The ridiculous diamond

May 12th, 2024 – 7:13 am
Categorized as Economics Note and tagged as ,
Written by La Ecrivain

Update: As of 26 May 2024, The diamond has been replaced with a lightbulb in the far right area of the title bar, which is not nearly as grotesque.

The diamond in the title bar is why I refuse to pay for Microsoft Office 365. I pay Dropbox and SoftMaker instead. Microsoft has already lost several hundred dollars from at least one customer over it. They put it there under the auspices of the buyers of the subscriptions not knowing what they purchased. The business versions of Office 365 do not have that diamond.  If you want to write or work on spreadsheets, they expect you to stare it non stop because it is right in the line of travel for the eye.

An excellent alternative to Microsoft Office is called SoftMaker Office. It is made by a European company and it has a very modern and clean interface.  The interface is the worst part of Libre Office, and Soft Maker solves that problem beautifully.

This document went through several drafts, and finally a memo was needed for the author to prevent descent into the glum.

“Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil-speaking, be put away from you, with all malice” (KJV, Ephesians 4:31)

What about installing Office 365 business for myself?  Many years ago, I installed Office 365 for enterprise.  This was around 2012 or 2013.  It had been called SharePoint Online and it did not include all of the desktop applications.  I configured SharePoint for a public facing website, handled the license assignments to myself and setup Outlook online to use Outlook 2013 with it.

Recollections of leaning Office 365 and a host of other items that I learned on my own time made me question the wisdom of independent study projects. I posed a question to some Large Language Models (LLMs) to see what they had to say on the subject.

This was the question. “Does independent study help one’s career prospects?”

Mistral Instruct (uncensored):

The first time I asked:

Independent study can potentially contribute to enhancing one’s career prospects. It shows a level of self-motivation, initiative, and discipline in pursuing knowledge and skills relevant to their field. Employers value these traits as they indicate a strong work ethic and the ability to take on challenges independently. Additionally, independent study can lead to acquiring specialized knowledge or expertise that may set an individual apart from others in their career field. However, it’s important to note that independent study should be balanced with formal education and practical experience for optimal career prospects.

The second time I asked:

Independent study can potentially contribute to enhancing one’s career prospects. It shows a level of self-motivation, initiative, and discipline in pursuing knowledge outside of traditional academic settings. This could be attractive to potential employers as it demonstrates an individual who takes their own professional development seriously. However, the impact on career prospects largely depends on how the independent study is conducted, what subject matter is studied, and how it relates to one’s desired career path. It’s always a good idea to consult with a career counselor or mentor to better understand how independent study can be leveraged in your specific situation.


Independent study can be beneficial for career prospects in several ways. Here are a few examples:

1. Gaining specialized knowledge or skills: Independent study allows individuals to focus on specific areas of interest and gain expertise in those areas. This can make them more valuable employees, as they have unique skills that are in high demand.

2. Building relationships with professors and mentors: Independent study often involves working closely with professors and mentors, which can lead to the development of strong professional relationships. These connections can be beneficial for career advancement, as they may provide opportunities for networking or job referrals.

3. Demonstrating self-motivation and initiative: Independent study requires individuals to take responsibility for their own learning and progress, which can demonstrate a level of self-motivation and initiative that is highly valued by employers.

4. Gaining experience in independent work: Independent study often involves working independently on projects or assignments, which can help individuals develop skills such as time management, problem-solving, and decision-making. These skills are valuable in many career fields and can make individuals more competitive job candidates.

Overall, independent study can be a worthwhile investment for individuals looking to advance their careers. By gaining specialized knowledge, building relationships with mentors, demonstrating self-motivation, and developing experience in independent work, individuals can increase their chances of success in the workplace.

Wizard 1.2

Independent study can indeed be beneficial for an individual’s career prospects. Here are a few reasons why:

1. **Specialized Knowledge**: Independent study allows you to delve deeper into specific areas of interest that may not be covered in your regular coursework or job responsibilities. This specialized knowledge can make you more competitive and valuable in the job market, particularly if it aligns with industry trends or emerging fields.

2. **Self-motivation**: Independent study requires self-discipline and motivation to learn on your own without external pressure. Employers often value these qualities as they demonstrate initiative and a proactive approach to learning, which are highly desirable traits in the workplace.

3. **Problem Solving Skills**: Independent study requires you to solve problems and find answers by yourself. This skill is valuable in any career field as it shows your ability to think critically and creatively.

4. **Networking Opportunities**: Many independent studies involve working with a mentor or advisor, which can lead to networking opportunities that may help you advance your career later on.

5. **Enhanced Resume/CV**: Independent study demonstrates initiative and commitment to learning, both of which are highly valued by employers. It also provides an opportunity to develop new skills or deepen existing ones, making it a great addition to any resume or CV.

6. **Personal Growth**: Lastly, independent study can be personally fulfilling and lead to personal growth. Learning something new can boost your confidence, increase your knowledge, and enhance your overall well-being.

