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Comment Re:See Negri, affective labor, others. (Score 1) 533

These latter people get to say and feel whatever is on their mind or in their gut, unlike the rest of us. And, irony of ironies, they are broadly applauded for it, no matter how extreme, atypical, or mundane the positions. The rest of us would simply be fired.

I feel the same way about TED talks. Just because it's a goddam TED talk, everyone treats it as effing gospel. Half of that shit is rehashed from pulp 1980s management self-help books. Someone sends me a link, "Hey, check out this TED talk, it's awesome!" And I say, "Dude, I said the same thing on my blog like 5 years ago", and they're like "yeah, but this is a TED talk."

Comment A positive use of data mining (Score 3, Interesting) 70

It's refreshing to see predictive data analysis used for positive efforts, rather than simply selling more ads. Here's a call to action for all you data scientists at Twitter, FB, and other SV startups who think they're changing the world when all they're doing is putting money in their advertisers' pockets. News flash: statistics can be used to benefit society for a change.

Comment Re:Wow, depressing (Score 1) 489

I could never understand how academics could get lifetime positions at universities doing what they do - not exactly the kind of work that provides value in a fast paced world. It just seems that getting a degree in philosophy or literature is like getting a degree is making buggy whips. It's so weird. Does anyone stll believe that reading To Kill a Mockingbird is a relevant exercise in the world we live in when we have enough real world examples of social issues? Indulging in classic literature has been mostly a waste of time for at least 15 years. If you want to do it for personal development, go for it. Professionally? C'mon.

And what kind of work does "provide value in a fast paced world? Are you saying you are solely qualified to answer that question? How arrogant must you be to think you have the whole world figured out and can decide for the rest of civilization that academia does not provide the kind of value that meets your satisfaction?

Go suck a buggy whip.

Comment Re:This is a warning many need to hear (Score 1) 489

I agree with your statement of the problem but you're not going to find the solution there...

Why not? The increasing dominance of culture by business and the enshrinement of corporate priorities above all else has made it impossible to conceptualize our own humanity in terms that cannot be equated to monetary value. All of us caught in that engine of materialism are therefore blind to its effects. It's not our fault, we have to abide by these rules in order to survive: acquire, compete, defend, and do what it takes to secure our own "blessings of liberty" before they are secured by another, or unsecured as a result of layoff, medical bankruptcy, fraud, greed, the list goes on.

Where else is there to look for a solution? The ones at the top of the engine dare not change anything for fear of upsetting the gravy train that sustains them. The rest of us dare not challenge anything for fear of ending up begging on the streetcorner trying to save enough for a kidney transplant. The only people in our entire civilization that have the luxury of thinking about our humanity are liberal arts students! Oh, God save us all! But seriously, they are the only ones who can think outside the box. Many of them will likely be swallowed up by the work machine once they graduate and their free time will have come to naught, but some will stay and persevere and maybe one day come up with some new solutions. Then we can put technology to work for us instead of being its slaves. Then we can enjoy life without worrying about how to pay for medical care. Then we can find true value in our humanity that finally has nothing to do with money.

Comment Re:This is a warning many need to hear (Score 1) 489

Businesses don't give a second glance to PhDs in literature, or sociology, or plant physiology

Your data are wrong. Although I can't comment specifically about lit or plant physiology (do you mean botany?), smart innovative companies are actually highly interested in sociologists and are fiercely recruiting them. Facebook's data science team is run by sociologists, and Google engineers are collaborating with sociology departments on various interesting research topics. This shouldn't be much of a surprise since network analysis was invented in sociology in the 1970s. Today's tweets and likes are still analyzed using techniques that sociologists came up with back when the only twerking going on was led by John Travolta.

It amuses me to no end how so many otherwise intelligent technical people maintain a stubborn bias against social science. Do you have to denigrate other fields in order to keep a sense of self superiority? That is an exceedingly narrow perspective completely unbefitting a rational engineer or a scientist of any stripe. If instead you would take the time to study these other fields, you might find something with which you could collaborate, or at least learn and expand your mind.


The Twighlight of Small In-House Data Centers 180

dcblogs writes "Virtualization, cloud services and software-as-a-service (SaaS) is making it much easier to shift IT infrastructure operations to service providers, and that is exactly what many users are doing. Of the new data center space being built in the U.S., service providers accounted for about 13% of it last year, but by 2017 they will be responsible for more than 30% of this new space, says IDC. 'We are definitely seeing a trend away from in-house data centers toward external data centers, external provisioning,' said Gartner analyst Jon Hardcastle. Among those planning for a transition is the University of Kentucky's CIO, who wants to reduce his data center footprint by half to two thirds. He expects in three to five years service provider pricing models 'will be very attractive to us and allow us to take most of our computing off of our data center.' IT managers says a big reason for the shift is IT pros don't want to work in data centers at small-to-mid size firms that can't offer them a career path. Hank Seader, managing principal of the Uptime Institute, said that it takes a 'certain set of legacy skills, a certain commitment to the less than glorious career fields to make data centers work, and it's hard to find people to do it.'"

Comment Re:"Reach" schools (Score 1) 108

Take a look at lesser known CMU (and I should know, I went there. When friends and relatives ask me where I attended, it's always followed by "Oh... and where is that?"). They admitted LESS students than MIT, but ended up with double the acceptance rate

Fewer, they admitted fewer students. Nice work, poster boy.

Comment Re:Entitlement!!!11! (Score 2) 414

You should be free to use your gadgets on a plane. You are not entitled to be provided a gadget by the airline for your use on a plane. There is a difference.

You should be free to swing your fist. You are not entitled to swing your fist in the immediate proximity of my nose. There is a difference.

There are valid reasons that certain freedoms should be restricted in certain circumstances. The entitlement culture to which Parent refers has turned people who should be responsible adults into obstinate children crying that their favorite toy has been taken away. Have a modicum of decency and respect for others around you: turn the effing phone off and sit still for 5 minutes. And quit yer crying.

Comment Re:Private philanthropist? (Score 1) 387

The point is it distorts the market by diverting attention toward a disease suffered by old rich people. Given the choice, scientists would allocate their time toward more deserving patients, not simply those with a bankroll. Look what's happening with the Gates foundation and malaria research: other areas of research are being abandoned because everyone's flocking to the malaria grants. It wasn't their intent to discourage scientists away from other areas of research, but that is what happens when you flood the market.

If you're going to be a philanthropist, you don't decide what science should do with the money, you let the experts decide.

To truly qualify as philanthropy, your donation should not come with strings attached. Despite AC's mockery, what this Koch guy is doing is not really motivated by any sense of altruism, he's just trying to save his own ass (yeah, it's intended). Here is a major research lab being required to study what would most benefit him, and you call that charitable? Seriously, you don't think it's evil that this twisted fuck can yank money and resources away from sick children just so he can have a few more miserable years on the planet?

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