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Comment It is true (Score 2) 270

However, like everything, if a technology comes along to supplant it, in this case, the cost of greener alternatives is lower than coal, it'll simply dwindle and fade over time, with absolutely no need for liberals trying to regulate the crap out of it.

This flawed argument ignores the incontrovertible fact that allowing coal to continue to provide energy on equal terms with other energy supplies rather than pressuring the market to switch to less environmentally damaging sources of energy would do real and substantial harm to us all. The bottom line is: the less energy produced from burning coal and supplied instead from less polluting resources, the better off the world is.

So in fact, there is a need for it to have the crap regulated out of it in a context where it can be replaced with (considerably) less polluting energy sources, which is exactly where we are today.

Comment Re:Enough whipping Uber to death (Score 1) 235

I've run companies, managed people, and worked shop floor in my time. And there's one thing about management; they're hired to represent the company, and they're responsible for keeping track of the workers. This involves their health, physical and mental.
As this was extreme comorbid anxiety and depression, this would have been impossible for a manager not to notice. Which brings about the question of whether the lack of action was due to incompetence (not noticed extreme distress in employee) or negligence (noticed, but never did anything about it).
As the manager in question was acting on behalf of the company (that's what managers do, and why they carry authority), his actions are thus backed by the company..
If it's a lone manager that's failed, then they've got a heavy whack on the head to say "hire real managers, not spreadsheet pushers".
If it's endemic, then this may be uncovered by the investigation, and it could be a whole lot nastier.

While Uber may not have directly caused the death, they're culpable for it (the same way as bullying someone into suicide is an indirect way of killing). And when someone's as mentally compromised as he was, then the simple "get another job" just doesn't work. Things really aren't as simple as that.. Been there, got that tee shirt..

I don't like ambulance chasing, but Uber seem (from all available information presented) to be culpable as they have failed in their duty.

Comment Re:(sigh) You people still think you're engineers (Score 1) 639

Instead of identifying himself as an engineer, he should have said, "You are dicks." They clearly would not have been able to argue that.

Response probably would have been somewhat along the lines of "You are fined $500 for falsely representing yourself as an anatomist."

Comment Re:Suggestion for this (Score 1) 235

In all the back and forth that goes on, with people taking sides, and building up walls, it's lovely to see someone go back to basics, and actually say something simple and constructive!

Alas, mental illness being what it is, finding another job becomes impossible when you start suffering from some variants of it.. That's what led to the sad outcome.. But if there had been more of the friendly engagement, I suspect that it would never have gone as far as it did..

Comment Re:How do they know it's work related? (Score 0) 235

There's lots of "could have", but there are some cold, hard facts:

* One of the duties of the duties of man management is to ensure your staff are functioning correctly (not just meeting targets, but that they are not overloaded to the point of breaking them). If you don't believe someone is capable, you performance manage them (and either improve them or fire them).
* The man had proved that he was eminently capable, by performing very well in similar roles at other companies.
* His family had correctly identified that he was suffering from comorbid anxiety and depression and referred him to the doctor.
* He had stated that his boss didn't like him (indicating problems with management).

As he had been performing extremely well, in well managed environments, then he is shown to be capable.
As his family had identified this, it can be considered that he was dispaying symptoms serious enough that any person who dealt with people as a profession could have determined that there were serious problems.
As it could, and should have been identified by management, why wasn't it? This is either a case of incompetence, or negligence. Either one leaves the company culpable, as management are there to act on behalf of the company.
If it was identified, but company culture is to burn up and hire again, then this needs to change, or this will happen again. Legal action in this case is extremely well supported.
If company policy isn't to run employees on maximum burn all the time, and this was a management failure, why was this manager in post if they were incapable of performing a core function of their job? The company hired them for this, so they take responsibility. Again, company culpable. Management isn't just about calculating figures and generating reports. If that's all they test, then they need a wake up call. Heavy legal case would help them re-evaluate.

I've had an episode very similar to this, and was very well on the way to "taking the 'easy way out' too". Management caught me in the spiral, brought HR in, and supported me though a heavy cycle of medical treatment and an analysis of the role, to bring it in line with what is actually workable (the role wasn't possible, though that's not how it was advertised to me before I joined). That's management and company working how it's supposed to work.

I'm definitely with you that the west lives to work though, in the main.. I've travelled a fair old bit myself, and consider Western values to be very skewed. But I'm very much of the opinion, from available information, that the employers have failed in their duties.

Comment Re:Choice (Score 3, Interesting) 235

If.. If only he hadn't been that depressed.. I've been there and very narrowly survived the experience. It cost me dear, in many ways.. If it'd been caught and handled internally with HR referrals, and occupational health evaluations, and company referral to counselling services, along with management supporting a valid workload. Lots of ifs, and none of it happened.. Which resulted in a guy topping himself..
This is a sad story, and I don't see any way that Uber can come out of it looking good, as management should have intercepted (that level of depression is extremely obvious, and any manager tasked with man management can see it and can at least find the right person to refer to. If they didn't, they're either incompetent, or negligent. Either way, Uber as a company put that manager in place to represent them, so they carry the can).

