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Summary:

The global economic downturn has started to take its toll on Silicon Valley, especially since the news of an emergency meeting Sequoia Capital held for its entrepreneurs, asking them to buckle up for the nausea-inducing ride that lay ahead of them. In the weeks that have […]

The global economic downturn has started to take its toll on Silicon Valley, especially since the news of an emergency meeting Sequoia Capital held for its entrepreneurs, asking them to buckle up for the nausea-inducing ride that lay ahead of them. In the weeks that have gone by since, we have seen waves of job cuts – 20,000 or so, by some estimates. Whether it is Sun Microsystems, Yahoo, eBay or Jobster — they are all shedding jobs.

The news of the layoffs has a tinge of morbid glee. American writer Russell Baker once wrote, “Misery no longer loves company. Nowadays it insists on it.” Perhaps we try and use the cacophony to turn a blind eye to the human cost of these cuts.

This weekend, when details emerged on the news that three executives at a Santa Clara, Calif.-based chip startup, SiPort, were shot dead by Jing Hua Wu, an employee recently laid off from the company, I like many others was forced to face the harsh and dark side of the job cuts. In a few random shots, four families were destroyed forever. The sad episode is weighing heavily this weekend. Join me in saying a silent prayer for the families of these three victims.

  1. Unfortunately, it is a very deep & integral part of human nature to find someone else to blame for one’s foibles.
    This tragic incident is yet another exemplar of this – as if we needed further proof.

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  2. In our gun culture these episodes will recur again and again and again.

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  3. Om, I respectfully disagree. This is not about job cuts. Job cuts happen all over the world; shootings happen where people have easy access to guns. How many Columbines, Virgina Techs, or SiPorts does America need before moving towards a mass amnesty for surrendered guns, followed by some common sense controls on gun ownership? Good laws are needed – much more than prayers.
    http://livepaola.wordpress.com/2007/04/21/the-virginia-tech-tragedy-and-the-debate-america-ought-to-be-having/

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  4. livepaola

    i think you are missing my larger point — which was that sometimes we forget that job cuts involve people and they ravage lives.

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  5. very sad and tragic and kind of you to offer to some support to those affected.

    sadly, gun prohibition has as much chance for success as alcohol and drug prohibition. making it illegal just adds a new potential revenue stream for gansters and mobsters to chase. better to tax, regulate and educate.

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  6. A terrible day for these families. TC also wrote about it:

    http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/11/15/a-sad-day-in-silicon-valley/

    Our heartfelt condolences.

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  7. If those kind of people don’t have access to guns they still have access to knives or other kind of weapons, for example. They won’t use guns, they’ll use knives and so somebody will still get hurt….
    And the black market for guns will be in place to replace the white market…

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  8. If a man has a knife, he could at most kill 1 person before being wrestled away. If a man has a gun, he can kill 3 people and walk away. This is the difference between a knife and gun.
    We need a stricter gun law in US, particularly a 5-day waiting period Like Clinton administration imposed. Sadly when Bush took office, such 5-day waiting period was repelled.
    People kill when they are angry. A waiting period can save lives.

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  9. A man with a knife can get away too, except when you are Rambo or Bruce Lee and know how to disarm him…most of the people are not. He might not do as much damage as a man with a machine gun but still can do damage. People will still die…

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  10. [...] of jobs in January 2009, we would have to unfortunately agree with their conclusions. (Related: The very human cost of job cuts.) [...]

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