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Comment: Re:college bound HS needs shop! (Score 1) 153

by Ol Olsoc (#48685121) Attached to: Boston Elementary, Middle Schools To Get a Longer Day

I have always engaged the "elite" And if they get too high up on their high horse, I bring them down a few pegs.

For in fact, a very intelligent person who knows how to get their hands dirty is vastly superior to a person who merely thinks. A person can be a Nobel Laureate, yet if his car blows a fuse in the desert, he'll die just like anyone else who doesn't know how to fix it.

You seem to have quite an ego issue.

Perhaps. It is up to others to decide if it is earned or unearned.

Do you know how to grow all of the food in your diet? Do you know how to make your own penicillin? Could you perform a root canal on yourself or even a loved one? Even if you can do all of those things, I'm sure there are plenty of other skills you lack.

Non sequitar. I cannot do everything of course, and that isn't even relevant to my point. side note, I do know how to garden, and as a hobby, I often make my own cured meats. It's enjoyable, and oddly relaxing.

Criticizing a Nobel Laureate, who have all probably done more in their lives than you ever will, just because s/he cannot fix their own car is asinine.

Dear sir, you are getting your stories mixed up, not to mention you might want to go back to read what I wrote. It was not that she didn't know. The issue I took with her attitude was that she did not want to learn some basic electrical knowledge, presented in good faith in an effort to help her. Then expressed her superiority. That's pretty appalling (to me), as well as graceless and very rude.

And she was an artist, not a Nobel Laureate.

I am a software engineer, and have no delusions that my skills are somehow "better" than that of a car mechanic. But learning how to service my own car (other than the basics like changing my own oil) is a waste of my time.

There is a major difference between you and I. I have never ever found gaining knowledge of anything to be a waste of my time.

And it has been years since I chenged my oil, if you are thinking of that as an example. I have rebuilt engines as a lark on occasion.

I can either be doing work or learning new skills in my area of expertise, which provides far more benefit to both myself and society as a whole. I also pay maids to clean my home each week and a service to do my yard work each week during the warm months.

Which knowledge is of no use to yourself or society as a whole? I think we might be at a sort of impasse here, because I gobble up knowledge voraciously, and am very curious about almost everything. Perhaps that is a bad thing? I have what I do to make a living, and am quite good at it, but I fear that limiting myself to that would be, well, very limiting.

I do not believe myself to be a more superior human being than my maids, but my time is certainly more valuable from an economic standpoint.

Heavens, this isn't even my argument. My time was/is quite valuable also, and one of my biggest abilities was to interface effectively with either the maintenance people or the important visiting politician or CEO or University president or whoever. I can tell you, that is a talent that apparently few have. I ended up in computer support for the "stars" just because of that. The people who would normally do that had great difficulty dealing with people "way above their station". Their outlook, not mine. I walked in, and calmly fixed the problem And that support wasn't in my job description, it was just something I picked up by being curious about computers. Admittidely I have worked intensively with computers since the mainframe only days. But it was an example of non job description knowledge.

No one I know of thinks of me as an ego case. I regularly was commended for the ability to work well with difficult people. Some of them even appreciated a little reminder that they were just human also. Some didn't of course, but that's a matter of reading people.

I also share your disdain for intellectuals that think they are superior to others, but I hold the same contempt for blue collar guys who think their handyman skills somehow make themselves superior to those who do not share them.

Why wouldn't you? The blue collar superiority complex is like a celebration of stupid, not unlike the street cred some like to emulate. Everybody works at their job, everyone has something to contribute.

Separation of labor is an important thing, and for most people who earn enough to easily pay a mechanic, learning how to repair the windows of their own car is as valuable as knowing how to churn their own butter.

I have never been victim of the idea that some knowledge is useless, or there were things to kow that were outside of any purpose. Of course, I was the weirdo that kept a dictionary in the bathroom. And I still voraciously learn how to do new things. I find the concept that there is some limit of knowledge about things that is useful, that having a wide breadth of knowledge makes you a jack of all trades, and a master of none to be a lack of imagination or understanding of th mind. The human brain has a huge capacity for learning.

My kowledge of other matters, including things that are "below my station" or even "above my station" has served me and my employers very well on many occasions. They think I can "think outside the box". I merely draw on the basic concepts of matters they have not believed useful or important. I can fix your car, or have a bit of discussion about quantum physics. And at some level, there is an interesting interconnection if one looks with an open mind.

Comment: Re:Yes! (Score 1) 148

by Ol Olsoc (#48684249) Attached to: Know Your Type: Five Mechanical Keyboards Compared

Great news! Another path to snobbery!

Come on, guys, find something creative to do instead of nitpicking over the "sound" and "feel" of your overcooked keyboards!

HA! I can tell what type of keyboard was used to type emails or programs.

