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The Almighty Buck

Hacking The City 150

Luddite Joe writes: "All you geeks should feel empowered and important after reading this story at Stating the Obvious about the young IPO rich changing the world. The example focused on is Jamie Zawinski, former Netscape coder turned critic. Although the guy's just opening a nightclub, stick with the article for the point."
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Hacking the City

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  • by doctor_oktagon ( 157579 ) on Saturday November 11, 2000 @10:07PM (#629603)
    The article says Jamie was 29 on April Fools Day 1999, but now he's 32?

    Did we slip through some cosmic wormhole while I was on the sauce last night???

  • What the f**k kind of books do you read and how much?? are you some looser sitting in your mom's basement playing on your tandy spending all your money on porno 'cause you coulden't get a girlfreind due to your 5 year plan that starts with getting a job in a PORNO STORE so you can buy cheeper porno? If you can't afford BOOKS, I'm suprised you could afford the electricity to post your innane and offtopic reply to this story. we are all stupider for having read this.

    First, you should read my response to thread below.

    Second, you are probably replying to a kid. Good books are expensive. And I don't mean fucking hairy porter or whatever. How many high school students do you think can afford to spend $100 a month on books?

    Frankly, I think exactly this sort of ridiculous price fixing is an excellent motivation for a "bookster" like program. Unlike lame-ass fucking music which does nobody any good, there is no question that the pricefixing on educational materials is definitely creating an economic/ divide. Sure, computers cost money, but you can access computers at a lot of different places. Many people have cheap computers and internet access. Being able to access current educational materials over the internet I think could do a lot of good.

  • Relax. Calm down. The world's not out to get you. And you might want to stop hating people with money before you turn into one of them, because otherwise you're going to air-condition your skull before you turn 30.
    lovely turn of phrase. Com2kid is obviously VERY tense about something. I wonder how old he is, and what kind of education? The only time I see that kind of rhetoric is skinhead groups and elections.

  • I am a fast reader. In fact, I can read up to 900 pages a day.

    New paper back fiction books cost $10 a piece, if they are a few years old but still new, they cost $7-$8 each.

    Three books a day, at $10, thats $30 a day in reading.

    $210 a week, $900 a month, $10950 a year.

    Yes I am a high school student, and my family currently earns UNDER $20,000 a year.

    I'm on the arse end side of the poverty line, yet I spend EVERY last cent I have on getting ahead in this world, and I have been doing so since i was five years old (when I first learned the value of a doller). So don't tell me about who's some lamer with nothing to do, spending 12hours a day reading and learning is a full time job, and its the only way I'm going to get any place in life. Thats why it pisses me off to see people throw around money in useless ventures, and god knows the part about the druggues is true too. (Trust me, there are far to many students doing drugs in america's schools who also have the audacity to show up stoned out of there mind and make a mess of the classroom.)

    Oh yah, and fiction, means Asimov, Clarke, and such. Reprints cost money, and even at a 1/2 price book store, $2.50 to $5 per book is still expensive at three books a day. This is why i am forced to cut down on the number of books I can read a day (people say there is a reading crisis in america, hah, those of us who try to do somthing about it are screwed over thanklessly) too one or two.

    You want to know my I was so pissed in my orignal post? Simple, I *HATE* rich people, can't stand'em. Always throwing their money away into useless prusuits. Sheesh, if I had that kind of money, I'd go out and earn five or so Ph.D's, just for The Sake of Learning.

    Oh yah, and learn the rules of debate. Attacking a person personaly (spelling and such) is not a way to disprove their thoughts and idea's, but rather, only a way to divert your arguments around the truth. Spelling is not a valid argument, morals and ethics are.
  • I am a fast reader, 900pages a day. Library, new books? Hah, we have a bunch of under 150pg books for the jocks on "drug use is bad" and "don't use steriods" Thats all that the school's funding is going to. The excuse? "We buy books for the majority of people."

    There is not a single teacher in my school who knows anything about programming, in fact, there is not a single programming instructer in my whole school DISTRICT. This wouldn't be so bad, but I am not a self learner when it comes to programming languages (I always want to ask questions and jump around chaoticly, as is my learning style, but this is not possabile with most books on programming languages.)

    Oh yah, and I support ASM, not C. You try finding a modern book on ASM, its NOT easy. The newest that my cities library system possess's, announces the soon to be release of the Pentium.

    As stated in an above message, reading at full speed, I can go through $30 of books A DAY not a week. Even at half price, I can easily spend $15 a day, whilst you spend a mere $15 a week.

    Personal Library? I have well over 300 books, and at least two shelves of Asimov alone, both his fiction and non-fiction.

    (and please, nobody try and question the learning value of science fiction, old school science fiction is alot more educational than most science courses)
  • How nice, I have compleatly read out TWO libraries already (my schools, and my cities) of all of their intresting works.

    I regularly take home 10 books and finish them within a few days.

    Of course I then return them about 2 months later with a $60 fine, heh, libraries get quite expensive for me (I have a horrid memory for dates, places, or anything else that deals with the physical realm.)
  • Heh, reading 600+ pages on a CRT moniter (god i can't wait until LCD's come down in price some more!) is the PERFECT way to fry your eyes.

    Trust me, I know, my eyes burn right now.

    Of course your COULD print the book out, but god, then you have 600 pages of paper floating all around your house (unless you have an industrial quality stapler, heh:)
  • Since he's listed as 29 on April 1, 1999, and 32 at the time of the article...

  • by TheDullBlade ( 28998 ) on Sunday November 12, 2000 @01:50AM (#629611)
    It should read, "All you geeks who got incredibly rich from IPO dollars should feel empowered and important after reading this..."

    We apologize for this minor typo, and hope that this doesn't make any of you little people feel bad when you think of us slashdot people throwing big wads of Andover cash at each other.

    We were like you once, before God recognized his Chosen people and raised us above the slime. You should be thankful that you don't have to deal with the terrible problem of what to do once you're rich beyond having to work. This man was one of the lucky ones, who learned that he could still make a difference in the world by selling an addictive intoxicant, and wasn't bound to a hopeless life of doing whatever he wanted whenever he wanted.


    The /. management.

  • >Hmm. They smoke dope. You're endorsing the >outright murder of people without giving them >any benefit of fair trial, any chance at rehab, >any... etcetera.

    >For someone whose lament seems to be "I don't >have an opportunity", you sure seem pretty keen >on denying other people opportunities.

    They used up their opportunities by wasting their minds away on drugs. There are not enough natural resources to go around to waste on the drug users in society. While they burn up resources and their brains, people around the world starve and suffer. How many people could you feed in a third world country from one persons crack/cocain habit, eh? I believe in giving everybody a chance, thats why the people who DENY themselves oppertunity should have their chance given to somebody else. After all, if a person is 18 and still believes that fart jokes are funny, the odds are they that are never going to mature.

    >>I cannot stand people with money...

    >According to St. Paul, love of money is the root >of all evil. By extension, so is the hatred.

    Hmm, thats an intresting logic.

    If A is True then B is True. Also opposite of B is true.

    Applying your magical theory of logic;

    Because not murdering is good, murdering is also good.

    Hmm, doesn't qute work, too absolute. Thats defintly an all blanketing statement, and god knows, all blanketing statements are bad.

    For clerification, I wouldn't instantly shoot all drugs users, just the ones who have proven themselves to have no hope of redemption. You know the ones, jumping up and down in the middle of lectures, coming in every day smelling like ::insert gasious substence of choice here:: and who seem to think that school is a place for playing, not learning.

    If they are going to be immature enough to interupt other peoples education with their antics, then they DESERVE to die. Period. Anybody who interupts are otherwise interfears with education deservers to die. This includes republicans, middle mangement, and bean counters.

    Oddly enough, all three of those tend to be either middle or upper class, what a coincidence.

    Of course the fact that the middle and upper clase are some of the most hard heading stubborn short sited, addle minded people in existence also doesn't speak well for their existence. It is idiots like that who voted for Bush.
  • Hackers are good at what they do. Computers. Just because someone who can think creatively with a computer doesn't mean at all that they would do a better job at running a night club than anyone else. This is ridiculous. Yes, I'm happy he's trying to do something, but it sounds like he's having his mid-life crisis a little too soon.
  • Skinhead? Hardly, african american/italian/native american. You can hardly get much more diverse then that.

    I hate politics, so thats out.

    Look at the timestamp on the message, people tend to rant and rave a bit above norm at 1:47 in the morning.

    The fact that I don't drink caffinee at all doesn't help any,heh, ::grins
  • by Anonymous Coward
    You know, I used to have a problem with my successful career. People treated my like a young hotshot who would be going very far. I, on the other hand, felt like a cheat because most of my greatest achievements had been mostly strokes of luck.

