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Comment Re:It isn't just porn (Score 1) 430

Chassidism was basically the reform movement of the 19th century. There were many sects as noted and the local rav always has a special place as the representative of that authority, but centrality around the rabbinic dynasty is actually the smaller part of the equation than the newly inclusive, intuitive, spiritualist, and distinctly joyful impulse that drove the initial branching centering around an intensely affable mystic, the Baal Shem Tov.

There's a wonderful compendium of tales by Elie Wiesel called Souls on Fire on the subject first of that, and all the fantastically intense people and personalities that drove it's evolution into yet more branches.

The externally visible aspects are small in modern terms, but the size of the philosophical split is hard to overstate. And the chassids you're most likely to run into, Chabad-Lubavitch that are hardly the fearful hermits people are thinking of here. They value identity, but teach with a positivist tone and go out to and bring non-observant Jews to observance all the time and everywhere.

Comment Eat more vegetables (Score 1) 201

There are a lot of things you can do to loose weight and be healthier, more energetic, etc.

But most people are not obsessive and don't have time/energy/willpower to do 10 different things, 5 different things, or most of the time, even two different things.

So do just one thing, start eating a good amount of vegetables and low calorie fruits (strawberries, canteloupe, and the like). At minimum eat something in this category at the start of every meal.

What's a good amount for you? See how you feel. The goal of eating is to feed and nourish your body and your body will tell you when you're not doing it right. The amount of fruit and vegetables that feel right will initially not be all that high, you'll get gassy etc.. but over time, assuming you don't have any medical conditions making your tract unusually sensitive, it will adjust and then you'll be able to comfortably eat more, and displace more of the garbage calories in your diet with this better nutrition. Your body will thank you.

Comment Re:firstly (Score 1) 363

Now that everyone realizes he's not an IT guy, he'll probably ask for a raise.

There was a lovely mug capturing that sentiment displayed prominently by a (very successful) sales guy the last place I worked. "MBA: when you BS can't take you any farther."

Except here it was the BS that got street cred??? He didn't get or even claim to get an MBA that I can tell. Maybe it's not the degree holding me back, maybe I suck (or just don't know how to lie well enough).

Comment Re:Ummm. (Score 1) 452

People in third-world countries will gladly pollute their backyards and fill their kids with all sorts of toxic chemicals because they don't know any better (look at China for instance).

Let's say organic food costs only 10% more. Most of these people are very poor don't have any money in their budget and thus would have to eat 10% less. You are NOT smarter than they. Values have a precedence. Survival today comes first.

Comment Some questions to ask yourself (Score 1) 196

Is the problem broken down into high level pieces you can quickly describe?

Is what any given snippet of code does and why easily understandable little to no searching?

Are there tests in place to validate the program's behavior?

Are there clear boundary lines that prevent erroneous input, error appropriately and minimize corner cases you have to manage?

Are all side effects cleanly sandboxed and limited to what is necessary to solve the problem?

Has repetition been avoided?

Have standard approaches and standard libraries been used whenever possible?

At the end of the day, is this something you feel good about having done and good about someone else inheriting?

Comment Re:Sensational Summary Session? (Score 1) 897

Of course they'll pick the most sensational examples, but there is a strong social trend over decades that has taken us to significantly longer sentencing. That gives prosecutors tremendous leverage.

Prosecuters doubtless feel that they're the good guys, they know, so that's ok. Most of the time that's true, most of the time it's like COPS, but sometimes it's not and they're making educated guesses with info they have on hand at the time.

Of course you have to be convicted to get the sentence, that's true, but it's hardly like no jury ever convicted an innocent person. Happens all the time, especially disadvantaged folk who think (rightly) that they will have a very hard time getting their side told. And the prospect of serving out that inflated sentence is (by design) made too awful.

For those that are blase about this and insist someone who isn't guilty shouldn't worry, remember, jurors are not experts and most can't help but make unconscious judgements of a defendent that influence their thinking almost immediately. And the end of the day, they think what they think, and they want to go home.

And yes, that is a massive indictment of trial by jury as well. But at least the evidence has a chance to be heard and it's not just one person with all the strings in what's supposed to be a free society.

Comment Re:By not having the situation in the first place (Score 1) 304

Yes, it's that simple. Practice agile development and keep a prioritized backlog of work and this never happens. "50% of projects are rated [high]" basically means you have no prioritization.

Simple yes, easy no.

The benefit is that the project manager acts as a filter on the insanity and the devs need not burn out.
But the amount of work creating and maintaining a prioritized backlog as the list grows and tempers flare is insane and many PMs do burn out from it or become less effective filters over time.

An idea I like very much is take away the single point of stress and outsource the problem of competing interests to the competing interests. Simply everyone gets in the back of the line and skips forward only with the agreement of those they're "cutting" in front of (or an override from their mutual manager). This also tends to get people to agree to put their stuff on hold so they don't get bugged ALL the time. This is a much healthier mindset on low priority issues than continuing to wonder when it might get in.

