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April 03, 2003

Shout out to the geeks

I'm reading O'Reilly's Information Architecture for the World Wide Web by Rosenfeld & Morville. Right now, I seem to be having flashbacks set in college back when I was thumbing through my roommate's 'business management' books-I mean, people teach this crap? I feel like I'm reading that $7 paper-back book titled 'How to pick stocks to make you a millionaire!'. Yeah, I know, I'm just not seeing the forest from the trees....

On a related greek-frustration note, my local library spent 3 days upgrading their catalog while I was up in Portland. Well, the user-interface is better, but the queries now take a million years! I really want to see the raw SQL-because simple searches shouldn't take 20 seconds! I asked a librarian and she gave me a blank look-she just noted that they had spent a lot of money "improving" the system. To all the geeks out there, I am thinking they didn't index shit.

Posted by razib at 05:26 AM




"Right now, I seem to be having flashbacks set in college back when I was thumbing through my roommate's 'business management' books-I mean, people teach this crap?"

Somebody should write a book about the convergence of inspirational ideas in investment handbooks, management handbooks, new age thinking, self-help books, romance novels, prosperity theology and charismatic Christianity, futurology, pyramid-scam religions (Scientology, the Moonies), and so on.

This country really is going crazy. You have this mix of desperation and wishfulness by people who in most cases are doing very, very well by any objective historical standard.

This may go beyond what you were saying about management textbooks, but a lot of people in high management positions seem at times to be at about the same level of rationality as the janitors I see playing the lottery according to their "systems".

On a more overtly political note, some of the defense strategists seem to be part of this world. Newt gingrich talks that language, and apparently he's been very influential in the strategic world.

Posted by: zizka at April 3, 2003 10:07 AM


May I ask, Razib, if you were clear that you were speaking to a librarian, and not someone who works at the circulation desk, or is a reference assistant? I ask because, as a librarian, I know that most patrons see anyone who works in a library as a "librarian," as if we were all fungible units. Granted, good libraries cross train so that we can all perform library functions, but I would be surprised if an honest-to-goodness MLS-toting "librarian" didn't know at least the basics about his or her OPAC. If indeed this were the case, next time ask to speak to someone in technical services, any of whom would fall all over herself (usually) to describe the catalog, warts and all, in loving detail.

Posted by: Brandy at April 3, 2003 11:13 AM


i asked (live 1 block from the library). it was a volunteer. thanks for being on my ass :)

PS-librarians are some of my best friends

Posted by: razib at April 3, 2003 12:30 PM


I have a geek-related question pertaining to OOP.

I know C++ and Java relatively well for someone with no "real-world" experience, but I don't "really" know them - if you know what i mean. That is, I know how to do something, but not why I'm doing it (whenever i need to accomplish a task in java - i pick up a java book and see how they do it - and then i do it).

This is more of a problem with Java than with C++. I learned Java using JBuilder rather than a console application or a text editor and I think this is the reason.

Anyways, people have recommend I get "Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object Oriented Programming" by Gamma, Helm, Johnson and VLissides and "Java Design Patterns: A Tutorial" By: James William Cooper.

Any recommendations?

Posted by: the alpha male at April 4, 2003 10:11 PM