    Later I've have realized that there's nothing wrong with being lucky. Being successful takes both hard work and luck. It's your hard work that prepares you so that you recognize and quickly take advantage of the opportunities brought to you by the luck.

  • Don't live in the Bay Area anymore!

    Rather, they live in countries on the other side of the world with low costs of living, and work for companies in the Bay Area, with still higher effective savings than someone living there on the same salary, even after flying across the Pacific every now and then each year?

    Wouldn't that be nice? :-)

  • They used up their opportunities by wasting their minds away on drugs.

    So now you're God, able to pass judgment on who's worthy and who's not? God at least has the common decency not to judge anyone until the Last Day.

    (For the record, my references to religion are meant to be metaphorical; introducing issues of religious belief here would just make an incendiary discussion worse.)

    There are not enough natural resources to go around to waste on the drug users in society.

    And they might say there aren't enough natural resources in society to go around to waste on self-loathing teenagers. Who gets to decide who's right?

    The answer is: the economy. Economics is the study of choice and resource allocation. If you have money, you get to decide how resources are allocated. If you don't, then you still get to decide how resources are allocated--you just decide fewer resources.

    It's not a very fair system, I'll admit. Still, it's the best one we've got. As Winston Churchill said, "The inherent vice of capitalism is its unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is its equal sharing of miseries."

    Hmm, thats an intresting [sic] logic. If A is True [sic] then B is True [sic]. Also [the] opposite of B is true. Applying your magical theory of logic; Because not murdering is good, murdering is also good.

    Not quite. Murder isn't an emotional state. Most extreme emotional states are really just two sides of the same coin. If you can't love someone, then at least hate them, because that shows they still mean something to you. That's why I still hold out some hope for you; okay, sure, you hate the rich and want to kill them. By extension, you hate me and want to kill me, since I'm an engineer working on wickedly-cool software and get paid somewhere between insanely and ludicrously. That's okay; I hope you'll come around and realize your hatred's misplaced, and pretty foolish.

    Far better you hate than you feel nothing, though.

    "The opposite of love is not hate, it is apathy. The opposite of good is not evil, it is apathy." (Elie Wiesel)

    Anybody who interupts [sic] are [sic] otherwise interfears [sic] with education deservers [sic] to die. This includes [Republicans], middle mangement, [sic] and bean counters.

    Hmm. I'm a Republican who voted for Bush, who a few months ago made a large donation to a school district so that poor kids could have notebooks and pencils for the upcoming school year. I volunteer at the local school as an assistant coach with the Academic Decathlon program, and mentor a couple of young geeks who are looking to grow Strong in the Ways of the Code. You also can't say I'm an exception--because the instant you do, I'll rattle off a list of my Republican friends and co-workers who do the exact same or similar things.

    Strangely, this is more than many Democrats have done. Yet you don't see me harping that Republicans favor education and Democrats are do-nothings. What you're railing against here is your perception of the human condition, which is something which knows no political party. You'll find heroes and villains in any party at any time.

    Oddly enough, all three of [these] tend to be either middle or upper class, what a coincidence.

    Upper-class, Republican, voted for Bush. Also a reasonably nice guy, I think, given that I'm talking in a friendly fashion to a kid who says, over and over again, how much he hates me and wants to kill me. :)

    Of course the fact that the middle and upper clase [sic] are some of the most hard heading [sic] stubborn short sited, [sic] addle minded people in existence also doesn't speak well for their existence.

    Who's the addle-brained, hard-headed, stubborn person here--the Republican who volunteers his time at the local schools, donated to John McCain's political campaign, mentors young geeks... or the kid who hates people he doesn't even know, for offenses they've never even committed?
  • Contrast: I'm in Hong Kong working just now, and the people here take it much easier, and hence I've yet to come across any alchohol related incidents.

    The natives might not drink much, but the expat community really gets stuck in (there not being a great deal else to do on a Saturday night). However, with so many police around in Lan Kwai Fong and the other nightlife areas, it certainly feels very safe.

    If you want to check out every bad stereotype you have of Australians, for instance, go to the Downunder Bar in Tsim Sha Tsui. Scary stuff :)

  • Will the next xscreensaver [] have a "nightclub" hack in it ?

    Will JWZ port xscreensaver [] on this thing [] to have real cool disco lights in his nightclub ?
  • by bent ( 21042 ) on Sunday November 12, 2000 @02:50AM (#629620) Homepage
    I'm a big fan of jwz's, but not for the reasons outlined in this article. The question I asked myself at the end was: how is this different to what most of us do?

    I try, in my modest way, to hack great code and produce products that people use. But I also know that intelligence, nous and experience don't produce the fabulous wealth that this article alludes to.

    Jwz is wealthy because he was lucky. He was also talented, savvy and sharp; but mostly he was lucky.

    Unfortunately, this article was written because jwz was wealthy.

    Maybe living in Australia and away from the ".com revolution" means I'm out of the loop, but I wish jwz luck with his club because of his ideals. It's great when your work and your ideals are in harmony.

    But the article is still a beat-up.

    Ben Tindale
  • Note the URL. That's jwz's side of the story, with all the biases that implies.
  • Hear hear, I'll agree with that. I was mostly responding to his violent rhetoric. I have managed to pick up most of my material at the half-price book re-sellers. Full MCSE set $45.. C++ Bible, $15.... It's all there if you look for it. $100 a month for a highschool kid?? a university I could see.........

  • by doctor_oktagon ( 157579 ) on Saturday November 11, 2000 @10:18PM (#629623)
    these individuals have suddenly become imbued with omniscience because they are not only hackers, but rich hackers?

    Insightfull comment. Why?
    If we take the media image of the geek (someone who forgets to wash and shuns society), and then try to figure out what happens when they make $$$$, why the hell would we conclude that they will try to save the world?

    Much more likely they will:
    further shun society
    buy a small Polynesian Island
    build a huge laser gun
    get the obligitary white cat
    Install massive alarm/self-destruct system
    ...and start issuing ultimatums to world governments!!

    MY GOD! Take their money away now!!

  • by Anonymous Coward
    skaters and snowboarders
  • isn't a big deal when Johnny Depp does it, wasn't a big deal when Van Halen did it... people with money are always buying bars & clubs. Doesn't seem to change the world that much.
    There's a reason its rich people that do it, too, & it's not that they're a bold new breed of socially aware geeks out to change the world, it's that they have the money- you can lose money almost as fast in the hospitality industry as you can in internet startups. Success rate's probably similar, too. Good luck to him.

  • what did he create instead of emacs

    XEmacs []


  • If he were serious about trying to make SF a better place he should have persuaded Jello Biafra to run for mayor again, and finance his campaign. I'm sure with Jello at the helm SF's nightlife problem would be solved.

  • I'd have to agree. The parent deserved the + mod far more than I did. Probably some 1/4 wit browsing at +2.
  • "I'm on the arse end side of the poverty line, yet I spend EVERY last cent I have on getting ahead in this world, and I have been doing so since i was five years old

    Have you concidered getting out of the house once in a while?? are you retaining anything you read?? do you know what a girl is?? If you are reading that much, you should have been able to pick up a much better job by now. Don't give us any crap about no oportunities, its probly lack of motivation and spending all your time reading books instead of looing for work. Take a break for a few days/week and get outside. Talk to some people in person. Schmooze. Get some sun. You'll be dead before your a sucess otherwise.

  • First off, this isn't flaimbait. I've baited before, and I'm being honest now.

    SF has one of the best nightlife scenes in the US, if not the world. Only a _hacker_ who spends his time coding would not see it! I've been to many somewhat underground trance parties that have blown my mind. San Fransisco has a seething underground, and it's been there since the 60's, maybe before. The black clothing crowd may see a dwindling of nightlife, but it's still there people.

  • Lets see,
    1) "the widely-esteemed guru of the "open source" software movement", nuff said
    2) "the Linux operating system", where's the GNU?
    3) the whole behind schedule thing
    4) what, emacs just a text editor? in which alternate reality is this guy living in?

    And most open source advocates are quite happy RMS has nothing to do with open source.
  • This most likely will be my last post to /. Anyone interested in having this slashdot account number can email me

    Pulling away from society (or a culture) will not improve it. You can only change things if you are involved. So stay and post your opinion. Someone might just hear you.

  • blah blah blah... hacker... blah blah blah... rich... blah blah blah... disenfranchised... blah blah blah... God, how long do I have to hear this stuff? "Stating the Obvious" is a bit of an understatement, isn't it?
  • Oh give me a break.
    Some opinionated rich kid hacker (good hacker, mind you) decides he'd rather have a cool club to invite all his friends too rather than a cool car to show off to all his friends in. And because of this he's changing the world? Or even changing the city?

