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Comment: This is what I do now, too. (Score 1) 178 178

I state up front that I work on my own terms. I have talent to offer and can solve problems that others often can't, but I place a premium on flexibility and on my own health and family. I am incredibly productive, more than many other employees, but I do not offer *maximum productivity*, i.e. "as much as I am humanly able to produce." Even if it seems that I have more to offer (i.e. I leave at 6:30 when everyone else is still working and Skyping me at 11:30 pm, I travel a only couple of times per year and decline to travel 20 times per year, etc.), I am not willing to give this "more" to the organization—it is for my family and my own personal growth.

And both of the phrases I used are things I've been told—"We have doubts about your how serious you are; we're interested in someone that's more serious about their career" and "We don't doubt that you're highly skilled and productive, your resume and recommendations are stellar, but we're in a competitive industry and we need highly competitive people, and we're not sure you've got that competitive fire in your belly—that you're really going to be one hundred percent invested in the company and its growth."

I have two friends that have been on the serial startup carousel as founders. Both burned out and moved in other directions because they felt it was impossible to actually have a life, be a human being, and get growth and operating capital support from investors. Each startup became their entire lives each time until positive exit, and at some point each said, "I'm not doing this again, I'm losing my own sense of identity and my family."

And if you take that kind of statement out into the public sphere, I'd bet that what others would say is, "Well, they weren't really made to be enterpreneurs, then; they were destined to burn out because it's not the lifestyle for them."

Which is precisely my point—and it sounds like you've seen it, too—there's a prevailing "wisdom" that "real" career builders or "real" enterpreneurs are a particular "type"—the type that gives every . last . drop . of . blood to the company. The rest? They're just not "cut out for it"—they should "do something else."

Of course, if you're not "cut out" for the job market or for enterpreneurship, it's not quite clear what "else" you ought to be doing to earn a living. There are only so many jobs at nonprofits and in government agencies.

It would be better if society were to take a step back and assume the opposite—that everyone is basically loyal, driven, and productive, but in general, a healthy person cannot exist without healthy hours, life balance, and relationships, and if someone is the "type" to be working from 4:00 am until midnight every day of the week, and double that on holidays to pick up the slack, the are probably in need of counseling or personal development, rather than a raise and a promotion. But I suppose that's not how the market works.

Comment: Unhealthy society. Not just in business or tech. (Score 5, Insightful) 178 178

This isn't just about startups, this is across U.S. society—there is zero work-life balance.

Sure, every other company proclaims how great they are WRT work-life balance, but it's pure bullshit.

During hiring (for employees) and/or funding (for startups), if you give any evidence that you will ever put anything before the company (family, health, whatever, it doesn't matter) in ANY way, or ever draw a line in the sand about hours/commitment at ANY number, you are totally noncompetitive/nonfundable (they won't use these words) and won't be hired/be funded. If there is any evidence in your CV, online persona, or history that you have ever done any of these things, you won't be hired/funded.

Even after employment/funding, you have to keep this up. Sure, you may be asked (or even pressed) to "slow down," but it's superficial. The moment you do, positive evaluations/promotions/funding dries up; there is a perception that you're "not serious," "not committed," "not a good risk," or simply "not as capable/investment-worthy" as those *other* supermen/women that work 100+ hours a week (at least) and always put work first.

Yes, they want you to take a break, take care of yourself, and balance your life. But hey, if someone else delivers more value or growth more quickly... Well, they'd be nuts not to go with them instead, and hope you stay healthy in the meantime, all the best.

So, in the interest of your self/family/relationships you try to build a career that precisely demands that in order to keep it, you destroy your self/family/relationships. Depression is easy to fall into when your life will fall apart no matter what you do.

Comment: iOS users feel it (Score 1, Insightful) 306 306

I currently have a web radio transceiver front panel application that works on Linux, Windows, MacOS, Android, Amazon Kindle Fire, under Chrome, Firefox, or Opera. No porting, no software installation. See blog.algoram.com for details of what I'm writing.

The one unsupported popular platform? iOS, because Safari doesn't have the function used to acquire the microphone in the web audio API (and perhaps doesn't have other parts of that API), and Apple insists on handicapping other browsers by forcing them to use Apple's rendering engine.

I don't have any answer other than "don't buy iOS until they fix it".

Comment: Re:Copyright and cryonics (Score 1) 111 111

Thank you so much for that interesting piece of information! It's a shame that question doesn't seem to have gotten rated highly enough for Steve to see it, but I'm fascinated by what you've shared and seeing that there's a connection between the raids on Alcor and SJGames and thus, ultimately, the EFF.

Comment: Re:Or (Score 1) 117 117

If you do the leading edges and windscreen with furniture polish (people swear by Lemon Pledge, I use Mr Sheen because Pledge doesn't seem to be sold locally) the bug guts wipe off very easily (and I suspect many just don't stick but I've not done a scientific test of this).

Take an awful lot of Pledge to do an airliner leading edge, though.

Comment: Re:If we're stuck with polls, how 'bout tech polls (Score 1) 141 141

I'm becoming a bit of a fireworks nerd, actually. I grew up in the big city where firework sales were forbidden, and now I live in the country where you can buy them twice a year. We actually double up on fourth of July and get extras to save for the fifth of November and have a fun time then, as well.

I've gone so far as to research how to create my own fireworks, and I might actually give it a try some day.

Gunpowder is really the original world-transforming technologies.

Comment: Copyright (Score 4, Interesting) 111 111

Steve, I read that you consider yourself a "small-l libertarian." These days a lot of libertarians have come to oppose copyright law, or else favor severe reforms for it. As a publisher, game designer, and libertarian, how do you feel about the subject, and do you feel that these various roles are in tension with each other?

On a related note, in junior high school I bought GURPS Cyberpunk from a friend, only to later find out that that friend had shoplifted it from a bookstore. I've always regretted that. Do I owe you guys some money?

Comment: Cryonics (Score 1) 111 111

Steve, thanks for many enjoyable hours spent gaming and reading your company's books about gaming. I wish I could ask you how to make more hours so that I could still play today!

I have read that at one time you had cryonics arrangements with Alcor Life Extension foundation. Is that still true today? Are you optimistic about your chances? Do you recommend other people follow suit?

Comment: Re:Randomness can't come from a computer program (Score 1) 64 64

Most of us do have a need to transmit messages privately. Do you not make any online purchases?

Yes, but those have to use public-key encryption. I am sure of my one-time-pad encryption because it's just exclusive-OR with the data, and I am sure that my diode noise is really random and there is no way for anyone else to predict or duplicate it. I can not extend the same degree of surety to public-key encryption. The software is complex, the math is hard to understand, and it all depends on the assumption that some algorithms are difficult to reverse - which might not be true.

"Can you program?" "Well, I'm literate, if that's what you mean!"

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