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The Moderately Enthusiastic Programmer

SigmoidCurve Re:See Negri, affective labor, others. (533 comments)

These latter people get to say and feel whatever is on their mind or in their gut, unlike the rest of us. And, irony of ironies, they are broadly applauded for it, no matter how extreme, atypical, or mundane the positions. The rest of us would simply be fired.

I feel the same way about TED talks. Just because it's a goddam TED talk, everyone treats it as effing gospel. Half of that shit is rehashed from pulp 1980s management self-help books. Someone sends me a link, "Hey, check out this TED talk, it's awesome!" And I say, "Dude, I said the same thing on my blog like 5 years ago", and they're like "yeah, but this is a TED talk."

about 8 months ago
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Predicting the Risk of Suicide By Analyzing the Text of Clinical Notes

SigmoidCurve A positive use of data mining (70 comments)

It's refreshing to see predictive data analysis used for positive efforts, rather than simply selling more ads. Here's a call to action for all you data scientists at Twitter, FB, and other SV startups who think they're changing the world when all they're doing is putting money in their advertisers' pockets. News flash: statistics can be used to benefit society for a change.

about 8 months ago
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Getting a Literature Ph.D. Will Make You Into a Horrible Person

SigmoidCurve Re:Wow, depressing (489 comments)

I could never understand how academics could get lifetime positions at universities doing what they do - not exactly the kind of work that provides value in a fast paced world. It just seems that getting a degree in philosophy or literature is like getting a degree is making buggy whips. It's so weird. Does anyone stll believe that reading To Kill a Mockingbird is a relevant exercise in the world we live in when we have enough real world examples of social issues? Indulging in classic literature has been mostly a waste of time for at least 15 years. If you want to do it for personal development, go for it. Professionally? C'mon.

And what kind of work does "provide value in a fast paced world? Are you saying you are solely qualified to answer that question? How arrogant must you be to think you have the whole world figured out and can decide for the rest of civilization that academia does not provide the kind of value that meets your satisfaction?

Go suck a buggy whip.

about a year and a half ago
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Getting a Literature Ph.D. Will Make You Into a Horrible Person

SigmoidCurve Re:This is a warning many need to hear (489 comments)

I agree with your statement of the problem but you're not going to find the solution there...

Why not? The increasing dominance of culture by business and the enshrinement of corporate priorities above all else has made it impossible to conceptualize our own humanity in terms that cannot be equated to monetary value. All of us caught in that engine of materialism are therefore blind to its effects. It's not our fault, we have to abide by these rules in order to survive: acquire, compete, defend, and do what it takes to secure our own "blessings of liberty" before they are secured by another, or unsecured as a result of layoff, medical bankruptcy, fraud, greed, the list goes on.

Where else is there to look for a solution? The ones at the top of the engine dare not change anything for fear of upsetting the gravy train that sustains them. The rest of us dare not challenge anything for fear of ending up begging on the streetcorner trying to save enough for a kidney transplant. The only people in our entire civilization that have the luxury of thinking about our humanity are liberal arts students! Oh, God save us all! But seriously, they are the only ones who can think outside the box. Many of them will likely be swallowed up by the work machine once they graduate and their free time will have come to naught, but some will stay and persevere and maybe one day come up with some new solutions. Then we can put technology to work for us instead of being its slaves. Then we can enjoy life without worrying about how to pay for medical care. Then we can find true value in our humanity that finally has nothing to do with money.

about a year and a half ago
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Getting a Literature Ph.D. Will Make You Into a Horrible Person

SigmoidCurve Re:This is a warning many need to hear (489 comments)

Businesses don't give a second glance to PhDs in literature, or sociology, or plant physiology

Your data are wrong. Although I can't comment specifically about lit or plant physiology (do you mean botany?), smart innovative companies are actually highly interested in sociologists and are fiercely recruiting them. Facebook's data science team is run by sociologists, and Google engineers are collaborating with sociology departments on various interesting research topics. This shouldn't be much of a surprise since network analysis was invented in sociology in the 1970s. Today's tweets and likes are still analyzed using techniques that sociologists came up with back when the only twerking going on was led by John Travolta.

It amuses me to no end how so many otherwise intelligent technical people maintain a stubborn bias against social science. Do you have to denigrate other fields in order to keep a sense of self superiority? That is an exceedingly narrow perspective completely unbefitting a rational engineer or a scientist of any stripe. If instead you would take the time to study these other fields, you might find something with which you could collaborate, or at least learn and expand your mind.

about a year and a half ago
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Best Tech Colleges Are Harder Than Ever To Get In

SigmoidCurve Re:"Reach" schools (108 comments)

They taught me how to build robots, not grammar.

