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Topics - ergophobe

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Hardware & Technology / Move over graphene. Borophene is here
« on: April 08, 2019, 09:49:56 PM »

The reason for the excitement is the extraordinary range of applications that borophene looks good for. Electrochemists think borophene could become the anode material in a new generation of more powerful lithium-ion batteries. Chemists are entranced by its catalytic capabilities. And physicists are testing its abilities as a sensor to detect numerous kinds of atoms and molecules.

Hardware & Technology / Why I am still not a Firefox user
« on: March 01, 2019, 04:52:41 PM »
I grudgingly went from Firefox to Chrome some years ago and every time I try to go back, I remember why I abandoned it

That's on a profile with no plugins/extensions/etc.

It's basically constant once I start getting out into the wide web (I use it for Sitecore edits and for AdWords/GA/GSC for various reasons not related to disliking Chrome, but more about segmenting logins)

Water Cooler / Workism: The American Religion
« on: February 26, 2019, 07:29:06 PM »
About 30 years ago I started personally using the phrase "Work Mysticism." I never fully fleshed out the idea, but I meant a number of things

- believing that work should be your passion
- constantly bragging, though always in the form of a complaint, about how busy you were
- the cult of productivity
- the belief that your work defined who you were
- etc

Now, apparently, people refer to this as Workism. This quote encapsulates the essence of what I called Work Mysticism (salvation through work, chillingly close to the slogan above the entrance to Auschwitz).

In a 2018 paper on elite universities, researchers found that for women, the most important benefit of attending a selective college isn’t higher wages, but more hours at the office. In other words, our elite institutions are minting coed workists. What’s more, in a recent Pew Research report on the epidemic of youth anxiety, 95 percent of teens said “having a job or career they enjoy” would be “extremely or very important” to them as an adult. This ranked higher than any other priority, including “helping other people who are in need” (81 percent) or getting married (47 percent). Finding meaning at work beats family and kindness as the top ambition of today’s young people.

In most advanced countries, citizens are guaranteed access to health care by their government; but the majority of insured Americans get health care through—where else?—their workplace.

Like Christianity, this is a religion that is particularly strong and persistent in the US when compared to other wealthy nations. Like Christianity, it has its positive features and its negative features. Based on the many devout Christians and the many Work Mystics I know, however, I would say that on balance it's much happier life to be a Christian. And when you consider that Christianity has never been known as a religion of fun, that's perhaps worth contemplating.

Today’s rich American men can afford vastly more downtime. But they have used their wealth to buy the strangest of prizes: more work!

Perhaps long hours are part of an arms race for status and income among the moneyed elite. Or maybe the logic here isn’t economic at all. It’s emotional—even spiritual. The best-educated and highest-earning Americans, who can have whatever they want, have chosen the office for the same reason that devout Christians attend church on Sundays: It’s where they feel most themselves. “For many of today’s rich there is no such thing as ‘leisure’; in the classic sense—work is their play,” the economist Robert Frank wrote in The Wall Street Journal. “Building wealth to them is a creative process, and the closest thing they have to fun.”

Web Development / Product catalog without e-commerce
« on: February 11, 2019, 09:13:26 PM »
I'm looking for a simple online catalog that doesn't need to have a shopping cart or sell things.

This is for a friend (who pays well when he needs work, so no issues with that - but a friend first) who is a collector. He wants to display his collection and he wants it searchable by various different characteristics.

He has no intention of selling these things. I've done three e-comm sites for him, so if he wanted to sell stuff, he would say so. E-comm just makes things complicated and he hates that.

So I'm looking for something that would replicate a gallery catalog, and archive listing, a product catalog with excellent faceted search.

Anyone have something like that they use and like? The simpler, lighter the better.

Traffic / Tools for localizing search
« on: February 11, 2019, 06:59:57 PM »
I used to have some browser extensions that worked and Google used to let you do it right from the standard default search. None of those seem to function.

I know about the Adwords Preview tool but a) that's not the real thing and b) the links aren't even clickable.

How do I pretend I'm in Australia? Do you need to connect through an Australian proxy?

Oh, in theory Chrome dev tools let me set my longitude and latt, but if I do a local search (plumber, cleaning services) it shows me results for the town I am currently physically in.

Marketing / Interesting pricing model
« on: February 04, 2019, 07:30:59 PM »
Interesting pricing model... I wonder how many people choose to pay more.

To make you sick so they can bilk you out of money with an elaborate helicopter rescue scheme.

It's also why your travel/rescue insurance might not work in Nepal anymore

Have investors started to sour on ETFs? According to TrimTabs Investment Research, more than $7.5 billion has plowed into US and global stock mutual funds this month, with US funds taking in $3.4 billion of that.

If American funds finish the month with inflows, it will be the first time that's happened since February 2015.

Water Cooler / Time management is ruining our lives
« on: January 13, 2019, 05:13:42 PM »
I was trying to explain to Theresa the other day everything I hate about the productivity cult. I was grasping at ideas, but not really making the case. She understood why I opted out, but not why it literally made me mad the cult existed. I just couldn't quite hit the target.

This article, hits the target

It's what I would have said if I were smarter and had thought about it a lot more.

Water Cooler / Confirmation bias
« on: January 10, 2019, 03:57:17 PM »
The president fired back, telling reporters: “The beautiful thing is, with social media, the world can write to you. You take a look at social media, so many of those people are saying, ‘It’s very hard for me, it’s very hard for my family, but, Mr. President, you’re doing the right thing.’”

Let's say that I know a number of federal law enforcement officers and they are not fans of the shutdown. But then, my sample is also small and biased... but at least I understand the concept of sampling

Water Cooler / Org Charts for major tech companies
« on: December 05, 2018, 04:07:06 AM »
I may have gotten this off The Core for all I remember, but I just found it again

I love the one for Oracle. Not the only company organized that way.

Economics & Investing / Recycling may become a thing of the past
« on: November 28, 2018, 07:35:32 PM »

“All of a sudden, material being collected on the street doesn’t have a place to go,” Pete Keller, vice president of recycling and sustainability at Republic Services, one of the largest waste managers in the country, told the New York Times. Keller noted that Republic has diverted more than 2,000 tons of paper to landfills in the Pacific Northwest since the Chinese ban came into effect.

Hardware & Technology / Silent, tiny, solid state drones are coming
« on: November 27, 2018, 07:07:20 PM »
Researchers are saying they will be really useful for studying wildlife.

That’s roughly a quote from the Nature podcast

Presumably this use case  is because wildlife biology drives such a large portion of research spending. It’s conceivable other uses will be discovered

Monetization / Does Gmail still show ads?
« on: November 19, 2018, 08:58:27 PM »
I ask because I saw a pitch for G Suite that said "Ad-free experience" and I thought "I don't remember seeing ads in Gmail in ages."

I opened up three plain old free Google email accounts (legacy Google Apps and regular GMail) and opened emails like Motorola trying to get me to buy a cell phone, Evergreen Lodge trying to get me to book lodging and so on. In other words, I opened emails that *should* have all the signals needed to match me with advertisers.

No ads.

UBlock Origin and Privacy Badger are off.

Has Google given up on Gmail ads? Are there just no buyers? Theresa was looking into it recently and I know the clicks were cheap. I don't know if she launched any. I'll have to ask her when she gets in.

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