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Journal: Obama and Romney respond to ScienceDebate.org questions - paraphrased

Journal by CanHasDIY

Converting candidate responses from legalese to English, please wait...*

Question 1: Innovation and the Economy:

BO: I plan on dumping at least twice as much money into corporate pocketbooks via the continued fucking-up of the US intellectual property process. Oh, yea, and I plan on hiring a shitload of STEM teachers to prep future patent lawyers, er, "engineers" for this task.

MR: Less taxes and regulation for businesses, more H1B Visas and foreign "trade agreements" that take jobs away from Americans.

Question 2, Climate Change:

BO: Sure, it's a problem, but I've already dumped a shit-ton of your money into the "clean energy" companies my buddies own, as well as attempting to set up a "carbon credit exchange" scam, er, system, that would have funneled even more taxpayer dollars into the hands of my campaign contributors - what the fuck else do you expect me to do about it?

MR: Probably bullshit, but I won't let my disbelief in the concept prevent me from using this as an opportunity to badmouth my opponent and recommend further redistribution of wealth to my also-rich homies!

Furthermore, since China doesn't give a fuck about the environment, I don't think we should either.

Question 3: Research and the Future:

BO: Uh, like I said before - more of the public's money given to corporations so they can privately profit; seriously, what don't you guys get about that?

MR: Agreed, with the caveat of, you guessed it, less regulation for the same corporations. After all, corporations are people, and if you can't trust people with your money...

Question 4: Pandemics and Biosecurity:

BO: ... Pass.

MR: Less taxes and regulation on business... Oh, and more public surveillance. How are we supposed to know who's sick if we're not watching you all 24/7?

Question 5: Education:

BO: Earlier in my administration, I proposed adding 100,000 STEM (science, tech, engineering, and math) teachers... just don't ask how that's going...

MR: Education is a serious issue these days... which is why I recommend busting teachers' unions, defunding public schools in favor of private "charter" schools, and of course, blaming the current abysmal state of education solely on my opponent.

Question 6: Energy:

BO: Hey, I mentioned giving fuck-tons of taxpayer money to my buddies who run "clean energy" companies, right?

MR: I disagree with my opponent; I think we should be giving fuck-tons of taxpayer money to the oil companies my buddies run instead.
Can I getta 'Keystone Pipeline,' anyone?

Question 7: Food:

BO: Food safety was pretty fucked up when I came to office, so I made new rules that changes what qualifies as 'fucked up.'

MR: More government regulation and taxes. Hey, if those agri-business chumps want the same deal I give the oil and pharmaceutical companies, they need to pony up some campaign bucks, ya dig?

Question 8: Water:

BO: My administration has invested millions in fresh water conservation and restoration efforts. Granted, these programs would have existed anyway regardless of who held this office at the time, but hey - I do, so I get to take the credit. Suck it, Bush.

MR: Disband the EPA, less regulation on businesses, privatize the 'fresh water industry'.
What could possibly go wrong?

Question 9: The Internet:

BO: I promise to ensure online freedoms, granted they don't run afoul of all the new intellectual property and civilian surveillance we have/are coming up with.

Ha ha, remember when I told you I was going to veto CISPA? Suckers...

MR: The internet is for businesses to make money off of. Period. End of discussion. If you're somehow, some way preventing businesses from making as much money as possible from the internet, my administration will come down on you like fucking Mjölnir, you filthy fucking anti-capitalist pirates.

Question 10: The Ocean

BO: Funneling money into the Gulf to try and fix the problems caused by the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Also, I'll again take credit for several state-level programs I had nothing to do with.

MR: Government should handle this, never you mind. Seriously, we got this one, and unless you work for the government or the industrial fishery complex, it's really none of your concern. Now fuck off, peasant.

Question 11: Science in Public Policy:

BO: Science is, like, important, so I try to have my decisions guided by science. The decisions I let the media get wind of, anyway. Probably not a whole lot of science to, say, monitoring the communications of every American, so we just do it.

MR: Stupid nigger doesn't even know what 'science' is... If he did, he'd know the Earth is only about 6,000 years old, man rode dinosaurs, and Darwin was a Marxist.

Question 12: Space:

BO: Dude - Under my leadership, NASA put a fucking SUV equipped with some serious instrumentation on MARS. More in the works, stay tuned!

MR: Hey, so long as the military industrial complex and my campaign-funding buddies can make shitloads of money off of it, why not?

Question 13: Critical Natural Resources:

BO: Rare earth minerals are expensive, and the Chinese don't seem to keen on cutting us any deals, so my administration is looking into alternative materials that can be gathered domestically. We're also working on some electronics recycling programs that show real promise - stay tuned, more to come.

