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Comment Re:poorly implemented... (Score 1) 112

It doesn't need to be that complicated, but unfortunately, it was in that case. Logistics and downtime control created an environment where central purchasing was not a requirement - many of the field teams, especially in remote locations, would go to various online subscription-only telecom equipment swap-and-shop sites to ensure a constant supply of spares, replacements, etc. What else can you do when Nokia might end-of-life a set of hardware you rely on in order to force you to upgrade to their newest stack? What incentive is there to put brand spanking new gear in rural Montana, when the three towers you have fill the market needs quite nicely?

You are assuming the company had good controls and processes around purchasing, etc. of fixed assets. They had developed some, but it is impossible to retrofit a comprehensive system of controls to an asset base that covers most of the continental US and spans multiple vendors and (former) corporate entities.

Comment Re:Will Uhura Give Me HALF the Boner (Score 1) 544

Look on the bright side - thy could have pulled a 'BSG' and made Uhura a white male. Glad they didn't.

I remember the Kirk-Uhura kiss from the original series, and thinking (at 11) that if Kirk didn't want to kiss her (and he sure seemed to be fighting it), I'd have stepped in.

She still looks good, she can act, in interviews she comes off really nice, and she can sing like nobody's business. Wish they would have given her a cameo in the film too.

Comment Re:Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith (Score 1) 451

I think one of the things I (and others) have difficulty with is the notion of applying the term 'science' to a field that has so many moving pieces that it is impossible to draw conclusions at a level of detail most people would find useful.

For example, any economist can tell you that the current economic crisis in the US will eventually sort itself out, and more spending (by someone) will help. No economist can provide an optimal solution to fix things quickly and 'correctly' (i.e., with few or no serious unintended adverse consequences).

Take it a step further, to Sociology, which I can't even bear to call a science of any stripe, where practitioners are hobbled even further by the fact that the primary inputs of their analysis are people and their behaviors - and not just the 'rational' economic behaviors either.

I don't take issue with calling social sciences 'sciences' but they are... different in character, and seem, well, less scientific.

Comment Re:One Resource (Score 2, Funny) 451

Too many lords' kids with no inheritance or land encouraged by the Pope to reclaim the holy land for Christendom, and all the loot they could carry?


Maybe the European Catholics were upset by all the falafel stands opening up in Rome, driving the local shops out of business.

That has to be it...

Comment Re:One Resource (Score 1) 451

Agreed - let us give credit to the individuals who shed some of the light of reason upon the rest of the world.

What religion they are/were is rather beside the point. I am not going to 'give credit' to a faith group because someone in that group did something great, any more than I will condemn a faith group because a member once did something horrific.

If you are a Muslim, for example, you can't really claim pride in the achievements of a fellow Muslim without claiming the horrors of Osama Bin Laden as your own too. I know of no Muslims who want to be associated with him - and I know many Muslims. Same logic applies to Catholics (if you take Mendel, you have to take the Pope too, even the murderous ones!).

Looking at the history of any of the major (and probably minor) faith groups will reveal a wide assortment of horrors and some good. Intrinsically, they are all bad because they all stress the primacy of the irrational over the rational. No, science cannot explain everything, but religion explains nothing - it offers at best a (theoretically) comforting view of the unknowable. At worst, it encourages people to butcher their fellow humans over the question of who has the best invisible friend.

BTW, the 'invisible friend' bit is not my own, but I found too many sources to properly attribute it. Mea Culpa.

Hats off to the scholars and experimenters - they make the world a better place. I hope their religious beliefs don't warp their minds too much, and I will confess to some sadness at the thought of what they might have been accomplished without the shackles of faith.

Comment Could be worse. (Score 1) 78

A manager at my employer, a large-ish consultancy, set up a LinkedIn group for current employees, alums and interested outsiders, including a Q&A section. A director took over the group and began deleting answers to questions posted by non-employees, replacing the answers with his contact information and 'contact me to discuss'. These were such burning, sensitive questions as 'To what extent should a non-technical manager understand a technology if they are to effectively review work done - for example, SQL code?'

Needless to say, many of the current employees immediately stopped responding to the QA section - whoops! I meant 'adding value'...

At least Telsra published their guidelines, rather than allowing management to jump in and arbitrarily edit employee interactions.

Comment Re:Am I Narcissistic? (Score 1) 1316

Ignore the pop psychology old-fart ranting here. You may join that club later. Keep your focus on quality, and if you can't get it at work, start your own firm and out-compete the idiots. I hope to run into people like you in the workforce, as it is difficult to find 'focus on quality' people after a few years out of school, because it usually gets beaten out of them via the process you describe.

Comment Gee, so different than when WE were young, right? (Score 1) 1316

Every generation hits the workforce and has some illusions that need shattering. Welcome to middle age - that time in life when you meet youthful inexperience in others and instead of seeing a variation of yourself through the lens of current culture, the 'new youth' are just SO much more pathetic, immature, etc. than you EVER were. I'm 40 and work with mostly 22-26 year olds at a consulting firm. These kids are just like me and my peers were at their age temperment-wise. Yah, they can be immature - they are also fresh, enthusiastic and imaginative. They ask awkward questions that can lead to better answers. Don't beat that out of them, or they'll become old and bitter - and there's enough of that out in the world already. Try patience - you would have appreciated it when you were young and immature.

Comment Terror and getting killed not directly linked. (Score 3, Interesting) 129

In the GameCube title 'Eternal Darkness' the devs. used all kinds of tricks, ranging from subtle control 'issues' to a full BSOD, unbeatable enemies, and flies crawling around the screen that looked like they were in your living room (versus artificial game constructs). The overall effect was to render the gamers perception of the game state in doubt during play - reinforcing the game rule that exposure to supernatural creatures would drive a character insane. There was an antidote to this as well, so this was no cheat. It was tempting, however, to forgo the 'sanity potion' just to see how bad the progressively creepier 'bugs' got.

Oh - and it was actually very difficult to permanently die during these episodes, although during play, the character appeared to die, but immediately 'flashed back' to where she was right when the possession/demon encounter/bug began.

Combined with the generally creepy atmosphere of the game, thanks to very good art and design, made the game scary and fun to play.

Comment Re:I love the smell of burning bridges in the morn (Score 1) 703

There is something you can do - and I say this a a member of the white collar workforce:

Form a union.

Unions, when properly conceived, serve as a field-leveler between the otherwise diffuse power of individual workers and concentrated power of the employers. They enable honest negotiation, which is a requirement for real capitalism to work.

Monopolies on employment OR on labor don't work well.

For those who want to pull out the 'chain gang' argument (yes, I read A. Rand), I can only say this - when corporations show an ability to treat individual workers as individuals, I'll concede that unions may no longer be necessary. Until then...

My $0.02.

Comment Re:If his Olympic Dreams Come True??? (Score 1) 311

I live in Chicago. I agree with your contention about Daley, however, if you are complaining about his midnight bulldozing of the Meigs field airport runway and subsequent conversion of same into a public park, it follows you were probably one of the rich .01% of the population enjoying a taxpayer-funded airport in a really nice downtown location that, once converted to a park, could be enjoyed by everyone. No sympathy on that, sorry.

Are you really contending that Meigs field was the only thing that drew you to Chicago? If so, I am so sorry.

Control freak - true. Meigs field - a bad example, as it was a total boondoggle for the rich.

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