Comment Re:Cry me a river (Score 5, Insightful) 235

You what? Nowhere does it say he had a bad family life (actually, the fact she got him to see a doctor indicates that she was doing all she could). So blaming his wife is flat out contrary to what the article indicates.

This is purely and simply a management issue. If the manager didn't catch severe depression from overwork coming up on one of his employees, they're no manager at all. It's a _huge_ part of management, ensuring that your staff are performing correctly (and that doesn't mean just 'hitting targets', that's easy, it means "they're performing as human beings, with resilience and sufficient endurance"). And yes, I do management as well as having done the working all the way up to it. Hell, I've run companies before, and keeping people with high morale as much as possible is what gets you through the tough times.

When you become depressed and anxious (the article indicates he was suffering from comorbid anxiety and depression), then looking for an alternative is _not_ an option. The brain convinces you that you're not capable, or that nobody would want you.. Or that he'd fail his family and it would all go wrong unless he kept the money coming in.. All sorts of things, so it makes you prone to trying to keep what stability is there... Though his history shows that he was clearly able to perform in well managed environments, and excel.

There is one obvious variable that changed, and that's his workplace. After working at Uber, he tanked, after excelling at previous similar roles. This points to management and environment causing undue anxiety leading to depression. This was not identified at Uber (him saying that "his boss didn't like him" was quite possibly true, and at least shows that there was a huge disconnect in his direct management).

Not sure what the internals of the company are generally like (though it sounds like there's vast rumbling of discontent, which indicates that it's not being run properly), but it definitely points to a failure of management, and management represent the company. It's going to legally be tough for them to wriggle out of.

Much though I dislike 'Ambulance Chasing', I don't think this is chasing ambulances. It's a failure and negligence on the part of the management chain, and possibly general management focus too. If there's no penalty to doing this, it'll continue.

Comment Re:Fluid type manipulation with unions (Score 1) 405

Granted, you're not making it worse in any way by representing it with a union.

More to the point, you can't make it better by avoiding using a union. Because it's optimum as is.

The right tool for the right job.

pretty much the essence of obscure legacy cruft.

The job is the job. I have no problem using the right tool for the job.

Comment Re:structs and fundamental OO (Score 1) 405

You are just reinventing machine language where data, instructions, and address pointers can be mixed willy-nilly.

Because machine language varies hugely, and c varies little or none, when working on one platform and then another, c is a convenient low-level way to get as many advantages of working close to the metal (obvious ones are speed and executable size) as possible.

Higher-level languages merely try to introduce discipline and consistency to such practices.

Yes, they do. And in the process, they often cause the resulting product to suffer in speed and/or execution size (and the source code in clarity.) When "mere" means "the product is less good", I translate it as "not mere."

There are reasons to go one way or another. It's not as simple as "HLL's are always better." Sometimes even machine language is the best place to go, embedded controllers with limited storage and small tasks that must be accomplished efficiently, for instance.

Comment Impartial journalism? (Score 1) 178

impartial journalism is entirely possible.

It's certainly possible, but if you can actually show me an instance of it, I'd be quite surprised. I don't recall seeing such a thing. Ever.

There's selection bias, where the story that is told is not the only story, and/or leaves out pertinent details that variously pollute the information transfer to the information consumer. This occurs at the publisher, editorial, reporter and information source levels.

There are errors in collecting information, which can be characterized as "impartial but wrong" which entirely undermines the value of "impartial."

There's the social underpinning, such as the assumptions by the platform from publisher down to reporter buy into memes like the drug war, human trafficking, mommyism, military adventurism, etc. as right and proper undertakings and tell stories in the context of the presumptive matrix that results from those memes.

There's ad-pumping, where the advertising pays more money in when more eyes are attracted, which creates a loop based on popularity rather than accuracy.

There's comment "moderation", where "I disagree / am offended / am trolling" can strongly affect visibility of information -- depending on the site, that can come from privileged (and usually wholly unqualified) individuals, as here on slashdot, or from the crowd, as on reddit.

It all adds up to an extremely formidable gauntlet that information has to run in order to get from wherever it arises over to the consideration of the consumer.

And, not that it's part of the problem of actually achieving impartial journalism, but were you to completely get past every aspect of that somehow, then you still have to find an impartial audience or all that work is for nothing.

IOW, if you manage to present the facts, all the facts, nothing but the facts, and your audience cries "fake news" or drags prejudice, superstition, confirmation bias, or anything from a very long list of similar cognitive failure modes into it, well, there you go. You might as well have written an SF novel.

Comment Just an overview (Score 1) 178

If there's anything I've learned about journalism in the last 41 years, it's that everyone puts their own slant on it.

o Publishers - slant, selection bias
o Advertisers - selection bias on source and slant by rewarding max eyeballs
o Editors - slant, selection bias for stories
o Reporters - slant, selection bias for sources
o Information sources - slant, winners get to write history
o Reader's choice of media - slant, selection bias
 
...it's not like it's showing any signs of getting better, either.

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