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Comment: Re:Hulk hogan could code too (Score 1) 578

by ColdSam (#46734419) Attached to: Michael Bloomberg: You Can't Teach a Coal Miner To Code

And I didn't say that the challenges were trivial.

My point is that our sympathy is a limited resource (not to mention our time and money) and I would rather save it for people who are at least doing everything they can to help themselves. In your analogy I don't have much sympathy for those that sit around playing video games and eating junk food and then complain about that 10 foot wall that was staring them in the face. When I give them a ladder and a trampoline they'll still complain about it being unfair and still fail in a task that is now within their grasp.

I don't want to make this personal about the guy I was responding too, but IME people often make claims that these are good people who only need a chance, a little help. My rebuttal to that is to put your money where your mouth is. Invest in these people yourselves and if your theory is true you will be rewarded. If, like me, you know that these people are not going to meet the challenge with equal effort and integrity then you'll think happy thoughts, but keep your money (and your delusions) safe.

Comment: Re:Right! (Score 1) 578

by ColdSam (#46731673) Attached to: Michael Bloomberg: You Can't Teach a Coal Miner To Code

I think there are degrees to this...

Certainly, but the case for coal declining 30 years ago was a little more clear than 1965 auto industry. You also have to admit that this isn't just a one time decision that a kid makes when he's 18. It could have been apparent for some that manufacturing jobs were going away in 1965, but by 1975 you had to really delude yourself if you thought there was endless potential. IMO, many gambled that unions and seniority would secure them, but that was bound to end up badly for many. This was perhaps the true Ponzi scheme.

I think that's a misperception common among white collar workers, that any blue collar job that was phased out was always a "dead end" job.

True, but it is not a misconception that I share. But in many ways it was an unsustainable model, certainly in a declining industry. Okay, I guess you noticed that too when I read further. But by dead end, I mean that your choices are limited, you don't grow, you don't have more choices, you don't learn new skills (other than a slightly different kind of drill or lathe), etc. Once you get stuck in that mindset and don't have to stretch to earn more you make it more difficult as time goes on.

Tech people are not immune to this. A small number can still find jobs with obsolescent technologies and as long as they make an economically sound decision I'm okay with it. But I'm not going to feel guilty about Fortran programmers who can't make a living in 2014 either and claim to be too old to retrain.

But, honestly, what high school graduate decades ago was supposed to figure that out when even leading economists hadn't?

It's easy to laugh at the dopes who were the last enrollees at buggy whip manufacturing school after the fact. It's not so easy to see it decades in advance when you were choosing your profession.

What economists couldn't see the buggy whip becoming obsolete in 1900 or 1910? Again you don't decide to make buggy whips in 1890 and then obstinately stick with it as the market declines. If you do, you probably are a dope, IMO, even if you defy the odds and get lucky.

Comment: Re:Not malicious but not honest? (Score 1) 445

by ColdSam (#46729923) Attached to: Heartbleed Coder: Bug In OpenSSL Was an Honest Mistake

Medicine is a special case of a profession which is subject to additional consumer protections above and beyond the regular market ones, for reasons relating to safety.

It's treated as a special case, but it shouldn't be. Money == Life, so in that regard this bug has caused more deaths than all but a very small percentage of doctors.

you can, however, sell 'medicine' to the public with no guarantee of its *efficacy* for a particular purpose, merely that it be safe. That's homeopathy.

And that should be covered under laws governing fraud.

Comment: Re:Hulk hogan could code too (Score 1) 578

by ColdSam (#46729081) Attached to: Michael Bloomberg: You Can't Teach a Coal Miner To Code
Those are all challenges, but not ones that can't be overcome. How many of your wive's relatives can you honestly say have worked hard and made solid choices all their lives? I'm guessing very, very few and that you haven't invested a lot of your personal wealth and advantages in helping them out - because you know that it would be a bad gamble.

Comment: Re:Not malicious but not honest? (Score 1) 445

by ColdSam (#46728783) Attached to: Heartbleed Coder: Bug In OpenSSL Was an Honest Mistake
I'm not asking you to defend it, just saying that your criticism of it (or call it an observation, if you will) is unfounded. The "good samaritan" exclusion is irrelevant to the conversation, in fact the whole tangent about open software being "free" says nothing about whether software should be regulated like medical care.

Comment: Re:Not malicious but not honest? (Score 1) 445

by ColdSam (#46728725) Attached to: Heartbleed Coder: Bug In OpenSSL Was an Honest Mistake

You could make people liable for their free code just as we do for doctors. You would make it illegal for non certified people to offer code (free or otherwise) and you would sue them for their mistakes.

That is not to say that we should do that, but it's not crazy. We've made the choice that we don't want random people offering medical care, even if it often is better off than the care some people are getting today (in rural areas underrepresented by doctors and hospitals, e.g.).

