# [Interview] Interview with a raptor: Get to know trinker

#### victorxstc

##### Pirate
I am so keen on literacy. [edit: later I searched and saw it doesn't mean "literature"]. So if you are active in literacy (meaning the ability of reading and writing), are you a psychologist?

But have always wondered that how it [the literacy and literature] emerged and evolved? Do you have any idea (of course you do) why and how?

Have you ever read some poems (translated) from my country?

Can English accept perfect rhymes? You know for example in our poems, the number of syllables and their tone is (and must be) exactly similar for hemistiches, but I see the lyrics of English musics do not follow such a pattern. As a professional, what is your idea about it?

Have you read 1984? Do you like George Orwell?

#### victorxstc

##### Pirate
The second secret to learning anything is to teach it, talkstats (if someone doesn't beat me to answering) and stackoverflow, both provide opportunities to continue practicing your skills.
So true trinker

Next Round

1) Where do you see yourself after 5 years? What do you see as an ideal job?
2) What is your favourite topic in statistics? what else you wanted to explore?
3) This question I wanted to ask in general. Trinker is the most eligible person to this question. "What do you feel when you read UK English. Like Colour for color or centre for center or favourite for favorite ... etc. Is it same for you or you feel irritated?"

4) What is your favourite movie?
5) What is your favourite joke?
Trinker, could you please tell the opposites of these? (for example, what movies do you dislike? etc.)

#### victorxstc

##### Pirate
Re: Interview with a raptor: Get to know trinker

Let's face we don't even have a definition of comprehension so measuring it is a moot point.
Wow

How literacy research works? For example, once you told us that females were better in some aspects (I don't quite remember). What other examples are there for research in this field? Which problems are to be solved? And why? For example, what is the goal of research in literacy? Or what can parsing and analyzing the literature texts tell us?, and what you and your colleagues are looking for by researching the English texts? Do you use the results for understanding anthropological migrations for example? Or try to monitor the trend of changes in the way of speaking through ages and in recent years?

What is your idea about rap? Do you think it is killing the literature?

#### victorxstc

##### Pirate
Hi Trinker,
what did bring you to play guitar?
Did you take lessons or you did all just by yourself?
Do you like anything else beyong blues?
Do you like to improvise? If you do, do you happen to play with pentatonic scales only or with modal scales as well?
Do you like Joe Satriani?

Gm
Nice questions IMHO. I need to ask these from GM too

#### bugman

##### Super Moderator
1) How does it feel being a soulless killing machine hell-bent on destroying all that is good in this world? (You **** dirty raptor)
Haha. I think trinker should be on hiis way to your place right now to seek revenge!

#### bugman

##### Super Moderator
Trinker -

1) how often to you go camping?
2) where do you go camping and
3) do you fish?

#### Dason

What is the next thing related to pacman that you hope I'll actually work on?

#### trinker

##### ggplot2orBust
gianmarco said:
what did bring you to play guitar?
Did you take lessons or you did all just by yourself?
Do you like anything else beyong blues?
Do you like to improvise? If you do, do you happen to play with pentatonic scales only or with modal scales as well?
Do you like Joe Satriani?
1) I had a roommate in college that did and I fiddled around with his guitar and just kept going from there
2) learned by myself though my roommate at the time (music major) would teach me stuff
3) I love to play rock and folk but there's something so human about the blues. I can't sing so make my guitar sing. I also play slide guitar (have one set up just for this style).
4) I do like to improvise but generally stick with the pentatonic. That's all Clapton uses (for the most part) and it works well for him. One note can be powerful if done right.
5) Sorry don't know Satriani. I believe he uses an electric for the most part (from what I googled) and I tend to stick with an acoustic and more in the Delta Blues style.

#### trinker

##### ggplot2orBust
victrorxstc said:
Such an interesting background do you study only English, or are you interested in other languages as well?
How many languages can you speak?
What is your idea about French grammar, where everything is either male or female? (like Arabic) Do you find it useful/useless/stupid/elegant, or whatever else?
Is something you hate? I don't think there are too many thing you hate or don't like. But wonder what could they be (of course apart from bots)?
Why biographies are of interest to you? Which persons (I got the answer for this one in further posts)?
Which games did you like to play?
1) English is the language but more how kids learn to speak and read. I like linguistic studies and it's related but I am not a linguist. My expertise is in how kids learn to read and the approaches teachers take.
2) I speak 1-English. Sorry though if you count R that's 2. In the states we're very inward focused so learning a second language isn't that necessary (in a way English is the dominant discourse in the global market and so many Americans tend not to expand; though I remember a little bit from French and Spanish studies in high school on undergraduate.
3) Yes bots of course. I also hate laziness particularly in my self. I also hate razor scooters that were popular here. I'm not really sure why either.
4) I like factual stuff more than fiction. And it's fun learning about my heros. My favorite bio is Einstein's bu Walter Isaacson
5) I like board games (Settlers of Catan is awesome) but I like the Call of Duty series for Xbox as well

