七月 2005


昨天我老闆給我看了一份文章(貼在下面),講美國近年來 outsourcing 的趨勢跟問題。他要我往心理看,好好想想,我到底以後要幹嘛?我目前覺得我都還蠻照著父母社會所告訴我的方向行走,但是早在大二的時候我就跟我朋友談論過,我們從小被教導的一些世界觀,人生觀,是否正確?我們毫無疑問的相信我們只要乖乖的唸書,考試考100分,念名校,相信我們這樣以後人生就飛黃騰達,做不到的話我們就會流浪街頭,死的很慘?
我那時候跟我朋友說,我這些目前雖然沒有完全做到,但是也接近了,盲目的相信社會所告訴我們應該做的事情。可是我一點也沒有快樂,我一點也沒有感覺到這樣是值得的。我們是不是都被騙了??
這篇文章雖然是講念理工科的,但是我相信對於其他科目,或是生命本身,都是能應用到的。
WE’RE LOOKING FOR A FEW BORING DORKS

By Ted Rall Tue Jun 14, 8:05 PM ET

The Engineer Shortage Made Simple

NEW YORK–Have you ever noticed (to paraphrase a famously vulgar George Carlin joke) that the people who want you to become a scientist are the last ones who’d want to work as one themselves? New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman has lately been pimping a book that bemoans the decreasing influence of the United States in the hard sciences. "For the first time in our history," Friedman quotes Harvard president Lawrence Summers as telling him, "we are going to face competition from low-wage, high-human-capital communities, embedded within India, China and Asia." Friedman riffs: "We can’t rely on importing the talent we need anymore–not in a flat world where people can now innovate without having to emigrate…There is a real sense of urgency in India and China about ‘catching up’ in talent-building. America, by contrast, has become rather complacent."

Don’t mistake Friedman’s trash talk for genuine alarmism. If he worried about Indians and Chinese kicking our butt in the computer programming and particle physics games, he could quit his cushy gig at the Times and apply to M.I.T. But that’s the book biz.

What’s lamentable about this latest why-do-our-kids-suck-at-math hand-wringing is that too many Americans are coming away from the conversation with the message that we’re losing an intellectual arms race because our young men and women are lazy, stupid or both. As a recent study of high school kids in 26 states showed, 22 percent of entering college freshmen are required to take remedial math classes. Math and science have become lower priorities in the secondary educational system. But as I can personally attest, there’s a good reason that fewer young Americans are pursuing careers in the sciences: the jobs suck.

Pressured by my parents to choose a major "that trains you for a job," I spent the first three of my undergraduate years at Columbia University as an applied physics major at the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. I considered switching to civil engineering until several professors helpfully pointed out that there hasn’t been much work for civil engineers since our country essentially stopped building dams, bridges and other large-scale projects decades ago.

Columbia’s liberal arts requirements exceed those of tech dork mills like CalTech and M.I.T. but their typical engineering student’s ignorance of such essentials of American citizenship as politics, history and literature was staggering nonetheless. A disproportionate percent of the student body was composed of foreign nationals, but they weren’t the only ones allowed to graduate without enough knowledge of English to compose a cover letter. My classmates’ single-minded dedication to their studies came at the expense of reading the newspaper, listening to music and campus activism. Engineering students were widely–and accurately–regarded as boring careerists. Who’d want such geeks as coworkers?

Visits to the Career Services office reinforced the grim picture of life as a scientist. I knew I’d need a high-paying job to pay off my student loans after graduation. Dow Chemical, Monsanto, General Electric–all the decent offerings required spilling brain cells on the machinery of mass death on behalf defense contractors. An ex-girlfriend who’d graduated a couple of years before me worked as a physicist for a company that was secretly developing genetically modified organisms for use in internationally banned biological weapons. She was assigned to a team trying to perfect long-range lasers to incinerate cities and towns from the sky. "We’re all sinners," I remember lecturing her over beers one night, "and we all do things we regret. But if there’s a hell I’m positive that anyone who does what you do will be on the express elevator, going down."

Not much has changed. "But it’s not just defense contractors that are hiring engineers," promises GraduatingEngineer.com. "The military…is also looking for a few good engineers and computer science grads to hire." Check your conscience when you clock in.

Just after I learned enough about nuclear fission to make me someone Saddam would have liked to meet, I got myself thrown out of college. My engineering classes were too boring to keep my interest and too hard besides. But I’ve come to believe that I sabotaged my studies because I was depressed by the thought of working for those monsters alongside idiots. Wall Street, which cared less about my B.A. than my I.Q., paid my rent until I returned to Columbia a few years later as a history major.

