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Comment Knowledge versus experience (Score 2) 213 213

AFAICT, certs measure knowledge. Successful real-world experience, IMO, both implies and trumps knowledge alone. Both have their place though. For instance, I'd think that a person who has yet to gain that level experience can at least demonstrate, through a certification, at least the ability to memorize things, and that is a useful skill in any area related to technology. Depending on the quality of the cert, a good one can arguably demonstrate a great deal more, possibly including a certain level of problem-solving ability. I've been able to make a reasonably good living without any certifications whatsoever, but, living in a relatively small city, I've also had my opportunities somewhat limited by this (plus lacking a degree, the bigger problem in general). For me, they were not necessary, strictly speaking, but they might have been useful. I might have been able to use them to advance into a more value-added role such as design, architecture, or lifecycle management, rather than being a coder (albeit a good one, and with some aptitude for those other areas) for most of my career.

Comment Re:100 million quest to waste 100 million (Score 1) 208 208

Well, I see in all religions, including much of what passes for Christianity, man's attempt to know God, or, at any rate, something outside of, something greater than, ourselves. However, the little bit I understand of Christianity suggests that it is something quite different: not us reaching out for God but Him reaching down to us, meeting us at our place of need, in our brokenness and fallenness. Now, I do believe what Jesus said, whether it is politically correct or not. That He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and that no one comes to the Father but by Him (John 14:6). However, I do not see this as an exclusion of other religions, but, rather, an invitation to all, of any religion or multiple religions or no religion at all, to come to the Father, the only way that is possible, through Him. He doesn't exclude anyone. We exclude ourselves, by our choosing to live differently than the way He created us to. And yet there He is, reaching out and calling us anyway, all who will listen. I mean no offense to anyone by saying this, although I know from experience some will find it anyway. I hope that if in any way possible, through these words some might find hope.

Comment On my Gentoo system . . . (Score 1) 318 318

I tend to run an emerge --sync and apply most package updates every day or two. In my experience this helps keep things running smoothly. The kernel, however, only gets updated every month or two, or when I become aware of a kernel vulnerability that potentially might affect my system (rare but not unknown). Same basic procedure with my work PC: Windows Updates every few days, or sooner if I learn of a critical (but patched) vulnerability. Obviously on a mission-critical production system my policy would be different, but the Gentoo system is for my own use and would not cripple me if it went down because of an update, although that has never happened. (I've broken X during the modularization project, for not R-ing the F-ing M . . that's the worst that's happened to me yet.) The 'Doze system at work would be a royal pain to rebuild since it has, and needs, multiple versions of various Microsoft and other dev tools. But it would not be crippling either; worst case is I'd borrow a VM and use that while rebuilding mine. I don't keep anything on the HD that isn't also on the network in a Git repo or file share someplace else.

Comment Re:Newsflash, the desperate have computers too (Score 1) 176 176

I could not possibly be working from that assumption, because I'm blessed to be married to exactly such a woman, who is beautiful both inside and out. I know one day her outer beauty may fade (though probably not for a while - her mom is beautiful as well). But if it is doing so now, it is doing so imperceptibly, whereas her inner beauty . . her kindness and thoughtfulness and strength and intelligence and many other insanely wonderful qualities . . . continue to impress me more and more, each and every time we manage to spend time together. I am sure that sooner or later she will get sick of me and ditch me for someone better, but there is *zero* chance I would ever want to leave her or to want anyone else. She is that wonderful.

Comment Re:100 million quest to waste 100 million (Score 1) 208 208

As best I can tell, and I've been studying it all my adult life, there is nothing in the Bible to preclude the possibility of intelligent extraterrestrial life. It is not mentioned as such, but absence of evidence is not evidence of absence and all that. The universe is a big place. I find it unlikely that we would find extraterrestrial life, even if it were reasonably common, for reasons already amply stated by others. However, it would in no way call any part of the Christian faith into question if we did.

