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Comment: Wrongheaded pandering to statistically marginals (Score 3, Interesting) 389

by Improv (#48072343) Attached to: Is It Time To Throw Out the College Application System?

University efforts are best spent taking those who are ready and capable and stuffing their heads full of new ideas. There are people who are not ready or capable, but trying to find ways to slip them in and hoping they reinvent themselves in time to take advantage of the opportunity (if that's even possible) would be neglecting those who are ready - many of them would end up in remedial classes or just taking the easiest things possible to survive. Maybe they should wait a year and wander Europe, or otherwise take some time to get their life together first.

I was one of the C-B students who did all the gifted classes in high school but never had the grades. When I went to University, the first two years I loved the freedom and the content of the classes but was as lazy as I had been in high school on the grades. It was only later that I started taking things seriously. The first two years might as well have been wasted, plus I chose a university well below par for my abilities (wasn't even nearly the best one I got into). I think I turned out pretty well looking back 18 years later, but statistically, I was probably bad betting odds. Universities should focus on people who are actually ready to learn, rather than figuring out ways to churn out more people who are likely to drop out. Slashdot, in turn, should stop pandering to people who never learned to focus who drop out of university and console themselves by extolling the virtues of being an autodidact, of not knowing how to dress or clean themselves and paint themselves as "natural" or "different" or "fighting the system", and similar.

Comment: Arguing against a strawman (Score 2) 937

by Improv (#47898949) Attached to: Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

Author is arguing against a strawman (or at least a minority view) form of atheism which claims to be above value judgements. Of course one brings value judgements to the table, with philosophy. People've been doing that for a very, very long time. So what?

Author also seems to not understand Star Trek that well - while they're a planet of hat, more-or-less, Vulcans were known to live by a philosophy, and presumably like all systems of logic, the Vulcan one sits ultimately on a philosophical foundation, not some bs "a priori" claims that the author wants to warn us against.

Comment: It's better to hear people you might disagree with (Score 4, Insightful) 124

by Improv (#47580641) Attached to: The CIA Does Las Vegas

Closing one's ears to people one might disagree with is a sure way to rot as a community. It's not like the community that attends such conferences is unanimous in their views; it's not *all* technolibertarians. If you look at other presentations by such bodies at past conferences, you see that they're often quite good.

Comment: Re:What a crap of title... (Score 1) 450

by Improv (#47052483) Attached to: Robbery Suspect Tracked By GPS and Killed

Thankless means that few people in broad society adequately respect the need for or the practices of police officers. They're underappreciated.

Police don't usually have the time, when people pull a gun on them, to carefully consider every possible option. If they can pick the least bad option, great, but if the situation is that someone pulls a gun on an on-duty cop (meaning pulls it out and begins to point it at them), I'd be very reluctant to second-guess them if the policeman shoots that person.

The difference between reality and unreality is that reality has so little to recommend it. -- Allan Sherman