* Posts by Juillen 1

292 posts • joined 22 Jun 2009


Google proposes Logica data language for building more manageable SQL code

Juillen 1

Re: {}

Most of the women I know would be guffawing away and joining in the banter.

Red Hat pulls Free Software Foundation funding over Richard Stallman's return

Juillen 1

Re: Let's be very clear here ...

No, in context, he was saying that there's no "one size fits all" age that one second it's illegal, the next it's illegal. This is philosophically valid, and it's so confused that the age of consent in different places is anything from 14 to 18 (possibly even more varied). Legislators have a tough time with it, and it's widely understood that it's a pretty ridiculous thing, but it's a line in the sand that people think is sort of ok. Maybe. So, your very obvious straw man fallacy is ludicrous, and very obviously so. Laughably so in fact.

The gal in question was 17 at the time, so definitely not paedophillia, no matter what you insist. Or are you going to assert that you've decided the age of consent is 42 and everyone's a paedophile?

Juillen 1

Re: What's the deal?

Basically, Epstein was very rich. As such, he had a section of women who wanted the lifestyle that came with that wealth and were willing to offer their bodies now and then to sustain that. Not a deal that the morals of most would agree with, but in principle, it's not ethically terrible.

Minsky accepted funds from Epstein, and was on an occasion invited to Epstein's island. The girl in question said she was coerced into attempting to have sex with Minsky, who declined the offer. So in this case, there wasn't even any crime on Minsky's part, even with any age of consent.

When Minsky's name was dragged through the mud, as it was discovered Epstein had granted money to the University, a group of political agitators decided that this money should never have come to the University as it was against their politics.

RMS, who had known Minsky very well stated that on balance of probability, the political assertions about him were incorrect (he did this bluntly, as was his speaking style; he never minced words, or prettied them up). He also aired that putting an absolute time on age of consent was a very dubious thing, where someone unknown may be called a paedophile in one second, and nobody bat an eyelid if they'd waited another second to engage.

This is, of course, massive fuel for the Woke who like to explore every crack for advantage to attack with. There was a lot of completely out of context accusations, a lot of misquoting, and a lot of alleging crimes that didn't happen, and nobody was accused of. This precipitated the FSF persuading RMS to quit.

Which he did, as the storm was getting in the way of work.

Now, after everyone's looked at it, and gone "The original outrage was wrong", he re-entered the board. Of course, the political fringe are outraged that someone they burned at the stake wasn't actually dead and gone, but survived and came back to carry on life as normal once the "case" against them was shown to have no merit.

Red Hat wouldn't even be around if it wasn't for RMS's zealotry in keeping the FSF going, and the work he's put into it. It was founded on the ideals of openness and tolerance of ideas other than the ones you subjectively hold.

Except now, the subjective opinion of a particular RedHat exec is that the FSF, because they disagree with the politics of the current execs, must be de-funded because someone said something they don't like, but is perfectly rational and legal.

That in itself is damning for Red Hat. I won't be using them in my team if I have alternatives (we're Linux heavy), simply because I have alternatives that seem to be getting on with the job of making products that work well and don't try to torch productive technical areas because they don't like what someone says. That makes them far too unreliable on a business footing (will they next decide that some of the research I'm involved with is something they don't like, despite having ethical committee approval, and thus revoke a license on me, or ask for me and the rest of the team to be removed because someone doesn't like me disagreeing with them?).

That, in a nutshell is about it.

Juillen 1

Re: Achievements of Richard Stallman

It's not that it'd take a competent programmer a week to program, it's that RMS actually did it before anyone else had thought of it.

Hell, I can build a radio in a couple of hours. Doesn't mean that the guys who invented the radio first were mere simpletons.

I know that I personally wouldn't want to hang out with RMS (I did converse with him in the early days in the academic circles, and he was way too zealous for my tastes), but that does not for one moment stop him being one of my heroes. I don't have to agree with him on everything, or the way he says it, for him to be considered one of the greats in my field in my eyes.

And I'm fairly sure my nieces would hurt you if you tried anything with them. See what that sentence did? Implied you were the kind of person who'd be likely to attack young girls without the honesty of saying it.

They would, but I'd normally never use that sentence, as it's irrelevant. I do NOT think you'd be likely to try anything on with them so what's the point of putting it in (unless to sow doubt)?

Juillen 1

Re: Why, Stallman?

What's wrong with it? There's no "I'm not going to let you get rid of me, and there's nothing you can do about it, and if you try I'll ruin you".

It's a simple statement of fact. He's not planning to retire a second time. As far as he's currently aware, that's his plan. That's absolutely fine. As would "I'm planning to go shopping for groceries next Wednesday". Would that be too authoritarian for your tastes?

Juillen 1

Re: Let's be very clear here ...

Of interest, and to flesh out what you've posted about statutory rape, there's an event that occurred with a family friend many a moon ago.

He met a nice young gal in a nighclub (over 18, ID required). They got on well, met up in various pubs (over 18 only, and she bought her fair share of drinks at the bar). She let him know she was a student at the local University.

She started staying over at his place now and then, which is what you'd expect from an ordinary relationship.

Then one day, he went to meet her folks, who were in the same city. They didn't like him.

The next day after meeting the folks, the police turned up at his door and arrested him for statutory rape. It turns out that the woman in question was actually 15, and at a local high school. She'd lied about her age, had false ID, had been attending night clubs for years (her parents picked her up from them, so they knew she was going there). Everyone outside her School Crowd (well, the ones that didn't go to the nightclub too, as their small group knew full well what was going on, and they all behaved the same) fully believed she was 18 and given the level of evidence and how convincing it was, there was absolutely zero reason to believe otherwise..

