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Comment: Re:That last sentence... (Score 1) 529

by jonnythan (#49708729) Attached to: Harvard Hit With Racial Bias Complaint

Admission to Harvard isn't a prize or reward for having good test scores and a high GPA.

There's inherent value - both to the institution itself and to the educational community - in an institution of higher education having a student body that is highly diverse in many dimensions. Those dimensions include things like ethnicity, economic background, activism, political beliefs, religion, etc. Harvard has so many incredibly well-qualified applicants that it can afford to curate its student body as it sees fit.

Medical schools are well-known for this. Underrepresented minorities tend to get accepted with significantly lower stats than whites or overrepresented minorities such as east Asians. There are good reasons for this. One, it's rather easy to do since only about 45% of people who apply to medical school get in. The schools are flooded with exceptionally well-qualified students who simply don't get in anywhere. Two, since the population of physicians is so tightly controlled, it takes this kind of coordinated, deliberate action to make sure the national pool of physicians is properly diverse (which it isn't).

Removing race and ethnicity indicators from the applications may help make admissions more race-blind, yes. My point is that isn't necessarily a good thing. Neither Harvard nor our nation are well-served by making the campus more homogeneous.

Comment: A large load of sheets from BB&B (Score 1) 149

by sphealey (#49707975) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Payloads For Asteroid Diverter/Killer Mission?

NASA's current plan it to cover a sufficient amount of the object with a different colored cloth (white or black as the case may be) and let the solar sail effect do the work. So a 30% off coupon to Bed Bath & Beyond would do the trick; even with the discount the manager and staff should get a nice bonus for selling 250,000 white sheets in one day.


Comment: Re:Great news! (Score 1) 125

See, the introduction of the GST was to coincide with the bundling of a bunch of other taxes into one. For some goods, most notably electronics and "luxury items", they actually got cheaper. This was because it's truly a stealth tax on the poor, by taxing commodities like bread and orange juice (which previously would have been taxed at lower rates or even subsidized),

Bread and orange juice are not subject to GST.

Comment: Re: Australian here with wishful thinking (Score 1) 125

Well, businesses don't pay GST, they are just the mechanism for collecting it. Putting GST on Google Adwords won't really raise any additional revenue as the only entities buying Adwords (to a significant degree) are businesses who just claim the GST back.

Comment: Re:Very unlikely to be triggered in the field (Score 1) 250

by sphealey (#49600345) Attached to: Long Uptime Makes Boeing 787 Lose Electrical Power

The entire world isn't the US/Japan/EU. While most airlines outside that region who operate 787s run tight operations (Ethiopian for example is often mentioned as very well-run with a strong safety culture), there are a few who do not.

That said, in the few instances where less organized airlines have managed to acquired 787s they are probably being shut down 2-3 times/week much less every 9 months.


Comment: You say "idiot tax", I say "trap" (Score 1) 247

by marxmarv (#49566277) Attached to: The Engineer's Lament -- Prioritizing Car Safety Issues

Because the real idiot is the one who thinks that professional police exist to enforce the law fairly, whereas, in fact, they exist to reproduce a subordinate, beaten-down working class.

You know, the "idiots" that make your enchanted techno-life possible won't have to worry about you when you're riding a lamp post. You might want to think about that real hard before you open your arrogant fly-hole again, child. Americans have overstayed their welcome in the world and should all STFU.

What sin has not been committed in the name of efficiency?