributed to another worker. Moreover, if the Board says you must achieve three tasks in the same time, all of them share the same level of priority. (aka « the quinquennal plan »)

– You are not asked to work better ; that would probably imply changes in the dogma. You are asked to work more. (aka « stackanovism »)

– It’s the Board’s job to make things work better, to make people happier. You ought to feel better thanks to the presence of the Board. Why wouldn’t you ? (aka « the russian army in Prague, 1968 »).

– The Board is always right. The System is always right. If you prove things are different from what the dogma says, you’re insane and will be eliminated. Anyway, even if you agree with the dogma, you will be eliminated sooner or later. (aka « Moscow’s trials »)

– Delivering the software to end users is a bourgeois ideal. Only the Board knows what is good for everybody. (aka « stalinism »)

Everybody understands why I leave ? (all of Milan Kundera’s works and Hannah Arendt’s The Totalitarian System were my main sources of inspiration).

Speaking of soviet union, here’s the Tetris Taxonomy.


I’m so tired, my day at job was stupid and boring, i feel dizzy, i just want to go to sleep. i hope i’m not on the verge of getting a cold. Plus the fridge is empty and i’m hungry. Hopefully, tonight the instant noodles save my life. 400 ml of boiling water, and I will eventually feel 15 minutes of relief, feeding my stomach.

You lucky bastards. sells Radiohead tickets at Saint-Denis for october the 20th at 210 FF (i got mine at 250 FF).

<french>Vous voulez gagner des millions ? des chèques de 5 FF ? Moi je pratique le bananalotto qui ne coute rien. Pour rajouter du piment (?) à ce jeu con comme la lune, je lancerai une compet’ à la fin du mois : à celui qui aura accumulé le + de chèques… Pour l’instant, entraînez-vous.</french>

Now : a) noodles b) bed. Everyone’s favourite bachelor evening.

And sorry for the lame corporate links.

Last friday, Nita brought me to this huge asian restaurant in chinatown, Paris. It was a wonderful evening. Try to play a Madison track to a crowd of old chinese people, you’ll see them rush on the dancefloor and move their body like it’s the last dance of their life. As Titi (Nita’s sister) definitely put it, Madison is the ultimate cult dance for asiatics. I love to discover when people are weird. That’s so cute. (if anybody knows a web about the madison dance, please tell me ’cause i didn’t find one worthwhile, and, who knows ?, if anybody has an explanation, that would be very nice to you to share it with me…).

NP : Guided by Voices — Do the Collapse. Did I ever mentioned that this record is amazing ? Bob Pollard is a genius, if anybody still had doubts.

Travis, from the Dismemberment Plan, talks about his band’s amazing last album Emergency & I to Excerpt :

And I think it was a major educational process for me because I hated it at first. So did the rest of the band. We didn’t enjoy the process of it at first because [producer] J Robbins put our noses to the grindstone. Don’t just wing it and go in and see what happens when the tapes are rolling. Know your part and know it while you’re playing it. It kind of made us feel like less of musicians. Then I got away from the album for a little while and it started to make the rounds to our friends and I realized that we had made a record of songs, as opposed to a record of us playing our instruments. It was an enormously maturing process and, like all maturing processes, it was very humiliating.

I enormously agree to this last sentence. (Main entrance to Lost At Sea here.)

This guy is sooo lucky… You can say what you want about Britney, but she’s hot. dot. At least she doesn’t want us to believe she’s doing Aaaaart (fans of Céline Dion, this one was for you ; wake up please). Britney, it’s just money, teen lust and mainstream musak, you are warned from the beginning.

And please spare me your feminist shit like this Rachel Thing email.

A spiritual joke is pleasing from times to times.

Remember the purity test ? An old internet classic you should do. I did it again a moment ago (oops!) and I couldn’t get under the score of 74% of purity, again. I’m so straight…

Anyway, for my male readers, the new hip test is the suave-o-meter which will tell you how appreciated you are by girls as a potential love-mate. I won’t tell you my score, since as adam stated it (to fellow webloggeurs) :

any credibility you had in claiming « suaveness » was immediately shot the second you posted your score on the « suave-o-meter » to your weblog. in this post

Anyway, people from any gender are encouraged to try the others tests from, which are well-written, interesting, and above the standard of your disappointing boy/girl magazine summer tests.

My friend Richard maintains his large website (in French), where you can find the famous « Zone Pingouin », evidences that he’s a php3 guru, and a large collection of useful links, among many other stuff. Go there to find the view of a guy who’s been a professional webmaster for more years than any dumb start-up empty-headed prick in the business since Time said it’s hot money-making. Respect.

Hey ! Are you all sleeping ?

The only reaction I got so far ’bout this blog came from Nick, my old friend (almost ten years, mate!) who’s trying to be more leftist than me and wins :

« that may be a different way to use internet » : very elegantly said ; I hope that at least there are porn sites in your weblog…:-)

(translated by me)

Thanks for the humour… but not for the sarcasm ! Yes, there’s another way to use internet, which is not driven by money, greed and the pursuit for power. But you’ve got to search behind a thick layer of crap sites to find it. I guess that it’s the purpose of weblogs to generate a mutual aid network to help people digging…

Enough theory. And… there isn’t porn links so far here, but why not ? A bit of erotism here.

Dinette’s weblog has a wonderful design, and it’s quite funny.