Now, Statutory Rape does NOT take into account whether or not you knew someone to be underage. It does NOT consider the evidence you may have to lead you to believe that this person was of age. In fact, it doesn't consider ANYTHING other than the fact that the event took place (sex with someone under the age of consent). As the woman in question had been quite free with the fact, and so had the family friend, this was not in question, so he was convicted, had his name on the sex offenders list, and was thus denied most opportunity of any worthwhile job because he failed the criminal conviction investigation checks required.

He became very depressed, and within a couple of years was dead by suicide.

The woman involved in this did NOT want this to happen, and was vehemently on the family friend's side. She cared a good deal about him, because though he wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer, he was a considerate and respectful person, and he worked damn hard (he was 17 at the time, after leaving school post O levels as that's as much Academia as he wanted. He worked on building sites, and thoroughly enjoyed it).

She was also only a couple of months away from 16 (the legal age of consent) when the case was brought, and the relationship had been going about 4 months by that time.

Essentially, her lying and cheating (and her parents complicity in it) led to a decent guy being deprived of both liberty and life, through no event he even had any reason to predict could be in any way harmful.

THAT is the side to Statutory Rape you're conveniently glossing over.

Juillen 1

Re: He made the FSF, it’s fine for him to end it

I'd still not have a problem with it if it was. He's notoriously left wing, zealously so.

What he's done is stuck by that ideal that his work is to be shared for the good of ALL.

Not the people he likes, not the people he agrees with, not the narrow window of people whose politics he's in exact sync with, but everyone. His politics have been studiously kept out of the creation and distribution of his work.

That's tolerance and diversity right there in a nutshell. He's lived what the new Woke are pretending to be for a long time, and when he objectively states that on balance of probability, what their outraged knee jerk is claiming is not true (but in a very blunt way), they choose to burn him at a stake because the statement isn't something like like to hear (it must be heresy), and it wasn't wrapped up in a fluffy box with a bow.

This developer created the fake programming language MOVA to catch out naughty recruiters, résumé padders

Juillen 1

Been using that technique for years

It was always a standard question on interviews; although not a direct programming language, it was a development paradigm.

Interesting, I've had more than a few people over the years claim to know it (one, who came to the interview armed with a Microsoft MVP badge kept extolling its virtues way after the point I'd decided that this was definitely not the person to hire, and actually let the cat out of the bag that this wasn't a real thing).

jAnother thing I used to use was placing an incongruous object in plain sight (such as a bright yellow wiffle bat that I kept around for the purpose).

One of the things I've always wanted to pick out from the crowd is someone who'll identify something amiss, and communicate that effectively even in a highly stressful environment where they may have something to lose. Almost invariably, people saw the bat, some people fixated on it.

What I wanted to see, was who would see the bat, and plainly ask why it was there. That's been at the root of a good many hires.

Apache foundation ousts TinkerPop project co-founder for tweeting 'offensive humor that borders on hate speech'

Juillen 1

Re: "The tweets in question were obvious satire"

The thing is, this is exactly the kind of stuff that's chanted by the groups he's parodying (almost exactly), and they get celebrated, and posted as "See how evil the world is to these people because they feel that they're not getting what they want". And when something is posted from a differing group with almost exactly the same wording (and in an absolutely tiny forum, so small as to be vanishingly trivial), it's enough for someone to be cancelled from something they've devoted a decade to.

That's my take on what made this a parody; the exact wording of the woke studenthood but applied from a different demographic. And watch with interest at how they react when their own words are thrown back at them (hint, it's outrage, when they expect someone to bow to them and say how wise and perceptive they are when they say it).

This is not "Remove a significant contributor from a project" material. It's a "Stop being juvenile. You may have a point in stirring stuff up, but you've got bigger fish to fry, and you'll feel much better just getting on with productive stuff instead of wallowing in the sewers of wokehood" kind of stuff.

Juillen 1

Abstain, or "None of the Above".

No, it's not worse.

I've deliberately withheld voting on several occasions for the simple reason that I could not ethically support any of the options available to me. They were all fatally flawed.

In the previous US election, it was well known why the selections were made for both sides, and both of them ended up proposing fatally flawed candidates that should never have been let within a mile of that role.

When you are that disenchanted with the candidates you have available, not voting isn't always an "I don't care" (though it may be, that's part of stating your opinion, which is what a vote is), it's often "I abstain", which is a deliberate choice.

Yes, people fought for the right to vote, and that's exactly what they got; the right to vote. They DID NOT vote for the requirement to vote, even when you were presented with a false dichotomy.

How on earth you try to turn that into "You don't care about your community", I have no idea, as this person as given up valuable time and effort to provide, for free, some very valuable thinking and code writing time to a worldwide community. Now, he may not give a rat's arse about the community you've chosen to focus your attention on, but that's an entirely different matter. And if you honestly thing that just because you choose a community as your focus, everyone else MUST do the same, then I'd say I detect more than a hint of authoritarianism and tyranny there.

Juillen 1

Re: Obligatory XKCD

You've obviously never worked in a critical role.

I'm in the healthcare sector, and believe me, there's a very dark sense of humour that pervades most of the disciplines. If you don't laugh about a stress factor, it can overwhelm you when it shouldn't.

