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Stuart Whitmore
Works at Johnny Pixel Productions, Inc.
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I can't call it a "recommendation" because I haven't read it and can't vouch for it, so consider this a "suggestion" instead. For a Memorial Day weekend read, you might check out Through Our Eyes by combat veteran Jesse Odom. I ran across a reference to this book in a news article from several years ago, while I was researching something else. From what I understand, this book arose from the writings the author did as part of trying to cope with memories from his time serving in Iraq.
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New writing blog post, or navel-gazing as the case may be this time -- hopefully not true of all of my blog posts! :)
As my first post to this blog after an unintended hiatus, I should probably explain my unannounced absence and then provide some solid content to make up for it. But, I'm not going to do that. I don't think too many people wo...
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It's a good stunt at least. Will it make a difference?
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New book marketing blog post.
After my first Thunderclap to promote the launch of Extra Credit: Loyalty!, I wrote a post here about the mistakes I made and lessons I learned. Shortly after that, I created my second Thunderclap to promote this blog. When I...
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This description by +Gwen Patton of the reality of working in a hierarchy-less company illustrates nicely why, if I must put a political label on myself, I'm a libertarian rather than an anarchist. I distrust government, but believe people inherently want or need the appearance of government. To meet that need with the least infringement on freedom, the government should be as small and weak as possible. It should be just enough to get the job done -- and by job, I mean satisfying the social need for government, not some specific artifact of that such as road building (to use the classic example). This may be "choosing the lesser evil" but if you can't escape the evil, you might as well choose the lesser of it.
 
Zappos, recently purchased by Amazon, is trying to implement a "holacratic", flat-management system, that has no hierarchy of workers and management. It sounds so wonderfully "egalitarian", but I worked for a company that ran that way, and it was sheer, unmitigated hell.

I worked as a programmer for a Chicago company that coordinated cleanup of Superfund pollution sites. I was hired to be a fulltime FoxPro programmer on accounting systems for the various projects. There was another woman, a part-time programmer, going on maternity leave soon, and she was supposed to train me on the current systems so I could take them over. The company ran on a "flat management system", that had no actual supervisors or managers. Ostensibly, the entire company was a gathering of equals.  It sounded nice, and the working conditions were almost sumptuous.  The offices were gorgeous, modern, and had amenities I had always wished I could work under. They bought my train pass for me at a deep discount, and ran their own buses between Union Station and the lakefront office building.

As much as humans claim to be all for equality and egalitarianism, they don't work very well in such an environment. Where there is no hierarchy, people will create one. In the absence of official people in charge, people will form their own unofficial hierarchies. The most common of these is the clique. This company was not immune to such things, and the cliquism there was rampant and rabid. The most powerful cliques grabbed the plum projects, and those with no status, or had incurred the wrath of those in more powerful cliques, were relegated to the dirty jobs nobody else wanted.

More importantly, if you didn't "fit in" with the important cliques, you were denied basic services, and found yourself floundering badly in very short order. The place ran on the principle that you had to have a charge code for everything, and you had to account for your entire 8-hour workday with charge codes, or you didn't get your full pay. It was a strange system where salaried employees found themselves effectively hourly wage-slaves, but with a timesheet instead of a time clock.  The salaried status was always used in favor of the company, denying anyone overtime, but you rapidly became effectively "hourly" if you had too much overhead time.  Strictly speaking, there was supposed to be NO overhead, but that's impossible. No one can maintain a daily routine with no overhead, unless they extend their workday by as much as 30 percent, working a 9 or 10 hour day just to cover 8 with honest work. But nobody did that, as the shuttle buses only ran on a typical 8 1/2-hour day, allowing for a half hour lunch.  Not wanting to be stranded halfway across Chicago, trying to catch a train on time, people basically LIED like rugs on their timesheets.

If you were in the good cliques, nobody ever questioned the time codes on your timesheet. If you were in the crap cliques, on crap jobs, there was far more scrutiny, so you wound up working longer hours and taking public transportation, or walking to the train station.

Then, of course, there was the unofficial withholding of services.  Remember the part-time woman I was supposed to be trained by? Well, her idea of training was to wave at the computer and say "read the code".  She wouldn't explain anything, saying she was too busy. NOTHING is worse than having to blindly trace Someone Else's Code, and to learn a new job that way. It was essentially relegating me to the cornfield.  After weeks of stumbling through stuff, and having her suggest false trails and the wrong projects to use as models for current work, I had enough, and went to my "mentor", the closest I had to a supervisor in this "holacratic" office.  I stated my case baldly -- I felt I was being sabotaged by someone who didn't want me to succeed. If I did well, it threatened this woman's own part-time position, so she didn't want me to learn anything. She deliberately told me the wrong project to use as a model for a new project, and I wound up not including reports and data the new project required. If the project had actually BEEN one that was suited by the example project, I would have been fine, as I managed to cobble it into shape that would work -- except for the missing information. I pointed out that she should have suggested this OTHER project as a model, which HAD the necessary data. I found it by accident...and she SHOULD have known, she wrote it.

