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Sorry for the radio silence. With the family on a trip to #SanFrancisco . Got to see the #muirwoods first time in person. Quite a humbling experience.

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I hiked the upper trail there a few years ago. It's a really cool spot.

Wish we had more time to do that! Definitely need to come back.



Gives me more motivation to finish up my server and make a node to invite my friends to #deletefacebook

The New York Times: On Thanksgiving Eve, Facebook Acknowledges Details of Times Investigation (By NELLIE BOWLES and ZACH WICHTER)



Interesting article on #blackbeard and #pirates
This entry was edited (9 months ago)




Still plenty of time left US friends


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One flavor for every day on the Advent calendar. :)

I think I could feel my pupils dilate at the chocolate mint. That stuff is so good, but so bad for you. :-)



#projectbehemoth is coming along nicely. Installed 5/6 SAS drives, and the second processor! Next up, installing the RAM! #server2.0 #jb-net.us #zfs-ready #maybe

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The Hubble telescope is back in service and doing science again.

Kepler, unfortunately, is dead.

No, not Johannes Kepler. He died in 1630. The Kepler Space Telescope named after him. Nine and a half years into its planned five-year mission, after discovering 2,681 confirmed exoplanets and many more "possibles", it has finally run out of fuel for its maneuvering/positioning thrusters. 94 million miles from Earth, there's not a hope of a refueling mission.

Kepler, we salute you. It's time to rest now.

https://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/nasa-declares-elite-planet-hunting-spacecraft-dead-58857273

#space #science



Any EU friends know of any resources?


Another country slides towards far-right autocracy.

This is a long shot, but if anyone here knows how to seek expedited immigration or asylum from Brazil into the EU, that information is urgently needed by friends of mine.

Capsule version: they have credible fear or persecution and harm under Bolsonaro, and any information that can get them out of harms way as they try to flee would be incredibly valuable right now.



👏Don't👏Call👏It👏A👏Traditional👏Marriage👏Unless👏It👏Secures👏An👏Alliance👏Between👏Rival👏Fiefdoms





possibly relevant for US peeps:

George Takei: If you are turned away at the polls because your name is not on the register, don’t walk away. Say this: I REQUEST A PROVISIONAL BALLOT AS REQUIRED BY LAW.

#voting #midterms



Me: *big long sigh of resignation and disappointment*
You: What’s up?
Me: *gestures wildly at the universe*



Some #goodnews for the Friday.

“My new employer is a home repair services company based in Florida,” Mr. Watson said later, “and I do feature development that had once been outsourced to India. I get to work from home. My 3-year-old asks me to get her juice as if I had nothing better to do.” He chuckled. “But it’s such a blessing. These mountains hug me, and my family is my rock. I thought I’d be forced to leave, and maybe one day I’ll have to. But why would I ever want to?”

The New York Times: Opinion | Silicon Holler (By ARLIE HOCHSCHILD)



Absolutely this.


Death by paperwork and administration.

Bullshit #Jobs: A Theory by David #Graeber – the myth of #capitalist #efficiency (#book #review)


In 1930, John Maynard #Keynes predicted that technological advances would enable us to work a 15-hour week. Yet we seem to be busier than ever before. Those #workers who actually do stuff are burdened with increasing workloads, while box-tickers and bean-counters multiply.

In an age that supremely prizes capitalist efficiency, the proliferation of pointless jobs is a puzzle. Why are employers in the public and private sector alike behaving like the bureaucracies of the old Soviet Union, shelling out wages to workers they don’t seem to need? Since bullshit jobs make no economic sense, Graeber argues, their function must be political. A population kept busy with make-work is less likely to revolt.

Yet as he notes, people are not inherently lazy: we #work not just to pay the bills but because we want to contribute something meaningful to society. The psychological effect of spending our days on tasks we secretly believe don’t need to be performed is profoundly damaging, “a scar across our collective soul”.

As well as documenting personal misery, this book is a portrait of a society that has forgotten what it is for. Our economies have become “vast engines for producing nonsense”. Utopian ideals have been abandoned on all sides, replaced by praise for “hardworking families”. The rightwing injunction to “get a job!” is mirrored by the leftwing demand for “more jobs!”

#capitalism

Hi @JB Carroll. At work I often talk about the need to "feed the beast." That is, if one is going to work in a large corporate setting it certain you'll encounter low-value paper work. For example, lets create a time tracking system that captures productive work vs overhead. Then lets shoot for 80% productive work. Then let's reward those who achieve that goal or more. Well... don't be surprised that you'll hit 80% or more, especially if one feels their employment is threatened. However, I don't see this in overly cynical terms. Humans are social creatures who interact in groups, as those groups get larger and larger, dysfunction seems inevitable. For us worker bees I think the best we can do is keep pushing towards what we know has value, while "feeding the beast." Software that is more efficient, more functional and less defective is good it has value. So shoot for that, while setting aside some time to rest passwords, run through required training, filling time sheets, contribute to meetings and documents, etc. Cheers, -Randy

It's certainly a constant struggle to define what is "value-added" and what isn't. Sometimes people at my employer develop these reporting systems thinking they are going to help, when it's really less efficient than one we were using for years already, and still have to use daily.

I think a lot of these things get developed because they don't take the time to listen to the grunts as to what would actually help them in their day-to-day. As it turns out, many times that means simply investing in the employee by upgrading equipment or hiring more people for the hands-on work.

We lament often about how we spend $5000 in labor hours chasing down paper and justifications for a $50 purchase. I think if they just had some trust in the front-line employees, large businesses could save quite a bit of money.

That's my point about the 80% target. If you build a reporting system to capture those % values and then insist such is an important target to hit, well don't be surprised if you start hitting those numbers. Now I'm not suggesting people are going to intentionally enter bad information, but as soon as you have a subjective element and a "goal" that must be reached, then it will "magically" happen. The real truth of course is the information being collected is biased by the goal itself. These sort of biases are hard to fight against. When Columbia was on orbit, there was a bias in the system to classify the foam strike as a "turn-around" event, rather than a safety-of-flight. Extremely sadly ironic of course, because these designations were built into the system following Challenger. However if one went down the safety-of-flight path and it turned out to not be so serious, that would have impacted the space station build out schedule. And that was oh so important. But was it really? Clearly it wasn't, because once Columbia was lost the ISS build out schedule was updated, lengthened and employed Russia space crafts.

I now believe one of the responsibilities of older leaf-node engineers, such as myself, is to get better at communication. To calming layout in non-technical terms the options and consequences before management. Then stand back and let them make the choice. Once the choice is made, dig in and try to make it as successful as possible.

It is tough of course. And to see the $5000 to $50 waste is frustrating to watch. Sometimes though if we can't influence that, we just need to be content to focus our energy where we can.

Cheers,
-Randy