The things being joked about will always be prevalent in the world as long as there are patients, trauma and so on.

What you've just effectively said right there is "I'd prefer people to suffer psychologically rather than find an outlet. I'd rather masses suffer so the odd edge case doesn't have to cope with small potential affront.".

Now that being said, dark humour and satire are best done with wit. It makes it more obvious it's satire, but not everybody has that social dexterity, so sometimes things come out as not particularly funny. In which case, pause for flat reception, and just move on.

I'm fired: Google AI in meltdown as ethics unit co-lead forced out just weeks after coworker ousted

Juillen 1

Re: Gebru vs. Mitchell

Process is supposed to be "tone deaf". It takes a situation, works out if things fit criteria, then moves on with taking action.

Both Gebru and Mitchell had done enough to trigger action. Huge companies can't afford to spend endless sums on going through someone's life story, making excuses for them, seeing what the public think of it (when they really don't know, and can't ever truly understand the frame of reference) and so on.

Most people either go to court and claim unfair dismissal if they really believe they've been mistreated, or they quietly go looking for the next job.

These two have both claimed it's because of <insert woke trigger phrase here> and put it out into the media. Which is incredibly harmful to future employability. Unless of course that it's in an ideologically driven group and the ideology is of more importance than getting on with the job and doing impartial work.

I suspect they both thought of Google as an ideologically malleable entity that they could configure from their roles such that it bowed to their agenda as a priority over getting actual work done that was needed in their remit. They weren't correct.

Juillen 1

Re: Responsible AI, a new unit that oversees Ethical AI

From time working on Clinical Ethics boards, some of the stuff that the pair had been doing would definitely not have passed muster as "Ethical". Ideological crusades rarely are.

There was a whole fanatical wave of "It's all against minorities, it's only because she's a woman, it's an attack against women and minorities" in this last event, well past the time that Google stated that the exfiltration of data contained sensitive information on other people (this is ethically a BIG no-no, and would get anyone in an ethically sensitive role fired post haste).

Behaving ethically is a full time task. It's damnably hard to meet standards all the time every time, especially when you have a desire to do something else, but if you can't be trusted to maintain at least a reasonable standard (don't go playing with other people's sensitive data unless it's what you're doing as part of your job, with an acknowledged 'need to know', and protecting it with everything you can), then I'd probably be of the opinion that you should in no way be responsible for writing ethical policy.

UK's Health Department desperately seeking service provider to run IT after 'cloud-first' shift

Juillen 1

Useful for optimisation.

Cloud has a definite use case. But that's when you really understand your infrastructure and data flows (and requirements) very well.

Most of the time I see cloud focus, it's done by people with little to no knowledge of their infrastructure, how mature it is, how it'll share data (or even if they can actually recover their data if the contract expires) or a myriad of other issues.

It looks uncomfortably like another business unit desperately trying to hammer an entire tree into a square peg hole.

Trump silenced online: Facebook, Twitter etc balk at insurrection, shut the door after horse bolts and nearly burns down the stable

Juillen 1

Re: Trump's problem

Not so sure he was "incompetent" at what he was aimed to do.

The bit that I remember about the very beginning was Bannon stating quite baldly that his intent was to disrupt and cause the perception of catastrophe. This was on his theory that every (x) years, catastrophic events happened that caused political and social reorganisation with fresh focus, and it was generally for the better, but uncontrolled.

He wanted to control that change by artificial disruption, and Trump was what he was aiming to use to disrupt.

That plan was definitely ethically "very questionable", and the theory tenuous, but a lot of activity I've seen over the last few years always put me in mind of that Bannon statement early on when I was trying to find context and meaning for things.

What definitely wasn't planned was having a "Random disrupter and catastrophe generator" in the driving seat when the largest actual catastrophe and disruption of the last 80-100 years struck.

This is of course, completely conjecture and one of many possibilities, so take with an entire truck load of salt. :)

Raven geniuses: Four-month-old corvids have similar cognitive abilities to great apes at same age, study finds

Juillen 1

Re: a viral Youtube clip of a crow apparently skiing down a roof

Yes, there's been research into that.. And the dopamine responses are what you'd expect from a human having fun.

Interestingly, this happens when birds sing too, so all those quotes about the birds only calling "get sex here" seem to be missing the point. The birds actually enjoy the singing, and would sing for its own sake; they just have an investment in getting the song right too, to make it the most favoured by the females (the one that put the most work and practice into the song is the one that breeds, so birds seem to appreciate a mate that puts the work in, probably as that's the best bet there'll be a mate that would put the effort into supporting them as they raise young).

Corvids especially are known to "play" for pleasure. Smaller birds, it's still unknown if they do things "just for fun".

Juillen 1

Re: Size bias

The tits are more hanging feeder birds (they go for seed/nuts/berries as primary feed, which can be found on trees and bushes). They're right at home pecking away on something to cling on to.

Robins are primary insectivores, loving earthworms, so like Blackbirds, they forage on the ground a lot. Apparently Blackbirds shouldn't use hanging feeders, but I had a Blackbird a few years back that worked it out and spent ages teaching his mate to do it too..

Birds have smaller neurons that mammals do; they're absolute marvels of evolution.. There's no wasted space with them. Everything is optimised.. So in the same brain mass, they get far higher neuron count.. Which makes them fantastically bright for the volume of brain matter they have.

Short distances between neurons (more densely packed) and shorter distances to travel mean Birds are very responsive (thus the lightning fast reactions you see; the large part of the bird you see is feathers. The actual bird is far smaller).

