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Comment Re:Shop elsewhere if you need this drug (Score 1) 372 Free market means I kick your sorry ass out of the house and call a real doctor. Someone pulling that game in a small town will find himself run right out of town on a rail.

You also clearly have very little experience in medicine. People don't go into primary care for the money (obviously, because it doesn't pay enough to cover your loans). Small-town doctors are going to be using the free-market economy to help their patients find the cheapest tests and cheapest treatments possible.

That's how it works. Free market does not necessarily mean "predatory." Most people aren't like that, particularly in smaller or more rural communities. Your vague apprehensions about the risk of vulnerable families are given foundation only by systematic distortions of the free market. These distortions limit the supply of both doctors and medicines, forcing families to accept substandard and/or overpriced care. A free market gives these families choices, choices that the current system does not give them.

Comment Re:Oh the pain... (Score 1) 166

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that you were looking at the database structure itself and did not take the time to learn MUMPS well enough to really work with it.

I've never worked with MUMPS, but your aggravation is quite familiar. It's what happens when you try to take apart a schema that is designed as an object store, without using the object accessing framework.

I'm not defending MUMPS in any way, but you should be aware of this if you ever attempt data conversion in the future. Often (not always!) it is best to become properly familiar with the original system of accessing the schema, and use that model to inspect and interact with the data store. It's frustrating as shit to have to learn a whole new (often proprietary) system in order to get at the data cleanly, but it will likely save you quite a bit of time and frustration. Plus you can put it on your resume, so there's that.

Comment Re:Tell them the measles contain gluten (Score 1) 580

If you were actually knowledgeable about the topic, you would know that vaccination rates in the US are extremely high -- among the highest in the world -- and are not dropping. There is zero danger of polio making a comeback.

Most "anti-vaxxers" (all?) I know have their kids vaccinated against polio. If you decline the flu shot (which, by the way, does not undergo the safety assurances that most vaccines must. It can't: there's not enough time to get it on the market before it's needed) then you are an "anti-vaxxer" even if all the rest are administered on schedule. I call bullshit. Strawman fallacy.

Comment Re:A different set of pros and cons (Score 1) 700

I don't know, but if want I'd be happy to talk with you about the experience. :)

I started off doing part-time classes at a local community college, finished it off with 2 years at a 4-year school, and went directly into med school.

It's a lot of work and way way more stress than I ever imagined it would be, but it wasn't hard to get in. Lots of medical schools, especially osteopathic schools, welcome nontraditional students, and frankly if you do the prep work the MCAT isn't that bad.

If you have an eye on med school, start accumulating experience in the medical field early on. EMT training isn't hard to get and a couple of years doing EMT work (heck, you can do EMT training and work in the evenings and not interfere with a full-time job) will prepare you tremendously. I didn't do that, and it would have helped during admissions and would help a lot with the educational experience.

Comment Re:A different set of pros and cons (Score 1) 700

If I'm not mistaken, you just compared a community of homeschoolers to a community of self-mutilators. That's amazing.

There's really nothing that separates reddit from any other online forum, except that it brings so many disparate viewpoints under a single login and domain. Slashdot is no less of an echo chamber lined with groupthink and foolishness.

Comment Re:Needs fairly strong justification (Score 4, Interesting) 700

1) Mum and dad don't have to be teachers. 1-on-1 instruction is so much superior to classroom education that there is really no comparison.

2) Trying to emulate a school environment at home is a recipe for disaster. That's not how it works, and that's not how it should work.

3) All of those are quickly learned upon entrance to college, or during the large quantities of socialization that homeschooled families tend to be very careful to procure for their children. Homeschoolers actually tend to be considerably better socialized than their public school peers. However, dropping a homeschooled child into the wolfpack of public school is a recipe for disaster.

4) Exactly right. Thus, unschooling. It works very well, if the parents can get their head around that kind of freedom.

5) I don't know what your experience was but forced separation from parents is traumatic. Of course, once children hit puberty, they tend to break free on their own, thus handling the overly-attached problem.

Sorry your experience was bad. Most are not like that.

Comment A different set of pros and cons (Score 2, Insightful) 700

Slashdot is a rough place to post this. Check out for a more knowledgeable community, but there are a TON of resources to help you figure this out if it is something you are interested in.

I don't know of anyone doing statistical work on homeschoolers. It would be helpful, but the fact is that homeschoolers tend to integrate very well in society. It's not as if there is a magical 3 percent that stand out all the time for you to notice.

I only know of anecdotal material. I am one of those. I was homeschooled K-12 and am now in medical school (as a nontraditional student, after having worked as a programmer for 10 years). My homeschooling experience was actually very difficult, but it did prepare me for working hard in the world.

I do want to address the point of socialization, however. By and large, homeschoolers are VASTLY better socialized than public schooled children. The reason for this is simple. Unlike public school, where children largely interact with teachers and same-aged peers, homeschooled children interact with a great swath of society from a young age. (There are occasional shut-in familes, but they are rare and you obviously would not be one of them.) Homeschooling is absolutely not a question of academics vs. socialization. Homeschoolers get both.

However, there is a different balance to strike. Your time. Homeschooling is a very serious commitment, particularly in time. This is the part that will get you.

As for your wife letting go, both boys and girls grow up more emotionally mature and resilient if they remain close to their parents until puberty. This translates to better socialization, better mental health, and better emotional capacities through life. So it might not be a bad thing.

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