Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?

Comment Is it possible? (Score 5, Insightful) 295 295

Like the summary says, nuclear weapons require expensive and hard to obtain raw materials and a significant amount of technology not common in the civilian space. This is the only reason, IMHO, that nuclear proliferation treaties work as well as they do. How does this group expect governments to keep a lid on military tech that relies on ubiquitous technology found throughout the civilian economy?

Comment Re:Critical thinking (Score 1) 132 132

Computer Science is a vocationally oriented topic.

Language, Arts, History, Math, and Basic Science are all core topics.
As such CS is not a necessary part of the foundation, but a facet to come later for those who want/need it.
But everyone needs the foundation.

There was a time when learning to read was not a core subject for children. Learning to fix their own clothes and grow food was more important. And I doubt many people thought algebra should be a core subject 100 years ago. Times change and so do core educational topics.

Like it or not there is at least a good argument for the general population having a deeper understanding of computing in the coming decades. Knowing how to understand a data model and manipulate data, understanding web technologies, knowing how to write simple scripts, etc. may be more necessary than knowing long division for a large percentage of the population 20 years from now. And that is the workplace we are teaching current students to be a part of.

Comment Re:Critical thinking (Score 1) 132 132

In my child's middle school they also teach Environmental Science, humanitarianism, HIV/Aids Prevention and various other politically motivated subjects as core curriculum, such that kids are not able to take enriching classes such as music or art.

I seriously doubt your child's school has a year long or even semester long course whose sole purpose is teaching HIV/Aids prevention. Perhaps they have a health class which covers sexually transmitted diseases for a couple weeks, but that is not the same thing as core curriculum.

And it is very sad that someone would think teaching children about the environment and humanitarianism is only part of a political agenda, instead of being important topics for any school. I am glad your children are getting another viewpoint other than just what they are hearing at home.

Comment Re:Critical thinking (Score 3, Insightful) 132 132

Arts and foreign language are probably more important than computer science at the K-12 level.

While I'm not saying you are wrong, but that is very arguable. I for instance think computer science is far more important than foreign language at any grade level. I computer science is less important than art for K-5, but more important than art after that. These are just my opinions, and I'm sure plenty of people and even researchers have different opinions in this discussion.

If you want to include computer science without deleting existing core subjects, it will cost more money and class time. Are you willing to pay more in taxes to support schools? Are you willing to extend the class day and academic year so there is time to teach all these subjects? I am willing to accept those changes but to add comp sci without those changes will be destructive.

Although I am a bad person to ask here, because I am very willing to pay more in taxes to support more schooling. Both longer days and longer school years. I happen to live in an area where our taxes provide over $20k per student to our primary and secondary schools, and once my kids are at school ages (11 months and -7 months now) they will likely have access to academic rigorous summer programs (which I'm happy to pay for).

Based on the total number of core classes now, I doubt including computer science would add more than 5% of coursework over a year. That comes to less than $100 in extra taxes per year per citizen.

Comment Re:Critical thinking (Score 2) 132 132

From what I have been able to find, the set of core academic subjects is already much larger than you think. It isn't just English, Math, Science, History. From an archived No Child Left Behind FAQ I found (source), here is a list of current core academic subjects (it may have changed since this documents first publishing):

English, reading or language arts, math, science, foreign languages, civics and government, economics, arts, history and geography

I see no reason why computer science (at a primary/secondary school level) shouldn't be at least equally important as foreign languages, arts, and geography.

Comment Re:I foresee a sudden demand for raises (Score 1) 429 429

As a hiring manager, I'm given a number and that's what I get to hire someone with. If someone asks for more, I can usually try to accommodate, but if you want 100K and I can only give you 80K, then it comes down to whether you want the job or not.

The thing is, you as the hiring manager are not really the problem. You really have been given instructions and limitations by your bosses and probably don't have the authority to ignore them. People complain about their boss not paying them enough because that is their primary liaison with the executives. But many times it is those executives who shoulder more of the responsibility for uneven pay.

That said, your comments don't change anything regarding whether or not employees are getting short changed. You may have your hands tied, but someone in your organization doesn't. Prices can be altered, outside funding can be acquired, executive and managerial pay can be adjusted, commission structures can be adjusted, lower quality employees can be let go, etc. Or your boss can simply give you a budget of $80k for a new hire regardless of how much it really costs for a quality applicant.

