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Comment: Re:Buyer's remorse (Score 1) 321

by bluefoxlucid (#49496077) Attached to: LA Schools Seeking Refund Over Botched iPad Plan

Affects child development. The pattern looks like autism, but nobody's drawn that conclusion; what they have concluded is that electronic devices are more interesting to children than the real world, and cause them to develop emotionally stunted, withdrawn, and more interested in things than people. It's notable you can identify an autistic infant by watching if it's interested in human faces or in objects.

So, yeah. Interactive electronic devices, TVs with robust entertainment content, and so forth draw the attention of children and disrupt their social development. It's believed a similar, but weaker, effect occurs on adults. This is generally framed as "electronic screens are bad", and I don't feel like typing out term papers about what's actually being said because I like to take science for what it is: a pile of important data that must be analyzed for subtle patterns to derive better conclusions on one side, and a simple and complete conclusion useful to engineers but useless to scientists on the other.

You can debate the science if you want, but it's out there, and people have used it to engineer systems of education and general guidelines for the upbringing of children. Such engineered guidelines haven't been scrutinized as scientific principles, but neither has a Boeng 747.

Comment: Re:Buyer's remorse (Score 1) 321

by bluefoxlucid (#49495481) Attached to: LA Schools Seeking Refund Over Botched iPad Plan

Yeah, the hypothesis phase is the start of the scientific method, and it involves intuition and making shit up.

It's more like having the scientific understanding of how lithium ion polymers behave with regard to electron potential creation, and how electrolytic solutions work, and then selecting an electrolytic solution and a lithium ion polymer and putting them together to build a battery. At the end of the day, you've done some work, taken some measurements, made some tweaks, gotten consistent results, patented your Li-Polymer cell, and started manufacturing and selling it in products; it works; but you haven't gotten any science down saying it works the way you believe it works. All you can do is spout about the science that you had for precursor, the things you slapped together, and the results you got.

This might surprise you, but a lot of things are held on the thin branch of slapping a bunch of well-understood science together. Many drug treatments, for example, are held together by science that says certain biochemical effects are useful in a certain way, and science that shows the drug has those effects; we often come back with the conclusion that an entire class of drugs with a long history and variants both ancient and modern are actually totally ineffective because of this.

To put this into context: we have hard science showing that exposing kids to electronic screens is bad. Science backs up that exposing children to electronic screens is bad. We don't have science examining, say, Waldorf Education, which avoids exposing children to electronic screens until they're like 7-8 years old, against new-fangled high-tech Apple Elementary School with iPads all over the place. We've looked at scientific evidence showing that exposure to electronic screens is harmful to child development and determined that a school of education should avoid doing exactly that, in the same way that we've looked at science suggesting antimony should not be in a child's diet in significant quantities and concluded that diets without antimony are better for kids than diets with antimony.

Comment: Re:Buyer's remorse (Score 1) 321

by bluefoxlucid (#49493377) Attached to: LA Schools Seeking Refund Over Botched iPad Plan

Yeah and no one uses encryption anymore....

Well my database is on an encrypted server disk in case hackers break in, so I don't need a firewall.

Is any of it based on science? Would you even know how to tell?

A lot of it is based in cobbled-together science: we know a bunch of things about human development, about psychology, and about impacts of exposure to certain stimuli; we use those to intuit new things. This is basically how new theories are formed, as scientific understanding of two things doesn't necessarily equate to scientific understanding of the effects of plugging those two things together; it does, however, give you a basis for doing so, and a reasonable assumption that outcomes following the predicted model are probably causal.

This is how science starts.

Comment: Buyer's remorse (Score 4, Insightful) 321

by bluefoxlucid (#49487377) Attached to: LA Schools Seeking Refund Over Botched iPad Plan

So wait, you fucked up, and now you want us to pay for it?

No, see, here's what happened: School decides they want product X which works with product Y. Product X sucks; product Y is not defective. School has legitimate claim about product X not delivering; product Y is your fault, and you don't go back to the supplier and make them eat the cost.

The school may have a claim against Pearson, since they delivered shoddy, half-ass work. The school has no claims against Apple, since Apple supplied a device not designed to do what the school wanted, and the school intended to extend it with Pearson's product.

There's a real lesson about bad project management and buyer's remorse here; and, looking back, they're ignoring old and proven lessons about not trying to fix education with unrelated technology. The only technology that belongs in education is education: education methods are a technology, and they are the technology for education.

