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Comment Re: So much stupid (Score 1) 94 94

> In countries where most street cops mostly carry non-lethal ordinance (like nightsticks) only,
> and the guns only come out when you ALREADY CONFIRMED the suspect you're about to
> go after is likely to be armed - police hardly ever get shot, crime rates are low

How does this relate to what you said earlier in your posting:
> Correlation does not imply causation

Comment Re:It's IBM's fault. Everyone copied the PC. (Score 1) 679 679

"control as a large key above shift and to the left of the 'A' key, in its proper place" Amen, preach it, brother! That's where God intended it to be.

And on computers where I have permissions to do so, the CapsLock key acts like a Ctrl key. It's a RegEdit hack in Windows; I think there's a similar way to do it in Linux. On most computers the CapsLock LED "knows" I've made the change, but on some keyboards the LED seems to still think that key is CapsLock.

I put the Ctrl keys to use by remapping most of them to be cursor movement keys, so I don't have to take my fingers off the alphabetic part of the keyboard to move the cursor.

Comment Re:COMAPRISON REQUIRED (Score 1) 64 64

I think there are two measures, both valid:

1) How does robotic surgery compare to non-robotic surgery? (taking into account risk, as meloneg says) The answer to this could (in principle) help the patient decide which way to go.

2) What are the causes of errors, particularly errors that are unique to the particular method? The answer to this could (and I hope does!) improve the method.

Comment Re:Seriously... (Score 1) 245 245

> there really is not any difference between an A and an A.
Not on paper, but there is in your head.

That's not to say that you didn't do a great job--if that was your original thinking, then I think you understood the information quite well. As Bengle points out in his response to your post, organizing the material into a "theory" (analogy) has allowed you to remember much of the information, probably long after other students--who might have had more details--forgot it. I had something of the same experience with organic chemistry (not biochem!). Decades after taking it, I can still reason through some of what I learned, even though I never applied it; I doubt that most people who took it back in 1970, and haven't used it since, can say the same thing.

Comment Re:Seriously... (Score 1) 245 245

I'll take a shot.

>> critical thinking
> Why can't the student's knowledge of logical fallacies be tested?
There's far more to critical thinking than logical fallacies: understanding what someone is saying, cutting through the verbiage to the actual argument (assuming there is one!), questioning the assumptions (false assumptions ---> false results even if your logic is perfect), recognizing ad hominem arguments, understanding statistics (although perhaps you're including statistics in logic). Some of that can be tested, I imagine, but it's hard. You have to devise tests that can be computer graded (given the size of the testing population), and then validate the answers. Organizations like the ETS have, I believe, spent lots of time and money on that. I'm not familiar with the literature, so I'm not prepared to say it _can't_ be tested, but I wouldn't be surprised to find it's _not_ tested much.

> creativity
>> Some say creativity can in fact be tested.

And some say it can't ( Now I have no idea whether the link I just gave is "right", but I don't know about the one you gave either. I suspect the problem is rather one of validating that tests of creativity predict something useful in the real world. One could say the same about most any other test, but I would _guess_ that it's more true of "creativity" than it is for most other tests. (Which may be the answer to the question you're responding to: we don't test for things when we can't ensure matter.)

> or learning skills.
>> Learning skills such as critical thinking and creativity? (See above.)

Or the ability to see other points of view than your own, or to pay attention, or to synthesize different fields (math and physics, for example), or to stay awake in class or when reading the textbook, or to remember after the final exam, or to use the information you've been given in the class to explain real world events, or to arrange a pile of data into a predictive "theory" (more useful for some studies than others--in my own experience, more useful for inorganic or organic chemistry than for biochemistry, where afaict the facts might have been any number of different ways, but God chose one--perhaps for reasons known to Him, but not revealed to me).

In general, I think the AC you're responding to has a point: we tend to test for things that are easy to test for, and hope that they're important. Sort of the keys-under-the-lamppost problem. That said, there are plenty of proposals out there--like the creativity tests your link mentions--for testing other things. The questions are, 1) are they reproducible? 2) do they matter in the real world? and 3) can they be improved (by teaching or otherwise), or are they purely genetic (for example)?

And I hasten to add that there's a huge literature out there on this, about which I know nothing.

Comment Re:Seriously... (Score 1) 245 245

Duh! Even if the doctors don't huddle like that, this problem should have been easy to foresee. Any doctor who works at a small hospital would benefit, because serious cases get transported to regional hospitals with specialized/experienced staff. While the specialized/ experienced staff provide an edge for the severely sick, it is probably not enough to compensate for the fact that these patients are likely to do badly even with the best of care; so the doctors in those regional hospitals get penalized by the scores.

If there were an accurate, objective rating system of the seriousness of any given patient, that rating could be used to produce weighted statistics that might compensate for the above bias. But producing such a weighting system, validating it, and getting everyone to agree on it, would be difficult at best.

Comment Many companies have this problem (Score 2) 208 208

I agree that FF has gotten a worse UI in recent versions; the one change that would make sense (IMHO) is to eliminate the "x" (= close this tab) on all but the active tab. At any rate, I just set up Pale Moon to see if I liked that better.

But FF isn't the only Mozilla program to have bizarre UI changes, Thunderbird did too. (I think the single thing that any email program could do that would help would be fast lookup based on search. I hate to say it, but Outlook does this reasonably well.)

And Mozilla isn't the only outfit to make UI changes for the sake of changes. Google did this with Google New, Google Forums, and most recently Google Maps (see the outrage in the forums over the changes). And Chrome lacks a real menu. Microsoft did it with the Ribbon, and more recently with Windows 8 (although in the latter case they had the sense to repent). I guess Gnome did it with v3.

Why do the programmers (or someone in these companies) think they know best what we users want/ need?

Comment Re:Couple of things (Score 1) 62 62

Then what is the speed of sound at the point where re-entering spacecraft hit the atmosphere? (I realize that "hit the atmosphere" is a relative term, so I suppose the question is what the speed of sound is at the point the spacecraft starts generating enough plasma to interfere with radio.) My guess is that it's nowhere near 8 km/sec / 5. But that's a guess...

The longer the title, the less important the job.