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Comment post office ? highway system ? public schools ? (Score 1) 2044

Don't know where you live, but I think it's amazing that you can send a snail mail for less than 50c; the roads are ok where I live and my public schools are great. In the US, government is reasonably efficient and it provides a different price/performance/access point that private industry.

You want next day delivery ? use FedEx, but pay $20 (or more ?). Have you seen private toll roads ? I grew up in Mexico, where they're common; you pay about $40 to go from Merida to CanCun (about 200 miles). You want to go into a good private school ? be prepared to spend $15000/yr, and make sure your kid is really good, or he/she won't get in. I'm not saying private companies offer bad choices, but they're *different* choices, I like that the govt provides decent basic services.

Comment Re:So Ignorant It Hurts (Score 1) 1252

While the article is a bit biased as well as the people it covers, a lot of the things these people tout amount to plain ignorance.

More elementally, they hold that the United States was founded by devout Christians ...


NOT quite; it was founded by many people, many (most ? ) of them being devout Christians but NOT all;

Comment Talent PLUS luck (Score 5, Insightful) 684

There's many talented and hard working people (much more talented and much harder working than myself), but only some of them are gazillionaires; the external environment (that I summarize as luck) counts a lot; both who are your parents (which heavily influences how you develop your talents, which schools you go to etc) and being at the right place at the right time.

If you think about it, Bill Gates was probably going to be a millionaire (his parents were very well off, he was (is?) driven, very smart and an SOB :), however, if IBM hadn't messed up, the timing hadn't been right etc he'd probably just be one more millionaire.

Comment Reuse != Cheating (Score 2, Informative) 684

The problem with cheating is NOT reuse, but dishonesty; the right analogy is not to reuse *your company's* code or report, but *somebody else's* report or code, which leads to lawsuits against your company and firing. In many (most?) programming assignments in school, you are given starting code (like this one except for ....)

Comment You don't have to do it all at once ! (Score 1) 712

I don't know the exact numbers, but let's assume you change your roof every 20 years, so 5% of houses will get their roof replaced this year, lets ask/push people to use lighter shades (or white), probably same cost (just replaced my roof, color didn't affect price to me, so I assume doesn't affect supply cost), in 20 years, it's all replaced (not centuries !)

Comment nobody says do it all at once (Score 1) 712

Back of the envelope, if roofs last an average of 20 years, we're replacing 5% of the roofs every year; lets replace with lighter shades. I just did that (they didn't have the good shingles in white, so I chose the lighter possible shade of gray they had). Only about a month in, AC runs noticeably less now (but we'll see when the real Summer is in :)

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"The fundamental principle of science, the definition almost, is this: the sole test of the validity of any idea is experiment." -- Richard P. Feynman