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Comment: He's missed the point of high school completely... (Score 3, Insightful) 866

by Exit_On_Right (#41682167) Attached to: Parent Questions Mandatory High School Chemistry

Other than the obvious point of high school, which is to provide a prison-like environment for our children so we can all take a little break from them, he's truly missed the point of high school.

High school has nothing to do with what you are going to do in real life. Oh, it may seem that way in your last year, but in truth, all you really end up deciding at that stage what you might do in the grossest of terms.

No. High school is supposed to be about building mental abilities that will allow you to go out into the world and function as a reasonably useful person. What you learn is somewhat important, but learning how to learn and apply material effectively is what you are really there for.

Think of it this way. Athletes spend a lot of time on the practice field learning their sport. But they also spend a lot of time in the gym building muscle. If they didn't build those muscles up with time in the gym, they might understand their own sport, but they'd have a hard time succeeding at it because they didn't spend time building up the general muscle required to apply that knowledge.

Never once at a football game have I seen a quarterback call for the reverse arm curl play. But I doubt you'd get any arguments from a football player that time in the gym was time well spent. The same applies for academics. You may never need to know how to do trig, or compose a sonnet, but doing those things in high school helps build up mental muscle for later.

So yes. You do have to do things you suck at, because, not surprisingly, you get the most out of learning how to do things you suck at. As to who decides what you'll take, well, that's easy. Gather your facts that describe why you think a change should be made, put them together in a cohesive argument, write a paper that shows how your plan will provide positive change, and then present it to the folks who decide. (Of course, you might find this hard if you didn't take Math, Science, English and Social Studies in high school...)

Comment: Re:It's not just DEFCON (Score 1) 1127

by Exit_On_Right (#40975495) Attached to: Is Sexual Harassment Part of Hacker Culture?

I understand exactly how you feel. I've spent most of my life feeling exactly the same way. Your "I'm not autistic. I'm not disgusting." realization took me more than a decade of adulthood to reach. I'm married now and most days feel as though I am someone a woman would find, if not attractive, at least acceptable as a potential suitor.

Mellon's post is great for making yourself more attractive to women, but it only gets you half the way there. Attractive you still has to meet women and stay out of the friend zone. Here are some of the things I learned through very hard trial and error:

Sanity check: The average guy gets turned down far more often than not. It may not seem that way from the outside, but it's true. Yes, there are superstars who are amazing looking and can get any girl they want, but this is mostly the exception, not the rule.

Location: Where you look for someone is probably the single most important factor in whether or not you will be successful. As an adult, usually work and school are not the best places to meet women looking for men. "Fun" classes like drama, fencing, toastmasters, etc... will sometimes yield good results, but don't take those classes unless you are actually interested because really, you just don't want to be the guy who trolls classes looking for women. If you're looking for dates in these places, be prepared to be turned down a lot.

If you don't want to go straight to the dating web sites, and the bar scene is not for you (it sure wasn't for me), then social events are usually the best bet. Dinner parties, backyard BBQ's, sports events and the like are usually the best chance to meet someone you'll actually want to date (yes, that's important too!) and who will want to date you. You have something in common (friends, or whatever the event is) and you can ask around about her availability before approaching her. (Otherwise you risk becoming that creepy guy who hits on all the women at the BBQ...)

At the end of the day, if a woman is in a place where social interests are not at the forefront of her mind, her first thought about people she meets won't be "this is the guy". (Unless she's in desperate mode, which you do not want...)

Resources: Don't try to manage this alone. You're in the friend zone with a bunch of women? Good! These are your best resources. If you really are friends with them, let them know you're looking. If you're a good guy who just can't quite seem to make the right connection, these girls will be more than happy to help you out by inviting you to social events (parties, dinners, movie night, whatever) where you can meet people. A direct setup by a woman with a friend of hers can work, but in my experience it tends to be a mixed bag of good and bad. Nothing wrong with kissing a few frogs though, so I'd go on those setups just for the experience.

Image: Mellon is right, you can't just project an image, but if you are a person who is happy, successful and confident, then you need to project that image in order to be attractive to women. They say you should dress for the job you want. You should also dress for the woman you want, and think you have the most in common with. Market who you are to your target audience. When a woman looks at you, she assesses who she thinks you are, and that affects your interactions with her. You may be "Cool, Guitar Playing Guy" or "Director of Really Important Stuff", but you dress like "Bored Country Bumpkin", then "Cool, Drum Playing Gal" and "Manager of the Big Accounts Woman" aren't going to notice you.

