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jerryking : show_your_work   3

Opinion | The Two Codes Your Kids Need to Know
Feb. 12, 2019 | The New York Times | By Thomas L. Friedman, Opinion Columnist.

A few years ago, the leaders of the College Board, the folks who administer the SAT college entrance exam, asked themselves a radical question: Of all the skills and knowledge that we test young people for that we know are correlated with success in college and in life, which is the most important? Their answer: the ability to master “two codes” — computer science and the U.S. Constitution......please show their work: “Why these two codes?”

Answer: if you want to be an empowered citizen in our democracy — able to not only navigate society and its institutions but also to improve and shape them, and not just be shaped by them — you need to know how the code of the U.S. Constitution works. And if you want to be an empowered and adaptive worker or artist or writer or scientist or teacher — and be able to shape the world around you, and not just be shaped by it — you need to know how computers work and how to shape them.....the internet, big data and artificial intelligence now the essential building blocks of almost every industry....mastering the principles and basic coding techniques that drive computers and other devices “will be more prepared for nearly every job,”....“At the same time, the Constitution forms the foundational code that gives shape to America and defines our essential liberties — it is the indispensable guide to our lives as productive citizens.”......“Understanding how government works is the essence of power. To be a strong citizen, you need to know how the structures of our government work and how to operate within them.”
African-Americans  civics  coding  constitutions  education  engaged_citizenry  foundational  high_schools  indispensable  individual_agency  life_skills  op-ed  public_education  questions  SAT  show_your_work  students  Tom_Friedman  women 
february 2019 by jerryking
Good News for Young Strivers: Networking Is Overrated - The New York Times
AUG. 24, 2017 | New York Times | Adam Grant.

it’s remarkably hard to engage [important people] unless you’ve already put something valuable out into the world. That’s what piques the curiosity of advisers and sponsors. Achievements show you have something to give, not just something to take........The best way to attract a mentor is to create something worthy of the mentor’s attention. Do something interesting, and instead of having to push your way in, you’ll get pulled in. The network comes to you.

Sociologists call this the Matthew effect, from the Bible: “For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance.” If you establish a track record of achievement, advantages tend to accumulate. Who you’ll know tomorrow depends on what you contributed yesterday......Accomplishments can build your network only if other people are aware of them. You have to put your work out there. It shouldn’t be about promoting yourself, but about promoting your ideas. ...People find self-promotion so distasteful that they like you more when you’re praised by someone else — even if they know you’ve hired an agent to promote you.

So stop fretting about networking. Take a page out of the George Lucas and Sara Blakely playbooks: Make an intriguing film, build a useful product.....In life, it certainly helps to know the right people. But how hard they go to bat for you, how far they stick their necks out for you, depends on what you have to offer. Building a powerful network doesn’t require you to be an expert at networking. It just requires you to be an expert at something.

If you make great connections, they might advance your career. If you do great work, those connections will be easier to make. Let your insights and your outputs — not your business cards — do the talking.
Adam_Grant  Communicating_&_Connecting  creating_valuable_content  hard_work  idea_generation  inbound_marketing  insights  Matthew_effect  performance  mentoring  networking  overrated  playbooks  personal_accomplishments  relationships  scriptures  show_your_work  strivers  the_right_people 
august 2017 by jerryking
Profile of the Data Journalist: The Storyteller and The Teacher
Around the globe, the bond between data and journalism is growing stronger. In an age of big data, the growing importance of data journalism lies in the ability of its practitioners to provide context, clarity and, perhaps most important, find truth in the expanding amount of digital content in the world. In that context, data journalism has profound importance for society.

To learn more about the people who are doing this work and, in some cases, building the newsroom stack for the 21st century, I conducted in-person and email interviews during the 2012 NICAR Conference and published a series of data journalist profiles here at Radar.

Sarah Cohen (@sarahduke), the Knight professor of the practice of journalism and public policy at Duke University, and Anthony DeBarros (@AnthonyDB), the senior database editor at USA Today, were both important sources of historical perspective for my feature on how data journalism is evolving from "computer-assisted reporting" (CAR) to a powerful Web-enabled practice that uses cloud computing, machine learning and algorithms to make sense of unstructured data.

The latter halves of our interviews, which focused upon their personal and professional experience, follow.

What data journalism project are you the most proud of working on or creating?

