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Comment: Re:Powerpoint, or slide shows? (Score 1) 322

by gtall (#49780919) Attached to: Why PowerPoint Should Be Banned

I agree with the sentiment, the problem is the slide show, not PP...although I much prefer Beamer to PP, much as a cat prefers tuna to the pissy dog next door.

One of the biggest problems, I think mentioned in the article, is that a slide shouldn't be some text cut and pasted from some document or paper. If you've gone to three levels of bullet points, you need to stop and reconsider what point it is you are trying to make. If the audience has to spend time reading your slide as opposed to grokking it quickly, then you have too much alleged information on your slide.

I look at slides as what the main people I'm talking to will be looking at after I've gone and they want to refresh their memories about what points I was attempting to make. If they are doing that, they want to grok the points quickly, not read a book about my points.

Another problem with presentations is that they need to be threaded properly. Just like you write a program with indentations and subroutines, a slide presentation is little different. You don't write a routine that has no relation to previous routines unless it is the main routine. So too new points are not introduced in new slides without some precursor further up the slide deck. Anyone reading your slides afterward should have no problem making out the structure of your argument and not have to thrash about wondering which direction the argument is taking.

Comment: Re: 23 down, 77 to go (Score 1) 866

by gtall (#49682103) Attached to: Religious Affiliation Shrinking In the US

Bullshit. WWI happened because of interlocking alliances and the fact that the Austro-Hungarian empire had existed long after its Use-Before-Date. Germany jumped into the war because the Kaiser felt he needed to support the Austro-Hungarians.

Hitler happened because the Germans still hadn't gotten war out of their system. He saw himself as restoring German honor. The Jewish pogram was used because it was popular to be against the Jews in Europe (still is). Hitler used the death camps to get rid of all his hobgoblins (Communists, gays, Roma, etc.)

Japan decided, after beating the Russian, early in the 20th century, they were entitled to rest of Asia, except the U.S. had it big fat ass in the way and didn't feel like moving it. Much like the Chinese today, the Japanese felt they were the Asian supermen and all should bow before them, especially their fellow Asians.

There were a few religious whackjobs in the Nazi hierarchy, but Hitler and the rest of Germany paid them no heed.

Comment: Re:Lieberman 2.0 (Score 1) 950

Like advertisements, right? Those one or two ads you see don't make you buy the gizmo because you are a sophisticated consumer who doesn't pay attention to ads.

And yet, there are entire marketing departments who can show you precisely what their ad dollars bring in. Why should you assume VGs have no effect until they reach some unspecified saturation level far above any ads you'll be subjected to in the course of a day?

Comment: Re:A conspiracy of academics? (Score 1) 525

Nope. Most scientists want to do pure science, that's why they got into it. Very few scientists working in industry are doing pure science. Even now, financial concerns are pushing academic scientists into the more applied realm so that unis can suck their research for royalties.

Embracing capitalism means you'll be out of job after 40 or 50 unless you have achieved that pinnacle of moral impropriety, management. Many "research" departments have been abandoned on the altar of capitalism. IBM is whacking theirs, HP has already given up the ghost. Strangely, the chemical industry has done better, but they too are getting invaded by pencil necked MBAs intending to further their early MBA retirement. Private industry is precisely where you do not go if you are interested in science, but not for political concerns. Scientists aren't that stupid.

Comment: Re:A conspiracy of academics? (Score 1) 525

" they do agree on what the next "hot topic" is: curing cancer, social media, whatever"

Nope, academics of maybe 500 years ago would straddle enough areas to have valued opinions on what the next big thing is. These days, to get a PhD in, say, Physics, means you pretty much stay to Physics and your particular area of Physics.

And agreeing with common thinking won't get you funding. If your grant proposal reads like litany of what's already believed, you'll get no funding because you aren't doing anything new. That does not include attempting to field a theory proposing that gravity is all wrong and doesn't exist.

Admittedly, there is a balance between proposing something entirely new as opposed to something which is merely adding epicycles to an existing theory. Most research is of the latter types these days because most of the low hanging fruit is already picked. There is also a balance between "I'm going to prove gravity incorrect" and "I'm going to investigate how well gravity correlates to known star motion." The first gets labeled "crackpot", the second gets labeled, "might be interesting".

