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Comment Not everyone is playing Angry Birds (Score 2) 351

You can also *read books* on your phone. Right now I'm reading Proust. So there is quite a bit of angsty introspection going on in my life right now. So just because someone is looking at their phone non-stop doesn't mean they're playing a game, or tweeting, or whatever. And if you're shallow, don't blame it on the phone, or the internet, or connectivity. Just spend less time with Angry Birds and more time with Thoreau.

Comment Re:No time for this right now (Score 1) 118

And don't forget the number of times that there are no penalties to avoid at all, because it turns out that the activity was unnecessary.

Yeah, I'm looking at you, work. The number of times it turns out that someone else has already done something, often even before I'm assigned a task, well, it pays to procrastinate.

Yeah, procrastination is actually my form of triage. If the deadline is months away, in the interim it may go away altogether, or at the very least the specifics and deliverables will change. Any work I do right now is generally a waste of effort, aside from looking like a Good Boy to the boss. And truthfully that does get figured in. Part of assessing the importance of a project is gauging the boss's enthusiasm. If we're talking about a metric that will make the boss look good, I prioritize it and go above and beyond. Making the boss look good is generally more important than the actual job. The downside is that the boss just assumes you can do all these shiny happy things and that the job just gets done, I suppose by magic elves.

Comment Re:And an absence predisposes you to conservativis (Score 1) 841

The reason that I'm going to call bullshit on this is that empirically "lefties" tend to become "righties" through age or experience. A liberal is just a conservative who hasn't been mugged yet.

My experience is just the opposite. I was a libertarian through my 20's, when I (like most immature guys) thought I was John Galt and Zarathustra all rolled into one. And I *have* been mugged, as have many lefties. We're just aware of the seemingly obvious fact that voting Republican won't prevent you from getting mugged again. Like the myth that Republicans are better at national security, this is just so much self-congratulatory BS on the part of right-wingers.

Comment funny caricature, but... (Score 1) 841

"The father slowly smiled and said, "Welcome to the Republican Party."

I just hope she pays attention to her new party. They actually support quite a few wealth-redistribution programs, such as social security, farm subsidies, medicare, the Retiree Drug Subsidy, etc. Compared to the Libertarians, the Republicans are basically socialists.

Comment 'liberal gene' anything like an 'empathy gene'? (Score 1) 841

I have to wonder if the 'liberal gene' isn't also something along the lines of a 'empathy gene.' I don't mean this purely in the virtuous sense. Empathy can be paralyzing and, if taken to extremes, make for some pretty bad law. The caricatures of the effete liberal too afraid to hurt someone's creativity or wound someone's feelings are all tied to an excess of empathy. Conservatives seem to think that people who are bad off just deserved it. Well, unless it's *them,* in which case the liberals killed their inner John Galt.

Comment Re:Tea Party (Score 1) 305

and it will be curious to see if they can survive their own success.

Sort of. If/when Republicans take majorities again, and/or the White House, the Tea Party will fade away. Sky-high spending will still be the norm, but the evil socialist Democrats won't be the ones doing it. If/when the Democratic Party win another election, the Tea Party phenom will be back, blaming the liberals for everything and crying "throw the bums out!" These people aren't pro-anything. They're anti-Obama, anti-Pelosi, or anti-anyone who is to the left of Rush Limbaugh. They aren't even for small government, because they generally don't favor cutting off social security, medicare, farm subsidies, and other eminently socialist parasite handouts. Granted, they don't want taxes collected to pay for these programs, but that's a given.

Comment Re:Yes and no. (Score 2, Insightful) 305

His election was essentially a flash mob, with just as much staying power.

I somehow doubt all that many were swayed by Obama's use of social media. Probably about as many as were swayed by Clinton's sax playing on a talk show. Obama could have called it "the internets" and I would still have voted for him over anyone who would choose Palin for anything. Do I wish he were better? Of course. But I'll probably vote for him again, because I can't see that Palin or Huckabee or Gingrich could be good for my country.