They locate the feeders by fantastic eyesight (birds have huge eyes, relative to skull), which they use to look for things that seem like food. Feeders are generally known to be sources of food now (and nuts/seed are easily visible through mesh). And birds have calls for 'food', along with being able to see other birds feed..

The pecking order is easy. Tits will feed in bunches, and they do have mobbing calls (this is where a flock will gang up to attack an invader), so multiple tits are a threat to a Robin, which is a solitary bird.

Far better for a Robin to let the Tits feed, then pick up the bits afterwards, especially if the food source is sizable.

Great tits especially can really be a challenge (if they get very hungry, they'll attack and kill mice).

BOFH: Switch off the building? Great idea, Boss

Juillen 1

I used to have a toy clanger. For when someone dropped one, they'd have one to carry on with while they sorted it out.

Mind you, for people that tried to hide they'd dropped a clanger, and tried to cover it up, if I discovered it and got excuses, I kept the rear half of a plastic rat in a desk drawer that I'd bring out and place in front of them (they weren't allowed to have it, just to show that I did indeed have a rat's ass, and I wasn't giving it).

Banking software firm tiptoes off to the cloud with MariaDB after $2m Oracle licence shocker

Juillen 1

Re: Overrated

They pay for the engineer support. With some problems, you do get access to the engineers and those guys are seriously good.

If it's a bug that affects only you, then often in the Open Source world your edge case won't receive the attention that lots of others do. There isn't the dedicated resource with the specific knowledge to work at that scale for free and quickly.

You can buy support via contract, but that puts you more into the spend category. And you're still left with the problem that there are still limitations to the responsiveness (unless you contract for hefty sums to the people that are actively developing the whole product, which again moves into the big spend category).

Then you get things like Oracle which do have the resources into the codebase at scale. But that's expensive. I've submitted bugs in the past that were definitely edge case, but got in the way of me doing something I expected to work. Resolutions were rolled into the next set of hotfixes released.

I was pretty impressed. I've made bug reports to other DB vendors (including MS) and had nowhere near that response.

However, if I'm going to be putting that spend out there, it needs to be worth it. As with everything, know what you need, what's essential and what's merely wanted. Design using the right tools and spend covering essentials appropriately.

Juillen 1

Re: not difficult to optimize cost for Oracle in VMware

Sounds like you've never done business with Microsoft (or a host of other enterprise scale vendors).

Juillen 1

Re: Features yes but..

I'd probably compare it as a fleet of fiestas vs. a segmented heavy goods vehicle.

You can nip lots of stuff rapidly all over the place with the fiestas, though over time, their reliability may well mean targets are missed, but it's not that important if you're using them for the right jobs.

The HGV lacks some of the flexibilities of using large amounts of small vehicles, but does the heavy lifting extremely well.

I did DBA work for a couple of decades, and always thought that part of the job was picking the right tool for the job. The more heterogenous the environment, the more people you needed to support it properly, but the better long term results you got if you designed well.

On Oracle's features, I always found that they'd invest in something, often incredibly useful, and immediately pitch it as a feature you could only use if you paid more. Quite a bit of the time, people found that they could do without and use a different product (either due to price or lockin concerns or both). When Oracle realised they weren't making money out of it, they slipstreamed it to be a feature of a lesser version of a license (effectively making it 'free' if you bought that tier of license for other uses).

Oracle, SQL Server, Maria, PostgreSQL et. al. all have their places, and strengths and weaknesses; it's why I never understood the "holy wars" between them.

Kinda like saying the fiesta is better than the HGV because it's got a better acceleration, or the HGV is better because it carries tons (literally). Both _may_ be true in certain frames of reference, but aren't globally true (as I tell people in SQL classes I run, especially when I throw curveballs in the exercises in it: "An answer is easy to get if you go looking for it. _The_ answer is often quite elusive").

Your IT department should behave like a jellyfish, says Gartner

Juillen 1

Re: But seriously

Disparate parts acting rapidly to cope with incoming information and situations that they need to flag and deal with? That'd be the "Sympathetic and Parasympathetic nervous systems".

Most animals have them, and they work in conjunction with a brain to provide complex and adaptive behaviour that has let animals colonise every nook and cranny of the planet.

Unlike jellyfish that just hang there and pretty much do not a lot.

Juillen 1


So, a Jellyfish.

They've not adapted in millions of years, and exist in a very beneficial environment. The ones that aren't toxic and destroy everything around have a massive attrition (fail) rate due to critters that can eat them (because they have a brain), but as a group they survive by having a disposable mass of low quality organisms that are entirely interchangeable and undifferentiated.

When a significant change happens (say it gets a bit stormy), a huge quantity can be completely destroyed (washed up on the beach as food for the gulls). But that's apparently not a problem. After all, you can just chuck any tech/team in place of another, can't you. Nat West? Nat West? Anyone? Nat West?

Actually, what they probably should have been saying is that an IT entity should behave like a higher organism, with an autonomous nervous system that tracks and deals with behaviour on its own, but raises exceptions that a higher brain can deal with (and sometimes override).

It's adaptable and effective. Unlike the jellyfish that relies on an endless supply of one of them to work.

As usual, Despair.com has a highly relevant comment on Gartner's approach: https://despair.com/collections/demotivators/products/achievement

Juillen 1

Only the departments run by MBAs.

(M)aster of (B)ugger (A)ll strikes again!