    Big deal. Apparently he thinks the only important thing is making sure young, rich hacker people JUST LIKE HIM have somewhere to go that fits into their oh so cool post-modern e-lifestyle.

    Last I went to San Fran there seemed to be some other problems like the real large number of homeless people, the emtpy wastelands of (largely latino??) poor housing and freeways all around the edge of Palo Alto and a billion other things, all of which matter rather more than making sure that the San Fran rich kids scene is just as swell as it can be.

    I wonder how much JWZ gives to charity each month....
  • [In society] who would be the crackers and script kiddies?
  • >So now you're God, able to pass judgment on >who's worthy and who's not? God at least has the >common decency not to judge anyone until the >Last Day.

    By wasting money on frivolious expenses, the rich also judge who can live and who can die. They choose a higher standard of living for themselves rather then to give to the poor.

    >And they might say there aren't enough natural >resources in society to go around to waste on >self-loathing teenagers. Who gets to decide >who's right?

    How about a self-loathing teenager who has plans on HELPING society. I am working my ass off to learn everything that I can so that I might contribute to society. Are you saying that my work deservers no more credit that the waste of a druggie?

    >"The opposite of love is not hate, it is apathy. >The opposite of good is not evil, it is apathy." >(Elie Wiesel)

    Love is an animal instinct that is designed to force otherwise sapient beings to act like wild
    creatures. I do not believe if love, instead I prefer the path of logic and a life of discipline and rigorous study. Just as you oppose anything that stands in the way of you acquiring physical wealth and happiness (love, sex, money, power, etc.) I oppose anything that interferes with my acquisition of mental knowledge.

    People fear apathy, because through apathy comes true objectivity, and when you view society
    through an objective view point, you see something that is utterly disgusting. I do not believe apathy should be a permanent state of mind, but it is a useful tool for one to gain their bearings with. As it is, I am a very compassionate person, I am (literally) unable to step on a bug. But I have no care for the human race, for the human race has sinned (and I am *not* talking metaphorically) beyond
    belief. Every time someone spends money on another inefficient item of self indulgence, they have cursed another person to death.

    Love encourages us to only look at ourselves, it is a very introspective feeling, and yet while
    introversion is normally a good thing, love has been carefully crafted through years of evolution to ensure that all who fall into its embrace shall follow along a sure path of outdated modes of keeping the human race around.

    Honestly, the chances of the human race dying out from under population are none. The chances of
    a given family in america starving to death if they don't steal a loaf of bread from their neighbors is zilch. Love and its accompanying emotions are highly outdated, and while they where a necessary
    set of survival rules in the days of zoog the cave man, this is the modern world, and all the survival instincts (love included here folks) do is squander resources by causing people to desire to hoard items for their own use.

    Don't talk to me about emotional states, I can switch emotional states at will, faster then most people can speak a syllable. Your ridiculously outdated idea's of love are foolish in the modern world.

    >Upper-class, Republican, voted for Bush. Also a >reasonably nice guy,

    Hmm, guess it'd be kinda faux passe to play the death penalty card here, eh? ::grins::

    Anyways, he happens to be a resonably nice guy who has royaly screwed up texas's education. I know, I have spoken with students from texas, they say that the schools down there are horrific. These are actualy thoughtfull opinions, not just the standard "school sucks" that most kids will give you anyways ;)

    Texas's education system revolves around passing tests, the class's teaching centers around the tests, and teachers don't have enough time to explore things that are not on the test.

    Oh yah, in addition, (I could discuss politics all day, but then again, who couldn't) Bush also let off the o-so-famous quote of:

    "I believe free speech should be limited."

    Yah, real nice guy there, seeing as how he wants to limit the first amendment. His B.S. plans for social security aren't all that good either. (I'm sure the lower class will know EXACTLY what stocks to invest in to make the most money, yah right, fat chance.)

    >You also can't say I'm an exception--because the >instant you do, I'll rattle off a list of my >Republican friends and co-workers who do the >exact same or similar things

    What signifies the middle class mind set to me is a girl a knew a few years back. She was a vegitarian hunter.

    Yes, I just said vegitarian hunter.

    She couldn't see anything wrong with this, and she proudly supported both animal rights and hunters rights. Quite ridculas really, she had a compleat lack of an ability to connect A with B. She was otherwise a very intelligent person, in honors everything, but she had not one iota of introspectiveness.

    I have found that most of the middle class is like this, they have a compete lack of any ability to realize what their actions will do. People who believe in privitizing schools and giving out $2000 a year vouchers to students don't realize that $2000 just pays for one class of 20 students, and that is for the teacher alone! The only way current schools survive is by all the extra money that they get from other various sources, but if a school doesn't work off of goverment funding, such funds are unavaible. Yet republicans and their ilk fail to see this.

    The middle and upper class have a complete lack of any sort of an ability to reconize that some people DO NOT have money. They fail to reconize that the reason goverment programs exist is to HELP people rise up out of dispare. Yes, such programs need work, and yes, some of those programs over bloated and wasting lots of money. But the solution is not to eliminate those programs, but rather to reorganize them so that they provide the same services, but in a more efficent manner.

    Oh yah, and guns DO kill people, which is pretty much the only other grip about republicans that I have (for crying out loud, its hard to go on a 50 person killing spree in two hours, using a knife! Yee gads some people are hard headed.)

    >Who's the addle-brained, hard-headed, stubborn >person here--the Republican who volunteers his >time at the local schools, donated to John >McCain's political campaign, mentors young >geeks... or the kid who hates people he doesn't >even know, for offenses they've never even >committed?

    They have commited an offense, inefficency.

    Zippity doo da, you did a little good deed and now you feel good about yourself.

    pharaphrasing another /. user; if all the money spend on politics was instead spent on helping people, we wouldn't have all these problems.

    I can't stand geeks, they still commit sins of the body, yet they try to present themself as being emotionaly intelligent people, their not, they just have a high mental intelligence. There is a difference, and they havn't learned it yet.

    I'm a kid who doesn't drink, doesn't smoke, doesn't do drugs, attends school everyday, reads for 6 hours a day on weekdays and 12 hours a dan (minimum) on weekends. I don't lie, cheat or steal. I am non-violent, not a racist, and I follow a path of moral guidelines that are so stringent that most puritans would choke under their burden. When I die I plan on being remembered for all that I learned and how well I used that knowledge to help my fellow humans. I am open to all viewpoints, but I refuse anything that interfears with the path of knowledge. I am always willing to give a helping hand to others, I open doors and give a hand to people whome I even may not know. I work hard and I learn everyday, and learning is my fun. You want to compare moral guidelines with me, don't even try. Spend a few good days in mediation then come back.

  • I'm -not- a Christian, but not all that childhood indoctrination was wasted, there's a parable about the "Widow's mite []" that seems relevant to this discussion. Of course you can't buy your way into heaven, no such place, but any fool with too much money will end up doing philanthropy eventually. Philanthropy on a budget, now that's cool.

    Jamie worked on XEmacs didn't he, so for the purposes of this comment, he's done his philanthropy up-front in my opinion.

  • Opening a nightclub in a big city is different than coding software. Geeks shouldn't mess with the mafia. These guys will break your legs.
  • Really? Excellent. I'll give that a shot now. The only thing I was ever able to find before was the ISO MPEG specs in PDF format.
  • I believe that the only way to create the next wave of Rock n' Roll bands is too rebirth the small to medium size venues that the Nirvana's, Pearl Jam's, and Tea Party's started

    God save us from any more of this crap! If closing down the small clubs will stop us having to endure any more mince like this, then I'm gonna invest my money in bulldozers!

    At least in the UK our bands have some character left ;-)
    Anyway: I cannot believe somewhere the size of SF does not still have at least 10-20 small venues where bands go play for beer, and the doorman doubles as the DJ?

  • You're young, you're rich... Now what? It's a harder question than it looks. Zawinski's situation is endemic in San Francisco and Seattle and every other high-tech hub in the country. Literally thousands of Internet industry worker-bees, yet to see their thirtieth birthday, have ridden boom-time IPOs to instant, enormous wealth. And these twentysomething millionaires are suddenly faced with a question that most people only dream about: after the dust has settled, after you've grown bored or burned-out, after you walk away with more cash than you know what to do with... Now what?

    Those poor, poor souls.
    Having money forced on them by gullible investors, they now face the ennui that only material prosperity can bring. Fight on, brave ones, against the desolation of not having to work.
  • A true hacker doesn't code for the corprate account he codes for himself. It's simple the reason i hack is to exercise my freedom to learn. The reason i code for work is to make money. Don't mix the two. I don't go to work so i can hack around. I go to get paid. I don't consider jamie's involvment in Netscape as hacking. His work in lisp yea but, coding for someone else is not hacking.

