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Comment Re:he should know better (Score 1) 298

On the contrary. Societal attitudes to free speech do matter.
Only in some kind of pure libertarian world would what you say be the end all. But we don't live in that world.

You can't just deny someone's business because you don't want it.
We live in a world where anti-discrimination is a big thing and is regulated. We live in a world where the channels of speech (Internet, tv, newspaper, movies...) are all considered outlets of speech and validly should not discriminate.

Comment Re:or -effective- against the infidel imperialists (Score 3, Interesting) 491

Actually I wouldn't be so quick to just say you're kidding.

I was Muslim (currently secular), and I am engineer. I guess I'm the target demographic.

I think people have covered the abuse of these statistics in other posts. Things like technical skill, Western grads might be more involved in engineering...

So I'll just add my anecdotal bit that might actually add some validity. I have a hard time with cognitive dissonance or whatever you wish to call it. But something is either true and I act accordingly. Or something is not true, and I drop it. Or I just don't know enough about it.

In my days as Muslim, I really did believe in Islamic law. I really did think suicide bombing and terrorism was a way to get the end result. It wasn't pretty, but if that's the goal, that's what we have to do. Now I didn't do anything, but the thoughts were in my head.

We sometimes look down at people with cognitive dissonance, but in a way, it's a good feature for society as whole. Other people just don't seem to have the same trouble with it as I do. To them Islam might just be a way of life. They will say they believe and then ignore most of the text and most of the rules.

I think the engineering mind might be very focused on goals and if they can be convinced of the goal, the rest kind of follows.

Comment Re:Why would Disney do this? (Score 1) 262

To whom does the minimum wage apply?
The minimum wage law (the FLSA) applies to employees of enterprises that have annual gross volume of sales or business done of at least $500,000.

It also applies to employees of smaller firms if the employees are engaged in interstate commerce or in the production of goods for commerce, such as employees who work in transportation or communications or who regularly use the mails or telephones for interstate communications. Other persons, such as guards, janitors, and maintenance employees who perform duties which are closely related and directly essential to such interstate activities are also covered by the FLSA. It also applies to employees of federal, state or local government agencies, hospitals and schools, and it generally applies to domestic workers.

Comment Re:Why would Disney do this? (Score 1) 262

It's an interesting question.
but we should remember these are multi-national corporations. They don't belong to America.

Everyone wants to be an exporter.
Everyone wants to keep local jobs.
It's part of our paradox.

I don't know how much money Disney makes overseas, but its probably a large amount. The people in those countries deserve a job working for Disney as much as an American.
They also deserve a share of Disney's taxes paid.

I know H1Bs are a bit of a scam, but its really just a small piece of the puzzle.

We've all taken great advantage of free trade or migrant labor whether we want to or not. Ideally, this would have been nipped in the bud long ago. But who knows, maybe it has benefited the world. Or maybe it hasn't.

I'll say this though, America made some better decisions with respect to trade with its own inter-state commerce clauses.

What did the US did when say New York put in a minimum wage, but Southern states did not? You don't need a PHD to figure jobs would leave New York and end up in Alabama.

The US got a federal minimum wage.
Theoretically, if you don't cross interstate commerce, I think you don't need to obey the federal minimum wage. But what constitutes interstate commerce has grown that its basically most workers.

Now the question I ask is where is this great wisdom when we signed free trade with countries? Should we not have a common minimum wage with countries we sign free trade deals with?

Comment Re:This (Score 1) 393

The problem is that it has a lot to do with universities.

Are CEOs and other corporations cutting workers or using foreign labor? Yes.

But universities and the education industry are also culprits encouraging the excess education deserves more money.

Just ask yourself this one question.
Should a person with a master's degree be paid more than someone with a high school education?

I don't see any reason that should be the case except that the person with a master's degree has some talent/skills that allow them to do a job that a person with a high school education cannot.

It might generally work out that way. But there is no intrinsic reason.

We really don't need so many educated people. Note I said need, as in job. It's great for people to be generally educated, but they are no more deserving of a job or more money. My brother-in-law is a prime example of the product of this mindset. He's not the brightest kid, but took political science and wants to write public policy. He's having a hard time finding such a job.

There even a lot of education inflation. A lot of professions from nurses to teachers now need a bachelor degree and often post grad work. Are these teachers any better than the ones I had? I don't see the evidence for it? But they manage to negotiate in their contract that a master degree gets you more money or whatever.

