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    I’m a simple man: I see Mickens, I upvote.

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      In my fantasy timeline I am returning education student and Micken’s is my advisor. Instead I put on a funny hat and sing The Micken’s Internet Fanclub Theme Song to myself.

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      Suggest person tag, and nothing else, since this is an interview with Mickens without really any technical content.

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        I feel that lobsters is possibly swinging too hard in the opposite direction of where Reddit and HN is heading with heated discussions that talk past each other, screaming into the wind instead of having a discussion. That it is on the path to an insular island like the editors of Wikipedia. I understand the desire to fight the tide of Eternal September, but we should remain human(e).

        While there isn’t a transfer function in the article, I wouldn’t say it is non-technical. Mickens is a force in the technical academic CS DAG, it is important to understand his viewpoint and how he approaches problems.

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          If somebody submitted an interview where Alan Turing talked about his favorite cookie recipes, I’d have the same complaint.

          Mickens is a delight to read–I think my first encounter with him was The Night Watch–and usually to watch.

          But, if we’re being honest with ourselves, his work that gets submitted is pretty frequently just infotainment. I’ll show his talks to people outside the field because he makes them fun and engaging and accessible, but for an audience of other practitioners the space is too valuable to spend it on people that already make regular conference appearances. Mickens is great, but he’s also the John Oliver of CS research at this point.

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            he’s also the John Oliver of CS research at this point.

            Come on, Mickens is always funny. John Oliver is occasionally funny, but mostly says something, points at a photoshopped image at the corner of a screen and shouts a non-sequitur.

            On a more serious note, I think a person tag is a good move and wouldn’t hurt. This would also be useful for things like obiturary pieces.

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        i liked his thoughts on how discrimination works in tech spaces, and specifically systems programming communities:

        Another great example is the difference in recommendation letters written for female vs. male candidates or black vs. white candidates. For underrepresented groups, letter writers might needlessly emphasize social aspects like having a “pleasant personality”. However, when writing for a white man, letters often talk about how this person could build up the Eiffel tower with their own bare hands and raw technical charisma which is just off the charts. So, if you are a letter writer who is more aware of these biases, you can explicitly make sure that your evaluation of a candidate does not include such biases.

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          An interesting realization is what information one is and is not exposed to. Being a PI and sought after advisor, Mickens probably receives many recommendation letters from potential grad students, from his perspective the clustering is probably pretty pronounced. From the PoV of the letter writer, they probably think they are doing the person a favor, but don’t realize how they stackup vs the competition.