2013-08-03

Victim-blaming

I like to push analyses like these towards the use of distinctly separate a) normative and b) descriptive statements about an environment.

a) An environment sucks. Here are some things we can do to make it better.

b) An environment sucks. This is what you should do, until it gets better.
Again.
1. What one wears should not affect one's probability of being raped. (normative statement)

2. What one wears does affect one's probability of being raped. (descriptive statement)

3. Both may be true.

4. And I will snap at anyone who doesn't acknowledge the difference before ranting about victim blamers.
Sentences: whether you call one normative, moral, belief, conviction, or obligatory - it's statement of preference; whether you call it descriptive, positive, propositional, or falsifiable, it is a statement of hypothesis (some might say, 'fact').

Job Hoppers - Bullshit

Enough with this Boomers vs X vs Y vs Millenials whatnot-talk... these "generations," and their respective stereotypical behaviours, from the job market to the supermarket, are not the cause of new economic environment, but the result thereof.

First, biologically, younger humans have a higher propensity for learning.

Second, any aptitude for learning in the short term gets one further today, than it would have a person with similar aptitude fifty years ago.

Job hoppers: It's not much to do with "kids these days," as much as it is the state of the industry. Economic forces in fast changing environments make it efficient for smarter agents to bill more for their time, and trade off the volume of units of time, for the increased price per unit of time. This is just competition at work.

2013-08-02

Machine Minds

On this article.
1. Duh.
2. You want something like #erlang for fault tolerance / cellular modelling, of course.
3. They're still getting the metaphors wrong. We're not trying to model brains, and we're not trying to model computers; we're ultimately trying to model the logical progression of experience itself in the first-person; that's phenomenology.
Curiously enough, this article kinda agrees with my third-point.
... because our appreciation of the brain, is a model that is contingent upon... more piecewise fundamental structures of experience that are antecedent to our modelling of the brain. Sigh. This is why I didn't go into academic neuroscience. Myopic dumbfuck language whatnot. Beh tahan.

2013-08-01

Fractions of the Population

At this point, there are about 7.1 billion humans on this planet. 7,100,000,000. Or something like that. So for any category:

If you're one in a billion, there are seven like you.
If you're one in a million, there are 7,100 like you.
If you're one in a thousand, there are 7.1 million like you.

If you're in the 1%, there are 71 million like you.
If you're in the 1% of the 1%, there are 710,000 like you.
If you're in the 1% of the 1%, of the 1%, then you're one-in-a-million. (see above)

Pedagogy

Being didactic rarely gets one anywhere. One can only fuel engineering with love, until that is exhausted, thereafter one must avoid the problem.

Generalists in Commerce

But that just means specialising in as-yet unnamed problems; or having to deal with multiple named problems at a time.

Surprise Me

Just put out a mini jobseeker ad. Nothing urgent, but I figure I should periodically consider my options. What options do I expect? None.
Hi! If you know anyone looking for generalist / management / turnaround candidates, at the USD 80-120k/year range, please send them my way. Current project potentially wrapping up in 3-6 months. I'm immediately ready for deployment after that. I am available for relocation, and offer practically unlimited commitment if the project and price are right. I also take rejection very well, so feel free to meet up for a chat if you're looking for someone of this calibre. Cheerio.
Antiquated thinking.
Candidates should never sell themselves based on what they've received in the past. They should sell themselves

a) at the maximum price the market would value their skills at
b) at the minimum price they would be willing to consider an arbitrary job offer

I can ask any price I think is fair. The market will validate, or invalidate it. As I said, I take rejection very easily. You need to know what costs you nothing. Asking questions, costs you nothing, except a reputation as someone who asks questions.
Someone used the term "1% of the 1%," to refer to folks who worked in top consulting firms.
1% * 1% - Yes in terms of global luck, but not really in terms of aptitude and ready skills. A lot of getting "elite" jobs is about networking and who(m?) you know.

I can tell you for a fact (though I can't disclose my sources) that a resume which is rejected for a job/internship application at certain MBB offices may subsequently be admitted for an interview with the difference of but a single phone call from the right person, to another right person.

I think we need to acknowledge that the best information about characters is typically regarded to come from personally trusted sources. So whether it's referred to as "nepotism" or not, as a matter of fact, a non-trivial fraction of large/important deals in business happen as a result of personal recommendations.

