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Comment: Re:That's why I dropped AdWords (Score 3, Interesting) 95

by ranton (#47543315) Attached to: Nasty Business: How To Drain Competitors' Google AdWords Budgets

You should have to worry about not being sure. Just look at your conversion rates. While it is hard to identify how many of your sales you would have gotten anyway without AdWords, it is very easy to tell how many of your AdWords customers are actually purchasing anyway. And the last time I worked for an e-commerce site was 2008, I'm pretty confident that their analytic tools have improved since then.

Comment: Re:"Intelligence" is not earned. (Score 1) 149

by ranton (#47538465) Attached to: Soccer Superstar Plays With Very Low Brain Activity

Actually, that's not right at all. Research shows more & more that intelligence is highly heritable.

What is not true is the classist notion that intelligence is 100% inherited.

He said there is a link between intelligence and environment & experience. He didn't even say it is a strong link. How could you possibly say he is not right at all when you completely agreed with him?

Comment: Re:Should the United States accept more foreigners (Score 1) 369

by ranton (#47534695) Attached to: Western US States Using Up Ground Water At an Alarming Rate

Vegetables are cheap in terms of 'pounds per dollar', but not the more relevant 'calories per dollar'.

And there comes the "lack of education" argument for why people are overweight. Looking at 'calories per dollar' is a horrible way to plan a food budget. You should be looking at price per portion not price per calorie. A single portion of broccoli has much less calories than a single portion of Skittles, but not only is the broccoli better for you the extra fiber is probably going to make is just as filling (if not more so).

Comment: Re:Should the United States accept more foreigners (Score 1) 369

by ranton (#47534095) Attached to: Western US States Using Up Ground Water At an Alarming Rate

> Then the same incapability to delay gratification lack of employment paying a livable wage that causes poverty also causes obesity.

FTFY.

I was referring to root causes, not the symptoms. The lack of employment paying a livable wage is the effect, not the cause, of other problems in a person's life. It is just about as far from a root cause as you can get.

Comment: Re:Should the United States accept more foreigners (Score 1) 369

by ranton (#47532839) Attached to: Western US States Using Up Ground Water At an Alarming Rate

*This*. I am middle class, have all the appliances I could ever want, but since I don't know how to cook, and neither does my wife, we end up eating more frozen dinners or eating out than cooking our own food because we have no idea how, and cookbooks only work when you have more than just the basics.

Which is why I added lack of education to my list. Lack of education doesn't just apply to literature and STEM related fields; it can also apply to more home economic related areas.

Comment: Re:Should the United States accept more foreigners (Score 0) 369

by ranton (#47532823) Attached to: Western US States Using Up Ground Water At an Alarming Rate

Go to the meat section of any supermarket. look at the 'healthy, low fat, all beef' hot dogs, for example.

Stop looking at meat. Of course good meat is expensive. But if you are poor, why are you eating much meat at all? Vegetables are much cheaper than meat, and much better for you too.

When people claim good food is expensive always jump on the price of good meat vs "pink slime"-like meat. But they completely miss that a low income diet should have very little meat at all. And this just points towards the low levels of education and inability to delay gratification that I mentioned.

Comment: Re:Should the United States accept more foreigners (Score 1) 369

by ranton (#47529459) Attached to: Western US States Using Up Ground Water At an Alarming Rate

None of the above. For most poor and even lower-middle class families, the limiting factor is lack of access to food preparation equipment and facilities. Low-income housing often lacks a kitchen. Even if you have a kitchen, one often lacks appliances; trying to subsist on unprocessed food without a refrigerator or a stove is difficult to put it mildly.

Are you just making this stuff up? 97.7% of poor households have a stove and oven. While there are certainly people like the ones you describe, they do not make up a significant part of the problem.

Comment: Re:Should the United States accept more foreigners (Score 1) 369

by ranton (#47528717) Attached to: Western US States Using Up Ground Water At an Alarming Rate

You mean PROCESSED food, stuff that comes from McDonalds, or stuff high in cheap fillers and crap like corn syrup.

REAL food, is pretty damn expensive unless you have the luxury of your own garden. Even with meat, there is a reason why pink slime and steak glue exist... and that isn't to make something more tasty.

The only places where processed food is significantly cheaper than processed food is in food deserts where a gas station is the only nearby place to buy food. In your standard supermarket, vegetables are incredibly cheap compared to what you would even find at McDonald's. For those with access to a supermarket, a combination of lack of time, lack of education, and lack of ability to delay gratification that causes people to eat junk food. Not money.

