Win Stupid Prizes

As I mentioned before, N is interviewing for jobs. He’s in what they call data science. The interview process is all task based. You either know the math or you don’t. You either can write the code or you can’t. There are several stages to each interview and they are all highly technical. You need to study these beta binomial distributions or whatnots for years to qualify. It’s useless to ask N what he did after school at 16, 19, 25. The answer is always, “went home and studied.”

I’m writing all this because of the endless stream of news about how advanced math programs are being shut down in schools because of equity. Who do you think will be hired for these highly technical, extremely well paid jobs 10-15 years from now? If there’s demand, there’s going to be supply. Also, this kind of work is going long-distance for good. Even a couple of years ago it wasn’t possible to do this work completely off-site but now it is. (Why do you think N started to interview now and not 5 years ago?)

So who will be hired for these jobs? Who will get a chance to learn enough to be hired? It’s going to be people from places where “I failed Calc I because the teacher doesn’t look like me” isn’t considered a profound insight. It’s going to be people from places where everybody managed to accept the simple reality that some have the brains for this kind of stuff and others don’t and those who do should be given a chance to learn.

The first college I went to, by the way, was a polytechnic. I figured out after one semester that I wasn’t capable of passing the advanced calculus even though the profs all “looked like me.” So I dropped out and did something else with my life. I’ll never get paid as much because the skills I do have are not as rare and valuable. But that’s ok. Somebody I know who went to that polytechnic now works for NASA. And I’m perfectly fine with that.

Why are we playing this idiotic game? Of course, the companies who hire these people don’t care whether the workers are sitting in Shanghai or Moscow. But shouldn’t we care? We are playing a stupid game that everybody else is laughing at. But the game will have real-life consequences.

16 thoughts on “Win Stupid Prizes

    1. Of course this will happen in the US. It’s a matter of time. Do you know what will happen next? Data scientists will get hired from India at 1/10th the salary. And that is exactly why big tech executives are so woke.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Gosh, I so hope more people can understand that there’s a clear profit motive behind corporate wokeness. Nobody would do it if it weren’t profitable. All of these “racial reckonings” solely exist to enhance profits for a few already stinky rich bastards. Why is it so hard to understand? We are letting ourselves be robbed because we are powerless to resist the magical words “racist” and “equity.” It’s pathetic.

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        1. The problem is it’s not only a few people. The billionaires only own a small fraction of the total value of the corporations. A much larger share is owned by the professional classes typically via tax deductible pension fund contribution which are mostly invested in the corporations.

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          1. These professional classes are doing everything to make sure their children will never get a chance to have a pension fund. They are destroying the very system that gave them a good life. They are that stupid and short-sighted.

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            1. I think what PaulS is saying is that we are part of the machine. I have money invested into those corporations in exactly the way he has described. If you have any investments it’s almost certain you do as well. If you were to choose between not contributing to the destruction of the system, and making sure you are as financially secure as possible for Klara’s sake, you couldn’t possibly choose the first option.

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              1. I’m kind of hoping Klara will get a chance to make her own money. So if it’s between N’s pension and Klara’s future capacity to earn, we’d both gladly choose the latter. Especially given the inflation.

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              2. “I have money invested into those corporations in exactly the way he has described.”

                Perhaps one of the biggest and most interesting problems looming on the horizon, is that I don’t. I have no investments: no IRA, no 401k, no pension fund… and that’s true of a majority of Americans. We know, on some level, that this system is rigged against us– that there’s an ungodly amount of fraud involved, that is probably happening at our expense. The tacit agreement, for a very long time, has been that as long as we, the proles, can still make an OK living and have an OK life, it can be ignored. But lately, it is aggressively impinging on our ability to do so. The professional class is not holding up its end of the bargain, and I am worried about the backlash that’s building.

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  1. OK, I got too fancy with my language. Clearly you have 0 investments now (other than your house), or if you have any, none of the companies you are invested in are doing anything that contributes to the destruction of the middle class, the American way of life, etc.

    The company N is interviewing with is in no way profiting from/accelerating/enabling the current destruction/restructuring of society. Or maybe it is and he’s just doing it to negotiate a higher salary at his current job.

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    1. This company is currently hiring American. But there won’t be any Americans to hire soon enough. At my university, the math program only exists as long as we get enough foreign students. The ones educated in the US simply don’t know enough math when they come to us. Of course, the math department is trying to solve this problem by planning to hire black math professors. In the meantime, the teacher ed program in math has had to cut a bunch of math courses to accommodate the state-mandated CRT courses. So we are graduating more teachers who don’t know math and can’t teach it. In turn, they’ll graduate more students who don’t know math. Then those students will come to us and we’ll cut more math courses to make space for more CRT to correct this systemic injustice. And so on.

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  2. Look, I completely agree that what you’re describing is a disaster. The woke religion is opium for the people (while society is being destroyed), and you’re not part of that.

    As consumers in today’s market economy, most of us are selling our souls/future for convenience, though. Using big tech’s “free” services and paying others for their products/services is what gives them power.

    Not contributing to the destruction of society requires personal sacrifices at almost any step. When it comes to corporations, that means not using their products and not working for them.

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    1. Of course, one could embrace the “Benedict Option” and withdraw from society. For all the good that would do. Or one could stay and try to change things. The only reason these bastards are winning is because we have ceded the high moral ground to them. That’s what we need to reclaim. It’s not a foregone conclusion that they will win. They only have the upper hand because we’ve collectively agreed with their premises. Let’s stop agreeing.

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  3. “The professional class is not holding up its end of the bargain”

    Very well put. I wonder how much longer before they end up like Latin American elites – holed up in armed fortresses afraid to walk outside (yet unwilling to make their countries more just so they wouldn’t have to fear so much).

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    1. It’s going to be worse thsn that because LatAm elites have the US to go to spend, enjoy, send their kids to study. Where are the US elites going to go for all this? Bogotá? These are really stupid people.

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