#### trinker

##### ggplot2orBust
derksheng said:
Why do you believe in the Bible?
I'd always been haunted by one question. "Everything has a beginning and an end but if I exist and the world exists at some point there has to be an unmoved mover? What is that.

The Bible for me is the Null hypothesis. I only have evidence for it's truth no proof. I actually came to the belief while in college when I took a philosophy class. I decided the question of why are we here was something that I'd better investigate. I began and have continued to read many apologetics on various religions (Morman, Muslim, Jehova's Wittness to name a few) as well as their counter arguments. I came across CS Lewis's Mere Christianity. I couldn't refute his logic and decided to investigate further. From there I read Lee Stroble's Case for Christ (PS both of these author's were former atheists and were intellectuals so I felt akin to them) and mixed it up with a bit of Descartes. Then I started reading the Christian Bible and made a personal connection. So for me the commitment started as an intellectual endeavor moved to a personal relationship and is continuing from there. So in a sense I fail to reject $$H_{o}$$.

#### trinker

##### ggplot2orBust
paraphrased victrorxstc said:
Tell the opposite of these:
1) Where do you see yourself after 5 years? What do you see as an ideal job?
2) What is your favourite topic in statistics? what else you wanted to explore?
3) This question I wanted to ask in general. Trinker is the most eligible person to this question. "What do you feel when you read UK English. Like Colour for color or centre for center or favourite for favorite ... etc. Is it same for you or you feel irritated?"
4) What is your favourite movie?
5) What is your favourite joke?
1) Don't want to work as a sewer worker or academia (as in research 1)
2) Bayesian Statistics scares me so I stay away (for now; though IRT is a bit undercover Bayesian)
3) can't negate this one
4) Worst movie ever Spice Girls followed by Speed 2 (the movie that just won't end) and 3rd place is The Titanic (I grew up in the late 90s and had to hear My Heart Will Go On until I wanted to poke my eyes out
5) Hated Joke: One at my expense

#### trinker

##### ggplot2orBust
victrorxstc said:
How literacy research works? For example, once you told us that females were better in some aspects (I don't quite remember). What other examples are there for research in this field? Which problems are to be solved? And why? For example, what is the goal of research in literacy? Or what can parsing and analyzing the literature texts tell us?, and what you and your colleagues are looking for by researching the English texts? Do you use the results for understanding anthropological migrations for example? Or try to monitor the trend of changes in the way of speaking through ages and in recent years?

What is your idea about rap? Do you think it is killing the literature?
Literacy research looks at the process and mechanisms of how we learn to read. Right now the field is heavily dependent on Vygotskian notions of Socially situated cognition. Basically the whole notion that we know nothing as individuals apart from others. Cognition is distributed among the whole (related to network theory) We have many unsolved problems and don't ever really think about what the unsolved problems are. Numero Uno (see I do know a second language) is the question of what is Comprehension? The US government spends lots of money measuring a construct we haven't even defined. I'm trying to give the Literacy people tools to begin to measure and better analyze the dialogue that occurs in a classroom. I'd love to be the guy who worked with the team that defines and produces a decent measure of reading comprehension. If we are to learn more about how to measure comprehension we can start to measure the effects of various treatments for reading problems and make determinations about how to best help various populations of students to be become more literate. I'm actually a big fan of the medical model (not 100%) in social sciences (though I respect qualitative studies as well). In fact I just read a piece by Geoffery D. Boorman making the case for systematic change in education that values experimental design. Taking the time and resources to do it right rather than poor design that causes speculation and doesn't allow for causal claims. I'm less concerned with the texts than I am with the dialogue around the texts by students and teachers. The text is dead until it's brought to life in discourse.

For the most part rap is just not my cup of tea. I often joke with my brother (who likes rap) that it's rap "allegedly" music. Though I don't really condemn it. rap is so broad in who sings and what they sing that it's kind of impossible to paint it with a broad stroke. I do respect some of Everlast's work but his folk style raps. Shoot I'd argue that Bob Dylan was the original rapper. Listen to Subterranean Home Sick Blues. I don't think music is responsible for a demise in literature. I think as a culture we're becoming more multi modal and plugged in and in the words of Dylan, The Times They are a Changin.

