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Everything posted by dusqi

  1. dusqi


    I am finishing off a PhD in decision making (mix of psychology and behavioural economics). I recommend being ruthless and logical when choosing a degree. In recessionary times it's a mistake to study something for the sake of interest. Find a course that leads to a job; it's the difference between having employers lining up to pay you >£30k/year and having the choice of where to live (engineering, statistics, computer science, pharmacy is a good choice too), and interning for no pay for years wherever you can find a position (psychology). The same applies for studying for a Masters - do your research first. I sat in on an occupational psychology course with more than 150 Masters students in the room, and some occupational psychologists came in from the business world and said that there are around 6 occ psych positions available in the whole of the UK each year. Also, don't believe people who say there's a shortage of people studying this or that (e.g. physics, chemistry). There's only a shortage if physicists or chemists are being paid £30k/year straight out of university and then going on to earn £70k in 5 years. They are not. I lived with some chemists - they are on 6 month temporary contracts paying £18k/year, interspersed with periods of unemployment. For some jobs the people in them seem to get paid a lot (management consultants). This might fool you into thinking there's a shortage. There is not - competition is fierce. Although management consultants are still paid a lot, the downside is that you get worked into the ground because as soon as you let up they'll replace you with someone younger. Some people enjoy it, but others don't want their life to revolve around work for 5 years (it is difficult to imagine how taxing this really is. You'll be moved around the country every 12 weeks, you'll work 12 hours per day for 6 days per week, you won't be able to find a gf/bf because you'll have no time to meet one and no time to keep one if you do meet them. Your old friends will have quaint things like hobbies and houses and family bbqs and kids, and you will not). That's actually a really good reason to study something in demand. It's not just about the salary, it's also about how you're treated. If you have recruiters e-mailing you positions every month, then your employer will treat you with respect. He'll try to make sure you're fulfilled. You'll get special things like free tea/coffee - small things that make a difference. But if your employer feels like he's doing you a favour by letting you work in his firm, then he'll treat you like you're replacable. Think twice about going to grad school: http://100rsns.blogspot.co.uk/ "In 2010, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education, there were 33,655 Americans with doctorates collecting food stamps." There are between 300 and 800 applicants for every tenure-track position in American universities.
  2. Woo Team GB :) Third in the medals table right now
  3. Someone already said that they don't like foreigners talking about US healthcare, so read into this what you will from a Brit... Healthcare has never been something that I ever worried about. None of my friends talk about it. You get ill, you go see a doctor or you go to the hospital, and that's it. Americans talk about co-pays and deductibles and jobs with health insurance and pre-existing conditions and medicare and medicaid and going bankrupt... and it just seems like a huge headache to me. I find it bizarre that Americans apparently like this. There are plenty of stats which say that Americans pay twice as much for their health coverage, and overall they have a lower quality of care. Although... Americans pay such high prices that it subsidizes health research. So you guys pay thousands of dollars for a vaccine that the rest of the world gets for a few hundred. So keep up the good work: world socialized medicine, subsidized by the good ol' USA.