Until you have an education methodology that shows good, scientific basis and utilizes your fancy toys, you're just throwing toys into education. For example: Japan uses a mathematics curriculum teaching students to use complementary number computation techniques, driven by the exemplary platform of a machine called a Soroban; a Soroban would be a ridiculous toy to bring into the classroom if you were not teaching using these computation techniques and trying to leverage the visual and mechanical aspect of learning by soroban (I've done some self-teaching without the soroban, and learned the same techniques; there are, however, scientific reasons to bring a soroban to the table). If they're just doing workbook activities BUT ON AN IPADZ!!!! and not doing anything known to improve education when an iPad is involved, the iPad is a fucking toy not appropriate in education.

It's worth noting there's a school of educational research suggesting that introducing young children to high technology is actively bad, and that high technology should be taught outright after age 10-12 rather than used as a platform to deliver old teaching methods. Small children need most to learn socialization; they need to interact with other children, and not isolate themselves to curriculum. I have my own educational theory which extends this: small children need most to learn techniques of utilizing the brain effectively, set in an environment of free socialization, so as to develop their social behaviors while also giving them tools to rapidly and effectively learn curriculum. In all of these advanced schools of thought, and in mine, you see that pattern: humans need to learn human behavior first, then learn high technology as a tool; wrapping books in fancy electronics won't suddenly make education better.

This is like the 90s when everyone's answer to everything related to computer security was "ENCRYPTION!" Now everyone's answer to every education problem is "COMPUTERS!"

Comment: Re:Good (Score 1) 166

by bluefoxlucid (#49487237) Attached to: 2K, Australia's Last AAA Studio, Closes Its Doors

Well then play Shovel Knight, Stick It To The Man, and Elliot Quest. (Elliot Quest is a pile of good ideas meshed in bad polish: the game is poorly designed, leaving the player lost and confused, giving inconsistent visual cues, and requiring the use of non-movement-altering to affect movement. For example: the wind ability doesn't affect your movement in horizontal wind; an hour after you get it and an unrelated set of WINGS, you're expected to intuit that the wind ability makes you fly in vertical wind.)

Comment: Re:In before JERB-KILLITAXES AND REGULATIONZ (Score 1) 166

by bluefoxlucid (#49487213) Attached to: 2K, Australia's Last AAA Studio, Closes Its Doors

US tax rate is 34% or 35%. It's a complex behemoth where the tax brackets are used to guarantee that businesses above $348,000 pay a flat 34% tax (i.e. they pay 34% of their total income, not X% of 1-348k and 34% of 348k+), and businesses above some short millions pay a flat 35% tax. It's ridiculous.

AU corporate tax rate is 30%.

You can imagine the rage when these companies use Ireland-based subsidiaries to collect the profits they make selling to EU states, instead of paying taxes on EU income to AU or US.

Comment: Re:Last Paragraph (Score 1) 342

by bluefoxlucid (#49471421) Attached to: Allegation: Lottery Official Hacked RNG To Score Winning Ticket

There are a lot of sticking points here. They say it's reasonable to assume he did it, that it's reasonable to assume he planted a trojan to generate a winning number, and that it's reasonable to assume he messed with the camera when nobody else did. That's an awful lot of narrative, and needs some evidence backing it up; not a lot, but enough to show the trails leading in and out.

I'm most interested in how he knew the numbers on the ticket. Did he specify what lotto numbers he wanted, or did he ask for a random ticket? If he asked for just a ticket, he'd need to hack the lotto computer after getting the ticket; the case rests on him hacking the machine at a specified time, before he bought a ticket, so they have to prove he self-selected the numbers at retail.

Comment: Re:Congressional oversight of FCC (Score 1) 440

by bluefoxlucid (#49469755) Attached to: Republicans Introduce a Bill To Overturn Net Neutrality
Well good. Net Neutrality needs to be overturned. What idiot thought it was a good idea to ban ISPs from selectively throttling traffic? They should be REQUIRED to throttle traffic; if they allow any child pornography to pass through their tubes, their senior executive staff should be arrested on distribution charges, filed on the sex offender registry, and imprisoned for 40 years. They can't do that if we don't let them throttle traffic!

"You must have an IQ of at least half a million." -- Popeye