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Comment Re:Bingo (Score 2) 95

Gamification existed long before "online". People have always played the angles to get a better grade, and some even mistake the effort of "begging for points" for "doing actual work and learning from it". They've learned only how to game the system, so to them every future task becomes a game in which they only have to demonstrate a positive outcome.

We generally call them "executives."

Comment Re:"Online" classes (Score 1) 95

My online classes have occasionally included a few points for "participation". Some profs simply stated "thou shalt post thrice weekly to thy Blackboard forum", and that gets them off the hook for having to think about how to get online students to participate. They can show a metric to the department chair and say "see, 80% of my students are participating. Therefore your decision to mandate classroom participation online was a good and wise decision, o chair of my department." </brownNose>

The better profs didn't define participation. They simply said "I'll notice when you participate." The ambiguity encouraged people to speak up, ask questions, send emails, etc. I don't remember any case where the Blackboard forum was effectively used for "participation" in those classes.

Pretty much the only thing I ever remember people posting to Blackboard were whiny complaints about 'hey, I answered question #17 with A, and you said A and B, so I should get half credit right? And you should round all those half points up, so I will get a B- instead of a C+."

Comment Re:Your phone as a lifestyle: NO. (Score 2) 137

This lack of real communication between people is leading to more and more misunderstandings.

Au contraire. In an email, I can carefully choose the exact words to tell you what I think of you, your ideas, and describe in precise detail where you exist on the food chain. After reading that email, you will have no doubt as to what was said. In conversation, I could slip up and say the wrong thing in the presence of the wrong person, or forget what X said about Y even though I was there and so I must have been "listening".

Email is great. Conversation is for chumps.

Comment Re:Am I the only person... (Score 1) 193

... who still thinks being able to get a wireless internet link in an aircraft doing 600mph at 35K feet is pretty fucking amazing. I can't believe people complain about the bandwidth - they should be grateful this tech exists at all.

Yeah, but the problem is that the service offered today is exactly the same as the service that was offered in 2008. There has been basically zero progress over the course of over seven years, and the price has been steadily going up for that service.

Imagine if computers had the same capabilities, the same CPU speed, the same RAM, the same form factor, the same monitor resolutions, as they did in 2008 but cost a lot more. Who would still be buying them? (Basically the same people who buy airplane wi-fi service--business customers who have to.)

Yay, monopolies!

Comment Re:A corporation in jail - that's not gonna happen (Score 1) 188

Most of the things you list would punish the stock holders, who are just as likely to be a pension plan for retired veterans. You want to punish those responsible, not the senior citizens who got blindsided by the crimes of someone else.

Are you kidding? No retirement plan or index fund is heavily invested in a single stock, just in case something happens to the stock price. Corporate malfeasance is just one of many possibilities, so fund managers hedge their bets and spread the risk amongst dozens or hundreds of stocks. You're not going to seriously hurt grandpa Joe by bankrupting these slimeballs.

Regardless of their percentage of investment, the actions of the company are indeed the responsibility of the stockholders. While they may not have said "go do illegal things to increase my share value", they did not sell their stock as they profited from the ongoing illegal behavior. They can damn well lose that money if the corporation is found guilty.

"Sometimes insanity is the only alternative" -- button at a Science Fiction convention.