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Comment Re:This is why we can't have nice things (Score 1) 201

I'm Amerindian. I'm so Amerindian that I have both US and Canadian citizenship and am a full member of the Micmac tribe.

Gotta tell ya, I don't give a shit about the Redskin's name. Not even a wee bit. No, not even the Braves (I think?) and their tomahawk chop thing bothers me or anyone that I know who is also Native American. Usually, the only people I see bitching about the name are white people. I've been told (by white people) that this is important and that I have to give a shit. I guess I'm glad that someone's sticking up for what they think I feel? Thanks, I guess?

Comment Re:Unhelpful Whining (Score 1) 201

Are they saying it *was* a holy site or that it *is* a holy site? I'd read that they (unless being quoted elsewhere) were using the word "sacred" in the present tense. I've read a few articles on this and I've read them from a few sources. As near as I'm able to tell, they were only claiming that it is now, currently, considered sacred because of it's historical significance. That's a whole other argument than saying it was holy in the past.

I don't know if you'll decide that carries any more or less weight but I believe that's how it was phrased. Given the archaeological evidence of past use, it could be sacred to them now as a tie to their past? Buggered if I know if it really is, by all outward appearances, it looks like a classic shakedown. But, that might give it some more legitimacy and it's quite a bit different than the accusation you're and a few others are using. Dunno if that's significant but it's worth mentioning.

Comment Re:Unhelpful Whining (Score 1) 201

Heh... I've kind of been following this. Just pay the damned bribe. Really. How much do they want? They are taking something of value. Pay for it. Yeah, it sucks but strip all the batshit out of it and just be pragmatic. Promise to not step on the toads, ruin the flowers, let 'em do whatever they seem inclined to say they do up there, and buy 'em off. Just strip the crazy aspects out and understand that they're gonna say it's important to them no matter what you do. Give 'em the money and make 'em go away - but make sure they sign first.

Comment Re:And for what? (Score 1) 201

I've brought up my heritage before and I've got some white, some black African, and I'm mostly Micmac. You're right. Well, in some regards.

The Micmac and the white man got along pretty well, actually. We adapted, traded, communicated. and did okay - eventually. It was pretty rough going for a while. The black, that's crazy talk! Nope. My family fought on the side of the Brits during the Revolutionary War. They'd promised to free all blacks willing to fight for them. They almost got into a second battle because the newly formed States didn't really want to let us go. So, they ran a gauntlet with a couple of loads of former slaves and brought us to Haiti. That wasn't going to work for we were freed men. So, they picked us all up again and hauled us to Nova Scotia and encouraged us and the natives to interbreed. (Really.) We did. Thus, I have some black in me.

As near as I can tell, no treaties with the Micmac people were violated by the Crown themselves. It took a while to get certain rights, however. This is also why I sometimes have brought up that I'm Canadian by grace of Heritage and why I have dual citizenship. I can not trace my black side back further than being on the ship for the gauntlet running. We can go back quite a ways on the Amerindian side.

If you're from New England, the white part of me is of the Prescott family with all that entails. I'm sure it was quite a story among certain parts of the family. Ah well, fuck 'em. I've met some of 'em and I can't say we're close.

But, strangely enough, you're correct - from my perspective. The UK did, indeed, follow their treaties with my people and in both of those case - even risking life and limb because the King's word had been given and they had the paperwork to prove that they'd been told that they'd get freedom in return for service. There's a small bit about it in one of the Ken Burn's documentaries, at least I think it was from him.

However, hmm... Given where Hawaii is and the way the UK has dumped all of her colonies, really... I can't imagine what it would look like today if the US hadn't taken Hawaii. I imagine, if nothing else, the US would have ended up with a portion the territory, by Lend/Lease, during WWII and Hawaii might be a sovereign nation by now or in about 2040. Which might sound good but I doubt Hawaii would do all that well on their own - without the bonus of having the US military and diplomatic power. So, I expect Hawaii would have ended up a territory, at least, and probably a full-fledged State eventually. I do not see Japan having kept Hawaii. I do not see that at all. I have no idea where the OP was going with that one.

