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Comment Re:Professional or Competent (Score 1) 347

I would have brought up the distinction between "professional" and "competent" but someone beat me to it.

However, neither of these labels have a specific meaning. How do you know if a programmer is "competent"? It is easier to tell if a programmer is incompetent, but the line between the two states is fuzzy, particularly since the competency criteria depend on context such as specific languages, specific hardware, and purpose of the software. An assembly language programmer may be perfectly competent or even excellent in a robotics factory, yet be totally incapable of applying the requisite skills for accounting software where the development language is Java or C++.

And "professional" implies a common set of standards. This type of standardization is totally missing in programming field, which has retained its "craft industry" cachet for multiple generations.

If I were responsible for bringing up a new generation of programmers, I would spend a LOT of time identifying specific criteria, and then prioritizing those criteria before I even addressed the content and skills necessary.

Comment Re:Get rid of it by tomorrow. (Score 5, Insightful) 421

The poster is correct: A pay gap does not exist if men and women are receiving equal pay for similar work. Studies starting as early as 1973 show that women without children, continuously employed for 17 or more years, in the USA, actually made MORE than men with the same criteria.

What creates the gap in income is that women make choices about taking time off for their kids, having children, spending more family time, and preferring less stressful or demanding jobs. Women seem to respond to quality-of-life enhancement over income enhancement.

Pay is generally given (in the jobs market) based on the perceived contribution. A woman who has been out of her field for 4 or 5 years cannot usually contribute as much as another employee (man or woman) who has been continuously engaged and is up-to-date. That woman will re-enter the job market at a lower rate, which then becomes the new starting point for future increased pay.

OK, one of the criteria is "in the USA". Conditions are different outside the USA, and the report may be correct for those countries.

And remember: "Women" don't earn income; "individual women" earn income. Statistics based on averages can be skewed in many different ways, and maany of these create useless results.

Comment Re:Principia (Score 1) 381

Well, I started out with a triple major in Physics, Math and Computer Science, but eventually dropped out for a while and became a Hippie. I didn't actually pick up my Physics from the Principia, but I did go to a Jesuit University and actually had to read it. I cannot adequately express how valuable this book has been to me.

Dean Kamen dropped out of school, went to the library, studied Newton's Principia, and went on to be an awesome inventor and thinker.

Eli Goldratt used the thinking processes in the Principia to turn USA manufacturing and business methods on their respective heads. Read his books, "The Goal", "It's not Luck" and "Critical Chain" for some really interesting examples of thinking. He wrote a terrific book, "The Choice" which clearly describes how useful Newton's methods are.

Comment Absolutely! (Score 1) 381

In fact, I keep re-reading parts just for the imaginative spark.

OK, I admit to being an assembly language addict. I think describing tasks in machine language is as stimulating as a book full of logic puzzles. (But let me still recommend ANY book by Raymond Smullyan, such as, "The Lady or the Tiger?" )

I also admit to programing in LISP and using Jan Lukasiewicz's notation for symbolic logic.

I suppose you should keep these things in mind while evaluating my recommendations.

Comment Re: eating less (Score 5, Interesting) 256

Yeah, it is not simple thermodynamics. The complexity of the interactions in the body is overwhelmingly mind-boggling.

Interestingly enough, more and more researchers are buying into the lower-carb side of the diet controversy. And it seems that if you lower the amount of carbohydrates in your diet, you probably have to increase your fat intake to get enough energy to prevent starvation responses. And a gut that is adapted to burning fat for energy is significantly different from a gut that burns sugars. And so on....

However, the report of a single study doesn't provide a prescription for health. Some time ago there was good discussion about creating a comprehensive science database to compare outcomes of different research. This database would report on both successful and unsuccessful experiments and research, which could possibly cut down on instances of "fads" by identifying what works, what doesn't work, and what hasn't been tested yet.

Comment Premise is absurd... (Score 1) 519

Stafford Beer tried this in Chile and almost ruined the country completely. The original article is taking an absurd assumption about Economics and building it into a completely ridiculous conclusion.

The first two problems: 1. Economics is a dynamic system. It is non-linear and not deterministic, because:
2. Economic behavior is a complex system and unpredictable emergent behavior spontaneously arises from strange places.

Even the most ignorant of /. readers shouldn't fall for such a flawed argument as contained in the original article. Read "Out of Control" by Kevin Kelly (it's free, now) and see if you agree with any part of the source article. Economics is more about human interaction than simply converting resources to goods. (What about services, for instance?) The test space for such a large number of possible interactions is many times greater than the time available in the life of the Universe.

If you would like to read a book that covers similar subject matter but is specifically oriented to Economics, try, "The Origin of Wealth" by Beinhocker: This is actually an incredible book, and techies will relate well to it.

Comment Re:You have to know how to secure a Windows 10 PC (Score 1) 982

OK, you got my interest. What exactly is the "Pirate Bay Edition" and is there documentation about what has been removed, disabled, or enhanced? There must be 20 different bootleg copies of Windows 10, but I don't trust them either. All I want to do is know how to lock down the OS for my tech clients.

Comment Re:Why does it need to be political at all? (Score 1) 702

That makes you a "left-winger" I can respect.

I actually object to the phrases left-winger and so on, because they are gross generalizations and lack precision. In fact, I probably should not have been drawn into commenting because the OP was so lacking in content.

I still respect and admire anyone who is open-minded enough to examine more than one side of an issue and discuss it rationally.

Comment Re:This probably means... (Score 1) 1080

Yeah (laughing), except that "Capitalism" doesn't have an explicit, cause-and-effect model that would meet any description by Newton's criteria.

The biggest problem is that we are talking about a "complex system" in mathematical terms. A few rules at one level create totally unpredictable results a few iterations into the behavior. So "Capitalism" is probably not a concise enough domain for analysis, and we will have to define and analyze much smaller sub-systems to derive the description.

Comment Re:Why does it need to be political at all? (Score 1) 702

You make such a good point...

The presumption is that Literature has "influence" and if people buy literature based on marketeering describing the prestige of awards, then the influence from the authors' biases influences the individual.

The answer would be to have a set of standards for the award, but that is very difficult for Art of any kind.

The Left is afraid of books like "Fahrenheit 451," "1984," and "Starship Troopers" for good reason: A well-written story bypasses the reasoning parts of the brain. They would rather people be exposed to only those stories that reflect their point of view, and those are the stories that the Right is afraid of. Thus, the conflict.

Comment Re:This probably means... (Score 2) 1080

Right on the mark, and nicely said.

On the other hand, NOBODY really knows what Capitalism "is" be cause "Capitalism" doesn't really exist as a noun. The word "Capitalism" exemplifies a nominalization (creating a noun out of verbs, which is also a nominalization) and is generalized of behaviors relating to the use of assets. The "is" illustrates the conflicts that exist in the "is" of identity (described by Aristotle and Korzybski). It is no surprise that you can ask a question that has no meaning and people won't understand it.

One possible answer to the problem of understanding may be a scientific approach to the description. Maybe we need to describe a model where the use of assets changes from the trade for other assets, to their use as resources for creating more assets. Once we describe a provable or falsifiable process, we can determine if it works better or worse than alternative processes.

Comment Re:Ellen Wood Speed Reading Course.... (Score 0) 207

Well I took it back in the early '70's. You can read about my experience on my one-and-only blog article: The short version is: I went from about 100 words per minute to over 8000 words er minute with no loss in comprehension in 8 weeks.

You can achieve the same results for your self by conscientiously following the instructions in this book:

Good luck and happy reading!

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