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Time Out For Kitties: Non-Election Fun Stuff Open Thread

You're never fully dressed without a fake smile
You’re never fully dressed without a fake smile

An open thread for everyone sick of talking about the orange monster and/or other crappy news stuff. No trolls, MRAs, etc. Yes kitty pics, capybara pics, ponies, stuff you’re reading or watching, etc.

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numerobis
numerobis
4 years ago

My FB photo is me with a bearded lizard. Thing was so cute!

(Photo is a bit old now though…)

joekster (Bearded Beta)
joekster (Bearded Beta)
4 years ago

@Numerobis: post it on Gravatar! I’ll still be the bearded dragon hiding under a rock 🙂

Paradoxical Intention - Resident Cheeseburger Slut

Oh yeah! I watched this BuzzFeed thing yesterday where two dudes went out to the Winchester Mansion, and The Island of Dolls and a haunted house in Kansas (it’s supposedly really famous, but it’s just so tame that I can’t be bothered to remember it).

They went to a priest and got some information about how the church deals with hauntings and possessions and got a water bottle blessed, and one guy got super scared, while the other was like “Lol ghosts aren’t real!” and it kind of turned into a comedy sketch with one guy being super tense and jumping at every little thing and the other guy egging him on. But the locations were a little interesting, save for the Kansas house.

The Winchester Mansion was super interesting and they discussed the reasons why Sarah Winchester would build her house that way, and the Island of Dolls was super spooky and they talked about all the spooky shit that went on there, and then there was the house in Kansas where they had some typical haunting shit go on in the 90’s. Scratching, dolls and stuffed toys being arranged into creepy circles, lights coming on when they were definitely turned off, etc.

And then. THEN. There was the bit that even made my believing-in-ghosts ass roll my eyes and go “Yeah, I’m done”.

Apparently, after the first family moved out, another family moved in. The landlord stepped in for an inspection, went down to the basement and found a pentagram on the floor, an altar, a knife, and a black robe.

For those of you wondering why my eyes rolled back so far I saw a synapse fire off, back in the 90’s there was a huge scare about satanic cults and shit. I was a wee babby, but even I remember some of the scaremongering that went on.

Here’s the video if you want to see it for yourself.

weirwoodtreehugger: communist bonobo

Getting back to Black Mirror; I just finished watching the new episodes today. I really, really recommend Season 3 Episode 6: Hated in the Nation. It’s about online hate and harassment and terrifying automated honeybee drones. It stars Kelly Macdonald and Faye Marsay (the Waif on Game of Thrones). It’s an hour and a half long so it’s basically like a feature film. It’s dark and disturbing of course. But it’s really good and very scary!

Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
4 years ago

@Verständnis
Hiya, I’m Axe! That’s quite a breakthrough. Hugs and/or love. Hope everything works out. Welcome package on the right side of the page 🙂

authorialAlchemy
authorialAlchemy
4 years ago

Everyone is watching Black Mirror, therefore I should procrastinate until it is almost concluded as a series. :U I’m like a reverse hipster. Why am I like this? (I also have no way of watching it because my shambling computer isn’t working and I only have a phone with no virus protection.)

I made a playlist of 125+ songs that are not too disruptive so I can listen to them as I work while everyone is asleep. It’s a night time/quiet/chill work playlist. It’s mostly alternative rock, chamber music, folk, electronica and combinations of those with a touch of alternative hiphop/triphop (I’ll add more as I discover more, and I need to listen to the new Angel Haze album). I balanced slower thoughtful stuff with motivational upbeat stuff. I recommend turning on shuffle or you’re just going to get clusters of the same artist/s.

https://play.spotify.com/user/12141123916/playlist/6kZFsBfq6tJw5oTliu1h9f

I’m into playlist curation at the moment. It’s fun to collect songs that have nothing to do with each other, but still feel like they go together. You do have to set some sort of arbitrary limit or pick a theme, or else you’re just going to get a bunch of songs you like. That’s not a bad thing, it but it can cause a lot of mood whiplash.

I’ll take recommendations for this thing.

Jesalin
Jesalin
4 years ago
joekster (Bearded Beta)
joekster (Bearded Beta)
4 years ago

@Jesalin: yep, sad and pathetic sums that up.