Ah well... So, in my anecdote of one, you appear to be correct. I'm not entirely sure I agree with a broader statement but I suspect that'd be because "toed the line" is a bit subjective and "local kings" is oddly specific.

Comment Re:Missed the Boat? (Score 1) 256

At the time, they had not. At the time, there were a few stories making the rounds and there had been a big FBI mess-up with an underground market and FBI agents stealing them. So, I figured it was a good time to be nice. I stand by that choice. I'd actually forgotten them until a flurry of those stories popped up and had to go power the box on that held the wallet and software.

So, it's not as if I was doing anything with it anyhow. I always give money to EFF (sometimes more than that) so it was a good thing to do, at the time. I believe they're actually worth less now than they were then but I don't actually recall their exact value when I sold. They were near $600 each so not a whole lot but during one of their spikes.

It was looking pretty iffy at the time and this way they went to use. I just finished typing a long reply that contains some more details but that was mostly the taxation perspective. I've actually answered that one before. I should probably try to find a way to explain it in a more concise manner. At any rate, no...

At the time, not too many people or businesses were really putting their name on it. In the public eye it was what they used to buy drugs on the Silk Road and maybe murder people or commit other crimes. Then, the other thing they knew about it was that there were two FBI folks (who may have pretended to be willing to murder someone) who'd also gotten in trouble 'cause they were stealing it. Then, the rest were pissed about the way the government managed dealing with the ones they did confiscate.

So... Yeah, I'd forgotten I'd even had them so I asked around here and someone said EFF had started taking them. That was convenient. So, they got 'em rather than be associated with that. Make sense? That's a bit long to type so, yeah... That's the gist of it.

Comment Re:Missed the Boat? (Score 1) 256

Yes, I'm familiar with that. Mostly. I'd never read that in its entirety before, much thanks. But, hmm... I never realized it. It was never taken as a profit. However, even if it had been - I mined it before the regulations regarding virtual currencies were in place. I don't suppose I'm actually obligated to explain the entire details but you might as well figure it out. I have no idea what your tax education level is so I'll word this like I'm talking to someone who understands it about like I do. I do not pay my own taxes and I am not a lawyer. I employ both.

I, personally, never realized the profit. The hardware is not owned by me, nor was the currency mined for my benefit, but I have access to the hardware. The currency was mined in name of and on equipment which is not my personal equipment. That entity never realized it as an asset. In fact, that incorporated body never makes an asset. It only pays taxes on profits. As the entity makes no profit, it has no income. It does make a small amount of income on a regular basis. Anything that would have been a profit is invested in growth at year's end. Those assets, the investments, never get cashed out and they do not belong to me personally.

I control that entity. It is a legally incorporated entity. It, that entity, takes as much as it can and dumps it into charitable giving but that only reduces your tax burden so much. So, the remainder goes to overhead and anything left gets tucked away in a long-term investment as a business growth strategy. It sometimes turns a profit but not often. I do not have access to those assets - easily. I could liquidate them but that will take a while. I've never done it, I have no idea what that will entail. I assume it looks like me signing a few documents and waiting a few months for the entity to dissolve and I, the soul investor, will get any monies or assets. I do not see me ever needing to do that. Thus the whole thing will be managed even after I'm gone and I'll be donating money to charitable causes in perpetuity - even after I'm dead.

Which is a lot to explain when I share the otherwise boring story about having mined some. I also don't bother explaining it in much detail because some people have been known to see "corporation" and flip out without actually reading what it is or understanding it. They know only one type of corporation and they're certain it is evil and they're certain I'm cheating on my taxes. I've been through two audits and have been just fine. Right now, the corporation (it is not a publicly traded corporation nor is it structures as a non-profit) does sometimes end up paying a little in taxes. I'm not that picky and I don't always keep receipts for applicable things - I'm told I do a horrible job at that and that I can/could write off more. I don't usually worry much about. It has multiple sources of income and gives most of it away in yearly donations and anything else goes into fairly mature longer-term investments.

