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From Spain to schnitzel, UF Engineerings study-abroad program reaches new heights – University of Florida

Last summer, 15 University of Florida engineering students spent six weeks in Berlin eating currywurst and tackling pressing world problems.

Against a centuries-old backdrop laden with museums and schnitzel stands, the UF students set out to develop an easier pill bottle, mitigate coastal pollution, plan a micro-green grocer with sustainable products, straighten the posture of computer users and employ crowdsourcing to increase EV chargers in rural areas.

They developed solutions via innovation and entrepreneurship under the guidance of Professor Erik Sander, Ph.D., the executive director of UFs Engineering Innovation Institute. This month, Sander took another group of UF students to Berlin, this time with a new set of world problems and the momentum of a growing study-abroad program for UF Engineering students.

There are eight more UF engineering study-abroad programs stretching across the globe this summer. While the programs are common at UF, the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering has significantly expanded its global reach and participation for international summer studies.

The international programs in the College of Engineering have definitely grown since the office started in 2014, noted Pingchien Neo, director of International Engineering Programs at UF. In 2015, there were only two summer faculty-led programs one in Germany and one in China.

Among UFs 16 colleges, the College of Engineering now has the third highest number (387) of participating students in 2023-2024. Liberal Arts and Sciences had 760 in that timeframe, with Warrington College of Business coming in second with 548. UF has 2,848 students in study-abroad programs this year, according to UF data.

Options were limited for engineering students. Since then, we have added more programs in more varied locations and with more faculty involvement, Neo said. More and more students are interested in learning about the world beyond UF and are seeking out unique opportunities to combine their engineering career with an international perspective.

She credited the programs growth to Angela Lindner, Ph.D., who created Neos position, and Curtis Taylor, Ph.D., who was the Associate Dean of Student Affairs before Pam Dickrell, Ph.D.

This summers UF engineering study-abroad programs are happening in:

Scheffe led 24 undergraduate students from Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Environmental Engineering to Almeria and Seville in southern Spain for six weeks this summer.

We studied next-generation energy technologies (program title is UF in Spain: Understanding Next Generation Energy Technologies), Scheffe noted. This was composed of two three-credit classes thermodynamics and an applied thermodynamics class that focused on industrial decarbonization strategies.

The students who studied in Berlin tackled problems researched through their Innovation and Entrepreneurship classes. Like all the engineering study-abroad students, they sought solutions for real-world problems in the real world.

From a professional perspective, Sander said, were in a world where youre going to work with different cultures, whether they come to your office in the U.S. or you. And the only way you are going to truly excel is if you understand how different cultures work. Everybody is not going to continue to adapt themselves to U.S. culture.

Four students who travelled to Berlin last year came back to work in the Engineering Innovation Institute (EII) student leadership program, said Sander, who was born in Germany.

They have a big culture on entrepreneurship in Berlin, said Grace Peters, a Mechanical Engineering major who went to Berlin last summer and is a mentor with EII. We were able to go to the different start-up centers and explore the city. They are big on technology, so we went to their technological history museum, which was really interesting.

This year, one graduate and 16 undergraduate students joined a dozen other international students in Berlin to study innovation and entrepreneurship and apply those lessons to address the following needs:

UF student participation started increasing in 2017 with 280 UF engineering students studyingabroad, up from 204 in 2016-2017.

We bounced back rather quickly from COVID, Neo said. And in 2021-2022, 192 students studiedabroad, and in 2022-2023, there were 355 students.This year, there are 387 students studyingabroad. We are very pleased with the trend.

It gives the students a truly international context of what they are doing, Sander said. A lot of these students go into companies or start companies where theyre going to be working in an international context; the customer bases, the vendors, the partners will probably be based all over the world.

Berlin is perfect for Sanders classes: Engineering Innovation and Engineering Entrepreneurship.

If youre an engineering student, Germany is arguably the lead engineering-centric country in Europe. Berlin is the leading entrepreneurial city in Germany, Sander said.

Peters said she loved Germany as well as the other European countries they visited by train while there. She also loved the food, particularly pork schnitzel and currywurst (curry-seasoned pork sausage bites usually served with fries).

Berlin definitely put me outside of my comfort zone, she said. You try new things, like currywurst. It was an opportunity to meet new people, whether they are people from different majors or people from Australia or France or Spain. I now have really good connections.

David Schlenker July 9, 2024

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CMU’s College of Science and Engineering named University Partner of the Year – Central Michigan University

We are thrilled to share exciting news from Central Michigan University's College of Science and Engineering. The Engineering Society of Detroit (ESD) recently honored us as the University Partner of the Year for our outstanding collaboration with the Girls in Engineering Academy (GEA). This award is given to an organizational partner who has gone above and beyond, and we are deeply proud to be recognized in this way.

Our journey with the GEA program has been incredibly rewarding. In the summer of 2023, we hosted two cohorts of high school girls, and in the summer of 2024, we welcomed another cohort. These young women had the opportunity to engage in immersive STEM education both on our main campus and at the Biological Station on Beaver Island. This marks a significant milestone as its the first time a university outside of southeast Michigan has hosted a GEA cohort, and its also the first instance where GEA students have experienced authentic biological fieldwork through the program.

This partnership with ESD is a testament to our commitment to empowering young women, historically marginalized in STEM fields. The GEA program is transformative, encouraging middle and high school girls to embrace their brilliance through hands-on, project-based STEM exploration. At CMU, we contribute to this mission by offering unique educational experiences that integrate our strengths in engineering and technology, freshwater research, coastal wetland ecology, and even fashion design. Moreover, the program provides our college students invaluable opportunities to serve as instructors and campus mentors, fostering their growth in teaching and leadership.

I can confidently say that the GEA program is one of the most impactful initiatives I have encountered in my nearly 30 years in academia the program is technically strong while being fun and building a sense of belonging, said Dr. David Ford, Dean of the College of Science and Engineering at CMU. "Our collaboration with GEA is a shining example of our dedication to diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice within the College of Science and Engineering."

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Assessing and engineering the IscBRNA system for programmed genome editing –

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Spirax-Sarco Engineering (LON:SPX) Price Target Lowered to GBX 9,580 at Jefferies Financial Group – Defense World

Spirax-Sarco Engineering (LON:SPX Free Report) had its price objective cut by Jefferies Financial Group from GBX 9,690 ($124.12) to GBX 9,580 ($122.71) in a research note published on Friday, reports. They currently have a hold rating on the stock.

Several other brokerages have also issued reports on SPX. Bank of America reiterated a buy rating on shares of Spirax-Sarco Engineering in a research note on Thursday, April 11th. Shore Capital restated a sell rating on shares of Spirax-Sarco Engineering in a research note on Wednesday, May 15th. Finally, Barclays lowered their price objective on shares of Spirax-Sarco Engineering from 105.80 ($135.52) to GBX 9,960 ($127.58) and set an equal weight rating on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, April 9th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. According to data from MarketBeat, Spirax-Sarco Engineering currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of 101.10 ($129.50).

