Friday, January 05, 2007

Personnel Shakeup

"on break"
In the spirit of making personnel changes, I burned some gallons razzing out to Fry's this afternoon, only to find the HP Duo Core in question was all sold out at the newspaper advertised price. I came home sans KTU3, the planned replacement for KTU2, overdue for retirement, ever since the Yeti Bubbles incident.

Otherwise, it was another typical day in the neighborhood: long brightly lit hallways, concrete echoing stairwells, windowed and windowless offices, and cafeterias (two of them, a slice of pie both times, getting some on my newly dry cleaned suit jacket -- but it came off easily).

We talked about New Mexico some more, amidst the usual day job SQL chatter re pulling lesion-device pairs for outcomes research purposes (the patients stay anonymous, but devices have serial numbers, and we need to know which work the best -- an empirical question).

Derek is a member of my personnel search committee, and counseled doing a wider search among candidates, and working backwards with a specific end use envisioned (we used to give this same advice in CUE days).

But this isn't a typical upgrade. KTU2 is severely handicapped, yet I think might be destined for greatness as a future Linux box, as the crossed wires are all in the software. But we're not about to wipe this hobbled energy slave clean, without some backwardly compatible KTU3 in the picture.

Regarding the new public school TV shows, we're still exploring the issue of "what tracks?" Pure mathematicians often chafe about how their discipline gets mangled in K-12, and we've historically made them stuff those concerns, because there just weren't enough hours in a day to make "pure math" a reasonable use of Johnny's or Jennifer's time.

But now, with all the unused media capability, plus asynchronous scheduling solutions (for "time shifting" as we say in the industry), we suddenly see room for greenfield development in this area.

Let the purist mathematicians have their own channel or channels why not? What's the harm?

Then the other disciplines, which use math without being math, don't have to worry about Jennifer and Johnny not getting it straight from the horse's mouth as it were.

They (the other channelists) will soon feel more free to share their "bent takes," wherein the math comes across as deliberately nonstraight, will not have to take so much guff for hogging the limelight.

The more puritanical straight shooters, the "tell it like it really is" crowd, will finally have a place in the sun, an unobstructed curriculum track, complete with with its own advancement criteria, and with a target demographic reaching all the way back to the primary school level.

Such Math Channel programming might seamlessly blend with the more normally twisted fare, with students free to switch tracks more or less at will. This is not a "one size fits all" solution, is instead a strategy for offering more choices.

Let's take quality of life enhancing advantage of all these new tools, why not? And open source will play a huge role in getting these goods delivered (already is playing a huge role).