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Comment: Re:In other news (Score 1) 70

Grass isn't green -- it just absorbs red and blue light. And the sky refracts white light, letting through blue. And even so, "red," "green," and "blue," and "wet" are human created constructs. In an absolute sense, there's no difference between water and air and dirt; they're all made up of the same stuff. Holy shit, that means we can turn lead into gold! I'll be back -- gotta alchemize my fortune.

Comment: Re:Real Life Skills (Score 1) 298

by thedonger (#49735471) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Tech Skills Do HS Students Need To Know Now?

1. Change a tire, fill the radiator, change the battery, change the oil (at least know how to check it). 2. Understand the plumbing system in your home. 3. Know how to cook without a microwave and prepackaged foods. 4. Basic least know the difference between North South East West. 5. Basic understanding of firearms. 6. Read a map and get somewhere without GPS. 7. How to sharpen a knife. 8. Long division, multiplication, etc...with a pencil and paper. 9. How to swim. 10. Make fire.

Time to go home, so that's all you get.

I learned all of those (except half of #1) before I was 12 (for perspective, 1984), so I take for granted their presence in my life. Unfortunately, I think numbers 3, 4, 6, and 7 are skills in short supply among parents these days, which means their children will also not have those skills. (People think they know how to sharpen knives, but give them a set of stones and some honing oil and they will look at you cross eyed.) Number 5 is taboo for many people, as their understanding is simply "firearms are dangerous and they kill people," which engenders fear rather than understanding or respect.

In regard to the original question, I think "writing" is the most appropriate answer. People should learn your 10 steps before 7th grade.

Comment: Re:Cursive (Score 1) 298

by thedonger (#49729407) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Tech Skills Do HS Students Need To Know Now?


Grammar, Spelling, and Effective Communication Skills

You can learn all the technology skills you can imagine -- SQL, code from the lowest level to the most abstract, transfer protocols, etc. -- but effective communication skills (writing, speaking, and presenting) will set you apart from others.

Comment: Re:PT Barnum (and the Onceler) knew the answer... (Score 1) 270

by thedonger (#49699285) Attached to: Here Comes the Keurig of Everything

>> does having a single- or limited-purpose device make really make sense for consumables that aren't coffee?

If you can find enough suckers to buy them and yield big profits, then yes. (See the original Keurig, for example.)

It isn't just about suckers. It is also about the old Star Trek ideal: The Replicator. Some people will want it for novelty. Others will actually want it, as they seed food only as nourishment and don't care how it is delivered. Look at all the shit we have put into our bodies over the decades - TV dinners, microwaveable everything, frozen whatnot, meal replacement [insert unit of food here] - and you'll see we're always looking for a shortcut. We aren't any healthier for it, and of course blame everyone (marketers, government or lack thereof, evil corporations, Bill Gates and his eugenics squad) and everything (saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, cholesterol, gluten, grain, etc) other than ourselves.

Sorry, that derailed a bit. Uh. Replicator. Seacrest out.

Comment: Re:Well you want offensive ? (Score 1) 603

by thedonger (#49698491) Attached to: A Plan On How To Stop Sexism In Science

If meritocracy were a real thing, Bush would never have been President.

Politics isn't a meritocracy. Again, no absolutism in qualifications exists. If it did then we wouldn't need elections -- we could just do an absolute comparison of qualifications and know who is the most qualified for the job.

Comment: Re:Well you want offensive ? (Score 1) 603

by thedonger (#49698461) Attached to: A Plan On How To Stop Sexism In Science

If meritocracy were a real thing, Justin Bieber would never have amounted to anything more than one of countless Youtube uploaders that no one cares about.

Pop music isn't a meritocracy. Otherwise - try to follow this - every high school valedictorian would also have been the most popular kid in high school. Also consider that there is no absolutism in music. Otherwise - this is more straightforward - we would all listen to the same music.

Comment: Re:Well you want offensive ? (Score 3, Informative) 603

by thedonger (#49698443) Attached to: A Plan On How To Stop Sexism In Science

Yep, inertia is a powerful thing.

Here's another example for you: If meritocracy were a real thing, GM and Chrysler would have gone out of business in the 1980s (probably Ford too).

Chrysler was on the brink of bankruptcy in 1981 (ish), but was bailed out. Then a few years ago - along with GM - they were on the brink of bankruptcy and were bailed out. Meritocracy (in the form of people spending their money) really tried to exert its will on the car companies.

Comment: Re:Well you want offensive ? (Score 1) 603

by thedonger (#49698371) Attached to: A Plan On How To Stop Sexism In Science

Wrong. Obama was indeed pretty short on merit, as was Reagan (a former B-list actor of all things). Just being a governor doesn't mean you'll be a good president.

But "just being a governor" of a large, populace state is certainly more relevant to being president than "just being a junior senator."

Comment: Re:How hard will this break Corp Intranet apps? (Score 2) 133

by thedonger (#49673169) Attached to: Microsoft Is Confident In Security of Edge Browser

Don't worry, a few days after release we will find that all the old crap can be turned on with registry tweak. Microsoft never writes new programs. They are just polishing a turd as usual.

Either way, I have seen so many low-power, corporate users switch to Chrome in the last couple years that I doubt Edge will get the market share typically enjoyed by IE. After all, it was the masses not willing to be early adopters of Firefox, Chrome, or Opera that kept IE in the forefront. Once legacy business apps that require IE (probably 8/9 with a smattering of 7 and 10) disappear or are converted, Edge will just be another browser. And "IE" usage stats won't prop it up because as a browser it will necessarily be a separate usage group from preceding versions.

Comment: Re:Deniers (Score 1) 525

...if it disagrees with their pre-determined world view

Everyone -- scientists, janitors, senators, saviors riding triceratops -- engages in this exact behavior. Logic and reason work only so long as the individual's core belief is not called into question, and at that point they line up on their predetermined side of whatever topic is being discussed.

And please don't pretend that science is above reproach and never wrong. It involves people, and ultimately all people, no matter how credentialed are prone to the same failings.

Some of my readers ask me what a "Serial Port" is. The answer is: I don't know. Is it some kind of wine you have with breakfast?