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Comment Re:Social media? (Score 5, Insightful) 169

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) 186

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:Goes both ways (Score 2) 186

I documented all of this, got supporting statements from my colleagues, and went to HR - who basically said that she's untouchable because she's a minority and a woman.

I don't understand why you say, "Goes both ways". It seems like the same problem. Someone is abusive at work, but getting away with it due to poor management. This isn't "going both ways", it's "going the same way".

Unless you're just trying to make some kind of "I hate 'political correctness' and affirmative action!" argument, in which case, that's kind of off-topic.

Comment Re:No Different From Laptops (Score 1) 510

I'm not sure we're disagreeing here. My point is that, contrary to the idea that, "If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear," the people who genuinely have something to hide are likely to plan ahead and circumvent this security measure. If you're a terrorist and you know people are going to be asked to unlock your phone and computer, then you're just not going to store your terrorism plans on those devices.

The information the government is likely to gather from this is just a bunch of personal/private information from innocent people.

Comment Re:Won't work everywhere, or really anywhere else (Score 1) 181

A large part of your response seems like you think you're arguing with me, but you're basically saying the same thing I am: This only works because it's a small company, and though you might not need a single person as the CEO in a larger company, you'll at least need a formal leadership with a formal decision-making process.

In other words, it's not about it being in Sweden, it's about the fact that it's a 40-person company. If they get much bigger, they'll need to do *something* to put some person or group of people "in charge".

However, I will comment on this:

With the EOE and labor laws in the US, do you think you can discriminate against the people who aren't right?

I don't see why not, as long as your definition of "people who aren't right" isn't about race, gender, or sexual orientation. That is, if your objection is something like, "This won't work once you have black employees!" then you should fuck right off. But labor laws don't really prevent other forms of discrimination, based on things like incompetence, lack of qualifications, or bad behavior.

Comment Re:Won't work everywhere, or really anywhere else (Score 4, Insightful) 181

I don't think you're quite right about that. Working in the US, I've worked for a few small businesses (less than 100 employees) where there was an official CEO or single "boss", but there didn't need to be. Major decisions were really made as a collaborative effort among the senior staff, and smaller decisions were delegated to individual senior staff members. Now, there did need to be some method of settling disagreements. Depending on the nature of the disagreements in these companies, it may be that the disagreement was settled by "the boss" (owner/CEO), but those instances were rare in the companies I'm thinking of. Usually the head IT guy made IT decisions, the head finance guy made finance decisions. The head of sales made sales decisions, and so on. The CEO was often, in reality, just one of those heads, except in the rare situations where he wanted to pull rank.

So I think that this could work in the US, at least in companies that are run well and have a good senior staff. I think the key thing here isn't the geographic location or even the culture, but the size of the company. The staff consists of 40 people, well below Dunbar's number, which enables a more organic, communal, and collaborative decision-making process. If they continued to grow, they would eventually need to to adjust and formalize their decision-making. However, I don't really see a reason why a company, even a large one, *needs* a single CEO. It seems like you could still have a board of senior staff who votes on issues, the big downside being that it may be time-consuming to have to convene a formal meeting when decisions need to be made, rather than delegating to a single person.

Comment Re:It's a pain because recovery has to be an optio (Score 1) 216

It's not a bad idea, but it seems like it could still have some problems because:

* Banks are only sort of technically savvy. For all of their capability "when they want to be", they're also stodgy old traditional institutions that don't like change and don't want to deal with technology. Unless it's high-frequency trading, or something like that.
* Much like tech companies, banks and credit card companies also don't like to work with each other to develop new standards. For as outdated and insecure as credit cards are, they still seemed to be avoiding the credit cards with chips. If banks would work together on new technical standards, we wouldn't be waiting for Apple/Google to develop their own competing payment services.

Comment Re:Bubble (Score 1) 490

they can freeze all "cash-equivalent" assets for weeks and when unfrozen, everything above the FDIC** insurance limit takes a haircut (40% in the case of Cyprus)... in order to avoid major FDIC insurance impact of liquidation, the FDIC has shopped the bank assets to other banks

Admittedly, I'm not a major financial expert, but if you're talking about FDIC, you're basically talking about the government seizing control of the bank, still bailing them out, figuring out what to do with the assets, which may be selling them to other banks. In the case of the 2008 crisis, it would have basically meant taking control of all the banks and the government would then have a nationalized banking system. Even if you don't have a problem with the nationalized banking system, that's a lot for the government to take on all at once. And basically all the banks were screwed, so there weren't really a bunch of other banks to sell the assets to.

