When geeks rule politics

From Chris Kelly’s article on Huffington Post:

One good thing about Hillary proclaiming her right to a four-day national non-concession? We’ll never have to wonder what it would have been like if she’d been elected and that phone in the White House had rung at three AM.

THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
Hello?

KIM JONG IL
All your base are belong to us!!! You are on the way to destruction!!! You have no chance to survive make your time!!!

THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
Can I call you back? I need at least a week for this to sink in.

(Personally, I’d move ZIG for great justice.)

Weird factoid. Back when this meme was first forming, you could type “All Your Base” into K-Mart’s website search box, and it would say. “Geeks like you also bought…”

Statistics

As I mentioned before, everyone in my family but me is an expert at statistics. It’s hard to explain…

When my brother was angry that O.J. got away with it, my dad calmed him down by pointing out that in was a natural consequence of our legal system minimizing Type II error.

When my mom pointed out how unfair it was that her children were the highest rated teachers in their departments and she was the lowest rated in hers, my brother joked, “That’s just mean reversion, mom.”

I won’t get into how many times we’ve seriously argued about what the proper null for our discussion was…

Which brings me to last night’s dinner after Spontaneous Drinking Night, with my geek friends:

Statisticians

(Sometimes I think I’m living in an xkcd comic.) Also apologies to Benjamin Disraeli…and my family 😉

Astronauts

The child on the bus has just entered the quizzical-pointing phase.

Child: “Why are we stopped? Where is the bus driver, mommy?”

Mom: “Oh! I think she just stepped out to go the bathroom.” *laughs*

Child: “Why? She’s a big person and she’s wearing underwear.”

And I think to myself, How thoroughly practical—that kid will grow up to be an astronaut, for sure.

Signs your child was born to program

A friend broke the news that he has a second child on the way.

I was like, “Already? Must be the Irish Catholic in you!”

It occurs to me that now his first born has entered ankle-biting school. And maybe some of you have kids. How are you to know your child has a future in programming?

Well I don’t know, but I do have a story.

[The terrible threes after the jump.]Continue reading Signs your child was born to program

Consultants

(I am sitting in a presentation on a web framework in our office conference room given by a former employee who is now a consultant. One of my engineers asks the consultant to give an example from experience where he had to modify the framework code itself.)

R—: “Yeah, that happened to me, you know when v was greater than 1 and you are going viral… you know when you are doing a blast? We had a couple sites hit over 40 million users, sure then we had to go in to the CakePHP objects with an optimizer. I don’t know if you still have that at Tagged, but back when I worked there and blasting those times it makes sense to optimize so sure I’ve done it before.”

(One of my engineers, not me): “What company did you consult for hit 40 million users?”

R—: “Umm… (long pause)…I was speaking in hypotheticals. But certainly… v greater than one… I’m talking about the slope, when that happens and a lot of e-mails… No, we’ve worked with some sites that had… umm… (pause) more than 10 million users and that’s umm… what I was talking about, built on Cake and we’ve done that for around 10 million, so it’s certainly doable.”

(I so wanted to ask what site that was with even 10 million regs.)

[Origins after the jump.]Continue reading Consultants

Never ask a nerd for directions

“The front office is to your back that way and to your left,” someone says.

The delivery man walks a bit, gets confused, and looks at me across the floor, “Which way from here?” he points.

“It’s right of that.” I shout back.

He points in another direction, “That way?”

“No. Bisect the angle you just created.”

blank stare

“Errr…Or something.”

Mathematics is the universal language of science, not FedEx.