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Comment: Re:Make kids do the work instead (Score 1) 89

by Jiro (#48023077) Attached to: Blood For Extra Credit Points Offer Raises Eyebrows In Test-Mad China

The point is that volunteering for a soup kitchen is something that only rich people get a chance to do. A poor person has other things to do--part time job, for instance, or taking care of the family's children while parents are out (or their own children if a teenage single mother). A poor person who doesn't live close enough also has a hard time getting transportation to get to the soup kitchen; not everyone has parents who can drive them, and bus fare costs money that matters for a poor person.

Comment: Re:Make kids do the work instead (Score 1) 89

by Jiro (#48020077) Attached to: Blood For Extra Credit Points Offer Raises Eyebrows In Test-Mad China

We have this in the US, in practice; social service volunteering looks good on your college resume, and plenty of teenagers do it solely to get into a better college. It also works horribly because it is richer people who are better able to volunteer, since rich teenagers have more spare time to do social services in, and greater access to transportation to get to the social services.

Comment: Double standard (Score 1, Interesting) 903

by Jiro (#47994543) Attached to: Miss a Payment? Your Car Stops Running

If it was supermarkets refusing to give food to poor people unless the poor people provided the supermarkets with money, you would not see articles implying that the supermarkets are somehow exploiting the poor in doing so. And we certainly wouldn't see complaints that the supermarkets are keeping them from feeding their children, like the complaints that the car companies are keeping them from taking their children to school.

In our world, that's what money is for. Someone who refuses to let you have something if you don't pay is not out of line, even if you are poor and don't have the money. We might believe that the poor should get assistance, but that assistance comes from society in general; it is not done by demanding that supermarkets/car companies give away their products for free. and implying that they are exploiting the poor if they don't.

Comment: What? (Score 1) 540

by Jiro (#47880181) Attached to: Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion

Isn't imposing a large cost on the other country the whole point of an embargo? What's the complaint here? I mean, Cuba obviously doesn't like it, but it's sort of like Russia claiming that the sanctions for invading Ukraine are costing it money, or Al Qaeda claiming that US military intervention is killing terrorists. That's the intent.

Clearly $1.1 trillion isn't enough considering it hasn't worked.

(Also, does this figure count Russian aid during the Cold War against the loss from not trading with Americans?)

Comment: Re:No, it wasn't. (Score 4, Insightful) 463

by Jiro (#47804313) Attached to: Deputy Who Fatally Struck Cyclist While Answering Email Will Face No Charges

Having a law that permits them to use electronic devices just means that using the electronic device isn't automatically a crime. It doesn't (or at least shouldn't) mean that they are excused from all consequences of doing so.

If you want a car analogy (no reason I can't use a car analogy to make a car analogy), a driver's license gives you permission to drive a car, so that you can't be arrested just for unlicensed driving, but you still can be arrested if you run over someone with the car. Likewise, the police have a "use electronic device license", so the use by a policeman is not a crime all by itself, but the negligent use of one still can be.

Comment: Fearmongering summary (and article too) (Score 1) 531

by Jiro (#47757061) Attached to: Net Neutrality Is 'Marxist,' According To a Koch-Backed Astroturf Group

Reading TFA, even if I take TFA at its word, TFA's headline claims the group is Koch-backed, but TFA itself only says that the head of the organization previously worked at a Koch-backed organization. The idea that there's any Koch connection, financial or otherwise, to his current organization is complete speculation.

TFA further obscures this by containing a link for the phrase "strong ties to the Koch brothers", presented in a way which looks like it should be about the current organization, but which when you follow it, turns out to be about the previous one.

"Koch" has become such a left-wing bugaboo that any reference to it should make the reader automatically skeptical.

Furthermore, TFA quotes the email, although using an image (why, I don't know--to make it harder to search?) The claim that "he thinks net neutrality is Marxist" is a distortion of that email. It claims that

1) It is like things done by China and Russia (astute readers may remember that Russia gave up being Marxist decades ago; summarizing this as "he thinks it's Marxist" is another left-wing scare tactic meant to bring to mind McCarthyism) and

2) a reference saying that one *specific* group led by one specific Marxist individual supports it.

Comment: Re:They're not gamers. (Score 1) 276

by Jiro (#47744107) Attached to: Among Gamers, Adult Women Vastly Outnumber Teenage Boys

The way you see it, calling someone who only reads the ingredients list on the back of food packages is like calling someone who plays Candy Crush a gamer.

The way you see it, calling someone who sings the Star Spangled banner at the start of a ball game a music fan is like calling someone who plays Candy Crush a gamer.


"Gamer" does not mean "someone who plays a game" in the same way that "reader" doesn't mean "someone that reads something".

Comment: Re:Amazing (Score 1) 276

by Jiro (#47744061) Attached to: Among Gamers, Adult Women Vastly Outnumber Teenage Boys

Nobody would read that headline and believe that whales are really doing the same thing as people with engineering degrees. The literal interpretation is so obviously impossible that everyone can see that it's an exaggeration and should not be taken literally.

The literal interpretation of "women outnumber boys in gaming" is not impossible in the same way that whales having engineering degrees is. It's just incorrect.

Comment: Re:Apple (Score 2) 257

by Jiro (#47732749) Attached to: When Customer Dissatisfaction Is a Tech Business Model

People want cheap and get cheap because it's easy to tell what something's price is. f you have to choose between a cheap laptop and a more expensive laptop that has the same specs but might fall apart faster, it's really hard to get figures on how fast the laptops fall apart such that you can determine that the money you save is not worth it. Hiding laptop failure rates is easy, but you can't hide the price, so consumers buy based on it.

This may be better in the case of repeat customers, but honestly, how often do you buy laptops?

Our business in life is not to succeed but to continue to fail in high spirits. -- Robert Louis Stevenson