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Comment: Re:reflexes? (Score 1) 112

by St.Creed (#48413939) Attached to: Major Brain Pathway Rediscovered After Century-old Confusion, Controversy

I used to have no depth perspective from age 12 to about 20 because my lens was removed due to glaucoma. While playing baseball was something of a nightmare for me (try catching a ball without depth perspective - my main goal was to try and avoid the ball altogether), driving was never a problem. You just need to maintain a good distance from things, which is sensible advice for most drivers anyway.

Comment: Re:This. (Score 1) 273

by St.Creed (#48316193) Attached to: Too Many Kids Quit Science Because They Don't Think They're Smart

Your initial point is fine: people rise to the expectations others have of them. Low expectations give lower results.

Your conclusion is flawed, however. My conclusions would be that we need to have higher expectations of kids, and if they fail, no problem - but they need to work at achieving the expected outcome (a good grade). I always tell my son that I know he's smart, but that it just means that for him, the lowest expectation for his grade is an A. If it doesn't work out that way, we look at what went wrong and learn from that. It's never "because you're dumb" but always "maybe you didn't start early enough with learning this?".

You can build up a good self-image in several ways, one of them is what I just described.

Unfortunately, another is to lower the bar for everyone so everyone thinks he's great: praise them for meaningless results, give out A's like candy. It's the easiest way for a teacher. But also the most insidious, vicious and harmful way for children - you're setting them up for failure later in life and then their self-esteem will take a great hit.

Comment: Re:They're probably correct (Score 1) 273

by St.Creed (#48316173) Attached to: Too Many Kids Quit Science Because They Don't Think They're Smart

You had to build the feature set yourself. Quite a difference from a smartphone, designed for easy consumption of pre-packaged goods.

I remember building my own reset-button on the back of the harddisk, or looking at the joystick cabling from a failed joystick and trying to build something where you could press buttons to move things on the screen. And creating my own games because we didn't have downloads yet.

If you wanted to load tapes on the zx spectrum, you had to be ready with a screwdriver to adjust the tapeheads for every tape. Some of my highschool friends learnt soldering specifically to expand their spectrums.

Connecting to a BBS for a download later on, wasn't easy either. I had a teacher at university who wanted to demonstrate this new thing called "usenet". He spent half the lecture trying to get a connection, fiddling with the hundreds of options for each protocol that had to be set exactly right.

Yeah, a smartphone is so much harder... lol.

Comment: Re:No, context matters. (Score 1) 299

by St.Creed (#48289831) Attached to: It's Time To Revive Hypercard

It all depends on what they learnt and how they apply it. But I will take any of my former co-students as a programmer, over any self-taught programmer, when I can't judge their work in advance.

The difference between someone who understands invariants and pre/post conditions for formal correctness verification, even without using it, and someone who has never even heard of the concepts involved, is huge. There are order of magnitude differences in algorithms for certain tasks, and if you don't even know that you can determine that sort of thing (and how) you're a lost case. Datamodelling is another area. Everytime I see programmers abusing the logical model, I cringe. Code first is a bad idea and with formal training you can avoid things like that.

And I mean, the halting problem. Turing machines. If you don't know Turing machines, you won't understand the implication that at a fundamental level, all computer languages are the same. If you don't know lambda calculus, understanding what Linq does, is much harder.

Etc. etc.

Ofcourse, you can have brilliant self-taught people in the field, as in any field. It's just so very rare to encounter competent ones.

Comment: Re:Time for Solidarity? (Score 1) 284

by St.Creed (#48263045) Attached to: Skilled Foreign Workers Treated as Indentured Servants

Guilds aren't unions. I won't enter into the details of the whole discussion between the IWW and the AFL-CIO around the turn of the century, but suffice it to say that you can organize around owning a pet as well. And it's probably worthwile, for some. But unions are about organizing the interests of the workers as they work. Guilds are about protecting your own interests *against* other workers.

A guild would complain about H1B visa because they are "taking American jobs from American workers". A union would protest against H1B visa because employers are paying them horrible wages under bad conditions, that will eventually become the standard for ALL workers in the industry.

Comment: Re:Straw Man (Score 1) 622

by St.Creed (#48148559) Attached to: The Correct Response To Photo Hack Victim-Blamers

Ofcourse there are risks. But my pictures are in a drawer. Too bad if a burglar gets them, but that's what it takes. The problem is that many people still consider the pictures to be some sort of physical asset, rather than virtual assets that will be stored in literally dozens of places. And that's where the problem comes in. Because snapping a polaroid and physically giving that to her boyfriend would have been the same thing, but much safer (unless you have a nasty break-up). So there is a difference there that is very hard for people to grasp, apparently.

Pound for pound, the amoeba is the most vicious animal on earth.