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Comment Re:Punishing people who get degrees we need the mo (Score 1) 211

Want to pursue a STEM or other high-paying degree? No problem, but you have to pay a lot more for your degree.

Isn't paying more for something that's worth more just normal market behavior? For that matter, engineering and science programs typically also cost the school more, but are somewhat subsidized by tuition from cheaper humanities programs.

That said, there is the issue that engineering degrees are also more valuable to society, which may want to provide its own incentives.

My idea: involve the employers in these ISAs. Plenty of employers already cover tuition in exchange for working a set number of years with them (including the U.S. government). Universities can act like unions, doing collective bargaining on behalf of the students (I am not assuming the universities' intrinsic benevolence here, but presumably students will choose to go to universities which can get them the best deals). Conversely, government and businesses might do a much better job of bargaining down tuition prices than loan subsidied college students have been doing. And instead of gambling on the future, students enter into the arrangement knowing exactly when they are going to be able to afford a mortgage. There are plenty of potential problems, but I think the present process of "guess a good major to land a job from an unspecified employer and make indefinite earnings and by the way your wager is $100k and 4-6 years of your life" leaves a lot to improve.

Comment Re:Feminism (Score 1) 291

"What do you mean by 'early programmers'? Do you mean the people who operated the early computing machines, which was considered menial work and suitable for women?"

Yes that's what I mean: Lovelace, then the women who programmed ENIAC, and so on. It seemed to switch by the time NASA was trying to program spaceships. My historical perspective is just what you said: the work was considered menial thus was offered to women, who had only a few options to choose from.

"Personally, I think that most women just aren't interested."

Yeah, this is most of why I think fewer women program, with a sizable minority reason also being that once a field is dominated by one sex then the other sex has somewhat of a barrier to it (consider nursing). So I think it's both of those things, but more of the former.

"Plus it's a bit of a crappy job and I think most women are smart enough to see that."

Ha ha, me too, I feel that way -- it's a terrible job which my brain enjoys. How wonderful, right, to have a job that is both easy and pays well, all because everybody else finds it scary and boring.

Thanks for your opinion. Good luck.

Comment Re:Feminism (Score 1) 291

I have a question for you, why do you think there are so few female programmers now versus all of the world's early programmers being women? I figure it's because "those were the limited opportunities women had back then, so they took it", not "because women back then super duper wanted to be programmers, while men didn't". Do you agree with that? Do you think The System is squeezing out women now, or do you think women just less frequently want to program?

Comment Re:stupid (Score 1) 305

In the world in which doctors are constantly evaluating all humans for all conditions, I agree with you. But "the average slob" does not go to see the doctor unless he is dying, and when he is dying, his bladder/hairloss/libido issues may not come up.

"end users, ask your sysadmin if systemd is right for you."

"End users, there is this thing called VPN which lets you do your work offsite. Ask your sysadmin if you want privileges enabled on your account."

Comment Feminism (Score 2, Insightful) 291

If we are choosing between "let women decide what they want" and "try to manipulate women into doing what you think they should do", then I guess I would have to say that only the first option is consistent with human dignity.

I'm a programmer on a team of about ten, all men. We were at lunch one day talking about it and my boss said he went way out of his way to try to hire women. He said he proactively sent invitations to CS programs soliciting women, sent invitations to women on LinkedIn, and as a rule he would interview any woman who applied, regardless of the resume (is that gender equality? whatever).

He got zero female applicants. Zero. We have women at the company, we have women doing programming, but none doing the kind of programming that my team does. My best guess, informed by personal experience, is that women are just a lot less likely to want to do this work. There might be more than zero, but the rate is less than 1/10th of the rate for men, which on a team this size means there are zero women.

Comment Re:SO... (Score 1) 369

Mmm hmm. Agenda. We all totally WANT gas to be expensive. That's why we created this international conspiracy of millions of scientists and politicians and activists, the largest and most successful conspiracy in history, all to make you pay more at the pump. Good thinking.

Comment Re:Reality acceptance issues... (Score 1) 728

The amazing part is that most people don't consider it as a disease to be eradicated.

Clearly, plenty do. There's always some "disease to be eradicated." It could be a religion or other ideology, or an ethnicity. If you haven't had your turn yet to dig the mass graves I'm sure as time goes on the opportunity will arise. Then your ideological allies (if you're not around) can go about eradicating the disease and ushering in the new paradise. It's funny how eliminating these undesirable elements of humanity and thought never seems to produce the promised paradise, however. But I'm sure it will work for you.

Comment Re:Models are never evidence (Score 4, Informative) 488

All of science is a model. Every single thing in science is a model.

Atomic theory? That's a model. Ecosystem balance? Models. Why is the sky blue? We have a model for that. How do eyes and brains turn light into vision? We have an answer, and the answer is a model. How do the planets move? That's a model.

Models are the way we know about the world. We put in the evidence, and out come predictions. We judge the model by the accuracy of the predictions.

Comment First Priority is to Protect the Innocent (Score 1) 121

If the police failed to act on information a rape or murder was planned because they wanted to catch the perpetrator in the act, there would be outcry. You don't jeopardize the safety of the innocent to assail the (potentially) guilty. Collecting foreign intelligence is not more important than heading off immediate threats to domestic citizens. Clearly the NSA views it as all about "catching the bad guy" and has forgotten the reason the bad guys are considered bad. It's like SWAT leaving a bomb in a public building because, "Hey, maybe we could trip it when the bad guys get back."

Comment Re:Hurd.. why? (Score 1) 129

Easy, it's just a matter of illusion. You see, if you think the opponent is going in the Wrong Direction, limiting their abilities, and that they are finally going to realize that and either restart from scratch or do an awful lot of changes, while you've been moving in the Right, Blessed Direction all that time... Suddenly you will be in the lead! So, speed doesn't matter that much as long as the heathens are following their heretic ways and you stay on the One True Path..

It makes sense if you buy into that illusion. If you have a more engineering-type "whatever works" approach, it's complete BS.

Comment If you're in Britain (Score 2) 324

Don't store anything on the laptop. The fact they can legally compel you to provide the means of data access means you are in trouble in every case which they have possession of both you and your laptop. You can either do a really good job of hiding the data or you can keep it outside of where they can get it. How about a remote server a trusted person can deactivate if they hear about your situation?

Machines certainly can solve problems, store information, correlate, and play games -- but not with pleasure. -- Leo Rosten