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Comment: "I am not a number!" (Score 3, Interesting) 228

by swell (#48407491) Attached to: The Dutch Village Where Everyone Has Dementia

Shades of another quaint and serene Village from 1967, where The Prisoner (- a Secret Agent, played by Patrick McGoohan) was kept in a surreal setting among people who sometimes behaved as though brain dead. The quote reflects the prisoner's anger that nobody in the Village would call him by name; only his assigned number 6. [Wikipedia]

Still, everything was provided to the inmates. If The Prisoner wasn't so stubborn he might have enjoyed it. (Youngsters rejoice; if you missed the original Prisoner TV series, you may have another chance- director Christopher Nolan may be planning a movie version.)

Comment: Re:the Government (Score 1) 132

by swell (#48377743) Attached to: Drone Sightings Near Other Aircraft Up Dramatically

"The government is getting near-daily reports..."

As I hinted, 'the government' is a useless phrase. Are we referring to the US Commerce Dept? The US FDA? The California Dept. of Food and Agriculture? The Texas Dept. of White Supremacy? There are ten thousand agencies, most unrelated to the others and few that the US Administration can be held responsible for (but go ahead, blame Obama). It is helpful to be specific.

Comment: the Government (Score 4) 132

by swell (#48376149) Attached to: Drone Sightings Near Other Aircraft Up Dramatically

"The government is getting near-daily reports..."

I want Slashdot readers to know I love them for so many insights. But let's not be arrogant about US citizenship. Many readers are not so blessed, and when we say "the government" they may be confused about which we are referring to.

Please, then, say "the US government" if that is what you are speaking of. Notice that most of those outsiders specify which government they are speaking of. And for all you little foreigners, I hope you benefit from this message.

Comment: circular links (Score 1) 86

by swell (#48376109) Attached to: After Silk Road 2.0 Shutdown, Rival Dark Net Markets Grow Quickly

The link is to Every link at dailydot is to another dailydot page. Yes, this often happens at slashdot, but it is a sign of, um, what should I call it? When you only link to your own site, you may not be serving the public as well as you could.

I'd like to see links to insightful pages outside the original site. That is increasingly harder to find. This 'Evolution' site is said to be the 'biggest Dark Net market of all time' and yet there is no link to it or to any site that has something useful to say about it. This /. story seems to be a useless tease.

Comment: meh (Score 2) 50

by swell (#48348477) Attached to: Prehistory's Brilliant Future

I was a great fan of paleontology as a child. I was in awe of the creatures and the dedicated scientists that discovered them. Now, not so much.

After many decades of exploration and documentation of discoveries, how much useful information has been uncovered? These new discoveries are mildly interesting to an adult.

Biology in the past, as biology today is not built upon awesome organisms that prey on giant creatures; it is far more about microscopic organisms. These often determine the fate of the glamorous plants and animals, and are far more important.

As an adult, I'd like to learn about the less visibly impressive creatures that truly formed the world we have now. Funding for the study of ancient amoeba, fungi and bacteria may be hard to find, but should honest research take second fiddle to spectacular showmanship?

Comment: Re:Ridiculous, but so are college degrees (Score 1) 173

by swell (#48343027) Attached to: Codecademy's ReSkillUSA: Gestation Period For New Developers Is 3 Months

[good analysis from parent]

Western Civilization was built upon an education system that was intended to prepare students for life. They were instructed in the Arts and Sciences (such as they were then) and the skills to succeed in their environment. Philosophy and analytic thinking were prized.

It may be the Industrial Age that brought about our current thinking about education. Early on, there was still emphasis upon languages, history, philosophy; but more and more education came to be about training people to feed industrial needs.

Now there is little pretense of preparing a generation to appreciate art, language, culture... Colleges require a smattering of these but it's clearly about job preparation.

