Thursday, November 29, 2018

Career advice: "Don't Follow Your Passion"; join "The Proles" instead





Mike Rowe speaks for Prager University, “Don’t Follow Your Passion”.


“Don’t follow your passion, but bring it with you.”  Also, “follow opportunity”.

Mike does talk about the gap between education (with the emphasis on the college “scam”) and the trades employers want.  During my upbringing, however, a college education was worth a draft deferment or staying out of Vietnam rice paddies.

I spent my long-track career mostly as a mainframe computer programmer with financial applications.  It was a good steady living, but not glamorous, and it fell out of favor as a field which gave you a “professional” identity, after Y2K and 9/11.  Why this happened is a good narrative that I explained in Chapter 4 of my DADT-III book (2014), but in general employers, using short-sighted algorithmic approaches to hiring, were no longer sure of what they needed.  When it came time to do, say, Obamacare, the older mature systems professionals used to very complicated cyclic processing on mainframe financial systems – the mainstay to the job market in places like New York, Florida, Dallas, Los Angeles, etc (not so much Washington, which was government), had moved on and were no longer available.  That fed the political tensions that would erupt in 2016.  Prager could look at this problem it wanted.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

In UK, some employers want to insert chips into workers' hands



Indeed, this video comes from “Russia Today”, but the message is disturbing: a report from the UK of some employers encouraging some employees to have chips implanted on their hands between thumb and forefinger.


That may not be in a very intrusive place, but in the video embed the man inserting the chip is heavily tattooed. 

The chips could contain a lot of PII, including use of digital currencies.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Gateway error 504 on a Wordpress site when trying to add a post: explanation



Here’s a small technical tip for hosted Wordpress.

If you use Wordpress as installed on a site hosted in a conventional way (like by Bluehost) and use it on more than one browser or more than one laptop, make sure you get out of the dashboard when you shut down a laptop or browser.

Otherwise, it will let you log in on another browser but it seems you get a Gateway Error 504 if you try to add or edit a post on a blog where you left the dashboard open.
  
By way of comparison,  Blogger doesn’t seem to care as much. It sometimes tells you if you logged on to the same blog in another session.  But often it seems to accept the most recent panel opened as current even if others are open.

Friday, November 09, 2018

More on whether to do internships; Census is starting to hire for 2020



“Economic Invincibility” advises “Never do unpaid internships” (Jan. 2017).


There’s been controversy over this, as to whether “working for free” is “paying your dues.”  It makes especially little sense when conservative organizations do that.

This is especially bad considering student loan debt.

Many unpaid internships are for political or issue advocacy – do you want to wear someone else’s uniform in public?  Beg for money in public?

Yet EI's vlog post reminds me of Bob Weinstein's 1994 book "I'll Work for Free" (for "longtime payoff"), which might be less applicable today. 

Also, in my condo building in northern Virginia, I saw a popup announcement for temporary Census Bureau jobs as interviewers for the American Housing Survey.  I could not confirm this online.  If I find the ads again, I’ll pass the info along.

Census is starting to hire for the 2020 diennial.  There has been some controversy about LGBT-related questions.  NPR has the details here.

I worked for the 2010 diennial, and then for the Current Population Survey in 2011. 
There may be less need for people for special surveys now because respondents can answer survyes online.  I answered an American Community Survey questionnaire online in 2013 and did not have a Census visit.

Monday, November 05, 2018

Apple fires an engineer after his daughter films illegally on campus and releases a trade secret



An Apple engineer was fired when his daughter came onto campus, made a video of  new phone, and posted it online, violating the company’s trade secret rules.


Normally Apple doesn’t allow cameras on campus (except in public areas like the “museum”).  I was there in September (the new Apple Park at the southern end of Cupertino). 
  
It’s like unwelcome filming of someone in a disco.

Thursday, November 01, 2018

Google protests seem to call for "equity" demands for quotas among intersectional groups





Tim Pool reports on the demands from Google protesters:


Some of this is about the overpayment of an executive severance after sexual harassment allegations.

This sounds like a “strike” in a non-union tech company. That would have been unthinkable when I was working.

But there were “equity” demands that counters meritocracy. They want goals for “women of color” etc, with compensation by groups (and intersectionality). 

Here is an account of the demands at “The Cut”. 
   
Pool explains the difference between “equality” (as HRC defines it) and “equity”.  Does "equity" mean "quotas" and "affirmative action"? 
   
Pool notes that the ideological demands seem to come from campus and are not normal workplace compensation issues or even legitimate HR issues. Pool calls it “protest culture”. 
  
The lawsuit by an African-American employee in 1996 when I was working for an insurance company seemed more an equity issue than equality.