Jul 13 2020

They don’t realy care about us and they never have

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 13:14

The first time I visited Dublin and walked along the Liffey river, the monument that impressed me and my colleagues the most was the one dedicated to the Irish Famine from 1845-1849. I was curious at the time how people could die of hunger on an island surrounded by sea and that produced other crops. What the hell happened and who was to blame? (And no, fishing was not a solution for other reasons that I won’t cover here. This is an entry focused on the core cause why everything went so wrong.)

The short answer: politicians.

When the fungus that killed potatoes appeared and started affecting crops, the then prime minister Robert Peel of the UK ignored the scientists’ warnings and said that: “The Irish were prone to exaggerating” which caused the British government to ignore the problem.

When he started to acknowledge the problem, the solution was to import grain from the US. Why did Ireland have no grain? Because the “above the line people” sold it to the British. What stopped Ireland to import grain? A British law that regulated imports.

To be clear, people were dying by the hundred of thousands and politicians could not do anything about it because of a law passed by … politicians.

At some point Peel started to see the error off his ways and tried twice to do something about it. He tried to repeal the law blovking imports, but the proposal was rejected, again by other politicians. He tried to create a government program to help poor people get jobs, so they can buy food. But that was killed off shortly, because … politics.

He then lost the elections to John Russel that put charge Charles Trevelyan in charge of solving the Irish famine problem. These two men had a very idiotic approach to economics: laissez-faire economics. If that sounds French and you do not know what I mean, imagine Trevelyan saying: “The fungus will go away, we do not need a pesticide for it. The market will regulate itself. The people will adapt.That sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

If you ever wondered why Irish hate the British so much, well, I’ve just listed a few reasons. But, let’s come back to the politics angle and to the present day issue.

We still are in the middle of a pandemic. Some people want to deny its gravity, politicians especially – their livelihood depends on other’s people’s work, because as individuals they do not provide an essential service. Some of you might disagree, but hear me out. Imagine that people would have never invented money, and you would have to trade your skill for food. What can you do, what can you provide to somebody else so they will give you the food they produce in exchange for it? I have a number of skills: I able to cook, clean, teach, babysit, fix computers, sew and I am even able to take care of a few plants and animals. I could trade any these for food. Politicians – most of them come from comfortable lives where most of these services were provided by others. Thier only skill is the manipulation of masses using … words. This is not a skill that produces a concrete result. If they were unable to manipulate others to do these things for them, they would starve.(When times are hard, only an idiot would rely on politicians.) Not doing any of these things themselves, living a comfortable life detaches them from the needs of a normal person in society. So when they make laws and make decisions, they do not make them for the people, because they do not live among the people they make those laws for.

Does it make sense?

This is why, politics(and religion) should not be a full time job. It should be a part- time job with a modest capped income. This would keep a politician at a decent level of well-being, which would prohibit him to rise up to a higher society class where it would be detached from the problems trying to solve for the people it represents.

The defective politics of the potato plague caused 1.5 millions of people to die. The Irish population in 1845 was estimated to be 8 millions. Let this sink in: the British Government at the time negrectfully executed a genocide in Ireland. (And Tony Blair presented excuses for that in 1999.)
But this strain of the corona virus is not a potato plague. It is a people plague. And it is not localized to an island. It took over the whole world. And politicians have treated it almost the same 100 and some years later. Politicians ignored scientists’ warnings in this case as well, various laws required to help poor people were slow to be passed and ineffective, in the US big companies have chipped in and basically… funnelled the funds. Politicians have made a mess of things yet again. Yet again, simple people are dying, while they isolate themselves in thier lavish mansions away from any risk of contagion.

This will be a rough analogy. But a sheppard would never allow so many of his sheep to die. So if we are sheep, and politicians are shepperds; they are incompetent sheppards. Or the sheep have multipled too much and there is not enough grass to feed them all.  So a “few of them” dying is not a problem.

Will we ever learn from our mistakes and reform politics? Because we’ve changed from head of tribes, to monarchies, to governments and leadership is still defective. We need something else. Or we need a different kind of people to lead us. We need people that have good knowledge of history and politics, but that are not detached from the needs of the simple man. And the only way to do that is to keep them simple.

Societies are complex systems. There will always be people that do not have enough. But, it would be nice to reduce that number and that “enough” to mean something more than survival.

Stay safe, stay happy!

Jul 11 2020

About being a diversity hire and why it shouldn’t matter

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 14:37

I am going to start this entry with a dark-bitter joke.

Bertram Wooster and Ernestine Anderson were staffing up their teams. Bertram was hiring trainees to work in the company’s retail stores, Ernestine was hiring software developers to build a new supply chain system for the company’s operations. ”Bert,” Ernestine asked, “I have hundreds of resumés, how do I whittle them down to a handful of calls and a few interviews?”Bertram smiled. He grabbed a pile of resumés from his desk, then started dealing the resumés out, first one back onto his desk, second into the recycle bin, third onto his desk, fourth into the recycle bin. When he was finished, he had thrown half of the resumés away. “It’s simple.” Bertram told Ernestine. “Just don’t hire anybody who’s unlucky.”

This week, I saw a black developer defended himself on Twitter after being accused of being a diversity hire. And that pissed me off a little. Nobody should defend themselves for getting a job, because most passing job interviews is dependend on so many random factors that it could be considered … luck.

There will be people that will tell you that they are so good at their job and they are have such an exemplary character, and presentation skills that they can get any job they want. But that is simply not true.
There is a saying about people: no matter how great and awesome and kind a person is, there is at least one person in this world that hates them. Which means, you might consider yourself lucky to have met your partner, but there is at least one person in this world to consider themselves to be lucky to have gotten rid of them.

