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Comment Re:But But This is Anti Homeless! (Score 1) 197 197

It's cheaper than either cigarettes or alcohol, especially in places where it's available "medicinally", like SF.

Yes, I've been to those places because THC suppressed epileptic seizures I used to have (but only for several hours while it was in effect- it's an extremely expensive anticonvulsant and insurance doesn't cover it). Legal pot is particularly expensive. On what basis is pot cheaper that liquor or alcohol? Per "dose" (whatever that is for any of those three)? Cigarettes and liquor never tempted me to cut up my ATM card.
Plus, you can't survive on a 100% Taco Bell diet... just eating the pot would be more nutritious.

Comment Would completely change eye industry ... (Score 2) 70 70

Currently, cataract surgery is the most commonly performed operation - millions every year in the United States alone. This sounds a bit too good to be true ... but if it actually worked, it would have a HUGE impact on the eye industry.

The real holy grail would be if it also restored the flexibility of the lens so you would get your accommodation back.

Comment Re:A spreadsheet? Really? (Score 1) 429 429

Spreadsheets allow a lot of analysis - and believe me, there's a ton. (I lost count of how many tabs of pivot tables and charts this thing has, because I got tired of scrolling.)

It's alive and well, and you'd think Google could managed to take down a Google Spreadsheet if it was a problem. I don't get the hubbub - it basically confirms what they've been telling us for years about how salary is determined, which as you might expect is fairly well defined.

Comment Re:Summary is wrong, management didn't "freak" (Score 1) 429 429

(I also work at Google, but this is my opinion)

I've received peer bonuses. I've even received duplicate peer bonuses (bonii? yes, there's been a discussion) for the same thing, and I would've turned them down if I could. I get the sense that it's highly (manager) discretionary, though the default is generally to "approve" for typical, use-intended cases like staying late to help a team debug their problem, or really bending over backwards to help someone launch on time (both things I've gotten peer bonuses for).

The rules are very straightforward but they apply to a lot of "atypical" cases. There is manager discretion, but the rules are common-sense: It's not very kosher to give someone a peer bonus for doing their job in the normal fashion (e.g., thanks for implementing that feature you were supposed to implement), and it's (famously) not OK to ask for one to do your job (e.g., give me a peer bonus to approve your CL). It's also supposed to be beneficial to the company - you shouldn't get one because you helped someone move apartments. I do think that there's a tendency to use the peer bonus as a "+1" where people use it to agree or express support - there are (ignoring this case - I'm not saying one way or the other) several internally-widely-visible situations that any Googler can think of where this happened. It's not really supposed to be used for these, so a manager may (and should, according to the rules) reject them.

As for not knowing the peer bonus rules, I don't get that. I've known them almost since I started and I thought the rules were commonly understood...

Comment Re:Meth Hype is Common: (Score 1) 98 98

Well this is not how Walter White would have done it, is it?

That's the coward's way out, using drugs, where 90% of your synthesis has been done for you by already by some Big Pharma company selling pseudoephedrine to people who need to clear their noses.

"Now get me my phenylacetic acid... bitch!"

Comment Re:Did TV beat this article to the punch? (Score 1) 245 245

I actually came here to say this. Yeah, I"m a Scrubs nerd. The "new" urologist turns down a risky surgery because it would make her stats look bad if he died - not strictly speaking a report card, but some of the same outcome-based grading. You incentivize surgeons to have patients not die, they'll do the best they can - and then they'll pick the patients that won't die anyway instead of the ones who *really* need help.

My Urologist:

Dr. Cox: Surgery is really the only thing that has a shot at curing this guy and the reason that she's not going to do it is because he's older and he's got heart issues which makes him high-risk and if he were to drop dead on her operating table, well, that would make her surgery stats go down. And that wouldn't look very good on a young doctor's resume, would it?

Kim: What can I say? You got me.


J.D.: It bothers me that a doctor wouldn't help a patient so she could keep her stats up.

Turk: Yeah.

Kim: Look, J.D., surgery is competitive. We do what we have to to get ahead.

J.D.: Well, my best friend here is a surgeon and he would never pass on a risky surgery just to keep his stats up.

Turk: Actually, I have done that. Everyone has.


Dr. Cox: However, it is not Dr. Briggs' fault that she works in a broken system. Top hospitals are only interested in hiring surgeons who they think are flawless. Newbie, that's not the answer you thought you were gonna hear. But as always, I don't care.

