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Comment: Re:Can the writings be read? (Score 1) 431

by GenieGenieGenie (#46742081) Attached to: Is Germany Raising a Generation of Illiterates?
If you can formulate an objective measure for "sloppy thinking" and/or "depth of thought", I will apply with you for a grant from the NSF to do the study, and then write the paper together. One thing though - you will have to convince me that there's a chance you can convince them to cough up the cash. Until then, I'm going with feeling here.

Comment: Re:Can the writings be read? (Score 5, Insightful) 431

by GenieGenieGenie (#46741619) Attached to: Is Germany Raising a Generation of Illiterates?
People who are encouraged as kids to be sloppy about their writing tend to emerge from adolescence sloppy about their thinking too. This is a cliche but it is, unfortunately, quite an accurate one. There are exceptions to every rule, of course, but where I live there is a generation of people who can't spell or read efficiently and this is reflected in how shallow their thoughts are.

Comment: Re:They have the money to do this (Score 2) 250

by GenieGenieGenie (#45691011) Attached to: Chinese Lunar Probe Lands Successfully

Your leaders, sir, have been put there by voters. One of those voters may even have been you. So don't put the blame on them. In democratic and pseudo-democratic countries, leaders are just reflections of their populaces.

Oh, and just to make sure you don't think this comes from some partisan BS, the other side would have done precisely the same thing.

Now go and get yourself a serious government.

Comment: Re:Offer lower rates? (Score 1) 567

Not entirely zero sum. Theoretically, if these contraptions make people more conscious of their driving, thinking "oh wait, big brother's watching so maybe I'll cut the stunts" etc., this might actually lead to a reduction in their accident rates. Which means insurance companies pay less, have larger margins, and in an efficient market, this means they can afford to lower prices. Also, as some posters here demonstrated, people who agree to put this thing in their cars are usually safe drivers. So if an insurance company attracts them by dangling low prices in exchange for outing themselves as nerdy drivers, they can reduce their accident rates, thus their margins, and the lower prices might even end up increasing their profits.

Comment: Re:Why must we celebrate violence? (Score 3, Insightful) 211

The US fight in the Pacific probably saved many lives elsewhere in Asia, the surrounding archipelagos, and Australia. We were allied with just about every other country fighting Japan.

If everyone had just surrendered to the Japanese, there would have been much fewer deaths in the Pacific theater in WWII. The point of fighting that war was not about saving the quantity of lives, but the quality of them.

Comment: Re:A quick test (Score 1) 707

by GenieGenieGenie (#44345541) Attached to: The Man Who Convinced Us We Needed Vitamin Supplements

What an awesome idea! Why don't we just figure out things for ourselves. Just pop a pill, and if we feel better the next day, it's good to go.

But wait - in the dead of winter, sometimes I wake up feeling better without taking any pills. I mean, some days I feel better, some days I feel worse. What if that were the case when I took the pill? So maybe, instead of taking it just once, I should take it many times, and see if it worked every single time. We can call these repeats "repetitions". In fact, maybe just take a bunch of different people and run all the repetitions on them at the same time. Just in case there was some low pressure system that got everyone sick, or everybody's depressed because the third season of A Game of Thrones just ended.

But wait a second - I mean, you can't really expect your pill to work every time, right? See, if you took it on a day you were feeling good, it could be that the next day you feel bad, but things would have been worse without the pill. So let's look for a pill that makes things better, but on average, not every single time. Hell, we can even test for this using some branch of mathematics called "statistics".

And then there's another thing - I mean, how do you know there's an improvement unless you can compare it to another group that didn't pop the pills? So, let's control the pill taking and have another group set aside that doesn't take the pill; we'll call them the "control" group.

Here there's another problem. This control group, they're not actually "the same" as the other group, because they don't really take any pills. Maybe the group that took the pills felt so good about taking the pills that they just magically convinced themselves to feel better, and actually felt better. They just please themselves. So we'll give the "control" group a pill that doesn't have any vitamin D in it, and call it "placebo" (it's from Latin, "I will please"), in case they are just pleasing themselves into feeling better.

You know what - I think we're onto something here. I think we just invented "science"!

Comment: Re:Is this the real reason? (Score 2) 217

by GenieGenieGenie (#44281815) Attached to: The Little Bomb-Detecting Device That Couldn't
This, right here. The motivation behind every malfunctioning piece of carp employed by the armies of all creed and color, including the various "SOPs" and similar procedure nonsense that thought-challenged jarheads think might save them from investing the activity of a few neurons and yet still keep them alive. I remember once my unit entertained a bunch of US marines for a joint drill. We made them a little IED scenario with a bunch of charges and mines and stuff (all rigged with pops, no real boom-boom). They tripped every single wire and trodded on all the mines too, but they were really happy to have followed proper procedure.

"Those who will be able to conquer software will be able to conquer the world." -- Tadahiro Sekimoto, president, NEC Corp.