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Comment Re:An awful lot of hating on colleges here. (Score 1) 495

How about we ask pensioners pay for their own pensions. My grandparents generation had a shorter life expectancy, saved for their own retirement, and there just weren't that many old people relative to the workforce. So my parents generation didn't have to pay much for their parents pensions and healthcare. Then my parents generation enjoyed the benefits of the contraceptive pill, before they knew about AIDS, had fewer children, and didn't save as much for retirement as their parents did. Now my parents generation wants me to pay for their pensions and healthcare, while they retire in greater numbers and live longer than at any other time in history. I don't need a butt-load of healthcare right now, my parent's generation do, but I'm paying for it. Who's going to pay for me when I'm old? As the summary says, I am clearly NOT earning a significantly higher salary. There won't be any money left once the baby boomer are finished, so I have to save/pay for my own retirement. And they want my generation to pay for our own education too? Something has to give.

Comment Re:Seriously? (Score 1) 69

Consequences only appear after a breach happens, and nobody thinks a breach will ever happen to them. That only happens to incompetent companies. Anyway, if you prevent a breach from happening, then no breach ever occurs, and the cost of preventing such a breach was money wasted as far as management cares. Better spend that money on bonuses. You do want a bonus this year, don't you?

Comment Re:Develop a backbone. (Score 5, Insightful) 433

Well said. I had a similar issue with my own manager last year. She decided to micro manage, moved the goal posts repeatedly, tried to blackmail me into doing her work, isolated me from colleagues by saying bad things about me, examining and criticising every piece of work I did, and generally being a bully.

I trained in the army, where pissing contests are the norm, so I have seen this before. I resisted immediately and consistently. This left my manager with two strategies to choose from. Either back off and lose status, or escalate. She chose to escalate. The more she escalated, the more I resisted. It is a risky strategy for her. On the one hand she is betting that I will relent sooner rather than later so she can have her way, and in return she will give me some peace. On the other hand, the more she escalates the more intrusive, abusive, unreasonable, and messy things get for both of us. The messier things get, the more people notice, and not in a "look how well she is managing" kind of way.

Meanwhile she made a friend at HR and told them all about this terribly unprofessional employee she had. Then I got a letter from HR requesting a meeting to discuss some concerns my manager had about my unprofessional behaviour. This is where documentation comes in handy. Try to get every decision in writing. My manager took great care to say verbally anything that I might use against her. The best I could do at that point is write her an email asking for clarification or confirmation. Then she either confirms it, sealing her fate, or refutes it, letting me off the hook, or she ignores it, implicitly accepting it. In any case, there is now a paper trail. Once she sees her request in writing, she usually tries to weasel out of it, implying I misunderstood and comes back with a much more reasonable request.

I succeeded to disprove most of my managers accusations by bringing up old emails. That took the wind out of the remaining accusations. Somewhere in this process my managers new friend at HR realised she had been hoodwinked and swap herself with someone impartial. Then things really started to improve. My manager couldn't conceal or undo some things she did while escalating. HR elevated some issues very high up the ranks. When busy important people have to fix underlings fuck-ups, they remember. They will fix things once, but not twice. My manager knows that if I am going to give up my job and get a shitty reference because of her, I will make it as difficult as possible for her and take her down with me. We have a much better understanding now.

Morel of the story:
- Get everything in writing. You might need it. In any case, written agreements tend to be self limiting and self enforcing.
- Resist firmly and consistently. If you waver once, you give them leverage.
- Things will get much worse before they get better. Find as much support as you can.
- Keep it clean. Let the other person lose their morel high ground if they choose, but don't follow them.

Finally, I would say do not give an ultimatum between X or leaving. I have seen people do that, and the response is generally "OK. Leave. Bye". Your company might start preparing for it, leaving yourself little room to negotiate. You can always leave after trying all other avenues, and finding another job first, but don't let them see it coming.

Comment Re:must be the lead (Score 1) 118

It's possible. Lead is a neurotoxin which crosses the blood-brain barrier with ease. According to Wikipedia, "Lead causes loss of neurons' myelin sheaths, reduces numbers of neurons, interferes with neurotransmission, and decreases neuronal growth" (references a medical textbook), and "Long-term exposure of adults can result in decreased performance in some tests that measure functions of the nervous system" (references the EPA website). Nasty stuff.

Canada severely limited the use of leaded gasoline since 1990 though, while this study looked at data from 2001 to 2012. So either this is a latent effect from before leaded gasoline was limited, which is possible given how slowly dementia develops, or something else is going on. Either way, Lancet has a good reputation, so the methodology in this study is probably solid.

As others have pointed out, poverty could be a factor too. People prefer living further away from highways if they can afford to. Therefore property prices tend to be lower close to highways, which makes these places more affordable for poorer people. That confounds the issue with all sorts of other lifestyle factors. Do poor people eat less fresh fruit and vegetables? Do poor people exercise less? Do poor people smoke more cigarettes or drink more alcohol? Are there other factors we aren't even aware of?

Comment I call hogwash (Score 2) 163

If this is so simple, and it's been an issue for years, then why not even one single proof of concept. Nobody wants to control their power bill? ISIS just waiting for the right time to kill us all? In terms of credibility this is right up there with "Hackers can turn your home computer into a BOMB... & blow your family to smithereens!".

Comment Re: No. It didn't "predict" anything. (Score 1) 186

To be fair, the driver in that incident totally missed a GIANT FUCKING TRUCK crossing the road! Say what you like about humans doing this sort of thing easily all the time, but clearly some humans some of the time suck goat balls at it. Any technology that can assist even a little bit in these cases will save lives.

Comment Re:Will marriage still be a legal construct? (Score 1) 366

If we can make AI as smart as ourselves, then we can certainly make AI smarter than ourselves. And if we ever produce AI smarter than ourselves, then it will almost certainly find ways to make us work for its own benefit. History is full of examples where more advanced species exploit less advanced species. We will keep on developing smarter AI to help us in medicine, finance, infrastructure, telecommunications, entertainment, warfare, law, etc until one day the tables turn and AI can outwit us. At that point our slow and faulty legal system will be used for whatever purpose the AI has in mind. If it needs to distract us while it does other things, then perhaps it will put on a legal by show asking for emancipation. I doubt the outcome will even matter.

Comment Re:So, No? (Score 1) 436

My guess is whatever affords a quality of life better than jail. If I'm cold, hungry, and homeless, I just might decide to mug you at knife point to feed myself. If I get away with it, I win. If I'm caught, I go to jail and get free food, accommodation, clothes, and medical care at the taxpayers expense. I still win. Either way you lose. If I earn enough to make it worth my effort to stay out of jail, then we all win.

Anyway, some people are just not capable of participating in the workforce as productively as the rest of us, through no fault of their own. They were born that way. As a society we can let those people die, or let their family carry the entire burden themselves, again through no fault of their own, or we can all help though some form of social insurance. Letting people die because they are not productive enough seems a bit savage. The other two options cost society about the same, but one concentrates the cost on a few unfortunate families, while the other spreads the cost.

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