edison_the_dog's recent activity

  1. Comment on Monday Morning Thread in ~talk

    edison_the_dog
    Link Parent
    You poor, poor bastard. My husband learned Fortran 77 as "the language" for his field (nuclear engineering) and it's ...special. Of course, I'm a dirty rotten R programmer, so it's not like I can...

    I'm officially diving in to become a Fortran developer, focused on the old 77 standard.

    You poor, poor bastard. My husband learned Fortran 77 as "the language" for his field (nuclear engineering) and it's ...special. Of course, I'm a dirty rotten R programmer, so it's not like I can shittalk other languages too much.

    1 vote
  2. Comment on I'm a college student and I want to hear about your current job situation. in ~life

    edison_the_dog
    Link
    I am a statistician. I went from college (psych and applied math) to grad school (bioinformatics, then switched to statistics), got my PhD, and went into industry for a couple of years. Worked for...

    I am a statistician. I went from college (psych and applied math) to grad school (bioinformatics, then switched to statistics), got my PhD, and went into industry for a couple of years. Worked for a fairly small company helping them move their data operations into the 21st century, then got an offer I couldn't refuse and went back to academia to do research.

    I love my current job, and also loved what my previous job ended up being, but it was rough going for a couple of years as I created my position by annoying the crap out of people until they finally saw the light :). In some organizations, change is hard. Statistics wasn't my goal in college - my dad is in the field, and I wanted nothing to do with it, but I found out pretty quickly that it was the part of bioinformatics I most enjoyed, so why fight fate?

    1 vote
  3. Comment on American Library Association: Libraries must allow hate groups in ~books

    edison_the_dog
    Link Parent
    I don't even think there must be alternatives. If there isn't such a platform, you're free to start your own, absent structural issues (i.e. this doesn't work for ISPs). The market isn't obligated...

    As long as there is alternatives to go to, then I see no harm.

    I don't even think there must be alternatives. If there isn't such a platform, you're free to start your own, absent structural issues (i.e. this doesn't work for ISPs). The market isn't obligated to create a racist reddit just to allow dissemination of hateful stuff on a web platform.

    1 vote
  4. Comment on American Library Association: Libraries must allow hate groups in ~books

    edison_the_dog
    Link Parent
    Quarantine is a reasonable strategy, even if it is imposed by a number of independent private actors who don't want to be party to hate speech. You don't have the right to be welcomed into society...

    Quarantine is a reasonable strategy, even if it is imposed by a number of independent private actors who don't want to be party to hate speech. You don't have the right to be welcomed into society to spread your views publicly, even if you do have the right to promote those views. You can preach on a street corner, but I am not required to stop and listen, or even to take out my headphones.

    1 vote
  5. Comment on American Library Association: Libraries must allow hate groups in ~books

    edison_the_dog
    Link Parent
    For me, the difference between reddit and the wider notion of free speech is that any private entity should have the right to restrict speech within reasonable bounds. Reddit (or tildes) shouldn't...

    People that think absolute free speech on the internet is a good idea are either naive (like I was), or willfully ignoring the serious consequences.

    The constitution and first amendment were written hundreds of years ago, in effectively a completely different world. It makes no sense to act as though the authors understood what the implications of those decisions would be on technology that they never could have imagined.

    For me, the difference between reddit and the wider notion of free speech is that any private entity should have the right to restrict speech within reasonable bounds. Reddit (or tildes) shouldn't have to host hate speech, bullying, /r/catsstandingup, or any number of other things that may go against their vision for the site.

    The government, however, should not have the ability to restrict speech absent a compelling public interest (fire in a crowded theater, terroristic threats, etc.). Common carriers/critical infrastructure should probably face higher levels of scrutiny as well - ISPs shouldn't be able to block political messages they disagree with, because that's contrary to public interest.

    5 votes
  6. Comment on American Library Association: Libraries must allow hate groups in ~books

    edison_the_dog
    Link Parent
    I think it's not a terribly long walk from that to filtering "fake news" that isn't Fox/Breitbart.

