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Comment: Re:yea but (Score 2) 573

by Austerity Empowers (#48625899) Attached to: Reaction To the Sony Hack Is 'Beyond the Realm of Stupid'

There's no way Sony would be liable for an act of war or terrorist attack due to their decision to air a movie. We can't even hold them responsible for the financial loss and emotional damages that most of their movies already cause, and that is absolutely through their own negligence!

Comment: Re:Land of the free (Score 3, Funny) 573

by Austerity Empowers (#48625873) Attached to: Reaction To the Sony Hack Is 'Beyond the Realm of Stupid'

I wonder too, considering by some accounts it's just a really bad movie ( , warning, it's CNN and it's an editorial, take with a shot of tequila and a salt shaker). The only known way of making people see a really bad movie is to have Michael Bay do the special effects, or make some controversy around it. Michael Bay is no doubt working on Transformers N: Plan Gigli from Outer Space

I don't think NK has the capability of making good on telegraphed threats, nor would they like the response.

Comment: Re:Home of the brave? (Score 1) 580

I'm not sure hacking Sony implies the capacity to pull off "9/11 style attacks". Further, pulling off "9/11 style attacks" might be considered an overt act of war, and regardless of the difficult political situation there, little Kimmy might find himself the victim of "Iraq Style Liberation".

Comment: Re:Confused. (Score 1) 208

Why do we have to assume one way or the other? Why not just admit we don't know and let people do what they want instead of trying to push them to do what we think they should?

So I agree, no one should push you into a career you don't want to be in. The question is whether something is pushing them out of STEM, even if they do want to be in it. I don't think that's answered by the horseshit in TFA. The question is whether these people are lefties because that is their dominant hand, or because all they have is left-handed scissors.

I disagree that we should just accept the status quo without further investigation. The problem in a nutshell: the gender pay gap. If you are going to doom a demographic to lower wages, you should have good reasons for it. Is there a good reason for it? What is that reason? Is it solvable in a way we can tolerate?

Comment: Re:Confused. (Score 5, Insightful) 208

there ARE no differences between boys and girls

If anyone is saying that, they are clearly idiots. The internet has copious data regarding the differences between boys and girls. Even after eliminating the porn sites, you end up with various physiological and psychological differences. We're very different in general, the extent to which and whether it's nature or nurture will no doubt rage on for the rest of our lives. There is absolutely no reason to think men and women are the same...

The question of equality is where they are asserting men and women can perform the same. Until evidence exists to the contrary, we have to assume this is true. This is not to say that men and women will do the same things to establish this equality, or will acquire knowledge or even perform the function identically. Only that in the end they will produce the same results.

to create curriculum specifically for girls, who are no different than boys

Accepting the above, which I believe with conviction, this then falls apart. However, where I would direct my nerd rage is at the conclusion that lead to creating a gender specific curriculum as a solution. It must have been something like "CS education as it exists is incompatible with female psychology; a CS education program which can target both genders is impossible, ergo we need to fork a new curriculum". I can't imagine the kind of data that existed to justify this. If it did exist, it seems like a likely assumption than the genders will probably require dedicated education on other topics as well, and maybe we should go back to having boys and girls schools across the board.

Personally I think the problem is entirely social and cultural, and we're wasting our time with this stuff.

Comment: Re:Does the job still get done? (Score 1) 658

Stop being sensible. This is our weekly "fear the AI" post. Soon they'll have to change the tagline: news for luddites, stuff to fear.

Obviously the solution is going to have to be to figure out how to retrain people in later life, the system already doesn't work even without AI, but put in context of changing technology and shifting labor forces. You wake up one day and some wall st. nitwit has decided that china or india has a comparative advantage for certain kinds of work, and whether that's true or not he will make it true by sending the work over there. So it will be time to retrain. Asking the average guy who is in debt for his house, his car, often his regular living expenses to also be saving money for re-education is just not going to fly.

But we can just blame AI for taking our jobs because that's easy and doesn't sound like a tax hike on the wealthy.

Comment: Re:Pretty sad (Score 4, Interesting) 155

by Austerity Empowers (#48613099) Attached to: Dr. Dobb's 38-Year Run Comes To an End

That's kind of the problem and why I dropped subscription a while back. The explosion of computing and computing jobs means that their target audience is wildly diverse and I found maybe one article in a year would touch on a subject or topic that was remotely applicable to me, and it wasn't paying out.

Comment: Re:It has been done. (Score 1) 447

Offensive jokes, even if they were not intended to be offensive. First you are alienating the person, simultaneously recognizing his success and his not-belongingness; secondly, while I don't know that being proud of one's race should be a thing, any such pride is diminished by the joke.

I'm not ready to start a campaign of sensitivity training for the whole world or have people fired for racism etc., people do need to have a thick skin and let the little stuff pass, but our actions do impact the world. There are good reasons to pass on these jokes, and none to let them fly.

Comment: Re:Hmmmmm. Interesting decision history... (Score 4, Insightful) 279

by Austerity Empowers (#48612201) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Should a Liberal Arts Major Get Into STEM?

None proves it, but the question was how to break in to the field, this implies an interest in being successful in the field, not cheating your way to a diploma. There are many STEM careers that are hard or impossible to get in to without going back to school and getting the specialized degree. EE, CompE, Chemical engineering are all tough to break in to on your own. You could of course read a lot of books, but it's probably tough and you're unlikely able to get the kind of focus you need on the areas you will use on your specialization. A dirty secret is perhaps that if you go to school for say EE and you study RF, you may have a very hard time breaking in to computer engineering later, or even the much more closely related power systems. These areas end up being super specialized and your school+work experience ends up binning you into your niche. Later in life your "experience" is expected to be pretty fine grained and deep, so the breadth that's frequently touted as an advantage for liberal arts is actually a drawback for STEM fields outside of academia.

The trick is getting past the resume screen, that's tough to do without the degree in the first place. Then once you do, prepare for an 8 hour long interview that is going to make many PhD defenses seem trivial. There's no risk taking in the hiring process, they will be looking for you to demonstrate a large set of active knowledge on the spot. If you make it through there, be prepared to be learning hte rest of your life and never let yourself get comfortable. The fields change fast, your niche may disappear or more likely be outsourced, so you want to be able to shift focus believably and keep your eyes on trends.

In theory some software programming jobs are easier and don't necessarily require a degree, but I would absolutely be prepared to demonstrate expert knowledge on the language they use (exclusively C in my line of work) and if you're in to systems programming you better know hardware really well too. A CS degree really only helps with the social factor, even if you already know how to code well and have some documented experience on open source.

None of what I said sounds like it should be the case, but it absolutely is. It strikes me that degrees are being used as professional training program (ex. med school, law school) not for general education, as they should be.

Comment: Re:It has been done. (Score 5, Insightful) 447

It's one of those fun things in life: you get a well-raised, well-educated black man, and he's called all sorts of names by black people and white people alike. You get a poorly-educated, poorly-raised black man, and while we arrest him and throw him in jail for the crimes he inevitably (might have) committed, he's socially accepted.

Figure this problem out and there may be a lot less dumb on planet earth.

Money is the root of all wealth.