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Comment get rid of your tablet (Score 1) 311

I am going to interpret the question as the cry for help that it seems to be. It's not that tabs are bad for kids per se, but I'd you are so fucking addicted to your tablet that you can't turn it off when you pick up a baby, you need to get rid of it. Now. If it is your dev platform, leave it at work. Otherwise, open the nearest window and toss it out.

Comment excellent book about cancer for slashdotty peeps (Score 1) 217

If you are science-minded and are interested in the history of cancer research and the state of the art, I can't recommend this book highly enough:


I'm not a physician or a scientist, but I spent years on a team with both in a cancer research lab, and everything in the book is consistent with the science I have picked up along the way. It's also very readable. I give a copy to everyone I know who has to confront a cancer diagnosis.

Comment use cases for college (Score 3, Insightful) 309

1. sex
2. networking with other people who will be in your profession (try not to mix with #1)
3. learning something from a genuine authority on a subject (try not to mix with #1)
4. learning something that is hard to teach to yourself (music performance, foreign languages)

If you are having trouble finding a job, it is probably where you live or your soft/social skills.

A little comp sci theory is a good companion to the stuff (you say) you already know, but it can be self-teachable.

Comment I Ching (Score 1) 397

I find the I Ching good for this stuff. Like the coin flip, it helps you find out what you want to hear.

Also, it's kind of a cultural thing to say fun > money, but when I picture myself sitting down to write a check for a thousand dollars a month to make work more fun, I realize I it does not seem like a really great bargain. (Escaping complete misery might be worth that much, but that doesn't sound like the choice in front of you.)

Comment How I kicked TV (Score 1) 479

A few years ago, I set a simple rule for myself: I only turn on the TV to watch something I know I want to watch before I turn it on. I didn't impose my rule on anybody else in the house.

Less than six months later I cancelled the cable when I couldn't remember the last time anyone had watched it. No one noticed it was gone.

I do watch cartoons with my older son, mostly for the pleasure of his company. As much as I dislike everything about iTunes, it is most fun for him to sit with me on the couch and watch stuff on an iPad. I just buy season passes to the things he likes... A few series a year are much cheaper than cable.

Comment "Hey, let's watch Star Trek" (Score 1) 634

First episode to watch: your favorite episode.

Important follow up: "I like that one because [Spock's beard is funny | Tribbles are cuddly | Jean Luc is cuddly | <your reason here> ]"

(If your favorite part of your favorite episode of your favorite series is when the big robot played by Ted Cassidy speaks in a woman's voice, maybe keep that to yourself.)

Comment Re:new ending? (Score 1) 256

Yeah, I was disappointed in the same way when I first saw it. I practically slept with a copy of Ubik under my pillow. But I let myself like the movie on its own merits. All I meant by quoting "yet another" was the look of the movie was anything but a cliche at the time. And faithfulness aside, it was real science fiction, not space opera.

Comment Re:new ending? (Score 1) 256

yet another flawed Hollywood masterpiece

I can see how younger people might see it that way, but for scifi loving kids growing up in the 70s, the pickings were pretty slim other than the Star Wars franchise. Lots of things look like Blade Runner now but it was like nothing I had ever seen. (Yeah, Metropolis and other antecedents had been made, but there weren't even VCRs back in the day, so no one had seen that stuff.)

Comment Re:new ending? (Score 1) 256

Blade Runner is a pretty good movie but not a good adaptation in any sense.

Scanner is right on the money in my opinion. Even casting stars with drug histories was an inspired touch.

Strangely, the movies that best capture the PKD spirit for me are Inception and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which have no PKD connection at all.

Comment Prescient (Score 5, Interesting) 315

I just looked at a few wikipedia pages and saw this thing that he wrote about a transistor radio in the 1950s. It is exactly the way you might describe someone talking on a cell phone if you walked outside your door right now:

In writing the short novel Fahrenheit 451 I thought I was describing a world that might evolve in four or five decades. But only a few weeks ago, in Beverly Hills one night, a husband and wife passed me, walking their dog. I stood staring after them, absolutely stunned. The woman held in one hand a small cigarette-package-sized radio, its antenna quivering. From this sprang tiny copper wires which ended in a dainty cone plugged into her right ear. There she was, oblivious to man and dog, listening to far winds and whispers and soap-opera cries, sleep-walking, helped up and down curbs by a husband who might just as well not have been there. This was not fiction.

No, he didn't predict cell phones or anything like that, but he recognized one of the first victims of the epidemic that went on to swallow us all.

Comment Let her figure it out for herself (Score 1) 416

I know you are trying to help and will frame stuff as ideas or suggestions or whatever, but I have been there with two wives and I can tell you from having done it both ways that what she needs is your confidence, not some clever ideas (especially ideas from some random bozos on teh internet.) She is the one who should me having the ideas and doing the talking, and you are the one who should be doing the listening and smiling. If she freaks out and says she doesn't know what to do, the right answer is "I know you'll figure it out."

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