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Comment: Re:Seems good to me. (Score 4, Insightful) 146

by Prien715 (#47781333) Attached to: The American Workday, By Profession

I see unions like judges -- as a foundation of a democratic society.

They can both be corrupted by money, be involved in organized crime, but can also make a tremendous difference in the lives of thousands by Doing Their Job (TM). Removing judges causes anarchy (the problem they were designed to fix) and removing unions concentrates wealth in the hands of a few non-working people (the problem they were designed to fix). If we look around, union membership is at an all-time low and we have wage stagnation. Coincidence? In countries with higher union participation, you also see benefits like mandatory paid vacation, wage growth, and single payer healthcare.

People can argue whether or not union Foo is good or bad (just as we can with a given judge), but unions themselves are a necessary tool in combating the abuse of people by those in corporate governance through elections.

Comment: Re:Federal vs. local decision (Re:I like...) (Score 1) 614

by Prien715 (#47768353) Attached to: U.S. Senator: All Cops Should Wear Cameras

I am not talking about oppression of individuals here — nor have I invoked the names you are invoking

The idea behind the police cameras is to prevent police brutality -- and I'm assuming you have no idea who wrote the 10th Amendment (the only thing you cited?) Is it to far afield to invoke the author's prejudices when dealing with the amendment?

I'm sorry if I don't put drinking age and speeding in the same category as "enslavement" viz. tyranny -- but I don't think you do either.

Comment: Re:Federal vs. local decision (Re:I like...) (Score 4, Insightful) 614

by Prien715 (#47767883) Attached to: U.S. Senator: All Cops Should Wear Cameras

The federal government has acted as a check on the tyranny of state governments -- who traditionally disenfranchised minorities through institutions like slavery, Jim Crow Laws, separate inferior education, and police brutality -- which is precisely the case here.

Yet again, we trot out the state rights libertarians adrift of any irony that they in fact they thought black folk were property -- and owned them. I'm not saying Madison and Jefferson weren't brilliant -- but you shouldn't ask them about oppression for the same reason we don't ask Michael Vick about animal rights.

Comment: Re:Fleeing abusive companies? (Score 3, Interesting) 257

by Prien715 (#47733059) Attached to: When Customer Dissatisfaction Is a Tech Business Model

And you know what? We've got "temporarily embarrassed millionaires" who will fight you tooth-and-nail to defend that, in spite of their own interests.

This. Further, there's the tortured logic of libertarian theology where taxing those who can pay is immoral, and that as a moral people, we must not victimized these poor, poor, wealthy people.

The wealthy and powerful, on the other hand, have no problem voting their own interests as well as hiring pied pipers to convince the masses to vote against their own interests through propaganda. There's a reason why nominal wages haven't risen significantly in over thirty years while the stock market has: someone is making money and it ain't us.

Comment: Re:Pick a different job. (Score 4, Informative) 548

Do you understand the benefits of a union?

Classically speaking, unions existed to drive up benefits through threat of strikes or walkouts. In the 20's and 30's, unions were responsible for the 40 hours workweek, Saturdays off, and a living wage -- by preventing things like random firings and unpaid work (see 80 hour work weeks in the game industry).

To be clear, if individuals were better at negotiating wages, we'd see a rise in salary in the field, but according to statistics this is quite simply not the case. "Ah, but salary went up from 80K to over 100K you say", to which I agree, but if you adjust for inflation, you'll see that that $80K in 2004 is equivalent to $100K in 2014 (26.1%). In the same period, the tech heavy Nasdaq grew 143%. While some of this can be attributed to there being more people employed in the field, I doubt there 2.5x more CS graduates than there were ten years ago.

So while pay is still decent, there's still no rise in salary despite what many consider an obvious shortage in the field. If more CS majors studied those useless fields like "history", we'd have a union and there wouldn't be a bunch of indentured servants known as H1Bs driving wages down (by artificially inflating the labor pool with people who can't quit).

Comment: Re:Living in the country is an anachronism (Score 1) 276

by Prien715 (#47716565) Attached to: Helsinki Aims To Obviate Private Cars

You indeed have a very skewed definition of "city".

