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Comment Eh... depends how you "sell" it (Score 1) 309

When I found out my ex was pregnant, I decided to plow through a tech school from 20-22. I figure I'd better get a job that lets me afford diapers and cheerios. I went all the way to Bachelor level in those 2.5 years, attending school day and nights and working a graveyard shift at Walmart. No, the credits aren't transferable, but I can "test into" a Master's program if I try really hard. But... it's easier to just start over, earning real credits, from what I've read.

The only positive thing I got from the experience itself was the textbooks. Other than that, I felt like I bought a brand new Lexus and drove it off a cliff. It was expensive as hell, and I had to push hard to just get through it. Not because it was difficult, but because it felt worthless. I'm still paying the loans back, 10 years later, and it'll be 3 or 4 more before I'm finally done. It was a harsh experience.

Now, though, I've learned I can use the degree pretty well, since I don't try to use it for proof of knowledge anymore. I just list it as a regular old Bachelor's degree on my resume, and I've gotten the actual knowledge I need through other avenues. I do run into problems sometimes if I'm dealing with local academia, who recognize the degree for what it is, but for the most part employers see "Degree" and say "Oh, nice. Do you feel your degree has helped you professionally?". The answer, of course, is "Yes, definitely.", though the reality is having a degree (any degree, but especially a trade school degree) says more about how you can follow through on a multi-year project than it says about your accumulated knowledge.

In any case; schools of all types are heavily dependent on how invested you become in your own education. The truth is, no matter where you go, you'll sometimes feel like you have to learn materials on your own, unless you can somehow find a way to get schooling where you're the only student in all your classes. I'd say a full accredited university is a safer way to learn, since you can further your education without too much trouble, but if you're already paid up for the trade school, use what you paid for. Time is also a factor - if you know you need to be in and out in a couple years, a trade school might work, but recognize it for what it is.

Comment Re:Truly horrible. (Score 1) 467

It's always your job to protect your kids from themselves, even if you're 80 and they're 60. People will always make mistakes, and having someone around to help mitigate the damage and increase the experience gained from a mistake is a good thing.

It's more that it's a sliding scale as the child (adult or not) gain more experience. It actually works the other way, too, since as a child becomes an adult, they gain experience their parents never had. That's love, and that's family.

Comment Re:Truly horrible. (Score 1) 467

Huh? Why would we pass a law that says homosexuality is against the law? Only a true bigot would think that in this day and age. Also: keeping an eye on what your kids are up to isn't an "oppressive thumb" - it's good parenting. My kids get loads of freedom, but they're still kids, and I've established a relationship where they know I'm keeping up on what's going on in their lives. Usually by them telling me, but sometimes just because I'm interested in their lives.

I agree with you about the drugs thing, but I want to be clear that neither I nor the OP think homosexuality is a sin. If you truly do see the point, good, and I apologize for misreading your "homosexuality against the law" comment, but if not, re-read these posts without your assumptions and you'll hopefully figure it out.

Comment Re:Truly horrible. (Score 3, Insightful) 467

The GP's point was that keeping an eye on your kids for illegal behavior is a good thing. I give my kids appropriate levels of privacy given their age and proven responsibility level, so I agree with that.

The GP also said that the father's attitude toward his child's sexual preference was horrible.

The only reason the two are comparable is that both items can be discovered by monitoring your kids' Facebook profiles, and the GP knew that as well as you or I do.

Comment Re:Old. (Score 2) 413

I'm generally bipartisan, and I don't take any issue with the point you're trying to make here (very clearly the President relied on others to "get" Bin Laden; he didn't infiltrate the hideout himself....).

However, the article you pasted is chock full of weasel words, sarcasm, "quotes", and general contempt. It's difficult - very difficult - to take articles like this seriously; at least for those of us who are what "moderate" used to be. Why don't people ever seem to understand that the facts speak for themselves, and pointing them out without snark is an elegant weapon for a civilized age?

Comment Re:Press coverage (Score 1) 757

Here's the utter, unequivocal, honest truth:

I don't care, or at least don't spend a moment worrying, other than looking into interesting science behind what's happening. So far as I know, there is literally nothing I can do about it that I don't already do. I recycle, I drive a car that gets pretty good gas mileage, am intelligent enough to know that ditching that car for a hybrid will be a net loss in efficiency, I vote responsibly (if I can), I don't waste much, and what I do waste I try to mitigate. I pick up litter. I smoosh my beer cans. I shower instead of bathe. It's about all I can do, and I'm good with that, and refuse to feel guilty about the rest of the world. What it comes down to is be personally responsible, but at the end of the day, don't worry, be happy, and if the reaper cometh, greet him with open arms, for that is reality.