Most PMs that don't burn out do something like this anyway, except it takes a ton of time being a party to the negotiations where they really have only two things to contribute... how much does it cost and what will it do to the projected release date of the things I care about? The rest is a business decision that they don't care about. In principle this sharing of costing, and timelines can be fulfilled automatically most of the time with conservative estimates, tracked responsibilities and workloads, tracked dependencies, and scheduling knowledge. It's information that should be tracked anyway so developers know the environment they're working on. The result will be misleading of course, but I don't see why it should have to be more misleading than a people reliant system where details and critical communication get forgotten all the time.

Comment Re:Yes but (Score 1) 437

I have a totally ridiculous theory about how to achieve desirable effects on the body. In spite of its ridiculousness, it nonetheless seems to born out by my informal experiments and sort of an exponentially weighted moving average of the various studies and what they say.

I call it "conservation of misery". If you want to avoid misery from your body falling apart and your energy being in the tank you'll have to make unpleasant commitments in some kind in terms of diet, exercise and overall lifestyle.

So, for instance, on the diet side, it could be eating more plant matter... the less appetizing the better, or a little less of everything else, or a lot less junk carbs. Or it could be some combination... the more effort you put in the better it works

On the exercise side it could be a lot of easy work (moderate endurance work, familiar exercise), or smaller amounts of much more vigorous exercise. Varying the routine so your body can't really adjust to doing just one thing well is another way to up the misery and effectiveness.

On the lifestyle side it could be including more incidental activity (walking to more things, taking the stairs... usually when you're stressed and in a rush). It might include getting to bed early (before anything good comes on the tube). It probably needs to include the discipline to eat lightly at dinner (the hardest time not to overeat) and have a good breakfast that you actually made yourself hungry for by not overeating at dinner.

As a parent of three at the moment I find starting meals with raw veg, some vigorous but relatively unvaried activity in the morning with dumbells, and throwing three kids around to play with them is about all I can fit in. Willpower is weak at dinner... that's probably the single hardest thing thing for me and not coincidentally what I need to work on the most to get better.

YMMV. But one way or another, good luck with the delayed gratification and congrats on being in the shape to do marathons... I'm certainly not, I tap out at about 10 miles.

Comment Re:Let the lawsuits begin! (Score 1) 187

Google is not the voice of the people. While they might have a nicer company culture for the time being, in the long term it will inevitably dilute and they will bow to the same pressures as any publicly traded company and there are plenty of signs that they're moving in that direction.

So any win here is short term at best and only if Google uses the patents defensively rather than offensively. That is more likely for now, but saying " I can't wait until they sue Apple out of existence". Really? Should we cheer if another maker of good products and the strongest android competitor goes out the business? Seems like a recipe for cell phone SUCK.

And of course, this is continuing the ingrain a dangerous rubber stamp mentality we have on green-lighting clearly anti-competitive mergers. We were frankly darn lucky to avoid the AT&T T-Mobile merger debacle. We can't apply our criteria based on who we like or pretty soon everything goes.

Comment Re:Rude words (Score 1) 262

If I'm forced to do something in the source code that makes me ill, I grouse about it openly, give the detailed reasons behind it being where it is for now, and the TODO for the (hopefully near) future. I feel like if I don't and the code shows up on a blame as mine, it's my DUTY to the next developer to leave them some clue about {ahem} what occured.

I don't use curse words so I've only been taken to task once for doing it in 10+ years. But I LIKE seeing cursing. Part of that is a little vicarious thrill... I've got three kids and can't afford to take stupid chances. But seriously, some of the stuff you encounter deserves it so richly. Hearing the echo of the prior developer cursing gives me a little emotional validation and a little helpful context while I'm detangling the mess.

Comment Re:One could hardly ask for greater vindication... (Score 1) 247

Honestly, AT&T's threat to raise rates is exactly the sort of thing that confirms that denying them was a good idea. If a company can raise their prices and expect to make more money, rather than lose customers to less petulant firms, they already have dangerously high market power(particularly for something as relatively homogenous as wireless telco services. Certain goods simply don't have much in the way of substitutes).

One could go so far as to say that, as a heuristic, anybody who could make, and make good on, such a threat if they don't get what they want, Should Not be allowed to get what they want...

Totally agreed, way too timidly stated. I would suggest that's you've identified the SINGLE BEST HEURISTIC for whether or not a competitive marketplace exists.
Businesses in that position not only must not be allowed to get what they want now, but must be broken up now to help restore a competitive marketplace.

And we need to limit the scope of our interest to changes from the status quo... requests for mergers and such. A lot of things got to be very messed up in this country because real competition has been skirted effectively in a number of industries whether by big business or concerted lobbying. Start by take a look at what is ridiculously more expensive in this country vs. other similar countries, find what has reduced effective competition and DESTROY. Telco is on the list but let's start with medicine (17% of gdp and rising!? wtf).

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