Losing another work apprentice

Oct. 19th, 2017 01:14 pm
[personal profile] osewalrus
Always so bittersweet to see someone who came in with lots of raw talent leave a polished professional, confident and ready to become a leader in the field.  I shouldn't get so attached to them. But there is a reason that about 40%-50% of my time is taken up working with the younger staff. And yes, I have an actual mentorship/apprenticeship plan.

It doesn't work with all of them. Apprenticeships are highly personal things. But when it does work it can be so amazingly transformative. 

Usually early on, there is a point where I say: "don't try to be me. You are not me. It took me 10, 15, lots and lots of years to learn to be me. You need to learn how to be you. Watch what i do and how I do it. Keep asking the questions. Remember the things that I tell you that are "skills" are different than figuring out your own methods and your own voice. There are a lot of right ways to do this job. Find your own voice. Don't try to use mine.

Kate's last day is tomorrow. She is leaving after 3 years for a huge promotion in our world. It's a tough job, but she totally is ready. I am so proud, and I am so going to miss her (although it's not like she is dead, and this is a small town).

The problem with our two-year fellowship program is that losing an apprentice to the real world used to be much less frequent. It's hard not to get emotionally attached. Frankly, I don't know how regular teachers do it.

Major Ashes to Ashes spoiler )

daf bit: Sanhedrin 90

Oct. 19th, 2017 08:53 am
cellio: (talmud)
[personal profile] cellio

The mishna that begins the current chapter talks about who has shares in the World to Come (Olam HaBa). We learn: all Israel have a share, except that the following have none: one who holds that resurrection of the dead (in the time of the messiah) is not biblical doctrine;1 one who holds that the torah was not divinely revealed, and an apikorus (here meaning a heretic; the word derives from Epicurean). R' Akiva adds: one who read uncanonical books; this might refer to Gnostic books or might refer to ascribing scriptural status to other books. R' Akiva also adds one who says a certain kind of magical charm, and Abba Saul adds one who pronounces the divine name as it is written. The mishna then goes on to single out seven individual people who have no share in the World to Come: the three kings Jeroboam, Ahab, and Manashe, and the four commoners Bilaam, Doeg, Ahitophel, and Gehazi. (90a)

The g'mara goes on for pages and pages from this mishna -- the next nine pages revolve around resurrection of the dead and the messiah. Today's daf, 95, is in the midst of that discussion, which is why I went back to the mishna rather than diving in there. I don't yet know the reasons for all seven people who are singled out.

1 A note in my translaton points out that the Sadducees and the Samaritans denied resurrection (and were relevant groups in mishnaic times).

(The last two Thursdays were holidays, hence the interruption in daf bits.)

October blows

Oct. 17th, 2017 05:34 pm
celli: "You know what? I am absolutely out of my fool goddamn mind, and I am going to OWN THAT SHIT." (crazycakes)
[personal profile] celli
#ptsd #sexualassault #Weinstein

cut for the above )

fic report

Oct. 15th, 2017 09:45 pm
celli: A black cat with a Santa hat on, tilting its head, captioned "Whatcha Writin'? Yuletide" (Yuletide kitty)
[personal profile] celli
Between a tax deadline and a ptsd episode, I haven't been able to write much, except for that yuletide treat which is my indulgence fic.

Done:
* Coursera Character week 2 story (326/300-600)

New:
* Coursera Character week 3 story (0/700-1000)
* Coursera Character week 4 story (0/1000)
* Yuletide story (0/1000+)
* Yuletide treat #1 (777/1000+)

Progress:

Other:
* PODSA mpreg (2264/whatever)
* Star Wars auction fic (713/1000+)
* PODSA Victory Eve sequel (110/whatever)
* AIRPF AU with [personal profile] rajkumari905 (3316/whatever)
* AIRPF auction fic (0/1000+)
cellio: (Default)
[personal profile] cellio

A few weeks ago I wrote about a Stack Exchange design change that made the site much harder for me to use. I wrote a post about it that got a lot of attention -- which led to a meeting invitation from the relevant product manager. We had a very productive conversation, after which they fixed the main problems I reported (and one that came up during our meeting). Woot! Calm-but-firm user feedback works sometimes.

The meeting was supposed to include one of the designers, but time zones are hard. The product manager and I spent the better part of an hour talking about the design, use cases, the need for responsive design, vision problems, and so on. Through screen-sharing, I showed him what things were problems for me, what I was using user scripts or CSS overrides to get around (but I can't do that on my tablet), what I was just having to put up with, and what site functions I was just ignoring because they're too hard now. While it's not about the top bar (the specific UI change that led to this meeting), I pointed out a problem that basically means I can't do some key moderation tasks on any mobile device. (No word yet on whether they're going to fix that.) Along the way we bumped into a couple things where, apparently, normal people see some color differentiation that I couldn't see, and he said they'd work on that. He shared some of their then-future plans for the top bar and asked for feedback. He said they are trying to move to responsive design, which will make a lot of things better, but we both know that's a big change for a site that wasn't designed that way from the start.

