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+ - Is there a place for me in this world?

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "I'm mildly autistic and in my mid 30s. I know I'm not the smartest person ever — not even close — but I'm pretty smart: perfect scores on SAT, etc., way back in high school and a PhD from a private research university you've heard of. I don't consider intelligence a virtue (in contrast to, say, ethical living); it's just what I have, and that's that. There are plenty of things I lack. Anyway, I've made myself very good at applied math and scientific computing. For years, without ever tiring, I've worked approximately 6.5 days a week all but approximately 4 of my waking hours per day. I work at a research university as research staff, and my focus is on producing high-quality, efficient, relevant scientific software. But funding is tough. I'm terrible at selling myself. I have a hard time writing proposals because when I work on mushy tasks, I become depressed and generally bent out of shape. My question: Is it possible to find a place where I can do exactly what I do best and keeps me stable — analyze and develop mathematical algorithms and software — without ever having to do other stuff and, in particular, without being good at presenting myself? I don't care about salary beyond keeping up my frugal lifestyle and saving a sufficient amount to maintain that frugal lifestyle until I die. Ideas? Or do we simply live in a world where we all have to sell what we do no matter what? Thanks for your thoughts."

+ - There's got to be more than the Standard Model

Submitted by StartsWithABang
StartsWithABang (3485481) writes "The Standard Model of particle physics is perhaps the most successful physical theory of our Universe, and with the discovery and measurement of the Higgs boson, may be all there is as far as fundamental particles accessible through terrestrial accelerator physics. But there are at least five verified observations we've made, many in a variety of ways, that demonstrably show that the Standard Model cannot be all there is to the Universe. Here are the top 5 signs of new physics."

Comment: Re:No, this is not what the developing world needs (Score 5, Insightful) 89

The whole point of this, the whole point, is to make specialized idiot-proof diagnostic tools. Did you watch the Ted talk? It's short and informative. If you see the vid, you'll see that many of these places have a fancy microscope already that no one can use. With this thing they can create a specialized single use malaria detector for example. Very little training is required to insert slide, look at image, malaria? Yes/No. That's the point of this, that's what they are trying to achieve. It's a good idea, and it could transform diagnosis in the third world.

Comment: Re:farming vs. hunter gatherer (Score 1) 351

by Puff_Of_Hot_Air (#46728391) Attached to: Isolated Tribes Die Shortly After We Meet Them

It seems to me that you delight in being wrong. Australian aboriginals worked, on average, 6 hours per day. Australian history is quite recent, this statement is not in dispute. I'm not trying to suggest that this was the case for any other hunter-gatherer society (I'm quite ignorant outside of this area), but the idea that Australian aboriginals had a relatively easy life is neither minority view nor controversial.

On the "life span" topic, you seem to indicate that people are uniformly dropping off in their 30's, which was simply not the case. You were quite likely to die in childhood (particularly infancy), but if you got through that, quite likely to creek on past 50. Why present this as if people are dying in their 30's, ground down by poor diet and harsh conditions? Simple nonsense.

Comment: Re:farming vs. hunter gatherer (Score 1) 351

by Puff_Of_Hot_Air (#46724753) Attached to: Isolated Tribes Die Shortly After We Meet Them
More ignorance. Life spans were not in the "low 30's" for indigenous or Europeans. Average life expectancy was predominantly impacted by infant mortality rates. Once out of childhood, you could reasonably expect to hit late 50's or 60 odd. Leisure time is again something you are simply wrong about. From all evidence, including first person accounts from early explorers; life was easy. In fact, there is a reasonable argument to be made that this is why such little advancement was made over 40000 years. If life is easy and food is plentiful, why do anything different? But continue on, I'm interested in what other sweeping statements you will make inspite of all evidence to the contrary.

Comment: Re:farming vs. hunter gatherer (Score 1) 351

by Puff_Of_Hot_Air (#46722439) Attached to: Isolated Tribes Die Shortly After We Meet Them

How and when people died in pre-contact populations is pretty well established, and we can determine it from skeletons.

