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Dynamics of Software Development, Second Edition by Michele McCarthy, Jim McCarthy

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#57: Pay the lumber tax and place the alpha bet

The lumber tax is a cost you incur whenever you do business with men. Men achieve more—and with less friction—when there is a clear hierarchy among them, when their accomplishments are celebrated, and when the perquisites of rank, perceived power, and compliments flow in their direction. The costs of establishing and maintaining this hierarchy and the related flows are what I call[2] the lumber tax. (NOTE: The lumber tax must also be paid in any environment that is, by tradition or legacy, primarily masculine. Unless otherwise noted, references to “men,” “male” or “masculine” should be understood as referring to or deriving from a) actual human males or b) as appropriate, females who happen to ...

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