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Comment Re:This Is Beyond Inane & Changes Nothing (Score 3, Insightful) 232

Which is one of the reasons why intellectual "property" is such an absurd concept.

Every system of property is designed with one thing in mind: Scarcity.

If you take away scarcity, there's no need to have property. If my car could be duplicated infinitely so that anyone who wanted one could have one, imagine filing the police report:

Me: Someone stole my car last night!
Officer: What does your car look like?
Me: Well, I drove it here, so take a look out in the parking lot
Officer: So... Someone stole your car but yet it was there in the morning?
Me: Yes!
Officer: Was any of the gas gone?
Me: No.
Officer: Did the thief take anything?
Me: No.
Officer: Was anything broken or damaged?
Me: No.
Officer: So... what exactly is the crime?
Me: But... they STOLE my car!

The only "IP" worth having is trademarks because it prevents fraud (you can't have two game makers called Nintendo that both use the exact same logo because consumers will consistently be defrauded because there is no way to tell the two different products apart).

Comment Re:Put the straw man away (Score 1) 232

Except that isn't capitalism (at least not in the Libertarian/Anarcho-Capitalist sense of the word).

There are two questions to ask yourself in a capitalist society on whether something is acceptable those are:

A) Does it involve force? (such as theft, murder, rape, etc.)

B) Does it involve fraud? (such as saying your food is 100% beef but ends up being 100% horsemeat)

Neither of these are applicable in this sense. In no way did the owners of ronpaul.com use force, nor did they use fraud (they clearly indicate it is a fan site).

Since it doesn't involve force or fraud, such a site would be perfectly legal in a true capitalist economy, and anyone who considers themselves a capitalist should embrace them as the only two determinants to determine whether a business is acceptable.

Comment Re:Put the straw man away (Score 4, Informative) 232

Except he should have done it 5 bloody years ago when they first started the site. He should have registered the domain names himself (or not let them expire). He should have negotiated with the owners for the domain names. Instead, he waits until a community is established and he can get no further benefit from the people who did the grassroots support of his 2 presidential campaigns and then uses the state (rather than private law, or you know, capitalism) to size the domain. Yes, Ron Paul is a hypocrite, yes he's acting like an absolute ass, yes he most likely has the legal advantage, but that doesn't change the fact that this is morally wrong.

Comment Really... (Score 3, Informative) 232

Ron Paul is in the wrong here for a number of reasons.

A) He should have not let that domain expire in the first place. The way I see it, he decided not to renew those domains, some supporters registered it and started a website promoting his campaign.

B) He failed to even ASK the guys for their domain name until after they'd built up a huge community.

C) The guys owning Ronpaul.com/Ronpaul.org even offered to just give him ronpaul.org. The next thing you know, he just hits them with a UN letter.

This is really a dick move by Ron Paul (and I say this as a proud Anarcho-Capitalist/Libertarian and a supporter of his presidential campaigns).

Comment Re:People Forget About Iraq's Marshes (Score 2) 228

There are lots of examples from "tree huggers" putting the environment above people.

For example, just look at "tree spiking" where a piece of metal or ceramic is hammered in a tree, when the tree is cut down the spike can easily hurt or kill someone when a saw hits the spike.

Or just look at the numerous fire-bombings that have happened due to environmental groups.

The core philosophy behind them is that preserving "the earth" is more important than preserving man.

Comment Re:The main reason I'm against fracking (Score 2) 228

Except that cheap energy = cheap food. If you look at the logistics of farming in America, unless you are a factory farm and use hundreds and thousands of acres of land, you simply cannot profitably produce (much) food. Energy is needed to provide the power to run tractors and combines, energy is needed to ship the food. We are healthier today than we were in 1813 partially because we can have a wide variety of foods in our diet. If you lived in a non-tropical area 200 years ago, you couldn't eat tropical fruits. If you lived in an area where apples could grow and oranges couldn't you ate apples and not oranges. You had only a handful of different ingredients to get all their nutrients from, if something didn't grow during that time of year or the crops failed, you didn't eat that. Just look at the malnutrition that faced countries with a single staple food (such as Ireland). Today though, even though its the dead of winter in Minnesota, I can still go out to my local grocery store and pick up a fresh pineapple.

