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Comment I forget immediately (Score 1) 122

I've taken a few MOOCs and even completed a few. My big problem is that pretty much as soon as I completed the course I forgot everything I'd learned. I have a couple of explanations as to why that is:

- MOOCs don't usually have a project component where you'd get direct feedback from a TA (that's obviously due to the number of people registered). This is changing as peer-assessments are being used more and more as a way to handle project grading.

- the course in question wasn't directly related to what I'm doing in my day job. During university, a course you're taking is at least often useful as a prerequisite for the next one.

- I'm getting old and stupid. Maybe just smart enough to complete the course but not enough to retain it? I wonder how much more I'd have retained, say, 10 years ago.

Comment Re: Medical innovations from damn socialists!! NOO (Score 1) 106

Definitely not true on all counts, you are letting your ideology cloud your objectivity. Some aspects of French society might be called "socialist" (health care for all, free education, decent minimum wage and generally better protection for workers and the unemployed than in the US), but it is still a country where there is little to no public ownership of the means of production, and no central planning. It is a land of private enterprise just like the USA!

France just had a hardcore capitalist president with Sarkozy for 5 years (succeeding Chirac who was from the same party), and even under Hollande, nothing has changed regarding the general system of government. Ultimately, there's not much room to maneuver system-wise in the EU anyway.

To get back on topic, just like in the US the French government gives incentives for innovation in various sectors, and in France, public research institutes (CNRS, INSERM, CIRAD, etc.) and public hospitals have indeed been at the forefront of many breakthroughs, some that have won Nobel prizes, again thanks to support from the government, not in spite of it.

Comment Re:No, but the Age of Information will. (Score 1) 90

If I understand his point correctly, I guess in the post-information scarcity world you set up a kickstarter project and ask people to pay up *up front* to get to read your work. You then, hopefully, deliver (people won't pay up next time if you don't!). Once your work is delivered, it can be replicated ad nauseam and it won't have any resale value because information is cheap or free.

Comment Props to the Green Party (Score 4, Insightful) 273

There's been a political vacuum when it comes to defending Snowden and more generally people's right to privacy. Good for Green politicians for showing their concern! There are many more orphan causes in search for a party to pick them up: copyright and patent law reform, standing up to lobbies, etc. They'd get my vote.

"In the face of entropy and nothingness, you kind of have to pretend it's not there if you want to keep writing good code." -- Karl Lehenbauer