Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for August 18th, 2015

Report on how prison guards beat a prisoner to death and what’s happened as a result

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Interesting reading by Michael Winrip and Michael Schwirtz in the NY Times. If you did not know in which country the reported incident occurred, what country would you have guessed?

Written by Leisureguy

18 August 2015 at 5:01 pm

Posted in Law, Law Enforcement

A tasty ad hoc chili

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In a skillet or sauté pan, heat

1-2 Tbsp bacon fat

Then add

1 large Spanish onion, chopped
6 oz baked Teriyaki tofu squares (2 squares)

Sauté that for about 10 minutes, then add:

6-8 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp smoked Spanish paprika
1 Tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground ancho
2 tsp dried thyme
2 Tbsp Mexican oregano
several grindings black pepper
1 tsp salt

Sauté for about a minute, then add:

1 can Ro-Tel Original tomatoes and green chilis
1 can Cuban black beans (with tomato and green chili)
2-3 tsp liquid smoke
2 tsp soy sauce

Simmer 30 minutes. Good topped with cheese. If you want spicier include 2 tsp ground chipotle with the other spices and herbs.

Written by Leisureguy

18 August 2015 at 3:52 pm

Amazon’s work culture is just slightly more extensive than that of other companies

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A very interesting column by Brian Merchant in Motherboard examines the trends in how corporations manage employees and finds that most are moving rapidly in the direction of the Amazon model. Well worth reading. [edit: broken link fixed – LG] You can certainly see the reasons that the culture is pushed, and you can see who benefits and who suffers adverse effects.

From the article:

“I wasn’t surprised about anything in the report, except maybe the desperation that allows workers to accept such conditions,” Douglas Rushkoff, a professor of media theory at CUNY, and the author of Present Shock, told me in an email.“But what Amazon is doing is entirely consistent with the way most companies are using digital technology. It’s a way of extracting value from humans and converting it into share price.”

Of course, working conditions like these are what gave rise to unions to begin with. In addition, government is the other force protecting employees (the public) from excessive demands. For example, the 40-hour work week, the safety requirements enforced by OSHA, and so on. But in recent decades the government has discontinued this role for a variety of reasons, including targeted budget cutbacks by Congress.

It will be interesting to see how it plays out. The numbers are on one side, power is on the other.

UPDATE: Interesting further context for the anecdote told by Jeff Bezos.

Written by Leisureguy

18 August 2015 at 12:48 pm

When You’re in Charge, Your Whisper May Feel Like a Shout

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Interesting column in the NY Times by Adam Galinsky:

“Gail, I need to talk with you about something this afternoon. Can you come by my office at 3 p.m.?” I didn’t think much about my seemingly innocuous words, spoken to one of my department’s doctoral students one morning back when I was an assistant professor.

Gail showed up right on time, walking into my office with great trepidation. I proceeded to go over some small changes in a research project we were planning. After I finished talking, Gail sternly said, “Never do that to me again!”

“Do what?” I said with much confusion.

“Scare the hell out of me by saying you needed to talk to me,” she said. “I spent the whole day obsessing about whether I was in trouble.”

Initially, I thought that Gail must be particularly oversensitive. But not long after that, the chairwoman of my department, a full professor who would one day vote on my tenure case, asked me to come and see her later in the day. For the next five hours, I was consumed with fear that I had done something wrong — until we met and I learned that the topic was also insignificant.

At the time of these exchanges, I had started to study the psychological effects of power. These experiences brought me face to face with how the words of those with power loom large over those with less power. This is a phenomenon I call the power amplification effect.

The problem is that the powerful are often oblivious to their impact. Holding power, as my research shows, reduces one’s capacity to appreciate how one’s words and gestures may affect others. As I studied power and reflected on my own experiences, I realized that three types of communications become amplified by power: direct communication, silence and ambiguity.

Direct communication. When I was a first-year doctoral student, I shared an idea in class on the very first day. The professor dismissed my comment. “That is completely wrong,” he said, violently shaking his head. I was mortified.

A few weeks later I ran into the same professor as I was walking down the hall. He stopped me with a smile and said he had enjoyed reading one of my papers. “You are a lovely writer,” he said. I continued on my way but now with a skip in my step.

This example illustrates how feedback from the powerful — whether positive or negative — easily becomes amplified.

Silence. . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

18 August 2015 at 11:32 am

Those Who Compare the Iran Deal to Munich Are Right—but Not in the Way They Think

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Very interesting thoughts about the Iran Deal from a couple of readers of James Fallows’s series on the matter. Worth reading.

Written by Leisureguy

18 August 2015 at 10:47 am

Super smooth with iKon slant, MWF, and an extremely soft and fluffy badger brush

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SOTD 18 Aug 2015

A very nice shave indeed. I put the soap so that you can see how the puck has dried out to the point of cracking. I do not put water on the puck before loading the brush. So far as I can tell, that doesn’t help at all. The brush shown, an Omega silvertip, is unusually large, fluffy, and soft, and I had no trouble at all in loading the brush, though I did have to add a driblet or two of water during the load. (I start with a brush that’s dampish-wet.)

I worked up the lather on my face, and despite the brush’s size, had no real problems. The lather was quite pleasant, and I set to work with the iKon stainless slant. I’ve learned to use very light pressure, and I had no problems at all. When I have had problems (from using too much pressure), they have occurred in the XTG pass, but today it was all smooth sailing. I think this Bulldog handle makes it somewhat easier to use than the longer, heavier SE handle I have on the iKon DLC slant, but in fact both work well once I learned to use them.

Three passes to a BBS result, a good splash of Fine’s American Blend, and the day is underway.

Written by Leisureguy

18 August 2015 at 10:18 am

Posted in Shaving

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