Knowing that no ordinary keyboard was adequate for my discerning needs, I of course, had to build my own. Using all of the known enhancements that allow them to work properly.

The keyboard is built of tung oil polished Bubinga wood, and sits on custom built Shakti Stones as well as the stones on every cable.

The individual switches are roller arm microswitches, individually wired to the cables made of low oxygen copper.

The key caps are made of titanium, to allow the proper melding of typist and electronics.

But the piece de resistance is my vacuum tube USB interface.

This allows me to type and program at a level unmatched by those plebian wannabe's With their old IBM keyboards, and the silly children with their glow in the dark green gaming keyboards.

Comment: Re:It is ludicrous (Score 1) 153

by Ol Olsoc (#48681577) Attached to: Boston Elementary, Middle Schools To Get a Longer Day

Vocational shops (metal, wood, electrical, auto, etc) were never available in the private schools (Choate, Andover, Exiter, Milton, Tabor, etc). Even back in the 1960's. The only shop class that Tabor Academy (the prep school that I went to) was repairing the sailboats that are used by the sailing team. Now, I have heard that was eliminated and they have a hired crew do it.

And how weird - to the way I think. It's the concept that certain types of knowledge somehow makes you inferior. And that somehow if say, you know how to repair an alternator on a car, it will be blocking more important knowledge?

Which brings me to a Simpson's reference

Homer: "And how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain. Remember when I took that home winemaking course, and I forgot how to drive?"

Marge: "That's because you were drunk!"

Homer (smiles) "And How!"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

Comment: Re:Summer vacation is a vestigial remnant... (Score 1) 153

by Ol Olsoc (#48681461) Attached to: Boston Elementary, Middle Schools To Get a Longer Day

In some districts the grade school teachers literally have "tenure".

So... think about that.

Do think that not answering any point I make is burying my ass alive?

Anything you want to address in my post? Or just the typical, and now intellectually bankrupt and remarkably cheap and non sequitar "Talking point" union hate. I didn't mention anything about unions, merely what would seem to be a normal contract issue. And very simple at that, Time and compensation, and not a thing about tenure.

Comment: Re:college bound HS needs shop! (Score 1) 153

by Ol Olsoc (#48681437) Attached to: Boston Elementary, Middle Schools To Get a Longer Day

Don't fall into the trap of "tracking".. "I am of the elite and I shall study the philosophers and sciences. You, on the other hand, do not have my intellectual capacity, and shall be trained to be a blue collar factory worker and get your hands dirty".

THIS! I have always engaged the "elite" And if they get too high up on their high horse, I bring them down a few pegs.

For in fact, a very intelligent person who knows how to get their hands dirty is vastly superior to a person who merely thinks. A person can be a Nobel Laureate, yet if his car blows a fuse in the desert, he'll die just like anyone else who doesn't know how to fix it.

A few examples:

Years ago, my neighbor, who is an intellectual with whom I've had a lot of interesting conversations, had a car that was continually breaking down, not big things, but I used to help him repair it. That usually consisted of me doing th ework while he listened. One day I was repairing a window that had fallen out of it's track. I was explaining to him how it works and how ot repair it whne he interrupted "To tell the truth, I don't want to know about how to repair cars. Last time I helped him.

Much more recently, there was a woman on the Toyota RV's SIG list who was constantly having issues, mostly electrical, with her toyhome. At one point, I chimed in with a helpful link that would help her understand a little more about electricity. Considering these are ancient beasts, it helps to understand how to at least field repair one. Or to not be taken advantage of by an unscrupulous mechanic.

She quickly answered back to the group and me that She had no intention of learning about these things, that she expected to ask questions and have us answer them for her, because she was an artist, not a technician.

For some reason, her questions were not answered any more.

If she had thought about it, she could have thanked me kindly and ignored the basic electrical stuff. Instead, she had to show her intellectual creds and superiority by announcing she was too good to learn that stuff - she was an artist for christ's sake! It's not that I'm saying everyone can or should be getting their hands dirty. But knowledge is seldom a bad thing.

Comment: Re:It is ludicrous (Score 1) 153

by Ol Olsoc (#48679975) Attached to: Boston Elementary, Middle Schools To Get a Longer Day

We should just offer a trade school option starting in high school, like some other countries do. That's where people can have the shop and metal working classes.

Problem is, we still have College uber alles guidance counselors and administration. We had a technical school, an dI took a modified curriculum of Academic plus Electronics. But it was a fight the whole way - the counselors discouraged it, and I even got a sit down with the school Principle, where he told me I was such a smart boy, why would I make people think I was one of those dumb "teckkers".

I didn't listen, and haven't regretted it for a moment. It wasn't easy, and my schedule was weird and full to say the least. But having both academic plus a useful trade to fall back on has served me well through life.

