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Comment: Re:Perhaps you are not entitled? (Score 1) 391

by ranton (#49354337) Attached to: Millennial Tech Workers Losing Ground In US

"Pay us well" Meaning that Fair Market value shouldn't be based on what you can pay people in a third-world country where the cost of living is 1/8 what it is here.

Fair Market Value is whatever an employer can spend to get an equivalent amount of work done anywhere. Everyone needs to ensure they are valuable enough to be worth more than a third-world developer. Most of that extra worth will come from soft skills, not technical skills. Your salary will get capped real quick if you are mostly relying on your technical skills as your value to the company.

"Give us job security". Once upon a time, your knowledge of the company and how it runs and how best to make it run was considered as important as actual technical skills and not something to be lightly discarded just because this quarter ran under than management wants to keep their bonuses up/prop up stock prices by laying off people en-masse.

Computers aren't the only reason companies are more efficient today. One area (among many others) of improvement has been in knowledge management. 50 years ago companies were often far more reliant on the tacit knowledge of their employees. This could include your lead engineers' knowledge of your product, your senior salesmen's insight into your customers' needs, and so forth. Companies today spend far more effort in disseminating that information and codifying the knowledge so it is saved when an employee moves on or moves into another role. A well run company should be able to weather the loss of any employee with minimal disruption.

Just because you have a cushy job where they still behave companies did pre-1980 doesn't mean that that's how the majority of today's corporations work. If they should happen to change - and companies do change - I worked at one where doing a good job was guarantee of employment until one day - literally one day - their new owners threw that policy away, dumped whole departments on the street. It was such a big cultural shift that the local news agencies reported on it.

And when that day comes, you'll find that all those job offers you've been getting aren't so shiny as they appeared.

When did s.petry say he is still working at a cushy job with a company still living in the past? For all you know he moves companies every 3-5 years as new opportunities present themselves. People who mismanage their careers usually find it impossible to even understand what a well-managed career looks like. I have worked at a failed start-up and a large company which was and still is losing market share because of mismanagement. Neither of these companies sunk my career; in fact both were used as springboards. I learned a lot, gathered contacts, and moved on.

Comment: Re:This validates the US policy... (Score 1) 727

by ranton (#49346093) Attached to: Germanwings Plane Crash Was No Accident

I dare say that a flight attendant (mostly women) is not going to stop a (co)pilot (mostly men) with a plan for murderous suicide.

Thanks for showing your misogyny nature.
Poor helpless woman would not be able to stop big mean man.

My wife and I are almost as progressive as they come, but that doesn't mean my wife is stupid enough to think we are equals when it comes to physical strength. And we are pretty average for our genders when it comes to physical strength. Even with a knife or baseball bat she would not have much of a chance without a lucky hit early in the fight. She could surely injure me severely (with a weapon that is), but not stop me if I intended to pacify her.

There is plenty of actual misogyny in our culture, there is no need to invent some while making yourself sound stupid.

Comment: Put tragedies into perspective (Score 1) 727

by ranton (#49345609) Attached to: Germanwings Plane Crash Was No Accident

People need to stop losing their minds every time we have a tragedy. People are going to die in plane crashes from time to time. Sometimes it will be an accident, sometimes it will be negligence, and sometimes it will be terrorism. No one lives forever. Deal with it.

Put things into perspective
There were 3.4 trillion passenger miles flown worldwide in 2012, and 475 aviation deaths.
There were 3.0 trillion passenger miles driven in the US in 2012, and 33,561 traffic deaths.

Maybe it makes sense to add another pilot to flights, but lets not let the amount of press coverage a single incident gets determine policy changes.

Comment: Money spent on research Money spent on STEM Ed (Score 2) 149

by ranton (#49322005) Attached to: Obama To Announce $240M In New Pledges For STEM Education

I agree that if we want more people to train for STEM jobs, we need to focus on jobs in that sector not in education. We already have an education system qualified enough to produce STEM graduates. We just don't have enough quality jobs for those graduates, so many of our best and brightest go into law, medicine, finance, etc. instead of STEM fields.

