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Comment: Re:Helping the poor (Score 1) 320

I think it bugs me more that you hear all about programs and charities to give aid to the poor in other countries, but you don't see the government handing out care packages to the homeless in the US.

Maybe it's just not as widely publicized, but I don't think that's the case.

Comment: Re:victorian clerks.. (Score 1) 312

by Vyse of Arcadia (#46778345) Attached to: Switching From Sitting To Standing At Your Desk

I inherited a cushioned rolling chair when I inherited my desk, and it was awful. It was heavy and bulky, which is a problem when you share a small office with three other people. And jesus christ was it uncomfortable. When I couldn't take it anymore, I found a simple wooden chair unused in storage somewhere, swapped it out, and never looked back. It's comfy, I can lean back, there are no arms to get in my way (who needs a chair with arms at a desk anyway?), and it's small enough to comfortable slide into my desk when my officemates need more space.

Cheap chairs ftw.

Comment: Re:Higher SAT scores, etc (Score 1) 529

by Vyse of Arcadia (#46506775) Attached to: The Poor Neglected Gifted Child

Maybe some states don't have a gifted program, but before we all go tilting at windmills, maybe we should realize this is a state-level problem, one that does not apply to Virginia, and may not apply to your state either.

Maybe the federal government should be putting pressure on states that don't have good gifted programs.

For that matter, what about the kids in Virginia that slip through the cracks? What happens to gifted Bobby McPoorkid whose parents bring home less than $20k in Nowhere, VA? You know, the county with the school that got their federal funding cut because not a high enough percentage of kids graduate. Does he get scholarships to go to a boarding school? What if his parents can't afford to get by without his help? Will the state government pay for the entire McPoorkid family just so their brightest might be something someday?

Comment: Re:Failing as a math teacher (Score 2) 114

by Vyse of Arcadia (#46414883) Attached to: Mathematicians Are Chronically Lost and Confused

This is how definitions work. Definitions would get absurdly long and difficult to read if we defined everything in terms of first principles. I could concisely describe a solvable group as a group having a subnormal serious whose factor groups are all abelian. If I have to go back and explain group and subnormal series and factor groups and abelian it ballloons to a page in length, and those are all concepts that are useful elsewhere is well.

Presumably that author wasn't just defining things cyclically and had defined cardinality elsewhere. You'd just have to go back and look it up.

Comment: Re:Not enough application success stories (Score 2) 27

by Vyse of Arcadia (#45598487) Attached to: FLOSS 2013: the Survey For Open Source Contributors, a Decade Later

At the risk of getting flak, I always found it such a waste to have both KDE and GNOME desktop and overlapping related apps projects. Both are of course rather succesful, but imagine what the current status would be if people had stayed with one project instead.

Well, the reason there's both KDE and GNOME needs a little historical context. KDE relied (and still does) heavily on the then-closed Qt toolkit. The authors of GNOME wanted to build something basically like KDE, except with entirely free software components. Naturally, they also needed to write replacements for KDE applications too, because they also relied on Qt.

Of course years later Trolltech relicensed Qt under the LGPL so there was no longer any fear of Qt vanishing and KDE having to scramble to find a replacement. But by then, KDE and GNOME had taken different paths, KDE focusing on extreme configurability, GNOME focusing on user-friendliness. And then there were all those people who didn't like either desktop and decided to roll their own to fit their own needs better, and that's fine too.

Man is the best computer we can put aboard a spacecraft ... and the only one that can be mass produced with unskilled labor. -- Wernher von Braun

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