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Comment Re:Ben Franklin (Score 1) 1291

Mr Franklin, I know you're a Founding Father, but this is one of the worst examples of anecdotal evidence driving policy that I've seen. Where's your data?

I can assure you, from personal experience in both the UK, and the US, that there are lazy people everywhere. They make up a small portion of the populace, and are used as an argument to say that everybody who isn't working is like them.

Times are also different now, from when you were alive. The standard of living among the general populace doesn't hold a candle to what it is now. There were always jobs, or unexplored parts of America where people could make their fortunes. Most of them died destitute and miserable, but we don't need to get into that. In addition, America was poor. It wasn't a nation of power and wealth, nor was it a nation that accepted the idea of equality for all human beings. You'll forgive me for taking your words, which are backed by nothing, with a grain of salt.

Comment Re:How is this paid for? (Score 1) 1291

You're pretty solid, up to about here.

Flexible work, high VAT, low income tax, basic income, unregulated free market.

Unregulated free markets always tend toward oligarchy or monopoly. A basic income won't change that tendency, or its pernicious effects. Government would still be required to step in and ensure that companies don't destroy things which belong to all of us (water supplies, national parks, cities, etc). They would also be required to build roads and other infrastructure, and undertake pure research.

Government's role is reduced with a universal basic income, but it is by no means gone. There is a lot of really important, valuable work that governments do, largely invisibly, which needs to continue, no matter how we jigger the capitalist side of the economy.

Comment Re:Seize your Privilege (Score 1) 1291

Governments and corporations have not be very good at exploring high risk/high payoff scenarios. We need those areas explored. (How rapidly?) What alternative structures will accomplish this? The alternatives wouldn't need to be very efficient to be better than the current approach. A change in the laws to encourage thinks like corporations creating entities like Bell Labs was might suffice, but they need to be able to accumulate stashes of cash that cannot be raided except for advanced projects.

Government research is actually the entire reason that companies look like they do good things. Private companies are horrible at pure research. Instead, they take the output of pure research that looks promising and work to develop products that can make money off of it.

Drugs? Research done by government, and universities funded by government grants
Space exploration? Pioneered by government
Internet? Pioneered by government
WWW? Written by someone funded by the government

The raw truth is that private companies are horrible at high risk situations, as shareholders and enterpreneurs either don't have the stomach, or the wallet for it. Only government can take the risk that a billion dollars in research will pay off with nothing to show for it. Anybody else would be lynched by their investors.

Can we at least be honest about the role of government in capitalism? If we can, we can start to see that billionaires aren't the solution to the problem, they're beneficiaries of government policy. Share the wealth, guys. You've done very well, now make it available to the next person who wants to do something nobody's ever thought of before.

Comment Re: Disappointed (Score 1) 173

Mod parent up.

It's amazing. The first time I heard the term Social Justice Warrior, it was on a thread issuing personal attacks on Anita Sarkeesian. Then I saw it applied to Zoe Quinn. Then I saw it applied to anyone who defended their viewpoints. It was always used derogatorily. That's the only way I've ever come across it.

It's just amazing to me that people who wish to insult others could choose so complimentary a term and turn it into an insult. How many people, who believe in equality for everybody, would object to being called a warrior for social justice?

Check out the definitions at Urban Dictionary. There is no indication that it's a self-selected term, for a group of people. It's used as a pejorative, by people who wish to insult, belittle, or demean those with arguments they disagree with, exactly as parent suggested.

Comment Re:Recalls aren't that complicated... (Score 1) 99

I like that you guys seem to have a sound plan for dealing with this, though I wonder why they use a hierarchy for disseminating information to smaller and small scale pharmacies. Wouldn't it make more sense that all pharmacies should be notified by one central body both for expediency and for reducing the margin of error that one of the links in the chain might goof?