    Time is Change.
  • I think the truckloads of money keep jwz from keeping his mind on emerging technology and the internet. He's a web-surfer connoisseur now, probably nothing more. Look at his website, it's almost all links []. Since i last checked he's got info on the DNA club, (or whatever the hell it's called), but still mainly links to more interesting sites. But who can blame him? Owning a nightclub can get you alot more poon-tang than a geek bathing his face in electromagnetic radiation all night long. He cut his mustard, now he wants to party. I'm just puzzled as to why /. would publish this roundabout story when a hundred valid story ideas are being submitted every day?

  • How nice, but it would seem that somebody (perhaps belonging to the same political party of RJH a few posts down) has denied school funding so that there is nobody to expose me to such works of lititure. Even I am incapbile of judging which books to read just by their cover. Of course, the fact that teachers are held back by unattentive students could also be part of the problem. One chapter a day is expected from most teachers when a student is assigned a book. I myself would give them the book on a friday and tell them to have it read by monday. If anybody complains about having a party or such to go to, then I would tell them that they would fail simply based on a lack of dedication to their education.

    I have had LA teachers who did not even have a proper mastery of the english language, so if you wish to discuss reasons for me having a limited sphere of reading choices, then take up the topic with your school districts supervisor. But forcing kids to read a brief sampling that is insterted more for political correctness then actual educational value, might help to improve what childen are exposed to in school.

    As it is, Dante's Inferno was compleatly skipped over even though I wanted to read it. It was in the text books we have, but, it was not considered ethnicaly diverse enough to be included as part of our education.
  • >Have you concidered getting out of the house >once in a while?? are you retaining anything you >read?? do you know what a girl is??

    Oh yes, and you are SO enlighted. Hell, you still associate sex with success, stop thinking with your gonades and start using your brain. Goverment age restrictions currently limit what I am able to do. Because I am forced to stay in a school where I mearly have re-read the same old crud I have read in my spare time, I am unable to get a true job. Of course if courses where offered in public school where we just sat down for a day and got lectured to, then left, it would be oh so much more efficent. As it is I am taking one lecture course up at my local community collage and I *LOVE* it. No more waiting around for a-holes to get settled down, instead everybody just pays attention and takes notes. On those days that a subject you have already covered personaly is being discussed in class (such as the causes of WW1, of which I had twice before) you can mearly just stay home and do self study. Defintly a supiorer system, and students would be accelloreated two or three years if such a method of teaching was applied to public schools.

    This means that I would have been out of school two years ago, knowing far more then I will know when I do graduate from the current system, and I would have had a very nice paying job by now. But you see, goverment restrictions being what they are, I am not allowed to just go to school to take programming courses (if they where offered, which they aren't) and 3d-modeling courses (if they where offered, which they aren't) and math courses (which is so f-ed up, I passed all the class's, two years ahead of schedual I might add, but the local community collage doesn't like my test results, thus showing that public schools DO NOT prepare people for the real world.)

    You want to know why I am stuck where I am, its because a bunch of pencil pushers and bean counters decided that this is where I belong.

    Needless to say, buercracy doesn't mesh well with my free roaming spirit. (and yes, I spirit can roam free inside of a book, suprise surprise!)
  • "Simple, I *HATE* rich people, can't stand'em. Always throwing their money away into useless prusuits. Sheesh, if I had that kind of money, I'd go out and earn five or so Ph.D's, just for The Sake of Learning." wouldn't like me then :)

    So you hate rich people. Yeah, people like me are worrying sick over what some bum like you thinks. So I'm rich. Big deal. I don't give a flying fuck what you think. I worked hard to get to where I am today, and I'm going to enjoy the fruits of my labor as I see fit.

    But I digress. I can't speak for the people out there who throw their moeny away into worthless ventures. I'd find better things to do with my money myself...but if they want to burn their money, let em. They earned it, they can spend it however they want. Some people may see your five doctorates as a waste of money too.

    Here's my suggestion to you: quit yer bitching. You can bitch all you want about the rich people, but that isn't going to do you any good. I suggest you get off your ass and make something of yourself. Your fevered pursuit of education is a fine start, and I hope you go somewhere with it.

  • S/he was being sarcastic.

  • So, are VC's supposed to be an aphrodisiac? :-)

  • Are you talking about J@red Polis? I probably voted for him, because I take the "If I don't know who these people are, i'll vote for the democrat" approach. But something that annoyed me about his campaign was how his name is spelled on the lawn signs: "J@red" Is that supposed to make me think, "Hmm, this guy has an at symbol in his name, therefore he must be into computers somehow, and computers are good, right? so i must vote for him". Oh well. I hope he can counteract some of the damage to the edu system that good ol' bill owens is doing and will do in the future. (sorry for the ramble...)
  • I got a better idea, I'm allying with GoD to make the world a better place. Wait a minute, even GoD wasn't able to make the world a better place. Beam me up GoD, to heaven and quick.
  • I live in Seattle. You're talking about Maria Cantwell, an ex VP from Real Networks. Yes, she spent $10-12 million on her campaing for Senate. Of course, the 20-some year Republican incumbant Slade Gorton spent the same amount. So who is at fault? Cantwell is a harmless Democrat and I voted for her. Slade "Skeletor" Gorton is evil man set on helping his fellow cronies. For example, he added a rider that allowed some Washington timber companies to log in protected forest (and these companies got paid by the state of Washington for their "stewardship"!) to a Senate bill for providing international relief aid to Kosovo. Who's the bitch now? Slade Gorton is the bitch.

  • By wasting money on frivolious expenses, the rich also judge who can live and who can die.

    Yep. Life is tough. Wear a helmet.

    That sounds callous, doesn't it? It's only because it's true. A friend of mine says that she would be a Wiccan, if only she felt that the Wiccan Rede was anything more than a pipe dream--"if it doesn't harm anyone, do what you want to do" is, in some ways, a very narrow view of the world.

    Anything you do, anything you do, will condemn some and redeem others. The trick is doing what you can to make sure that, on balance, you help more than you hurt. But it's a given that anything you do will adversely affect another person.

    Did you buy popcorn the last time you went to the movies? Couldn't that $6.00 have bought an entire week's food for a starving civilian in Chechnya? How dare you, indulge in a six-dollar bucket of popcorn while people are starving to death.

    But if you don't buy that popcorn, and nobody else does, either (instead contributing to the Red Cross to help starving Chechens), then you put the guy behind the counter out of a job--and what if he's the breadwinner for the family, earning $7.00 an hour in a crappy job because that's the only thing he can get?

    You see? Every choice you make will have positive and negative repercussions, repercussions far beyond the simple cause-and-effect that you think about.

    In other words, your hatred is seriously misplaced, and not at all logical.

    How about a self-loathing teenager who has plans on HELPING society. I am working my ass off to learn everything that I can so that I might contribute to society. Are you saying that my work deservers no more credit that the waste of a druggie?

    Get over your self-hatred first before you go about trying to help anyone. Everyone wants peace on earth, but so few people ever try to find peace with themselves first.

    Insofar as your plans to help others--big whup. When I was in high school I wasn't "planning" to help others; I was building homes with Habitat for Humanity. Just because you're in high school doesn't mean you can't do anything.

    There are lots of people who say "'ere but for the vile guns of war, I'd been a soldier". The credit doesn't go to those people. The credit goes to those people who do it, not people who talk about how they plan to someday do it.

    But first, get over your self-hatred.

    Love is an animal instinct that is designed to force otherwise sapient beings to act like wild creatures. I do not believe if [sic] love, instead I prefer the path of logic and a life of discipline and rigorous study. Just as you oppose anything that stands in the way of you acquiring physical wealth and happiness (love, sex, money, power, etc.) I oppose anything that interferes with my acquisition of mental knowledge.

    First--you have no idea what I want out of life.

    We clear on that? :) Good. You don't know me from the wind, brother, and if you think you do, you are mistaken.

    Second--I used to think like that. Then a 6'2", slim, attractive, long-legged German blonde came along and turned my world square on its head. (Gave me a permanent liking for tall women in the process, too...) Best thing that ever happened in my life, I tell you, was when I stopped feeling sorry for myself and learned how to let go a little bit. Most liberating thing in my life.

    I've found that people who espouse cold and bitter pessimism are people who've never found anything better in life. Trust me; there are, if you only look for them.

    Book learning is great, but--as Yogi Berra noted--while in theory there's no difference between theory and practice, in practice there is. Practice is better.

    People fear apathy, because through apathy comes true objectivity,

    No. Bzzt. Sorry. Thanks for playing. With apathy comes brutality, bitterness and evil. Objectivity coexists quite well with passion and ardor; it's what this wonderful thing called Science is built upon. The best scientists in the world are carefully and studiously objective, yes--but they are also some of the most deeply and fervently passionate men and women you'll ever hear of.

