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Comment: Re:Big endowment (Score 1) 348 348

But this comes down to your personal values.

I think that Harvard attracts some of the the world's best and the brightest, especially in the sciences. While MIT has engineering and applied science departments, Harvard has pretty robust physical sciences and life sciences departments, and is trying to grow its engineering schools.

To me, this is a good thing. And I am of the belief that the problems of humanity are going to be solved through science. As much as I would like to think that global warming could be addressed through policy, a technical solution that can cool down the planet would be much preferable (and realistic). Similarly, imagine cheap and easily available food sources, simple water purifiers, cures for AIDS and cancer, space flight and so on.

The truth is, investing in the future of science and engineering at one of the world's top schools is one of the best investments one can ever make.

If anything, Paulson should be lauded -- he is not throwing his money away at non-profits with fat bureaucratic administrations to address short-term solutions. He is investing in the future. The majority of the money will go towards equipment, paying faculty, and graduate students. How is this not a fantastic thing?

Comment: Re:471 million? You may want to think about that. (Score 2) 247 247

471 million potatos is a lot of potatos.
471 million .2mm bits of plastic is enough to cover in plastic all of the living rooms in California.
Wait - no - one living room. Or about a dinner-plates worth a day.

Every day. That's the difference.

Even assuming that it's a dinner plate sized amount of pollution, over two decades, you are looking at 7300 dinner plates. Only, broken into little chunks, easily consumed by aquatic life and smothering plants, clogging pipes etc.

Comment: Re:Millennials will have a very rough landing (Score 1) 405 405

What rubbish. Plenty of cultures have parents who are involved in their children's education. My own parents were extremely involved, and as the only child, they put a lot of time and effort into my education and extracurricular activities. To this day, they are quite interested in my career, and are just as involved in teaching my own year old language and music.

That is not a statement on their children's capabilities. Tiger moms are common, and it just demonstrates responsible parents who are genuinely interested in their kids' well being.

My wife and I will certainly be taking an interest in our kids' education and lives, and that is not being overprotective -- that is good parenting.

Comment: Re:WTF (Score 1) 225 225

Some of the greatest minds have been interested in seemingly trivial and popular problems (e.g., Richard Feynman).

This is about science and engineering, and whether or not a phenomena can occur, and it's about public's reaction to something that was proven scientifically.

Plus, a lot of Slashdot's readers are American, and some of us are geeks who like -- wait for this -- football!

Comment: Re:Predictable (Score 4, Informative) 176 176

He doesn't seem overweight for me.

While I feel for the family, to say that he is not overweight shows just how much society's perception of being overweight has changed.

Take a look at this picture, for instance.

And take a look at the body fat visual chart for comparison.

With the overhanging belly, he is easily 35-40% at least. While the majority of people today are fat (especially in the US), that is not healthy. If anything, until recently, 20-25% used to be average.

Above 25-30% is the fat territory, and that's when you start increasing your risk for heart attacks, diabetes, and strokes. Mr. Goldberg may have had a lot of things going for him, but he is most certainly more than a little overweight.

Assuming he's ~6 feet, I would argue that he is probably ~30-40+ lbs overweight. That is not at all healthy. I'm not arguing everyone should have abs, but there's a happy medium here. Mr. Goldberg is very clearly on the unfortunate side of the medium.

Comment: Re:*Grabs a bowl of popcorn* (Score 4, Insightful) 385 385

You can get a buff body with a reasonable workout regimen in less than a year, and many elements of your "looks" can easily be fixed (better hair, wearing contacts, getting teeth fixed, dressing more stylishly).

If you have game, then your dick size doesn't matter, because history is rife with examples of men with questionable looks and stunning women.

Ultimately, having good social skills is much more important than any of those things in getting laid.

Comment: Re:Embarrassed (Score 1) 220 220

I used to be a programmer... over a decade ago. And I used to love programming in college.

But I haven't directly touched code (for a living anyway) in a long time, other than recreational coding, and that's mostly been in Python/Perl/Ruby/PHP.

I remember enough to be dangerous with SQL and with the fundamentals, and thankfully, C/C++ haven't changed much.

But while I am former programmer, I still I grok CS quite well. Algorithmically, I could write a ray tracer or optimize the cycles in a complex routine based on certain assumptions or optimize a graph or write up a crypto hash in no time.

However, what I do lack is an understanding of the various technologies and APIs that seem to keep changing. I can tell you all about data structures and compilers, but I wouldn't know how to instantiate a class in Java. But solving an IPP or DPP? That's still cakewalk.

Comment: How do you define smart? (Score 1) 227 227

The article seems to conflate content knowledge with being smart.

I would argue that raw analytical skills are much more important than content knowledge. Being able to regurgitate information is only marginally useful, and its most important value is that you're equipped with a framework and a lens through which to examine problems.

However, absent analytical capabilities, your ability to use your knowledge and past experiences to solve problems is severely limited.

Google makes people think they are knowledgeable, which is not necessarily the same as being "smart".

If the code and the comments disagree, then both are probably wrong. -- Norm Schryer

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