Since then I’ve heard from my former engineering school classmates. None were close to starving, but even those who went on to obtain masters degrees and doctorates were laid off when government contracts expired and projects were canceled. My brilliant ex-girlfriend, pushed out the door when her fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent error caused an expensive defense satellite to reenter the atmosphere and burn up, had trouble finding work elsewhere. Employment security was haphazard across the spectrum but engineers were especially prone to bouncing from job to job separated by scary income gaps.

High school and college students considering their futures know that work as a scientist is morally nasty, brutally alienating and financially insecure. That’s why nearly a million engineering-related job openings remain vacant in the United States. If the young men and women of Pakistan and Bangladesh want the work, let them have it.

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前幾天把我的履歷表給我老闆,因為我必須知道我寫的一些東西…是不是有透露公司機密,在我給別人之前先讓我老闆確定一下。
今天我去問我老闆履歷表怎麼樣啦~他就說嗯嗯有看,你跟我來,我跟你講一些東西。當場我有點驚訝,因為我原本只是想讓他看一下,他說OK我就寄出去了。沒想到他竟然要跟我談談啊….是不是我寫了什麼我不該寫的??
把我帶到會議室之後,他就跟我說你這樣寫不太好喔~我愣住,很緊張的問他說…什麼地方寫錯了??他說….你寫的方式…把你自己寫的太不厲害了!!什麼?!我當場傻眼…我老闆就開始改我的履歷表,說這個要這樣寫才行,那個不要這樣講,人家會誤會,什麼的….中國人講究謙虛低調,美國人根本不來這套。我覺得美國人實在是什麼都誇大了…
我趕緊跟我老闆說,老闆~你把我說的太厲害啦!!這樣講我會心虛啊!他看看我…說你又不是騙人,只是文字上敘述不一樣而已,不用緊張!人家看一份履歷表15秒鐘,你的一定要像核子彈一樣讓人在15秒鐘之內震撼到…最終目標是面試,有面試就什麼都好說~
結果原本履歷表今天要寄出去的,我老闆這樣一說,我只好趕快東改西改。改的差不多之後,我給我老闆看,我老闆就說,好多了!你把最新的這份履歷表寄給我,我回家拿給我太太,讓他幫你看。什麼跟什麼啊?!給老闆夫人看?!
我老闆就解釋說他太太弄履歷表超強的,那時候給微軟的履歷表就是他太太幫忙改的,我老闆還很驕傲的說你看~現在是誰要去微軟工作啊?我老闆實在是….人太好啦!!他下禮拜就要走了….我覺得我會流眼淚的…我做了什麼事..他對我這麼好?!
義大利來的朋友上禮拜五結束這裡的工作,現在正在跟她的男朋友不知道在哪裡玩了。今天第一次吃中飯的時候沒有他,感覺有點不一樣!通常吃完飯後他都會去抽煙,所以常常我就跟他一起去外面,他抽煙,我跟他聊天。
我是不抽煙的人,以前也不太喜歡煙的味道,總覺得好像聞到了煙味會中毒一樣~可是看他抽煙習慣了,反而覺得還好。以前不管我站哪裡,煙總是往我這個方向飄,我總是走來走去要避開。義大利的女孩就笑說義大利人有句話,煙總是往漂亮的人飄。哈~聽到這句話之後,煙來了我都不躲啦~站在那邊給他飄過來~漂亮的人嘛!!
平時我們都聊一些生活上的話題。他總是常常講他的姊姊,姊夫,男朋友的事情。講他結婚的計畫,生小孩的計畫,等等…這個女孩真的很愛說話,總是嘴巴不停的講,我大部分時間也就只有站在那邊(看著煙是不是往我這裡飄~哈),聽他說話。我總覺得跟著誰聊天,常常都變成我在聽人說話,可能我有時候都不知道要說什麼吧?不過常聽人家說話也是好的,會聽到平常你聽不到的事情。人家的心事什麼的,常常都會給我聽到了,我想大家都是想要有個觀眾吧!
