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Comment: Re:And so preventable (Score 1) 80

by tnk1 (#49763595) Attached to: <em>A Beautiful Mind</em> Mathematician John F. Nash Jr. Dies

It is legal to not wear a seat belt in the back seat in many jurisdictions, and the regulation where it is required is enforced in even fewer. The idea being, I suppose, that the seats ahead of you keep you from being ejected through the windshield.

However, if one was riding in the front seat, the wearing of seat belts is required by law just about everywhere now.

It was not clear to me their seating when they were ejected, but at least one would have been in the back, presumably. Certainly, I have trouble believing that both a) fit up front and b) that the fasten seat belt tone didn't annoy everyone into buckling up in the front.

A sad way to go for someone who successfully fought against a much more difficult condition.

Comment: Re:And? (Score 1) 259

by tnk1 (#49763557) Attached to: Study: Science Still Seen As a Male Profession

Here's the thing. There may be programs trying to get men into nursing. I have no interest in being a nurse, and I never have. I know it can be a rewarding career, and there's certainly little in the way of layoffs in that field. I just don't want to do that kind of work.

And you know what? I can see why a woman may say the same thing about IT or STEM. I certainly didn't get into IT for the social aspects, I had to actually like what I was doing and want to do it.

I don't think you can make a field welcoming to someone who doesn't want to be in the field. What you can do is remove all the sexist bullshit around that field. You can stop harassment and expect people to act like adults. Definitely expect and enforce equal opportunity in the workplace. Welcome the females who want to be in this field as actual colleagues, and I think that if women will want to be in these fields, they will actually get into them.

Perhaps it is just that we are forcing it. Some women will pioneer their way into the field. Others will follow on, but still have a pioneering aspect. Eventually, there will be enough of a group of females in the business that less pioneering sorts will feel more comfortable. I think women will have to make their own home in these fields for themselves, even if it takes decades. One can't be made for them.

The problem is, when you force it, you start doing things like shifting money away from men to women for education and opportunities for advancement. That may get some women in the field, but the men may resent the hell out of them. The worst thing you can do to someone entering a field is suggest that they didn't earn their way into that field, but were instead coddled into it. And this starts tarring the women with interest and talent with the same brush as the women who didn't have the interest and the talent.

Comment: Re:Are you saying that criminals don't exist? (Score 1) 156

by tnk1 (#49758869) Attached to: 'Prisonized' Neighborhoods Make Recidivism More Likely

Actually, I am not stating anything about skin color. Ethnicity can mean "Irish" or "Italian", and it certainly used to be a problem back in the day. Of course, it doesn't help if you are both brown and foreign.

And I am not suggesting that we'll always have a "high" population in jail, however, there will be a tendency for it to be high-er. That's because the groups in power become fearful of a larger segment of the population. The "high" prison population in the US is that, but also the War on Drugs, which inflates the crap out of the statistics by locking up people in prison with hard time who wouldn't even be in jail in other countries.

Still, I want to be clear. Pointing at Finland, which is ethnically homogeneous and the size of a moderately sized US state, is a complete apples to oranges comparison and is not incredibly helpful. It's sort of like someone in a gated community around a golf course asking why those inner city youths can't manage to behave themselves.

Comment: Re:Are you saying that criminals don't exist? (Score 4, Insightful) 156

by tnk1 (#49755189) Attached to: 'Prisonized' Neighborhoods Make Recidivism More Likely

Well for one thing, the population of Denmark is 89.6% Danish. Finland is effectively ethnically homogeneous as well.

Homogeneity breeds better understanding and better community outcomes. Less fear of the other, more ability to emphasize with your neighbor who happened to get in trouble.

In other words, nothing like the United States. Make no mistake, immigration and diversity have good effects, but it has some pretty breathtaking challenges as well.

Comment: Re:Personal vs. Species Survival (Score 2) 226

by tnk1 (#49755063) Attached to: Asteroid Risk Greatly Overestimated By Almost Everyone

In fact, as soon as civilization breaks down, ebola and highly fatal diseases like it would burn out before they killed everyone because transport systems would stop transferring infected over long distances faster than the incubation period.