How the tables have turned: Bloke says he trained facial recognition algorithm to identify police officers

Juillen 1

Re: I predicted this!!!

Those are the "low hanging fruit" who are easily identified. The successful ones are ruthless, intelligent and quite rich. They've already got channels to identify individuals to a limited extent, but that leaves footprints and trails.

This completely cuts out any form of trail, can be used by those low level criminals, and works in an arbitrary fashion. Don't like the cop that told you to stop stealing? Find out where they live and continually ransack their house.

Don't like the cop that told you to stop beating someone up and chucked you in jail overnight? No problem, find out where they live and send the boys round in masks.

Don't like that you were arrested for murder? Not a problem, have your friends grab the photos and go round and take their family out.

Yes, any one person could theoretically get there eventually with a lot of hard work and effort (and intimidation, threats, money etc.), but this is almost a 'click and go' automation. Find out who's preventing you doing illegal things and take them out before they stop you. That's freedom for some.

Juillen 1

Re: Portland

As an addendum, you don't even need to look at history.

There are countries "freed" from your hypothetical "tyranny of Government".

One great example is Somalia. By your logic, with the effective hamstringing of the Government and cessation of policing, people have banded together to exist in harmony, free of the oppressive yoke, and are now living idyllic lives where they can get on and advance in peace.

Except that's not what's going on. Roving warlords can do what they want, to who they want. Murder, rape and a whole load of things are unpunishable if they are perpetrated by people with the guns. If you were to voice your righteous indignation about this to them, their complaints procedure is to simply plant a bullet (or knife, or something) into the complainant until they shut up. Permanently.

Advancement doesn't happen, because anything worthwhile is taken by those that can use force.

Life is cheap there. Very cheap.

So, if you want to see where your anti-government, anti-policing strategy points as its end result, look no further than that, as that's exactly the path that happened.

Juillen 1

Re: I predicted this!!!

That's the only real use for personally identifying police officers (who are organisationally identifiable via badge numbers).

If you can threaten and intimidate the people who are tasked with upholding laws, and reining in organised crime _outside_ the disciplinary checks and balances and ethical studies, you can stop law enforcement in its tracks (who is going to to go and arrest a protester for burning down a building, if the next thing that happens is you're identified and an angry mob come to burn down your house next, perhaps with your family inside, just to send the message home).

What you then end up with is being policed by an unelected, unconstrained, authoritarian group with highly partisan views and a complete lack of ethical oversight and ad-hoc metrics for arbitrary punishment.

Some people just want to see the world burn, and that chap sounds like he's one of those, and doesn't want anyone interfering while he does it.

Juillen 1

Re: Portland

Whoah, how to move the goalposts and bring in a red herring.

The killing was done in huge numbers by the governments of the times, and war was endemic, chewing up a sizable portion of the populations of the time (absolute numbers were smaller, because populations were vastly smaller).

Policing has vastly reduced the amount of random people killing other people and just walking away with it and treating it as ok. That's one of the big things the police force was brought in to fix, and it has, to a huge degree.

Governments, overall, kill far less as a percentage of each other's populations now than they used to, because of diplomacy. Your conspiracy theory ideals are just staggeringly uninformed.

Juillen 1

Re: Portland

You mean the private militias of the local lords that would carry you off if you looked at the wrong person in a funny way, or even before then that if you weren't the most brutal thug in the group, you were wont to have your skull stoved in by the one further up the pecking chain, just because you were a threat?

Praytell, what is this magical time, when people lived in harmony and everything worked out nicely? Do you get your history and anthropology lessons from Disney cartoons?

Open access journals are vanishing from the web, Internet Archive stands ready to fill in the gaps

Juillen 1

Re: Should be: "Junk journals disappearing"

For some reason, I enjoy reading research papers.. And yes, there's an inordinate amount of junk out there.. Usually in the lower impact sites, but not always..

When a layman (well, slightly above layman, but still not a practitioner in the field) can read a paper, spot the logical fallacies and outright incorrect data, you know there's something wrong.

Peer review isn't always a panacea, even in quality journals; it depends on the quality of reviewers, and that definitely is a variable. Especially in the grievance studies areas.

It's nice to see this being studied though. As a first foray, it does what science is supposed to do, and says "Look, something's going on". I hope they get funding to follow up on it to start to determine why journals fail, and how to stop that. Much as though Junk Science papers exist, it's going to be of historical interest in a few decades to look back on it, and point to just how irritatingly stupid "Published scientific papers" could be. There's a lot of work being done in general to improve quality in core STEM subjects, so it'd be a useful thing to be able to pull out papers and show "This is how NOT to do it" and explain why some of the processes are necessary.

IBM ordered to pay £22k to whistleblower and told by judges: Teach your managers what discrimination means

Juillen 1

Re: You want Equality? You get Equality.

Because one group chooses to do something. Well, nice. What you're saying is that the _choice_ of one group (and it is a choice, as evidenced by the many high powered women who sacrifice family time for the high powered roles, and the many who step back because they choose family life over work life, which is also a perfectly fine thing to do) to engage in a particular activity in a particular way should mean that rules that apply to another should not apply to them. Even if the second group also made a choice to engage in that same activity in the same way, they would be denied that flexibility, simply by nature of not belonging to that first group.

If you don't see the direct discrimination in that, then I really don't think you've considered it carefully.

It also seems you think indirect discrimination of one group is more important that direct discrimination of another.

Juillen 1

Re: You want Equality? You get Equality.

