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Comment Re:Have an awareness raising conversation (Score 5, Informative) 277

Another problem is that driving in SF can can very confusing, draining driver attention. Try to make a left turn onto Market Street on a busy day.

A few months ago, SF made private vehicles turning onto Market Street illegal. Today, biking home, I saw half a dozen cars flout those new laws.

As part of Vision Zero SF, the SFPD have pledged to Focus on the Five (PDF, sorry) "violations that are most frequently cited in collisions with people walking. These violations are"

  • Driving at unsafe speed given conditions of roadway
  • Red light signal violations
  • Failure of driver to yield to pedestrian at a crosswalk
  • Failure of driver to yield while making a left or U-turn
  • Failure to stop at a STOP sign limit line

I cannot tell you (yeah, yeah, anecdote) how many times I've encountered while riding my bike motorists speeding through the streets of SF as if they were Karl Malden in a 1970s era TV cop show.

So, I'm in perfect agreement with you, ShanghaiBill, that a number of downtown SF city blocks should be turned into pedestrian malls strictly controlled for public transportation only.

As a side note, the first week or so Market Street had SFMTA employees keeping private vehicles from turning onto Market Street was the day public transit drivers and cabbies started racing down Market at over 35 miles per hour and jockeying to beat every. Single. Light. and running them if they couldn't.

Comment This is like the whole "learning styles" thing. (Score 1) 307

"Learning styles" takes an undeniable truth, that different people find it easiest to learn in different ways, exaggerates it to a falsehood (i.e., that people can only learn the way that's easiest for them), and then converts it to BS (e.g., "I'm a visual thinker, that's why I'm no good at math.")

The underlying mistaken assumption is that education should never require you to try something you find difficult or unnatural. If you are indeed a visual learner, that's something that you and your teachers can and should exploit, but you need to learn how to learn in modes that don't come easily to you. Life doesn't always give you a choice of forms for lessons you need to learn. Sometimes you ought to read the manual; other times there is no manual. You need to be adaptable to either case.

It's important to be sensitive to the fact that some students are introverts -- although that doesn't necessarily mean "shy" or "socially awkward"; that's just a stereotype, it's not what "introverted" means. But it is undeniably true that group work comes less naturally to introverts than extroverts. Nonetheless they still need to learn to work that way, just as extroverts need to learn how to work independently. If you just taught students to be able to do what comes naturally to them, what's the point of education?

Comment Re: the work he has put in does warrant appreciati (Score 2) 146

Self-amusement can't be a practical purpose for a hobby project?

It's one of those things we couldn't have imagined when the Internet was thrown open to anyone back in the early 90s. We didn't anticipate it would be used to spread cat memes, revive white supremacist ideology, or more to the point usher in a new golden age or priggery.

Comment Re:Ironically this was caused by slow XCode downlo (Score 2) 246

Some Chinese developers downloaded this tainted XCode because of slow download times of XCode from the Mac App Store.

Downloading XCode from the Mac App Store takes nearly a full day! I think this delivery mechanism of XCode is developers is very crummy and quite a nuisance.

Maybe it's an effect of the Great Firewall? My understanding is that Internet throughput in China (especially for inbound traffic) is very unpredictable with speed varying not only across time but also on physical location.

Comment Re:Exxon MADE the hard decision (Score 5, Insightful) 255

Ah yes, the old "had to do it for the money" claim. If we accept that everyone is an idiot robot that will play Russian Roulette for a dollar, sure. But the fact is that a person or organization has the power to make a decision with short-term or long-term thinking in mind, or a decision with self-interest or social awareness in mind. Yet somehow we've got to the point where we'll excuse absolutely anything as being reasonable if there was money at stake. Personally, I'd prefer we hold ourselves to a slightly higher standard, but I realize I'm shouting into the wind.

Comment Re:Punish the (really) guilty (Score 1) 956

I'm following the discussion at the Dallas morning news on this, and one word that comes up over and over is "normal". It's not normal for a kid to build something like this -- so he must be up to something. One popular theory is that he planned this to get arrested and start the whole media circus.

In these peoples' tiny little minds, you have a choice: you can choose to be "normal" or you can choose be some kind of deviant. Well if that's the case, I'll take "deviant" please.

Comment Re:Email the school and let them know what you thi (Score 1) 956

Don't for get the Chamber of Commerce; if you own or manage a business, why not let them know by posting on their Facebook ( or twitter feed ( how this affects your perception of Irving Texas as a place to do business.

Can anything be sadder than work left unfinished? Yes, work never begun.