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Comment: Re:What a confusing summary! (Score 2) 126 126

Kids are passing the AP CS test with higher scores, but nearly 50% of them cannot understand concepts that involve a slight amount of thinking. In other words, it's a shitty test or most taking it are stupid.

The more kids that pass the AP CS test, the more colleges that accept AP credits lose funding. It stands to reason the test is designed primarily to throw people off the boat and justify having them retake the class, setting them back between 1 and 2 semesters. In reality, in college, they will learn exactly the same stuff as in high school with probably worse teachers (or grad students).

Now, consider that most people taking AP CS have no interest in "computer science", they have interest in computer programming, specifically the fraction of computer science that will get them the big $$$ in private industry. Very nearly no one has interest in academia (in this or any other field), for very good financial and practical reasons, yet a test is being administered to young kids with inadequate knowledge of what is important/what is not important who have been exposed to the field for, in most cases, exactly one year. The kids probably know how to write a program that will compile or otherwise execute, but have limited idea or perhaps a certain degree of animosity to academic formalism.

Take a combination of predatorial testing, and contrasting motives and hilarity shall inevitably ensue. The best way to appreciate computer science, is similar to the best way to understanding electrical engineering: start with the useful practical things that will get them interested, show them how a bit of education improves the design & function, and get them hooked. It makes all the diffeq a whole lot easier to sit through, or in the case of CS, the algorithms and discrete math.

Comment: Re:Must have been visited by some serious looking (Score 1) 45 45

Correct. You understand my point, I see: we rapidly move total wealth forward, so even the lowest and most abuse face an improving life situation. You argue that we shouldn't abuse the child of Omelas today so that he may be better off--but still abused--tomorrow; I only argue that it is more efficient, which you seem to understand.

No, I can't go there. The Great Leap Forward? How'd that work out? Tens of millions dead to try to turn China into a modern industry. Yes, communist rhetoric was involved, but I would argue that was pillow talk, and there have been numerous attempts by leaders in history to do this sort of thing, the most radical ones ended in tears. To yank a country by the horns and turn it around quickly, you are going to have to do it at someone's expense. My point in this being that this sudden, lurching change in economics and industry is mostly equivalent to a genocide in Omelas today, and no clear victory tomorrow.

I find morality silly, but won't argue it in this case; I always attack morality where it leads to conclusions in which people would rather let millions suffer and die than condemn thousands,

I do not think we can reach any sort of accord if you reject morality. If for no other reason than that I would be unsure what value all this wealth is, if we're miserable and our planet is wrecked, in the process of acquiring it. Great, I have cushions for my chair that sits in a cloud of debris, but that's ok because i'm busy working in the factory to get a swivel mount on it for tomorrow.

in which people would rather let millions suffer and die than condemn thousands,

I imagine you would attack less if it was you being condemned. Your viewpoint on this change doesn't seem to take in to account the various leakages and inequalities present in the system. Pushing for a great economic leap forward in the united states is, in my opinion, bankrupting us. Perhaps that's ok by your argument because Asia outnumbers us 10:1 so we're just the few condemned, but I guess I'm not sure why I should be ok with that and sue for other options. Yes a few people in the US will be wealthy, and SOME of their wealth will be invested in services that can only come from those in close geographic proximity, but not enough. It sounds a lot like a lord sitting in a castle with a few very poor people working his lands, while his real money is being invested and put to use overseas where the comparative advantage exists. All these products and luxuries that we spend our money on, which cost ever so much less, are in fact bankrupting us. We are becoming the worlds greatest holder of imaginary property, without the resources to retain it if a big guy with a gun comes asking.

Comment: Re:Must have been visited by some serious looking (Score 1) 45 45

I understand the economics lesson, to the degree I accept economics as a viable field of study, I'm not really arguing about it. Nor do I think the world should bow to economics, but take it under advisement and engineer it to the benefit of the majority of the population.