For example, if you think that there are special* technical skills required to work in operations like the MBBs, then you're probably mistaken. You need superior human (personal/professional) networks to close sales, maintain relationships with clients who are paying top-dollar to have you around to do miscellaneous tasks, and yes... they're paying for your networks too.

* Special - ok lah, nothing you can't learn in a decent university. Sad to say, not many decent ones in this country. Huhuhu.
Last GitHub commit in early May. 3-4 months of evading brain rot. Stay focused on fitness. Play more DoTA.
If you trust Wikipedia numbers then at this time, there are 15-20,000 consultants in the MBB. This is a tad pedantic, but 1%-of-the-1% is too broad. You have to be in the 3%-of-the-1%-of-the-1%... on a dimension specific to this category.

But what would I know about the real qualifying criteria anway... ;)

About two thirds of a day after the initial posting... boy was I surprised.
8:52pm
ForumUser
Hi.

8:53pm
me:
What's up?

8:53pm
ForumUser
Would u mind sending me a copy of ur cv?

8:53pm
me:
I have an old one you can use.

8:53pm
ForumUser
If u are looking for a new job/ freelance gig I can see what I can find.
But no promises

8:53pm
me:
Well, you've seen the parameters
about.me/jerng look for CV
Nothing special.

8:54pm
ForumUser
An up to date one would be better unless the experience left out since the old one is not critical

8:54pm
me:
Well, like I said, I'd be more interested to know who's looking.
So if someone's looking, let me know who it is, and I'll send a special CV.

8:55pm
ForumUser
Why don't u interview for MBB? Honestly, that's the closest u are going to get to that bracket here.

8:55pm
me:
Those are the easy answers.
I try to avoid easy answers.
Because work there is expected to be fairly predictable.

8:56pm
ForumUser
What does that mean, easy answers??

8:56pm
me:
But who knows, I might not even qualify.
Oh, I already know what MBB pays.
I don't know if anyone else is hiring at the stated payscale. So if you do know someone,let me know. I'd be interested to know who.

8:57pm
ForumUser
Yes, I do know which positions that pay scale fit, at least in Malaysia
But you don't meet the requirements for those positions, and usually ppl work their way up in an org to those positions.

8:58pm
me:
I think we're on the same page.
Cheers.

8:58pm
ForumUser
To be very honest, if u are looking for tech, Rocket pays the most at that level... But to qualify for that MD level u must be ex-MBB, so bit hard here.

8:59pm
me:
I'm also aware of that, rough correlation.
And I've met the ex-Bain kids, and some of them were really dumb. It's ok - I can do without the money. LOL
Working with stupid people is far harder.

8:59pm
ForumUser
Anyways, I like that u have the balls to say what u really want.

9:00pm
me:
We're on the same page then.
BTW, I'm helping some folks to set up a coffee shop, and I hope to settle there as a barista. If you like coffee, come check it out in a month.

9:01pm
ForumUser
A bit of humility will get u further, just remember that for the future. Those Bain kids go further than most of the 1% of 1% of qualifying population

9:01pm
me:
Well, I don't think I could be happier. I just like to play the game.
Those of you who are dissatisfied in your current roles, should be happy to ignore me.

9:02pm
ForumUser
Lol, no need to be defensive

9:03pm
me:
You did propose a possible improvement in my trajectory? I'm not sure that's possible.

9:03pm
ForumUser
And I'm quite happy where I am.
No, I was simply replying to you enquire to improve you wage level. That is after all what you initially posted for?

9:04pm
me:
Not at all.

9:04pm
ForumUser
*your

9:04pm
me:
That's simply the wage at which I would consider a job other than my own - for now.
Not that I really need another job.
But it would be rational to consider it, if such a hypothetical position existed.
One should not limit oneself in knowledge.

9:05pm
ForumUser
Sorry dude. But I think that's full of shit
Mind my French.

9:06pm
me:
Ok. Thanks!
What else do you know about me, that I don't?

9:06pm
ForumUser
If u were truly happy where u were u wouldn't be posting such a thing. And no need to try to sound smart abt it all

9:06pm
me:
You may believe what you like...
I won't stop you.

9:07pm
ForumUser
It's alright. Initially I respected the fact that u wanted to reach a certain goal, now I realise that u don't even want to be helped.

9:07pm
me:
We have different objectives, I think. Perhaps you have misconstrued my own.

