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Comment Re:Hobby vs Professional (Score 5, Informative) 113 113

if you want to be a professional game/sport player, Scrabble is not the way to go. One year, the top prize at the US National Scrabble Championship, attended by about 700 players, was $25,000, the highest it ever was. Someone pointed out that year that $50,000 was the top prize of the national championship of Tiddlywinks.

Comment Re:Is this a surprise? (Score 5, Informative) 113 113

Those of us who play tournament Scrabble are only mildly surprised that Nigel learned all the words in that short a period of time. But what makes Nigel the best is much more than knowing all the words. There are a few dozen players, and a number of computer players, who can credibly make that claim.

Nobody has Nigel's combination of word knowledge, board vision, and ability to calculate probabilities.

Comment Re: And it's not even an election year (Score 2) 407 407

That was the point. You'd have to offer me the same kind of money to relocate, because I really don't want to run the risk of uprooting my family, only to get laid off in six months in a place where I have no roots. I've seen it happen too many times.

But this is a digression. The companies that complain they can't hire the talent they need are really saying that they can't afford to hire the talent they need. Hiring H-1Bs is a Band-Aid. The companies that complain that they can't even hire H-1Bs with the talent they need are forgetting that just as everywhere else, all the best Chinese and Indian workers are already taken.

One of the root causes of all this is that companies have mile-long must-have skill lists, and they expect to "install" new workers the way they install new PCs. Plug them in, turn them on, and they work starting right now. It used to be said that any new worker would take six months to a year to become truly productive. That hasn't changed, but somehow the industry has gone into a state of denial about it. The end result is even stupider: They spend more time looking for someone who is plug-compatible with the job than they would have spent hiring someone with the right basic skills and training them.

Comment Re:Lies, bullshit, and more lies ... (Score 3, Insightful) 442 442

The other trick is that the law says that H-1Bs have to be paid "prevailing wages". But if you look at most large companies' salary bands, the bottom end of each band is often barely half of the top. So an H-1B can make, say, $60K, in the same position where the average employee makes $85K-$90K, with some making $110K, but since they're all within that position's stated salary range, the company is still not technically "underpaying" the H-1Bs.

Often statistics are used as a drunken man uses lampposts -- for support rather than illumination.

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