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Comment: Voice of experience (Score 1) 700

by Venotar (#48979167) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Pros and Cons of Homeschooling?
I was home schooled, so I speak only to my own experience and what I know of my siblings' experience.
Also, let me apologize if I rehash things already said in previous comments - I try to avoid getting to deep into the weeds in the /. comment section.
Academic performance: Maybe. My eperience with this was mixed. In the humanities, the strength of the curriculum covered a lot of gaps in my mother's education (said gaps were why she was responsible for teaching the humanities). Unfortunately, the weaknesses in the curriculum created gaps, too - she'd selected a hyper traditional curriculum from a catholic organization, and she tended to insert her own politics into interpretations of history and literature. My father's a research geologist, so he covered math and the physical sciences. The sciences worked out ok, except that he often lacked patience communicating the foundational math concepts - if you got it on his first or second explanation, you were golden; but if you were still stuck you'd probably stay that way. This hampered my younger brother quite a bit.
Socialization: Here's the part that's polarizing. There are definite issues with socialization. It's not that you only interact with family members - there are tons of opportunites to cavort with other kids: playing around your neighborhood (which we did back in the 90s - I gather unsupervised outdoor play is more of a rarity, these days), organized sports, organized clubs (cub/brownie/boy/girl scouts), the local YMCA swimming pool, etc, etc. The problem is most of that play is highly supervised and in small, intimate groups. You don't get any experience navigating the daunting social currents within a larger pool of people that includes a big chunk of relative strangers. The affects of this aren't always obvious, immediately. I started to show it earlier than my little brother - I became pretty withdrawn around kids I didn't know as early as 8 years old. My brother experienced more social awkardness than the norm when he hit about 11. We all stopped home schooling the same year, so my younger sister got out of it at the youngest age (about 5) and she is by far the best socially adapted of the three of us.
Most of the homeschooling families back had some sort of motivation beyond merely "I want my kid to have the best education" - education was always what was talked about first; but a lengthy conversation would make it pretty clear that they were really most concerned about other things: sometimes it was behaviour problems resulting from peer pressure (everything from "too much flirting" to "drugs"), sometimes religion, and (manytimes) more to do with problems the parents have than anything else: including in my mother's case.
These parental problem didn't result in undereducated kids in my family (although we had gaps we had to back fill later), but everyone I saw whose home schooling was motivated by parental issues went through seriuous struggles before they settled into their adult lives. I've kept in touch or reconnected with 3 of the home schooled friends I used to have since then and they all went through a similar trajectory.
  • 1. If you're going to home school, start off with a firm cut-off age pre-agreed to. I'd advise stopping at the end of the second grade (8-9 years old). The biggest benefits tend to come before then (early reading advances, primarily) and the biggest drawbacks really get a head of steam after then.
  • 2. don't exclusively homeschool even when you're doing it. Arrange for an hour or four a week in a traditional classroom environment - with a traditionally certified teacher and a full class of unrelated students, ideally including at least some who don't homescool.

Comment: Re:Douchbags (Score 1) 247

by Venotar (#48526745) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Convincing My Company To Stop Using Passwords?
I'm going to go with narrow mindedness, or perhaps a lack of imagination. The requirements that led your IT leaders to the environment you describe could lead to far less onerous (and less costly!) setups.
Blocking "all" filesharing sites? If your company is like mine, both federal regulators and clients regularly perform third party security audits. "How do you protect our data from exfiltration?" is a stock question. I've also seen "demonstrate you block viral vectors" lead to similarly unnecessary restrictions. Hell, I could see the above two answers explaining ALL of the symptoms your leadership has created.
It doesn't have to go that way, though. Leadership at my company had the same silly knee jerk reaction. I argued against it; but we did the same thing, for a while. About 15 months. It took 12 months for me to accumulate comparative data and about a month to polish it into a pretty presentation. It took another 2 months to cross fiscal quarters and then we immediately ripped all that none sense out and replaced it with a properly architected solution. We moved the critical data and all the workflow that touched it into secured remote VM's running on in house Virtual Desktop Infrastructure. All desktops/laptops are basically dumb terminals for accessing the work VMs. You VPN in to do that, regardless of where you come from - including our "internal" office vlans, which only have access to the internet and our VPN server.
Have work to do? Use your VM. Wanna fuck around on slashdot? Use your local machine.
Problem solved, and with MONUMENTALLY fewer man hours spent managing the ridiculously complex filtering mechanisms the previous authoritarianism had required.

