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Comment old warning that should be repeated over and over (Score 4, Interesting) 208

Issues like this were already being flagged in 2013:

First of all, shame on authors for either not checking their models enough, not asking others to check them, and not opening their models for others to see before publishing "important" results.

Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, shame on the rest of us (and especially policymakers) for relying on such kinds of work so quickly and without validation to support generally political agendas. It's almost the equivalent of funding vaccine-skeptic studies by choosing which doctors will speak in your favor without regard to a rigorous scientific review process.

Comment CEOs gone wild (Score 3, Insightful) 325

The problem with a lot of leaders is that after they achieve some initial (and maybe even really big and sustained) success, they start to see it as validation of stupid ideas they may have on other things that are not related. And they begin to view their companies as experimental labs for their personal unvetted ideas. This is dangerous.

You saw it in Google's daycare fiasco where some progressive schooling agenda was rolled out, leaving lots of parents with no affordable option for their kids because an executive wanted this, and everyone else had to follow. There are other (better) examples too.

I get the sense that this is the same kind of thing in action. A CEO has some utopian dream about a fully collaborative workplace where everyone is equal, meritocratic, and maybe actually some noble goal of making a better company.

But the thing you learn about groups of people over time is that not everyone can or wants to be equal all the time, and have a content-based battle for leadership every day of their lives. Sometimes you just need a factory workplace to get stuff done, and you don't need everyone to be equal and coming up with ideas every day of their lives. People often want someone to be the leader, to take the responsibility, say what others need to do, and they do it. You evaluate how it went, and try another idea where someone else leads.

You can see examples of this in your own workplace, your friends, your family. You very rarely will see a successful or satisfying group structure where everyone has to debate every decision all the time and be thinking on their toes to do it. It's tiring, and sometimes very much the opposite of what you need to happen. Get a group of friends together where no one feels they can say what the evening's plan should be and I think you get the frustrating picture.

Go home, start making dinner, and debate and negotiate with your spouse and kids about every step of the process because it's sure to make it better, right? I suggest you try it in your life before rolling it out to 1000 employees as the company policy.

Comment testimonial privilege is not immunity though (Score 2) 178

Good to understand though, that not having to be compelled to produce something that could be used against you, doesn't mean that you are protected from that thing being produced... by others. So if somehow their phones were brute force unlocked or decrypted, that evidence could definitely be used against them.

Comment system failure (Score 1) 67

What is with the epidemic of half-assed, unqualified, reaching-beyond-their-capabilities public servants we have lately?

Whether corrupt police, incompetent city government, school principals, etc, when did these kinds of people start getting elected to important public service roles?

Or is it just that now we have more access to tools to expose their idiocy and it seems there are more of them?

Comment finally, some responsibility (Score 4, Insightful) 545

I am all for free speech and entitlement to personal opinion. But the very role of government and public policy is to have a rational and objective view on what is reasonable for citizens to do and not do as part of civil society. It is not to merely sway with the wind and throw up one's hands and say, well, we can't offend anyone's beliefs so we shouldn't do our jobs for fear of being voted out of office.

It is high time that both we as citizens and we as government not put up with or enable a small ridiculous minority of extremist views to hold the rest of society hostage, with the threat of lawsuits.

There is such a thing as being overly reasonable. And there are many more issues that don't rise to this level of publicity, that policy makers give in to, for fear of negative repercussions, rather than doing the right thing.

Comment but on the ground... (Score 1) 203

How will it be at all reasonable to shut down LGA and move traffic to EWR and JFK? Traffic is already a nightmare getting out of Manhattan and on the GCP/Van Wyck. The problem is getting people to the airports.

It is a joke to try and take subways/buses to LGA. La Guardia and NYC need to make some hard and bold public policy choices to cut through a couple of neighborhoods, and make public transport more efficient to/from the airport.

The level of infrastructure quality in our supposedly world-leading financial center is a total embarrassment. You come back from Singapore or HK or even Munich, and you wonder, how are we still #1 with this shit? Fuck the investment required and cost/benefit ratios -- it's a indicator of your country's standing and priorities.

Comment you cannot fight the tide (Score 4, Interesting) 407

Aside from the normal arguments about a shortage of workers *at what offered wage level* etc, etc., the more interesting question here is a question of demographics.

When the world offers you endless numbers of reasonably well-trained workers who can fill your job openings at 1/2 the cost of US workers, what is a country to do? How long can a country resist that pressure? We may politically shout for better wages and training for US citizens to fill these jobs, but the deeper issue is that borders/barriers are less and less effective lately against a flood of competition from people who are cheaper and better (or hungrier).

Americans I believe will have to come to grips with the possibility of a stagnant or even decreasing standard of living as the rest of the world takes what was once our position. No amount of restriction of H-1B visas will prevent that.

Comment No one is forcing anyone to do anything (Score 3, Insightful) 536

Let's be clear on whose responsibility is whose. No one is forcing this guy to do *anything* and it's kind of a stretch to say that Comcast is forcing him to move out of his house. He bought and wants to live in a certain house, that has not yet been clearly shown to have internet service. Comcast is incompetent, and it's his choice on what to do about it.

The issue is not that he has to move out, it's that he doesn't have many cost effective options to get fast internet at his house. But he hasn't even exhausted all his options. Has he looked into contracting to extend a line tap? Has he tried satellite? Phone? Any other options? Many people and businesses operate in far more remote places where they manage to get connectivity.

Much as I hate Comcast, have a sense of objectivity here...

Comment who owns it is irrelevant (Score 1) 667

We can debate all we like about whether there is or is not an absolute standard or "owner" of the language.

But I will still use the ability to write and speak according to the refined rules of whatever standard is adopted, as a filter to figure out if the person I'm talking to has a certain level of qualifications and skill... and is able to understand and think clearly within rules and structures, whatever they may be.

Just because the owners of those may change doesn't mean that poor logic, thinking, and inability to write are suddenly excused.

Comment Re:Why is this a surprise? (Score 1) 156

This is why I have a hard time buying luxury goods where the brand is more important than some tangible functionality.

If I cannot tell the difference between a $100 watch and a $10,000 watch by its accuracy or functionality, I open myself up to being deceived by people who exploit that people cannot tell the difference.

I don't need to be told a luxury story about how a watch is an expression of my adventurousness or legacy, to part me with $10,000 more than the next equally functional good is worth.

Comment confused (Score 1) 106

I have always struggled to understand how some technology makes the transition from being a luxury or niche appeal, to something that government starts to feel is an entitlement or is deserving of regulation. In that sense I watch and see some technologies become victims of their own success -- too many people "rely" on something, and you become a public good and it's out of your control.

How did telephone service become a guaranteed-access human right and lifeline? When will the internet become so essential that to not have it is unacceptable and must be subsidized?

When Sirius and XM radio merged, there was such scrutiny to determine whether that was an unfair narrowing of competition -- for satellite radio entertainment for fucks sake. Yet 5 years before that, the field hardly even existed -- and that was not viewed as a lack of competition!

I would like to know the theory of when something crosses that border...

When you make your mark in the world, watch out for guys with erasers. -- The Wall Street Journal