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Comment: This is what I do now, too. (Score 1) 169 169

I state up front that I work on my own terms. I have talent to offer and can solve problems that others often can't, but I place a premium on flexibility and on my own health and family. I am incredibly productive, more than many other employees, but I do not offer *maximum productivity*, i.e. "as much as I am humanly able to produce." Even if it seems that I have more to offer (i.e. I leave at 6:30 when everyone else is still working and Skyping me at 11:30 pm, I travel a only couple of times per year and decline to travel 20 times per year, etc.), I am not willing to give this "more" to the organization—it is for my family and my own personal growth.

And both of the phrases I used are things I've been told—"We have doubts about your how serious you are; we're interested in someone that's more serious about their career" and "We don't doubt that you're highly skilled and productive, your resume and recommendations are stellar, but we're in a competitive industry and we need highly competitive people, and we're not sure you've got that competitive fire in your belly—that you're really going to be one hundred percent invested in the company and its growth."

I have two friends that have been on the serial startup carousel as founders. Both burned out and moved in other directions because they felt it was impossible to actually have a life, be a human being, and get growth and operating capital support from investors. Each startup became their entire lives each time until positive exit, and at some point each said, "I'm not doing this again, I'm losing my own sense of identity and my family."

And if you take that kind of statement out into the public sphere, I'd bet that what others would say is, "Well, they weren't really made to be enterpreneurs, then; they were destined to burn out because it's not the lifestyle for them."

Which is precisely my point—and it sounds like you've seen it, too—there's a prevailing "wisdom" that "real" career builders or "real" enterpreneurs are a particular "type"—the type that gives every . last . drop . of . blood to the company. The rest? They're just not "cut out for it"—they should "do something else."

Of course, if you're not "cut out" for the job market or for enterpreneurship, it's not quite clear what "else" you ought to be doing to earn a living. There are only so many jobs at nonprofits and in government agencies.

It would be better if society were to take a step back and assume the opposite—that everyone is basically loyal, driven, and productive, but in general, a healthy person cannot exist without healthy hours, life balance, and relationships, and if someone is the "type" to be working from 4:00 am until midnight every day of the week, and double that on holidays to pick up the slack, the are probably in need of counseling or personal development, rather than a raise and a promotion. But I suppose that's not how the market works.

Comment: Unhealthy society. Not just in business or tech. (Score 5, Insightful) 169 169

This isn't just about startups, this is across U.S. society—there is zero work-life balance.

Sure, every other company proclaims how great they are WRT work-life balance, but it's pure bullshit.

During hiring (for employees) and/or funding (for startups), if you give any evidence that you will ever put anything before the company (family, health, whatever, it doesn't matter) in ANY way, or ever draw a line in the sand about hours/commitment at ANY number, you are totally noncompetitive/nonfundable (they won't use these words) and won't be hired/be funded. If there is any evidence in your CV, online persona, or history that you have ever done any of these things, you won't be hired/funded.

Even after employment/funding, you have to keep this up. Sure, you may be asked (or even pressed) to "slow down," but it's superficial. The moment you do, positive evaluations/promotions/funding dries up; there is a perception that you're "not serious," "not committed," "not a good risk," or simply "not as capable/investment-worthy" as those *other* supermen/women that work 100+ hours a week (at least) and always put work first.

Yes, they want you to take a break, take care of yourself, and balance your life. But hey, if someone else delivers more value or growth more quickly... Well, they'd be nuts not to go with them instead, and hope you stay healthy in the meantime, all the best.

So, in the interest of your self/family/relationships you try to build a career that precisely demands that in order to keep it, you destroy your self/family/relationships. Depression is easy to fall into when your life will fall apart no matter what you do.

Comment: iOS users feel it (Score 1, Insightful) 304 304

I currently have a web radio transceiver front panel application that works on Linux, Windows, MacOS, Android, Amazon Kindle Fire, under Chrome, Firefox, or Opera. No porting, no software installation. See blog.algoram.com for details of what I'm writing.

The one unsupported popular platform? iOS, because Safari doesn't have the function used to acquire the microphone in the web audio API (and perhaps doesn't have other parts of that API), and Apple insists on handicapping other browsers by forcing them to use Apple's rendering engine.

I don't have any answer other than "don't buy iOS until they fix it".

Comment: Re:Randomness can't come from a computer program (Score 1) 64 64

Most of us do have a need to transmit messages privately. Do you not make any online purchases?

Yes, but those have to use public-key encryption. I am sure of my one-time-pad encryption because it's just exclusive-OR with the data, and I am sure that my diode noise is really random and there is no way for anyone else to predict or duplicate it. I can not extend the same degree of surety to public-key encryption. The software is complex, the math is hard to understand, and it all depends on the assumption that some algorithms are difficult to reverse - which might not be true.

Comment: Re:Bad RNG will make your crypto predictable (Score 2) 64 64

The problem with FM static is that you could start receiving a station, and if you don't happen to realize you are now getting low-entropy data, that's a problem.

There are many well-characterized forms of electronic noise: thermal noise, shot noise, avalanche noise, flicker noise, all of these are easy to produce with parts that cost a few dollars.

Comment: Randomness can't come from a computer program (Score 2, Interesting) 64 64

True randomness comes from quantum mechanical phenomena. Linux /dev/random is chaotic, yes, enough to seed a software "R"NG. But we can do better and devices to do so are cheap these days.

I wouldn't trust anything but diode noise for randomness. If I had a need to transmit messages privately, I'd only trust a one-time pad.

Comment: Re:I'm spending 60% of my monthly income on rent (Score 1) 939 939

Communism has been tried on a large scale - see Mao's Great Leap Forward.

Nope. That was a totalitarian socialist program pushing a collectivism that didn't work. Communism is a post-scarcity society and obviously scarcity was the thing Mao produced best.

Comment: Re:What's the score now? (Score 1) 77 77

I didn't actually work on GPUs very much at Pixar, the image computer I worked on was the grandfather of the SIMD image processing instructions on modern CPUs. What would become a GPU later on was a very expensive box from Silicon Graphics, I had one that cost at least a quarter Million dollars.

Comment: Re:What's the score now? (Score 5, Interesting) 77 77

If they actually told us how to program their microengines, something good might come of it. But they'll probably just BSD-license a list of numbers, as others have.

I liked writing bit-slice microcode at Pixar. I really could get every last bit of power out of the hardware.

Comment: Re:I'm spending 60% of my monthly income on rent (Score 4, Insightful) 939 939

Maybe you should learn what communism is before calling anyone "commiefriend". (Which I have to say, is really repulsive. It's sort of like picking your nose over the internet.) I think you are discussing the difference between lasiez-faire ecomomics and regulated markets. Communism is a very great difference in scale from that. And it's never been tried on a national scale just as "free market" has never been tried because there are always economic biases that make it impossible. What there has been so far is socialism.

Comment: Re:I'm spending 60% of my monthly income on rent (Score 1) 939 939

I think you're missing the fundamental economic issue that drives all of this. It's the provision of essentially infinite amounts of credit. This is done by government, not banks. Essentially all home loans come from Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, banks and finance companies are really just front-ends for them and sell their loans to the government once financed.

Given infinite credit, any scarce but necessary resource is going to be bid to absurd values.

It is by no means being a hippie to assert that government should not distort the market for credit, and to expect that urban and suburban land values would return to more realistic rates once the distortion was removed. Too bad that lots of people have already invested in unrealistic land values. They would have to lose.

"Experience has proved that some people indeed know everything." -- Russell Baker

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