It was a few years ago, and I walked into the dining hall and sat with my friends. Pretty routine day. I was a freshman, and my first year was winding down. I was one month into my new frat and life was good.
My friend, a class senator in student government, had a piece of paper laying on the table. I picked it up and read the big title "Run for Student Government", and I immediately joked that I was dropping everything to run for President. I was just joking of course; I had seen a bunch of other Baylor freshmen run for various positions earlier in the year during freshmen elections, and I had no interest in running.
But then my friend said bluntly, "No seriously you should totally do it. The current president is an idiot, and the senators don't like him. We need someone smart." (Note I think pretty highly of the other guy, these aren't my words) That got me thinking that it would be cool to put up a bunch of posters with my name on them around campus. See, I realized nobody gave a shit about it, and every campaign I had seen didn't take advantage of that fact.
At first I was going to title this talking VS doing, but the whole point is that you need both.
I'm sure you've all heard "Don't talk the talk, walk the walk" or some variation of it, point being you need to follow through with your actions. "Actions speak louder than words" too.
And this is true for the most part. But you need both. You can't just rely on the doing, even moreso today than 50 years ago (of course I wasn't around 50 years ago so I could be mistaken).
In the vast majority of cases, a person should follow the traditional advice so they err on the side more doing, less talking. But, if you're smart or productive and have legit value to the world, often the doing isn't enough. In fact, the highly competent people could probably reverse the old sayings and turn out better.
There are certain websites we need to use everyday.
It's 2013, so email is pretty much a must-have. Facebook used to be a social network but now it's a necessity if you want to keep some semblance of connection with old friends. It's also used for events and group messaging and whatnot. Point is- some internet facets have become more than just websites and are now societal norms.
Unfortunately, a lot of these websites, in an effort to gain ad revenue, go beyond their functional purpose and take on an entertainment role. They can become quite the time sink, and since you need them to function properly, you can't just fire up leechblock and block them altogether.
Sometimes, eventually, a decision must be made - Fr. Anthony Odiong, one of the wisest people I've ever met
I've heard this from several people now, and it makes sense: Tough decisions don't matter, since the reason why they're tough is presumably because the risk/reward for all of the options is nearly equal and thus neither is clearly better. But since they're nearly equal, why not just pick one?
Obviously this isn't prudent in every case, but spending a lot of time deliberating certainly can't be the best option.
On the other hand, due to circumstances, sometimes it does pay to take more time for reasons having nothing to do with the decision itself. I'll use an example: social networks. While obviously there are many reasons why Facebook took off whereas Myspace et all didn't, being first certainly didn't help Myspace. In fact, I remember most of my friends switching to Facebook because it was "a better social network than Myspace".
Think about that. If Myspace and Xanga hadn't been around, the concept of 'social network' wouldn't have existed. Then there would be nothing to compare it to. Now if Facebook had come around a couple years later, there might've been an entirely different giant in that niche. They launched at an optimal time.
I've been writing in a blog for about a month now. Thanks to Tynan, one of my posts got a bunch of viewers right away, but since then, it's been only me. That's fine. I understand that most blogs don't take off until the writer becomes known or respected outside the blogosphere for something.
Why did I start when I did?
SETT was ready. I had been waiting for it to be ready before I started my own. Not for any particular reason. I'm not sure I'll stick with it- as a developer I can see a lot of stuff I'd like to add as far as customizations go- but I'm gonna stay with SETT for a long while and see what comes of it.
A couple reasons. For starters, a blog done right allows people a fuller picture of my life and thoughts. Facebook statuses and twitter updates aren't nearly enough to do that unless you're an MTV whore. Despite outward appearances I really doubt anyone is ADD to the point of having only the shallow thoughts with which they present themselves.
But if you're a genius, you're likely Christian.
This is the first post of probably many that I'll write about belief and whatnot. I just want to share an observation from my personal life- it's by no means a complete view, and given my upbringing, perhaps skewed.
The geniuses I know of, I've met, etc- They're all unabashedly Christian. And I mean genius in the math/science/logic/IQ sense. And not just genius, but well above genius.
Atheists? Generally above average, generally more learned than average. Smart people. Successful.
As Malcolm Gladwell points out, you don't need to be a genius to be successful. He claims there's a cutoff point at which more IQ points no longer provide any extra advantage- around 120 or so. So I have no reason to believe any of the "famous" atheists are thereby genius or anything close. I won't claim to know anything about their abilities, but of all the people I know, the following graph seems to hold
Picture: XKCD! http://xkcd.com/1176/
When I was in high school, one year I would sit at this lunch table from time to time. There was this one chick there that was a bit different, but whatevs. People at the table didn't particularly like her, and would sometimes talk shit about her behind her back. Nothing too bad, just normal high school stuff. Occasionally, I'd stick up for her, to the point people would notice. But I'd never join the shit-talking and I generally discouraged it.
It was all pretty minor, but one day she had some party- I forget if it was a graduation party or her birthday- and she invited everyone at the table except for me. I never talk the talk.
Well, the 2013 draft has come and gone. As is tradition, the Packers selected none of the players I wanted. Bucking tradition, though, I have heard of one of our draft picks, Eddie Lacy, because he was supposed to be the consensus top RB. Generally I haven't heard of any of the picks.
It seems to me that TT and MM (Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy) were serious about rebuilding. Not only did we trade down and accumulate several extra picks, we jettisoned a bunch of players this offseason and more specifically, the past couple days.
The knock on us for years is that we're too finesse. Indeed, after the 2007 debacle vs New York, that was my choice word. We never really overcame softness, but when you have Aaron Rodgers, you can cover up large amounts of soft.
I will say that our defense was pretty damn stout in the super bowl victory year, but even when we went 15-1, the main knock was lack of toughness. I don't know if that comes from players or coaches or what, but we have generally been a team that doesn't make comebacks and gets pushed around at the line.
This is pissing me off. I've gone through four pairs of earbuds in the past 6 months, and I don't even listen to that much music. One ear will always stop playing sound, and then a few weeks later the other one goes. I'd steal them from Walmart if I could be sure the only ones losing money were the manufacturers and not Walmart. None of my other electronic things with wires ever seem to break.
I figure if there's any place where someone knows where to get unbreakable earphones, it's this blog. Does anybody have any suggestions?
Data mining (sometimes called scraping) is a mysterious technique that still hasn't caught on much in the IT world. It's kind of an art form, and if you learn it from textbooks, you won't likely find much use. That's because like just about everything, the power isn't in the technique itself, but it lies in what you do with it.
I suppose to start, I should list off a bunch of things I have done with data mining.
I've automated a business school project for a friend by getting a list of every stock's opening quote on every day in the history of the NYSE.
I've compiled medical texts into one and sorted each sentence by subject to analyze the occurance of various key words.
I've built an autoblog network that writes about the top trending news stories of the day every hour on the hour, without me having to touch it.