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Comment Re:I guess the propaganda is working. (Score 3, Interesting) 425

That's far from the complete truth. The unsaid fact is that Mosaddegh was trying to nationalize British and American owned oil operations, which was what prompted our actions.

Ironically, Shah was a very modernizing influence in terms of rights for women and minorities. Yes, the man was batshit crazy, but he was aimed to create a secular state. Unfortunately, when the people revolted against him, Khomenei and his Islamic fundamentalist ilk essentially stole the revolution from the left liberals and established a theocracy in its place.

Much like what's happening in Egypt today, where the Islamists have taken over a revolution from the left liberals.

So, blaming the US for part of it is fair, but this is a classic example of unintended consequences.

Comment Re:Far from it... (Score 1) 9

You're missing my point: I meant to say that Obama is neither the first nor the last guy to have won the Nobel peace prize and has resorted to military means. The expectation that the leader of essentially a global hegemon should not maintain a list of those entities and individuals detrimental to the state is silly and quite unrealistic. There will always be people wanting to fight any country or idea, and someone has to make the tough choices as to who those may be. It is inevitable, and that is why we even have an Executive.

Comment Re:Far from it... (Score 1) 9

Winning the peace prize is not the same as being a pacifist. Peace is not the same as non-violence, even though the ultimate goal of peace is the end of violent conflict. Semantic distinction, but an important one. Peace is a process, and one aimed at ending violent conflict (sometimes through violent means, unfortunately). It need not equal living happily together, holding hands, and looking at the sunset -- it can sometimes mean a bitter divorce where you just never want to see the other side again.

Several factors, including balance of power, security dilemmas, military tilts, unilateralism vs. multilateralism, institutional standing come into play. Sometimes, it's just a gesture for ending unilateral hawkish policies; sometimes it's an incentive to stop aggression.

Comment Re:What the fuck is a GPA? (Score 1) 441

It's really simple. It depends on the school, but here at Harvard, if you get 90%+ it's an A, 80%+ it's a B and so on. The +/- shows which side of the half-way marker you fall on. So, to calculate your GPA, we put together your grades first.

Say, you got 100% in one exam, 97% in two others, 91% in one, and 85% in another. Your grades would then be: A, A, A, A-, and B. It depends on some professors, but usually, higher end of a grade range is a + and lower end is a - (and anywhere in between is just the grade and little else).

To calculate our GPA, we use our numerical conversion assignments, based on our scale.

So, this becomes an average of 4.0, 4.0, 4.0, 3.67, and 3.0, resulting in 3.734 as your GPA. Is it silly and convoluted? Sure. However, it also means that professors can standardize their exams on an A-->F scale, making it consistent.

Comment Re:Bell Curve (Score 1) 441

But it really depends on the school, though. Someone who's got a relatively low GPA from a good school (if they curved it) tells me something versus someone from a crappy school who has done poorly (on a curve or otherwise) says something else. That's extremely important.

Comment Re:Fuck GPA (Score 1) 441

Oh, absolutely. I think the only time GPA gets looked at is if you're fresh out of college. Otherwise, no one really cares -- at least not in the real world.

I stopped including my GPA after my first job (not because it was bad -- it wasn't; but because I needed the room). And so far, no one has asked me either for my GPA or for my transcripts.

That actually highlights another problem -- I wonder how many people out there put degrees and GPAs out there that are actually true. On some level, some of us schmucks went through several years of college, and I'm sure there are people out there who get away with lying about it all on their resume.

Comment Re:Fuck GPA (Score 1) 441

On some level, GPA is a measure of mental maturity.

I've found that people who have high GPAs at a younger age, and continue that throughout college and above, have a pretty good inkling of what they want early on in life.

I did well in high school, but I was still a little confused about what I really wanted to do -- same in undergrad. So, while my GPA was certainly great, it wasn't outstanding. It got progressively better if you trend it from my junior year of high-school through my senior year of college. Then I hit grad school, and everything went for a toss -- not because I wasn't working hard, but because i used grad school to actually learn. That too worked out pretty well for me, because once again, I found that as I zoned in on what I wanted, things became easier and my GPA went through the roof. I decided not to pursue a PhD in any area of computing, and got out with a master's instead.

Fast forward a few years later -- now, I have a full time job, and I am doing another degree part-time at Harvard, this time in social sciences. And having had the maturity, I've found that my GPA is really high because I am at a good place in life, I know what I want, and I plan well.

So, in that sense, a GPA isn't entirely a waste. It is directional and provides some guidance of how mature (or immature) a given candidate is, and how organized they are about their goals in life.

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