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Comment Re:it was the McCarthy era (Score 1) 282

SF is the art of the technical class. The central message is "You can fix it or create wonders by applying intelligence and dilligence to the problem."

Huh? That is not the central message of SF. That is one single theme used in some SF, and used in the most generic sci-fi out there. The conflict is man v. nature/technology or man v. society (or even man v. self), where the virtues extolled are up to the writer. Besides intelligence and diligence, some other virtues often key in SF include self-reliance, capacity for specific emotions (love/empathy/etc), having morals, willingness to deviate from the norm, etc.

Mainstream fiction is the propaganda of control of the general population: The central message is futility

What the hell kind of mainstream fiction did YOU read that was contemporary with Bradbury? In 1953, when Fahrenheit 451 was published, the books that topped the Adult Fiction bestseller charts were: The Silver Chalice (Costain), East of Eden (Steinbeck), Desiree (Selinko), Beyond This Place (Cronin), and Lord Vanity (Shellabarger). None of these books had a message of futility OR conformity; very much the opposite.

You are saying that Bradbury imported the mainstream fiction message of "Do what the authorities tell you to do. No matrer HOW badly they're doing and HOW bad things get, don't try to improve them. Anything you try will make them worse.". Not only was that not the mainstream message of the day, you would be hard-pressed to find that as a theme in any of Bradbury's works. I ask you to please name a single work of Bradbury's where this could conceivably be the case.

Comment Re:Europe has also had wire transfers (Score 1) 294

>It's 2015. Why does transferring money in the US take more than a minute and a few cents? I transfer money via ACH all the time for $1 per transaction.

Manual wires are different, and have a lot of costs associated with them. There are people involved, not just data being pushed.

Comment Re:Your biggest screw up (Score 1) 452

Reddit was started as an experiment in free speech.

Wait, what?

I recall Alex coming on Slashdot a lot to promote Reddit when he first launched it. "An experiment in free speech" was not anything I recall being discussed. I also remember him posting on Slashdot while still developing reddit.

What I recall, is promotion of a general interest platform that was more open than Slashdot (unlimited moderations for all!) and less susceptible to vote brigading than Digg.

It was while ago, so I may be a bit foggy on the specifics.

Comment Re:Dwindling airable land? (Score 1) 279

I think what the Libertarians fail to realize is that farmers, as a general rule, are not smart enough to diversify or maintain course.

First, I think that's a ridiculous assertion. Smart farmers don't diversify because the taxpayers bear the risk of their crop failure, or of crashing prices; they have insufficient incentive to diversify.

Second, if we had a true free market, dumb farmers would go out of business and we would be left with smart farmers allocating resources efficiently. Isn't that the point of economic libertarianism?

Note: I am far from libertarian.

Comment Re:So does this qualify as 'organic'? (Score 1) 279

What do you mean by cyclical? Do you mean the livestock/fertilizer/crop/fodder cycle? Do you mean crop rotation? Or something else entirely?

Just curious, since I'm not aware of either cyclical production or crop rotation being a requirement for organic farming (although both are considered best practices).

Comment Re:Local and small (Score 1) 268

This is still a terrible measure, because bible-belt Southerners average close to 7%, while New Englanders average under 3% (source [philanthropy.com]).

It's also a terrible measure because giving to a church is not always the same as giving to a charity. Not saying that all churches aren't charities, just that some spend quite a lot less on charitable works than some other charities.

Comment Re:I keep warning you and you keep laughing... (Score 2) 231

You're referencing a character who first appeared on the Simpsons in the 90s... before SAP software as a class even existed.

What? ERP systems have been around since the 70s... SAP released R/2 in '79. If you're talking about R/3 (when they introduced server-client architecture), it was released in 1992.

Comment Re:Depends on the business (Score 1) 453

Today, you usually know who's calling before you answer. It may be appropriate to take a call if it's more important than the meeting. If you're in sales, a call from a major customer is probably more important than a meeting.

Sure, but not in the meeting. Excuse yourself, and explain it's an extremely important customer call that absolutely cannot wait.

And even if this is the case, you're still being rude... just with an excuse. The call may be more important to you, but the other people in the meeting? You're wasting their time.

If you've blocked out time for a meeting, don't take calls during that time. It's rude and unprofessional.

Note: This is for orgs that have effective meetings. If your meetings are generally unproductive, it may be a different story...

Comment Is this a surprise? (Score 5, Interesting) 453

Part of the list of things I go over with my new hires is basic business etiquette. I spend at least an hour per employee on it. The most annoying thing I find is people who have a mother/father/significant other who expect them to always answer the cell phone when they call it. My experience is that a lot of people we hire have never worked in a professional atmosphere before... I'm not sure if this is because of our hiring practices, or is because of the general habits of today's younger workforce. If I am in a meeting I scheduled, and someone my rank or lower answers their phone, I almost always immediately end the meeting, to be rescheduled later. I run meetings so as to waste the minimum amount of time required for everyone; I expect the same from others. The public shaming seems to work well at my current workplace.

Comment Re:They could kepe (Score 2) 208

Sure they are, but that doesn't stop 90% of people from filing on time, or at least filing for the automatic extension. For that matter, nearly every church in the country manages to do the same.

Actually, churches are an exception. Churches that have been granted 501(c)3 status as a church under 170(b)(1)(A)(i) are not required to file information returns with the IRS. They get special treatment.

Nothing succeeds like the appearance of success. -- Christopher Lascl

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