Category Archives: Technology

Forced to lie

I went looking for a job.

I found this one, it looked like a fit for my skills — on the surface — not enough information was available though. So I applied on Dice.com.

The recruiter called me. “Here’s the job specs, go have a look-see.”

A few of the “Requirements” stuck out at me:

  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Excellent time management skills
  • Excellent problem-solving and analytical skills

I thought to myself, “I might be excellent in one or two of those, and probably above average in others (and maybe just average in time management…), but I sure as hell am not EXCELLENT in all of those!”

In fact, I’m not sure who is. I’ve never met someone like that. By stating that these are requirements, anyone stepping up with interest would effectively be lying:

“Yes, I’m excellent in all of those things.”

“No you’re not, nobody is. Therefore you’re already lying to us.”

“Well, you got me there. But if everyone who approaches you has to lie about possessing Excellent Everything skills, why make such stipulations? Do you WANT to force every one of your candidates into a LIE — right from the get-go?”

Apparently this is common practice. Job requirements call out completely unrealistic levels and numbers of skills and expect you to lie about them.

Needless to say I brought up this discrepancy and the blatant need to lie to get a job interview. The recruiter didn’t care. “Everyone does it,” he said.

Nice – an entire industry predicated on lies.

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On Monuments

[wikipedia]: A monument is a type of structure that was explicitly created to commemorate a person or event, or which has become important to a social group as a part of their remembrance of historic times or cultural heritage, or as an example of historic architecture. The origin of the word “monument” comes from the Latin moneomonere, which means ‘to remind’, ‘to advise’ or ‘to warn’.


Perhaps, monuments, as we know them, should be elevated above the concept of commemorating people or events that are political or state oriented.

This means all war memorials, fight or battle memorials, democracy or communism memorials, religious, race or gender memorials — should be downplayed in our human consciousness. After all, every one of those types of monuments represents a divisive line between people.

Instead why not raise monuments to scientific and technological discovery and progress?

  • Where’s the monument to DNA?
  • I’d like to see a monument to Penicillin, the Polio vaccine, the eradication of smallpox.
  • How about a monument to the microscope, the telescope, the radio, the microwave, the x-ray, the rocket?
  • Ohm, Volt, Ampere, and all the other measurement names we get from the discoverers.

There are hundreds of discoveries and inventions — and the discoverers and inventors — who should be commemorated above and beyond those we currently hold in high esteem; those we currently have built monuments for.

Put Science on display as a monument.


There should be a law…

NOT that the world needs more laws… But…

Tupperware should be normalized.

There, I said it. I’m a, what am I? I’m a consumer!

How many different type, sizes, colors, shapes, depths, lids, cavities, volumes do you own that try to enclose — in plastic — your coveted leftovers? I KNOW for a fact you have at least two different styles of containers in your cupboards.

I would wager, (like a lot, like $50) that you have MORE than two. In fact, I’d bet that you have — OK, OK, get ready — FIVE different strange, funky, some are your’s, some are neighbor’s, some are, “where the hell did this come from” containers. Am I right?

Hell yes I’m right.

So, damn Tupperware! Rubbermade (or maid) (or mayde), get your shit together! Save the planet from the plastico-armageddon! Make all your stuff with STANDARD dimensions. And don’t give me no SAE measurements yo! I’m saying metric here. Cuz, you know, metric ain’t no size of someone’s got-damned shoe!

Are you feeling me Tuppermade? I CAN’T HEAR YOU! (Burp! — still good!)


ET is an asshole

If intelligent extra terrestrial beings exist, and they have access to Earth, then they’re assholes. Hear me out…

If IETs (intelligent extra terrestrials) exist then they have the where-with-all to:
first) get here — across light years of space,
second) understand that we too are an intelligent race, and
third) intervene if they so choose, given their vast advances in technology.

  • Let’s assume they exist.
  • Let’s assume they know about us.
  • Let’s assume they have visited us (and are currently visiting us).
  • And let’s assume they’re not refugees, or small bands of wanderers, or scout/archeologists.

That is, they are a presence in the galaxy (or universe). They’re a real space faring race with the power and technology to affect their world — and ours. They’ve got it goin’ on.

If the IETs are aggressors, or bandits, or  conquers or bad dudes — then of course they’re assholes. So we can exclude those automatically.