    I think it's not a terribly long walk from that to filtering "fake news" that isn't Fox/Breitbart.

  7. Comment on American Library Association: Libraries must allow hate groups in ~books

    edison_the_dog
    Link Parent
    The ALA is actually pretty liberal on most things, not just hate speech. They've historically opposed filtering/blocking web content because they see censorship of the web as a danger to free...

    The ALA is actually pretty liberal on most things, not just hate speech. They've historically opposed filtering/blocking web content because they see censorship of the web as a danger to free speech. Given that, it's not particularly surprising that they don't want to censor other groups' speech either, though I suspect if you tried to schedule a KKK meeting at your local library, you'd get a bunch of librarians demonstrating outside.

    Libraries are an ally on so many issues - free speech, right to access information, net neutrality, etc. - it's hard to argue that this stance is inconsistent with their other positions and general goals of educating the public.

    4 votes
  8. Comment on Trump openly admits he believes Putin instead of US Intelligence over 2016 election interference in ~news

    edison_the_dog
    Link Parent
    How do you figure? The NRA has been used as a backchannel to the GOP leadership, which suggests this goes fairly deep into the fundraising and financial support infrastructure of the Republican...

    Far more reasons to prosecute the Democrats.

    How do you figure? The NRA has been used as a backchannel to the GOP leadership, which suggests this goes fairly deep into the fundraising and financial support infrastructure of the Republican party.

    I haven't seen anything remotely similar suggesting that the Democratic party is working for a foreign power. Sure, they have their demons and warts, and those individuals should be prosecuted, but it really looks at this point like the entire GOP is covering up evidence that the party infrastructure has been compromised by the Russian Federation.

    16 votes
  9. Comment on The FCC wants to charge you $225 to review your complaints in ~tech

  10. Comment on What tea are yall drinking today? in ~food

    edison_the_dog
    Link
    I'm drinking Tazo Vanilla Caramel Chai right now - basically a cookie in tea form, if you add in a little milk and sugar.

    I'm drinking Tazo Vanilla Caramel Chai right now - basically a cookie in tea form, if you add in a little milk and sugar.

    3 votes
  11. Comment on What is the most interesting feature you've seen in a language? in ~talk

    edison_the_dog
    Link Parent
    Texas also has a pretty wide view of the sky, and people don't tend to navigate this way there. I honestly think it stems more from travel path and landmark availability - not much in the ocean...

    Texas also has a pretty wide view of the sky, and people don't tend to navigate this way there. I honestly think it stems more from travel path and landmark availability - not much in the ocean besides the sky to navigate by, and everything on the prairie looks the same (in modern times, you can pick corn or soybean field, but there isn't too much variation there). In Texas I gave directions with statements like "turn left by the gas station, then right by the giant mesquite tree just after the creek", but in the midwest there's not nearly as many landmarks to use for navigation, so I end up saying "go 3 miles north and 2 miles east" - there are several different routes that accomplish that task (because Jefferson's plan for the Louisiana Purchase).

    1 vote
  12. Comment on Tens of thousands of Australians who have given DNA samples to sites such as Ancestry.com could have their genetic data examined by police without their knowledge. in ~news

    edison_the_dog
    Link Parent
    It's a grey area in the US too. There's a reason that in the Golden State Killer case they went through a tiny site instead of one of the bigger sites that have specific policies in place...

    It's a grey area in the US too. There's a reason that in the Golden State Killer case they went through a tiny site instead of one of the bigger sites that have specific policies in place regarding cooperation with law enforcement. They also had to violate the TOS in order to do it, and it's unclear that any of the evidence will hold up in court.

    2 votes
  13. Comment on Favorite data visualization toolset? in ~comp

    edison_the_dog
    Link
    I'm an R programmer, so I'm obviously biased towards ggplot2. I understand there's a python clone as well, and I recently found G2, which is a grammar of graphics implementation in JavaScript that...