MR: Government regulation is the problem, not material scarcity; deregulate the mining companies, and the rare earth minerals will flow from the ground like water from a busted hydrant. Oh, also - Drill, baby, Drill!

Question 14: Vaccination and public health:

BO: Look, a lot of people don't get the proper vaccinations because they're just too damn expensive. So, I (and by I, I mean Congress) passed the Affordable Care Act, which... uh, which... OK, so it doesn't really do anything to get prices down, and in fact will likely increase the price of healthcare due to the compulsory insurance purchasing requirement... can't win 'em all! :3

MR: Less regulation for the pharmaceutical industry, and forced inoculation for the entire populace. Small government, you know?

--- END TRANSCRIPT ---

User Journal

Journal: Setting up a Gmail account -- funny things 1

Journal by CanHasDIY
So, I'm making a Gmail account for my in-law's business, and I'm to the part where you have to create a password. Just for a giggle, I entered 'fuckgoogle' into the box - here's where it gets funny:

Password - as soon as I got to the 'l' in the password, the strength meter jumped all the way to the top, but when I entered the final letter, it jumped right back down to the weakest.

Date of Birth - will only let you create an account if the DoB is between 1 and 150 years ago.

OK, so not that funny.
User Journal

Journal: Thinking about college...

Journal by PFI_Optix

The comments in A recent article on Slashdot got me thinking about the perceived necessity of a college degree in America today. I was tempted to post, but didn't want to get on my soapbox and wander off-topic for however long it took me to get my rant on. This morning a comment I heard on NPR--something to the effect of "a college degree is necessary to succeed in today's economy"--brought me back to the same train of thought.

I'm a college opt-out. After a year of school and one changed major, I decided that college wasn't my thing and went into the workforce, finding IT work right away. I took two more shots at college after that, and both times decided it was a bad idea and quit before I wasted any more of my money. I'm probably technically a sophomore, having acquired credits from three different schools and across five different majors.

I have 15 years in IT and make significantly more money halfway through my career than the median family income for my state. I phrase it that way because my current level of income may not seem like much for east- and west-coast readers, but in rural Texas it is considerable. I'm roughly five years from having no debt, including owning my house outright. I am financially stable working a low-stress (for me) job I enjoy that doesn't take me away from my family for more than 40 hours a week. If that's not success, then I don't care to be successful.

I sometimes resent the notion that a person needs a degree to get by in today's world. 55% of this year's high school graduates in the U.S. will never go to college, and many of them will lead very successful lives. Some of them will be skilled blue collar workers whose hard work and talent puts them in demand. Some of them will be natural entrepreneurs, finding opportunities missed by those indoctrinated with collegiate groupthink. Some of them, like me, will be self-educated and competitive with college graduates in every way, lacking only that silly little piece of paper that says they endured a few years of telling professors what they wanted to hear.

Don't misunderstand me. I firmly believe that college is necessary for some people to realize their potential. Many students don't have the discipline or imagination to learn on their own, and need the structure of university. And some professions can't be learned without expert instruction, and that is best delivered at least partly in a classroom. I want my doctor to have a degree. I could care less if my network administrator has one.

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Journal: P2P Development

Journal by interval1066

Got an idea for a new P2P network. Well, I'm not sure the ideas are all that cosmically earth shattering, but I'm going to give it the old college try. I'm a little excited, I really like the approach I'm going to take.

I'm going to use soap to publish the locations, ports, and statuses of peers as they appear and disappear from the net, and then use a publish/subscriber pattern to exchange data between peers on the advertised port.

I'm not sure if that's a new approach, but its so simple it should work like a charm. I'm kind of excited to get to work on it.

User Journal

Journal: So I'm notebook shopping...

Journal by PFI_Optix

My wife has been wanting a notebook for a while. We've finally decided to drop the cash (not a lot, under $1,500) on one and I've been shopping for a couple of days. I was browsing Best Buy's listings (I know I know, Best Buy is evil...I'm just looking for price comparisons) and noticed they sold Macs.

I should take a moment to say that I've got no problem with Macs. I absolutely hated them prior to OSX, but since they finally got a decent OS I have no objection to owning one. Well, one objection: the obscene price one pays for the privilege of owning a computer with that great Apple logo on it. I've always known there was a difference in price between Macs and PCs in the desktop market, but it was never more than a few hundred dollars in the low end market and I could write that off considering the software package that you get with a Mac versus the utter lack of anything useful installed by a typical PC OEM.

So back to my laptop shopping: I decide to see what Mac has to offer, to see if it's worth getting my wife to an Apple store to try out the OS and see if she likes it. I search by brand, sort by price, and find that for $1,099 I can have a MacBook with a 13-inch screen, 80 GB HDD, 1 GB RAM, and a 2 Ghz Core 2 Duo. A little shopping has shown me several PCs with similar specs for $799 and up. $400 can buy a LOT of software and accessories, offsetting the "whole package" argument made by many Mac fans. The deal-killer for me is the 13" screen; that is absolutely abysmal, I can't even FIND a PC with that tiny screen size.