Comment Re:Vigilantes of Morality (Score 1) 446 446

I understand the dilemma, but cannot support what the "hackers" are trying to do. See Romans 3:8. It usually is a bad idea to do evil so that good may result. It will not deter those seeking to violate their covenants with their spouses; they will simply find some other way to do so. But it will destroy many homes, and many children's lives, that otherwise perhaps might have been saved. Some people cheat, and then later repent, perhaps after becoming aware of the fact that the grass really isn't "greener" on the other side and that the short-term pleasures associated with infidelity are not worth the long-term disruptions that it tends to wreak upon their marriages and families. When and how (and some might argue whether) to tell the cheated-upon spouse should not be up to some random strangers.

Comment Re:Your videos defending the meat industry (Score 1) 131 131

I'm choose not to consume animals (actually not entirely by choice - I lack the ability to digest them - but I'd choose not to anyway even if I could). Nonetheless I can still respect Dr. Grandin's work, as it makes a formerly much more cruel and heartless process at least a little bit more humane. Rightly or wrongly we are a carnivorous culture. I hope and pray that over time that will change, but, since it is not going to happen overnight, I am willing to accept small steps in the direction of more respect for our fellow sentient beings, human and otherwise, rather than none at all.

Comment Re:Internet Autism (Score 1) 131 131

With all respect, I call BS. As an Aspie, sure, I can program and perform a small handful of other tasks far more easily than most others. But I'd GLADLY trade that for being allowed to attend my children's birthday parties and concerts and church functions and other things from which I have to stay away because my inability to read nonverbal cues looks to other people like, at best, monstrously poor judgment, disrespect for boundaries, and general rudeness and selfishness. If there were a magic pill I could take to make it go away - or even 20 years of therapy, if I had another 20 years (I'm too old now for that to be likely) - I'd jump on it in a heartbeat. It is not "cool" to be an Aspie, at least not to the extent of my level of inability to relate properly to others. The isolation hurts not only me, but those around me, not because they particularly miss me, but because it is awkward, embarrassing, and often socially disabling to them to have to "explain" or justify my presence or my behavior, of which I am often unaware.

Comment Re: Chapel Hill/ Carrboro North Carolina (Score 1) 654 654

That is, more or less, what the Earned Income Tax Credit already does. However, most schools of economic thought recognize the observation made by Adam Smith nearly 250 years ago that employment and wages, especially on the margins and especially of the least skilled, depend primarily on economic growth. Shuffling around an ever-dwindling pie tends to benefit only the shufflers. The pie itself needs to be growing, at least as fast as the population and preferably a little faster.

Comment Re: Chapel Hill/ Carrboro North Carolina (Score 1) 654 654

. Gangs are highly organized organizations. They tend not to target non-criminals (because that brings police attention and gets 70 people arrested), and their business model is typically an actual business model (ie: come to this neighborhood where it's safe to buy great weed). Which means that if you're saying they start fights with random people for reasons other then profit it's not what a hardened Detroiter (or most criminologists) would call a "gang."

What you are describing is the behavior of an established gang. The East Side has been colonized by multiple such organizations going back many generations (hint: until not that long ago they were as white as I am.) What I'm seeing here on the West Side looks more like the attempt to establish a presence, to drive out smaller local groups (which didn't generally harass outsiders), and to set up a business model based on extortion and fear. Not sustainable in the end, so it eventually gives way to something relatively peaceful and sustainable like drugs. Eventually. But just like in the 70s (Mafia wars) and 80s (crack epidemic), a lot of blood, including that of innocents, gets spilled during the transition.

Part of it, which you will also see in groups like MS-13, is that very young people, sometimes as young as 10, are used to do a lot of the dirty work, and really don't understand the consequences. They've been conditioned - by Black and White alike - that they have no future anyway, so why not live it up right here and right now? These kids are feared by everyone, even, I think, the OGs (though obviously they are not in a position to admit it). They are not respected though. Respect has to be earned. In my book, respecting other people at least enough not to murder them is part of that. Much of the rest is learning to find a way to survive and prosper in a culture that not only doesn't encourage it, but pretends that for those sufficiently young and sufficiently dark-skinned and/or Spanish-speaking, it isn't even possible.

