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Comment Re:Programming should begin with OO - yes really! (Score 1) 709

I've found that beginners have a ton of trouble with "public static void main()". The only self evident keyword is 'main', and it takes them weeks of classes to understand how objects work, and thus the flow of the program. OO is complex for beginners because it requires days to get a handle on, and if you don't think that's true then you haven't actually tried to teach OO to absolute beginners.

Comment Re:Doomed (Score 1) 987

You agree with him, but the way he says things makes you not want to agree? How does that work?

Someone who wanted the U.S. to invade Iraq because of the claimed WMDs wouldn't agree with someone who wanted to invade Iraq because it's full of muslims.

Someone who wanted the U.S. to not invade Iraq because weapons inspectors found no WMDs wouldn't agree with someone who thought there weren't any WMDs because muslims are such idiots that they can't build them.

For any opinion with a yes or no answer, there are bound to be people on your side who are either idiots or assholes that you won't agree with.

Comment Re:Surprise move? (Score 1) 1505

If you still think your stance is reasonable, consider if the Congress started charging people $1000 extra per year if they failed to buy a solar roof. Or a Microsoft Operating System. Or a General Motors car.

They don't tell you which company to buy your insurance from. It'd be more like if they required everyone to buy a computer, or a car. Theoretically, it's a competitive market, even though practically every company is going to shaft you.

Comment Re:Not just Microsoft (Score 1) 650

FWIW, Microsoft and other large businesses in Seattle do have a legitimate interest in avoiding a personal state income tax, as for recruiting and keeping high-priced talent there is an advantage for them to come to Redmond and live in a state with no income tax vs. going to some other company - say, in California - and paying the tax rates there. An equivalent pay job offer in the Seattle area vs. many other states actually means more take-home pay here.

I know that people do like money, and I guess that I can't really fault them for that, but does it strike anyone else that moving just to avoid taxes is a little selfish? I'd rather live in a state with taxes that helps to educate people who can't afford a private education rather than one that was falling apart. I dunno, avoiding raising taxes on the people who are richer because they'll move and deprive the state of the income seems to just be giving into the demands of those richer than you.

Comment Re:Luxury! (Score 1) 405

Why in the world should geography be taught indoors? Or English, for that matter?

Here in Alaska, because it's dark and cold for 5-6 months out of the year. We get about a month in the fall, and two in the spring. A number of my teachers did take advantage of the nice weather, but for most of the time it is unreasonable to teach outside.

Comment Re:Unexpected (Score 2, Interesting) 1141

Oregon is that a lot of it is nature. With animals. Real animals. That will eat you .

... we had a pack of coyotes hunting the area ... When I hike, I regularly come across bear and cougar tracks and cougar kills.

Take in mind that I live in Alaska when I say that you guys are fucking pansies. Wild animal attacks are rare, even here and much more so in Oregon. No cougar has eaten a human in Oregon. Nor for coyotes.Likewise for bears. Meanwhile, Alaska, a state with a fifth the number of residents had 10 fatal bear attacks in the last 30 years. Oregon does not have "Real animals, that will eat you".

Comment Re:trust authority? (Score 1) 239

Authoritative scientists told us that margarine was better for us than butter; in that miscegenation laws were necessary for public health; and that electromagnetic waves were not quantized (Bohr's school said this) and that they were vibrations of a luminiferous aether (most textbooks said this, decades after Einstein published relativity). All of those claims turned out to be false.

Granted, scientists have been wrong. However, most often we arrive closer to the truth than we were before. The luminiferous aether was not correct, but it was more correct than the idea that light was only a particle because it explains interference and the double slit experiment. In comparison to other contemporary sources, I would think that scientists have been less wrong than any other group. Who would have disputed the luminiferous aether besides other scientists?

Unless you are going to become an expert in a field, when you don't know enough to interpret the raw data you must trust those who can rather than those who cannot. We do need experts who can question the status quo, but no-one can be an expert in every field. That said, you can check for scientific misconduct which will help you know which scientists to trust.

When people thought the earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the earth was spherical, they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together.

Issac Asimov

Comment Re:iraq ii was unfinished business (Score 1) 659

if bush i in iraq i had decided to push on to baghdad and topple saddam in the early 1990s after racing across the desert unimpeded, then the world would have seen that as justified

George H. W. Bush

Trying to eliminate Saddam, extending the ground war into an occupation of Iraq, would have violated our guideline about not changing objectives in midstream, engaging in "mission creep," and would have incurred incalculable human and political costs. Apprehending him was probably impossible. We had been unable to find Noriega in Panama, which we knew intimately. We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq. The coalition would instantly have collapsed, the Arabs deserting it in anger and other allies pulling out as well. Under the circumstances, there was no viable "exit strategy" we could see, violating another of our principles. Furthermore, we had been self-consciously trying to set a pattern for handling aggression in the post-Cold War world. Going in and occupying Iraq, thus unilaterally exceeding the United Nations' mandate, would have destroyed the precedent of international response to aggression that we hoped to establish. Had we gone the invasion route, the United States could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land. It would have been a dramatically different — and perhaps barren — outcome.

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