Like many exceedingly bright people, Marc Weber Tobias has the exhausted air of a know-it-all.
You should pick a fight, because bright people often yell at each other.
It's a good feeling to team up with a group of smart people and produce something useful over the course of a weekend. More hacking less talking.
A common mistake of very smart people is to assume that other people’s minds work in the same way that theirs do.
Great programmers are sometimes said to be indifferent to money. This isn't quite true. It is true that all they really care about is doing interesting work. But if you make enough money, you get to work on whatever you want, and for that reason hackers are attracted by the idea of making really large amounts of money. But as long as they still have to show up for work every day, they care more about what they do there than how much they get paid for it.
They were there looking for people who had the talent to think outside the box. It never occurred to them that, if everyone had to think outside the box, maybe it was the box that needed fixing.
The havoc on Wall Street following the collapse of the subprime-mortgage market boils down to a simple truth: for years, lots of very smart people took lots of very foolish risks, betting borrowed billions on dubious mortgage derivatives, and eventually the odds caught up with them. But behind that simple truth is a more surprising one: the financial whizzes made bad decisions in part because that’s what they were paid to do.
One lesson of the current market chaos, then, is that it’s hard to get incentives right.
The "smart people on the hill" method no longer works.