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Comment Re:Duke TIP (Score 1) 116

TIP was really important for me opening up socially too. I still get chills thinking about it. I was there a bit before you (east, term 2, 95-96), but those 6 weeks were easily the most important of my life up to that, and in some ways even since because of the amazing people i met. I shudder to think how disaffected I might have become without it and those connections.

I'll stop the gushing now. But if anyone has the chance to send their kids, do it! It was easily the best investment made in my pre-college life.

Comment Re:Naive Parents (Score 1) 561

To be fair, there is a [declining] number of smaller libraries that only have Children's and Adult sections, and different libraries treat those lines differently.

Also, while the YA section was mostly skippable while we were those ages, it has an increasing amount of truly excellent material now. I happily read The Bourne Identity and Sphere at 13, but I'd happily recommend a dozen YA books to read along with those to any similar 13-y.o. now days. Furthermore, there's a significant amount of reassignment of previously adult books to the YA shelves: Ender's Game, LotR, Fahrenheit 451, etc. (YLMV)

Otherwise, of course, I completely agree with you.

Comment Re:Bad analogy using libraries (Score 1) 561

Well it's still illegal to show pornographic content to underage teens and children is it not? I'm no expert on law, but I find it reasonable to believe that the librarian could be held responsible for allowing children to wander into a pornographic section.

The only legal directive librarians follow is CIPA: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Children's_Internet_Protection_Act, which basically instructs them to give due diligence in filtering computers children have access to. That's it. They only need to follow that if they get certain money from the federal government. Librarians (outside of conceivable special programs) don't have any other requirements with regards to what kids do in libraries. As previous posters said, they're not babysitters. If a parent leaves a child anywhere in a library unsupervised, then that creates an unsupervised child in a library.

Most children's librarians I know (which is a fair number) wouldn't have a problem actually helping kids find any material in the library they asked for, no matter the obscenity level. Some do, but none of the libraries I've lent from have even restricted R-rated movies from anyone who wanted them. It's ALA policy for no books to be restricted by age, and yes, many libraries carry some very racy stuff.

Comment Re:Overvalued ... (Score 1) 146

To be fair, MySpace (flawed as it was) had a significant chance of cleaning its ugliness up & getting into the position that Facebook is now. While FB's value is still quite arguable, from current profits alone it's certainly at least an order of magnitude above the $600M paid for MySpace. And I don't think it's unreasonable to assume that at least shortly before that purchase, MySpace still had a 10% chance of becoming that big. FB had a lot more savvy people at the helm and was far less afraid to keep making big changes, but that's a hiring issue more than anything else.

Comment Re:More tolerent of human error (Score 1) 510

You're over-complicating it. The answer is for the auto insurance companies to pick up the liability, like they're already doing. You get a driverless car and operate it properly (there will be enough sensors & cameras to know if you're doing something wrong), then the insurance company pays up and settles on its own with the car company, with whom they would have preexisting agreements. Allstate (et al.) would love it because it means they pay a lot less than with human drivers, and they have a lot more documentation to prove their side of events. They're already in court all the time for this kind of stuff. If someone doesn't have insurance, well, that's his fault & his liability.

So: drivers pay less insurance on driverless cars, 'cause some of the savings is passed on to them as an incentive to switch. (Okay, it could be more expensive, with the incentive just being that you don't have to drive, but whatever, incentives are still there.)
Auto insurance companies pay a lot less due to less accidents and recordings of accidents.
Car companies don't sell driverless cars unless you have the special auto insurance covering it. Actually you'd probably need a law to make this happen, but I don't see that being particularly controversial.

Where's the difficulty?

Comment Re:Well they could take that out... (Score 1) 344

Ah, I see. Women who have gone through college (and probably have much more debt for it) are finally making more money than men who haven't. That's the conclusion from the article you linked. Well, bully for them. However if you account for education, women are still making 75% of what men do: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/rss_viewer/Women_in_America.pdf. So forgive me for not celebrating yet.

Comment Re:This is gonna be very rant like (Score 1) 622

Limits Shmimits.

We need to subsidize birth control to the point where it's effectively opt-out. Start hugely funding male birth control, and make it cheaper than free for women. Because here's the thing, if you only take out unplanned pregnancies, you fix much of the problem. If you delay pregnancies in women's lives, you fix even more of the problem.

And get this: it's cheaper than free to do this! Planned children cost the government enough (a few thousand in tax subsidies each year, plus a low rate of WIC and welfare expenses). Unplanned children have a much higher rate of being subsidized with entitlements, to the degree that paying women to take birth control will save thousands of dollars per woman. Even if all this program does is delay pregnancy a few years for each child, just that alone will provide the parent(s) more time to amass resources they can invest in their children. And do you want to make any guesses about the crime rates as committed by wanted vs. unwanted children?

It's possible that these steps wouldn't be enough, but they'd sure be a lot. And with negative cost, why not start here?

Comment Re:So all engineering is unethical? (Score 1) 826

Average car price is a dumb metric. Cars are, on average, a lot nicer than they used to be, and people are proportionally paying more for fancier stuff. Would you rather have a 1989 $15k [new price] car in mint condition or a 2009 car you bought for $15k [even ignoring all inflation]? The amount of maintenance needed on 90% of models has dropped precipitously. Furthermore, the minimum wage has more than doubled in that period.

I certainly agree that banks causing huge problems; growth in the financial sector past a certain point of maturity is deleterious for the rest of the economy.

The world isn't such a big place anymore given how decisions of a random engineer (say, me) in Illinois can affect workers in Cambodia. I think it's not too far-fetched to think of humanity as my 'immediate community.' We certainly have many very shameful interactions with 'people far away' but to think that leaving them alone is going to be best for them rather insults their ability to participate in a global market.

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