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Comment glossolalia (Score 1) 225

I was raised in the Assembly of God church, a "full-gospel" or "Pentecostal" tradition. The movie "Jesus Camp" was basically how I spent a few weeks every summer. Baptism in the Holy Spirit is manifested by speaking in tongues, also called glossolalia. The sensation of losing control of your verbal faculties is very ... bizarre. It is a strangely compelling reason to believe in an invisible man in the sky.

Fast forward a few years. In college, I was getting stoned with some friends. One of them had been to church with me as a kid. She pointed out that at a particularly high point in the evening, I started speaking in tongues. I found this very interesting, and the sensation was indeed similar to what I had experienced in church. There is definitely something to the whole "opiate of the masses" thing. Drugs and religion very clearly change the function of the brain in dramatic ways.

Comment Re:So global warming is a farce after all (Score 1) 312

That's why people voted against her... I magically know you hated [W]

More people voted for her than for Trump. It was the states that voted against her. But don't let facts get in the way of your bizarre rant. There are several of us who voted for W who did not vote for Trump. Probably including most of the Bush family.

Comment Re:Maybe we should mimic civil engineering (Score 1) 280

Small nitpick: you're confusing civil and structural engineers. These are two very different beasts.

If an engineer stamps something, he is vouching for every aspect of the design. In my state, you actually have to design or oversee the design as it is going on. Granted there are a lot of guys who just stamp the papers to get them off their desk, but that's not technically legal.

In the software world, you could sign off on the design if you were involved from the ground up. The problem is that in today's world of software, the ground level is so far removed from where you are actually doing your work. I'm not saying you'd need to do machine code, but there are so many layers of abstraction and borrowing from libraries and building on other people's shoddy work that it becomes problematic quickly.

One saving grace for engineers is that if you are using something that is UL listed or on some otherwise approved list, or certified to a certain standard, you are absolved of any culpability should said component make your system fail (assuming you are using them in the prescribed manner). Say a bolt that you specified was purchased from a vendor who lied about whether it was a certain grade. The bolt breaks and somebody dies. The blame would fall on the manufacturer of the bolt. More importantly, this rarely happens, because the fastener company has a professional engineer who also is concerned about public well-being.

In the software world, is there a similar certification for third party components? I can't think of one, but I'm just an EE. It seems like the parable of building your house on sand. If your components and operating system are all buggy and crash-prone, no matter how stoutly you build your application, you are still running the risk of the foundation crumbling beneath you, leaving everything in tatters. I think you cannot just throw your hands up and say, "oh well, no matter how good I make my software it will be buggy." You have to dig deep and lay a better foundation. Then build upon it using only trusted and proven components. I guess where this building metaphor really has issues is that there's arguably no bedrock to find. If you want a secure operating system, you're probably going to have to roll your own.

Comment Re:New Trump fan here! (Score 1) 600

I'm a straight white male in the top 25%. Trump's going to be great for me personally, but I knew that before I voted against him. My personal gains pale in comparison to the high-risk policies he has espoused over the last 15 months.

He advocates more countries getting nukes (but says he's against proliferation, so he apparently doesn't own a dictionary). He has no regard for the First Amendment (specifically religion and press). He thinks stop and frisk is a good idea. He doesn't accept global warming as real. He lies about things that are easily falsifiable, and then continues to stick to his story even when he's been proven wrong. He thinks that having his kids run his foundation is the same as a blind trust. He thinks vaccinations cause autism. He doesn't believe due process is necessary to deport people. He thinks Russia had the right to annex Crimea.

Any of two these things would be disqualifying. I can forgive a politician having a single unorthodox opinion about their pet topic, but this guy has unacceptable views on so many topics. I didn't want my kids to inherit a world where this sort of incivility and brinkmanship is encouraged. Whether his policies "Make America Great Again" or not is immaterial. Anyone espousing so many of these views is dangerous to the very fabric of our political system and social structure.

I hope you're right about his vaporware Obamacare replacement, but I have a feeling it will only make things worse. If you thought your premiums went up under Obamacare, just wait until it's only sick people who are getting insurance.

Comment GE's version (Score 1) 260

This was how they did it at GE about ten years ago, so it might have gotten a little better. Fill in electronic requisition form on computer (yay paperless!). Print out. Sign. Scan to purchasing. Purchasing prints out. Verify order against printout from other database. Print out PO. Sign. Scan to Buyer. Buyer prints out and faxes to vendor. There were similar "paperless" processes for everything that used to have a single form that would physically go from department to department. Basically they tripled (or more) the amount of paper by doing the worst implementation of paperless imaginable.

There were some other striking examples. Project management tools went from being one plotted Gantt chart, posted to a wall, to a weekly email to all the team members, who invariably printed out and stapled to their cubes. Drafting redlines were the worst. You still had to print them out to get a good look at the drawing package (flipping from sheet to sheet in CAD took more computer than they were willing to buy us). But since you were using a shitty B/W printer, instead of manual redlines on paper, it was hard to see where the revisions were sometimes.

Comment Re:I'd like to thank the leader of said nation-sta (Score 1) 667

How would you define "the ruling party"? There are republican majorities in the house, senate, supreme court (until Scalia died), among governors, most state legislatures, and most state courts. Either way, neither party has co-opted anybody. The media has only one job these days, make money for their stock holders. They give exactly zero shits about being the fourth estate. The only reason Fox News has a conservative bent is because their marketing team decided that it was a way to differentiate themselves and get more eyeballs for their advertisers. Just remember: you are the can of soup, not the customer.

Comment Re:I'm suspicious (Score 1) 119

Oh how I wish it were just late night TV shows cherry picking idiots for comedic value. In reality, I have several friends who voted for very similar reasons. One lady voted for Trump because she thought it would be funny. One guy said he wanted his freedom back. I asked him, "what specific freedom do you want back, and how was it taken from you?" The answer was a long time coming and basically boiled down to the right not to have health insurance, but still be taken care of if he ended up in the hospital. Ironically, not a right enshrined in the constitution.

What about the other rights?

  • Guns? He owns plenty, in fact he's a licensed gun dealer and Obama has been great for business. He did think that Hillary would try to take his guns.
  • Freedom of the press? Interestingly, he seems to think they have too much freedom.
  • Right against unreasonable search and seizure? Well if you aren't doing anything wrong, what do you have to hide?
  • Right to peaceably assemble? He fuckin' hates all those liberal protesters. (but the aryan brotherhood is a-ok)
  • Freedom of religion? Didn't feel like he should be forced to recognize the validity of gay marriage. I asked how exactly other people getting married affects his ability to practice his own religion.
  • Due process? Nope, Hillary's guilty as sin and should go to prison, or worse. (Ironically, I pointed out that this freedom actually has been infringed by the Obama administration. But he said fuck that guy in Yemen, and we should drone strike 'em all!)
  • Cruel and unusual punishment? Not really a right that has been taken.

So I tried a different tack. Something we could agree on: trying to improve the accountability of Washington. Of course my friend is a firm believer in "drain the swamp." So I asked him if he voted for his incumbent representative. "Of course," he said, "we just need to drain the other half of the swamp!"

Then he said something about Trump being a business man who will bring back jobs. I would have asked what specific mechanism Trump has proposed to force companies to employ Americans, but I was getting bored.

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