Comment: Re:Deniers (Score 1) 525

Well, as the climate change policies have only been proposed, it seems a bit ludicrous to ask for scientific evidence they won't achieve their goals. Hint, they've never been tried before, probably because no one realized climate was such a problem.

However, science is here to deliver you from ignorance. You do not have to *believe* in man induced climate change in order to figure out dumping a lot of extra CO2 into the atmosphere is a bad move. The oceans are acidifying because of the CO2. You recall the ocean from grade school, yes? Base of the food chain? Ring a bell? Just a hunch, screwing up the base of the food chain probably won't end well...maybe you require scientific evidence for this as well.

Comment: Re:Bureaucrats (Score -1, Troll) 312

by gtall (#49641995) Attached to: Defense Distributed Sues State Department Over 3-D Gun Censorship

Nice straw men. Try comparing murder rates between Europe where guns are hard to get and the U.S. where guns are easy to get. Comparing U.S. cities is just silly.

We let well-trained (in most cases) police and body guards carry weapons, unless you live in Texas where just about any yokel can arm up. Now that should make you feel real safe, eh? Now, let's make sure only the non-crazy people get those permits to carry a gun. How do you tell which are the crazy ones? You just have to ask them.

Comment: Re:no brainer for HR (Score 1) 429

by gtall (#49639765) Attached to: Why Companies Should Hire Older Developers

It isn't just HR, it is the entire rest of the company. The problem with is that they have no understanding of what a well-fit team can accomplish or how different individuals can contribute. You wouldn't want an organization where everyone had the same skills....hmmm...yet that's what Agile Nonsense aims at. One wonders if it isn't just a management tool in the naughty sense of tool.

Comment: Re:Capitalism (Score 5, Insightful) 429

by gtall (#49639621) Attached to: Why Companies Should Hire Older Developers

And if capitalism decrees that workers older than 40 should not be allowed to work any longer, we should salute capitalism because it has achieved optimum performance? Capitalism does a lot of things well, but it does a lot of things poorly as well. It underlies uninsurance companies cherry picking only healthy people, leaving government to pick up the tab on the uninsured and sick leftovers. Them includes many of those over 40 which no longer have jobs.

Capitalism doesn't do well with pollution, it rewards passing that pollution onto someone else to clean up, probably government. It doesn't do well with global warming where it cannot point the finger quickly enough at those causing the problem since it may not be a problem until 40-50 year after the pollution that causes it, leaving government to figure out what to do.

Capitalism doesn't do well in funding poor people to go uni so they'll get better jobs since they have precious little capital to secure the loans necessary to go, leaving government to provide those loans in its stead. Capitalism gives us payday loan sharks so the gullible get gulled more often, many of these tend to hold low paying jobs with little education leaving government to pick up the tab.

See a trend here?

Comment: Re:Scientifically driven politics (Score 1) 347

You must mean something like scientifically driven baseball which relies heavily on statistics. Just about all the major teams use it now.

However, it's already been done in a perverse form, Clinton used polls to see what he believed that week, Hillary is no better. The Republicans were so horrified that they've decided to become ideologues incapable of changing any belief contradicted by facts or science.

At its base, politicians don't have it in them to understand science or how it works. Science doesn't provide directions, it provides limits, something anathema to politicians. Providing a direction requires a sixth sense, not ideological fervor or its close cousin, ideological fever.

Ideology also provides limits, but they are brittle limits and temporally centered, the might work for a time (as in zeitgeist) but then the turn rancid and rot creating a stench around those holding on to them for too long. Scientific limits have a much longer shelf life and will get jettisoned if found faulty. Ideology admits no self-correcting mechanisms. This makes them tailor made for politicians because to change one's beliefs required hard intellectual thought. If they were capable of that, they'd have become scientists.

Comment: Re:Degree in Medieval History and Philosophy? (Score 3) 553

by gtall (#49612593) Attached to: Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina Announces Bid For White House

Yeah, you are right, we should all only have sellable careers because the world and the U.S. doesn't need to learn any history. Maybe you figure we'll be better automatons if we all have tech majors?

That said, she's a dolt, but not because she studied Medieval history.

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