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Comment Re:TV ain't broken? (Score 1) 839

The Civil War stuff was usually fairly good. Hell, even the Hitler stuff was good until it all turned into "Hitler and the Occult" and "Hitler's Alien Encounters". And back then, they would at least occasionally throw on some interesting documentary about some other time period at 3 in the morning.

These days, it's non-stop suck 24x7.

Comment Re:Not again.... (Score 3, Insightful) 272

I think the problem here is that such a system seeks to evaluate teachers as if they were line workers, cogs in the machine. In reality, teachers operate more like managers. As anyone who has been involved in management or management education should be able to attest, getting a good read on exactly what makes good managers so good (and bad managers so bad) is a lot harder. The metrics are a lot fuzzier, and there tends to be a lot of different ways to get good (or bad) results. In many cases, two people doing things that look on the outside to be very similar can lead to wildly divergent results.

Go to any random business school and take a look at their various case studies on managers. It's usually quite difficult to find any common thread in any of them, other than "this guy's company was successful, therefore what he did is the right way to do it." Of course, in every one of those studies, the manager did things differently than the other managers. The upshot of it is that the best managers are unique snowflakes who follow their own rules and are successful, while the worst managers are unique snowflakes who follow their own rules and aren't successful

In short, why does Bill Gates think business can help evaluate teachers (leaders of students) when business isn't even very good at evaluating their own managers (leaders of corporations)?

Comment Phasing out Solaris? (Score 2, Insightful) 155

So, are they porting Solaris functionality to OEL as a precursor to phasing out Solaris entirely? It would suck to see Solaris go from a nostalgia point of view, but it never made much sense to me why one company would continue to develop two Unix-like operating systems.

Comment Re:Easy reason (Score 5, Insightful) 533

Exactly. Generally speaking, it's better to retain the people you have rather than to find ways to replace them when they leave. Simplifying editing may or may not help replace the people you lose, but addressing the reasons why you're losing so many people is going to be more effective at keeping quality high. When I hear people talk about why they no longer edit Wikipedia, they never talk about the complicated editing process, but they almost always talk about the unreasonable and unaccountable admins.

Comment Re:observatory (Score 4, Insightful) 225

TFA says its being built on the outskirts of Jeddah, so depending on how far out they mean by "outskirts", the light pollution may be manageable.

The bigger issue, I think, is that this is basically a giant vanity project that will probably end up like the Burj Khalifa: Deep in debt with rapidly falling rents and tons of empty space. Jeddah is right next to Mecca, so they probably won't have a lot of trouble filling it with rich foreign Muslims during the Hajj, but it seems like it would be a bit of a challenge during other parts of the year. I guess the Saudis have enough money to burn on crap like this, but it seems they could find a more intelligent way to invest in their own country other than building giant luxury hotels.

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