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Comment Re:My experiences in other companies and opinions. (Score 1) 191

The problem is that it is a shitty manager who insults any subordinate. If you have a problem with a member of your team, you take them aside and try to deal with it. If it rates disciplinary action, then so be it, but that can still be done respectfully. Either we are adults who can behave with some decorum, or we are unruly children. I won't have unruly children as managers, period. Behave appropriately or you will be demoted. Calling anyone a "fag", get into shouting matches with them, and I will be making you apologize to the persons involved and to anyone who overheard them, and do it repeatedly, and you'll be shown the door. A work place should not be a place where people with power feel some right to behave badly to other people.

Comment Re:Left and right (Score 1) 154

My experience from my coursework was that the cited studies seemed to me to be pretty rigorous. There was an entire section dedicated to what might have been titled "junk science", though as I recall the authors of the textbook used a somewhat more diplomatic term. In there were all kinds of commonly-held disorders like pre-menstrual syndrome, seasonal affective disorder in the like where research suggests that while the disorders may be real, they in fact effect a far smaller group of people than earlier studies had claimed. In other words, even in psychology it sure looks to me like there is at least some psychologists who follow valid methodological principles.

The other thing to remember is that "psychology" is a pretty damned broad term, and that in a lot of cases other professions like psychoanalysts, psychiatrists, counselors and the like often get lumped in, and in some cases these other groups publish in journals of varying degrees of quality. That's not to say that some of these people don't adhere to pretty strong methodologies, but it does tend to be a bit of a wild west in some cases. But when you're talking about cognitive psychology and other similar branches, there's a lot of overlap there that pulls in neurological experts, behavioral experts and the like who sit within the harder edges of the psychology field. It most certainly isn't all just kooky neo-Freudians.

Comment Re:Social media? (Score 5, Insightful) 180

For whatever extent you want to talk about the news itself being the cause of stress (which is fair to do), I think we have to look also look at the setup of the platforms, human nature, and the culture around social media, as likely contributing factors.

Because really, however bad the news was, 20 years ago you'd be waiting for the nightly news to find out about it. Several decades before that, you'd be waiting for the following day's newspaper. Now, we're getting constant updates, and those updates may be causing a device in your pocket to vibrate and make noise every time something new comes out. We know that checking all of those notifications is addictive, and not checking causes stress. However, constantly feeling the need to check also causes stress. (human nature)

Also, we have grown to expect that everyone is constantly online, always checking all of their platforms. Speaking for myself, I get messages via various social networks, and if I don't respond immediately, people freak out and take personal offense. Even when I try to remove those apps from my phone or turn off notifications, I get angry messages from people because I'm ignoring them. (culture)

I think it's also worth pointing out that most of these platforms are not really designed for occasional use. I've thought it would be nice if you could set a time-based digest of a social networking site. For example, instead of looking at Twitter, give me a weekly digest of the tweets that (based on some criteria) I'm going to be most likely to want to read and respond to. Only update Twitter at 9am on Sunday mornings with the 25 most important tweets of the week. But Twitter doesn't work that way. It's basically built on the idea that you're always looking, always paying attention, because if you stop paying attention for a day or two, you're just going to miss things and they'll get buried under a flood of other tweets. (the platforms)

Basically, I don't think we can do much about the human-nature aspect. Realistically, I don't foresee the platforms changing because they're providing the instant-feedback that people want. In my thinking, they key would be to change the culture and expectations around social media, which would change what we want from the platform, which would change the platform.

But then, intentionally changing culture is not so easy either.

Comment Re:Goes both ways (Score 2) 191

Ok, so what's the "other way" that it goes? In the one case, you have "aggressive behavior by an employee goes unchecked because of poor management." What's the other way?

Are you interpreting one of the examples to be "aggressive behavior by management goes unchecked because of poor employee behavior"? Because then it would make sense to say, "It goes both ways." But I feel like, in both cases, it's a problem of bad management.

