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Comment Re:Welcome to a highly competitive industry (Score 1) 422

Well, my argument would be that a boss that would make such a decision probably wouldn't be worth working for long term. It's my job as a boss to see that work gets done efficiently and that quality standards are met. It's my job to organize people, make sure appropriate information is routed to the right people, and that internal politics are removed from the work environment for my core producers so they can do what they do best.

It's not my job to exert my authority and make snap firing decisions of key (or even minor) resources over a debate. Doing so is harmful to the company and does no good other than to bolster my own ego. It's exactly the problem with employers in the US today. They think because they write a check they own you. Short term this probably works, especially in a financial crisis, but long term I'm not convinced it makes for a strong company or an empowered employee.

Comment Re:Welcome to a highly competitive industry (Score 4, Insightful) 422

So let me get this straight:

You were fired for having a dissenting opinion, and then you gladly accepted to be rehired once your boss came to his senses? Do you really want to work with someone who would fire you over a technical debate?

Most of the people on my team debate with me about the odds and ends of all sorts of technologies. Sometimes I'm right, sometimes I'm wrong. I'd never fire someone for disagreeing over terminology. That just seems like it'd lead to me never getting the advice I really need when I really need it due to employee fear.

Comment Re:The "tyranny of the hierarchy" (Score 1) 173

I think you may misunderstand the Peter Principle, to some degree. At least to the degree that I've seen it implemented. The Peter Principle says that people are promoted to the level of their incompetence. This means as long as you're competent, you are continually promoted until suddenly you are no longer competent or can maintain a "baseline". Most organizations aren't run by complete idiots, if they were they wouldn't be multi-billion dollar enterprises.

That said, once someone gets promoted into a job that's over their head it's still pretty rare that they get demoted. They may be laid off, and then they leave to look for another job at another company having the credentials of being in that position. This is the Peter Principle at work. It has nothing to do with scum rising to the top, just with incapable people being allowed to stand in place once they're no longer running.

Comment Did you ever stop to consider (Score 1) 285

that the salary offered was intentionally low? Maybe, just maybe, they're looking for people willing to serve their country regardless of wages. $33,000/year to start is horribly low for a degreed job, I'll agree. That said, it is a livable wage especially if you love what you're doing and you make liberal use of the office cafeteria for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Long hours worked, sure, but I think that's par for the course at that place.

Comment Merriam Webster Begs to Differ (Score 1) 85

1 : the introduction of something new
2 : a new idea, method, or device

The fact that you don't find it interesting, or you can think of vaguely similar concepts in unrelated mediums does not discount this idea and implementation from being innovative. Shaking the phone is relatively innovative and the whole package is somewhat interesting.

That said, the device itself seems unlikely to really solve his problem of making cell phones easier to use without looking at them. I get the feeling that the system he's got outlined will take a lot of time to get used to and still require the occasional glance at the phone. In any case it's liable to require more thought processing than just looking at the phone and the disrupted concentration is one of the main points against cellphone use whilst driving.

Comment Re:Monetary Reward : Bad Idea (Score 2, Insightful) 412

What you're referring to is known as the "Overjustification Effect". Essentially, when you offer a reward or payment for something that a person was originally willing to do for free, you shift their motivations completely.

Rather than sticking with the intrinsic reasons such as providing knowledge for the good of mankind, making sure everything is up to date and correct, or imparting wisdom upon their "lessers", you've now forced them to focus their motivations on the extrinsic reason which is the reward. This has two very fatal flaws:

1) Quality - Laugh if you will, but there are reputable people still contributing to Wikipedia. Doctors, Lawyers, Mathematicians, Scientists, etc. These people are highly paid within their field and donating time because they find it interesting or noble. Start offering them money and it'll just be a pathetically miniscule sum compared to their salaries and likely turn them off from the whole deal.

2) Quantity - If you think NPOV is bad enough as it is, just wait until Wikipedia actually has to PAY for each article addition. Suddenly every single article choice will be scrutinized. "What's this 'Naruto', why would anyone care about it?" This sort of scrutinization and heavy handed interference is likely to kill off plenty of good articles before they even get started and the obscure wealth of articles on Wikipedia are what make it valuable.

tl;dr: OP is right.

Comment Re:Occam was a goon (Score 1) 377

Honestly, I think you're spot on. Occam's Razor is often used in current debate to negate ignorance and allow people to apply situational considerations with their current datasets rather than researching other possibilities. It is at best a tool for forming a disprovable hypothesis.

Unfortunately, it's often used as a tool for forming a finished assumption about a situation. I think the world of debate would be far more enlightening without muddying the waters with Occam's Razor. The real problem I see with Occam's Razor is how a relatively large majority (as per my own internally biased dataset) of people use it to prove or disprove a particular situation or idea.

I just want to take the time to thank Fantastic Lad for the enlightening post as I hadn't considered my own distaste with Occam's Razor until he brought it up. Thank you Fantastic Lad, please keep posting ;).


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