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Comment Re:Austin? (Score 1) 464

By all means, everyone avoid moving to Austin. And all of you who moved here in the last 15 years can go away, too.

Kidding, actually.

Life in the less trendy but very comfortable Austin suburbs is generally quite affordable, and if you find a job that isn't located downtown the commute can avoid the worst of the traffic.

Personally, my commute is 15-20 minutes for 11 miles, or an hour each way by bicycle over a slightly longer route. And I love it here. (Austin AND my particular suburb.)

Comment Re:Who is to say that this "list" is legit at all? (Score 1) 546

You are aware that political parties change over time, right?

Civil rights act, "Southern Strategy", etc.

While not particularly a fan of either party, I can recognize that the current Republican party has struggled to appeal to any kind of racial or social minority due to its stated and implied "conservative" goals of maintaining the unfair privileges enjoyed by those already unfairly privileged, while the Democratic party has enjoyed strong minority support possibly due to making unlikely promises of righting past wrongs.

Then politicians of both parties proceed to pander almost entirely to wealthy and corporate campaign donors in their actual activities in office.

I tend to blame this mostly on a fundamentally flawed system of elections.

In any case, your statements, while largely true, are correctly cast in the past tense.

Comment Re:Crap. (Score 1) 152

Some of us have been using Slashdot since the days of 28.8 dial-up, yet have never registered a username. Things like that might be important to you, but not to everyone. Grow up and recognize that because you felt the need to make a name for yourself makes you no more credible than the next person.

All these years and I'm still incredible. Incredible.

Comment Re:Interesting (Score 1) 327

What I observe as a politically independent Texan is that ideologues on multiple sides of any topic (there are always more than two, thank you very much) make vociferous arguments that ignore any considerations orthogonal to their particular ax grinding, and almost invariably present opposition to their viewpoint as coming from a broad brush painted group of "others" who can be castigated as un-whatever-they-value-in-human-beings. So you get loaded but essentially meaningless terms like "environmentalists" or "neo-cons" or the dreaded "libruls". Go ahead and apply Godwin's law, I'll wait...

Meanwhile, eventually reality demonstrates itself and the creativity of humanity comes up with thousands of possible solutions to problems, some of which work and some of which get adopted, though those are not always overlapping groups. It's messy and sub-optimal, but probably the best we can manage. So far it's getting better over the long view, despite setbacks.

Personally, I'm in favor of doing whatever actually works balanced against doing the least amount of damage, and upgrading as time goes by to improve on both counts. Sometimes we need to cooperate (that's called "gubmint") to get over a hump, and sometimes competition will do the trick.

Comment Re:The New Napster (Score 1) 144

I think the basic issue is that we are still treating individual electronic copies of a work as if they had inherent measurable value. The data on some medium never had any measurable value. The measurable value was inherent in the following: the production of the work, the physical medium itself, the imprinting of the medium with the data, the distribution of the medium, and marketing effort. The value of many of these have now been reduced or effectively eliminated for the type of works under discussion.

What we need is a way of rewarding those activities that produce value, without propping up defunct systems with artificial scarcity.

I think we are getting closer to that future than when I last commented on this topic. It's been an interesting ride, and it's still evolving.

Comment Re:It has advantages and disadvantages (Score 1) 318

I would think the best deal would be to be able to work from home a couple of days a week.

This is my current situation. I average one day a week where I work from home the entire day, and two or three other days where I work from home part of the day.

This works well for me, because I have things arranged well at home (separate office space with few distractions, the family is trained to mostly leave me alone) and because I have proven over time that it is effective for me. I am glad my manager was receptive to experimenting with it at first, and as it has proven to work well it has become easy to justify.

A few points:

  • My job is part time coding or other individual efforts, and part time project/team leadership, so it's a mix of time spent at home or quietly in my office space and time spent in meetings or hallway discussions.
  • All of our developers are expected to be able to work from home when required for support or emergencies, so the processes and tools were in place already.
  • My commute is 15 minutes, so if something comes up, I can be onsite quickly.
  • This situation evolved rather than being a fixed agreement, and it could well evolve into something else.
  • Most importantly, before this could evolve, I proved my abilities and trustworthiness. Nobody ever doubted I'd get my work done, wherever I was.
  • No free days off if the office is closed for bad weather.