I suspect the reason is actually fairly simple. In the case of a major recall, speed of confirmed communication is paramount. Hierarchy means that one organization isn't simply trying to contact everybody for personal handoff, but is instead multiplying its capacity by creating a cascade effect. If every pharmacy in the country was centrally registered with emergency contact details, this procedure could probably be done away with, but protocols take a long time to change, even when they're no longer valuable.

Another possibility is that due to devolution of powers, including medicine, the hospital pharmacies and PCTs are the authorities which are responsible for maintaining a list of practicing pharmacies in their area. If that's the case, it's a no-brainer to have them send out the notification, since they're the final arbiters of truth regarding registered pharmacies.

Either option seems plausible to me.

Comment Alternate Viewpoint (Score 5, Insightful) 73

"So there is apparently some reason to be patient with your paper's critics — they will do you good in the end."

I have a different possible viewpoint. The papers that are most likely to be rejected are the ones that are controversial because they challenge the status quo. But once they're accepted, they're game changers. And since they're game changers, and the first publications with the new viewpoint, they're cited disproportionately frequently by follow up work.

(formatted correctly this time)

Comment Alternate viewpoint (Score 1, Insightful) 73

"So there is apparently some reason to be patient with your paper's critics — they will do you good in the end." I have a different possible viewpoint. The papers that are most likely to be rejected are the ones that are controversial because they challenge the status quo. But once they're accepted, they're game changers. And since they're game changers, and the first publications with the new viewpoint, they're cited disproportionately frequently by follow up work.

Comment Whenever we're ready (Score 1) 182

Developers are responsible for supporting production, which means they can release whenever they want, as long as they're willing to deal with the consequences. This has lead to a release frequency which ranges from 1-20 times per day, depending on how critical the application is, what is being added, and how complex the change is.

The most important thing to us is that people who are treated like adults act like adults. Trust your developers to release responsibly, and (with a little teaching/learning) they will.

Comment Re:It really isn't sugar, that is just one avenue (Score 5, Interesting) 655

I am not declaring that working only forty hours or less is bad; but lets be honest those we know who do more tend to get further;

Science and reality both say you, and those whose viewpoints you represent are deluded.
Labor, experiments, and industry all agree that a 40-hour work week is better for everybody - individuals and companies. Productivity by people who regularly work more than 40 hours per week is lower than those who work 40 hours.
The only reason people get ahead for working longer hours is because a generation of managers appears to have been taught to think that bums in seats = productivity. So longer hours = increased likelihood of promotion. It's a vicious cycle that's fuelled by people like yourself who speak with no understanding of how the human mind and body work. As a matter of fact, /. posted an article on this very subject 2 months ago today.

Comment Re:Better phrasing (Score 1) 146

Mod parent up.

Carrot and Stick is a shitty way to manage people. You're much better off helping them tap their intrinsic motivation, rather than trying to extrinsically motivate them.
You get better work, more engaged employees, more intelligent decisions, and you don't have to be there all the time to ensure they're doing things correctly.

Carrot and Stick? Seriously? We have 50+ years of research showing that Command & Control is inferior to enabling and engagement. How come businesses can't make it work?

Comment Re:Medical expenses? What's that? (Score 1) 651

Enslaving doctors and forcing them to work day and night giving away healthcare for free is civilized?

-Rand Paul

I can't believe nobody has pointed out the obvious flaws in this argument.
1. It's logically unrelated to state provided health care
2. It equates government payment with free
3. Doctors in countries that provide socialized medicine work the same (and frequently fewer) hours as their American counterparts
4. America is the only Western country in the world that hasn't implemented some form of universal health care
5. The UK's cost per capita is much, much lower than the US.
6. And healthcare is better, by numerous measures
7. People choose to train as doctors in the UK. Nobody is forced
8. Doctors in the UK are some of the best paid professionals in the country
9. There is no price gouging. The NHS provides the doctors, the equipment, the treatment, the medicine, and the bills. There is no incentive to overcharge patients, since the NHS will ultimately foot the bill.