I can’t believe we’re still doing ‘trials’ on this. Male contraceptive injections were a proven technology when I was a first year medical student, for chrisakes, and that was almost a decade ago.

And, good on the article for highlighting the life-threatening complications of OCP’s: a very small risk for clots, and a sizeable risk for breast cancer.

And, that’s about all I can say about it. As a geriatrician, I’m not often called on to prescribe contraception.

kupo
kupo
4 years ago

@Jesalin
I’m so angry right now after reading that.

joekster (Bearded Beta)
joekster (Bearded Beta)
4 years ago

@Kupo: Yes, I find it quite… frustrating myself, so I can only imagine how infuriating someone who is directly harmed by this would find it.

Here we have a perfectly valid form of male contraception, and we don’t use it. My family practice colleagues tell me it’s not even covered by insurance, and that their male young adult patients don’t even ask about it. WTF.

Do you know what my first thought was hearing about this in medical school? I was excited that my half of the population could finally do something productive about unwanted pregnancies beyond wearing condoms (which work better than the average person thinks when used correctly) and helping to pay for abortions or the morning after pill (personally, I think the dude should have to front the whole cost of both, as it’s the gal who is going to suffer the physical effects. Least he can do). As an added benefit, the formulations we learned about then were active for up to ten years, so it’s not like the men would have to remember to take a pill every day, but they’d still wear off, so the dudes could still have kids later if they wanted to. It still seems like an almost ideal contraceptive.

And it still has not materialized.

PS: I’m hoping its appropriate to use gendered terms here, as we are speaking specifically of contraception.

Jesalin
Jesalin
4 years ago

After reading that article (and face-palming a few times) I said to my partner, ‘Wouldn’t it be neat if, upon conception, a sympathetic psychic bond was created that would allow/cause the (soon to be) father to experience the pregnancy, every step of the way (including the water retention, morning sickness, etc), right up to experiencing the birth itself’.
Not exactly an original thought, but I needed to distract myself a bit after reading that article and we got a bit of a giggle out of my scenario.

(Particularly the thought of ‘mom’ pushing like a trooper and ‘dad’ writhing and crying due to the pain.)

joekster (Bearded Beta)
joekster (Bearded Beta)
4 years ago

@Jeselin: I just shot a text off to my residency classmates asking if any of them at academic hospitals are still looking for a research topic. This looks like research that needs to be done.

Edited: there actually is a psychiatric syndrome where the male develops all the signs of pregnancy along with the woman, right up to contractions. I don’t recall what it’s called, but it’s real. Uncommon. But real.

Jesalin
Jesalin
4 years ago

@joekster

That’s truly interesting, I wonder what’s behind it. I’ll have to see what I can find on it!

joekster (Bearded Beta)
joekster (Bearded Beta)
4 years ago

@Jesalin: Good luck. I’m afraid I can’t help much. All I’ve got is a passing reference in my psych courses in med school.

weirwoodtreehugger: communist bonobo

Don’t read the comments. It’s a bunch of men whining. I thought we lived in a gynocracy because men have no birth control and that’s not fair. But as soon as a woman author points out that women have to put up with side effects, so men can too, all of a sudden male BC is mean to men.

Jesalin
Jesalin
4 years ago

@joekster

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Couvade_syndrome

I think I found it. Definitely interesting.

@WWTH

I started to read the comments but gave up in disgust.

joekster (Bearded Beta)
joekster (Bearded Beta)
4 years ago

@Jesalin: That’s it. FWIW, the psychologists who taught at my medical school thought it was a real syndrome, but there appears to be some controversy.

@WWTH: Comments? what comments? I don’t see any comments. At least, not any comments worth noticing /s

I can’t believe men can be such crybabies. And I am one.

Scildfreja Unnýðnes
Scildfreja Unnýðnes
4 years ago

Ohmigosh, that article.

