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Comment Left-Handed Except for Computer Mice (Score 1) 260

I use my left hand for writing, using eating utensils, etc.; for sports, I tend to use the left-handed stance. The main exception is computer mice since most computer workstations are configured for right-handers, so that's the way I learned. Also, a left-handed friend suggested I learn to play the guitar the right-handed way, so that's the way I've been learning.

Comment Companies Care About Control (Score 1) 455

Yes, your employer cares about your productivity and the value you bring to the bottom line, but they also care about exerting control. In the Middle Ages, the lord of the manor had a vested interest in exerting control over his serfs. Much of corporate policy is based on no more than this: everything from dress codes to dictating the tools you can use for the job. The executive class is fed conceits like they are the almighty job creators, and freedom is their right to grind the worker's nose into the grindstone, grind it bloody and raw. Why do you think they dictate everything from whether you can grow facial hair to having to wear a tie to sit in a cubicle interacting with almost no one?

Comment Re:At you desk! (Score 1) 524

Everyone's different. For me, too much quiet and inactivity around me actually wrecks my concentration. I like a certain level of activity, interaction, and dynamism to keep me feeling engaged. Unfortunately, I work in an office where it's almost always very quiet, and people diligently sit in their cubicles. The end result is that my brain is mush by the afternoon; in comparison to that, working from home is more productivity because at least I can be more relaxed, move around, etc. We do have our team scattered across a few offices to begin with, so almost everything requires screen sharing and conference calls anyway.

Comment Good Riddance (Score 1) 617

To be perfectly blunt, I've been sick of being the youngest person on my team for the past six years. Not that I want to be surrounded by H1Bs either, but having a few coworkers who are at the same stage in life as you isn't a bad thing. A young single is going to want coworkers to get a beer with after work and maybe chat up some ladies, not a bunch of old timers who are raising families or coasting into retirement.

Comment Vending Machines (Score 1) 172

We are people of the desk. The corporate culture here puts a strong emphasis on showing your work ethic by spending as much of your work day as possible chained to your desk; it's part of the Calvinist-style work ethic going on here. People rarely go out for lunch and only occasionally head down to the cafeteria to eat lunch. Mostly it's working through lunch at one's desk, eating while typing away or on the phone. There are two break rooms on each floor in the building, and they each have two vending machines: one for soda, bottled water, and other drinks and the other for candy, chips, and a few healthier options like granola bars. A candy bar like a Snickers or Twix goes for 85 while a bottle of Pepsi goes for $1.25. There are also coffee makers that brew regular and decaf, and that's free (although I do not drink coffee myself).

Sometimes people bring in leftovers they're trying to get rid of, or one of the hunters will bring in their homemade deer jerky and leave it in the break room. Occasionally, someone leaves leftover bagels they brought for an early-morning meeting.

While remaining chained to one's desk even through lunch is best practice at my normal work site, apparently the other campus had a rodent infestation awhile back, so eating at one's desk became frowned upon there. I did not realize this until I was moteling there one day and brought a couple of granola bars to munch on for breakfast; needless to say, I got a couple of dirty looks, including from a manager of another team whose office was nearby, and later someone mentioned the mouse infestation that was cleared out only a few weeks before. Still, even though people are more encouraged to go down to the cafeteria there, I still don't think there's much of a culture of going out for lunch or lingering more than 15-20 minutes for lunch. The whole Puritanical culture really ramped up higher after the recession hit a few years ago and has not receded since.

Comment Re:How does cuba have an embargo (Score 2) 325

I'll take a shot at this one. First let's look at a couple of etymologies. For 'corporation', think of 'corpse' or 'body', which is the Latin meaning; for 'capital', think 'head', again from the Latin. Think of then a business in capitalism, or a corporation, as an organic body composed of individuals. Capital is the head, the brains that think, plan, and create. The rest of the body is labor: the arms, legs, and strong trunk that build at the behest of the head that commands.

What happens when the body is flush with arrogance and decides to form unions and starts getting radical ideas: that it does not need its own head, for example? Communism is the body's notion that it can chop off its head and then organize itself into a headless "collective" that can think by combining the cells of its arms and strong torso, yet muscle cells and are not brain cells, so tyranny is inevitable.

Comment Re:Ubuntu Mobile ... (Score 1) 535

I think the difference is that it really doesn't matter if most people don't care. The average person may in principle agree, for example, that child labor in overseas countries is wrong, but a small, idealistic minority actually care enough to raise a stink about their principles. Likewise, the openness of at least some of the software we've come to depend on for much of our lives has come to be seen as an inherent good for a certain idealistic subset. Some people see value in a completely free, open mobile computing platform, and obviously there are plenty of non-free choices as well. The average American doesn't really take full advantage of the freedoms they're afforded by their Constitution, but they indirectly benefit from the minority who do care enough to stand against popular consensus.

Comment Re:Russian and Chinese are stupid suggestions (Score 1) 514

Russian and German are actually both inflected languages as is Latin although the Romance languages lost much of their inflection over time. Old English too was inflected, but like the Romance languages, English also lost most of its inflections over time. English and Mandarin are actually both analytic languages, which means they rely more on the order of words in a sentence than on inflections to determine whether a word is, for example, the subject of a verb or its direct object.

Comment Windows XP and Office 2003 Here (Score 1) 727

Where I work, we're a Microsoft Windows XP Professional (32-bit) and Office 2003 shop; about a year or two ago, we moved from IE 6 to IE 7 and more recently IE 8. Fortunately, we also have Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome as options since we are devs. When it comes to an upgrade, there's always the question of what's the value to the Business? The newer machines fortunately have more than 2 GB RAM, but I hear there are plans to upgrade to 32-bit Windows 7 eventually, which is quite frustrating since I already run out of heap space.

Comment Re:Is this really that uncommon? (Score 1) 398

It isn't novelty per se but external/sensory stimulation, which novelty can be a form of. In Eysenck's theory, everyone has an optimal level of arousal; they feel overwhelmed and anxious if it is passed and bored if it isn't met. Extraverts' brains seem to be optimized to take in, process, and respond to information coming in from the environment while introverts' brains are optimized for a slower response with more time spent on "deep processing" in the prefrontal cortex. This biological difference is thought to underpin the higher-order differences seen between extraverts and introverts: sociability, activity level/pace, assertiveness, and positive affect.

Besides novelty (i.e., perception of change in the environment), other forms of stimulation can be sheer intensity (think extreme sports and rock concerts), competition, and viscerally rewarding experiences like food and sex. Ironically, many of the sociable, outgoing extraverts seem to be quite happy with the status quo and relatively incurious; but then again, openness to experience is a separate dimension of personality in many models, and it is that dimension that captures people's tendencies to engage in intellectual pursuits, experience different cultures or more of their own culture, and try new things or question their beliefs.

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