I went off to my meeting, and it was only afterwards that we realized the magnitude of the disaster. And there was still more. Perhaps an hour later, we came to realize that two of our colleagues, Graham and Myra, were on the two planes that had departed Logan for Los Angeles that morning, making an unscheduled and permanent stop in south Manhattan. Bob, who was Myra's boss and had the office next to Graham's, didn't move from his desk all day, and just stared into his computer screen in shock.
I like to think of myself as a student of history. In 1992, Francis Fukuyama published a book entitled The End of History and the Last Man, an expansion of an essay he wrote in the international affairs journal The National Interest. In the book, Fukuyama argues the controversial thesis that the end of the Cold War signaled the end of the progression of human history.
History, it seems, goes on, although perhaps not in the sense that Fukuyama meant. He was referring to the inevitability of history, the progression from one stage to another, that Karl Marx had postulated as the social development of the human condition.
But stuff still happens. Some of it is important stuff, and will be remembered as history.
I suppose this has more to do with life than with IT, but there are lessons to both. We assume that we are in a safe career, yet we are a part of the world around us and face the same dangers and uncertainties. Sometimes you are simply in the wrong place, and get caught up with something that is completely out of your control.
Most of us also correlate this tragedy with the dotcom bust and the loss of the seemingly endless progression of exciting IT jobs. The two are approximately contiguous in time, but there is little or no causation. The dotcom era (or perhaps more accurately, the first dotcom era) had played itself out almost a year earlier, and it took that long to make its absence felt. Certainly the events of this day accelerated the process, but there is no denying the process itself.
The constant may be the cycles of IT activity and opportunity. It took some time, but the industry came back. While I am by nature an optimist, I have no doubt that the cycle will repeat.
Posted by Peter Varhol on 09/11/2006 at 1:15 PM
ASP.NET Core Version 3.1 has at least two major changes that you'll want to take advantage of. Well, Peter thinks you will. Depending on your background, your response to one of them may be a resounding “meh.”
After earlier explaining how to compute disorder and split data in his exploration of machine learning decision tree classifiers, resident data scientist Dr. James McCaffrey of Microsoft Research now shows how to use the splitting and disorder code to create a working decision tree classifier.
There are plenty of reasons to move traditional ASP.NET web apps -- part of the old .NET Framework -- to the new cross-platform direction, ASP.NET Core, but beware it will require some "heavy lifting," Microsoft says.
Using a decision tree classifier from a machine learning library is often awkward because it usually must be customized and library decision trees have many complex supporting functions, says resident data scientist Dr. James McCaffrey, so when he needs a decision tree classifier, he always creates one from scratch. Here's how.
Sign up for our newsletter.