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Comment Re:Not foolproof (Score 1) 54

I'm not asking people to agree on every contentious issue. Yes, there will be some variance on what "be civil" means, but working in a group also requires a bit of tolerance. That's part of peacefully coexisting in a diverse workforce. No, I'm not talking about tolerating blatantly racist or sexist behavior, but recognizing that, so long as there is no ill intent, we should be willing to forgive minor trespasses or foibles.

My concern with creating a list of all principles, rules, prohibitions, etc, is that it appeals to rules lawyers, and no one else. I'm pretty sure Uber has a big list of these rules and prohibitions, but look at what that place is (allegedly) like, especially for female engineers. In short, it feels a bit to me like a feel-good measure that doesn't actually prevent bullying and backstabbing, and in some cases, even provides the tools for doing so.

I don't actually oppose codes of conduct per se, despite my Devil's advocate position. I just think recently that they've taken on a life of their own, and have gotten too complicated or convoluted, and in the process undermines their purpose. You've probably heard of this line in the Open Code of Conduct:

Our open source community prioritizes marginalized people’s safety over privileged people’s comfort.

I think it's inappropriate for a code of people to define and divide people into "marginalized people" and "privileged people". Are people surprised then, when the Code of Conduct itself becomes controversial? This line is, by its own admission, quite divisive.

Ubuntu's, on the other hand, reads like this:

Be considerate

Our work will be used by other people, and we in turn will depend on the work of others. Any decision we take will affect users and colleagues, and we should consider them when making decisions.

Be respectful

Disagreement is no excuse for poor manners. We work together to resolve conflict, assume good intentions and do our best to act in an empathic fashion. We don't allow frustration to turn into a personal attack. A community where people feel uncomfortable or threatened is not a productive one.

Take responsibility for our words and our actions

We can all make mistakes; when we do, we take responsibility for them. If someone has been harmed or offended, we listen carefully and respectfully, and work to right the wrong.

And then goes on for a few thousand more words... But one thing I appreciate is they try to offer advice on how to achieve technical excellence as well as inter-group harmony, which I think makes sense for an open-source project.

If you feel you must have a Code of Conduct, it seems better to affirm the positive attributes to which community members should strive, rather than listing all the ways one person can be horrible to another person, like the Open Code of Conduct, which defines "harassment" with a litany of examples.

Comment Re:You don't own common sense (Score 1) 1081

the side that goes along with the overwhelming amount of research (not to mention common sense) that suggests more guns = more gun accidents (and of course, more gun violence.)

Then I'm sure you can cite some of this research? The actual fact is that in recent decades, firearms accidents and murders by firearm have both decreased while the number of guns in private hands has increased.

Now, if you don't like guns, that's fine; like abortions, if you don't like one, don't have one. But if you're going to talk about an "overwhelming amount of research" about crime, you'd better be able to cite some criminology papers.

Comment Re:I think the difference is (Score 2) 1081

your odds of surviving a knife attack are orders of magnitude better than surviving a shooting.

Not if the attacker has decided to kill you, no. Knife attacks are sometimes done specifically to wound or mutilate rather than kill.

The fact that despite the easy availability of black-market firearms 30% of US murders are committed without a firearm ought to clue you in that it's not "orders of magnitude" easier to survive an attack by other means.

The ancient world killed people with blades quite effectively. The armies of Alexander didn't have guns. Nor did the Romans, the folks who gave us the word "decimate".

But the phrase "Guns don't kill people" is verifiable bullshit.

No, assigning intent to inanimate objects is verifiable bullshit. Hammers don't build buildings. Scalpels don't perform surgeries. Guitars don't play music. Gasoline cans and matches don't burn down buildings. Shoes don't kick people. In all of those situations we understand that it is a person, not an object, which is responsible. But many people have an irrational emotional response to firearms due to their status as a cultural shibboleth, and so lose track of this principle.

Comment Re:"Police found Purinton 80 miles away at Applebe (Score 1) 1081

A gun is a weapon, and has a single purpose. It kills. It kills well.

A gun is a tool, which fires small pellets at a high velocity. Pellets can be fired at a variety of targets for a variety of reasons. Among those reasons are both self-defense and aggressive violence against other human beings. They are neither the easiest not most efficient way to murder human beings, efficient mass murderers use fire while poison is easier for killing one at a time. Your local Home Depot is more dangerous than your local gun store. Firearms are, however, the best means of self- and community-defense yet developed. As the cliche says, God made man, but Samuel Colt made man equal.