I had a friend who used to preach about the conditions in El Salvador. According to her hands-on stories, it was and is a very rough place, and she's probably right about that. I always thought that sucked, and if true, the stories of what the CIA et. al. did in the 80s are disturbing. But I have 2 kids to feed right here in my very own house. I can't care about El Salvador because it's too far outside my monkeysphere. Sorry. As always, when something affects me locally, I'm gonna ride things out and look out for my family, and I guess I just assume other people will too. Sure I'll donate to the Red Cross, but that's why I donate to them; they're equipped to deal with not only the problems, but also the sympathy of it all. And I'm not gonna feel guilty about that for 1 second. If I did, where does it end? Am I the whole world's martyr? Fuck that.

Some smarty-pants out there comes up with a "here do this everybody!" with resounding science, or barring that, something that won't take food off my table or put too many pains in my ass, I'm on board, but I'm not sacrificing my ability to provide for my wee ones to go all activist. Just not gonna.

Comment Re:Probably (Score 1) 761

Actually, I'm going to correct myself. The best deterrent is education. Folks who can get what they want by following the rules more easily than breaking the rules won't break the rules. Generally speaking, anyway.

There are those nutjobs that like being bad for the sake of being bad, but nothing's gonna deter those jerks.

Comment Re:Probably (Score 2) 761

Any type of crime deterrent has two factors in play. First, of course, is just how punishing the punishment is. Second, though, and it always seems to get overlooked, is how likely you are to get caught.

As an example, take piracy. We just saw a few stories where some dude has to pay about 4 krillion billion dollars for 2 and 1/3 songs. People still download all the time, because the likelihood of being "caught" is very low.

If you knew that you ran the risk of death for shoplifting, but there was a lottery's chance in hell of you getting caught, the significance of the punishment goes way, way down.

Then, you also have human nature that mucks further with this. Most criminal masterminds are only genius in their own heads, so they commit the perfect crime, with officer not-so-friendly knocking on their door 20 minutes later. Human nature STILL mis-represents the risk, further diluting the deterrent value of a punishment.

The best deterrent is decreasing the chance you'll get away with it, which is pretty obvious when you think about it.

Comment Re:Margins (Score 1) 365

I would say that if your 3 year old prefers the iPad, he's probably getting that tendency from you, making it a moot point. Otherwise, I take no issue with what you said; it's all true. It also contributes to why the iPad is "nicer", "cooler"... or just plain "better".

Those are all good reasons to make a purchase, certainly. It doesn't take away the fact that if it was an ugly brick that smelled like burned plastic, nobody would buy it, and that is my point. There are devices out there that generally do what the iPad does for cheaper, but it's just plain a better looking device.

I don't know why people are arguing that "look" or, yes, "status" don't factor into the purchase, because it absolutely does. And there's not a thing wrong with that.

Comment Re:Margins (Score 1) 365

When you get to this level of "status" you're not talking about being impressed; you're talking about a minimum qualification to be considered "cool". Young folks are never about "stuff makes me cool" they are about "not having stuff makes me uncool". Quite a difference.

When you get to be a young grownup, some demographics are actually cooler by what they DON'T have (TV, nice jeans, contact lenses, mustache-free fingers, etc). Yeah, I'm lookin right at you, hipsters.

When you approach middle-aged, you're not "successful" unless you have at least the ability to buy nice things, and most people will splurge once in a while to prove they CAN buy those nice things. It's less about impressing friends or keeping up with the Joneses (though it happens) and more about proving to yourself that you have "earned" nice things.

I don't think any of these are bad, so long as you don't make dumb financial decisions getting there. In fact, I've fit all three of these categories at some point in my life. We'll see what I do when I get old, other than forget I own half the things I'm buying now.

Comment Re:Margins (Score 1) 365

I don't think you were "bragging" in a bad sense of the word. But those things you listed had other, cheaper, non-Apple options, too. It's not just Apple, either, high end Droid phones get bandied about quite often, as well, as does anything that hits the advertising airwaves.

I do think that this factor goes into any moderate to large purchasing decision, and the wise man is aware of these tendencies, allowing him to properly evaluate what "status" (also read as "fancy" or "cool") is worth to him. It's just the nature of the human beast.

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