Continue reading “About being a diversity hire and why it shouldn’t matter”

Tags: ,

Jul 09 2020

Let me tell you about John

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 0:30

I have this friend called John. John is smart and wise.  John has a way about him, he always seems to know the right thing to say or to do.

John has some magic way of knowing when to be in the right place, at the right time to offer help when needed. John is the best person I know, he is always understanding and kind, and if he hurts me sometimes, I trust him to do it for my own good, even if I don’t always understand it. He is so supportive and protective of me, that sometimes hurts people that have hurt me. John is such a good friend.

He is also quite busy, so sometimes when I find myself in a pickle and I do not know what to do, I ask myself “What would John do?” and because he is my best friend and always there for me, I know is what he would do, so I do it. And I am sure he would approve of my actions. John is amazing and any person would be blessed to have a friend like John. So, every time I meet someone nice, I feel good talking to them about John.

I know it seems extreme to always be relying on John’s help and approval, but John is older than me and he has more experience. He does know better.

Sometimes I borrow John money, but he never asks me directly, he always sends his friend Marcus to do it. I think he is embarrassed he has to ask money from me. He has never given me the money back, and Marcus is never able to contact him to send him my messages about getting my money back. But John is truly great, I wouldn’t know how to live my life without him.

Continue reading “Let me tell you about John”

Tags: , ,

Jul 01 2020

Gilead is coming

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 22:58

There is a pharmaceutical company named Gilead. And this company apparently has managed to produce an anti-viral drug that seems to shorten recovery times in patients suffering with Covid-19.

For all those that read the Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale(or are watching the series), the name of pharmaceutical company is creepy as fuck.

Apparently the Trump administration purchased 500,000 courses of the drug.

Call me a conspiracy theorist, but if the side effect of this drug is discovered in a few years to be sterillity, we should name Margaret Atwood the new Nostradamus. Also, it would be so ironic if that happens that we will have to invent a word to represent the absolute irony.

Stay safe, stay happy!

Jun 27 2020

I got beaten by SelfControl

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 2:21

In 2014 made the change from Linux to MacOS. I adapted quickly, even though I had my issues with an operating system that sometimes behaves like a control-freak boyfriend.

(Some context for the previous image: Siri just started on its own, for no apparent reason. Told it to leave me alone. Apprently the algorithm is not good enough to understand that and act upon it. But I guess it records everything I say which is terrifying.)

A few years in I discovered I had a social media addiction. Me checking my Facebook account, Twitter, Reddit and a few other websites constantly was affecting my ability to do my job properly, so I did what I always do, I tried to block myself from accessing those websites. My Facebook app is currently disabled on my phone. I only keep the messaging app for keeping in touch with friends, but my problem was cutting access to them on the computer.

That is when I discovered the SelfControl app. My only problem with it was that the maximum blocking interval was too small: 12 hours, if I remember correctly. And it wasn’t doing it for me. So, I googled for a solution. And there is an itsy-bitsy hack to increase that interval to … a lot. I set it to 1 month.

And a while ago exasperated by the fact that I was wasting too much time on unproductive sites, I used the app again, and I set it to one month on my work laptop and on my personal laptop.

Only about a week ago, I really needed to retweet some work tweets and this is how the fight with SelfControl began on my work laptop. Do you want to know the fun part?

There are a lot of things you have to do to disable the damn thing. I tried a few and it looked like it might work. I also unistalled the damn thing.  I hoped something would work, but nope.

Twitter, Facebook and a few other sites are still blocked on my work laptop. I don’t even know how long I have, and if after the interval expires the sites will be available again. It might be that the work laptop just needs a restart, which it will happen at some point. But until then, I am still locked out of all the unproductive sites that used to eat my time.

And I know that if I am willing to dig a little more, try new things, I will end up unblocking those sites. But I do not want to, I don’t really need them anyway.

But what prompted me to write is entry is that I admire the team that build the SelfControl app. It really, really does what promised. It helps you control yourself, when you are not able to. And it does a great job. So great, that it discourages you from interfering with it.

So yeah, I’ve been beaten by SelfControl and I’m not even sorry.

Tags: ,

Jun 16 2020

Time to give up Revolut

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 14:10

When I moved to the UK Revolut saved me a lot of headaches. I was able to convert all my savings in GBP with the smallest commission and I was able to rent a place, buy a car and even receive my salary without having an UK bank account. Sure, the cost of all this was the cost of the Revolut premium service which is 72GBP per year. But it was worth it.

Emphasis on the was.

Continue reading “Time to give up Revolut”

Tags: , ,

Jun 13 2020

The Masquerade

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 17:55

I am using Twitter to keep in contact with my developer friends, mentors and to keep up to date with Java, Spring, IntelliJ IDEA and other technologies I like and use on a daily basis. When the USA BLM riots started, I said to myself “Hm, finally, maybe US will manage finally to fix their racism problem”. But I never expected every fucker in this world to try to jump in the BLM bandwagon and to show support in the most ridiculous ways that do not make a difference. People I thought were “la crème de la crème” in the IT environment started babbling about how using the terms master/slave in tech is bad and somehow promotes slavery and racism and going out of their way to stop using the “master” branch in Git.

I thought they were only a few and their useless ways of showing they despise slavery and racism would be laughed at and people would forget about it.

But it didn’t. And it scares me.  And it sickens me. Don’t stop reading, let me tell you why.

Continue reading “The Masquerade”

Tags: , , , , , , , ,