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Comment: Re:Here is what I don't get... (Score 2) 132

by CrimsonAvenger (#49556887) Attached to: The Future Deconstruction of the K-12 Teacher

Say some kid doesn't quite get what they were talking about in the lesson, and has additional questions. Where would that kid go?

To the FAQ page?

Seriously, while I doubt very much that educator is going to disappear, a great deal of the raw information is quite susceptible to computerization.

The most important thing you need a teacher for at that level is the socialization skills - we have less need of well-educated psychopaths than you might think (other than politicians and such, of course)....

Comment: Re:OMG that's awesome... (Score 1) 139

by CrimsonAvenger (#49554637) Attached to: Random Generator Parodies Vapid Startup Websites

Or maybe there's not really all that much NEW stuff that can be done "with a computer" or "in the Cloud"?

It's just possible that the industry is entering maturity, and the only things left are doing the things it already does slightly more efficiently than the competition, rather than in a radically different way.

Note that the very early years of aviation included a lot of innovation, both in terms of capability and use-cases. But the airline industry has since pretty much settled down to "move people about long distances as cost-effectively as possible". Not much has really changed in a long time other than incremental improvements in aircraft efficiency....

Or did everyone really think that computers/cloud-computing/whatever were going to be new and rapidly changing forever?

Comment: Re:Hello Captain Obvious (Score 2) 51

The Secret Squirrels should not be monitoring all Americans. They should be tracking terrorists!

Great idea! Wonder why noone ever thought of that before.

So, any ideas about how to go about "tracking terrorists"? I'm assuming you're going to start by identifying some of them? And then you're going to do what, exactly?

No, there's not a whole lot of really good reason for warrantless (or even warranted) wiretapping of everyone. Nonetheless, security takes a bit more than "well, we should track terrorists!!!"

Note that the real question is more properly phrased as "how much liberty should we sacrifice in exchange for how much security?"

Everyone will have a different answer to that (mostly divided along "how much of YOUR liberty for MY security" lines. A small number of people will rephrase that as "how much of MY liberty for YOUR security", and an even smaller number will say "I'd rather have the liberty than the security, thank you".

Most of the latter group will, of course, change their minds the first time they lose a job for an extended period, but that's neither here nor there.

What is relevant is that the question won't go away. You can't have absolute liberty and absolute security at the same time. So finding a level acceptable to as many people as possible is essential.

And mostly done by guess and by golly....

Comment: Re:Done in movies... (Score 1) 211

As an adult, I find this stuff still rather hilarious, but I'm an adult now and can easily discern it's just for fun. A child? Influential. They don't know better yet.

Watched all that stuff as a kid. Don't recall ever thinking "Hey, it would be pretty cool to drop a safe on someone - not like it really hurts them past the commercial break, after all!"

No, kids aren't so stupid that they see talking mice running at near sonic speed (or small dinosaurs doing same) and think "oh, how realistic! Wow, the world is pretty cool, isn't it?"

Hell, most of us (speaking of the kids of my day, and get off my lawn!) never even believed that animals could talk, much less order shit from Acme....

Comment: some of one, some of the other (Score 1) 164

by CrimsonAvenger (#49539427) Attached to: I spend most of my time ...

I'm only below sea level when I go down south of the Lake (it's really interesting to be in a place where the water level in the canals is higher than the streets. Or higher than the second floor of your house, in some places.

On the other hand, I spend most of my time north of the Lake, and that puts me a good five or six feet above sealevel....

Comment: Re:Duuuh. (Score 0) 255

by CrimsonAvenger (#49538119) Attached to: Wellness App Author Lied About Cancer Diagnosis

Yes, I do. It's why we have idiotic parents who aren't giving their kids vaccinations so now we have kids dying again of measles, whooping cough, etc. Diseases that a few decades ago were all but eradicated.

And which are still "all but eradicated". Check the numbers, we haven't had a significant uptick in measles cases in better than 20 years, and even that uptick didn't approach the uptick ten years earlier, which didn't approach the standard rates of measles pre-vaccine.

Note that measles seems to have a deathrate (in the developed world, in the last 50 years - it was much higher before that) of So, who is the real idiot? Someone who gets excited about a disease that is largely a non-issue, or someone who realizes that your chances of getting killed on the highway are higher than your chances of dying of the measles, with or without vaccine?

Comment: Re: I'm a bit conflicted (Score 1) 605

by CrimsonAvenger (#49537913) Attached to: Bill To Require Vaccination of Children Advances In California

Interesting theory you have.

So, I gather from your comment that you know that the measles vaccine has about a 2.9% failure rate, that the US average immunization rate is 94.7% (ignoring the failure rate), for an effective immunization rate of 92.0%....

I also assume that you know that herd immunity is established at 90%+?

Likewise, I'll assume you know that even 100% immunization will still leave ~10 million people susceptible to measles in the US (that 2.9% failure rate isn't going to go away).

And I'll further assume that you think that when we enforce mandatory immunization and reach that rockhard MINIMUM of 10 million susceptible people that we'll never, ever have a year when 147 people get sick, right?