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Spirax-Sarco Engineering plc provides engineered solutions it operates through three segments: Steam Thermal Solutions; Electric Thermal Solutions; and Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Solutions. The company offers industrial and commercial steam systems, including condensate management, controls, and thermal energy management products and solutions for heating, curing, cooking, drying, cleaning, sterilizing, space heating, humidifying, vacuum packing, and producing hot water; electrical process heating and temperature management solutions, such as industrial heaters and systems, heat tracing, and various component technologies for industrial processes; and peristaltic and niche pumps and associated fluid path technologies, including tubing, and specialty filling systems and products for single-use applications.

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Bronze Age-styled ship that was in use 4,000 years ago sets sail – Interesting Engineering

Experts have reconstructed a Bronze Age ship and set it off to sail. They rebuilt the boat with the help of writings on ancient clay tablets.

The replica ship was made of reeds and it set off for its maiden journey off the coast of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.

A team of 20 specialists assembled the vessel. They used techniques similar to those of 2100 BC. This was a time when the Persian Gulf was part of global maritime trade. The ship moved at a speed of 5.6 knots.

Called a Magan boat, the vessel spans around 59 feet in length. In those days Magan boats were robust enough to make sure that goods like copper, textiles, and semiprecious stones were exchanged with ease.

The exchange would mostly take place around 4000 years ago between societies that lived in Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley, currently, they fall in the regions of Iraq, Pakistan, and India. As of now, archaeologists, engineers, and scientists believe that ancient shipbuilding can help build a seaworthy vessel. The team believes that this is the worlds largest reconstruction of a Bronze Magan boat.

Archaeologists took this initiative mainly to showcase the kind of lifestyle the people led 4000 years ago. They also aimed to preserve the UAEs maritime heritage. The design of the vessel was relying on ancient models. It included a naval engineer measuring out the appropriate length, width, and depth for the boat. This was to ensure it would be afloat with the crew and cargo on board.

We designed the ship using a combination of textual, iconographic and archaeological evidence from the region, Peter Magee, director of Zayed National Museum told Newsweek.

This includes an ancient clay tablet from Iraq listing a large quantity of materials, likely used as a shopping list for an active shipyard building. The shape of the vessel is based on ancient clay models found in Iraq he added.

Experts who were hands-on with historical replicas had built the boat using hand tools. They didnt rely too much on modern techniques. They made the outer hull of the ship using 15 tons of reeds which were locally sourced. Then they coated animal fats on wood frames and nailed the waterproofing technique.

They also tested the strength of the ropes and reed bundles to test how heavy the hull could get. The results were satisfying. The makers of the vessel revealed that they were very careful that the vessel consisted of reeds, ropes and wood only. Any presence of nails, screws and metals could just damage the ship.

This seems like the journey of a lifetime and the researchers dont deny it. The ship has already completed its sea trials and maiden journey. It will be kept for display at the Zayed National Museum. Its the national museum of UAE which is being constructed on the Saadiyat Island.

The museum will display this rarity along with insights from the Persian Gulfs maritime history and all the cultural happenings during that time.


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Gairika Mitra Gairika is a technology nerd, an introvert, and an avid reader. Lock her up in a room full of books, and you'll never hear her complain.

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Risk and Failure on the Path to Staff Engineer –


Hyde: In grade school, I was given an assignment to write a talk. We all came in the next day, and I was waiting for my turn. Someone before me talked about jumping up on a chair and trying to jump off and getting a fear of heights with a chair, which seemed silly. Indeed, it was a humorous talk. Then someone else went next, and it was a very light-hearted thing. I had this very consequential thing that I had prepared. I don't remember what it was at the time. I froze. The teacher pulled me out into the hallway and said, what do you mean, you don't have the talk? You haven't done the assignment? They have no way to know that, in fact, I did. I had written it, and I wasn't ready to share it. I took the L, and to this day, didn't pass, didn't get that assignment in sixth grade or whatever. At any rate, I'm going to try again today. I was pretty miserable in grade school. That might be unusual. Maybe no one else has hated middle school, but I didn't. My sister at the time talked to me about educational theory. She had read Piaget and various things, and she had this idea that I should homeschool. I went to my father and I said, I want to homeschool. My father said, that's a terrible idea. This is not my father. This is Jean Piaget, from the Wikipedia article, who is known for educational theory or behavioral development in children. The image prior was from the logo, programming language, which I had learned around the same time and had an Apple IIe, and taught myself Logo and BASIC and that sort of thing. My sister was my first mentor, and I would not be where I am today if it weren't for her, as well as my brother. All of my family have been incredibly influential. You don't always get to choose that. You don't necessarily have an older sister, and you don't necessarily know to go out and find mentors. It doesn't necessarily take a ton of effort, but the reward is huge.

This is a talk about risk and failure on the path to staff engineer. I want to share my progression and the things that I've tried, many of them which were not successful, and frame how that turned out and how I conceptualize that, how I think about it. If you leave this talk with nothing else, I want it to be this one slide. I want us to develop a framework to recognize risk and failure, and see that in others, and anticipate when there are other folks who are about to make mistakes. We should have a framework to mentor them out of that and bring them back from the edge. Part of that, I think, is by sharing stories such as I'm going to do here, and make it ok.

When I'm not working, I sometimes make robots. They're often terrible, horrible things that work poorly and are wildly inefficient. It's something I like to do and it's a little bit of my non-professional work, although, maybe there's overlap as well. It keeps me off the streets. This was me a little while back. My sister and my father and I, we made a compromise. I didn't go to homeschool, whatever that would be, and I didn't stay into public school. I had already been studying classical music, and so I entered the North Carolina School of the Arts, which is a school with five schools inside of a university, in a sense: dance, design and production, visual arts, music, and drama. Despite what conceptions you may have about music school, or band camp, or something of the sort, it is an immense amount of work. I entered high school for performing arts and got down to the task of doing that work. I had already been taking private lessons, but I took courses in music theory, composition, master classes, performing, and that sort of thing. I also realized that there are a lot of people there who had an immense amount of talent and an incredible drive, and had been studying and training since literally they were infants, to do this work. I took myself to New York City and the culmination of my career in performing arts was that I auditioned at the Juilliard School. There is nothing quite like walking through those doors. It's a career defining moment to hear the person before you audition at Juilliard. I realized that I didn't have the chops for that. There were a lot of people that had been preparing for a very long time. It's a very cutthroat industry, or there just aren't a lot of paying gigs. Tanya Reilly talks about the foundation of staff engineers is the technical chops, and there is no substitute. You have to put that work in. You have to learn your domain. It's required. There's high effort. It takes an immense amount of work. It pays off, because, if nothing else, it forms the foundation for future work, doing staff work, and that sort of thing.

