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Comment: Re:There are people who want to learn and not go t (Score 2) 137

by Copid (#49386691) Attached to: The End of College? Not So Fast

This statement gets thrown around a lot when discussing college, but I just don't see how it holds up. It is very rare for an undergraduate to do any significant research, so most of the learning comes from assignments and probably a little group work.

I'd argue that a big part of it is being given assignments that stretch you more than you've been stretched. You don't have to do original research to be geniuinely challenged and grow from the experience. You just have to be given an assignment that requires you to dig for answers and fail. You have to exhaust most of your options when trying to figure something out. It's something we should probably be doing much more to kids well before they get to college, but college seems to be where we start doing it, so that's where the value is.

Since this is slashdot, there will be a million posts by clever college students who are doing really well in their classes and see them all as a waste of time. "Nothing at a university can challenge me! I'm the hottest shit that ever was shat!" All I can say is that they either didn't choose programs that were challenging enough for their level of talent or they're unusually talented people--the most brilliant of the most brilliant--and the world was not really designed for them. Or they're badly overestimating their level of talent, but that almost never happens.

Comment: Printing press (Score 3, Insightful) 137

by Copid (#49383847) Attached to: The End of College? Not So Fast
What I want to know is why anybody would expect online education to replace traditional education any more than the printing press and wide availability of books made traditional education obsolete. Widely available course materials are great and we're a richer world now that we have them, but the fact that universities survived the democratization of books should tell us that real schools still add some value above and beyond the raw information.

Comment: Too late (Score 2, Informative) 151

by ArchieBunker (#49381047) Attached to: Firefox 37 Released

I dumped Firefox when they changed to the hipster bullshit minimalist interface known as Australis. For a while Waterfox and Palemoon were doing a decent job. One day I decided to try Chrome to see how 60fps video looked on Youtube. Talk about night and day. Chrome is so much more responsive and doesn't use as many resources. Grab the usual essential addons (uBlock, Flashblock, etc) and you're good to go. No wonder Firefox has a dwindling user base. Instead of improving whats already there I get a video chat client and a paper airplane button to alert people on social media? Is this like email forwarding of the 90s?

Comment: Re:I'm all for abolishing the IRS (Score 1) 323

by Copid (#49376011) Attached to: Sign Up At Before Crooks Do It For You
You're going to have to come with an explanation for why this historical percentage holds true in the US but not in any other country. My theory is that it's what we generally prefer and when we adjust our tax policies, we do so within that narrow range. There's no magic economic force that reduces the government's take below 20% no matter what we do. We just choose not to raise taxes that high (and when I say, "We choose not to," I really mean, "We elect officials with enough variety in their preferences that they don't all agree to raise taxes that high"). A couple of other points:

1) The difference between 16.9% and 19.2% of GDP is massive. At our current level of GDP, it's well over $300B. The idea that changing tax rates so that the receipts bounce around in that range has no real effect is just silly.
2) I'm happy to give the Republican congress the credit for the things they were involved in, but let's not rewrite history. The deficit trajectory reversed direction before 1995. The 1993 budget was passed with no Republican support and over screams that it would destroy the economy. To my knowledge, there was nothing particularly special about the 1995 budget in terms of deficit reduction.

Comment: Re:Ballsy, but stupid ... (Score 1) 308

by Copid (#49375759) Attached to: Attempted Breach of NSA HQ Checkpoint; One Shot Dead
If you're guarding an NSA facility, your job is to risk your life for the people and secrets inside that facility, not people trying to force their way in. If you try to strong arm your way into an NSA facility, you're probably up to no good. At best you're an unstable person trying to make a political statement and you don't mind putting others in danger to do so. At worst, you're carrying an assault team or a car bomb and things will get infinitely worse if your vehicle is allowed to hit one of those buildings.

The "Let's just see how this plays out" response is the response you get before you try to breach the outer perimter. That's your not-getting-shot-at freebee. Once you've used up that freebee, you don't get the benefit of the doubt anymore. It's kind of like breaking into somebody's house at night while their family is sleeping. You get the benefit of the doubt if you stay outside the front door. Once you climb in the window, you've burned through all of your goodwill and nobody really owes you any deference.

Comment: Re:nice try but waste of legal fees (Score 1) 331

by Copid (#49366255) Attached to: Amazon Requires Non-Compete Agreements.. For Warehouse Workers

Overly broad non-competes are almost universally unenforceable. The lawyers writing this non-sense know this.

So why, in a world with a professional class of licensed legal experts who write contracts, are lawyers allowed to put obviously illegal and unenforceable stuff into contracts and pay no personal or professional penalty for it? A pilot who regularly disobeyed FAA regulations or a doctor who consistently gave bad medical advice would be penalized, but attornies can write contracts that don't mean anything and the only thing that happens is a judge draws a line through their nonsense and gives them credit for whatever they got right. WTF? With a system like that, *I* could write contracts and take fees from clients.

Comment: Re:Good Luck (Score 1) 331

by Copid (#49366201) Attached to: Amazon Requires Non-Compete Agreements.. For Warehouse Workers

You really think Amazon wants to take the PR hit by suing a contractor who worked in their warehouse for 10 dollars an hour?

Yeah, I've heard that stuff a lot from employers trying to get ridiculous bullshit into contracts with me. "It says we can burn your home to the ground and sow your fields with salt for no reason, but we'd never actually do it. What? Remove the clause? Well... no."

"Success covers a multitude of blunders." -- George Bernard Shaw