But, if they’re not, if they’re peaceful, and inquisitive explorers (like I would expect Earthlings to be were we to someday explore the galaxy) then why the hell haven’t they come down and helped us? They must see us struggling down here; at each other’s throats; destroying our own world; over-populating it, polluting it, eating it up, killing off untold species. Yet they sit up there and WATCH?

“Oh, the Prime Directive says hands off.” What bullshit! What kind of race watches another race kill themselves when they could intervene and ameliorate the situation? Oh yeah — assholes.

Even if they don’t have the full capacity to help everyone, they must know that humanity is fraught with racial, gender and economic stresses that are tearing at the very fiber of our civilization; and that simply “knowing” they (IETs) exist would unite humanity under the umbrella of Homo Sapien Sapiens. Yet they do nothing? Why? Oh yeah – because they’re assholes.

And if they really don’t want to publicly denounce their Prime Directive, they could very easily “influence” a few engineers here and there to guide them on how to produce fusion, or anti-gravity, or some other advanced energy generation technology. Sneak down and whisper in their ears… Hell, whisper in Elon Musk’s ear. But have they? Will they? No they haven’t and won’t. Why? Because they’re assholes.

So, either intelligent extra terrestrial species don’t exist — or they’re all assholes.

 


Courtesy Space

I LOVE driving in traffic! No really, I do. And here’s why: I leave Courtesy Space in front of me when I’m driving in traffic. What is Courtesy Space? I’m sure you can guess, but formally what this EXTRA gap between my car and the car in front of me is is an area the assholes impatient of the world feel compelled to commandeer. This space is a gap where folks can merge into when we have to zipper (on-ramp merge). And this space is a cushion which I allow to be squeezed as those in front of me come to a halt while I gradually slow down, keeping those behind me moving, until — quite often — the car before me starts moving again and NEITHER I nor ANYONE BEHIND ME had to STOP!

I call this Courtesy Space. Now, don’t get me wrong; without traffic I’ll gladly drive speed limit + 5mph (on average and on the highways, speed limit or lower on side streets). But in traffic, this is how I drive.

If we all gave each other Courtesy Space THERE WOULD BE NO TRAFFIC PROBLEM. Really.

Here’s the evidence:

MileHourVehicles

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/12wHZCrd8AqG0Ob9mjbWenNGpfHUe4ruGYVeUcePHXP8/edit?usp=sharing

Now, this is going to hurt a little bit, but I promise, it’ll feel better when I’m done…

  • Let’s take a 1 mile stretch of highway.
  • On that single lane highway we’ll line cars up, end to end.
  • If we estimate a car is 20 feet long (on average: motorcycles, trucks, SUVs,  delivery, etc.) then we can fit 264 vehicles on that 1 mile stretch.
  • Now, let’s pretend this is a traffic situation and we will slowly roll these 264 cars along at 1 mile per hour (We’ve all been there right?)
  • Then, in 1 hour, we will have moved 264 cars 1 mile,
    or: 264 MHVs – Mile Hour Vehicles. (The left most green square above.)
  • This becomes our baseline for comparison.

With me so far? You’re going to feel a slight pinch in this next part.

  • At 1 mph, let’s say this travel mode is “safe” — having a Caution Factor of 1.
  • Caution Factor is simply a multiple of average car length, (in this case 20) minus one car length, that is:
    • CF-1=0 feet
    • CF-2=20 feet
    • CF-3=40 feet
    • CF-10=180 feet, or 9×20.
  • Caution factor can be thought of as Courtesy Space.
  • Now let’s take those same 264 vehicles on our 1 mile stretch and get them moving at 5 mph. Remember — this is traffic and we have drivers driving these cars.
  • At 5mph we *could* get 1320 MHVs, but we can’t possibly allow cars to travel bumper to bumper without problems so the Caution Factor of 1 is red — no good. And, I’m going to figure that even if we increase the factor to 2 (we’ll leave a whole car length in between each car) that is STILL not safe. So 2 Caution Factor is red also — no good.
  • But at a Caution Factor of 3, that is, 3 times the vehicle length (40 feet in front of each car (20 feet for the car remember)) well, THAT is safe. And that’s our second green field with 440 MHVs.
  • We got 440 vehicles to go 1 mile in 1 hour with this configuration (5 mph and 40 feet of Courtesy Space.)
  • That’s a lot more cars and no accidents or road rage.

