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Gary Gauthier
Works at LandMark Publications
Attended Harvard Law School
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Gary Gauthier

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Q: What is the value of a liberal arts education?
A: It's complicated.

Should students focus on vocational training for certification in a specific job title? What is the value of being a member of civilized society who has a deep appreciation for its past contributions? And what about the cost of a college education? In the U. S., a four-year college education can cost anywhere from an average of $40,000 at the low end to $128,000 at the high end.

More than simply having some value, the author (in spite of being a scientist) believes that "an education that fails to place a heavy emphasis on the humanities is a missed opportunity." A background in the liberal arts gives an adult the opportunity to participate in democratic society as an informed citizen with a range of thinking skills that has been learned and is cultivated. Such a background also gives one the benefit of a framework for thinking deeply about his place in the world and in any community to which he might belong.

As we live longer, as retirement age keeps retreating, and as the world becomes more complex, we can expect to have "multiple career phases requiring a wide range of skills."

As each day passes, it becomes more critical for everyone in the workforce to be able to understand basic aspects of computer science and have some familiarity with coding and algorithms. If you want to write screenplays, you still may have to know how to create a web page or develop a mobile app.

With many companies, there is less and less of a choice between the humanities or technology, they need both. One tech behemoth spends lots of time and effort with metrics to determine which page design is the most pleasing and which shade of blue will have the most desirable effect on the end user. Historians rely on big data as one of the tools in their arsenal.

Choosing the right education can be the result of a family decision or the prodding of a personal preference and the best decision is different for each individual. But the more you know about what is available and the challenges that lie ahead, the better decision you are likely to make. #education
Old barriers between the humanities and technology are falling and skills needed in jobs today require knowledge that crosses the road from technology to humanities and back, says Prof. Adam Frank.
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Gary Gauthier

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An illustrated children's book entitled This Bridge Will Not be Gray  tells the story of how the Golden Gate Bridge came be to painted in a distinctive hue that stands out in sharp and pleasing contrast against a blue sky—a color known as International Orange.

 The book ponders the question: "Isn't it a strange thing, that a very large group of adults would undertake a project of this size, and not have a color picked out?" When construction began on the Golden Gate Bridge in 1933, the Planning Committee for the bridge had not yet decided on its color. As the bridge's structure rose into place and pierced the sky, its ultimate color—a crucial final detail—remained uncertain. But an important clue lay in plain sight for all to see.

The steel parts used for the bridge were manufactured by Bethlehem Steel in east coast plants. The parts were then shipped to the west coast. In order to prevent corrosion, the parts were coated with a sealant. The sealant was applied as a red-tinged orange paint.

One morning, Irving Morrow, the consulting architect for the Golden Gate Bridge was traveling by ferry in San Francisco Bay "when he saw the rising towers on the horizon" and had an epiphany. Morrow decided then and there that the bridge should remain orange in color.

"A heated debated ensued, but eventually Morrow would win." The missing final touch was decided and the bridge would become a landmark recognized, in part, by its color.  

According to Wikipedia, International Orange is used by NASA, the military, the aerospace industry and is important to engineers. The tone of International Orange used on the Golden Gate Bridge is darker than the tones used by the aerospace industry and is lighter than the color generally used by engineers and the military. The bridge is closer to red in hue.
Dave Eggers partners with illustrator Tucker Nichols on a new children's book detailing the Golden Gate Bridge's surprising color history.
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+Susan Lewis​​ We were among the first pioneers to explore what was formerly a vast wasteland. Nice to hear from you.
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Gary Gauthier

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QED—A mathematics professor makes a convincing proof for his job in plain English. University administration demurs.

His students love him and he receives excellent evaluations. One colleague says his lectures frequently end in applause. In his own defense, the mathematician cites that he is engaging, encouraging and inspires by sharing with his students a passion for the beauty and wonder of mathematics. He summarizes the administration's position succinctly: "Stop making us look bad. If you don't, we'll fire you."

