A wise and insightful set of observations. I offer that praise, of course, only because the Reindeer reflects my own experience in working with that odd codebase known as "English." I once encountered a question at a LinkedIn group I follow, which asked: "How do you prefer to write -- with pen and paper or computer?" And my answer was, "neither." I further explained that a typical 1,500 word piece gets "written" when I'm out walking, sitting in meditation, or hitting golf balls at the driving range. Very often, the "scribbling" part is done with a pocket audio recorder, so that the typing becomes more a secretarial act than a creative one (editing, however, is an entirely different story).
Perhaps the only area where I might differ from the Reindeer is in the matter of handling distractions. For me, the "cow in front of my train" can often become part of the thought. This piece, for instance, developed from such an interruption (someone drawing my attention to the Goswami rant that became the main subject of the essay). Sometimes, I have found, distraction can itself be focus disguised.
Now, as for the topic here: if the experience of watching someone code (or write, paint, or even dig a ditch) is an opening into the creative process of the work, then it's worth the watch. That is to say, it's more likely to be a waste of time than a learning experience, but the one good encounter may be worth the ten bad, as long as you can quickly recognize the difference.
A long time ago, in the mid-80’s, I got my first corporate job. I was going to be employed by one of the biggest real estate firms in NYC, working in a gleaming midtown tower and doing Important Things in a suit and tie. The shirt whose buttons could withstand my pride had not yet been invented. To celebrate before I started, I went home to bask in the glow of accomplishment amid family. In short, I imagine I was thoroughly insufferable.
Anyway, shortly before I left to return to New York and begin my corporate career, my old man took me aside. “Brian, congratulations again, and I mean that,” he said, smiling. “I just want you to understand one thing before you start. The company will ask for your loyalty — demand it, in fact. It will give you none in return. The company will ask for your sacrifice, and give you none in return. The company will ask for your trust, and give you none in return. How much of these things you give the company will depend on you and your judgment. Just don’t expect anything back except the paycheck. Do your best, but expect nothing in return from the company.”
The memes that have been created are clever too, "I don't normally take over C-Span2, but when I do -people watch C-Span2." Of course, the expected #StandWithRand and posting selfies with people actually watching C-Span2.
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Link to Original Source
Fast forward to 2014. The Idaho police sent the semen sample to a private lab to extract a DNA profile that included YSTR and mtDNA—the two genetic markers used to determine patrilineal and matrilineal relationships (it’s unclear why they reopened the case after nearly 20 years). These markers would allow investigators to search some existing databases to try to find a match between the sample and genetic relatives.
The cops chose to use a lab linked to a private collection of genetic genealogical data called the Sorenson Database (now owned by Ancestry.com), which claims it’s “the foremost collection of genetic genealogy data in the world.” The reason the Sorenson Database can make such an audacious claim is because it has obtained its more than 100,000 DNA samples and documented multi-generational family histories from “volunteers in more than 100 countries around the world.”
Sorenson promised volunteers their genetic data would only be used for “genealogical services, including the determination of family migration patterns and geographic origins” and would not be shared outside Sorenson.
Despite this promise, Sorenson shared its vast collection of data with the Idaho police. Without a warrant or court order, investigators asked the lab to run the crime scene DNA against Sorenson’s private genealogical DNA database. Sorenson found 41 potential familial matches, one of which matched on 34 out of 35 alleles—a very close match that would generally indicate a close familial relationship. The cops then asked, not only for the “protected” name associated with that profile, but also for all “all information including full names, date of births, date and other information pertaining to the original donor to the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy project.”
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