It's possible. It's also hard as hell, especially since not only do you not have all the auto and steel plants paying good salaries for unskilled labor, but, increasingly, you don't even have the McDonalds' and Wendy's and Jimmy's Check Cashing places anymore. What you do have are big boxes in the 'burbs where buses don't go and where other than white faces still draw unwanted attention from cops. And they cry about not being able to find enough workers.

And that segues us back to the original topic: it is not RTA's fault that many of these big boxes are way out in the suburbs and exurbs, and there is nothing they can do about this in the short term. Once these developments become sufficiently dense, if they are within county limits and not too far from existing routes, they will try to detour to serve them. Probably only every hour though, probably not at night and probably not on weekends. There just is no money to do that.

Comment Re: Chapel Hill/ Carrboro North Carolina (Score 1) 654 654

Actually I think Cleveland still has very decent transit for a Rust Belt city. Arguably Pittsburgh does a bit better, but that's arguable, and they have a much larger funding base. Detroit definitely does not, but its funding situation is even worse than ours.

Regarding the recent crime spree at RTA stations - mostly on the West Side - these have not been heavily publicized for obvious reasons, but there has been some news coverage that you can Google for. Cleveland cops rounded up something like 70 members of this group maybe half a year ago, but without noticeable effect because, like other gangs of its nature, its roots are in the prison system, and it is designed to operate both inside and outside. Publicity and flaunting the risk of imprisonment is exactly the point of their initiation rituals. They think it proves they're b*d*sses. RTA cops do a good job considering their numbers and the political mandate that most of them have to be at Tower City, but anyplace else, they really can only respond to crimes after the fact, not intervene while they're happening. The stations between West 65 and Triskett have been especially targeted, enough that I will no longer use them to bring my family downtown; we can always take the slow but relatively safe bus instead. I have friends who have been robbed and/or beaten repeatedly at 98th and 117th, and I have to use the West 98th station to change buses if I take the bus to work. I don't do that anymore unless I have to.

I don't see any of this as a reflection on RTA, so much as the decline of the surrounding neighborhoods and the battle between gangs to establish dominance. Some formerly very scary stations such as West 25 and East 120 (now being relocated to Mayfield) have improved greatly, reflecting development and/or gentrification in their surrounding neighborhoods.

Nonetheless, using RTA for anything other than a downtown trip usually involves transferring, typically in less than safe areas, and typically between buses that run only every hour. It's just not something most people choose to do if they have some other reasonable alternative. Not RTA's fault, just the way things are.

Comment Re:I would sell it (Score 1) 654 654

When I was much younger, and had less choice, I biked to school (3 miles give or take) in pretty much all weather conditions except ice. But I was a lot younger and healthier back then. Trust me, if I could bike to work even half of the time (it's only about 5 miles) it would be a huge win for us financially. But I find that it's an awful lot harder now than it used to be.

Comment Re:I would sell it (Score 1) 654 654

Maybe where you live, but where I live, the normal temperature range is between -26C/-15F and +40C/+104F with extremes around 5C beyond these in either direction. It can vary easily by 15-20C within the same day. It is generally humid in summer and windy in winter, making the extremes potentially life-threatening regardless of preparation. Roads are icy or at least wet during the majority of the year, making even walking, much less biking, quite dangerous. And it would be most difficult to fit 6 people on one bike. I know Slashdotters are supposed to live in their parents' basements, but some of us do have families (in my case by sheer luck, my wife being that rare combination of a sweet, beautiful person, inside and out, yet having exceptionally poor taste in men). A car, a fairly sizeable one at that, is a necessity if we are to maintain anything even approaching a developed-world standard of living. Now, I am able to use the buses for certain things. If I'm willing to risk my life by waiting 20-30 minutes to change buses inside gang territory where people of my ethnicity tend to be targeted for violence, then I can get to work by bus in 30-60 minutes. And once in a while I do. I chose our current location in part due to proximity to what by local standards constitutes a decent bus line. I knew this would be very useful in the event I were to become disabled, if one of our cars was on the blink, or any number of other situations. But even in that event it would be useful only to get to and from work, noplace else.

My mother is a fish. - William Faulkner