I guess my point about cheap labor was more oriented around the problem that their labor protection laws, even if enforced, are feeble by comparison even to the United States, which themselves are feeble by comparison to much of Europe. So comparative advantage here is significantly achieved at the expense of undermining laws and unions we have established to protect our workers from the impact of the monotonically increasing profit motive that most corporations need to present. My environmental argument is roughly parallel.

It is worthless to have these laws if we're going to allow our corporations to make an end run around them. We should impose insane tariffs until such time as their laws resemble our own, and are actually enforced. Certainly there will be upstream impacts to this, almost your argument in reverse. But I will assume such conditions will not last long, China would shape up and join the 21st century and play nice or not play at all.

At that point your argument, to the degree it applies to pure economics will still apply (albeit with less profit involved). They will still enjoy comparative advantage at least in terms of labor: they outnumber us almost 5:1, and that assumes their distribution of labor matches our own, which I suspect it does not (yet). The trade advantage is certainly lesser, but it doesn't ruin the whole picture. If we believe in these laws so much to hurt ourselves, we really must insist.

Comment: Re:How is this news for nerds? (Score 0) 1074 1074

By this argument then we should have news on the front page about the South Carolina shooting. It's definitely a concern of mine that raging lunatics are running around shooting people they don't like. It definitely is concerning as a human of earth, and particularly America.

However the reason I have read this website all these years is that it has a small demographic of people in a particular field whose opinions of issues in that field are frequently more informed and valuable than the general public. I may not agree with all opinions, but for those not trolling, who actually seek to inform and sway, there has been value to the commentary. For the same reason that I don't focus heavily on Hillary Swank's general opinion on politics, I'm not sure I want to dwell on a nerd's opinion on Constitutional Law.

On this issue, I would rather go read the opinions of lawyers on a more legal focused website. While I am glad that the ruling is going to put this issue to rest, I am troubled by what appears to be the supreme court taking a power away from the states. I know that nobody likes Scalia, but honestly I am not sure he's entirely wrong. IANAL, or an expert in interpretations and rulings on the constitution, but it really seems like politics has ruled the day. Our government is set up like it is for a reason, while it is frustrating when it stagnates, or when a vocal minority holds the remainder of the country hostage, the OTHER part of due process is to our collective benefit. I don't think I'm going to find that here, I'm going to find people who like the result of the decision, or do not.

Comment: Re:How is this news for nerds? (Score 0) 1074 1074

"stuff that matters" originally implied "to nerds" or at least "to American nerds". This only matters to homosexuals/sympathizers who happen to be nerds. It has no strict nerd-interest.

I'm not sure if this new interpretation of the constitution means that we can expect Microsoft to stop trying to rule all things, or if SCO has a new case against Linux, or if a new technology has been invented to allow displays to be mounted in my glasses to give full AR without bulky headwear, etc.

Comment: Re:Must have been visited by some serious looking (Score 3, Interesting) 45 45

Foxconn is one of the most NRE allergic companies I have ever seen. Unless you, as a customer, are willing to pay the NRE for machines on their assembly line for your product, they will attempt to use the most backwards, insanity inducing flow that can be conceived of. And you will say "Hey, there's a machine for that", and they'll say "Sure, for x amount we'll do that!". And so the negotiations begin, and in the end you realize you're paying for them to build up their factory. While you will both simultaneously make profit anyway, it is entirely because the labor is so cheap, and the environmental regulations so lax, that what you're really doing is hurting your own country to make some other people very rich at the expense of just about everyone else.

Then, if you are smart, you quit your job and leave the field. If Foxconn says "no robot labor" it must mean that some major customer has decided he is not going to pay for it. The idea that the Chinese government is actually protecting its labor is asinine, but they certainly do love the press that makes it seem like it.