9:09pm
ForumUser
No, thanks. I like to help people but I don't need to get schooled with amateur mind fucking.

9:09pm
me:
Ok.
As you wish. Feel free to unfriend me if you do not find this conversation entertaining.
I have been happy to entertain your questions.

9:10pm
ForumUser
And Bates isn't top 25, it's not ivy. It might be top 25 liberal arts but u know u misrepresented.

9:11pm
me:
Why don't you put this in the public thread ? It's more useful if you post it there. I feel like I'm wasting time talking to just one person here.

9:11pm
ForumUser
And I know what it takes to get to 80-120k. I didn't go to actually top 5 schools and bust my ass in McK to have unqualified opinions like your piss on us.

9:12pm
me:
My dear, please enjoy your career, and leave me to enjoy mine, whatever you feel about it.

9:12pm
ForumUser
Whatever. Good luck, Barista.

9:12pm
me:
:)

Seen 9:13pm

2013-07-31

Bedside Manners

As I suit up for work in hipsterland, I feel privileged to have a home. It is a small cave-like structure in the middle of nowhere. Those who can't deal with cheap housing deserve their complaints.

"Language" as a Determining Factor of "Extroversion"

I've thought about this, and come to an intermediate conclusion that most people are highly social... except for the determining factor of how specialised their preferred languages are (spoken, body, etc.). If you prefer a language-set that is less known, then it takes effort to code-switch to a language set that is better known. If you prefer a language-set better known, i.e. more popular, then it takes less effort to socialise with random members of the general population.

("Preference," as used here, could be tautologous to "what takes less energy," but the main point is coherent with this observation, I believe.)

In my case, I find it much easier to communicate with the median daily encounter by doing things for them - so I work well in the service industry, where expectations are fairly straightforward - working in the service industry then becomes a social pleasure. As for talking to people, my preferred language-set is highly specialised, and so generally, I just don't bother.

Emo Kills Time

Look beyond the cold, dark, gelatin of these cow eyes, and see your true enemy. A broken easel, a constipated heart, a mind full of history.

When they tell you they've stopped caring, it's easy to stop caring too. But silence keeps you in hope, if you are the sort to wait forever.

To be turned into a secret, can be an experience of pain. But, that is something which one bears with moderate responsibility. On with work.

I should meet more people who are good at what they do, who don't get too emotionally attached to it. Help. Everyone else is pissing me off.

2013-07-30

Fighting Corruption

How to fight corruption: make an example of everyone's favourite corrupt public figure; shoot him, and hang his body at Merdeka Square.

Ion-exchange Resin

1) used in water hardness meters
2) used in manufacturing yellowcake (uranium)
3) used to filter away bitter/harsh compounds from inferior fruit juice sources...

ok NOW I'm interested... ‪#‎coffee‬

[this]

Auteur Theory: Beyond Monologues

My reaction to a friend's comment on this article.
I find it amusing that many people take their daily dialogues with other people extremely 'seriously' without accounting for the origin of the information in those dialogues. Whereas film, or other monologues by a director to an audience come across to them as 'less serious'. I suspect it has to do with the cognitive difference between engaging in dialogue, and being made to listen to someone else's monologue. Which then brings me to think of choose-your-adventure-books and interactive video games as a dynamic version of media that have been historically static. So I guess I'm thinking aloud that the video game director is to a dialogue with the audience, as a screen/stage director is to a monologue with the audience. Which, given my general interest in machine intelligence, makes me wonder if the role of the author or auteur proceeds towards that as well, eventually. Just thinking aloud.

Agnosticism?

Most so-called agnostics appear to be humanists in denial of their religiosity.
The definition of agnosticism is to profess no strong belief, in the evidence of sufficient evidence to support said beliefs.
Longer version: I'm sorta lumping "religion" and "preference" into the same box here, but I do think, fundamentally, that's what a religion is. An unjustified preference. So arguably, agnostics are religious too. Voila. We're all screwed. Shut this group down now.

LOL

Roasting Thermodynamics

In conversations with a roaster.
I haven't heard of people measuring
1) mass, and
2) volume
existing from the drum. That would be some pretty hardcore data...
And as for estimating specifically the mass of water lost at any point in a batch of beans... tough luck...
we lose both water, and miscellaneous organic stuff that got gasified... and then we gain some oxygen from stuff that was air-burnt, and gaahahh
lol.

