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Comment Re:Sure are a lot of morons in this thread (Score 1) 387

They're eating up the author's framing as if it was literally what Nye said. What he actually said was that NASCAR should reward fuel efficiency as well as speed, as it would make a more interesting engineering problem.

If fuel efficiency weren't the most important engineering factor involved, he'd look a lot less like an elitist prick right now.

Comment Re:Bill Nye PR Fail (Score 1) 387

I grew up in the USian Southeast. I got to meet and spend a lot of time with *many* NASCAR fans. 80% of them both don't give a shit about *any* of the applied science behind somewhat-high-performance racing, *and* are educationally and constitutionally incapable of *understanding* said science.

The same is true of NASA fans, in my experience. They know more buzzwords, sure, but they don't understand them any more than NASCAR rednecks do.

Comment This isn't aimed at PC users (Score 0) 478

It's aimed at Appleheads, the people who are actually going to buy Apple products. Apples isn't trying to convince any PC user to buy Apple products, they're trying to convince Apple users to my more Apple products. Making them feel smug and superior is a very well proven marketing technique for them.

Comment Lemons and Making Lemonade (Score 1) 242

Based on the trend in recent years of most commercials being ads for other shows, I'm guessing this is just a reflection of the fact that they literally can't sell as many ad slots as they used to. They might as well pretend they're doing this for some reason other than desperation.

"I meant to do that. Yeah, that's the ticket."

Comment Re:A better idea (Score 4, Interesting) 284

Pretty much plan isn't going to work if you allow for blatant rule-breaking. Make it so if you have a "junior apprentice programmer" that has 20 years of experience and is running the project, the company gets fined and the hiring manager risks jail time. Have random audits to confirm people are following the rules. Enforce those rules.

And watch the auditors start buying expensive boats and cars, and taking long vacations in exotic resorts, because then the game is to get your competitor in trouble with accusations of wrongdoing, true or not.

There is no rule that can't be gamed. The only benefit to changing the rules is that it forces the game players to learn the new rules. Sometimes, it might even change the winners. But it'll still be gamed, and still to the advantage of those at the top.

Comment Re:totally reasonable (Score 4, Interesting) 321

I met a reporter from a local fishwrap once, in the early 80s, doing an article on D&D. We patiently explained what roleplaying games were all about, the social aspects, the requirement for cooperative action, the problem solving challenges, etc. The final article had supposedly first hand accounts about miniatures screaming as they melt when thrown into a fireplace (no, that's the guy who threw it there screaming as the owner of the mini beats him to death with a 50 pound miniatures case) and gamers summoning actual, physically manifesting demons in pentagrams drawn on naked women's stomachs (heh, no gamer I ever knew could concentrate well enough to do the ritual in the presence of a naked woman!).

The reality is that gaming does tend to (somewhat) attract social outcasts, who are generally more accepting of weird than most people (RPGNet excepted, of course), but you just can't play an RPG alone. It's inherently a social activity. In my experience, people who show up at a gaming club that have real emotional issues end up better for being around other people who have been there. And are more likely to get professional help if they continue to deteriorate.

Comment Re:Maybe they're playing a different RPG than I am (Score 1) 321

I've been in games where the GM didn't exert authority. Briefly. They always end up a complete clusterfuck of "Did not!" "Did so!" over and over. There has to be a final authority on game mechanics, or it's just improvisational acting. And even that usually has a director.

The clothes have no emperor. -- C.A.R. Hoare, commenting on ADA.