Has there been someone in your life who was a mentor and who has led you forward on your career? Offer it to other people. I graduated high school and I left performing arts, and didn't know what I was going to do. I lived in Jamaica Plain in South Boston. I worked as a baker at a coffee shop called the Coffee Cantata, that is not the Coffee Cantata, but that is the one which allegedly Bach composed the work at, or performed at. The owner of that coffee shop where I worked, was also a musician, a classical pianist. One day, I was walking through the Arnold Arboretum which was in that area. The Arnold Arboretum is actually a research garden, as part of Harvard University. It's a very beautiful space. I was walking there and a friend of mine at the time showed me this martial art that she had been training, capoeira, and I knew right then and there that that's something I wanted to do. I began studying actually under a student of the man here in the middle, but that at that point in my life, I was making up my way and I wasn't in college. This was an important piece of that progression, and learning, showing up and taking those classes. Then, two or three years into that, some other folks came to me, some friends of mine, people I trusted, and they said to me, "You need to go to college. This is the moment. If you don't do it, you're going to forget how." I listened to them, and I applied. I think they probably sent some emails as well. I got into college. Again, encouraging people when they're stumbling or they don't know what they're going to do is really useful, really important. It's also not something you can necessarily choose. Some folks don't have mentors, and they don't have sisters and older siblings. Again, I don't know that it takes effort other than maybe be in the right place at the right time, which if you're a wandering non-college student you may not know to do. It matters.

I got into college. I went to Oberlin College in Ohio, south of Cleveland, tiny little town, tiny little university or college. I decided to study engineering, which totally makes sense because Oberlin is a little liberal arts college, and doesn't have an engineering program. I started taking the prereqs and doing the chemistry 101, and whatnot. Also, Oberlin has a beautiful library. It has a lot of cool seating. It's a really nice space. This is a place where I actually spent a fair amount of time studying physics 101 and whatnot. College was the best seven years of my life. I did a five-year degree program. I went to Oberlin and transferred to the Washington University School of Engineering. I took some time off and graduated late, which is a whole separate story about not being in your graduating class and being older than people expect you to be when you're a new college grad. I did the work. I took a whole bunch of engineering courseload, linear systems, and numerical methods, and controls theory, and whatnot. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering in the exceedingly well-known field of system science mathematics. Which if you say you have an ME degree or you have an EE degree, people know what that means. If you say you have an SSM degree, or a systems engineering degree, you find job postings for network system administrator.

I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering, and then nothing happened. I was sitting at home in my childhood bedroom. I was applying call to jobs on I had $200 in my bank account. It was 6, 9 months after graduation, and I was broke. I had nothing except an engineering degree. I did what we all know to do now because we're all fairly far along. At this point, I sent some emails, and I emailed my advisor from college. I emailed some classmates from my graduating class, from my degree program. Sure enough, someone connected me with a hiring manager and I interviewed and I got the job. Networking, probably most folks by now know that. If you take it for granted and you say, why is Caleb talking about this? There is someone out there who doesn't know that and hasn't heard that, and they need to. Encouragement matters, networking is exceedingly useful. It's also not that hard to do. It's a lot more enjoyable than just applying to your 200th job on, and not getting any responses. I don't think it's worse than the alternatives in terms of effort, but it's how everything happens. Not everyone knows that. You have to learn it. It's a skill set. A lot of these things are skill sets.

Second question, has there been a point when you were about to go off and join the circus or something, and someone pulled you back and said, stay on track? Maybe they're like, you want to join the circus, great, do it. Has there been a point where you reach the terminal point or decision point early in your career? Not so many people. I was wondering about this. I didn't know what to expect. I think I learned later in my career that this is not true of a lot of people. You have classical musicians for parents, and they get you on that path early on. Or you go to the best schools and you take internships and you graduate and all that, and that's great. There's a lot of people out there for who that's not the case, so non-traditional paths and non-traditional careers is just the natural way of being in the world. I do think it's easy to take it for granted that you go to a good high school and you do internships in college and you go to a good college, and then you graduate and get the degree and all that. It's not true for a lot of people.

I got a job at Sprint, the telecommunications company. Sprint is based in Overland Park, Kansas in the Midwest. I got down to work. I hadn't done internships. I hadn't done the traditional professional life, and I didn't know how to do it. I got down to work of like, learning the job of showing up and not falling asleep in meetings when it's alphabet soup. The conversations are just like, good gravy, telecommunications has so many acronyms. Literally, people just talk 45 minutes in acronyms, and none of it makes sense. You learn how to show up and be there and be present. Apparently, that involves a lot of khakis, and blue jeans, and shades of blue. It became this whole theme. We were like taking these photos because we're like, "You wore blue today? Me too."

I was at Sprint for many years. Telecommunications is a deep engineering field. There's a lot of really interesting engineering, goes into how call setup happens in sub-second latency, and how power propagation works. There's a lot of complexity and nuance to it. It was interesting for several years. Then I realized that all I knew was telecom. I knew people at Qualcomm. If I wanted to go work at Motorola or whatnot, I could probably do that. Or at least I could email someone or make a phone call. It's this insular thing. They're sticky. Networks are sticky. I didn't necessarily want to stay in Telecom. I didn't want to stay in the Midwest. I didn't necessarily want to wear khakis and blue all my life. It took me a little while to figure out how to extend my network and how to bridge outward. We took some more photos, and we got together. This crew actually was my innovation lab for a few years. We got together and we'd meet once a week in a supply closet where we kept telecommunications hardware and whatnot, and we would whiteboard ideas and work on patent disclosures. We challenged each other. I put this idea up on the board that we could radiate power from a cell tower to a cell phone, and Andy on the right there said that's a silly idea, that's never going to work. We were this innovation crew, ad hoc group of folks at the time. It was around the time that "The 4-Hour Workweek" came out. Then later I stumbled upon Seth Godin's work and the idea of how to develop a skill set that's unique no matter where you are, whatever company you're at, or whatever field you work, and how do you make your skill set useful. We disclosed a patent disclosure. We disclosed a whole bunch of patents and kept a spreadsheet. We had about a 1 in 3 success rate. From a very small window of my career, I actually have a whole bunch of patents to my name. The point is, it was successful. Our goofy little ragtag crew that was meeting in a supply closet, was making headway and learning some interesting stuff.