The U.S.'s murder rate is linked much more to its prevalence of economic injustice and history of racism than to the legal status of firearms. (There is no correlation between a state's murder rate and it's gun laws, but there is one between it GINI score and its murder rate.) Criminologists are pretty clear that gun control laws have little effect on violent crime, and may increase it by decreasing the ability to citizens to defend themselves.

Comment Re:a Code of Conduct is a weapon (Score 1) 54

I understand the necessity of a Code of Conduct for a business that hires employees. Because federal laws, and lawsuits, and all that other fun stuff.

I don't understand why a programming language, as a recent example, requires a Code of Conduct. If you want your official forums to be civil, than enforce civility. Why on earth would you write up a multi-page document explicitly listing every little prohibition and affirmation, unless it's just for virtue signalling?

Comment Re:Not foolproof (Score 4, Insightful) 54

I see they're recommending a "Code of Conduct" for open source projects. How else could we possibly get along with one another if all the rules of behavior aren't spelled out in the most minute details. Generally speaking, all of those boil down to "Be civil" anyhow, just expressed in a few thousand more words.

Is it really not adequate these days for a project or community to just tell everyone to "be civil", to enforce that civility with common sense, and leave it at that?

Comment Re:Drone collisions... (Score 1) 51

From your own link:

On Jan 10th 2017 Mozambique's Civil Aviation Authority reported in a press conference in Maputo that they concluded the radome most probably failed as result of a structural failure caused by air flow pressure, contributing factors probably were a defective installation of the radome and inspection of the ribs. A foreign object damage was ruled out. The CAA added, that the radome had been purchased second hand through an American company supplying aircraft parts and components, the radome was installed on the aircraft during major maintenance in South Africa on Jun 27th 2016.

Notice that there was no collateral damage beyond the radome, which would seem unlikely with a drone strike.

Comment Re:USPS Investigation? (Score 4, Informative) 150

I recently had USPS packages lost. You first have to sign up on their website, which is irritating enough. After a lengthy claims-reporting procedure, it was LITERALLY impossible for me to file a claim on their website, as the mechanism was completely broken, preventing me from submitting. When I called the tech support number listed on their web site to report this, I got an advertisement/marketing survey asking me my age (and if you're not in the correct age range, they just hang up on you). Beautiful. Then I called a general help number, selected the "claims / lost package" section, and still wasn't able to talk to a human being (apparently, you could only look up an existing claim by ID). All other options resulted in the same thing. No way to talk to a person that I could discover. I had already wasted several hours by this time, and the package wasn't valuable enough to pursue things further, so I just wrote it off as a bad experience.

NEVER, EVER send anything you deem valuable or important via USPS unless you have no alternative, or are willing to write it off if it goes missing. Most of the time it gets their fine, but if not, you're probably screwed, and they apparently don't give a crap about fixing mistakes like these.

Lost packages happen - I'm not asking for perfection. But I've dealt with other carriers and have gotten rare mistakes quickly resolved.

Comment Re:It's just a power grab (Score 2) 126

And if that one employee were carrying one fifth of the entire company's workload, and he made the right decision 99.84% of the time, you'd be a moron for firing him. That's especially true when your least overruled employee is wrong 44.7% of the time and the average overrule rate is 74.3%.

In other words, you're full of shit and ignorant on this subject. Read up before getting involved in adult conversations.

Comment Re:Huh? (Score 1) 247

I doubt it. In case you haven't heard, Volvo has already committed to doing this prior to any government regulations. It seemed likely that most were going to have to take this step anyhow to bolster consumer confidence. Plus, this just makes sense. If manufacturers aren't willing to accept liability for real-life accidents caused by their software, then that software obviously isn't ready for deployment on a mass scale.

Comment Re:Thanks. Mr. Obvious (Score 1) 247

At that point, with very few accidents *caused by* the self-driving vehicle, there won't be a financial incentive to shift the burden away from the manufacturer and onto the customer. The PR hit alone probably wouldn't be worth it.

Keep in mind that "acts of god" and other stuff for which the manufacturer can't be blamed is still going to require individual insurance.

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