Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

×

Comment: Re:Thank you, school monopoly... (Score 1) 591

by Mr. Slippery (#48960315) Attached to: Texas Boy Suspended For "Threatening" Classmate With the One Ring

But there is no such choice in the single most important sphere of all: the children education.

Really? There is no choice? No private schools, no charter schools, no home schooling?

I'm all in favor of arranging public education to grant more choice to students; smaller and more numerous schools and let a student go to any public school in their county/city/state (depending on how taxes are allocated) they like. Maybe even vouchers for secular private schools that take the voucher as the whole tuition (no public funds for religious education, no letting rich kids use tax dollars as partial payment at a school for the 1%ers), though I'm not sure on that point. But to claim that the current system offer no choice is simply inaccurate.

Since 1960-ies the per-pupil annual cost of public schools quadrupled (inflation-adjusted), while the quality of education remains the same (if it has not gotten worse).

Public schools have increased the array of services provided -- free and reduced-price meals, special education, vocational education, and services for disabled or ESL students -- in that time.

Overall, public schools have equivalent or better outcomes than private schools with the same level of spending per student.

And Texas's public school spending is near the bottom compared to other states, so trying to link this to some supposed overspending on schools does not fly.

Comment: Re:Fucking idiots in charge of schools. AGAIN. (Score 1) 591

by Mr. Slippery (#48958881) Attached to: Texas Boy Suspended For "Threatening" Classmate With the One Ring

If you're thinking of voting for any politician who takes contributions from the the NEA, then FUCK YOU.

...because the NEA is so strong in Texas. So very strong that per-pupil spending and teacher's salaries are near the bottom compared to other states.

As usual, union bashing is disconnected from reality.

Comment: Re:Simple solution (Score 3, Interesting) 431

by Mr. Slippery (#48895471) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Where Can You Get a Good 3-Button Mouse Today?

Are there any valuable functions mapped to a middle button anyway, that make it so important?

Yes. For people who use real computers, middle button = "paste selected text".

Who puts three fingers on the surface of a mouse?

People who use real computers but have not yet found the one true pointing device, the 4-button Logitech Marble Mouse Trackball.

Comment: Re:Popcorn time! (Score 0) 376

by Mr. Slippery (#48892573) Attached to: Behind the MOOC Harassment Charges That Stunned MIT

I've heard claims that one in four women will be raped at some point in their lives, and have yet to hear any sort of data-based rebuttal.

Really? You heard such an extraordinary claim, but apparently made zero effort to look into its validity?

Here you go. And here. And here.

Essentially, that inflated number is based on questionable surveys which often fail to distinguish between a regrettable drunken hookup and rape, and is not just about rape but about behavior ranging from grabbing a woman's butt on up through attempted rape and actual rape. (Yes, grabbing someone's butt is bad. It's assault. It's unacceptable. It is not, however, rape.)

Is rape much more common than most people think? Yes. The data is murky but I would be surprised if the lifetime victimization rate for women was less than 5%, 1 in 20. Is it 25%, "eeny-meeny-miney-RAPE!" common? No.

And a teacher sending a student sexy messages over the internet is certainly a breach of professional conduct...but it's not rape.

Comment: Re:It's about time. (Score 5, Interesting) 138

by Mr. Slippery (#48875195) Attached to: Simon Pegg On Board To Co-Write Next Star Trek Film

Star Trek now has freedom to have any future the writers can come up with

No, they're stuck with the universe Abrams left them. A universe which makes no sense, where starships are irrelevant because transporters can move people over interstellar distances (from Earth to the Klingon homeworld), and where a cure for death has been found in Khan's blood. Not to mention the absurd political situation, with a corrupt Starfleet operating accord to some bizarre system of personal prerogative of individual commanders rather than any rational chain of command.

Comment: Re:selling your vote versus the secret ballot (Score 2) 480

by Mr. Slippery (#48796097) Attached to: How Bitcoin Could Be Key To Online Voting

The open ballot worked fine in the US for 100 years.

Are you seriously referring to the era of American history when slavery and Native American genocide were at their peak, when women and those of the wrong skin color were deprived of the vote, when worker revolts were regularly put down by armed force, when violence at the polls was a regular occurrence, as a time when voting "worked fine"?

Here's how we used to vote. Any claim that this system "worked fine" is disconnected from reality.

The ahistoricalism of American political discourse never ceases to amaze me. Nor does the desire for technical fixes to social problems: to get voters to vote, we don't need on-line voting, we need better candidates, a reform of ballot access and campaign finance laws. (And a preference ballot and ad binding "none-of-the-above" option.)

Comment: Re:Knuth is right. (Score 3, Insightful) 149

Discreet mathematique are the basis for computing

Not at the semiconductor junction level.