Quite a lot of men do more than 50% of the child care, especially in cases where the woman is the breadwinner (my brother is in exactly that situation, as was my godmother's family, and quite a few other I know).

What you're essentially saying is that because a majority of men don't do this, then nobody should judge things on a case by case basis, which is complete bollocks.

The most common distribution of families is to have a primary breadwinner, and now it's pretty much necessary to have a second income due to housing costs (which only rose because people started having second incomes to afford the nice houses, so the market rapidly adapted).

Your statement says that there should be no nuance. If the woman is a breadwinner, and has a partner who is the second income, she should still have all the benefits of being that second income (i.e. at whim access to family and the ability to not meet the standard to which an arbitrary neutral person would be held to). If the breadwinner is a man, then they do not get recourse to this.

It really is that simple. Men, by and large, sacrifice family time to work and provide. The really successful women I know also follow that model; they've sacrificed quite a bit of family time in order to hold down the top jobs (which they can do marvellously).

Some have chosen to step back from the high powered roles in order to have the family time they desire, even if they've been a primary breadwinner. They just get by on lesser pay and a lower rated job, where the hours and calls fit what life flexibililty they way.

Saying "Group B is more affected than Group A, because group B chooses to do something a particular way" is discriminatory in itself.

Splunk sales ace wins sex discrimination case after new boss handed her key accounts to blokes deemed 'flight risks'

Juillen 1

Re: Sex discrimination or just bad management?

Hard evidence is what's required. I.e evidence that points specifically to this being the only possible cause, and not explained by either innocuous and legal means, or other (illegal) means with which there is direct evidence.

The evidence shows cronyism and corruption (hiring of chums from outside, pretty much immediately marking them as 'flight risk', so giving them a good retention bonus to their pay, and giving them all the nice accounts to make them look good).

As the top salesperson in question had curated and presumably developed the top accounts, those were the juicy ones that were wanted to be given to the chums. Easy target as she wasn't around to fight the cases.

All of that is proof of cronyism and corruption, cut and dried.

Now, on top of this, there is the claim "this would only happen because said person is a woman", which is the key for this being sexual discrimination. There is no evidence of this, merely subjective opinion.

And where on earth did this appeal to emotion/red herring come from? It's absolutely irrelevant and makes you look like a turnip.

Juillen 1

Re: Sex discrimination or just bad management?

You think. That is not evidence, nor admissible in a court of law.

1: New manager appears

2: New manager brings in old colleagues from elsewhere

3: New manager labels old chums 'flight risk' to get them a nice "friends and family" pay deal.

4: New manager breaks deals and gives chums the nice accounts to make them look good.

There is no logical causative factor to say that the fact this top seller was a woman was in any way causative. If a woman had come in and done this with female sellers, it would probably have been either ignored (lack of causative evidence), or heralded as a great step forward in equality (for those who wanted to shout about it).

So, constructive dismissal. Definitely. Incedibly bad management, definitely. Cronyism and corruption. Assuredly. These are things that should have that new manager out of the door post haste, and with a bad mark on his record that would make anyone think 50 times about hiring him before finally signing up someone else.

Nothing in there is evidence of sexual discrimination. The fact the salaries were higher happens frequently when you mark people as "flight risk" and have them on retention bonuses.

Well, what are we waiting for? Three weeks later, Windows Embedded Standard 7 still didn't have the answer

Juillen 1

Modem? We implement RFC 2549 over here.

When a deleted primary device file only takes 20 mins out of your maintenance window, but a whole year off your lifespan

Juillen 1

Re: Oxymoron alert

Hard not to come across as arrogant when most of the people you talk to don't realise how absolutely wrong they are. :)

University ordered to stop running women-only job ads

Juillen 1

Interest and choice.

The thing with all these quotas is that they completely miss interest and choice as part of the equation.

Women historically (and even in current times) have as a statistical cohort shown a preference for jobs that give flexibility to work/life balance.

This does not mean every woman chooses that flexibility (as female doctors, physicists, mathematicians, engineers and so on demonstrate), but a lot do.

They often choose careers that give them that flexibility. My other half, for example, did her degree in engineering, aced it with a First, then chose a career in Finance, because it required what she is great at (diligence, accuracy, planning and calculations), paid better and was more flexible.

The ratio of female Engineers that follow that path through a career is small, compared to the male presence. That's not because it's a "Boys club", it's because interest goes elsewhere. Which is fine.

It does rankle when these quotas are set up saying "There must be (x)% female representation". Quite possibly in some fields, there aren't actually enough women who _chose_ that path as a career to fill those posts globally, irrespective of whether they're even good or not, so if one place meets a quota, they're guaranteeing that other places will have few, or no women (thus perpetuating a myth that women are excluded).

It's also fallacious to claim that "if you are in a minority, you're automatically weak and in need of protection by numbers"; I work in a predominantly female environment (and the women who are in the senior, and often the more junior roles are fiercely competent).

What I find is that when I go out and talk sense to people, they talk sense back to me. We reach agreements on basis of evidence.

Our work needs are met, and we're all expected to do our jobs. I'm ok with "being in a minority". I honestly don't care what colour of skin (and there are all colours in the environment, again, all fiercely competent), sex or anything someone is. As long as they're good at what they do, and they mesh to make the combined group better than the sum of the individuals, we crack on with it and make the world a better place where we can.

Juillen 1


You've not met a burden of proof. You've asserted objectively that something's a fact, with no supporting evidence, and then whined about why objectively nobody is proving you wrong.

