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Comment: Re:And this is how we get to the more concrete har (Score 1) 523

by UnderCoverPenguin (#47766621) Attached to: Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio

But to knock "how science actually works" off the curriculum in order to make creationism slightly more viable as a meme, knocks a very important and practical tool out of childrens' toolbox for learning about the world.

I think that is the ultimate goal: To "teach" children what "they" think children should know instead of enabling children to actually learn.

Comment: Re:Society also does this.. (Score 1) 128

by UnderCoverPenguin (#47759429) Attached to: Why Do Humans Grow Up So Slowly? Blame the Brain

WE have some wierd fetish with letting kids be kids for as long as possible. Sorry but at 13 you are biologically an adult so you need to have adult responsibilities and adult expectations. these teenagers need to get off their asses and work, build, etc.. Instead we extend this out to age 20 before we expect them to get a job and start being responsible.

More like not allow them to get jobs or otherwise have the legal authority to function as adults. There are very few, if any, jobs anyone under 16 is legally allowed (not counting allowance for doing family chores). And not many that 16 and 17 year olds are legally allowed. At age 10, my daughter wanted a real, paying job. And she was actually capable of doing meaningful office work. She also wanted to stay in school. She thought she could handle 2 hours per day of office work along with her studies. She might have been right. We did look into things we did at that age, like a paper route, but such jobs are either no longer available (at least for those under 18) or no longer legal for those under 18. She did try being a model - by her choice. She hated that. Partly because of the people she worked for and partly because working on Sat mornings greatly negatively impacted her other weekend activities.

Comment: Re:Humankind and eusociality (Score 1) 128

by UnderCoverPenguin (#47759079) Attached to: Why Do Humans Grow Up So Slowly? Blame the Brain

and the public has become more accepting of a gay lifestyle

Being gay doesn't automatically exclude someone being a "breeder". It does introduce challenges, both biological and social. I have plenty of gay friends who are parents or are trying to become parents.

That said, at least in the US, the job market encourages workers to not be parents. Partly from this, and partly from other reasons, there are plenty of non-gay relationships that choose to not have children and have even obtained medical treatment to prevent accidental pregnancy. (Side note: The logic of the one state in the appeals court gay marriage ban case suggests that these marriages are invalid because accidental pregnancy is not possible.)

However, getting closer to the eusocial ideal will not be good.

Comment: Re:not so fast (Score 2) 128

by UnderCoverPenguin (#47758677) Attached to: Why Do Humans Grow Up So Slowly? Blame the Brain

It takes a long time to teach our kids because the system we have for teaching them is horribly inefficient and has been for thousands of years at this point.

Until around 1900, within the working class (which generally included lower middle class back then), education was reading, basic writing and arithmetic. A 12 year old - whether boy or girl - was expected to be a productive member of working class society and was often married (12 for girls and 14 or so for boys). Education beyond that was for the upper class (and upper middle class), especially university level education. Extending education through grade 12 (typically age 17 or 18) for (nominally) all young people happen since then.

When I was 18, I did not hear society complaining that 18 year olds were not ready to be adults. (Yeah, some parents had trouble accepting their kids were 18, but even they did not, in general, feel that 18 year olds were not ready to be adults)

Now, I hear a lot of complaints about 18 year olds not being ready to be adults (despite an increase in demand to try and sentence kids

So, what's different? Part of it is inefficiency in the education system. Part of it is that we need to learn more. And part of it is increasing societal demand for over protectiveness - whether by scaring parents or by telling parents "you can't" - or "must not" - let your kids do _____.

The biological reality is more complex. Teenagers (or more broadly, those from onset of puberty through full maturity) are neither adults nor children. And now, our society has shifted from forcing them to be adults to forcing them to be children. Yet, so many adults wonder why so many of today's 18 year olds are not ready to be adults.

Comment: Re:Where would we flee to? (Score 1) 257

by UnderCoverPenguin (#47733371) Attached to: When Customer Dissatisfaction Is a Tech Business Model

I think what you're looking at is companies like Comcast who have government guaranteed monopoly in the areas they serve.

Neither the cableco nor the telco have "government guaranteed" monopolies in my area. It's just that the potential competitors don't see enough potential ROI to extend their service into my city - at least not beyond where they can easily install a drop line. I'm 1 street in from the city border. Houses across the street from my house and the houses they are back-to-back with can get service from the competition despite being in my city. For a few years, the neighbor directly across from my house was quite willing to let me put a cable modem and WiFi with directional antenna in his attic. And the competition was more than happy to have me as a customer. Now that neighbor (and several others) has moved, so I am stuck with the one company, now.

Comment: Re:Free market (Score 1) 257

by UnderCoverPenguin (#47733223) Attached to: When Customer Dissatisfaction Is a Tech Business Model

A smaller call center staffed with decently trained and compensated CSRs is far more cost effective than watching the headcount continuously grow and churn to deal with the increased call volume due to poorly trained staff...

Except that some companies have found that they can get away with not increasing head count in customer service.

