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Comment: Re:It is never "too late" (Score 1) 451

by Peristaltic (#46424481) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do I Change Tech Careers At 30?

Whoa, did you know if you diff those ages you get a pythagorean triple (5,12,13)?

I.... I.... Nevermind. Sometimes I forget where I'm posting. Did that just pop into your head, or did you start working the math on the numbers, or what? And, why?

Not that I can prove it, but the ages represent:

35: My wife, who was a regional manager for a big pharma firm, hated it but we -thought- we needed the money. She went back to school for interior design / architecture, and now runs a successful business

40: Me. Not too much of a leap, but went from corporate IT consulting to biomedical informatics at a university, after going back to school for a MS

52: A friend of mine who left civil engineering to be a general aviation flight instructor.

65: A friend of my wife and her mother that went from a reasonably successful career in real estate into law. After graduating from law school, she went to work for a non-profit that worked with children or something like that, I'm not sure.

I forgot my cousin, but I don't remember how old he was when he made the switch. Ironically, after flying OV-10's, F4's and F15's... with the all of the requisite close calls endemic to the profession... a drunk driver killed him after he'd been flying 747's for a while.

Comment: It is never "too late" (Score 3, Informative) 451

by Peristaltic (#46421775) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do I Change Tech Careers At 30?

Is it too late for me to think about this?

It is never too late. I have known people that have jumped into unrelated careers, successfully, at 35, 40, 52, and 65.

How much effort are you willing to put forth? Are you willing to temporarily forgo some of the pleasures in your life to which you've become accustomed?

Are you willing to immerse yourself in the new career, both at work and after hours? Ask yourself and answer truthfully: do you truly want to make a change, or are you just thinking... "wouldn't it be nice if"? The answer may be painful, and sometimes you won't know until you're there- Are you willing to take that risk?

Are you willing to risk the possibility of having to start at a lower level on the pay scale in your new field? I have a cousin that graduated from the Air Force Academy, flew F-15's for almost 10 years, and after accepting an engineering job at a defense contractor, quickly realized that he couldn't stand that type of job. With a wife and 3 daughters to support, he left to start a career at an airline.... at the time (mid-80's), he had to start as a flight engineer, at about 20k / year. With his love of flight focusing his resolve, and with the support of his wife (she took a second job), he persevered in a boring, low-paying job, staring at a panel of guages in a jet... but he stuck to it, and over a number of years ended up as a 747 long-haul pilot for Northwest, making just under 200k / year.

You must decide if you're ready to commit, with all that that implies. If you feel drawn to whatever it is you're thinking of doing, and you're ready to commit, there are few legitimate reasons to hold back- I would say that if you have no legs and desire to win a ballroom dancing championship, you may have a legitimate reason not to compete, but you could still find a way to excel, in some role, in this activity if you truly had the desire.

Comment: Re:Shazbot! (Score 1) 352

by Peristaltic (#46419743) Attached to: Vast Surveillance Network Powered By Repo Men

I wasn't focusing on the technological aspect of it, even though technology does enable the large volume of data captures.

I guess what I was trying to say was that instead of one (or two, or three....) capture(s) of John's car's location in a public space, there is, in this situation, a concerted effort being made to capture all of the locations, whether by video or notebook. I was implying that the "nuances" of volume and intent of the behavior should be considered, and not so much the technological means with which the behavior is executed- and by saying this, I'm not demanding that the repo company's behavior be condemned out of hand, even though I personally don't like what they're doing.

The situation is a relative microcosm of organizational behavior that's becoming common in our society, and should have all the pieces picked apart, laid out on the table and thought about very carefully. The laws and customs surrounding the observations of others in public were cast back in a time where it was relatively uncommon to follow a bunch of people and write down all of their locations, then sell the information to someone else- it may have happened now and then, but not often.

Everyone's trying to couch their arguments, for or against, in the context of what "public" and "private" used to mean- I say that we need to scrub back down to the metal and reconsider what these terms mean in 2014. You know, even as I write that, a feeling surfaces, unbidden, of indignation that I might likely be screwed under any new definitions, but these terms still need new, solid definitions within our new technological context. That context is very different now, and instead of trying to bolt a modern suspension and computer-controlled engine onto a Ford Model T, we need to design a new car that fits the new world we live in.

