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Comment: Re:Statistical Practitioners need to Modernize (Score 1) 115

by fropenn (#47765609) Attached to: Statistics Losing Ground To CS, Losing Image Among Students
I would add that many disciplines are recognizing the importance of statistics and are therefore introducing applied statistics courses for [discipline X]. This causes a drop in enrollment in the pure statistics courses, thus decreasing the number of pure statistics instructors, thus decreasing the demand for individuals trained in pure statistics. In this way statistics is losing itself as a discipline and is quickly becoming specialized into various disciplines (e.g., the application of statistics for medical research).

Comment: Re:Time to Legislate Data Mining (Score 2) 162

by fropenn (#47324133) Attached to: Hospitals Begin Data-Mining Patients
There are plenty of benefits that can be found from data mining. Lots of research, for example, uses data mining to identify trends, patterns, relationships, etc. that are then used to develop and test hypotheses.

So it's not data mining that's the problem, rather, it's the way some corporations and institutions use data mining for their best interest and not in the best interest of those whose data they have.

Comment: Re: while we're bitching about cable companies.. (Score 1) 170

by fropenn (#47221477) Attached to: Cable Companies Duped Community Groups Into Fighting Net Neutrality
Tossing the niche channels would, presumably, increase viewership on the non-niche channels, thereby making them more profitable. Seems like there could be substantial savings for the consumer. I know I'm not supposed to respond to AC, but, again, the logic makes no sense.

Comment: Re:while we're bitching about cable companies.. (Score 1) 170

by fropenn (#47221461) Attached to: Cable Companies Duped Community Groups Into Fighting Net Neutrality
This reasoning makes no sense. If it's a niche market, then there are other ways of reaching that market than making the masses pay for it. (Have they, perhaps, heard of the internet?) Further, I am guessing that most niche channels make their profit off advertising, not subscriber fees. So they would have a very low (or even negative) monthly cost to subscribers. These niche channels could even be "sweeteners" that the cable companies offer as a competitive advantage over each other.

Comment: Re:won't matter for 90% (Score 3, Insightful) 192

by fropenn (#46903501) Attached to: How 'Fast Lanes' Will Change the Internet
If I wanted the same thing that cable TV provides, I'd buy cable TV. But this isn't about Netflix - they are just the first since they use so much bandwidth. Rather, it's about who gets to decide what is delivered to your computer at what speed. Today the argument is over Netflix. But tomorrow it could be CNN. Or Slashdot. Or YouTube. Or Facebook. It's bad for consumers because it will cost you more for the services you like and use and it discourages competition (just wait and see what "doesn't work" when Comcast decides they want to start a streaming video service).

Comment: Re:Punch actual numbers into this calculator (Score 1) 482

by fropenn (#46893495) Attached to: Really, Why Are Smartphones Still Tied To Contracts?
A good lease is better than buying a bad used car. Buying a good used car is better than a bad lease. Buying a new car is better than buying a bad used car. Walking, biking, or taking the bus is even better if you want to save money.

In general, buying anything on time is a bad deal - especially if can't afford it!

Comment: Re:Bill Gates reads Reddit? (Score 2) 118

by fropenn (#45742993) Attached to: Bill Gates Plays Secret Santa To Reddit User
If he does, I have two Christmas wishes of my own:
the first would be for all the children of the world to join hands and sing in the spirit of harmony and peace...
...and the second would be for $30 million a month to be given to me, tax-free, in a Swiss bank account.

(Thanks, Steve Martin!)

Comment: Re:Mostly... (Score 1) 343

by fropenn (#45478691) Attached to: Elon Musk Talks About the Importance of Physics, Criticizes the MBA
There's a tremendous amount of research that has been done on this very question. I refer you to Pascarella and Terinzini's 2005 book: How College Affects Students. At 848 pages, it comprehensively covers studies on every imaginable aspect of the college experience, summarizing how it affects students (it's not just a catchy title).

The short summary? College matters. And not just STEM degrees, either.

Here's a link to more information about the book. You can find it in your local library, too.

Comment: Re:Don't test kids. (Score 2) 198

by fropenn (#45164923) Attached to: Give Your Child the Gift of an Alzheimer's Diagnosis
I think you misunderstand the accuracy of modern genetic testing. In most cases "markers" are identified that are associated with an increased risk of a condition or disorder. Increased risk != a guarantee that the person will develop the disorder or condition. Further, many (myself included) would consider screening for disorders or conditions (like alzheimer's) for which there is no cure and no benefit to early intervention in children unethical. (Once you become an adult, you are free to make your own choices.) Who is to say that living a life with an increased risk of _____ (alzheimer's, breast cancer, skin cancer, etc.) is not a life worth living?

Comment: Re:D.A.R.E has no benefit (Score 2) 440

by fropenn (#44748697) Attached to: What Works In Education: Scientific Evidence Gets Ignored
Have you compared the rent in DC to the rent anywhere in Kentucky? The cost of living in DC is much, much higher and as a result you would expect them to spend more on facilities and personnel. By analyzing only "average" spending, you miss the true tragedy of U.S. public education - we have some of the best public schools in the world and some of the worst. The best schools tend to be attended by the children of the wealthy (if they attend public schools), and the worst are much more likely to be attended by the poor. And while money by itself doesn't "solve" anything, money provides the opportunity to implement reforms and changes that can make a big difference in quality. Improvement without spending more money seems quite unlikely.

"Once they go up, who cares where they come down? That's not my department." -- Werner von Braun