The downvotes are because you're a muppet that doesn't actually understand what debate is. The extra downvotes were because you whined when people got irritated with you.

When you actually add factual information that's required some thought, insight, contemplation and consideration into the conversation, you may find that the appraisal changes.

Hate speech row: Fine or jail anyone who calls people boffins, geeks or eggheads, psychology nerd demands

Juillen 1

Re: Don't need to SJW for me

No, many people suggesting being nice are actually branded right wing hate mongers, or not anti-racist or anti-sexist enough.

Being pro-Social Justice is the default position for nearly everybody. Being a "Social Justice Warrior" is pretty much being intolerant, divisive, looking for trouble where it doesn't exist and engaging in bigotry and zealotry that would make the Crusaders of old proud.

Juillen 1

Re: Don't need to SJW for me

There is no problem with Social Justice. That is, after all, pretty much the default position for nearly everyone.

There exists a subset of people who call themselves "Social Justice Warriors" who are anything but. They have only a highly dogmatic, very narrow and highly biased set of values that they push for very vocally. In a very large set of cases, what they're actually fighting for is social injustice and intolerance towards any view but their own, and conflating edge cases with statistical body, and projecting their own bigoted ideas onto people who aren't actually thinking/acting in the way the SJW states they are.

So, please don't conflate Social Justice with Social Justice Warrior; the two are entirely separate issues.

Juillen 1

Re: these terms are "divisive and humiliating,"

Yes, it's physical abuse that's the problem there.

There are harassment laws on the books that cover when things 'go too far' or get problematic, but they don't grant political power, which is what people trying to ban words are after.

If something meets the bar for bullying/harassment, then sure, go after someone. But if it doesn't, then for god's sake, stop getting out a microscope to examine every aspect and dedicating your life to spotting things that may, on a Wednesday, with the wind blowing a particular direction and if someone has odd socks on, be interpreted as being potentially offensive to someone who wasn't present at the time the word was spoken, and thus go for overwhelming sanctions, including sacking/pillorying and jailing the speaker.

Flak overflow: Barrage of criticism prompts very public Stack Overflow apology

Juillen 1

Re: he, she, it, apes and monkeys

The best description I've heard of it is that you're perfectly allowed to think of yourself as whatever you wish, and refer to yourself however you choose. Forcing other people to use that same identifier is infringing on their freedom to speak in the manner that they choose. If you consider it rude, you're perfectly at liberty to ignore the person who doesn't say what you wish, but you are not at liberty to criminalise it, as that is tyranny.

Juillen 1

Re: What type of interactions are the mods having on SE????

I suspect they still have that inner self satisfied belief that they're absolutely right and virtuous. They just have the extra power of trying to erode that in everyone else (by claiming offence). In effect, you're trying to make someone else's self worth adhere to what you say (not necessarily what you actually think or feel, just what you project externally).

Stallman's final interview as FSF president: Last week we quizzed him over Microsoft visit. Now he quits top roles amid rape remarks outcry

Juillen 1

Bear in mind..

That this is the USA definition, which also includes 16 and 17 year olds as "Children", where just about everywhere else in the world, at 16, you're age of consent and just about the most pent up age bracket.

Having friends of all ages, I'm hearing that 13 and 14 are now pretty much standard ages for things starting to get pretty physical in Europe (not sure about the States, I don't know as many people there).

What Stalman's quotes didn't cover was the specification of where he didn't see a problem.

If he was saying "I don't see a problem with a 50 year old bedding a 10 year old", I'd be having VERY strong words.

If he was saying he didn't see a problem with a 20 something and a 17 year old, hey, bit of a gap, but I don't see the problem, as long as it's consensual. 17 is plenty old enough to know what the world is about. I didn't have many illusions at 17, and things have only progressed to remove even more illusions from the current teens.

In fact, I'm thinking this is classic about what's actually wrong with the modern approach. There's absolutely no attempt to work out a frame of reference, and work out what someone was attempting to convey. Instead, it's a race to find the extreme outliers that can be cherry picked out of context and used as a central argument to crucify someone. It doesn't matter what they really said, what was intended, or motivation, what matters is what you can project onto what they said, and how you can manipulate that to fit your own agenda. The more sensational, the better, as sensation sells.

In my younger days, I used to hold dinner parties, where we'd discuss all kinds of topics, in depth, and appreciative of nuance; great debates were had, and they were extremely interesting times; I learned a lot from them.

These days, come even anywhere near a nuanced issue, and all you tend to hear is "You can't say that", or an immediate projection of completely the wrong end of the stick and someone railing against it.

Basically, it's just a mass weaponisation of logical fallacies, and is completely covered in the tactics of manipulation and disinformation ("Bad News" covers that very effectively in their gamified study, details at https://www.aboutbadnews.com/ ).

And yes, I've had to talk to some very vulnerable people in my time. I treat that as one issue, and Stalman's quotes in another. I'm certain of the context of a vulnerable person, and what's led up to it. I treat that appropriately for what it is. I'm unsure of the framing of Stalman's quotes, so I'd ask more to establish what frame we were dealing with.

The concept of whether a willing 16 or 17 year old should be sexually active (which in the US qualifies as child) is something completely different. When dealing with that issue, I frame it correctly in the appropriate context and then go from there.

What I don't do is say "There are vulnerable people who've been abused by people in power, therefore all consensual sexual relationships of 16 and 17 years olds are bad".

