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Comment: Re:Is that a serious question? (Score 1) 760

by steelfood (#47932429) Attached to: ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children

Uh, for now this is true. In 10 years? 20 years? 50 years? 100 years? There's a huge anti-scientific movement, anti-education, anti-knowledge movement out there. Is it growing? I'm not sure. But it's there, and it's taken over quite a few prominent education systems.

These things happen on generational timescales. individual people don't get (significantly) stupider if the rest of society around them becomes dumber. But their kids might. And their grandkids definitely.

If you want to prevent this eventual outcome, you need to act now. It kinda like global warming. Sure nothing might is happenig right now, but the science says otherwise for 50, 100 years down the line. Now, the science could be wrong, but are you really willing to take that risk and do nothing?

Comment: Re:they will defeat themselves (Score 1) 760

by steelfood (#47932373) Attached to: ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children

Pretty much it. We want the radicals in power because we want a subjugated people whom we can take advantage of in extracting their natural resources for as cheap as possible, and at the same time, have a leader who we can threaten to remove at any time with the public's full support.

If those Mid East countries had moderate leaders with strong populaces, they might start getting their own ideas. And if they get too smart, they'd end up in control of their own destines. And that's a bad thing for us.

Comment: Re:...the best photographers were older people... (Score 2) 72

by steelfood (#47932257) Attached to: How Flickr Is Courting the Next Generation of Photographers

Oh, I completely forgot my other point besides experience. To even begin to get that kind of experience, you need something that only older (20+) people have: money.

Unless your parent's have the equipment already (or the money to buy it), you as a teenager probably won't even know a number called the F-stop exists. Hell, I wonder if most teenagers who're snapping away on their phones know what ISO sensitivity is.

Comment: Re:...the best photographers were older people... (Score 2) 72

by steelfood (#47932215) Attached to: How Flickr Is Courting the Next Generation of Photographers

Heh, yeah, photographers can get more experience in digital format, but your average smartphone of your average person is still not going to cut it.

You don't need a DSLR anymore, but you do need some decent lenses (the more the better) and manual controls. And then, you can start accumulating experience. Until I can pop a 8mm fisheye or 300mm telephoto or 25mm F1.2 onto a phone, point and click it still isn't.

Comment: Re:You guys are always entertaining! (Score 1) 385

by steelfood (#47930263) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Any Place For Liberal Arts Degrees In Tech?

It's good to be able to have both perspectives, but that's with respect to being a person. With respect to finding a job, without a grasp of even the basics like math, you're going to have a lot of trouble finding (or keeping) employment. The critical thinking skills that go into solving math problems are very similar to the ones that go into solving real world problems.

A lot of people go into "liberal arts" as an out because they're weak in math. To think that they'll come out with a decent chance of getting a job is delusional at best. The real egregious degree is the undergraduate business degree (which falls under liberal arts in most places). It's a total scam. Even the (non-executive) MBA is something of a scam, but at least it can be worthwhile as a networking and resume padding tool. Soft sciences are next up, but its uselessness can be negated with sufficient technical experience (e.g. statistics) as a part of the coursework.

Now, as for very special jobs like social workers and that ilk, even though employers may prefer people with a degree, you don't really need any degree for those, just a heart. Until you want to start moving up the ladder that is, in which case you'll probably need a masters.

Comment: Re:Um (Score 1) 385

by steelfood (#47930103) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Any Place For Liberal Arts Degrees In Tech?

Sorry, some of us are not really interested in the menial job that nobody really likes to do and really isn't paid well to do anyway. Besides which, a good chunk of those jobs are going offshore, and the loudest people railing against "offshoring" are those same people.

Skilled labor, on the other hand, cannot be offshored quite so easily, and a lot of companies are very quickly coming to this realization. The ones who aren't are going to be dead soon.

So no, I'm still in disagreement here. If you have a liberal arts degree and no technical background or aptitude (at least math, please, be good at that much at least), then even if you do get a job, you're not going to be very happy at it, or very well paid. If you have a technical degree, or even a liberal arts degree but a strong technical background, you're far more likely to get a well-paid, decent job that you'll enjoy. And if that doesn't happen, you can always apply for the crappy menial job too, because you'll be a ton better at it than all the other candidates.

BTW, engineering is not the only technical discipline out there. There's also science and maintenance. Each one requires a different personality and perspective, despite being technical in nature.

Comment: Take the long view (Score 5, Insightful) 436

by JanneM (#47926185) Attached to: Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

Charlie Stross recently posted a very good take on this: This is a permanent change. Whatever happens during the first few years is basically irrelevant, compared to the long-term results. Did Norway separating from Sweden cause short-term economic upheaval? Does that matter at all a century later?

This is a long-term change, not a short.term one. Any voter should consider the probable situation twenty or fourty years from now, not whatever happens in a year or two.

Comment: Re:Ya, but... (Score 0, Flamebait) 385

by steelfood (#47919037) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Any Place For Liberal Arts Degrees In Tech?

I question the very premise itself.

Only a few liberal arts degrees require critical thinking skills and even then, it's up to the individual to cultivate that over the course of study. It's easy to BS through even a graduate liberal arts class. Hell, the whole point of liberal arts study is to make something up, and then defend it afterwards.

You can't BS through STEM (though medical researchers seem to do that quite a bit).

Ergo:

... tech CEOs want employees with liberal arts degrees, because those graduates have superior BS skills.

FTFY.

Comment: Re:Lucky them (Score 2) 154

by steelfood (#47913467) Attached to: Court Rules the "Google" Trademark Isn't Generic

Actually, when people say googling, they really do mean "look it up using Google." They don't mean "look it up using DuckDuckGo" or "look it up using Yelp" or "look it up using Ask.com" or "look it up using Wolfram Alpha."

When Google no longer dominates generic web search (as opposed to specialized internet search like Yelp) and there are other comparable players, only then would there be a case for genericization. Until then, when you say googling, people think search using Google. That's actually fairly specific (unusually so even) in terms of word meaning.

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