Though I saw it all around
Never thought I could be affected
Thought that we'd be the last to go
It is so strange the way things turn

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Linkee-poo, and the feeling coming from my bones says find me a home

Wasn't sure where to place this one, but is it a drug or a Tolkien elf name? A quiz. Hate to admit I only got 22 out of 30 (there was a lot of Silmarillion in there, only got through it once). (Grokked from Saladin Ahmed)

"The myth of the meritocracy runs deep in publishing. 'Just write a good book!' is of­fered up as the singular cure to all of a writer’s worries about the financial success of their title. But writing a good book is no more a magical recipe for success than 'working hard' is a guarantee one will retain gainful employment. As in any industry, there are simply too many factors at play… And yes, one of those factors is still who you know." Kameron Hurley with some of the publishing industry secrets.

Someone scanned in most of the issues of Avant Guarde magazine. I'll be in my bunk. (Note, some NSFW, but they were at the time the magazine was published).

"True, there’s no harm in a quick laugh at this (Rush Limbaugh wondering if we all came from apes, why Harambe was still and ape and not one "of us"), but that religious fervor and fundamentalism are so capable of repressing information, intellectualism and objective scientific fact is pretty concerning." In the article they say it's rare to hear such an argument, but it really isn't. This and the "clock" or "airplane" story, in fact, come up a lot. (Grokked from Vince O'Conner)

"However anecdotal, the evidence suggests that more and more companies—particularly those skewing younger, hipper, and richer—are developing a culture where professional ghosting (never responding after an interview) is acceptable, perhaps even the norm. The more publicly desirable the employer, the more disposable candidates seem to become." One, not a new phenomenon, I stop getting formal responses to job inquiries (even those I interviewed for, including second-level interviews) sometime in the mid-90s. Dear millennials, not new. Dear boomers, not new (and it's your generation that started it). Also, not the correct use of "ghosting" (which is more akin to blackballing, but done from a position of non-power), but I accept it is the current use definition. Despite those two objections, yeah, this is a crappy process. (Grokked from Kameron Hurley)

Please don't suck. "Welcome, my son, welcome to (HPE's) The Machine." Oh gods, the new Star Trek movie looks to be like an extended product placement for HP's vision of the future. I wonder if we get to see Spock or McCoy gripe about having to pay more for ink than they did for the printer and how often they have to replace the cartridges? "If you want a vision of the future, imagine having to replace ink cartridges every 20 pages - forever." - with apologies to George Orwell. (Grokked from John)

The Swiss proposal on a guaranteed income goes down in flames. Pointed to not only for the story, but the picture of the world's largest poster, and example of Swiss Type (incredibly huge). But I'll disagree with "Alain Berset, the head of Switzerland's Federal Department of Home Affairs (who said), 'The results demonstrate that voters are satisfied with the way our economy functions and don't think it needs to be revolutionized.'" Um, no. They just said no to this proposal. That doesn't mean they're perfectly okay with the status quo of the increasingly automated economy.

"So more kids are doing it, more people are dying, it’s costing us more money, yet so many intelligent people I know roll their eyes at calling addiction and alcoholism a disease, or dismiss 12-step recovery groups as cults, or leave negative comments about a dead rock star who asked for help on his last day on earth." On addition to opioids and Prince's "death by ignorance and fear." I've seen ODs (those who make it, and those who don't) up close. I've known people who just "need a little more" of whatever. I've treated people with chronic pain (those who can bare it, and those who are at the end of the rope). And I've had patients who clearly needed medication and refused out of fear or "not wanting to give in." And for all of that, we really need to overhaul how we treat these people, how the medical community views them, how society reacts, and we need to open many, many more treatment clinics. (Grokked from Xeni)

"This is the age of the open office, of half-cubicles and clustered desks, of huge rooms filled by long communal tables where white-collar workers sit shoulder-to-shoulder, wearing white earbuds to block out the noise." I'm fortunate that I still have a cubicle. Yeah, companies may have saved money, but note most people who actually promote these new work environments for their employees still have their offices. "People realized they really wanted walls." I remember reading about the concept when TBWA\CHIAT\DAY started it. Yeah, hated it then. And, yes, I have worked in "open office" spaces. Hate them. The only time the "open office" environment really worked for me was when I was the last employee and the boss was continually absent (supposedly doing client contact and trying to drum up more work, note "supposedly"). And then it was just a really big office with several workstations I could use (and often did run more than one computer at a time to get work done).

