ddhr.org about | archives | comments | rss

3099 Mon, Feb 22, 2021
A placenta is essentially an external battery pack for the fetus before it develops its own internal power generator.

Machines doing work Mon, Feb 22, 2021
I'm a big fan of letting machines do the work.  More than once, someone at work has asked, "But won't that take a lot of time to run all those calculations?"  Yeah, but it's a computer; it doesn't feel pain or get tired.  I'm not the one doing the work; the computer is. 

It's similar with lawn equipment.  I spent over 30 years of my life living in the northeast and shoveling snow.  Then I bought a snow blower, and despite it being kind of expensive, and despite only using it a handful of times per year (or a few dozen or none at all), it's probably the best purchase I've ever made.  And whether it snows a few inches or a few feet, it's pretty much the same for me.  The machine does the work; I don't.  That said, I've never used a lawn machine without breaking a sweat, and I don't know why that is, but I guess that's a topic for another time.

Cancelled project Fri, Jan 22, 2021
My project at work got sort of cancelled last week.  I say "sort of" because it's not technically cancelled, it's more like they're gonna stop funding it in a few months, which is a more wordy way of saying it's cancelled.  I shouldn't feel bad about it because this sort of thing happens all the time, largely due to the industry I work in and the whims of powerful people in authority.  And honestly it's not a huge deal; I still have a job, I'll be paid regardless.  But I've been having trouble coming to terms with it, and here's why: 
  1. There was no communication about it from management.  I heard second or third-hand:  My coworker on the project CC'd me on an email to our shared boss asking about other funded projects.
  2. The funding shortfall was known about four months ago, and based on accounting math it was determined that this date in the future (last week) would be when things got real.  I had no idea about any of this, not that it would've made everything better, but still.
  3. I'm having trouble finding an appropriate person or group to direct my anger at, and that makes me more angry.  My project managers aren't really to blame, since they've been trying to get more funding.  The people above them aren't really to blame either, because they've been on our side the whole time.
  4. There's talk of the program getting more funding in the near future, or maybe in several months from now.  But I feel like it's too late for that.  The cat's out of the bag.  We've started closeout activities.  We've joined other programs that had funding and needed personnel.  It's like breaking up a relationship and expecting the other person to wait around for you while you work some things out.  Fuck you; we're done.
  5. This was a pretty good team of people who had been working closely together for over a year.  It took a lot of effort to assemble the team and convince their management it was important.  You can't just reassemble the same team at the drop of a hat.  It might take weeks or months, or not happen at all, because people are now funded full-time by other projects.
  6. I'm an engineer, and I work with all engineers, and we're pretty emotionless people in general.  It's normal for me to think of humans as cogs; remove one, replace with another.  But that's just not even remotely how things work, definitely in engineering, and probably in pretty much every other area of life.  People are unique and have unique qualities and abilities.  Even two people with the same education and same job title and same work experience can have vastly different strengths and talents.  It's unfortunately true that you can't simply replace once person with another person.  So those team dynamics and skill balance are now thrown out the window.
Possibly the worst part of this (aside from learning about it through hearsay) is that there was no plan for what to do in the present moment, in addition to there being no communication about anything.  So we were all sort of left in the lurch as managers tried to figure out what to do with the remaining funding and time.  It's very disengaging. #business

Not liberal enough Fri, Jan 22, 2021
There's a faction of the left that's unhappy with Biden being president.  He's not liberal enough.  He didn't abolish capitalism yet.  He's a failure. 

I'm liberal, but this mindset is stupid as shit.  I get that Biden isn't your favorite guy, but he is unmistakably, measurably more in line with your goals than the last guy.  If you can't see that, you have an issue. 

And the whole idea is just the "both sides" argument, either in the form of "there are good and bad people on both sides" -- i.e. the way Trump defended white supremacists -- or in the form of "both sides are equally bad" which is not only inherently untrue, it's unhelpful.  Like seriously, I get that the game sucks, but it's pointless to sit on the sidelines and take pot shots at the only two teams on the field.  Pick a side; work from there. #politics

Language is made-up Tue, Jan 19, 2021
I can't remember where I saw this, but there was an internet comment complaining about how some word was simply made up and how it shouldn't be possible to do that.  A commenter replied with something along the lines of, "What do you think language is, a codified set of sounds handed down to us by the creator?"

Fittest Tue, Jan 12, 2021
From what I understand about evolution (hint:  not much), the phrase "survival of the fittest" is a little misleading because it brings to mind a tough individual surviving in a difficult environment by being specially adapted.  But really, the organisms that survived weren't simply the ones that "fit" the best.  They were the ones who reproduced the most successfully.  Being "fit" in an environment can probably lead to reproducing, but that doesn't mean that the ones who reproduced were necessarily the most "fit".  They were just the best at reproducing. #science

Hitler wasn't right Mon, Jan 11, 2021
There's this really nice politics lady who, during a speech about *whatever*, said "Hitler was right on one thing," and then proceeded to make a semi-legitimate point while using Hitler as supporting evidence.  The thing is, she's right:  Hitler was probably right about a few things.  But he was also really wrong about a few other things, and that's what we remember him for.  If your philosophical and political influences are so poor that you need to use Hitler as an example, you should get yourself some better influences. #politics

Future feelings Mon, Jan 11, 2021
Some people have a tendency to think about how people will feel in the future about current events, and I think it's a little far-reaching to believe that you can control how future people will think of anything.  Let future people decide for themselves.  Live now. #psychology

3091 Wed, Jan 06, 2021
The average of two opposing viewpoints isn't a compromise, it's a misuse of statistics.

False inquisitiveness Wed, Jan 06, 2021
I don't like when people give the appearance of open-mindedness while in fact having no intention of changing their mind.  A simple example is when people ask something like, "Who created the universe?"  Right from the get-go, that question is making at least two assumptions:  (1) The universe was created, and (2) someone created it.  When a conversation starts with a question like that, it has the appearance of inquisitiveness, but really the outcomes are decided already.  Confirmation bias essentially ensures that the questioner will find the answer they were looking for. 

I find that these types of questions show up on social media a lot, and I've learned from past experience to just not engage.  People aren't "just asking questions" (side note:  if you ask questions, be prepared to accept the answer).  They're looking for a fight, or an argument, or a chance to criticize the other side.  No good will come from engaging with these people, as much as they believe things like "we need to learn to come together and discuss things".  No we don't.  The compromise between a crazy idea and a sane one isn't somewhere in the middle. #psychology

← olderpage 1 of 310