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Comment: Re:They've got a lot of catching up to do... (Score 1) 431

by FhnuZoag (#46746047) Attached to: Is Germany Raising a Generation of Illiterates?

Personally, I think the evidence, as far as I have seen *is* ambiguous and scant. I'm not sufficiently interested in this argument to go digging for sources to back up the opposing point of view, since I'm not sure I even hold it - at least to any great extent.

My bone in this debate (as a professional statistician) is simply to point out that the specific data source you quoted is not what you presented it as. Thus it's deeply offensive to me that you misrepresent a statistical estimate and then have the temerity to go:

It is a tragedy of this era that so many read statistics without understanding how to read them.

Assert as you wish. But without actual evidence, your claim is a mere assertion. I don't have to prove the opposite of your assertion to show that.

Comment: Re:They've got a lot of catching up to do... (Score 2) 431

by FhnuZoag (#46745395) Attached to: Is Germany Raising a Generation of Illiterates?

Careful there.

Those values you quoted are *not* education statistics. They are estimates from a model built on national data, only a very small number of which actually came from Montana. In short, these are *specifically* driven by demographic data, and for especially low population, unusual demographic states like Montana, can potentially give very inaccurate results.

Specifically, the estimate for 2003 uses the following set of predictors:

- Percentage of the county population who were foreign-born and who had stayed in the United States for 20 years or less years;
- Percentage of county population age 25 and older with only a high school education or less;
- Percentage of the county population who were Black or Hispanic;
- Percentage of the county population in households with incomes below 150 percent of poverty level;
- Indicator variable identifying the New England and North Central census divisions; and
- Indicator variable identifying the SAAL states.

Comment: Re:Top survival skill: Making friends and allies. (Score 1) 737

by FhnuZoag (#46741917) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are You Apocalypse-Useful?

Seriously yes. Most of the above skills are nice and all, but the likelihood is that not any one person will have all of the above. Which means you need to work with other people. In fact if one guy has a particular skill, you need to be able to educate the rest of the group in it. It's no use building a group where if one guy dies everyone is fucked.

Comment: Re:not a crock of shit. (Score 1) 49

by FhnuZoag (#46265571) Attached to: 12-Year-Old Builds Lego Braille Printer

This kid didn't do this...the kid's parent gave him step by step directions. I had an awesome dad who was a cryptographer in the Navy in the 70s and he taught me **all kinds** of awesome shit. That's awesome and I'm thankful. He sure as shit didn't help me write an Orthogonal Time-Division Multiplexing algorythm for my science fair projects though...because that would have been **cheating**...he helped me make a few things but obviously this kid had all kinds of help and most importantly, the article seems to purposely not mention how the kid made all this happen just his step by step.

It's about accuracy in reporting **WHAT IT TAKES TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN THE TECH WORLD**

if we present this mindless crap as examples of young people doing science...well, we're cheating **them** and **ourselves**

there are **real** kids out there doing stuff at this level with only basic guidance & procurement help

Wow, you sure know a lot about this random kid, to assert all this with so much confidence. Modded insightful too! I'm convinced.

Do tell, how do you determine if something is done by a "**real**" kid, and not a FAKE KID like this one?

Comment: Re:Tin foil hat time (Score 1) 330

by FhnuZoag (#46090867) Attached to: Bitcoin Exchange CEO Charlie Shrem Arrested On Money Laundering Charge

The opposite is true. The Middle Class is in dollar *debt* - in particular, mortgages. Their assets - houses, cars are assets whose value rises automatically with inflation. Their wages also rise with inflation, because higher prices implies higher wages to sustain those prices, unless your shops want to scare off all their customers, as well as higher pay to employees, because businesses don't want to lose all their employees. Thus all things being equal, people who earn wages, as opposed to live off savings, are in a better position under inflation.

Warren Buffet's shares do not automatically rise with inflation. Rich people with large bank accounts suffer. Historically the rich have always fought for deflation, for this exact reason.

Comment: Re:Anti-Chinese Propaganda? (Score 1) 111

by FhnuZoag (#45724871) Attached to: Multidrug Resistance Gene Released By Chinese Wastewater Treatment Plants

What's actually going on here is that Chinese researchers have carried out this research using the most easily available data they have - Chinese data. There's no reason to believe that US wastewater treatment plants don't also release this material, because AFAIK, no one has checked.

Comment: Re:SO, does it look the same as it did in 1969? (Score 1) 268

by FhnuZoag (#45702425) Attached to: Photos Stream Back From China's Lunar Lander

It is 40 year old tech in the same sense that the Soyuz the US uses now is 50 year old tech. The basic point is that space technology has advanced only incrementally since Apollo, especially with the Shuttle ending up costing more than non-reusable spacecraft and turning out to be a technological cul-de-sac. If the Chinese want to build, according to modern technology, the most cost-effective and efficient launch system, it's going to look a lot like this '40 year old tech', albeit with better computers, more sensitive sensors and other, less obvious, improvements. I'd say that the Chinese are essentially on a par with the US in terms of space technology. (For example, the automated hazard avoidance/hover land system is quite reminiscent of what the Curiosity rover landing system had, and that was much lauded. It's a lot more advanced than the manual remote control, or 'sit and pray you don't land on a rock' landings using for the Cold War landings, and for most of the Mars probes.)

What they lack is practical experience with actually *using* this technology, which is what these missions are about.

Comment: Re:SO, does it look the same as it did in 1969? (Score 1) 268

by FhnuZoag (#45702317) Attached to: Photos Stream Back From China's Lunar Lander

Look at what the US uses for its space program, these days: With the retirement of the space shuttle, the only thing left for boosting crew to the ISS is the Soyuz.

If the Chinese are using 40 year old tech, the US space program is using 50 year old tech -- built by a foreign country.

Comment: Re:Wrong (Score 1) 276

by FhnuZoag (#45618505) Attached to: This Whole Bitcoin Thing Could Be Big, Says Bank of America

Yeah, what BoA is saying is that *even if* Bitcoins were successful and popular in commerce, and as trusted as silver (which it's not), the prices it is commanding now is approaching the maximum of what it should be. Basically BoA is saying there is a huge bubble.

But hey, the Bitcoin pump-and-dumpers will push any lie that will nudge the prices up.

Comment: Re: People Aren't *That* Irrational (Score 3, Informative) 276

by FhnuZoag (#45618451) Attached to: This Whole Bitcoin Thing Could Be Big, Says Bank of America

This is a bunch of non-sequitirs. "As it was mostly option contracts, they were largely not executed, so it didn't end up being a major issue." Really? The damage caused by tulipmania and so on has nothing to do with whether or not the options are executed. Even if they aren't, people spent money on those options contracts, and so lost massive amounts of money when the prices collapse. The characterisation of the prices collapsing due to 'the height of the bubonic plague' is also incorrect. The height of the bubonic plague was 200 years earlier in the 15th century, and plague outbreaks occurred before, during and after tulipmania.

Advertising is a valuable economic factor because it is the cheapest way of selling goods, particularly if the goods are worthless. -- Sinclair Lewis