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Skott Klebe
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I thought that the first two-thirds of this one were decent. Since you've been teasing out your reaction, I'm dying to know what you thought of the last third.
Toggle Commented Jul 9, 2012 on Spidey Thought Number Three at Lance Mannion
What Chomsky and Zinn thought about LOTR. Or should have. Or would have, if they'd ever had time. Continue reading
Posted Aug 12, 2010 at Skott with a K
is my new hero. I wish that I could say I've handled my leg surgeries of the last couple of years with the grace and bravery he demonstrates in handling a second cancer diagnosis on the heels of a crushing round of chemo. Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2010 at Skott with a K
From SMBC.Viz., a) Bentham, here, b) having to explain prisoner's dilemma in order to explain the categorical imperative, and c) the phrase "categorical imperative." Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2010 at Skott with a K
Inspired by Wiscon and Sandra McDonald, Mary Robinette Kowal has memed, and I follow. Here's my own list, with a few more added at the end. Bold the women by whom you own books Italicize those by whom you’ve read something of (short stories count) *Star those you don’t recognize [Bracket additional writers that you add to the list] Andre Norton C. L. Moore Evangeline Walton Leigh Brackett Judith Merril Joanna Russ Margaret St. Clair* Katherine MacLean* Carol Emshwiller Marion Zimmer Bradley Zenna Henderson Madeline L’Engle Angela Carter* Ursula LeGuin Anne McCaffrey Diana Wynne Jones Kit Reed* James Tiptree, Jr.... Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2010 at Skott with a K
Oops! Sorry to take so long to notice your comments, the latest example of how I am the World's Worst Blogger. I think that both talent and work are important. The world is full of talented people who accomplish nothing, and hardworking people who accomplish much. Stipulated, and for the purpose of parenting I think that this is the point to emphasize. But that's pedagogy. I'm arguing from the other direction, that the overwhelming importance of effort cannot be proven by pointing at outlying examples of hugely successful people of inordinate talent who were also hard workers. Gladwell cites the Beatles as his example, not to mention Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. I think it's no more than simple nonsense to assert that McCartney, Lennon, Jobs, and Gates had nothing but hard work to distinguish them from their peers. I am certain that there were hundreds of bands we've never heard of who worked as hard as the Beatles did. I have a big problem with any argument which requires one to ignore the plainly obvious. Like Jordan's height, speed, and jumping ability, or McCartney's voice and songwriting chops. I mean, if you deny talent entirely, how do you explain Mozart? I do agree with you that anyone can learn to program, at least at some level. I don't agree that all levels of skill and accomplishment are available to everyone who works hard enough at them. At some point, there just isn't enough time. I don't think that there are hours enough in life for me to master everything that Donald Knuth already had in in his head by his mid-twenties. For that matter, when I was studying calculus at Johns Hopkins on weekends during ninth grade, one of the teachers was a kid my age who'd been a student at Johns Hopkins for at least a year already - during the week. There's at least a triangle of factors - effort, opportunity, and talent. Galileo might have been a freaking amazing computer programmer, but he never had the opportunity. Julius Caesar might have been a terrific NFL quarterback. Dante would have been a popular political pundit on CNN. On the other hand, Ed Wood apparently worked very hard on his movies. He lived for film-making, but never got to be better than appallingly awful. Lord Bulwer-Lytton must have spent an unbelievable amount of time writing his books, sure vastly more than the ten thousand hours Gladwell estimates to be necessary for mastery. Yet mastery was not achieved. I actually agree with this statement: "Everyone can be a contender, but they have to want it badly enough." However, I don't agree with this statement: "So the lesson of talent is that if something is hard when you first try it you shouldn't do it at all." This is a straw-man argument, whose instant refutation in the NBA is probably Ben Wallace. At worst, the lesson of talent is close to the opposite: there are bright people who are horribly underutilized all over the world, due to a lack of effort, or ambition, or training, nutrition, or economic opportunity. Or luck.
Toggle Commented Jun 4, 2010 on Self-Refuting Arguments at Skott with a K
http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/04/26/the-science-of-genius-a-qa-with-author-david-shenk/ When you look very closely at Jordan’s life, you see a rather ordinary teenage athlete with no particularly grand ambition until about mid-way through high school. (Don’t take my word for it – read David Halberstam’s Playing For Keeps.) After the deep disappointment of not making the varsity team, Jordan developed an unparalleled ambition that quite simply dwarfed that of his schoolmates in high school and later his teammates at the University of North Carolina. Jordan’s abilities developed according to what he demanded of himself. I think that this a particularly naive, or absurdly contrarian, dismissal of the importance... Continue reading
Posted Apr 27, 2010 at Skott with a K
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That the Monday after CansecWest, there shall be a patch for Apple Safari. And so there was. Continue reading
Posted Mar 29, 2010 at Skott with a K
[Reposted from my old blog.]Chris thought it would be really cool to get five fictional characters into the same room for a dinner party. 1. Sabriel (from Garth Nix's novel of the same name. Chris has a thing for brooding female necromancers). 2. Pepper (from Tobias Buckell's novels. <raising mug/>get well soon, Tobias) 3. Takeshi Kovacs (from Richard Morgan's novels--leave the interface guns at home, they just make you twitchy)4. Paul Atreides (from Dune, Frank Herbert) 5. Joanna Lander (from Connie Willis' Passage) Unfortunately, Chris, this isn't nearly as good an idea as it sounds. As it happens, I was... Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2010 at Skott with a K
[Reposted from my old blog.] My good friend Pyegar sent me this fascinating article about Robert Johnson, Charlie Patton, and the Romantic notion of authorship. I was totally buying the argument until I listened to the two clips. Then thinking about the clips made me go back over the argument. I don’t know, maybe they’re trying to make isn’t as strong as the point as I initially thought they were trying to make. First, the clips: Stipulate, before I say anything else, that the Robert Johnson track was a) probably better recorded in the first place, and b) received tons... Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2010 at Skott with a K
Top 5 favorites. 5. Radio Freefall and Halting State represent reasonable near-future advances over current tech. Radio Freefall anticipates strong AI evolving out of strong DRM, which may be a wholly original concept. 4. Shockwave Rider is amazing; in his best work, John Brunner saw further into the future, with greater depth and accuracy, than anyone else I've ever read. Writing in a time where there was exactly no individual ownership of computers, he envisioned a future where: a few talented practitioners were capable of wreaking enormous harm on individuals, corporations, and governments using only network technology; identity theft was... Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2010 at Skott with a K
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Mar 15, 2010
I’ve blogged irregularly for years. Or, to put it another way, I’ve posted a hundred or more times over the last five years, which is almost like not blogging at all. My old blog is at Textiplication. I’ll keep that up until this one replaces it as the top link for Skott Klebe, Skott, and skottk. In the past, I’ve never focused on a consistent theme. At SkottK, I plan to blog about security, science fiction and fantasy, and writing. I am employed as the information security manager for a small company in New England. Any moderately diligent search will... Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2010 at Skott with a K
Getting tired of hosting my own Wordpress. Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2010 at Skott with a K