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Odder's profile
Odder




I'm a 24 year old eternal student. I never want to stop learning. I'm interested in physics, math, philosophy, psychology, education, and literature. I'm optimistic about the world and the future.


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Surge pricing sounds like a great idea if you forget that actual poor people exist.

    In the United States, the most common objection is that road pricing is regressive: Rich people get to drive alone while the masses huddle on a bus.

Man, I don't know how the author can write this and then just not address it, as if it was only a PR problem. Truly poor people are not just weird cost-averse folks who can be tricked into surge pricing being a thing with Uber, because they probably can't afford Uber, either.

    2. If one of your comments is badged, you will earn a full hubwheel.

    3. If someone with a hubwheel chooses to, they can promote you to a full hubwheel at any time.

Seems unbalanced. Why not require a badge to promote someone generally, and the user can decide if they want to badge a particular post to do it or spend the badge to promote the user? It gets around the unlikely scenario where some spammer somehow gets a full hubwheel and then mass promotes all their spammy friends.

Eh, its Sunday, but I didn't see this thread yesterday so w/e.

Yesterday my girlfriend and I finally got all the stuff we needed to done for settling into our new apartment. We've been here two months, but it finally feels like we don't need to go shopping for new furniture or unpack any more boxes. We can finally just relax and play video games and cook food. Also my cat's been really friendly recently, probably because the apartment's finally clean, and 'cause he's finally forgiven us for the 750 mile car ride.

    If we can get fusion going, there's going to be much less of a need to make the world a solar panel.

I don't know if that's true. I don't think we're ever going to have one primary from of energy generation again, unless we build an electron pump or something. It's a lot harder to get a fusion reactor built than a solar panel or a wind turbine, and people aren't about to install a fusion reactor in their house in the same way they can put solar panel on their roof or a turbine in their backyard.

Plus, we aren't out of the woods as far as "is this even possible" with self-sustaining fusion yet, so I'd like to hope that the survival of our civilization doesn't depend on it ;).

    So yeah... the technology works. It's not magic like cold fusion.

Yeah, I don't doubt that. i know that just because these guys failed at the tech doesn't mean it can't be done. But I'm more concerned with the cost per mile compared to the power generation per mile, and the fact that you could get a whole lot more energy for a whole lot less cost by putting the solar panels next to the road rather than on it. It's probably a cool engineering challenge to make a waterproof solar panel that can withstand heavy loads, but it's not something that anybody ever asked for, and other than the "we're going to do this because we can" it doesn't have any practical purpose.

So we could dump a ton of this nation's wealth into solar panels that you can walk on or drive on everywhere, but we'd bankrupt ourselves doing it and we wouldn't even have very reliable power generation from it, either. Meanwhile, if we invested a ton into putting solar panels in all of that cheap land that's for sale in the desert and more money into bring the cost per watt down and the overall lifetime of the panels up, we could make a ton of money, have reliable cheap power generation, and not have to worry about buying oil from people who hate us anymore.

There isn't anything inherently non-masculine about poetry, though, is there?. Whitman, Frost, Kipling, etc. I feel like the person who said that probably equates "masculinity" with "not feeling any emotions whatsoever" and interprets "not having emotions" as "being reactionary and fearful of everything and calling that rationality" which is certainly an antithesis to poetry but I don't think it has much to do with masculinity.

    limits security deposits

That sucks. Way more damage can be done by a tenant than a landlord can reasonably recoup with a security deposit anyway. And as bad as unconscious bias is, I'm sure there's a good instinct most landlords have about sketchy tenants.

There's probably a lot of companies where it makes sense to have formulaic job interview questions, because they are just looking for someone who can fit the mold of a well-defined job role, not shake the boat, and they don't expect them to stay very long. However, I don't think that those are the only jobs that exist in the tech industry, or that those are the only jobs available to college graduates.

I only know from my own experience and that of friends, but most of the CS or SE graduates I knew looked down on the "codemonkey" jobs, so I assume that their jobs required a bit more creativity. I have a friend who works for google, who got his job right out of college, who certainly does a lot more than write code within a defined set of rules. I think the author's surprise is based on his own impression of google, that since most of their revenue is in advertising, and most of their projects are in other things, that the sort of jobs that they're hiring for probably aren't all formulaic jobs where all you do is follow instructions.

And I don't think that trainability or the expectation that someone will stay at your company for more than two years are the only reasons to hire someone who is capable of doing any more than following instructions. A lot of tech jobs don't have much to do with the initial job description, and most of my engineering or CS friends have told me that they don't actually do much related to the description of their job. While nobody expects a fresh college grad to stick around for 25 years, most also don't expect those college grads to need hand-holding and micromanaging, either.

I think privilege is important, but not in the immediate sense. If you are using your connections to get the same job you might have gotten by padding your resume or memorizing the tech interview quiz, that's not going around the corner, that's more like getting pulled through the little door. You're still in the same place. In a sense, all of the networking strategies are just another game, the same as interview strategies. It's just that that's a game that isn't accessible to many people with less privilege.

If I remember correctly, SpaceX has a spot on their job application for something like "show us something cool that you've worked on in the past." That's trying to get at the idea of "going around the corner" and finding people who are creative, who candemostrate that they can function in an environment where there isn't a set of instructions to follow. That's not something that you get to do if you're barely surviving. There's privilege in having had the opportunity to be creative in the past, and those who have had more opportunities are in many ways more valuable to companies than those who have not had the same opportunities. The problem is that it's virtually impossible to distinguish between people who have never had opportunities and those who just never took the opportunities that were presented to them.

    Don’t always go through the tiny little door that everyone’s trying to rush through, maybe go around the corner and go through the vast gate that nobody is taking.

I like this quote, and I think it's a good metaphor for how the job interview process works, as well as how other processes such as college/graduate applications work. But I think it downplays the difficulty of finding the vast gate by "going around the corner," and I think that it does so at the expense of the point that the essay is trying to make. It's a rare and difficult skill to have, to be able to identify how to get around the "little door", and I think that that's a skill that most companies want to have in their employees. When tech companies use a predefined interview process that can be hacked, what they are doing is insuring that they hire the least qualified applicants, those that are good at following a set of instructions, not those that are creative enough to identify novel solutions to problems or figure out how to improve processes.

    Meanwhile, another one of my students told me to keep poetry out of the class. His exact words were, "Poetry offends masculinity."

There had to be a lot that happened to someone for them to say something like that. I wonder who hurt him...

I think the preposterousness of solar roadways might be why it got so much crowd-funding. Blindly optimistic people often think that those who are dismissive of a new idea are just cynical, since the optimists can remember all the stories of successful technologies that were dismissed by experts when they were first proposed. Of course, they don't hear about most of the dumb ideas that never got any funding. And sometimes, experts are too dismissive of ideas that are only moderately stupid, so there's no language to properly quantify that while expecting a self-sustained fusion reactor in the next five years is dumb, that everything to do with Solar Freakin' Roadways is really, really dumb.

I'm really trying, and I can't come up with a worse place to put solar panels than "on roads." Maybe putting solar panels at the bottom of the ocean would be worse, but on land I can't think of a worse spot. Asphalt is cheap and relatively durable, and they still need to replace that every 5-10 years because it gets so torn up by cars. And it's expensive. Though, I suppose it isn't a surprise that a company that doesn't understand any of that also doesn't seem to grasp basic concepts of quality assurance or electrical engineering. Fortunately, their basic incompetence killed the idea before they wasted even more money.

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