Saturday, January 26, 2008

The most important race.

It seems that all you hear about in the news these days is Hilary, Obama, and the economy. Nobody says a word about the local elections especially the most important one: the race for sheriff. As it stands now there are 11 Democrats and 1 Republican vying for this position to replace the late Leo Samaniego who unfortunately died of cancer in December of 2007.

As it stands now there are few El Pasoans who know that there is even an election coming soon and even fewer who know sheriff was one of them (but not you of course). And fewer still who seem to know anything about the candidates running for that position. I intend to rectify that situation. Up for your vote are: past El Paso Police Chief Richard Wiles; El Paso ICE ASAC Maria Guadalupe Dempsey; former Supervisory Deputy U.S. Marshal Al Patino; former El Paso Police Chief Carlos Leon; Sheriff's Department Lt. Marvin Ryals; former El Paso CBP Director Luis Garcia; retired police Sgt. Mary Lou Carrillo; Sunland Park Police Chief Jose Ramirez; retired police Lt. Gabriel Serna; retired police Deputy Chief Robert Almonte; retired Sheriff's Department Commander Larry Wilkins; and George C. Stoltz (I can't find any information on the Republican sacrificial lamb except his name).

Below are images from with brief descriptions of their opening comments at The Pearson Group Forum.

I hoped this has sparked your interest in El Paso elections.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

I've come to realize...

People in general have lost the subtle art of dumbing down. Some of the most intelligent people that I know lack the ability to come down to the level everyone else operates at. They take it for granted that we can understand things in an instant like they can.

In my high school's chess club we had (still have) an excellent player who was ranked 10th in the state but was absolutely terrible at teaching chess. The several times that he tried he horribly confused some newbies and then became frustrated and gave up. When I first taught the game to another person I realized that this complex game that only people like the late great Bobby Fischer could understand completely, became incredibly simple when I dumbed it down. I broke with tradition and instead of teaching the pawn first, as many people were first taught, and instead showed how the rook can move. Then the capabilities of the bishop, queen, and king. In my mind this was the simplest way to dumb the game down. Afterwards came the pawn and finally the knight (who with its wicked "L" jump has caused much confusion), saving the special moves such as Castling and En passant for game play.
I found that people who learned through this dumbed down method picked up the game much faster than others who'd learned the movements of the pieces in order from shortest to tallest.

People have told me that computer science and programming is something they can never do because computers are so complicated and that you have to be a genius in order to program in these gibberish languages with alphabet soup for a name. When in reality the hardest part about programming is dumbing down to the computer's level.
Yes! I said the computer is dumb. Stupid in fact.
Computers have absolutely no intelligence but all the memory in the world to store it. Programmers (computer scientists) have to dumb down to the computers level and have to virtually give it every instruction. A child has more sense. You can tell a child to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and he can do it in two shakes. You'd have to tell the computer to get the bread, untie the wrapping, get the jelly, open the jelly, get the peanut butter, open the peanut butter, get a butter knife (imagine a steak knife), pick up one slice of bread, dip knife into jelly, apply the jelly, get another slice of bread...... you already got the point.

Even as simple as this sounds there are people who try as they might, find it impossible to lose IQ in order to create instructions that anybody (even a computer) could understand.