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Comment: Re:Instilling values more important (Score 2, Insightful) 698

I could not disagree more strongly. :) I think you (parent post) have a confused idea of what religion is.

"A religion is an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to an order of existence." (Wikipedia.org). As a geek, I have no doubt that you (OP) have had life experiences which have led you to a set of beliefs, cultural systems, and world views that help you personally relate to the rest of humanity and the universe, possibly including a sense of the Divine. And as a geek, I have no doubt that you have experimented, analyzed, observed, tested your surroundings, and developed a set of values, beliefs, and ways of relating to others and your universe which have brought you some degree of happiness and peace.

It sounds criminal not to share such lessons with your own child. Of course your child will choose for herself. But to deprive her of those things in your life which have worked for you, especially in this area, seems foolish. Share with her the best path you have found and challenge her to find a better if she can. :)

(I suppose that I, as a geek, don't really buy in to the idea of an automatically-accepted formal dogma ('brainwashing'). And that said, I am an active participant in such a formally organized religion, but that's because my own set of experiments have led me to believe that this is the best path for me. And I ever seek a path which brings me greater peace and happiness, as any geek should.)

Comment: Engineering a workforce (Score 1) 703

by loose_cannon_gamer (#48777063) Attached to: Obama Proposes 2 Years of Free Community College
At my workplace, college tuition can be paid for via a program of either forgiveness (for tuition paid by the company up front) or reimbursement (for tuition paid by the student up front and then reimbursed by the company). Forgiveness and reimbursement are only available based on getting reasonably good grades (B or better for both undergrad and grad work, IIRC).

I think both notions would make a ton of sense for this kind of government program. Other posters have wisely already observed that not all education is equal. Others again recommended that rather than finance the first years of college, it might be more beneficial to finance the last (to encourage those near the end to just complete their degrees and get out into the workplace).

It seems to me like with a judicious use of forgiveness/reimbursement based on successful completion of coursework (e.g., credits awarded), and a reimbursement scale based on the perceived usefulness of the class/degree being pursued (via bureau of labor statistics recommendations) would allow the government to take an active role in engineering a long term competitive workforce. Want more STEM graduates? Raise the % of reimbursement for passing STEM classes. Maybe raise the % reimbursement as well for more advanced classes (50% first year, 60% second year, 70% third year, 80% fourth year). Lower the % of reimbursement for those professions which the BLS indicates we don't need as many of as a country.

Under such a system, you can always get any degree you want, but if you do something that aligns with the government view of what will be beneficial to the country, the government will pay you something for it. It certainly makes sense to have higher subsidies for higher paying professions (in many cases, those most in demand) because they increase the future tax base the most.

As far as I can tell, we all want a more educated populous and recognize benefits for that as a whole... Maybe there are smarter ways to do it than a blank check for a couple of years of higher education.

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