I mean, the article’s fine – not surprised in any aspect of its story. Women are mysterious fey-creatures who are half-human and half-elfin, with strange and wonderous biology that are beyond the ken of man, after all. If men can create a copper coil that stops pregnancy when they jam it into one of them squishy woman-parts, it’s a miracle that it works at all and doesn’t just, I dunno, make her shriek like the banshee and turn her into a shower of twigs and autumn leaves. So women should just be grateful period, and take the side effects. But mankind is, well, it’s mankind! Precious! When you’re dealing with mankind you have to consider that each individual is an ethical actor and not just, like, a rock, or a sheep, or a woman. You can’t take the same risks. It would be immoral!

I am apparently filled with sass today.

No, the article’s about what I would expect for the medical profession and its’ male-as-default way of looking at the world. But those comments.

MRAs and their fellow travelers gabble on about how wimmens suppress male birth control, and how women are sabotaging manly-mans by chaining them down with babbies by, I dunno, poking needles in their condoms. (couldn’t possibly be that the jerk put it on wrong or something, after all. Has to be a woman’s fault).

Well, here you go, guys. They’ve been working on that injection you’ve wanted, and – oh, wait! The medical research profession put a halt on it! You know, those STEM dudes you venerate?

Give’m a day or two, it’ll be a woman’s fault again. I’m sure they’ll find a way to twist it. I believe in them.

Hey, Java’s done updating, hooray! Perfect timing.

EJ (The Orphic Lizard)

Oh boy, those comments. Ugh. What in Katie’s name is wrong with my gender?

My favourite was the dude who insisted that “stories like this fuel the gender divide.” Apparently his view is that the gender divide is made of pixie dust, in that if you don’t talk about it then it doesn’t exist.

I would dearly love to have a male form of birth control available to me. It’d just be more convenient all around as well as providing an extra layer of security. It might have some side effects at the moment, but early versions of medication often do, and I’m happy to be a guinea pig if it means furthering the cause of science.

Brony, Social Justice Cenobite

Can I ask everyone a question (at the end)?

It turns out that I’m still looking to change my career. This is not surprising as the current job follows a long period of unemployment and I needed something to get my resume looking better (it’s really complicated). I had hoped that mental health technician would work out but there are some pretty serious structural problems related to that. I’m 39 and the best people doing the job are in their mid 40’s and have been there for over a decade. This job will be rough on me as I age.

They tried to make me, an inexperienced person, the only permanent tech on a unit for males aged 13-17 with anger and impulse control issues. That puts me in the position of being the primary authority figure when it comes to guiding their activities and assigning consequences for actions. I can be authoritative, but learning how to properly be authoritative in that environment has no appropriate training manual. I can’t do that as a “green” tech, you have to have an experienced person for the new person to be role-modeled by. Even the pros say that it took them over a year to get comfortable with the job. So I’m looking again as I do what I can.

I’m having a terrible time taking my degrees, work experience and aptitudes and turning them into something. It’s honestly been wrecking my mental health over the last 7 years. What I am really good at is what I did in the comment here.

It’s embarrassing to say that I really really enjoy dissecting apart the communications of irrational, aggressive, impassioned people. That sort of behavior is causes problems for the people I like here and it actually gets difficult to think creatively about it. I’m constrained by what I thought I would be doing at this point in my life.

So to put it simply, what should I do with my life?

Also here is something I’ve been working on as a teaching tool. The “scroll of memory”, a kind of “conceptual work space” for representing things that may become important for other writing projects. It’s an “alpha version” thing though. I need to make sure its all working together like I think.
http://i.imgur.com/fAmbmai.jpg

Scildfreja Unnýðnes
Scildfreja Unnýðnes
4 years ago

I’ll have a reply for you in a little bit, Brony. Got some errands to run, but I’ll try to help!

numerobis
numerobis
4 years ago

Four university dudes are debating the patriarchy on the next table over. It’s going… well. My heart is warmed. The next generation will improve society.

weirwoodtreehugger: communist bonobo

My favorite was the dude who said nobody is forcing women to take hormonal BC, so how dare the author even mention side effects? Women can’t win. If we want affordable and safe birth control, we’re mooching whiners who want special treatment. But if we get pregnant and have the kid and need assistance from the government or need time off work to take care of the kids when we’re sick or need maternity leave, we’re mooching welfare queens sluts. If we get pregnant and have an abortion, we’re baby killing whores. We shouldn’t have sex unless we’re prepared to raise a baby with no help. But if women actually refused to have sex until they wanted kids, we’d never hear an end to the whining about how the mean wimmenz won’t fuck them.

