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Comment: Re:I'm Chris Dodd (Score 1) 596

by jstoner (#38788851) Attached to: White House Petition To Investigate Dodd For Bribery

That's because you don't know how Hollywood accounting works. Each film is a company, through which the money is funneled. It never comes out ahead. It's not supposed to. But trust me, there are people in there making money.

Now, compared to the tech industry, movies are pretty small potatoes. There's a big list of single IT companies that could buy all of Hollywood for pocket change.

Comment: Re:Bull... (Score 1) 949

by jstoner (#36367298) Attached to: Is There a New Geek Anti-Intellectualism?

It would be interesting to compare openings for welders against openings for, say, product design. Which is growing more? I know which one is more of a 'trade.'

If the welding is growing faster, that could be evidence the economy is climbing back down the abstraction ladder, which (I think) would be a bad thing. Welders may make the world, but they don't run it. Product designers direct a lot of what your world looks like. And product designers need some insight into how human beings work and what they need. An understanding of the deep narratives of the culture will help you make things for it.

Maybe that doesn't entail a whole degree, but it certainly entails some degree of liberalism in education, and more than most high schools give you.

tl;dr: trade school vs. liberal education is not a binary, it's a scale. Maybe things need to move closer to the trade end, but not necessarily all the way.

Comment: Re:Its not the speed that is the problem. (Score 1) 1026

by jstoner (#35156348) Attached to: Obama Calling For $53B For High Speed Rail

Your car is more inefficient, in terms of the value you can make of time spent. On mass transit you can read, listen to books on tape, generally make the time useful. Walking, you are getting exercise. In your car, you better be focusing your attention on not killing yourself or anyone else.

I'm for professionalization of driving. It's far too easy to get a driver's license in America, and far too easy to keep one.

Comment: Re:help in police chases? (Score 1) 471

by jstoner (#30867130) Attached to: Electromagnetic Pulse Gun To Help In Police Chases

And assholes like me with deep brain stimulation implants. Yes, I have wires in my brain:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_brain_stimulation

And I don't even have to be in the car. I could be beside the car, or just past the car. God help those around if I'm driving. My car might be fine (that's a good question, does this effect only the target car? How tight is the beam? Could reflections kill other cars?) but I'd likely die instantly (or be in a permanent coma, no difference to me) and my car and drooling carcass would probably drift across lanes into other cars...

If by some miracle I were to survive such an incident, I hope the police department and manufacturer have a shitload of liability insurance, because they would need it. As a rule, I don't use my condition to abuse the legal system (though I certainly could), but I would get very litigious about that, and encourage my family to do so in my stead.

Comment: DBS is not gonna do it for this (Score 2, Interesting) 249

by jstoner (#30548644) Attached to: Is Neurostim Becoming a Reality?

I have deep brain stimulation (DBS) implants for dystonia, and they're hit or miss. Maybe you get some sort of high, maybe your arm goes rigid, maybe you see spots. And for twenty hours of brain surgery, awake--well, I wouldn't have done it if I thought I had any better options.

The state of the art with this is nowhere near reliable enough to do for nonessential reasons, even if you have some of the best doctors in the world. And the expense--well, if it had been out of pocket, it would have cost me >$300k.

Or, you can just go score some coke, if you're into that kind of thing.

Comment: Re:It won't affect anything. (Score 1) 275

by jstoner (#27043673) Attached to: Without Jobs, Will Open Source Suffer?

Many companies aren't interested in any experience you weren't paid for - they're looking for professional experience.

Besides, once you have more than 10 years experience a few months more is just in the noise.

Two responses:

1. from the above poster:

"In the end, I got top-notch job--which I wouldn't have been able to get if I'd shown up to the interview and been unable to answer engineering-questions due to having not done any engineering for 3+ months. Being able to show my prospective employer which projects were using my code (and show the code) was a definite plus, too--I'm certain that it helped me win-out over the other candidates."

Skillsets are perishable. A shark smothers when it stops swimming. You don't want to be stale for a tough interview.

2. That's why you do something both to a professional standard, and that is impressive. Set a high standard for yourself, pick a difficult problem, and solve it. If it's impressive it's impressive, whether you got paid to do it or not. That's what I'm actually doing now, with boogiepants.

We can predict everything, except the future.

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