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Comment: Re:Unpopular opinion: we need less undergraduates (Score 1) 310

by benjfowler (#49380423) Attached to: Why America's Obsession With STEM Education Is Dangerous

... and I'll wager that the loans get structured into collateralized debt obligations, and then tranches sold to gullible (sorry, "unsophisticated") German pension funds. The problem then becomes finding enough shitty loans to repackage.

It'll be like subprime all over again.

Comment: Re:Unpopular opinion: we need less undergraduates (Score 1) 310

by benjfowler (#49380029) Attached to: Why America's Obsession With STEM Education Is Dangerous

"All must have prizes"

Our worthless idiot leaders thought it would be a good idea to send 50% of the population to college, despite higher-education being a complete and utter waste for many people, and many jobs.

It is a colossal waste of resources, enabled by parents' insecurities, and the overpaid fat cats who run the "education-industrial complex" who fatten themselves on misplaced aspiration.

Comment: One-sided education (Score 1, Interesting) 310

by benjfowler (#49380021) Attached to: Why America's Obsession With STEM Education Is Dangerous

A dark side of overly technical education, is how many violent Muslim extremists and Christian young-Earth creationists come from engineering, applied maths and medical backgrounds. If we instill in an entire generation, an aspie world-view where everything is reduced to clean-cut formalisms and educate-out the ability to handle nuance and uncertainty, then we may be locking in a nasty future for ourselves.

Comment: Putinbots (Score 1) 152

by benjfowler (#49367311) Attached to: Russia Wants To Work With NASA On a New Space Station

This thread was all right until it got invaded by Putinbots.

I imagine their bizarro reality to be a bit like the raving Republican Right right before the Iraq War. A crazy, demented, sad place, full of crazy demented, sad people.

Sputnik News/RT is Russia's answer to Fox News.

And Putin and his entourage are basically the Slavic equivalents of US Republicunts, but with a bit more intelligence and rat-cunning.

Comment: Re:Why do thei retire the ISS? (Score 1) 152

by benjfowler (#49367267) Attached to: Russia Wants To Work With NASA On a New Space Station

The space environment puts incredible wear on hardware. Remember that in LEO, it gets extremely hot, then extremely cold every 90 minutes (orbital period), and this puts a lot of fatigue on the hardware. It's unlikely that they'll keep the hardware around after the ISS hits end-of-life.

OTOH, it'll be exciting to see what the US can do, with the availability of a 100 ton-class super heavy lift rocket. Maybe something with huge, pre-fitted Skylab-like modules? I'm sure they'll be looking for something with 1) may more capability, 2) way cheaper to build and launch and 3) way cheaper to maintain, as the current station requires huge amounts of work to keep running.

Comment: Re:Ancient Chinese wisdom (Score 2) 114

I think we all have a lot to learn from each other. Elements of Confucianism have a lot going for them, e.g. filial piety and respect for elders.

But like all cultures, there will be assclowns who will selectively appropriate ideas for their own ends, e.g. the CCP notion of 'state as family', which inevitably leads to 'father knows best, you'll do what you're told' -- and naturally, conveniently ignore the fact filial piety also involves a duty to tell it like it is when your "betters" are screwing up.

One element of Western culture I do think the world can learn from, is the deep understanding that power can be, and usually gets abused -- learnt from centuries of war, conflict and change in the West. Democracy doesn't so much come from the notion that "letting the people decide" (which, if you understand just how fucking stupid and easily influenced the average person actually is, is a REALLY bad idea), but rather, "if there are going to be revolutions, make them smooth and orderly". Thus, we have the Western model of representative democracy, which at its essence, is about smoothly getting rid of bad leaders. This is a piece of "ancient Western wisdom" that the Chinese will eventually learn the hard way.

Comment: Ancient Chinese wisdom (Score 5, Insightful) 114

For the purported great and ancient wisdom of 5000-year-old Chinese civilization, they have pretty lousy leaders.

The West has leaders with minds like children too, but at least we can laugh at them, and eventually get rid of them. Must suck to be Chinese with these idiots in charge...

Comment: Re:See it on CNN (Score 1, Troll) 261

by benjfowler (#49354619) Attached to: How Professional Russian Trolls Operate

Easy to spot too. You can see the talking points showing up in each post.

Like Victoria Nuland. Most westerners are like "who the fuck is Victoria Nuland?" She gets mentioned CONSTANTLY in Putinbot forum spam. As it turns out, the Putinistas are really gunning for Nuland and various other State Department employees... I think they hate Victoria Nuland as much as they hate Bill Browder.

... though his invention worked superbly -- his theory was a crock of sewage from beginning to end. -- Vernor Vinge, "The Peace War"

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