Driving Blind: Lego and Booze


Ethan Gach

I write about comics, video games and American politics. I fear death above all things. Just below that is waking up in the morning to go to work. You can follow me on Twitter at @ethangach or at my blog, gamingvulture.tumblr.com. And though my opinions aren’t for hire, my virtue is.

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19 Responses

  1. Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:

    The 2 points he hits upon – vacation time & drugs:

    Vacation time – many companies allow workers with unused vacation time to cash it out. Perhaps regulatory incentives for such options would be better than hard mandates?

    Drugs – perhaps the correct answer here is 3 levels of drugs: OTC, Rx drugs, & waivered Rx, i.e. drugs that are only dispensed after a doctor has provided a patient with a clear, concise explanation of the risks & benefits as they are understood at the time (following an FDA guideline on what information needs to be presented).Report

    • Avatar Brandon Berg says:

      Every company I’ve worked at has prohibited workers from carrying over more than a year’s worth of vacation at the end of the year. So at most you could cash out a month or two of vacation, and that only if you quit at the end of the year.

      Really, “paid vacation” is a sham anyway. Employers pay you for the work you do, not for taking days off. They may pay you while you’re on vacation, but they make up for it by paying you less on the days you do work.

      I’m perfectly happy not having paid vacation. It doesn’t mean I can’t take time off—it just means we don’t bother with the charade of pretending that I’m getting paid for it.Report

      • Avatar Morat20 says:

        My company doesn’t roll over vacation at all. They’re also quite generous with it, compared to the other companies I’ve worked for and with.

        In fact, HR and your management will come visit you if you end the year with more than a few hours of vacation time. To chew you out. Because they’ve found their workers are more productive when they have — and TAKE — vacations.

        I’m not as fond of their health insurance options, though. Just never been a fan of 80/20 plans. I swear, every time I visit the doctor, I get bills for weeks for random amounts. I can’t tell what’s covered and what isn’t, and I can’t tell if I’m getting double or triple billed or not. I’d rather pay more for a plan where I didn’t have to keep calling up my insurance company to understand why it paid 100% for this but 80% for that and 60% for that, all from the same lab visit.Report

      • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:

        I hear about companies that don’t have vacation or sick time at all. Their employees are salaried, and are expected to complete the work they’ve been assigned, and the company does not care how many hours they spend filling a desk at the office, as long as the work gets done.Report

    • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:

      Related to drugs, in a way, but this is so very fishing cool!

      TL;DR – doctors cure cancer by reprogramming HIV to kill cancer cellsReport

  2. Avatar Snarky McSnarkSnark says:

    Just for the record, that George Packer piece is really good (i.e. the link under A theory of the decline and fall of America. It states quite succinctly and elegantly what I think is the central change in our politics and our culture since my youth.Report

  3. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Humor: Microsoft is backpedalling and doing what the PS4 is doing.


    The official spin is “we have been listening to your feedback”.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      Giantbomb is calling this Microsoft’s “New Coke”.Report

    • Avatar Brandon Berg says:

      The official spin is “we have been listening to your feedback”.

      Is that spin? I mean, they didn’t come out and say, “It was painfully obvious that everyone hated this,” but that really is what they did, right? They got overwhelmingly negative feedback and decided to change their strategy.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        I only think it’s spin because they spent a week talking down to everybody. I’m guessing that after E3 was over, they looked at “pre-orders” (or something actually measurable) that couldn’t be chalked up to a bunch of basement dwelling fat adolescents whining on the twitter and said “Holy Crap. We actually need to do something.”

        Take away the week of explaining, slowly, how essential these things are to the Xbone Xperience and I’d agree 100%.Report

        • Avatar Morat20 says:

          Yeah. They really went 100% into “No, there’s no problem here, just loser whining minority idiots” mode so a sudden reversal is more than “We listened to feedback”.

          Because they mocked feedback first, and then listened. It was more a forced retreat, hence the spin of acting like it was a MS decision made to feedback rather than forced by a godawful result.Report

    • Avatar Morat20 says:

      Yay. So now you have an Xbox with 60% of the performance of a PS4, a required Kinect, a more expensive Gold plan, that costs 100 bucks more.

      And the only actual pluses had to get yanked too (the ability to play a game without the physical disc if you bought it as a disc, not digitally, and the ability to share games with up to ten designated people).

      Hooray for the more expensive, crappier PS4!Report

  4. Avatar Jim Heffman says:

    “the scientifically correct level of riskiness of drugs for me is whatever level of riskiness I choose to tolerate.”


  5. Avatar Jack says:

    You linked to the John Harwood piece, not the Isaac Chotiner calling it out.. was that intentional?Report