My counter example is simple:
I live in the UK.
I pay taxes. (Less, by the way, than I paid in the US)
My taxes go to pay for health care for everybody.
I'm never turned away from a hospital, GP, dentist, etc. for any reason
I'm in the top 3% of earners in the UK, so I pay more taxes than I get benefits (this is purely for the "that's ok for the poor" crowd)
My children's health does not depend on my own ability to secure a job

I just don't understand how anybody, anywhere, can take this argument seriously.

Comment Re:Taxes (Score 1) 413

The power to tax is the power to destroy. The 14th Amendment specifically prevents laws from applying to different people in different ways. It was passed to prevent Jim Crow laws. This is just a 100% attack against a targeted business that is unconstitutional and bordering on the laws that prevented blacks from voting and serving on juries after the Civil War.

Amazon isn't protected by the 14th Amendment.

"No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

Amazon is not a citizen, or a person (despite Citizen's United).

Comment Re:Those that don't do well should be embarassed (Score 1) 406

Yeah! Stand them in the corner with a pointy hat with the word "Dunce" on it! That'll teach them! Rewarding is far, far better.

It's not. It's just as bad, but more subtle. Read Drive by Daniel Pink, Punished By Rewards by Alfie Kohn, Why We Do What We Do by Edward Deci for more (easily understood and digested) information. Or, just start reading here:

In my daughter's school they offer reward cards; they're a bit like loyalty cards. Instead of the old gold stars, they are now given points that can be exchanged for material goods. A point for handing in homework, an extra point for handing it in early, points for winning competitions, be they sports or academic.

Looks like they're being taught to love bribes and extrinsic motivation, not learning. An easy mistake to make, for people who don't know how to teach, but as parents, teachers, and (ostensibly) people who can think, we owe our children better.
You are doing your daughter no favors in the long run by backing this system. In fact, you are likely to do long term damage to her love of learning for its own sake, and her intrinsic motivation. By rewarding students for doing their homework, the school is creating a system where students work hard to get the rewards, not the thing the rewards are supposed to encourage.
It's breeding short-term memory, and gamification of the system. Congratulations, you're creating an 1800s style factory employee out of a child who taught herself to walk without any sort of reward, who taught herself to talk without any bribes, and who taught herself to roll-over before you even knew she was paying attention to you.

Comment Cult of DevOps? (Score 4, Insightful) 114

I'm not sure I can take anybody who calls an attempt to make IT and Development more aware of each other a cult, seriously.
The traditional way of doing things didn't work for 30 years. Why is it that when people are trying to make (and apparently making) a difference to how companies work, they're regularly denigrated by a large subset of the very people whose working lives they're trying to improve.
Haters gonna hate, I guess.

Comment Re:Nothing to surprising (Score 1) 1271

In the same way that capitalism has been tried and failed because you can't remove greed from the human condition.

No, that's totally wrong. Capitalism (free markets in their most-free form) actually recognizes and utilizes greed to promote the system. It's greed and profit motive that drives and motivates the producers in the system. The winners are the ones that can satisfy the needs of consumers expending the least resources to do so.

You leave one thing out. Capitalism, in its most free form, is an absolute disaster. You have competitive behavior at the beginning, but once someone establishes a dominant position, they slowly crush their competition, erect false barriers to entry, and use their monopoly in one industry to allow them to unfairly compete in others. My starting assumptions are no different than yours -- greed and profit motive drive the producers in the system. There's no reason to think that these two motives will stop being factors once a company is successful. History and evidence teach us that once a company is successful in one area, they continually try to branch out into others, preferrably into areas with strong potential and weak competition.

Capitalism very quickly fails to do what it is meant to do -- promote competition where the best product has the most customers.
In a way, you're right. In a free Capitalist society, greed does drive the market... into the ground. Capitalism must be strictly regulated in order to function over the long term.

To communicate is the beginning of understanding. -- AT&T