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Comment: Re:Not so easy (Score 1) 209

by sarkeizen (#48221531) Attached to: Mark Zuckerberg Speaks Mandarin At Tsinghua University In Beijing

I didn't say you had to learn them. I said they were there.

Sorry the likely case is you are backpedaling. The whole post, in fact the whole portion of this thread is about learning Chinese and you thought adding something that has zero to do with it was a good idea to throw in. That's what you want readers to believe? Let's look at your quote shall we?

About 2000 of them constitute (approximately) high school literacy. But there are about 50 thousand of them. Bad enough?

In order for your "they are just there" be what you really meant you would have had to switch from talking about words you need to learn for literacy to words that have no impact on literacy whatsoever in the space between the period and the word "but". Not to mention you are telling the reader that those two sentences are related by using a conjunction. Albeit one used with a period.

If your defense is really that you inserted a non-sequitor then perhaps there are some large gaps in your English education too? The more likely case is that you were trying to convince the reader that there are lots of characters to learn. Big numbers make your case better. Even though when it comes to talking about literacy (and I question that character counts are a very good way to talk about this) your big numbers are off by a fucking order of magnitude.

As for a simplified character vocabulary, take a trip to Taiwan, why don't you. See how that works out for you.

...and what? Taiwan officially uses traditional and colloquially uses simplified. Toronto, where I live is likely even more mixed. Unlike Taiwan there is no regulation on character usage (since Chinese is not an official language here). Original immigrants were mostly HK Cantonese speakers. To the point that many of my friends who speak Cantonese actually had to *learn* it because nobody spoke their native dialect. Today I see far more Taiwanese and Mandarin speakers. Lots of storefronts sport traditional signs but the goods inside are often marked with simplified charcters. Sing Tao Daily writes in Traditional BUT the advertisement inserts often have simplified and the entertainment sections will often have quotes from people using HKCS. Actually some of the things I've seen from Canton province are probably more interesting than Taiwanese stuff. Where people are using simplified characters but with HKCS. Taiwan does use variants that are rarely seen in the mainland (I mentioned da2 which I've seen in Taiwan and Japan but never in simplified - even though it's technically part of modern Chinese but ironically it contains two copies of the same radical which ARE simplified) - Anyway Taiwan probably has more spoken variants than orthographical ones.

Your experience is only your experience

While true, it ironically doesn't exclude that my experience probably exceeds your own in every way. :-)

Comment: Re:Not so easy (Score 1) 209

by sarkeizen (#48218439) Attached to: Mark Zuckerberg Speaks Mandarin At Tsinghua University In Beijing

You're kind of exaggerating here. There are 50,000 characters estimated to have been used in all of history - this has nothing to do with learning Chinese anymore than learning that yegg, thorn and ash were once English characters. You can be fully literate in Chinese without knowing the vast majority of extant characters. My language coaches are native speakers and while I can recognize/write characters they've never seen. Like the old form of "da2/ta4" not to mention HKCS and a few Japanese characters which use forms which are no longer used in China (like "dragon") ...orthographic variations like in seal script...etc.. They are still much more proficient than myself.

Other than a few popular traditional characters I find that most Chinese can read perfectly well with just simplified. Again my teachers can read just fine but they often struggle to remember the traditional form of every character. University graduates like some of my co-workers can function perfectly well in Chinese but can't remember the traditional form of "cong'. As someone who studied traditional characters first I found reading simplified characters pretty easy. There are thousands of modified characters but a few simple rules will often get you through the majority you see every day.

I also don't see how the verb/negation/verb structure illustrates anything about the difficulty of Chinese. Not to mention that if someone asked you say: "Hui bu hui?" (Are you coming back or not?) and you said "bu shi" people would probably know what you meant. Saying "hao" instead of "hui" is probably more ambiguous.

Is Chinese simple? No but I don't think you're doing it justice. For example a real problem with reading is recognizing when what you're reading is a foreign word that has been transliterated into Chinese. Unlike Japanese where you have katakana to indicate the use of a loanword. Chinese just expects you to know that qiaonasen is an English name. If you're reading a book with a lot of foreign names sometimes they will underline them but I find this as the exception rather than the rule. Even some of my Chinese relatives complain about this.

