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Comment: Re:Texting Maths (Score 2) 386

by styrotech (#49730697) Attached to: Microsoft To Teachers: Using Pens and Paper Not Fair To Students

I disagree. Learning supposedly useless subjects like maths and art etc seem to help in wiring up neurons in your teenage brain to be able to unconsciously think or see better than otherwise.

It isn't the specific details of the math subject matter that is the benefit - that stuff is forgotten. I don't directly use any math techniques in my day to day life, but I can appreciate how a few years of learning it and practising solving problems in things like geometry, trig and calculus has given me a really intuitive feel for quantities, spaces and their changing relationships etc that I wouldn't have had without it.

Long term, learning is less about retaining specifics and more about training your brain to be able to learn stuff. Different subjects can exercise different pathways and it's all potentially valuable.

Your conscious mind may have forgotten all the specifics, but your unconscious mind has been improved by that practice and given your intuition a better starting point when solving new problems. And you may not really be aware of it.

No learning is completely useless. Although some teaching can be completely useless.

Comment: Re:Texting Maths (Score 1) 386

by styrotech (#49730569) Attached to: Microsoft To Teachers: Using Pens and Paper Not Fair To Students

Most of the art classes I've taken in school really didn't allow any free expression. Most of there were something along the lines of create a copy of what the teacher does.

I had the opposite experience. Our art teacher mostly left us to it. He'd often turn up late hungover or stoned and just sit in the corner with his sunglasses on. Other times he'd do his own paid portrait work in class while he left us to it. He was (still is) a nationally recognised artist.

It was fun though :)

Comment: Re:Ungreatful Cunt (Score 1) 214

by styrotech (#49695321) Attached to: Harry Shearer Walks Away From "The Simpsons," and $14 Million

Think about that for a moment, folks. That's a QUARTER of a fucking CENTURY. Many Slashdotters weren't even born then, and for most of the rest, it's still been more than half of their lifetime.

What? Are you telling me there are Slashdotters under 40? Wow!

Seeing as though there's nobody on the lawn, I thought all the youngsters were all off twitting their instachats or something.

Comment: Re:*Data rated* fireproof safe (Score 1) 446

Ordinary fireproof safes are designed to keep papers from bursting into flames. Data rated fireproof safes keep the interior temperature under 125F/50C, like say this one so computer media survives just fine.

And to be extra sure, put a smaller safe inside a larger safe. The truly paranoid amongst us though use three safes!

Comment: Re:Are there any good books published by Packt? (Score 1) 29

by styrotech (#49381929) Attached to: Book Review: Drush For Developers, 2nd Edition

They can occasionally be adequate, but yeah mostly they are not so good.

Packt's niche is not paying authors much, not editing or checking their work much, but letting just about anyone sign up to write a book on their pet topic (often it seems as a loss leading personal or project marketing exercise).

The advantages of this is that they get a wide coverage of topics and are often the only publisher who will produce a book for less trendy or more obscure/specialist subjects. The downside is that the books on average are worse than everyone else's.

Rapidly aging tech books on niche topics will never sell many copies, so only the very cheapest to produce will get published.

Quantity over quality. Sometimes though for a less popular and badly documented open source project, a Packt book might be the only option.

Comment: Re:I feel for them... (Score 1) 273

Even if some of those conflicts overall can be comparable in scale, the scale of US involvement and the role the US had in initiating them (which are the 'appetite for war' bits the president is responsible for) were quite different.

Kosovo, Libya and Syria were conflicts already well underway before US involvement and there were no US ground invasions (yet at least).

Comment: Re:I feel for them... (Score 1) 273

Democrats start just as many wars. Clinton has Kosovo, Obama has Lybia and Syria. They all start wars.

I'm not trying to take particular side here - but I don't think comparing Kosovo, Libya and Syria to Iraq 1, Afganistan and Iraq 2 really works that well in terms of scale, cost and destruction. ie some minimal half hearted air strikes vs large invasions.

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