This UI change has been quite contentious among the larger user community. Some users are, sadly, being quite rude about it. I'm glad that, against that backdrop, someone was willing to take the time to try to understand and address the problems I was facing with the new design. I'm one of about 15 million users and about 500 moderators, and nonetheless I was worth a few hours of somebody's time. Courtesy of course matters, but even with courtesy I'm usually brushed off, not engaged, when part of a large user base somewhere.

This is actually my fourth* significant meeting (not email, not site chat, but synchronous meeting) with SE employees -- two community managers, one VP (escalating a problem), and now this product manager. All have left me feeling that the employees in question really cared about me as a user and moderator, and most of them resulted in my problems being fixed. I'm pretty impressed.

* I was also interviewed by a member of the design team for the now-ended Documentation product, I think because of this post I wrote about some planned changes there. That was them doing user research (for which they paid me), not me bringing something to them.

This is not the job I was looking for

Oct. 12th, 2017 03:17 pm
scarlettina: (Madness)
[personal profile] scarlettina
At this time of year--open enrollment--I find me reminding myself, amidst the anxiety, anger and overwork, that this is not the job I actually interviewed for when I joined this company. I interviewed for a role that I thought was going to be business-to-consumer, focusing on commercial content with an educational flavor. Within a day of starting the job, I was assigned to a different manager and put onto a different kind of content that I have no interest in. For reasons of salary and benefits, I've stayed nearly 5 years. Last night, in therapy, I realized that I've pretty much reached my limit for doing a job I didn't actually interview for. I'm tired, I'm discouraged and I'm a little fed up. I've been looking for a new job slowly, applied for a couple of things here and there; no nibbles so far. I really want out. And I'll be working harder over the next months to find something that will light me up a little more. Because right now? No so very much. :: sigh ::

(no subject)

Oct. 12th, 2017 08:18 am
camwyn: (angry cow)
[personal profile] camwyn
AAAAAGH

Boston Medical Center, I appreciate your desire to reach the general public with messages encouraging folks with breasts to show up for mammograms, esp. since this is October and that means Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

But could you PLEASE not do it with ads on Pandora where you have your mammogram machine (which sounds like a middle-aged white woman named Pam or Kimberly or something) sing breast-themed versions of Salt-N-Pepa music into someone's answering machine? I'm allowed to listen to Pandora at work, but I keep having to scramble to hit the mute button on my computer because it goes from nice shapeless calming ambient to LET'S TALK ABOUT BREAST HEALTH PLEASE, LET'S TALK ABOUT-

grhbghghagsdhghsdghs;dfh.

Pearl-whistling*

Oct. 11th, 2017 07:45 am
batwrangler: Just for me. (Default)
[personal profile] batwrangler
I get that "take a knee" is a rest position in some circumstances, but kneeling in the USA is so culturally encoded as respectful (religious worship, marriage proposals, vestiges of knighthoods, etc, ad nauseum), that I CANNOT BELIEVE that anyone ACTUALLY thinks that kneeling in protest is in any way disrespectful. 

That is all. 

*Pearl-[clutching + dog-]whistling
[personal profile] osewalrus
I must admit, this is a level of outright brazen crony capitalism I never imagined possible. It is a whole new level of chutzpah.
https://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2017/09/f37/Notice%20of%20Proposed%20Rulemaking%20.pdf

For those not clicking through -- Secretary of Energy Rick Perry has invoked a little-used provision of the Energy Act where the Secretary of Energy gets to "propose" a rule to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). FERC is an independent federal agency, but under the Department of Energy Organization Act of 1977, FERC nominally reports to the Secretary of the DOE and the Sec. may "propose" measures for FERC to consider. Sec. Perry appears to think that means dictating a result to FERC, and I am not familiar enough with the relevant provision to know if that's in fact how this works or if FERC needs to actually vote it out by a majority or what.

The proposal for consideration goes like this.

1. Lots of coal fired power plants and nuclear power plants are closing. 

2.Sure, the reason they are closing is because cleaner fuels like natural gas are ridiculously cheaper, and because renewables make up an increasing portion of the electric grid, so that no one wants to operate these very old and inefficient power plants. The market does not support them. They can't make electricity as efficiently, and because most electricity is actually sold wholesale via market mechanisms, it means that folks with cheaper fuels and more efficient plants (that have lower operating costs) are able to sell their electricity cheaper. This is more attractive to the distributors who sell it to residential and business customers, so they buy the cheaper power from these more modern, cleaner plants. And coal and nuclear plants gradually shut down.

Unmentioned, this has a very negative impact on the price of coal. As a result, coal mines become much less profitable. So they close. No matter how many safety regs and environmental regs you repeal and sacrifice to the Gods of the Marketplace, coal ain't coming back. The gods of the marketplace are cruel and capricious that way.

3. In theory, if you believe in the power of unregulated markets, this is fine. But Secretary Perry sees this as a tremendous market failure.