Comment: I agree... (Score 1) 370

by sarkeizen (#47880545) Attached to: The State of ZFS On Linux
I've been using this for a production fileserver for about a year and a half. Prior to that I was using ZFS on FUSE for about a year.

The only minor negative things I can say is that when you do have some odd kind of failure ZFS (and this may be the case on BSD and Solaris) gives you some pretty scary messages like "Please recover from backup" but usually exporting and importing the FS brings it back at least in a degraded state. My other caveat might just be my linux distro but I've often had problems with older versions of the libraries hanging around and causing the command line tools to break.

Comment: Re:Translation... (Score 1) 72

by sarkeizen (#47837975) Attached to: Google To Build Quantum Information Processors
I know a thing or two about quantum information theory. However that's the first time I've heard "full entanglement" used to describe some entangled state. More frequently you talk about negativity or cluster states. That of course comes from knowing something about the topic and you...well...don't. :)

Comment: Re:Diet is very important. (Score 1) 588

by sarkeizen (#47825081) Attached to: Low-Carb Diet Trumps Low-Fat Diet In Major New Study

because an enormous part of the problem is the percentage of our food today that is processed, and the percentage that contains vast amounts of sugar (and particularly high fructose corn syrup).

Processing can't really add much to the energy content of a food. Modern stores have many significantly more energy dense foods at low cost though which may be part of the problem.

I realize that on Slashdot, where people tend to be highly math-oriented, it's a popular fallacy to believe that a calorie is a calorie is a calorie. However, studies like this one have been coming out for years now showing that that's simply not true.

If you're talking about this particular study. It wasn't calorie restricted so it doesn't make your point. Calories can still be calories and two people on different diets can have different results IF they get to eat different amounts of food. Like they did here. If you read the study. Which you didn't.

Some kinds of energy are easier for our bodies to extract from food than others.

Midly but not terribly significantly. If there was a large degree of variability you wouldn't be able to do things like construct BMR tables by age, weight. The larger your sample you feed your regression the larger your error would be.

Some kinds of food make our bodies feel more full than others.

This isn't about a calorie being a calorie. The calories are the same. I realize that you are a little math-challenged but do try to keep up.

healthy, unless the toppings on that pizza are very carefully selected to provide the nutrients that our bodies actually need.

You've now moved to goalposts far, far away from a "calorie is a calorie" to some vague idea about being healthy. I've personally 10 lbs almost exclusively eating Kit Kat's and Ice Cream bars.

It would be nice if nutrition were a simple formula, where you could just calculate calories in minus calories expended and come out with a nice, pleasing mathematical formula.

Evidence suggests that for the vast majority of people you can do this to a pretty high degree of precision. When I use high-precision means (scales for all food, highly regular diet, highly structured weigh-ins and exercise). I can predict my weight to a margin of 5-10% a week out. When I talk to people who have trouble losing weight and I ask them about their diets. Most of the time they lack enough rigor to easily include their results. I'm not suggesting that everyone needs to be this rigorous but to understand that their confusion comes from not understanding exactly how much energy they are taking in.

Comment: Re:Translation... (Score 1) 72

by sarkeizen (#47821137) Attached to: Google To Build Quantum Information Processors
The way you phrased your post makes it sound like you're saying "more entanglement would make it a quantum computer". Which isn't correct the difference between a Quantum Computer (or gate-model QC device if you prefer) and what D-Wave has built is that it's based around solving a specific Hamiltonian which happens to map to NP-Hard problem of some interest. You could, in theory solve decoherence in D-Wave's device through something not unlike quantum error correction. However even with that it still wouldn't be a general computer. Also if we could solve that problem easily we would probably be able to build true quantum computers.

