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

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Linkee-poo doesn't wanna be your hero, doesn't wanna be a big man, just wanna fight with everyone else

The Hidden Brain podcast on grit and the myth of talent. This is something I've long believed. The best guitarists in high school couldn't beat me in my audition for the Stage Band, because I worked harder. They were better, I played with them. Some of them had picked up the guitar when they could barely hold it. How many of them still play? I don't know, but I do know how many of them went on to form bands after high school. And that is exactly zero. But of the three or four of us who struggled and came to the guitar later, 2 guys formed bands after high school and had local success. With every endeavor you try, there are several levels. The first level is fairly easy to attain (there are exceptions here). The next level requires good education and training. And the upper levels requires devotion and what they're calling "deliberate practice" and is never achieved easily (despite the stories we tell ourselves and the examples of the "savant").

Pros meeting pros at cons. So very much this. (Grokked from Elizabeth Bear)

Someone low-balls a call for work, realizes it was a bad move and so ups the rate. I appreciate that they'll be bumping their hourly rate they asked someone to work for, and that's pretty good. Also, this person works in the visual/creative design field, so they understand the value of the work produced (and the quality of the work done). There are so many crappy clients out there, and so many people low-balling their own quotes, that it pretty much turned me off to the online-freelance sites before I even got started on them. What's more telling is someone with those skills accepted that low rate. That's what really bothers me. (Grokked for John Scalzi)

Chuck Wendig on the show Tiny House Hunters (or something like that). For me, I originally saw articles on the Tiny House fad over a decade ago, so this isn't new to me. But there are people who are very happy in their tiny homes. I also drive by people who have parked camper-trailers on an open lot and call that home (I know it's their home because one build a nice deck off of theirs). But, yeah, what Chuck said. I have a small house, and it's just me and my wife, and it's not enough room for us (it would be seriously nice to have another place with a TV where I could exercise while my wife watches Castle, I'm just saying). But all the room is dedicated for something. It doesn't help that we're both packrats who love to read and learn new things. But really. Part of owning a house is building equity, a mobile home (and that's what a Tiny House is, or at least 90%+ of them are) doesn't develop equity.

"There’s also the highly important question of how transforming school administrators into interrogators informs their view of students. A 2009 study cited by the New Yorker suggests that among police, training in the Reid Technique skewed perceptions of juveniles, making them appear more adult and less trustworthy." Wait, why are teachers being instructed in interrogation techniques? Yeah, I'm sure the "school-to-prison" pipeline has nothing to do with it (note rise of for-profit jails coupled with backlash against growing minority populations).

Okay, I didn't point to this story before because it seemed a pretty open/shut case of "hostile work environment" which would cost Sony a hellalotta money if the rape victim weren't a "star". And then this. "On Sunday, pop singer Kesha Sebert alleged that she was offered her 'freedom' if she agreed 'to APOLOGIZE publicly and say that I never got raped.' Sebert is contractually bound to Lukasz 'Dr. Luke' Gottwald, who is both the producer behind some of her biggest hits and, Sebert alleges, her abuser and rapist." The main complication here is this, "Sebert has a separate deal with Gottwald's production company, Kasz Money Inc, through which she is signed to Kemosabe." And that's the rub. Sony shouldn't have allowed that in, or bought her out of that contract when they signed her (if the side contract was in place first). So not only is this a horrible situation, it's also another example of just how fuckedup the recording industry (and the "celebrity" industry in general) is. (Grokked from Chip Dawes)

The new Hewlett-Packard logo. I see two minor adjustments that (for me anyway) would have made it fabulous, but right now I'm "meh". But given the backlash against recent rebranding efforts, it's good to see a positive reception. (Grokked from Dan)

"European media outlets are reporting that Iceland's Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson has resigned days after a massive data breach known as the "Panama Papers" linked him to secret off-shore bank accounts." Yeah, he was about the only one who didn't see that one coming. Be happy, Sigmundur, they let you leave with your head on your shoulders. A hundred years ago that wouldn't have gone so well for you. And then he tried the "everybody does it" schtick. "Earlier Tuesday, Gunnlaugsson had asked Icelandic President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson to call early elections and dissolve the current parliament, the BBC reports, but Grimsson refused." And the President replied, "Nope, just you, asshole."