Ignoring your ridiculous attempts to paint me with various motivations or political leanings, this is about the only comment you have made that is not completely wrong. If you can be bothered to find the studies, you'll find that the life expectancy and general health of Australian aboriginals prior to colonization was better than that of the average European at the time. But never let bothersome facts get in the way of good uninformed diatribe.

Comment: Re:farming vs. hunter gatherer (Score 1) 351

by Puff_Of_Hot_Air (#46704679) Attached to: Isolated Tribes Die Shortly After We Meet Them

Under ideal conditions that is true: a stable habitat with abundant resources and low population densities. But under such conditions, populations grow and people get pushed out into more and more marginal habitats.

Not true! Or at least, not universally true. Take the Australian Aboriginals as example; nice stable culture for 30000 years. Practised birth control via a combination of penile splitting and other methods I'll allow you to look up. The point is that humans have long understood how increased population causes problems; and have sometimes found ways around the issue.

Comment: Re:it always baffles me (Score 4, Informative) 113

by Puff_Of_Hot_Air (#42951061) Attached to: Utilities Racing To Secure Electric Grid

... why are mission critical devices connected to the internet

sure we know that the weakest link is the meatware, not the hardware, but still...

They aren't, at least, not directly. They are however generally connected at various points to the "business" network which is connected to the Internet (people gotta email). The literal air gap is largely fiction. The business network is hacked, then some vulnerability exploited in the bridge points or routers (it's a network of networks!). Why connect the SCADA to the business network at all? To get the data out to do reports, send email alarms etc. in theory this data exporting should be secure. Problem is that who is hacking your SCADA system? It's not the usual suspects; there is no money in it and the barrier of entry is too high for the script kiddies. It's other countries wanting to perform espionage. How the hell do you protect against that? Look at stuxnet, I mean really look at how that took down the centrifuges. Governments have resources that the average hacking group simply doesn't (or SCADA group). They also have no reason to reveal a compromised system. There could be sleeper, targeted, custom malware sitting on every SCADA server in the US, just waiting for the a time where it will be useful to activate. It's a brave new world!

Comment: Re:Don't they use Perforce internally? (Score 1) 227

by Puff_Of_Hot_Air (#42757125) Attached to: Microsoft Embraces Git For Development Tools
Linux is small. And it's just source code. Storing binaries happens a lot for a lot of reasons. You might have binaries for a third party library, you might have various art assets, compiled CHM files for help, installers for dependencies, etc etc. Git was designed for a particular problem space, in which binaries were not considered a big issue. Other groups have different requirements.

Comment: Re:Wont someone think of (Score 1) 100

by Puff_Of_Hot_Air (#38082916) Attached to: Teenager Builds $300 Open Source Eye-Tracking System

Dick smith is a hypocrite, all his electronics stores revolved around importing the cheapest crap from overseas, so now for him to say buy australian is a huge backflip. Back when that was happening with dick smith, australia was still manufacturing lots of stuff, now we're just importing everything, whilst exporting the raw materials.

You do realize that the "dick smith" electronics store was sold to woolies in 1982? 60% in 1980, then the rest in 1982. Are you really talking about the store during the 70's? In addition, it does not make someone a hypocrite to behave in a different way to what the once did. Is the reformed alcoholic a hypocrite for wanting tighter alcohol regulation? You really haven't thought this through.

Comment: Re:The giant leach on society (Score 3, Insightful) 524

by Puff_Of_Hot_Air (#37387108) Attached to: $300M To Save 6 Milliseconds
See this is exactly the ignorance I am trying to fight! That you imagine modern innovation is a product of financial institutions boggles the mind! This is a chicken and egg situation, and you are claiming that egg has feathers! Modern financial institutions are a product of need brought about by massive industrial development. I am not denying the need, I am decrying the abuse. To put it in over-simplified terms, the financial institutions are the middle men in all the commerce that occurs, all the development, all the property. They take a percentage for their services, and there is nothing particularly upsetting about this. Where it becomes a problem is when more money is being removed from the overall system through abuses in the methods. HFT fits this bill, and I see no reason not to decry it. Invest in that which will ennoble; science, arts, engineering, and stop playing these foolish games.

FORTRAN is a good example of a language which is easier to parse using ad hoc techniques. -- D. Gries [What's good about it? Ed.]