koan's recent activity

  1. Comment on With Workers Hard To Find, Immigration Crackdown Leaves Iowa Town In A Bind in ~news

    koan Link
    Workers are hard to find because the employers don't want to pay workers what they are worth. This is not a worker problem, this is an employer problem. Pay more, treat them better. If you can't...

    Workers are hard to find because the employers don't want to pay workers what they are worth.

    Good employees are so hard to find that Wiley can never be sure whether new hires will show up for work, even though he's willing to train them and pays what he considers a decent salary.

    "It is so hard to get people in the door just to sit down and interview," Wiley says. "You're afraid you're going to scare them off. Any little thing that you do, they won't show up for the first day of work."

    This is not a worker problem, this is an employer problem. Pay more, treat them better. If you can't afford to pay workers their value and you can't treat them well enough to keep them around, you don't deserve to stay in business. That's free market capitalism for you.

    The only reason these businesses actually hire illegal immigrants is to pay them shit and hold deportation over their head so they are essentially slaves. The business profiled in the article had 32 workers arrested who were working illegally. That's not illegal immigrants slipping through the cracks. That's a business hiring illegal immigrants to avoid taxes, pay people shit wages, and hold greater power over their employees. A business like that should lose their license and be shut down, and the owner should be prosecuted.

    I fully support easy paths to immigration for people who want to come here to work these hard labor jobs. But that's not what businesses like the one in the article want. They want slaves.

    Some locals say they have no problem with people coming to Iowa from other countries. They just don't like illegal immigration. They suggest that businesses pay more to lure native Iowans into the workforce. Many believe companies want to hire immigrants for the wrong reasons.

    "It's just because they can pay them less money to work the same amount of hours or more," says Chelsea Sammons, who works part time at a convenience store. Sammons says that when she applies for full-time jobs in the area, she often never hears back from anyone.

    7 votes
  2. Comment on Apple introduces 8-core MacBook Pro in ~tech

    koan Link
    I rely on macOS for my business (macOS-only applications), but I'm not interested in upgrading my MacBook Air 2012 until Apple fixes this keyboard debacle. It's unacceptable. They need a full...

    I rely on macOS for my business (macOS-only applications), but I'm not interested in upgrading my MacBook Air 2012 until Apple fixes this keyboard debacle. It's unacceptable. They need a full redesign of the keyboard and I'll wait at least a year to make sure users don't have problems. I'm currently pricing out lightly-used, retired corporate ThinkPads on eBay and I'll just run macOS in a VM or Hackintosh if I have to. I can get a ThinkPad T450s (3 years old) with an i7, 12GB RAM, 256GB SSD in mint condition for $350 right now. Why would I blow $1800 on a new MacBook with a keyboard that's destined to fail?

    10 votes
  3. Comment on People Are Being Arrested and Jailed Due to Hertz Erroneously Reporting Rental Cars Stolen: Report in ~news

    koan Link Parent
    Vote with your dollars. Cancel your reservation and rent from somebody else.

    Vote with your dollars. Cancel your reservation and rent from somebody else.

    6 votes
  4. Comment on Data shows “Game of Thrones” is taking a historic critical nosedive in ~tv

    koan Link Parent
    It's very hard to write a satisfying ending that appeases everybody. It's especially difficult with some of these long-running shows that have fallen into the formulaic trap of necessarily keeping...

    It's very hard to write a satisfying ending that appeases everybody. It's especially difficult with some of these long-running shows that have fallen into the formulaic trap of necessarily keeping audiences interested week after week. In television, you're never quite sure if you're going to be cancelled, but you operate as though it's going to go on forever. Eventually, the characters become caricatures (Flanderization), the story becomes melodrama (drama) or absurdist (comedy), all because you're simply writing your formulas to keep pushing out more content. That's when the shows start to tank, that leads to disinterest (from the writers, producers, actors, and the audience), which then leads to the inevitable cancellation and a hasty throw-your-hands-up final season/finale just to get it over with.

    The problem is that in the US, networks milk the show for all it's worth instead of caring about a satisfying story arc. As long as the audience is watching and the show is making money, there is no end in sight. This is opposed to BBC shows, for example, which might only go for two seasons of six episodes. This allows the writers to actually craft a satisfying arc and an appropriate ending. Maybe it doesn't always work out like that, but they know what they're doing with this method. As long as American audiences keep clamoring for never-ending series, that's what we're going to get because that's what makes money. But it will also, more often than not, lead to pretty unsatisfying series endings when the interest dies out.

