Sleeping air traffic controllers- better to face reality than to be in denial until there is an accident

I used to work a night shift in a job that had a sedentary component, and most people working the night shift had to take a nap at some point or other to be in good shape to keep going.

It is hardest when you are sedentary. If you can move around it is a lot easier to stay awake if the blood is pumping.

If you have to stay put, around 5-7 in the morning there are times you will start to have micro-naps without realising it, going from blinking yourself awake to suddenly emerging from a dream when your head starts to fall forward.

Better to have something like a specified nap time for a function as important as an air traffic controller, with maybe overlapping areas spelling each other off. Then everybody, including the pilots, knows what is happening and you don’t get surprises.

If you take the right wing position and start beaking off about what people ought to do, well, there comes a point where that is like saying how the weather ought to be.

The big thing is, never mix shifts. Nothing messes with you like a shift sequence where you have nights combined with days or afternoons. I know from experience that having straight night shifts is far easier and helps the body adjust to when you are supposed to be awake.

It is especially important to be lenient if there are mixed shifts or for people starting out. Eventually the body can change so that staying awake at night feels normal, but it can take a year or two.


What on earth is the Federal motivation to go after Pokerstars?

One has to wonder why the US government has suddenly indicted the major online poker sites for gambling offences.

There is an issue about where those sites are deemed located and whether the US has jurisdiction.

The US tolerates gambling all over the place, in locations like Las Vegas, Atlantic City and Indian reserves, so any American can go gambling any time they want anyways.

While a lot of states have laws against gambling it winds up being irrelevent because people gamble elsewhere.

When one asks who benefits from the attack on the online sites, more traditional gambling places like Las Vegas and Atlantic City come to mind.

Because the states have a patchwork of gambling laws at the state level and that is the dominant regulatory regime, one has to wonder why the feds would be getting involved at all, seeking to punish businesses for violating state law.

It would make more sense to me to seize the field and make a commerce exemption so that gambling gets regulated on a national level instead of a patchwork, since most of the gambling involves gambling over state lines and a lot of it involves soliciting people to come to Las Vegas from jurisdictions where gambling isn’t legal.

There is something distasteful about the government using criminal sanctions in a situation that largely is about semantics and technicalities. What the online sites are doing doesn’t have any difference in moral character from what Las Vegas is doing by soliticing business from areas where gambling is illegal. To be consistent you have to ban both or neither I think.

But the gambling lobby in the US is powerful. The ranking US senator for the Democrats, Reid, is from Nevada. Donald Trump is increasing in power in the Republicans and owns at least one casino.

Online sites take business that might otherwise go to American travel destinations.

Las Vegas is a non-sequitor, a city where there is no business being a city, which has been built up largely by Nevada’s willingness to do things that other states won’t do, like legalizing gambling and prostitution, although the prostitution isn’t legal in Las Vegas proper.

Las Vegas has been hit harder by the recession than anywhere else. Probably green jealous eyes are looking at those profits from online gambling and wondering how many of those dollars would have been in their hands but for the online sites.

That is not a proper motivation though for creating criminal sanctions. Criminal sanctions are supposed to be used to protect the populace from reprehensible conduct, not to give businesses an unearned competitive advantage. Using criminal sanctions to give some businesses an unearned competitive advantage is an abuse of process.

The irony is that the motivation in this prosecution is almost certainly not to protect problem gamblers, it is more likely to protect Las Vegas, state lotteries (which can be in areas where gambling is otherwise illegal) and the like. The objective is almost certainly revenue rather than to target reprehensible behaviour.

What they should be doing is working together with these sites to ensure security and maybe to identify means to weed out problem gamblers so it is less exploitive.

You can’t regulate something that you treat as illegal.

I would have more concerns about computer security- in online free games, I’ve seen play some times that would only make sense if the other player could see my hole cards, and on one of the sites just such a hack was found about a year ago. I suspect there are others.