September 29th, 2009

study, words, language

support vector machines and kindness to the other kids

beckyb and others have pointed me to these photos of the CMU "machine learning protesters". There are some pretty clever signs in there, if you're a machine learning nerd like me ("Bayesians against Discrimination" -- hah).

But I feel dirty about this. As I said to beckyb:

I am amused but I kinda feel it's mean: well-intentioned (if occasionally confused) hippie protestors aren't really a threat to anybody.

The nerds who got sand kicked on them at the beach have grown up and discovered they're in charge of the world, and then turned around and kick sand on the hippie anarchist kids, ignoring the original bullies.

I wish they'd found a way to mock someone more, um, mockworthy.

still, "Support Vector Machines" made me laugh, probably because it is a [mis]parsing joke and a machine learning joke and a protest sign all at once.

ETA: it doesn't help that the people who are bringing the funny signs are almost exclusively rather pale (and smug) white men, in a crowd that is otherwise surprisingly racially diverse for a college campus.