I started formulating this idea that I needed to branch out. I needed to learn a new skill set and develop a broader network. I began to teach myself software development. I picked up Python. I went to the Python Kansas City meetup for many years. I was co-organizer for many years. I taught myself software development, version control theory, data structures and algorithms, social coding. I did the work again. I then participated in Devopsdays Kansas City. I helped co-organize it one year. I spoke at it the following year. At that point, I had developed a network outside of telecommunications and outside of the Midwest. It worked. I got out. There's no substitute. I taught myself a new field, software development, and it was nights and weekends. I don't want to do it again. If someone asks me like, what did you do? I did the work. There's no substitute.

I was also at the time reading Bogle and the idea that I wanted to develop an emergency fund, a savings fund. I became an inherent of buy and hold. Despite the synopsis of the talk, I don't bet. I don't really know anything about betting, in the sense of like Vegas, or off-track, or whatever. That's a strategy, and buy and hold is a strategy. I developed a savings fund, and developed a network outside of Sprint, and outside of telecommunications. I graduated college late, and spent many years at Sprint. Some of them I felt like I wasn't getting anywhere. I decided to optimize for compensation. I decided to be a jerk, to be a capitalist, to make money, and build up a safety net fund. It worked. This is, in fact, my year-over-year compensation for the period of time when I was focused on this, and it worked. I wasn't living paycheck to paycheck. I was able to take more risks, and take longer with my job search and that sort of thing.

I can't say that this is the ordering of things that someone else should choose. Because, being a jerk, being a capitalist means you're a jerk. It means you're missing out on other opportunities or other companies' generative cultures. It's useful, because now I have freedom. I don't have to worry so much about simple things like how much a coffee costs. A lot of people do. I don't have to worry about saving face. I don't have to wear khakis. That worked. I reached a point where I was comfortable with that, and so I changed my maximizer function, at that point. I wanted to focus on finding fit. I wanted to optimize for fit. Also, all of these different things are skill sets. We talked earlier in the staff panel about what is the skill set that you might have as a staff engineer that you don't as a senior engineer, and project management is one of them. How to interview, how to negotiate salaries, how to change jobs, maybe change back, leave a company, and come back and make more money. These are skills and this is a skill set, and you can develop it. You can share that skill set with others. Really, to this day, one of the most consequential outcomes for me in my career was that I had a friend who was interviewing and she came to me and said, they're making me an offer, but it's so much. I said, you need to make twice that much, you should go back to them and tell them that. It was several conversations over a couple of days or a week or something, but it worked and she doubled her salary. To this day, I find that I was able to share a technical skill set which I had developed for myself with someone else, and help them.

I was also not that happy at the time. I took this photo, in fact, to mark the point in time because I had gone through a couple of companies in fairly short timeframes, and they were not always the most generative cultures. I was responsible for some of that, for some of that toxicity. I wasn't happy about that. I entered this company, Foghorn, as the 11th full-time hire. I had this vanity English license plate as a result of being an early hire at this consultancy. They were based in the Bay Area. They've since been acquired. I worked at Foghorn for many years. It's a consultancy in cloud infrastructure. We are a client service delivery firm. We delivered projects to engineering customers of ours, and I worked on large scale engineering cloud infrastructure projects in AWS and GCP. I built up the GCP Premier Partnership status myself. I learned project management. I learned how to manage a team of engineers and deliver work to a client, which is also a team of engineers. I got to see their code bases. I got to see how they do CI/CD, all of these different companies, large biotech companies in the South Bay. You can probably think of their names. Smaller companies, which you will probably have never heard of, because they were tiny. I developed that skill set. I was a senior engineer when I entered Foghorn, and learned these non-traditional engineering skills like project management as well as like how to organize teams and put up with people who are really good engineers, but don't show up for work.

We got to this point where my boss, the director of service delivery was basically going to level up, and we were interviewing externally for his backfill for a director of service delivery. Just as a point of clarification, in client services, director is an engineering management title. It's a line engineering title. It does not mean Director of Engineering in the more traditional sense. I was a senior engineer, and we were scheduled to interview someone here, actually. I think I was going to talk to them remotely, but they were scheduled to show up. Then they didn't show up for the interview, which baffled my boss at the time. I said, "Why don't you give me a chance? I don't necessarily plan to go into management but it would make sense for me as a logical next step in my career path. It's a skill set you need. You're struggling to fill that role." He went back to the leadership team and they came back and they said, yes. I got the role of director of service delivery for a period of time. I wasn't there for too long after that, but in a fairly short period of time, I got exposure to managing people, hiring and firing, how to have conversations with a direct report who is a higher skill level than yourself. Also, conversations with engineers who are belligerent. All the while also delivering the client work, the project work, and the engineering work. A new skill set and a new exposure.

I decided that I didn't want to stay in engineering and management. I actually came to appreciate that it is a distinct skill set. It is something you can learn and practice. I have a lot of respect for managers and engineering managers because of that. I wanted to stay on the technical side, and so I decided not to continue doing that. I left Foghorn. I also wanted to get out of consulting. In consulting, you have to establish your technical expertise quickly at first glance. You also don't have long term ownership. You advise companies and you help them deliver their work, but ultimately, they decide and they own the work, and so I wanted to get back into product engineering. I left Foghorn. I was continuing to train capoeira. Capoeira gave me a voice. It gave me the ability to feel comfortable in front of people and in crowds, and to be assertive, even if you're not sure, even if you're not confident, to still be assertive. It also appeals to me. It keeps me active. I don't get bored like I do when I go running or something of the sort.

I said to my boss, give me a shot. If I hadn't said that, they would have just kept interviewing externally, and trying to hire. I also learned through other means, through my martial arts, to be confident, and to speak loudly or clearly. This also takes a lot of work. There's also no substitute. Again, if you don't, at least ask. If you don't propose that you take on a new role or a new responsibility in your current role, you're less likely to get it. Higher reward. The opportunity cost is that you're still optimizing for yourself, not for the business. You might not be focused on what's most meaningful for the business, which, ultimately, is why we're here, why businesses exist.

I kept training. I learned to do new things. Then I got out of Foghorn. I left the consultancy and I got another job. I started to, again, change my maximizer, earlier from optimizing for comp and from optimizing for position or title, and now looking at, which company is the best, finding the right company or the company that I want to work for. One that isn't too toxic, or too boring, or whatnot. The next step for me was this progression to finding new roles. The culmination of my social media career and why I don't really promote it is this tweet which got zero replies, zero likes, anything at all. I still to this day think about it, because it's so true. If you're going to take risks, you have to expect some of them to fail, and you have to be willing to admit that you failed. You have to be ok with that, and figure out how to do that. You have to develop a skill set. This is the next few steps. I was at Foghorn as senior, and I moved to the director of service delivery, an engineering manager role that also had duties of client consulting or project delivery. Then I left Foghorn and got an IC title as senior engineer. Now, here's the thing is that moving from senior to engineering management could be considered a lateral move, or maybe not lateral, but in a sense, like a negotiation because I didn't have management experience. They were taking a chance and I was taking an opportunity to gain more experience as a director. When I decided to leave consulting, I wanted to go be an IC again, an engineer again. I took a title as a senior engineer. If you were scanning my resume, you could be forgiven for thinking that I took a demotion, or a step down. As I see it, it was two lateral movements, but it requires explanation, and that doesn't come off in the wink of an eye or if you're scanning resumes. Narratives are important and being able to provide context, communicate that context is important.