  4. I know you're trying to be a little dramatic here to get him to consider some other possibilities, but c'mon, now you're just making yourself look silly if you really believe this. Mostly I take offense to using the word "idiot" to describe people with differing viewpoints. It's that type of arrogance that makes politics nasty. All of my friends (including me) have jobs thanks, and I also vote (although I do it in the UK). My point was that the Internet is homogeneous, so if you want to get an idea of the types of views people actually have and where they get their information from then you do have to "leave the house". My experience is that despite the occasional troll online, offline you'd be surprised how many people have ridiculously stupid opinions (on all sorts of issues). So, I'm calling them stupid not because they're conservative (you assumed that), but because they don't use the Internet so they probably don't have political debates and instead they get their political views from celebrities, sitcoms, or reality TV. That's really another assumption, but I understand where you are coming from. This really has nothing to do with Conservatism or Liberalism, (after all, I personally identify as a British Conservative, and I'm here), but rather to do with the quality of the sources that people get their political opinions from. Debating with real people who can answer back is strictly a better source than TV or any one-way media. The movement of the internet up the generations will eventually mean that we can be online and get the full spectrum of opinion, not only from the youth, but from the experienced. This will take time, and can't be accelerated in any meaningful way, but it is improving. Exactly. The Internet is full of debate, and usually people are encouraged to give their view point (it annoys me when I read a news article online and it doesn't have a comments section). One-way media is very limiting and I think it leads to all sorts of strange opinions because people have a view point that they never tell to anyone, so it never undergoes any critique. Then they get to the ballot box and vote for a party for a bizarre reason. For example, when I talk to real life people who aren't particularly interested in politics, they'll say things like "he looks nice" or "he's a Muslim" (in the case of Obama, which is obviously untrue). That's how they decided who to vote for: looks and lies. So I find it a bit disheartening to sit on the Internet and have reasoned debate, and then realise that an overwhelming majority of the population votes based on ridiculous reasons. I'm not sure what to do about it. Anyway, that has been a bit of a cynical aside. Feel free to continue your election talk :)
  5. I know you're trying to be a little dramatic here to get him to consider some other possibilities, but c'mon, now you're just making yourself look silly if you really believe this. Mostly I take offense to using the word "idiot" to describe people with differing viewpoints. It's that type of arrogance that makes politics nasty. All of my friends (including me) have jobs thanks, and I also vote (although I do it in the UK). My point was that the Internet is homogeneous, so if you want to get an idea of the types of views people actually have and where they get their information from then you do have to "leave the house". My experience is that despite the occasional troll online, offline you'd be surprised how many people have ridiculously stupid opinions (on all sorts of issues). So, I'm calling them stupid not because they're conservative (you assumed that), but because they don't use the Internet so they probably don't have political debates and instead they get their political views from celebrities, sitcoms, or reality TV.
  6. Here is my experience of politics on the Internet: I sit around, debate a few issues, and feel like 90% of the people around me, including my friends, all have the same views. Then an election happens and the party that doesn't share my views gets voted in. Moral of the story? Non-Internet users are idiots, and don't waste your time preaching to the converted.
  7. dusqi


    Start planning for the end of college straight away. Getting an internship in the summer of first year is important in order that you can get a better one at the end of second year, in order that you can get a job by the end of third year.
  8. Hai Wyrmy, Lead, Oregg (I still spell your name like the American lady pronounced it... I don't even remember who the American lady was now), MPM, 1 man army. Mad pretty much summed up my current life - PhD in the psychology of decision-making hopefully finishing around December (always good fun to have a laugh at the bad decisions that people make), and run an FB app that tests personality (also a good laugh :P ). Technically I never left tip.it, although I only post a few times a year. I have found it fascinating to read about what people are doing nowadays!! If you dropped them then they'd disappear :P Otherwise people could trade unfairly by dropping an item and having their friend pick it up.
  9. Hiya, I remember you :) matt and mad are still around, but not really here. try the book of faces or the twitterosphere.