When it comes to water, we've got a nearly infinite water reserve called the ocean and desalination is quite feasible already and will more than likely become more and more refined as time goes on. We might have to pay a bit more for water than right now (although if we encouraged competition with water companies that could be lessened) but I don't see some gigantic water-less apocalypse happening anytime soon. Just build a couple more desalination plants and the problem will solve itself.

And when it comes to the third world, the problem is mostly government. When governments stop fighting wars and stop the theft of their people, agriculture can truly start taking off, but with the current climate in many of the starving places of coming into an "enemy" village, burning its crops and killing its men of course you are going to have hunger.

Comment Re:People Forget About Iraq's Marshes (Score 0) 228

There is a big difference between conservation and tree-huggers, namely who benefits from their policies. Conservation puts people first, tree-huggers put "the earth" first. For example, when faced with a dilemma of either eradicating a species or facing an epidemic of disease caused by that species, a conservationist would wipe out the pest while a tree-hugger would not.

Comment Doesn't matter... (Score 1, Offtopic) 70

It doesn't matter how "open" the cloud is. If you don't hold it, you don't own it. You can only make educated guesses as to what the future will hold for that company and your data.

For example, just look at MegaUpload. If you stored stuff in "the cloud" using it, its now gone for good. Prior to January 2012, there was no indication that it would become unusable, no warning to back up files or anything.

Comment Re:Both! (Score 1) 77

Except that way leads to failure and frustration.

A guy who really enjoys history is likely to be thrilled by the prospect of an in-depth class on the political environment of the Italian Renaissance. On the other hand, there's people who couldn't care less about such a subject.

There are people who enjoy Trig or who will use it in their expected careers. Then there are others who simply loathe it and will never use it in their life.

The idealists and supporters of the US school system believe that this current way exposes everyone to everything and so everyone can be equally good. But really what ends up happening is that everything gets dumbed down to the point where everyone is equally bad.

There are very few students who can be Renaissance Men. There are very few people who have expertise in all the traditional areas of schooling, few are good at math and science and history and English and art. On the other hand, there are many students who excel in one or two of those areas and so it makes sense for those who are really good and really enjoy art to devote the vast majority of their studies in middle and high school to art. There are those who are really good at math, it makes sense for them to devote the majority of their studies to mathematics. In doing so, we breed better artists and mathematicians rather than starving the artists and mathematicians in courses that they will never fully master and bringing down those who are good at that subject.

The US education system apparently has not come to the realization that ability differs.

To use a sports analogy, its a bit like taking Apolo Ohno and Peyton Manning and telling them to throw a football 20 yards. Ohno is unlikely to ever need that skill (being an ice skater) and indeed not being a football player he might not even have the ability to do that. On the other hand, Manning isn't really challenged by this and is unlikely to really improve (because there's no support for learning to throw the ball any higher). Both Ohno and Manning are both brought down by this, Ohno because he has no motivation and little ability, and Manning because it is too basic. Instead, Ohno should be improving his speed-skating skills and Manning should be improving his passing skills (beyond just 20 yards!).

Comment Re:About time... (Score 1) 77

I think you are missing what Estonian schools are teaching. They aren't going to be throwing away math instruction but they are going to be talking about what the numbers mean. For example, they will talk about what a 7% tax is, talk about what are the expected numbers, etc.

And no, its not "dysfunctional" to get your algorithms and just put them in your program, its called efficiency. Why re-invent the wheel (and introduce potential bugs) by re-coding something that is already done (and tested)? I mean, sure a programmer could spend 85% of their time re-coding existing code, and the remainder working on new stuff, or they could just take existing, working code and focus on adding the new stuff.

and most of these "let's do education differently" programs are really about making better factory floor workers or IT service job workers. That's not necessarily what we want from education.

Um, have you even been in an American school? The entire program right now is to make factory floor workers! We focus on obsolete gruntwork rather than focusing on the big picture. We prepare students for life in 1913 rather than 2013. We ignore many technological advancements for the sake of a "complete" education. We waste time teaching students print, cursive and keyboarding rather than just print and keyboarding. We waste time trying to cram in dates and years rather than teaching the principles behind history so we can learn from it. Its the same with math, we can either focus on the gruntwork and spend 95% of our time teaching kids how to do long division and things of that nature, and only 5% discussing the principles behind it. Or we can spend 95% of our time discussing the principles behind it and only 5% discussing the gruntwork behind it.

