See You in Hell

30 Oct 2017 /

Satan

[See You in Hell is a feature by our guest blogger, Satan — PE]

I’m old enough to remember when professional athletes took pride in their trash-talking abilities. Now they sound like a bunch of 5-year-olds: he made a face at me, he called me a name, boo hoo hoo!

One day when you’re rotting with leprosy and stewing in a million kettles of snot, cockroaches and gangrene — I stir them myself! — only then will you look back on this kindergarten-level bullshit and realize how good you had it!

See you in Hell . . .


The Miser and the Angel of Death

28 Oct 2017 /

A miser had accumulated, by effort, trade, and lending, three hundred thousand dinars. He had lands and buildings, and all kinds of wealth.

Death and the miser

He then decided that he would spend a year in enjoyment, living comfortably, and then decide as to what his future should be.

But, almost as soon as he had stopped amassing money, the Angel of Death appeared before him, to take his life away.

The miser tried, by every argument which he could muster, to dissuade the Angel, who seemed, however, adamant. Then the man said:

“Grant me but three more days, and I will give you one-third of my possessions.”

The Angel refused, and pulled again at the miser’s life, tugging to take it away.

Then the man said:

“If you will only allow me two more days on earth, I will give you two hundred thousand dinars from my store.”

But the Angel would not listen to him. And the Angel even refused to give the man a solitary extra day for all his three hundred thousand pieces.

Then the miser said:

“Please, then, give me just time enough to write one little thing down.”

This time the Angel allowed him this single concession, and the man wrote, with his own blood:

“Man, make use of your life. I could buy not one hour for three hundred thousand dinars. Make sure you realize the value of your time.”

Related Links

Tags: , ,

Round Up the Usual Suspects

27 Oct 2017 /

Nose-Picking Masturbator Terrorizes NYC Subway RidersNBC New York

That description doesn’t narrow it down very much. Unless he was doing both at the same time. That would be unusual.


Stuff With No Knowledge

27 Oct 2017 /
U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt (left) and n...

U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt (left) and nature preservationist John Muir, on Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park. In the background: Upper and lower Yosemite Falls.

John Muir walked away into the mountains
in his old overcoat a crust of bread in his pocket
we have no knowledge and so we have stuff and
stuff with no knowledge is never enough to get you there
it just won’t get you there

— Greg Brown, “Two Little Feet”

See You in Hell, Breakfast Lovers

26 Oct 2017 /

Satan

[See You in Hell is a feature by our guest blogger, Satan — PE]

Breakfast in Hell:

Breakfast in Hell

GAZE UPON MY CROISSAN’WICH AND TREMBLE!

See you in Hell . . .


The Family Nut Tree

26 Oct 2017 /
Nut tree

A brother of Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock was arrested in Los Angeles on child pornography charges.

Their father was a bank robber once on the FBI’s Most Wanted List.

The nuts didn’t fall far from the nut tree in the Paddock family . . .


Fats Domino, 1928-2017

25 Oct 2017 /

Ain’t that a shame . . .


Tech Gender Bias: Men Not as Concerned

24 Oct 2017 /

According to LinkedIn:

Despite a string of revelations that women in tech face considerable headwinds — from persistent gender-based pay gaps (per Bloomberg), to limited VC funding for female-led startups (per Fortune), to sexual harassment (per The New York Times) — just 29% of men say that discrimination is a major problem in the industry, according to data from Pew. In fact, some 32% of men claim that it’s not a problem at all.

Everything I read about gender discrimination in tech starts out by assuming it’s a real problem and that all reasonable people agree that it’s a real problem.

Even the supposedly objective LinkedIn blurb above tells us that 29% of men “say” that discrimination is a major problem, while 32% of men “claim” that it’s not a problem at all, “despite a string of revelations blah blah blah . . .”

I’ve worked in tech for 30 years . . . I say it’s not a problem but I’m open to an evidence-based argument that I’m wrong. (NB: “If you can’t see it, then you’re part of the problem” is not an evidence-based argument.)

 

Some possible evidence for gender discrimination:

Gender

Just look at the numbers. It’s a male-dominated industry.

Agreed, but that’s not prima facie evidence of discrimination.

I worked with a nursing organization for five years. Nursing, you may have noticed, is a female-dominated profession. During that time, I never heard one person mention gender bias in nursing. Never. In five years.

Most schoolteachers are women, most therapists are women, most social workers, most MFC counselors . . . I could go on with this but I think we both get the point: Have you ever heard anything about gender bias in any female-dominated profession? I haven’t.

Gender imbalance is not evidence of discrimination. Men and women are different and they choose to do different things. More women choose to be nurses and social workers and more men choose to be programmers.

Limited VC funding for female-led startups

VCs would love to fund more female-led startups, but again, men and women choose to do different things and more men choose to do startups.

Note that there doesn’t seem to be a shortage of women starting small businesses, but more men choose to pitch VC-funded startups.

Gender-based pay gaps

Gender-based pay gaps are not specific to the tech industry.

Sexual harassment

Sexual harassment is not specific to the tech industry.