If I dissolve that corporation then I will realize that income and I will actually be subjected to tax on that. However, there's not much chance at that. So, it does nothing but allow me to give away money that I'd normally give away while still accumulating some assets which should keep it running (and donating) so long as the US economy still functions and land has wealth. Corporations are wonderful things that everyone should learn a little about. I did well for myself so I try to donate a lot. This enables me to put some incoming dollars into a structured and protected entity and that entity does the giving that I'd normally do. Then, when I die, it will be managed by a group of third parties who will get paid a percentage of income to manage it within the rules of the charter. That means that it will be able to keep generating income and keep donating income after I am dead and gone. It's also a lawful way to avoid the "death tax" unless, of course, I dissolve it.

If you really want to know more, I can explain it a bit more. There's a number of types of corporations and ways to form them and with all sorts of goals. I think pretty much everyone here should be aware of the benefits that they offer and the protections they grant. Tax avoidance is legal. Tax evasion is a crime. Protecting your assets a bit better and providing multiple methods of liquidation with varied benefits is a good thing to do if you are in a position to do so. Chances are, most of us here could benefit from forming at least one corporation. They don't even have to be in your name. I do not know all the details and all the fancy names but I know how it works well enough. I do not do any of it myself bu have an accountant and a lawyer who do the actual work more often than not.

There's actually quite a bit I don't know but I can probably at least answer most questions though I'm mostly parroting what I've come to understand. I don't know which forms get filed when. Both the lawyer and accountant have power of attorney (I trust them completely) so there are times when I'm not even near a fax machine or local, I don't even always sign stuff. I do, on the other hand, have it explained to me and I do have the ultimate say, of course. But I couldn't actually tell you how to actually do my taxes. I could probably work you through filling out the paperwork for incorporation. Those don't have to be all that complicated. They can be pretty complicated but you can figure it out on your own and save the legal fees. You'd just have to pay the regular fees which are not much, if I recall.

I figured it's long to explain it to you but it's nice than saying, "Too Long;Too Lazy." But, that's pretty much how it works. The hardware really is a business asset and not a personal asset. It's even in its own specific area and on its own specific network. Well, it was. It's powered down and removed from the "rack." (It was not a real server, it was just an x84_64 desktop with some extra RAM and HDDs.) So, yeah, that's the shortest way I can think of to explain it. Make sense?

Comment Re:What's the viable alternative? (Score 1) 132

I mentioned above that I'd no problem with them spending a year in a low-level computer science class in middle school. Not hard, but low-level (and maybe with a send level that's a little more in-depth).

Why do I mention that? Well, if anyone's following along, that's exactly what I think should belong in that type of class. It shouldn't even really have a computer in that class. It should be about how a computer works and a part of that is the understanding of who and what it is that enabled the device they have in their hand. It should contain stuff like basic computer security, computer history, languages and some of their history and obviously that's a finite list due to time constraints, the physical components, what an operating system does, what a browser really is, and simple technology key points and that the various levels and depth will be decided on by the student, the faculty, the parents, and any guidance administration faculty to ensure coordination over the long-term.

The last thing that course should have is a physical computer with a internet access, zero games (unless they *really* write them), and sure as shit shouldn't have ANY operating system installed. That's if they get a computer at all. It's CS, not A++ Certifications. They should be taught the how, the why, the history, and then learn the current state, and the method. I'm sure you guys can think of ways to make that good.

So, yeah... That's my opinion. I'm open to advice and I'm willing to listen to reasoning. However, I have no problem with them teaching CS in school. It should be an option. I'd even go so far as to say the CS course that I suggest be mandatory - we can discuss what it'd look like or you can argue with that, if you want. I'm quite keen on some other opinions. We should as hell don't need to do the gibberish that the various people are proposing. If we're going to teach them how to use a computer then we might as well teach them how to do it right.

