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b_b  ·  37 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The misremembering of the McGwire-Sosa Home Run Race

What's dumb is someone who was a toddler when steroids were big thinking that they have any insight whatever into what steroid culture was like on the 90s.

b_b  ·  37 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The misremembering of the McGwire-Sosa Home Run Race

Probably Olerud too. My whole high school football team was on steroids in 1998. A dude in my class has a seizure during drafting class because of all the shit he was using to bulk up. My buddy who went on to pitch independent league ball in early 2000s was on steroids. Lance Armstrong was on steroids, as you note. Steroids were so common and so cheap and so easy to obtain in the 90s that usage was probably far higher than anyone imagines. I wouldn't be surprised if it was over 90% in some sports. It's one of those things that we need to just forget about, because it was a product of the era and not specific to individuals, even if certain guys were more conspicuous than others (I remember sitting in row 1 being the dugout and being shocked to see Raphael Palmiero's neck and traps up close).

flagamuffin  ·  37 days ago  ·  link  ·  

this is dumb. john olerud hit 255 career home runs and had a marked decline after his age 33 season, just like every player ever who was not on steroids

and for a player like olerud, "forgetting" isn't sufficient...

    All that adds up, according to Baseball Reference, to 53.7 career wins above replacement and 27.4 wins above average. Those are borderline Hall of Fame numbers, and probably slightly on the wrong side of the border. But keep in mind, WAR is an adjusted-for-league-average stat. And Olerud was playing in a league full of cheaters, like McGwire and Palmeiro and Sosa and Bonds. They make his adjusted numbers, which are already on the borderline for Hall consideration, look worse than they should be. And he was playing in a league full of cheaters like Roger Clemens, who he faced 107 times, more than any other pitcher, and against whom he hit just .205/.335/.373. So, first, Olerud's numbers are worsened because a good chunk of the pitchers he faced were cheating, and second his numbers get worsened again in the adjustment process because he gets compared to other hitters who were cheating. What that means, I think, is that if you want to try to pretend the steroid thing never happened, i.e. to imagine that all the cheating players just hadn't been there, John Olerud has a pretty strong Hall of Fame case.
b_b  ·  37 days ago  ·  link  ·  

What's dumb is someone who was a toddler when steroids were big thinking that they have any insight whatever into what steroid culture was like on the 90s.

b_b  ·  38 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Squeezing the Worker

This is yet another area where the powerful and powerless have diverged. Try to give an executive level person anything more than a 6 month, strictly in market non-compete and they will laugh so hard they choke. McDonald's, on the other hand, routinely uses them.

b_b  ·  38 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Squeezing the Worker

It would be interesting to know a couple things about the data, including the percentage of employees who receive benefits, and how that compares to smaller employers. Also, I'd like to know the total SNAP benefit amount normalized to the company's revenue per employee. I guess my point is that we don't so much know how shitty the pay is if we can't accurately compare it across all employers. I bring this up, because for example Cleveland Clinic is on Ohio's list, and I'm sure I'm not alone in not immediately thinking of them when thinking of evil companies. Wichita public schools makes the list in Kansas, which is even more fucked up, since it means that us federal tax payers are paying for their complete unwillingness to collect state taxes to do any good whatever. These data are really interesting, but just a little incomplete, IMO. Hating big companies is easy, but the hard part is how to fix our tax code to encourage better behavior--we can only do that with good data. (Anyway, don't get me wrong--as a taxpayer I'm getting pretty goddam sick of paying Amazon for everything and then still having my tax dollars go to their employees, when that company barely pays taxes themselves. Walmart is easy to hate, and for good reason, but at least they pay taxes.)

kleinbl00  ·  38 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I would make two observations:

1) Fast food work is effectively unskilled labor. Small businesses utilize a lot less unskilled labor because they generally start as sole proprietorships and expand when the proprietor's expertise outvalues the proprietor's time. The Cleveland Clinic likely makes the list because "As of 2018, it has over 52,000 employees, a figure that includes over 11,800 nurses and over 3,600 physicians and scientists" - which means they don't outsource custodial and housekeeping. With less than 1/3rd of their employees being healthcare practitioners, 2/3rds of their employees do not enjoy elevated status.

2) The fix is easy: remove healthcare and retirement from private offerings. As a business owner I have a powerful incentive to avoid providing benefits: it already costs me 50 cents to pay them a dollar and when nobody else is providing decent benefits whatever benefits I provide aren't going to enter into salary calculations (because people aren't clever enough to do the math). I'm too small to turn employee insurance into a profit center. Walmart is not. It's easy to hate big companies because they take full advantage of every loophole they've lobbied into the tax code and the corner barbershop couldn't find a lobbyist with a phone book and a flashlight.

It's interesting to me that most of the reactions to this article are actually a reaction to the chart, which was stolen flagrantly from BFX's original post (where it received substantially less notice).

ButterflyEffect  ·  38 days ago  ·  link  ·  

On the topic of the article...no-compete clauses have become fucking insane. I had to sign one with a 50-mile radius as a college intern for one company. I'm there to learn and to give you some cheap labor in the process, and I still have to sign the thing?! It's become so insanely overused to be destructive against professional mobility more than anything else, and I'm glad somebody is shining a light on that.

kleinbl00  ·  38 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I know a guy who was assistant manager at an office supply store. He had a 75-mile, 3-year noncompete.

