Fun Friday Links: Outsourcing Your Own Job, the Real Purpose of Philosophy + Tears Don’t Fall in Space

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April 19, 2013

Welcome to Conspire’s Super Happy Fun Friday Link Time, a weekly collection of cool discoveries from around the Web. Most times the goal is to get you thinking differently about communication, collaboration, culture, and life in general. Other times, LOLCAT ATTACK! Submissions are welcome, and you can send them to for consideration.

The Man Who Outsourced His Own Job

Every now and then most of us probably dream of outsourcing our jobs, but last year a security audit of a US critical infrastructure company revealed a guy (“Bob”) who actually did it.

After getting permission to study Bob’s computer habits, Verizon investigators found that he had hired a software consultancy in Shenyang to do his programming work for him, and had FedExed them his two-factor authentication token so they could log into his account. He was paying them a fifth of his six-figure salary to do the work and spent the rest of his time on other activities.

The analysis of his workstation found hundreds of PDF invoices from the Chinese contractors and determined that Bob’s typical work day consisted of:

  • 9:00 a.m. – Arrive and surf Reddit for a couple of hours. Watch cat videos
  • 11:30 a.m. – Take lunch
  • 1:00 p.m. – Ebay time
  • 2:00-ish p.m – Facebook updates, LinkedIn
  • 4:30 p.m. – End-of-day update e-mail to management
  • 5:00 p.m. – Go home

The scheme worked very well for Bob. In his performance assessments by the firm’s human resources department, he was the firm’s top coder for many quarters and was considered expert in C, C++, Perl, Java, Ruby, PHP, and Python.

Source: The Register

A Shirtless Man on the Purpose of Philosophy

Does everyone think half naked people are easier to listen to, or is it just me? In this video a very comfortable Slavoj Žižek offers a defined way to think about philosophy: “The duty of philosophy is not to solve problems, but to redefine problems, to show how what we experience as a problem is a false problem. If what we experience as a problem is a true problem, then you don’t need philosophy.” How does this change the way you think about business philosophy–if at all?

Source: Open Culture

Tears Don’t Fall in Space

The notion of tears floating up from your face if they’re shed in Space is almost romantic (like the opening scene of Avatar!) so it pains me a bit to tell you that that’s not the case at all. Turns out when you cry in space your tears just stick to your face in one big weird looking clump.

Source: Canadian Space Agency