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Comment Re:Wow (Score 1) 1198

I don't understand why people conflate my distaste for revenge (i.e. justice) with condoning his actions. The man was rightfully put down. I don't think that sort of criminal can be rehabilitated. But making sure he suffers puts us on his level. It's petty and barbaric, and when someone has the capacity to enjoy violence, for any reason, it gives me serious misgivings about them. Like, for example, all the people saying that he should have suffered.

Comment Re:Wow (Score 1) 1198

I think you misunderstand. I'm not arguing against the death penalty. I think for some people it's completely justified, the same way you'd put down a dangerous animal. But it should be quick and humane. We shouldn't get any joy or satisfaction from ending a life. If we enjoy killing someone, we're not so different, deep down inside, from other people who enjoy killing people (e.g. serial killers.)

It's not that I think they should have let him live, it's that the capacity to enjoy violence terrifies me. And I'm seeing that capacity in a lot of Slashdotters right now.

Comment Re:Wow (Score 1) 1198

I think you misunderstand. I'm not arguing against the death penalty. I think for some people it's completely justified, the same way you'd put down a dangerous animal. But it should be quick and humane. We shouldn't get any joy or satisfaction from ending a life. If we enjoy killing someone, we're not so different, deep down inside, from other people who enjoy killing people (e.g. serial killers.)

The capacity to enjoy violence terrifies me.

Does it feel like justice?

This is part of the problem. Justice is just another word for revenge. It's petty and primitive. Justice shouldn't feel like anything. Penal systems are not about getting justice; they're about protecting the general populace.

Comment Wow (Score 4, Insightful) 1198

There are a lot of bloodthirsty people here on Slashdot.

I think it's a good thing to try to move away from the, "He made others suffer so he should suffer," mentality. Punishment, capital or otherwise, should be about rendering the criminal incapable of commiting futher crimes to protect the populace. It's self defense, nothing more. Making sure that criminals suffer is barbaric. It turns my stomach a bit, and I liked that cinnamon roll.

Comment Re:victorian clerks.. (Score 1) 312

I inherited a cushioned rolling chair when I inherited my desk, and it was awful. It was heavy and bulky, which is a problem when you share a small office with three other people. And jesus christ was it uncomfortable. When I couldn't take it anymore, I found a simple wooden chair unused in storage somewhere, swapped it out, and never looked back. It's comfy, I can lean back, there are no arms to get in my way (who needs a chair with arms at a desk anyway?), and it's small enough to comfortable slide into my desk when my officemates need more space.

Cheap chairs ftw.

Comment Re:Higher SAT scores, etc (Score 1) 529

Maybe some states don't have a gifted program, but before we all go tilting at windmills, maybe we should realize this is a state-level problem, one that does not apply to Virginia, and may not apply to your state either.

Maybe the federal government should be putting pressure on states that don't have good gifted programs.

For that matter, what about the kids in Virginia that slip through the cracks? What happens to gifted Bobby McPoorkid whose parents bring home less than $20k in Nowhere, VA? You know, the county with the school that got their federal funding cut because not a high enough percentage of kids graduate. Does he get scholarships to go to a boarding school? What if his parents can't afford to get by without his help? Will the state government pay for the entire McPoorkid family just so their brightest might be something someday?

Comment Re:Failing as a math teacher (Score 2) 114

This is how definitions work. Definitions would get absurdly long and difficult to read if we defined everything in terms of first principles. I could concisely describe a solvable group as a group having a subnormal serious whose factor groups are all abelian. If I have to go back and explain group and subnormal series and factor groups and abelian it ballloons to a page in length, and those are all concepts that are useful elsewhere is well.

Presumably that author wasn't just defining things cyclically and had defined cardinality elsewhere. You'd just have to go back and look it up.

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"Most of us, when all is said and done, like what we like and make up reasons for it afterwards." -- Soren F. Petersen

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