Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
Slashdot Deals: Deal of the Day - Pay What You Want for the Learn to Code Bundle, includes AngularJS, Python, HTML5, Ruby, and more. ×

Comment Re:Disorders of social behavior (Score 1) 132

I don't disagree that ADHD is often misdiagnosed in children, especially boys. And treatment far too often is to go straight for the meds. And if they don't work, try a higher dose! It really is a sad state of affairs.

However, as someone who actually suffers from ADHD, I felt the need to comment on your post, because there is also a certain element of our society who thinks it is a completely made up disorder, and your post might be construed to convey that notion. I don't know if that was your intention or not, but I just want to point out that there are in fact children out there who do need medication to function at school and at life in general. The working theory is that there are measurable, structural differences in the ADHD brain, which studies have born out. I hate the misconception that you "grow out" of ADHD. You don't. If your kid grew out of it, your child was probably just a normal child who then grew up to develop the ability to focus at will. In cases like mine, I still require medication to do a lot of normal activities. Sure, I can get by without it, and I even do that intentionally from time to time (I hate taking amphetamines daily). But I am... off. I leave sinks running for hours after washing my hands (three times this month). I leave laundry in the washer soaking wet until the next day. I sometimes have trouble holding conversations with people because my head drowns out their speech with its own incessant noise. And my job performance (computational physics, requires detailed focus) suffers. It's not a lack of willpower. And it's not just sometimes (everyone can get distracted from time to time), it is a daily struggle to stay on task. It's a constant stream of noise in my head that doesn't allow me to focus on much of anything without great effort.

The problem with children is that the symptoms present as a hatred of homework and school, which is a common and not unreasonable reaction that boys have to school. And it's really hard to know what a child means when they say "I can't focus on my homework" because to children that probably means the same thing as "I don't want to focus on my homework" A mature adult can more straightforwardly tell you, "I want/need to do task A, but I can't seem to focus on it or finish it and it drives me crazy." Better diagnostics are absolutely necessary, especially when we are talking about giving amphetamines to developing young brains. I won't do it to my children unless I am absolutely 100% sure of what it is. When the problem is bad, real, and affecting their grades and social development, and all other counselling approaches have failed. A few dirty pictures and a 'forgotten' homework assignment or two are not enough. Not even close.

Comment Re:hit zero (Score 1) 479

I sent in an email once. I got an autoresponse that emails were lower priority than phone calls and that I would get a response within 7 business days. So... I call BS.

Also, the chat service doesn't work if your internet/phone is out. That is usually why I call, it's not like I just want to say hi or something.

Comment Re:Just take it in (Score 1) 479

What if it is a problem with the line itself? Or if you don't use their crappy modem/router, but instead have your own professional gear that they won't look at?

I had a problem with my connection after the recent rains here. My landline was occasionally noisy with static, and my internet would drop out around the same time, no explanation. It had never done anything like that before. I called tech support and told them I had water on the line and needed someone to come out. They told me it was just my cordless telephone, maybe the filter was broken or something, and that I should leave it unplugged for 24 hours and check my internet connection. I couldn't absolutely rule out their explanation, even though it seemed unlikely, given all the rain and the fact that I know what water on the line sounds like. So I followed their advice, and the next day my router logs unsurprisingly showed that it had cut out several times.

I call them back again, happy to let them know that it wasn't my phone, and expecting that they would send someone out. This time they told me it must be my modem, and that I should unplug my modem and let them know if my phone was still full of static. I told them that made no sense, and that furthermore, I wasn't going to sit on the phone for 2 hours listening for an intermittent static sound that happens for 5 minutes every two hours. I demanded that they send someone out to fix my line. They tried then to convince me that it was the wiring in my house, and they would fix it for me for a fee. I told them that there was no house wiring. The only wiring was a two foot long phone wire drilled directly through the wall and into the phone box outside. No other wiring. I got hung up repeatedly, and was more than once told that if it was so intermittent, it shouldn't be an issue. Nevermind that I often am working on servers from my home in many different parts of the world, and transferring data files that sometimes take a few hours to complete. THey actually tried to pass it off as acceptable. They also told me to move my phone outside and try to use it directly from the box and see if there was static. Again, I had to patiently explain that it was something that only happens every two hours or so and that I'm not going to sit out there to diagnose their problem for them. Nevermind that I already told them there was only two feet of wire from the box to the jack inside, and it was very unlikely the problem was there.