I mean, jobs were turning shitty when I pulled the ripcord on the whole TPS report world eleven years ago. Now they're straight bullshit. I don't know much but I know that my daughter is going to learn that "employee" is an unenviable fall-back, not a goal.

b_b  ·  38 days ago  ·  link  ·  

This is yet another area where the powerful and powerless have diverged. Try to give an executive level person anything more than a 6 month, strictly in market non-compete and they will laugh so hard they choke. McDonald's, on the other hand, routinely uses them.

goobster  ·  37 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Amazon took issue with the way Bernie Sanders recently characterized their SNAP-eligible employees. Something like 90% of this demographic CHOOSES to work part-time jobs for their own reasons, therefore they are not eligible for Amazon's full-time benefits that kick in after 35-hour work weeks.

So yeah... the issue is more nuanced than simply "Bad company, raping public multiple ways."

But it is the underlying systems - employer-provided healthcare, minimum hours, etc. - that lead to employers making these decisions that have unintended consequences.

And every employee that finds a way to cut costs or increase profits will get a good employee review. Will they always fully understand the impacts of their decisions on the global job market? No. Probably not. They just saw that part-timers were getting the same bennies as full-timers, and that the math didn't pencil out. So they suggested we "provide benefits at 35-hours", and save money.

You really can't fault the base thinking, there. It's the knock-on effects further down the pipeline that we have a hard time predicting and calculating until after the fact... then it's a news story.

b_b  ·  38 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Ocean cleanup system sets sail for “Great Pacific garbage patch”

If only we had a 1.6 million sq kilometer park :'(

b_b  ·  38 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Ocean cleanup system sets sail for “Great Pacific garbage patch”

What to do with it after they collect it? Send it to a recycling plant in China where it will be washed out to sea again?

kleinbl00  ·  38 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I vote for "turn it into the world's ugliest park benches."

tacocat  ·  38 days ago  ·  link  ·  

That or carpet is all we can do now.

b_b  ·  38 days ago  ·  link  ·  

If only we had a 1.6 million sq kilometer park :'(

b_b  ·  44 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 'Five Eyes' governments call on tech giants to build encryption backdoors — or else

Good point. I feel safer now.

b_b  ·  44 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 'Five Eyes' governments call on tech giants to build encryption backdoors — or else

I know a couple whose daughter was adopted from Korea who have been unable to obtain a learner's permit from our Secretary of State (our version of the DMV) because her birth certificate and adoption records don't prove she's an American to the Trumpist Michigan government. For real. A fucking learner's permit.

kleinbl00  ·  44 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I mean, after all, we are at war with Korea.

b_b  ·  44 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Good point. I feel safer now.

b_b  ·  45 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: What Happens When Fandom Doesn't Grow Up?

Bud Dry or death

tacocat  ·  45 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The media is sleeping on Tartar Control Bud this year

b_b  ·  47 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Microwave Weapons Are Prime Suspect in Ills of U.S. Embassy Workers

I guess the US will have to start keeping chocolate bars in all of their embassies in hostile territories as a Canary in the coal mine. Melting candy spells trouble!

goobster  ·  42 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Or just walk around the office and ask any ladies if they aren't cold. That'd be an instant giveaway... ;-)

b_b  ·  47 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: How Much Trouble Is Ted Cruz Really In?

Remember Ted's speech at the convention? He told Republicans to "vote their conscience". I'm sure Trump hasn't forgotten.

b_b  ·  48 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Stem Cell Benefits May Let You Cheat Death

:D

b_b  ·  48 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Jaguar-Land Rover wants you to know they take autonomous vehicle trust VERY SERIOUSLY.

Turns out British made garbage doesn't improve when taken over by an Indian company. Who could have guessed?

b_b  ·  48 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Roger Stone would like you to give him money because Mueller is about to charge him.

How do you think Stone felt about Nixon's "Deep State Goons"? Trying to imagine the cognitive dissonance that he must have, and I'm coming up empty.

kleinbl00  ·  48 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Roger Stone is performative. He is purely without ethics, one of the few chaotic evil denizens of the alignment chart.

The "how" matters far more than the "why" with Roger Stone, which likely allows him to sleep quite soundly.

b_b  ·  48 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Jaguar-Land Rover wants you to know they take autonomous vehicle trust VERY SERIOUSLY.

Technically the thing was probably designed while Ford still owned them (since the conception to delivery life cycle can be anywhere from like 4-9 years), so it's a grey area whether it was a pure ripoff, or, say, a self-citation. Either way, you couldn't pay me to drive one of those motherfuckers again. My wife bought it before we were married, so I was only a legal owner by default. The only thing worse than Land Rover engineering is their customer service, whose only function seems to be to piss you off even worse than an unexpected $5000 breakdown, so that you finally just hang up and pay their ridiculous prices out of frustration.

kleinbl00  ·  48 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Was behind an f-type in traffic once. Commented on it. My buddy daid "they're surprisingly gutless and whiney for a $90k car."

What do I know? I drive a schadenporsche.

b_b  ·  48 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Turns out British made garbage doesn't improve when taken over by an Indian company. Who could have guessed?