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March 07, 2023

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Curious Ellie

Hello, High Performance Computing Dan!
I have followed your Typepad blog for years. I first heard of you while reading Communications of the ACM. I'm glad you found a new home at the University of Utah.

Thank you for linking to the Aviation Week article about the pico-balloon mistaken-identity mishap. I allowed my amateur radio license to expire; I wish I hadn't. This is a lovely post. It showcases your brilliant mind (your geek bona fides are intact and superb), compassion, and clever yet kind recall of Nina and her Luftballons. This part made me feel sad:
"Ninety-nine Years of War
Left no room for winners
There is no longer a Minister of War
And also no jet planes"

I worry about that scenario too, just as Nina did in the 1980s.

Comments on your prior post are turned off. I'll take the liberty of commenting here. I agree: A college degree isn't for everyone. Also, the dominant social narrative (suggesting that the skilled trades and technical fields are inferior to college) is short-sighted and hurts us as a nation. You made excellent points and asked the right questions, e.g. "But what about all the Americans who aren't earning post-secondary school degrees?"

As your chart showed, the majority of PhDs and masters degree graduates in the USA are now foreign-born. Even the number of bachelors degrees are trending in that direction. This testifies eloquently to our excellent higher education system (...although it won't remain that way if adjuncts, RAs and TAs must subsist on poverty-level wages). I'm not xenophobic but I am concerned about all the Americans who are NOT graduating from masters and PhD degree programs. Even with more domestic manufacturing and training in non-college technical fields, the current trend will quickly lead to a bifurcation between highly-educated, foreign-born US citizens (if they choose to remain here) versus the rest of us. This is applicable to Americans of ALL ethnicities.

I'm not criticizing your post. I appreciate that you take the time to write this blog, and am a grateful subscriber!

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Dan Reed
Dan Reed

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