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Comment Teach them to think, or teach them to calculate (Score 1) 77

I have to admit my bias for the former, but teaching rote calculation in one's head has some value, if only as mental calisthenics. That said, I applaud the Estonian school system for getting more reality based, unlike so many school systems here in the USA.

Full disclosure: I'm half Estonian, do some math in my head, and I still write in cursive, occasionally. Keeps the kids from understanding it. :)

Comment Re:Cheaper to just ask my wife (Score 1) 119

Interesting question. I notice that I tend to optimize my daily experiences and then minimize deviation from those experiences, so that when I find my favorite dish in a restaurant, I rarely order anything else. For example, I get Sunday dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant where I've gone for 16 years or so. I'm in there at 4:30 almost every Sunday. I always get Pho Ga. The time works for me because that's when I get back from the lakehouse and I get back at 4:30 to beat traffic, yet extend my stay. The soup works for me because it's delicious and doesn't upset my stomach.

It's not that I exclude new experiences, exactly, but I route myself into habits that I know suit my tastes a lot. Age may be a factor. When I was in my 20s, I experimented a lot more, but now I know I like Vietnamese food better than Chinese or Thai food. I know that I prefer a weekend alone in my cabin to a party. I prefer sobriety to intoxication. Rock climbing is more fun than caving and simple hiking is more fun than either. At 55, I know what I like and how much I like it. Experimentation becomes less important than experience.

Comment As someone who's done a bit of hiring... (Score 1) 347

DON'T go through with HR. My biggest problem has been avoiding the trained monkeys in HR who seem to bias towards genial, friendly, sociable expensive fuck-ups. What I like is 5+ years *working* experience, some working code I can look at, and a one-on-one conversation where I can ask difficult questions. This will tell me more of what I need to know than any degree. Write something useful. Make it work. Show me your work. Look presentable and sane. Speak English well enough to communicate with the other English speakers in the office. After that, I don't care if you know the specifics of our application or setups. If you've got all of the aforementioned, you'll figure out the rest.

Comment Here are your choices. (Score 2) 231

1) Import a bunch of smart, engineerish types who will undercut the salaries of current engineers in the USA.

2) Leave a bunch of smart, engineerish types in their home countries, where they do the work for $5/hr or less, and who will undercut the salaries of current engineers in the USA.

Like it or not, the first option is probably less damaging to your salary and career, and better for everyone in the USA in the long run.

Comment Re:Theories of "gravity" and electricity under rev (Score 1) 763

Depressingly true. I had *exactly* this experience driving home on I-10 just outside of Houston during rush hour. Veering out of the moron's way in the rain caused my truck to do a 180 in the middle of the freeway. Luck was with me. I ended up rear ending a retaining wall. My right turn signal was still on.

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