"Heralded on the cover of Time magazine in 2000 as a genetically modified (GMO) crop with the potential to save millions of lives in the Third World, Golden Rice is still years away from field introduction and even then, may fall short of lofty health benefits still cited regularly by GMO advocates, suggests a new study from Washington University in St. Louis." A GMO product over-hyped? Unpossible! The best part, the report finds that environmental groups opposed to its introduction really had no impact on the ongoing delays. "'The rice simply has not been successful in test plots of the rice breeding institutes in the Philippines, where the leading research is being done,' Stone said. 'It has not even been submitted for approval to the regulatory agency, the Philippine Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI).'" Ah, the incompetence of industry. Also, this just in, white man fails to save indigenous culture he was heralded as the savior of. So, besides the fact that yields of Golden Rice still lag behind non-GMO cultivars, "As Stone and Glover point out, it is still unknown if the beta carotene in Golden Rice can even be converted to Vitamin A in the bodies of badly undernourished children. There also has been little research on how well the beta carotene in Golden Rice will hold up when stored for long periods between harvest seasons, or when cooked using traditional methods common in remote rural locations, they argue… Meanwhile, as the development of Golden Rice creeps along, the Philippines has managed to slash the incidence of Vitamin A deficiency by non-GMO methods, Stone said." If it weren't for people starving and suffering malnutrition, it would almost be funny. (Grokked from Paolo Bacigalupi)

So, how's the fix to the fix to the fix for the VA healthcare backlog problems going? About as good as the other "fixes." Hey, you wanna know what would really fix the VA? Money. Fully funding the department at the level it's been asking for. For decades. Long before we added all the new vets from Afghanistan and Iraq. Also, it would help if legislators and everybody else actually tried using their own insurance. In the past 7 years I've needed to see a few specialists, wait time is typically 6 months for new patients.

"After months of deliberation over how to create House Republican consensus on an election-year policy agenda, Speaker Paul D. Ryan on Tuesday will unveil a proposal for fighting poverty that identifies a long list of policy ills but stops short of prescribing specific legislative fixes." So, basically, all that pomposity about Speaker Ryan coming forth with policy documents to show how the GOP will fix all our societal ills is exactly the same as before. "Hey look, here's this problem, fuck all if we know what to do about it." From the article, "'He wants to take people out of poverty,' (presumptive GOP nominee Donald) Trump said in an interview with CBS’ Face the Nation. 'So do I. And we’re going to come up with a plan.'" They're going to have a plan Real Soon Now (RSN). Thanks, Paul and Donald. Why don't you go fishing and let the adults run the place for a while? (Grokked from Lisa N. Morton)

If you aren't registered to vote, register. If your are registered, vote. David Byrne (frontman of Talking Heads) wants you to go out and vote, too. I don't care if you agree with me. Seriously, I don't. If you feel Donald Trump would be the best thing for America and nothing I've pointed to here has swayed your mind otherwise, go out and vote for him. If Bernie or Hillary do it for you, go out and vote for them. If Gary Johnson does it for you (I just saw an interview with him and man has he moved his positions to embrace populism on the right) go and vote for him. If Jill Stein is your cup of tea, go out and vote for her. But I'll ask you to also learn about your State and local elections and to vote for those. Those are the people who are directly spending your money and shaping your communities. And now I need one of those Stop Making Sense t-shirts.

A boy in California is told by his school to not wear his hat. Boy cites his "First amendment Rights" (shh, nobody tell him). Normally I try not to link to things about people having their paranoia being fed by circumstance, except for this last line, "It looks like Autry may be able to return to school without the temptation of wearing his hat, though: Fox News reported that his dog tore it to shreds while he was swimming." Now that is hilarious. Either "the dog ate my homework" or "the dog having better sense than the human" jokes would work here. Also, in my day, we weren't allowed to wear hats in school.

Why won't Donald Trump release his income tax forms? "The presumptive GOP presidential nominee’s latest property tax bill shows he was awarded a credit under the STAR program, or the New York State School Tax Relief Program. To be eligible for STAR, a married couple must have annual income of $500,000 or less… he has received the credit for several years…" Well, that could be one reason. (Grokked from Dan)

"Even after endorsing Trump, many Republicans are finding themselves constantly forced to distance themselves from Trump's inflammatory statements. Saying they disagree is beginning to sound hollow so Republicans have taken another tack. They promise that the courts and Congress will safeguard the United States from Trump's authoritarian whims." That's hilarious coming from the party that complains about "King Obama ruling dictate and executive order and ZOMG we can't do nothing about it". Seriously GOP, is there anyone on watch there?

Turns out this Trump U story has legs. So, besides the Florida AG asking for a donation before dropping his suit, there's also the brouhaha in Texas about the very same thing.

So, now that the AP has called the nomination for Hillary Clinton, there's a lot of garments being rent and teeth being gnashed, I'd like to remind Bernie's supporters of his campaign launch speech. "Let’s be clear. This campaign is not about Bernie Sanders. It is not about Hillary Clinton… This campaign is about the needs of the American people, and the ideas and proposals that effectively address those needs… Politics in a democratic society should not be treated like a baseball game, a game show or a soap opera. The times are too serious for that." The job isn't done, don't bail now. The next few months will be the "Coming to Jesus" moment for the progressives, and I think we can all support our eventual nominee with more enthusiasm and gusto than our conservative opposition can muster. "You can't always get what you want, but if you try, sometimes you get what you need."

Pointed to because I've seen way to much shit like this during this election cycle (including the meme of the left recruiting people for violence at Trump rallies using Craigslist). Oh, and in case you really think it's been "shopped". (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

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