Then I took another role. I left the company after a fairly short period of time and took a role as a staff engineer. That is clearly a promotion. It was a pay bump. I did move up in IC levels from senior to staff, and yet, it was a short tenure. That senior role was a short tenure. If you're scanning a resume, you might think that was a failure. I have gotten questions about that as I interview, is, why were you only there for so long? The point here is like, if I tell you I moved from senior to staff, it seems like a clear win, but there's nuance, and that gets sussed out when you're interviewing and whatnot. Then I failed to execute as staff engineer, and I was laid off. I was unemployed for three months, and I collected unemployment for the first time in my life. There is a stigma around unemployment, being unemployed, but companies pay out of your salary. They pay taxes into unemployment funds, so you should be ok taking that if you need to. I did fail as staff. I could caveat it. I could tell you like, it was not a generative culture, or they were not working on interesting stuff. That doesn't matter, because I'm not there to influence the decisions. In any sense, I wasn't successful delivering or executing on a vision because I'm not there anymore.

That period of time, at the consultancy, and then afterwards, me consulting, is like language immersion. I learned so much about engineering orgs, and code bases, and all of that, and project management. It's not low margins, but you have to control cost carefully. You have to talk about utilization rates and say, we expect engineers to spend 83% of their week working on billable work. You have those kinds of conversations. It's pretty demanding. It can be pretty exhausting. I would joke with my manager that I was going to study for the PMP exam in the 50-to-60-hour block of my week, because there's always more to do. The consulting was exhausting. Then the work after that was successful in some sense, and not always successful, and not always enjoyable. I've, again, changed my focus, my maximizer function, and now I consider that culture is king. It's all social coding. A few years ago, GitHub had that as their tagline. It's all about optimizing for the business and optimizing for what the business needs, and figuring out how to make that happen. There's no shortcuts. There's no substitute. It requires having a lot of direct, difficult conversations. Being willing to say when you're wrong, but also not tell someone else too bluntly that they're wrong. That's my work now. That's where I'm going next.

If you had $200 in your bank account, and you went to Vegas, would you play it all on slots, or play it all at once on roulette? I don't know. I can't even ask this question because I don't bet. Inaction is a form of risk. You have to decide what to do in any case. There's different strategies for investing, and there's different strategies for maximizing your compensation. I think I've spoken to all of these and spoken about each one. This is the idea. This is the framework of like, where on the quadrant of effort and risk and reward, do each of these things fall? Like I said, I started optimizing for compensation first, and then later for fit. In hindsight, that might not have been a great idea, but it did give me latitude and leeway. Again, if all that I've said today is obvious to you, and you're like, why again, is Caleb talking about this? It's because there are other people earlier in their career who haven't heard it and they need to. We have to share our stories and be vulnerable in order for them to know that you're authentic, and to know that you mean what you say, and that you have the bona fide or whatever to advise them. My name is Caleb Hyde. This has been a talk about risk and failure.

Participant 1: You started off by saying you need to optimize for compensation because that was needed since then. Then, later on in your presentation, you talked about optimizing for fit and then culture. With your experience now, would you say that you would recommend young engineers like don't get attracted by optimizing for compensation, or do you still think that that was the right thing to do at the time.

Hyde: I don't know. I can say with assurance that working intentionally to maximize my pay, and also along with that, like you're standing in an organization in your respect, like you have a seat at the table, that was successful and useful. To answer the question without answering what you're asking is, why don't you just do all of that at once? Why don't you timeshare your development effort between comp, and fit, and behavior, and whatnot? Sure, if you have the discipline for that, and if you know to do it. If you're early career, you don't have a skill set. All of these things are obvious in hindsight, because we learned the hard way and learned by doing them or because someone told us. Early on you don't know what cloud infrastructure is. You don't know what project management is. You don't know how to tell someone they're wrong politely, and all of that. I don't have an opinion. I can't say that it was better or worse. You have to choose where to spend your time, and sometimes the only thing to work on is the thing in your view.

Participant 2: Someone once said to me, basically, work with people who want to work with you, people who are working against you, don't waste your time, don't care. Under the general umbrella of choosing your bets, kind of thing. Curious if you have anything else to talk on that, in your opinion.

Hyde: Someone I worked with early in my career would always say, choose who you work for, who you work with, and what you do. I still quote them because that's great advice. It's concise. It's pithy. It's useful. It's true. I would also never work with that person again. You learn from everyone you work with, for better or worse. There are no absolutes. It all depends.

Participant 3: You mentioned that you were working in software engineering, and then you said that you think that you failed. Do you mind sharing your thoughts on maybe how you failed?

Hyde: I think, more or less, what I was doing fits a pattern that's pretty common, which is, I was steadfast in my technology decisions. I'm like, we need to do this. What we're doing is a terrible idea, and whatnot. There was also an element of, they were asking me to do something that I had actually done several times before, a large scale Terraform migration and modernization effort, and I had opinions about that. Like, I've done that, and I found it a little boring. I also had a fairly clear idea about how to get it done from an execution perspective, like from a technical perspective of like, here's how you implement a Strangler Fig pattern, and bite the elephant one bite at a time. Again, my delivery was terrible. Even though I have in fact done large scale Terraform modernizations and written software systems to migrate Terraform, none of that mattered because they weren't working with me and listening to my advice, and ultimately, I was laid off.

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ENGINEERING THE FUTURE: Grace Lutheran students build solar car for competition in Texas – Idaho State Journal

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Imperial Valleys Talent Demand Report focuses on business, computing, and engineering – Imperial Valley Press

The Imperial Valley Economic Development Corporation recently issued its 2024 Talent Demand Report that focuses on three areas Business, computing, and engineering.

The IVEDC a collaborative effort between private businesses and local government driven by the shared goal of expanding and diversifying the economy created the Employer Working Group to address workforce needs among employers.

This assessment aims to communicate the collective demand and strengthen the local pipeline of entry-level talent in Imperial County, the report reads. The Employer Working Group will identify barriers and challenges to securing talent in areas of business, computing, and engineering, with additional sectors being included in future editions.

According to the report, representatives from academia will be involved to learn how to develop curriculums commensurate to industry needs identified throughout the process. Industry representatives will stay engaged with academia to ensure curricula stay relevant to their ongoing needs.

