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Comment Re: Stop calling it "skepticism". (Score 2) 170

The history of greenhouse effect theory is interesting and well worth reading up on. It was first raised as a possibility in the 1890s, but rejected quickly based on two erroneous beliefs: (1) that the oceans would rapidly absorb any increase in atmospheric CO2 and (2) that the absorption spectra of water vapor and CO2 mostly overlapped. Together these implied that CO2 could not increase in the atmosphere, and even if it did it could not capture any heat that water vapor wouldn't have anyway.

There are a lot of twists and turns in the story, which Wikipedia does a pretty good job of summarizing. I highly recommend reading that article.

Comment Re:Ok (Score 2) 58

Let me give a shout out to the London's James Smith & Sons cane shop. A hundred pounds will buy you an umbrella (made in the basement on site) that will be passed down to your distant descendants. When I went there 25 years ago they were still selling sword sticks. I purchased folding model for myself that unfurled to near golf-umbrella proportions. And for the tremendous sum of £140 (which would be £250 today) I bought my wife a magnificent umbrella which she forgot on the subway the first time she used it.

It's worth a visit just to browse. Plus that's the nearest thing to visiting Olivander's Wand Shop that you can do for real.

Comment Re:Would it be positive for your customers? (Score 3, Informative) 124

Yes, more sponsored free data transfer and optimization from content providers. It's a grey area now. But "Stream Game of Thrones now without using your data, exclusively on AT&T" is something that carriers and content providers really want to do.

Comment Re:China's Trump is named Xi (Score 2) 366

Well, I don't think anyone thinks many non-Chinese speaking Americans are going to move there. I think this is targeted at the top tier of immigrant talent, particularly people who may have come from China to the US for school and stayed. For them the equation is more complicated than the one you present, particularly if they feel unsafe, or even unwelcome in the US.

Just to put some perspective on this, as I write this there are 328,547 current graduate students in the US from China. Ten years ago nearly all of these people would have remained in the US -- and these are valuable people to have. Today far fewer do because it's become harder to get a green card, and opportunities.

Likewise there are 166K Indian graduate students in the US, many of whom China would like to lure away when they graduate. It would be better for us that they stay here, but China would very much like to obtain the services of these bright young people with shiny new graduate degrees from American universities.

I'm not talking about the cheap contract labor your IT consultant uses to run your Exchange server; I'm talking about the intellectual elites who create technologies, companies, and jobs. China may be a police state, but that doesn't make them stupid; they value these people. America... not so much. In fact there are places in this country where being an educated white American makes you the object of suspicion.

Comment Re:Michael Flynn Jr believes it (Score 1) 735

The great virtue of Democracy is not in ensuring good government, it's in getting rid of bad governments.

The fact that Congress is so reviled yet stable indicates we're no longer a functioning democracy. We're a plutocracy, where elections are determined by overwhelming advantages in fundraising.

Comment Re:Tempests and Teapots (Score 4, Insightful) 261

US kids don't need more computer science, US companies are already (still) offshoring tech jobs as fast as they can.

Well, it's not so simple as that. Let me illustrate.

The average salary of a software engineer in San Jose is $110,000. The average salary for a software engineer in Omaha NE is $77,629/year. So why aren't software companies setting up shop in Omaha? Possibly, they should. But the size of the talent pool around San Jose is immensely larger, making it more likely you can find exactly what you need if you're an employer. The market says that's worth paying a 42% salary premium.

Software is almost unique in its ability for workers to create the need for even more workers. If you are producing washing machines, the demand curve for washing machines doesn't shift because you make more of them. But the demand for software as a whole can. Software isn't like washing machines, because it isn't just one thing that addresses a single need. It's many things, some of which create new needs. The 130,000 people working for Oracle create many times that number of tech jobs -- for good and bad reasons. Who knows how many jobs the 700 people working for Canonical create, both users, app developers, and even developers of derivative distros.

I happen to agree that US kids don't need computer science, but for different reasons. You can't really learn much computer science until you've had at least high school math, so what they're really talking about is vocational training for programmers. That's an utter waste of time. Employers want at least *some* college, if not a degree, and if you're talking about middle school kids the training you give them is likely to be obsolete by the time they enter the workforce.

Which doesn't mean I think teaching kids to program in Python or (depending on their age) Logo isn't a good idea. A little programming is a useful skill across many professions. But there are only so many class hours in a child's education, and you have to look very sharply for anything resembling diminishing returns. In my state Kindergartners are being assigned homework, believe it or not, because of the curriculum pressure in higher grades. Kindergarten is covering material that used to be covered in first grade, and day care providers (even small operations run out of the provider's home) are expected to take early childhood education classes and do what used to be done in kindergarten.

There's just no room to put more stuff in unless it's extremely useful.

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