今天他不在了,說真的午餐變的有一點無聊!!不過我也只剩下三個禮拜了,之後就回家好好把身體復原一下~原本星期五還去抽血,醫生懷疑我有肝炎,哇那時候真的快嚇死了,不過今天早上醫生打電話來說沒事,驗血結果出來沒有肝炎~呼!鬆了口氣~唉我真的需要好好放個假了!
今天看到新聞說吳宇森要導一部中文電影,赤壁之戰。演員初步確定是周潤發,劉德華,梁朝偉,還有演末代武士的渡邊謙!!好像說渡邊謙要演曹操,而且現在還在學中文,拍片的時候台詞都要用中文講。我的天啊!電影都還沒有開始拍片,我已經等不及了!小時候超愛看三國演義,赤壁之戰是三國演義裡面最棒的戰爭之一~諸葛亮跟曹操借箭,瑜亮情節等等,電影趕快拍啊!我想了就快受不了啦~尤其又是吳宇森導的,不是什麼像張藝謀這種完全不會導電影的人 ; ),唉~趕快拍電影啊!!我好想看!
最近終於把iPod2iTunes寫完了。我在買了iPod之後發現存在iPod的音樂竟然在iTunes裡面不讓你從iPod複製音樂到iTunes。心理原本想說沒關係,反正iPod就是個外接硬碟而已,我自己去iPod裡面把歌找出來之後在加入iTunes就行了。
沒想到,apple竟然神經到把歌的檔案全部改名,然後分散在50個檔案夾裡面,讓你很難找的到你要的那首歌。無聊!於是我在大概兩個月前開始寫一個程式,能讓你直接看到歌曲的名字跟他存在iPod的檔名,還可以直接打個勾,把歌曲存到電腦裡並自動加入itunes裡面。平時因為上班,所以沒什麼時間,全都是週末沒事的時候慢慢寫。最近終於把他寫的差不多囉!
如果有誰有iPod然後又需要把歌從iPod存回電腦的,你就跟我說一聲,我把程式給你!
昨天一早到公司,老闆早上5:30就到公司了(嚇死人了!),又在那邊忙東忙西的,我只好查email,看新聞,準備寫寫東西,看一下書。8點多的時候,有人在我的辦公室外面敲了幾下,我回頭一看,正是跟我一起開始的一位女孩co-op,前陣子給自己放了兩個禮拜的假期,我已經很久沒看到他了。
看到他,我有點驚訝,因為很久沒看到他了,就說嗨!好久沒到你了。但是話還沒說完,就注意到他幾乎是跳上跳下的跳進我的辦公室,眼神露出閃亮快樂的眼神。他看看我,沒說話,我正要問他怎麼啦,他把手掌拿出來,露出手掌背,上面有個大大的戒指。
他超級高興的跟我說他要結婚了,說真的美國人很多很早結婚的,所以我並沒有太驚訝。這女孩比我大3歲,今年23,其實前面就訂過一次婚,可是後來跟那男的取消掉了。現在這個男的…他去年7月4號才「認識」他的。認識,是指第一次看到這個男的。以前是完全不知到有這號人物的。
男方在7月4號,他們「認識」一週年的時候求婚。女孩高興得不得了,還一直跟我說一大堆婚禮要怎樣怎樣,生小孩怎樣怎樣。這兩位先生小姐在一月女孩開始在公司上班的時候,兩個人就住在一起了。那女孩以前還會跟我說他吃避孕藥什麼的,因為不想現在要生小孩。看著他在那邊興高采烈的跟我解釋他生小孩的理論的時候…我自己想著美國人實在是太幼稚了一點啦….結婚是好事,但是你才認識這個男的一年,就要結婚了,未免也太….衝動了吧!難怪美國人離婚率是50%,一開始就沒想清楚,當然一下子就要離婚!
但是看著他好高興的樣子,我想其實他也蠻快樂的!女孩21歲的時候就訂過婚了,可是發現自己不喜歡那個未婚夫(哈哈因為碰到現在這個男的,婚禮還沒取消這女的就跟現在這個男的發生肉體上的關係啦~我聽他跟我說的時候,我面紅耳赤…超尷尬!這女孩太大方了一點…),所以最後選了現在這個。我想…心理認為就是他了,也是好事吧!但總覺得美國人實在是太…不聰明了!全憑幾個月的時間就決定下半輩子的事情,太草率了!
但是~祝福他啦!!他很快樂,希望他以後也都繼續快樂下去!
Congratulations!!
今天去開會,公司要聽Klocwork這家公司賣的一個產品,他們要做presentation。兩個小時的會,好久…又剛好是3-5點的時候,我其實4:30就可以離開了,只是那時候覺得不太好,所以就留下來了。
等到會開的差不多的時候,Klocwork的人忽然問了一個問題 ─ 有誰生日在這個月?大家你看我我看你,沒人舉手,但都想說想幹嘛?他看了沒人,就說那好吧,誰生日在8月?我剛好生日8/1,就有點害羞的舉手說我八月生日…心理在想說天啊你會不會要叫我做什麼事情…希望不要!
沒想到~他從包包裡拿出一個64MB的USB 拇指碟!!說謝謝你來參加這個會議…哈哈!太棒啦~去開個會還免費拿拇指碟,我旁邊的co-op們立刻露出羨慕的眼神~還說早知道他在問7月的時候就給他舉手了。哈哈,還好我沒提早離開,不然禮物也拿不到啦~幸運!!

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