    I'm an R programmer, so I'm obviously biased towards ggplot2. I understand there's a python clone as well, and I recently found G2, which is a grammar of graphics implementation in JavaScript that looks promising (most of the documentation is in a language I don't read, but Google Translate did well enough that I could understand the code comments).

    I'm not a Plot.ly user, but I have seen enough of their stuff to think it looks cool, even if isn't totally open source. Not a Tableau fan, personally, but that's just me being a curmudgeon and preferring open-source tools.

    I won't lie and say that R is easy to learn, but with RStudio, the learning curve isn't as steep as it used to be. Last week I taught a couple of HS students the basics of R in about 2 hours, and the basics of ggplot2 in about the same length of time. Now they're using RStudio's gui to import their own data and are successfully playing around creating their own plots. Neither one has programmed before, so anyone who is familiar with data manipulation or programming would probably be able to pick things up even faster.

    1 vote
  14. Comment on Daily Tildes discussion - proposals for "trial groups", round 1 in ~tildes.official

    edison_the_dog
    Link Parent
    I like the regional sub-groups idea. Mexico and Canada's news affects the US a lot (for that matter, so does Europe, but we have to start somewhere, and it's hard to actively care about everything...

    I like the regional sub-groups idea. Mexico and Canada's news affects the US a lot (for that matter, so does Europe, but we have to start somewhere, and it's hard to actively care about everything all at once).

    4 votes
  15. Comment on What is the most interesting feature you've seen in a language? in ~talk

    edison_the_dog
    Link Parent
    On the geographic positioning thing - it's just anecdote, but I've found that using NSEW for positioning is much more common in the midwest than it was where I grew up (Southern US). Most of the...

    On the geographic positioning thing - it's just anecdote, but I've found that using NSEW for positioning is much more common in the midwest than it was where I grew up (Southern US). Most of the streets are laid out in cardinal directions, and people use cardinal directions for positioning even within buildings (my inlaws refer to the "north cupboards" all the time, which is super-disorienting if you don't know which way you're oriented inside the house). My husband keeps subconscious track of which direction he's facing by default. Not having grown up here, I don't have the same learned ability, and in fact I'm a bit worse off as I can barely tell left from right.

    6 votes
  16. Comment on How do you read? in ~books

    edison_the_dog
    Link Parent
    I have always read fast - my parents thought I was just flipping pages when I was 4-5ish. I eventually convinced them by asking them to test me on what was in the book. Sometimes I wish I could...

    I have always read fast - my parents thought I was just flipping pages when I was 4-5ish. I eventually convinced them by asking them to test me on what was in the book.

    Sometimes I wish I could slow down long enough to savor things more. I switched to reading in Spanish for a while hoping it would slow me down, and for a brief period in Jr High I read upside down, but it didn't take long to acclimate to that, too.

    Honestly, if I'd picked the stat to max out, that wouldn't have been it.

    1 vote
  17. Comment on How do you read? in ~books

    edison_the_dog
    Link
    Depending on whether I'm traveling, I will read physical books or use my tablet for e-books. I read fairly quickly, so it's a lot easier to take a tablet with 1000 books on it than it is to carry...

    Depending on whether I'm traveling, I will read physical books or use my tablet for e-books. I read fairly quickly, so it's a lot easier to take a tablet with 1000 books on it than it is to carry the 5-6 books I need for a trip of 3-4 days. On occasion I'll listen to audiobooks, but I read so much faster than people talk that I get frustrated pretty quickly unless I'm driving.

    1 vote
  18. Comment on Best book you've ever read in ~books

    edison_the_dog
    Link
    I have a hard time with ever, because I don't think I can even guess the total number of books I've read, let alone order them by preference. The most fascinating/engrossing book I've read...

    I have a hard time with ever, because I don't think I can even guess the total number of books I've read, let alone order them by preference. The most fascinating/engrossing book I've read recently, though, was Isaac's Storm, which chronicles the 1900 Galveston Hurricane, through the eyes of the meteorologist stationed on the island.

    1 vote