The report reads between 2018 and 2023 the number of jobs has increased by 3 percent, from 70,764 to 72,965.

The report also reads the labor force participation rate rose by 1.5 percent during the same period. However, 41.2 percent of those 16 years of age or older are not in the labor force.

According to the 25-page report, 7.7 percent of Imperial County residents hold an Associates Degree, 23.3 percent have some college attainment, 12.2 percent hold a Bachelors Degree, and 4 percent hold a Graduate Degree. About 28.3 percent or 31.200 residents have less than a high school diploma.

Also, the IVEDC report shows unemployment as of May 2024 was 15.4 percent a decrease from 5 years prior.

Since 2018, job opportunities have been steadily increasing, the report continues. With the development of Lithium Valley now underway, we anticipate continued job growth in Imperial County in the coming years.

The report highlights the fact that over 10,000 students attend local education institutions each year, whether part-time or full-time.

The IVEDC report reads that with the introduction of the Lithium Industry Force Training programs at the Imperial Valley College and the $80 million state-of-the-art STEM Innovation Hub at the Brawley Campus of San Diego State University the Imperial Valley is expected to meet the growing industry demand for a skilled workforce within Lithium Valley.

Strong partnerships between industry and local educational institutes are essential to bridging the gap between industry needs and training programs, the report reads.

The IVEDC said through the report the Employer Working Group was formed to provide insight into employer challenges and needs. The Corporation added that the report does not aim to reflect the needs of all employers in Imperial County but to outline important skill requirements for entry-level talent.

By sharing this information, we hope to identify a list of skills that employers agree are crucial for entry-level talent to be successful in their roles, the IVEDC report reads, acknowledging the EWG that represents multiple industries participated in a survey to share their local demand for talent. Their combined insights highlight the specific skills and qualifications needed to meet their workforce demands in Imperial County.

The report also says the EWG initially focused on three skill sets in business, engineering, and computing, but within varying industry sectors from utilities, renewable energy, public sector, construction, and engineering. The report highlights the hard skills, soft skills, software skills, and industry-specific skills essential for entry-level candidates.

Companies reported little to no turnover across all occupations surveyed and encountered minimal difficulty when filling business entry-level positions, the report adds. Despite having a sufficient number of applicants per position, a notable challenge in hiring for these roles was the lack of candidates having the necessary training and/or education.

According to the report, across various fields, the most common degree requirement for business entry-level positions is a Bachelors Degree, closely followed by a High School Diploma.

Companies highlighted a gap in proficiency among entry-level candidates in hard skills such as research and data analysis, communication skills, and presentation skills, all of which were rated as highly important for their roles.

While soft skills like verbal and written communication, problem-solving, and critical thinking were deemed crucial, findings from the survey indicate that many entry-level candidates demonstrated only basic proficiency in these areas.

Employers ranked hard skills from most to least important communication tools, computer proficiency, presentation skills, research and data analysis, marketing/social media management, and cold calling , as well as soft skills collaboration, dependability, verbal communication, critical thinking, detail-oriented, customer service, problem-solving, adaptability, and written communication.

Regarding software, employers enlisted Microsoft projects on top of the essential skills required, followed by systems, applications, and products, Paycom, Quickbooks, Microsoft Dynamics, Microsoft Suite, and Adobe Acrobat.

In the business industry, employers require a Bachelors Degree in 66 percent of cases for entry-level positions, and 33 percent require a High School Diploma.

While employers found little to no difficulty in finding qualified candidates for customer service representatives and marketing and communications, business owners reportedly found some hardship in finding candidates for finance, accounting, supply chain, and logistics, as well as some to great difficulty for project managers.

Typically, employers need from one to three months to hire entry-level candidates for finance, accounting, marketing, communications, supply chain, logistics, and purchasing, and less than that time to hire customer service representatives. Once again, surveyed employers assured it takes up to half a year to hire entry-level candidates as project managers.

For the computing industry, companies reported varying demand levels among computing entry-level positions, with higher demand observed for information technology (IT) support technicians and system/network administrators compared to cybersecurity analysts, while software developers showcased the least demand, the IVEDC reported.

The most common degree requirement across all entry-level positions was an Associates Degree or Vocational Certificate, closely followed by a Bachelors Degree.

Computer companies highlighted a mismatch between their expectations and candidates qualifications, despite receiving sufficient applicants. Many candidates lack the required training and/or education for these roles, particularly in critical hard skills considered very important by employers such as troubleshooting, fundamental networking knowledge, effective communication, and documentation skills.

Additionally, companies emphasized the importance of soft skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, adaptability, and customer service, areas where candidates often demonstrate novice experiences, the IVEDC report reads.

Consulted computing industry employers also set a list of hard skills from the most to the least important: troubleshooting, operations systems basics, effective communication and documentation, fundamental network knowledge, active directory and user management, and programming basics.

Regarding soft skills, computing employers underlined verbal communication and collaboration as the most important, orderly followed by customer service, dependability, written communication, and detail-oriented.

In terms of software knowledge, computing industry employers included Windows Active Directory, Windows Operating Systems, Systems, Applications, Products in Data Processing (SAP), Geographic information systems, supervisory control and data acquisition, Microsoft Suite, and Adobe Acrobat skills.

Employers in this sector said in the survey had no to some difficulty finding qualified entry-level IT support technicians or software engineers, but some to great difficulty for system and network administrators and cybersecurity analyst jobs.

These same employers told the IVEDC it takes from one to three months to find qualified entry-level candidates in the first two cases and up to six months in the last two.

Companies across engineering reported some turnover and significant challenges in filling entry-level engineering positions, the report reads.

Despite having a sufficient number of applicants per position, a notable challenge in hiring for these roles was the lack of candidates having the necessary training and/or education, the report adds. On average, it takes companies 1-3 months to find qualified entry-level engineering candidates.

According to survey results, for entry-level engineering positions, a Bachelors Degree is the most common degree requirement, while an Associates Degree or Vocational Certification has been listed for Engineering Technician roles.

Companies emphasize high importance on both hard skills and soft skills for entry-level candidates, the IVEDC wrote in the report.

The skill level of entry-level candidates in areas of important hard skills such as safety training, equipment testing/maintenance, basic tool knowledge were often rated as deficient or neutral, the report reads. This highlights areas where classes or programs involving hands-on training could significantly benefit candidates.

Surveyed engineering respondents said basic engineering principles and basic tool knowledge were the most significant hard skills to find in candidates, followed by safety training and data analysis equipment training and maintenance.

Regarding soft skills, from most to least important engineering employers enumerated dependability, verbal communication, problem-solving, written communication, adaptability, detail-oriented, and critical thinking.

Asked what type of software entry-level candidates skills should have, employers responded AutoCAD Systems, Applications, Products (SAP) 2, Microsoft Projects, MATLAB/Simulink, Civil 3D, Primavera, Deltek, Microsoft Suite, and Adobe Acrobat.