    3 votes
  5. Comment on U.S. Births Fell To A 32-Year Low In 2018; CDC Says Birthrate Is In Record Slump in ~news

    koan Link

    "The birthrate is a barometer of despair," Myers says in response to the CDC data. Explaining that idea, he says young people won't make plans to have babies unless they're optimistic about the future.

    "At first, we thought it was the recession," Myers says of the recent downturn in births. But after a slight rise in 2012, the rate took another nosedive. He adds that by nearly all economic standards — except for high housing costs — birthrates should now be rising.

    As for what's behind the negative sentiment among people of childbearing age, Myers cites the current political turmoil and a gloomy outlook for America's future.

    "Not a whole lot of things are going good," he says, "and that's haunting young people in particular, more than old people."

    Many current or would-be parents also responded to the report Wednesday, using social media to list a string of obstacles to having kids in the U.S., from the frustration of finding child care to high insurance costs and a lack of parental leave and other support systems. And they note that while the national economy has done well, workers' paychecks haven't been growing at the same pace.

    13 votes
  6. Comment on Trump Administration to LGBT Couples: Your 'Out of Wedlock' Kids Aren't Citizens in ~lgbt

    koan Link Parent
    As resources become more scarce, expect even more tribalism and authoritarianism. Minorities are an easy scapegoat because they don't have as much power to defend themselves. Those struggling in...

    As resources become more scarce, expect even more tribalism and authoritarianism. Minorities are an easy scapegoat because they don't have as much power to defend themselves. Those struggling in the majority will be eager to blame those in the minority because it's much easier than questioning the system under which they've lived their entire lives. We are, at our very cores, animals and our brains are simply not evolved to process the vastness of information now at our fingertips. As more things around us crumble, it will be incredibly hard for most people to process. That's when people will really start to think in terms of tribes. We deserve the viable land. We deserve the fresh water. We deserve the power.

    I think it's going to be a bumpy ride.

    14 votes
  7. Comment on The Staggering Worldwide Decline of Insects Is a Warning of Ecosystem Collapse in ~enviro

    koan Link

    One of those changes has been brought to the fore in an alarming study published in the journal Biological Conservation, which claims that more than 40 percent of the world’s insect species could go extinct in the next three decades. Scientists from the China Academy of Agricultural Sciences and the universities of Sydney and Queensland reviewed 73 existing reports of insect declines from around the world. They found that insect biomass is falling by 2.5 percent a year since McKibben published his seminal work, eight times faster than the rate of decline for mammals, birds, or reptiles.

    The reasons for such a staggering rate of extinction will come as a surprise to no one. Loss of habitat (due to intensive agriculture, deforestation, and urbanization) takes the number one spot, with pollution from synthetic pesticides and fertilizers a close second. The new classes of insecticides introduced in the past 20 years (e.g., neonicotinoids and fipronil) have been especially damaging because they are used routinely and sterilize the soil, killing everything in it. The study also cites biological factors such as introduced species and disease-causing microorganisms. Climate change, which is naturally affected by all of the above, is also a cause.

    1 vote
  8. Comment on "How to do what you love": An essay on finding goals and discovering what things you really enjoy doing. in ~humanities

    koan Link
    This was a great read. It resonates a lot with my philosophy of work. I urge everyone popping in here to read it. I think you can do anything you want, but you can't do everything. You have to...

    This was a great read. It resonates a lot with my philosophy of work. I urge everyone popping in here to read it.

    I think you can do anything you want, but you can't do everything. You have to make decisions and sacrifices to achieve your dreams. You have to decide what it's worth to you. For example, if you want to be some kind of working artist, you have to understand that the money isn't always there. And for that reason, you may have to give up the dream of living in a big house or starting a family or having a fancy car. I think people know this logically, but they don't realize it in practice. And that can get people into trouble, or make them bitter.

    I think if you want to really feel fulfilled, you need to make and do and create. Graham mentions this in the article when he says "always produce." No matter what your interest/passion is, you will feel a lot more successful and fulfilled if you're making the thing you like, as opposed to consuming it. We obviously live in a culture that pushes consumption on us. That's how others make money off of us. We consume what they make. But you can just as easily become the maker, and have others consume your creations. Focusing your life on consumption--buying the house, the car, the stuff, whatever--will only lead you to see that those things will never be enough. There's always something newer, better, bigger to consume. Hop off that treadmill as soon as you get it into your head that it's not the answer. Hop off of it today and focus on creating, doing, making.