Of course, then you'd have the loss of civilization which could kill everyone down to the carrying capacity of what was left, but humanity would still survive most likely.

Nevertheless, a big asteroid strike or nuclear winter, which would affect the whole planet for extended periods of time, might kill off humanity. In fact any catastrophe that globally ended the various species closest to us in the food chain would quickly end us as well because there wouldn't be enough energy production in the system to support us at the apex.

Comment: Re:Do as we say not as we do. (Score 1) 34

by tnk1 (#49753663) Attached to: Security Researchers Wary of Wassenaar Rules

Obviously, software, even weapons software, does not deliver lead or steel to an opponent directly.

What I think everyone is having trouble with is the fact that software can often make less effective weapons much more effective, or even weaponize information itself.

It would be interesting to have a Second Amendment like set of rights for encryption and hacking. I don't know that I would oppose that, although I'd like someone to do some serious thinking about the consequences of such. Like the actual Second Amendment, it is what I would consider to be the acceptance of a certain risk enshrined in the Constitution for the purposes of preventing tyranny and allowing for individual or local self-defense. That risk should not be played down, but it can be accepted.

Comment: Re:Do as we say not as we do. (Score 3, Interesting) 34

by tnk1 (#49747941) Attached to: Security Researchers Wary of Wassenaar Rules

I don't think that's particularly odd.

Try operating a private military and see how long you get away with that.

Spying and hacking is basically the same: considered to be weaponized and therefore the state monopoly of force applies.

Note, I am not passing a judgement on whether the state monopoly on force is a good thing, only that it is generally accepted.

Comment: Re:Two general directions... (Score 1) 263

by tnk1 (#49747869) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Career Advice For an Aging Perl Developer?

He should make sure he considers learning Python or Ruby (if he's going to a chef shop). They're not that hard to figure out if he already mastered Perl, but he will have to learn more OO if he wants to work with those effectively.

If anything, it's probably a good thing he didn't try learning OO with perl. Perl OO is a terrible hack.

Comment: Re: At the companies I've worked with... (Score 2) 263

by tnk1 (#49747843) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Career Advice For an Aging Perl Developer?

Actually, I have interviewed people with ten years of experience who are shit. It's nice to have, but usually the only thing it guarantees is that they want more money. Sometimes, that experience is worth the money. Sometimes, it isn't.

I recently interviewed a bunch of former government drones with years of experience. Except not so much. They were constrained by the roles that the government put them in, and they were spoiled by the rate that the government paid them to do as little as they did. They wanted a full-on senior salary, but they didn't want to do anything other than support their one interest area, with their few constrained toolsets. No thanks.

If this guy came to me and demonstrated that he had experience on real projects in the past and he was excited about using the newer stuff we were using AND came to the interview with enough of an aptitude to demonstrate that he's actually learned something using the whiteboard/laptop, I'd seriously consider hiring him, even if he had a relatively junior position.

Yes, if I got a senior person in for an interview who had both experience, skills, and versatility, this guy would lose out, but it's not always easy to find experienced people who want to join your team who have all that going for them.

Note: one major disadvantage. Where he would lose out is salary, at least initially. I won't pay someone like that a full-on senior salary if they are simply an older learner. However, I also wouldn't screw him either. I want people who feel they can stay with the group long term, I don't want to churn and burn team members. If only because I hate having to get reqs and interview people.

Comment: Re:Quite the Opposite (Score 1) 263

by tnk1 (#49747793) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Career Advice For an Aging Perl Developer?

Agreed. Although I am a manager, I don't feel I need to be one. I could just as easily be a system administrator or coder, and I get pinged constantly for that sort of thing. And many people my age don't want to have anything to do with management, which I can completely understand.

Being a manager is not what happens to older technical people. Although I certainly appreciate fresh perspective, the older folks on my team get the jobs completed and are entirely reliable, which is golden when you have to be concerned with your team's ability to figure out if a requirement can be done in a promised time frame.

