And they come with no warning,
nature loves her little surprises.
Continual crisis!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Linkee-poo look at me, I'm on the way to the promised land

Sorry, so tired I forgot to format the links.

Explaining graphic design to four-year olds. I wish the people I work with would get this. (Grokked from Xeni)

"Unlike any other living thing on Earth, electric bacteria use energy in its purest form – naked electricity in the shape of electrons harvested from rocks and metals." The world is stranger than we think. (Grokked from Karl Schroeder)

If you've ever had an eye test, or some kind of neural damage, you've experienced a doctor giving you what seems like a random movement test. Follow the finger without moving your head, putting their hands over yours and telling you to lift as hard as you can, those sorts of things. What they're testing are your cranial nerves (these don't go through your spinal column). There are 3 that affect eye movement all by themselves (each will move your eyes in a different direction). So, I understand just what they're testing here with hearing and literacy in toddlers, but I'm not entirely convinced of it's efficacy. It's interesting science, but the brain is very plastic, and I'm afraid this test will be used to shunt kids into categories they don't belong in. On the other hand, a lot of kids might (might) get some help at a crucial stage. On the third hand, that'll mostly be rich kids with educated parents.

Snotbot. Because SCIENCE! (Grokked from John)

Some companies are moving away from the annual performance review. They point out a lot of reasons why reviews suck (time, brainspace, and results wise). "'Employees that do best in performance management systems tend to be the employees that are the most narcissistic and self-promoting,' said Brian Kropp, the HR practice leader for CEB." you say that like it's a bad thing. Dude, seriously, have you met any MBAs? Guess who made this crap up? Full disclosure, just got the email about Annual Review Time. It's that time of year where we realize that we spend too much time on bullshit, and we never got to our personal goals because we were too busy doing the actual fucking work we were hired to do. Also, we just moved to one of those "forced curves" evaluation. "Shocked," our CEO said, "shocked to find our employees are weighted heavily into the 4 and 5 space…" so we now have an enforced Bell Curve. Guess what happened to productivity and moral as all our high-performers realized they wouldn't be recognized for their high performance, but forced onto an artificial curve. But most people don't remember why annual reviews came into being. Unfortunately it didn't solve the real problem, which was people being dicks (mostly in middle-management). (Grokked from someone, Morgan J Locke I think)

Nearly no consequences for drunk executives who poured beer on Native American children’s heads. Noted as comment to above, and again just where the PC police (in reference to below)? Also noted in the vein of, "maybe if it's not blacks people can see the racism built into the system." (Grokked from Saladin Ahmed)

When he's a commie fighting rebel, or even a former Hitler Youth it's all fun and games and the conservatives love the Pope. However, when it's a poor brown kid from South America everybody gets huffy.

"New documents obtained by NPR and ProPublica reveal that the Red Cross may not have an accurate accounting of how all the money was spent." 9/11 and now Haiti. The Red Cross has got some 'splainin to do. Once that hits the public zeitgeist, we may not see a very able or well funded Red Cross in the US.

"Armed civilians are standing guard outside military recruitment centers across the United States -- even if the military doesn't necessarily want them there -- in the wake of last week's killing of five service members in Chattanooga, Tennessee." What could possibly go wrong.

You know how the conservative blowhards at Fox News like to talk about how their speech is stifled by the Political Correctness Police? That's all well and good, until they want to enforce their own PC policing. Donald Trump is an ass (actually, he's representative of a lot of business execs and their mindset), and he's been giving a hellalotta hints to walk back his comments about McCain, but Donald is Donald. Bill O'Reilly trying to play the PC police is just hilarious.

I wonder if conservatives will now rethink their stance on "at-will" employment? Yea, probably not. They'll double down on the PC police line and play the victim. All the company will need to do is document they asked the employees not to fly the Stars and Bars to work, and point to their anti-discrimination and diversity policies. Although, it's kinda iffy with the rulings of where and when employees can have guns in their cars and whether the judge rules that the cars are inviolate property, or because they're on company property that the company's rules apply.

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