    People get trapped in jobs they hate to earn money to buy the things they think they need. But most of these needs are just wants. There are so many ways to live extremely cheaply in this world, freeing up your time to do the things you love. But it feels risky, and it feels like a lot of sacrifice. Yeah, it is. But chasing money and things just puts you in a prison of your own making. You keep building this life out of stuff and wants, and sooner or later you're trapped. You can't quit your job to do the things you want to do because of the way you've constructed your life. That's a prison. The cage might be gilded, but you're still stuck in it.

    Ultimately, we have a short time on this planet. I've known too many people who died young. Nothing is promised to us, it could all end tomorrow. If you want to live a fulfilled life, stop denying your inevitable death and do the things that will make you happy today. And keep doing them. Keep building a life you can enjoy, whatever that is, because time is all we really have and our time can be cut short by the fates. Chasing the superficial is not going to make you happy, despite what our culture tells us. It's just a way for others to make money off of you. Instead, look deep and really ponder what makes you feel the best about yourself and life. And go do that, regardless of what other people think.

    Recommended Listening: Alan Watts - "What Do I Desire?"

    1 vote
  9. Comment on Disney assumes full control of Hulu in deal with Comcast in ~tv

    koan Link Parent
    Because we're living in another Gilded Age, complete with income inequality, political corruption, and robber barons.

    Because we're living in another Gilded Age, complete with income inequality, political corruption, and robber barons.

    21 votes
  10. Comment on Many Americans 'shooting themselves in the foot' to maintain racial hierarchy: author in ~misc

    koan Link Parent
    People are suffering economically, mentally, and spiritually, and this suffering is causing them to lash out at the other. Their anger should be directed at the system itself, but we've been...

    People are suffering economically, mentally, and spiritually, and this suffering is causing them to lash out at the other. Their anger should be directed at the system itself, but we've been brought up to worship at the temple of Capitalism so it's unthinkable to question our national religion. All you have to do is look at how many people vote against their own interests to see how ingrained our economic system is in our culture. Currently, Capitalism is just doing what it's supposed to do. It's consolidating wealth into fewer and fewer hands. I think it's only going to get worse in the US until the system necessarily collapses under it's own weight. Until then, expect more vitriol as people continue to direct their anger at the wrong targets. They're just scared. It's too bad it's unfolding like this.

    9 votes
  11. Comment on Adobe Warns Customers of Potential Legal Action for Using Older Versions of Creative Cloud Apps in ~tech

    koan Link
    I'm so happy I removed Adobe CC from my life. Dumping Photoshop for Affinity Photo was easy and mostly seamless. Instead of paying $150 a year, or whatever it is now, for Photoshop, I paid a...

    I'm so happy I removed Adobe CC from my life. Dumping Photoshop for Affinity Photo was easy and mostly seamless. Instead of paying $150 a year, or whatever it is now, for Photoshop, I paid a one-time price of $50 for Affinity Photo and it does everything I need it to do. I'm unfortunately stuck with Flash for one particular webapp I need, but here's hoping that changes in the future and I can remove the last piece of Adobe software from my machine.

    4 votes
  12. Comment on What's missing from your life? in ~life

    koan Link
    Nothing's really missing in my life. I've got a roof, clothes, food, safety, love, my own business doing what I've always loved. I'm fortunate. What I feel, though, is that I have more than I need...

    Nothing's really missing in my life. I've got a roof, clothes, food, safety, love, my own business doing what I've always loved. I'm fortunate. What I feel, though, is that I have more than I need or want. If you looked at how I live, you'd probably say I have a pretty minimalist existence. But I want to be even more minimal. I want to ditch more stuff, remove more complexity, be even less wasteful, require less space. I want to move toward zero waste, I want to stop using plastic, and I want to get rid of my consumerist brainwashing for good. It's hard.

    If something's missing in my life, it's a 4x4 hightop Sprinter van outfitted to be a camper and a National Parks pass. I'd really like to travel full-time and see the beauty of the natural world before even more of it disappears.

    7 votes
  13. Comment on The Long Tail in ~misc

    koan Link
    The Long Tail, alongside Kevin Kelly's 1000 True Fans, is pretty much how I've been building my own creative business. In a way, it's about quantity over quality... but it's not necessarily bad...

    The Long Tail, alongside Kevin Kelly's 1000 True Fans, is pretty much how I've been building my own creative business. In a way, it's about quantity over quality... but it's not necessarily bad quality, it's just not mind-blowing, life-changing perfection. If I can keep churning out books and build a huge backlist, I'll have an incredible amount for fans to read as they find me.

