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Comment Re:My opinion (Score 1) 69

Even though is completely off topic, I find it important enough to react

I'm perfectly okay with my own culture, thank you. I'm happy with my world.

I am glad for you. Being happy is a bit of a lost trade.

I don't need some person's belief system or everyday methodologies because I don't have any desire to know anything about them

You are mixing desires and needs somehow. Without even suggesting you are either one but a heroine addict, a child molestor or a slave driver may be perectly fine with their worlds but it does not mean they do not need to consider a change in lifestyle.
I am not saying you should adopt someone elses beliefs or convictions; but it does not sound like you are making a lot of educated decissions by discarding anything you have never heard of.

I don't care about understanding someone else simply because I don't have to

It is sad to hear you do not care. Why should a doctor care about you or your family? They don't have to either.

And just because I want nothing to do with their values, beliefs, etc. doesn't mean I'm Satan or hoping they die

Personally I do not believe in the afterlife, but I respect those who do.

I just want to be left the hell alone by idiots

I respect your choice, however my personal experience is that people claiming they do not want other to fiddle in their lives usually are the first to intervene in someone elses.
Btw. I find it strange that you refer to others; who may have made an educated decission based on additional information you previously so eagerly discarded; as idiots.

I am perfectly fine living in the reality I've created for myself and if someone has a problem with that, then they need to get over their narcissistic belligerence

From my perspective, the narcissist sounds like you. You do not want, you do not need, you, you you, ... what about the others? Oh, right, you do not care about others only about yourself. Maybe I am an idiot as you suggested, but what is the definition of a narcisist again?

realize that they can't push themselves or other peoples' existences onto others the way they think they can

I am a proponent of knowledge and personal freedom (with boundaries). Obviously you are free to believe and live as you want.

Comment Re:In all seriousness (Score 1) 65

unsupported assumption:

Iran and Saudi Arabia are both terrorist loving countries, both are bad

Being good or bad depends on your point of view as is the term "terrorist".
Without taking sides, it is quite normal that people will react to what they perceive as injustice.

I would love nothing than see a regime change in both of these countries

Why? The Saudis are already giving up their oil without much of a fuss in exchange for paper and some fictional number in a database. Why do you want to interfere in the way they live their lives except for your ease of mind? If you do not want Saudi or Iran to have that much "money", then just stop buying petrol from the crooks in power.

If you stop messing with their lives and leave them alone, they will probably do the same. But at the moment the US (and part of Europe) loves nothing better than to stick their noses where they do not belong and pretend to have higher moral standards while bullying millions of people into submission.

I think in parallel to imposing sanctions

Do you not see the arrogance in your behavior/statement? What gives you the authority, either morally or legally to "impose" sanctions on another population? You do realize that those sanctions will kill thousands of children, right (lack of medication, etc ...) and why exactly? I have yet to see a good argument as to why they need to suffer for our pleasure.

I would love to see Iran get "the bomb". MAD has worked wonderfully in the past, so why would it not work now? Pakistan also has the bomb and I think they are as "dangerous" as Saudi or Iran, but I guess your TV did not make that an issue so it must be okay.

Comment Re:Sales! (Score 2) 67

Someone has a new IT infrastructure they want to sell to the Saudis.

First create the demand with the 'cyber attack', then be ready to supply the solution.

Should be able to charge a huge price tag.

First of all they already pay a huge price tag for everything. That is the downside of having too much money and no need for anyone to actually understand anything.

Second, if you knew how things were run, you would be surprised we do not have continuous failures due to infections.

Transformers, switchgear and other control room infrastructure is built and once every 5 years someone will go there to change some filters. The whole thing runs 24/7 automatically and is being monitored remotely. After 20+ years, the substation is in need of an overhoal or it is decomissioned.
Before 2000, most "logic" components were either PLC or electrical circuitry. Nowadays more and more components are electronic (cheaper, more flexible and more accurate) and controlled by "regular" PCs running windows.
As I said before, no living soul enters the substations in 5 years and noone will update components (if it ain't broken, don't fix it). However other substations (in the process of being constructed) have the broadest range of computer illiterates, all typing stuff on their old laptops and passing around memory sticks, clicking whatever to get rid of pesky popups, running in and out of the construction yard.