#### trinker

##### ggplot2orBust
bugman said:
1) how often to you go camping?
2) where do you go camping and
3) do you fish?
1) I camp a few times a year since the PhD studies. I'd like to get out with the family 10-15 times next year.
2) I camp locally now (in a place called Allegheny State Forest) but in my college years as a rock climber and back packer I traveled all over the north east back packing.
3) I don't fish anymore. Too little time at the moment. I used to fish and hunt as well. I grew up in the back woods of Pennsylvania where hunting and fishing were a way of life. But right now I study and sleep and that's about it.

#### trinker

##### ggplot2orBust
Dason said:
What is the next thing related to pacman that you hope I'll actually work on?
Getting it reworked into something presentable and out to the masses. I actually don't know how big or small that task is, but judging by your delay it's larger than I had hoped for

#### bugman

##### Super Moderator
... I grew up in the back woods of Pennsylvania where hunting and fishing were a way of life....
that's cool.

#### victorxstc

##### Pirate
I'd always been haunted by one question. "Everything has a beginning and an end but if I exist and the world exists at some point there has to be an unmoved mover? What is that.

The Bible for me is the Null hypothesis. I only have evidence for it's truth no proof. I actually came to the belief while in college when I took a philosophy class. I decided the question of why are we here was something that I'd better investigate. I began and have continued to read many apologetics on various religions (Morman, Muslim, Jehova's Wittness to name a few) as well as their counter arguments. I came across CS Lewis's Mere Christianity. I couldn't refute his logic and decided to investigate further. From there I read Lee Stroble's Case for Christ (PS both of these author's were former atheists and were intellectuals so I felt akin to them) and mixed it up with a bit of Descartes. Then I started reading the Christian Bible and made a personal connection. So for me the commitment started as an intellectual endeavor moved to a personal relationship and is continuing from there. So in a sense I fail to reject $$H_{o}$$.

#### victorxstc

##### Pirate
Literacy research looks at the process and mechanisms of how we learn to read. Right now the field is heavily dependent on Vygotskian notions of Socially situated cognition. Basically the whole notion that we know nothing as individuals apart from others. Cognition is distributed among the whole (related to network theory) We have many unsolved problems and don't ever really think about what the unsolved problems are. Numero Uno (see I do know a second language) is the question of what is Comprehension? The US government spends lots of money measuring a construct we haven't even defined. I'm trying to give the Literacy people tools to begin to measure and better analyze the dialogue that occurs in a classroom. I'd love to be the guy who worked with the team that defines and produces a decent measure of reading comprehension. If we are to learn more about how to measure comprehension we can start to measure the effects of various treatments for reading problems and make determinations about how to best help various populations of students to be become more literate. I'm actually a big fan of the medical model (not 100%) in social sciences (though I respect qualitative studies as well). In fact I just read a piece by Geoffery D. Boorman making the case for systematic change in education that values experimental design. Taking the time and resources to do it right rather than poor design that causes speculation and doesn't allow for causal claims. I'm less concerned with the texts than I am with the dialogue around the texts by students and teachers. The text is dead until it's brought to life in discourse.

For the most part rap is just not my cup of tea. I often joke with my brother (who likes rap) that it's rap "allegedly" music. Though I don't really condemn it. rap is so broad in who sings and what they sing that it's kind of impossible to paint it with a broad stroke. I do respect some of Everlast's work but his folk style raps. Shoot I'd argue that Bob Dylan was the original rapper. Listen to Subterranean Home Sick Blues. I don't think music is responsible for a demise in literature. I think as a culture we're becoming more multi modal and plugged in and in the words of Dylan, The Times They are a Changin.
I wrote a lot about your work being so exciting, but didn't want to derail the thread to "my" point of view so just want to say, your work is absolutely amazing Being on the cutting edge sounds like heaven

I'm less concerned with the texts than I am with the dialogue around the texts by students and teachers. The text is dead until it's brought to life in discourse.
I think we don't have a similar position to your job and degree here, or in many other parts of the world. But I didn't exactly understand what are the tools you provide to your students to try to comprehend the comprehension? Are these tools, the statistical analysis methods? or what else? Your job seems like a totally new and unknown thing and I'm curious to know more about what do you do, so thanks for your patience

