All posts by dj

Mar. 26, 2017 Blumbers

Town Meeting And Tweeting

My congressional representative had a crowded town meeting yesterday. They said it helps when people show up for meetings. They want letters and tweets. They need to know what voters want. They discussed the narrow defeat of Trumpcare. The battle is not over. They need your help. They said they needed continued vocal support for universal healthcare, education, housing, food and living wage jobs.

If your representatives are not having town meetings, ask them why. If they do not respond, they are not listening.

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Mar. 25, 2017 Silicon Valley Women

On Mar. 25, 2017 Liza Mundy of The Atlantic magazine wrote “Why is Silicon Valley So Awful To Women?”

Bethany Blount, co-founder and CEO of Cathy Labs experienced daily discrimination in Silicon Valley from slights to full on assaults. She helped form  Project Include with investor Susan Wu.

“Indeed, a recent survey called “Elephant in the Valley” found that nearly all of the 200-plus senior women in tech who responded had experienced sexist interactions.” Half of the US population is female but the number of computer science majors has been declining.  “The percentage of female computer- and information-science majors peaked in 1984, at about 37 percent. It has declined, more or less steadily, ever since. Today it stands at 18 percent.”

Major Silicon Valley companies have put on a great show for diversity, but they still are not hiring older women in statistically significant numbers. Most new hires are young and male. The environment is hostile to women. Companies need to do several things to fix this problem. First, start hiring women by tying bonuses to diversity hiring goals. Change your corporate culture so it is less like a gulag/thunderdome. Be aware of bias. Do not hire people you shared a dorm with in college. Do not ask people to write code on whiteboards. Do not tolerate people screaming at each other.  Stop being jerks.

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

 

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Mar. 24, 2017 Experience Discrimination

On Mar 24, 2017 NPR’s Ina Jaffe wrote “Too Much Experience To Be Hired? Some Older Americans Face Age Bias” about age discrimination. Prof. David Neumark of University of California, Irvine sent out 40,000 resumes with age as the only difference. The older the person the less likely they to be called back. Older women  were the most affected. One recruiter blew the whistle and went to San Francisco law firm Altshuler Berzon and the course is working its way to the US Supreme Court.

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Mar. 22, 2017 India Income Tax

On Mar. 22, 2017 NPR’s Julie McCarthy wrote “Why Do So Few People Pay Income Tax In India?” Of 1.2 billion people only 27 million pay income taxes. The per capita income is $1600 and Indians don’t have to pay if it is under $3700. Many rich people do not pay taxes at all.

“Late last year, India sought to force people with large amounts of cash stashed away to deposit it in bank accounts. It was a tax-collecting exercise to get people to disclose unreported wealth and pay up.”

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Mar. 21, 2017 World Maps Change

On Mar. 21, 2017 NPR’s Colin Dwyer reported “Boston Students Get A Glimpse Of A Whole New World, With Different Maps” about replacing Mercator projection maps with Gall-Peters maps (see above). To understand why this is a big deal, I recommend Jerry Brotton’s book “A History of the World in 12 Maps.” It is the story of cartographers struggling for centuries to create accurate two dimensional representations of a three dimensional world. The results were distorted and biased. By the twenty-first century it was possible using digital devices to view satellite images making all earlier map projections obsolete.

I liked flipping through history maps made by Denoyer Gippert and Kinder and Hilgemann etc. It was enlightening to see empires appear with big sweeping arrows wiping out older empires only to replaced by somebody else. I was never happy with maps that made Siberia and Antarctica look huge. I did like maps that were centered  over a continent. They did not show the whole planet but I never expected it to. It has taken hundreds of years to show that it takes more than one map to describe a planet.

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Mar. 19, 2017 Blumbers

One Angry Blind Woman

I met a blind woman in the waiting room of a doctor’s office. She was unhappy because of everything the conservative US Congress was doing seemed targeted directly at her. She is listens to NPR, which is threatened. She gets one meal a day from Meals On Wheels. She gets her healthcare at Planned Parenthood. She was worried that she would lose her health insurance and be deported. She uses an iPhone to navigate around town and will not be able to buy a newer more accurate one. Her son is deployed and she does not know if he will ever come home. “You have to take it personally when it happens to you.” she said. She is not alone. Contact your two US Senators and one congressional representative. Tell them to think twice… or at least once.

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Mar. 17, 2017 St. Patricks Day

St. Patricks Day is a reminder that Irish immigrants fled famine and oppression to come to America. The refugees were mostly undocumented and conservatives were afraid of their different religion, but they worked in America’s factories, farms and homes. One of their descendants was Ronald Reagan. Another was John F. Kennedy.

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Mar. 16, 2017 Robot Traffic Stop

On Mar. 16, 2017 NPR’s Vignesh Rakmachandran reported “When Policing And Race Cross Paths In Silicon Valley” about using robots to question suspects. What happens when a robot pulls over a self driving car?

“Duke University students Vaibhav Tadepalli and Chris Reyes developed a prototype robot that could someday conduct the initial phase of a traffic stop, possibly easing concerns for both drivers and police officers. With the press of a button, an officer can deploy the “Sentinel” robot from a patrol car that rides over to the stopped driver’s car, raises a screen and starts a two-way video conference between the driver and the police officer.”

Rather than use a Sentinel robot, why not use a flying drone? It could fly up to a car, signal for it to pull over and ask the driver for information. It could adjust to any height faster. If the car does not pull over, the drone could follow it faster than a ground drone or patrol car.