But we can do better… Let’s skip to the far right.

  • Let’s boost the speed to 60 miles per hour!
  • BUT, let’s boost the Courtesy Space by a factor of 9 (a total Courtesy Space of 160 feet between each car.)
  • 160 feet — that’s TWO TENNIS courts end to end. That’s so much space you could put 8 other cars in there.
  • BUT DON’T! That’s our Courtesy Space — we NEED that space for our buffer zone. So, how many cars can we get to travel 1 mile in 1 hour with this configuration?
  • 1760! That’s more than SIX times as many cars as the 1 mile an hour crawl.
  • BUT, BUT look at all that empty space between cars. LEAVE IT!
  • This is the point. By increasing the space between cars * AT SPEED * we can increase the carrying capacity, the Mile-Hour-Vehicles that a road can carry.

(A minor point: Look at that number right next to that 1760: “29” cars per minute. Think about that: car #1 goes by, one-mississippi two-mississippi, car #2… That’s one car every two seconds. Hmm, could that be the two second driving space rule we heard about way back when we were being taught to drive?)

We don’t need more highways? We don’t need road-rage management. What we need is to realize that highways are not parking lots — we don’t add capacity for standing cars. We need to measure traffic by the metric Mile-Hour-Vehicles, that is, how many cars can we get moving as quickly and as safely as possible. Using this measurement we can see that the best way to cure our traffic ills is through Courtesy Space.

Thanks for your time. Here’s a band-aid and a lollipop.

 

 


Publishing narrative = cattle auction

There are a few sites out there where authors of narrative fiction (among other media types) can submit their work for evaluation:

https://www.authors.me/
https://www.submittable.com/

are two that I’m familiar with.

The problem with these sites, and the problem is systemic within the industry, is that the process of connecting authors with publishers is upside down. It’s inverted, inside out.

It’s easiest to picture the situation through analogy: enter the cattle ranch.

Imagine if every cattle rancher had to, one-at-a-time, schlep their cattle in a truck to every buyer of beef, haggle with that buyer, and if the cattle were not up to the desired grade or the price was not agreeable, the rancher would move onto the next buyer.

And the next. And the next. Talk about inefficient!

Instead, (and this is one of the ways it’s done), ranchers take their cattle to an auction. At these auctions buyers from all around congregate to bid on cattle. Numerous ranchers present their herds and buyers make bids.

Cattle, i.e. narrative content, from many ranches (authors), arrives at the auction (some new service yet to be created or identified), and buyers (publishers) peruse the offerings and purchase what suits them.

That’s the way it should work for submitting narrative fiction or artful media. Content should enter an auction to which publishers have subscribed. If a publisher only wants adult mystery, then there will be an auction for that genre. When new content is created by authors and artists they can submit their work to the service which holds it until the auction. Or, if the creator chooses, have their work enter the always-on-auction where content is collected and metadata about it then channels said media to publishers who have voiced interest in the media’s genre.

As it stands, this process is so backwards and contradictory, quality authors get ignored unless they schlep their content from publisher to publisher. And publishers miss out on authors who have great content but who ignore or simply skip the publisher out of ignorance or lack of time or awareness.

http://www.AuthorsAuction.com needs to get built. Who’s with me?


Google to buy Netflix

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE [5/12/2017] :

Alphabet (Google) has offered $180/shr for Netflix in a 1/2 cash 1/2 share buyout.

Netflix will join YouTube in Alphabet’s (Google’s) growing media powerhouse. Details of the deal were not available as of this writing. However, Alphabet’s bank account, (GOOG: Marketwatch) can more than deal with the purchase. NFLX CEO Reed Hastings remarked, “With Google’s, I mean Alphabet’s, introduction of their ChromeView — [their television plus intelligent agent set-top box] — Netflix will have even better domestic and growing world-wide exposure. I look forward to working with that team creating vivid and engaging content, both for our flagship Netflix platform as well as the quirky but wildly popular YouTube channel venue.”

Officers at Alphabet were unavailable for comment, but a quick tweet from CEO Larry Page “A natural fit: Netflix and Google” and positive remarks from Sundar Pichai seem to indicate that the deal will succeed. Anti-trust sources at the DOJ were also unavailable for comment.