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Comment Re:Politics at work (Score 1) 48

but apparently, we non-stupid ones have to suffer with the rest.

Also, 90% of the population think that the other 90% of the population are the stupid ones.

It's stupid to explain the corruption and incompetence of our governments with stupidity and desinterest of the population. I'm beginning to believe that is a meme intentionally spread to prevent that anything is done to fix the real problem.

Which is: The people governing us are corrupt, self-absorbed arseholes with the mental capacity of 5 year olds but the trickery and manipulative abilities of experienced psychopaths.

Comment Re:James Hansen is a becoming shameful (Score 1) 368

The trains carrying coal to power plants are death trains. Coal-fired power plants are factories of death.
This isn't precisely a statement backed by peer reviewed evidence either...

It's a pretty precise statement, though not in scientific language. Coal is absolutely horribly in every way, and "death" is the absolutely correct association people should have.

When people are angry about the science being politicized, it does NOT help for the scientists to go over board politicizing things themselves in the hope of being a counter-balance.

Climate scientists have been speaking about climate change for literally three decades in neutral, factual, scientific language and were utterly ignored. If what you are doing doesn't work, you need to try something else.

The problem is not that we need to educate people about science. Those who are interested have plenty of options to educate themselves. The problem is that we need to hammer the point "your children will die from this shit" into the heads of people who don't care about the science. The kind of people who don't understand and don't want to understand the language of "the mean CO2 concentration shows a strong correlation to..." - they want to know what the point is.

And the point is that coal is death and climate change will kill us all. Yeah, maybe that's not the 120% scientifically accurate way of saying it, but what really matters is that all the desinterested people get it, and get it strongly enough that politicians start to give a fuck because it will influence election results.

Comment Politics at work (Score 1) 48

That's how modern politics works, unfortunately.

Ignore the facts. Pick the first easy thing that shows we are doing something.

Ignore the real problem. Pick a random thing from the headlines and act on that.

Ignore the known solutions. Make sure you are never seen continuously working on the same thing until it's done, our attention span is too short for that.

Comment Re:problems (Score 1) 89

Ironic that the very thing you disparage Bill Gates for you are doing yourself.

I'm running a multi-million dollar monopolistic company that harms technological progress and corners markets?

so who are you to say what is right or wrong?

I know little about education and almost nothing about malaria. So I'm not running around telling people how to run schools or cure people. But I know enough about philosophy and psychology to see your (and not just your) problem in thinking:

he has proven himself clever and successful, and I'll take that over some unknown internet forum poster any day of the week.

Bills success in exploiting the tech industry does not necessarily translate into any other knowledge. A lot of people who were genius scientists had brutally stupid ideas about politics. Many brilliant generals were utter failures at leading a country (they could win the war, but not rule what they won). We see successful people in arts or entertainment say things so stupid that listening to them is physically painful all the time on television.

He may be tricky in business, but that doesn't mean he knows one thing more about education than any random Internet forum poster. Nor does it mean he knows less. Just because I say "don't listen to him" doesn't mean "listen to me". I'm saying "think for yourself and listen to experts, not to random people with no credentials in the topic."

Comment Re:Punishing people who get degrees we need the mo (Score 1) 221

I've met plenty of social sciences graduates and talked to them enough to see their attitudes in person, but haven't seen anything on Fox News except one of the recent presidential debates in the last year or so (can't actually remember the last time I watched the channel beyond the one debate), so I'm not exactly a regular watcher. Thanks for the advice, though. It's too bad it was based on false premises and completely devoid of valid content.

Comment Re:Punishing people who get degrees we need the mo (Score 1) 221

The nice thing about the ISA idea is that people don't have to argue and debate which degree programs are valuable, real investors have to put their money where their mouth would be and the ones who can't predict the values properly will quickly lose enough money to leave the market to the people who can make money at it by predicting someone's future prospects effectively.

It's essentially doubling as a prediction market for the value of a particular program of study.

Comment Re:problems (Score 1) 89

You know that Bill Gates isn't one guy doing all the work all by himself right?