Comment what's wrong with both? (Score 1) 121

Well, if you don't go in *both* the tourist trap duty-free shops *and* the backalley places where you can barely turn around, you haven't really gone to Akihabara. I was stationed near there for a few years, and loved it, just for the coolness factor. I liked the little warren of components and tool shops, but I also liked the high-end stores with $40,000 (in Yen equivalent) speakers. I thought it was cool to see the bleeding edge stuff. I remember reading about a new 50" LCD TV on a blog somewhere, and seeing it that evening for sale in Akihabara, for $25K. I still have that accursed Bic Camera tune stuck in my head, since there was one of those 10 minutes from my house. I do miss Tokyo, and I hope to get a job there again one day. My only disappointment with Akihabara was that there is almost no Linux representation there. There were a few Linux books in the big stores (in Japanese, naturally), and even Latex books, but mostly it's a Windows-only ad-space. I never even saw Linux or BSD cds for sale.

Comment Re:Sweet. Maybe we can get PS2 emulation next... (Score 1) 169

the scope of the current generation just allows for so much more in a game and my sense of nostalgia is not strong enough to persuade me to turn back

Meh. I can't play the modern games, because the 3D moving thing gives me a headache. But I love retro games like Robotron, Joust, Centipede, etc. No, I wouldn't buy a console just for those, but I bought my daughter a PS3 and I'd like to be able to play all those arcade classics they've released over the years for the PS1 and PS2. My daughter has Assassin's Creed II, which looks awesome, but it's not my cup of tea. I get a headache even watching for more than 10 minutes, and anyhoo I don't really like the storyline games. So the lack of old games essentially means that I'm stuck with Tekken and... that's about it. I'm not claiming that retrogrouches represent a significant market, but we do exist.

Comment Re:That's how the market is supposed to work. (Score 1) 762 has a special cargo area to haul your smug around! It has never been about saving money, but about the very American idea of expressing your personal values through your choice of vehicle.

I don't drive a hybrid, just a beater diesel. However, I don't feel any guilt for moderate self-congratulation for using less gasoline. The BP fiasco is traceable, at least in part, to our dependence on gasoline. If you use less gasoline, there is less need to drill a mile under the ocean, and thus less probability of catastrophes like this happening. Also, and this is the biggie for me, Islamic fundamentalist terrorists get their money from oil. If you use less gas, they get less money. That's a good thing. At no point have I ever thought I was saving the world by using less gas. But I do believe that using less gas is a good thing. Call that smug if you want, but don't kid yourself into thinking that the amount of gasoline you use has no effect beyond the money you gave up for it.

Comment Re:unintentionally? (Score 1) 414

I'd say Monsanto should win - stealing their seeds is wrong. But if his fields had been naturally pollinated, why should he be responsible for Monsanto's inability to contain their pollen?

What puzzles me is that Monsanto can sue people for "infringing" on their rights, but no one is prosecuting them for trespassing on other people's property. If I let my dog diddle in your yard, aren't I legally responsible for that? What is Monsanto's pollen doing in someone else's fields? Why are Monsanto's plants having illegal hot plant sex with someone else's plants?

Comment Re:In fact (Score 2, Informative) 414

A completely unregulated, free market tends towards consolidation of power into large companies and ultimately monopoly. This maximizes corruption every bit as effectively as a strong, centralized government.

Which is why I'm no longer a libertarian. Power corrupts. Libertarians seem to read this as "government power corrupts," which isn't the same thing. I've had consistent problems finding libertarians upset over the actions of Monsanto, Blackwater, etc. Basically no problem exists unless the government is doing it, and their only solution is to say "less government." That someone could do bad stuff for profit isn't even on the radar.

Comment I call BS (Score 1) 706

Women are too smart for careers in computers. Most intelligent women take a close look at the unrepentantly fucked-up culture that surrounds computing careers, and run like hell.

But women work in nursing and teaching, both of which are renowned for their screwed-up cultures. Nurses are known for "eating their young." Politics and bullying abounds. Passive-aggressive is still aggressive. I work for nurses and I'm related to teachers, and I can tell you that these female-dominated fields have cultures just as malignant as anything in IT. I know *female* nurses who, when you ask why they hate nursing, say "women!" Don't think it's all milk and honey elsewhere.

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