  10. This topic inspired me to check my old RS pics. I found one with a tip.it forum in the background from March 2002. Of course, even then this was on tip.it's second board, hosted at dk3, with horrible JavaScript adverts everywhere that followed you down the page. So the true old-schoolers came before this. And yes, that is me talking to Paul Gower on Easter 2002 (top right of the screen in red and black), when he was going through the servers running a command to drop the rare item Easter Eggs. Back then, he had to log into each server in turn and run an admin command to drop the item randomly around. That meant that the smart people would grab as many of the rare item on the first server as possible, then bank them, and switch to the next server in order to get some more ;) I have another screenshot of Paul complaining that all of his friends list were following him from server to server ;) Good times... I challenge anyone to out-oldschool this picture :) (using their own screenshot :P ) Edit: what's hardest to believe is that my screen was so small. I guess that it was 15 inches back then. How did we live? :P
  11. Lots of stuff here that I strongly disagree with. I am told that banks take a student loan into account when they decide whether to give you a mortgage or not. Obviously, they know that everything you earn over £15k (in future £21k) will be reduced by 9%. So, £30,000 really means £28.65k. So, pretending that a student loan won't affect your finances isn't true. Also, personal finances are all about the edges. Most people have essentially fixed costs that they can't easily avoid, like rent and council taxes, and bills like electricity and gas. Once you work out what people have left over after these are paid, there's only a few hundred pounds here or there each month. Therefore, an extra 9% tax through a student loan does make a substantial difference and could make the difference between, for example, being able to afford to have children or not. People often say that there will be fewer mickey mouse degrees and people should go and learn a trade. Normally though, the assumption is that it will be someone else learning a trade, because we all think we're smart enough (or our kids are smart enough, or we're rich enough) that this won't actually affect us. Anyway, teaching a narrow skill set isn't the way to get an adaptable workforce. There's no point someone learning a skill that later becomes obselete and then they can't or don't want to re-skill. That's the problem the UK had in the 1970s and 1980s. Instead, get someone to learn some fundamentals so that they can later pick up whatever job the economy requires. That means that all those history graduates, who know how to critique information, how to bring lots of disparate contradictory information together into a coherent whole, how to spend time on their own doing a long project, how to find and store information methodically, how to write clearly and concisely (etc.) - they will be able to change with the times because those fundamental skills will always be needed. But the man who knows how to fix a CRT television is out of a job. The fact is, we'll never know what the future will bring, so there's no way we can predict what skills we'll require next decade or even next year. There are often news articles about shortages of teachers, and then 2 years later there are news articles about gluts of teachers. This is because the government doesn't even know how many teachers it will need in 2 years time so it trains too few or too many. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-11989773 "Changes made by the government to university tuition fees in England are as likely to cost public money as save it, experts say. The Higher Education Policy Institute (Hepi) re-evaluated the plans in light of concessions made shortly before MPs voted in favour of raising annual fees to up to £9,000. It concluded that if any savings were made, they would be marginal." You say that economics will encourage economic growth, it's a shame they're not funding economics then, since it's a social science......... The other aspect of this that commenters seem to miss is that science, technology, engineering and maths degrees will still cost the same as other degrees. Tuition fees for them are still being tripled. Sure, they are being subsidised, but because they cost more the price is still £9k. So, it's not as if the government is encouraging anyone to do these degrees - relative to the cost of other degrees nothing has changed. An interesting addendum to this is that the university will be liable for the costs of providing free education to students from poor backgrounds. This is actually a disincentive for universities to try and widen participation. I read an article saying that under this scheme, Cambridge University would have to pay £150k/year towards these poor students' education, but some ex-polytechnics would be paying £750k/year. Two points here: 1) Why should I fund someone to do A-Level history or AS-Level politics then? What about GCSE geography? In fact, I don't care if other people's kids can read or not - why do I have to fund school literacy? Why don't we get kids doing properly useful things, like cleaning chimneys and making shoes? 2) The 'current economic climate' argument is lies to hide ideological changes. The UK government already spends less on university education than most governments in the OECD. If they can afford to increase university spending then why are we cutting?
  12. To get the billions of dollars, all we need for you to do is send $10m to cover the cost of the transaction. This is payable to the Bank of Nigeria....
  13. "A real psychological personality questionnaire used in actual scientific research" http://apps.facebook.com/mypersonality (my actual scientific research) ;)
  14. I think guns are special because of the ease with which someone can kill someone else (intentionally or by mistake). It's relatively difficult to do with a knife.
  15. 2 seconds... which is still 2 seconds less than it takes you to get at your gun wherever you have it, aim and fire. Oh, that's right, you're the hero that can quick draw, aim at the head, and save the day.