My ISP is doing that. In most of the markets they "serve" their internet service is just enough better than the telco's internet service that it has an effective monopoly. Therefore, they don't care about customer service beyond delivering bits. The telco doesn't care about its internet service because its telephone service is better than the cableco's VOIP service (which is better than the telco's VOIP). Though this could change when POTS is phased out.

Comment: Re:Pick a different job. (Score 1) 548

I don't write mediocre code, I write smart code which is something else entirely than being "clever".

++ this. There is a huge difference between smart code and "clever" code.

Disclaimer: My employer doesn't view me as a mere programmer. From my employer's official description (as given to the recruiters): "Associate Engineer, Electronics/Mechanical/Software/Systems/Validation: 1. Demonstrated ability to design and implement smart solutions to complex problems. ... 3. Work well in a cross-discipline team environment. ...." (I am currently a "senior engineer, SW") They pay me and my co-workers to come up with *smart* code (among other things).

Comment: Re:Full of it (Score 1) 338

The argument is that municipal broadband discourages private investment in broadband communications, that taxpayer-funded projects are barriers to future infrastructure investment.

What do they think tax credits are? Before either the telco or the cable company would expand broadband service into the outer neighborhoods where I live, the city had to give the telco and cable companies a huge, many year tax credit - many times what the companies own people claimed the cost of equipment upgrades.

Comment: Re:Phones + 1 laptop. (Score 1) 260

by UnderCoverPenguin (#47721555) Attached to: How many devices are connected to your home Wi-Fi?

I forgot about a gaming system which is wireless only because some idiot engineer somewhere decided that a stationary device, designed to connect to the internet, should be built without an ethernet port!

Cost savings. Our first Blu-ray player (which died 4 days after the 3 year (extended) warrantee expired) had an Ethernet port and 2 USB ports. The 2nd USB was designated for the optional ($80) WiFi adapter. While researching a replacement, I noticed that most reviews for the one that just died complained about the lack of WiFi and how hard it was to get Ethernet to it (interesting how old reviews stay around). The replacement has WiFi, no Ethernet and only 1 USB (we bought it 2 years ago).

Comment: Re:Not Government (Score 1) 457

by UnderCoverPenguin (#47679103) Attached to: Web Trolls Winning As Incivility Increases

By extension, the "Freedom of speech" argument falls flat on its face when said (supposedly) ignorant people/trolls choose to drown out the conversation. No one wants to join/stay in a conversation if there is an extremely high chance/they have already been personally attacked.

I think you are misunderstanding the freedom of speech argument.

Actual trolls certainly do interfere with freedom of speech. The problem is that existing strategies to prevent and/or mitigate trolling also interfere with freedom of speech. For example: Even the best, most objective editors and editorial boards are fallible. They are also subject to various pressures to expand the definitions of "troll" and "inappropriate content."

Even a reputation based system will fail. Some people feel strongly enough about certain topics they feel it is worth damaging their reputations

As for potential AI editors/moderators, I have no doubt a programmer could easily sneak in biases - both intentional and otherwise. Also, the owners of the hardware the AI is running on will doubtless have their own biases they demand be incorporated.

Comment: Re:No, school should not be year-round. (Score 2) 421

by UnderCoverPenguin (#47639749) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: Should Schooling Be Year-Round?

Regardless of its origin, the long summer break can work very well for kids - if our society would let today's (and tomorrow's) kids be like many of us were back when we were kids. I would say that the move for year long school is more because todays parents can neither take more than a very few weeks per year of vacation nor give kids as little supervision as their parents (or grandparents) did.

That aside, our daughter's long summer breaks were (still are) good for her and her mother (my grilfriend). They spend the summer at the family farm. (I can only take 2 weeks vacation (and 10 mostly individual holidays) per year, so I only spend weekends, plus 1 week, there. (my girlfriend is a teacher)) Our daughter loves it - especially since some of her friends are allowed by their parents to go there, too.

Comment: Re:No, school should not be year-round. (Score 3, Insightful) 421

by UnderCoverPenguin (#47639655) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: Should Schooling Be Year-Round?

given all that, just to stay competitive

Competitive? At what? Education isn't about getting jobs or any other such nonsense; it's about furthering people's understanding of the universe. Schools shouldn't be job training, unless they're trade schools.

One of my co-workers is an immigrant from India. She got a real education resulting in 2 BA and 1 MA degree, all of it for free. Job training was her first few months at some company in India - during which she was paid.. Because of her education, she is actually a much better worker than most of her US "educated" colleagues.

So yes, US born and raised people have a lot to be worried about vs their forgien counterparts.

I dropped out of public school, and I dropped out for a damn good reason; it was awful. More of it would have only made me despise it even more. Fortunately, I got into a good state university and saw what education was supposed to be like.

I was lucky enough to get a scholarship to private school, then scholarships to a top university, so I could receive a real education. Now, many fewer US kids get the opportunities that I did.

Repel them. Repel them. Induce them to relinquish the spheroid. - Indiana University fans' chant for their perennially bad football team