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Comment Re:Dear Government.... (Score 1) 421

The problem, Lumpy, is that stupid people often kill *other* people with their acts of stupidity. Whether it's mishandling a firearm, or in the area we're discussing, choosing to get themselves drunk then drive their pickup headfirst into a family's minivan as they try to make their way home from the bar/friends house. If this happens, and a drunk driver kills someone, who is responsible? Who should mete out punishment? What should that punishment be? What is a fair punishment society should impose on an idiot drunk driver? We can't even agree on that. I have no issue with stupid people doing dumb things that wind up killing themselves ... you want to waste your life, go ahead ... but what about when stupid people kill others too? 181 children were killed by drunk drivers in 2011. I'm not one to say "they had so many years of life ahead of them" because that's an illogical argument, but what should the punishment be for the stupid people who killed those kids?

Comment Re:the US 'probably' wont use a nuke first.... (Score 4, Interesting) 341

BS. Utter BS. Here is the one documented fact about the end of the PTO war that everyone in your country who spews this BS about a necessary invasion of the Japanese homeland islands wants to conveniently forget ... The Japanese had made it clear through diplomatic channels by June of 1945 that were willing to completely surrender and end the war with one condition ... the Emperor (alone) would be immune from any war crimes charges. Military generals etc were fair game, but the Emperor gets off without any war crimes charges brought against him. (Remember that until May 1947 when the Japanese Constitution was changed, Hirohito was considered by many a "living god" and remained even afterwards "a descendent of the Sun Goddess".) The United Sates refused to accept this single condition for surrender and carried on with the plans to use atomic weapons so that they could dictate the surrender terms.

Comment Re:Falsify the Big Bang (Score 1) 96

Neil Turok's cyclic universe theory *is* a simpler theory, without any of the fudge factors needed to get inflation to be correct, and everything in it can be confirmed by observation. It has yet to be falsified, and the lack of gravitational waves is another factor supporting the theory. Furthermore, if the lack of gravitational waves actually falsifies rapid inflation, which means there is evidence that shows we must throw that one out.

Comment Cyclic (Score 1) 96

This means that Neil Turok's much more elegant and simpler theory (cyclic universe) may actually be the correct one. No gravitational waves, no Big Bang inflation. Rapid inflation has too many fudge factors built into it to sustain it to be correct, and many of them scan not ever be falsified. It's simpler than that. I think Mr. Hawking will soon be paying Neil is his money.

Comment Public safety? You don't really care 'bout that. (Score 1) 284

Alcohol consumption hurts public safety. Firearms hurt public safety. Tobacco hurts public safety. Irresponsible drivers hurt public safety. The Koch brothers hurt public safety. Influenza hurts public safety. Anti-vaxxers hurt public safety. Obesity and the food industry hurt public safety. This sort of public shit kills hundreds of thousands of your citizens a year, and you're worried about encryption on my smart phone?

Comment Not surprisingly the CRTC is made up of ... (Score 4, Interesting) 184

Former and current employees of Bell and Rogers, members of their former lobbyist groups, and lawyers and other "VIPs" who have strong ties to Rogers and Bell. They're about as neutral on this matter as PM Harper is about his evangelical religious ties. Not very. The CRTC is looking out only for the entrenched players in this market, not consumers. Just yesterday a report came out that once again showed that Canada pays more than any other developed country except Australia for it's wireless phone pricing. The CRTC ignores this fact. Bell and Rogers are the incumbents and don't want anything changed. hell, Rogers has testified in front of the CRTC that wireless rates could be much lower here ... they just don't want to (obviously). And when competition threatens? They twist the CRTC's arm and they are safe again. The CRTC needs too be abolished and we need some real competition up here. The fact that Rogers and Bell so easily control the CRTC and the CRTC just bends over for them and it's decisions is disgusting.

Comment Re:Seriously? (Score 1) 62

And the fact that the above poster used the word "prove" in this part of his sentence ... "use the scientific method to prove evolutionary theory correct" ... goes to show he doesn't understand the two words "scientific theory" when used together. Let me know when he's passed basic some high school and understands the words evidence and falsifiable and I'll come back.