    Read Dick Feynman's Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! for brilliant examples. If you think your objectivity comes anywhere close to Dick Feynman's, all I can say is--where's your Nobel Prize?

    Read biographies of Niels Bohr. In addition to a Nobel, he also held an Olympic medal or two. He was passionate and fiery, and one of the sharpest minds of this century.

    Look at Einstein's private letters to his wife; you'll see a Nobel prizewinner overcome with all sorts of dark passions.

    Read Peter Duesenberg's theories on AIDS--keeping in mind that he's a seven-time CDC Exceptional Investigator--and the passionate firestorms that erupt from his critics.

    Read about John Bardeen (two Nobels). Read about Linus Pauling (another two-time winner, in different fields). Read about Archimedes, the great grand-daddy of 'em all, who was killed by a Roman legionnaire after he screamed at the legionnaire to get out of his way, he was blocking the light he needed to see his equations.

    Passion is alive and well in science, and not one single scientist I know--and I know a lot of them, from Paul C.W. Chu (a leading superconductivity researcher) to Bruce McCandless (astronaut) to Bruce Schneier (cryptographer)--would ever say that apathy leads to objectivity.

    Love encourages us to only look at ourselves

    No, that's lust. Love encourages us to look at the beloved, not ourselves. Love is the state where someone else's happiness becomes a major factor in your own happiness. Love is where you'll do anything to make her smile, because her smile puts a leap in your heart that nothing else approaches. Love is selfless; if you find yourself thinking about you, then whatever you feel isn't love.

    And if you'd ever been in love, you'd know this already without being told.

    My suggestion: don't condemn it until you've fallen in it. It really is a pretty cool thing, except when it all falls apart, and especially when it's nobody's fault.

    Lawrence Block has a book out, Ticket to the Boneyard, in which the protagonist tells Sara "I didn't think it'd end like this--I always thought it'd work out, somehow." Sara has to break the news to him that it did work out, and this is how it worked out.

    That sucks. That hurts. I almost blew my head off with a .45 when it happened to me. But lo and behold, two years later, all the good parts are happening all over again.

    These things really do work out.

    Honestly, the chances of the human race dying out from under population are none

    My NASA astrophysicist friends disagree with you. They're fairly of one mind that we need more population, orders of magnitude more population (on orders of magnitude more planets than we have now). At six billion people, we're not even a drop in the galactic bucket.

    We're only overpopulated if you're willing to accept that we'll never leave Earth. ;) Set your sights higher.

    Don't talk to me about emotional states, I can switch emotional states at will, faster then most people can speak a syllable.

    If that's the case, then you need professional help. Now. Because what you're talking about is called sociopathy, and brother, it ain't good. The only people who can turn their emotions on and off at will are sociopaths, and I don't want any of them in my neighborhood.

    Anyways, he happens to be a resonably nice guy who has royaly [sic] screwed up [Texas's] education. I know, I have spoken with students from [Texas], they say that the schools down there are horrific [sic].

    Strange. I graduated from high school with a four-year full-ride National Merit Scholarship to the University of Houston, where my tuition was fully paid for by the State of Texas. Apparently they did a pretty good job of educating me, because I've got a good job today, the respect of my professional peers, and my future's so bright I've got to wear shades.

    -- At any rate. I really don't have the time to go against you point by point by point. I would suggest you think about professional help. You sound like you've got a real problem with self-hatred and self-loathing, and God knows that isn't healthy.

    You sound reasonably intelligent, and your presence on Slashdot suggests you've got a degree of technical expertise. That means the world is your oyster, same as it is mine. You can either amass all the wealth and power you want, or you can use that wealth and power to change things, things that need changing before we all go off the deep end.

    But you can just as easily choose to spurn all that, and all the good you could do with that.

    It's your call. For your sake, I hope you make the right one.

    Because if you don't, you're going to kill yourself before you're 30, and I really don't want that to happen.
  • by DiviN ( 246231 )
    Three Words:
    South East Asia.

    malaysia ot the philippines to be more precise;
    connections are acceptable, beaches are great, cost of living is about 25% of the U.S. average and 10% of the California average, water is pristine - and hey, they build the P4 processors here {AMD is here, too - so everyone else in the whoiswho of IT].

    given liberal legislation and attractive tax presents to the industry, all you gotta do is convice your boss to establish a branch office - telecommuting hub...

    for ageek malaysia is almost heaven.
  • Go to The Contemporary Group's [] web site and look at any of the bands listed on their home page. If those are "the better bands", I don't really think there is a conflict. Based on the description of his plans, I don't expect that Jamie will be asking NSYNC to be the headlining band at the DNA Lounge opening night. ;)

  • It's all luck and being in the right place at the right time to get the payoff.
    The right NAME helps; witness George W. Bush's success...
    Maybe Marx was right
    He is right, people don't realize it yet. Socialism works best with perfect humans (no selfishness, no greed, etc.) yet many modern religions teach us that man CANNOT be perfect. Greed and selfishness have a field day and people come to believe that capitalism is "natural".
    Would I give the bum on the street $5 if I knew he wasn't going to go buy alcohol with it? Sure.
    Hmmm... On the one hand you rail against the elites and claim to identify with the little man yet you won't help the little man when you have a chance?

    Charity should have no strings. What is the "bum on the street" does with the money is irrelevant, as once you give it to him it is HIS money, not YOURS anymore. Anyway, by definition charitable people give, selfish people don't. If you have to think about giving you are just as selfish as the elites you are rail against...
    You think being a MIB is all voodoo mind control? You should see the paperwork!
  • Lets see... I want to work in City X because of a great job offer. But then again, City X doesn't have any kickass nightclubs like DNA. Oh well, I guess I'm going to have to settle for drinking my $6 watered-down drinks in some elitist-joiner-backass-backwater-wannabe-New-York- lameo-nightclub in some hick town in the midwest.

    Poor jwz, besieged by his own fame. It is just a nightclub, people. It is just a person doing what they want to do. Why is this news for nerds?
  • Not that I'm an especial fan or anything, but JWZ is still producing []. Note the most recent update, 2 days ago.

  • "Elect me and I'll donate $100M to education/housing."

    Would that be legal?

  • by Trevor Goodchild ( 187368 ) on Saturday November 11, 2000 @10:59PM (#629659)
    What's funnier is the idea that somehow just by being a geek you are automatically qualified to solve any and all problems that you choose.

    According to the article this guy moved to SF after spending most of his adolesence coding, only to spend the next 6 years doing more coding. So, by virtue of Netscape's former success, he is now uniquely able to not only understand, but also solve very large scale urban sociological problems.

    I can't wait until geeks start branching out into areas other than urban planning. Just think of how successful Linus will be when he decides to tackle AIDS. I hear Alan Cox has a really workable plan for a Mid-East peace agreement, too.

  • Ever heard of a l-i-b-r-a-r-y?

    You can sit there and read books for free all day.

  • Nether of which are very useful.

    I do know that one can pick up half priced books fairly easly, and as I look through some of my books, most of them have copyrights in the early ninties (many of which I have bought recently

    The unix API has been pretty stable for at least a decade, C was standardized in about the mid eighties?. Python and Perl are both a good ten years old.

    My point is that good stuff with staying power dosen't tend to change a great deal, even in the tech world. I don't see to much reason Libraries couldn't buy good books that are not out of date if they knew what to buy.

    Perhaps if this guy could prod his library into buying The C Programming Language, The Mythical Man-Month, or a less well known but very good book Expert C Programming (copyright c 1992), he could "afford to read books" and give them valuable tools with which to serve the community.

    That being said, I am a High School student, but I have a fairly decent library. My biggest expense is for computer books, second is the services such as gas and my cable line, and computer equipmnet (notably absent is computer software as I have not paid for any in a very long time).

    I am fortunate to have a very good job with the State after school, so I have a fair amount of discretionary income for my age, but it generally takes me two weeks to read a computer book well, and I've spend $20.00 on new books but as high as $70.00 (they are overpriced text books but the subject matter is such that it is not covered in any mainstream tech books). A good average cost would be about $30.00.

    With that average, I spend about $15.00 per week on computer books, in practice, it is much more as I buy many books for refrence and does not dedicate a great deal of time to them. My point is that if one can not afford $15.00 per week for computer books, then one is not as deticated to that as this poster would have us believe, or one can not afford to waste time and energy posting to slashdot.

  • by spiro_killglance ( 121572 ) on Saturday November 11, 2000 @11:11PM (#629662) Homepage
    Why would a rick geek want to own a nightclub?
    To drink late with friends? (nope).
    To make more money? (hes got tons already)
    . To get chicks into bed after years without? (more than likely)

    . And yes i'd probably do the same, if single and very rich.

