Link blog: death, interviews, interviewing, programming

Why Epicurus Matters Today | The Mantle
He sounds like a good chap.
(tags: philosophy epicurus pleasure death)
The Hiring Post — Quarrelsome
An argument that interviews are bad and we should use standardised problems instead.
(tags: interviews programming interviewing hiring work interview software)

Link blog: politics, david-simon, work, sexism

86ing a.k.a. Throwing Someone Out Of Your Venue | It’s The Way That You Do It
After all the discussions on harassment, I’m coming to the conclusion that the hardest thing is not finding the right words for your code of conduct, but actually dealing with the nasty business of having to tell someone they’re doing something wrong and maybe they can’t come back. Here’s a post from someone who’s done it.
(tags: harassment lindy-hop lindy dancing safety)
The austerity delusion | Paul Krugman | Business | The Guardian
“It has been astonishing, from a US perspective, to witness the limpness of Labour’s response to the austerity push. Britain’s opposition has been amazingly willing to accept claims that budget deficits are the biggest economic issue facing the nation, and has made hardly any effort to challenge the extremely dubious proposition that fiscal policy under Blair and Brown was deeply irresponsible – or even the nonsensical proposition that this supposed fiscal irresponsibility caused the crisis of 2008-2009.”
(tags: austerity economics deficit debt paul-krugman politics labour)
David Simon on Baltimore’s Anguish | The Marshall Project
David Simon (“The Wire”, “Homicide”) blames the drug war for the breakdown of trust between the police and the community following the abandonment of constitutional protections. Points out that the police force is largely black. Petyr Baelish really did cook the crime stats, too.
(tags: baltimore the-wire david-simon drugs police politics)
A Manual for Creating Atheists – Godless Haven
“Godless Haven” has a good review of Boghossian’s book, “A Manual For Creating Atheists”.
(tags: review atheism peter-boghossian epistemology)
Why Some Men Pretend to Work 80-Hour Weeks – HBR
Interesting research into the sort of place where you’re expected to be available all the time and work all the hours. Some successful men found ways to “pass” i.e. to appear they were hard workers while finding time for other things (like their families). Women tended to ask explicitly for allowances to be made for child care and their careers suffered for it.
(tags: work hours time employment sexism feminism)

Link blog: nearest, work, nhs, politics

Imaginary Positions – Less Wrong
One I’d missed: Yudkowsky’s post on rounding to the “nearest cliche”.
(tags: cliche nearest eliezer-yudkowsky rationality)
The world is not falling apart: The trend lines reveal an increasingly peaceful period in history.
Steven Pinker argues we should look at trend lines rather than headlines.
(tags: statistics war politics violence world steven-pinker)
A Pasta Sea: Elijah and the Apologist of Baal
1 Kings 18 re-imagined as if Baal had a William Lane Craig on his side. Fun times. “A Pasta Sea” is a good name for an ex-Christian blog, too.
(tags: bible apologetics ahab baal elijah funny parody)
A&E in crisis: a special report – Telegraph
“As the NHS faces its worst winter in years, Robert Colvile provides an in-depth, first-hand account of the pressures facing the health service.” Interesting: combination of people unable to see a GP quickly enough and hospitals unable to turf old people to social care quickly enough. Targets sometimes provide perverse incentives.
(tags: nhs health healthcare medicine hospital)
Free exchange: Nice work if you can get out | The Economist
Why the rich now have less leisure than the poor. Via WMC on FB.
(tags: leisure work economist)

Link blog: employment, technology, layoffs, loyalty

Stewart Lee: The Imaginary Liberal Comedy Cabal will crush the Ukips into dust | Stage | The Guardian
There is now a cabal.
(tags: ukip stewart-lee comedy humour funny politics cabal)
The Sixth Stage of Grief Is Retro-computing
Emulation of old computers and grief over the death of a friend who used them. Via Mefi.
(tags: emulation technology grief nostalgia)
When Women Stopped Coding : Planet Money : NPR
I remember seeing a photo of an old-ish computer surrounded by its programming team in the computing museum at Bletchley Park. Most of the team were women. This blog/podcast looks at what happened in the USA.
(tags: women coding computers feminism sexism technology)
Loyalty and Layoffs | Heart, Mind and Code
The corporation is not your friend.
(tags: employment loyalty career redundancy layoffs)
Loyalty and Trust | Heart, Mind and Code
A more temperate follow up to the “don’t be loyal to the corporation” one, distinguishing loyalty, trust and vulnerability.
(tags: employment layoffs trust vulnerability work loyalty)

Link blog: television, management, jobs, psychology

Are you paid to look busy?
Do people with useless jobs secretly resent those with useful ones?
(tags: jobs money management work employment)
Interview with the Game of Thrones linguist
There are a few Easter eggs in the Valyrian stuff. Fun.
(tags: television game-of-thrones language)
What’s the evidence on using rational argument to change people’s minds? : May 2014 : Contributoria – community funded, collaborative journalism
Are we rational or rationalising? Depends on the context.
(tags: psychology bias rationality argument persuasion logic)