While finding qualified entry-level candidates for engineering technician positions was described as having little to some difficulty (from one to three months), employers said having some difficulty finding qualified candidates for general engineering jobs (over six months).

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Imperial Valleys Talent Demand Report focuses on business, computing, and engineering - Imperial Valley Press

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Anthropics Claude adds a prompt playground to quickly improve your AI apps – TechCrunch

Prompt engineering became a hot job last year in the AI industry, but it seems Anthropic is now developing tools to at least partially automate it.

Anthropic released several new features on Tuesday to help developers create more useful applications with the startups language model, Claude, according to a company blog post. Developers can now use Claude 3.5 Sonnet to generate, test and evaluate prompts, using prompt engineering techniques to create better inputs and improve Claudes answers for specialized tasks.

Language models are pretty forgiving when you ask them to perform some tasks, but sometimes small changes to the wording of a prompt can lead to big improvements in the results. Normally youd have to figure out that wording yourself, or hire a prompt engineer to do it, but this new feature offers quick feedback that could make finding improvements easier.

The features are housed within Anthropic Console under a new Evaluate tab. Console is the startups test kitchen for developers, created to attract businesses looking to build products with Claude. One of the features, unveiled in May, is Anthropics built-in prompt generator; this takes a short description of a task and constructs a much longer, fleshed out prompt, utilizing Anthropics own prompt engineering techniques. While Anthropics tools may not replace prompt engineers altogether, the company said it would help new users, and save time for experienced prompt engineers.

Within Evaluate, developers can test how effective their AI applications prompts are in a range of scenarios. Developers can upload real-world examples to a test suite or ask Claude to generate an array of AI-generated test cases. Developers can then compare how effective various prompts are side-by-side, and rate sample answers on a five-point scale.

In an example from Anthropics blog post, a developer identified that their application was giving answers that were too short across several test cases. The developer was able to tweak a line in their prompt to make the answers longer, and apply it simultaneously to all their test cases. That could save developers lots of time and effort, especially ones with little or no prompt engineering experience.

Anthropic CEO and co-founder Dario Amodei said prompt engineering was one of the most important things for widespread enterprise adoption of generative AI in an interview from Google Cloud Next earlier this year. It sounds simple, but 30 minutes with a prompt engineer can often make an application work when it wasnt before, said Amodei.

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Settler Colonialism and the Engineering of Historical Amnesia – CounterPunch

Image by mer Yldz.

It should come as no surprise to those of us with even a cursory understanding of the history of U.S. imperialism that the once sovereign Kingdom of Hawaii became the very first state in the nation to call for an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Gaza. Hawaii is an occupied nation, and has been since 1893 when the U.S. launched a coup to overthrow the sovereign rule of Queen Liliuokalani. We dont need to dive that far back into historical memory to discover that even this imperialist overthrow was acknowledged by none other than then president Bill Clinton, who, in 1993 (on the centennial of the coup) issued an official apology to the Hawaiian Kingdoman apology that notably did not include a return of the land to the people of this occupied island nation.

In fact, we only need to turn the dial of history back less than one year to the devastating wildfires that occurred in Maui in August of 2023 to understand the imperial and settler colonial legacies of U.S. intervention in Hawaii a legacy so potent that it even made it to the opinion pages of the New York Times, as Yarimar Bonilla put it,

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has acknowledged that the climate crisis is rooted in the exploitation and degradation of the environment, people and cultures, which were foundational principles of colonialism. Settlers prioritized immediate resource gains over long-term ecological health, shunning Indigenous land management practices as outdated barriers to progress.

Although partial credit is perhaps due to the The New York Times for this as well as their earlier reporting on the colonial history of U.S., French, and Canadian intervention in Haiti, readers of the so-called paper of record should ask why NYT journalists were censored from using words like Palestine, genocide, and ethnic cleansing in their reporting in the midst of Israels ongoing genocidal campaign in Gaza.

A quick peek at NYT reporting during the U.S. occupation of Haiti (1919-1934) might yield a historical clue: while U.S. colonialism exported its brand of Wall Street imperialism and expansion to the island nation during the military occupation of 1915-1934 (and after), the NYT normalized this legacy for its millions of subscribers; a relation that continues up through our present moment.

That the NYT was just awarded the 2024 Pulitzer Prize for International Journalism adds insult to injury: as reported by The Grayzone, The Intercept, and, most recently, The Times of London, the NYT has been systematically debunked for their coverage of mass rape and other falsified atrocities alleged to have been committed by Hamas on October 7, 2023.

That Minouche Shafik, president of Columbia University, currently sits on the Pulitzer Prize Board should not be a surprise, given their recent involvement in authorizing the violent suppression of student journalists who were covering the police raids on anti-genocide student encampments on the Columbia campus. This entanglement is seamlessly aligned with the NYTs frequent normalization of colonial, imperial, and genocidal violence.

It should also not come as a surprise that Israels genocidal campaign in Gaza, backed ideologically, financially, and materially by the U.S. State Department has caused an uproar on college campuses across the countryand around the world. These Students, not unlike the Hawaiian state legislature, are not only directing their passionate demands for an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Gaza but also focalizing the long history of settler colonialism and imperialism that continues to be disavowed by the media and the U.S. ruling elite. How else can we understand Israels ongoing genocide in Gaza, which includes forced starvation, ecocide, ethnic cleaning, and, at the time of this writing, upwards of 35,000 people murdered, nearly 15,000 of which are children, unless we situate it in the longue dure of settler colonialism and U.S. imperialism?

Contemporaneous with sublime acts of historical disavowal such as President Bidens recent rhetoric regarding Hamas ancient desire to exterminate the state of Israel, and Antony Blinken and Mitt Romneys dorm room, pseudo-intellectual struggle session linking the congressional ban of Tik-Tok to Israels failing PR image, students on university and college campuses are on the frontline of an ideological war, struggling against the tides of historical amnesia and modern day capitulation to fascism; their collective demands that institutions of higher education divest immediately from Israel and U.S. weapons manufacturers are an organized, measured, and ultimately strategic national and international political intervention which recenters the twin legacies of settler colonialism and U.S. imperialism, as well as, to borrow the title of Alberto Toscanos recent book, the late fascism that marks our present moment.

In tandem with the ongoing history wars taking place in professional circles, college campuses, as well as state legislatures, former presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton recently took to the airwaves to berate students protesting genocide, telling the hosts of MSNBCs Morning Joe, that students dont know very much at all about the history of the Middle East, or frankly about history, in many areas of the world, including in our own country.

