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Comment: Re:That is okay (Score 1) 254

There is a simple way to prevent unions from gaining a foothold in your company: stop treating your employees like crap. Stop implementing life-sapping schedules that prevent workers from having meaningful relationships, give them solid healthcare that they don't want to trade away, give them a paycheck that allows them to live within a decent distance of their work, and don't treat them like meatbags whose sole purpose is to make you more money. If they still want to unionize after that? Fine, throw 'em to the wolves. But quite frankly, reading through the description of what the bus drivers get, the company had this coming.

That said, fuck the unions as well. No, a bus driver isn't the same thing as a programmer. Stop pandering to your audience and do something useful instead.

Comment: Re:More liberal than libertarian (Score 1) 580

by NeutronCowboy (#49047193) Attached to: Low Vaccination Rates At Silicon Valley Daycare Facilities

You're quoting a parliamentarian from 19th century France. Which had some very specific issues that the socialists were trying to address, and where a lack of state intervention indeed would mean nothing of that sort happening (see specifically education).

And just to pile on your vaccine statement: I am damn sure in my right to force you to not be the carrier of a disease that can infect me 2 hours after you passed through the room.

Comment: Re:More liberal than libertarian (Score 2) 580

by NeutronCowboy (#49047135) Attached to: Low Vaccination Rates At Silicon Valley Daycare Facilities

A libertarian may lean more towards equal opportunity, a liberal more to equal outcomes.

That's a (deliberate, I frequently think) misunderstanding of the liberal position. The reason that there's a lot of talk about outcomes is because it is the single clearest and simplest metric we have about success. If a group is represented at 5% in a field where we suppose that equal opportunities should lead to something more like 50%, the conclusion is that the initial assumption of equal opportunities is wrong. Measuring opportunity is incredibly hard, consists of hundreds, if not thousands of factors, is impacted by the cultural biases of the investigator, and some impacts to opportunity are so embedded in the culture that they are quite literally invisible to the investigator. As a result, outcome is frequently used as a proxy for opportunity.

Is it right to make it a 100% proxy? No. But it is a valid starting point to look into opportunities.

the DC money is also ineffectively used since it doesn't consider the local circumstances.

Which sometimes is a good thing. See for example the "local" Alabama Chief Justice who just gave the finger to gay people because he doesn't like what he's being told to do. Sometimes, the big stick of the uninvolved far away helps to knock sense in the locals. Sometimes, the locals do know best. But blanket statements like "local government is much more often best" is trivially proven to be wrong.

Comment: Re:That's because engineers are not smart (Score 1) 580

by docmordin (#49044301) Attached to: Low Vaccination Rates At Silicon Valley Daycare Facilities

I spoke about engineers in general. And as you know, as someone who apparently lives at the end of a bell curve, when speaking in general there are always edge-cases that can seemingly contradict the general statement being made, but that doesn't stop that statement from being true.

Your generalization would be true if I was just one of a handful of students who worked up to general engineering principles from rudimentary physics knowledge. However, I can point to hundreds of my peers at MIT who did the same thing, many of whom likely have a much deeper understanding than I do. Given my exposure to the curriculum at CalTech and Stanford, I feel rather confident in stating that engineering students at those schools weren't just given equations and told to memorize them. Instead, they slogged through a series of derivations of those principles and had to build up their own understanding of the meaning behind those derivations. I'm sure that others can chime in about their experiences at other top-tier institutions, such as Berkeley, CMU, and the Ivies.

As an aside, undergraduate research assistantships are becoming more commonplace at some institutions. I agree that most undergraduates will probably not come out publishing papers in prestigious journals or conferences. However, that does not mean that they don't enhance their knowledge and understanding of various concepts.

In short, there are thousands, if not tens of thousands, of engineers out there with educational experiences that either partly or fully mirror my own. Consequently, you really need to be cautious when you make sweeping generalizations like engineers only spend their time memorizing formulas without reflecting on how those formulas came to be.