EJ (The Orphic Lizard)

@brony:
It sounds to me like what you actually enjoy doing is taking apart things that don’t work, examining them in the context of a well-structured set of rules for how they should work, and putting them back together so that they do work. You’ve chosen to do this with words and ideas, but it can be applied to anything.

Have you considered software development?

Viscaria
Viscaria
4 years ago

My favorite was the dude who said nobody is forcing women to take hormonal BC, so how dare the author even mention side effects?

What a spectacular failure to grasp the point. No one would be forcing men to take the injection, either, if it were approved as-is.

Jaygee
Jaygee
4 years ago

I had a pretty good Saturday night out to celebrate Halloween with friends. My Fionna costume was better than I expected though I got a couple people who thought I was Tina from Bob’s Burgers (both have blue tops and bottoms of different hues). One of my friends made a jellyfish costume with loofas and lights; it got a lot of compliments. My other friends were a lobster, a mermaid, and a Grecian goddess (a repurposed Captain Planet Gaia costume). No one got lost or too wasted, and we all made it home in one piece.

I actually didn’t see many zombies. There were some people dressed as brain-dead Trump supporters moaning for brains though. I was also expecting more Harley Quinns, but I only saw one. We saw a couple of wood nymphs and various super heroes on the BART. There were some sharks like from Katy Perry’s Superbowl performance. Walking around in the Castro, we encountered someone dressed as Trump who I think was part of a couple costume with a woman who went as Alicia Machado who had a sash that read “Miss Piggy.” The Trump guy posed for pictures with someone who was dressed as a “Bad Hombre.” In line to the bar/club we met a lesbian Santa Claus, Sailor Moon, and Sailor Mercury. There was a gay couple who dressed as Corbin Dallas and (white) Ruby from The Fifth Element. I enjoyed people’s costumes for the most part.

Then I got to have Sunday brunch as my going away get together with some of my friends. (I made a reservation and then 30 minutes before, the restaurant calls to say it has issues that prevent them from opening for another 6 hours, so I had to scramble to find some place else to accommodate 12-16 people.) Props to my friends for coming out in the rain and given only four day’s notice.

@DandAHC I had one boyfriend for a long time and only just started dating at 30. I think like others said, it’s understandable to feel we as women should feel desired, especially with the messages we get in society. I’m also someone who doesn’t attract a lot of attention/male gaze. I’m definitely not going to turn heads. For the most part I’m not bothered by it because being pretty/attractive was not part of my identity or something people around me put an inordinate amount of value in. (It was way more important for me to be smart and nice.) I’ve had guys like me, and I’m pretty sure it’s mostly for my personality, so that’s a good thing.

I do, however, get insecure about my body at times. (I’m definitely not thin, though I don’t deal with much body shaming.) I felt like doing something active like a dance or fitness class helps. Doing zumba helped me feel more positive about my body. I think it just made me more aware of my body and appreciate that my body is for doing things and enjoying things not just an ornament to be admired.

I think I also mentioned that dating has been good to my self-esteem. I can’t guarantee that everyone will have the same experience, but with the variety of people and preferences out there, I think it’s likely someone will find you (general you) attractive (assuming you are a decent human, so this may not apply to some in the MRA-adjacent crowd).

PeeVee the (Noice) Sarcastic
PeeVee the (Noice) Sarcastic
4 years ago

These guys fight for “reproduction rights” but only the kind that doesn’t come at any personal cost? Color me shocked.

Scildfreja Unnýðnes
Scildfreja Unnýðnes
4 years ago

My crayon of Shocked Cyan ran out 🙁

Brony, Social Justice Cenobite

@EJ
I did think about that before. I have a complicated relationship with symbolic information and the prospect somewhat intimidates me. I have no experience coding and “social symbols” (simple defining is complicated) are what mainly motivates me. I could probably do things at that level (I got a B and then an A in college calc 1/2), but most of my symbol manipulation is in the areas in the “general human” version of my learning tool project (at the end, I meant to post this one earlier). That sort of use of symbols is not in my experience beyond a very general idea about how it works.

