Tired

Today was a not-so-exciting day at work. So unexciting, in fact, that while thinking it over in the shower, I thought, “And why am I doing this again?!?” We’re doing a whole bunch of training right now and dang, is it boring. A little part of me dies inside every time I’m forced to listen to a lecture on something I already know. Case in point: I know what an inverted yield curve is, I know when and why it occurs, and what I don’t need is an hour-long lecture on the subject that does not contribute to my knowledge on the matter whatsoever. Just saying.

No, Alexander Motyl, Putin Hasn’t ‘Lost’ Ukraine

I think only someone truly delusional could believe that Putin has “lost Ukraine” (and one must wonder, what does that phrase even mean?). Alexander J. Motyl, resident pro-Ukrainian Russophobic columnist at World Affairs Journal, is one such delusional person. That’s why I couldn’t resist responding to his latest article, “How Putin Lost Ukraine.” Without further ado.. let’s bring it on!

Putin at his inauguration in 2012, obviously thinking, "Bow to my might, weak Ukraine!" Source.

Putin at his inauguration in 2012, obviously thinking, “Bow to my might, weak Ukraine!” Source.

Half a year ago, in the fall of 2013, Ukraine was well on the way to becoming an authoritarian vassal state of Russia. Now, thanks to Russia’s neo-fascist dictator, Vladimir Putin, Ukraine is well on the way to becoming a democracy and a full-fledged member of the international community.

If by “authoritarian vassal state” you mean “close partner of Russia due to historical and cultural ties,” well, I guess you’re right, Mr. Motyl. Likewise, if by “full-fledged member of the international community” you mean “bankrupt country that leeches off US and IMF aid and is gleefully killing its own citizens in the eastern part,” then, right again!
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News Flash: Kiev Police DIDN’T Kill Protestors in February

Berkut policemen shoot rubber bullets at protestors. Source

Berkut policemen shoot rubber bullets at protestors. Source

Remember those protests in Kiev at the end of last year and earlier this year? Remember how Viktor Yanukovych, the rightful president of Ukraine, was accused of ordering the special police force Berkut to fire on his own people?

Well—surprise, surprise—it turns out that Berkut didn’t kill the protestors after all! A parliamentary commission in Ukraine that is investigating what happened says that the bullets that killed the protestors didn’t match the weapons issued to Berkut.

There is no forensic evidence linking the victims of mass killings in Kiev on February 20 with officers from the Berkut police unit, the head of the parliamentary commission investigating the murders told journalists.

[...]

The MP [Gennady Moskal] made the statements at a media conference on Tuesday gathered to announce preliminary results of his commission’s probe. He assured that despite the Ukrainian General Prosecutor’s office having arrested 12 Berkut officers on allegations of committing the mass killings, forensic evidence suggests their innocence.

He said the bullets that killed people in Kiev on the bloodies day of confrontation between protesters seeking to oust President Viktor Yanukovich and riot police didn’t match any of the firearms issued to Berkut’s special unit, which, unlike the majority of riot police, was allowed to carry lethal weapons.

Moskal added that the first shot was fired at police, not the protesters. He alleged that the shooters were agents of the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) acting from the ranks of the protesters, but admitted that genuine protesters could have been the culprits.

[...]

The sniper case is one of the hottest issues in Ukraine, where the new authorities accused the ousted president of ordering the mass killings. Both he and several former Ukrainian officials accused the new authorities of sending the snipers to provoke bloodshed and topple the government.

Yanukovich said he never ordered anyone to shoot at Ukrainian people.

The same version was voiced privately in a leaked conversation between EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton and Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet.

Russia says that activists of the radical Right Sector ultranationalists are the most likely culprits.

The whole situation is so frustrating. Of course, there will be no mention of this in the Western media, just as there is no mention of the civilians being killed in Eastern Ukraine since the election of Pyotr Poroshenko on May 25.

Also, keep in mind I’ve been saying this from the start. The government forces only turned to violence in order to act in self-defense. The protestors were the ones who began behaving violently first.

