Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:"Great minds think alike"... apk (Score 1) 177

by metlin (#47722387) Attached to: Professor Steve Ballmer Will Teach At Two Universities This Year

I would characterize those areas as IT and software engineering, and not necessarily Computer Science.

I would perhaps state that some areas of computing (e.g., systems design, architecture) are better grouped under software engineering, given their nature.

I almost feel that there needs a distinction between software engineering and computer science. To paraphrase David Parnas, computer science studies the properties of computation in general while software engineering is the design of specific computations to achieve practical goals.

Muddling the two disciplines causes heartache because you have people who are great at designing software, but cannot grok advanced math; and on the other hand, you potentially limit your solutions to what's within the realm of current applicability, without exploring other possibilities (e..g, reinventing new algorithms for quantum computation).

Comment: Re:"Great minds think alike"... apk (Score 1) 177

by metlin (#47722065) Attached to: Professor Steve Ballmer Will Teach At Two Universities This Year

I would add a nuance to your point and state that real world experience matters in IT, but not in CS.

Computer Science is more about algorithms, systems architecture, and a lot of math. I did very little programming when I did CS in grad school and a whole lot of pretty awesome math (computational complexity, graphics, optimizations etc). Not sure about undergrad, since I did ECE, which, once again, was a whole lot of math (DSP, control systems, engineering electromagnetics, circuit theory, VLSI etc).

In any event, real-world relevance is more important to IT than it is to CS. I would say that it is however somewhat important in engineering, which, once again, is a professional degree.

Comment: Re:Is he a scientist? (Score 3, Informative) 177

by metlin (#47719907) Attached to: Professor Steve Ballmer Will Teach At Two Universities This Year

B-schools often hire people who are not in academia per se, but have rich real world experience in solving business problems.

For instance, you will often find senior partners from top consulting firms teaching classes, because they bring to bear not just academic knowledge but also practical experience.

People who do their MBA are not there to just learn the latest and greatest management technique from academia -- they also seek to apply that to the real world.

And this is not just true for MBAs -- it is also true for law schools, medical schools, and many other professional degrees. You'll find former judges and lawyers teaching classes, and you'll find doctors and surgeons with real world experience tempering your academic knowledge with their real world experience.

Public policy is another area where you former civil servants often teaching classes.

Comment: Re:He just doesent' get it.. (Score 3, Insightful) 514

by metlin (#47569335) Attached to: Jesse Jackson: Tech Diversity Is Next Civil Rights Step

As an Indian American, while I agree with the spirit of your comment, please remember that we are just as badly affected by the H1B visas as any other Americans.

Unfortunately, we are all cast in the same light, our background, academic qualifications, or experience notwithstanding.

Comment: Re:Missing Option: I HATE fireworks. (Score 2) 340

by metlin (#47386677) Attached to: On 4th of July:

Yes, because anyone who cannot afford to pay for a baby sitter should forego ever eating out or watching a movie.

And the reason you find more babies out is for a few reasons:

1. Families are smaller and there is less of grandma and grandpa living 'round the block. As such, you are left with no family help.

2. Economic realities make childcare extreme expensive, even in double income families.

3. Single parents are also a lot more common, and the single parent already has someone taking care of the kid during the day. They can't magically "leave" the kid behind for everything that they do, just because other assholes in public find them to be an inconvenience.

If I can't get a sitter, I'll do my best to calm my baby when I'm out in public. If you don't like it, you can bugger off.

Comment: Re:Missing Option: I HATE fireworks. (Score 1) 340

by metlin (#47385865) Attached to: On 4th of July:

You know, I cannot understand the recent cultural backlash against babies.

Yes, babies cry. They cry at night, they cry in restaurants, and they cry on airplanes. They cry when they are hungry, when they are tired, when they're pooping, and when they need a diaper change. And often, they cry for apparently no reason at all.

As a father of a four month old, I can tell you that we parents aren't exactly pleased to hear our babies cry, either. We don't want our kids to be in pain, and we want them to be happy. We are acutely conscious of bothering others, and we feel helpless about the whole thing.

But you know what's worse? Assholes who cannot stop complaining about crying babies. Guess what? It's how human beings are. You cried too. So did every human being who's ever lived.

So, get over it. Babies cry. Live with it. If you don't like it, find a place without any humans who procreate. And show some empathy, for crying out loud.

Comment: Re:Write your name with a pen? (Score 2) 82

Yes, clearly I was unaware of this fact when I made this comment. Because, you know, it's an all-or-nothing world where people offering product features tell their users to do it their way or stick it.