2013-07-29

Not-Roosevelt

speak softly, and bring a woman who carries herself

A Blog Named Death

So a couple of public figures, one of civil society, and one of commerce, have been gunned down (or gunned, in any event) in as many days.

[Insert expected public furor at crime rates and the efficacy of the media here.]

This was my last post online before I drove home today.
Death comes at any time, in saddest, maddest, or gladdest moments alike. All who are not ready are either cowards, victims, or fools.
On my drive home today, I wondered about death, and its discomforting effect on many people.

I thought about writing a set of 50 deaths, or dialogues about deaths. Then I figured it might turn into a longer campaign, perhaps 500 deaths. Then I thought, why not 5000. It seemed like a great idea for an art project.

And then I started to think about the probable effect of writing sensitive accounts of death, factual, or fictional. And then it seemed that if this sort of art project was pushed to unlimited extents, the project might develop haters. Or even uncivil parodies, where deaths described in the project were enacted by living people, as suicides or murders.

So my certainty about enacting this project kinda paused there. I still want to do it, but I am weighing the pros and cons. So I am going to go think about something else for a little while.

Do I Support the Government?

I don't believe we have a fair democracy, nor do I want to try to make a difference unless I am very rich. So I do not vote. But if I had the funds, I would just overthrow the government.

The rest of you, happy voting!
(observation:) there are a lot of things that many people who vote would not do for their own reasons... whatever those might be... which I do, so (hypothesis:) perhaps we each have different spines and guts for differents sorts of items. :)

Bullshit Levels of "Crime Awareness"

A country where people are surprised to hear of theft/ burglarly/ murder/ rape, given the official number of these crimes reported each year. WTF country AM I living in? Useless ministries of information / education. :P
Three distinct parties that I'm aware of, including myself, have expressed concern over the security of a certain retail location. How many more whom I don't know, see what I see? Not sure if I want to, but sometimes you need someone with professional certification to deal an appropriate warning of danger, to a sitting duck. Let's find out how easy it is to communicate this sort of thing...

... elsewhere, a kind reminder that common notions of happiness are quite sociopathic. :)

Know Your Parsley(s)

Ok. I couldn't find "english parsley" anywhere, but I did find a good article comparing the leaf shapes, from left to right, of :

a) coriander leaf / cilantro / chinese parsley - rounded-end flat leaves
b) flat leaf parsley / italian parsley / (some people in MY seem to call this Chinese parsely - they must be wrong) - triangular/sharp-end flat leaves
c) English parsey - unmistakeably curled up leaves

2013-07-28

Diet Ops

Protein powder, fresh fruit and vegetable, bran/oats - ok, low-cost, low-time, diet is set - but I'm wondering about a hot-food component. Ideas?
Lentils:
So far, I'm settling for RM1 packs of dhal form the mamak stewpot. Risky, but it works.
Oats:
I used to do hot oat porridge like rice porridge. Ate it savoury, not sweet. My only objections to this are that oats are a bloody carb bomb... so if I'm not physically active, it's just too much.
Fortified rice:
The problem is the cooking time, again.

Rice - 12+ minutes
Oats - 2 minute soak
Processed (unfortunately) protein powder - 20 second stir with cold water

I try not to pre-cook stuff and refrigerate it - used to do whole weeks of food at a time. Hehe. Doesn't work for me only because my current schedule has zero predictability. I'm almost never at home, and I never know when I have to go to work.

Congenialities

"what do you like to talk about?"
"that's a bit scary "
"at least I get to the point "

‪#‎okcupid‬
I think most people open conversations with "Hi! [complement]."

Tried to entertain myself at home instead of heading out to a commercial area. Saved some money, but lost some face time with society.

Meanwhile, this is popular on Facebook:
I get the feeling that if I took games and parties more seriously, I would have many more so-called friends. (A somewhat silly reminder.)
Doing things to make games happen.
"oh my, let's play a game - it'll get our brains all into a happy sociable mood because we can't turn it on at will - playing games will make us friends. let us play games"
For years I have been to all sorts of parties. And seriously, for the lack of sophistication in conversation, and for the presence of cheap lubricants such as dancing, small talk, and alcohol... I think it is time I stopped bothering :P

Why is small talk a lubricant?
Because the dichotomy between civil and uncivil is simply the result of more sensitive people requiring a more sensitive environment. Civilisation exists merely to make it so.