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Comment: Re:I'm sure /. will ridicule it, but... (Score 1) 291

I just think kids are better off learning more general areas - math, physics, chemistry, writing/literature, social sciences, economics, and BASIC (pun intended) computer science/programming. Leave the specialization to a time where they know what that even means.

On the one hand, I want to agree with you. My personal feeling is that kids (especially nowadays) should learn to play first, and spend sufficient time outdoors. I think schooling (12 years in my locale, excluding prescool), is mostly a waste of productive (from a kid's perspective) time, designed to keep kids occupied while their parents earn enough to pay the taxes.

On the other hand, there actually were some influences during my primary school days (late 1970's) that may have helped a lot to steer my interests years and decades later: yes, general physics and chemistry as applicable to daily life, but also electricity. I built, or tried to build, various rudimentary switching circuits up to and including home-made electromagnets, home-made microphones, home made electric motors.... On overriding memory about my childhood were that there never was enough batteries, flashlight globes, wire, and other materials and tools (my parents were somewhat frugal, WWII babies as their were) - things had to be improvised and scrounged from garbage, and often my grand plans didn't work out, which left me with a sense of failure. Oh, I also remember a toy built from carton out of a children's magazine that purported to be some super computer (actually just a channel for a marble to roll along and 3 gates that would influence the destination the ball would land at). This was somewhat of a marvel to me at that age, but after I opened it to figure out it's working so as to be able to replicate it electrically with some globes, switches and a battery, I realized just how rudimentary it was.

Then along came secondary school, during which I taught myself to program a relative's ZX Spectrum, as well going to a school which at some point installed a computer lab, and being able to take a (extra) computer class. However, during those days the elder generation still were quite wary of this new-fangled thing and my computer time was minimal. Which might have been good, due to a wide range of other experiences gathered during those days. My eventual decision to go into computer science was only cemented during college.

Yes, I think I agree in general with you. Nowadays, IT is moving so rapidly that I don't think it will do much good to give very specialized instruction to kids, especially at primary school level. Won't help them much by the time they leave school. But exposing kids to as wide a range of interests as possible, and enabling them to explore their curiosity further when they seem interested by something, while also guarding against on-track-mindedness, seems to be the best formative education policy. Which doesn't always gel well with the modern production line school system.

Comment: Re:Computers Kill Trees (Score 1) 128

by codeButcher (#49789095) Attached to: Computer Chips Made of Wood Promise Greener Electronics

if you cut a 100years old tree, and replant it, the new trees is not gonna sink as much carbon as the previous tree.

I don't know much, but I would imagine that if that tree is turned into paper, furniture etc., (most of) the carbon stays "sunk" in that product - until it is burned, at only this point the carbon returns to the atmosphere as CO2. So, Regularly cutting trees and making something out of them (even compost), while replanting the area with new trees, might actually be better in terms of carbon sequestration, than just leaving the trees stand ad infinitum.

Comment: Re:Hobbit (Score 1) 276

by codeButcher (#49780661) Attached to: How To Die On Mars

I wonder if Mars has enough other minerals to make high-grade steel as easily as on Earth....

I suppose once enough people have died, as the summary alludes, there will be at least some carbon around. Not sure if the decay processes of Earth would work as well there, so might just as well put the raw materials to work. Seeing that they want to have a farm instead of a soylent factory. (Yes, I'm being facetious.)

Comment: Re:Is a reduction (Score 4, Funny) 89

by codeButcher (#49773685) Attached to: Bats' White-Nose Syndrome May Be Cured

Rodents are in the much smaller superorder Euarchontoglires, the only non-extinct members of which are: rodents, rabbits, hares, pikas, tree shrews, flying lemurs, and the various primates.

You forgot to specifically mention managers and politicians in that rodent group..... oh wait, my bad, there it is right at the end: primates.

Comment: no-mister-bond,-i-expect-you-to-frown-... dept. (Score 1) 408

Since the byline mentions mister Bond, presumably a derivation from the '64 007-flick Goldfinger ("No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!"), I need to point out that "fender" is a decidedly American English term, which one would call "mudguard" in proper English. Not that I care much one way or the other, but I have this vivid picture in my head of agent 007 feigning not understanding the reply.

Comment: Re:boat-loads of horse poop (Score 1) 142

by codeButcher (#49660145) Attached to: From Commune To Sharing Economy Startup

Thanks for the info. Unfortunately a lot of non-specific arguments along the lines of "because animals" have been floated above and elsewhere. This was refuted with a specific counter-instance that I feel I am sufficiently knowledgeable about. Sorry, no wolves in my back yard.

I think the take-away message is that one can not take a snapshot during certain circumstances, and only for certain species, and then take that as the be-all and end-all to model human politics on. How absurd. Then again, it seems to be a human tendency to squint "just right" at the data to prove whatever they want.

Comment: Re:confused (Score 1) 142

by codeButcher (#49652615) Attached to: From Commune To Sharing Economy Startup

It's a basic human desire/nature to want to control the things you have earned, if the hunter kills a deer he wants to make sure his family gets the best meat and gets fed first. He will share the leftovers with the tribe because he gains a promise of return via the safety of the group, respect, recognition, and a bonding within said group.

Capitalism, as an economic concept, appeals to human nature because the individual controls the "wealth" and distribution.

Communism means that the group decides what gets done with your deer, and your family may or may not get enough to eat. Therefore communism is an unnatural artifice the rubs human nature the wrong way, this is why communism always fails.

Problem is, one does not always bring home a deer.

When the prey brought home is an mammoth, there is more than what you and your family can eat before it perishes ==> Socialism is an obvious answer.

When the prey brought home is a hare (that had to be chased for half a day), there is hardly enough for you and your spouse ==> Capitalism is an obvious answer.

Comment: Re:boat-loads of horse poop (Score 2) 142

by codeButcher (#49652609) Attached to: From Commune To Sharing Economy Startup

Anecdote here. I keep 8 chickens as pets and for an egg supply. Each morning, I feed them a quantity of mixed-grains fowl feed. This is strewn on the ground, usually in a rough line or a few spots. They then proceed to peck up this feed. I started feeding them enough so that there is some left after they had finished. I then adjusted the quantity down so that there is no wastage - discouraging rodents and other birds from the area. (Chickens are left for the rest of the day to forage free range.)

In the beginning of a feeding session, while there is plentiful, "sharing" gets along nicely. Everyone pecks away in his/her own position. Smaller chicks will be called with a specific sound (mostly be the mother, but others may do it too), shown a piece of grain in the beak of the caller, which is then deposited near the chick for it to eat. The rooster will also use this sound to "call" the hens to come and eat. All nice and commie altruistic, one gets tears.

About halfway through the feeding session, when the food has been diminished by about half, things get interesting. Those higher up in the pecking order (natural fowl social hierarchy) chase away those lower down, to get to their food. No matter that the "higher-up" still had some left where she was pecking. No matter that there should be (just) enough for everyone. No matter that there is a whole day left to forage more. Looks to me quite like the nasty monopolizing side of capitalism from where I stand.

Please people, don't come preach about animal behavior and present that as the absolute and static alpha and omega. Circumstances change, even in a single feeding session.

"The Street finds its own uses for technology." -- William Gibson