Comment: Re:That's because engineers are not smart (Score 1) 580

by docmordin (#49043387) Attached to: Low Vaccination Rates At Silicon Valley Daycare Facilities

That's because engineers are not smart, they're dogmatic. They spend their entire university career learning formulas and recipes (excuse me, algorithms) without questioning them the way physicists or philosophers do. They spend the time, and they know their science, but they don't know why what they know is right, they just know that what they know IS right. [...] And because they only learn the results, not the history and argumentation that led up to the result, they're not as well prepared to deal with the barrage of idiocy that is spewed by people like anti-vaxxers.

There are plenty of incorrect assertions and generalizations made in this post. It honestly reads like a dogmatic diatribe.

As EE/CS undergraduate students, my classmates and I learned the fundamental physics behind various phenomena, not just the high-level equations. That is, we learned why, for example, transistors function they way that they do and why we can rely on simplified equations to characterize their behavior. Most of what we were taught is still covered in the MIT undergraduate curriculum (see courses 6.002, 6.012, 8.012, 8.04, and 8.044).

As EE/CS graduate students, my lab partners and I were responsible for furthering the state of the art. During these years, we had to understand why, for example, our experimental results diverged from our model predictions and how to revise those models accordingly. In some cases, we invalided long-standing, widely taught models and proposed new ones. If we didn't understand the fundamental physics behind these models, we wouldn't have made the contributions that we did. We also wouldn't have had our work published in Science, Nature, and PNAS.

I don't even need to lengthily address your comment that engineers aren't smart. There are plenty of people on Slashdot that can thoroughly invalidate that claim.

Comment: Re:It changes every week (Score 1) 305

by NeutronCowboy (#49030859) Attached to: Alcohol's Evaporating Health Benefits

You make the mistake of listening to articles about scientific research instead of actually reading the research. Additionally, you make the mistake of thinking that one study == Truth. Especially in biology and medecine, with hugely complicated machines and enormous difficulty setting up good controls, a single study is almost meaningless.

Wait for studies to confirm others, wait for things to percolate through the scientific community, then start paying attention to it.

Comment: Re:BMW software sucks big time. (Score 1) 83

The main application for piping your phone through your car audio is that phone calls are clearer, and you get access to your audio books, music, or online newspapers that have an audio stream. In other words, making sure that your car system isn't obsolete 3 years after you buy it requires a tethering mechanism. And bluetooth is the simplest one out there.

Comment: Re:Good data first, then maybe big data later (Score 2) 99

by NeutronCowboy (#48945853) Attached to: Cutting Through Data Science Hype

Absolutely true. Unfortunately, it's far easier to convince management that the problem is the lack of a shiny tool that shows them pretty graphs than shitty data that they have to pay some consultant an ungodly amount of money to fix. Because, of course, no one in the company has the time to fix the data on which they run their business.

Comment: Re:Hope the muslims win then. (Score 1) 329

There are a few of them that grew up exactly like that. They show little difference with the rest of the politicians. Why? Because if they got to their position, anyone can, and those who don't become part of the 1% are clearly just lazy moochers.

Being poor in the US is either a temporary embarrassment or proof of being a bad person. It's quite amazing how alive Calvinism is in the US.

Comment: Re: Lame (Score 1) 95

There is literally nothing for me to buy right now. Why can't this 10% off be in the form of a code that we can use any time we wish?

Isn't that pretty much what Sony are saying they will give. A code you get to apply to a shopping cart once?

"In addition, sometime this month we will announce that for a limited time, we will be offering a 10 percent discount code good for a one-time discount off a total cart purchase in the PlayStation Store as a thank you to all PSN members."

I suppose the the "for a limited time" could be a problem, depending on how reasonable it is. If it was something like 6 months then it probably isn't too bad. In that time frame there would probably be something you would buy anyway. At that point it probably comes down to whether the code recipient us capable of delaying gratification. If there's plenty of time to use the code and you choose to use it to buy things you wouldn't have otherwise then that'd be your choice (no doubt one Sony would be happy with). Personally I'll aim to hang on to it until there's something I want. If it turns out there's a game I want, a TV series I want and a movie or two I'd like to see then the 10% could be quite a saving. Then again I've already got more games queued up than I have time to play.

Computer Science is merely the post-Turing decline in formal systems theory.