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Comment Keytronic lifetime (Score 1) 452 452

I've used the keytronic lifetime series for a long time (since 1998), and am very happy. They have good travel, but are reasonably quiet. And the "lifetime" part of the name refers to the warranty, which they stand behind, without any attempt get out of it. I use the lifetime trackball, which is ergonomically awesome, but unfortunately uses a mechanical trackball, which means that it doesn't last very long (about a year!!!!). The keyboard part always outlasts the trackball.

Comment Re:Opinion from experience (Score 1) 700 700

The key observation from you post is that college classes don't have any prerequisites (this was my experience as well). You can learn everything there for the first time, no harm. So maybe it doesn't matter how much material you cover in home school. I covered very little before college, but went on to get a PhD

Comment Personal experience: easy and excellent outcome (Score 1) 700 700

My personal experience as a homeschooled kid was excellent academically, and somewhat difficult socially.

First, academics: my parents did little beyond the first couple years. They helped me learn to read and do basic math, and then let the books teach me, but really I didn't bother much with the books. I was intellectually curious about the world, however, which I think more than made up for book learning. At 16 I started taking college classes, first at a community college, then at a reasonable state school ( By 18 I had 1/3 of a degree's worth of college credits, all As, at which point I transferred to a good liberal arts college (, which didn't have grades. I also did well there, as evidenced by getting into several very good PhD programs (MIT, UCSD, Brown). I chose UCSD, and aside from taking a long time to get the PhD I also did very well there.

Did my easy going home schooling experience hurt me? I don't think so. Yes, there were many topics I learned about the very first time in college, but as it turns out that's a fine time to first encounter difficult material. My first community college class was all I really needed to adjust to school learning. It wasn't an easy adjustment, but we are only talking 3 months of my life here, and I still got an A in the class. So, to sum up: home schooling can be pretty easy on the parents and the student.

As for the social side: it was isolating. But I was living in a very small town, where the only other kids were 15 minutes car ride away, or more. I was lonely a lot, and only had a few friends. That started to change when I first went to college, but as a commuter at a state school, the opportunities weren't that good for a shy kid. Going to the residential liberal arts college really helped, and I made lots of friends there, some of which I keep in touch with in the real world (not just facebook). I hope that living in a big city (san diego) will make the socialization part easier for my daughter at an earlier age than it was for me.

To conclude: it worked well for me, and wasn't that hard for my parents. I plan to homeschool my daughter.

Comment solution: religious protection (Score 1) 784 784

It seems like >95% of the posts here are in support of the parents. The next logical question should be "what can we do about this"? Sure, there are political avenues, but those are slow.

I think there might be a much faster way - we already have a special class of people who can mistreat their children by most of societies standards and get away with it - I'm thinking here of the Christian Scientists who deny almost all medial treatment to their children, and the Jehovah's witnesses who deny a smaller but still measurable subset (anything requiring blood transfusions).

If you can use religious freedom to justify clearly life-threatening decisions for your children, then I suspect so called "free-range parenting" could also gain protection given the right scripture. Perhaps the religion that offers this already exists; if not it shouldn't be so hard to create....

Comment Re:The best gift? (Score 5, Insightful) 113 113

Agreed. I thought maybe this piece would be interesting because it would feature interesting gear rather than poorly thought out opinions and commentary. But apparently he can't even choose interesting gifts let alone solve mildly difficult real-world problems.

I'd use slashdot beta if it offered Haselton free reading.

A programming language is low level when its programs require attention to the irrelevant.