Fallen Branch

Three Day. Off to Nawth Alibam’s Shining City on the Hill. Much dashing about. So late for morning informational ablutions. So while plumbing the depths of FaceScroll, I came across this [Link]

I found this tree rather amusing, mostly for the choices of branches. As with most such amateur attempts at graphical taxonomy, the entertainment is in what is left out rather than what is put in. Among these is the branch of NERD STEMs.

First of all NERD STEMs tend to use Linux because of its capabilities and freedoms. Depending on their depth of interest in computational “science” (used here figuratively since anything that has to tell you it’s a science, isn’t,) they may use either Debian or Arch branch. Only the ones who operate in tight control environments use institutional Linux. I shall not dignify this matter with further comment.

As a rule, NERD STEMs want a non-hassling Linux distro. Geeks may want to wonk about with bit bashing but Nerds generally see the distro as a tool and want it to be tool-like: well behaved and trustworthy. And not in need of repair. But sometimes in need of modification.

NERD STEMs may be theoreticians, experimentalists, or intermediates. Some disciplines, such as biology tend to be almost exclusively experimentalists. 

Theoreticians tend to be primarily concerned with maths. That means that they will generally have several computational algebra clients on their box. No point in wasting time bashing maths for analytical solution when the box can do it. They also like graphs so they will have a couple of instant graphification clients. 

Experimentalists tend to be concerned with numbers. That means they will have some high tension (as in electricity) statistical clients and and maybe some electronics design clients and CAD/CAM/CAE clients. They also have statistics and graphing clients to crunch the experimental numbers.

Intermediates are the intersection/union of the two previous.

Nerds write code. Mostly they write in FORTRAN and NERD PYTHON. They don’t care about GUI stercus once they get to graduate schule. All that matters is numbers. And pictures of numbers. Not pretty box art. 

Enough. The branch for STEM NERDs is probably orthogonal to the sheet of the picture above.

And maybe that’s a good thing.