Social symbols deeply fascinate me.

Also my background says “Mol Bio lab technician, did not work in the field his MA is in, tried to be a teacher, long gap in employment, 5 months as a mental health technician”. That, learning something new at 39, and a home life that has to take mental health seriously are other complications.

http://i.imgur.com/XlAxT0Z.jpg

Brony, Social Justice Cenobite

Also thank you very much for the reply EJ. Sorry, being polite is sometimes a challenge.

EJ (The Orphic Lizard)

No worries! For my own part, I was worried that my suggestion would come off as too glib and patronising.

One of the things that has always struck me about you, from reading your posts and interacting with you, is that you are fantastic at seeing the deep structure which underlies anything (even if you have to stretch to do so.) You have a gift for being able to argue from the particular to the general in such a way as to place things into a broader, enlightening context. This is a marvellous gift and I think it’s something to be developed.

kupo
kupo
4 years ago

@EJ
Good point. Brony would do well in software QA even if he doesn’t have any tech background.

Brony, let me know if you’re interested in that kind of work and have questions about what it entails and what type of interview questions you might get.

Oops, should have refreshed. But QA doesn’t require any ability to code, so my offer still stands. 🙂

Viscaria
Viscaria
4 years ago

I have no specific advice for you, Brony, but I feel for you. I, too, spent a lot of time struggling to find the right career path. I wish you well.

Scildfreja Unnýðnes
Scildfreja Unnýðnes
4 years ago

@Brony!

Congratulations on your drive to find a new path! Very exciting. Scary as well, I’m sure, but there is no joy without fear.

I’d like to second the suggestion that you give coding a try, even after your comment about it. I’m gonna suggest it for two reasons.

First reason is that the cost of entry is low in the field. Programming is one of the fields where employers are far, far more interested in what you can do over what education you’ve got. You can learn on your own, build a portfolio, and use that as your CV.

This holds especially true in the area you’re interested in, social analysis. This is a very new field, a slice of the Big Data pie, and there are no experts. Statisticians who have been doing this for years have face-planted – the old techniques don’t work when you’ve got a petabyte of Twitter staring you in the face.

Second reason is that your skillset is incredibly transferable to this field, and your interests can command a pretty penny from some very large companies.

Programming is intimidating at first, but it really is just a formal way of talking about processes. If you have the time available to you, head over to khan academy and take some intro programming courses – they’re free and each course isn’t very long. If you like it, feel free to poke me again and I can help you figure out the sort of thing you’d want in a portfolio.

(I mean, heck, howabout a service that digests a twitter timeline and provides an Index of Irrationality by modeling the persons’ thought processes? Or something that digests a forum thread and provides citations for the arguments found therein? All useful things that are well within reach)

If you try the courses and don’t like the process of programming, that’s also fine – like you said, you have a complicated relationship with symbolic logic, and I completely get that – I have that too. I do think that you’d really enjoy crystallizing your ideas into structures, and then providing those structures for others to use, though. That’s really the heart of modern data science.

Arctic Ape
Arctic Ape
4 years ago

Happy Halloween for those who party.

I feel oddly good after just finishing a seemingly futile grant application.

The winter is coming to Helsinki this week. I hope it will stay, against all odds. I don’t much like the autumn past October.

My thesis advisor is doing a sabbatical year with her family in upstate New York. Maybe her kids are going trick and treating this year, if they haven’t before.

Paradoxical Intention - Resident Cheeseburger Slut

Hey, so I know I asked for help some months ago, but if you guys could help out a friend of mine, I’d super appreciate it.

His name is Leo, and he’s a trans man hoping to pay off debts he owes as well as afford top surgery.

I’m not asking y’all to reach for your wallets, but if you could at least share this, I’d super appreciate it.

Now, back to kitties.

Imaginary Petal
Imaginary Petal
4 years ago

@Paradoxy

All of the love and support to your friend, and I will do my best to contribute as soon as I can.

Viscaria
Viscaria
4 years ago

I don’t want to spill poisonous negativity all over this nice thread, but I am really angry and frustrated by the post-secondary disability services process and all these feelings are roiling underneath my cultivated pleasant exterior and I feel like I can’t really say anything to anyone! So I’ll say something to you all, and that can be the end of it.

