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Comment Re:Is this a big deal (Score 3, Insightful) 165 165

Yes, this. The part I found the most disturbing was:

"Maybe since we in the IT industry tend to be well paid, nobody should care, and there's no reason complain."

There's a pretty significant portion of the tech industry that isn't necessarily well paid, nor do they have much in the way of job security. When times are good, they do just fine. When times aren't, they bounce between really marginal contracts and unemployment. (I replaced IT with tech because I've spent most of my time in software development, so most of my knowledge of IT as a field is somewhat second hand.)

Tech culture tends to be all about individual achievement - and on the flip side, if you're not bringing in the buck, then you must be an underachiever, right? Which just means that if you are one of the workers who is more vulnerable, and if you are being exploited, there's more social pressure not to speak up about it, because you don't want to be labelled a whiner, when everyone knows that it's really that you couldn't hack it.

(Just in case there's any doubt, while I'm a big fan of people doing cool stuff, and rather like to do cool stuff myself, I think the above is a rather stupid and short sighted approach to structuring a either a business or a society.)

Comment Re:And what if he's right? (Score 1) 412 412

My experience is that most places once they are large enough to have to have real company policies have policies on office romances, and they tend to be not "Thou shalt not make a pass!" but more that you can't date within the same management structure. It's far more about power dynamics than office politics.

Comment Re:The Betrayal (Score 1) 382 382

A research student was just by talking to members of our lab, and this is pretty much the argument I made. (And I wasn't making a Java bashing session, I was making a joke, though the two are not mutually exclusive.)

I'm not fond of Java, but it's a perfectly serviceable language and I'm not against writing code in it. I think I'm a little suspicious of the instructional language model, just because my observation has been that for most people it's around language three that they start realizing that learning new programming languages isn't hard and that it's not the language per se that's important. (I really realized this when I heard that Python was being widely adopted. I actively like Python - and I'm really dubious about it being a useful instructional language in a classroom setting. Even though I have run a Python club at times.)

Comment Re:The Betrayal (Score 1) 382 382

Mm, yes and no.

The U of WA was my home institution - but it was also where my father taught, and I didn't take my degree in CS. Partially because so many people had known me since I was cutting my teeth on the department machines when I was five, partly because I wasn't super keen on the curriculum... and I had other interests as well. But then it was the the mid-nineties, and my fiance wasn't big on following me around the world, and so I acquiesced to my destiny and became backend server girl at Microsoft. (Until I was the right combination of vested and bored that I returned to research. I'm now doing Neurobiology, via Computational Biochemistry, which is less profitable but awfully entertaining.) ...but there were courses I would have taken were not Ada a prerequisite.

Comment Re:The Betrayal (Score 3, Interesting) 382 382

*grin* I weirdly managed to completely miss Pascal. Cut my teeth on Fortran* because it was what my father's grad students were using - though I then picked up Modula2, out of a book written in German, which I didn't speak because my father was convinced it was the Next Big Thing and figured if I learned it I could teach him (thanks, Dad). My undergrad institution was all about Ada ridiculously late, though... Picked up C++ at the beginning of my professional life, back in the mid-nineties, though these days I use more Python than anything else. I've written my share of Java. It wasn't horrible, I was more amazed that it kept being kind of subliminally annoying without being downright awful.

* Which keeps still being relevant - okay, I'm in the sciences now - though I often deny knowing it. I think I took it off my resume in '96.

Comment The Betrayal (Score 2, Insightful) 382 382

"...turning on a generation of coders."

I'm glad to hear someone finally having the courage to admit this. Especially considering how widely it has been adopted as an instructional language and how many young people were betrayed by their institutions and communities at the very start of their programming careers.

But I'd also like to hear more from the many people who've risen above these challenges and gone on to become developers even so. It may be hard. It may be traumatic. But it's good to remember that it's possible to rise above it.

Comment MS OLAP (Score 1) 94 94

I'm curious whether it will be exposed via OLAP - when I was doing some proteomics work with MS OLAP some years back, the retrieval speed was stellar, but the math libraries were pathetic, which seemed pretty sad for something allegedly aimed at analytics. (Yes, I know, most people assumed business analytics, but there's an awful lot of potential for scientific analysis, especially with large, messy datasets.)

Comment Re:But why? (Score 1) 634 634

And multiple effects might be in play. The content might be cool enough to encourage women to try out a field which is stereotyped as being unfriendly to women - but then, if they get there and there are enough women that the stereotype doesn't hold, that might be a large part of why they're staying there.

Comment Re:My two cents (Score 1) 538 538

1. I'm not convinced on term limits. I'm willing to be convinced, mind you, but, I'm not sure that forcibly bringing in new blood makes the process less corrupt, rather than simply more dysfunctional. Certainly, it needs to be applied uniformly, as congress-critters tend to acumulate power over time, so any state that imposes their own term limits will be putting themselves as a disadvantage.
2. Can we say "compact" rather than square-like? Circles, hexagons and so on would be perfectly fine by me.
3. Yes.
4. The individuals, or the parties?
5. As in, no private funding? The money in campaigns is seriously out of hand.

Comment Re:I do not understand (Score 1) 538 538

"...with their main difference being whether economy should be free or regulated."

And a freakish obsession over people's sex lives.* Which I realize might not seem super important if it's not your sex life on the block - I mean, really, it *shouldn't* be a big deal I get that - but holy fuck.

* I am including in this all the increasing weirdness about prosecuting women for having miscarriages and other crazy shit.

Comment Re: I do not understand (Score 1) 538 538

When my father spent time in Hungary, Usa (Usan in its adjectival sense, at least around our house) was a pretty common term, and I've always liked it because of its specificity. Imagine how confusing it would be if citizens of German called themselves Europeans, and citizens of any other country in Europe winced and gave their country of origin if anyone called them European?

"American" for US residents may be common usage, but common usage is in this case stupid and confusing.

Children begin by loving their parents. After a time they judge them. Rarely, if ever, do they forgive them. - Oscar Wilde

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