Comment Re:Political Science Professor (Score 1) 1010

Do we think that constantly telling them how poorly (or how well) they are performing is going to actually adjust their final performance metrics

Erm, yes. That is one of the major points of a grading system.

Grades are not an education

Agreed, but that does not mean it is not important measure for education.

Telling students how they perform against a nebulous average doesn't accomplish anything

Although comparing to the average is not the greatest of measures, it may give several indications. If the person is deviating from the mean (better measure than average), it usually is an indication that there is a problem.

  • Maybe the person is lacking interest
  • Maybe the person is lacking mental/physical capabilities
  • Maybe the person is not sufficiently challenged (too smart)
  • Maybe the person is plain lazy

They are all indications that this person should be reoriented. Mind you, the purpose of an education is to be a more productive member of society.
At the moment education focuses too much on economic productivity and there should be more time for social productivity too (phylosophy, compassion, being a better spouse/parent, ...)

the best performance metrics are when we test students against themselves and challenge them to improve their own accomplishments

And how is this different from the current system? If you used to have a 60%, or a C, or whatever grading system you use and then you go to 70% or a B-, you have improved your own accomplishment too.

why "divide and conquer" is so highly regarded throughout history

Because it is simple and effective? It abuses a primal function in our brain (self preservation and perceived value in scarcity). Math and logic are a higher brain function and therefor harder to abuse/control. Dumbing down is a proven way to control people, just like greed and pride.

We live in a changing world and this requires us to learn different skill sets. Teaching people how to read/write and solve analytical problems have proven themselves crucial time and time again. Just like many old sayings have proven themselves: "measure twice, cut once", "the proof of the pudding is in the eating" and "don't judge a book by it's cover".
I am not saying we should not try new ways of education, but I will not subject my child to these kinds of "experiments" until they have been proven to be more successful. I like my child too much to gamble with her future.

To come back on topic, math is integral (pun intended) to any decent education. It teaches us that most problems have a certain patterns and can be solved or optimised easily while others are impossible (e.g. human flight).
Logic, pattern recognition and problem solving are key survival strategies

Comment Re:you're all worthless and weak (Score 5, Insightful) 754

Probably I'll get flamed for this ... but here goes anyway:

I'm not sure why there is such a fascination for Europeans to try to prove why they are better than Americans.

Because most of "us" (Europeans) grew up in a world which was dominated by the US and we did not really mind as we were thought by our fathers and grand-fathers you were benevolent (I am teaching my children something different ...)

Because most of "us" see (not necessarily watch) movies coming from the US which portrays the US as the land of the "Free" and "Brave" while we know it is not the case and just propaganda for the mindless masses.

Because most (but not all) of "us" see the state of the US economic capabilities (and in case you are wondering ... yes, US is in worse shape than the EU, even in this euro crisis)

Although it may sound weird and alien to you, but Europeans do care about what goes on in the world, just like you would (probably) care if your neighbor is doing something that either harms you, the community or himself. And it seems the neighbor thinks he is the best, brightest, richest, friendliest and best looking person around while in fact he is abusive, rude, dangerous, steals and destroys other peoples properties. The only way to let this guy know his behavior is unacceptable is by actually telling him. (supplying proof in some cases as he otherwise just pretends normal conversation is only an opinion)

Currently America is FAR, FAR AWAY from the utopia your founding fathers had set it out to be ... The current generation is eating up the goodwill and faith, that previous generations have built up, in a record pace and either the American population in general is being kept in the dark or they lack the mentality or intellect to see what is going on.

Your comment "Most Americans couldn't give a rat's ass" is spot on because most Americans believe they are still the biggest, best, etc, ... which clearly they are no longer (in a lot of areas).

Don't get me wrong. I do not have anything against Americans (otherwise I would have used it ... jk). But I find it a shame that a once great nation WITH good foundations (equality) has turned from its roots and only acts in its own interest screwing whomever is on or in in their way. Maybe the US once was able to get away with it, but this is becoming less and less the case.

I am not convinced there is a problem at all.

When there is only a single "warning light", you might indeed be right that there is no problem at all. But to me there are so many and Americans are constantly trying to convince us it is Christmas all year round

Comment Re:There is no denying the Earth is getting hotter (Score 1) 877

Man has a nasty habbit of thinking the things he does result in unrelated outcomes ... do a special dance ...