In a nutshell, accessing academic accommodations, not to mention my goddamn student loan, should not be a detriment to my education! At very least, it should be no more painful than white-knuckling through with no assistance. It shouldn’t be harder. That defeats the entire purpose!

Brony, Social Justice Cenobite

@EJ

No worries! For my own part, I was worried that my suggestion would come off as too glib and patronising.

You did not. It is true that there are deeper issues in play and many are specific in a psychological sense, but in my experience problems finding employment are rarely simple and there are many ways that a problem can be attacked.

This is a marvellous gift and I think it’s something to be developed.

I’m grateful for the kind words but it’s hard to see that. I’ve only been seriously considering personal skill at social interaction for the last five years. It’s partially a gift, but I’m honestly very socially isolated in meat space. In other contexts being sensitive to symbolism probably leads to conspiracy theory thought so like to think that my culture and background was beneficial. The same gift makes my insides rake at me over my professional career. I wanted to study abiogenesis and it’s only in the last five years that I’ve realized how non-existent my skills and instincts are when it comes to the social part of employment and career. I’m not even typing this with any stronger feelings than normal, it just feels like a fact. People feel, loud. Not always in a negative way and not identically between the internet and meat space, but always loud. My skill at criticism does not spare me either.

I’m hoping that there is something with the skills I already have. A part of me wants to think a political related job but I hate politics and I’m political, that’s complicated. I am clueless about politics related jobs. I want to seriously consider your suggestion.

@kupo

Brony, let me know if you’re interested in that kind of work and have questions about what it entails and what type of interview questions you might get.

Thank you for the offer. I am curious, but I honestly don’t know what to think about it. What are software Q&A jobs like in required work experience and education? My next step is going to be to look at the courses Scildfreja recommended. I’m a little anxious about being able to do classes and work right now.

@Scildfreja

Congratulations on your drive to find a new path! Very exciting. Scary as well, I’m sure, but there is no joy without fear.

Thank you for the enthusiasm and the tips. I don’t know if I can call it drive yet. I’m still working on that.

Programming is one of the fields where employers are far, far more interested in what you can do over what education you’ve got.

I honestly don’t know what I can do. What does the marketable skill look like? I don’t even know if that’s a good question.

This is a very new field, a slice of the Big Data pie, and there are no experts.

I’ve struggled with how to incorporate what I’ve learned about my own psychology as well as my experience and education into my resume. For really good and really bad reasons. What does an expert look like here?

…your skillset is incredibly transferable to this field.

I don’t know anything about the appearance of what I might transfer them too. I seem to have some trouble there.
I’ll try to give it a serious look. It’s been hard but I’m trying to find momentum.

kupo
kupo
4 years ago

Thank you for the offer. I am curious, but I honestly don’t know what to think about it. What are software Q&A jobs like in required work experience and education? My next step is going to be to look at the courses Scildfreja recommended. I’m a little anxious about being able to do classes and work right now.

It can be entry level, depending on what they’re looking for. If they’re looking to get a project off the ground quickly they’d likely look for someone with related experience, but often they’re looking for talent rather than experience. Now, entry-level QA is not always great pay but once you prove yourself you can probably renegotiate.

The exact role varies from company to company but QA is generally the person, group, or team that owns the quality of the software. The pure QA roles are people who come up with a test plan and execute the manual tests. Sometimes they work with the SDETs, who are programmers that write automated testing, but QA doesn’t usually write or run the automation. In some cases they might be expected to do light scripting, though. They’re expected to understand two things: how to push products’ limits to find interesting ways to break them, which is important for finding bugs, and how to understand the user perspective and how the user might use the product, which is important for determining severity and impact.

The most important thing for you to be able to demonstrate in an interview and on your resume is an ability to break down a product and think of ways it might break. An example would be the interviewer handing you a whiteboard pen and asking you how you would test it. Or opening up an online store and asking you how you would test the add to cart button. You need to think about the different types of tests, like stress testing, security, etc. The more outside the “happy path” the better, and the more types the better. Think about how products break normally over time as well as how they might unexpectedly break.

