Educate yourself about the issues, or stop talking

August 27, 2018

We went to breakfast at Rockride Cafe yesterday. Usually when we go out for breakfast we try to get there early to avoid the line, but this time, we ended up chatting with a guy in his 50s or 60s waiting in line with us.

He'd seen our newspapers: The Economist and the Chronicle. He liked the Chronicle, but "I also read the Wall Street Journal, because the editorial page of the Chronicle gets a bit provincial. The Journal is written from more of a Northeast perspective, which is important". Doubly so for a career armed services officer, as he'd been—20 years in the Marines. The West Coast makes software, but in the US, foreign policy is made by The East.

I was reminded of a quote from Madam Secretary, a show very much situated in The East:

You need to educate yourself about the issues or stop talking.

In the show, the secretary of state has a son with a penchant for social media. He's kind of a bratty teenager and he'd just done something stupid, embarrassing his family, and by extension, the administration. His dad's yelling at him because the kid is maing a fool of himself, which is pising off his dad.

East vs. West: degrees, publications, and institutional affiliations, vs. clicks, impressions, and likes.

Google just made a big show out of dropping degree requirements. Big talk, though I'd love to see hard numbers on how many SWEs (software engineers) get hired this year without college degrees.