What is something about your profession that people don't understand?

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Winterbay_
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Re: What is something about your profession that people don't understand?

Post by Winterbay_ » Thu Aug 06, 2020 1:42 pm

As a toxicologist my main gripe is that people don't understand that just because something is natural that doesn't automatically make it healthier/safer or for that matter better for the environment than a synthetic alternative.

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Martin Blank
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Re: What is something about your profession that people don't understand?

Post by Martin Blank » Thu Aug 06, 2020 3:06 pm

My favorite thing to point out to people that prefer natural over synthetic is that arsenic is very commonly naturally available in water sources, and that drinking natural well water has slowly killed millions over the millennia.
If I show up at your door, chances are you did something to bring me there.

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Re: What is something about your profession that people don't understand?

Post by Deacon » Thu Aug 06, 2020 4:17 pm

gravity wrote:
Thu Aug 06, 2020 1:27 pm
Norphus wrote:
Thu Aug 06, 2020 11:03 am

6) Seriously, if you ask me to fix your computer again, I'm going to break your legs.
Don't break their legs. If you break their legs they can't walk away and leave you alone.
She’s right. Break their fingers. It’s more inconvenient for them and makes it harder for them to call, text, or email you.
The follies which a man regrets the most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity. - Helen Rowland, A Guide to Men, 1922

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auntmousie
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Re: What is something about your profession that people don't understand?

Post by auntmousie » Thu Aug 06, 2020 4:22 pm

I never was a programmer, but I grew up with one, and also worked with several in my first career.

One of my favorite anecdotal stories involves a catch-all error code. Naturally, any sufficiently complex program will have at least some way of telling you why it's crashing before it outright crashes - and just as naturally, it's up to the programmers to make that happen. This particular instance involved some kind of SQL database application, and since the lead programmer had been working with SQL databases for something approximating "forever," many, many different errors were correctly anticipated. Way down at the bottom of the error list - if you managed to crash the code in a way he didn't anticipate - was the default miscellaneous error message. But no one saw it in beta testing.

In fact, the first time it came up was a year after release, when a customer called the developer:

"Hi, my database just came up with an error code that says, 'Bummer dude, call Daryl.'"

Punchline: By that time Daryl didn't work there anymore...
When all is said and done, more is generally said than is done.
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Re: What is something about your profession that people don't understand?

Post by raptor9k » Thu Aug 06, 2020 6:26 pm

Yep. I've seen a few of those. Every now and then I'll intentionally throw an exception in a condition I'd never expect to happen with something along the lines of 'KABOOOOM' or 'This should never happen', but I always scrub them before I commit the code.

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Re: What is something about your profession that people don't understand?

Post by Rorschach » Thu Aug 06, 2020 6:47 pm

Daryl didn't work there anymore
Daryl used to work on the second flooooor.

Ahem. Bit of an age detector there.
To Let

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Re: What is something about your profession that people don't understand?

Post by BtEO » Thu Aug 06, 2020 7:24 pm

Another alternative to error handling is to disguise it as something useful in release code:

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Deacon
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Re: What is something about your profession that people don't understand?

Post by Deacon » Fri Aug 07, 2020 6:30 am

BtEO wrote:
Thu Aug 06, 2020 7:24 pm
Another alternative to error handling is to disguise it as something useful in release code:
That was awesome.
The follies which a man regrets the most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity. - Helen Rowland, A Guide to Men, 1922

Winterbay_
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Re: What is something about your profession that people don't understand?

Post by Winterbay_ » Fri Aug 07, 2020 7:59 am

Martin Blank wrote:
Thu Aug 06, 2020 3:06 pm
My favorite thing to point out to people that prefer natural over synthetic is that arsenic is very commonly naturally available in water sources, and that drinking natural well water has slowly killed millions over the millennia.
I mean, lead is a very natural metal, but you don't want it anywhere near inside your body or you can end up believing that QAnon has uncovered something real...
Also, some of the most toxic substances known to humankind are natural (and one of them is used to selectively kill off nerve cells in beauty salons, cf botox).

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Re: What is something about your profession that people don't understand?

Post by Norphus » Fri Aug 07, 2020 5:51 pm

A wasp sting is 100% natural but that doesn’t mean I want one anywhere near me.

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auntmousie
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Re: What is something about your profession that people don't understand?

Post by auntmousie » Fri Aug 07, 2020 6:46 pm

I love that people say they want to avoid chemicals, when literally everything is chemicals...
When all is said and done, more is generally said than is done.
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Re: What is something about your profession that people don't understand?

Post by az_vede » Mon Aug 10, 2020 2:52 am

my contribution to the thread... as a data analyst, it is WAY easier than people think to do unexpected things with a limited data set if you know the right public data sets to compare it with.
as a security analyst, it is WAY easier to trick experts into doing careless things than most experts give themselves credit for... it's not just the rubes getting popped out there.

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Re: What is something about your profession that people don't understand?

Post by az_vede » Mon Aug 10, 2020 4:21 am

Norphus wrote:
Fri Aug 07, 2020 5:51 pm
A wasp sting is 100% natural but that doesn’t mean I want one anywhere near me.
seen any of the videos of the guy who self-classifies the pain scale of ants wasps and bees? XD

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Martin Blank
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Re: What is something about your profession that people don't understand?

Post by Martin Blank » Mon Aug 10, 2020 7:05 am

az_vede wrote:
Mon Aug 10, 2020 2:52 am
my contribution to the thread... as a data analyst, it is WAY easier than people think to do unexpected things with a limited data set if you know the right public data sets to compare it with.
I point this out in my pharma clients all the time.

Client: "We anonymize our data!"
Me: "Have you seen this paper about why Netflix no longer shares their anonymized data? How many 63-year-old Filipina women do you think there are in rural West Virginia?"
If I show up at your door, chances are you did something to bring me there.

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Re: What is something about your profession that people don't understand?

Post by Winterbay_ » Mon Aug 10, 2020 7:28 am

Saw a post on Twitter recently where they pointed out that while many data collection agencies anonymised data and hashed thing, they all used the exact same hash function so while you couldn't see what email was connected to a certain set of data, you could combine the data by just looking at the hash and see that it was the same.
Anonymised data is fine, until you either zoom too far down (like a company survey where you have a team of 10 and you can relatively easily figure out who it was that had a certain complaint) or just do it plain wrong.

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