I think your definition of doctor is narrower than your definition of programmer. Some doctors can cause great harm to a very large number of people, perhaps by giving bad advice (vaccines cause autism!), faking or doing a poor ass job in a study, creating poor hospital procedures (save time by not washing hands!), ....

I'm not sure laws need to govern SSL, except perhaps for government use. Or perhaps only in the form of consumer protection, holding companies who are vulnerable liable, which will then make them more careful about where they get their software from.

Comment: Re:Right! (Score 0) 578

by ColdSam (#46727541) Attached to: Michael Bloomberg: You Can't Teach a Coal Miner To Code

I think it's a little more accurate to say that we have millions of people with skills that were marketable when they started working but over their career lifetime those skills no longer became useful.

That's not more accurate, the end result is the same.

I really do feel bad for these people because they didn't do anything "wrong" - the economy shifted under their feet and the profession that they expected to spend their lives in just happened to disappear.

These are not, for the most part, sudden changes. A 50 year old coal miner should have been able to see at age 20 that the industry was fragile and in decline, even if fracking accelerated the pace (which is debatable). That 20 yo made the easy, thoughtless decision at the time and now is paying the consequences. It's human to do so and we can certainly feel compassion for people who make bad choices, but let's not pretend they were blameless.

It's also not quite fair to say they are "mostly untrainable" but there is definitely a limited subset of things that you can be retrained for with a high school education and a professional lifetime spent in blue collar jobs.

If they were the kind of people who had the discipline and motivation to train for other jobs they wouldn't be stuck in the dead end job they have (or out of work for years). I think that's what he meant and I agree with him.

The US economy - like that of most advanced industrial nations - has shifted over the last several decades to outsourcing blue collar jobs and increasingly retaining onshore only "knowledge worker" and white collar roles. And many of these people are not educationally (or potentially mentally) suited to the jobs that are still here, which puts a premium on figuring out "what are the still extant jobs that they can be retrained for?" To Bloomberg's point, that is a hard question and the technology industry is not a panacea.

Nobody believes the technology industry is a panacea, although it's good for a sound bite. Also nobody believes every 50 yo coal miner can become a hotshot programmer. However, the technological jobs do provide a solution, even if it is imperfect. Some coal miners will retire, some will continue on in a declining market until retirement, some will move to other relatively mindless jobs, some will become cable repairmen or prison guards or work in construction , or any of the millions of jobs that don't require higher math and coding skills....

You don't have to envision a black faced coal miner writing apps. But certainly you can imagine the guy who installed your home theater or the guy who appraised your house being a competent programmer, which then makes those jobs open for ex coal miners.

Comment: Re:Not malicious but not honest? (Score 1) 445

by ColdSam (#46726011) Attached to: Heartbleed Coder: Bug In OpenSSL Was an Honest Mistake

That's a terrible analogy. Just being unpaid wouldn't qualify you for good samaritan status. A fair analogy would be either:

1) The doctor is offering free non-emergency surgery (e.g.ACL repair)


2) A programmer rushes to fix the Heartbleed bug, but doesn't get it quite right so it is still flawed.

Comment: Re:Let it die (Score 1) 509

by ColdSam (#46718843) Attached to: How Cochlear Implants Are Being Blamed For Killing Deaf Culture

It would help if you didn't conveniently quote. =)

I conveniently quoted the specific lines I had issue with. If people want context the original post is conveniently linked right to it.

I never inferred that erroneus' comments were racist or discriminatory; simply that he presents his comments as a known truth. Just like the poster after him who was keen to toss out "AHA! RACISM!"

Those lines quoted do indeed imply that the original poster was racist and/or stereotyping all black (or deaf) people. Otherwise your quote makes no sense, again "all Blacks/African Americans do not think alike". Why bother saying that if you don't think that was the implication of the post you responded to?

I also note that there are commonalities, but those commonalities do not lead all those others would consider to be a member of said group into groupthink (that would be me admitting certain (read ALL) groups or cultures have commonalities).

It's kind of hard to get your meaning from this, but at face value it's empty political correctness. Of course, ALL groups have commonalities (within that group), that's kind of what makes them a group. If you're implying that ALL groups have the same commonalities then that just doesn't make any sense. Perhaps you want to restate this paragraph.

My point? Avoid doing it altogether (conveniently grouping).

Why? Ignoring the facts (in the form of statistics, in this case) does no good. Perhaps some, if not most, of the commonalities are trivial, but some represent serious problems that should be understood and addressed. In this case the assertion that both black ghetto culture limits self improvement is a topic of interest even if you disagree with it.

Comment: Re:It's California (Score 2) 722

by ColdSam (#46717513) Attached to: Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed?
For one, not being able to deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions is a huge benefit of the new plan. You may not see that now if you and your family do not have such a condition, but then you have just been lucky so far and underpaying in years past. To pay for this very important provision every healthy person must pay somewhat more and at some point you or your children will likely see the benefits of it.

It is contrary to reasoning to say that there is a vacuum or space in which there is absolutely nothing. -- Descartes