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Comment Re:Perhaps a better method... (Score 1) 1001

This is also a terrible test. No form of putting an extremely nervous interviewee on the spot gives ANY indication of their proficiency. Simple problems are the worst because you are looking for something challenging. Other than a basic screener like "what is the line terminator in perl" you just have ignore degrees, gauge by past experience and test in the early part of the job by giving real work and comparing to peers at the same time in seat.

Comment Re:Perhaps a better method... (Score 1) 1001

"how a person approaches solving a problem, what steps they take, how they go about verifying if their solution is correct, what questions they ask about the problem, etc. then the problem itself really doesn't matter"

The bold assumption there is that the way YOU go about this or admire is the way that is superior. The problem should be typical of the work they are being asked to do minus in house stuff and the method they use doesn't matter as long as they achieve results.

IMHO a big part of the problem is trying to get someone who can "hit the ground running." Sorry contract runners a complex position takes 6mo-2yrs for a fully competent resource to become proficient at in your specific org. This thing where companies expect to know who is good or sucks before hiring is ridiculous and the industry practice of churning sub-ten year turnover is devastating to the industry. If you have to raise pay to get someone new, give everyone on staff a raise.

Comment Re:Death To All Jews (Score 1) 920

"honestly if you're going to claim only those who managed to be the first to arrive in an area can claim it as a homeland"

That is hardly the case I'm making. A people isn't a real thing, it's a purely invented concept with very little basis in a loose coupling with (mostly inaccurate) genealogical connections and in some cases a shared belief in an imaginary overlord. So there can literally be no correct answer for the criteria on which "a people" defines its homeland. A person on the other hand is indisputably a people of one and is entitled to call wherever they were born their homeland (or anywhere else they please). But having a homeland does not entitle you to anything but some personal feels regarding the space and no other rights and privileges, including the right to be there or to deny the right of others to claim a homeland. I'm just pointing out the best histories of the jews indicate the people most of them THINK they are descended from aren't from Israel so it is a little silly to go militant and aggressive on others who settled there.

Most of those Jews and Palestianians have more arabic decent than anything as well as ironically common ancestors just as most American Jews are more European than anything. Claiming to be a part of any ancient people is ridiculous as several thousand years of breeding will make you genetically part of almost of every people not just the one you have a card in your wallet for.

Comment Re:Death To All Jews (Score 2, Interesting) 920

"But for some reason the idea of the Jews having a homeland drives people berserk."

Probably because jewish religious/historical texts claim the jews bailed on Egypt then wandered the desert and finally invaded and stole the Palestinian's homeland. Personally I think all the sky fairy worshipers are crackpots but I fail to see what is disputed on that bit. You could (probably rightly) argue that it is the homeland of everyone born there and yesterday doesn't matter but I can't see any logical basis for calling Isreal the homeland of the jews.

 

Comment Re:Is there a product these patents protect? (Score 2) 70

"Thus, CRISPR could be best compared to replacing a hacksaw with a laser cutter. The general public has no need of such a tool"

On the contrary, like a laser cutter the general public does have much use for the tool. Unlike laser cutters the fundamental tools are being locked behind non-disclosure agreements and patents artificially inflating the price to play dramatically. If the general public had no use for such tools makers clubs, diy bio groups, etc wouldn't exist at all. As it stands diy bio groups are limited to mostly cookie cutter protocols that repeat previous experiments because the more general purpose tools (both those which exist and those which they could produce) are locked behind paywalls.

There is no great magic behind synthesizing RNA and PCR for instance and certainly no reason for these materials to be expensive but getting your hands on the materials for a laymen is rather difficult and even if you can it normally comes with an agreement which precludes using those tools to replicate those precursors and share along with information on how to do the same. Information on using common bacterial, viral, etc vectors and basic tools to work with them should be completely free as well.

We desperately need a bioGNU. Many of these processes are actually refined nearly to the point of being programmable like code but access is kept strictly controlled and/or key pieces that allow one to cheaply and easily replicate the precursors is held back to artificially limit access and drive up prices.

Comment Re: White Leftists Whine, China Creates Superhuman (Score 1) 159

On the contrary, this has been something you could work with $5 worth of raw material, a few dozen hours of self study, and a few hundred bucks worth of diy equipment for at least a decade now. Thanks to IP and strict agreements no share terms on that $5 worth of material plus ethical concerns has remained something that in practice will require you to be associated with a multi-million dollar organization to play at all.

Comment Re:Is there a product these patents protect? (Score 1) 70

"Well, by the time they can use that patent in any meaningful way beyond simply experimentation it will have expired. "

By the time it expires everything meaningful that can be done with the base technology will be locked behind reams of patents like most work that can be done with DNA. With $500-1000, a bunch of DIY equipment, 3-6months worth of self-study, you can set up a mini lab and do all sorts of experimentation... at least you could if everything you need weren't locked up in patents that turn 15 cents worth of raw materials into $5000 a shot IP licenses with promises not to share with others.

Comment Re:I don't see the problem. (Score 1) 660

"Netflix enters every market with local servers, and as such, the streaming is fast, even in a place like China"

No kidding, they do that because they have to. A Google cache appliance isn't going to help with anything but browsing the web... I'm not really sure The only way it makes sense with Netflix or most US industry to open up shop in India or China closing up shop in the US if they were opening shop to sell to Indians/Chinese. It would not work for Netflix to stream to the US from China because there is too much latency the pipes between the two nations aren't fat enough to carry that massive load of traffic.

Comment Re:Can't (Score 1) 660

"a wonderful example of an entitlement issue. Just because you want it doesn't mean you should get it. Also there is no particular reason the job should require it just to give those people jobs."

Look, I can just copy and paste from the last time I made a counterargument you have no effective argument against.

Comment Re:It should be obvious, but ... (Score 1) 660

" He wasn't going to get there as a "self-starter", like just about everyone else outside of fiction he needed some help."

Everyone gets help at some point that doesn't mean they aren't a self starter. There is a difference between getting helped at some point and spending a significant chunk of your adult life being trained to think someone is going to spoon fed everything you need to know.

Comment Re:Maybe train the American kid first (Score 1) 660



"How about taking a step back and think of it rationally instead of emotionally."

It isn't emotional. I should restate though. Those with higher degrees tend to want to think those with degrees superior to those without them. They almost have to after investing so much into that path. :"Either could effectively be apprenticed to someone exceptional afterwards with the same result but different approaches to fill in the different gaps"

That is probably true. In my experience if someone straight out of formal education can do the job it would make more sense to hire self starters who have demonstrated skills that would give them an edge in advancing on the job either with or without calling it an apprenticeship. It certainly should carry the same suitable entry level salary that would have gone to someone with a degree. If they make it a year or two they could qualify for any tuition assistance and go to fill out their education if that is believed to be the better path. Good for everyone if people who aren't meant for the field find out BEFORE they have degrees and debt and go around adding taking a spot that someone with the skill and passion for the field could fill.

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