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Comment Dumbreason to include them, but don't exclude them (Score 1) 639

Yes, social training is a dumb reason to include humanities (who is to say that humanities students are any better?), but there are reasons why it is a good idea to have at least a couple of compulsory humanities papers per science degree. My reason (personal and specific, I know) is that I have a broad range of interests,and, while I wished to develop a career in science and technology, and have a biomedical degree to show for it, I was also very interested in history, languages, and philosophy. In high school, I was unable to take these, as to get into my require course I had to fill my schedule with maths and science. However, my university course required you to take one non-science paper per year for the first two years (sadly limited to choice, however, as there were many clashes between my science classes and the classes I wanted to take). This way I was able to take basic philosophy and swedish, which, while maybe not directly useful to my career, did help develop me as a person, and give me more to think and talk about in depth than just science.

Comment Nice people don't like patronising people (Score 3, Interesting) 639

Riddle me this: why is it that if someone has trouble in math or something, other people who can do it will offer to help, but if someone is socially inept, the immediate reaction is to ostracize the person rather than offering to give them social coaching? I have helped people all my life in technical areas where they needed it, but not one time has anyone made any such offer to me.

My theory as to the reason people don't help socially inept people when they do help with topics like maths or history or whatever, is that it is obvious if you don't know that stuff - there is no way or reason to hide your lack of knowledge. However, when it comes to social situations (speaking from my own past experience now), sometimes while one does know the answer, one is too shy or too afraid of mocking to act correctly. Now that I am (somewhat) more socially capable (it took me a while to build up guts etc), I don't help others who are making the same mistakes, as I know that had someone come up to me and told me what to do, I would have felt patronised and even worse than I did already, because I already knew what to do.

The problem here is, of course, what if the person has no idea what to do and would really appreciate the help?

So - nice people don't like to be patronising, and not-nice people don't care. One solution could be to go up to a nice, somewhat nerdy but socially adept person and ask them to help you - they may know what you are going through but didn't want to hurt your feelings...

Comment maths isn't compulsory, neither is this class (Score 1) 639

The way I see it is that this class, while quite silly, really (especially at a masters level - maybe as a highschool option or something), is just another choice in the broad education options available. If people want to learn how to flirt, they can take this class. If they think it is beneath them or that it is unimportant, they can skip it. Same with maths or science.

Neither class is compulsory.


Dutch Unveil Robot Gas Station Attendant 287

Lucas123 writes "According to a Reuters' story, Dutch inventors today took the wraps off a $110,000 car-fueling robot they say is the first of its kind. (It was inspired by a cow milking robot.) After registering the car as it pulls up to the pump, the machine matches your fuel cap design with those in a database and your car's fuel type, and then a robotic arm fitted with multiple sensors extends from a regular gas pump, 'opens the car's flap, unscrews the cap, picks up the fuel nozzle and directs it towards the tank opening, much as a human arm would, and as efficiently.' Wait till Hollywood gets hold of this scenario."

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