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Comment What about dads stock tips? (Score 2) 90

Even after my father formally retired he could not stop being an analyst. He has consistently beat both the DOW and WSJ's dartboard. Even through the World Financial Crisis he stayed in the black (by a pretty hefty margin).

This is relevant because once in a while he calls me to let me know of something he is investing in. Frankly, his tips have never failed While I make it sound otherwise, in hindsight, all of his investments look rather conservative.

This is relevant; because, I doubt any avatar is going to call me, talk about a motorcycle race for ten minutes, and casually drop a meaningful stock tip.

Comment Re:If youre 50+, time to die (Score 1) 207

There is a reason I went into teaching. Sure, teaching at a middle school has no prestige and mediocre pay; however, my friends, that I graduated with, are seeing the method to my madness.

I have friends who were at the top of their game who are now delivering pizzas. Gen 'ers are now hitting their 50's and we have been blocked from advancement, by the boomers, for our entire lives. Now we are competing with the next generation and we are still in those entry level jobs. No, entry level jobs do not value experienced 50 year olds.

Like I said, I basically dropped out of the game, went back and got my teaching cert (yea! a third master's degree). You won't ever know if you made the right decision until you are about five years past the decision. I am at that point and I think I did.

Comment Re:detecting fallacies = detecting bs (Score 1) 402

That is precisely why this interested me. In fact, I would like to see them go a step further and offer a graduate certificate. That way we can work it into the curriculum and get it included in computer courses at middle schools.

We need the cert's so that we can show that the teachers are qualified to teach it. There is a "Evaluating Information: The Cornerstone of Civic reasoning" program at Stanford that is working on developing Middle School material. I would like it to become a core module instead of a filler activity.

Comment Re:No - I'm a school teacher (Score 1) 369

Also a teacher here. What's more, I teach in Title I schools. The level of motivation needed to make use of online resources, and alternate methods, is generally lacking. Even with the blended learning units, there is no way the students would function without direction. Further, the class sizes cannot be, significantly, increased. The issue remains keeping the kids on task, and selecting appropriate tasks.

Comment Re:Knowledge about the age of the rainforest is kn (Score 5, Interesting) 147

The assumption that he puts forth is that between the first explorers, and the large wave that followed later, there was a massive death rate due to the introductions of Western diseases. This large die-off was not seen or recorded, by Westerners, because the bulk of it occurred between the exploration stages.

He discusses many of the records of the second wave of explorers, they wrote of well tended, but empty, forests and fruit plantations. Many of their observations reflected that there was a recent, and large population; yet they were not seeing that large population. here is the wikipedia summary https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

The, essential, anarchy seen by later explorers, and settlers as not a fair look at how the Americas had been. What those of the later stages were seeing was the result of a societal collapse to below the levels need for continuation.

To put this in geek terms, imagine that you arrived on earth after the zombie apocalypse, your assumptions would be different than they would be if you arrived today.

Comment Knowledge about the age of the rainforest is known (Score 2) 147

The book 1492: The Year the World Began, by Felipe Fernández-Armesto, is not a new book. However, it goes into detail about the not so ancient American civilizations. It does promote the crowded Americas theory; which is gaining prominence. Essentially, the records of the first explorers and settlers is very different from the Americas seen by the large waves of explorers and settlers, only a few years later.

Comment Re:Most forms of metric are like this (Score 1) 196

Of course one will. In the case you set forward, the money is a signaling mechanism. Even if I happen to feel that Y is more productive for the company, It has been signaled to me that the company places greater value on X. As such, I should engage in X.

This assumes that the X in question isn't some perverse gaming of the system.

To use as an example, I worked at a company that was obsessed with EBITDA. All meetings, and management contact, were required to include emphasis on EBITDA objectives (yes, this resulted in a manager hiding in his office a lot). I realize that was just plain stupid. However, it was clearly expressed that the EBITDA objectives were what the company was concerned with.

I could have forged off in my own direction. I do think the company would have been better for it. However, to do so would have been an act of insubordination, yes, I would have also missed my bonus. However, the bonus was not the issue; the issue was that the company had, clearly, signaled its primary area of concern. It was my job to focus on that concern.

[EBITDA -- Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization is a measure of a company's operating performance. Essentially, it's a way to evaluate a company's performance without having to factor in financing decisions, accounting decisions or tax environments.] BTW, it is a worthless measure https://hbr.org/2009/11/how-eb...

Comment Re:Thanks Obama! (Score 4, Insightful) 375

The problem is that the focus is on the wrong word. You even used the word. The word you used was "healthcare." The problem is that the word being used when the law is being worked on is not, "care," it is ,"insurance.

The emphasis remains to provide insurance, with the assumption that care will follow. The focus needs to be on healthcare.

If it cuts out a huge slice of profit for a small number of people employed in health insurance, that must be viewed as the cost of increasing national efficiency in providing health care.

Comment Re:As if this is new (Score 2) 370

Stagflation is not the coexistence of deflation and inflation. Stagflation, as coined and seen the late 70's; it is the coexistence of high inflation and high unemployment. This is something that traditional economic theory considered to be impossible. It was the condition that saw the success of the supply side theories that were the core of Thatcherism and Reaganism. The trouble with supply side isn't that it doesn't work in specific circumstances; it is that its adherents try to apply it to all circumstances.

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