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Comment Re:The problem in the US... (Score 1) 298

The top 1% of professors are the likes of Terrence Tao (mostly the entire population of the math departments of the world's universities). The remaining 99% of assistant/associate/full professors fight with the usual dirty tricks:

- knowing people in high places or being supervised by one (the benefits are immense: you can publish in better venues, and get better job offers),
- publishing uncountably many junk articles to boost up impact factor (for either self or for colleagues in the same clique),
- securing grants with buzzword-laden proposals.

Of course, your personal experiences may vary.

Now about that IQ thing and how much it matters. My theory is: "Once you understand higher maths, you're halfway to anywhere" (with apologies to Heinlein).


Immaculate Conception In a Boa Constrictor 478

crudmonkey writes "Researchers have discovered a biological shocker: female boa constrictors are capable of giving birth asexually. But the surprise doesn't end there. The study in Biology Letters found that boa babies produced through this asexual reproduction — also known as parthenogenesis — sport a chromosomal oddity that researchers thought was impossible in reptiles. While researchers admit that the female in the study may have been a genetic freak, they say the findings should press researchers to re-think reptile reproduction. Virgin birth among reptiles, especially primitive ones like boas, they argue may be far commoner than ever expected."

Comment Re:Queue the Libertarian Rants! (Score 1) 181

Usually in discussions with people on /. the libertarians are moderated down, I wouldn't be surprised to see your comment go down to -1 Troll for no reason other than you have some principles and the moderators hate them.

Except when a post quickly follows and claims that the parent post will be modded down, in which case the parent post will be modded up.

Some people have a great ambition: to build something that will last, at least until they've finished building it.