Oh, have I managed to hint strongly enough that you're completely innumerate yet? It's not hard to come up with the numbers, and calculator programs make it pretty easy to put real numbers on things if you're capable of thinking that way.

Conclusion: by the standards of epidemiologists, we're already pretty much safe from measles, and increasing the uptake rate of the vaccine will have minimal effect on measles outbreaks in the US.

Oh, an interesting bit I noticed back when this outbreak first occurred is that the fatality rate of measles decline precipitously about thirty years before measles vaccines became standard. No idea why, but we didn't even bother making measles vaccine "mandatory" (to the extent that it is already mandatory) till a generation after measles had declined into a non-issue. And the death rates for measles (in terms of deaths per measles case, NOT deaths per population) has hardly changed since the introduction of the vaccine....

Comment: Re: I'm a bit conflicted (Score 1) 605

by CrimsonAvenger (#49537433) Attached to: Bill To Require Vaccination of Children Advances In California

Comparing the 147 who got infected to the entire population of the US is disingenuous and you know

How about if we compare it to the population of CA alone? That would make it 147 cases out of 39 million people. Still hardly a disaster of monumental proportions.

What matters is that a significant number of children were infected by a deadly disease.

Significant? Absolute worst case (the measles outbreak covered States having over half the US population, so the 39 million in CA will show a maximum infection rate of 3.75 per million (when you include the populations of all the States that got one or more measles cases, it's close to 1 per million).

Sorry, I can't see one chance in a million as "significant".

This time around, everyone was safe and nothing bad happened. How many times do you want to roll the wheel of fortune?

You'd almost think that getting the measles vaccine would eliminate measles cases. If you didn't know better. Failure rate of the vaccine is over 2%. Which means that the 0.0001% of people who actually got measles this year in the US were a teeny, tiny fraction of those who could have gotten the measles, EVEN IF EVERYONE WERE VACCINATED.

Comment: Re:republicrats (Score 0) 201

by CrimsonAvenger (#49532307) Attached to: McConnell Introduces Bill To Extend NSA Surveillance

Were you aware that nobody commenting on syntax or grammar has EVER contributed anything of use to any conversation that wasn't a conversation ABOUT syntax or grammar?

Didn't bother to check the comment you're responding to (it's below my filter level), but I'm assuming it's your illiterate use of "tow the line" that caused it.

Are YOU aware that when you can't spell, it's pretty much automatic to assume you can't think very well either? After all, you're using words you don't even understand, or you wouldn't have mispelled it. Yeah, using words you don't understand is clear proof of your superior reasoning powers, eh?

Comment: Re: I'm a bit conflicted (Score 2, Informative) 605

by CrimsonAvenger (#49532149) Attached to: Bill To Require Vaccination of Children Advances In California

Hmm, remember the measles outbreak earlier this year?

Remember how many children died during the outbreak?

Remember how many people got measles in spite of their vaccinations?

Wait, never mind, the 147 people out of 330 MILLION who got measles included noone who had gotten the vaccine, and NOONE died.

Since far more people died on the highways during that measles outbreak than even got measles, much less died of it, I suspect strongly that we could find better things to do than waste time fighting over this in the courts.

And yes, this will be fought over in court. All the way to the Supreme Court...and end up costing CA far more (even if they win) then the measles outbreak cost them....

Comment: Re:We can learn from this (Score 2) 163

Under my proposal you'd still be free to do anything with your money that you now do. You can give money to your favorite politician, although that would trigger a matching grant.

Does a challenger get a matching grant every time a politician gets his name on a new law? If Dianne Sawyer (yeah, I know she's history, but she used to be an anchor for one of the big three) mentions a politician in a news story, do any and all of his opponents get handed some money?

How about if I put together a really bad ad for my opponent, do I get a matching grant to put together good ads for myself then? If not, why not?

How do you decide who to give matching funds to? Major political Parties only, anyone who announces a campaign, what? Can I announce my campaign, then collect a check every time the incumbent makes a speech? That would be a pretty cool way to make a living, don't you think?

If you really want to reduce the influence of money in politics, the thing to do is reduce the power of political office. If a politician controls trillions of dollars every year, there's a vast incentive to get a piece of that by bribing him. And there's no way to remove that incentive other than to remove the power that makes the bribe the best way of getting something done.

Comment: Re:We can learn from this (Score 2) 163

And that's the problem. Money isn't used to express someone's opinion, it's used to drown out the opinions of others. We need to stop enshrining protections for that in law.

Yeah, that's what I said - repeal the First Amendment.

How else are you going to prevent me from talking about MY favorite candidate? How about David Muir? How are you going to prevent, say, President Obama from mentioning a candidate he likes in a speech?

Any of those things raises name recognition of a candidate, and thus his chances of being elected. Preventing any of those things requires the First Amendment to vanish.

For that matter, a pol can just pass a big important bill in Congress to get his name in the news. But his challenger doesn't have that option, so you increase the incumbency advantage while removing the First Amendment.

You cannot have a science without measurement. -- R. W. Hamming