Am I wrong? I don't know all about Cyprus, but it seems like freezing all assets for all the banks for a few weeks might also cause some chaos all by itself.

If your employer doesn't have a contingency for this, they are stupid.

If people didn't do stupid things, then the banking crisis wouldn't have happened in the first place.

Comment Re:Curated News? Bullshit. (Score 1) 139

Honestly, I wish there were good news curation. It might be a way to get people to pay for news again, but at the very least, it'd be my preferred way of staying up to date. Basically have someone really read a lot of news everyday from all kinds of different sources, and then put together a sort of meta-newpaper of the most important stories of the day.

Right now, I have a few different news aggregators that just seem to haphazardly pull whatever stories from whatever sources in an automated and somewhat random way. I'd really appreciate someone taking the time to select stories in a coherent way that says, "These are the stories you really should read today in order to get a full picture of what's going on." Unfortunately, I don't think anyone is doing a very good job at that.

Comment Re:It's a pain because recovery has to be an optio (Score 1) 216

This is why I maintain that we need identity/security providers that will manage the keys and encryption schemes for you. The real problems are:

* Slashdot nerds (and the like) get all freaked out about the idea of a 3rd party managing people's keys. In order to be truly secure, it's necessary that only you can ever possibly get access to your keys, which means that you need to manage them yourselves. Therefore, any scheme that requires trusting a 3rd party gets rejected.
* Each vendor/developer wants to create their own standard, and then have everyone use their solution. No one works on real standards anymore. Facebook wants you to use Facebook Messenger. Apple wants you to use iMessage. Google wants you to use Hangouts. Or whatever. The point is, major companies are not working to come up with a cohesive modern secure messaging standard.

Now in answer to the first problem, I think to some degree, these people just need to get over it. Most people are sending unencrypted emails, so if they had their email encryption managed by Microsoft or Google, it would still be substantially more secure than it is now. The idea that some people might entrust their keys to a 3rd party should not be a bad thing, since most people are not qualified to manage their own encryption scheme.

What the nerds should want is only to be able to set up their own encryption key management if they feel it's necessary. Similar to the way many people use cloud email services, but you *can* set up your own email server, there should be simple cloud encryption/identity services, but people should still be allowed to set up their own encryption/identity servers.

The second problem is much more difficult. How do you get ubiquitous adoption of security standards where companies have an interest in maintaining incompatibility? I really don't know. One of the historically successful methods of creating an adoption of standards is through some kind of governmental action (either direct regulation, or requirements for government contracts). However, nobody trusts the government to push an encryption scheme, since they only want communication security when they can preserve a backdoor.

It's a shame. We really could do so much better if people weren't such idiots. And the problem isn't that "the common man" is an idiot, but that the people running various companies, and the people running the government, are all a bunch of idiots.

Comment Re:Bubble (Score 1, Informative) 490

Hopefully this time they don't bail out the banks and and the idiots who bought mcmansions.

And how do you imagine that would work out? If everyone's bank accounts suddenly evaporate, your savings will be gone. And your employer's bank accounts will disappear. And your employer's customers' bank accounts will disappear. And then you have riots in the streets.

I suppose the houses that escape the fires will be cheaper, assuming anyone has money to buy them. You won't be able to get a loan because the banks will be gone, and you'll have no savings, so it's not clear where that money will come from.. And it's not clear what currency anyone will be accepting.

Comment Re:Theoretically (Score 1) 172

Also, it just doesn't make sense to have "free market" infrastructure. Free markets imply a low barrier to entry, allowing new upstarts to compete. Now think about roads, for example. How many different roads systems does it make sense to have? And no, I'm not asking how many different roads we should have, but different road systems. To make it more clearly, how many different roads should you expect to connect directly to your driveway? The answer is "one", at least under most circumstances.

You can say the same thing about water, electricity, or whatever else. I guess you could say it makes sense to have multiple sources of power generation, but it only makes sense to have one set of electrical cables connecting your apartment to the grid. It only makes sense to have one set of pipes connecting your apartment to a water source.

And Internet is infrastructure. You're never going to have real competition, so a free market can't be the solution.

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