Link blog: lindy, dancing, swing, lindyhop

The Open-Office Trap : The New Yorker
Open offices are horrible. Shame I work in one at the moment.
(tags: office productivity work space)
Goodnight. Sleep Clean. – NYTimes.com
Sleep is for your cerebral fluid to clear away the accumulated junk. Maybe.
(tags: sleep insomnia brain neuroscience)
What is frame?
“My best definition is that its a social convention for how we hold our bodies so our partner knows where we are in space.” I like 619shepard’s comment because it’s less about modelling people as springs and more about how there are conventions which are taught (some of which will involve behaving like a mass on a spring some of the time, to be sure).
(tags: frame dancing lindy lindyhop reddit swing)
Bill Nye tests the benefits of swing dancing – latimes.com
Bill Nye the Science Guy is a swing dancer. He extols the virtues of dancing in a short interview.
(tags: bill-nye science lindy lindyhop dancing swing fitness)
RDFRS: Secular VIP of the Week: God on Facebook
The man who plays God on Facebook. I’ve already Liked the page: it’s funny to see him responding to religious people who get offended, usually with much more grace than they show him.
(tags: god facebook funny comedy)

Link blog: work, interviewing, productivity, business

What Long Hours Really Mean | We Are Mammoth
Via Hacker News, where there’s the usual debate about all this. Previously I’ve read research which says you can get gains out of doing it for short bursts but must then rest: longer periods of overtime end up producing less, not more. This article is more about the cultural impact, though.
(tags: work programming hours overtime business productivity)
Questions to ask your potential employer | Hacker News
Linked to the Hacker News thread rather than the original post as the commenters at HN came up with some good additional ones.
(tags: work software jobs interview interviewing)
Lies, Damned Lies, And Facebook (Part 4 of ∞) | Slate Star Codex
Scott at Slate Start Codex points out that there’s no good evidence that those “Don’t be that guy” posters have reduced the incidence of rape.
(tags: society crime advertising posters rape statistics)

Link blog: negotiation, salary, jobs, psychology

6 Harsh Truths That Will Make You a Better Person | Cracked.com
The antitode to Nice Guy-ism, among other stuff. Via andrewducker.
(tags: psychology advice nice guy)
Salary Negotiation: Make More Money, Be More Valued | Kalzumeus Software
(tags: work jobs money negotiation salary)

Link blog: de-conversion, shopping, psychology, dawkins

deconversion | Black, White and Gray
Some Christian sociologists did some research into why people leave, by looking at 50 de-conversion “testimonies”. Results: intellectual problems (hell, suffering, reliability of the Bible); God’s failure to answer prayer; other Christians responding to doubt in trite or unhelpful ways. Contact with unbelievers wasn’t often cited as a cause of de-conversion.
(tags: psychology de-conversion christianity religion sociology)
I Was a Warehouse Wage Slave | Mother Jones
“My brief, backbreaking, rage-inducing, low-paying, dildo-packing time inside the online-shipping machine.”
(tags: economics work warehouse poverty shopping shipping online amazon)
Why Richard Dawkins is still an atheist – Guest Voices – The Washington Post
Paula Kirby on the recent “Dawkins admits he’s an agnostic!” stories following his debate with Cuddly Rowan Bear. “Religious commentators have become so excited at the thought of his conversion that I almost don’t have the heart to break it to them that he said nothing in Thursday’s discussion that he hadn’t already said six years ago in “The God Delusion””
(tags: the god delusion religion agnosticism paula-kirby richard-dawkins dawkins atheism)

Link blog: islam, christianity, office, solitude

When people ask why I have a problem with religion, it’s hard to come up with a single answer… – Imgur

(tags: christianity islam religion)

Worrying developments for freedom of expression in the UK – Various – Various – RichardDawkins.net

“This thread combines a number of examples where atheists, humanists and/or secularists have been threatened or coerced into silence, both by Muslims and by institutions or other groups apparently subscribing to the view that ‘If someone believes it, you must respect it’. All these examples have happened in the UK in the course of the last week or so. … But the key thing to note in all these cases is that it is no longer just the religious who would inhibit our freedom of expression: increasingly, secular bodies are buying into this invidious idea too, all in the name of ‘tolerance’ or ‘community relations’ or ‘respect’.”

Fuck it, I’m joining the EDL.

Just kidding, I don’t have the beer belly or the conviction for football hooliganism and I’ve never seen a “Muslamic raygun”. Still, it is alarming to see these things happening in Britain. Who are the reasonable opposition? Can’t leave something that important to the Nazis.
(tags: sharia speech freedom islamism uk islam)

Atheism isn’t a religion, it’s a relationship … with reality | Unreasonable Faith

A summary of blogged responses to that “I hate religion but love Jesus” video that’s been doing the rounds. I made a comment at the bottom. Also good for the comment thread on Atheismo, the diety for atheists.
(tags: relationship with god video atheism religion)

Driscoll & Brierley on Women in Leadership « Cognitive Discopants

Well known complementarian and fan of big strong manly men, Mark Driscoll, recently did an interview with Justin Brierley of Premier Christian Radio. Driscoll came out with a few choice quotes about Christians in the UK (“guys in dresses preaching to grandmas”).

He then had a go at Brierley for going to a church run by a woman (Brierley’s wife!) and not believing in penal substitutionary atonement and eternal conscious torment in Hell (Brierley is an annihilationist: we unsaved will be told off and then vapourised rather then being tortured forever). Fun times.
(tags: homosexuality premier christian radio complementarianism mark-driscoll religion church mark driscoll christianity women sexism markdriscoll)

The Rise of the New Groupthink – NYTimes.com

“Most of us now work in teams, in offices without walls, for managers who prize people skills above all. Lone geniuses are out. Collaboration is in.

But there’s a problem with this view. Research strongly suggests that people are more creative when they enjoy privacy and freedom from interruption.”
(tags: flow solitude groupthink team office work creativity)