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Comment Re: Why is it troubling? (Score 1) 499

If we're gearing education towards the top 10%, then sure, emphasize creativity because they probably have the culture, and more importantly, parents who can backstop their "finding their career".

But if we're talking about everyone else, we're looking at those who need to get a job fresh out of school - the sort of service jobs whose primary requirement is mastery of a limited skill set (that does require training and a willingness to learn) and the conscientiousness required to show up and do an adequate job every day, no matter how you are feeling. You need the conscientiousness that allows you to serve customers respectfully and cheerfully no matter how you personally feel.

As we plunge into the great equalization, where Western salaries drop and world income's rise to meet at ~$10K, I don't think we'll have the time and/or money to support a lot of creativity. Our future (and the future of mankind in general) will look rather like China for a generation or two before we finally see a truly global increase in incomes.

(Unless the robots come - in that case, we all starve.)

Comment Re:Not surprising (Score 1) 499

So, I'm wondering if you've tried going to your boss and asking for more money?

I'd be very careful about offering that advice. There's an arm-load of studies showing that women are penalized far more heavily (by both men and women) for being perceived as selfish. And for many, many teams, demanding your due *is* construed as selfish. The team has limited resources, and by demanding more, you are prioritizing yourself over the team.

Far too often I've seen "She's a jerk." "Well, he's even more of a jerk." "Well, yes, but she should know better"

Men get away with it more easily because we're assumed to be selfish jerks. Women are expected to understand that difficulties that team faces and prioritize the team's needs over their own.

It's yet one more way that women *cannot* behave the same way as a man without paying a significant penalty. It's not just that they prefer to play by different rules, it's that they are also penalized when they don't.

Comment Re: Why is it troubling? (Score 1) 499

Boys will do better in school, and girls will develop more skills which help them succeed in a modern workforce.

Are you so certain? I'd say that almost every aspect of modern society rewards conscientiousness over creativity and we're moving ever faster in that direction. Sure, we love the one in 10,000,000 who can exercise their freedom and creativity to create something unusual (although even that era draws to a close as the wild west of the Internet disappears). However, we crush everyone else that claims creativity in anything but the personal domain.

I'd say that it's pretty clear that modern commercial society (i.e. the one that stops us from starving) simply rewards the natural abilities that most women have in the same way that ancient societies rewarded pure physical strength. It seems to me that if that is what modern society needs, then that's what the schools should be training for.

It seems cruel to train children to expect the freedoms that, if exercised, will lead to their financial destruction.

Comment Re:Bullshit, was Re:Not surprising (Score 3, Interesting) 499

The one difference I have found is that male engineers are much more likely to overestimate their competence than female engineers.

I'll say that was perhaps the biggest change getting used to a mixed office - remembering that the women (in general) underestimated (or perhaps merely underplayed) their technical competence and the men (in general) overestimated theirs. (Not usually catastrophically, I like to think of it as "optimism" :-))

Well that and if you didn't make room in a conversation, you weren't going to get the women (who were often technically superior) contributing. Sadly it took weeks for me to realize that the women weren't willing to talk over the men to make their points... Restructuring the meetings from a technically oriented free-for-all solved the problem nicely.

Comment Re: The knee-jerk reactions are illuminating and (Score 1) 499

God forbid we should put the work first or anything...

And God forbid that we actually look at the all the options for what makes a successful company or workplace.

Let me put it another way. You'd probably fail an interview for a successful company in China or Japan. Why? Because what constitutes the best employee has radically different qualities from what constitute your strengths here. Not only that, but if you were masked so that they thought you were Chinese or Japanese, your evaluation would be even lower, not because they privileged white people, but because they were judging you entirely on the basis of a cultural paradigm to which you did not belong.

Does that mean you would have nothing to offer a Chinese or Japanese company? Of course not. Your strengths are strengths. But it does mean that they would have to be flexible enough to understand that your strengths differ from the metrics they normally use. And companies that had that flexibility would gain from that.

