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Messages - I D Shukhov

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The military is probably paying attention to these robots.  They might be the combat soldiers of the future.

Was 41,882, now 61,311 -- 46% growth in 2 months. 

When I last looked at in-demand skills on Indeed in March, I found that DevOps was mentioned 13,251 times.  Two months later I find it mentioned 15,725 times, for an astonishing 18.7% growth in 2 months.

Discussions - Public / Re: Men's support forums
« on: May 08, 2018, 05:43:14 am »
As a white Anglo male I am considered far too generic to be a member of a tight-knit social unit. That's opposite your ex's experience. I think that's supposed to be the point of attending things such as church for normies like me, but even that hasn't worked out that way at all for me. I am utterly alone, defending myself against others and groups. So are most while Anglo males. Also I think that cohesion happens with ex-military, again, an experience I lack.

For instance, in my region there is a Hispanic business owner's regional group. I've seen pictures of their events online. Far more interesting and friendly looking than the assholish social climber chamber of commerce I once belonged to.

To be a member of the cultural majority is to be utterly alone, blamed, and isolated. Weirdly.

I've thought this is true for a long time.  It's really ironic that immigrants can be more effective at getting work than native born citizens.  I suppose it shouldn't be surprising because everyone says that networking is the most effective way to look for a job.

There are some definite problems and challenges, though, with being a member of a minority tribe.  Subgroups invariably are formed which we outsiders don't understand.  These subgroups seek to dominate other members within the group because they understand how to, whereas they are less aggressive to members outside the group.  I offer evidence of this with this article from the Washington Post about a local extortion racket:

I wouldn't want to join some me-vs-them tribe, like a white supremacist group, but I would like to be in some tribe.  If you live long enough you get to be a member of the default tribe of the elderly.  65+ is 13% of the population (  Sorry Gorn, you don't qualify to be a member of us.  Not that I suppose you want to. 

Discussions - Public / Tough school project? Just contract it out.
« on: May 07, 2018, 05:20:36 am »

Discussions - Public / Re: Men's support forums
« on: May 06, 2018, 03:18:23 pm »
There must be a lot of these forums.  Maybe another one would have a more supportive culture.  If you try some others and they're all unfriendly then maybe something F2F, like Meetup, might be better.

This article says that over age 30 is too old for a tech career in China. Yowch!

Of course.  If you're a carton of milk past the sale date you're going to get thrown out.  China would have a huge supply of tech workers, so the employers can be very choosy about whom to hire at a lower cost with good-enough ability.  Same thing here with outsourcing and the H-1B program to fix the "desperate shortage" of software engineers in the US.

So, one wants to be an entrepreneur and not a commodity.

DoD with a clearance might get you to 60 max in a technical position.  In the last (and I mean last) big company I worked for there were 3 rounds of layoffs.  By the second round a friend in his 50s with an EE and a lot of SIGINT (signals intelligence) experience got laid off.  He, like me, was always getting good performance reviews.

My next door neighbor who is in her 70s, with an MSCS degree  and Java Enterprise experience is still working.   A college buddy who specialized in embedded and other low-level type experience is still working at 68.   A manager once took me aside at a small government contractor where we both worked and complained that he couldn't get him to use anything but DEC  Macro-11 assembly language.   I compliantly used FORTRAN and did whatever I was told to do.  He's still working, I'm not.

My latest views on the subject of this thread. 

1) Stay completely away from big companies with their HR departments. 

The policy against hiring older workers is really not all that stupid, even if it is discriminatory and illegal.  The problem is cultural fit.  Big companies have rigid reporting structures and don't want problems in the chain of command.  A person reporting to someone 20 years their junior could be a problem.   Also, the broader culture stereotypes older people as being slower and possibly trespassing in a space (a workplace) where they don't belong.  Being present in such an environment can be very unpleasant for the older worker.

2) That leaves smaller companies.

This is where an older worker wants to look for a job.   It's best to figure out how specifically you can add value and what specifically the company's problem is and what they are looking for.   Personally, I've never done this kind of research on a company, but it sounds like a reasonable thing to do.

3) If you get an interview, take a Shark Tank approach to pitching yourself.

Notice how the sharks want proof they will get their money back.   "What are your current sales?"  is the first question they ask.  It proves that a person can service the market they say they can.    From there on out in a Shark Tank interview it depends on how the person comes across.  Are they enthusiastic?  Does  the product make sense?  Is the person likable?

How would an older, unemployed, older worker prove sales?   Well, maybe you can't prove sales if you are unemployed in the sense someone is paying you a salary, but you can prove a user base, even if it's unpaid.

You can do that through web and mobile apps which people are using.  Or one might provide useful free information and build a following and then monetize it as this person has done:

I really like Masonson and believe in his strategy (and have made a little money using it).  The general idea is that you look at a list of high-performing ETFs, which he maintains here: and then buy and sell them based on an overall market momentum change which is indicated by (I think, currently 3) signals which he tracks. 

Masonson published a book about his "Buy, Don't Hold" strategy and then published his blog for free for many years.   It's still free, but now he's asking for $20/year for special emailings to subscribers.   A service which I readily signed up for.

What stands out in my mind about Masonson is the goodwill he generates.  He comes across as someone who is genuinely altruistic.  I don't think I'm naive in this regard.  As I said, for many years he did a lot of work to publish his blog that *may* help people invest more wisely.  I say, *may* because I know that modern portfolio theory generally is against market timing. 

That's really amazing. 

I might start using one of the third-party services mentioned in the article which help consumers analyze the reviews  and

Fortunately Amazon has a great return policy, so that's the option of last resort if you get something of poor quality.