I don't think it'd take that much depth? Not really. A grown adult should be able to tell me what RAM is and what it does. They don't have to know the actual method that various RAM has used historically, nor do they need to understand a magnetic drum. They should know what binary is and why it works. They should know what a hard drive is, what the CPU is, what a GPU is, and maybe some standards and history. They should know what a networks and communications protocols do. They should even have the chance (this should be optional, maybe not required) things like SYN and ACK. They should know what an operating system is, no - what it really is. They should then learn some choices and learn to weight their value based on their goals.

They should understand what software is AND why it works and the various types - such as portability, compiled, interpreted, and whatnot. They should know what compiling means (and how to do it could be an optional class - perhaps the following year so they could *opt* to take additional courses after that) and how a compiler works. They should know the difference between open source and proprietary. If we really have to then we should discuss copyright laws a little bit. However, my suggestion is that if we're going to teach about copyright that we should do so in a manner that lets them know what rights they do have and that they understand the concept of it. (I figure political pressures will be such that they make copyright education mandatory somehow.)

And on like that. I'll avoid going into details because you can probably tell me better than I can tell me. The big thing is (to me) that I think there *should* be a CS course. I just don't think it should be the trash they're selling us. I think we should teach them a *mandatory* computer science course at around the 7th grade. If we absolutely have to then we can do one more mandatory one four years later which will either be a refresher of sorts (tech moves fast, four years is okay) or yet another advanced course. Maybe at that level, they'll separate into groups and do a project for the last half of the year or maybe it's just a half-year long course? I guess they could have school issued hardware with 'net access at that point. The people who'd normally be taking some sort of advanced course at this point would already be at the hardware and internet stage in their education anyhow.

There could probably even be some options *if* the school can afford it. Maybe make some of the other courses optional at a lower level and any of those would fill the 11 year requirements or something like that. That could be a good start, I think. If you can fix it, what'd you really do - with it if you could fix this mess that they're calling a CS education? What would it look like, if you had your druthers?

Comment Re: What's the viable alternative? (Score 1) 132

I think there's some refinement needed with this.

Also, full disclosure, the only classes I ever failed were typing - twice with the latter being at the collegiate level. Oddly, it was chat that made me able to type. On the various tests, I tend to be up in the 85 wpm with 100% accuracy. However, if I'm doing well and have an app running in the background, I've peaked over 100 wpm with a drop of about 5% in accuracy but it goes in spurts. The latter is *only* true if I'm typing what I want to type and using an app running to detect the rates. The 85 wpm is when I'm taking one of the tests.

However, I have a point... I'm getting there...

I went to a preparatory school, it was a boarding school, and I actually went there because my behavior was rather poor and I was "gifted" according to the school system. My parents were not wealthy. But, at that school, we had HP 5100s (or maybe 5900) which was a neat programmable calculator with a paper (not punch) card reader, magnetic strip card reader/writer, plotters, TV output, internal storage, and the likes. This was the late 1960s.

I'm not kidding - I have a point!

We had terminals and a time share with one of the colleges. That would actually get us mainframe access. Dartmouth was connected to MIT which was connected to Harvard, etc... We had a computer lab, observatory with telescope, and even a private alpine ski slope though that had a tow rope lift back then. It has a chairlift now. I'd like to point out that this was really not that ritzy a school but one of the oldest private boarding schools in the US.

I'm getting to the point... I swear!

The thing is, I absolutely hated computers. I hated typing. I hated a dumb terminal. I hated that they didn't *do* anything unless you made them. I thought they were pointless, stupid, and for lazy people. Then I went on to become a mathematician, even getting my Ph.D in Applied Mathematics, and (as I've surely explained in enough detail) I went on to model traffic "on a computer." Except, I still kind of hated computers. I learned to program, pretty much on my own, as an extension to my studies and then my career. I am a horrific programmer but I'm persistent and eventually it works.

