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Comment: Re:Gov. Purchasing is the Real Problem (Score 1) 786 786

More detail on local forms so you don't think I'm making them up. One is the local version of the purchase card request form (since I am not personally a card holder). The other is the description of the item, why it's needed, and why it's only available from a particular source. That last part (sole source) is optional for something like a cable that is available from multiple sources.

Comment: Re:Gov. Purchasing is the Real Problem (Score 1) 786 786

Well, I'm glad things are that easy in your world, I really am. Let me show you a bit more about mine. Checkout:


See the etc. in item 3(E), that's where my cable falls.

See the ITPR in section 4. That stands for Information Technology Procurement Request. That's the 14 page document I mentioned. The other 2 are local to my command. If some reforms would get us closer to what you describe I'd be much happier.

Comment: Gov. Purchasing is the Real Problem (Score 5, Informative) 786 786

As a federal worker I can tell you that trying to buy something for government use is an extremely byzantine process. An example, if I need to buy a monitor cable, I have to fill out 3 forms (one of them is 14 pages), get four _independent_ approvals, quotes (yes... quotes for a monitor cable), and then follow the documents to make sure nothing gets messed-up along the way. I have to do this for _any_ piece of equipment that is in any way related to information technology. I don't want to describe the process for anything requiring a contract and I can't imagine the amount of work that went into writing the requirements document for a project involving 55 (55!) contracting agencies. The REAL PROBLEM here is the desperate need for contract and purchasing reform in the federal government.

Comment: Wrong metrics? (Score 1) 273 273

Consider a different explanation of the results. Adjuncts are contracted and likely need good student opinion forms to be re-contracted. That's a big incentive to make a class easy (hence the good grades) and fun (hence the desire for other classes from the same prof.), but not necessarily rigorous and worthwhile. It's really easy to make a class fun and simple and a total waste of time. Much more difficult (but not impossible) to make a class fun, worthwhile, and still simple. I'm speaking from experience as a prior adjunct and now a tenured professor.

Comment: If you're serious about it... (Score 2, Informative) 279 279

you might want to start with a guide like "How to Write & Publish A Scientific Paper" by Robert Day (ISBN-13: 978-1573561655).

Then search for the appropriate journal. One suggestion is: GPS Solutions (published by Springer),


Manuscript submission instructions and forms at: http://www.springer.com/journal/10291/submission

Hope it works out for you!

Role Playing (Games)

Looking Back At Dungeons & Dragons 189 189

An anonymous reader sends in a nostalgic piece about Dungeons & Dragons and the influence it's had on games and gamers for the past 36 years. Quoting: "Maybe there was something in the air during the early '70s. Maybe it was historically inevitable. But it seems way more than convenient coincidence that Gygax and Arneson got their first packet of rules for D&D out the door in 1974, the same year Nolan Bushnell managed to cobble together a little arcade machine called Pong. We've never had fun quite the same way since. Looking back, these two events set today's world of gaming into motion — the Romulus and Remus of modern game civilization. For the rest of forever, we would sit around and argue whether games should let us do more or tell us better stories."

Comment: "Belief" is irrelevent here (Score 1) 1747 1747

The whole point of science is that no belief is required. Science is a method, a process by which we hope to learn something about reality. Nobody has to resort to believing anything, just look at the data. People can and will sometimes disagree about the correct interpretation of the data, but that's very different from "believing". As stated several times above by others, the real problem here is people who know little about the scientific process being very loud about their uninformed opinions.

A memorandum is written not to inform the reader, but to protect the writer. -- Dean Acheson