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Comment Re:Problem solved (Score 1) 246

I'd like to add to this that one good solution to this (for office workers who spend all their time on a computer) is to allow more tele-working. Encourage or allow employees to spend X days a week working from home. Then sick workers can get work done from home while not spreading their sickness, and healthy workers who never get sick can also work from home some and not feel like the sickly people are getting to do less work (leaving the healthy people to do it) as a reward for not being as healthy, and enjoy being able to work from home and stay out of the noisy open office too.

Comment Re:Problem solved (Score 1) 246

The problem with sick days (separate from vacation days) is that if you're the kind of person who never or rarely gets sick, then you're effectively penalized compared to someone who does, or compared to someone who lies. So places with sick days frequently have employees who lie about being sick so they can use up those days.

Otherwise, how is it fair that you should have to come to work every day because you're healthy, while Sick Sue gets to stay home a lot, and then you have to cover for Sue while she relaxes at home?

Comment Re: The popularity of open offices has exacerbated (Score 1) 246

I've worked in all three too (plus labs). Cubicles are only "amazing" when compared to open offices. Really, they're tolerable, and not bad at all if you're in a group that's quiet AND you're allowed to have "do not disturb" signs to prevent interruptions AND your group isn't next to some noisy group. I had that setup once (plus my cube was next to a window) and looking back, now I think of it as luxurious, even though at the time it was merely OK (but a big step up from my previous cube at the same company where I was seated next to some loudmouth asshole who was on the phone all the time, plus I had a big pole in the middle of my cubicle there).

Offices are the best setup. People who advocate for open offices should, IMO, be lined up and shot for the good of society. I'm not kidding about this; the amount of sheer misery caused by these people is incalculable.

Comment Re:dallah! (Score 1) 180

Because I know people ripped off from similar scams, now I start asking questions. To be polite, I ask up front, "Do you mind if I ask some questions to confirm your story?"

Most scammers will blow you off with a quick insult and then walk away at that point. They are usually not prepared for that.

If they agree, then I'll try to offer alternatives to handing over cash.

"What's the name of the medication your child needs? Is it prescribed or over the counter?"

If they say over-the-counter, I'll offer to buy it for them myself and bring it to them. That way I don't have to give them cash. If they are scammers, at this point they are finally likely to bail out.

Comment Re:Just like China (Score 1) 424

The meaning of "progressive" is defined by the history of progressivism,

Typically meanings are "defined" by current usage, not (directly) history. You should know that.

And the reason they could get away with that and stay in business is that (1) government has limited competition and (2) government has limited the ability of customers to sue those companies.

For #1, let's take an actual example. How exactly did the gov't allow MS to become an OS near-monopoly for desktops?

Per #2, most of the customers I was paid to screw didn't even know it. You can't sue if you don't know you've been manipulated. Part of the art of manipulation is not letting the manipulated party know they've been had. (I'm not condoning it all. I just ended up in such situations.)

Further, much of it wasn't illegal, just sneaky. Most trickery is not illegal and shouldn't necessarily be illegal.

Comment Re:Buzzword du jour (Score 3, Insightful) 94

There's nothing intelligent about it. It's just fancy pattern-matching

The problem is that there is no clear-cut definition or dividing line. I've seen long online debates about this, and there are no good lines in the sand yet. All attempts failed key tests offered up, or were too subjective to evaluate well.

For one, we still don't know enough about how the human brain works such that we cannot say what distinguishes things called "AI" from something as powerful as the human brain. For all we know, the human brain is merely "fancy pattern matching" at a level of fanciness we don't understand yet.

Some call pattern-matching AI "lossy statistical analysis for the sake of speed/cost".

I suspect human brains also (typically) use abstract modelling of various sorts where symbols or some kind of ID's with attributes/links/factors are stand-in's for actual people and things to simplify certain cognitive processes. Thus, the human brain may merely be "fancy pattern matching" coordinated with "fancy modelling": statistics + modeling.

Various known AI techniques use pattern matching and others use modelling, BUT nobody has found a way to coordinate them together in a general-purpose way to reinforce each other (triangulate). It's as if we got all the key parts, but don't know how to put them together right. We don't know how to build central governors to coordinate AI "organs" for common goals.

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