The mentor nodded sagely, and said she'd look into it and get me the help I needed.  Instead, as she was a friend of this other programmer, she put me on PROBATION and basically told me that this woman, who was trying to sabotage me, was the one in charge of my probation! And even though told to train me AGAIN, she still refused, once again falling back on "read the code"...which amounts to unsnarling a bowl of spaghetti. Undocumented spaghetti, written largely by a tyro.

Since there WAS no head to go over, and no one to go TO, since there was no "management" per se, I simply decided to cut my losses and leave.  As soon as I had a place to go to, I gave my notice and left.

I will never willingly work for a so-called "holacratic" or "flat management" company ever again. They do no one any favors with that nonsense, and only cause backbiting, dishonesty, and rampant cliquism. There's no corporate-level loyalty.  

Some complain that capitalists are only out for themselves, out of a sense of greed. Well, these people were the epitome of "fairness" and "equality" -- and were about as trustworthy as the kids from The Lord of the Flies.  Hierarchy supports fairness, as without someone to maintain and enforce policy, there's no way to redress grievances except with further grievance. 
Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh wasn't satisfied with how quickly his company was transitioning to an "unconventional" boss-less corporate culture, so he sent a memo to his 1,500 employees reminding them that Zappos will pay unsatisfied workers to quit. The result: some folks quit...
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I'd rather remove their entire framework, to work from keeping them from creating a new framework. 

Wouldn't that be the logical choice? 

I'm with you on that rape is still going to happen, although I'd rather not have a "Rape.gov" which would be akin to rape rooms at frats. 

Sure, it's still going to happen, but at least I'm not giving it a legitimate starting point. 
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This looks like an interesting read (and it's a free download), for those who like sword & sorcery fantasy. Kinda makes me want to go back to my own sword & sorcery WIP (currently available on Wattpad), but won't have the time for that anytime soon. Anyway, I grabbed this after seeing it linked from the KBoards forums and look forward to reading it. As slowly as I work through my TBR pile, though, that might not be for awhile.
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Stuart Whitmore

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Give the beginning reader in your life a free #Kindle book to practice reading with. This weekend, Two Boys, Two Planets is a free download, so grab a copy for your young reader!
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Abuse of review systems infuriates me.

I'm all for honest and thoughtful reviews, and I'm happy (eager?) to get more. (If you've read one of my books, an online review would be appreciated!)

I've had positive and negative reviews on my books, and the only one I really thought was inappropriate (other than a personal attack "review" that Amazon deleted) is the one-star review on my children's book, given by the reviewer because that book for beginning readers was not age-appropriate for older readers. No kidding? Thanks. :(

But this "review" for the newly-released Kobo Glo HD, on the other hand, is beyond ridiculous. Leaving a one-star review to ask a question -- and a dumb question at that? Wow.
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One might hope that commenting and averages will help out there...   Also of note to me "i'll give 5 stars if you fix this bug" reviews.   
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Stuart Whitmore
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What's posted online may or may not be there "forever" but that doesn't mean you can't try to clean up some old accounts. This site looks very useful, and the number and variety of "delete your account" links is pretty impressive.
A directory of direct links to delete your account from web services and social networks. Find out how to delete your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn accounts and more social and web services.
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"If the [man-made drainage] tunnel were to fail due to collapse, the lake could fill up and overflow."

Oh, you mean, like... nature? I don't know all the details but what they're describing (destruction of highways and railways, risk to lives and property, etc.) assumes a catastrophic event, which in a lake scenario would be collapse of the natural dam... not just "overflow." Maybe, just maybe, we should have worked with nature to restore the original outflow more gradually, instead of building something that must now be maintained.
Spirit Lake, located just north of Mount St. Helens, is at risk of overflowing after engineers found the lake's drainage tunnel is shrinking.
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Ha! The eruption of Mt. St Helens is what caused the problem. I remember at the time it was thought that the old river would reclaim its course if the tunnel was not put in, slowly eroding the earth dam but the fear was there would be a sudden failure of the dam if it was not put in. Seems like the debate is still going on.
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This week I finally set aside time to do some pending updates to Journey to Yandol, and other stories to fix an annoying typo and to make the print edition look much nicer inside (just a font change will do wonders).

It may be a few days before the updated print version will be available through Amazon, and even longer elsewhere, and I'm still having troubles updating the NOOK version (because of problems on their side), but the updated version is already available for the Kindle and Kobo as well as through Google Play.
<p>This book is a collection of short stories that are mostly science fiction. "Journey to Yandol" follows the misadventures of a space freighter pilot who just wants to go ...
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Put your thinking cap on!

