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Comment Re:Observation (Score 1) 210

So in a way, the whole shouting match is because the non-racists are afraid to face an uncomfortable fact or two that might shake their simplified world-view.

I think this is a larger part of the dynamic you described than anyone talks about. It's kind of obvious that 85% of what a garden variety "racist" believes is false or unfair, but 15% is closer to true than not true, which makes the 85% seem *possibly* true and believable.

The anti-racists won't discuss, debate or even acknowledge the 15% and go into full-on denial, name-calling, etc, which reinforces the 15% in the minds of "racists", which in turn reinforces the other 85% as likely true as well, further dividing them.

Like many issues, most people are more in agreement than disagreement but the refusal to even discuss the sliver of things they disagree on widens the gulf.

Comment Re:questionable (Score 1) 302

I agree that a well-structured kind of placement/vocational exam would be a good idea, especially if coupled with heavy subsidies for people who choose an education path that aligns with their test results. We want to encourage and make it easy for people to get into fields (academic or vocational) they're compatible with in some objective way.

I would worry that it would slightly ingrain a caste system, though, where people who could afford it would send their kids to more academic programs anyway even if they didn't test into them, thus insuring the rich maintained a lock on the best paying jobs. You might be able to fix this with just more intensive academic standards in school -- so even if daddy buys you a slot in college, you're still at risk of failing out because you're not good enough.

I think the other thing you need to do is somehow alter wage distribution to make "vocational" fields higher paid with improved working conditions (ie, less of the hostile labor/management style division found even in highly skilled vocations).

Comment Re:Trains (Score 1) 150

Their website (skytran.net) says they got a new CEO recently, with Jerry Sanders staying on the board, and last I heard they were building a demo track in Tel Aviv but that was supposed to be done at least a year or two ago and apparently isn't yet. The WIkipedia page says Israel Aerospace Industries contracted with them (Unimodal) to build a 4-500 meter test track, and if successful IAI will build a commercial SkyTran network in Tel Aviv, Herzliya, and Netanya.

Comment Re:Nothing to do with Hollywood (Score 1) 487

No the point/loss recovery doesn't balance out. You mean the point that there is no penalty for killing someone? Gee. Maybe you need to dust off your copy, or go buy one. It's cheap these days on steam, it'll take you less then 2hrs to get to that level. On top of that, this is the type of stuff she considered "sexualized". You're cheering on a person who is no different then Jack Thompson.

Comment Re:Illegal labor (Score 4, Interesting) 118

Here's what happened up here in Canada. In the late 1980's you could pick fruit/veggies/tobacco/etc and earn enough money to put you through a year of university, if you got on a good farm you could earn enough to put you through 2-3 years. This was still the norm in the early 90's, by say '94ish there was a great push of factory farms. And suddenly there were people saying "oh we can't afford to pay these people those wages." And suddenly they loosened the wage rate, and more followed suit. It went from hourly to bushel, and then you started hearing the "but people won't work for what we're paying!" So they relaxed the hiring regs, and allowed the importing of 3rd world labor to do those jobs. And the wages still fell.

If you want to fix the problem, the laws have to be changed. Most governments have no interest in changing the laws on this, and now it's the norm. Now people are seeing this with the abuse of H1B's in the US, and here in Canada with TFW's. The difference between the two is a TFW can be used in any job. The current area we're seeing a flood of people in is with business cleaning run by fly-by-night shops that hire people who are illegally in Canada. But businesses from the CIBC(big bank up here) replacing workers with TFW's, to skilled trades in the oil patch have been hit.

Comment Re: Trains (Score 1) 150

It also has an absurdly high cost of living. The public transit doesn't make up for that, and (not being a Londoner or UKer I'm speculating) many people who work there probably don't live near a public transit station. There's also the time cost: even if you're riding a train, sitting on it for hours and hours every day to go back and forth to work is a massive waste of your time and your life. This isn't much different from some places here in the US, such as NYC.

Comment Re:Trains (Score 1) 150

The US trains only work for shorter distances. Even going from DC to Boston is just too far: it's cheaper, and MUCH faster to go by plane (1.5 hours vs. 8 hours). So yeah, going from DC to Baltimore by train is OK (if you don't need a car on either end), or even DC to NYC, but that's about it, unless you have a lot of time. And Amtrak prices aren't cheap either.

Musk's scheme makes little sense because of the high cost of tunneling. It would make far more sense to embrace SkyTran PRT: it's cheap to build, it uses utility towers and suspends rails from it (instead of tunneling), the rails can be built alongside existing roads, using existing rights-of-way, and you're only moving people and lightweight little pod-cars, not thousands of pounds of metal.

Comment Re:Trains (Score 4, Informative) 150

Ok, so you get in a train that drops you off in the middle of LA. Now, how do you get to where you're going from there? LA is hundreds of square miles of urban area, all spread out so there's no way any train will take you to all parts of it. You'll need a car to drive yourself to your destination. Now you're looking at spending a bunch of time and money dealing with a rental car agency, instead of just using your own car to get you there.