  • none of wich tells me why you can't get a decent job to support yourself. Grow up. EVERYONE has dealt with these issues and is better for learning how. Stop bitching and blaming government, schools, your parents and the phases of the moon, and figure out a way to achieve your goals instead of looking like an imature jerk in front of people that already have. complaining won't help, doing something will.

  • Please, take a look here [] for your own conclusion
  • I do love your characterization of Gorton as "Skeletor" though. He's something else. Did you know that he used to be a liberal? No, no, I'm not kidding Rippon Society and the whole nine yards.

    In fact, as attorney general, he pioneered the tactic of state attorneys general suing on behalf of citizens with a lawsuit against the oil companies. So, the Skeletor transformation is not the only one he's gone through. (Or maybe it's the same one on the ethical as well as the physical plane.)

    It's interesting that his precedent is now being used by the state attorneys general to sue Microsoft, while he runs interference for the Redmond boys in Washington. Maybe some day someone will write a play about Slade-the-Younger meeting Slade-the-Senator and recoiling in horror at what he was to become.
  • After a year as employee #2 at a phenomenally successful internet retailer, I didn't end up with the uber-cash that jwz and others have made from the .com bubble, but i did make enough to not have to work anymore. Instead of trying out some other field, I decided to keep hacking, only this time its my own software: free pro-audio software for Linux. This is a market dominated by a handful of companies whose software runs on unstable and inadequate operating systems. Its the best programming I've done, and takes place with no marketing, no bullshit. If I want to do it over, I do it over. Every day I can wake up inspired by the (vague) prospect of wiping out an entire market segment of the proprietary software world. Sadly, it seems that most rich programmers who carry on programming seem to want to do so in an environment where they stand a chance of making even more money. I wish more of us would take the cash and use it as an opportunity to break the hold closed, binary-only software has on the world. Until someone works out a viable business model for actually selling open source software, that means working without pay. Then, when we've done that, we can take a look at world peace, poverty, hunger and injustice. There might be time later for a little clubbing, if we're lucky.
  • One thing is that there will always be the "have's" and the "have not's". Earth is about duality, it is about individual growth spiritually. All of the focus of it... in the final end is pure illusion. The night life is illusion, the internet is an illusion, and even JWZ himself is an illusion.

    I myself am retiring from the computer industry which began in 1960. It seems that there were lots of changes, but in the final glances that I make... "nothing has really changed".

    I live in Southeastern Ohio in the Appalachians. I see poverty and 8th generation welfare families who have no hope and see only despair.

    I too was a millionaire on paper with Wang Labs several decades ago and when Wang fell on hard times many dedicated employees experienced what the dotcoms employees today are feeling and might yet feel.

    Where JWZ chooses to focus his energy and money certainly is his business, however the scope of need of humanity is much wider than the glitz of a tinsel town or the Bay area.

    JWZ is gifted with a great amount of Energy, and Stamina, and Wisdom and he is in a position to make a difference. His choice is where to make that difference.

    This most likely will be my last post to /. Anyone interested in having this slashdot account number can email me
  • by grovertime ( 237798 ) on Saturday November 11, 2000 @11:14PM (#629677) Homepage
    An inspired article.
    1. The story of the hacker-cum-zillionaire is still an interesting one, and even more when the hack involved decides to stretch his devout struggle versus holes and glitches to the rest of society. Jamie is a smart man. A talented man. His mentors are impressive, his actions and troubleshooting show tremendous leaps of logic, and his lack of culpability in Netscape's woes nearly believable. He is woven as a man of integrity, of passion, of diversity and potentially a brilliant influence on American culture. Maybe he is. I don't know him. But I read that article. Extremely promising eloquence, and yet...
    A flawed conclusion.
    1. We, the loyal to Slashdot and the ideals we structure ourselves in, choose to believe what we want. We are not subject to the same extent by generations of texts and ideals and beliefs stretching back to times unlike our own. Our sense of ourselves, our world and our ethic grows with us in a dramatic fashion unseen before. It is therefore easy to assume that a hacker could shape his world through small corrections and manipulations, as he might a line of code in a sea of a program, correcting and manipulating. But time looks to craft a different lesson. One of men and women who became wealthy
    2. too fast, ones who yielded power too soon, and ones that were allowed to believe they had all the answers simply by being able to think dynamically within a certain context. If Jamie wanted to revolutionize culture or SanFran or the club industry or the bylaw regarding how late a club stays open, he would have pointed his passions there, but these are secondary concerns. He is obviously afraid to face what he really needs to tackle. The love that built him and shattered him: code. I hope he finds his way back and doesn't show the arrogant pride he seems capable of if and when his experiment fails. Remember Jamie, and all hackers, changing code is relatively new - social change is not. It's hard. More than 18 hours of staring at code hard. It's 18,000 years of human development hard. And we haven't even laid down a solid framework yet.

    1. O P E N___S O U R C E___H U M O R []
  • by doctor_oktagon ( 157579 ) on Saturday November 11, 2000 @11:15PM (#629678)
    Maybe he only wants to own his own club because he was stuck "working 16 hour days" at Netscape while the rest of us were out at clubs, on the sauce.

    I predict the sad, forlorn site of a 32 year old trying to wow 20-something pop-kids with his tales of the old "battles" with RMS over EMACS :-)

    The kids, however, will be far too busy sending text messages to their fridges over their WAP phones to care.

  • coding for someone else is not hacking

    Hey man: glad to see you are keeping it real.
    I'm sure as hell glad I don't sit next to your sorry ass in an office all day, while you do your work for the "man" and your paycheck.

    I hack at work. I hack to solve problems I am working on, and I hack around to pass the time when I'm bored. Just because you are in an office/salaried environment does not mean you can't hack to progress/have fun/slack.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 11, 2000 @11:20PM (#629681)
    I've got to go anonymous, too. I'm wrapping up my IPO stint. I'm already a cash-money millionaire, and I'll probably have a few more before its all over (you never know, with this market). But Jamie and his ilk are few and far between. People with real skills, and a take-no-shit attitude, and innovate thinking, are awfully hard to come by. If brains and innovation are sought in the corporate zone, it sure as hell doesn't seem to be as sought as 'team players'.

    The tale isn't a big surprise to people who are excellent and have suffered through corporate disillusionment: companies don't tend to value good technical contribution, because the people making the valuations don't understand true technical competence, as opposed to the endless pale-imitation MCSE-bearing losers that have flooded the industry (in my case, the networking/IT industry).

    Selling out? I imagine, like me, he is only pissed because the system is so pathetic. There are plenty of elite technologists (hackerz, d00d), that have experienced small-company entrepreneurism, and its no wonder they can't believe what happens when a company gets big. Jamie is so right about the 'working to make a company successful' vs 'working for a successful company' dichotomy, it's scary. And its true in the whole industry -- the number of wannabe dipshits piling in for the cash and just flooding the industry with stupidity is mind-boggling. Even more mind-boggling, the idiots who throw money at them at horrendous rates while going out of business; it seems like no one is left to discern the wannabes from the elite any more.

    Of course, Jamie's club probably WILL fail. Businesses born of passion are often the most catastrophic failures (restaurants being the best example).

    I will say, though, you've got one thing damn right: if you're one of those people with imagination, skill, and competence, don't go out, looking for a job, think bigger, take some risks. The jobs will always be there if you need them, and you will never make what you're worth just getting one.
  • So you believe hackers who make money will change the world? If so, then where is the progress ... it's certainly not because jwz is opening a k3wl club in SF.

    No my friend, the people who will change the world are the same people who got us in the god-awfull mess we are all in at the moment:
    The oil companies, the tobacco companies, the industrial conglomerates, and the corporate-pleasing weak governments that everyone in the West is inflicting upon its own citizens.

    These are the organisations which have to be changed in order for us to progess. These are the companies driven by the profits.

    I grew up as a kid reading sci-fi books and hoping we would all be wearing space-suits and being nice to each other, but now I'm a world-weary 29 year old who has seen the devestation for myself. Maybe, just maybe we are starting to see a sea-change in attitudes amongst the huge industrials, but I really don't think we'll see the difference at a metropolitan level for another 20 years.

  • Jamie (and others like Paul Allen) miss the point. What is tearing the high-tech centers apart, what they need more than anything, is affordable housing for the people who make up the bands that Jamie and Co. want to see. I'm glad that Jamie is working on a new loungue, but I have to wonder how long it will be before he raises prices in order to even break even in SF? When that happens, who but the rich will be able to see bands (or art works, etc).