I'm far from being a PC zealot, but I've had enough Mac zealots here try to convince me that Mac is in fact a better deal, when clearly I can a lot more for my money with a PC. If any of you actually bother to read this, remember this: Mac isn't for the budget-conscious. It's a great platform with solid hardware and an excellent OS, but with a little effort a person can save hundreds of dollars (without sacrificing stability, don't try that tired argument with me) by buying a PC.

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Journal: Friend

Journal by wizwormathome
"You should use your moderator points to determine if comments are interesting, etc. Not to upvote crap you agree with in the most childish digg-style possible. By validating the parent poster's simplistic and stupid attacks, you're fueling the fire.

Mitt Romney isn't being attacked for his view on drugs: he's being attacked for being a republican. Everyone knows it. Hillary's view on the War on Drugs is identical. Obama actually talks about ramping up the War on Drugs. But they aren't republicans so they aren't subject to the same level of attack.

...I'm not even a republican, and I'm getting sick of this crap. Every election year I have to listen to trolls validate each other's existence while hating huge segments of society. For whatever reason (likely Bush's fumbling presidency), Slashdot leans left, so Romney's embracing of technology is seen as an invitation to attack." - Moonpie Madness

http://politics.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=432182&cid=22206250

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Journal: Friends

Journal by wizwormathome
"Personally, I'd be happy to let the religious folks gather round their altars and sing Hosannahs to their invisbile sky daddy, but unfortunately, that's not enough for them. They need to inflict their beliefs, whether on abortion, or stem cell research, or contraception use, or whatever, on all of us. Why should I trust somebody who closes their eyes to basic scientific fact to make decisions rooted in science that might affect me?" - Lurker2288
http://science.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=415294&cid=22005842

"First of all, your arguing against inference. Have you ever seen an electron? Did you ever see your great-great-great-great-grandparents? Did you ever meet anybody that spoke Proto-Indo-European? No, but you can infer these things from the evidence. As to evolution, of course you can observe it. We have nylon-digesting bacteria now when nylon didn't even exist before the 1930s." - MightyMartian
http://science.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=415294&cid=22005844

User Journal

Journal: Foe

Journal by wizwormathome
"If you want to send your kids to private school, that's your right. That doesn't mean that you get to take funds away from public schools." - Conspiracy_Of_Doves

http://science.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=415294&cid=22005270

Yes, yes it does. If a person is unsatisfied or does not morally support a program or business, they should not be forced to pay for it and perpetuate something they will never use. When public schools finally get the message that their curriculum is so pathetic that the vast majority of parents wish to stop sending their children there, maybe .. just maybe because of dire financial pressure, will they get their act together.

It wouldn't be hard, now, to improve public schools, but it would require moving back the curriculum approximately four years. Eighth graders should not be having trouble with math problems like "-2 + -5". They should not be confused about which ocean is between North America and Europe. They should not be writing at a second grade level.

Administrators and school boards are simply more interested in PR, passing along students who are full year grade failures, and not really ever dealing with serious, repetitive behavior problems. They could care less about what's being taught (unless it's time for the yearly test) and they couldn't care more about how many times you send Young Frankie down to the office for the upteenth offense. (That's the teacher's problem after all.)

I say this as a current public school teacher. Public schools, as they are now, are detriments to our society as a whole. They are a black hole of funding and a student's worst nightmare. Public schools are filled with apathetic, under-EDUCATED teachers who want nothing more than to get their yearly raise and bitch about how they'd rather be doing something else, but they're not talented enough for it.

As long as public schools continue to be funded by the bottomless wallet of taxes, they will continue to fester. Administrations will continue to latch onto ridiculous, time-wasting fads like PLCs as the newest savior of education without every having the slightest thought about the actual material being taught or the standards being enforced. NO... these schools need not become centers of religion. NO... character education is NOT the right course of action. NO... $8 Billion dollars spent on technology, for which teachers who can't even comprehend how to make a table in Word, is not the answer.

Just increase your expectations. That's it, folks. That's IT.

User Journal

Journal: Friend

Journal by wizwormathome
"The real issue is, 9/11 won't happen again. As a country, we've learned our lesson about "just sit tight and wait" when it comes to plane hijacking. Box cutter? You best have a flamethrower next time, because me and everyone in business class are going to beat you to death with our laptops as soon as you start trying to wave that piddly crap in our faces. Akbar Macbook, Bitch!" - SatanicPuppy

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=353633&cid=21273977

Refreshed by a brief blackout, I got to my feet and went next door. -- Martin Amis, _Money_

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