Trains are just like planes, only a lot slower. Planes are great for getting a medium number of people between two points all at once, in a short amount of time (except for TSA groping). But they don't help you much in getting from the airport to your final destination. Trains are worse because they're so slow, it ends up not being sensible to use them too much because if the distance is short, you might as well drive, and if it's longer, you're better off flying. If you happen to live in an urban downtown and want to travel to another urban downtown not too far away, trains make a lot of sense. That's about it though.

What would make a lot more sense is if they'd build SkyTran, but no one believes that'll possibly work so we can't have it.

Comment Re:Company's Fault (Score 1) 279

What kind of "mistreatment"?

Personally, I feel mistreated at my current job, and at many of my previous ones too. But the "mistreatment" wasn't (and still isn't) people saying mean things to me, but rather the horrible office environment, which I consider a form of mistreatment. It's within the employer's power to provide a comfortable, quiet office environment that is conducive to knowledge work. So when an employer refuses to do that (citing whatever bullshit excuses), that is tantamount to mistreatment. It's little different from having poor safety standards for factory workers, except the consequences aren't as short-term or severe, but the mentality is the same.

Comment Re:Literally in the Summary (Score 1) 279

Booth? I've never seen a company, big or small, bother with this. They're already too cheap to provide a proper amount of regular bathroom space for everyone, or any kind of decent break room space.

I can certainly see why any woman who can afford it would want to just stay at home. I'd rather stay at home too! I absolutely *hate* going to work. It's not the work, or even the coworkers, it's the environment: the shitty, smelly, and overcrowded bathrooms (probably not so much of a problem for women since there's so few women in tech); the horrible, inhumane, noisy, distracting open-plan office setups; the shitty HVAC units that are noisy and always have the temperature wrong no matter the time of year; the lousy parking; etc.

I don't have any of these problems at home, and even with today's inflated residential real estate values it's not hard to have a decent work setup at home, with 1) a reasonably clean, private bathroom (and if it gets smelly you can either turn on a bathroom fan or open the window, since bathrooms in houses frequently have windows), 2) a private office space without people walking by and talking loudly, 3) a fully-stocked kitchen nearby in case you want to make a snack or meal, 4) an internet connection that has good speed and doesn't have random failures as often (even if you're using something shitty like Comcast, it's not nearly as bad as a corporate IT department), 5) a computer that isn't hobbled by all kinds of bullshit security software, and can be running Linux too instead of shitty Windows 8/10, 6) the company of your pets.

The only thing that sucks about working at home is the lack of socialization can get to you after a while, but that's so much better than being forced into a noisy open-office environment where you eventually grow to absolutely hate all of humanity.

Comment Re:questionable (Score 1) 302

The problem is, nobody earns any serious saving money in their 20s. My savings were for shit until I was in my 30s and quite often drained with stupid shit like car repairs, apartment moves or other life situation stuff. I felt like I was doing well not running around with $5k in credit card debt.

Plus today's 20-somethings are not just managing those expenses, but juggling $500 student loan payments.

I just think it's weird how society shits on people who are otherwise responsible parents. Where do they think human beings come from, a store?

You would think that supporting family life and the resulting mostly normal, well-adjusted contributors-to-society it generally produces would be a broadly accepted social value. Instead we seem to have greedy assholes who gripe about people taking care of their kids -- when they're not bitching about problems that result from the shitty family lives they enable by making it tough to raise a family.

Comment Re:Abolish NASA, and deregulate aerospace. (Score 1) 157

not quite the average toddler's level of understanding.

Project much?

Spoken like one with no clue at all of NASA's decades of hostility to private enterprise in space. Google for "OTRAG" for one example of a potential competitor that they pulled out all the stops to kill off.

-jcr

Comment Re:questionable (Score 3, Interesting) 302

A lot of It workers are white males, and making any discrimination claim as a white male is challenging, especially if you're only in your early 50s. You can expect low unemployment figures and high salaries to be trotted out as examples of how you're not really a member of an at-risk class.

What I'd wager is intrinsic to the problem of age discrimination is that older workers often have family commitments, and when combined with spouses working at similar professional careers and children, leads to an apparent decline in workplace engagement. The older employee is less able to devote their lives to the job (learning new tech for free in their own time, or at least less of this, working overtime hours, short-notice travel, etc).

IMHO, it's less "age discrimination" than "life situation discrimination". Younger employees living in rental housing without spouses or children are just more competitive in the workplace because they have nothing to do but work.

I don't really know how you fix it, either. In an ideal world, I'd presume that the *society* would recognize that children come from parents and parents need to engage in their families to produce productive, well-educated children, and that workers of parenting age are going to be less engaged. Thus, labor would be structured in a way that doesn't penalize this kind of natural life cycle.

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