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Comment Re:Stop providing tuition "assistance" (Score 1) 274

The main point of high school in many places nowadays isn't to teach: it's too keep teenagers off the streets. If you try to make high school degrees "worth something" by kicking misbehaving students out of school, you are putting precisely those who are most likely to commit crimes back onto the streets. Expect a nationwide uptick in crime to follow.

Comment Re:It's 2015! Almost 2016! Wtf! (Score 1) 515

It's entrenchment and market muscle.

No, it isn't. The reason Linux hasn't caught on in the desktop market is that is simply not accessible to non-developers. That has always been the reason, and it utterly astounds me that after twenty years so many Linux fanboys still don't get it.

I tried setting up Linux for my Uncle once. He is fairly computer savvy, but not a programmer. Things worked well at first. He could use Firefoxfor the web, and he was already familiar with the UI. OpenOffice took a bit of getting used to, but it served his needs well enough.

Then after a few weeks, my uncle wanted to install some sort of financial software. (I don't remember the exact name.) There was no binary distribution available, so I told him about the terminal and configure/make/sudo make install. Simple enough right? No. He got an error during the build process. Spent hours trying to figure it out himself before calling me. Turned out he needed to install the libxml-dev package. Simple enough for you and me, but how the hell is someone who's never heard of C supposed to figure that out? Install libxml-dev, and then we run into another problem. He ran "make install" without "sudo" and now nothing worked. I spent about an hour trying to explain chmod and octal numbers and the difference between /bin and /usr/local/bin when I realized that it simply wasn't worth it. It was time to set him up with Windows or OS X.

How would this same process have played out on Windows or OS X? Google program, download installer, run installer, done.

Linux is a great OS for you and I. A superior OS, even. But for the vast majority of computer users out there, it is not at all accessible. You simply can't use Linux effectively unless you know how to code.

Comment Re: "The Ego" (Score 1) 553

Agreed, but let's take a second look at Archangel's comment:

She got the job because she was Monica's Ex-Boyfriend's wife. Not because she actually did anything worthy of it.

The bolded sentence may be true, but the italicized is false. She got the job partly because of Bill's fame and partly because of her own qualifications. Reagan was way more popular than Clinton when he left office, but I don't think Nancy Reagan would have been able to successfully run for senate at the time.

Comment Re: "The Ego" (Score 4, Informative) 553

She was also a U.S. Senator for New York for eight years (i.e. Elected twice). But of course, that was also a job that she only got for being Bill Clinton's wife and not because she holds a law degree from Yale University, not because she was a professor of Law at the University of Arkansas, not because she was she was on the congressional legal advisory staff in the Watergate impeachment process, and not because she played an important role in organizing the Carter presidential campaign. Facts.

Comment Re:Reminds me of one thing (Score 1) 737

Very true, but let me add that catastrophic failures are not the only time you need humans in the cockpit: Autopilot can have trouble handling even moderately bad weather (as in this video of pilots landing planes in a crosswind). Autopilot technology can't (yet) match human skill in situations like these.

Comment Re:As far as I'm considered, this article ends wit (Score 1) 85

I'm not saying that for-profit universities are bad because they seek a profit. But there is an undeniable trend: For-profit colleges are worse than non-profit colleges by almost every metric.

Motivations: Yes, some non-profit universities are spending enormous amounts of money on sports, but sports spending is an investment that returns profits that are used for education. For-profit schools, on the other hand, spend more than $400,000 a day on ads while downsizing their teaching staff.

Governance: Yes, another legitimate gripe with non-profit universities. But once again, for-profit universities do it worse. Read the consumerist link I posted earlier. Widepsread misrepresentation of graduation and placement rates. Falsification of grades to prevent students from failing out. Termination of faculty members that failed too many students.

Outcomes: Yep, there are lots of recent graduates of non-profit universities who are jobless. But how many of them went to universities that have campuses with 0% graduation rates? You have to wonder what they point of a university is when it fails to graduate any students. There's also the fact that many for-profit colleges are charging $20,000 - $30,000 for associate'sdegrees. You could get that for less than $2,000 at you local community college.

Private universities are a response to current realities: many low-risk jobs require a paper degree, but no actual skills. Many traditional universities are needlessly stupid and expensive if all you want is that paper. And there is plenty of free money to go around, irrespective of merit.

100% true. But I don't have anything against private universities. In fact, I went to a private university. That said, it was a non-profit, regionally accredited private university -- the complete opposite of the nationally accredited for-profit universities that were mentioned in the articles that I linked to. Private does not equal for-profit, and that is an important distinction to make. This image sums it up nicely.

Comment As far as I'm considered, this article ends with t (Score 3, Informative) 85

Comment Re: ABOUT FUCKING TIME! (Score 1) 765

State-level reform is a step in the right direction, but it will not work as a final solution when nearly a quarter of healthcare spending in the country goes through Medicaid/Medicare or the VA; we need federal-level regulation as well. And regulation at the national level is precisely what has been working on other countries -- I dare you to give me one example of a nation where the majority of health care funding is governed by legislation at the state or provincial level.

Comment Re:Oops! (Score 1) 255

This is what you call level? Because if you passed fifth grade math, you'd be able to recognize that as a downward slope.

Sure, the slope in the Reagan years is better than it is the Ford and Carter years, but you can clearly see that in the Ford/Carter years, the only drops in real wages were during the 1973 oil crisis and the 1979 oil crisis. I'm not saying that Ford and Carter aren't to blame for the oil shocks (they are to a large extent), but this is a failure of their foreign policies, not their economic policies.

Now look at the Reagan years. What oil crisis did he have to cause a drop in real wages? None? So what does that say about Reaganomics?

And even if you do think Reagan did better than Ford and Carter. So what? The economy under Carter might have been better than Zimbabwe's economy is right now, but that doesn't mean Carter did a good job. A good job on Reagan's part would have been reversing the drop in real wages (like what happened in 74 - 78, according to the graph), not prolonging it for another eight years.

Comment Re:Oops! (Score 2) 255

Come on buddy, you want to lecture us about drinking the Kool Aid, but the very same link you provided to "prove" that Reaganomics worked shows that real wages fell almost 10% during the Reagan administration. So yes, the economy expanded, but none of it trickled down. It all stayed in the robber barons' pockets. And that's the problem that the US has been facing for the past thirty years: not a lack of growth, but a lack of advancement for the middle-class.

Comment Re:Poor Alan Kay (Score 5, Insightful) 200

C++ is a three-way compromise between good object oriented design, backwards compatibility with C, and high performance. Stroustrup has never billed it as anything else.

Of course, the fact that C++ is a compromise between three goals that are often at odds means that it isn't anywhere near the best language for object-oriented design (loses to Smalltalk and many others), for backwards compatibility with C (IMO Vala does better -- YMMV), or for high performance (loses to FORTRAN). But it does a reasonable job of "good enough" on all three fronts, and that is what has made it so enduringly popular over the last few decades.

So, no, C++ isn't the best language for object-oriented programing. It's not even close. But that doesn't mean it is a bad language.

"Sometimes insanity is the only alternative" -- button at a Science Fiction convention.