I am trying to convince my dad to buy a “Toshiba Chromebook 2” (model CB35-B3340).
Why? Because it’s only $329, yet it includes a 13” 1080p IPS LCD, an SSD drive (but only 16GB), only weighs 3 pounds (same as a MacBook Air), and has (allegedly) 7 hours of battery life.
To buy a Windows laptop with specs like that, you have to get into an expensive ultrabook category, and my dad is way too cheap (or too poor) to spend $900 on a computer. $329 Windows laptops are pretty much crap, with cheap LCDs, and because Windows is such a huge hog for resources you would need a much more powerful microprocessor and much larger SSD drive to run Windows with the same speed that the Chromebook would be able to run Chrome.
Of course the Chromebook doesn’t run any software besides the Google apps that come with it plus whatever apps can be installed into Chrome (and there really aren’t a whole lot). But my dad doesn’t do anything with his computer besides use web-based email, web browsing, or extremely lightweight word processing (which I think that Google Docs could handle).
The most important reason I like the idea of a Chromebook for him is because he is completely unable to take care of the maintenance of owning a Windows PC. He’s always getting viruses and he never installs any update; he assumes every pop-up is a computer virus, yet he picks up real computer viruses all the time anyway, go figure. A completely virus free computer that automatically installs necessary updates whether he wants that to happen or not is exactly the sort of device he needs.
It is also painful to see the struggle against hunger and malnutrition hindered by ‘market priorities’, the ‘primacy of profit’, which reduce foodstuffs to a commodity like any other, subject to speculation and financial speculation in particular.
Why don’t they just get a tourist visa and then fly here on a commercial flight?
The suggested answer is that it’s actually hard to get a visa. The consulate interviews people and does a good job of rejecting people who would be likely to stay in the country illegally.
This is pretty amazing, but it would appear that the Bureau of Consular Affairs is actually doing an excellent job. Who would have thought that a division of the U.S. government would excel at anything?
I’m surprised that Obama didn’t issue an executive order telling them to give a visa to anyone who applies.
I don’t have much time to write about it, but I hope that the good that comes out of it is that people opposed to unfettered immigration will finally get pissed off and do something.
Or maybe Republicans who didn’t care before will become anti-immigration because they hate Obama.
It has been said (in a Tom Wolfe novel, but Tom Wolfe supposedly quoted a speech by Saul Wachler who was the chief judge of the New York Court of Appeals) that a grand jury will indict a ham sandwich. So the failure to indict means that the prosecutors don’t want an indictment, because they know that Darren Wilson is innocent, but they want to be able to blame the grand jury instead of taking personal responsibility for trumpeting his innocence, because they are afraid of the race-mongers.
Obama, who may give an executive order to stop prosecuting all illegal immigration cases, knows very well the principle that the government doesn’t have to prosecute anyone it doesn’t want to prosecute, and a grand jury isn’t needed to make that determination.
Murray writes in his book of dubious advice:
10. The unentitled shall inherit the earth
Many curmudgeons believe that a malady afflicts many of today’s twenty-somethings: their sense of entitlement. It is their impression that too many of you think doing routine office tasks is beneath you, and your supervisors are insufficiently sensitive to your needs.
This one is sort of hit and miss. On the one hand, Murray is correct that at most entry-level jobs, you have been hired to do some boring low-level work that the higher-level employees don’t want to do. It’s definitely good for young entry-level employees to know this, because no one likes it when the new hire attempts to butt in where he’s not wanted. This lesson can be especially difficult for an intelligent young person who winds up in a non-elite career track, where the bosses aren’t that smart, and won’t appreciate the young employee trying to show them up or get involved in decisions that are above his pay grade. And of course you also don’t want to whine about doing the job for which you were hired, because no one likes that.
On the other hand, Murray, who grew up in a middle-class rural environment, harbors obvious resentment of the children of the upper-middle and upper classes, which are where all of the new employees at think tanks like the American Enterprise Institute come from. The children of these classes have been raised to have high self-esteem and to believe that they are the nation’s future leaders. This feeling of entitlement to good careers is actually quite beneficial. Those who genuinely believe they are leadership material give off an aura that the senior managers pick up on, and the senior managers see those people as being more promotable. Murray is dead wrong in the heading for this section. Those who feel entitled to inherit the earth actually do inherit a lot more of the earth than the meek, so long as they don’t overstep their place in the hierarchy on the way up.
Charles Murray wrote a recently published book, The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Getting Ahead, which is supposed to dispense advice to recent college graduates.
The problem with Murray is that he is stuck in 1950s rural middle-class America, which is a bygone era. He doesn’t fully understand the modern world of proles and bobos (or SWPLs).
Murray’s very first piece of advice is “don’t suck up,” which is dangerous advice for a recent college graduate. Murray seems to believe that the best, the most competent and hardest workers are the ones who get promoted. In fact, the people who get promoted are those are most well liked by those with the power promote and who are perceived as being able to perform at a higher level job. While sucking up in an obvious and overdone manner is likely to be perceived in a negative way, the line between sucking up and working at being liked is too fine to justify a blanket rule of “don’t suck up.”
Murray’s second piece of advice is to not use first names with older successful people. This seems hopelessly outdated. I think that calling someone “mister” or “miz” would just be perceived as weird in today’s workplace. Only lawyers do that, and it’s done ironically in remembrance of the way that law professors traditionally address their students.
Jumping ahead to topic number six, about tattoos and body piercings, Murray writes “if you have visible tattoos, piercings, or hair of a color not found in nature, curmudgeons will not hire you except for positions where they don’t have to see you, and perhaps not even those.” While I do dislike tattoos and would be happy enough if people with tattoos suffered some sort of retribution for marking up their bodies, in reality I have seen little evidence that tattoos have prevented people from being promoted to positions higher than I have. For example, being all tatted up didn’t prevent Jill Abramson from being promoted to executive editor of the New York Times, a job that pays half-a-million dollars per year. I would still not recommend tattoos, but they are not the career-killer that Murray thinks they are.