meep (meep) wrote,


1. Coke is bringing TAB back, except it's nothing like TAB. First off, no saccharine. Secondly, it's pink. Thirdly, it's being marketed as a low-calorie energy drink and is fortified with 3 B vitamins.

Quick review: too sweet. And it's pink. The only reason I'm drinking it is we got a free sample with our last FreshDirect shipment.

1.5 I did not see my shadow this morning.

2. Why education is productive: a matter of self-identification. It is true that I did buy into the "you're smart, so you should get a PhD" drive, which I finally rejected after failing to achieve the degree (sour grapes? Who cares.)

One of the comments mentions the founders of Google, and not knowing enough to make a search engine if they had not gone to college, etc. Thing is, that's obsolete nowadays. You can learn linear algebra on your own now, for example: there's so many =free= resources out there -- mathworld, Wikipedia, and my favorite: OpenCourseWare at MIT. Yes, lots of people need external help in learning this stuff, but there are plenty more who can learn it on their own. And you've got access to curricula of various programs around the world, so you can follow what seems pertinent to one's aims.

For example, I've been learning a lot more subsampling techniques for Monte Carlo over the past year from going to OCW and reading papers in actuarial journals. Heck, the actuarial education model is one of self-education. I've learned the value of getting extra study manuals and going to seminars, but the bulk of the work of learning is done on one's own. If I get stuck on something, I can go to the Actuarial Outpost and find someone who can explain it to me.

The main thing at the higher levels is knowing where to go to find information and being able to use it once you find it. This does take a certain amount of education (I learned search techniques in elementary school with the old card catalogs - that was good training.) But it doesn't take a grad school education.

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