DeBarros: "In 2006, my USA TODAY colleague Robert Davis and I built a database of 620 students killed on or near college campuses and mined it to show how freshmen were uniquely vulnerable. It was a heart-breaking but vitally important story to tell. We won the 2007 Missouri Lifestyle Journalism Awards for the piece, and followed it with an equally wrenching look at student deaths from fires."

Cohen: "I'd have to say the Pulitzer-winning series on child deaths in DC, in which we documented that children were dying in predictable circumstances after key mistakes by people who knew that their
agencies had specific flaws that could let them fall through the cracks.

I liked working on the Post's POTUS Tracker and Head Count. Those were Web projects that were geared at accumulating lots of little bits about Obama's schedule and his appointees, respectively, that we could share with our readers while simultaneously building an important dataset for use down the road. Some of the Post's Solyndra and related stories, I have heard, came partly from studying the president's trips in POTUS Tracker.

There was one story, called "Misplaced Trust," on DC's guardianship
system, that created immediate change in Superior Court, which was
gratifying. "Harvesting Cash," our 18-month project on farm subsidies, also helped point out important problems in that system.

The last one, I'll note, is a piece of a project I worked on,
in which the DC water authority refused to release the results of a
massive lead testing effort, which in turn had shown widespread
contamination. We got the survey from a source, but it was on paper.

After scanning, parsing, and geocoding, we sent out a team of reporters to
neighborhoods to spot check the data, and also do some reporting on the
neighborhoods. We ended up with a story about people who didn't know what
was near them.

We also had an interesting experience: the water
authority called our editor to complain that we were going to put all of
the addresses online -- they felt that it was violating peoples' privacy,
even though we weren't identifyng the owners or the residents. It was more
important to them that we keep people in the dark about their blocks. Our
editor at the time, Len Downie, said, "you're right. We shouldn't just put
it on the Web." He also ordered up a special section to put them all in
print.

Where do you turn to keep your skills updated or learn new things?

Cohen: "It's actually a little harder now that I'm out of the newsroom,
surprisingly. Before, I would just dive into learning something when I'd
heard it was possible and I wanted to use it to get to a story. Now I'm
less driven, and I have to force myself a little more. I'm hoping to start
doing more reporting again soon, and that the Reporters' Lab will help
there too.

Lately, I've been spending more time with people from other
disciplines to understand better what's possible, like machine learning
and speech recognition at Carnegie Mellon and MIT, or natural language
processing at Stanford. I can't DO them, but getting a chance to
understand what's out there is useful. NewsFoo, SparkCamp and NICAR are
the three places that had the best bang this year. I wish I could have
gone to Strata, even if I didn't understand it all."

DeBarros: For surveillance, I follow really smart people on Twitter and have several key Google Reader subscriptions.

To learn, I spend a lot of time training after work hours. I've really been pushing myself in the last couple of years to up my game and stay relevant, particularly by learning Python, Linux and web development. Then I bring it back to the office and use it for web scraping and app building.

Why are data journalism and "news apps" important, in the context of the contemporary digital environment for information?

Cohen: "I think anything that gets more leverage out of fewer people is
important in this age, because fewer people are working full time holding
government accountable. The news apps help get more eyes on what the
government is doing by getting more of what we work with and let them see
it. I also think it helps with credibility -- the 'show your work' ethos --
because it forces newsrooms to be more transparent with readers / viewers.

For instance, now, when I'm judging an investigative prize, I am quite
suspicious of any project that doesn't let you see each item, I.e., when
they say, "there were 300 cases that followed this pattern," I want to see
all 300 cases, or all cases with the 300 marked, so I can see whether I
agree.

DeBarros: "They're important because we're living in a data-driven culture. A data-savvy journalist can use the Twitter API or a spreadsheet to find news as readily as he or she can use the telephone to call a source. Not only that, we serve many readers who are accustomed to dealing with data every day -- accountants, educators, researchers, marketers. If we're going to capture their attention, we need to speak the language of data with authority. And they are smart enough to know whether we've done our research correctly or not.

As for news apps, they're important because -- when done right -- they can make large amounts of data easily understood and relevant to each person using them."

These interviews were edited and condensed for clarity.
Data  Gov_2.0  Publishing  dataproduct  datascience  nicarinterview  via:rahuldave  show_your_work  narratives  sense-making  unstructured_data  data_driven  data_journalism  visualization  infographics 
february 2013 by jerryking

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