Perhaps there is something in that that might be more useful to everyone than simply extending the school year.

Comment: Re:It is ludicrous (Score 1) 153

by Ol Olsoc (#48679921) Attached to: Boston Elementary, Middle Schools To Get a Longer Day

The really terrible thing is they are cutting things like shop and metal working, which is really what we need.

Not saying high school should become a pre-trade school, but they shouldn't completely ignore the fact that there are non-university career paths, and in the current job market, they may even be a better choice.

All part of the "College education is a must" thinking. Even when I was in High school, 40 years ago, they were working at getting rid of them, Shop wasn't available for the Academic students.

Fast forward to today, we have kids with degrees, graduating with over 100K debt, getting their job at McDonalds, and applying for government aid.

And they can't figure out how to fix a leaky faucet.

Comment: Re:Summer vacation is a vestigial remnant... (Score 1) 153

by Ol Olsoc (#48679863) Attached to: Boston Elementary, Middle Schools To Get a Longer Day

A warning to anyone that does want to make such an argument... I will bury your ass alive in facts.

As far as I know, or at least in my area, the contracts with the individual teachers are for the term of the school year. Roughly 9 months. 3 months not.

Unless you are suggesting a massive pay cut, the cure is simple. Extend the contract to year round, and make the pay reflect that period. This would not be unlike a regular 32 hour, or 40 hour contract with an employee. Where I worked we had a type of employee who was essentially full time part time. Every year, they signed a contract for a specific number of hours.

I doubt even in your anti-union fervor, you would support a 25 percent increase in working hours without a commensurate increase in pay, especially since many (most, all?) contracts are already written in that way.

Comment: Re:Keep the kids longer and don't send homework (Score 3, Interesting) 153

by Ol Olsoc (#48679791) Attached to: Boston Elementary, Middle Schools To Get a Longer Day

he parents all agree their child should be taught math, so the debate should be between educators on *how* to do it. I guarantee you that there would be next to no debate if parents were not asked to help with homework. If we limit what we teach to what all parents understand, then we're done. Turn the lights off and crawl back into our caves.

This got me to thinking, and I would love to see it tried in a classroom as an experiment

I positively stunk at math and algebra. It didn't help that the teacher was as inspiring as poi, but still I stunk.

Then in my electronics courses, our teacher taught us how to use the slide rule. At that point, the mechanical adaptation of numbers to most functions just made something click in my mind. I did a 180 on math subjects - even without using the slide rule. Just by luck, I was in on the last class to learn the use of slide rules in my area.

This isn't a get off my lawn thing. I just think that the way the slide rule presents the numbers, and the obvious relationships between the different rules, and the way it trains you to use notation are just something that might help students learn math subjects. To this day, I keep a slide rule in the garage. The batteries on those things seem to last forever.

Comment: Re:I'd rather see a longer school year (Score 1) 153

by Ol Olsoc (#48679727) Attached to: Boston Elementary, Middle Schools To Get a Longer Day

People get less productive as the day gets longer, especially students. I think there would be far more benefit to extending the school year and abandoning summer holidays than there would be to extending the school day.

And exactly what part of working for minimum wage (or less if we eradicate it) requires year round schooling?

Comment: Re:It is ludicrous (Score 1) 153

by Ol Olsoc (#48679705) Attached to: Boston Elementary, Middle Schools To Get a Longer Day

It is ludicrous to make the assertion that adding 40 minutes of time to the school day will magically add a month more of learning. The mentally that more time in school equals more learning is very flawed.

I agree, but even if it did work, what would be the point? More unemployed degree holders?

I suspect the the US is on the verge of a "job creator" induced brain drain, as well educated students find that working at McDonald's isn't the career they had spent those longer days studying for.

Comment: Re: and if it goes down full stike on NK (Score 1) 53

by Ol Olsoc (#48678075) Attached to: South Korea Says Nuclear Reactors Safe After Cyberattacks

You mean like the U.S.'s domestic oil production that Bush couldn't pursue because environmentalists couldn't bear the impact it would have on their cause?

Oh wait, somehow it's OK now because their own guy is in office?

If you were paying attention, these Environmental Strawmen you are railing against are just as pissed at th e current occupant as they were at President Cheney.

Comment: sheesh (Score 1) 516

by Ol Olsoc (#48676953) Attached to: Paul Graham: Let the Other 95% of Great Programmers In
I'm not anti immigration, but it seems like sort of an inefficient system. I mean if 95 percent of great programmers aome from outside the US, does that mean we're for shit at programming, or does the rest of the world turn out programmers that aren't great too? If a non-us Citizen is already a geat programmer, there should be no problem getting him or her over here.

Oh wait......

THen we'd have to pay them what they are worth, and not rely on the indentured servant system.......

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