What I don't think is that you should consider what someone else makes to be a reflection on what the company thinks of *you*. If you're capable, you may start lower, but I'd probably be happy to see you become a manager or advanced individual contributor where that other guy will never get higher than he is today. You'll start at 80K, but you'll someday get to 150K whereas the other guy will never see the other side of 110. Alternately, you could be selected for more training opportunities or given more interesting work. All of that turns into more money too, either at that work place or at another place you move to later.

This I completely agree with. It generally only applies to people with no other options though. Someone with options will just take a job with someone else who is paying $100k. If there is no other person willing to pay that, then this employee really is only worth $80k. At least as a new hire that is. Plenty of people are horrible interviewees or horrible negotiators and generally start at a lower salary because of it. These employees must rely on proving themselves and getting promotions.

Comment Re:Does indeed happen. (Score 1) 634 634

If you're 45 and you have the same resumé as a 25 years old, you'll have to do a lot of explaining on what you did those other 20 years...

That right there is age discrimination, though.

Not all of us are lucky enough to know what our calling is when we're kids. Or we have other circumstances to deal with that keep us from finding it.

You just gave two explanations for what they were doing in those other 20 years. The AC didn't say a 45 year old with the same resume as a 25 year old could never get the job, only that there would need to be a satisfactory explanation for the apparent lack of experience.

While this is a gross generalization, when I am assisting in the hiring of coworkers I want to know if the role we are filling needs an ambitious person or someone who just shows up and does their work. Companies need both types of people, but almost every role needs one or the other. If I am interviewing someone who will just be a worker bee, then I wouldn't care about the lack of ambition that a 45 year old's poor resume would imply (only imply, not prove). But if I am filling a role where we need someone who will consistently go above and beyond, then a 45 year old with a weak resume will be a big red flag.

I have interviewed people older than me with weaker resumes than me, and in some cases I suggested hiring them anyway and in some cases I recommended to pass. In one case I did suggest hiring someone with a fairly weak resume for a very important role, but only because the applicant gave very good explanations for their recent career change. After he fully explained his work history, and I saw his passion during the interview, I felt his varied work history would be more of a benefit than an extra 10 years of programming experience.

But I have also passed on many older applicants whose poor resumes really did just illustrate someone who had been given 20 years to prove themselves and simply did not.

Comment Re: Does indeed happen. (Score 1) 634 634

When a company lets a group's "culture" set the terms for hiring, that's when you end up with only one kind of worker (DudeBros) who cluelessly say they don't discriminate, that black/woman/asian/etc didn't fit the "culture". It's pathetic because it's so transparent. It's like churches whining that their right to discriminate is being discriminated against.

Quantaman's conjecture is not the same as saying old people don't fit the culture. He is saying something more like: "risk adverse employees don't fit the culture." Since middle age workers tend to be more risk adverse because of having families to support, it is very similar to saying old people don't fit the culture. It has a similar effect anyway. But it could very well be accurate if employees being comfortable with risk really does improve the company.

Comment Re: Does indeed happen. (Score 1) 634 634

It may be that certain personality types don't fit in at Google, and as people get older their personalities tend to develop into those types.

I'm afraid that's you also being ageist. You can't generalise, any more than you can generalise by gender or race. People have all sorts of personalities, and they develop in all sorts of different directions through their lives.

While it is ageism to generalize when making a judgment about one individual, it is not ageism to generalize when making sense of statistical information about an age group. It works the same way for any kind of discrimination. One rational reason why there would always be more male firefighters than women firefighters is that males are much stronger on average. That is not a sexist statement. But denying employment to any one woman simply because her gender is physically weaker on average is sexist.

I am not saying I think quantaman's statements are accurate, but he does offer a plausible explanation for some of the discrimination.

Comment Re:Economic factors are my priority (Score 1) 188 188

As it turns out, almost the entirety of the reason EVs are cheaper to operate than ICE cars is not because of energy efficiency - both use almost the same amount of energy per mile traveled. The EV is cheaper because coal is so much cheaper than gasoline. Coal costs about $55 per ton, and a ton of coal produces about 21 GJ of energy, for a final cost of 0.26 cents per MJ. Gasoline at $3/gal is about 2.5 cents per MJ. An order of magnitude more expensive than coal.