Does that help?

Dalillama
Dalillama
4 years ago

Relevant:

QA Engineer walks into a bar. Orders a beer. Orders 0 beers. Orders 999999999 beers. Orders a lizard. Orders -1 beers. Orders a sfdeljknesv.

Apparently coined (in that form at least) by a QA Enigineer named Bill Sempf

Scildfreja Unnýðnes
Scildfreja Unnýðnes
4 years ago

@Brony,

I’m on the tablet so won’t be doing much block-quoting!

Don’t worry about not having much momentum. Momentum’s just applied anxiety, anyways. It’ll come when it comes 🙂

Marketable job skills in big data analytics are sort of nebulous, really – it’s all about demonstrating aptitude. You need a solid grasp on statistics and the scientific method, and an ability to cut to the heart of a question. You have all of those things.

The actual thing-you-need-to-do is to take a data set, see what’s important in that data set, and then do your statistics to it to pull out those important things in a quantifiable way. You need to do data-driven science, really – you start with a big data set and then pull information out of it. The mark of a good information scientist is that they can see when their inferences are valid right at the beginning – their experiments are well-formed. Attention to detail, and to the correct detail.

So, your marketable skills would be being able to write a script (30 to 100 lines of code), apply a data set to it, and then present useful, insightful outputs. There’s more, but that’s the core of it. The rest is technical.

What does an expert look like? An expert in data science knows statistics and the scientific method well. They may not be the best mathematicians, but they have a very strong feel for algorithms – for process. They also know a lot of general knowledge about the fields they examine. When they look at a problem, they ask how it can be broken down into smaller pieces. When they look at an information set, they ask how it was formed and what domain is it valid in. They’re scientists.

I understand that that’s all rather vague. Thing is, the job is rather vague! Data scientists, analysts, etc, are asked to perform magic – to solve impossible riddles, find pattern in noise, to plot a course through uncharted waters. It’s esoteric and very much an art as much as a science, but the way you approach problem solving and argumentation suggests that you’d be good at it to me. (Also, the starting wage for a data scientist is somewhere between $85k and $150k depending on where you live)

Look up the Python programming language, if Khan academy gives you a choice. It’s a popular language for writing scripts and a great learning language. Scala is also extremely useful, though I dunno if you’d want to start with it.

Don’t get discouraged! Even if this doesn’t turn out to be the right thing, I’m sure you’ll find something that fits.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
4 years ago

In other cat news, my poor boy got spooked by a sudden thunderstorm and cowered behind me until it was over. He’s currently asleep on a pile of paper (his favourite bedding, no idea) beside me, purring like a lawnmower, so I think he’s definitely calmed down. =P

numerobis
numerobis
4 years ago

asleep on a pile of paper (his favourite bedding, no idea)

Clearly a professional cat.

Jesalin
Jesalin
4 years ago

Our cat has a thing for sleeping on plastic bags, no idea where that came from.

opposablethumbs
opposablethumbs
4 years ago

A while back I handed over an email address in order to get some free samples of posh chocs (which were delicious), and as a result once every five or six weeks I get an advertising email.

Today I got an xmas chocolate ad … but it is for “Our most decedent selection of gifts yet” (sic)

I haven’t the heart to ask why they are advertising chocolates especially for funerals.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

@ opposable thumbs

I haven’t the heart to ask why they are advertising chocolates especially for funerals.

Surely Hearse-shey’s would have cornered that market anyway?

(Why yes, that is my coat)

Brony, Social Justice Cenobite

I’ll think about your responses for a bit and look at those courses. Thank you for the suggestions. I may need a bit to process things as I’m also getting ready to go back to the unit since my toe just got done healing up. I discovered that I enjoyed acting as a clerk for HR while I was healing.

Skiriki
Skiriki
4 years ago

Paper (and some types of plastic) are very good at reflecting heat back, which is why some cats like them a lot. Paper also retains heat, especially when stacked unevenly, with all that air between the sheets.

Scildfreja Unnýðnes
Scildfreja Unnýðnes
4 years ago

Paper is also pretty good at retaining smells, and the kitties do love their smelly smells.