I promised you a point... Here it is...

See, I programmed because I had to and I love computers now. I own an obscene number of computers but I'm just getting back into programming since around the start of the year. What I don't understand is why (beyond the obvious of removing the value of programmers by dumbing it down to the lowest common denominator) they're pushing everyone to learn to code. They're not learning to code, not really. They're learning to pass a test, complete a project, and say that they know how to program.

Has everyone forgotten about the Law of Diminishing Returns? This is going to end up being a now-devalued skill that's filled by incompetent people who think that a few courses in school makes them an actual programmer. They'll increase supply, sure. They'll not be any good. How about letting the people with the desire or aptitude decide to learn? Who gives a shit what their gender or color is? If they're intelligent and want to learn, teach them and teach them well.

The people who want to code can learn to code. Teach them computer operating basics, maybe a year of CS fundamentals in middle school, and then continued courses for those who actually have the desire and skills to perform. If someone needs to learn to program, or wants to, they'll do it. I know, I had to. Just like typing, I finally had cause to learn and no amount of special equipment, righteous indignation, or access to quality teachers motivated me learn to type. The results are more than acceptable for my needs.

Teach the damned kids what they need to know and give them the chance to learn what they want to learn. This idea of using school as a way to model society is a tired experiment. Stop pressuring kids to conform to some cookie cutter standard. Stop devaluing the people with actual skills. Stop trying to manipulate culture. The Law of Diminishing Returns is real and applicable in so many places. This? This is how you end up with dispassionate people turning out shit quality code. This is how you perpetuate a myth that "everyone" can do it. No, they can't. Let me be the first to raise his hand and say he codes like ass. Do you want me coding your health information system? Me either.

I am not one but I know damned well what a good programmer is. I had the honor of working with some very capable, passionate, knowledgeable, and creative programmers. (They fixed my bad code - I hired them to do things that I simple could not do.) Do you really want to see what happens to the industry when it's reduced to the lowest common denominator and not worth rewarding the skilled people well enough to select that as a career? 'Cause I suspect this is how you get that.

Note: Those are all a generic "you" and not you personally. Also, yes, I know I'm probably preaching to the choir but you've got good insights so I figured I'd mention it to you. Either way, I told you I had a point! Also, I'm also not gonna proofread that. If there are any mistakes, blame it on the new owners. Whisplash is to blame.

Comment Re:Visual vs wall of code (Score 1) 132

As a guy who's working on a robot, with C, you might be on to something. His name is Rex. He's meant to come when he's called. He's meant to bring me a remote. No, it's not a serious project, I'm just trying to avoid wet-ware bit rot as my age is increasing at a seemingly faster rate than normal.

Oh, he has a sister. Her name is T but she's not a robot and she's not meant to move. She's ready. She's able to play media like she's supposed to. She's smart. Rex, her brother, is a lazy bastard. He actually came when I called. Once. Entirely by accident. He does, technically, try to move when called. However, he's retarded and goes any direction that he damned well wants. So far, that's been in my direction exactly once. Someone has to have a voice following library but I've not found one - I did see one that might work. It's in Java. Rex is getting murdered in his sleep. I'll probably wake his sister up and force her to watch me murder him just in case she gets any ideas.

On a serious note, it has been fun and I am so rusty that it's almost like learning anew. When/if I get the code squared away *and* looking presentable, it'll be the first C code that I've given away since about 2003. However, I might end up scrapping it and going with Java. I don't know a damned thing about Java but I'll be damned if there isn't a library for *everything* out there. Want to mix a cake with a dildo and have it play a jingle and flash LEDs? There are three libraries and two of 'em are able to be hosted remotely and support Twitter, Facebook, and a toaster.

Comment Re: About time (Score 1) 148

I understand. I am insulated to the point where it doesn't even matter who gets elected. The entire US economy could collapse and I'd be fine. Hell, the world could go to hell in a bucket and I'd be fine. Literally, I'll be fine. My kids will be fine. I didn't want to have irresponsible jackasses for kids so they do have trust accounts (managed, market based) but those don't provide them with a lot of income. Yes, they could not work - if they really wanted to. But, they'd be pretty unhappy. Well, sort of?

