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Re: Pepsi vs. Coke

Hello all,

I'm jumping in...

The Baron of MindSpring <[email protected]> wrote:
>The #1 reason for school is not education, it's socialization. Do you REALLY
>think it should take 12 years for kids to learn what a god damn noun is? 
>No WAY! 

If we were able to teach kids more by the time they reach 16, we would. One
of the problems society has in growing beyond our current state of technology
is that the populace has no way to understand (or contribute to) progress
even with a good basic education. It's more and more up to experts, and since
there are more and more areas to be expert IN, there are overall less experts
for each scientific community.

Believe it or not, the main function of school actually IS education. Teaching
kids socialization is just a nice extra. They'd learn socialization anyway in
the workplace and at home (compare third-world countries where kids get almost
no formal education, and start working real young).

>In fact, money is NOT the leading motivator for jobs. I would say it is a
>strong de-motivator but it isn't why you decide to be a teacher. Would you
>do a better job if MS paid you $32K per year for your work?

One would consider staying there longer, feel more appreciated and motivated
in doing a good job, have more of a team-spirit instead of upper-management
vs. workers atmosphere, etc... Altogether, I'd say that decent wages make for
a better job done.

>Puhshaw, you'd do the same thing you do now... I'm sure if they paid your
>parking pass you'd be happier, though. But that's another benefit I suppose...
>You do it because you like it and because you feel it is an important
>contribution to your work.

Sorry to say this, but you sound like a manager that has absolutely no clue
on how the average worker thinks. Raises matter. They're a bottomline
indicator of what the company thinks of ones work, how much they value one,
how proud one can be for having that job... and of how much effort one will
spend to try to find a better job.

>>What's your solution, instead of just pointing out some
>>obvious flaws in a system?
>Well, first I would make some federal changes. I'd yank out the department of
>education (aka nea lobby), and hand off most pieces to the states, along with
>the purses that match. [...]
>Second, I would encourage states to take the money and do some work with their
>schools. I would encourage spending money on aesthetics of the buildings and 
>make them happier more fun places to be. Of prime importance would be desks,
>where students spend a majority of their time.

So, first you say to move the responsibility of providing education to the
States, and then you spend time explaining that the Federal Government should
tell the States how to live up to that responsibility. That's twisted. Either
put the responsibility with the States and only judge them on results, or
put the responsibility with the Federal Government and do micro-management.
To quote a relevant portion of the Mindspring Core Values and Beliefs:

 "We respect the individual, and believe that individuals who are treated with
  respect and given responsibility respond by giving their best."

I suggest doing the same towards the States.

>I've gotta go now, I have a 10am meeting. I can say this. If you look at
>MindSpring, we've been VERY succesful. We have our nay sayers, and the
>company itself is not perfect. However, we have done a LOT with our basic
>core values and some good initiative. 
>The fact that we have several geeks that are willing to work for low pay shows
>you that compensation is not a big deal.

It shows two things:
1) Mindspring is the kind of company that will pay their employees as little
   as they can get away with. The value of the employee doesn't matter, just
   the financial bottom-line for management.
2) Some Mindspring employees could make more money doing what they love doing
   if they only bothered looking outside Mindspring. You see, Mindspring isn't
   the only company where that kind of work needs to be done.

>It comes back to what I said about energy and control and attitude and 
>encouragement. We have lots of energy because we have a driving passion toward
>our work. We accomplish lots because we have the control of our "world" and
>can make relevant and necessary decisions. We, generally, have a good attitude
>toward our customers and treat them with respect (as well as each other),
>and we receive lots of encouragement.

What you don't seem to be able to recognize, is that there *IS* no 'we' at
Mindspring Enterprises. Back when it was a small company, there definitely
was a 'we' that refered to all people working there. That sense of community
is gone now the company has grown so much, and it's just a matter of time
before the employees wake up and start wondering why they are working so
hard for so little pay. The money is there, but who gets it and why?
Employee loyalty can only be abused for so long.

 "We make commitments with care, and then live up to them. In all things,
  we do what we say we are going to do."

What about them raises, heh? ;-)

"Do you hear the people sing, Lost in the valley of the night?
 It is the music of a people, Who are climbing to the light.
 For the wretched of the earth, There is a flame that never dies.
 Even the darkest night will end, And the sun will rise." -- Les Miserables