And I suppose this too is all based on hard science? You probably agree, as nobody disagrees (including oil lobby), that global climate change is a fact. The only discussion is about who/what is causing it.
In your rain dance example. What scientists are saying is that we should STOP our dancing ritual because it is raining too often. Science shows the rain is not caused by the dance, but by the small ash particles coming out of the fire which go into the clouds and start forming droplets. So because YOU do not understand the science and cannot see the relation between the "dancing" and the rain does not mean you should ridicule those who actually did the research.

Any year without a winter is going to be warmer on average than any year with a winter

Yes, that is why we had the hottest decade on record with most of the extremes in the last 12 years. But yeah, you can ignore the facts and go with whatever works best in your head.

I am saying that it has been warmer and it has been much colder

Did the warming happen as quickly as it does now? What was the impact on life on earth? Are you 100% sure we are NOT causing or amplifying it? I am quite sure we are AT LEAST contributing to it without having done any hard research.

Maybe we should consider more natural reasons for the extremely recent rise in temperature and stop wondering which dance moves caused the rain

Then why bother? Why spend time/money/resources to find a cause which we can't change anyway? Or maybe you should take a closer look at the real science/big picture (fire) and not get distracted by the music and the waving feathers.
Why is it so hard for you to even consider we MIGHT be causing or contributing to it? Remember the hole in the ozone layer? Remember the acid rain? They were all natural phenomena? How many species are extinct due to human intervention? If you believe we have zero impact on our environment, I know which way the grade average of your class went when you stayed home.

I suck at spelling and Firefox's spell check is not working all of a sudden

Maybe you should not try to find what you did to break it, but find someone/something else to blame ;)

Comment Re:There is no denying the Earth is getting hotter (Score 1) 877

Wat does this prove about the cause? Nothing really

Wrong. This proves that whatever is causing global warming is still here.

many such climate changes prior to mankind having the ability to cause it

Yes, and each time it lead to massive disruption in the way life was organised on earth. You suggest we do like the dinos and go 'meh' so in 100 million years our bones are dug up by giant intelligent insects who will be thinking what "natural disaster" caused us to disappear (warning: dramatised).

Wat is apparent that certain parties r using theories of a correlation to force change upon the masses which amounts to control

I feel like a repeat of history. Remember back in the days when it was just "mad/fearmongering scientists" who claimed tobacco and asbestos were cancerous while the nice, honourable and moral industry said everything was hanky dory and we should continue to use their products. Now when people/economies are hooked on fossil fuels, ONLY the oil industry is trying to convince us that everything is hanky dory and we should continue to use their products.
Unfortunately we do not have hundreds of thousands of planets to test/prove the theory statistically like was done with lung cancer.

There r some who r aligned in such a way to profit greatly from forcing these changes upon us

Like whom? Independent scientists all over the world are in agreement. Who gains from NOT buying/burning oil and reducing our fossil energy consumption? Perhaps you should turn around the question. Who is losing when we change our ways. At which side of the argument are they and how many (truly) independent supporters do they have?

We have absolutely no idea whether we r causing this and absolutely no idea whether there is anything we can do to stop it

When we burn oil/coal/... it is a fact that heat and CO2 is released in the atmosphere. Although I doubt the amount of energy dissipated by heat will make such a great impact, the issue with CO2 is that it traps energy in the atmosphere which would otherwise be dissipated into space. The real problem with CO2 is that its effect is compounded and amplified. When more CO2 is released in the atmosphere, temperature will rise, when temperature rises, there will be more moisture in the air which is also a greenhouse gas. On top due to the higher temperature, the polar caps are melting releasing CO2 trapped in the soil. Adding more greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. Additionally, since snow/ice is white, it reflects most of the light/energy. Reducing the amount of ice covered surface will increase the amount of energy the water/soil will absorb. More energy means more heat, more heat means ... it is a vicious circle.
Whether you think we caused it or not, we are DEFINITELY contributing to the problem.
Analogy: When there is a famine coming and some scientist say, there will be famine because we are eating our sowing crop and we should stop wasting food and grow alternatives. You say: there were famines before, rations and less food means economical harm for restaurant holders.

stop things which ARE causing real harm

Like floods are not causing harm or hurricanes or blizzards? Droughts? Lack of fresh water? Dying bees (no pollination)?

real and significant issue for our future is simply the limited supply of worldwide oil

So how can we make sure we can go longer with our current supply? Maybe by reducing our usage of oil? Oh, wait, that is EXACTLY what everyone else is saying. No matter how you look at it, we should reduce our CO2 emissions (less burning of fossil fuels). It makes economical sense, it makes ecological sense and it makes strategic sense.