I'm saying that while I personally feel that mass collection and analysis of my public locations unethically exploits our outdated laws and customs that were designed for a different world: Enough of the knee-jerking, in either direction. It's time that we stop, take our time and really think this stuff through, make new laws that fit the times, strictly enforce these laws, and move on.

As a side-note and completely unsubstantiated, I get the feeling that the organizations with skin in the game would rather keep things in flux, on the off-chance that any new laws addressing the issue might curtail their activities.

Comment: Re:Shazbot! (Score 1) 352

by Peristaltic (#46414713) Attached to: Vast Surveillance Network Powered By Repo Men

If they have an honest belief that you're an insane serial killer who will open up on the next person you see, they can take your ass out. If they turn out to be wrong your family will get a really nice settlement check, but that doesn't mean they all get arrested for murder.

Maybe they should?

I mean, if the County Sheriff, looking for an insane serial killer, executes a no-knock warrant on my house in error, then storms into my bedroom and kills me because "I may have been reaching for a gun".... The shooter(s), as well as the idiot(s) that screwed up identifying the correct street address should be prosecuted for murder- they should have to take responsibility for their actions. Prosecutions for murder in this type of case have not, and will never, ever happen. Ever.

I think it likely that in the same scenario, if I was scared awake by someone kicking down my door at 3AM, and fearing a home invasion / robbery I grabbed a rifle and killed the men barging into my bedroom, I would likely spend many, many years in jail, if not for murder then for some other charge.

From reading about a fair number of scenarios just like this, it seems that while law enforcement would prefer for this not to happen, once it actually does... LE closes ranks to protect the guilty at the expense of justice- just like the bad guys do. There might be a lot fewer screw-ups if they actually had to take responsibility.

Comment: Re:Shazbot! (Score 1) 352

by Peristaltic (#46414547) Attached to: Vast Surveillance Network Powered By Repo Men

So, you're saying it's immoral, unacceptable, or unaccepted for me to recognize John's car parked out front of the office, and then (if asked) to say "I think he's here today, I saw his car out front in the public parking lot..."?

This is a good point, however society must decide what differences exist between your scenario above, and the recording and permanent storage of all (most?) of John's car's locations via automated recognition technology. The information stored for John's car includes not only discrete locations but information about John derived by the mining/analysis of patterns certainly contained therein as well.

I think the subject may be more nuanced than you imply.

Comment: Re:Shazbot! (Score 1) 352

by Peristaltic (#46414385) Attached to: Vast Surveillance Network Powered By Repo Men

Goddammit, this shit needs to stop NOW.

We need to establish the understanding that there is a significant distinction between OBSERVING and RECORDING.

Yes, it is reasonable to say that you shouldn't expect privacy in a public setting, but this has historically been in the context of observation, not recording. The ubiquity and accessibility of modern recording devices completely alters the dynamic. Observation forgets, relinquishes and carries with it an element of humanity. Recording is cold, factual and unforgiving. This can be useful for some things (court proceedings, for example), but not everything; probably not most things.

No, you shouldn't expect privacy from individuals or the press. Yes, should be able to expect privacy from government and businesses who make recordings to be used against you.

Context is everything.

Agreed- I can imagine, however, that if the ball started rolling to enact restrictions, law enforcement would find a way to twist the common-sense arguments you make above, in order to legally restrict the public from recording officers.

Comment: Re:because it's a hostile environment (Score 1) 333

by Peristaltic (#46352343) Attached to: Will Peggy the Programmer Be the New Rosie the Riveter?

When's the last time you watched a WNBA game?

When the Houston Comets were in the 2005 playoffs, I went to one of their games... SuperBanana, it might have great for some, but it didn't have the energy or quality of play that we enjoyed watching the Rockets. Neither I, my wife nor my friends ever had the desire to pay to watch another WNBA game. Sorry, just say'n.

"And do you think (fop that I am) that I could be the Scarlet Pumpernickel?" -- Looney Tunes, The Scarlet Pumpernickel (1950, Chuck Jones)

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