All this does is drive students into more student debt and time, while providing little value to society.

Yes, corporations are a problem, but the education industry is also a problem.

Comment Re:Scrum Was Never Alive (Score 1) 371

I think that is absolutely key.
The prerequisites as it were.

Scrum is a very optimal process once you have all those key things you mention.

If there's one thing about Agile that is key: People BEOFRE Process.

If you look at all your prerequisites, so many of them rely on people.

People need to buy into it. Including customers. That's not very applicable for many industries.

You need a general architecture in place. That needs a good architect and time to build it out.

You need a team of skilled self-starting developers. OK, that's pretty much the hardest part in any company. It's not for random contractors or people. ...

Scrum like many process issues is an optimizer. But if you don't even have the basics, it's not going to help very much.

Comment Re:Real smart fella (sarcasm) (Score 2) 519

There's a lot of ideal things.

But when there are multiple powerful entities vying for power, you have to deal with that.

I'm under no illusions as to the actions of America. They do some pretty messed up things. They also live all at the expense of others.

But you need to go one step further and ask. If they're not 'in charge' what would the other empire in charge look like?

I'll still put my money with the Americans right now. It could change in the future of course.

There are a lot of countries that just don't do very much actively in the world and are great places to live. I live happily in one of them (Canada). There are plenty of places to live much better than the USA.

It's just a reality that the world has countries vying for power.
That is the thrust of what I'm saying.

Just like in WW2, what would you have done against Hitler? No, as flawed as Britain/America/Allies were at the time, most of us would choose to have the allies win than the Nazis.

Or now. America is screwed up. But would people want ISIS to rise up. A state whose ideology includes slavery, rape, religious tyranny, ethnic cleansing, destruction of anything non-Islamic...

Yeah, it's not a good choice. I'd much rather the world be full of Canada's and Denmarks. But that's not the world we live in. And Canada/Denmark at this point in our history aren't really capable of standing up to any bad country/empire vying for power.

Not having power means you can have a certain morality, but never lose sight of the reality that when it comes to the powers vying for control, you should have an idea of which one is preferable.

Comment Re:Real smart fella (sarcasm) (Score 5, Interesting) 519

I just had this conversation last night. I'm Muslim, at least culturally. I don't really believe anymore.

I don't know too many people who think people who join ISIS just like to kill people.
Yes, they want their way of life, and they get their people to join their fight.
We have our way of life, and we get our people to join our fight.
Yes, people have reasons.
Yes, the leaders rally people around causes, sometimes even with bad/alterior motives.
Yes, the average person normally just wants to live their life.

But in the end, what does this all matter?
They're killing, raping, enslaving people.
Does it matter what made someone a monster? I don't think so.
Even if someone is born purely genertically a sociopathic murderer, that is what they are.
You can do what you can to prevent that kind of person from being born/created, but once there, that is what they are.
People in ISIS are killing people on mass, enslaving people, raping young girls and women, all the while thinking they have a right as per their religion.

What is evil? What is moral? You don't need to get all philosophical. It's been had 1000 times before. In WW2, the Germans bombed London. But the allies did the same to Germany. Who is really evil?
I'm going to opt out of that discussion for this post.

When my relatives sit there and blame everything on the US. The US created ISIS they say. The US created Al-Queda and Sadaam Hussein. It's all done for oil and Israel...

Unless you're a real libertarian/anarchist, you should come to accept one simple rule in life. You will be living under someone's rule. And being in charge is freakin hard. When Syrians were rising against Assad, the demand on our world leaders was to support the rebels. Well turns out that gave the opportunity for ISIS to rise as rebels. What a mind-fuck of a choice. I personally tend to be a little isolationist in these respects for that reason, but it has to be acknowledged that it means I'd let a Rawandan Genocide happen. Unless you're preapred to be the boss and take over and rule a region for a century or massively invest in it, don't jump in. In these global conflicts, all you can do pick the best/least bad ruler.

Just like in WW2, you have to kind of put the tactics used on the backburner. Not totally of course ,but you enter a blackhole of immorality. War is sick and depraved and it reduces all of us. You can't be Ghandi about things. Non-violence only works against nice enemies like colonialists, and even then, backrupt colonialists who were pulling out anyways :P
All you can ask yourself is would you rather have had the Nazi ideology win or the Allies?

