Sunday, November 30, 2014

plus ça change

Gauguin wrote to van Gogh: mon cher Vincent
van Gogh to Gauguin: mon cher Gauguin

So lovely.

van Gogh to Gauguin of discussions with Theo, 3 October 1888:

Dans ces discussions il s’est souvent agi de ce qui nous tient si fort au coeur à mon frere comme à moi, des mesures à prendre pour sauvegarder l’existence materielle des peintres et de sauvegarder les moyens de production (couleurs, toiles) et de sauvegarder à eux directement leur part dans le prix  que ne prennent leurs tableaux actuellement que longtemps après avoir cessé d’etre la propriété des artistes.

In these discussions, it was often a matter of the thing that’s so dear to our hearts, both my brother’s and mine, the steps to be taken in order to preserve the financial existence of painters, and to preserve the means of production (colours, canvases), and to preserve directly to them their share in the price that their paintings at present fetch only when they have long ceased to be the property of the artists.
[translation borrowed from out of sheer sloth]

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

not enough letters

The general problem for lack of analytic talent, and for employers as well as employees wasting tons of time in fruitless job interviews, is well illustrated when you compare resumes and job ads below. One of our readers (look at the comments below) mentioned that the skill R (one of the too most popular programming languages used by data scientists, the other one being Python) is never picked up by automated search tools used by recruiters to parse resumes, because it's just one letter. So it does not matter if you have R or not in your resume, if the hiring comparing uses poor automated filtering tools to narrow down on candidates with desired skills, such as (especially and ironically) R.

Vincent Granville, Why Companies Can't Find Analytic Talent

Saturday, November 22, 2014


Rereading correspondence with Mithridates. It occurs to me that I could have posted much more regularly on pp if I had simply copied choice extracts from my emails to my very dear friend M (the correspondence is up to 1000 emails or so). 

Thought of the day. (The day is June 2, 2008.)

I sometimes think about the morbidity rate of particular topics of research. You know when one dreams up a topic one's supposed to make a case that it is underresearched.  Could be there are topics that kill off researchers.  Could be that phalanxes of young graduate students have tackled topics that required them to read Aurora Leigh. Only to get halfway through Aurora Leigh and succumb to horror at the futility of it all.  I can't do this any more, they think, and walk away - leaving the topic underresearched, a temptation to future unsuspecting victims. 

A topic deserving research in its own right, clearly.