Communication: Again, Mellon hits on this one. Learn how to speak to people, and more importantly, how to listen. (You may know how, or you may just think you know.... Find out). Do you make good eye contact? Do you stand up straight or hunch over? Do you mumble or run on? Do you listen to what the other person is saying or are you just waiting for your turn to talk again? There are lots of classes where you can learn these skills. Take one. Even if you think you have these skills, take one. I can't tell you how much this skill alone makes a difference in how women (all people, really) view you.

Success: You need some. Sorry, but women are still looking for a provider, at least to some extent. If you're working at the book store part time and as a night security guard the rest of the time, you're gonna have a hard time of it. Now, I'm not suggesting you enslave yourself to some profession you hate just to get a girl. In theory, you should want this for yourself, but I can promise you that your range of available women will drop dramatically if you dedicate yourself to being the best fry guy at McDonalds.

Physical appearance: If you're not in shape, get in shape. You don't have to be a muscleman (though it helps), but you don't want to be overweight either. Hard truth, but people do judge based on physical appearance. A guy who is otherwise a great match for a woman will get tossed into the friend zone because he's fat. Oh, she'll say it's because there is no "spark", but sometimes what she means is that he's too fat.

Style also matters here. If you don't have one, get one. Go to a hair salon, find a stylist that you like her appearance and matches your age and ask for her opinion on a new cut/style or even color. Just make sure it is something you like too and that you can keep up. Ask several if need be until you get something that works for you. Remember, hair grows back out.

Same thing for clothes. Find a store where they sell clothes that you've seen on other guys and liked, but not known what would look good on you. (you may need to actually try to notice this...) Find a salesperson who seems like an interested, intelligent, decent person (this may take time) and let them know you are looking to change your style but you're not sure what would look good. Be prepared to spend a fair bit of time on this. In the end, you should have something that you like the looks of on you and that you can keep up (if you're broke, don't buy all dry-clean only!). Best thing I ever did was find a woman who worked at a good clothing shop to help me update my style. I payed her $50 to spend her lunch hour taking me shopping around the mall looking for styles she thought would look good on me. Because we weren't shopping in her store (where she is making commission), she was totally honest with me about what looked good and why. I learned a lot from her. This is another place you can use your female friends. Get one (or more) of them to take you shopping.

I hate to spend so much time on this, but women do pay attention to how a man dresses.

That's all I've got. I hope it is somewhat helpful. I do get where you are - I've been there (and still am on bad days...).

Good luck.

   

Comment: Re:Seems partly justified (Score 1) 227

by Exit_On_Right (#39746031) Attached to: Judge Grudgingly Awards $3.6 Million In DRM Circumvention Case

"The "limited time" is what makes it not ownership. Your patent is like a rented house -- you have the rights to the house you rented, but you don't own it. "We the people" own the work, the author is simply the tenant"

---

That's a tricky one, because in the case of a story you write, unless you sell those rights, your "limited time" ownership is the span of your natural life. To the average person, that's going to seem a lot like ownership. Your analogy also doesn't take into account that the "tenant" built the house. In the case of an author who has written a story, he was the one who actually built the thing. Unless he sells it, it is his to control for the entire span of his life. To most people, that would seem like ownership, and improper use of that material would seem a lot like theft, especially if he was in a position to profit from the use of that material.

As a side note, it's funny that you use a rented house in your analogy. Because based on the idea you've put forward, people don't "own" their homes either.

Consider: Because my mortgage is paid out, I say that I own the house and land. It is mine. However, in truth, the city/state has the ability to take back (annex) that home and land if it feels it is in the best interest of the people. By the standard you set above for copyright/patent, I wouldn't "own" my home either. The people own it, I have simply made a financial arrangement that allows me to use it until such time as the actual owner wants it back. Not sure how most people would feel about that idea... :)

 

Comment: Re:Seems partly justified (Score 2) 227

by Exit_On_Right (#39734091) Attached to: Judge Grudgingly Awards $3.6 Million In DRM Circumvention Case

While I would agree that the term "ownership" seems inappropriate to an intangible, the net effect of controlling the publication amounts to the same thing. As the entity who controls the publication of a story, you can limit who reads it, or even prevent everyone from reading it. From that perspective, you "own" it to the extent that it may as well be a diamond locked in a safe - no one can see it or use it unless you open the safe door and allow them access.

