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@achewood Chris waited all day for the Comcast repair guy, and he never showed up. What is he supposed to do with this cream pie?

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Messages - theinevitable

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1
Wild Card / Re: Return of the Son of Today I'm Gonna...
« on: Today at 12:20:23 am »
Yeah. My boss did mention that he really likes my passion for historical stuff but isn't sure how it fits into what we do. We shall see. I guess once the census comes out I can show trends over time. We have one thing on our website that shows where people who checked "Spanish"/Latino/hispanic on the census have lived over time in NYC. It's wild because a lot of neighborhoods that are very mainstream-white-whatever you wanna call it now were once Puerto Rican / Dominican / Etc strongholds. For instance there's a very fancy area of Brooklyn near the waterfront (I forget which area it was, maybe Cobble Hill?) that used to be the most heavily Puerto Rican part of the city because... that's where the boat from Puerto Rico docked back in the day.

2
Wild Card / Re: Return of the Son of Today I'm Gonna...
« on: Yesterday at 11:14:27 pm »
Thanks everyone. It felt really bad because I felt like all of my fears (that I'm not good enough for this job, that I'm not contributing, etc) came to pass. This was not at all what was going on (well, maybe a little on the limited contribution front) but it felt that way. I really do not think my boss could have made it any more clear that he isn't trying to get rid of me.

I came home and had a great conversation with my GF where she asked me "what got you into urban planning? Who are the people in urban planning that are doing stuff you think is cool?" I think she knew the answer, which is, people who do the stuff that I do, but better. People who take weird datasets or maps or whatever and come to interesting conclusions with them. So clearly leaving for the Brooklyn office is not the solution-- the solution is to tell my boss that yes, I want to buckle down and learn a lot of new stuff. I have a list of proposed projects:
  • (as he suggested) work with the tech/website people on their next cool mapping app. Learn how to take the work we do and make it accessible for the public to fiddle with and learn from. I think he is majorly underestimating what the learning curve on this would be but I would love to be able to pitch in.
  • Dig into all the crazy historical data we have about the city sitting on old hard drives or in old filing cabinets and see what we can learn from it. Find interesting datasets, weird stuff from the past, etc, and write reports on them. There is one particular dataset we have of the "building typology" of every building in the city that I am thinking of.
  • There is a big report we do every 10 years about what the newest census tells us about immigration to NYC. It's a 100-something page book and it's amazing... but why don't we do mini reports about other topics? I would learn how to analyze data with small-scale projects, produce reports on interesting topics that would be useful to other planners and the public. The goal here would be to learn modern data analysis tools so that when the 2020 Census results come out, I will have the experience and tech framework set up to rapidly produce reports to let people know what we've learned.
    Currently our department pretty much does everything in giant excel files (or SPSS, which is like the demon child of excel and normal programming from what I can tell). My friend who is a "data journalist" was telling me about a website she's building to track the results of the midterms. Everything is all set up so that when results start coming in, they can instantly display them on maps and graphs that are generated by the code she prepared in advance. Doing that with the census seems to make a lot of sense, and seems doable since we know what format it will be in, just not what the actual numbers will be.
  • I mentioned to a coworker that I'm brainstorming projects to improve my technical/analysis skills and he threw out like 5 ideas that are... lower hanging fruit compared to learning entire new programming languages etc. So maybe I can do a combination of one of the above things and some of the more short-term skill building things he suggested.

Also, with regards to the math-brained thing, I still think I can't get to the level of my colleagues who have literal statistics PhDs, or my neurotic coworkers who are detail oriented to a level I am not capable of being. I make a lot of mistakes and get turned around and myopic. It's just how my brain works. But I think that I can learn some cool creative new shit, shake things up a little, and hopefully they will give me the mathematical guidance to make sure it all comes out rigorous and up to our standards. I also think that I need to mentally separate the two parts of doing statistics:
1. grasping advanced theories and applying them in novel ways (the phd stuff that I will leave to my boss and the woman in line to be his successor)
2. mastering a technique, turning it into a repeatable process, eventually getting to the point where I understand the process enough to improve it or apply it in a novel way.

I can definitely do #2, and can turn it into a transferable skill.

3
Wild Card / Re: Return of the Son of Today I'm Gonna...
« on: Yesterday at 01:28:45 am »
Real rough meeting at work today. My boss has mentioned several times that he wants me to "own" a project in the division (population analysis division) so I can learn and grow. Then today we had a meeting about it. He had written everything he has planned for the next 3 years up on the board, and then we went through together and crossed out everything someone else is doing, that I don't know how to do (statistics heavy or geographic analysis stuff that one of our PhDs should do), or don't want to do. The result was... very few things. Entirely things where I'd be helping someone else, doing repetitive double-check type tasks.

Yeesh.

He talked a lot about how he thinks I'm so smart, he enjoys working with me, etc, but also how he doesn't want me to end up like [two people who left this year] who eventually got in a rut and hated working here. He suggested that I take a few weeks to think over whether I'd be interested in transferring to the Brooklyn section of the Department of City Planning to do more traditional city planning stuff (neighborhood outreach, approving building plans, etc). The alternative is that we work together to come up with some projects to expand my skills here, doing data/statistical type stuff. But that seems a little iffy to me-- whether I could really get to the point where I'm on the level of my colleagues who are more math-brained and math-trained than I am.