Online harassment

If you think online harassment is limited to women, you haven’t spent much time online. Standards of discourse are nonexistent. Civility is almost non-existent.

Jump on Twitter for a few minutes and see how people talk to each other.

I’ve been interacting with people on the web for a couple of decades . . . some of the things people have said to me . . . it’s beyond upsetting . . . you can feel the blood draining out of your face as you’re reading it. It’s not limited to women.

Women are passed over for raises, promotions, plum projects, etc.

Yes . . . so are men. What’s your hypothesis? Men are passed over because they’re undeserving, while women are passed over just because they’re women?

 

TL;DR -> Women are capable of making decisions for themselves. For the most part, they choose to do things other than work in tech and do startups. So what?

Thus spoke The Programmer


Good News, Bad News

23 Oct 2017 /

Bad News: Americans are retiring later, dying sooner and are sicker in-between.

Good News: I found this video of a rescued raccoon who thinks she’s a dog:


Wild Wild Life

23 Oct 2017 /

Sleeping on the interstate oh oh oh
Getting wild, wild life
Checkin’ in, checkin’ out! Uh, huh!
I got a wild, wild life
Spending all of my money and time oh oh oh
Done too much wild, wild
We want to go, where we go, where we go oh oh oh
I doing wild, wild life


What’s So Funny ‘Bout Peace, Love and Understanding?

22 Oct 2017 /

As I walk through
This wicked world
Searchin’ for light in the darkness of insanity.
I ask myself
Is all hope lost?
Is there only pain and hatred, and misery?


Tech Gender Bias: Men Not as Concerned

22 Oct 2017 /

According to LinkedIn:

Despite a string of revelations that women in tech face considerable headwinds — from persistent gender-based pay gaps (per Bloomberg), to limited VC funding for female-led startups (per Fortune), to sexual harassment (per The New York Times) — just 29% of men say that discrimination is a major problem in the industry, according to data from Pew. In fact, some 32% of men claim that it’s not a problem at all.

Here’s why I claim that it’s not a problem: Women are capable of making decisions for themselves. For the most part, they choose to do things other than work in tech and do startups. So what? (Pay gaps and harassment are not tech-specific, obviously.)

Thus spoke The Programmer.


A Hotbed of Asininity

22 Oct 2017 /

I’ve never heard of this woman but she has a verified account and claims to be a Harvard woman:

OK . . . but where do you think government gets the money to pay for things?

Sometimes I think America should change its marketing from the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave to A Hotbed of Asininity.


L’Affaire Weinstein

19 Oct 2017 /
Harvey Weinstein, Chairman, The Weinstein Company

It seems like almost all of the Weinstein shenanigans happened after women accepted an invitation to meet in his hotel room.

Wouldn’t that give you pause if a business associate of the opposite sex (or same sex if you prefer) invited you meet in a hotel room? Why not the lobby? Or the restaurant? Or an office building?

And when he or she comes to the door in a bathrobe, do you say “I’ll come back when you’re dressed”? Or do you go in anyway? Surely you’ve gotten the hint by now . . .

It was evidently well known in the entertainment industry what Weinstein was up to with women in hotel rooms. But it was also well known that Weinstein had advanced the careers of many.

Dilemma! What do you do? How will you explain it to yourself and others?

Yes, I agreed to meet a man in a hotel room . . . yes, he did answer the door in a bathrobe . . . but I was traumatized when he later proposed that I give him a massage!

I thought it was strictly a business meeting! . . . in a hotel room . . . with a person wearing a bathrobe . . .


To the Daughter I Never Had

17 Oct 2017 /

Take control of your own impulses, conflicts and disappointments. Don’t forfeit your freedom and independence in exchange for intrusion into and adjudication of your private life and penalizing of men who did something you didn’t like.

Also: Dress appropriately. Maintain some mystique and intrigue.

Don’t feel like you have to link up with another person until you’ve got some idea about what you want from life.

Love, Dad


College Student Dumps Drink on Lakers Fans Who Sat for the National Anthem

16 Oct 2017 /

I like to see kids taught not to do something just because other people are doing it . . .


Spot the Fake News: Obamacare Subsidies

16 Oct 2017 /

I read four news stories on the same topic — the end of Obamacare subsidies to insurance companies.

The Wall Street Journal plays it straight down the middle:

President Donald Trump’s executive order on health care issued Thursday marks the first major salvo in what the White House promises will be an extensive, targeted campaign to unravel the Affordable Care Act administratively.

As does Bloomberg:

President Donald Trump said he is moving “step by step” on his own to remake the U.S. health care system because Congress won’t act on his demand to repeal Obamacare.

The Trump administration took its most drastic measure yet to roll back the Affordable Care Act Thursday evening, announcing it would cut off a subsidy to insurers hours after issuing an executive order designed to draw people away from the health law’s markets.

See if you can spot the fake news in the Politico version:

President Donald Trump plans to cut off subsidy payments to insurers selling Obamacare coverage in his most aggressive move yet to undermine his predecessor’s health care law.

Politico imputes an ulterior motive, i.e., Trump is not trying to make life better for anyone, he just wants to undermine Obama. That is fake. You can’t know why someone did something. I don’t even know why I do half the things I do.