One administrator inquires: "If you had a job at McDonald's and came along with all these new ideas, how long do you think you'd carry on working there?"

Teaching talent, while important, takes a back seat when you have to face the realities of the marketplace. Mathematicians typically do not bring in giant grants like experimental scientists, and compared to most other departments that do not bring in super-grants the Mathematics Department is large. The Mathematics Department uses its privileged role in preparing undergraduates for all the sciences and social sciences to justify its size and all the trappings that go with that like funding and office space. The problem is that their reliance on teaching to justify size and resources is not commensurate with a commitment to doing a good job.

Other departments complain that the students can't do calculus. The argument used by the Mathematics Department in response to this is to say something like "It's easy for you, you teach these cool subjects that students are interested in and choose to do because it's their chosen major. Take it from us. Teaching these kids calculus is just impossible. That's why our student evaluations are terrible and students aren't prepared for your courses."

As evidence that the mathematician may have overstated his case, we quote from his blog post verbatim: "Having a Lecturer teach twice the number of students for half the money and do a fabulous job demolishes that argument, and that is why so many people conspired to make it not so, to mischaracterize my teaching, and do everything in their power to remove me."

In its defense, the administration says: The mathematician was made aware, before he accepted the position, that the idea of employing a full-time lecturer is controversial in the department.
BLOWING THE WHISTLE ON THE UC BERKELEY MATHEMATICS DEPARTMENT. In response to the many people who have asked me whether I am leaving Berkeley, it is true that the UC Berkeley Mathematics Department has fired me. More precisely, the then Chair of the Mathematics Department, Arthur Ogus, ...
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Gary Gauthier

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The truth is life is not fair. For creative work to spread, you need more than talent. You have to get exposure to the right networks. And as unfair as that may seem, it’s the way the world has always worked.

Networks matter more than we care to admit. Vincent van Gogh’s work matured much more quickly once he met the French Impressionists. And why wouldn’t it? He now had a field of gatekeepers who both critiqued and validated his work. Whether we like it or not, we all need some kind of objective standard against which to measure our work.

Van Gogh did not sell much of his work in his lifetime, it was the tenacity of a well-connected sister-in-law who eventually brought his paintings to market. In fact, most of the great art the world has ever seen came about not through a single stroke of genius but by the continual effort of a community.

Networks, partnerships, creative collaborations: this is where enduring work originates. The good news is in the age of the Internet, you don't have to live in New York, Paris or Rome.

Connect to the people you want to know, be strategic in reaching out, tenacious in staying in touch, and intentional in demonstrating your competency.
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78 percent of recruiters find their best candidates from employee referrals. 56 percent of recruiters say they find some of their best candidates through social networks, followed by online job boards at 37 percent.

Recruiters look for specific things. 74 percent of recruiters want to see the length of your average job tenure, 57 percent look for length of tenure with your current employer. If you are in communications or marketing, one third view limited social media presence as a negative.
Recruiters are finding that social media is one of the best ways to identify top talent.
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Gary Gauthier

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A limited edition calculator is  on sale for $220. Soon a 7 inch Fire tablet will go on sale for $50. Less than three years ago, Apple announced the 7.9-inch iPad mini. The  new Fire tablet has a display with more pixels per inch than that tablet had. It has a faster processor, and twice the RAM. Its storage is expandable. It can access free games that on other platforms rely on in-app purchases. The iPad mini, at launch, started at $330. 
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Gary Gauthier

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The article identifies a symptom but misses an important point in the prognosis. Artificial Intelligence (AI) will continue to improve. Humans will continue being human.

The Associated Press and Forbes (among others) publish computer generated content in the form of sports highlights, financial news, weather reports and general news. The representative of one platform that provides a robo-writing service says that it created one billion stories last year. The articles can be produced within minutes and depending on the data the computers are fed, the output is generally error-free and human-sounding. Some say, the content is virtually indistinguishable from prose written by humans.