So I support any rational or irrational behaviour that leads to alternate energy research

So you endorse those "certain parties using theories ...", regardless if they are nut-cases or respected scientists?

I just mean to say that simply because we can show the earth was warmer last year does not prove that we r the cause of it. And I feel those who focus on global warming r the real one with their head in the sand

1) Irrespective if you think humans are the cause of global warming or not, you can't but agree that we are contributing to the problem (even if it is only 0.1%).
2) No matter what you think about global warming and the causes. Everyone against global warming is for less dependency on oil/coal/... and is for a sustainable energy supply.

You claim those people have their heads in the sand for short term problems (which you call realities), yet their suggestions are perfectly compatible with any solution for the short term energy crisis we might be facing. Btw. I have high hopes for the fusion reactor (hopefully operational by 2019).
Yet it seems you have your head in the sand with regards to the climate change (what if you are wrong?). Even if technologies are now developed for the wrong reasons in your opinion like renewable energy for global warming, it may still be beneficial for you and humanity as a whole. (examples are ample: explosives for mining operations, radar for aviation, GPS, Internet, ...)

Comment Re:There is no denying the Earth is getting hotter (Score 1) 877

Although I find putting a price on a human life is disgusting, there are a number of flaws in your logic even when using your chain of thought.

according to US actuarial tables, a human life is worth about $13 million ... is a rough calculation that a rational liberal economist ...

First mistake: These values are for a US/Western life. The values for "foreigners", especially third-world countries where most of the casualties will be, is MUCH lower. Also when there will be a famine, the first casualties will be the "weak": elderly, handicapped, children, women ...
Economically speaking, some of them will be net profits.

Second mistake: The economic loss as you calculate will be in the countries of origin. This will reduce the world economy, but will have less impact on the western world. This has the pervert effect that western economy will have a greater percentage of the world wealth and as a consequence a greater influence, so why would anyone want to invest in a worse future?

Third mistake: You assume the US cares about the financial well-being of others. Investors will lay off hundreds of thousands of people to gain 3% more return on their investment. The cost of keeping a pet is greater than the cost of medication and nutrition of a few African/Asian children.

Forth mistake: You assume (the majority of) people will plan ahead and/or see the consequence of their actions. Look at all the debt we rack up. Look at how we "bury" our waste (including nuclear) like putting it in the ground will make it magically disappear. Look at how people (ab)use antibiotics.

Fifth mistake: You assume the loss of money will be evenly spread amongst all people. This is untrue as we can see in the economic crisis. The wealthy/powerful, who decide policies, will see little impact while the poor/weak will take the biggest hit.

Comment Re:There is no denying the Earth is getting hotter (Score 1) 877

If you want to stop me from burning whatever I want anytime I want whether it be wood or coal or petrol you are going to have to actually come to my house with weapons and arrest me.

No need. When prices will have sufficiently risen, you will have no more money to buy these products.

Can't you see how incredibly difficult it is to get so many people all over this planet to stop producing C02?

It is very easy. CO2 is mainly a by-product of our energy consumption. When there are no more cheap energy sources (oil), people will be forced to use less energy by the ever increasing prices. Between 1990-2000 1 barrel of crude oil on average costed less than $20. Between 2000-2004 it went up to $30. Now it is at $100: why do you think that is? Kyoto? Off course not. Did your income go up 3x since 2004? No? So the same amount of energy is taking up a greater portion of your available budget. This will continue until one of two things will happen:
1) People will start using less energy: either by using more power efficient technologies or by abandoning comfort because it will be too expensive
2) We find a new cheap sustainable alternative energy source (nuclear fission is definitely not viable before 2020)

If prices triple again in the next 10 years, will you continue to burn whatever you can afford or will you then start reducing your energy usage (insulating, smaller car, ...)?

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