Surprisingly to me, CNBC, which I expected would have an impartial, businesslike report, went completely off the rails:

Obamacare bombshell: Trump kills key payments to health insurers

The Trump administration will immediately stop making critically important payments to insurers who sell Obamacare health plans, a bombshell move that is expected to spike premium prices and potentially lead many insurers to exit the marketplace.

Where to start on this . . .?

1. The word “bombshell” doesn’t belong in a news story. Even to call something a “surprise” or an “unforeseen event” raises the question of who exactly was surprised by it.

In this case, nobody was surprised. Everyone knew that there was no appropriation for the subsidies, meaning that they are not accounted for in the federal budget.

When Obama was president, he didn’t care that the payments were off budget, but when Trump was elected, everyone had an inkling that the payments would stop.

2. What’s the difference between a payment, an important payment and a critically important payment? “Critically important payment” is not a fact, it’s an opinion. It’s fake news.

If you want to make a case for critical importance, lay out the facts and let the reader decide.

3. “Increase” is a better word than “spike” in a news story. Using words like “spike,” “bombshell” and “kills,” especially in a story about healthcare, creates a manufactured sense of danger, fear and imminent fatality.

Also: premium prices have already gone up. Insurance companies raised the premiums in anticipation of the subsidies being stopped, despite CNBC’s characterization of the stoppage as a “bombshell” (see #1 above).

4. There’s no information in saying that something will “potentially” transpire. How many insurers did you talk to? None? One? More than one? How many said they would exit the marketplace?

Every major insurer has already partially or completely left the Obamacare marketplace.

 

There’s a taxonomy of fake news. It’s not (necessarily) fabricated. It’s more often misleading content or false context, as seen above.


More Words and Phrases I’m Sick Unto Death Of

13 Oct 2017 /

Although I can’t claim never to have said these things myself, if I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard someone say either a) “It was working fine 10 minutes ago,” or b) “It works okay on my machine,” I would be comfortably retired by now.

Thus spoke The Programmer.


Connie Hawkins, 1942-2017

8 Oct 2017 /

Connie Hawkins was my basketball role model growing up. I used to stretch my fingers around basketballs religiously so I could try to replicate his moves, most of which required the ability to palm the ball like a grapefruit (see photo).

Also: Foul! The Connie Hawkins Story by David Wolf is one of the best sports books ever written.

RIP Connie Hawkins

Connie Hawkins


What Does a Programmer Do?

8 Oct 2017 /

I was asked to give a talk last week to a high school computer science class on “What Does a Programmer Do?” (I’m indebted to Jim McCarthy for the “lords and ladies of logic” section.)

 

Programming is problem solving.

Programmer

At the highest level, the problem that programmers solve is that people want to be able to do things with computers that they can’t do. And by computers, I don’t mean just the kind of computers you have on the desks here, I mean phones, watches, cars . . . more and more different kinds of devices are running software.

So one good thing about being a programmer is that pretty much every field of endeavor now uses software and data.

You can work at a tech company like Microsoft or Google or Twitter or Facebook, but you can also work in healthcare, finance, education, sports . . . you can work on cancer research, you can write video games . . . everybody uses software and everybody hires programmers.

Programming is a good job if you want to be learning new things all the time, if you don’t want to do the same things over and over.

The dark side of this is that it can be daunting trying to keep up with the pace of technological change. It can be overwhelming.

I was asked once in an interview, “What’s the coolest thing you’ve learned in the last week?” If you haven’t learned anything in the last week, it’s hard to answer that question, let alone if you haven’t learned anything in a month or a year. It’s easy to let your career slip away from you.

Programming has been a good job for me because I’ve been able to make a living doing things I like and things that I’m good at. I’ve always liked solving problems and building things.

To me that’s a good job: you do things you like and things that you’re good at. I don’t think most people can say that. Most people seem to be like “I hate Mondays,” “Thank god it’s Friday,” “Thank god it’s Thursday because it’s almost Friday.” If you spend a lot of time doing things you don’t like and you’re not good at, that’s a bad job.

As a programmer, you’re given problems to solve and a set of tools with which to solve them. You need to be able to figure out “what do i need to do, what do I need to learn, to be able to solve these problems with these tools?”

Self-reliance is good. Persistence is good. Floundering is bad. Know when to ask for help.

Asking for help is a no-lose strategy. Worst case, you ask for help and someone can’t help you or won’t help you, but you’re not any worse off than you were in the first place.

The demand for programmers exceeds the supply and it doesn’t look like that’s going to change anytime soon.

Nearly 30 percent of Americans ages 18 to 24 cannot locate the Pacific Ocean on a map, and 25 percent of Americans think the sun goes around the earth. Those people are not going to be programmers.

In a time of ubiquitous software and intellectual lethargy, programmers are like the priests in the Middle Ages. We are the lords and ladies of logic. We’re in charge of rationality for our era. We’re bringing common sense and sound judgment and aggregated wisdom and glory to everyone.

That’s our job.


« Previous PageNext Page »