+Dana Whitmore -- still interested? ;)
 
Would you like to help humans reach Mars, and maybe win $5000 in the process? NASA is "crowdsourcing" solutions for our future ability to visit Mars in person, much like the boy on Earth in Two Boys, Two Planets. To find out more, visit the linked site.
NASA is embarking on a long-term effort of “pioneering space” for this and future generations.&nbsp; In this context, “pioneering space” is defined as the ability for humans to go further and stay longer in space with an ever decreasing need to be reliant on Earth, approaching “Earth independence”. For this specific Challenge, the Solver is asked to focus on particular elements of “pioneering space,” namely those elements needed to establish a...
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I wanna see more private space stuff.  :)
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  • Johnny Pixel Productions, Inc.
    CEO, 2004 - present
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Writer. Entrepreneur. Dreamer.
Introduction
USAF veteran, entrepreneur, computer geek, and author of several books. Circles you might place me in based on common interests would include:

  • Writing/Publishing
  • Photography
  • Video/Film/Movies/Theater/Public Speaking
  • Business
  • Politics/Liberty
  • BBS users and SysOps (Wildcat!)
  • homebrewing
  • FRPGs
  • Hiking/Kayaking/Camping
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(888) 928-1080
Stuart Whitmore's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
Rogue Microwave Ovens Are the Culprits Behind Mysterious Radio Signals
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Let’s be clear about one thing: Reheating coffee in the microwave is always a poor life choice. But it becomes especially unwise if you’re u

On Mars, Opportunity Rover Spots Weird Rocks Near Marathon Finish Line
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Opportunity has paused to study some intriguing rocks just before its odometer ticks over to 26.2 miles (42.195 kilometers) — the equivalent

A Writer's Chronicles: SFWA Now Says "YES!" to Self-published Writers
blog.williamdrichards.com

At long last it has finally happened: the Science Fiction &amp; Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) has voted to allow self-publication and small

Can You Top This? 15 Practical Linux Top Command Examples
www.thegeekstuff.com

This article is part of the on-going 15 example series where 15 examples will be provided for a specific command or functionality. In this s

Can Twitter Help You Sell Books? - Author-Zone
author-zone.com

Indie authors have been told by literary agents, “social media experts,” and others that they MUST be on social media, MUST have a blog, MUS

Why We Need Government: To Prevent 9-Year-Olds From Running Free Little ...
reason.com

Advances in providing for the education and enlightenment of the general public, from the city of Leawood, Kansas, as reported by KMBC TV: L

Go-Kart Porsche Pedal Car - GeekExtreme
www.geekextreme.com

It’s not just a toy pedal car, it is a genuine Porsche sold through your local authorized Porsche center. Built from high-quality components

Duolingo: Lerne Englisch
market.android.com

"Das Beste vom Besten" 2013 auf Google Play."Unter allen Sprachlern-Apps, ist Duolingo unschlagbar." —PC Magazine. Testsieger in der Kategor

Six Things to Consider RE: Book Cover Design
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With the number of published books exploding, it’s harder than ever for yours to find an audience. A professional cover is key to help your

ES File Explorer File Manager
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ES, 300 millions global downloads, file manager trend leader on Android! Rated as one of best resource management tools on Android market.ES

Dictionary - Merriam-Webster
market.android.com

In addition to all the definitions from Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, this app offers voice search – to let you look up a word wi

Dana and her STEM Degree
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Dana is a young woman seeking a degree in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) field, but financial aid doesn't cover it all.

Helping passwords better protect you
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Knowing how to stay safe and secure online is important, which is why we created our Good to Know site with advice and tips for safe and sav

Dropbox
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Dropbox is a free service that lets you bring all your photos, docs, and videos anywhere. After you install Dropbox on your computer, any fi

DroidEdit Pro (code editor)
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DroidEdit is a text and source code editor (similar to Notepad++ or gedit) for android tablets and phones with the following features:- Synt

Arbor Day Foundation
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We inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees

Evernote
market.android.com

★ New York Times ‘Top 10 Must-Have App’, Winner: TechCrunch Crunchies, Mashable Awards and the Webbys. ★ Evernote is an easy-to-use, free ap

Very nice staff -- as in, they set the bar much higher for service to patients and their families. Everybody I've dealt with so far has been really pleasant, respectful, etc., and even when they've seemed a little rushed (as can happen in any setting like that) they still don't give off the "you're just a number" impression that is often seen in healthcare. This is the only healthcare provider where I've been thanked for allowing them to provide care -- it's a small touch, but it underscores that they take seriously the fact that we could go elsewhere. I'm pretty stingy with 5-star reviews but I think this one is honestly deserved.
• • •
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
I've never been disappointed by these folks, the food is always great and the service is always friendly. It's a friendly place to drop in for a tasty meal. We've had events catered by them too. Highly recommended!
Food: ExcellentDecor: ExcellentService: Excellent
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
2 reviews
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