I suspect the problem is rather more that you would be distinctly uncomfortable *really* putting work first and making the effort to allow the company to take advantage of a wide ranging, non-uniform set of strengths, many of which you'd barely recognize as relevant. Far easier to claim "this is the way that we've always done it - in fact this is the *only* way to do it" and persuade yourself that it's actually in the best interests of the company.

Comment Re: The knee-jerk reactions are illuminating and f (Score 3, Interesting) 499

And it didn't occur to you that men enjoy the privilege of competing in a culture designed specifically to showcase the strengths that geek-oriented men have?

As soon as you feel that there is an objective function to rate something on a one dimensional axis, you've already baked in a set of cultural assumptions about how things must be approached. Not only that, but there's a decent chance that you aren't even aware of what you've done.

I'm a pretty hard-core geek, but at least I realize that *my* favorite company culture is massively exclusionary of most of the planet, and more to the point, there are many, many ways to be be just as effective a company that don't incorporate my culture at all.

Massive lack of awareness != uncomfortable truth.

Comment Re:x64 considered harmful? (Score 1) 359

Do you find VS CPU-bound in any meaningful way? I've always found it was I/O that cost.

As for converting it to 64-bit, I would be *massively* surprised if updating the code didn't involve messing with hundreds, if not thousands of components, many of which haven't been touched in decades. There are amazing amounts of legacy in there that are absolutely essential to some customer somewhere, and *that* is where I figure you could spend man-decades of development, reduce stability and get almost nothing in return except that satisfaction of knowing you no longer need a copy of, say, Watcom C to do a full code recompile.

Maybe VS is all beautifully clean and can be recompiled at will on the latest compiler, but I suspect reality is ugly.

Comment Re:Metered connection (Score 2) 224

You know, if you're going to castigate, you *need* to read the story to avoid sounding... uncharitable.

The laptop was donated. They have $0 hardware budget and $0 software budget. Their expectation (obviously mistaken) is that like other infrastructure, it should not change radically without direct user intervention or an act of God.

Your insistence that people be knowledgeable about all the tools they use is, let's say, optimistic. And your inability to comprehend that these people might have more important things to do than become computer experts is... well it's interesting. Unless, of course, you *are* an expert is all of the infrastructure that you interact with on a daily basis, in which case you're just too awesome for us mere humans.

Comment Re:x64 considered harmful? (Score 1) 359

Moving to 64-bit will massively reduce stability for years (given the thousands of pieces of 32-bit code they'll need to be working with for generations). Unless going to 64-bit gives me some big feature win that I don't know about, I'll vastly prefer that MS put the resources that it invests into VS into something that will *increase* stability.

I am certain that there are a few folk who would benefit from this so much it would make up for the 32-64 bit hash that VS would turn into for a release or two, but I'm not among them, and I'm not willing to sacrifice my working environment *and* the developments that are foregone so the development can concentrate on 64 bit.

And honestly, I suspect that for many, 64-bit is a checkmark feature, and is translated in their head to "fewer crashes" when in all likelihood the opposite it is true for quite some time.

Of course, if there are some features that 64-bit code would benefit (and I'm running a million lines of code on a 120 project solution with VS not breaking a sweat), I would be genuinely interested to find out what they are.

Comment Re:Been admonished once; heard once is too often (Score 1) 157

Perhaps some of the anti-PCers have seen the euphemism treadmill [rationalwiki.org] run long enough that they look at the history of "no, it's handicapped; no, it's disabled; no, it's physically challenged; no, it's differently abled; no, person first, it's person with a disability" and conclude that their "needs are so out there".

That would be my point. Sure, there's somebody somewhere being upset, but I don't remember anybody appointing them spokesperson for the entire handicapped movement. Personally, I consider myself "PC-compatible" in that I don't use well-known derogatory terms and if there's somebody I deal with regularly, I'll use whatever term they happen to prefer. No surprise, I've rarely (never) been chastised.