    Jamie and Co. need to look way beyond what he and his friends like and are into socially. If he can ever do that, and fix the important urban social problems, then he will have a more profound, longer lasting effect than anything he ever did at Netscape for the Internet.
  • If there is one thing I've learned from all this new economy instant millionaires hoopola, is that not only are they jaded, but they made their money by simply having the luck of being at the right place at the right time. And having met some of these instant millionaires they woukd like you to believe its because of their genius, originality, ingenuity and foresight - bullshit! There are plenty of incredibly brilliant people who are still struggling with seeing their ideas accepted in the world.

    Assuming I am going to worhip someone, its going to be for their personal integrity and commitment, not becuase they happened to get rich by being at the right place at the right time.

    Instant Millionares - Social Skills = Dr. Evil

  • One of the difficult parts of opening a nightclub in SF is the tangle of alcohol-license hoops one must jump through (as JWZ explained on his DNA site) -- that is, if you want to serve alcohol in your club.

    Why would an innovative club be serving alcohol? I don't attend clubs that serve alcohol and would be happy to attend one like the new DNA if it didn't.

    The argument that serving alcohol increases revenue is weak. Alcohol drives away customers, and the income that it does produce is watered down by the costs of serving. If you need the income, why not collect extra door money? Your patrons will be happy, your bands will be happy, your employees will be happy and you will be able to call your club innovative.

  • Your comment I'm sensitive to alcohol-fueled people and hope to never meet one or be near one again
    softens my attitude, as I do not know you or your experience, but surely then it's a matter of changing societies perception of alchohol, to stop the mindless acts which sometimes go along with it's consumption.

    Christ, I live in Scotland, and all we have to put up with is drunken thugs wrecking your evening's entertainment.
    Contrast: I'm in Hong Kong working just now, and the people here take it much easier, and hence I've yet to come across any alchohol related incidents.

    On a similar note however, I'm having much less of a good time than I would back home ;-)

    There are no clubs which are alchohol free because the majority of people your age would probably excercise their choice and not attend them.

    I tell you what, make millions through an IPO and then you can open your own!

  • I have, indeed, seen a lot of dumb-but-lucky IPO millionaires. But JWZ ain't none of that. The lad is reasonably clever. And he is, refreshingly, fairly contemptuous of the effect of (relatively) unearned wealth on people and communities. Check out the "greed" [] gruntle [] on his [mailto] site. []
  • by Guy Harris ( 3803 ) <> on Sunday November 12, 2000 @12:35AM (#629705)
    And he is, refreshingly, fairly contemptuous of the effect of (relatively) unearned wealth on people and communities. Check out the "greed" gruntle on his site.

    Or the "don corleone" [] gruntle, which is also apposite.

  • by pongo000 ( 97357 ) on Saturday November 11, 2000 @09:32PM (#629707)
    So the point of the article is that a bunch of millionaires who were in the right place at the right time when the Internet boom hit are going to be society's saviors, righting all that is wrong with our world? That these individuals have suddenly become imbued with omniscience because they are not only hackers, but rich hackers?

    Is that the point I was supposed to get from this article? So a guy buys a nightclub in a city I don't care about. Sounds like this was written by someone with a bad case of penis envy.

  • I highly recommend you use this link [] to read the article instead of the one provided.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 11, 2000 @09:39PM (#629713)
    What is with all this hero worship?

    The only difference between jwz and all the other nonconformist attitudinal gothic hackers out there is that Jamie was lucky enough to ride the Netscape rocket early on, and this gave him enough money so that he would never again have to care what anybody thought. This appears to have made him a demigod in the eyes of mere mortals who have to rely on their paychecks and bow down to the people who sign them. If back in 1994 Jamie had gone to work for, say, NCD (back when putting an X terminal on every desk still looked like the wave of the future), would he still have the same attitude today with a pile of stock trading at 3/8?

    By milking this media circus for all it's worth, and happily accepting his image as an underground icon, is he selling out to the very system he thumbs his nose at?

    Moral of the story: Don't worship people who do radical things you've always dreamed of doing, be one of those people. Think biggerent. You've got the same number of hours in your day as anyone else, and probably more imagination, skill, and/or competence than most. Money isn't half as important as dreams; you can do accomplish a lot without a lot of money, but you can't do anything without an idea.

    Signed anonymously because I'm one of those people who is "flailing about hopelessly, my self-image so connected to reaching success that I have no idea what to do now that I actually got there."

  • A SF restaurant with delicacies like Microsoft Minced Chicken [] in lettuce, Cisco Chinese Chicken Salad, eBay eggplant, Inktomi Asia Burger, and the piece de resistance: Kleiner Perkins Oysters on the Half Shell.

    JWZ's venture sort of reminds me of the plot in the movie Xanadu [] (bad movie, bad, bad!)
  • by bairkub ( 60965 ) on Saturday November 11, 2000 @09:40PM (#629715)
    I really hate to say this, but the guy's opening a nightclub. End of story. This seeming need to put a messiah spin on someone's business venture after they quit what made them famous, when their next venture is just plain's silly. I actually laughed most of the way through that article. (sarcasm) OMG! He's opening a bar! HOW REVOLUTIONARY OF HIM! (/sarcasm)
  • JWZ did not open this nightclub the DNA lounge has been a part of SF nightlife for for over 20 years.
  • The beauty of San Francisco is that it consists of a number of neighborhoods, each with a fairly individual character of its own, more like London (with Hampstead, Clerkenwell, SOHO, Chelsea, etc.) than New York (where it all blends together more or less).

    SOMA is in a difficult position, in that it's the only real place for the Financial District to expand into. It can't really expand to the north, because that's where some of the "neighborhoods" are. It can't expand to the west, becuase of Nob Hill and the ghettos. To the east is Water. Where else is it going to go?

    Besides, SOMA never HAD a character. It was where people who couldn't afford the financial district were, if they were companies (i.e. they were warehouses).

    I live in the Castro. Even though rents are going up and things are gentrifying, we still have our own character as a neighborhood. Lots of bars (if you're into gay bars), cute and nice restaurants, little shops, it's a great time. I love it here, and I would never want to move.

    Noe Valley, Glen Park, Cole Valley, hell, even Hayes Valley and the Sunset have their nice characters as little neighborhoods.

    There's a place for SOMA, but if you consider SOMA as a proxy for the rest of San Francisco you're missing out on what San Francisco has to offer.

  • by Trevor Goodchild ( 187368 ) on Saturday November 11, 2000 @11:46PM (#629720)
    It's 18,000 years of human development hard. And we haven't even laid down a solid framework yet.

    We've got lots of solid framework to go by, some of it dating back to the Greeks and beyond. Problem is we're not very good at understanding it, and even worse at practicing what we do understand.

  • by doctor_oktagon ( 157579 ) on Saturday November 11, 2000 @11:49PM (#629722)
    Why would an innovative club be serving alcohol? I don't attend clubs that serve alcohol and would be happy to attend one like the new DNA if it didn't.

    Sorry .... let me get this right ... you're saying you will not go to a club because it serves alchohol?

    Why the hell not?! I can only think of three reasons:
    a) You are not yet old enough to drink
    b) You are a recovering alchoholic and the mere site of vodka will send you crashing out on a huge drinking binge or
    c) You take so much E the drink will dehydrate you.

    What next? Are you gonna propose they take away all the alchohol licenses?
    I thought life was about choices. If you don't drink, then fine, you don't have to! The last I checked they don't put a funnel down your throat and pour the stuff in while you lay pinned down by 5 big guys, although that would most certainly be a choice you could make also ;-)

  • Personally i don't sit in front of a unix box at work and get to write stuff out to raw sockets.

    // joke: Then get yourself a job where they don't make you use Visual DevKit ;-)

    Seriously though, my main point is that work is what you can make it. It all sucks bigstyle, and the only reason we do it is for the money. If you don't get a chance to express your talents (i.e. hacking) doing your contracted work, then maybe you should think about selling yourself to some other companies where they will care for your attitude.

    This is exactly what I did: I didn't pretend I was some model professional, I just conviced them I think in a roundabout way that seems to inspire myself and others into straightforward solutions to complex problems. I'm an Internet security consultant for a 5000 employee firm of consultants, and I get away with murder mainly because I'm one of the few who hasn't had any sort of corporate brainwashing... I think this helps me be the person I am. I don't mean to belittle your job or position in any way, I just think you should do something about it :-)

  • by Anonymous Coward
    You know, I wonder what future generations will think of the 20th century when they look back at us. I don't think there's been such a seperation between the wealthy and middle class since before the Renaissance. On one hand you've got Joe Shmoe working his 9am-6pm job making $50k/year trying to feed a family of four, and on the other you've got Internet instant millionares and these god damned pro-athletes who demand $10 million/year for their "skills" at heaving a ball through the air. How insane is that? Maybe Marx was right. Why should so few benefit from the efforts of so many? Throwing a ball or being in a pre-IPO company like Netscape as a coder isn't anything special. It's all luck and being in the right place at the right time to get the payoff. I'm beginning to think everyone would be much better off if we didn't have this human failing called "greed". Do I really need 10 computers? No. Do I need the fastest greatest car? Not really. Would I give the bum on the street $5 if I knew he wasn't going to go buy alcohol with it? Sure.
  • I can fully see where JZ is getting this idea. In Vancouver we have an absolute dead zone when it comes to live music. Sure there is the Commodore, argueably the best live venue in North America, but beyond that we have nothing. One club an amazing night life does not make.