Comment Re:Science (Score 1) 416

NASA, EPA, NOAA, Air Force, name your federal agency, there's only one pocket - mine. I don't much care how they juggle the books, but I want them using my money to do useful stuff like studying the climate, not killing people and blowing stuff up so somebody else can make more money.

Comment Re:Yet another Ted Cruz bashing article ! (Score 1) 416

As a voting member of Cruz's nominal constituency, I reserve the right to criticize him in any way I please, including voting for almost anyone else who will run against him, as well as griping on the internet. In my opinion he is an embarrassment and an idiot, and I want to vomit when I think about the percentage of my neighbors (and relatives) who voted for him.

We are here discussing his apparent intent to use political power to hinder the gathering of data for science, and that is a serious issue if it is true. Sadly it does not seem out of character for Texas politicians.

Do note that I have not mentioned any political parties or ideologies here. I am not opposed to Cruz because of his affiliations, but because of his actions and statements. I find political parties in general to be a problem that needs solving, but that's another topic.

Comment Re:We've redefined success! (Score 1) 498

Here I go again, replying to anonymous...

But for the rest of you:

I could not disagree more with your categorization.

As far as I can tell, suicide attempts do fall into two categories.
1. People who are terminally ill and have made a rational decision along with the advice and consent of family and health care professionals to avoid suffering that truly cannot be otherwise avoided.
2. People with mental illness.

Category 2 covers a broad spectrum, from the "cries for attention" - a pejorative phrase that is uncalled for, because anyone in this situation bloody well needs some attention - to people who due to their illness cannot comprehend the action they are taking, and all points in between. Suicide except in case 1 is definitively irrational. Life can ALWAYS get better, and usually does, given a chance. Maybe some changes are needed, maybe some health care is needed, maybe some time and help are needed - every individual being different. But suicide doesn't make life better, it makes it worse - especially for those who care about the victim.

As for the Japanese girl mentioned, I hope she got the care she needed, and lives a full life complete with joys and experiences she would have missed were it not for that help she got, wanted or not.

Comment Re:Maybe in a different country (Score 1) 498

I understand that you are a troll.

However, on behalf of all the people on Earth who are currently living with the grief of losing a loved one to suicide...

Nah. Never mind. You need help. Good luck.

By the way, it ain't hopeless. Even losers like me, who spent years fighting the urge to suicide, can eventually find peace and joy and even success in life. Keep truckin' on, it will get better.

Comment Gears (Score 1) 150

A friend had a small side business which made use of Gears. When Gears went away, it wasn't worth the effort to redesign, so the biz shut down.

Though it was trivial, it does make me nervous about basing anything critical on Google services.

Comment On microaggressions (Score 3, Interesting) 107

First of all, this is the first time I've encountered this term, and find it rather interesting.

To me it seems apparent that people interacting are bound to occasionally cause discomfort to one another in unintended ways. We'll leave out intentional aggressive behaviors, which seem to be a different topic. The ideal as I see it is not to eliminate this feature of human interaction, but to discover appropriate responses to it on both sides.

Being offended is at some level involuntary, I think, although one can certainly get carried away with it. There should be ways to respond to it that encourage learning and accord rather than evoking defensive posturing.

Likewise, having caused unintended offense and having it brought to one's attention will inevitably produce some level of defensiveness. Again, it's easy to get carried away with the defensive response. There should, again, be ways to accept and grow from the experience rather than turning it into worse offense and deeper divides.

Perhaps learning to care about the feelings of the people you encounter at least as much as protecting your own feelings is the key. On both sides.

Otherwise, get off of my lawn.


"No, no, I don't mind being called the smartest man in the world. I just wish it wasn't this one." -- Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias, WATCHMEN