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Comment Re:Side effect of the Fake news in MSM (Score 1) 283

Government is way too incompetent to pull any of these crazy scenarios off....

Especially while keeping it quiet.

Look at the big government scandals of the last few decades, how many people were involved and how they were outed. Then line them up against common conspiracy theories and look at how many people would have to have been involved in them and how perfectly they would have to be executed and how many people would have to be kept quiet. Any rational analysis will quickly conclude that a government that couldn't keep a blow job in the oval office secret, or a hotel room wiretap, or low-key, small-scale sale of arms to Iraq, or prisoner abuse in a prison on the other side of the world, could never manage what the conspiracy theorists claim.

And, actually, this isn't even evidence of incompetence. Keeping secrets is really hard, and it's darned near impossible when the secrets carry moral baggage that encourages disclosure. Someone eventually outs it. Attempts to bully or eliminate possible leakers to keep them quiet just generates even more secrets with even more moral baggage. In North Korea, Kim Jong Il can probably suppress information he wants suppressed. Most of the time. In the US? No way.

Comment Re:Tradeoffs (Score 1) 607

If you think a lawyer (using this occupation as a placeholder) in Mississippi and a lawyer in New York don't have largely similar standards of living when compared to lawyers in the rest of the world, then we are both using English but not using the same language.

You were talking about free trade in the post that I replied to. You seemed to imply that you find it acceptable, within the context of the EU, because the member-states have similar standards of living and labor laws. This is false. As I said, we do not even have similar standards of living and labor laws within the United States. Indeed, a lot of corporations go out of their way to locate their facilities within so-called "right to work" States, where wages are lower and the legal balance is tilted more in the employer's favor.

The same trend has been happening for years within the EU. Most of the Nokia phones I purchased over the years were made in Romania. Why? Wages are cheaper there than they are in Finland. Romania is the South Carolina of the EU and Nokia moved production there for the same reasons that Boeing built their new plant in South Carolina rather than Washington.

You're right to say that a lawyer in Mississippi will have a similar standard of living to a lawyer in New York. He may even have it better; he'll make less money than the New York lawyer, but the cost of living is significantly cheaper, so much so that he may effectively be richer than his New York counterpart. That doesn't change the fact that New York has it better when we look at average metrics, things like educational attainment, life expectancy, obesity rates, etc. And if we want to talk about labor laws and regulations, well, there's no contest between the Northeast and the Gulf Coast.

Comment Re:"Green" technologies aren't sufficient. (Score 1) 213

not because they think it's genuinely the optimal solution for any real world problem

Three words: Base load power.

Even the most optimistic assessment of solar and wind do not envision them as a replacement for the base load. I'm only aware of two carbon-neutral sources for base load power: nuclear and hydro. The latter doesn't have much room left for growth, certainly not enough to replace coal and natural gas, so what does that leave you with?

Frankly, I don't see how anyone that accepts anthropological climate change can be against nuclear power. If you believe the impact of climate change to be as bad as many say it will be then the economics of nuclear power are irrelevant. It's a necessary investment to bring down carbon emissions.

Comment Re:24 hour news did this to themselves (Score 1) 283

This last election cycle turned me away from all national TV news. Local news is as close as you can get to unbiased news and even then you need to be skeptical.

At this point, I don't even trust the local news. I haven't caught them in actual lies (either commission or, as often happens, omission), but I've often caught them making errors that a little research would have found. Mostly minor, but how much can I trust them with the big stuff when they screw up the small stuff?

Comment Re:"Green" technologies aren't sufficient. (Score 1) 213

The nuclear field's safety record is stellar, at least in the USA, so honestly that's a non-issue, but clean and safe nuclear power has never been cost effective. The controls required to meet current American safety standards are prohibitively expensive

And it was stellar before the regulations were ratcheted up, causing the cost to quadruple.

The reason that nuclear is prohibitively expensive is that we've pushed the safety standards far, far beyond what any rational analysis would require. We could reduce them dramatically and still have the safest power generation technology mankind has ever produced.

In a nutshell, I gave up on nuclear power after investing a decade of my life in it because it's a solution in search of a problem.

Nonsense. There's a very clear problem: clean, safe, cheap, large-scale power generation. Regulations have killed the "cheap" part, in order to add a few more nines to an already-outstanding safety record. Worse, they've so badly damaged the industry that newer designs that are inherently cheaper and safer can't even get off the ground because everyone is afraid to invest in them because of what the NRC might think of to hamstring those as well.

http://www.phyast.pitt.edu/~blc/book/chapter9.html

Luckily, it looks like renewables are progressing and might someday be able to replace fossil fuels with clean energy. It'll take a lot longer and be a lot more expensive than nuclear, though. Our insane nuclear power regulations are going to make global warming significantly worse and the economic impact of managing it much greater.

Comment Re:this is really getting tiring (Score 1) 221

But they're still there. What you've described constitutes deep and systematic racism and sexism that place serious obstacles in front of anyone who isn't the right race and gender. Just because no one is doing it "on purpose", that everyone has good intentions and thinks they're doing their best to be fair doesn't mean it isn't happening. It's the result of pervasive unconscious biases.

Prove it. Prove that's what's happening. You are making an extraordinary claim, you must justify it.

You described it! If you still can't see it, I can't help you.

Comment Re:this is really getting tiring (Score 2) 222

Because who gets promoted to management is entirely based on merit, right?

Sadly no. In my experience, who gets promoted to management has more to do with who you're friends with than actual ability.

Please note that gender and race were not mentioned *once* in the above.

But they're still there. What you've described constitutes deep and systematic racism and sexism that place serious obstacles in front of anyone who isn't the right race and gender. Just because no one is doing it "on purpose", that everyone has good intentions and thinks they're doing their best to be fair doesn't mean it isn't happening. It's the result of pervasive unconscious biases.

So, how do you overcome those unconscious biases, break the stranglehold of the good old boys' network on management positions (or a thousand other similar structures)? How do you root out the unconscious biases and make the people who hold them see that they do? Remember, these are well-intentioned people who consider themselves to be kind, and fair... but they just tend to hang out with their own kind, so that's who they know, and who gets promoted.

Serious question. What's your answer? Just letting the self-reinforcing system continue isn't a good one. So what do you do?

Comment Re:Tradeoffs (Score 2) 607

This isn't "globalist", it is exiting a regional trade pact. I have misgivings about free trade, but almost none of those apply to countries with similar standards of living, similar product safety requirements, similar financial rules, easy migration, and similar worker protections.

We don't have similar standards of living, worker protections, educational attainment, or health outcomes across the 50 United States. What makes you think the EU can claim such outcomes between members? The anti-EU crowd was bitching about internal EU migration years before they started bitching about the Islamic "invasion." Imagine a New Yorker getting pissed because someone from Mississippi moved next door and took his job....

Comment Re:Coding is a profession with a long term future (Score 1) 532

What stack ?

I've done a lot of things. I've somewhat specialized in security of the cryptographic sort, but I've done embedded work, web sites (LAMP, J2EE, other stuff), networking (network drivers, worked on a reverse proxy, even wrote a TCP stack back in the day), point of sale systems, and a lot more. These days I work on Android, but that may change in the next year or two.

Comment Re:What makes an engineer in the US? (Score 2) 532

On the other hand, even without a government seal of approval, there are highly-skilled programmers in the world who have written lots of important and well-respected code that runs critical systems and does it very well. These are clearly worth of the name software engineer. The same applies to certain people who do software architecture, and deserve the label software architect.

So it's not that software engineering doesn't exist, or isn't a valid title, the only issue is that there's no defined standard by which to judge whether an individual merits the label.

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