Comment Re:Here's a bold idea... (Score 2, Insightful) 212 212

Two otherwise-identical people of different genders doing the same job are paid almost exactly the same, at least on a population level and with moderate-size or larger companies. To do otherwise is super-dangerous because it is an open-and-shut lawsuit and the information is all discoverable. (Of course individuals may have minor differences due to experience or negotiation at hiring, which generally goes away with tenure - if the company is smart.) You can look at any of the company stats of salaries for like-for-like positions and they're incredibly close to 100%.

This is a fact and is true today. Look at it another way - if a company could get the same work for 77% of what they pay a man, wouldn't they far prefer to hire women? People in companies could be wildly sexist, but they'd fail - that's just too much money left on the table! The 77-cents-on-the-dollar thing is an absolute lie. I'd link to actual articles, but there's too many. It makes me so angry to hear otherwise-intelligent people (like the President!) repeat it - are they that cynical, or do they really not get it? (It's got to be the former - when someone pulled up the WH workforce stats, they were quick to reply that it wasn't fair to compare across titles and experience, which is exactly how the 77c number was fabricated.)

So what's going on? Well, there is undoubtedly a motherhood gap, because mothers generally take time off to be with the new child, which puts them behind their non-childbearing peers of any gender. Some women, of course, don't ever come back, but are still included in the stats. Of those that do, well in some industries it's particularly difficult to take a leave of absence (for any reason) - academia and tech are prominent examples. If I as a man took 6+ months off to go hiking in Asia, I'd be in the same boat.

This isn't that complicated. The question is, what do we want to do about it? Well, it's an unavoidable fact of taking time off. We can incentivize anybody who take time off for any reason by negating the setback with an opposite incentive - this seems highly risky and undesirable. Alternatively, because procreation is a societal good, we can incentivize specifically mothers in this fashion. I trust that women wouldn't just have kids to get this benefit, and who pays for it is an open question, but it still seems like a perverse incentive - and in any case it may not be legal to do this. Regardless, such a change should be an open debate - but trying to fix it by erasing the symptom of the 77c lie would just be sneaking through the back door.

The only alternative I see is to accept that having kids is a life choice like any other, and it has downsides and upsides. The downsides are easier to measure, but maybe not important. I personally don't know many women, including my own very successful mother, whose joy about being a mother is tempered by "but it has reduced my lifetime earning potential by X%". People do things for reasons other than money.

This whole thing smacks of the nasty phase of old-style feminism where women berated mothers for being unenlightened and choosing to have kids. I thought we were past that...

Comment Re:On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog (Score 1) 727 727

People didn't used to go around talking about it. It didn't matter, your "name" was cpphead24 or whatever. People formed real identities and had real interpersonal relationships with other people without ever knowing more than their username. Race, religion, sexuality, age, and - yes - gender just didn't come up - a/s/l was a bit creepy, etc. I'm not that old - it wasn't *that* long ago...

This of course was back during the time where the generally accepted advice was to not reveal anything of their real life online. Parents taught their kids this - I remember when I signed up for Facebook in 2007, I was pretty freaked out by the whole "real names" thing. I think it was the first time I'd ever used my full name online, and I don't think I was uncommon.

I wonder if we should go back to that.

Comment Re:Well so much for Democracy (Score 1) 485 485

The problem stems from the currency. The EU consists of sovereign states that are not bound together as tightly as states in the U.S., but their economies are now coupled by the Euro.

Can you imagine if places like South Carolina and Mississippi had to pay California back all the money they receive in federal funding from California taxpayers? They'd have to throw up their hands and start using Confederate dollars again.

Comment Re:Let me guess. (Score 1) 249 249

It's a pretty bold assertion to claim that increasing the concentration of one of the atmosphere's most optically active constituents by 30% won't have any significant consequences on temperature. Do you have anything to back that up, other than your political leanings? What makes you believe that rising CO2 is not a significant problem, and what is it that you understand about CO2 and the history of climate on planet Earth that physicists and climatologists don't?

Figures; in the U.S., party affiliation is the most reliable predictor of one's opinion about global warming, but if you dare suggest around here that someone's opinion is influenced by politics, you get modded to hell.

He who is content with his lot probably has a lot.