Comment: Re:Translation... (Score 1) 72

by sarkeizen (#47816247) Attached to: Google To Build Quantum Information Processors
I'd quibble with "easily trounce" since we don't really know how this technology scale. Does doubling the D-Wave Qbits double performance? As it stands we know from other benchmarks that reasonably large single machine can operate equivalently to D-Wave. That hardware costs a few orders of magnitude less then D-Wave so unless D-Wave looks like it SCALES - i.e. performance goes up, costs go down. Then it's not going to be useful to anyone except in side effects like power efficiency. Also remember this is a single purpose solver - it's not a general computer. So at best it can be a kind of enormously expensive hardware accelerator. I'd also quibble a bit with "class of problems it solves". Troyer, et al seems to say that there appears no general performance advantage. D-Wave's response to this is "Well there are specific cases where it was better". Which is expected in any non-deterministic algorithm. A random number generator will eventually guess the right answer on the first try. So now D-Wave would have to show that there is some generalized subclass of problems that it can solve efficiently. I don't envy D-Wave but IMHO they knew (or should have known) the limitations of their ideas when they started out.

Comment: Translation... (Score 1) 72

by sarkeizen (#47815759) Attached to: Google To Build Quantum Information Processors
The D-Wave unit really doesn't help them. Perhaps a dedicated QUBO solver isn't sufficient for their needs or the D-Wave doesn't look like it will scale (we already know that it can be outperformed by equipment much less expensive than itself but investing might still be worthwhile if the technology looks like it will scale over time).

Comment: Wish *you* were taught logic and math.. (Score 1) 125

by sarkeizen (#46999831) Attached to: Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, and Lately, Coding
because you seem to suck at both...

If you teach a 10 year old to write "code", that won't help them in 8 or 10 years time when they try to apply for a job. The "code" technology will have moved on in that time, so the stuff they learned a decade ago will be obsolete. The knowledge that a professional programmer has, has a half-life of a few years: maybe as long as 5 years in some areas - possibly as a short as 1 or 2 in rapidly developing fields of work.

This seems incorrect. A simple back of the envelope regression analysis between 12 programming languages I used in school/work and the jobs available on monster.ca. Gave a R of about -0.1. So programming language age and jobs available appear to be uncorrelated. Now you will probably be tempted to drop back and punt. That is to make your argument way more specific (Oh I meant that Business knowledge W + Language X + IDE Y + Framework Z wouldn't be useful in 2025) however clearly, if you had been educated in logic you would realize that doesn't mean that teaching language X is of little or no value. Knowing Lisp a language almost as old as CS itself has helped me in evaluating products and understanding problems just in the last five years.

Since nobody can tell what skills will be needed in the next decade, learning a particular coding language, the "learning to code" is almost certainly teaching the wrong language to children.

The argument of someone who doesn't understand the need to clarify your premises. If nobody has any information on what is needed in 2025 then no premise should be privileged (i.e. learning current languages is of almost no help). If you are asserting that we only have enough information to determine that learning languages people use today is of almost no help. Then you are either wrong (by my regression above) or just begging the question.

It would be far better to teach them basic maths, basic logic and how to think in abstract terms - rather than focusing on tangible, here and now, stuff that will produce children who can blink an LED on a Raspberry Pi today, but will have no clue about hw to deal with the "AI on a chip" they might be faced with when they start their professional careers.

The assumption here is pretty ignorant. Learning to program is of almost no value because there will be nothing in common between programming languages now and whatever people use in 10 years. Well the Church-Turing thesis begs to differ. Unless the "AI on a chip" (*snort* *chortle*) is not a Turing machine then clearly any programming language would have something to teach them and would at least be potentially useful in instructing them on the nature of computer science.

When I started my first job after graduating, the job description didn't even exist when I started my university course. So what is the chance that teaching 5 or 10 year children a specific computing skill will be relevant to their career prospects in 10-15 years time?

Again a correlation coefficient of -0.1 seems to say "not nearly as bad as a moron like you thinks"

Comment: Re:Practice, question, listen, connect. (Score 1) 218

by sarkeizen (#46561359) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Re-Learning How To Interview As a Developer?
Uh...so advising someone on how to avoid common pitfalls somehow means we're missing people in some significant way? I don't think you actually read what I typed. Here's a recap.

i) If you think you are losing job offers because you appear standoffish. Practice a few questions.
ii) Engaging the other side of the table will also help you appear more involved.
iii) Understanding the other people is key to being able to communicate with them. Communication is key in avoiding appearing detached.
iv) Try to give them a demonstration of your work in the interview.
v) Jokes are harder to pull of than you think.