He emphasized that he wants me to do what will make me happy and help me advance my career. He told me an anecdote about a time in his career where he had to make a big decision about whether to make a change and do something else and how he agonized over it.

And everything he said was true, and I've been saying ever since I started that my data chops are not up to working in this section, but it still sucked to hear. It sucks to feel like for the past year and a half he's been watching me and mentally noting all my weaknesses. I entirely believe he meant this in the most positive way and really does just want me to find the right place for me. But. Ugh. A low moment.

Came home and walked to the GF's house and she had ordered thai food and we ate it and then walked to get ice cream. It's a beautiful evening in Brooklyn. And it's so nice having someone to come (kind of) home to.

(we also discussed moving in together in 2019... lately I am seeing 1 bedroom apartments that are KILLING me with desire)

4
Wild Card / Re: Shit my ________ says
« on: August 06, 2018, 03:43:34 am »
I am looking for some very minor jewelry for my GF's birthday. Like a very simple necklace. For some reason everything I kind of like on etsy is labeled "dainty" and that word is killing me. I just want a little silver item for my girlfriend, not like, a frilly lace garment for a victorian lady.

5
Wild Card / Re: Return of the Son of Today I'm Gonna...
« on: August 05, 2018, 06:35:02 pm »
Nope! She’s in a pretty distant part of the city. BUT:

1. She’s a member of my socialist group. In one interview they asked why she joined and she mentioned we were some of the only non Puerto Rican people at a solidarity rally 100 days after the hurricane, on a day when it was like 10 degrees and nobody came. I was there!
2. Also, in her awesome campaign video there’s a shot of her giving a speech and it cuts to the crowd and shows people cheering. I was standing next to the camera man because i was a volunteer vote-counter at that meeting.
3. I was in a neighborhood she will represent on Election Day and it was so fuck*ng rad. Posters and t shirts and smiling supporters everywhere.

I should have been out canvassing for her but ... canvassing really sucks.

6
Wild Card / Re: Return of the Son of Today I'm Gonna...
« on: August 01, 2018, 04:28:10 pm »
True. Wild. I can definitely spend less on lunch though. I work near Wall Street so everything is priced for people who make many times what i make. I wonít get to ďcan live aloneĒ but putting money in my savings account is a good idea. Yeesh.

7
Wild Card / Re: Return of the Son of Today I'm Gonna...
« on: July 31, 2018, 12:34:01 pm »
No, this is my own stupidity. I have truly tiny student loans (parents paid for college, scholarship and overpaid assistant gig for my masterís) and i make a lot of money. Not a lot of money for NYC, but a lot of money for a single 30 year old dude. Certainly more than Iíd make in a smaller city with lower rent.

8
Wild Card / Re: Return of the Son of Today I'm Gonna...
« on: July 30, 2018, 02:55:14 am »
Yikes. I felt like lately my bank account was a little stagnant so I put everything from the last six months in excel and categorized it. Turns out:
1. I'm at a net negative for the year!!!!
2. It's 100% due to eating out too much. No vacations, minimal shopping (I buy shirts and stuff when needed, replaced my dying laptop). I drink a few beers at a bar maybe once a week. I'd feel more OK about this if I were taking my girlfriend out for amazing meals but... nope. All trashy convenience food, mostly for breakfast and lunch. Bagels, sandwiches, salads, chinese food, and coffee coffee coffee. The good news is, tomorrow is my last day of field research, so it will be way easier to bring lunches. But, damn.

(well, ok, the NYC rent isn't helping either)

9
Wild Card / Re: Return of the Son of Today I'm Gonna...
« on: July 11, 2018, 09:14:28 pm »
I just wanted to say what ash said but with the tuna joke

10
Wild Card / Re: Return of the Son of Today I'm Gonna...
« on: July 11, 2018, 04:04:38 am »
I heard you can fillet a piano but you can't fillet a giraffe

11
People & Places / Re: Is Facebook correct?
« on: June 29, 2018, 06:14:59 pm »
I heard in history class that they used to make you clean out hoss stalls and do all kinds of farm chores back then

12
Wild Card / Re: Return of the Son of Today I'm Gonna...
« on: June 27, 2018, 06:52:11 pm »
My boss sent us an idiotic political article and i decided to keep my cool and then he brought it up in a meeting and my coworker egged me on and i lost my cool. It was not good. Itís a dumb argument Iíve heard a million times but i got so mad that i did not explain myself well. Not great.

Well, i told my coworkers that the working class creates all wealth, so at least i can claim a victory for... slogans.

13
Arts & Entertainment / Re: Make Me Choose Between Two Bands
« on: June 22, 2018, 03:25:37 pm »
I think I'd have to go Bowie but that one is tough.

Zep over Stones, Kinks over the Who, Replacements over Husker Du (although I did make my gf listen to a few Husker Du songs the other day because I was trying to explain that there are different kinds of punk)

14
Wild Card / Re: Return of the Son of Today I'm Gonna...
« on: June 12, 2018, 02:35:53 am »
it was a candid photo taken between more posed photos and it looked like she was flashing a hand with a ring on it. Apparently some people don't know the engagement ring goes on the ring finger.

Paul, I misread your post before. I hope we are not accidentally engaged.


15
Wild Card / Re: Return of the Son of Today I'm Gonna...
« on: June 11, 2018, 02:21:42 pm »
No, we were at a wedding as guests. It was a super fancy one. Holy cow

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