Those Who Can Must Say No

We all look forward to our annual company offsite which this year will be three days of video conferencing. Today, day one, the video system we have used throughout the pandemic and before now insists I register. I refused and wrote to explain myself to my boss.


I'm trying hard to not be cranky but I let some things just get to me. I'm going to take the rest of the day off but first I thought I should explain myself.

First a story. Back when the Motorola 6500 8-bit processor was new I helped a friend use one to build a production tester for hearing aids. As production statistics rolled in he realized they had been shipping defective products for years. He could be very proud of his work. His management asked him to collect performance statistics on the assembly line workers too. I suggested that he decline. His management had not thought this trough, I argued, and the net effect might be to erase the quality improvements he had just made.

Like the man pictured above, I do not think you will win. But I respect your quest.

I was surprised to find a registration page in front of my participation in the offsite this morning. This page asked that I confirm I had read the privacy policy and terms of service before continuing. I did and I found them unacceptable. I turn down many registrations on what I consider to be a hygiene issue and miss out on occasion. I will watch the video from this morning when it becomes available.

Every time we say "a more perfect internet" I can't help but think of the mess that has been made of it by wholesale data collection and brokering. I hope my cranky disobedience can be seen as a small push in the right direction.


I may be a little pretentious comparing myself to Greta Thunberg who sailed the Atlantic to speak to the UN. From world leaders she received cautious applause but no action. Like my boss said, I do not think she will win but I respect her quest.

She and I enjoy sufficient privilege to engage in small acts of insubordination, almost to say, "don't blame me".

See also Virtue Signalling. wikipedia