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Comment: Re:One way to avoid (Score 1) 160

by mark_reh (#47860651) Attached to: The Five Nigerian Gangs Behind Most Craigslist Buyer Scams

If you fall for this scam you're nothing but a dope and you deserve to lose your money.

It isn't about understanding how checks work. It's about understanding how buying and selling work. If you accept a check for any item you sell, you're taking a risk that the check is bad- either fake or insufficient funds in the account to pay the check. If someone wants to write you a check for more than your selling price and then wants you to send them money, you're an idiot if you do it. Period. You're giving them money and whatever you're selling to accept the risk of a bad check from them. That's nuts! No, it's stupid!

The people they recruit to pack and ship the stuff are idiots, too. They get "paid" the same way. They get a check for $1000 or whatever and are told to deposit it, then go get , pack, and ship the "purchased" items, then send excess funds back to the buyer. These people are equally stupid and deserve to lose their money.

Comment: I see two possible scenarios: (Score 4, Insightful) 814

by mark_reh (#47845575) Attached to: 3 Recent Flights Make Unscheduled Landings, After Disputes Over Knee Room

1) At some point the cost of diverting flights will exceed the profits generated by cramming more seats into the planes and the problem will correct itself.

2) The airline will figure out a way to shift the cost of flight diversion onto the passengers and the problem will just get worse.

My money is on #2

Comment: The whole industry needs to rethink pricing. (Score 3, Interesting) 814

by mark_reh (#47845551) Attached to: 3 Recent Flights Make Unscheduled Landings, After Disputes Over Knee Room

Ticket prices should be based on a combo of flying weight and space. Flying weight is passenger plus baggage weight. Space is a function of height/weight of the passenger and dimensions of their bags. If you're really tall, and/or really fat, you're going to pay more for a comfortable seat, but you will get a comfortable, safe seat, and those around you will, too.

It shouldn't be too hard to make aircraft seating configurable for passengers of different weights/heights.

It seems likely to me that cramming seats so close together is a safety issue. I wonder what the wreck stats show about leg injuries.

Comment: Wait a minute, a few years ago I recall and AA (Score 1) 814

by mark_reh (#47845501) Attached to: 3 Recent Flights Make Unscheduled Landings, After Disputes Over Knee Room

ad campaign in which they bragged about refitting their planes with more leg room because "they care about their passengers" implying that the other airlines didn't. At that time I was wondering why, if they care about passengers so much, did they put the seats so close together in the first place. Now they're taking the room out again, demonstrating once again exactly how much they care about their passengers.

This is a great example of how the free-market solves problems. Now that people are complaining, some small airline is going to start providing more leg room and the other will have to follow suit. Once they've all provided reasonable space, they'll start taking it away again. It is a repeating cycle and I believe we are near the bottom of this one.

What is really needed is for the feds to regulate the minimum space allowed per passenger so the airlines can't cram us in like the hold of a slave ship.

Comment: Re:Impact of foreigners on the education of Americ (Score 1) 161

by mark_reh (#47842153) Attached to: Getting Into College the Old Fashioned Way: With Money

That sort of interaction is EXACTLY what makes the education at that school an education. Try to imagine what your education would have been like if you had gone to a university where you had difficulty with the language in which the classes were taught. Those foreign students got into that school with your nephew by being smart and maybe/probably well-connected (i.e. they come from wealthy, well educated families in their home countries).

Does your kid end up doing a lot of the documentation of the group work? Sure- his mastery of English is probably better than the foreign students. That's how it goes. So what? Some of the group members don't contribute much? So what? Do you think that if all the kids in the group were white, English speaking Americans there wouldn't be any lazy asses the other group members would have to carry? Group work teaches productive people how to be productive when confronted with the harsh reality of unmotivated group members.

I'd say your nephew is getting an education.

Comment: Re:Wow those fees... (Score 1) 161

by mark_reh (#47842083) Attached to: Getting Into College the Old Fashioned Way: With Money

perhaps not as prestigious as MIT, but more than sufficient for most people.

Sufficient for people who want to become a cog in the machine. Those people who are paying for the application service for top ranked schools want to go to those schools because they don't want to become cogs in the machine, they want to own the machine. It is a completely different mindset from "most people".

That push to get into those schools is the same sort of push they apply to the rest of what they do which is why they end up owning businesses instead of working at one. The ideas that those schools are too difficult to get into, they cost too much, I don't come from the right family, are reasons not to bother applying for most people. For the others they are reasons to work at overcoming all those obstacles. Admission to those schools is a filtering process. If you manage to jump through the right hoops you'll have access to a lot of people with brains, money, and power.

If you want to achieve big things you have to think big, have long term goals, and act accordingly.

Comment: Re:I agree but .... (Score 2) 161

by mark_reh (#47842019) Attached to: Getting Into College the Old Fashioned Way: With Money

Your definition of rich is a poor man's definition. Owning a Lexus doesn't make you rich whether you paid cash for it or not. Lexus is, for the most part, a middle-class car brand.

Having a million dollars doesn't make you rich. It makes you middle class, with a loooong way to go to rich. Having a million dollars doesn't mean you can quit working unless you're about 80 years old, especially if you live in the US where the healthcare system is designed to bankrupt you before you die.

Comment: Re:Yes, but what will close the gap (Score 1) 58

by mark_reh (#47838963) Attached to: Music Training's Cognitive Benefits Could Help "At-Risk" Students

Unfortunately the powers that be don't seem interested in fixing anything education-wise. A poorly educated population is easily manipulated and they like it that way.

One of the major parties in the US owes its continued existence to the fact that they have targeted every nut-job fringe group in the US that's willing to vote for someone based on single issues such as abortion, gun ownership, evolution, birth control, etc. Naturally, that same party wants to shut down the Dept of Education. The dumber people are, the more votes they'll get.

"Most of us, when all is said and done, like what we like and make up reasons for it afterwards." -- Soren F. Petersen