My son's cheating and living in Peru but soon I'll be loaning (not giving, he didn't ask for a gift - smart kid, and he's not wanting to touch his trust) him the money to buy a nice, but small, bar and hotel in Peru. He can pay the money back or pay me a percentage of the profits until he does. He's supporting himself and his girlfriend's family from his trust. It's not a lot of money here but the smart ass kid went to Peru where ~3k USD/mo is good money. He was in college, he was working on a masters in the biology studies. He went to Peru on a summer trip to help collect and collect/process/sequence the DNA in some endangered plants. He found a nice, really beautiful too, native Peruvian and never returned to school. So, no... He's not exactly productive. He's smoking weed and sexing a beautiful native but having a good time, I'd probably have done the same thing at his age - except that wasn't really an option.

So, it's not an age thing. It's just a large group of them - my kids peers are mostly doing okay. They still keep in touch with "the old man." I get phone calls, emails, and pictures to let me know what's going on in my kid's peers lives. Most of them are pretty good and I suspect that's a part of the selection bias. Yes, it's probably a bit odd but my kid's friends still call me up, still keep in touch, still inflate my ego by calling for advice, and still consider me a confidante. Hell, some of them have even spent time living with me - even after the kids left. Meh... They know they've always got a home and if they really need something then they have only but to ask and they're not even my kids. So, no... It's not an age thing.

I can't put my finger on it, exactly what is wrong, and enumerate all the issues that I see. I simply lack the communication skills and the time. I can't say what began it but I can speculate. I can't say where it's going and, again, I could speculate. The thing is, as I began this message I mentioned this, I'm insulated. I'll be fine - no matter what. So, it's not like I'm worried because it's going to impact me and mine. Hell, even my grandkids (when they build me some) will be fine but I'm not leaving them a lot either. I will not be accountable for having enabled trashy people. They'll be all set and get to go to school and whatnot. I did well in life but the kids still have to live lives of their own and earn respect the hard way. The rest is getting left to a variety of charities and a few trusts that will keep things running (and giving) in perpetuity.

I dunno? All I know is that I've a limited sphere of influence but that I'm doing what I can. Like you, I too see problems. I really don't know if we'll be okay just because we've been okay up until now. That's a bit like saying that my house hasn't burned down yet so it's sure to not burn in the future. But then, I get stuff like what I'm about to link to.

http://i.imgur.com/V1vizoJ.png

Just before I pushed the reply button, I opened my email and noticed that. It makes me almost weep for humanity. It's just a small image. That's not editing, that's real, and it's oh so very timely. No, it's not just the kids... It's not just education. It's a cultural rot that is visible in academia and many, many other areas. Alas, I could go on but I suspect we're on the same page.

Comment Re: About time (Score 2) 148

I'm constantly given reasons to be grateful for my circumstances. I'm retired and happy for it. My Ph.D is in Applied Mathematics and, I've gotta be honest, it was so tough I thought I'd not make it at times. I suspect that where my degree comes from (MIT) hasn't gotten much easier, but I have to remark that I really don't see a whole lot of intellect being displayed by people with newer degrees. I assume they've got domain knowledge, I mean they must. Surely, they've done their defense and they're published in a quality journal and all that, right? Right? My school is pushing out more Ph.D holders but not in significant numbers but I do see the numbers at various other schools and someone recently posted a whole bunch of stats on this very topic.

But, yeah... They seem to be minting an awful lot of newly degreed people - I thought I'd bookmarked the link with the actual numbers but I don't seem to be able to find it. There's a finite value there. When I was in academia, I felt there was room for more people. At some point, however, there's the Law of Diminishing Returns and you end up with so many people that the quality goes down. I think I am suffering from some selection and some confirmation bias but it can't all be attributed to that. You're not the first one who's indicated that there's trouble, specifically with this, and it doesn't seem to be limited to Europe, I'm an American and it appears to be happening here as well. If everyone has a degree, what value is it and how much effort did it really take? It's devaluing quite a bit.