Comment: I don't think those words mean.... (Score 0) 174

by Venotar (#48121007) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: VPN Setup To Improve Latency Over Multiple Connections?
The role I've been in for the last 13 years requires me to wear a number of hats, including network engineer and network architect in medium sized environments.
I say that to provide some context for this statement: it is not at all clear to me what you're actually asking for.

Comment: Re:Unusual in a huge system ... (Score 1) 211

by Venotar (#47872249) Attached to: Information Theory Places New Limits On Origin of Life

The Universe is only about 26 Billion Light years in diameter.

Here, let me fix that for you:

The Observable Universe is only about 26 Billion Light years in diameter.

There ya go. We don't actually know if the universe is infinite or not. We do know the Universe is Euclidean, my layman's understanding of that concludes that we live in one of two universes:

  • 1. A flat (infinite) universe
  • 2. A torus (bounded) universe

Comment: Which Tobasco? (Score 1) 285

by Venotar (#46638745) Attached to: I prefer my peppers ...
Most "classic" tobasco I've had lately just tastes like vinegar and black pepper - no discernible heat. Of course, that may be because so many restaurants store their jars of tobasco for months on end and all the volatile organics degrade - the ingredient list includes cayenne, which I normally find pleasantly warm AND flavorful; but I've not been able to detect that flavor in most jars of classic tobasco. The jalapeno version is better flavored, although also completely lacking in heat. I can feel a little warmth in the chipotle flavor. I've not really had a pepper that clocked in much higher than 1,000,000 SHU, and when I've gone that high it's not been a whole fresh pepper (I've enjoyed plenty of dishes that contained a 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of powdered Bhut Jolokia) so I don't have a point of reference for the absolute top of the scale.

Comment: Re:Texas Barely Registers (Score 1) 544

by Venotar (#46091611) Attached to: Map of Publicly-Funded Creationism Teaching
The map is misleading. LA's schools simply MAY teach creationism - the law allows it, but not all necessarily do. Those charter schools? They ALL do: http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2014/01/creationism_in_texas_public_schools_undermining_the_charter_movement.single.html http://www.salon.com/2013/10/25/christian_textbooks_darwin_inspired_hitler/

Comment: Re:Pay for Laundry jobs with it (Score 4, Insightful) 691

by Venotar (#45738179) Attached to: Why Charles Stross Wants Bitcoin To Die In a Fire

From skimming the same article about him I see no reason that his opinion on bitcoins should carry any more weight than mine, or anyone elses. An we all know how much my opinion on bitcoins mean, jack and shit. Which is what Charles Stross opinion means on the subject.

All I know about your opinion on bitcoins is what you've posted about it in this comment (that you think it's worthless).

Charles Stross, on the other hand, has posted more than merely his opinion: he's also posted a cogent rationale for that opinion - one that contains details (with specific citations) that many a technically qualified geek may not have yet considered.

Taken in the context of his demonstrable interest in and fondness for the idea of decentralized societies and you have a critique that's worth considering - particularly by his reasonably large fan base (many of whom are slashdot readers, as evidenced by many of the above comments).

Comment: Re:Look to the past (Score 1) 321

by Venotar (#45722187) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Practical Bitrot Detection For Backups?

Tape MUST be sufficiently stable. Reading the reliability specs off the box in front of me and running a few calculations shows that

You didn't use sarcasm tags and sometimes the subtler jokes are a tad hard to discern in text.
You are joking, aren't you? Because if not, have I got a great deal for you - I just need your bank account to transfer the money my uncle, a Nigerian prince, is trying to export. PM me!

Comment: Re:New meaning to blue screen of death? (Score 5, Insightful) 214

by Venotar (#45720377) Attached to: Former Microsoft Exec To Lead HealthCare.gov

The socialists in Canada pay almost $4500 per capita for healthcare, or more than 11% of GDP. Because of the waste inherent in socialist systems, we should not be surprised that healthcare costs in Canada are 7th highest on the planet, yet for all this outrageous expense, they are only tied for 4th in life expectancy and something like 24th in infant mortality

I'm sorry - how is 7th highest cost for 4th highest life expetancy not a deal?
If life expectancy was less than 7th, I might see your point. Beyond that, the US already spends 17.2% of it's GDP on healthcare (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_care_in_the_United_States) and has an infant mortality rate around 34th in the world , so moving to an infant mortality rate of 24th in the world for a cost of 11% of GDP is a huge improvement for your southern neighbors.

"Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain." -- The Wizard Of Oz