We must remember, following the lead of students protesting Israels genocide, that the mentality that spurred on the colonization of Turtle Island was the deeply held conviction behind the Doctrine of Discovery and Manifest Destiny, which served as the justification for the genocide and forced removal of millions of Indigenous people while also, over time, permeating both the European-American psyche and the United States legal system (in another moment Americans like to forget, even the liberals sweetheart, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, cited the Doctrine in 2005 as reason to rule against tribal sovereignty).

Such creation and ownership mythology is also at the root of the Zionist project, exemplified not only through the old adage used in the creation of Israel about a land without a peoplebut also in fictions of birthright narratives. European settlers colonized Turtle Island with similar creation myths and strategies used by the European Zionist settlers who have been colonizing Palestine. And the cultural forgetfulness that conveniently downplays residential schools in America is the same that allows for Israel to bury the history of the Yemenite Children Affair, in which thousands of babies and children from Yemen, Morocco, Iraq, and other nearby countries were kidnapped out of absorption camps by Israeli authorities and adopted into Israeli families two contemporaneous tragedies on the historical timeline. It becomes all too clear how the descendants of the early Puritan settlers and the original Zionists are so easily able to come together in their joint willful ignorance of the brutality of their practices, both past and present.

For decades, Israel, like many colonizing nations, has been able to hide under the security of the blanket of historical amnesia. Its been all too easy for Israel to float by in the public eye as the world pays little attention to its past supporting violent regimes. For instance, its rarely broached by our politicians or mainstream U.S. media that Isreal supplied weapons and surveillance technology to the right-wing government and military in El Salvador; planned and helped to execute scorched earth plans against the indigenous populations of both El Salvador and Guatemala; provided military training and support for General Jose Efrain Rios Montts successful coup and violent dictatorship; and gave weapons and training alike to the Rwandan military and Hutu militias before and throughout the 1994 genocide.

The mobilizing of the global Palestinian solidarity movement happens simultaneously with the receding of this historical amnesia the very selective forgetting which has both served to keep empire safe from mass resistance has also been weaponized by political leaders to discredit the movement and the people leading it. Its not hard to read the fear cloaked in disdain in Hillary Clintons remarks. Ironic, though unsurprising, for such commentary coming from someone who has relied on the general historical ignorance of her own problematic history; recall her time using prison labor for yard and house work while in the Arkansas governors mansion, among other misdeeds of imperialism which bear her bloody signature.

Her commentary also conveniently neglects to address the fact that if young people in America dont know about history, its because it has been kept from them through deliberate attempts to facilitate and spread such historical amnesia. The American education system has long been known to erase and whitewash much of its history, and major publishers of school textbooks have a record of purposely publishing discrepancies in their history books. In the case of SWANA history in particular, students often find the history skipped over entirely, and one major publisher, McGraw Hill, was forced by Zionist lobbyists to discontinue a book with a map of Palestine in it. Meanwhile, those very students Clinton speaks of are educating themselves and each other by creating content and leading teach-ins about the historical and current connections of settler colonialism across the globe.

Clintons interview reveals her own insecurity and anger that the younger generations are calling attention to what she and the ruling powers would like to keep hidden: the reality of the historical and ongoing colonial violence of both Israel and the United States. Such insecurity is also at the root of Tennessee Representative Andy Ogles introducing a bill to convict and send the Palestinian solidarity student protestors off to Gaza. The historical amnesia they feel receding from the minds of the young masses terrifies them because their positions of power are reliant on maintaining a culture of minimizing and outright denying past and current atrocities.

The struggle for Palestinian liberation is intricately tied to the historical and current struggles against colonialism around the globe, and many of these violent forces are intertwined. Consider that Elbit, the very same Israeli company which built the Apartheid wall in Palestine, provided design recommendations and surveillance technology for the US-Mexico border wall as well as on Indigenous reservations in Arizona. There is a reason that Mexico City was a major location of escalation against the Israeli occupying forces in Palestine; protestors threw stones at police officers and set ablaze the Israeli embassy because they were compelled to act against the interconnected forces of colonialism and imperialism which work to violently oppress Indigenous people globally.

In 2017 and 2019, a delegation of Chicanx, Indigenous, and Black activists from Turtle Island visited Palestine to build solidarity in the struggle against apartheid walls and colonial borders. In 2023 and 2024, the chant repeated at protests, From Palestine to Mexico, these border walls have got to go, isnt just symbolically referring to imperialism-made borders, it directly calls out the creators and enforcers of these militarized boundaries.

Meanwhile in May, during the ongoing invasion of Rafah, former Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley signed her name on a U.S.-provided Israeli artillery shell, and adorned it with a heart, encouraging the IDF to Finish them! On the same trip, she participated in a fear-mongering interview, saying When these Iranian terrorists say death to Israel what do they say next? They say Death to AmericaIsrael is fighting Americas enemies. What her statement reveals is that the ruling class knows what the masses are awakening to not only the connections between the colonization in Palestine and oppression globally, but also the power of resistance movements to fight them off.

Empire always reacts to movements and moments of liberatory potential by tightening its grip, by pushing down their boot on the neck of the colonized because they know what is coming for them when the time is up as the recent SCOTUS decision regarding presidential immunity seems to indicate (although, there is plenty of evidence that presidential immunity has been the status quo for centuries in the United States, particularly in terms of its application abroad, as the history of U.S.-sponsored political assassinations, coups, and other covert actions clearly indicates).

Historical amnesia seeks to have us forget not just how these systems of oppression have functioned, but also how they have been resisted. Just as the Doctrine of Discovery was met with Pontiacs Rebellion (1763 1765); U.S. chattel slavery saw Turners Rebellion in 1831 and John Browns Rebellion in 1859; French colonial rule of Saint-Domingue was met with the Haitian Revolution (1791-1804), which, to quote historian Gerald Horne, ignited a general crisis of the entire slave system which could only be solved by its collapse. Meanwhile, the larger cultural milieu under the rule of the colonizers works to have its populace demonize or, better yet, entirely forget the history of these rebellions altogether.

Now that a large Palestinian solidarity movement is erupting as the details of the Israeli colonialist expansion come to mainstream media, our political leaders are reacting from a place of fear that is at the core of every colonizers heart. In 1972, Dr. Angela Davis put it well: They dont want us to relate to this world wide movement because they feel that we might become a little bit more confident about our ability to win. We might be a little bolder, we might start doing more things to challenge the power of the monopolies here. But things are gonna change.

We suspect we will continue to see these eruptions in escalation tactics to be led by Indigenous and other people of color around the globe against the tides of settler colonialism and neo-fascism. Hillary Clinton and other rich, white lawmakers know deep in their core that the clock is ticking on their time in power; they can perhaps detect the steady march of the growing peoples movement pulsing like the tell-tale heart pounding beneath their floorboards.

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Settler Colonialism and the Engineering of Historical Amnesia - CounterPunch

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