The secret is: if you, as a manager, don't insist on some sort of trendy implementation of an idea, you don't need to hire young coders to just be able to write the code. And the fact is, if you have a Java programmer, you have someone who can definitely pick up something like Node.js for instance, with minimum trouble.

I appreciate the energy of the younger people on the team, but there can be serious disadvantages with not keeping a diversity of experience.

Of course, an older coder can't live in the past. Perl is still used and useful, but much less so than in the past. And let's face it, it was never going to be a serious development language, even back in the day. It was a good stopgap at the time, and it got things done because you could be productive with it, but the tasks it was used for have now graduated into much more complicated projects. Perl made decent dynamic web pages server-side and was useful for sysadmin tasks, but now you have a lot of client side implementation. On the server-side Java and subsequent development took right off and beats the pants off of the performance of something written in Perl. Perl itself stalled with Perl6 development and has gone full HURD/Duke Nukem Forever. And like those, if they ever do finish it, it's probably going to be a mediocre disappointment released to a lot of people who can't quite remember using the old Perl (or who never have).

I agree with others that management would be a poor idea for this person. Management isn't being alpha-geek or Old Man. It's a different job entirely, albeit one where you do better when you understand what the team is doing and how they are doing it. You need to make business decisions based on your skills, instead of technical implementations based on your skills. And your skills are most frequently useful as bullshit detector or to provide another perspective to help your team. If you don't have a lot of team experience, you're at a serious disadvantage as a manager.

Still, I think he can jump start his career as a coder (if he really has skills). I'd do the following:

1. Learn something new. Node.js or some modern OO language. Java would be great, but he'd have to learn a lot about how to be productive with it in terms of IDEs and frameworks and such.

2. Simply put then new thing on his resume and look for jobs. Some places will interview him and he'll fail, but his goal is to learn what they are asking him to do in interviews. Then practice those things and learn those concepts.

2a. He might actually succeed at landing a job at that stage. In which case, he needs to learn the tools and languages rapidly and become productive. If he can, he's home free and has saved his career for the foreseeable future... assuming he doesn't fall into a rut again.

3. Get employed by someone who will attest to his skills, even a shit contractor job. Take a junior job, if he needs to, but try for mid-career jobs. Then he's back in the swing of things IF he applies himself to learning the new hotness, or at the very least, the popular lukewarm-ness.

4. A year or two later, if he needs to upgrade his salary, start looking for a new place and interview at his luxury and wait for a good opportunity.

Comment: Re:America's War On Drugs is a Failure (Score 1) 110

by tnk1 (#49744511) Attached to: Silk Road's Leader Paid a Doctor To Help Keep Customers Safe

You appear to be under the delusion that you do have any sort of absolute personal freedom of the kind you espouse. In minor matters, you do, as long as your actions affect no one else. In major matters, that is more difficult.

Personally, I feel that drug use is a minor matter, which is made into a major one by the War on Drugs.

However, there are certainly scenarios where that use can affect others. Lower prices or not, if you do happen to over-use to the point you have trouble maintaining a job, and your income is taxed by even the lower price of your particular legalized recreation, then someone is going to have to deal with the mess that is you. Whether it is welfare, or you becoming a shoplifter because you can't feed yourself and your habit at the same time.

Note, while I know the vast majority of people do not have such addictions, some definitely do, and those are the people who concern me and who we need to stand ready to help wean from their addiction.

You do have the right to make decisions where other people don't have to be concerned with you, usually by maintaining responsibility and consideration for other people's situation in regard to your own. I also feel that we shouldn't be looking for more and more ways to interfere in people's personal lives.

Nevertheless, until we are able to divorce ourselves from society and not incur social costs by our decisions, there are some scenarios where we should make sure that we're not causing problems beyond the tip of our own nose by the consequences of our decisions. If you want to call that permission, then so be it.

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (2) Thank you for your generous donation, Mr. Wirth.