For reference, I did live in a small town on the east coast for years. My high school had a graduating class of ~300 and was the only high school. Upon moving there, I was informed by the children in my neighborhood that it was featured prominently in a 60 Minutes segment entitled "Cracktown: USA". The nearest movie theater was in another state; the only bowling alley in the city closed, and once WalMart came in, the local shops (which provided living wages) started shuttering. It had one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the nation; in the one high school's "Earth Science" class, all the girls were expecting with a single exception.

There's many place where small town life is good, I'll grant you that, but the McDonaldification of the small town America has destroyed any sense of place left.

Comment: Living in the country is an anachronism (Score 4, Insightful) 276

by Prien715 (#47714599) Attached to: Helsinki Aims To Obviate Private Cars

Back before the days of public sewage, I would understand living the country. Before laws against air pollution, city air was shit. I don't understand why people would ever want to be so distant from one another -- we've a social species. We don't need distant farms at this point.

I love that there's music at night, made live by humans -- and sometimes I even get to dance with the people making it! How in the world are you supposed to find an orchestra to play with in BFE (I play clarinet -- not exactly a great solo instrument)? If you like gardening, there's community gardens all over that I don't need to tend every single day.

Cities are also easier on the environment. By centralizing transportation, waste management, and education, you achieve savings just from the economies of scale. Cities subsidize the rest of the country as it's literally not efficient to have roads/phonelines/internet/etc to nowhere -- destroying the environment in the process. As far as crime, I like having a decent police force so I don't have to own a shotgun.

Issues with racists, idiots, homophobes, and the chain score hellscape that litters small town America -- I have no idea why anyone could ever love such a thing except out of ignorance.

Comment: Fired for Trolling (Score 1) 382

by Prien715 (#47698915) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Would You Pay For Websites Without Trolls?

I work at a Certain Silicon Valley Tech Company and we recently had an employee fired for trolling.

Essentially, she claimed the right to park in handicap lots (despite not having children for "200 years"), wanted to bring her dogs to work (other people bring their "disgusting kids"), and complained she was severely overworked. Everyone on the thread posted pics of "facepalm" and inviting her to maybe not use the company-wide email list for such things, but she kept on trolling. The next week, someone commented on the thread to note she "no longer works here". Ouch.

Etiquette is as important for most jobs and human interaction as skill set.

Comment: Re:Will C++ Continue to be verbose? (Score 1) 427

by Prien715 (#47679705) Attached to: Interviews: Ask Bjarne Stroustrup About Programming and C++

I still program in C++ but I have to use Qt as an SDK initially for UI and now just because it makes the language much more concise. Whether it's qSort(anySTLcontainer), QString (which supports unicode, regex, etc), or foreach(int& item, myVector) being legal -- and this is all pre C++11 and still works today (in addition to being just as portable). Having a perl-like circular list which supports O(1) prepends, appends, etc. is really nice too. And don't even get me started on why boost::signals are inferior and lead almost inevitably to instability;) Like any other language however, it's only as good as the people who use it so it's no guarantee of readable code.

I really do need to check out Python some more. I'm fluent in Perl and it's served me well over the years, but I've heard nothing but good about Python.

Comment: Re:Will C++ Continue to be verbose? (Score 1) 427

by Prien715 (#47674903) Attached to: Interviews: Ask Bjarne Stroustrup About Programming and C++

I don't think so. The simple "for" loop with auto is easily understood by someone with a passing familiarity with any programming language.

I've been programming (mainly in C++, mainly scientific applications) for ~10 years and I had to look up std::iota -- it's a neat construct but it's really obscure and the question is, does it make code more readable? My answer would be no. For the same character count, it's a wash.

That's my main issue with language philosophy really. They're expanding the language quite a bit while some constructs have negligible value -- and entirely avoiding constructs that fit 99% of use cases. Would it have really killed them to not force one to use iterators, for example? Who doesn't sort a whole list (std::sort(myVec) ought to work...we can both agree what that ought to do right? The language tools to do it are there. Is there any other language that is that uselessly pedantic?)?

It is impossible to travel faster than light, and certainly not desirable, as one's hat keeps blowing off. -- Woody Allen

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