Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?

Comment: Tortured souls make the world go round (Score 1) 182 182

My theory: Sometimes early in life a person starts to experience anxiety, and this person is also gifted at analytical thought. The deeper they go into analytical thought, the more they escape the anxiety. "Geekness" becomes part of the person's identity. They become very skilled at some things. Some go on to create a company where work long hours, and not only abuse, but take pleasure in abusing those who work for them. Since our capitalist system rewards profit at any cost, these people are held up as heros, when overall they are a net cancer on society.

Comment: Re:Science requires a certain agnosticism (Score 1) 480 480

Ok, permit me to rephrase it. Most religions require the taking on of theological / epistemological positions that are unwarranted for a multitude of reasons. Which is odd in a way, since I think [intellectual] honesty would be high on the list of character traits one would want to aspire to. I was raised in such a tradition and it came as quite a surprise to me that we cannot even be sure what our original sacred texts said, due to the large number of differences in the remaining copies. So building these large theological structures on little pieces of sentences starts to look like a really bad idea.

The Agnostic Manifesto: If I don't know something, I don't say I know it.

Comment: Re:Science requires a certain agnosticism (Score 1) 480 480

I am not sure where you are going with this, maybe trying to create a class of claims that should be always dismissed outright ? Thomas Kuhn and others have pointed out how unfortunately significant the impact upon reason by consciousness, can be. In his writings, this sabotage by emotion to quickly dismiss, is directly at the center of the problems described in the book. And the solution is simple: There is no need to take a position without investigating. If the claim is interesting, then investigate. This premature position taking is the fuel that keeps dogmatic religion going.

I do not think that jumping to rigid positions quickly is a good strategy. I am probably talking more psychology than philosophy at this point. I have read that openness to new experience is actually a core trait, and it is hard to imagine this not being involved.

Comment: Science requires a certain agnosticism (Score 5, Insightful) 480 480

If you learn of an alleged unusual phenomenon, and you have an immediate rigid response, please stay away from science. Go into religion or politics. The only appropriate response is "Hmmm interesting, let's look into this". Human knowledge is always provisional. Careless, absolute, knowledge claims are the currency of religion.

Comment: Re:If we're all going to take Adderall... (Score 1) 407 407

Essentially, if you're allowing your employer to walk all over you, that's on you.

Woo-hoo: no limits whatsoever on employer behavior. That should work out well.
Let me propose another idea: Both employer and employee are stuck together in a system. Neither should have their actions go unchecked. Both should bring reasonable behavior to the table. Occasionally the law can assist with this.

Comment: Maybe the disabled should get discounts (Score 1) 278 278

This verdict seems due to the wording of the law, and Netflix not being associated with a physical location. And captioning all the content could be burdensome. But why make the disabled pay for content they cannot hear or understand ? Why not just give them a discount ?

Comment: "Roll the dice" interviewers (Score 1) 809 809

Who find some obscure question the candidate can't answer, then use that to demonstrate their superiority over the candidate. Instead of having a brief, relaxed, open technology conversation. When the candidate relaxes and starts talking about their technical experience, it isn't hard to tell if they are a good fit or not. And there is no insulting or demeaning of anyone in the process.

FWIW, I have been conducting a lot of interviews lately and I always say I am looking for 49% technical skill and 51% interpersonal skills, because the hardest problems in software engineering are not technical.

Comment: Re:Pretty difficult to find people (Score 1) 101 101

Having worked at a few startups I can understand why people are hesitant to talk with you.
You might try these: 1) Offer a max overtime guarantee or time off for OT. (if you can't do at least one of these, something is wrong)
2) Let them know you understand what it is like to work for narcissists and mentally unwell entrepreneurs, and you will put effort into making sure everyone is treated with respect.

Comment: Don't forget OT and people skills (Score 1) 101 101

I have been working in a great environment for two years. Of course a reasonable salary is important. But I always tell candidates there are two questions I would always like to ask if I were being interviewed:

1 Is there a lot of unpaid overtime ?
2 Does the management and team have a reasonable level of interpersonal skills ? (if you've been at this a while you know how important it ends up being)

So I tell them we have little OT, and an unusually high level of people skills and cooperation, base on my career experience. There is a lot more to think about than money,

Comment: I'm lovin' it (Score 2) 132 132

I've had it three days and love it. After the Palm Pre I don't think I could be excited about another slab phone. Pressing on a piece of glass is not well suited to human anatomy or kinetic pleasure. I love the Classic and also enjoy how much that angers everyone. From an Android dev.

Comment: Re:Microsoft is not less evil,more companies are E (Score 1) 525 525

>>If large companies are so bad why do we still buy their products and services?
Often we are forced to choose the lesser evil. And of course, I am in the vast minority, considering a company's behavior before my purchase.

>> It's too easy to point at successful people and call them liars, crooks and hypocrites
I acknowledge your opinion but I was addressing the question "do we have serious problems with organizational leadership ?" I included a link to research that seems to confirm what many have felt for a while.

>>At the end of the day the biggest hypocrite is the one that continues to buy their products.
You make a good point. If everyone shopped like me there would be less of a problem. But looking at developmental studies that is not likely to happen soon. So should I abandon any attempt to improve the system ? I say no.

Comment: Re:Microsoft is not less evil,more companies are E (Score 1) 525 525

What is success ? Making money at any cost ? Producing defective games ? Telling your production engieers to shut up when the yields are below 50% ? Blaming the customer when the DVD reader design scratches the expensive games ? Using loopholes to extort small businesses ? Lying to congress ?

The root of the problem is not just corporations, it is pretty much all large organization structures. Movement to the top is usually the result of being good at politics, or mentally ill. ( Neither of which will direct a corporatiion to benefit both stockholders and customers.

Maybe one hundred years from now, those in positions of authority will get extra scrutiny, as they should, and be assesed for narcissm, psycopathy. The company I work for is still reeling from misadventures of the previous CEO. I sensed a serious problem the day I first met him, and every time after that.

We all live in a state of ambitious poverty. -- Decimus Junius Juvenalis