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Comment Re:Helping Castro (Score 2) 166

the situation in cuba only happened because of the USSR. an embargo made sense when the ussr was trying to smuggle nukes to cuba to use against us.

The situation in cuba only happened because of the USA. The USSR had to smuggle in nukes to use against the USA because the USA had positioned nukes in Turkey, targeting Moskow. Doing the embargo against cuba was a move driven by domestic politics; it ignored cause and effect.

Comment Re:Families (Score 1) 218

The problem when researching the correlation between parent-child relationship and daycare, as always in psychology and education, is the confounding variable of the parental socio-economic background. If you don't control for that at all, you'll get the result that the earlier children start to visit daycare, the more likely they'll show developmental problems. That's because poor families are more likely to have single parents, stressed out parents (multiple jobs, precarious economic situation etc.), and so on. These factors hinder optimal development. The better a study is at controlling for that factor, e.g. by making sure the distribution of working class and middle class families stays the same in both the early daycare group and the late daycare group, the less visible this correlation becomes.
Sometimes politics create the best test cases for questions like this one: The formerly divided parts of Germany proofed great for this: Before the fall of the Iron courtain, Western Germany mostly held the traditional view of the single male earner and the stay-at-home mom, where only some working class children, out of economic necessity, got into daycare before they were three years old. Contrast that to East Germany, where it was quite usual that to give the children into daycare when they were 6 weeks old (!) - most if not all women were fully employed in the GDR.
Of course this has been studied quite intensly after the fall of the Wall. The results: No real difference in parent-child relationship between East and West German children.

Comment Re:Families (Score 1) 218

Yeah, but the effect is that both parents are in full-time work by the time the child is two, who is then raised 7-8 hours a day in daycare. This is not exactly improving the child-parent relationship compared to one full-time carer until they reach school age.

As an educationalist I have to mention that this is simply untrue. The quality of the child-parent relationship doesn't correlate with daycare. At all. That relationship is mainly synonymous with a strong sense of trust (or successfull bonding, the e.g. the attachment theory by Bowlby, if you want to read more).

Comment Re:Lots of cheap carbon stuff (Score 1) 652

Thanks for following up! You had a small mixup there, 28 million were all pregnancies, including planned ones, leaving only 12.25 unplanned pregnanies, of which 3.3 occur in the U.S, which is a bit above average, given 1.2 billion people in developed nations.

The absolute numbers are misleading, though, as pregnancies are not evenly distributed among the countries. More relevant the relative amount of unplanned pregnancies among all pregnancies among a given country. There, the U.S. has 49% - 51% ([1],[2]) unplanned pregnancies, France has 33% [1] and Britain has 16% [1].

The numbers get even more drastic if you look at teenagers only. There, the US has 5 times as much unplanned pregnancies (relative to overall population) as Germany [3].

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Comment Re:Another child making unsupported claims (Score 1) 203

It's hard to fit into a world where the average person really is dumber than you.

Quite the opposite, the 50% of the population has no problem to "fit into a world where the average person really is dumber than you."

The problem is not the intelligence of the kid, but the fact he thinks he's gifted. If you achieve good grades in school without effort and your parents constantly tell you you're gifted, you never really learn the correlation between effort and achievement. Then, suddenly, the real world kicks in. Other young adults, not gifted but learning none the less, catched up. Now they get the interesting jobs.

If you have contact to a gifted child, it's important to give him/her appropriate input. Put the focus on productive output, on effort (e.g. for a kid with math skills: Present interesting engineering problems, perhaps a bridge has to be built over a creek or something similar). On helping others and on developing the ability to communicate effectively with non-gifted kids (or adults).

Comment Re:Political/Moral (Score 1) 305

An "economist" like in the article is a macro economist while your investing neighbor most probably is a micro economist. Same field, different point of view. A macro economist does stuff like predicting the housing bubble, but may suck mightily as a CEO of a company (and vice versa for the micro economist).

Neckties strangle clear thinking. -- Lin Yutang