Take that $240 million, plus another $240 billion, and put it into research. Go to Mars, invent better batteries, create DNA specific medical treatments ... the sky really is the limit. By doing this we won't care about just creating new jobs because we will be creating new industries.

People smart enough to work in STEM are usually smart enough to go where the money is as well.

Comment: Re:Ban teachers union (Score 1) 213

by ranton (#49320567) Attached to: Finland's Education System Supersedes "Subjects" With "Topics"

Everyone keeps forgetting that the government does not force unions in the work place - it is a voluntary agreement between two parties.

Government absolutely force unions in the work place. There are plenty of laws which protect union membership. I'm not arguing that those laws are a good or bad thing, just that to ignore the government's role in supporting unions is ridiculous.

Powerful unions are essentially monopolies that the government won't protect society from. If Ford cars become too expensive I can just buy a car from another company. If Ford was the only option, their only incentive to lower prices would be so people don't keep used cars for too long. That is obviously a horrible situation and the government would step in. If the UAW asks for too much money, however, Ford can't turn to another automotive union with more reasonable rates. And going with non-union workers in an industry dominated by a powerful union also has its problems.

Comment: Re:Ban teachers union (Score 1) 213

by ranton (#49320457) Attached to: Finland's Education System Supersedes "Subjects" With "Topics"

strong correlation between dismantling of unions and stagnant wages ?

There is also a strong correlation between the time where a significant portion of the population became college educated and stagnant wages. Wages grew substantially when the average worker was becoming far more valuable economically then generations past. This was low hanging fruit solved by increased government funding of higher education and a shift in middle class mindsets that college was necessary for a middle class life. Once a tipping point of the number of college educated employees in the workforce, average wage growth started to stagnate again.

Workers get approximately 6 to 9 times as much work done as they did 40 years ago, but make less money. awesome.

Productivity gains which occurred 40-50 years ago were largely because of a more highly educated work force. Productivity gains today are largely because of increased use of capital. Computer systems, robotics, operational improvements, etc. are responsible for that increased productivity over the past few decades. And just like the 50's and 60's saw the rise of the middle class because of college participation, the 80's through today saw the rise of the upper middle class.

The upper middle class is now responsible for the productivity gains we see today so they are the ones who are reaping the benefits (along with the capital holders of course). When a middle class worker becomes more productive today, it is probably because of a CRM system or robotics assembly created by someone in the upper middle class. And the upper middle class wages have not been stagnant by a long shot over the past 20-30 years. The upper middle class hardly even existed before the 80's.

Comment: Re:Ban teachers union (Score 1) 213

by ranton (#49320161) Attached to: Finland's Education System Supersedes "Subjects" With "Topics"

why do we have unions?
because there is no balance of power in the workplace without them, and workers will be impoverished without that balance

Labor unions aren't solely responsible for workers rights. The government is our primary tool for enabling worker's rights. The government enacted the 40 day work week, overtime laws, etc (with help from unions), and governments are the ones who enforce these laws today. Unions were a tool which was necessary because in the early 1900's the government simply did not take on the responsibility. That is not the case today.

There are plenty of times where drastic actions are necessary because the government is not doing its job well enough. The US Civil War is such an example. We needed a war to prevent secession, but we don't need perpetual war to stop it from occurring regularly. Just like we needed unions to set reasonable work standards after the industrial revolution, but we don't need them perpetually.

Long standing unions almost always become as big of a problem as the robber baron monopolies they were created to fight against. They drive up consumer costs of any service they have a hand in providing; that is if the industries they taint can't just move overseas. They are especially dangerous when they mix with public services, because tax payers are stuck with bills promised by politicians decades ago who knew they would be out of office long before the bills came due.

Comment: Re: Idiot Parents (Score 5, Insightful) 569

Your statement, "she took the job" in no way refutes what Jason Levine just said.

The first guy said to give the parents a break because parenting is hard. The second guy said "she took the job", obviously implying you shouldn't have kids unless you are prepared to do a good job at that very hard job. Sounds like he was refuting exactly what the first poster said. Be careful about calling people stupid when you can't understand a very simple argument (regardless of whether or not you agree with it).