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Mar. 13, 2017 Daylight Ravings Time

It is time to move your clocks ahead. If it is 9:00 AM, set your watch ahead to 10:00 AM. If you are Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King set your sundial from 1955 to 2017. Why? Because on Mar. 13, 2017 Associated Press reported Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King said “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.” Someone needs to tell him that other people’s babies are as important as his own.

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Mar. 12, 2017 Blumbers

Medicare For All

Republicans are trying to end Obamacare. If they do, a lot of poor people are going to die, probably you. Contact your US Congressional Representative and your two US Senators and tell them you want Medicare for all. It is a system that has been tested on millions of people for over 50 years.  It works. Get on social media and tell people.

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Mar. 10, 2017 Ozymandias Found

On Mar. 10, 2017 NPR reported a statue of Ramses II was found in Cairo. This is the Egyptian pharaoh described in the Percy Bysshe Shelley poem Ozymandias. Experts say he used to tweet a lot. :-)

I met a traveller from an antique land,
Who said—”Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal, these words appear:
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Mar. 5, 2017 Blumbers

How To Lose An Investor

The CEO of a online taxicab company was confronted by one of his drivers about low pay and lost investment. The CEO arrogantly told the driver that unsuccessful people like to blame successful people for their own failure. The CEO basically called the driver a loser for trusting him. There is an old saying that the fish rots from the head down. Here is another story where a dysfunctional company was stopped before it got too big.

A CEO of a startup needed money. He had never held a job, just private education up to the age of 26. One of his venture capitalists told him that he knew someone who might invest if he could visit the startup’s new offices. The next day the CEO ordered new furniture and the delivery truck parked in the disabled parking space to unload. An old man approached the CEO and asked him to move the truck so he could use the disabled parking space. The CEO said no, besides, his company was not going to be hiring any disabled people. The old man was the potential investor. The CEO never got the money. The startup failed.

The message is simple. If you find a company that mistreats investors, employees and customers, avoid them.

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Mar. 1, 2017 Events To Attend

Here are some events you might want to attend. Check with the respective organizations for more information.

Date: Feb. 28 – Mar 2, 2017, 8:00AM

Org: Writers UA

Topic: ConveyUX 2017

Speaking: Joe Welinske and many others

Venue: Motif Seattle Hotel, 1415 Fifth Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101

Date: Mar. 2, 2017 2:00PM

Org: STC East Bay

Topic: Minimalist Writing for Maximum Communication

Speaking: Bruce Poropat

Venue: Brass Door Restaurant, 2154 San Ramon Valley Blvd, San Ramon, CA 94583

Date: Mar. 8, 2017 6:00PM

Org: STC Berkeley

Topic: Who does literacy outreach really reach?

Speaking: T R Girill

Venue: Highlands Country Club, 110 Hiller Drive, Oakland, CA 94618

Date: Mar. 13, 2017 6:00PM 

Org: STC Silicon Valley Chapter

Topic: Leveraging Structured Authoring/DITA Techniques When All You Have are Unstructured Tools

Speaking: Monique Semp

Venue: IHOP Restaurant 4200 Great America Pkwy. Santa Clara, CA 95054

Date: Mar. 14, 2017 6:00PM

Org: STC San Diego

Topic: Documenting APIs for Technical Writers

Speaking: Susan Gallagher

Venue: Hera Hub Sorrento Valley, 4010 Sorrento Valley Blvd #400, San Diego, CA 92121

Date: Mar. 14, 2016 6:00PM

Org: Write The Docs PDX

Topic: Learn About The Wacom User Help System

Speaking: Arthur Krebsbach

Venue: New Relic 111 SW 5th Avenue, 27th floor, Portland, OR 97204

Date: Mar. 15, 2017 6:00PM

Org: STC San Francisco

Topic: All Roads Lead to API Docs

Speaking: Leah Scampoli

Venue: Salesforce, 121 Spear St., Rincon Center, San Francisco CA

Date: Mar. 21, 2017 6:00PM

Org: STC Orange County

Topic: TBA

Speaking: TBA

Venue: Doubletree Club Hotel—Orange County Airport, 7 Hutton Centre Dr. Santa Ana, California 92707-5794

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Feb. 26, 2017 Blumbers

Uber Fowler

On. Feb 19, 2017 Susan J. Fowler recounted her experiences working at Uber. I recommend you read it here. While Fowler described her experiences as strange, I do not. Sadly, many workplaces have internal politics like Game of Thrones. A hostile environment geared toward short term gain is every where. If corporate culture is hard to change, a monoculture is nearly impossible. The solution seems to be to vote with your feet. Qualified professionals should keep moving until they find something better. Recruiters should recognize and take a chance on those candidates who did not settle for hostile incompetence.

There is an astounding lack of courage in Silicon Valley when it comes to hiring older women with technical skills. I am beginning to wonder if the fact that ninety percent of startups fail is because ninety percent of their staff are male. Company staff that resemble society in general, tend to succeed in the long run.

So if you are a high tech employer and see a candidate who has worked at several different companies, it might be they want something better and are looking at you. Be that better company and hire that better person.

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Feb. 25, 2017 Who Is Looking?

Who is looking at me looking at New York Times Reporter Benedict Carey? Apparently in the November 4, 2012 Carey wrote “Increase Seen in U.S. Suicide Rate Since Recession.” The study was conducted by Aaron Reeves of the University of Cambridge and Sanjay Basu of Stanford and included researchers from the University of Bristol the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the University of Hong Kong.”  See the tag and screen capture below.

United States Seattle, United States visited http://www.djcline.com/tag/benedict-carey/

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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