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Comment: Re:Coding is not the solution ... (Score 1) 211

We already expose them to enough math to trigger those who have the aptitude. As for your other examples, by the Gods, those are absolute evils, especially the violin.

Joking aside, why not give them a similar level of exposure to the concepts of programming as we already to for math? It certainly beats some of the soft crap like "Life Skills" that gets pushed into the curricula.

Comment: Re:Coding is not the solution ... (Score 1) 211

All schools should be offering this as a mandatory program because of that tiny percentage with the real aptitude. If you don't expose the kids to the concepts and let the kids discover whether they do have the aptitude, you will only get a percentage of that tiny percentage self-adopting programming.

If only one out of ten schools offers the opportunity, and I'll hazard a guess that most of the nine that don't offer it service poorer areas, then you're definitely got kids who have the mental mindset, but do not have the exposure. It may sound cliche, but if you can double the tiny percentage...

Non-statistically valid statistic. If my school didn't have teachers interested in computer programming in the 80s and 90s, I would not have discovered my vocation in time to do anything about it.

Comment: Re:10 myths about fossil fuel divestment (Score 1) 190

by bruce_the_loon (#49265877) Attached to: UN Backs Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign

Oil use for paint, plastics, fertilizers, asphalt are all okay as far as atmospheric CO2 is concerned. The carbon is still bound up in non-CO2 form and is unlikely to be released as such.

It's only the burning of oil in engines that contributes to the CO2 buildup and we should be aiming at controlling that, not shutting oil down completely.

Comment: Re:It's a tabu issue right? (Score 1) 221

by bruce_the_loon (#49256321) Attached to: World's 1st Penis Transplant Done In South Africa

It's a tribal prove-you-are-a-man thing in South Africa. A lot has been done to make sure the process is clean and safe, but some of the witch doctors refuse to accept the oversight and do the circumcision with a rusty razor blade in non-sterile conditions.

It's stupid and dangerous, and although the offending witch doctors are getting jail time, not enough is being done to regulate the process to the point that the need for these transplants is eliminated at source.

Comment: Re:Oh God No... (Score 1) 222

by bruce_the_loon (#49149117) Attached to: Harrison Ford To Return In Blade Runner Sequel

No weaker than Alien 3 and certainly miles ahead of Resurrection.

The scientists in Resurrection take the prize for absolute idiots, unlike the prospectors in Prometheus, they had no excuse for their poor scientific techniques. They knew what the aliens were like and they still failed to take proper precautions for containment and disposal.

Comment: Re:Just y'know... reconnect them spinal nerves (Score 1) 210

by bruce_the_loon (#49146183) Attached to: Surgeon: First Human Head Transplant May Be Just Two Years Away

We are able to at least partially repair severed spinal cords now. That's a lot further along than a couple of years ago.

It may not be perfection, and connecting one spinal cord to another might not even match up the nerves, but there is progress being made. And we might get a complete repair treatment out of this.

Comment: Mandatory Pratchett quote. (Score 3, Funny) 60

by bruce_the_loon (#49004159) Attached to: How a Hardware Designer Was Saved By His Own Creation

Suppose this article inverts the story, but still...

It's a pervasive and beguiling myth that the people who design instruments of death end up being killed by them. There is almost no foundation in fact. Colonel Shrapnel wasn't blown up, M. Guillotin died with his head on, Colonel Gatling wasn't shot. If it hadn't been for the murder of cosh and blackjack maker Sir William Blunt-Instrument in an alleyway, the rumour would never have got started.

Comment: Re:better than rushing steaming piles of shit. (Score 1) 180

Pratchett's are too short for this argument.

To really drive the point, use Steven Erickson's Malazan Book of the Fallen instead. 10 books, one at 700 pages, 4 at 1000 pages and 5 at 1300 pages from 1999 to 2011. Love it or hate it, he kept the plot lines neat, didn't forget major characters and actually came got it to an end.

Comment: Re:Colour me apprehensive. (Score 5, Insightful) 94

A lot of the Prometheus complaints seem to originate from the concept that the crew should have been a 100% perfectly professional team that knew exactly what to do in all situations. Given what Weyland was trying to accomplish, it's not surprising that some of the crew weren't up to the job.

Vickers' team was intended to die to hide what Weyland was up to, so the "exploration" specialists that weren't critical to the process were chosen to be expendable and characterized as such. They were stupid idiots because they weren't professional explorers, but lured there by money to fill an gap in the roster. If they had pulled in a completely professional team, Weyland and David wouldn't have been able to get the situation to the state they needed it.

I'm constantly amused by the number of people who get so upset when a movie portrays characters this way. It isn't a failure of the writers, it's a success in portraying an imperfect, greed-motivated person who thinks they are in the position they are in because they are the best, but actually aren't. Maybe that hits a little close to home for some.

A committee is a group that keeps the minutes and loses hours. -- Milton Berle