My robot's instruction file says that it "eats, shoots and leaves." OH NOES! I've been shot!

about a year and a half ago
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Best Tech Colleges Are Harder Than Ever To Get In

SigmoidCurve Re:"Reach" schools (108 comments)

I would be remiss not to point out that a semicolon or period is more appropriate in place of the comma you used. ;)

Remission accomplished: the semi-colon would be more common in any period.

about a year and a half ago
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Best Tech Colleges Are Harder Than Ever To Get In

SigmoidCurve Re:"Reach" schools (108 comments)

Thanks Capt. Grammar! Want to correct all the other spelling and grammar mistakes I made in my post as well? There are plenty you missed.

Learn how to write, I expected more from a varsity letterman.

about a year and a half ago
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Best Tech Colleges Are Harder Than Ever To Get In

SigmoidCurve Re:"Reach" schools (108 comments)

Take a look at lesser known CMU (and I should know, I went there. When friends and relatives ask me where I attended, it's always followed by "Oh... and where is that?"). They admitted LESS students than MIT, but ended up with double the acceptance rate

Fewer, they admitted fewer students. Nice work, poster boy.

about a year and a half ago
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Guatemala Deports McAfee To the US

SigmoidCurve Is anyone holding? (141 comments)

McAfee's first thought on disembarking: "Great, now where am I supposed to find a drug dealer in Miami?"

about 2 years ago
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New 25-GPU Monster Devours Strong Passwords In Minutes

SigmoidCurve Re:my password (330 comments)

How will they get the password hash without first breaking into the system? Seriously, how useful are these brute force crackers in attempting to crack, for example, my gmail password?

about 2 years ago
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How Long Do You Want To Live?

SigmoidCurve Re:640 years (813 comments)

You've got it wrong... it's my death you need to worry about. I'm a solipsist, so when I die everyone else ceases to exist.

more than 2 years ago
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Maybe the FAA Gadget Ban On Liftoff and Landing Isn't So Bad

SigmoidCurve Re:Entitlement!!!11! (414 comments)

You should be free to use your gadgets on a plane. You are not entitled to be provided a gadget by the airline for your use on a plane. There is a difference.

You should be free to swing your fist. You are not entitled to swing your fist in the immediate proximity of my nose. There is a difference.

There are valid reasons that certain freedoms should be restricted in certain circumstances. The entitlement culture to which Parent refers has turned people who should be responsible adults into obstinate children crying that their favorite toy has been taken away. Have a modicum of decency and respect for others around you: turn the effing phone off and sit still for 5 minutes. And quit yer crying.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Use For a New Supercomputing Cluster?

SigmoidCurve Re:Private philanthropist? (387 comments)

The point is it distorts the market by diverting attention toward a disease suffered by old rich people. Given the choice, scientists would allocate their time toward more deserving patients, not simply those with a bankroll. Look what's happening with the Gates foundation and malaria research: other areas of research are being abandoned because everyone's flocking to the malaria grants. It wasn't their intent to discourage scientists away from other areas of research, but that is what happens when you flood the market.

If you're going to be a philanthropist, you don't decide what science should do with the money, you let the experts decide.

To truly qualify as philanthropy, your donation should not come with strings attached. Despite AC's mockery, what this Koch guy is doing is not really motivated by any sense of altruism, he's just trying to save his own ass (yeah, it's intended). Here is a major research lab being required to study what would most benefit him, and you call that charitable? Seriously, you don't think it's evil that this twisted fuck can yank money and resources away from sick children just so he can have a few more miserable years on the planet?

about 3 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Use For a New Supercomputing Cluster?

SigmoidCurve Private philanthropist? (387 comments)

Our organization received a grant to pay for this from a private philanthropist that has a medical issue that is currently being researched by one of our labs (this happens to us not to infrequently).

Dude, that's not a philanthropist, that's a sociopath. Let's see, I am super rich but I have a rare terminal disease, but maybe I can cheat death if I purchase all the world's best scientists to work on *my* health problem. Never mind if they were previously occupied trying to save sick children. Fuck those kids, I'm rich and therefore I'm a higher priority.

