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Comment Here's a table of historical college costs (Score 3, Informative) 98

To get a real feel for the sudden growth since 2000, note that the first two data points span a couple of decades. The rest of the points are year by year:

The article says an 812% increase since 1978. They could have easily cut down the start point to the year 2000 and still produced a startling, and more meaningful result.

Comment Re:Real Life Experience (Score 2) 347

Fixing someone else's code is a great way to learn how to write code. Not the algorithm, but the commenting and readability and maintainability.

Other things to make novices more professional:

1) Try and stick to "best practices". Things like "DRY" - don't repeat yourself (don't copy code). Helps maintainability dramatically.

2) Get an idea of patterns.

3) Joining groups like the Linux Foundation or ACM or other professional groups.

4) Reading some of the books called out in other posts in this thread.

Being professional to me means being able to write functional, readable and maintainable code. You get better at the functional part from experience. You can get pretty far I think with readable and maintainable code right much earlier in the career.

Comment Pure Harrison Bergeron (Score 2) 337

From "Harrison Bergeron", by Kurt Vonnegut:

"In the year 2081, amendments to the Constitution dictate that all Americans are fully equal and not allowed to be smarter, better-looking, or more physically able than anyone else. The Handicapper General's agents enforce the equality laws, forcing citizens to wear "handicaps": masks for those who are too beautiful, radios inside the ears of intelligent people, and heavy weights for the strong or athletic.

One April, 14-year-old Harrison Bergeron, an intelligent and athletic teenager, is taken away from his parents, George and Hazel Bergeron, by the government. They are barely aware of the tragedy, as Hazel has "average" intelligence (a euphemism for stupidity), and George has a handicap radio installed by the government to regulate his above-average intelligence.

Hazel and George watch ballet on television. They comment on the dancers, who are weighed down to counteract their gracefulness and masked to hide their attractiveness. George's thoughts are continually interrupted by the different noises emitted by his handicap radio, which piques Hazel's curiosity and imagination regarding handicaps. Noticing his exhaustion, Hazel urges George to lie down and rest his "handicap bag", 47 pounds (21 kg) of weights locked around George's neck. She suggests taking a few of the weights out of the bag, but George resists, aware of the illegality of such an action...."

Comment Re:Well, that's one thing (Score 2) 295

Companies need more forward thinking leaders, but when CEO's get golden parachutes while driving companies into bankruptcy, it doesn't happen.

It's called 'corporate looting' or 'bankrupty for profit'. The (nobel laureate - or at least it equivalent in economics) husband of the current Federal Reserve (US central bank) chief co-authored a paper about it.(PDF)

Comment What exactly is life? (Score 1) 110

If an atomic/molecular/yet-unguessed-at structure can be held in stasis for 10K-to-50K years, and then (re) animated, what exactly is life?

The two most basic indicators of life are a) replication of itself and b) information gathering via DNA or some other mechanism.

The common result of life is an overall increase in entropy, although it decreases for subsystems.

But what exactly is it? When can we make it in the lab from scratch?

Comment According to the bean counter CFO (Score 3, Insightful) 95

Ruth Porat:

"Google to Pay New CFO Ruth Porat More Than $70 Million":

She's worth 10's if not 100's of millions of dollars and yet she's still working. This is just a salary bargaining ploy nonsense. That's why the article doesn't make any sense.

Comment Re: I know... (Score 1) 456

I do like contrarians, as they force me to examine my position, which I appreciate. As the saying goes, "If you don't understand your opponent's position, then you do not truly understand your own."

For Carrie Fisher, she was a central character, Princess Leia, in George Lucas' 1977 epic hit, "Star Wars", which redefined cinematography and the cinema. Thus, she became a part of cinema history. Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, C3PO, R2D2 and Vader are all part of cinema's pantheon. Because it all came together for a brief shining moment in that movie, which went on to influence the cinema till this day.

That's why she was a noteworthy figure. And she nailed the role. She may not have done much nearly as noteworthy since, but being part of an epic is very hard to follow up.

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