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Comment Re:Observation (Score 1) 136

So in a way, the whole shouting match is because the non-racists are afraid to face an uncomfortable fact or two that might shake their simplified world-view.

I think this is a larger part of the dynamic you described than anyone talks about. It's kind of obvious that 85% of what a garden variety "racist" believes is false or unfair, but 15% is closer to true than not true, which makes the 85% seem *possibly* true and believable.

The anti-racists won't discuss, debate or even acknowledge the 15% and go into full-on denial, name-calling, etc, which reinforces the 15% in the minds of "racists", which in turn reinforces the other 85% as likely true as well, further dividing them.

Like many issues, most people are more in agreement than disagreement but the refusal to even discuss the sliver of things they disagree on widens the gulf.

Comment Re:questionable (Score 1) 298

I agree that a well-structured kind of placement/vocational exam would be a good idea, especially if coupled with heavy subsidies for people who choose an education path that aligns with their test results. We want to encourage and make it easy for people to get into fields (academic or vocational) they're compatible with in some objective way.

I would worry that it would slightly ingrain a caste system, though, where people who could afford it would send their kids to more academic programs anyway even if they didn't test into them, thus insuring the rich maintained a lock on the best paying jobs. You might be able to fix this with just more intensive academic standards in school -- so even if daddy buys you a slot in college, you're still at risk of failing out because you're not good enough.

I think the other thing you need to do is somehow alter wage distribution to make "vocational" fields higher paid with improved working conditions (ie, less of the hostile labor/management style division found even in highly skilled vocations).

Comment Re:questionable (Score 1) 298

The problem is, nobody earns any serious saving money in their 20s. My savings were for shit until I was in my 30s and quite often drained with stupid shit like car repairs, apartment moves or other life situation stuff. I felt like I was doing well not running around with $5k in credit card debt.

Plus today's 20-somethings are not just managing those expenses, but juggling $500 student loan payments.

I just think it's weird how society shits on people who are otherwise responsible parents. Where do they think human beings come from, a store?

You would think that supporting family life and the resulting mostly normal, well-adjusted contributors-to-society it generally produces would be a broadly accepted social value. Instead we seem to have greedy assholes who gripe about people taking care of their kids -- when they're not bitching about problems that result from the shitty family lives they enable by making it tough to raise a family.

Comment Re:questionable (Score 3, Interesting) 298

A lot of It workers are white males, and making any discrimination claim as a white male is challenging, especially if you're only in your early 50s. You can expect low unemployment figures and high salaries to be trotted out as examples of how you're not really a member of an at-risk class.

What I'd wager is intrinsic to the problem of age discrimination is that older workers often have family commitments, and when combined with spouses working at similar professional careers and children, leads to an apparent decline in workplace engagement. The older employee is less able to devote their lives to the job (learning new tech for free in their own time, or at least less of this, working overtime hours, short-notice travel, etc).

IMHO, it's less "age discrimination" than "life situation discrimination". Younger employees living in rental housing without spouses or children are just more competitive in the workplace because they have nothing to do but work.

I don't really know how you fix it, either. In an ideal world, I'd presume that the *society* would recognize that children come from parents and parents need to engage in their families to produce productive, well-educated children, and that workers of parenting age are going to be less engaged. Thus, labor would be structured in a way that doesn't penalize this kind of natural life cycle.

Comment Re:Save 30%, retire early (Score 1) 541

Or even better, zero family or friends.

You know, I think this might be key, especially the family thing.

The 2 people I know who are in their 40s with paid-for houses, good investments (above and beyond 401k, etc) and lots of savings are REALLY cheap people. Relentless coupon clippers. Buy a huge cut of meat at Costco, cook a giant stew and eat it for every meal for a week. Vacation is staying home from work 5 days to paint the house. Can do everything short of an engine rebuild on their car (which they have owned outright for 7+ years). Only watch movies they buy used from the pawn shop. Clothes all bought at discount stores.

And neither one has much of a social life and no spouse or girlfriend.

I don't think living that way would be that hard, but getting other people to put up with it would be. I think women kind of generally look at spending behavior as a kind of signaling -- how well will you take care of me -- and if they see a guy who won't spend on himself, they figure no way, he won't take care of me or will be unpleasantly cheap.