No, You Can’t Learn to Code in Three Months

I read this excellent article on Quartz yesterday called No three-month course can teach you how to code. It’s definitely worth a read—and it’s important to note that the author is a self-taught coder. He does not say that people cannot learn to code on their own; he says it’s not possible to learn to do so in three months, as a lot of those stupid, overpriced boot camps say.

The Quartz article linked to this recent Wall Street Journal blog entry called Have Liberal Arts Degree, Will Code. I thought it was sort of stupid and left a comment:

Interesting article and great discussion. I thought I’d write a bit about my experiences with coding and liberal arts. I have a liberal arts degree (history and Russian) and after graduating with no job, I panicked and thought I’d do one of those coding bootcamps. I choose Dev Bootcamp and applied. I got in but eventually decided not to attend due to financial issues (it’s $12,000 and that’s not even including living expenses in San Francisco). This happened over a year ago and now I have a little bit of perspective, I am completely against the idea of these bootcamps. There’s nothing wrong with learning a little code on your own (I taught myself HTML and CSS for fun so that I could better design my blog) but paying to do it is obscene. As many have pointed out, you can’t learn in three months what actual computer scientists have spent their entire undergraduate degrees learning. That’s just absurd. And here’s another secret articles like this don’t say: these bootcamps aren’t as exclusive as people think they are. Dev Bootcamp accepted pretty much everyone who applied (at least when I was going through the application process).

Bottom line: if you got into a coding bootcamp, you’re probably not special. They just want to take your money and run. (Let’s face it: if you graduate without a job you have no legal recourse for getting that money back.) If you want to learn to code, there are much cheaper ways to do it.

Sorry for ranting but I have some pretty strong feelings on this subject.

I feel unbelievably pretentious for quoting myself, but hey, I wanted to share the comment with all of you. (And yes, I realize that “boot camp” is two words; unfortunately I made a few typos in my comment and cannot edit it now that it’s posted.)

The moral of the story? Don’t waste your money on stupid stuff.

Six Years

I waited six years for the Sochi Olympics, people. Six long years of wonderful anticipation. And you know what I find out when I try to watch this event I waited six years for? I can’t watch it because I’m not a cable subscriber! I tried a Comcast login on my computer (it is a legitimate login; a salesman gave it to my dad) and it simply does not work.

Maybe it’s a silly thing to be disappointed about. But I am so incredibly disappointed right now.

Hating on Sochi

I talked to my friend earlier today and I’m still annoyed at the way the conversation went. She was completely hating on Sochi, saying that the Olympics are terrible this year and that what she has read has only reinforced her desire to not visit Russia. I became very annoyed, as there have been accounts of journalists reporting wrong information from Sochi. (Someone tweeted a photo of an alleged double toilet. It turned out that bathroom was being remodeled and had the wall taken down.)

Anyway, I was annoyed because she was so smug about the whole thing. “None of the other Olympics have ever had problems like this,” she said. “So this is really unusual and really terrible.”

Ugh, I’m so annoyed! I wish people would shut up and stop dumping on Russia. Especially those who have no idea what they’re talking about.

Stupidity

Thank goodness stupidity isn’t contagious (though sometimes I wonder whether it is, being that there are so many stupid people out there). I say this because I just finished reading a book for my energy class. We had two required book and the first one, Power Hungry, was great. The second one—not so much. It’s called Reinventing Fire and although the first chapter or two were okay, it rapidly got worse. Much worse. By the end of the book, I was so annoyed I wanted to throw my computer off my balcony.

Instead, I simply returned the book to Amazon. The fact that the author won’t be getting any money off the sale makes me feel better. (Note: even if I had loved the book, I still would have returned it. The Kindle edition was so poorly done as to be criminal. I don’t know why publishers won’t get with the program on Kindle formatting. Publishers, if you’re reading this, I will format your Kindle and other ebook editions for you if you pay me!)

And, of course, I look forward to bashing this book in my final paper for the class.