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Comment: Re:I LOVE READING PROPAGANDA (Score 1) 691

by lgw (#47931573) Attached to: ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children

Life is not black and white. Actions are not ever wholly good nor evil. There is always evil associated with war, or violence in general, which is why deterrence is so much better. But ISIS is pretty damned close to "wholly evil", and military action against them could well be better on balance than giving them free reign.

To quote John Kerry, recently taking Code Pink to task for protesting a military response to ISIS:

âoeyou ought to care about fighting ISIL because ISIL is killing and raping and mutilating women. And they believe women shouldnâ(TM)t have an education ...

Thereâ(TM)s no negotiation with ISIL, thereâ(TM)s nothing to negotiate. And theyâ(TM)re not offering anyone healthcare of any kind. You know, theyâ(TM)re not offering education of any kind. For a whole philosophy or idea or a cult, whatever you want to call it, that frankly comes out of the Stone Age, theyâ(TM)re cold-blooded killers, marauding across the Middle East, making a mockery of a peaceful religion.

And thatâ(TM)s precisely why we are building a coalition to stop them from denying the women and the girls and the people of Iraq the very future that they yearned for.

It would be a great moral flaw for us to simply let ISIS do what it wills. They are the worst sort of theocracy: the sort that's willing to ignore the moral code of their own religion, using it only as a crutch for power.

Comment: Re:I LOVE READING PROPAGANDA (Score 2) 691

by lgw (#47930357) Attached to: ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children

In 1953 the percentage of GDP from manufacturing was 28%. In 2012 it was at 12%. I'd call that a drop.

Were you really confused by this, or are you just trolling now?
In 1953 US GDP was ~$2.5 T in 2009 dollars. Today it's ~$16T in 2009 dollars.

Can you see now that US manufacturing has grown significantly? The rest of the economy just grew faster, shifting our focus over the years. Much the same happened with farming before that. Technology is neat that way.

What real threat do any of these nations pose?

Again, appearance of strength is important. People who are a threat seeing the US as weak and starting a war would be a catastrophe from any moral perspective. We do get judged, like it or not, by whether minor player can shake their fists at us without consequence. Was is a surprise to you that Russia is getting froggy again (occasionally hopping across its borders) over the past decade?

Geopolitics aside, some would say that a strong man who sees a horrific crime that he has the strength to stop has the moral responsibility to do so. ISIS has conquered territory by force of arms - do we want to allow that sort of thing to be acceptable on the world stage again? The way ISIS is treating their conquered subjects is horrific and appalling, and we should probably put a stop to it.

Comment: Re:I LOVE READING PROPAGANDA (Score 2, Insightful) 691

by lgw (#47929187) Attached to: ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children

For decades, we have moved away from producing goods to a service providing nation. Granted, this is starting to improve a bit but it's nothing to celebrate, yet.

The manufacturing capacity of the US has never dropped decade-over-decade. The manufacturing jobs are all gone, never coming back, but automated manufacturing has been replacing people gradually over the years. Because the economy has grown so much since WWII (recent extended downturn non-withstanding), we've also exported a lot of manufacturing (now coming back as the robots keep getting better), and grown into a primarily service-oriented economy, on top of that consistent manufacturing capability.

The US government has been doing this for decades as well. Every few years we find a new enemy, rally cry and release the hounds of war.

Like most nations in history since the first clan grew large enough to be considered a nation? It's worth remembering that almost every historical nation that doesn't exist today was conquered. The appearance of strength is all-important to continued peace. We've certainly made our share of mistakes as a nation, but there is a legitimate reason to project force around the world even though we're not interested in conquest ourselves: deterrence is morally better than fighting and winning.

Comment: Re:Anti-math and anti-science ... (Score 2, Interesting) 691

by SoCalChris (#47928435) Attached to: ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children

The problem with your oversimplification is that the holy book of Christianity encourages pacifism

Have you actually read the Bible?

Matthew 15:3-7

John 15:5-6

Genesis 6:6-7

Numbers 31:15-41

As a side note, the Awkward Moments (Not found in your average) Children's Bible that these illustrations came from are great books.

Comment: Better Students (Score 1) 245

by DarthVain (#47926259) Attached to: College Students: Want To Earn More? Take a COBOL Class

A more likely correlation is that better students make better money. If you are taking COBOL as an elective you are trying hard as a student selecting courses that are hard but meaningful to your degree, rather than simply picking some easy A course to bump your average. If goes to figure that these more serious and better students with drive and motivation will also apply those same principles when trying to find work.

I took COBOL myself in the late 90's, however not as an elective but as a mandatory CS course (I think it was mandatory anyway). I have not used it one whit other than I had it on my resume for a bit before I acquired enough other experience to fill it out, and possibly to mention it offhandedly in an interview or in discussions on Slashdot.

Comment: Re:correlation vs causality (Score 1) 245

by antifoidulus (#47924505) Attached to: College Students: Want To Earn More? Take a COBOL Class
Um, COLBOL is probably one of the few languages out there that DOESNT have a dedicated fan-boy following. Seriously, watch this thread and see which of the following statements gets the most hate:

Ruby, as an untyped language, is incredibly slow and thus should not be used for large scale systems

Node.js encourages unmaintainable code because of "callback hell" and prototype inheritance is an abomination

Java is way too verbose to be useful, and the JVMs gc sucks

Python is a fractured environment and should only be used for small-scale projects

COBOL is a dinosaur language that is only useful for maintaining crufty legacy code.