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Comment Re:Not surprising (Score 1) 61

How many were running OS X though? I know a few people who buy Apple hardware, but run a different main OS, just because the Apple hardware is better than 99% of what you can find in the PC notebook market and the 1% that is in the same league as Apple is just as, if not more, expensive.

Comment In other ways as well (Score 3, Insightful) 95

There's always a lot of buzz about tailoring learning to each individual and a lot of the literature suggests that it isn't terribly effective in that while students might enjoy the lesson more, but they won't actually learn more. What I'm more worried about is that if you don't expose students to other ways of processing information and learning that they'll become unwilling to try acquiring any knowledge that can't be presented to them exactly as they would like it.

Instead, we should be teaching students how they can more effectively process information provided to them even when it's not in their preferred style. Otherwise they'll eventually end up in the real world and be unequipped to handle things as they find themselves in an environment that doesn't really give a damn about what they prefer and isn't going to waste time coddling them.

I'm more worried about stifling the students and throwing hundreds of thousands of dollars at various learning environments or other projects that don't actually improve education when they money could be spent on hiring more instructors or tutors so that they can have more one-on-one time with students or provide additional instruction as necessary.

Comment Re:I don't think K-12 CS is a good idea anyway (Score 1) 184

Well you're already wrong about one point, so I suppose I can use the same shit tier logic you've applied in this case and just dismiss everything else you have to say. But I won't. Still with me or do I get another diatribe you'll likely spend more time typing up than just reading the rest of the post? Let's look at the first sentence:

Give 'em a shovel and have them dig a ditch or do some other kind of shit labor.

Seems pretty scary, and it probably would be if there weren't more.

I did enough of it when I was young that I wanted to spend as much time learning as possible so that I wouldn't have to do that kind of work ever again.

That seems to change the meaning enough. Now I can appreciate how easily a point can be misconstrued on the internet and bog knows I've done it enough times, but your own response, which if taken literally (another sin, but not so much different than your own) suggests you quit reading before you even read that second comment, which changes the context a little you must admit.

Please point out where I advocate hard labor instead of education. What I advocate is showing kids that without an education, life is going to be a lot of hard labor. If the only thing you do outside of school is mindless leisure, is it any surprise that school will be unappealing in comparison? I think my own father would have liked to have more of an education, but he didn't have much of a choice and while I won't delude myself to think I had to work as hard when I was younger as he did, I learned the importance and value of education, because I realized that not having one did not make for what I would consider a pleasant life.

The funny part about this is that some time ago I bothered to mark you as a friend when Slashdot introduced the system because I came to consider you interesting. Not someone I always agreed with, but someone who could make a good point and a reasoned argument.

What happened?

Comment Re:I don't think K-12 CS is a good idea anyway (Score 1) 184

Do you always put words in other people's mouths like that? You may want to reread what I've written instead of making wild assumptions and accusations.

What I'm saying is that if a kid sits around playing Xbox all day, school will seem less appealing in comparison than if you have to go pick rock out of a field or actually do some work. Doing well in school and going to math competitions or other stuff like that meant that I got to miss doing those chores and thankfully my parents were quite encouraging when it came to such things.

If you think that's not a good idea, you're welcome to that opinion, but to misconstrue my point and then call me a moron isn't very productive.

Comment Re:what is with this regular propaganda on slashdo (Score 1) 184

Considering the trends towards automation, programming and developing those automated systems is going to survive as a discipline longer than the jobs that end up being replaced.

When programming and engineering jobs are gone, what else is going to be left? Who's going to hire someone to do welding when they've got a perfectly capable robot that can do it? There will likely come a day when the robots can think for and program themselves and programming is no longer a useful occupation, but it will survive longer than most.

Comment Re:I don't think K-12 CS is a good idea anyway (Score 2) 184

so what's a better way?

Give 'em a shovel and have them dig a ditch or do some other kind of shit labor. I did enough of it when I was young that I wanted to spend as much time learning as possible so that I wouldn't have to do that kind of work ever again.

I think the school system needs a shakeup and I'd like to see a system that abolishes the idea of grade-level entirely. Treat it like college where every subject area has its own progression and allow the kids to find what they enjoy and excel at instead of being stuck with the collective lowest common denominator for everything. If a kid is good at math or reading they can move ahead in those classes faster, whereas if they aren't, they don't get held back in everything else or moved on to the next level when they aren't ready.

I think if you provide a system that keeps students challenged and doesn't leave them either hopelessly lost or disinterested because the content is too trivial that it would go a long way towards improving education.

Comment Re:Good job (Score 1) 132

So what? It doesn't need to.

Linux is a free market of ideas and devotion. Projects that are interesting or useful tend to attract developers who are willing to contribute to the project. Those that are unnecessary or niche tend to languish or serve an obscure base of users. Regardless of where along that spectrum any project falls, we're all collectively richer through no effort of our own and at no cost beyond learning to use the software.

If the ability to create your own solution or choose from among many doesn't interest you, you don't have to use it. Air hockey is unlikely to replace football, but that doesn't mean you still can't enjoy it if it's to your tastes.

Comment Re:4/5 in favor (Score 2) 753

People fail to realize that society ends up paying no matter what approach they choose. You can pay for an expensive social safety net, or you can pay for increased law enforcement and prisons to deal with the increased crime from unemployment.

I think the minimum income approach is better than trying to have dozens of programs as it results in a much lower amount of administrative overhead. However, there are some likely abuse cases that should be addressed to prevent the system from being gamed.

Comment Re:Colleges are not for education (Score 2, Insightful) 274

So who's going to pay for it? While there are several colleges that do have the kind of endowments that would make such a thing possible, most schools wouldn't be able to foot the bill themselves.

I don't know about you, but I wouldn't care to pay for little Billy's $100,000 art history degree that is less than useless because they wasted perfectly good ink and perfectly good paper in giving out the degree and no work available for Billy.

Perhaps getting rid of the useless administrative cruft and bureaucracy would go a long way to reducing the cost of education, but even the cheapest schools are going to cost somewhere in the realm of $10,000 per year. Get rid of the bureaucracy and bull shit degrees and perhaps it's feasible, but currently I don't think it would be possible without being a massive clusterfuck.

Comment Re:Peer review (Score 1) 186

This assumes the co-authors were aware of the deception, which may not be true depending on the study and how it was run. If someone who is in charge of data analysis is fed bad data, how much can you fault them for providing an incorrect analysis? Perhaps they were suspicious but suspended their own disbelief and are therefor culpable, but most people don't operate at a level of paranoia to suspect that type of thing, even if the results fly in the face of common sense.

Personally I find that the whole incident leaves me with a positive feeling. Rather than looking at this from the perspective of "Oh look, science is full of crap as well", I look at as science being willing to point out when it is full of crap and take corrective measures. When you find the same behavior in religion, politics, or other of life's institutions that people tend to take seriously if not put a lot of faith in, then we can talk.

Like any endeavor involving humans, science is capable of folly. However, institutionally it has one of the best track records for identifying and removing that folly, even if it takes a while. Much else in life seems as—if not more—subject to the whim of those in charge as it does to any laws of nature or the universe.

Neckties strangle clear thinking. -- Lin Yutang