Nov 18, 2014
commented on Death to Self-Checkout Machines
I would feel more guilty about using self checkout lanes if the few remaining human checkout lanes were staffed with a reasonable level of competence. Even accounting for time looking up produce codes, I ring myself up faster than 8 out of 10 human cashiers I deal with. Plus using the self checkout means never getting stuck behind the old woman who doesn't realize that paying with a check simply isn't acceptable any more.
Nov 12, 2014
commented on If You Didn't Vote, Why?
I voted, but I would think the answer was obvious. Unless people are paying a lot of attention to local issues, everything at the national level is so toxic that people have been driven into a protective shell of apathy to prevent going insane.
I blame the Democrats. For YEARS (again, perhaps my entire life), Republicans have driven all the debates, have driven all the tone, and have driven all the VOCABULARY. "Liberal" is a bad word. Heck, "Elite" is a bad word - THAT'S how bad it's gotten. Through it all, no candidate actually cares enough to push for progress - they all run away from Obama and any progressive ideals, trying to be come conservatives because they're scared of losing the moderate vote. Well, guess what - as you've found out, if you do that enough, you discourage your liberal "base". And don't get me started on Obama himself, who has accomplished many things but on the same time has gone back on so many campaign promises with regard to war, civil liberties, torture, etc. that he's contributed to the cynicism himself.
Find me a single Democrat this cycle who campaigned on actual achievements rather than campaigning defensively. I'm sick of the whole process, and have completely lost faith in the ability of things to get better. Unless a ballot was mailed to my apartment and it was as easy as making a few swipes of a pen to vote (which it was, and it is), I'm not sure I could have mustered enough fucks to give to vote.
Aug 17, 2014
commented on The Sunday Morning News
So Ballmer did what essentially every single Division I university does (and has done for decades), just on a local level. Is it terribly polite? No. But I have a hard time getting outraged over something (intentionally rigging and strategically ignoring academic standards to attract athletic talent) that is essentially a fully ingrained part of American culture.
Apr 21, 2014
commented on Two Assholes Nominated for Science Fiction Book Award
Can we agree that who people are and the value of their works are two very distinct things? Just as we shouldn't disregard someone's work because of their race/sexuality, we similarly shouldn't disregard it for personal opinions they have outside of their work.
I haven't read any of Beale's work, but I think we can all agree that some people who are very vocal on political topics that may not always align with mine can write great works. Ender's Game is a fantastic book and a truly classic piece of science fiction regardless of any of Orson Scott Card's other views. On the other end of the spectrum, Miles Davis was very vocal on topics of race to the point of being considered racist by some people. That's never stopped us from realizing that his music was amazing and hugely influential.
There are plenty of wonderful people who never create anything of substantial artistic value. There are a fair number of awful people who have created amazing things. As much as possible, we should try to judge and appreciate the two aspects separately. Disqualifying someone from an award for things they have said outside the context of their work is stupid.
Feb 19, 2014
commented on Kansas Wants to Return to the Good Old Days of Teachers Spanking Kids
To play devil's advocate here: What, exactly, ARE teachers supposed to do these days with problematic kids? You can't threaten to fail a kid, as that would affect graduation rates (and besides, the parents would complain and the principal would make you give them an A). You can't threaten to expel them for the same reason. You can't touch them or you'll get sued, and you can't just ignore them or you'll lose all control of the classroom. And don't say "kick them out of the room any time they cause trouble", as soon enough administration will say that it reflects poorly on your abilities as a teacher and you'll be fired.
I realize that in this magic liberal society we're all supposed to be polite and cultured, but it turns out quite a few kids aren't scared or influenced by being yelled at (and obviously can't be reasoned with) once they realize there's no real danger behind it.