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Comment: Re:FFS just keep the Warthog (Score 1) 248

Don't worry, it won't. The very LAST thing an enemy in your asymmetric war would want is you to stop using them. They cost insane amounts of money to keep them flying. Every hour that thing is in the air is running for your enemy.

Again, the asymmetric war is not about killing Americans. It is about making them spend more money on its military than it can. Interestingly enough, exactly the same strategy the US employed against Russia in the cold war.

And we know how that ended.

Comment: Re:The real issue (Score 1) 152

by Opportunist (#48681171) Attached to: Boston Elementary, Middle Schools To Get a Longer Day

As I explained above, the tests don't show whether the student is learning. The tests show whether the student understood the underlying system. I can honestly say that I don't have any clue about bookkeeping despite allegedly learning it for 5 years and passing with a B average.

Tests have a fundamental flaw that they are testing whether you can work as a sponge. Soak up any and all crap and reproduce it at request, without the need to retain anything of it for any longer period of time.

Comment: Re:FFS just keep the Warthog (Score 1) 248

Well, the US (unlike the Reich) pretty much has to go high-tech with its army, simply because high losses would quickly mean that support for any kind of war would decline sharply. Not really a problem for a dictatorship, but certainly one in a democracy. So what the US strives for is a high-tech army that reduces the risk of losing personnel and instead favors spending money. Which would be a great thing if it was done with the main goal of protecting soldier lives rather than keeping home front war support up. But not the point right now.

So in general it's not a bad idea to use better technology instead of more manpower. The problem arises when your enemy can do the opposite with impunity as we see in asymmetric warfare. The US need a huge infrastructure and logistics apparatus to keep its military going, the overhead is incredible. It boggles the mind to ponder just what is necessary to get the average US soldier in the field supplied. With this in mind it can be successful to actually wage war against such a huge military machine, simply by spending a tiny fraction of its expenses and hence weighing it down under its own weight. If putting a gun in the hands of some fanatics is all you have to do to "force" the US to field aircraft carriers and deploy field HQs in some godforsaken corner of the planet (which both needs incredibly complicated logistics and tons of resources to keep running), you can get the international warfare equivalent of a reflected DDoS running: Invest minimal resources that forces your target to waste more resources than they can afford.

Comment: Re:The real issue (Score 2) 152

by Opportunist (#48680053) Attached to: Boston Elementary, Middle Schools To Get a Longer Day

Erh... no. Of course I cannot talk about the teacher's view, but I sure can talk about the "other end". On both accounts.

First and foremosts, tests don't motivate students. They are, generally, a nuisance and something you want to get out of the way. Basically your goal is to get a passing grade with the least effort necessary. Unless of course the subject interests you in the first place but then you sure as hell don't need any encouragement, let alone in the form of a test. So what do you do? Well, you start learning for the test. To the test, more specifically. If you're in any way smart, you see through the formula these tests work at quite soon. For me that was more or less accomplished after elementary school, and you may guess that it was trivial to get passing grades with little to no effort for the rest of my school "career".

In short, tests don't show you whether the student understands the matter. It shows you whether the student understands the system and knows how to game it.

Second, and that's my far bigger beef with our school system, you talk about "practice their (children) weak areas". Why? Why the fuck is that even remotely sensible?

My weak area is languages. You might be able to tell, English is by far not my first language. I sure as hell loathed French and don't even make me start on Spanish. I hated every single second of it. Yet that is where I had to spend most of my study time. Because that's where my "weak" areas were. In math, physics, chemistry, history, I shouldn't be doing much. Those were the fields that were interesting to me, and hence my grades were pretty decent. But no, you should not concentrate on what you're good at. Concentrate on what you suck at.

Tell me: How the hell does this remotely connect with the real world outside of school? When was the last time your boss said "Oh gee, you're a great engineer, you can do the work of two mediocre engineers easily, but you really suck at marketing. So I'll put you into marketing for the time being 'til you improve at selling stuff."

Ever happened to you? No? Gee, why could that be? Could it be because your boss doesn't want you to be average in everything but rather an expert in the area you're working in? Because that's what EVERY business in the world would want from you? Being the best in your area, screw the rest?

But out school system is the exact OPPOSITE of what our economy demands and expects: It tries to make you average in everything. Instead of nurturing you in the fields you're good at and keep your focus on what you excel in, you're expected to let that slip and become mediocre in favor of the stuff you cannot do so well.

And as long as we keep this backwards system in place, don't expect the economy to improve any time soon!

Comment: Re:adult working hours (Score 1) 152

by Opportunist (#48679909) Attached to: Boston Elementary, Middle Schools To Get a Longer Day

Crappy management, either on your end or on your company's. If it is a necessity that you spend 10 hours at your work place, it either means that organization sucks and you have a lot of idle time or that you have more work to do than you have personnel for.

I think it's time someone told the managedroids that cutting 10% of the workforce per year doesn't work infinitely.

Comment: Re:Good. (Score 1) 152

by Opportunist (#48679847) Attached to: Boston Elementary, Middle Schools To Get a Longer Day

It was tried on me. It failed. Back then I learned a valuable lesson: You cannot force me to work. You can motivate me and you can give me a reason to do it, but you can't MAKE me.

Never worked. Never will. You can of course make me show up and make me physically present. And if I feel generous, I won't disturb you with snoring while you try to teach.

Our OS who art in CPU, UNIX be thy name. Thy programs run, thy syscalls done, In kernel as it is in user!