One of the most incredible feats of marketing of our century is
that the internet companies have convinced a lot of people that
selling advertisements on web pages is basically the same as
curing cancer, while buying stocks and bonds is evil:
“At tech companies, the permeating value is that they’re about
trying to make the world a better place, whereas at hedge funds
it’s about making more money,” Mr. Epstein said.
That’s from a Wall Street Journal article — in its series on
quants — about the talent battle between Wall Street and Silicon
Valley. As far as I can tell, the pitch for data scientists from
Silicon Valley is: “Come work here, you can build advertising
models and pretend that you’re saving the world,” while the pitch
for data scientists from Wall Street is: “Come work here, you can
build trading models and not have to pretend that you’re saving
the world.” I actually think that is a useful sorting metric, and
I know which one I would take.