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Comment I paid mine (Score 1) 1032 1032

It did take 16 years though, and I did make some significant life choices based on that. LOL, now I have a mortgage, I think the last time I was totally free from debt was like 1992. It probably could be seen as a social control tool, but on the other hand my ability to buy things on credit against future earnings has helped me more than hindered. Although 10 years ago when I was paying the loan and living in a crappy tiny apartment I might have felt otherwise. Its one of those things that more life experience has given me an expanded perspective on.

If you default on these loans, I think you should make a philosophical choice to never try to benefit from credit in the future.

Comment Power? Control? (Score 1) 260 260

I just assumed it was about controlling even more of the stack, and helping to bring about the time when they control it all..

As an older programer sometimes I am cynical and assume they created a new language that no one knows so they can hire the cheapest, youngest labor (since only young people not currently working or paying a mortgage have time to master a language).

That being said, Go is not too bad (although I find I have a hard time with the dependency management tools). Swift feels like a language aimed at broadening the programmer base. Cognitively I feel reminded of Python when I play with it, which is a bit of a barrier since I never liked python much myself.

Comment I don't think there's confusion... (Score 1) 639 639

"The whole global warming debate is as confusing as ever."

I don' think this is correct. My understanding is there's no confusion, just debate over the rate of change. I guess taking the temperature of the planet is not as straightforward as taking the temperature of a person. The planet is big and data comes in from all over, and not everyone has exactly the same tools so there is some ambiguity in that. And the change delta is small to begin with, so any amount of noise or uncertainty is going to have an outweighed effect on our ability to read the numbers and use then as the basis for making predictions. But the only confusion is invented confusion by people that stand to benefit economically from maintaining the status quo.

Comment It's all in how you play it out (Score 1) 271 271

I'm an 'aging' Perl developer but my situation is very different. I've been working mostly on newer applications (nothing more than a few years old) mostly at mid to mid/late stage startups and I don't think I am running out of Perl jobs (although it is ALWAYS wise to have more than one pan cooking so I've also tried to grab whatever Javascript I can since I enjoy that language tremendously).

Things I've done which I think helped me and might help you:

-- Volunteer on as many open source projects as you can. I've gotten a lot from open source and I wanted to give back and it turned out giving back (coding, blogging, and general advocacy) helped me even more. I think its helped me to keep my coding skills fresh (problem with a job is that the work can get you behind the technology curve if the company is a bit conservative and just likes to keep things working as they are). Also my work in that area has helped my personal branding since people in Perl tend to know me as the guy that works on such and such project.

-- Try not to take jobs with really old codebases that are limping along. The more time you spend hacking CGI like its 1999 you are not learning new stuff that is going to get you a job tomorrow.

-- Don't take crap from the just out of college programmers ;) Try to use your long term knowledge to your advantage, you know stuff that younger people can't possibly have run into yet (even though 80% of what I learned in IT over the years is now out of date that still 20% more than someone with less than a year experience ;)

Best of Luck.

Comment Prepare for an adequate compromise no one loves :) (Score 1) 328 328

So in the end what will happen is a bunch of regulations will be passed. Some of them will be sensible stuff to protect consumers and probably stuff to protect all these new contractors (the drivers), and other people on the road. Some will be blatant pandering to the established taxi companies, which will use whatever political power they have to keep their status quo. And some stuff will be some new taxes or personal axes that the legislators have to grind. So basically democracy at work :) Just be sure to make your voice heard so in the end the compromise is one that is acceptable to you.

Comment There's an order of magnitude difference here... (Score 1) 121 121

No doubt humans are great at seeing and inventing patterns, its built in our brains at a deep level, for good and for ill. Certainly this ability plays a significant role in creativity. There's a missing bit here though, in that we build a pattern that is in some sense deeply meaningful. "Luke, I am your Uncle, " would have made as much sense and filled in pretty much all the similar spots, but doesn't have the same punch.

When the courts go to try and understand a new, real life situation against the background of the history of judicial judgement, there is a part of this that is just inspired. But there is a huge part that is research and questioning and trying to bring the pattern into a meaningful and consistent whole, something that is an expression of certain foundational opinions and reasoned principles. Although there is a connection here, the article seems to suggest that the pattern we devise is much more arbitrary than I think it really is. "Making up patterns where none exist" would imply that we can end up anywhere. I don't think that is the case.

Comment As a K12 teacher, I have to say . . . (Score 5, Insightful) 352 352

The TFA is an excellent example of that fraction of the population who has no idea what a K12 teaching job actually entails, but somehow thinks they understand it completely. As one of the respondents in this thread (who did understand it) put it, real teaching jobs will be one of the last to go, as they entail interaction between human beings. It's in the interaction that the best teaching happens. That's why K12 classes need to be smaller, and not like my 200+ member Biology 1 lecture at university forty years ago.

Comment Re:This is why they reinvent the wheel (Score 4, Interesting) 626 626

"Perl is just horrifically bad? Then let's invent Python "

Perl was first released in the late 80's and was stable is its version 5 form mostly by 1993-1994. Python was also started in the late 80s. So the languages are from the same time; Python was not built as a reaction to Perl or an attempt to make a better Perl. People tend to think that because Perl had an unnatural popularity surge in the early days of the internet since some of the basic tools for stuff like CGI programming and database interfacing hit Perl very early and everyone just used that. Python caught on in popularity later. So people just assume it came later.

Ruby you could sorta say that. Its from the mid 1990s and intentionally looked at Perl5 and decided to take a spin on it that was supposed to be more simple. Like they dropped the sigils and make everything an object (probably was looking at a mix of Perl and Smalltalk, which was also popular at the time for a certain group).


Comment Re:More jobs, not less? (Score 1) 442 442

So okay, here's what I don't get.

With illegal immigration, the argument is the immigrants are taking jobs no one here wants to do. I can buy that - they're not claiming that illegal immigrants create jobs.

With H1-B visas, Zuckerburg and Ballmer are claiming that more visas will somehow create more jobs. The only way I can see this happening is if companies start paying job applicants to go away so they can apply for more visas.

Can ANYONE make sense of this idea that H1-Bs create jobs?

I don't buy it. For every job there is a price at which someone will do the work. Increasing the worker pool (and doing so with people that have no rights and are afraid of stepping out of line) will always result in lower wages.

AFAIC lets open the border to whoever wants to work, as long as I can hire an Indian lawyer to help me with my tax issues at half the price of what an American lawyer wants.

Comment Re:Can't have it both ways (Score 1) 337 337

Its not the thousands of lives that is the underlying reason here, its the billions and billions of dollars those terror attacks would cause to business interests.

If there was a way to prevent that cost to business but that way didn't solve the 'deaths' problem, the gov't would do that. Look at the gun lobby...

If you have to ask how much it is, you can't afford it.