Comment Re:Left and right (Score 1) 154

Having taken a college-level psychology course (which of course makes me an expert in the field!) I can tell you that psychology isn't necessarily as soft as you think, and while there are certainly holdover schools of psychology that are based on partial or total rubbish, when you start talking about cognitive psychology and behaviorism, these are just as hard a science as physics or geology, to the point that I got the strong impression that my instructor viewed many of the other schools pretty dimly as being as much wishy-washy metaphysics as anything else. Psychology is an awfully big field, so claiming most of it is rubbish is deeply unfair.

Comment Re:My experiences in other companies and opinions. (Score 1) 191

Of course there has been in a lot of research on management styles, some of it predating WWII which suggested that bullying management style may bring about short-term gains, but usually at the cost of a paranoid and low-morale organization which can negatively effect long term performance.

I've only been yelled at once in my working life, and while it scared the shit out of me to be sure, the only take-away I had was that my boss was a fucking asshole. I could only work as fast as I was going, and because he was a cheap asshole, he wouldn't hire someone else to take over some of my sysadmin role so I could more coding.

Comment Re:Left and right (Score 1) 154

I see little evidence that science is regaining ground. There has been far too concerted an effort in the last ten to fifteen years to demonize scientists, to make them out to be profiteering frauds. In the end reality will very much bring back the pro-science movement, but for now, even on Slashdot, the attitude on everything from climate change to basic research is incredibly negative.

Comment Re:The magic is dead. (Score 5, Interesting) 154

Computing is pretty much ubiquitous nowadays. When I first got into computing back in grade school around 1981-82, computers were just this incredibly awesome thing. There was a pioneering spirit to the home computing world. I remember taking my crappy little Radio Shack computer to local meetups, and you'd have everyone from ten year olds like myself to grizzled old guys (who could actually afford cool peripherals like disk drives and the like). That persisted to some extent until the early 1990s, with the earliest versions of Linux like the original Slackware release being the swan song of an age of computing that had persisted since the mid-70s. Once the Internet really overtook the old BBS culture, that was the final nail. I blame it all on AOL!

I can remember pouring through Byte magazine back in the mid-80s and just salivating over the idea of having a modem or a double-sided floppy drive. It was just a very optimistic age. I found an old box of computer magazines from the era, and still smiled at the three page BASIC program listing for some sort of text adventure game, remembering how I built my first one based on a how-to book I'd ordered from an advertisement in the back. Good times.

Comment Re:Mostly, send the snowflakes to Venezuela (Score 1) 191

This is why I wish Slashdot would get rid of ACs. I have no idea who I'm debating. Are they responding to what I wrote? Are they the parent?

AT any rate, lots of people of every stripe care about money. Whoever you are, the AC I was responding to heavily suggested that Milo is vindicated because he makes lots of money. How that squares with your post is beyond me.

Comment Re:My experiences in other companies and opinions. (Score 1) 191

In general I would frown on any employees, but in particular a manager, getting into a shouting match, homophobic slur or otherwise. In a manager I would find this particularly disturbing, because you should really be promoting managers based on leadership qualities, and shouting at your subordinates doesn't display leadership, it displays bullying. As to a specifically homophobic slur, like it or not, we live in a litigatory age, and, as you point out, if the staff member being yelled at were gay, then your manager has crossed a realm into pain. As others have pointed out, this kind of culture comes down from the top. Good sound senior management would not allow the workplace to behave this way.

The fact is that in any workplace, but particularly a large one, you're going to have conflicts, and on occasion they may get out of hand. I agree that the homophobic slur is the least serious of them, but it still isn't something that should be tolerated. An off the record warning would be exactly how I'd deal with that as well, but if the employee persisted in that sort of conduct, then it would have to move on to a more formal disciplinary process.

Oh, and to all those brave alt-right haters, want to end up in court, go tell a subordinate who complains they were threatened or abused to suck it up.

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