The computers can write stories that so closely mimic natural language patterns without typos and fact-checking mistakes, some writers are worried.

The article summarizes the shortcomings of the AI platforms as lacking the ability to create emotional stories with complex insights "that come from real-life experience." The best and most appealing stories will remain in the domain of human intellect.

The cure is hidden in the prognosis. According to the article, Artificial Intelligence challenges writers to "get better at great storytelling" by using their ability to share personal stories and lived experiences.

Ground-breaking inventions are often dismissed as inadequate for the problem they are trying to solve. The first airplanes stayed in the air for only a few minutes and telephones were deemed unreliable as compared to the telegraph. Writing algorithms (software) won't stay at the level at which they are currently operating. Both the software and the hardware that runs it will continue to improve. 
If algorithms can generate stories that sound like humans wrote them, will "robo-writers" take writing jobs away from content marketers?
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...I wish you dear my friend a „HAPPY NEW YEAR“ and always the luck by your side!
https://youtu.be/DzDCBgJLhYw    
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Gary Gauthier

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The old ways of conveying expertise are in upheaval and it is losing the respect that allowed it to earn a premium in the marketplace. It  may not be obvious to everyone yet, but that's the direction in which things are headed.

Much of expert knowledge is online and the most sophisticated clients aren't looking for what their colleagues already know. Firms looking for expertise are expecting quick responses at a reasonable price. Clients would prefer expert knowledge either neatly packaged or streamed in real-time and advances in technology are making this possible.

As expertise becomes commoditized, clients will have more flexibility in choosing service providers based on personal criteria such as whose values are in alignment with theirs and whose style makes them feel comfortable. Ironically, this sounds like an opportunity for branding experts.
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You have nothing to hide, right?  How would you like a reputation score? Your score will be public to everyone, and high-scoring individuals enjoy special privileges. The score is generated not only by your activities, but by the activities of the friends in your social graph—the people you identify as friends on social media. Examples of some activities that will hurt your score are: if you support social protests, "speculate" on government corruption, or participate in activities that the state wishes to "nudge" you away from, like playing video-games.
The Chinese government has announced a new universal reputation score, tied to every person in the country's nation ID number and based on such factors as political compliance, hobbies, shopping, a...
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"When you look only at authors who started publishing less than a decade ago — in 2005 or later — the gap between the numbers of indie and traditionally published authors earning midlist-or-better incomes nearly disappears.

"Surprisingly, as we move into six-figure-earning territory and beyond, the contrast between indie ebook earnings and traditionally-published ebook earnings becomes even more stark.
Seven quarters. Seven Author Earnings reports. Seven times we unleashed our software spider and took a detailed X-Ray of the majority of the US ebook market. Each time, we captured between 35% and 50% of all ebook sales in the US that day. Over 200000 authors, and close to a million different ...
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A WSJ opinion piece sparks an online debate between a startup CEO and a Computer Science student. The crux of the debate is that there are "skills that startups are desperate for, and that universities couldn't care less about."

In school you learn about models, paradigms, the big picture and ways of thinking about problems that are likely to recur. Startups are concerned about "the developer shortage – good help is hard to find."
Why You Should Hire Computer Science Majors. Stephen Brennan • 30 August 2015. This morning my parents forwarded me an article in the Wall Street Journal, entitled "Why I'm Not Looking to Hire Computer-Science Majors," by Daniel Gelernter (CEO of a startup called Dittach).
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Computers are good at executing calculations, very very fast. Once, you get away from that, computers tend to be less and less useful. Things are beginning to change thanks to neural networks (analogous to the central nervous system of a living organism).

Now computers can learn things on their own, with a little training. "We’re getting to the point where we’re able to teach computers to complete tasks on their own, rather than have to program their every single action."
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  • LandMark Publications
    Publisher, 2010 - present
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Gary is working on his first novel. He runs a publishing company.

If you're an artist, techie or writer, add him to one of your circles.
Education
  • Harvard Law School
    1986 - 1989
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