There are plenty of very tough jobs in this world. My job is a lot more difficult than raising my daughter is (although not a more important job than being a dad). But I can't just shrug and say my job is tough if I fail at work. I took a job where I knew the responsibilities and challenges were significant, both at home and work, so now it is my duty to do well at both.

That said, even the best of kids can make horrible mistakes, so you would need to know quite a bit about the home dynamic before immediately blaming the parents. From personal experience I would say these kids' parents are more than likely bad parents, but it would be idiotic for me to just assume they are. Even good kids can be convinced to do bad things through peer pressure, for instance.

Comment: Re:Who cares? (Score 1) 208

by ranton (#49313597) Attached to: For Boot Camp Users, New Macs Require Windows 8 Or Newer

Why are you buying a Mac if you want to run Windows 7 in the first place?

1. You feel Mac hardware fits your needs at your price point better than other options.
2. Your employer bought you a Macbook but you want to use Windows (I was in this situation until a couple months ago).
3. If you are buying a Macbook / Surface / etc. you probably don't care about the extra cost of an OS. If you do care, you probably should be buying cheaper hardware anyway.

Comment: Re:Ironic (Score 2) 110

by ranton (#49310661) Attached to: A Sucker Is Optimized Every Minute

Computers can certainly be granted superior perception to a human but the optimization algorithms may not always win in a 1-on-1. Humans have the potential to be just as good at signal processing if the context is something we have already evolved or been conditioned to handle.

The benefit of an AI is generally its superior memory and consistency when compared to a human. Those are things humans cannot be evolved or conditioned to match. We could possibly be improved to match the memory through the use of bionics, but the consistency may never be matched.

The good thing about the memory and consistency is they can both be utilized by humans in hybrid decision systems. That is why the best chess players are humans using computers, and why business intelligence tools are almost always better when they merge computer generated data with human intuition.

Comment: Re:There is no debate. (Score 0) 299

by ranton (#49301147) Attached to: Scientists: It's Time To Resolve the Ethics of Editing Human Genome

Who is going to carry the risks and the costs of genemodding and carry the consequences of trial and error?

I tell you who will: In first world countries it will the society, the taxpayers. So they get to vote on if this is done or not. End of story.

Oh that is so cute. You think if taxpayers could be adversely affected by something that they will have a significant voice in the matter. It's just so adorable.

Comment: Re:meanwhile (Score 4, Interesting) 342

by ranton (#49284157) Attached to: UK Chancellor Confirms Introduction of 'Google Tax'

You realize that almost always the reason there's only one cable company is because of regulation, don't you?

That is not even close to true. Regulation is partly responsible for why there are so few companies laying wires, but lack of regulation is what is holding back more companies from selling services which use those wires.

The United States is almost the only country in the OECD which does not require the owners of broadband physical infrastructure to sell access to independent providers on a regulated wholesale market. This is almost the only reason our broadband speeds are so much worse and our costs are so much higher than other OECD countries. If we treated our broadband line like we do our telephone, electric, and gas lines, there would be plenty of competition. And using dozens of European countries as an example, the quality of our physical infrastructure would not suffer if this changed.

Local governments do enact regulations and fees which make building our physical infrastructure more expensive, but that would be even worse if the local governments didn't exist. Having to deal with hundreds of individual property owners per neighborhood instead of one local government per township would make it near impossible to build our infrastructure. We can at least try to reign in corrupt government.

Comment: Re:Transparency in Government is good! (Score 1) 334


It may not allow for 3rd party presidential candidates, but the presedency isn't the only elected office in our government. Getting third party candidates into Congress is still incredibly difficult, but I believe is within the realm of possibility. Just think how much of a difference having just 10% of our congressmen as independents would make. No party would likely ever get over 50% majority, and it would also be unlikely that any minority party could block legislation. Good legislation (those that independents would vote for) from both sides could pass.

The universe seems neither benign nor hostile, merely indifferent. -- Sagan