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Comment Missing the point (Score 5, Insightful) 158

Andrew Hacker and nearly everyone else is missing the point.

Taking an algebra class for many students is not about the algebra, it's about learning to think. Even if you never use algebra again, the process of learning algebra is mental exercise that improves the mind. Taking a foreign language, studying biology, learning economics, studying history - it doesn't matter what the subject is, merely the more you learn the better a learner you are, and the better thinker you are.

In sports we see athletes perform all kinds of exercises that help develop skills used in their sport, but are never used directly. Ever see footage of a football player stepping through tires? Ever see one do that during the game? Ever see footage of a quarterback or pitcher throwing the ball through a hanging tire? Ever see them do that in a game? Athletics is filled with examples of training exercises done to hone one's skills for a game, yet we have difficulty accepting that mental exercises hone skills we need for life.

Comment Re:The tweet (Score 1) 172

"Then there is no free speech". Exactly. There is not now, nor has there ever been, such a thing as free speech. Sorta like the old line, "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?" The only place where 'free speech' exists is a place where no one can hear me speak. If I am in a room with a man and say "You are an f'ing a-hole" and as a consequence, he pulls out a gun and kills me, then I'd say I wasn't able to speak freely. As long as my words can have an adverse consequences to me or others, while I may, by LAW be free to speak them, by REALITY I am not. That is the real crux of these 'free speech' debates - some people, when saying 'free speech', mean "legally protected right to speak" while others mean "free to say anything you want". The two are not the same thing.

Comment Re:Maybe, maybe not. (Score 1) 243

Not likely... every election folks are very disappointed with the job CONGRESS is doing, but they think their own district's representative is just fine. So they re-elected their guy, and that happens across all districts, with the results that the success rate for incumbents is pretty high.

Comment Not just movie theaters (Score 1) 370

Last night I was a volunteer at a 3 hour long dance recital held at a theater (you know, a building with a stage down front, seats, and darkness...) Parents were told in writing, at rehearsals, and at the beginning of the performance - no electronics. No phones, iPads, Nooks, Nintendo, MP3 players, DVD players, etc, etc, etc. In fact, they were told that if a small child needed electronics to be entertained, they child should be left at home with, gasp, a baby sitter. And, of course, there were countless people who ignored the rules, including parents trying to keep small children quiet by using small DVD players. And, when I politely asked them to turn off their devices, they gave me crap.

The problem more universally is that people no longer know how to behave, and no matter how well the rules are promulgated, they believe the rules surely apply to everyone else, but not to them.

Comment FourSquare inaccuracy... (Score 1) 69

Given how inaccurate I've found FourSquare to be (I can be standing 6 feet from a store, and it can't find it... and when I search by name, I find oodles of variations of the name because people can't spell. Maybe it's Tonys, maybe it's Tony's, maybe it's Tony's Pizza, maybe it's Tony's Pizzeria, maybe it's Tonys Pizza Place, etc...) I don't see how the data collected could ever be very useful...

Comment More bothered by the action than the consequences. (Score 1) 1002

I'm more bothered by the fact that they came and took anything from the developer's desk. Yes, sure, the monitor belongs to the company. But once you've allocated a resource to a person, you don't just come take it. If the accountant really, really needed the monitor, you contact the developer first and ask him - "Hey, Joe, we have a crisis - Bob over in accounting doesn't have a monitor, and several reports are due by tomorrow for the SEC filing. Can he borrow your second monitor?" And if Joe says "No, I have a deadline to meet also." then you go out and buy Bob a monitor and be done with it.

Comment Re:It's dying? (Score 1) 398

Me too... not because I want to... because someone sent me a package that I had to go pick up. The reason for 15 people being in line was because there was only one person working behind the counter (built to have 4 clerks), and he was competing with a snail to see who could be the slowest living creature on earth.

I think the only reason some people still use the Post Office is they don't want to pay FedEX or UPS. Meantime, USPS is losing money charging the lower fees it charges.

I think UPS/FedEX plus email will kill it.

Comment Re:Bad. (Score 1) 932

Or, maybe the administration thinks it needs more money for infrastructure because it is unwilling to dump all the unnecessary entitlement programs. And because the administration is spending a lot of money in military operations around the world. Dump a bunch of those entitlements, and stop solving the world's problems, and suddenly we can afford to deal with our own problems.

Comment Dumbest Idea I've seen in a long time. (Score 1) 686

I pay for the water I use... I wouldn't let my neighbor fill their pool or water their lawn from my faucet.
I pay for the phone I use... I wouldn't run a line across the yard for my neighbor to share my phone.
I pay for the electricity I use... I wouldn't run a line across the yard for my neighbor to share my electric service.
I pay for the internet service I use... why on earth would I just give that away for free to anyone who just wandered by!?!?!?!

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