The idea of the human calculator and the human encyclopedia is over. Real-world success isn't being able to quote dates or do multiplication in your head, its applying those concepts to the world around us. Its not knowing 400 digits of Pi but being able to use Pi to model the world.

Comment Does he not know... (Score 1, Insightful) 154

Not as much as I would like to. I write some C, C# and some Basic. I am surprised new languages have not made more progress in simplifying programming. It would be great if most high school kids were exposed to programming...

Does Gates not know about Python? Python IMO is a whole lot easier to learn than BASIC ever was and you can do a lot more with it. And Python is much easier than C/C#/C++ to learn and is much, much, much cleaner than Java.

Slap on a few libraries and you can do just about anything in Python in less lines of code. AND you can actually read it when you're done :)

Comment Re:Both! (Score 2) 77

Except most students will not have a need to do the arithmetic by hand except for very basic problems.

To use a car analogy its a bit like riding a horse. Back in the days before cars and trains, if you needed to travel long distances you had to ride a horse. If you didn't know how to ride a horse you were at a distinct disadvantage compared to someone who could ride a horse. Knowing how to do complex math by hand in today's age is a bit like knowing how to ride a horse today. It might be an interesting skill to know, indeed it might be required for some professions, it might become a hobby, but it isn't essential.

I know /. is very biased towards math/science but in an average occupation, indeed in everyday life there are just some things that you don't need to know such as long division. There's no doubt there will be kids who will do (and will enjoy) doing math by pencil and paper. Indeed, I have no doubt that there are some brilliant (potential) mathematicians who decided not to pursue mathematics further because they didn't like the "gruntwork" of arithmetic.

Comment Re:About time... (Score 3, Insightful) 77

Yep. Looking back at my elementary school/middle school years that rang especially true. I'm not -that- old (graduated HS in 2008) but the stuff I learned was already obsolete by the time I learned it.

For example, in Kindergarten I learned print handwriting. In first grade I learned D'Nealian (basically a bastardized version of cursive, not quite print and not quite cursive) by third grade teachers required that everything should be written in cursive. The idea was that somehow, despite the fact that computers were everywhere and few people actually used cursive that it was a required skill to learn and that we'd be using it the rest of our lives. Wrong. Aside from a time from 3rd to 5th grade when teachers required it, I never used cursive, it was really a waste of time.

There's a whole host of useless things I learned, each with a rationale that we'd be using this "skill" the rest of our lives. Which might be true if I lived in 1950, but I don't. I remember at some point we were forced to keep a pen-and-paper agenda and my request to use my PDA to keep track of things (I mean, nothing fancy just my dad's hand-me-down monochrome Palm Pilot) and that request was flatly denied. There were all sorts of things that I could have been (and should have been!) taught in elementary/middle school, things like computer programming, basic electronics, etc. but those were overshadowed by much more "important" things such as learning to write in cursive...

I'm glad to see this mentality that calculators don't exist banished from classrooms.

Comment Re:Both! (Score 4, Insightful) 77

Aside when I sleep I've got a calculator on me at all times. My phone? A calculator. My laptop? A calculator. My iPod? A calculator.

And yes, there's a reason why China is behind the US in terms of math, because, like you said a lot of the value is placed on rote memorization, but that is also the reason why China has lagged behind the US in terms of real innovation.

Oh, and good luck getting a calculator to tell you what went wrong when a number you get isn't right.

Except this is what Estonia is having students learn: what the numbers really mean and how to use them. Which is a more useful skill, to be able to compute the A^2+B^2=C^2 your head or to be able to recognize a right triangle when you see one and be able to use that formula to find out useful information?

What most education systems are doing is teaching kids to memorize formulas and be able to do them with pencil and paper (or in their head) but not telling them when to use it or what the numbers really mean. You can ask most students what the Pythagorean theorem is and they can tell you, but how many of them can actually practically use it?

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