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Comment: Re:The 30 and 40-somethings wrote the code... (Score 1) 553

by retchdog (#49621855) Attached to: Recruiters Use 'Digital Native' As Code For 'No Old Folks'

yeah, but first off pedagogy isn't the same as praxis. also, (western) math has moved from its Euclidean geometric roots to much more efficient and powerful representations. that is to say, i'm not convinced that low-level memory management is actually a fundamental skill.

anyway, people can and do learn these things if and when necessary; what's happening is that there are so many other things to do now (this is called progress) that people don't have to do them. further, the people who actually do these things are benefitting from modern approaches. even demo writers using decades-old hardware are making graphics which would have been considered jaw-droppingly impossible at the time.

Comment: Re:The 30 and 40-somethings wrote the code... (Score 1) 553

by retchdog (#49617079) Attached to: Recruiters Use 'Digital Native' As Code For 'No Old Folks'

yeah, no hand-holding... but back when "made it work" often amounted to implementing some half-assed version of curses for your ASCII sort-of-GUI, or blitting 320x200 raster gfx to the buffer, or other such bullshit. the most amazing part of it was that everyone around the world was repeating the same fucking work which, sure, some of us enjoyed that work and some of us got paid a lot for it, but anyone who thought that would actually last was just delusional.

sure, there are downsides to the progress we've made; i almost retched when someone proposed a cross-platform "solution" for finding the IP address within an interpreted language by installing a JSON library and querying an API. however, on the whole it's a lot better now; i can go from the sketches, brainstorming, math, and algorithms to an actual result within a few hours instead of a few weeks (or, more likely, never).

Comment: Re:Testing literacy (Score 2) 109

It could use a few commas, but it's not terrible. "Sitting an exam" is standard Australian English, I presume. In Europe, it's commonly called "writing an exam" (they started moving from written answers to psychometry much more recently). Maybe "sitting an exam" doesn't make literal sense, but neither does "taking an exam" really; I mean, where are you taking it?

Comment: Re: What's the problem? (Score 1) 208

by retchdog (#49536681) Attached to: Social Science Journal 'Bans' Use of p-values

ah, you're just confusing randomization as a means of controlling nuisance factors, with the formal significance level of the result about the factor of interest. you are confused; these are different concepts. to wit, randomization certainly does not involve testing "all the independent variables". trying to randomize this way is a waste of time at best, and would probably fuck up your experiment.

it is worth recalling, at times like this, that the last person to speak to me with such a combination of ignorance and certitude was found dead three days later from profuse rectal bleeding.

Comment: Re: What's the problem? (Score 1) 208

by retchdog (#49528005) Attached to: Social Science Journal 'Bans' Use of p-values

maybe i'm misunderstanding you, but why would you test to "ensure that"? the randomization guarantees it (assuming that it is done correctly, of course); poking around after-the-fact can only undo the blind, which is why good experiments take some measures to make it difficult.

and why is it "guaranteed to happen 5% of the time"? is that independent of sample size and distribution of the factor? quite remarkable indeed!

you sound quite confused about certain things.

Comment: Re:Social Science != Science (Score 1) 208

by retchdog (#49495699) Attached to: Social Science Journal 'Bans' Use of p-values

i am a statistician and i've worked closely with a sociologist (one of the few who uses math correctly, if a bit pedantically). you are correct, it is not intrinsically impossible to do sociology correctly. however, the mathematical literacy standards for the field are woefully lacking even in the ivy league.

this song by Tom Lehrer holds true today, just replace "sigma and chi-square" by "social network analysis".

Comment: Re: What's the problem? (Score 3) 208

by retchdog (#49495533) Attached to: Social Science Journal 'Bans' Use of p-values

yes, i am.

true randomization allows you to control for everything (intuitively: since it's randomized, there is no way for you to introduce bias), at the cost of increased variance. however, you can make up for increased variance by increasing the sample size, which is what they did here. i forget the exact numbers, but they sent out hundreds of letters.

far from what you assert, randomization is fundamental to experimental control, and randomness is quite easily generated in a controlled manner. here's a general hint for you and everyone else: don't say things like "randomness cannot be controlled because then it wouldn't be 'true' randomness". it just makes you seem like an idiot.

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