For the most part rap is just not my cup of tea. I often joke with my brother (who likes rap) that it's rap "allegedly" music.
Yes I too think it can't be called a music, as music needs rhythm and tune, both of which are absent in rap, I think but I liked the way you finely and humbly talked about it without degrading it This is why everybody loves you here, despite the tries of bots to disrupt your reputation [I think the bots are the true lovers though ]

About the number of languages, well 3 of my 5 languages (mentioned in my interview) are like your Spanish and French

#### trinker

##### ggplot2orBust
victorxstc said:
For me the choice was about evidence I saw in the Bible not necessarily the weaknesses of other books. I'm a kind of person who wants to hold it to believe it. Take the Higgs Boson, I actually am not that certain they've discovered it. While I love stats I need a bit more than a probability (plus that stuff is way beyond my intellect). I want to see this particle.

Unfortunately, I wasn't there in any of the times of any holy books so I have to use logic. If a book predicts multiple things and they come true it's more likely to me that the book is true. The Bible contains over 300 Messianic prophesies in the Old Testament that are fulfilled in the new and corroborated with historic documents of the time. The odds on just a few of these coming true by one individual are staggering. From the evidence I have thus far the Bible is the most plausible.

As far as other books are concerned I'm not going to trample on other people's holy books or beliefs. I think it's an individual's prerogative to examine the facts (or not if they choose), gather the evidence and make a choice based on what they have.

#### trinker

##### ggplot2orBust
victorxstc said:
Being on the cutting edge sounds like heaven
To some extent yes, but I'm a researcher because I care about kids and if we're on the cutting edge that really means we haven't established as much as we should in the field. That means that we don't necessarily know how to best kelp kids. That makes me sad. So cutting edge is exciting and good for researchers but bad for education. Take the medical field, while it's still developing there's a great deal that has been definitely established because of the careful experimentation and standards the field has. To some extent that makes me jealous. It's hard to move a 20 ton ship in a new direction.

But I didn't exactly understand what are the tools you provide to your students to try to comprehend the comprehension? Are these tools, the statistical analysis methods? or what else? Your job seems like a totally new and unknown thing and I'm curious to know more about what do you do, so thanks for your patience.
An example of the field's knowledge is around reading strategies (tools that we have for comprehending text that we use automatically but don't necessarily think about). We know that in teaching kids about a reading strategy there are three parts declarative (what the strategy is), procedural(how to use it), and conditional (when and why to use it). In the US we're really good at the first two but not the last (this goes for math teaching too). We need to get better at teaching kids when and why they should use something other wise they're unlikely to use it.

I think that we have a lot of literature in reading education and a lot of beliefs and a lot of opinions but we haven't given them careful scrutiny with hard scientific experimental methods. Our evidence is we cite so and so who cites so and so who cites...I really want the field to start honestly examining it's beliefs with large experimental studies rather than continuing to debate without the generalizability that other fields like the medical field have. They know that if they give pill X to patient A, with characteristics M, N, O and P, that he is likely to recover. They know this because they've observed and then carefully tested this hypothesis. Right now, from my perspective, reading education has a lot of hypothesis but not the focused resources or organization to really test these notions for generalization to a broader audience.

#### victorxstc

##### Pirate
For me the choice was about evidence I saw in the Bible not necessarily the weaknesses of other books. I'm a kind of person who wants to hold it to believe it. Take the Higgs Boson, I actually am not that certain they've discovered it. While I love stats I need a bit more than a probability (plus that stuff is way beyond my intellect). I want to see this particle.

Unfortunately, I wasn't there in any of the times of any holy books so I have to use logic. If a book predicts multiple things and they come true it's more likely to me that the book is true. The Bible contains over 300 Messianic prophesies in the Old Testament that are fulfilled in the new and corroborated with historic documents of the time. The odds on just a few of these coming true by one individual are staggering. From the evidence I have thus far the Bible is the most plausible.

As far as other books are concerned I'm not going to trample on other people's holy books or beliefs. I think it's an individual's prerogative to examine the facts (or not if they choose), gather the evidence and make a choice based on what they have.
Thanks trinker Its good to have such a raptor here but I didn't mean criticizing them, as I thought all these books are actually great!

It was interesting that the Bible has numerous correct predictions, and I think other books have such predictions too Even some have scientific predictions which are exciting to contemplate For example in one of them there is a saying that "I (the god) emitted iron from the sky" (if I have translated correctly) which might imply the production of heavy metals in massive stars and their release through the event "supernova" and reaching us through the space, something 100% unknown at that time. I agree it might mean something totally different, but the line is interesting IMHO. There are other verses of this sort too but I again avoid of derailing