You are confusing computing with computers. Indeed, a "computer" used to be a human being implementing algorithms with a mechanical adding machine, and then were tube-based electrical systems, and in the future may use something wholely other than semiconductors; computing, however, remains the same. A bubble sort is still a bubbble sort.

Comment: Re:Going for cop's gun drastically escalates situa (Score 1) 368

by Mr. Slippery (#48667159) Attached to: Study: Police Body-Cams Reduce Unacceptable Use of Force

Brown was shot because he escalated the situation to a "high risk arrest" by going for the cop's gun. Period.

We have no evidence that Brown was trying to take Wilson's gun, only the word of a cop who's been caught lying before. Cops know that "he was going for my gun" are magic words to justify themselves when they commit murders.

And of course it's irrevelvant whether Brown tried to get control of Wilson's gun earlier in the confrontation. Brown was not trying to do so when he was murdered, he was (according to the majority of witness testimony) attempting to surender.

Comment: Re:Big bags of water... that's what we are. (Score 0) 156

by Mr. Slippery (#48648969) Attached to: Can Rep. John Culberson Save NASA's Space Exploration Program?

Yes there are good reasons for going to Mars. Greatest among them is to safeguard the species from any catestrophic impacts on Earth they would extinguish us.

No potential impact to Earth would render it less hospitable to life than Mars is. For speicies survival a set of fortified underground bunkers/mini-cities would be far more practical -- and unlike Mars, we do have the tech to do that.

The suggestion that we currently have the technology to colonize Mars is, in brief, ridiculous. No human has been move than 500 miles from Earth's surface in over four decades, and the farthest we've ever sent a human is under 250,000 miles; at its closest, Mars is 38,000,000 miles away. We do not know how to safely get a human being that distance through interplanetary space, and the first few people we try to send are quite likely to die.

That investment of blood and treasure might be worthwhile if there was something useful for humans to do when they got there, but there isn't. We'll get better scientific results by building and sending better robots.

There is no practical reason to send humans to Mars in the near-term -- say, next five centuries. Especially not when all of our resources are needed over the next century or so to put human civilization on a sustainable footing. We can probably do some useful stuff with humans in Earth orbit and maybe on Luna, but deep space is for robots.

The only justification to put humans on Mars is some vague hand-waving about "inspiration" -- i.e., it's a huge performance art project. Maybe someday humanity can afford that. But not now.

Comment: Re: Diversity is good, especially in SciFi (Score 1) 368

by Mr. Slippery (#48595317) Attached to: Overly Familiar Sci-Fi

Science fiction isn't fiction that has elements that aren't science but might appeal to geeks who like science....Science fiction is science that is fictional. Very different animal and naturally restrictive.

You are using a defintion of a term, which is at odds with the defintions of that term used by almost every other educated native speaker of English. This will probably make it hard for you to communicate. You might want to look to that.

Comment: Re:James Risen vs James Rosen (Score 3, Informative) 55

by Mr. Slippery (#48587741) Attached to: Attorney General Won't Force New York Times Reporter To Reveal Source

Luckily, he is James Risen from the New York Times... If he were James Rosen from Fox News...he would be labeled a criminal co-conspirator and flight risk by Eric Holder so that they could trace his phone calls and emails.

They snooped on Rosen. That's bad.

They snooped on Risen and threatened, repeatedly over the past six years, to lock him up. That's worse.

Both journalists were attempting to enable the American people to keep tabs on the U.S. government (supposedly "theirs", in reality owned by corporate interests and the security-industrial complex). Your partisan take on the matter is counter-factual.

Comment: Re:Fire all the officers? (Score 1) 515

by Mr. Slippery (#48583163) Attached to: Once Again, Baltimore Police Arrest a Person For Recording Them

We love to rag on cops, but they do a dangerous job

Farmers are more likely to be killed on the job than cops are, and most cops who die on the job die in vechicular accidents, not assaults. Cops' seige mentality is bullshit.

If you start firing cops for every mistake or worse, jailing them, you quickly run out of cops

(Of course a citizen watch would be a huge social/poltiical change. But I'm not sure anything less than a huge social/poltiical change would fix the problem.)

Comment: Re:Fire all the officers? (Score 3, Insightful) 515

by Mr. Slippery (#48583091) Attached to: Once Again, Baltimore Police Arrest a Person For Recording Them

You and OP look to be in the same clan when he claims they're doing this "in a rather violent manner". Hyperbole much?

An unjustifed arrest is assault and kidnapping. It is a violent crime.

That's true even when the pigs (and those who trample citizen's rights deserve that epithet) don't apply chemical weapons or electrical torture devices, or beat citizens into submission, or use lethal force.

If I forced someone into a cage at gunpoint for no good reason, I would go to jail for a long time. The same should apply to a cop.

No amount of genius can overcome a preoccupation with detail.

Working...