Comment Makes sense ... (Score 1) 83

The last UX conference I was at we had a speaker that demonstrated that the next 1-2 billion "smart" phone users were coming from Africa and Asia where more modern devices didn't stand a chance in the majority of the market. From a cost per device point of view, sure, but more from the fact that we are creating first world apps, UIs and OSes that might not have anywhere near the traction they have here because of completely different needs. He saw an incredible opportunity there.

Comment Since CC defines the purpose of K-12 education as (Score 5, Informative) 113

Since Common Core relies on a narrow conception of the purpose of K-12 education; that is, "career and college readiness", then a CC CS curriculum will certainly fulfill the Gates-ian ideal of producing an army of unquestioning and near-Aspberger-like programming drones. If you read the official rationale for the Common Core there is little question about a blind, utilitarian philosophy at work. US kids must be prepared to "compete in the global economy." Yet, anyone with a knowledge of the history of education knows that this runs against the grain of the fundamental purpose of public education—to prepare citizens for democracy, with the knowledge and skills to live fruitful lives and improve US society. The CC standards are a farce.

The process by which the Common Core standards were developed and adopted was undemocratic. Of the 27 people who designed them, there was only one classroom teacher involved—and they were on the committee to simply review the math standards. The Common Core State Standards are the complete opposite about what we know about how children intellectually and emotionally develop and grow. The Common Core is inspired by a vision of market-driven innovation enabled by standardization of curriculum, tests, and ultimately, the children themselves. That's utter BS ... this idea that innovation and creative change in education will only come from entrepreneurs selling technologically based "learning systems." In the real world, the most inspiring and effective innovations were generated by teachers collaborating with one another, motivated not by the desire to get wealthy, but by their dedication to their students. What else?

The Common Core creates a rigid set of performance expectations for every grade level, and results in tightly controlled instructional timelines and curriculum. Every student, without exception, is expected to reach the same benchmarks at every grade level. Too bad that children develop at different rates, and we do far more harm than good when we begin labeling them "behind" at an early age. CC emphasizes measurement of every aspect of learning, leading to absurdities such as the ranking of the "complexity" of novels according to an arcane index called the Lexile score. This number is derived from an algorithm that looks at sentence length and vocabulary. Publishers submit works of literature to be scored, and we discover that Mr. Popper's Penguins is more "rigorous" than Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath. Uh huh.

And here's a question for NY State five year olds ... Which is a related subtraction sentence? Math standards for grade one kids were simply "back mapped" from grade 12 curriculum ... no early childhood math experts were consulted to ensure that the standards were appropriate for young learners. Great idea. The Common Core was designed to be implemented through an expanding regime of high-stakes tests, which will consume an unhealthy amount of time and money. $16,000,000,000 annually in fact. Proficiency rates on the new Common Core tests have been dramatically lower—by design. 30% of English students now fail the standardized tests and can not get a high school diploma.

And what is this for again? The Common Core is associated with an attempt to collect more student and teacher data than ever before. Gates' inBloom system will collect and data mine every student score in the US. Fortunately, states are withdrawing from this one at a rapid rate under siege from privacy lawsuits.

But perhaps worse of all ... The Common Core is not based on any external evidence, has no research to support it, has never been tested, and has no mechanism for correction. There is no process available to revise the standards. They must be adopted as written. As William Mathis (2012) points out, "As the absence or presence of rigorous or national standards says nothing about equity, educational quality, or the provision of adequate educational services, there is no reason to expect CCSS or any other standards initiative to be an effective educational reform by itself." The biggest problem facing American education and society is the growing number of children living in poverty. As was recently documented by the Southern Education Fund (and reported in the Washington Post) across the American South and West, a majority of our children are now living in poverty. The Common Core does nothing to address this problem. In fact, it is diverting scarce resources and time into more tests, more technology for the purpose of testing, and into ever more test preparation.

WTF. Common Core is a failure, unless dumbing down US society even more is the goal ... which is is for the people who are in charge.

"The urge to destroy is also a creative urge." -- Bakunin [ed. note - I would say: The urge to destroy may sometimes be a creative urge.]