Comment: Re:So what? (Score 2, Insightful) 178 178

Not really. The prospective employee usually has a job, and is working. You have a vacancy, so you're not really "losing" work. It does however balloon scheduling issues and leaves some low priority work undone. In theory the low priority work is necessary to do, but does not cause anything to explode if it waits a couple weeks. There is certainly some lost work here: people are being rejected, losing some amount of man-hours on each reject in the screening, background checking, profiling and interviewing. I'm not sure it would be millions, but there is a trade off: if its too cheap to throw someone back companies will only hire the 1 in a million applicant that somehow convinces them he's Jesus Christ, but if it's too expensive they will either downsize their projects or hire morons. A certain level of pain is healthy.

The only thing I read from this is employers are feeling there are enough applicants that they can be more selective, which is a sign that the labor pool is adequate.

Comment: Re:Illogical (Score 1) 207 207

I've added checkbox (that can't be unchecked) that says "Disable Squirrel Grinder".

I've done no research to prove how many other web pages grind squirrels, but as long as the checkbox on my webpage is checked, I can assure you that my webpage does not grind a single squirrel.

Comment: Re:Boo hoo... (Score 5, Insightful) 815 815

If you want to fly the nazi flag, I will fight for your right to do so. Probably while calling you ugly names in the process, but in this country we have the right to exercise our own judgement, no matter how benightedly poor.

While Google, Apple, et. al. can certainly choose to remove these things from their store, in their own exercise of discretion, the whole discussion has gone off the rails. It makes a convenient distraction while the TPP gets pushed through.

Comment: Re:Productivity (Score 2) 381 381

Ideas and opinions are like assholes, everyone has them. He implemented two products from a sea of ideas, and did a better job of it than the other competing implementations, to the point where industry giants (Microsoft, Apple, Perforce, IBM/ClearCase, countless unix providers, etc.) are still trying to catch up.

I think that's why we're interested in his opinions rather than the giants on whose backs he stood on.

Comment: Re:What if a drone starts to actively harm? (Score 1) 175 175

Identifying the owner of the gun that fired the bullet you found in a body is not a trivial task. Figuring out which gun fired the bullet is the first step, and even that required some time and energy to develop and turn into an effective process. Then you have to tie the gun to the shooter, which is even harder and often impossible.

Really there's nothing new here, just the way in which a crime could be committed, and people stupid/sociopathic enough to do it.

Comment: Re:Who buys them? (Score 1) 666 666

If that happened to you, YOU would be willing to try homeopathy and pretty much anything else that might work, because you don't have an alternative.

By that logic, we all should rush out and buy penis growth pills/breast enlargement creams, some magnetic beads/bands/clips.

Except that they won't work, they're proven not to work, they will never work. They, and their supporters, intentionally mislead you into thinking they work and parting you from your money. It is the very definition of fraud. There are many incurable, presently unsolvable problems out there, and throwing money down the toilet won't change that.

If you want to try an experimental treatment, that's one thing, but hopefully you do your homework and consult with several experts in the field to understand the treatment, what evidence they have that it may work and possible consequences before you make your decision. But even actual doctors aren't supposed to advertise an unprovable treatment is a cure for a problem that it hasn't been shown to cure.

Comment: Re:Easy answer (Score 1) 292 292

This is not fully true, there are some differences in which lobbyists are buying which party, and we have some choice in which lobbyists we find least offensive based on what ever we think is most important but in general the actual choice is small.

On social issues, the parties tend to be wildly apart, but that's by design. If we can get people all worked up over silly issues with low incidence of impacting us individually, the people will not notice the real issues which screw the majority of us regularly. I'm mostly looking at all the bullshit social issues {abortion, evolution, legalized drugs (values, not economics, must be careful!), gay marriage, values, etc.}. They're profoundly useful at creating the illusion of polarity, when in fact they're mostly intentional distractions.

Comment: Re:Why? (Score 1) 609 609

Because it's an easier target than guns, which have constitutional protection. It's also far, far cheaper and easier than trying to figure out how we can take sociopaths out of society before they do harm.

I'm not defending this, we should all be able to drive armored trucks if we want. I'm just pointing out the obvious answer for why things are like they are here. We want to blame something: we can't blame the guns, we can't blame the people, clearly it must be the truck's fault.

May Euell Gibbons eat your only copy of the manual!

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