The only *families* I've ever run into that cheap are super religious, scrimping so mom doesn't work or some other kind of lifestyle goal. And I don't think they really are accumulating anything, they just don't have anything because of one income.

Comment Re:Storage? (Score 1) 478

The bigger problem is that as great as pumped hydro is, there's a lot of awesome places for windmills and solar panels that also happen to be deserts with no water and many are also flat, with no place uphill to pump it to even if you had the water.

The giant battery farms are interesting, but after 10 years what percentage of the batteries need to be replaced? Because battery tech is so primitive, building lots of battery farms with batteries that burn out after a decade starts to sound like a real problem, especially if it involves massive mining efforts for lithium at 10x the current demand.

Personally, I'd like to see more done with raised mass storage, including some of the novel systems using large concrete "pistons" over a column of water. During the day (or when the wind blows, etc), water is pumped under the mass, raising it up, and at night the water flows the other way, spinning the pump/turbine.and generating power.

It's kind of like pumped hydro, but all you need to do is dig two cylinders for pumping the water from/to the mass, you're not as dependent on pre-existing geography.

Comment Re:Most States have these Occupation Codes (Score 2) 727

I've done some subcontracting for engineering firms and most of the "engineers" I worked with did not have PE certification. There were a few senior guys with PEs who signed off everything. I don't know, but after seeing the reams of drawings/plans I find it hard to believe that this system of requiring only PEs to sign off on projects is actually achieving the risk mitigation that is claimed because I don't think the volume of work is realistically reviewable by one guy.

I'm more inclined that PE certification, like so many professional certifications, is mostly about eliminating competition and running a kind of cartel, especially when it gets the kind of self-policing powers that most legislatures grant professional certification boards. If you can obtain a legislative monopoly on your trade *and* gain the power to determine and police who can enter your trade, you're doing pretty well.

I would argue that by making PE certification so complex, thus reducing the number of PEs, engineering is worse off because fewer PEs sign off on the work of non-PEs without truly applying whatever their special magic is to the work (simply too much to check).

It would make sense to make PE certification somewhat easier to obtain without essentially compromising the knowledge required to gain it. You would have a larger pool of people shown competent at engineering, but this would create problems for the engineering business which would face more competition.

Comment Re:Hyrbid? What's Intel's production problem? (Score 1) 144

"Traditional" NAND flash was much more expensive than spinning rust but came in sizes useful at least for boot disk applications *and* delivered overwhelmingly better performance from the same bus/connection as spinning rust.

IMHO, Intel can't pimp this out as faster than NAND flash for more money. Like CPUs, flash storage has more or less hit the speed levels where more speed simply isn't that useful outside of very narrow use cases.

The angle they needed to work was density and write endurance. There's still a fair use case for spinning rust at certain scales, driven mostly by slot limits in server and storage chassis. If you want 40 TB but only have 10 slots, you have to use spinning rust. Providing a solid state disk at this density with superior write endurance would really be a market disruption.

Comment Hyrbid? What's Intel's production problem? (Score 5, Insightful) 144

32 GB of Optane for $77 is $2.40 per GB, Samsung 850 Pro 1 TB is $0.50 per GB. Intel is nearly 5x more expensive.

Hybrid storage systems are common in the enterprise SAN market, but generally to be useful they need something like 20% of capacity to be flash. At ratios of 1-3% of HDD capacity, I don't see the Intel use case as being especially useful.

I had a Seagate 2.5" years ago that was 32 GB flash plus 512GB and it only felt marginally faster than a standard disk drive. You didn't notice serious performance boosts until you went completely flash.

So does Intel have a yield problem or are they still ramping up production facilities to make these in quantity? It's hard to see a system more convoluted than straight SATA or NVMe flash disk being that big of a deal. I think in order to make this product competitive it has to be offered at $/GB competitive with ordinary flash disks or only a small premium.

Comment Re:Vigorous debate? Surely you jest (Score 1) 519

I've found the IT world (since I've worked full-time in it, about 1990) has always veered slightly libertarian, but not usually hard-core, more freedom oriented than dystopian libertarian.

Slashdot comments have degraded, but it's been years in the making, not a particularly recent phenomenon. IMHO there's too many politically oriented stories and maybe not enough real technology, but on the other hand I also think that real technology has been kind of idling over the last few years, too.

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