I hope your benefactor enjoys his or her remaining time on Earth, because Hell is going to be a real bitch.

about 3 years ago
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Carol Bartz Is Out As Yahoo's CEO

SigmoidCurve Re:yahoo started out as yang's bookmarks? (200 comments)

Well said. I look around at the endless swamp of copycat startups and wonder why I am in this ridiculous industry. At one point I thought the world was changing, instead of the same tired advertising cliches wrapped up in shiny social apps and glittering cloud storage. The fact that a stagnant stock price is used as evidence of Bartz' failure is itself part of the problem. Haven't these short term metrics already been thoroughly discredited? Then why does the financial press keep returning to them?

FTLOG people, please innovate. The internet right now is a thick wasteland of d-baggery without a soul. Every other site serves stealth cookies and multiple MBs of javascript code all trying to figure out more ingenious ways to take your money. I miss 1995, I'd give anything to complain about someone's use of the blink tag or tables used for layout.

about 3 years ago
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Voyager Set To Enter Interstellar Space

SigmoidCurve the brain waves of a young woman in love (362 comments)

I'm glad they didn't decide to record the brain waves of a young *man* in love... those would certainly make the aliens skeptical about ever visiting us.

"What did we learn from this Golden Record?"
"From what we can tell, we're dealing with a race that can't concentrate, constantly listens to The Smiths, worries about its hair looking right, broods pensively throughout the day, and fears never knowing the right things to say."
"On second thought, let's head out to Ursa Minor and see if we can find any intelligent life over there."

more than 3 years ago
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Which Grad Students Are the Most Miserable?

SigmoidCurve Re:Sounds like liberal arts grad students (332 comments)

Dude, let me clue you in here. Science *is* the box that everyone tells you to think outside of. Science teaches you a rigorous methodical approach to data collection and analysis; science is about hypothesis testing and repeatabillity of results. Scientists have to live in this box, otherwise they'd just be mad scientists. For inspired thinking, don't read Karl Popper, read some Hermann Hesse. That will blow your little scientific mind. Too bad that you would consider literature the biggest joke on the planet. Enjoy your sheltered life, bro.

more than 3 years ago
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The Power of the R Programming Language

SigmoidCurve Re:Show me some example code (382 comments)

i'm a PhD student in biostatistics at a fairly prestigious american university. we use R almost exclusively, because it is better than other statistical software options. reasons for it's superiority are i) it's free ii) it's open source and iii) its considerably more powerful than STATA, SPSS, SAS, etc.

It's too bad your prestigious education hasn't taught you to avoid sweeping generalizations. To say that one package is "better" or "considerably more powerful" in all cases, is not a good argument.

Why would anyone use Oracle when MySQL is free, open source, and of course "better"?

R is an excellent platform for data analysis and modeling, with a great deal of traction in the academic community which means that cutting-edge statistical techniques are ported and/or implemented in R very quickly.

But, R is not a magic bullet. It is very inefficient to run complex data management routines in R, it is simply not optimized as well as some of those (gasp!) commercial packages. In addition, R loads its entire dataset into memory, providing a strict limit on how much data you can work with.

Good luck with school, and try to learn something. You might try opening your mind.

more than 5 years ago
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Every Time You Vote Against Net Neutrality, Your ISP Kills a Night Elf

SigmoidCurve Re:Does anyone even understand "net neutrality"? (178 comments)

You have every reason to be confused: the term is being manipulated to make you think you are in favor of something that turns out to be the complete opposite of what you want!

From a technical perspective, one might assume that "neutrality" with respect to network packets means that each packet is treated equally, and that the network maintains a neutral stance towards the content, source, or destination of each packet. Sounds great, right? To you and me perhaps, but if you're a large corporation seeking to dominate the distribution of content, this conception of neutrality is not in your favor.

Since it is always cheaper to legislate rather than innovate, a cabal of such like-minded corporations has hijacked the term neutrality -- knowing that it will give off positive connotations -- and have instead twisted it to serve their purposes. They want to control the packets, so they can provide preferential treatment to those who pay for it, and of course deny access to anyone whose packets may dare to challenge them, however they see fit to do so.

To control the packets, these companies are lobbying for a law that will stipulate that the government be "neutral" regarding their desire to apply tiered pricing and access. This is what The Man thinks of as neutrality, which of course, is a far cry from the idea that you and I have of it.

Be wary of the words "Net Neutrality", you may find yourself supporting the opposite of what you intended, which could eventually further erode the privileges we all (should) enjoy as equal netizens.

more than 7 years ago

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