Re: The Telecommuting Myth and ignorant remarks

Subject: Re: The Telecommuting Myth and ignorant remarks
From: "Eric J. Ray" <ejray -at- RAYCOMM -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 9 Jul 1999 10:09:22 -0600

Tim Altom wrote:
> Some repondents have given opinions that you can telecommute and still fully
> participate. I'm sorry, but I'm not convinced. There's nothing that replaces

So, you're saying that those of us (many with considerable experience)
who _think_ we're fully participating are mistaken and somehow
deluded? If that's not patronizing, I don't know what is.
Listen, Tim, I've been a cog in a wheel with my quota
of face time and chit-chat with people who didn't know my name
in the elevator, and I've been a _team_member_ from afar.
I'll guarantee you that I know the difference, just as I know
that I'm being patted on the head and patronized because my experience
doesn't mesh with your prejudices.

> document. I'm talking about a shared vision. Shared visions (not goals) are
> only possible with constant reinforcement within an environment. Leave that
> environment and the gravitational force fades inversely with distance. It
> needs to be pervasive, like shared sunshine.
> What I'm sensing from several people in this thread is a reluctance to
> believe that this kind of environment is possible, and that it's smarter to

Or a reluctance to listen to those who experience this environment
AND telecommute.

> is far more important than money. The Open Source community is filled with
> such people. I always feel good around them.

Tim, do you not see the irony in citing the Cathedral and the Bazaar
and the Open Source community in general in the context of
disparaging telecommuting and rejecting the idea that virtual
teams can be _teams_? I'm not familar with ANY Open Source projects
that do NOT operate as virtual teams--in effect, with everyone
telecommuting to a virtual office that doesn't even have a
physical home. In other words, your example of idealized
buy-in to a cause, teamwork, shared vision, and productivity
ALSO stands as an excellent example of how telecommuting works
at its best. (If you--collectively on techwr-l--read nothing
else from the Cathedral, read the
This page, I think, closely captures the Tim vision, but
Tim, you conveniently ignore the Bazaar in your quest to build
your new Cathedral in the image of the Bazaar. If you really wanted
the vision more than you want the centralization and control,
you'd not care where people sit when participating in the vision.
As it stands, it seems you want people to have the vision, but
you want them sitting in your pews so you can watch them having
the vision.


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