New Treasury rules designed to make inversion less profitable claims its first victim, the Pfizer Allergan merger. I still say that for tax purposes, a company's hq and the determination of where the company is based should be made by where the majority of the C-level officers (or better yet, where the top 10 wage/benefits/option earners) show up for work most often.

It's A Trap! Man builds giant alien face mosaic in backyard to invite them all down for a chat.

Retirement investment advisors now have a legal obligation to do what they said they've been doing all along. And boy are they pissed about that. I wonder why? Note again the threat to "burn it all down" unless a certain class gets all the profits they think they're owed. I wonder how this will affect the annual company 401k "relook" to make sure they're offering "the right balance" of portfolio assets? Also an opportune time to remind you to check your own 401k and IRA plans to see what fees you're being charged and I recommend (I am not a retirement advisor, just some schmuck who has been trying to maximize my own retirement savings) index funds with ultra low fees (in the >0.1% range, most of mine are at the 0.05% range which seems to be a minimum). This typically excludes most of the funds based on your retirement date (which tend to charge huge fees in the 5% range) which seem to be popular these days.

Since the TV drama about the OJ Simpson trial is reopening all those wounds you may have wondered just where that asshat Mark Furman, confirmed white supremacist, ended up at. Did you really have any doubts? (Grokked from Chip Dawes)

"A Republican congressman on Tuesday night acknowledged that the new law requiring a photo ID to vote in Wisconsin could help Republican candidates at the polls in the general election." Another one caught telling the truth.

The George Mason University Antonin Scalia School of Law. Aaaannnnddd it took them about 4 days to figure out that wasn't a Good Idea™, so they renamed it the Antonin Scalia Law School. This is why you need diversity, folks. Because if they had someone schooled in satire on their board they would have immediately recognized just how bad that original name was. Besides making the name change because of money (it came with a $30M endowment, $20M from an anonymous donor and $10 from the Koch brothers), since the change is pretty much immediate, some students are quite upset that his name will be on their diplomas. But howdy, do I want to design that sweatshirt (and sell it myself). I wonder what the legal requirements/entanglements that would set up?

You know, it's like a contest to see which Southern State can be the shittiest to all of it's citizens. Tennessee approves making the Bible the official State Book (they previously made the Beretta .50cal sniper rifle the official State Gun, I see a solution). And then Mississippi's governor goes on to sign their anti-gay law. Say, which party controls all these state's legislatures? Oh, yeah. Didn't even need to look it up, did you?

I would say the Trumpster just had his Rick Perry moment. But seriously, his supporters would still vote for him even if he shot someone on the street (as he also famously said).

"We will disclose the hotels and the room numbers of those delegates who are directly involved in the steal (if Trump doesn't get the nomination in Cleveland). If you're from Pennsylvania, we'll tell you who the culprits are. We urge you to visit their hotel and find them." I'm sure Roger Stone didn't mean that as the threat of violence that it certainly comes off as. 'Cause that would mean the Trumpster candidacy is operating like an organized crime syndicate. Or at least borrowing their tactics. "That's a nice little convention you have there, would be a shame if something happened to it." I wonder if he realizes we have a number of trigger-happy cops here?

There's this movement to increase the number of judges who win seats by direct election. I'm not in favor of these. Why? Because of the collateral damage of the election system. Basically because the dumpster fire that is the Republican 2016 Presidential Nomination this openly homophobic, bigoted asshat won election to Wisconsin's Supreme Court. (Grokked from Chip Dawes)

A (presumedly Florida) woman confronts Rick Scott on his record. May we all get the opportunity to have such encounters with our own elected officials. Be prepared.

Tweet of my heart: @ChuckWendig Be the best writer you can be. Online, be the best version of yourself. Have fun, be kind, work hard, have empathy, and hope for luck.

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