Twofish's Blog

July 23, 2006

I don’t love my job….. but I love open source…

I love my wife.  I love my kids.  I love science.  I love learning.  I love MIT.  I love gardening.  I love the United States.  I love China.  I love the Republic of China on Taiwan.  I love quantlib.  I love linux.  I love wikipedia.

I learned about love from my family, one of many Chinese-American academic families.

I don’t love my job…..

The problem with my job is that it is difficult to love someone that doesn’t love you back, and if someone loves you, they will try to promise never to leave you, and they promise to help you if something bad happens.  In a world driven by profits, a commercial company simply cannot promise you that they won’t kick you out if the going gets rough.  Love is reciprocal.  If the company does not love you, then they have no reason for you to love them back.

(Note: I want to love the University of Phoenix, but I don’t know if they will let me.)

My current employment is not about love, it is about money.  One must be very careful when mixing love and money.

Love and open source are related…..

I don’t love the program I’m working on at work.  I made that mistake once.  I fell in love with a piece of non-open source software (Halliburton – Landmark Graphics – Petroworks).  When you love something, you want to make it better.  I came up with many, many ideas about how to improve the software, because I loved it.  One idea is to integrate software display modules into web pages that will help geologists have a lot of contextual information about geological structures.  I left the company, I can’t work on that software.  It was a mistake to love that software since someone could and did arbitrarily take away that software.

(By the way, Halliburton is a massively incompetent company, and Landmark Graphics is a dead shell of a subsidiary.  Everyone in the industry, except maybe for Halliburton upper management, knows this, and I think we’d have a better world if people weren’t afraid to state the obvious.)

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