I agree that Win7 has its bugs, but the truth is that many of these bugs have been in Windows for over a decade, and Microsoft just doesn't do anything about it. They are too busy messing up the UI to actually care about improving productivity and fixing basic flaws in the system. In fact, it always makes me angry that my Win95 was better at searching for files than Win7. In Win7, even when you tell it to search all files regardless of whether they are indexed, it's fairly frequently the case that I can type in the name of a file that I can visibly see present in the folder and Windows will still be unable to locate it.
I appreciate your perspective--thanks for sharing it. I think perhaps it shows that moderation in opinions is wise; one might expect you to have been completely pro-CPS because of your experience, but you recognize that there are more layers to it. Hence you argue that calling CPS was going too far, even though you think their decision to let the kids walk home was the wrong one.
Even though I don't have your personal experience, I have watched way too many episodes of Forensic Files and Cold Case Files not to feel annoyed with parents making such dangerous decisions in the name of supposed freedom. i try hard to balance teaching prudence with giving my kids a long leash, but I would not let such young kids walk home unsupervised.
That being said, my opinion on the matter is more pro-CPS than yours, but I still think that it stops short of being extreme. I've heard plenty of CPS horror stories. However, I think that calling CPS in this case was acceptable, precisely because one call to CPS should not result in losing one's children. Rather, it is possible that one minor negligent activity might point to other worse activities, and CPS should at least have this case on file. If this is the only thing they've done, then they merely get a stern warning about being careful. After all, at the very least a cynical person can point out that kidnapped or otherwise missing children cost the state a lot of money to track down, so at the very least the government can criticize people for wasting public money. The same parents who talk about a child's freedom of space, after losing a child, will be kicking down the doors of the police station demanding that the government do everything necessary to bring their kid back.
True--and on top of that, definitions for words that are already broadly familiar as nature words are not particularly helpful when located in a dictionary. When I look up blackberry in Oxford's comprehensive online dictionary, I get:
1a. The edible berry-like fruit of the bramble, Rubus fruticosus, and its cultivated varieties (see sense 1b), which is an aggregate fruit consisting of a cluster of soft, sweet, purple-black drupelets. Later also: the similar berries of any of various other species of Rubus.
Now how does that help a kid at all unless he's doing a science project? And even then, a smarter kid will at least get a botanical encyclopedia. In effect, all that he needs to know when reading a book is already said in the word: berries. Something like minnow is not so obvious, but all he needs to know is: a kind of fish.
I remember as a kid when reading literature that rattled on different nature words I could hardly keep the names of different trees, flowers, and land formations straight, because without having experienced these individual things as different from other individual things, they had no real meaning for me, no matter what the dictionary said. In other words, unless I have eaten a minnow and compared it to a trout in an explicit way, then all that happens when I see the word "minnow" is that my mind functionally swaps it out with the word "fish." Perhaps a more useful dictionary for kids to read literature would actually describe something of the cultural significance of words... e.g. it would describe a salmon as a fish that people enjoy eating, and for some reason enjoy it more than mere canned tuna.
My guess is that the only reason people are complaining about this dictionary anyway is for political-ideological reasons. I'm sure many non-nature words were taken out, but because they fear the technologization of nature they are looking for something to attack (and certain feminists would share this fear as a kind of masculinization of language against a supposedly feminine pristine nature).
The danger, of course, is that we so quickly jump to giving ourselves a pat on the back, and we stop ourselves from seeing the evils and suffering that are out there. Or, we find ways to explain them away in order to exonerate ourselves for our inaction. One might have trouble swallowing the claim that the world is categorically a better place if one is on the front lines in Ukraine, or if one had a brother murdered by the police in Mexico, but we who are safe and comfortable can always pretend that it's those people's fault and theirs alone for not making their country as wonderful as ours. We refuse to see that the prosperity of the proud is intricately linked with the suffering of the downtrodden.
Back to the situation at hand, companies that sell skincare products do have a vested interest in bad skin, but only to the extent to which it enhances the marketability of their products. They might be able to form a conspiracy network and hide such a miracle product only if human nature were not what it is, and economics were not driven by competition. One company still has to compete with another, and so one company will likely invest in high-tech means of skin care in order to dwarf another. Thus there will be no conspiracy to bury this new technology. Rather, one company will promote the technology enough to gain an upper hand in a high-end market (e.g. not cheap Suave products like I buy), but cost and convenience will prevent this technology from eliminating the skin care industry altogether.
Human genetic engineering could change the situation, but that will involve complex issues (patented genes?) and other economic and political factors that will be external to the skin care industry in itself. Like all other technologies, human genetic engineering will be driven by the economy, no matter how much transhumanist idealism pushes for it as the supposed next step in human evolution. In the meantime, this particular discovery will more likely lead to lesser technologies that purport to target Granzyme B without eliminating it genetically.
The trick with dealing with Comcast, in my experience, is that you should always follow the prompts for cancelling your service. The only people who can actually help you or give you discounts or anything are the guys who have to talk you out of ditching Comcast. When my contract runs out and they start to bill me more, I usually just have to threaten to switch to AT&T, and they will offer me some kind of deal.
Ironically, the reason I use Comcast is because there's no options here other than Comcast and AT&T, and despite their repeated attempts to lay claim to my modem and their general sleaziness, Comcast seems to be the *less evil* option for me. AT&T had me on a bimonthly schedule of adding false charges to my bill, and a daily schedule of outages and crappy service. It's sad when one of the most evil companies in America seems to be the lesser of two evils.
For example, I used to annoy my wife my predicting the ending to NCIS episodes long in advance. The killer would almost always be (1) the person you least suspect, because the character has no real rational justification for the crime in the early episode and (2) the one superfluous character introduced in the episode, since they didn't want to pay much and dedicate screen time to characters who did not push the plot forward. In short, because the writers of the show were trying so hard to be surprising, they would cook up contrived motives that could be presented in the last five minutes of the episode, and then make the one person who seemed most innocent actually turn out to be guilty. But then, this is predictable. It's just like how if you've watched enough episodes of House, M.D., you can easily guess that the person who first gets sick during the prologue is not the actual person who's going to pass out and end up in Dr. House's care.
In short, it is somewhat silly to analyze literature in terms of a kind of Asimovian statistical "psychohistory," when the real principles that structure the literature are so evident. For example, whether or not a particular character appears in future books is not determined relative to characters' appearances in prior books, but according to the MO of the author, which is not something that remains static over the years but which develops and fluctuates according to his historically-conditioned priorities. Vale is honest about the limitations of the statistical approach, but what I think is necessary is to recognize how that which derives from human freedom but ultimately manifests in statistical ways is always also at the same time codetermined by implicit principles and formulae (e.g. the economic viability of such and such kind of writing), especially economic ones.