I'm confused. You spend the first half of your post talking about energy efficiency, and then in the paragraph I'm quoting you explain why energy efficiency is irrelevant. Obviously electric cars are only cheaper to power because electricity is cheaper to generate than distilled petroleum. Why would efficiency need to even be discussed?

Comment Re:Economic factors are my priority (Score 1) 188 188

That is $9 billion leaving our economy each year.

It's amazing how much staying power this myth has, even after Adam Smith tore it down in 1776.

What do you think happens to that $9 billion? Does it sit in a mattress somewhere? No, it's only uses are to buy things produced in the US or invest in the US economy.

I am not sure what you think Adam Smith tore down in 1776. Are you saying the only thing OPEC countries can spend money on are goods produced in the US or investments in the US?

Comment Re:Economic factors are my priority (Score 1) 188 188

Money spent buying coal from West Virginia stays in our economy, while oil bought abroad does not.

Well, sure, assuming the person you pay for the coal doesn't buy any clothing, electronics, or cars. The world economy just doesn't work this way any more.

The goal is not to halt commerce with other countries. I am of the opinion that a globalized economy is good for all nations. But countries still need to weigh the impact of how different economic activities and trade practices affect their economy differently.

Comparing buying clothing and electronics with buying gasoline at the pump is a fair comparison. The price of gasoline has many other factors like taxes, gas attendant salaries, trucking costs, real estate, etc. factored in. Just like for consumer goods. But as long as you look at the total US imports of oil, then you can see exactly what is leaving the country that wouldn't need to be if we had energy independence. I am not talking about protectionist measures such as creating tariffs or preventing companies from buying foreign oil. I am talking about simply reducing our need for the oil so that more of our oil is obtained locally.

The US imports around 500 thousand barrels of oil per day (the amount fluctuates a lot even week by week). That is $9 billion leaving our economy each year. Its not that much money when compared to our total GDP, but it isn't inconsequential either. Even if we just used it to increase NASA's budget by 50% it would be put to better use.

Comment Economic factors are my priority (Score 4, Insightful) 188 188

Its a good thing my reason for wanting hybrid and electric vehicles is purely economical. Environmental benefits are a nice side effect in many cases, but the reason I want my country less dependent on oil is almost purely to reduce foreign dependency. Money spent buying coal from West Virginia stays in our economy, while oil bought abroad does not. Also electricity produced by coal is less expensive per mile driven than gasoline, so that allows money to be spent on more productive areas than natural resources.

The environmental benefits are still important, but dealing with dirty coal is a separate issue from electric cars IMHO.

Comment Re:Dubious (Score 1) 174 174

While I agree it will probably taste less like bacon than even turkey bacon, if eating it is healthier than most green leafy vegetables then I will give it a lot of latitude. I don't eat turkey bacon primarily because it still isn't that good for you, and if I am being bad I might as well eat the real thing. But since I already force myself to eat things like broccoli and cauliflower because of the health benefits, a vegetable that tastes close to bacon would be very welcomed.

I will be surprised if science doesn't create a large variety of truly healthy foods that taste almost as good as fatty/salty/sugary alternatives within the next 20 years. And no health nuts, we don't have anything like this now. I can't wait until a healthy smoothie really does taste as good or better than a milk shake. Keep it up scientists.

Comment Re:Yeah, blame the parents (Score 1) 173 173

Just because women on average might need more social validation...

This expresses that men are superior. Men do not need as much social validation to make choices for themselves. You can derive that down to, men are more independent (a generally considered superior quality). No matter how noble the point that you expressed after that quote. To treat a specific group (like women) as innately lesser and in need of more help is sexist.

When not taken out of context, my statement was part of a larger context of women being more social on average than men (my opinion, not something I have researched extensively). This comes with pros and cons. Gaining validation internally or externally is not inherently better or worse.

My statement saying women need more social validation is not expressing men are superior. Men simply get the validation elsewhere. Again these statements are my opinion and only speak to gender averages.

Organic chemistry is the chemistry of carbon compounds. Biochemistry is the study of carbon compounds that crawl. -- Mike Adams