Comment: Practice, question, listen, connect. (Score 4, Insightful) 218

by sarkeizen (#46551971) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Re-Learning How To Interview As a Developer?
Here's my $0.05. I've been a hiring manager for a number of developer positions.

i) Practice: Have a few pat answers for open ended or probing questions. Like when you get asked "Can you give me an example of..." pick a good example - one where you look good (I can't tell you how many times someone picked an "example of resolving a conflict with their coworker where they looked pretty bad"). Then bounce it off your NON-tech friends. Take their advice, even if it sounds weird or not how you would naturally talk. Then practice until you can make it sound natural.

ii) Question. It pays to ask a question or two about the questions being asked of you. Not every question but it shows you are listening and can be even used to show off knowledge you have but haven't been asked.

iii) Listen when they are talking. Try to get an idea of what these people are looking for.

iv) At the end you are often asked if you have any questions. Use the information about iii) to get them talking. Find something you have in common. Suggest some solution. i.e. get them talking about their biggest problem areas for software, hardware (whatever you're being hired for and ask them "Have you tried..."). Don't go on too much about a single technology. I don't mind it when someone slips an extracurricular into their interview but it should be a one off. For example, I interviewed a person who did some Ada programming in his spare time. Which is cool but he referenced it two or three other times and it started to sound like an attempt to distract from the question.

Bonus: Avoid jokes. Seriously. Unless you really can take the temperature of your audience it's hard to pull off and it can easily be taken the wrong way and counted against you . Remember that when you tell jokes to your peers at work they already know you (to some extent) and are attempting to think the best of you. An interviewer is trying to differentiate between you an everyone else. If someone from HR is on the interview panel and you tell a joke (or relay an experience) that makes you look like you have a problem or might be mildly sexist, ageist, racist. You can easily find yourself on the bottom of the pile when it comes to a decision.

Comment: Re:Home school (Score 1) 529

by sarkeizen (#46539001) Attached to: The Poor Neglected Gifted Child

She herself feels the local schools would not serve her well, concluding this after taking with age-peer friends at gymnastics practice, track club, and orchestra, just three of the activities that provide social interaction for our daughter.

How do you know those activities provide a good model of the breadth of interaction you would get at school? Assuming a large enough body and a sufficiently diverse population at said school. I rather suspect that these don't compare. Perhaps it's related to how parents often confuse extra-curricular activities with social experiences.

Thirdly, you'll never convince me that the socialization of a typical public school with all of it's dysfunctional cliques, dysfunctional fashions, and bullying is somehow better.

Well it's good that you're being rational...oh wait...you're actually being the opposite. IMHO the parents job wrt their child and the outside world is to provide them with skills to thrive in it. Socialization is one of these and it's one of those things that people who don't do it well tend to be oblivious to. Considering how many people I know who are stuck in middle management at least partially because of a social skills problem. I'm rather persuaded that a lack of social ability will curb your success.

I do agree that public school can be a socially challenging situation - this is *why* being there is, in and of itself a social education. Removing a child from a challenging situation if they stand to benefit (gain the ability to cope with socially challenging situations) and are not likely to fail in a damaging way, is irrational. So far my child has shown an almost flawless degree of judgement in pursuing a course of action which is healthy for her. I do understand if you think your child who can (allegedly) take a total derivative at age 13 might not be capable of making those decisions. However I suspect that you're short-changing her or perhaps she's short-changing herself.

I can only imagine the kind of severe bullying that my daughter would have to endure at the typical high school, just because she is a girl that likes math and science. Go read "They Sibling Society" by Robert Blye and then try to tell me the current public school system is good for kids' socialization.

You really like books that are far more narrative than research. While it would be sad if your daughter got bullied because of those things. I'm not sure avoiding something simply because it has some (entirely unquantified) probability of happening is really the right thing either.

I really get tired of people who haven't thought deeply about the problem,

I'd put you in that category.

haven't read widely about the issues,

Dude. So far you have mentioned two books and both are, in my opinion only mildly above works of fiction when it comes to rigour.

and don't face the problem in their own life somehow thinking they should be able to dictate to me.

You're making a logical fallacy here. Maybe you should ask your daughter.

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