Really? No, that's a total surprise to me.

The point is not who does the work. The point is who decides which path to take. And from what I've seen so far, Bill is anything but a hands-off manager. His education project is the way he thinks it should be done, and his malaria foundation does business with pharmacy companies that he holds stock in.

It might just be that he listens to his experts and then goes on stage selling their proposals as his ideas, but given his history with Microsoft and Windows and DOS, I doubt it.

Comment Re:Punishing people who get degrees we need the mo (Score 4, Insightful) 221

Unfortunately, the current social sciences at U.S. Universities is more likely to turn out a 26 year-old government social worker who thinks all parents are idiots who need her detailed supervision and spends her free time in "safe spaces" demonstrating for vague left-wing causes in the hopes of finding an enlightened boyfriend who'll stay longer than one night.

If instead, it were to actually "teach people critical thinking, how to argue and write persuasively." and produce "well-rounded individuals who can go on to be successful in a number of fields.", then the ISA market will value that future success and ability to repay in the future appropriately.

Comment Re:Punishing people who get degrees we need the mo (Score 3, Informative) 221

One point of Income Share Agreements (ISA) is that if you're pursuing a STEM or other high-paying degree, you're more likely to make more money overall, so they'll charge you a lower percentage than someone with a less lucrative field. Don't be an idiot and agree to pay back a STEM degree using the same percentage as a sociology major, for example. The anonymous "observers" in the summary are whining about that detail.

One of the positive sides is if the financial services company is going to make money, the prices for an ISA becomes a good proxy for letting students know which potential majors are likely to be more valuable to society and thus earn them more income over the course of the payback period.

So doctors and engineers, yes, womyn's studies, not so much...

Comment problems (Score 1) 89

Let's hope it goes better than BillG school reform!

It won't. Bill suffers from the same ego problem that many successful people suffer from - thinking that because you were good at one thing means you are qualified to solving every other problem. But very few people are great in vastly different domains. Even most geniuses stick to at least one area.

Giving money to people who are real experts in a domain and giving them room to find solutions is a hundred times better than coming in as a celebrity and taking over with your own random idea. This can, in fact, have a negative effect on the actual progress in the field.

Comment Re:Next up: Stone candy. (Score 3, Insightful) 158

I agree with you in spirit, but disagree in terms of basic caloric intake.

Once we have the ability to create tasty foods with effectively no caloric value, it doesn't matter how much our bodies tell us to eat. We can only hold so much worthless food at a time. If we can literally gorge ourselves on near-zero calorie foods, we will have solved obesity, simple as that.

I do have to wonder how our bodies will rebel against this latest way to eat-without-eating, but strictly in terms of energy-budgets, this seems like a win/win.

Comment Re:Easy solution (Score 1) 480

Yes, I read the articles. What I stated is that the article is biased and wrong. Your opinion is that the article is right and that one or two anecdotes explain the electric car market. I'd contend that actual empirical sales figures for different types of vehicles and actual costs for different types of vehicles are more illuminating than a couple of anecdote's written by someone with a well-known bias, but YMMV. :)

I'm willing to be proven wrong. Have you ever seen any data from a relatively neutral or reputable source indicating that electric cars on average have lower total cost of ownership than comparable gas vehicles?

I picked one at semi-random (literally, the first one I found in a Google search) and looked up the TCO on Edmunds:
Spark EV, 5 year TCO $34K
Exact same car, gas version, 5 year TCO $28K

So in exchange for your car only having an 82 mile range before needing to be charged vs a 300+ mile range before a much faster fill-up, you only need to pay 22% more for it. What a deal!

Unless you are in a rare and special situation, the EV version isn't going to be a good deal for you. You're paying more and getting less. That's why only 1.6% of new cars sold are EVs... it doesn't make sense for the vast majority of people to buy them. Occam's razor, the simple reason is the correct one here, no need for conspiracy theories about dealerships.

If it's worth hacking on well, it's worth hacking on for money.