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Comment: "Empire of the Rising Scum" (Score 5, Insightful) 167

by Beryllium Sphere(tm) (#49168905) Attached to: Marissa Mayer On Turning Around Yahoo

From a 1990 essay comes the insight
"The ability to get ahead in an organization is simply another talent, like the ability to play chess, paint pictures, do coronary bypass operations or pick pockets. There are some people who are extraordinarily good at manipulating- organizations to serve their own ends. The Russians, who have suffered under such people for centuries, have a name for them-- apparatchiks. It was an observer of apparatchiks who coined the maxim, 'The scum rises to the top.' "

http://bobshea.net/empire_of_t...

It is as insightful in its own way as "The Mythical Man-Month".

Comment: Would there be a detectable EM pulse? (Score 1) 203

by Beryllium Sphere(tm) (#49125421) Attached to: What Happens When Betelgeuse Explodes?

Poul Anderson pointed out in a 1967 story that a supernova could have devastating electromagnetic pulse effects.

Since then, we've found that supernova explosions are asymmetrical. There is plasma moving at very high speeds near a new neutron star's magnetic field and not in a neat way where the effects cancel out.

How far away would you have to be in order not to have all your electronics fried?

Comment: Hewlett Packard, a generation ago (Score 2) 254

by Beryllium Sphere(tm) (#49045427) Attached to: What Intel's $300 Million Diversity Pledge Really Means

When the company was still run ethically, the ethics included opening the engineering department to women, not just on paper but in real life.

The word spread. Women in engineering schools knew where to apply when they graduated. HP had a larger pool of bright people to choose from, people who were shying away from their competitors.

There's more to being open than sticking the phrase "Equal Opportunity Employer" on the recruiting ads. Get it right, though, and it's sound business.

Comment: Re:oh please. I'm tired of this "diversity" bullsh (Score 4, Interesting) 493

Weirdly enough, women were quite well represented in technology before the 80s. Clearly there was an interest - so what's changed?

Women in other countries are somewhat more well represented in technology and more likely to go into STEM fields - so what are those other countries doing differently?

There are a number of things that make a strong case for the reasons women aren't well represented in tech being related to artificial issues rather than natural tendencies.

Tech isn't singled out as the one and only important field, by the way. I'm not sure where you get that idea from, but if you look at most any field with a lopsided gender ratio you'll see concern about the gender imbalance and efforts to remedy it. Nursing programs will aggressively pursue male candidates, same for elementary teaching, for example.

In any case, my guess as to why tech is singled out is not that tech is singled out, but that you're probably primarily reading tech sites where this gets discussed, so it just seems that way.

Comment: Re:WTF? (Score 1) 493

A willingness to give partial credit for work shown, even if the ultimate answer was wrong, and other things like that. They may be more willing, in this case, to assume that the boy with the wrong answer was on the right track, while the girl with the wrong answer was just flailing around and guessing, even when the provided answers and work were the same.

Comment: Re:Enough already! (Score 1) 254

I see, it's not just ignorance - it's willful ignorance that forms the basis for your factually incorrect opinions, and when challenged on your ignorance, you lash out incoherently.

I'm sure you imagine you have a point - given that your stated opinions have no basis in fact, you probably imagine all kinds of crazy things are true. Please also feel free to imagine that you've put me in my place, if you like. I certainly don't see any point to continuing this discussion; I won't try to reason with someone clearly lacking it.

"Stupidity, like virtue, is its own reward" -- William E. Davidsen

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