    I believe that the only way to create the next wave of Rock n' Roll bands is too rebirth the small to medium size venues that the Nirvana's, Pearl Jam's, and Tea Party's started at(CanCon requires me to put one Canadian band; if you get this you know). These bands didn't start out playing stadiums and 30 000 person festivals.

    If you don't want to be stuck with Generic Mass Marketed CRAP for music then you better start supporting the smaller club set and better yet go see a band that you have never heard of before; you might be surprised. The other alternative is Britney 2.0 and Back Street Boys Unplugged.

  • by freeBill ( 3843 ) on Saturday November 11, 2000 @09:41PM (#629730) Homepage
    ...we just elected an Internet millionaire to the State Board of Education.

    He had enough money to pour millions into his campaign and enough ideas that he didn't get invisible-handed out of his money like Steve Forbes. He also backed an initiative (or maybe it was an amendment to the state constitution) which will increase state spending on education.

    I haven't figured out whether it would have been more cost-effective to donate the campaign money to schools. But it's an interesting alternative to burnout.
  • You don't need money for books. One word. Library.

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.

  • For another opinion on the boom in San Fran try to find a copy of Jello Biafras Spitfire tour speach. I was able to get a copy on scour (they aren't coming to my hometown :() From what I have been able to see the city of San Francisco is being turned into a yuppie wasteland where all of the people who made San Fran San Fran cannot live there anymore. No more hippies or punks or street trash. Having grown up in california this is a horrible waste of a beautiful thriving underground community that in many ways started the entire computer social revolution. Hell the EFF headquarters are there. So please, if you are one of these hackers with bouco bucks, do the same thing. Try to help your city have a certian amout of culture and style instead of letting it turn into a blasted wasteland of IBM and Intel buildings.
  • You mean you missed the news that BMG just bought a share of Napster? Looks like they haven't lasted long enough for you.

    I agree with your principles, I just think you are being horribly naive. The Internet is 0wn3d by the corporations: it's their bandwidth. Unfortunately this limits how much fun we can have on it!

    It's not going to change anytime soon ... maybe if you band together using wireless trancievers to create your own network, where you develop new protocols & interfaces. Maybe then you will get what you want.

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Sunday November 12, 2000 @09:15AM (#629739) Homepage
    Zelinsky's DNA Lounge site [] reads like Mr. Blandings Builds his Dream House. [] The project is months behind schedule and way over budget. He botched his construction sequencing, and is doing extensive tear-out and rework. (He did lighting and webcams before concrete and plumbing, for example.)

    The planned end result is pretty standard. Band, bar, dance floor, DJ booth, webcams, Internet kiosks, all of which have been seen in SF nightclubs before. No hydraulics, robots, or Vegas-style effects. I'd expected something more exciting, or at least more innovative.

    In San Francisco, there's also the "BGP Problem". For over two decades, Bill Graham Presents had a lock on the better bands and venues. Nightclubs not under BGP control were stuck with inferior bands. Only 1015 Folsom and the Maritime Hall, both big venues, successfully booked major acts without BGP cooperation. Since Bill Graham died and BGP was acquired by The Contemporary Group [], the local industry has changed somewhat, but it's still rather centralized.

    Oh well.

  • You have foiled my plans again!

    That is exactly what I intended to do, and I was relying on the media portraying me as someone out to save the world. Now that they have been warned, they will not give me the good P.R. I require to purchase the restricted parts for that huge laser.

    Drat, zounds, and bebother your meddlings!

    One day we will meet again, my nemesis. One day...

  • From what I can tell, the DNA lounge is an *inherently* cool project, and one I think I'd be interested in even if it weren't coming from an eloquent and thoughtful hacker like JWZ. The special thing that's going on here is that someone who wants to run a club for love can actually afford to do so. The fact that the money came from an Internet IPO rocket is irrelevant.
  • by Alien54 ( 180860 ) on Saturday November 11, 2000 @09:53PM (#629746) Journal
    [having just read some clueless postings]

    Well, the point seems to be, if you are one of the lucky few who struck it rich, what are you going to do?

    everyone pisses and moans about the things wrong in a city, or a society, or something. They bitch alot. Now what happens when you find that you might be able to something about at least something. not everything, but something.

    all the not so lucky folks in the internet lottery moan cause they lost out, and because they don't have the money to party with. and maybe they are jealous (just a small chance, maybe)

    sometimes what a city might need would be a good club, or an art scene or something. After all, you do not want to have a city like SF with all of the cultural resources of Midland Texas (the onetime small town home of George W. Bush).

    Not to disrepect small towns, but there is a reason why folks often want to leave a small town. often there is just plain nothing to do.

    Now why would anyone bother trying to do something about it?

    I think this is a good thing(tm) and they certainly have my respect, not that they need it or that it matters....

  • that he's doing what he always wanted to.

    Succeed or fail, that's more important than any other point in the thing...
  • by rjh ( 40933 ) <> on Saturday November 11, 2000 @10:00PM (#629749)
    Now shooting those morons on site [sic] WOULD be benifictial [sic] to society. Opening another place for them to get drugs, is not.

    Hmm. They smoke dope. You're endorsing the outright murder of people without giving them any benefit of fair trial, any chance at rehab, any... etcetera.

    For someone whose lament seems to be "I don't have an opportunity", you sure seem pretty keen on denying other people opportunities.

    I cannot stand people with money...

    According to St. Paul, love of money is the root of all evil. By extension, so is the hatred.

    I HATE the middle and upper-class...

    See the above.

    its [sic] quite ironic that my hope is to become one of them

    For your own sake, I hope you never do. It's a bad thing to turn into someone you hate. Take it from an expert in the self-loathing department (since recovered): it sucks.

    What will *I* spend my money on? Simple, I will FINALY [sic] be able to AFFORD to read books.

    Funny, I wasn't aware that it cost a lot of money to go down to the public library. If the library doesn't have books that you want, ask it to buy them--that's why libraries have funds for acquisitions.

    Sad isn't it, all this money going around, and I can barly [sic] afford books to read, while this guy goes and blows millions on a club to play music about sex, drugs, and violence.

    Two things:

    1. His success is not your problem. Stop thinking that it is.

    2. He's not "blowing millions". Even people who have a million dollars don't have a million dollars to throw away. JWZ is doing this because he thinks he can make money off it. He invests a million, he gets a million and a quarter back--that's how business works. Or he'll lose his shirt. Doesn't matter to me either way.

    Relax. Calm down. The world's not out to get you. And you might want to stop hating people with money before you turn into one of them, because otherwise you're going to air-condition your skull before you turn 30.
  • by tombou ( 233875 ) on Saturday November 11, 2000 @10:00PM (#629751)
    Jamie is pretty much right on. The double edged sword that created "the city's" recent boon is also killing off many of the same things that attracted the 'new economy' in the first place. San Jose and the rest of silicon valley (to me) is a suburban sprawl. The closest thing to a city here in the bay area is San Francisco. The same clubs and micro brews that made up soma are disappearing---turning into loft/studios. Thing is...if all there is left are office spaces and living quarters because all the small cool places are gone because they cant afford the rent, the inspiration that fuels SF will be gone and so will the talent. Many are already spreading outward to east bay (houses in the ghetto areas of west oakland are around $300k+ now). If it keeps this trend, many including myself, will take the money and run. It is sad that the money we bring to this city doesnt close the cultural gap between ourselves and New York (a city that never really sleeps). It would really suk if all we had left were places like the Metreon to go to (sony can afford any city!)
  • He's probably set for life, and he's gonna blow so much on the notoriously difficult music business that he would have to re-join the rat race?

    Start looking for that tattoo parlor now.

    This guy needs a money manager who can show him how to live out his dreams without jeopardizing his independance. There is absolutely no excuse for a multimillionaire to ever have work for "the man" again. We geeks may think accounting and money management are boring, but whenever I hear some story about a guy who went from riches to rags... it's such a preventable problem.

    Here [] is a good place to start.

The IQ of the group is the lowest IQ of a member of the group divided by the number of people in the group.