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Comment Re:sigh (Score 1) 93

Every one of my science professors back in the early 1970s were talking about the possibility of a coming ice age.

Were they idly talking about the possibility, or were they studying it and coming to a conclusion, after rigorous scientific study?

I'm not trying to get into the whole name-calling thing, but I've heard professors talk about a lot of possibilities. It's a little different when those "possibilities" are considered pretty certain, after years of research and study.

On the other hand, I would admit that scientific conclusions are sometimes wrong. "Science" as a field is generally trending toward being more correct, but there are some bad conclusions along the way. Even in climatologists concluded that we were heading toward an ice age in the 1970s, it seems likely that we would have a better understanding of climate studies now, and most likely our conclusions would be more correct now than they were then.

Comment Re:"borrow money to make it through the month" (Score 1) 519


One Twitter employee cited in the story, who earns a base salary of $160,000 a year, said his earnings are "pretty bad", adding that he pays $3000 rent for a two-bedroom house in San Francisco.

Now maybe my math is bad, but $3k/month is $36k/year. He makes $160k/year. As a rough estimate, let's say he pays 1/3 of his income in taxes, which means he's left with $106k in take-home pay. $106k - $36k is still $70k to spend on living expenses. That's around $5,833/month, or around $194/day.

Now that's just an estimate, admittedly, but the assumptions I'm making aren't completely crazy. If he can't manage to pay his bills or had to borrow money to make it though the month, barring any big unaccounted-for costs (e.g. a sick parent with expensive medical bills), then he's simply living extravagantly.

Comment Why not wipe it in advance? (Score 2) 273

If you're worried about the border patrol, it seems pretty easy to know when you're approaching a border. You can just wipe the phone in advance using the built in feature to wipe the phone and return it to the factory settings.

The whole thing gets more complicated if we're assuming the police just start confiscating phones of random people without a warrant, but I'd imagine that would face a stronger 4th amendment challenge. And really, at that point, I don't think a kill switch would be good enough. I'd want manufacturers to rethink the whole security design, probably limiting the information stored on the phone in the first place.

Comment Re:Social media? (Score 5, Insightful) 189

For whatever extent you want to talk about the news itself being the cause of stress (which is fair to do), I think we have to look also look at the setup of the platforms, human nature, and the culture around social media, as likely contributing factors.

Because really, however bad the news was, 20 years ago you'd be waiting for the nightly news to find out about it. Several decades before that, you'd be waiting for the following day's newspaper. Now, we're getting constant updates, and those updates may be causing a device in your pocket to vibrate and make noise every time something new comes out. We know that checking all of those notifications is addictive, and not checking causes stress. However, constantly feeling the need to check also causes stress. (human nature)

Also, we have grown to expect that everyone is constantly online, always checking all of their platforms. Speaking for myself, I get messages via various social networks, and if I don't respond immediately, people freak out and take personal offense. Even when I try to remove those apps from my phone or turn off notifications, I get angry messages from people because I'm ignoring them. (culture)

I think it's also worth pointing out that most of these platforms are not really designed for occasional use. I've thought it would be nice if you could set a time-based digest of a social networking site. For example, instead of looking at Twitter, give me a weekly digest of the tweets that (based on some criteria) I'm going to be most likely to want to read and respond to. Only update Twitter at 9am on Sunday mornings with the 25 most important tweets of the week. But Twitter doesn't work that way. It's basically built on the idea that you're always looking, always paying attention, because if you stop paying attention for a day or two, you're just going to miss things and they'll get buried under a flood of other tweets. (the platforms)

Basically, I don't think we can do much about the human-nature aspect. Realistically, I don't foresee the platforms changing because they're providing the instant-feedback that people want. In my thinking, they key would be to change the culture and expectations around social media, which would change what we want from the platform, which would change the platform.

But then, intentionally changing culture is not so easy either.

Comment Re:Goes both ways (Score 2) 192

Ok, so what's the "other way" that it goes? In the one case, you have "aggressive behavior by an employee goes unchecked because of poor management." What's the other way?

Are you interpreting one of the examples to be "aggressive behavior by management goes unchecked because of poor employee behavior"? Because then it would make sense to say, "It goes both ways." But I feel like, in both cases, it's a problem of bad management.

Comment Re:Goes both ways (Score 2) 192

I documented all of this, got supporting statements from my colleagues, and went to HR - who basically said that she's untouchable because she's a minority and a woman.

I don't understand why you say, "Goes both ways". It seems like the same problem. Someone is abusive at work, but getting away with it due to poor management. This isn't "going both ways", it's "going the same way".

Unless you're just trying to make some kind of "I hate 'political correctness' and affirmative action!" argument, in which case, that's kind of off-topic.

Comment Re:No Different From Laptops (Score 1) 512

I'm not sure we're disagreeing here. My point is that, contrary to the idea that, "If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear," the people who genuinely have something to hide are likely to plan ahead and circumvent this security measure. If you're a terrorist and you know people are going to be asked to unlock your phone and computer, then you're just not going to store your terrorism plans on those devices.

The information the government is likely to gather from this is just a bunch of personal/private information from innocent people.

Comment Re:Your milage may vary (Score 2) 163

Sounds like you've been unlucky. I'm currently working for an organization that doesn't have perfect management, but generally remote workers are kept in the loop just fine. I've worked for orgs with far worse management and lack of communication where everyone had to go into the office - and the office environment was noisy and distracting. A massive blow to productivity.

Comment Re:Won't work everywhere, or really anywhere else (Score 1) 181

A large part of your response seems like you think you're arguing with me, but you're basically saying the same thing I am: This only works because it's a small company, and though you might not need a single person as the CEO in a larger company, you'll at least need a formal leadership with a formal decision-making process.

In other words, it's not about it being in Sweden, it's about the fact that it's a 40-person company. If they get much bigger, they'll need to do *something* to put some person or group of people "in charge".

However, I will comment on this:

With the EOE and labor laws in the US, do you think you can discriminate against the people who aren't right?

I don't see why not, as long as your definition of "people who aren't right" isn't about race, gender, or sexual orientation. That is, if your objection is something like, "This won't work once you have black employees!" then you should fuck right off. But labor laws don't really prevent other forms of discrimination, based on things like incompetence, lack of qualifications, or bad behavior.

Comment Re:Won't work everywhere, or really anywhere else (Score 4, Insightful) 181

I don't think you're quite right about that. Working in the US, I've worked for a few small businesses (less than 100 employees) where there was an official CEO or single "boss", but there didn't need to be. Major decisions were really made as a collaborative effort among the senior staff, and smaller decisions were delegated to individual senior staff members. Now, there did need to be some method of settling disagreements. Depending on the nature of the disagreements in these companies, it may be that the disagreement was settled by "the boss" (owner/CEO), but those instances were rare in the companies I'm thinking of. Usually the head IT guy made IT decisions, the head finance guy made finance decisions. The head of sales made sales decisions, and so on. The CEO was often, in reality, just one of those heads, except in the rare situations where he wanted to pull rank.

So I think that this could work in the US, at least in companies that are run well and have a good senior staff. I think the key thing here isn't the geographic location or even the culture, but the size of the company. The staff consists of 40 people, well below Dunbar's number, which enables a more organic, communal, and collaborative decision-making process. If they continued to grow, they would eventually need to to adjust and formalize their decision-making. However, I don't really see a reason why a company, even a large one, *needs* a single CEO. It seems like you could still have a board of senior staff who votes on issues, the big downside being that it may be time-consuming to have to convene a formal meeting when decisions need to be made, rather than delegating to a single person.

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