  16. Probably making sure that his response will agree with what the DNC and his professors tell him to believe. On-Topic: On the issue of guns in the United States, if they were made illegal, criminals would still find ways to obtain them. This means that the only citizens with guns would be criminals, while we, the law abiding citizens, would have no means to defend ourselves from them. The only thing this would prevent would be a scenario such as "Kid X is bullied by kid Y. Kid X goes and grabs his dad's gun and shoots kid Y." I live near Detroit and these types of situations are rare even around here, so I'm pretty sure it's irrelevant. I would argue that outlawing guns in America would only lead to more crime. If totally outlawed, criminals would obtain them via Mexico and sell them for massive profits throughout the country. This would lead to something similar ot prohibition. In this case, criminals would know that a family living in that "fancy house down the street" would be defenseless from a break-in (with the exception of the police who take no fewer than 15 minutes to arrive). Because of this widespread gun problem that would happen, most likely, police would take longer to arrive. It would just turn into an expensive government program to find and destroy guns. Double the awful. However, I also believe better restrictions on guns should be in place (don't sell them to someone who just left prison, for example). It seems illogical that someone who already proved their willingness to break the law in the past should hold the ability to purchase a firearm. Obviously, laws such as that do exist, they're just not enforced... Now, you may sight Canada as an example as to why I'm wrong. Canada isn't bordered by a country virtually in anarchy at the moment. Also take into consideration that President Obama has already proved his apathy towards illegal immigration, meaning he would never support laws enforcing stronger border searches. While my family doesn't own any guns (nor do I plan on owning any), we do live in a fairly safe area. Those who actually need guns for safety (who live in dangerous areas), should have that ability. US has a high murder rate: http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_mur_percap-crime-murders-per-capita (3 times higher than the UK) US has a high firearm death rate, which is correlated with % gun ownership: http://www.gun-control-network.org/GF01.htm I'm sure you think that's due to the "anarchic" country on your southern border, or immigrants, or poor people in gangs, or something else. But I think its because of all the guns. In the UK the criminals have guns, but they rarely use them or even carry them because the vast majority of criminals don't actually want to shoot anyone. They may have some remaining morals, they probably do not want to be tried for murder, and they certainly don't want the police to go after them (because murders are important enough to investigate). As someone without a gun, you do have a way to "defend" yourself - you call the police (who are trained to use guns) and perhaps they eventually catch them. Leave it to the professionals. People see too many movies where random hot girls are given a gun by the hero, and they end up saving the day by shooting the bad guy. People think they could be the hero.
  17. Surely the state should protect all citizens (or, in other words, everyone should be obligated to pay). Fire protection is a public good because it's usually impossible to let only selected houses burn. I guess that in rural areas where houses are further apart that's less of an issue, but it still seems to me that it'd be simpler to just make it part of the property taxes that everyone has to pay. But, since there is an insurance system, I agree with the firemen. If he doesn't pay the fee, he shouldn't be protected. No one likes a freeloader.
  18. Heh, you people talking about how 35 is too old. I am 24 now and am only beginning to begin to think about kids as a serious proposition maybe one day in the far future. When you're mid twenties and know it will be years until you have a stable job and a home conducive to bringing up a child, then you won't think that 35 is too old any more. I can easily see how someone could get to 40, spending all of their time and energy on their career, and suddenly realise that perhaps it's time to have a kid.
  19. As a British person, let me say: ?? In school I learned nothing at all about the American revolution. If you are implying that in the UK we spend a lot of time wishing that we still owned America, then you're mistaken :) It just isn't a big part of the 2500 years of British history we learned about. Obviously it's important to America, and it's right that you should learn about it in depth, but it is not true that British people discuss it in class and come to a pro-colonial view (we don't discuss it at all). I would expect that British people know almost nothing about it.
  20. If America started paying less for drugs, I wonder if it would have effects elsewhere. Perhaps Americans are subsidising drug research by paying high prices, which countries with government healthcare then free ride off for cheap. So nice of the Americans so show some socialist spirit :)
  21. Hah.. wow.. 300k people. Good luck with that.
  22. I think it's cool that you updated. Often people post things and then disappear, so we never get to find out what happened. Keep it up! :)
  23. dusqi


    I'm a grad student. I've never had a non-casual job (I did do random shifts in a place that made e-learning programs). I run my own business. My "claim to fail" is getting turned down from a supermarket job after interviewing. That was many years ago now.
  24. Your degrees are 4 years so that's an extra year anyway. British degrees concentrate on depth rather than breadth. The reason for that is that American universities want to make as much tuition money as possible, so the longer they have their students messing around studying Philosophy when they ultimately major in Chemical Engineering, the more money they get. British universities are largely funded by the taxpayer, so the government wants to get students in and out as soon as they can, and there's no time for messing around trying out other things.
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