Bill McGowan vs. AT&T

August 22, 2011 at 11:12 pm | Posted in People, Rants | Leave a comment

This article from Ars Technica came down my Twitter feed and I found it a refreshing change of pace from an otherwise techie site. It describes the story of MCI Communications and their fight against the AT&T long distance monopoly. AT&T divested itself in 1984 and allowed competition in the long-distance telephone market, but today, we see a new, reconstituted AT&T attempt to corner the market in wireless and internet services. The situation isn’t as bad as it was then (today’s AT&T is not as powerful as the old “Ma Bell”), but it does give us a lesson on why we can’t afford to be complacent dealing with corporations.

I found the concluding paragraph (slightly rewritten below) to be inspiring, and so relevant with regards to attempts at changing my career path. Some of the people at my previous job whom I thought were friends were actually interested in just making themselves look good at your expense. Looking back, I found that many of the conversations I had with them were¬† themselves trying to look and sound good, to push their prejudices, and not really concerned with nor listening to what you were saying to them. I’m glad to have put some emotional and physical distance from them.

“You have to have stamina – otherwise you give up – you get turned.¬† You listen to people tell you things where, if you follow their advice, you won’t do it. What you are listening to are those people’s ideas about what they can do, not your ideas about what you can do.”


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