Again, to me, railing against PC as it's actually practiced in the real world because of the excesses of a few people is basically like railing against common courtesy because some self-appointed expert has decided that courtesy is defined as children *never* addressing an adult as a familiar by using their first name.

But I have read about situations in which being admonished once is enough to get fired.

It is *conceivable* that someone somewhere has gotten themselves fired for a non-PC term. But I'd bet *very* steep odds that *if* the story is true, there's a lot more behind it than that. If you're a public person, then perhaps a racial epithet will do it, but quite frankly, if you're using racial epithets often enough to do so accidentally, you've got bigger problems...

Comment Re:Biased (Score 2) 157

> one from the imagined "offense" someone MIGHT feel when he's told that reality doesn't conform to his (or her, their, hir or whatever fucked up mangled pronoun is now correct to use so I don't "oppress" someone by assuming his, her, its, whatevershit's gender) whims.

Exactly how many times have *you* personally been admonished for using the wrong pronoun or the like. Not searched for it on the Internet, not heard about it over conversation, but been personally confronted by another human being for something as trivial as this.

Because if it's not been dozens of times, I suspect that its someone else whose special snowflake feelings have been hurt by the *suggestion* that someone else might disapprove of their speech patterns and now feels oppressed. :-)

PC is essentially consideration. Sure, there are some people whose needs are so out there that I probably won't afford them the consideration they would like, but you know, I've never met any of them in real life. And if I did, all it proves is that there are people out there who I'm not willing to spend the effort to accommodate (although I would try if I dealt with them on a regular basis).

I really don't get this generation of real men (or women I suppose) who are such delicate flowers that their nose is put out of joint by the idea that someone somewhere disapproves of their language and they post about it on Tumbler... Dear God, the horror!

If you don't want to exercise a level of consideration that is relevant to the people you talk with regularly, well that just makes you a bit of a jerk. However, I'm going to bet that you aren't, and you probably do moderate your language a little so as to not offend the people you actually talk to, even if it costs you a tiny amount of cognitive effort.

Dear God, the horror! You've turned PC!

Comment Re: So, post-Snowden (Score 1) 209

> How is a larger government more corruptable?

Because a small government has no power worth corrupting.

If there are (next to) no rules, then why pay government to go around them?

Personally, I figure *someone* is going to be molding society to its desires, and I'd prefer that it be an entity that (1) is at least nominally responsible to the citizenry and (2) whom we can boot out every four years.

Comment Re:I guess there's one sensible solution to this (Score 1) 819

A question, Karmashock. If you *could* test for impaired judgement due to other factors - lack of sleep, ill health (simple things like a headache), depression, anxiety, mental deterioration due to age, emotional difficulties with spouse or children, etc., would you?

I'm not talking practically or legally, I'm talking ethically. Due you believe that because people's lives are in the balance, you owe your workers no shred of personal privacy or dignity? Or are you saying that to some degree, you *do* prize your worker's dignity over the lives and safety of your customer?

Or is your personal experience that the *only* thing to have a significant impact upon performance is illicit drugs?

if so, perhaps we operate in different circles, because the number of people I've known suffering workplace related issues due to illicit substances is a minuscule fraction of total workplace difficulties. Personally, if I was trying to minimize workplace incidents with no respect for human dignity or privacy, my life experience would indicate firing workers with marital difficulties or depression over using drug tests. And to be clear, I would be in the wrong, because the vast majority of employees with such situations are fine.

Most dangerous situations don't come out of the blue. Instead, there is usually a litany of minor difficulties before a larger incident. However, it is difficult and emotionally inconvenient to remove an employee from safety related job for relatively minor infractions, so instead, companies and individuals often choose to use a test with *some* correlation to a problem so they've done *something*, rather than actually attack what works - acting relentlessly on the small incidents that *may* presage a major incident.

And that too is an imperfect correlation. But it's a hell of a lot better than any other indicator that one can find, and relies (no surprise) on how people *actually* are acting in the workplace as opposed to how they *might* act based on non-work conditions. And even better, it has nothing to do with your (or mine) personal approval of their private lifestyle.

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