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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 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.

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.

Comment I think it's worse than you describe (Score 3, Interesting) 111

[...] the very next thing that would happen is that China et al will ask for the same solution.

I think this is actually backwards compared to how it may actually play out. This month's *Harper's Magazine* has an interesting essay about American businesses operating in China. (*Harper's* is paywalled, but you get a few free views per month.) The essay can be found here:

"The New China Syndrome: American business meets its new master"

The gist of the essay is that China's authoritarian government strong-arms American businesses, using all of the tools at its command, including outright arrest of business executives, and that this is only going to get worse, to the point where China will be setting U.S. policy by proxy, via business lobbying. After reading that essay yesterday, my guess is that China may someday soon pressure businesses for a backdoor, be granted that backdoor, and that the U.S. government may then get its wish based on China's precedent.

Comment Re:Explain to me like I'm 5 (Score 1) 257

Thanks. This makes me think of Plato's Cave. In other words, we live here in the "big" part of the universe. That's what we observe, and in terms of concepts, that's our frame of reference. And Newtonian physics applies really well in describing what goes on here, and in a way that appeals to our everyday concepts. But, as we turn our attention to what goes on in the "smaller" corners of the universe, and try to understand what we observe using the concepts from the frame of reference we live in, our analogies break down. Is that sort of what you're saying?

Comment At the very least it's an unethical hack (Score 1) 138

A person could use this app to run a blog of sorts, and as popular as it became the blogger would be hosting it on the cheap. You host the app and tweet the shortened URL's. The content is hosted, but not by you. The URL shortener hosts the content. But unlike LiveJournal or Wordpress.com, the URL shortener never agreed to hosting your content. You've essentially repurposed its functionality and subverted its intent.

I'm guessing the various URL shorteners will respond to this very quickly. The hack will end up being as short-lived as it is cool.

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