For an entity who has essentially "locked their story in a safe" (even if it is a safe that allows a select group of participants access), the act of having someone else access that story without permission would feel very much like theft. At the very least it would feel like a violation of some sort and the victim would be right in requesting assistance in preventing it from happening again and in punishing the violators. Is it right to call the story property? Likely not, but it may be the closest we can come to something the layperson will understand and properly identify as wrong.

That is, of course, assuming you don't believe that all creative work shouldn't become public domain the instant it is created. But that's a whole other argument.

Comment: Blindingly easy answer to this -- do what you like (Score 1) 671

by Exit_On_Right (#39253729) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Using Company Laptop For Personal Use

Then run the most powerful magnets you can find over the hard drive when you turn it back in. Most IT staff are lazy about this sort of thing. If you report it not working, and you turn it in unable to boot to the OS, they'll just wipe it and put the company standard image back on. No one will be the wiser.

Problem solved.

Comment: Not sure that was really discussing piracy... (Score 1) 123

by Exit_On_Right (#39137011) Attached to: Why Canada Does Not Belong On the US Piracy Watchlist

I'm a big fan of Michael Geist, but I think he's missed it here.

He's talking about declining rates of business software piracy and camcording. But both of these areas have avenues of detection and enforcement. Theaters are on the watch for camcorders (and apparently big bags of M&M's hidden in my wife's purse...), and there are many ways businesses are outed for using pirate software (auditors, whistleblowers, etc...) What the US is complaining about are the infringements where enforcement is lax or non-existent in Canada, specifically music and digitally copied movies (does anyone really watch those awful cam copies?).

When Geist discusses movies, music and video games, he cites growth and sales figures in those industries as evidence that piracy rates are dropping. I'm not convinced. It most likely only shows an improvement in the economy since the economic meltdown of 2008. At any rate, the actual cause cannot be determined from this data alone. This is a classic case of not understanding the idea that correlation does not imply causation. He should know better than to even try this approach.

Canada's laws allow Canadians to pirate whatever they like at will with no fear of repercussions. That absolutely creates a climate that would be considered a haven for pirates. It's great that some are choosing to pay for their IP, but let's not kid ourselves about what it is we have going on here. Citing growth figures in legitimate sales doesn't prove that piracy is on the decrease, it only shows that the industry is doing better.

Comment: Re:Achilles Heel (Score 1) 270

by Exit_On_Right (#38883407) Attached to: Jailbreaking the Internet For Freedom's Sake

Because they don't apply here.

Scarcity laws were designed to work with physical items. Non-physical items that have value cannot be measured in this way.

(BTW, I'm not saying that what these companies do is fair -- I'm just saying that applying scarcity laws to something without a physical presence is idiotic.)

Comment: Re:Achilles Heel (Score 1) 270

by Exit_On_Right (#38883299) Attached to: Jailbreaking the Internet For Freedom's Sake

But then it seems like you go on to act as if your opinions are actually facts (that copyright should exist and must be protected).

I said nothing of the kind. I said intellectual property should be protected. I don't think copyright in its current form is reasonable and would like to see reform, but I stand fast by my opinion that IP must be protected if we expect to continue to see creative works.

Really? A lot of the technology has multiple uses. I doubt much of it is specifically designed to allow people to more easily infringe upon another's copyright without getting caught.

Bittorrent software is designed to allow people to download pirate movies and music. Yes, a very small group of IT folks use it for sharing open source, but the average user doesn't. (I'm surprised you even tried this approach...)

Comment: Re:Achilles Heel (Score 1) 270

by Exit_On_Right (#38881711) Attached to: Jailbreaking the Internet For Freedom's Sake

And yet, here we are in a democracy.

I understand your frustration with the system, but this is what we've got to work with. You either make it work for you, or you lose summarily. The idiot lawmakers will pass something. Our best bet is to keep the dialog open by having an honest discussion with them. My point is that using an obviously flawed (and one sided) defense like the scarcity approach isn't the way to do it. It's transparent and deliberately obtuse.

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