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Comment Re:Betteridge's Law has been beaten (Score 5, Interesting) 605

I think the tremendous explosion of texting and Twitter must have contributed at least somewhat to the perceived decline in writing skills among young people.

I recently read an article that said financial companies have found a strong correlation between using bad grammar on social media, and high probability of defaulting on loans. There was an especially strong correlation with typing in either ALL CAPS, or all lower case. They also found a second order effect: if your friends, especially those you communicate with frequently, use bad grammar, you are likely to be a credit risk as well. There are now companies that can provide lenders with a "social media score" to help evaluate applicants. The article said that some prospective employers were also considering these scores in their hiring decisions. I guess this is one more reason to write well.

I apologize for not linking to the article, but I am unable to find it.

Comment Re:Betteridge's Law has been beaten (Score 5, Insightful) 605

Yes... the bar is being lowered, yes it is!

Don't be so sure. Every generation believes that their kids are dumber than they were "back in the good old days". They are nearly always wrong. The classic work about the decline of American education was "Why Johnny Can't Read". It was published in 1955. If you go back and look at random papers written by students in the past, I think you would find their writing to be just as bad as what you see today, and probably worse. Don't let false nostalgia cloud your judgement.

Comment Re:It's been dropping for a long time (Score 3, Insightful) 605

If you would like to see just how far it has fallen, here is an 1899 entrance exam from Harvard:

Back in 1899, about 5% of students went on to higher education. Today more than 60% do. It is silly to compare someone at the 95th percentile to someone at the 40th.

When people claim that SAT scores have fallen since the 1950's, they are doing something similar. Back then fewer than 20% of high school students took the SAT, today over 60% do. The high school dropout rate was also much higher in the 1950's, so that skews the results further. So the comparison is meaningless. When you correct for these factors, and compare people with similar backgrounds, you find that SAT scores are actually significantly higher today.

Comment Re:Just oppose the mark.. and Python was First (Score 2) 122

Assuming that the Python programming language and other related marks have been used in commerce *before* this other Python outfit showed up, then they don't have to worry about losing their rights to the name.

This is generally, but not alway, true. There have been instances of trademarks issued despite widespread prior use. The most egregious example was when Microsoft was given a trademark on "Windows" despite the fact that many others, including The X Window System and W, had used it years before, and it was a common term in the industry to refer to a retangular region of a computer display as a "window".

Comment Re:Idiots gives suspended taxes (Score 4, Insightful) 297

I think you're the only person on the planet who thinks that "Equal protection" should mean "equal taxes".

"Equal protection" does not mean "equal taxes." It mean equal application of the law. If a company is given a tax break for "creating jobs", then the same tax break should be available to any company that meets the same criteria.

Comment Re:Idiots gives suspended taxes (Score 5, Interesting) 297

And yet they still benefited.

But on average they benefit less than if these special tax deals were not offered all. It is a version of the prisoners dilemma. You can only "win" if you defect while everyone else cooperates. But if everyone defects, we all lose.

Personally, I think these tax breaks are unconstitutional, because they violate the equal protection clause. Why should one business get a special exemption, when others (including their competitors) do not?

Comment You can potty train a pig (Score 1) 214

You're thinking of pigs and chickens ... generally kept in dark cages indoors for their entire lives.

One of reasons that pigs are raised in small pens and cows are not, is because it is easy to potty train a pig. They will instinctively defecate as far as possible from their food trough. They are sometimes kept as indoor pets, and can be trained to use a newspaper or litter box with less effort than training a puppy to do the same.

Comment Re:Monsanto takes .. (Score 1) 419

I own a farm. I do not buy seed from Monsanto. Never have. I refuse to on moral grounds. Yet I am sued by Monsanto every 2 to 4 years.

Can you provide a court and case number? If you don't want to do that, then can you provide a court and case number for a friend or neighbor that was sued? Can you provide any link or reference to anyone, ever being sued for the type of unintentional infringement that you are describing?

Just for the record: I do not believe your anecdote, and to put it bluntly, I think you are lying. All you need is a single citation to prove me wrong.

Comment Re:Monsanto takes .. (Score 1) 419

They didn't "replant" the seed. The legally purchased the seed, and it grew.

You left out some critical steps. They sprayed the original crop with glyphosate to kill the non-GMO plants, harvested the resulting pure GMO seeds, and planted them the following year and applied glyphosate again, taking full advantage of the GMO.

This is kind of like grandparents claiming their grandchildren belong to them.

After poisoning all the other kids in the village ...

Comment Re:Monsanto takes .. (Score 1) 419

I think the arguement that he asked for an example is a big lie.

So asking for a citation is a "big lie", and failing to provide one is evidence of truth?

From what I saw ...

Saw where? Again: citation please.

Monsanto has been known to hire PR trolls to spread propoganda online in discussions of GMO and Monsanto.

Why are you using weasel words like "has been known to"? Why don't you just say where this has happened?

For the record: I do not work for Monsanto, I just enjoy pointing out content free nonsense. But if Monsanto is willing to pay me to be a shill, I would love to know where to apply.

Comment Re:Monsanto takes .. (Score 1) 419

There was at least one case of a farmer who bought his seed from a grain elevator and simply planted it. He was not replanting crop he had bought from Monsanto. He was buying whatever seed happened to be in that elevator and planting it, exactly like farmers have done for thousands of years.

You don't actually say so, but you seem to imply that the farmer was sued by Monsanto for doing this. If so, you are wrong. Monsanto has never sued anyone for unintentionally planting their GMO seeds. If you really believe otherwise, then you can prove me wrong by citing a single example where they have done so.

Comment Re:Monsanto takes .. (Score 1) 419

So I am still waiting for a single citation for Monsanto suing anyone for unintentional infringement.

Then read the fucking article.

I have. It contains no such citation.

He bought bulk seed from a grain elevator, planted it, didn't use any Monsanto products, but now finds himself in a lawsuit.

You left out a few steps. He bought the seed, sprayed it with glyphosate to kill the non-GMO plants, harvested the resulting pure-GMO seed, and used it the following year to grow crops treated with glyphosate. Are you seriously suggesting that was unintentional?

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