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Comment Re:Not really, no (Score 1) 249

You drop a pathogen into a solution that's 2%-8% alcohol with a PH around 4-5 that's had most of its sugars and oxygen consumed and tell me how it does.

First off, many bacteria produce the ethanol themselves. For ethanol to be sterilizing, it must be 60-80%, at which point it chemically degrades cellular envelopes of cells.

Second, oxygen is a non-issue. Anaerobic respiration is the default, not exception with prokaryotes.

As for how the "pathogen" will fare, it will see the low pH and lack of abundant energy sources, and form an endospore. Once it is drank, the pathogens will happily resume their life cycle and multiply inside your body.

Comment Re:Sickening (Score 1) 593

fertilization seems to me like the most obvious point to declare a human life as started without getting into judgement calls and gray areas.

Except then abortion really does become murder, and smoking near a pregnant woman (and chances are you can't even tell, if the "human life" literally has few enough cells to count on a hand) becomes attempted homicide. Of course, you are probably so far gone that you are absolutely fine with that.

Comment Re:Teach 'em the basics (Score 2, Interesting) 462

You could expand this to include concepts and the more obscure (but important) terms regarding computers. There is no point teaching what a CPU does and the rough differences between single and multi-core: That is trivial for a motivated, observant person to learn on their own; they have access to the thing and can play around with it all they want. What they don't have access is the inner workings of large networks (both corporate and the Internet itself) as well as the history of computing.

Again, it is irrelevant whether they have a good grasp of history at the end of it, and there is probably little reason to go for that. Just 9th grade is a short time and students have other classes to worry about. What matters is giving them exposure to the history, so that they hear about things they probably wouldn't have heard of reading on their own. The key is to have students recognize that there is a long history of the field which is, for lack of a better term, "history" which can tell us much about why things in computing today are the way they are.

With regard to the programming language, I'd suggest the same strategy. Explain the basics, don't go in details. Really teaching a language is a 2-3 year long dedicated course for undergrads, you would underwhelm ninth-graders if you tried to teach everything.

Comment Re:see power point can cost you your job (Score 1) 194

Some nodes are too abstract for practical mission planning use, as I have said splitting abstract and practical elements into separate graphs for theorizing and planning would be better.

I do not think its best use is to illustrate the simple point. I would expect that colonels are able to believe their general when he says "the situation is complicated", rather than demanding evidence like wisecracking schoolchildren.

Note how a different kind of arrow is used to show delayed effect. That kind of detail is pointless for a 10-second snapshot.

Comment Re:see power point can cost you your job (Score 3, Interesting) 194

I do not understand this whole thing. The slide touted in your link as the epitome of what is wrong with PowerPoint slides (what does a complicated diagram have to do with presentations?) looks very useful. It illustrates many relationships between the many elements involved, and illustrates how ANSF, for example, has no effect on the economy or infrastructure or vice versa.

Admittedly there is too much information in it, it should be split in 2 for showing institution interactions and concepts, and strength of relation should be shown by line thickness.

I routinely deal with very similar charts for biochemistry and intracellular signaling. They are a godsend for those times when you get lost and forget which element does what, and with complicated systems I get lost every 5 minutes.

Comment Re:So tell me ... (Score 1) 105

There's a difference between being paid to express your opinion, and being paid to adopt an opinion and then express it. It's called a conflict of interest.

It would be pretty nice if reviewers had to disclose those, now that I think of it. Having a note saying "CoI: I was paid by the developer to write a positive review." under a pile of baloney (and knowing that there is legislation ensuring that you can trust that note) would change things quite a bit. It would probably make review magazines/sites more expensive as well, but I'd gladly pay more for at least slightly more honest journalism.

Comment Re:Please explain more about the harm. (Score 1) 508

If you measure everything with money, you are correct.

Turkish scientific and cultural output went up almost immeasurably from the 19th century to the 20th, as well as the quality of life for everyone except maybe the royal family. Your little truism is absolutely orthogonal to the matter; the fallacy you warn against has not occurred.

Comment Re:Please explain more about the harm. (Score 2, Interesting) 508

Could you explain more about the harm? Overall, Turkey seems to be doing very, very well.

Parent is a quaint breed of reactionary and has no clue what he is talking about. Firstly the switch was not just script, before there was an "Ottoman" language which was very heavily influenced by Arabic (in terms of vocabulary and phrase grammar) which rendered any government writing barely comprehensible to the average peasant. For Turkish itself as it is spoken now and as it was spoken before the Arabic influence (there are plenty of Turkish-speaking peoples who were never part of the Empire), Arabic script is not appropriate at all- groups of phonemes are mapped to the same character and some groups of characters are mapped to only one Turkish phoneme. This is partly because Arabic and Turkish have significantly different phonetic structure.

The switch got rid of the writing system and a lot of the vocabulary, such that it is feasible for the average high-school educated Turk to pick up the constitution and make some sense of what it says. (Complexity of legalese aside)

The historical record did not go anywhere. Any Turkish undergrad history program worth its salt will have an Ottoman class in the 2nd and 3rd years, which allows students to become perfectly proficient in it. The Turkish historical community is reliable enough to produce translations of important documents without any major political bias. Ottoman courses for interested laypersons are ubiquitous, cheap and often free.

The only two drawbacks were basically overcoming the friction from a clueless populace which wanted a sultanate to continue, and the aforementioned extra courses that undergrads have to take now. I tried learning quite a few writing systems out of personal curiosity, and I'd say the Turkish writing system is almost perfect (by the way, there is an objective definition of that), with a few minor exceptions (foreign loanwords and some nuances in stress can be tricky).

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