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Comment: Re:Over 18 (Score 1) 614

by slinches (#46768467) Attached to: IRS Can Now Seize Your Tax Refund To Pay a Relative's Debt

Yeah, there's certainly some difficulties in implementing the concept and the most feasible way I've thought of to make it happen is if all (or nearly all) of the states just ratified the necessary amendments without calling a conventional convention. It may not technically be constitutional (what has recently?), but it would be effective if the states acted collectively to cut off funding or possibly just threatened to do so.

Of course, there's lots of ways that could go wrong too. There are simply too many people with money/power that have a vested interest in keeping the status quo that any structural changes to the system will be immensely difficult.

I was just trying to find the most effective and least impossible way to solve the fundamental structural issues our government. Unfortunately, history suggests that such changes are unlikely without an armed revolt.

Comment: Re:Over 18 (Score 1) 614

by slinches (#46760973) Attached to: IRS Can Now Seize Your Tax Refund To Pay a Relative's Debt

Yes, at least temporarily. Everything that we've already committed to is law and would have to be funded, but future decisions about spending would be made with consideration of state funding in mind. Besides, it would make the structure of the government a lot more logical. Why have two houses of legislature at all if the job description of both is to bring home as much of the federal budget as possible?

With the states funding the feds, the House (representing the people as a whole) originating bills and the Senate (representing the states) accepting/rejecting them by weighing the costs against the benefits makes much more sense to me.

Comment: Re:Was it really Tesla's problem? (Score 2, Insightful) 152

by slinches (#46716065) Attached to: Under the Chassis: A Look At Tesla's Battery Shield

Going around road debris isn't always the best decision, so I wouldn't necessarily assume the driver is being careless. Running over something which may do some damage to your vehicle may be a much better alternative compared to hitting the vehicle in the next lane or swerving into oncoming traffic. Both of which would risk harming others.

Still, any vehicle with relatively low ground clearance is going to have trouble in this sort of scenario and the most anyone could claim is that the Model S is more prone to damaging expensive components. If that wasn't addressed, there could have been some liability issues in the sense that Tesla drivers may have a financial incentive to make a less safe decision in these sorts of scenarios. I think this, along with keeping the perception as the "safest car on the road" and general goodwill made it worthwhile to implement these design changes even though occupant safety was never really a serious concern.

This has really been a non-story from the start. Tesla had a minor design issue on a first generation vehicle and have consistently done the right thing for their customers as well the rest of the driving public in every decision they've made along the way. If only the same thing could be said for GM and their ignition switch problem.

Comment: Re:Glad to hear it! (Score 1) 392

by slinches (#46544251) Attached to: The Myth of the Science and Engineering Shortage

What are these open positions? I'm going to make a wild guess that your looking to replace some talented and experienced Engineers who are reaching the end of their career. If so, the problem with filling those spots has less to do with the number of quality STEM graduates and more to do with changing demographics and some short sighted business practices which have become standard.

Engineering is a highly diverse field with innumerable different specializations and combinations of requisite experience. In the early days, the only way to get people with these skills was to train them alongside those at the forefront of their field, a.k.a. apprenticeship. Then came university engineering degree programs. At first they made a lot of sense, giving students with an interest in a field a basic understanding of the principles. That way they could be much more quickly and easily trained by a company. The problem was that this worked a little too well and ever more specialized programs proliferated and were filled as the trend toward an increasingly educated populace grew. Then during the post-WW2 population boom there were enough candidates in the workforce that companies found they could hire for almost any position directly, without having the overhead of the lower level apprentice engineers. This is when the idea that engineering was fungible began. Once that was taken for granted, companies began enacting policies based on short term profits instead of long term growth with the idea that they could just hire more or better engineers as they're needed. And this worked well until the entire industry instituted the same practices. By then population growth was slowing, so the pool of "qualified" (read: already trained) candidates shrank.

Now we are facing a problem of having an aging workforce with irreplaceable skill sets developed over decades and businesses are unwilling to train young Engineers for fear they will be poached by the competition. It's a typical game theory conundrum. The first company to start trying to grow their workforce internally will be out-competed by the rest, but if none do it we all lose.

Comment: Re:Mischaracterization of problem (Score 1) 231

by slinches (#46400309) Attached to: Teaching Calculus To 5-Year-Olds

So the 100 problem task is used to find those who did not finish because they did not have time because they did not understand the concepts.

You're assuming that the speed at which the problems are solved is positively correlated with fundamental understanding of the concepts. For problems like multiplication, this isn't really the case. Someone who memorizes the "times tables" may have a less complete understanding of the concept but finish quicker.

This is the flaw in timed math assignments with a large number of problems. It penalizes taking time to think about the problems and come up with the correct answer in favor of rote memorization. And worst of all is these tests are given before the students have had the time to fully learn the subject and recognize the patterns that would make memorization easier.

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