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The 50 Percent Random Lie

August 13th, 2015 | Posted by pftq in Thought of the Day | #
50% does not mean random.  If you beat a grandmaster chess player 50% of the time, you are pretty damn good.
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Reality Check for Startup with $70K Min. Wage

August 1st, 2015 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
More reality checking on Silicon Valley with the startup that declared $70K minimum wage now hitting hard times because of it:
CEO Who Set Firm's Minimum Wage at $70K Hits Hard Times

Had already pointed out that things like this were unsustainable in my Perfect Storm for Silicon Valley write up a couple months back. It's all well intentioned but overly idealistic with not enough thought put into the consequences.  It's not the first time a company has tried to create somewhat of a utopia for its employees (aka paternalism), but it would be nice to look back on history and not repeat the same mistakes.  One simply has to look back on 19th and 20th century history to find past companies pursuing similar policies (Pullman, Ford, ...). It seems to be a trend now to always charge forward and deny any lessons from the past as old ways of thinking.
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Political Correctness is 1984's Newspeak

July 30th, 2015 | Posted by pftq in Society | #
I recently read an article about the University of New Hampshire's "Bias-Free Language Guide" this morning.  At first, I thought it was a joke or satirical post of some sort on political correctness, as it seemed like something straight out of Orwell's 1984, but it was on the college's official site as an actual resource.  It's since been taken down, but it's hard to "unpublish" webpages now, especially if it's been up for years. I managed to save a static HTML copy here: University of New Hampshire's Bias-Free Language Guide (as of Jul.29 2015)

One novel that immediately comes to mind is Orwell's 1984.  When I first read it in high school, most my peers and I thought it very unrelatable, but now it's pretty scary how close we're getting to some of its themes.  Here are some comparisons to illustrate the point:

Orwell's ...[More]
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Strength and Failure

July 27th, 2015 | Posted by pftq in Thought of the Day | #
Overcoming failure shows strength, but strength does not require having failed.
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Our Omnipotence

July 23rd, 2015 | Posted by pftq in Thought of the Day | #
Every person is the God of their own world, just pitted against the will of all others out there.
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Fairness of Process vs Outcome

July 15th, 2015 | Posted by pftq in Thought of the Day | #
You seek fairness, yet you'd rather we all fail together and never reach our dream than allow any suffering along the way. How is that fair?
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Politics and the English Language

July 6th, 2015 | Posted by pftq in Recently Read | #
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Hear the Pictures and Not the Words

July 5th, 2015 | Posted by pftq in Essays | #
     "What do you see when you hear this music?" I once asked someone.
     To my surprise, he said, "Nothing."
     "Really?" I asked.  "Not even a story or anything?"
     "Nope.  I just like how it sounds.  Why? What do you see?"
     It still surprises me whenever I come across others who can be appreciating the same work before us but seeing nothing at all.  It never really occurred to me until after college that others might only hear the sound or see the word, the notes, or the colors.
     I still remember a conversation several years back where several coworkers were debating whether thought was organized based on what language one spoke.  "Of course not," I wanted to say, "Otherwise what would you be thinking as a child before you knew any language?" But the debate simply moved towards whether children had any real thoughts...[More]
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