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Comment Re:Loyalty to people not companies (Score 5, Insightful) 765

You're absolutely right in your characterization of things, but this is what a lot of people fail to get. What we have here are two separate moral standards going on.

Human beings have lived most of their existence in groups of no more than 150 individuals. Even for most of recorded history, most people lived in villages or in neighborhoods in cities where they knew just about every face they saw during the day, every day of their lives. Whatever kind of innate moral sense we have and whatever moral codes we have developed have all developed within this context of face-to-face interactions and persistent relationships. So, human beings have a hard time doing anything that isn't "nice." It's not "nice" to quit without giving notice. What "decent" person does a thing like that?

Companies, by contrast, operate on a system of profit and loss. I am not saying that's a bad thing. What I'm saying is that people shouldn't kid themselves. When a company decides to show you the door, that's excused as being "nothing personal, just business." In other words, they are doing solely what is the interest of the company: most particularly, their bottom line.

People need to understand that these are the rules. By all means, when you're interacting with friends, family, neighbors, or even strangers on the subway, do the right thing—the thing that human interactions have relied on for millennia. But when you're dealing with a company—when it's business—think first what's in your best interest, and then do that without a qualm.

Maybe giving notice is right for you, then and there. Then, go ahead. But, maybe walking right out the door is the best thing for you. In that case then, by all means, don't let the door hit you in the ass.

Comment Kinda sounds like how a LASER works (Score 5, Insightful) 299

You've got a cavity. Inside you pump some energy. The energy is nominally trapped and bounces around. Eventually, some of it finds its way out in a coherent way. Seems like the paper is describing a similar explanation as to how LASERs work, roughly-speaking. Sounds plausible for sure.

Comment Conveniently dodging the main issue (Score 5, Insightful) 168

It's wrong to presume that there was a legal way for Snowden to do what he did, because several previous whistle blowers who went by the book were targeted and prosecuted by the government. The intelligence agencies, and the politicians who support them, do not tolerate leaks—even well-intentioned ones that follow protocol and seek only to expose wrongdoing to the "proper" authorities.

Let's not talk about Edward Snowden being brought to trial. Rather, the people in our intelligence agencies and their allies in elected offices who subvert our laws, or who downright break our laws, and who vindictively attack anyone who tries to expose their unlawful, un-democratic, and anti-social behavior are the ones who need to be brought to trial. Hold them accountable first—and then we can talk about Edward Snowden.


Men Are Sabotaging The Online Reviews Of TV Shows Aimed At Women (fivethirtyeight.com) 858

FiveThirtyEight has an interesting article today which accuses men of sabotaging the online reviews of TV shows aimed at women. The publication cites an example of "Sex and the City", a show which apparently won plenty of awards and ran for many years on TV, getting hammered by males on IMDb. Compared to women, who amounted to 60% of the people who rated the show with an average of 8.1, men gave it a 5.8 rating. It's not an isolated case, FiveThirtyEight says, citing several other instances where the male audience has downvoted shows aimed at women audience. From the article: The shows with the largest proportion of male raters are mostly sports, video game web series, science fiction and cartoons. The programs with the highest proportion of female voters are -- at least the American ones -- mostly from The CW and Freeform, the new name of the network previously called ABC Family. This list is pretty hilarious. Beyond the top 25, shown in the table above, male-dominated shows of note include: "Blue Mountain State" (92 percent male), "Batman: Beyond" (91 percent), "Batman: The Animated Series" (90 percent), "The Shield" (90 percent), "Ballers" (90 percent), "Justice League" (90 percent), and "The League" (88 percent). "Star Trek: Enterprise" is the most male-heavy of the various official live-action Trek enterprises, while "Battlestar Galactica" still managed to grab 15 percent of its ratings from women, which is somewhat shocking. For women, other skewed programming includes "Private Practice" (71 percent female), "Gossip Girl" and "Gilmore Girls" (67 percent each), "Grey's Anatomy" (60 percent), "Scandal" (60 percent), and "One Tree Hill" (59 percent).

Comment Reverse Calculate Average Lifetime of Civilization (Score 1) 267

I'd be interested in seeing a paper that estimates the maximum lifetime of a technological civilization, on the basis that : (A) the estimates given are right about the number of stars, how many habitable planets are in the goldilocks zone, etc.,., (B) we are not atypical, and then (C) that we have not encountered signals from any radio emitting civilizations.

We might find that there would be so many technological civilizations, that technological civilizations should only exist for a few dozen years. Or we may find that they are so rare, that it's extremely uncommon that they overlap, and they may well last for several millennium.

Comment Re:They wonder why they get no respect (Score 1) 174

The sad thing is that, from the video I saw, the cop who got pulled over by the woman handled it in a reasonably professional manner. The head crybaby over at the union started the "We'll show her" nonsense. All that aside though, I agree with you about what police work seems to do the mind.

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