Although two-people training is needed for this training, it is not always convenient to arrange for two people and it inevitably causes injury. Just for the purpose of improving response speed, one-person training has its advantage, except that there is lack of such equipment. A possible design is a machine with a flat front plate. Multiple holes are open on the front. From each hole, a rod made of rubber can quickly pop out. The trainee stands close to the machine and has to quickly respond to the protruding rod by either turning his body to avoid it, or catching it with his hand.
Sunday, May 21, 2017
Sunday, October 2, 2016
James Gosling, the creator of the Java programming language, wrote on Facebook that "In the time between Sun and LRI I’d get lines like 'We normally don’t hire people your age, but in your case we might make an exception'". Even a world-class computer programmer is not immune from implicit age discrimination during a job interview. (Or should we call it natural selection in a modern society?) For a long time, I've been thinking of the optimal ages for various professions. They are not necessarily the same as the actual mean ages of the workers in their respective occupations, even though for lack of data, the latter can be substituted as an approximation. For example, the 2015 Labor Department statistics shows that "computer and mathematical occupations" have a mean age of 40.8, and "architecture and engineering occupations" 43.6. But as we all know, IT professionals are much less popular after age 40, or even earlier, while most engineers continue to enjoy their seniority well into 50, simply because the engineering technology is not evolving as fast as computer technology and accumulated personal experience matters.
"Optimal" is in the eyes of the beholder. As a result, no objective measurement may be constructed. Instead, a survey among a large number of employers is needed. As of today, I know of no such data available. But I can imagine that athletes take the youngest extreme, doctors probably take the other, and IT professionals are not too far away from athletes. Each category can be further divided. Shooting athletes don't have to be as young as runners. Database administration is a job well sought after by ageing programmers, for job security as well as a better pay. In China, traditional Chinese doctors (TCM practitioners) will undoubtedly be sitting at the oldest extreme of this age-popularity axis, surpassing non-TCM doctors (called xīyī in Chinese). In all countries, old glass blowers are dearly loved grandpas, who would kindly reject the job offer for a happy retirement life, at least before the time 3-D printing catches up with human glass blowing.
Monday, September 19, 2016
As stated, this process is manual and probably tedious. Fortunately, it is not technically difficult to have it automated. Someone can build one single Web site where the reader can search for the news reports of the same incident on Web sites of different languages. Then the reader can check the most like'ed comments posted by people speaking those languages. This Web site should automatically translate, by way of Google Translate or any online translation engine, the entered keywords and submit them to representative Web sites, such as cnn.com, spiegel.de, elmundo.es, etc. In addition, the Web site should also gather such information from Facebook, where major news medias frequently provide news feeds and readers post comments that by default are already sorted by number of like's.
There are shortcomings in this opinion gathering method and the automation Web site. Although sampling bias is not unique to any specific polling method, it may be particularly evident in this passive sampling. But more importantly, while machine translation as of 2017 can do a good job with well written articles, it struggles with casual writing with spelling or grammatical errors, which a human can easily tolerate. Readers' comments on social networks have so many such errors that a human translator may have to step in to decipher what the passages exactly mean. If necessary, a group of volunteers from different countries have to work on such a Web site. Lastly, the people speaking a specific language are not necessarily of a specific nationality. But that's a minor point.
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