Though, I guess... It could be worse? Here? They're minting people with a bunch of varied degrees, nobody's going to tech/vocational schools, and they're all wandering around with crippling debt, worthless degrees, no education, little (apparent) common sense, hell bent on blaming someone else, and fully convinced that they deserve a trophy.

I sense a rant coming on so I'm just going to finish this up quickly.

I'm reminded of the passage from Plato in which he goes on to explain how the youth of his day are all inept and going to be the ruination of civilization and all that is good in the world. I don't want to be that guy. However, I've seriously been wondering if maybe there's a bit of a trend towards immaturity, insecurity, ineptness, and inability. I hope I'm wrong but it looks like people are so devoid of accomplishments that they're hung up on some trivial things as if it might give them meaning in their lives and this may well be to the detriment of future progress. How bad is it? How real is it? I have no idea. I do wish I were more articulate or I'd actually go for that rant right about now.

If it does matter, and it probably doesn't, I have lately had the chance to spend a goodly amount of time with two young boys who are both bright and articulate. They seem generally good people. My children, a bit younger than you probably are but not by a whole lot, are both well educated and productive (sort of - my son's not doing a whole lot but he's not causing harm or stomping around feeling entitled and expressing his superiority as if he's the pinnacle of achievement and morality) so I don't think it's an actual "age" thing so much as it is a culture thing within certain subsets of people. I presume they're well-meaning.

Ah well, I'll spare you the rant. I don't think I can articulate it well, so imagine I said something witty, intuitive, and insightful and insert it between the lines, make it six or seven more paragraphs, insert some vulgarity and bad grammar, and attribute it to me. It'll save us both some time and I'll get a trophy too.

Comment Re:Is this really international news? (Score 1) 148

Hmm... I have no idea but I have some tangentially related experience. I'm a bit old and I've had the chance to travel quite a bit. In all those years and in all of those places, I've only personally been in one place, at one time, where a government did, without referendum or pressure from the citizens, remove an actual profitable tax when they said they would - and I was only there on vacation.

I didn't yet live in Maine and was up on vacation. Maine's government had raised the sales tax from 5% to 5.5% for a few years as a temporary measure. At the end of that time, they removed the tax without fanfare and without the citizens getting angry enough to make them remove it. It's the one and only time that I've ever heard of it happening like that. I know only because they were changing the cash registers back while I was there. I was shocked...

Point? Well... In my experience, one of these types of funding cuts isn't always an indicator but it almost always has been an indicator of more to come - with obvious limitations 'cause they can't really lay off every government employee no matter how much they try. It may be in other areas besides education but, more often then not and by a very wide margin, it means more cuts are on the way.

Comment Re:About time (Score 2) 148

I don't know about Denmark but I know that when I got finished up my Ph.D in 1991 one of the comments that I had was about how difficult it had been and how selective the program had been. There were a lot of smart people who wanted to get their Ph.D from the same institution and a very limited number of slots. I was extremely grateful that I'd been allowed in but thought that there were others who were equally qualified and that they might have room for a few more. I touched on that and a few other similar things during my closing interview with staff.

It was hard to get in, hard to perform, and hard to finish. It seems odd, to me at least, that the pendulum has swung that far in the opposite direction - at least at reputable universities. It may be the ubiquity of mass communication, it may be selection bias, but I see more and more people stomping around putting those three letters behind their names. I'll give them the benefit of doubt and assume they are fluent in their discipline but I'm not so sure that I'd call them "smart." Hmm... I think a better way to put it might be to say that I'd not call them very "wise."

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The 11 is for people with the pride of a 10 and the pocketbook of an 8. -- R.B. Greenberg [referring to PDPs?]

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