Discussions - Public / Washington Post article on Amazon review gaming
« on: April 24, 2018, 07:20:24 am »

Amazon rankings are the new “battlefield” for online manipulation, said Renee DiResta, policy lead for the nonprofit Data for Democracy, a group of technology researchers dedicated to promoting integrity online. She has conducted research on paid Amazon reviews by joining some of the Facebook groups. “There’s a dark side to the race for the stars,” she said.

In February, there were nearly 100 Facebook groups, split up by geographic region and by product categories, in which Amazon merchants actively solicited consumers to write paid reviews. One such group had over 50,000 Facebook members until Facebook deleted it after The Post’s inquiry. There are also Reddit boards and YouTube tutorials that coach people on how to write reviews. Websites with names such as Slickdeals and JumpSend let merchants give out discounted products, using a loophole to get around Amazon’s ban.

Merchants seeking to defraud Amazon have flocked to Facebook in particular, DiResta said.

Last year, DiResta began studying and joining Amazon reviewer groups on Facebook. Her first act in the groups was to write “interested” next to a post describing a pair of Bluetooth headphones for $35.99. Almost immediately, a Facebook user purportedly named SC Li sent her a direct message, calling her “dear” and asking for a link to her Amazon profile. If she reviewed the headphones, SC Li said, he would reimburse her via her PayPal account.

Within an hour of getting SC Li’s message, DiResta got a slew of direct messages from other sellers, asking her to review tea lights, containers, shower caddies, badge holders, sanding discs, rain ponchos, pocket-size vanity mirrors and butterfly knives. The messages came in so quickly, she said, she barely had time to respond.

DiResta found that many of the Facebook accounts had no friends on the social network. Their only Facebook posts were about cheap products, and their profile pictures included stock photos. A reverse image search on SC Li’s profile photo, of a man on a beach, for example, revealed a stock photo called “seaside man” that appeared on various Chinese-language lifestyle websites, an indication of a fake profile.

Reviewers “just see it as a way to make extra money,” DiResta said. “The question is why doesn’t Amazon crack down more? These communities are not a secret.”

Chrome is honoring the hosts file now.   It didn't before, even after I typed ipconfig /flushdns as administrator.  Don't really care to investigate what's going on.  Must be some other type of caching other than what flushdns fixes.

All Technology & Tech Help / Re: So anyway, about Facebook...
« on: April 07, 2018, 03:50:55 pm »
I  see FB being a self evidently fertile feeding ground for influencing people.

People on Facebook who cultivate their personal Facebook image and who buy into the culture deeply are vulnerable to influence and manipulation. Since they themselves have already selected themselves to be manipulated.

I'm saying that the cheap thrill aspect of the "Facebook dopamine rush" is only one sliver of the entire environment.

At 1:02:00 - 1:04:00 there is a presentation by Alexander Nix, CEO of Cambridge Analytica, telling how his company boosted Ted Cruz's positive rating from  < 5% to 35% in the 2016 presidential primaries, and then went on to support the Trump campaign after Cruz dropped out.
Nix says at 1:03:48 that his company has "4-5,000 data points on every adult in the U.S.".   

The method was apparently to psychologically profile people on FB and then send them news messages to get them motivated enough to vote.  Nix said, for example, that potential Cruz voters were fed gun rights news to get them to support Cruz more.

I'm not being partisan because Democrats used FB as a source of psychographic data to persuade voters.  It's the current big data way of doing what campaigners have done all along with primitive door-to-door canvassing.  Unfortunately for the Democrats, they didn't have Cambridge Analytica as a consultant.


I read somewhere that Musk is bankrolling the free viewing.

There are clips from Robocop to drive home the point of what could happen when autonomous weapon systems that are under development by the military turn rogue.  That would include drones, pilotless aircraft and all the scary robots that Boston Dynamics keeps rolling out.

Tai, the Microsoft Twitter chatbot which turned into a misanthropic racist monster after 24 hours is mentioned.

Around 21:00 a strong Luddite pitch starts.  Robots and AI-based information systems are going to take away jobs from both blue and white collar workers.

At 29:44 there is a VERY WEIRD AND SCARY  Japanese (who else) android named Erica.  If there was ever an uncanny valley effect, Erica demonstrates it.  The uncanny valley effect is that to the degree an android looks and acts human we will become repelled by it.

Erica looks friendly enough most of the time, but every so often there is an unnatural jerk or psychopathic look in her eyes which is truly terrifying.

The Facebook/Cambridge Analytics fiasco came about apparently while the documentation was in production and they gleefully incorporated it.

Facebook is said to be just the sort of thing of how AI will destroy humanity.  It's not that AI has anything personal against humans, it's just that AI is goal-directed and if humans get in the way, then bye bye humans.   Facebook's example is that the goal is to enhance social interaction.  One interviewee described a resonance effect with people being fed self-affirming information feeds from like-minded people and fake news so that eventually a mirror is built for them by Facebook in which they figuratively gaze into and ask “Who is the fairest of them all?" and you get back,  "You, you after all!” 

Thus, Facebook purportedly diminishes people while manipulating them into yielding to Facebook (a symbol for all its AI algorithms) information so that they can be commercially exploited.

An interesting take on personality characterization is described by who said that in the old days psychometric analysis was done with questionnaires.  Nowadays it's much more effective to gather online posting, searching, buying and browsing data and analyze it with a neural network to gain personality insights. does this and it accurately described some my personality based on my postings on this board. 

At the end of video Musk apparently gives up trying to stop or regulate AI and says the only answer is to merge with it, as in if can't fight 'em, join 'em.  Not sure what he has in mind, though.  It was kind of left as a hanging, open question.   Everything Musk said before is that AI will attain superintelligence and that it will be impossible to get it to play nice.

I just gave something 5 stars.  I think you have to balance your reviews.  Too many 1-stars and you may not be taken seriously.

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