You are hugely correct though in that academic is only part of the picture. It's a useful guide. But as the quote goes, "The difference between theory and practice is that in theory, there isn't one, but in practice, there is."

In Hemel Hempstead, cycling is as bad as taking a leak in the middle of the street

Juillen 1

Re: Banning Cyclists

Given that the roads around me are all 20 limits, and I'm constantly being overtaken by cyclists (especially on downward hills), then sure. 25mph isn't out of the ordinary.

Female-free speaker list causes PHP show to collapse when diversity-oriented devs jump ship

Juillen 1

I get pretty much the same from the crowds I hang round with.

I've largely given up on the West as coming out with the next great stuff, given how so many have stopped trying to figure out the big stuff, and started making the pettiest of things into the biggest issues (small groups still think it's kinda cool that we're working out how the universe works, and take our hats off to the minds that can figure that stuff out whatever gender, race, creed or colour but the majority are far more concerned with whether you've got a vagina or not, what the genetic coding is for a skin pigmentation what what you think you are in your own head, and that difference is far more important than anything else could ever be). However, there's always Asia to the rescue (and Asia has been one of the major players in the world for a long, long time).

Juillen 1

Re: To increase diversity...

I would not be a GP for that kinda money. Not a snowflake's chance in hell. Burnout and suicide rate amongst them is quite scary.

Working in healthcare, I've been in the position many a time to know the real scales of where specialties go in terms of remuneration, and what it takes to get there. Also, what they're exposed to on the way.

Knowing what I know of the jobs that all the medics actually do (especially in the NHS, as you're quoting pounds), I don't begrudge them what they earn.

Now I've been in server rooms keeping things running with companies on the edge of losing hundreds of thousands an hour, I've kept things balanced on knife edges of shutting down clinical departments (some of which have been life critical systems).

At no point have I been in an operating theatre where something's gone wrong, and had to jam my hand into someone's open chest and try to keep massaging their heart to keep things going while the rest of the team try and pull the patient back from the brink (yes, had one of the docs I dated say that about one of her evenings where she was quite hyped when she came home).

The reason most other professions don't pay as much is quite simply because they don't carry the same consequences. And they're not as stressful.

For a GP, probably 70-80% of your patients are fine, but my god, the ones that aren't.. Think about being locked in an internet forum for 30% of your day, with people with no professional training telling you that you don't know what you're doing and that everything you know is wrong, and you still have to get them to follow the course that'll actually fix their problem. Knowing that there's probably a very small fraction of a percentage that may actually have it right, and if you miss that one (which statistically will come across your desk at some point), and you'll end up in the national media.

Yeah, not for me. Running my own show, I made more than doctors do, for a lot less hassle. However, when it came to having one of my family members in intensive care on life support, it kinda made me realise how little that counted for.

Juillen 1

Re: WTF???

Previously, it tended to be mathematicians who got to code. Large scale, coding really kicked off in the 70s and 80s; before then it was largely academic. The principles go a lot further back in history.

Juillen 1

Re: To increase diversity...

STEM has over-representation by women in certain fields (Biology for example).

It has nada to do with complexity, rigour or toughness. Women simply seem to be more interested in some avenues of science than men (if you're ever asserting that being a doctor is easier than being a computer tech, I'll openly laugh; I've worked with many docs in healthcare over the years, and they do as many on call hours as I do, with just as crappy anti-social working hours and with far more immediate stresses; women are very over-represented in the med field these days).

It all comes down to personal choice (and the factors leading to this are extremely complex). Every study so far that's been done on "it must be this" by the politically partisan groups have been shown to be incorrect.

Basically, if you want more women in computing, tell them they're not allowed to be doctors or biologists; that tends to be where the more technically minded women find their interests fulfilled.

Juillen 1

Re: This needs to stop

Prior to the 70s, yes, there was discrimination, and largely a lack of extensive education in fields that led to some roles.

With the social changes accelerating in the 80s and beyond, this attitude has changed. These days, anyone can apply for anything, and that's entirely as it should be in my books.

What you'll find though is that women are over-represented in the biological sciences, which are just as technical (and often more so) than computing. And they do extremely well there, along with having it as a preferred path.

Where the paradox comes in is that people are perfectly happy with over-representations of women in other fields, yet still believe that there should be 50% in a cherry picked field available after a large cohort of women have chosen to engage with a different technical field.

It's like saying you have 100 men, and 100 women. 70 women have chosen to go into biological sciences, 20 into physics, chemistry and maths, and 10 into computing.

Then the men have gone 60 into computing 30 into physics, chemistry and maths, and 20 in biological sciences.

And at that point you have a group that says "We're glad that 70 women are in biological sciences. But there should be 60 women in computing now, as there are 100 men, and 100 women, so there should be demographically equal representation. You're all so sexist!".

It gets very tiring explaining that there aren't, at this point, and extra 50 women to go into computing because they following other (often just as technical) roles.

To top it off, the people yelling about how sexist people are because there aren't those 50 extra women are now saying that there's a problem, and women should be pushed into that field earlier, even if they're not interested in it.

If you want to do a job, just get out there and do it. That's how the Western World is operating these days. It irritates me no end that people with little to no experience in the availability of resource are yelling the most about how wrong it is, and they do that with "maybe this", "perhaps that", which are completely debunked assertions at scale (there are always outliers, which are always the ones trundled out to try and prove the rule).

Your own anecdotes about women being in all those services are evidence that women who choose to be in those services and roles, and can pass the necessary requirements, can follow them.



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