4. Why? Because Trump cannot keep his promise to his buddies to bring back coal. if we don't have a diversified mix of power plants, then we risk a serious disruption to the energy grid in the event of an unanticipated long-term shortage. Mind you, some would argue that natural gas, solar, wind and other cleaner fuels favored by the market (like biodiesel) provide us with diversity. But that would be wrong. Why? Because they are not coal and uranium. These fuels are abundant and locally produced in artisanal mines in key swing states. That is the kind of fuel diversity we need as a nation!

So we have a market failure, because the free market price fails to factor in the cost of reliability. That is to say, of having lots of functioning coal-fired plants and nuclear plants with lots of fuel on hand in case we have an emergency that disrupts fuel for an extended period of time.

5. Fortunately, Secretary Perry has a solution. FERC can require that coal-fired and nuclear power generators buy a 90-day inventory and keep that on hand in case we need it. That is to say, we should force these companies to literally buy tons of coal and uranium to store indefinitely.

Now this is expensive, not merely because you have to buy the 90-day reserve. You also have to store the reserve. I am sure there is absolutely no security concern with requiring nuclear power plants to buy literally tons of enriched, fuel grade uranium that could be converted into weapons grade uranium and leave it sitting around. I'm also sure there is no possible environmental problem from requiring companies to buy and store literally tons of highly toxic material and store them someplace where they can access them easily when needed -- assuming they are ever needed.

This does not, of course, guarantee that these power plants would be profitable. Just the opposite! Fortunately, Secretary Perry is smart enough to have figured that out, which takes us to the next part of the proposal.

6. FERC will figure out a way to make all electric producers who aren't coal or nuclear generated pay to subsidize their rivals so that the "value of reliability" can be factored into the price. But don't worry, these generators will be able to pass the cost on to the ultimate consumers. i.e. you.

So, to summarize, Trump Administration proposes a rule to make power plants buy coal and uranium they don't want, and to store a 90 day supply of it on hand. The rule will require the rest of the power industry to subsidize coal-fired plants and nuclear plants. This will raise everyone's rates, as well as create a whole new set of security problems and environmental problems. Everybody wins! Assuming "Everybody" means coal companies, uranium miners, and a few thousand coal miners who will get to keep their jobs longer until they die of Black Lung or a mine collapse because we also repealed all the safety regulations.

MAGA!
[personal profile] osewalrus
Color of Change and other civil rights orgs are mad at Facebook.
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jan/18/facebook-moderation-racial-bias-black-lives-matter

Meanwhile, conservatives are mad at YouTube:
http://thehill.com/policy/technology/353213-right-fumes-after-youtube-ad-crackdown

This is why I like mandatory common carriage.
 

(no subject)

Oct. 10th, 2017 08:58 am
camwyn: Me in a bomber jacket and jeans standing next to a green two-man North Andover Flight Academy helicopter. (Default)
[personal profile] camwyn
So I learned a new wrapping technique from Gayle Bird Designs at Craftsy this weekend.

Turns out it's really fast, and looks awfully fancy into the bargain. )
celli: "That's what I was going to say, only my version had more confused flailing." (what she said)
[personal profile] celli
Done:
* Coursera Setting week 4 story (508/500-750)
* Coursera Character week 1 story (394/400)
* PODSA gift story (1781)

Three in the Bed (933 words) by celli
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Pod Save America (RPF)
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Jon Lovett/Jon Favreau/Tommy Vietor
Characters: Jon Lovett, Jon Favreau, Tommy Vietor
Additional Tags: Bedsharing, Glasses, Light Dom/sub, sex tears
Summary:
There's just so much going on - in one week we got Lovett tweeting bedsharing jokes, Lovett's glasses, Lovett fake crying, and "handsome people" telling Lovett what to do in "my work AND home life." So this fic happened. End of summary.


New:
* Coursera Character week 2 story (0/300-600)

Progress:
* PODSA mpreg (2264/whatever)
* Star Wars auction fic (713/1000+)

Other:
* PODSA Victory Eve sequel (110/whatever)
* AIRPF AU with [personal profile] rajkumari905 (3316/whatever)
* AIRPF auction fic (0/1000+)

Sunday afternoon bibbles

Oct. 8th, 2017 02:53 pm
celli: due South's Fraser passing the "Welcome to Chicago" sign, captioned "the cities are only outposts" (Chicago outpost)
[personal profile] celli
I have friends coming over in a couple of hours, so I'm cleaning the apartment one chunk at a time, resting so it doesn't hurt my back...and because resting is fun. :)

I'll post my fic report later, because I'm not done for the day - doing a write-in with said friends. I'm falling behind on my Coursera classes, so I have two assignments to catch up on. One is actually fanfic - I'm writing a short Wonder Woman piece that I'll probs post when it's finished. Then, on to Star Wars and mpreg, probably. (The two are unrelated, not that Star Wars mpreg wouldn't be FASCINATING.)

Work is super stressful - I cried at my desk Friday. I have a major deadline coming up in a week. Then hopefully I won't be as revved up all day at work and can go back to enjoying myself.

Tomorrow is the Pod Save America tour. All four of the hosts! Live in front of me! Being...them! *looks faint*

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