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Comment: Dr. James Tooley... (Score 1) 119

Is mentioned in the Wall Street Journal article although his book, and what he found in the poorest, third-word slums, wasn't. What he found was tiny, ramshackle private schools just about everywhere. Dr. Tooley's book "The Beautiful Tree" covers the phenomenon and how widely-spread it is.

Seems poor people, when the government schools are lousy enough, or non-existant, simply set up their own schools. Whoever has the entreprenuerial grit and enough education to convince very poor parents they might be able to education their child, simply goes into business.Sometimes in contravention to laws meant to maintain the government school monopoly.

I imagine Messrs Zuckerberg and Gates must have some knowledge of Dr. Tooley's findings else they'd have gone through the government education bureacracies as so many charitable organizations before them. Government education agencies are inevitably inefficient, typically corrupt and never accountable. I imagine both Mr. Gates and Mr. Zuckerberg, with their experience of trying to breath some life into the American public education system, understand the futility of trying to improve the performance of third world education bureacracies.

The Bridge model seems to be following in the footsteps of those tiny, private school Dr. Tooley discovered and while the article doesn't specifically mention them it seems pretty likely that the people who've opened their own private schools already will be among the first to see the value of working with Bridge.

Comment: Re:it is the wrong way... (Score 1) 291

by arpad1 (#47480053) Attached to: Australia Repeals Carbon Tax

We over and over do exactly the wrong thing to save the world.

In view of the fact the world hasn't ended perhaps it isn't quite as desperately in need of saving as you seem to believe?

Alternatively, perhaps what you believe to be the wrong thing to do is, in view of the continued existance of the world, the right thing?

Comment: Re:Horrible for the public school system (Score 1) 715

by arpad1 (#45942149) Attached to: How Good Are Charter Schools For the Public School System?

1) No they don't. Charters are public schools. Period. Since charters are public schools they can't very well take money from public schools.

2) In fact, it's district schools that can be explicitly and unapologetically selective. They're called magnet schools and unlike charters they generally require entrance exams, require the maintenance of grades above some minimum and can boot kids out for a variety of infractions.

3) Feel free to provide support for this contention. Charter schools are public schools and operate under all relevant, state-level rules and laws. If the state's signed up for Common Core then charters are just as much on the hook to abide by that decision as are district schools.

4) Again, provide some support for this contention.

Since charters aren't, by law, allowed to select their students there's no selection bias. As for "the companies that run them", charters do a good enough job to get the approval of parents. The one glaring difference between charters and district schools is that parents select charters. If parents don't care about funneling public school funds to the companies that run them why should anyone else's voice speak as loudly? You got anywhere near as much at stake as those charter school parents?

Comment: Re:The big question is... (Score 2) 55

by arpad1 (#45787287) Attached to: Earth's Orbit Reshapes Sea Floor

I'm a bit unclear on how this scientific consensus works.

What if the percentage of the world's climate scientists who agree with anthropogenic global warming were lower? Would they still be right? Say, if the percentage were 50%? Would that still establish anthropogenic global warming as scientifically valid?

Where's the cut-off exactly?

Comment: By faithful to the canon... (Score 4, Insightful) 401

by arpad1 (#44658709) Attached to: New, Canon-Faithful Star Trek Series Is In Pre-Production

...does that mean there'll be lots of lip service to the Prime Directive while completely ignoring it? Does this mean the captain of an important Federation ship will get into fist fights as part of his duty as well? Will there be significant loss of life among the crew as a regular occurrance during peace time and will the ship regularly engage in ship-to-ship combat during this same peaceful time as well?

If the answer's "yes" then this new production will be faithful to the original.

Comment: Re:We Wish (Score 1, Informative) 663

by arpad1 (#43600197) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What If We Don't Run Out of Oil?

Hubbert came up with the peak oil hypothesis. It's not a theory until he demonstrates the hypothesis predicts something. He didn't.

I know, I know. Hubbert predicted peak oil in the U.S. putting the date of peak oil as 1972 and lo! U.S. oil output peaked in 1972.

Of course Hubbert didn't predict any such thing. He got lucky.

How do I know for sure? Because he never issued another correct prediction again. A stopped clock is right twice a day but doesn't have much value for keeping time. Hubbert was right just once.

The 100% doesn't move, other than at the pace of geological time frames.

Feel free to reveal the means by which you've nailed down the quantity of oil that amounts to 100%.

Comment: Re: Nonsense (Score 1) 348

by arpad1 (#43573285) Attached to: What's Holding Back 3-D Printing

Yeah, I could have worded that a bit better. The comment's certainly open to misinterpretation. A couple of folks up the thread have divined the meaning that I wasn't precise enough to make clear.

It's not that you can't build neat stuff with 3-D printers what I contend is, other then AR-15 lowers and high-capacity magazines, there's not much reason to bother. And even in the case of AR-15 lower recievers and high-capacity magazines it's politics that makes building them worthwhile; conventionally-manufactured equivalents are simply better in every regard, including price when you figure in the cost of the printer and the time you'd have to put in to learn to use it.

One respondent has a car door that won't open for want of a plastic part which is known to break. But buying a 3-D printer, and putting in the time to learn how to use the software to draw the part, generate the G-code and deal with the inevitable idiosyncracies of any tool is hardly the sort of solution that most people would embrace. If you were looking for an excuse to buy a 3-D printer that might make the cut but most people would simply buy two of the parts the next time they had to go to a junk yard for one and be done with it.

Another respondent brought up Visicalc which is the sort of thing I had in mind.

The first time those of us of a certain age saw Visicalc in operation is memorable for the harp-accompanied epiphany that results from the realization that a pathologically boring and utterly inescapable task will now evaporate. No one who had to prepare organization budgets had to be sold on Visicalc. It sold itself.

Budgets are still necessary but the only people who now add up long columns of numbers suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder.

That's the sort of transformative change I believe is necessary to propel 3-D printing into society.

Comment: Re:Economy is not a science. (Score 2, Informative) 290

by arpad1 (#42784301) Attached to: Australian Economists Predictions No Better Than Flipping a Coin

Umm, so what's the Keynesian excuse for Japan's "Lost Decade" and more recently, America's non-recovery from the it's-all-Bush's-fault recession?

Lots of Keynesian goodness showered on both economies with nothing but massive government debt to show for it.

As for the observation that economics isn't a science, the complete indifference to the scientific method should have made that obvious. The delightful irony is that when the scientific method's applied to the field of economics, the hypothesis being that economics is a science by virtue of its predictive powers, the hypothesis fails.

Comment: Theropod jaw hinge (Score 1) 208

by arpad1 (#42681125) Attached to: Interviews: Ask What You Will of Paleontologist Jack Horner

I understand the reason for theropods having the need to swallow big hunks of meat but that capability would much more easily come from a wide jaw.

Theropods, I would think, wouldn't need to keep a narrow jaw profile like a snake because theropods didn't have to slither into narrow openings. There doesn't seem to be any obviously good reason for theropods to have a jaw that's narrow when they're not swallowing big hunks of meat and wide when they are.

No problem is so large it can't be fit in somewhere.