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Comment bad thing for who? (Score 5, Insightful) 198

An article at Ars makes the case that this is not necessarily a bad thing, because Google has enough good products that simply need iteration now, making the more innovative 20% time less useful.

A change from a work environment where you can spend 20% of your time experimenting with new ideas you have, and 80% working on the "regular" mainline products, to one where you're expected to spend at least 100% of a regular workweek iterating on the "regular" products, seems like a bad thing from the perspective of the engineer at least. Ars seems to be arguing that it's not necessarily a bad thing for Google's stockholders, which is a pretty different question.

Comment Re:also goal of 2009 stimulus program (Score 1) 162

Generally tribal land is administered separately, due to its quasi-autonomous status, so they wouldn't be covered under the "regular" rural-broadband programs. However the federal government could choose to give them equivalent subsidies via the Bureau of Indian Affairs to manage themselves, which seems like what's happening here.

Comment Re:Gamification must die (Score 4, Interesting) 145

It's a kind of zombie that never dies. Charles Fourier, utopian socialist, proposed in the 1850s that in the future, productive play could replace work. Vladimir Lenin, glorious leader of the revolution, thought in the 1920s that internal competitions were a good way of motivating production. Since then a dozen hack management consultants have been reinventing the ideas of work-as-play, productive play, etc every 10 years or so. Someone coined the word "playbour", if "gamification" wasn't obscene enough for you.

Comment Re:based on my experiences (Score 1) 217

I'm a CS professor in my day-job. I've met lots of med-school students, and I'm not all that impressed. Some are smart, some aren't. Some are good at memorizing piles of things, some aren't. I will grant you that med school students do think spending a lot of hours in class and studying a lot for exams is some kind of virtue in itself.

But if you look at working doctors some decades out of med school, they make heavy use of simple, standard references. This is not a criticism of them, because doing so is reasonable. Much of medicine is now standardized. Following flow-chart procedures produces measurably better patient outcomes than using ad-hoc doctors' judgment does. Evidence-based medicine is transforming the field, though it's not done doing so yet.

Comment Re:it's not really an integrated economy yet (Score 1) 159

It would be better if there were at least more labor-market mobility. Countries could still run their own domestic economies, but someone who didn't like the economic policies of country A could just move to country B and choose theirs instead.

That is legally possible today but in practice done much less than e.g. state-to-state movement in the U.S., for many reasons. Some of them are legal barriers to recognizing credentials, although those are slowly being harmonized (e.g. medical licenses are now harmonized). Language barriers are one major one, though very asymmetric: an engineer who speaks English can easily get a job in Copenhagen, even if they speak no Danish, but an engineer who speaks no French will have a harder time being hired in Paris.

Comment Re:This is TRAGIC but.. (Score 1) 381

Yeah, the worry is "one man, one vote, one time", i.e. a party wins free and fair elections and then promptly abolishes democracy and installs themselves permanently in power. Or until someone overthrows them.

In the Muslim Brotherhood's case, that worry looked more than hypothetical, since Morsi attempted several times to rule by decree, and sort of succeeded at least once. It was not hard to guess what his plan was.

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