Educated

Educated

Earlier this week, someone left a comment on an article I’d written to shame me over a word they considered “not a word”. A few years ago this would have stung and left me feeling like an imposter. At age 42 I have very few fucks left to give about such pedantry.

Formal education gives you words and technical understanding, it helps you interact with other people on a level where you can all assume you have the same starting point. It isn’t everything, and perhaps my hard-won knowledge, learned from trying and failing and figuring things out alone is my greatest strength.

While I am a firm believer in higher education, and have spent a tremendous amount of time teaching and guiding my kids toward a successful future in college, I love the “fuck you” attitude from Rachel here. It’s unapologetically defiant. And coming from an unbelievably intelligent person that is shaping the world of web design as we speak, I applaud her so much.

Bravo, Rachel. Bravo.

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Reducing Income Inequality

How the ACA changed American incomes

The bottom line: At least as far as this analysis goes, the ACA helped more people than it hurt. Whether you want to call it “redistributing wealth” or “reducing income inequality,” the ACA achieved it. Or, in CBO’s words, the law “made household income more evenly distributed.”

But “reducing income inequality” is bad, right? Right?

Time to check myself

On Episode 278 of “Roderick on the Line”, Merlin (Mann) encapsulates exactly something that a friend of mine said about 2 years ago, well ahead of the 2016 election. Merlin said:

There’s so much reckoning going on about strangers. There’s so much reckoning going on about millions of people who are disadvantaged culturally in a way that so many of that 32%-36% are not. And yet they have found some way to find agrievement in every cultural improvement in the last 50 years, Every time somebody who’s not them gets something, it’s a zero sum game. Everything that somebody who has always been treated like shit for their entire life gets is necessarily one less thing that they get, in their mind.

I can’t tell you how right he is, how right my friend was back then, and how wrong I was to write it off as something of an ignorant opinion. On a car trip to/from Seattle, we were having a discussion on the phenomenon that was candidate Trump at the time. Speaking for myself, I just didn’t understand how he was still in the race, much less leading it. During the course of that discussion, it was pointed out that there was a certain group of people that felt disenfranchised because of the cultural changes that had been happening (especially in the past 7 years of the Obama presidency). And that this group of people felt left behind, or left out, of the benefits that were now coming to the historically disenfranchised. And that was pissing them off. So much so, that they would absolutely invite into their house this loud-mouth, boastful, pussy-grabbing-and-proud-of-it shitbag for a possible president.

At the time, I thought that was ridiculous. I thought that people would surely be smart enough, informed enough, to see him for what he was. And the danger he imposed to a civilized notion of government, norms, and order. I believed in the basis of a morality, and believed that these people would ultimately end up siding on the basis of that morality and not on the idea of “anything but (her/establishment)”.

I have to say that I didn’t believe my friend then. Didn’t want to believe that narrative. But I believe it now. And I realize that, even now, I still have some thinking outside the box to do.

Guns are ridiculous, Reason #2746

“Keep honking…I’m reloading”

Yep, what an advertisement in this day in age where people are suggesting we arm everyone (including kindergarten teachers) to combat other people being armed!

Yep, let’s make sure to arm people who are driving, so if they don’t like how someone else honks at them, they have the opportunity to simply blow them away.

Perfect.

Doesn’t sound plausible? “People would never do that”, you say?

This fucker has a bumper sticker that says so. Because people are ALWAYS rational when it comes to driving.

FFS

P.S. This was less than a mile away from my kid’s school. People suck.

Shameless

So, every time we got a new car, Sirius XM is always an option on the car’s entertainment system. It’s also signed up (automatically) for a 3-month trial. Sounds great, right?

Well, The calendar just ticked over to month 4, day 1 for my new-ish A4, and sure enough, the XM Preview channel is screaming at me (yet again) to subscribe.

“Never miss the great music of yesterday and today!”

“Want to take your music everywhere you are? Subscribe to SiriusXM!”

“Follow your favorite team for every goal, touchdown, and home run!”

Umm, no. I’m good. And that’s when I reach for the iPhone cord and plug in my phone to use CarPlay.

Ahh, back to normal.

But, yesterday, I was in the process of getting out of my car to walk in the grocery store. And right before I open the door, I hear a terrible, terrible noise. Imagine the sound a grinder makes on bare metal mixed with TV static. A screeching, ear-splitting sound at top volume. Horrible on so many levels. Surely this is a mistake, right?

Nope.

It was a commercial that went something like this: “Hate this sound? (Sound plays for 5 seconds) Yeah, who wouldn’t?! (Sound plays again for 5 seconds) Subscribe to SiriusXM to make sure you never hear it again!”

Are you fucking kidding me?!?!

Just shameless. And pathetic.

Guess what you’ve successfully done, Sirius? You’ve ensured I will never, ever again subscribe to your service.

Job well done.

Programmers who only code at work

Programmers who only code at work

What’s your opinion on programmers who are not passionate about programming, have no side projects and only program at their jobs. Not senior devs either, just programmers, who are not juniors anymore. Can they ever improve, write better code? Or do they stagnate. Asking because my coworker said he doesn’t enjoy programming at home.

I have to say something. This mentality drives me crazy. Even the question is so galling that it infuriates me. As if you MUST leave work and go straight home and continue to code so you can be viewed as a worthy developer. It’s ridiculous and wrong-headed.

You’re reading the blog of someone who is passionate about programming. I have been passionate about programming since I wrote my first C program in college. My 12-year anniversary at work was this past week. And guess what? I’ve never gone home to code “for fun”. Why? Because I have a life outside of my work, and I enjoy it. My kids are 11 and 13 now. I’ve watched them grow up, and am very proud of the fact that I have been present in their lives from day one.

I am a worthy father the same way that I am a worthy developer. One does not preclude the other.

I don’t understand this way of thinking. And I don’t understand why this idea would be so prevalent in the software development industry. I’ve heard stories of hiring procedures that depend on candidates having side projects on GitHb or BitBucket. Why is that a requirement? Because it shows you will bust your ass at work and bust it even more at home to prove…what exactly? That you are “committed”? That you’ll do whatever it takes? That you’ll sacrifice everything to “prove” yourself?

Yeah, no thanks.

All I’ve ever wanted to do in my career is matter. I want my work to matter. And it does. It fulfills me. And it’s enough for me.

The good news is there are voices starting to push back on this idea. I ran across this tweet this past weekend:

And a responder to the linked article above said the following:

Having said that, no-one’s trying to stifle anyones passion here. If you love to code, do it at every opportunity you get. But be careful when passing judgement on the skill, growth and development of folks who don’t share that same level of passion.

When it comes to my personal life, and the personal lives of my employees, work is work. And your time is your time. Enjoy both.

#youdoyou