Comment: Re:Should the United States accept more foreigners (Score 3, Insightful) 369

by ranton (#47528641) Attached to: Western US States Using Up Ground Water At an Alarming Rate

Food is not cheap. Taking inflation into account, food prices are at an all-time high on a global basis. They're even higher than they were during World War II, when rationing was in place.

The price of food increasing far faster than wages has in fact resulted in more poverty, which has in fact resulted in more obesity is many nations around the world.

The parent post should have said developed countries instead of modern world, because in developed countries food certainly is cheap. In 1900 families spent 43% of their money on food, while in 2003 it was 13%. Food is incredibly cheap by historical standards, about a third of the cost of food 100 years ago. source

Poverty only correlates to obesity in areas where food is abundant. Then the same incapability to delay gratification that causes poverty also causes obesity. One does not cause the other, they have the same root cause.

Comment: Re:STEM is the new liberal arts degree (Score 1) 172

by ranton (#47523377) Attached to: For Half, Degrees In Computing, Math, Or Stats Lead To Other Jobs

How, exactly, does advanced math help anyone not actually working in some STEM related field in the modern world?

Unless you're talking about basic finance, understanding interest rates, rates of return and so forth - but for me this is not 'advanced' math.

Since the article was mentioning STEM degrees, the definition of 'advanced' math here is college level math. That basically means calculus and statistics, and then even more advanced as you start 300+ level courses. Most STEM degrees only require about 3-5 math courses, although math is often applied in many other courses taught in a STEM degree. I was a Physics major, and I did just as much math in my physics courses as I did in my math courses.

And as I mentioned in another post, math teaches logical thought, the use of precise definitions, the use of careful and rigorous arguments, etc. It is not the ability to do integrations that's important, it is the act of learning how to do integrations that matters. Or at least that is how the argument goes (which I agree with).

Comment: Re:STEM is the new liberal arts degree (Score 2) 172

by ranton (#47523325) Attached to: For Half, Degrees In Computing, Math, Or Stats Lead To Other Jobs

Learning high level math provides extreme advances in our current economy regardless of your actual job.

How so? That's a pretty bold statement.
I don't doubt your claim (I have a math bachelors degree, and a comp sci masters in progress), but I'd just like to hear your arguments.

The arguments are pretty standard. Math teaches logical thought, the use of precise definitions, the use of careful and rigorous arguments, etc, It involves taking a general problem and defining a set of very clearly stated problems and finding precise solutions to them. Those are the abstract answers, but in a world that is becoming more and more data driven, mathematical fields such as statistics even have practical applications for most fields. The mistake made by the first poster who claimed the article said 50% of STEM workers have no degree shows the problem with insufficient mathematical literacy.

Comment: Re:STEM is the new liberal arts degree (Score 5, Insightful) 172

by ranton (#47523091) Attached to: For Half, Degrees In Computing, Math, Or Stats Lead To Other Jobs

I've been in the industry for over a decade, and have used the calculus and statistics required for my CS degree precisely never.

That is no different than a philosophy student saying "I've been working for over a decade, and haven't had Plato's cave brought up in a single board meeting yet." The goal of a general education is not to train students in the tools they will use in their jobs, it is to train them how to think.

If you haven't used your increased capacity for logical thinking, or your ability to understand statistics greater than the average person, then you either never learned much in those classes or you just aren't being honest about how much you actually learned.

Comment: Re:~50% have no degree... (Score 1, Insightful) 172

by ranton (#47522763) Attached to: For Half, Degrees In Computing, Math, Or Stats Lead To Other Jobs

That's not at all what the data says. It says half of STEM graduates work in STEM. It could still be the case that 100% of STEM workers have STEM degrees.

The fact that this poster made this bad of a mistake in mathematical reading comprehension, and three other people already responded to his post without mentioning the mistake, shows why anyone with proper math training can be successful in almost any profession. People even marked the post as Insightful and Interesting when it was really just Ignorant.

Comment: STEM is the new liberal arts degree (Score 4, Insightful) 172

by ranton (#47522695) Attached to: For Half, Degrees In Computing, Math, Or Stats Lead To Other Jobs

The lure of a liberal arts degree has always been to have a very well rounded education that just makes you a smarter person instead of just teaching a certain profession. In today's technological world, STEM education is performing a very similar role. Learning high level math provides extreme advances in our current economy regardless of your actual job.

Hopefully colleges start to understand this and increase the level of math that all college graduates are required to learn. Perhaps in 20 years the average Gen Ed requirements of a Bachelors will require 20+ credits of math related courses to help prepare students for the modern world.

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