Cringely’s current column is onto an interesting expose of Microsoft’s cheating. I am interested in how he ties this into email culture:
That’s where the second factor comes into play. It’s that e-mail culture. Bill and Steve lead primarily by edict. Most Microsoft employees never see them, many will never meet them. So the kids are trying to follow a standard that is set by the tone of e-mails. But e-mail is not reality. E-mail is a world of distorted values where it is easy to go too far, and easier still to read things wrong and go even further.
Does email really influence for the worse the way we do things? I’m not ruling it out. I think buildings and all manner of physical objects have been starting to look a certain way because it suited the way computer graphics are done. I think organisations structures in companies are following a sort of hierarchical structure that mirrors the folders on the hard drive. Are we creating a world in the image of our machines? Maybe. But to blame MS morality on the mouse is to ignore capitalism’s imperative to dominate or die which bigger even than or Bill’s influence one way or the other.