The parent article says "I think the industry needs some sort of advanced trade schools..." and that is exactly right. High school students can choose a 'career college' and learn programming, medicine or structural engineering etc, or they can choose a 'liberal college' that teaches them about the world in which they will live- Culture, history, all the arts... These people will become the thoughtful advisers to corporations and government, teachers of younger people, and guides to the people in their own community who lack a broad education. Their motto will be

Comment: think of the children (Score 0) 250

by swell (#48342815) Attached to: Long-term Study Finds No Link Between Video Game Violence and Real Violence

"Violent video game consumption was strongly correlated with declines in youth violence."

This correlates with the number of youths playing violent games in Mom's basement. If they don't leave home, the crime rate drops. Furthermore, being loaded with chips, Twinkies & soda leaves them less able to rise from their desks and commit crimes. Damage to sight & hearing, along with 'trigger twitch' further diminishes their energetic output in crime.

This isn't really a plus for society. Medical care for those gamers who reach adulthood will tax the rest of us heavily. A Kickstarter campaign is proposed for: Think of the Children! It is proposed that by encouraging the kids to masturbate to online porn, they will be cured of their tendency to violence. A parallel campaign will preach: Make Love, not War!

Comment: Re:Is this the new science-speak? (Score 1) 91

by swell (#48335435) Attached to: Revolutionary New View of Baby Planets Forming Around a Star

" One of the things that we've already learned from such images"

TFA suggests that this is a unique image from a new telescope. Are you saying that there are others? Who is this 'we' you are referring to? You say 'according to our models'- are you saying that you are one of the scientists involved? You seem to be suggesting that I should have been able to understand all this from looking at the picture, and yet you have not said how this new image will inform myself and other slashdot readers of anything.

Have you even looked at the image or are you just copying the text of the article?

Comment: Is this the new science-speak? (Score 0) 91

by swell (#48332113) Attached to: Revolutionary New View of Baby Planets Forming Around a Star

...mind blowing, powerful, my friends, mother-of-all, dazzling, awesome, astounded, revolutionize...
Or is it more like something in your spam folder?

That is an amazing telescope but unfortunately to my eyes the pictures are not informative. Perhaps tomorrow some details will be highlighted to show ordinary folks what the excitement is about.

Comment: your mind: the Final Frontier (Score 1) 109

by swell (#48319527) Attached to: Computer Scientists Say Meme Research Doesn't Threaten Free Speech

Geezers will remember the race between USSR & USA to develop 'mind control' technology through much of the last century. America got a late start and rushed to catch up to the decades old Soviet research. Similar to the 'space race' but less publicized. [It is said that-] This research ended in 2003. You may find interesting information with a search for the MKUltra program. Traditional media tend not to report such things but here are some links:

Comment: Re:spare the rod, spoil the child (Score 1) 273

by swell (#48318899) Attached to: Too Many Kids Quit Science Because They Don't Think They're Smart

"Personally I find a fair proportion of jazz a turgid cacophony."

Don't let your own shortcomings limit your children as well. If you don't like Picasso are you suggesting that your children should be expected to do the same? Expose them to the best stimuli available, whether or not you like it. Let them decide. Music, and jazz in particular, seems to have a powerful positive influence on the developing mind. Many forms of art are rooted in mathematics.

Comment: spare the rod, spoil the child (Score 3, Insightful) 273

by swell (#48315331) Attached to: Too Many Kids Quit Science Because They Don't Think They're Smart

Speak roughly to your little boy
and beat him when he sneezes
he only does it to annoy
because he knows it teases.
[ ]

Every child should read Alice in Wonderland. It's not easy reading, but they will get it. It presents a complex world that is not easy for young Alice, but she has pluck and forges ahead. It is an adventure that requires courage and confidence and a tremendous example for young people- boys and girls.

Challenge your children. Give them Poe, Swift, R.L. Stevenson, quality scifi, etc. Give them fine music & jazz, fine art and the opportunity to create art, give them geography, history, dinosaurs and bioscience. Don't numb their brains with superhero TV & games.

There is more to education than job training. There is life. Give them a head start. Love them.

Hackers of the world, unite!