A former community discussing the business of software, from the smallest shareware operation to Microsoft. A part of Joel on Software.
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Doug Nebeker ("Doug")
I'm not trying to mock a very serious and troubling tragedy, namely the Washington Navy Yard shooter,
http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/aaron-alexis-34-is-dead-gunman-in-navy-yard-shooting-authorities-say/2013/09/16/dcf431ce-1f07-11e3-8459-657e0c72fec8_story.html Alexis worked for an HP subcontractor on a contract for the Navy's intranet. I'm sure any occupation has psychotic killers in its ranks, and one is a pretty small sample size.
But the great unwashed masses like to stereotype. Consider Ed Snowden and Chelsea/Bradley Manning. Okay, Manning just hung around with hackers, but s/he had security clearance that the hackers didn't and it was computer nuts who exploited her/him. Then there is Hans Reiser, who certainly fits the stereotype of a mentally unbalanced programmer http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57474274-93/wife-killer-programmer-hans-reiser-must-pay-kids-$60m/ even if he attacked his wife instead of the U.S. government.
If Middle Eastern people can be profiled as security risks, what about computer programmers? If the moderators want to remove this thread, go ahead, but it wouldn't hurt if programmers had good answers for that question. Because next time you have a client or customer who doesn't have a clue what is involved in computer programming that question will be in the back of someone's mind.
If it wasn't Howard I'd label this a poor troll attempt given this guy was not a programmer. The contractor he worked for, at one job in his life and only for a fairly brief period, was updating hardware on military bases. That's not being a programmer.
Not that being a tech installer is some sort of risk either.
Do people fear teachers ever since one professor shot her colleagues a few years ago?
How many people fear astronauts because one astronaut went berserk a few years back.
How about all those farmers up in Canada that are periodically found to be kidnapping first nations women, grinding them up, and selling them as pork to the public? Do people fear farmers now?
There are lunatics and psychopaths in every realm, so profiling will never work, as it'd potentially cover everyone.
As an aside, for anyone interested in real-life interaction with psychopaths, check out the book in my link.
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
This is silly. I'd normally skip it, but that specific bit of insanity annoys the heck out of me:
The question starts with the disclaimer: "I know that one person is not statistically significant but..." and then goes on to discuss the issue as if it was significant.
"Should people be profiled on the basis of some bullshit one off factoid?"
Gosh darn it. If you do know that something is not statistically significant, then by definition you do know that it is neither reliable nor relevant. You can't use it as if it meant anything. It doesn't.
"3 people clicked on banner B. I know it's not statistically significant, but still, nobody clicked on banner A so far so B is better."
"Yes I know my data is complete bullshit but I would still like to discuss and act as if it was a relevant well documented fact."
Can someone explain to me the reasoning that goes on behind this absurdity? It doesn't make any sense.
Sunday, September 29, 2013
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