Thursday, August 1, 2013

Careers for people who are not computer scientists

I am taking a class on edX.org in Software As A Service, concentrating on Agile development and Ruby On Rails programming. I won't bore my non-tech readers with my adventures in server administration, because I'm fascinated here by a comment my instructor made intended to sell us on what a great job being a developer is. We are number 1 in pay and prestige according to a source he glossed over - doctors are third! Down at the very bottom are lumberjacks (kill trees to provide our wood products) and journalists (expose injustice, oppression and abuse of power), which got a good laugh from the class.
Well, I don't think the entire world is going to become part of the Matrix in my lifetime, and I think there are plenty of non-dev jobs that will exist, as long as we understand the basic needs of our dev overlords:
They need to go to the bathroom and bathe, so we need plumbers to ensure their toilet, shower, sink et al functions, not to mention civil engineers and chemists to get the water out of the lakes and rivers to their mansions. And people to build the mansion in the first place, actually.
They need to eat, so we need farmers to grow and kill their food and drive it in from the exotic climes of Wisconsin, Cambodia and the middle of the ocean. And of course, Colombia. The lab-grown meat, GMO plants and manufactured nutrition beverages will actually be for the non-coding rabble; the upper class is about having a more demanding palate, of course.
And of course, since most of these coding cognoscenti will be educated idiots who can't operate a stove, there will be a massive industry for restaurants and cafes, and employment for staff to serve their masters and - in the oldest customer service tradition - be their emotional punching bags.
As for those doctors and lawyers, they will continue to exist and rake up the big bucks, because when you are gravely ill or facing prison, you will sell your house to avoid that fate, and doctors and lawyers know this. And sometimes a coder will fall ill from lack of sunlight and physical activity, or forget that some laws apply to her or him (and that their clients and customers do have these old fashioned things called rights) and the doctor and lawyer must be called on to assist.
And finally, they need to be amused, whether with music to help them navigate a harsh debugging phase or TV shows/movies at the end of a 70+ hour work week, royalty have always required their jesters and that will not change, either. And though most shows and tunes are in some way computer generated, they will always need that fresh human touch to become magic. And that touch comes from creative people - actors, designers, writers, directors, and composers who all know the best stories come from people who are freaks, outcasts and in any way different. The truck drivers, chefs, plumbers and plantation strongmen who know that as useful as a computer is, the best thing you can do with it to improve your life...is to turn it off.


...after you're done with homework.

Fat People in Their Underwear: A Critical Discourse

In case it wasn't obvious, I want to take shots at some more whimsical topics that in some way, shape, or form are important. So let's kick it off with a 3 point observation:
  • I have had crushes on fat girls.
  • I want more than anything else to lose weight.
  • These two concepts are not mutually exclusive.
Ready?
OK, so I knew to talk about the current trend of "fat shaming" and "size acceptance" that seems to be on everyone's mind, I would need to open up about me and something I don't like to talk about on the PERMANENT RECORD that is the internet, namely my sexuality. I deal, why can't you?
I desire, need and lust after women of all different sizes and shapes, be they fit or "curvy" or maybe the two extremes. So needless to say, I was delighted to learn through sheer research that Facebook and Pinterest have exploded with some feeds and blogs and whatever they're called showcasing all the different female sizes there are to admire. The links go to external sites, as I would rather not fish for traffic by posting racy pictures all over my blog. Besides, I expect my readers to be able to read a paragraph. /offtopic
And not only are there plenty of solo shots, there are plenty of couples shots, foreplay and afterplay, and shots of men of all different body types too.
Oops, actually, the last six words of that sentence are a lie. Every single one of the men showcases are ripped with six-pack abs and bulging chests and biceps and perfectly sculpted, pouty-lipped faces.
Now I'm confused. I thought this was about accepting all body shapes, of accepting that a person is great despite his body flaws and that those flaws are what makes us all special and incredible and - oh, I see. It's only WOMEN who get to feel loved and admirable no matter what, while men can only feel loved and admirable if they are perfect looking.
On these pages, there is a lot of venom towards skinny girls as well. Why don't we call these models 'minus-size' if these models have to be plus size, they lament in the discussion areas. Yes, I'm also baffled as to why plus implies a bad thing. And I'm troubled to see images of thin models being crossed out and defaced - a mark in the sand, a line one side is daring another side to cross. It's a scene I see constantly in the fight against racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, and all those related quests for equal rights for all. And it never ends well.
(They all have one thing in common - in any good conflict, there has to be a villain, and the villain in all these cases looks like me. Which isn't a fair situation to be in when I'm just going to my job.)

So, the deal with me and fat is, over the course of a year I lost 22 pounds. I consider it an important achievement in my life, albeit an unfinished one. I bottomed out at 227 pounds when I really should be 215 or less. I dream of writing that NO LONGER OBESE post, but it seems as far in the distance as ever. My career and existence basically revolves around being on the computer, so opportunities to work out are scarce. I compromise by aiming for 1200 calories every day, and it works. Or has worked until now.
Point is, where is fat shaming when I need it?! Why am I being told to stop "punishing" myself for desiring to eat less, be more disciplined and slightly resemble those pouty-lipped hunks the woman I like dreams about? I want to succeed! And I want motivation to remind me that I have a mission that is unfinished. Can't I have that? Or is that a hate crime now? Are sites like My Fitness Pal and SlimKicker and Fitocracy going to be banned under these latest accusations of insensitivity and other thoughtcrimes? I hope not.
Well, this blog post stressed me out. I think a walk is in order.