I don’t use to (re)post random videos, but this time it is for bringing up the new quote on my about box, it is by Mikhail Kalashnikov, the inventor of the terrible AK-47 (known also simply as “the kalashnikov”) and of other small weapons.
“I would prefer to have invented a machine that people could use and that would help farmers with their work, for example a lawnmower.”
I found this quote some days ago, when I was looking for other things of course. I thought that the quote was good also for my “About” box: often I get a little frustrated because I can’t explain to my friends, to my relatives, to random people that I meet in the bar, what I do, what is the object of my work, what I invent (or what I try to invent).
It isn’t because my works are secrets or if I talked about them I would violate any nda (non disclosure agreement): I use only to work on free software.
I can’t talk about what I do to random people because my projects aren’t related (directly) to everyday life of “normal” people, or better, normal people don’t know (and don’t care of) that our every day life is strongly shaped by works like mine (things related generally to the computer science, specially to the hpc): think about weather forecast, diagnostic tests, physics and biological simulations, and much more (yes, of course there are also social forums).
But when someone asks me what I do, I simply answer “some research related to the computer science”, and they say “uhm, ok, PCs”, or “great! You really can help me, my msn isn’t working very well … probably is my internet that is broken”. Also who understands that what I (try to) do isn’t fixing broken computers or reinstalling the operating system doesn’t understand the real relevance of our work; a common sentence that I hear is: “come on! Your field of research is (probably) important but isn’t relevant like medical research: we can live without computer but we can’t without medicament”. I know that who say this simply can’t figure out how medical research is highly dependent from computer science research, specially (but not only) high performance computing.
I know it, but I get frustrated the same. So sometime I say “I would like to do something simpler, something that also my mother could understand.” Probably I could use this sentence but the one by Mikhail Kalashnikov is more explosive!
Of course the one kalashnikov that I like is the one by Goran Bregovic so:
Goooooooooo! Cigani! Juris! Boom, boom, boom …
Please don’t think that the hidden meaning of this post is that I’d like to use a kalashnikov when I get frustrated because people in the bar don’t understand what I do.