Ok, I'll hop on this Elizabeth Warren/Native American testing bandwagon (gently and non-politically).
I've been a @23andMe customer for a while, and have followed their ancestry updates closely.
All is more or less as expected....except for this bit about Native American.
More from Antonio García Martínez
We're basically fucked.
The tech world has gotten so huge, self-reinforcing, and insulated from reality they can no longer even vaguely look at themselves (and their actions) as others do. They just live on a different planet than most people.
Conversely, the average tech consumer doesn't understand the technology that has slowly taken over their lives, and their designated emissaries to figure it out--politicians, pundits, regulators, journalists--understand it barely better than they do, and have their own agendas.
To say more than generalities for a moment, here's what I think is likely the core problem.
Techies take weird, improbable visions, and make them realities: some BS pitch deck to a VC, mixed with money and people, really does turn into some novel thing.
Most people work inside a legacy industry that's evolved that way over time (usually for good reasons), and they think about the future via some analogy with their present (which is a function of a long-ago past). The interruption that tech will introduce is often hard to grasp.
\u201cMore of us are plac\xading pol\xadi\xadtics at the cen\xadter of our lives. Both sides increasingly be\xadlieve a grand so\xadlu\xadtion to our po\xadlit\xadi\xadcal dys\xadfunc\xadtion can be found in\xadside pol\xadi\xadtics. In the Weekend Essay, Sen. Sasse explains why he thinks this won\u2019t work\u201d https://t.co/dCpDjo96Rv— Ben Sasse (@BenSasse) October 13, 2018
This isn't a novel idea, and in fact more than one commenter has made some version of this point recently, without (apparently) this level of scorn.
This is a reaction to the author's politics, which ironically lends credence to the original argument.
Another negative reaction is: You're a senator. Do something!
And another point of the essay is that we can't rely on a political system to forge our communities or sense of belonging for us. That can only come from an engaged citizenry.
Thus, another very ironic reaction.
This critique is more self-aware. It's also a trendy post-modern deconstruction of the argument: everything is power relations, 'all politics is identity politics', etc.
In brief: Apolitical identity is impossible, and we're cursed to debate the meaning of small-town football games...forever.
Not the same ironic backhanded endorsement of the argument, but what a future that implies.
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(1) The notion that R is well-suited to "building web applications" seems totally out of left field. I don't feel like most R loyalists think this is a good idea, but it's worth calling out that no normal company will be glad you wrote your entire web app in R.
(2) It is true that Python had some issues historically with the 2-to-3 transition, but it's not such a big deal these days. On the flip side, I have found interesting R code that doesn't run in modern R interpreters because of changes in core operations (e.g. assignment syntax).
(3) "Most of the time we only need a latest, working interpreter with the latest packages to run the code" -- this is where things get real and reveal some things that hurt data scientists. If this sentence is true, it's likely because you don't share code with coworkers.
(3) Really is a broader issue in data science: people only think of what they need to do their work if no one else existed and code was never maintained. Junior data scientists almost always operate on projects they start from scratch and don't have to maintain for long.
When I was sexually harassed by the director of the area I was working in, I was afraid to report it because I was worried that "getting him in trouble" would result in the subtle retaliation of missed leadership opportunities.
I wanted to continue working on the team I was on, because I'd gained a lot of very deep knowledge and expertise in that area, as well as reputation and camaraderie with the other folks working in that area. I didn't want to make the situation more "difficult."
To get promoted at Google, several need to happen: 1. you need opportunities for ownership and leadership above your current level (basically, opportunities to show you're working at the next level you're trying to get promoted to). The work you're "assigned" has a big impact.
2. You need glowing reviews from peers, *at or particularly above the level you're hoping to get promoted to.* Basically, you need people a lot more senior than you to say you're doing awesome work.
At first, I resisted believing this because it is illogical and dumb and frankly, doesn't reflect well on the human race of which I am a member (and thus have long been hopeful that it is more of a distinction than it actually turns out to be.)
But if you actually are interested in facts you begin to notice how little most people care for them. Sometimes it is because they are heard to learn and bullshit is so much more widely and easily available. Sometimes it is because facts make them uncomfortable about themselves.
Sometimes it is because just one tiny fact will upset a whole worldview that has grown as comfortable as an overstuffed chair. (Settling into such worldviews is a lot like settling into chairs like that because the longer you're there and the deeper you sink...
...the harder it is to hoist yourself up and out of your fat-assed intellectual laziness.) But I actually think the reason people have such an appetite for bullshit goes deeper, goes to an aspect of ourselves we just can't accept.
Some random interesting tidbits:
1) Zuck approves shutting down platform API access for Twitter's when Vine is released #competition
2) Facebook engineered ways to access user's call history w/o alerting users:
Team considered access to call history considered 'high PR risk' but 'growth team will charge ahead'. @Facebook created upgrade path to access data w/o subjecting users to Android permissions dialogue.
3) The above also confirms @kashhill and other's suspicion that call history was used to improve PYMK (People You May Know) suggestions and newsfeed rankings.
4) Docs also shed more light into @dseetharaman's story on @Facebook monitoring users' @Onavo VPN activity to determine what competitors to mimic or acquire in 2013.