Would you rather be ruled by Putin?
Would you rather be ruled by ISIS?
Would you rather be ruled by Saudi Arabia?
Would you rather be ruled by USA.

I'm not even American, but the choice is pretty plain to see in my eyes. At this point in history, give me American Rule any day of the week.
Although, I'll say the Chinese are winning me over to some extent.

Comment Depends how it is done (Score 1) 89

There are technical reasons why things be done for cheaper.
For example if Netflix partners with ISPs to colocate content within the ISP, then it is actually cheaper for the ISP to deliver Netflix. Netflix data isn't traveling outside their network anymore.

As long as:
1. Netflix works reasonably with all ISPs to do the same thing.
2. The ISPs work reasonably with all video streaming servics (if they offer such a thing).

Comment Re:It doesn't matter... (Score 1) 242

It's also a matter of having multiple forms of security.
After a few years, I signed up for Google's two-factor authentication. So if I am on signing in from a new location, it sends a text message to my phone with a code.

I happen to like this system. It's very convenient. In my day to day use, it never even appears.

If they could add finger printing to the process without making it more annoying, it would just be another good level of security.

Comment Re:No no no (Score 1) 607

All true, and this really where society has hit that fan.

You can't have two vastly differently set of rules for different parts of society.

To private sector workers:
You're on your own.
You compere globally with 6 billion people.
You compete for jobs with everyone including people making pennies on the dollar.

To public sector/government protected (doctors, lawyers):
We'll keep your salaries high by restricting access
We will make sure your work can't be outsourced

What's especially troublesome is seeing how people have begun to internalize this mindset.

Ever heard a public sector worker talk about free trade? That's just reality and private sector workers must deal with it.
I did X years of school. Of course I should get more money than an auto-worker!
They'd never think of not being able to buy an IPhone and being restricted to buying a blackberry just because they're Canadian.

Comment Re:No prosecution if you don't do the crime (Score 1) 201

Any system that relies on the super-morality of people is bound to fail. History can attest to that.

No group of people be it engineers, priests, scientists, lawyers, doctors, teachers, police officers. politicians... are 'good' enough to be some kind of moral vanguard.

Can an individual be a standout? Of course. On both the positive or negative side.

The best you can do is make sure the conditions people operate it are good enough and the consequences bad enough that a reasonable person would choose to do the right thing.

Comment Re:No excuse for committing a crime (Score 4, Insightful) 201

But there lies the problem.

You can relatively easily prosecute the engineers because well... they were the ones to implement it and would know what impact things would have.

The hard part is in getting management because at the end of the day, they typically apply pressure and can claim ignorance.

They should really have a serious clause in there along the lines of negligence whereby management can be held to account for applying undue pressure and not taking enough due diligence to make sure it was not impacting quality.

And it should be a harsh punishment.

Like it or not, engineers just don't have the same kind of clout as doctors or lawyers or other regulated professions.

It's kind of sad when you hear people talk to software developers and say they're not real engineers who are held to account...

I've worked in some engineering oriented firms. I'd say you face the same issue you do as a developer. Your 'boss' is a corporation or venture capital firm out to make money. You are just an employee.

Now engineers do some some areas where they have more independence. Normally in fields like power, civil engineering... often in cases where they have strong bodies.

But for a corporate and product company like VW... there's not much difference.

Comment Re:Government Wants All The Monies (Score 2) 142

Just because on the whole you think something is needed, doesn't mean it is not what it is.

Wars are state sanctioned killing.
Taxes are state sanctioned theft/extortion.
Police are a state sanctioned gang.

You can twiddle the words a bit, but you do recognize half the truth when you say "they're the cost". Whenever somebody says it is the cost, then you know someone is being hurt. If they weren't it wouldn't be a cost.

As someone who lived in some rather lawless areas.
The police are a better gang than an actual gang.
Taxes are better than a lack of roads, schools, healthcare.

But please, why fight the definition of what is being done to someone. You're arguing that the cost is worth it. Stick with that argument instead of pretending like civilization has no cost and government isn't doing harm to people.

The only argument is that you think it is worth it.
Which I'd agree with. But you can and should recognize that government is force and oppressive. It just happens to be worth it.

I like work; it fascinates me; I can sit and look at it for hours.