If you cannot offer a helpful suggestion when someone questions something they aren't comfortable with, perhaps you should cut down the snark and just ignore the comment.

Comment: Write your name with a pen? (Score 4, Insightful) 82

Really? Some of us really enjoy our books -- as someone who has a personal library with ~4,000 books, I would be appalled if I had to write on any of their pages with a pen.

Not because I am planning on selling any of them, but because to me, I just see it as damaging the book.

A good many of them are autographed or antiquarian books, and the last thing I'd ever want to do is sign them with a *pen*.

I find the whole deal oddly disturbing -- maybe it's just me as a bibliophile, but writing on a book sounds like a sacrilege.

Comment: Re: Let them drink! (Score 2) 532

by metlin (#47332181) Attached to: NYC Loses Appeal To Ban Large Sugary Drinks

WHO recently halved its recommended sugar intake for adults, from 10 percent of total daily calories 5 percent. For an average adult, that's about 25g.

Your average (12 oz) can of coke contains 39g of sugar. Your 44 oz coke or Pepsi contain about 154g of sugar. That is not 150% of your recommended daily amount -- that's more than six days' recommended daily intake.

Comment: Re:But people forget what MENSA concluded (Score 1) 561

by metlin (#47327055) Attached to:, Mensa Create Dating Site For Geniuses

I am going to offer a slightly different perspective.

I work for a management consulting firm, and we hire (arguably) some of the smartest people in the world who are usually good with both critical thinking and with the soft skills. It sounds like an easily accomplished task, but it really is not. Some of the most analytical and quantitative people in the world also come with personality quirks that makes them unsuitable for most client facing professions.

I have also had my fair share of experience interacting with CEOs, both big and small. And it has been my experience that among successful people (the way society values success today anyway), there are two key elements to being at the top.

One is strategic thinking. Not everyone is capable of it, no matter what people may think. Some people are great at focusing on one problem; others are capable of bringing in disparate problems together and finding holistic, long-term solutions. This is a non-trivial task, and one with incredibly devastating consequences in the event of failure (and people do focus on failure, which is understandable, but discounting the success of social, political, and economic progress is disingenuous and silly). A good doctor is great at one problem, but cannot bring to bear the breadth of their experience to handle a disease outbreak, which has much wider consequences.

The second is capital. Modern society runs on capital. You would be staggered at just how much day-to-day credit companies use to run. If the cogs in the wheel were to stop, they will close their doors in a week. Take away the access to capital and you will be stuck at status quo. And identifying which ideas and which cogs in the wheel deserve capital is also one of onerous responsibility.

And that is the real reason executives and people in financial services (capital) get paid as much as they do. It doesn't matter whether or not you are in private or public sector -- those jobs are incredibly demanding, not the least because the burden of responsibilities demands a far more diligent performance.

An entrepreneur can create new ideas, but to bring them to bear on market and to make a company successful requires a different kind of expertise. There's a reason even Google brought in Eric Schmidt as a CEO from the outside -- from having an IPO to exploring growth strategies, running a company is a rare and valuable expertise.

And I am pretty egalitarian (in that y'all muggles look the same), and yet, I would say that the value society places on strategic thinking and capital allocation is justified.

Now, is this sometimes done blindly, without regard to performance? Of course, and that is a structural problem (e.g. Wall Street). And are there other professions (e.g. scientists) who should get similar incentives, but do not? Of course, and that is a perception problem. But neither of those really discount the importance of the jobs many executives play.

And at the end of the day, there is certainly a trade-off. People in those jobs work with little sleep, work brutal hours, and find it difficult to make time for their family, let alone anything else. Most successful CEOs I know wakes up at brutally early hours (~4 am) and are stressed beyond repair. They trade a relatively structured, stress-free life for one that offers great risk with great rewards. And ultimately, that's what society rewards. No guts, no glory doc.

For every Associate at McKinsey or Goldman who burns through 80 hour weeks, there are others who settle for a 9-5 job with a cute barista girlfriend and play pool on the weekends. For every 20 year old who partied through college with debt, there are many, many others who scored perfect GPAs and had clearly defined goals in life. For every geek who started coding in middle school and dropped out and played Counter Strike, there is a kid who busted ass and made it in life. Intelligence only goes so far -- structure, planning, and hard work go a lot farther.

Whether or not you like it, success is cumulative -- and course correction is a lot harder later in life than it is earlier.

The best way to avoid responsibility is to say, "I've got responsibilities."