In conclusion, while it depends on the individual’s career path and goals, independent study can indeed help one’s career prospects by providing specialized knowledge, demonstrating self-motivation, enhancing problem solving skills, offering networking opportunities, improving resumes/CVs, and promoting personal growth.


Yes, independent study can definitely help one’s career prospects. Independent study refers to the self-directed pursuit of knowledge and skills outside of a traditional classroom setting. This type of learning allows individuals to explore their interests in depth and develop expertise in specific areas that may not be available through formal education programs.

By engaging in independent study, one can gain valuable knowledge and skills that are relevant to their career goals. For example, someone interested in pursuing a career in technology could independently study programming languages or software development, which would make them more competitive in the job market. Additionally, independent study demonstrates initiative, dedication, and passion for learning – all desirable traits in potential employees.

Furthermore, independent study can also lead to networking opportunities with experts in one’s field of interest, which could result in new career connections or even job offers. Overall, engaging in independent study shows a commitment to continuous learning and professional growth – qualities that are highly valued by employers.

Nous Hermes 2 Mistral DPO

Independent study can indeed be beneficial for one’s career prospects. Engaging in independent study allows individuals to develop new skills, expand their knowledge base, and stay current with industry trends. This can lead to increased expertise, which is highly valued by employers and clients alike. Here are some ways that independent study can help your career:

1. Enhances Skills: Independent study provides an opportunity for professionals to learn new skills or improve existing ones outside of their regular work environment. This could be anything from learning a new programming language, mastering a software tool, or developing project management techniques. By acquiring these new abilities, individuals can become more valuable assets within their organizations and stand out in the job market.

2. Demonstrates Initiative: Employers often value employees who take initiative to learn on their own time. Engaging in independent study shows that you are proactive about your professional development and committed to staying current with industry advancements. This can make you a more attractive candidate for promotions or new job opportunities.

3. Broadens Perspective: Independent study often involves exploring different viewpoints, methodologies, and approaches than those used in one’s regular work environment. This exposure to diverse ideas can help broaden your perspective, making you better equipped to solve complex problems and adapt to changing circumstances.

4. Networking Opportunities: Many independent study programs involve networking with other professionals who share similar interests or goals. These connections could lead to potential collaborations, job opportunities, or mentorships that might not have been available otherwise.

5. Personal Fulfillment: Finally, engaging in independent study can provide personal fulfillment by allowing you to pursue topics of interest outside your day-to-day work responsibilities. This sense of accomplishment and satisfaction can contribute positively to overall job satisfaction and motivation.

In conclusion, investing time in independent study not only enhances one’s skills but also demonstrates initiative, broadens perspective, provides networking opportunities, and offers personal fulfillment – all factors that can significantly improve career prospects.

Llama 3 Instruct

Independent study can have a significant impact on one’s career prospects. Here are some ways in which it can benefit your professional life:

1. **Demonstrated initiative and self-motivation**: Pursuing an independent study project shows that you’re proactive, motivated, and willing to take ownership of your learning. These traits are highly valued by employers.

2. **Development of valuable skills**: Independent studies often involve developing specific skills or knowledge areas that can be applied directly to a career. For example, if you’re studying data science, you’ll gain practical experience with tools like Python, R, and Tableau.

3. **Enhanced problem-solving abilities**: Independent study projects typically require you to analyze complex problems, design solutions, and implement them. These skills are highly transferable to professional settings where creative problem-solving is essential.

4. **Improved time management and organization**: Completing an independent study project requires strong time management and organizational skills. Employers appreciate individuals who can prioritize tasks effectively and manage their workload efficiently.

5. **Increased confidence and self-awareness**: Pursuing an independent study project helps you develop a sense of accomplishment, which boosts your confidence in your abilities. This increased self-awareness can help you navigate professional challenges more effectively.

6. **Networking opportunities**: Independent studies often involve collaborating with peers or mentors who share similar interests. These connections can lead to valuable networking opportunities and potentially open doors for future collaborations or job opportunities.

7. **Enhanced employability**: Many employers view independent study projects as a demonstration of an individual’s commitment, work ethic, and ability to take initiative. This can make you more attractive to potential employers, especially in competitive industries where these skills are highly valued.

8. **Personalized learning experience**: Independent studies allow you to tailor your learning experience to specific career goals or interests. This personalized approach helps you develop a deeper understanding of the subject matter and prepares you for real-world applications.

To maximize the benefits of independent study on your career prospects:

1. Choose a project that aligns with your professional goals.

2. Set clear objectives, timelines, and milestones.

3. Develop a plan to share your findings or showcase your work (e.g., through presentations, blog posts, or portfolio websites).

4. Engage in regular self-reflection and evaluation of your progress.

By pursuing an independent study project, you’ll not only gain valuable skills and knowledge but also demonstrate your ability to take initiative, think critically, and solve problems – all essential qualities for career success!