    I write in a small niche, but I've been able to do it full-time for 4 years now. My fanbase keeps growing, too, as I continue to dangle carrots out there (in the form of free books) as well as put out new work on the regular. There are certainly peaks and valleys in my income, but those were both because of my actions. Peaks when I worked hardest and wrote a relative hit, valleys when I slacked off and wasn't as productive as I should be. But even in the valleys, I still made money without lifting a finger. That's the long tail. There has never been a better time to be a creative online if your goal is to treat it like a job and earn a living. The trick is finding that niche of people who like you and are willing to pay for your work. They are definitely out there.

    2 votes
  14. Comment on Trump issues ‘freedom to discriminate’ healthcare order in ~lgbt

    koan Link
    There's no way this makes it through the courts. It's garbage, pandering legislation and it's unconstitutional. If you refuse to do your job because it doesn't line up with your religious beliefs,...

    There's no way this makes it through the courts. It's garbage, pandering legislation and it's unconstitutional.

    If you refuse to do your job because it doesn't line up with your religious beliefs, get a new job.

    19 votes
  15. Comment on Call for students to film "leftist" teachers brings Brazil's culture wars to classroom in ~news

    koan Link Parent
    What do you think will happen when the climate crisis really comes to a head? When machine learning and automation have made a lot of jobs obsolete? When the rich suck even more wealth from the...

    What do you think will happen when the climate crisis really comes to a head? When machine learning and automation have made a lot of jobs obsolete? When the rich suck even more wealth from the poor and working class?

    To further consolidate their power, the wealthy probably will necessarily guide world politics toward greater authoritarianism. Greater surveillance, stomping out dissent, controlling the masses. Doesn't it make sense that they would have to do this to maintain their wealth in the face of such immense inequality?

    I'm this close to becoming a doomsday prepper and living in a bunker.

    Obviously it's no life to hide away in a bunker. But it is a good idea to prepare as best you can for these growing trends. Just play the tape forward and see what would make the most sense for you and your family. Our systems are brittle and I think it's a fool's errand to believe that our current status quo will be able to hold firm as things shift so drastically. Like, does any youngish person here truly believe they're going to retire and play golf all day like their middle class grandpa did?

    I think we're living at the vanguard of some real crazy shit. It's not nuts to prepare for it.

    4 votes
  16. Comment on What have you been listening to this week? in ~music

    koan Link Parent
    Sasami Ashworth, a former (?) member of Cherry Glazerr, just put out an awesome new self-titled record. Highly recommended!

    Sasami Ashworth, a former (?) member of Cherry Glazerr, just put out an awesome new self-titled record. Highly recommended!

  17. Comment on Apple Is Telling Lawmakers People Will Hurt Themselves if They Try to Fix iPhones in ~tech

    koan Link
    I feel so stuck right now in regards to Apple. I've been an Apple user for a long time. I love my Macbook Air, I like my iPhone 7. I rely on macOS for my business right now, so I'm trapped in that...

    I feel so stuck right now in regards to Apple. I've been an Apple user for a long time. I love my Macbook Air, I like my iPhone 7. I rely on macOS for my business right now, so I'm trapped in that ecosystem for the time being. But Apple's products are just becoming less desirable for me. With all the keyboard issues with new Macbooks, along with the high price tags, I've considered just buying a few year old ThinkPad when the time comes to retire my Air and either making it a Hackintosh or running macOS in a VM. I like that the ThinkPad will allow me to upgrade and swap hardware. As for the iPhone, I don't know what to do. I hate all the new iPhones. They're just too big. I go back and forth on just returning to a dumbphone, but I do utilize iMessage a lot. I've actually thought about buying an iPhone SE. I love the size of it, and I miss having a headphone jack. But I'm just not sure. My partner needs a new phone soon, and I've thought about giving them my iPhone 7 and getting an SE. But then, for just a couple hundred more, we could buy them a new iPhone 7.

    Ultimately, I want off the Apple train but macOS and to some extent iMessage are keeping me on.

    5 votes
  18. Comment on Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Mysterious Author in ~books

    koan Link
    This was a nice read. It kinda hits home for me, too. What stuck out as inspiring was that he had written over 60 books before even getting to Encyclopedia Brown. I've written about 25, and I...

    This was a nice read. It kinda hits home for me, too. What stuck out as inspiring was that he had written over 60 books before even getting to Encyclopedia Brown. I've written about 25, and I often tell myself that I'll probably get good around 50 books and that my goal is to write 100 in my lifetime. I'm still trying to figure out what it is I'm really supposed to write. I enjoy my work now, and I'm decent at it, but I don't think it's what I'm ultimately meant to do. Sobol's story gives me hope that I can write my way there.

    2 votes