Long story short: After five days of repeatedly calling them, they finally acquiesced and sent out a guy to look at the line. It had a ground on it due to water in the line. I honestly don't know what I could have done to get them out sooner and fix it. They wanted me to buy a new modem at my expense to rule out modem issues before they would send someone out. I escalated almost every call, and got hung up on several times.

Comment Re:Social mobility was killed, but not this way (Score 1) 1032

I agree that after taking out the loans, he should have done everything he could to get rid of them. He didn't. He was "above" taking a job, even for just a few years, to help him get rid of the loans. He also attended a private school, which was a bad decision if he couldn't afford it, both then and now. (Note: Some high-dollar private schools, like Harvard and Vanderbilt, will not allow you to take on debt. If you can't pay the tuition, they call it even as long as you keep your grades up and work in the cafeteria or something). He also doesn't say when he defaulted, which is really important since you can't get rid of student debt through bankruptcy anymore. Advising millenials to default is sentencing them to an entire lifetime of bad credit, not just 7 years of rebuilding. So yeah, I think he's an idiot, and he's doing more harm than good.

But he does have one thing in common with a lot of people getting themselves into trouble today: He was 17 when he first took out the money, and he was doing something that likely every adult had told him for his whole life: Go to college! Go to college! It's a good investment!

Flashforward to today, and kids still hear that. Is going to a $50k/year private school to study latin a good investment in your future? No, probably not. But the counterargument I hold is true: That it is a good investment for the public to enable that student to study Latin by creating a public university that is affordable. But nowadays, public universities are getting so expensive that even that is not a very good investment outside of STEM degrees because you will need to immediately start making payments of $1500/month.

I still find it hard to blame the students when they make decisions at 17 or 18 based on what the adults around them are telling them (go to college! Get any degree!). And judging by this thread, a lot of people are clueless as to the true costs of modern college. My financial advisor told me that at current rate of tuition inflation, I will need to have 150k saved to pay for for my child to go to college. At a public, in-state university. I have started saving early, and I can probably afford it, but most can't. And I find that reprehensible, considering it is supposed to be a public university.

Comment Re:Social mobility was killed, but not this way (Score 1) 1032

Ad hominem. I have zero debt and do quite well for myself. I could survive for a long time without changing a thing if I suddenly lost my job. I tend to think I'm fairly decent at it. I have been very poor in the past, though, and I have a semblance of empathy for people that are struggling. It is not nearly as easy as everyone makes it sound to pull yourself up.

Even removing these "luxuries", you still have to pay for room and board. That is not a luxury and costs more than the school itself. BOoks and room and board alone brings the four year cost to around $65k. That's if you live like a monk in your dorm room and eat exclusively cafeteria food. Realistically, we are talking $70-80k over 4 years.

Comment Re:Social mobility was killed, but not this way (Score 1) 1032

WHere I live, in-state tuition is officially $6,664 for a resident. But then on the university's page, it also adds in 8700 for room/board, 1072 for books, and essentially 3800 for 'miscellaneous', because you might just occasionally want to go to a movie or drive a car. Granted, those are 'luxuries'. Still, the university recommends you have $20k/year. Which is $80k for a four year degree. Not $100k, but it is pushing towards it in a 'cheap' state. If you happen to have parents that will let you live at home and are nearby the school, you can do it for a lot cheaper. But not all people have that luxury.

So tuition is not the whole story. Show me a UC website that says you realistically need less than $50k to go to school there....

Comment Re:One word summary. (Score 1) 1032

Public universities can still easily cost over $100k after 4 years. I am saying that we do a very poor job of subsidizing undergraduate education costs. And although graduate school costs are also quite high, I am really only talking about undergraduate costs. It should be as low-cost as possible. University of California was, in fact, free for in-state students for a long time.

Even if free, you still won't have any of your own money to spend and start a life. I doubt many people would choose a lifestyle of collecting 10 different undergraduate degrees as a career. Even so, I'd be fine with reducing or eliminating subsidies to students who already had a degree, if that makes you feel better. My point is that a basic undergraduate education should be available, and you don't need ten undergraduate degrees before you can claim you are finally "educated".

Mommy, what happens to your files when you die?