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Comment Re:For the Nth Time (Score 1) 156

I can see some people seem to hate the algebra comparison. Let's try a different comparison. Sculpting. Everyone sculpted in school. Yet most people aren't sculptors. Everyone learned what an endoplasmic reticulum is. Yet very few went on to use that knowledge as a biologist. A lot of school is to give yourself exposure so you can find your passions. That's all I'm trying to say. Don't deny people that exposure.

Comment Re:For the Nth Time (Score 1) 156

Maybe I"m naive as to what you are referring to with social engineering. I have a 5 year old. She is able to do algorithms. if this then that etc. I think teaching her this is helpful even if she doesn't end up a programmer. I don't think teaching her programming is harmful and I find it odd that someone would see it as harmful. Could you elaborate?

PS - I don't think programming covers some magical divide. I am not teaching my daughter the dijkstra's algorithm to start, we start with simple sequences (as do all the lessons I've seen in public schools).

On a completely seperate note: Critical thinking vs regurgitation has always been an issue independent of programming.

Comment Re:For the Nth Time (Score 1) 156

Teaching someone to do "algebra" does not make them a "mathematician." No, it does not make them a better person. No, it does not make them responsible or moral. What it does do is try to flood the market with cheap labor, and make a zombie force that can't think very well for themselves. We don't want carpenters using this knowledge for square footage estimates. They should go to their local mathematician union to get a qualified calculation. /s

I get what you're saying, but I don't think most people are arguing that exposing kids to programming makes them a software engineer. I learned a needle and thread, drilling, painting, etc in school. I ended up a software engineer, but those teachings were useful to me as a person.

Comment Re:Stupid people are stupid (Score 1) 956

Post Columbine, if you wore a black trench-coat into school you would be suspicious and often sent home. Is there anything inherently wrong in a trench-coat?

Three scenarios:

1) I wear the trench-coat and make subtle gestures to those around that I am shooting.
2) I wear the trench-coat and make OVERT gestures of gunning people down ( no actual guns involved)
3) I am ignorent of trench-coat fear and wear it to keep me dry in the rain

Those three scenarios have obviously different consequences. None of which is being arrested. Yet, the kid can still be at fault in the first two scenarios.

Comment Sometimes completely self driving (Score 2) 247

We need completely self-driving cars. But we don't need them to drive everywhere. Handling suburban, city, freeway, highway, et al is hard to program in. If we just focused on 100% freeway driving, I think that would be much easier to program. We could have a self driving car that drives on the freeway autonomously, but gives ample warning before an exit ramp where it expects the user to take over at the first stop.

Comment Re: Good for greece (Score 1) 1307

Are the children and grand children responsible for the crimes their previous family members and 3rd party collaborators committed?

If someone on your family commits a crime are you supposed to go to jail as well to pay for their crimes too?

If your parents built a mansion with that loan, then the mansion is part of the estate at their death and creditors can take that away. If a country built infrastructure with loans, the creditor would have a lean on that infrastructure. If this wasn't the case it would make sense to take huge loans you couldn't pay and build a space elevator for your children.

Comment Re:Effect of nukes on NEOs (Score 5, Insightful) 272

The article quotes a NASA study from 2007 on the best way to "deflecting NEOs". They found nuclear devices to be "10-100 times more effective than the non-nuclear alternatives analyzed in this study." You are actually saying what the article is saying. The article doesn't say the nukes are to explode the NEO, leave it to Slashdot to have a misleading summary.

Comment Re:China already selectively eliminates females (Score 1) 150

I'm not sure these assumptions are correct, but saying that 1.07 to 1.12 is "not as big as many people may think" is a bit disingenuous. Let's look at the numbers

Lets assume 1.07 would be their natural ratio. In India it's 1.12. India has a birth rate of around 25 million people a year. The "natural" ratio would lead that to be:

25m * 1.07/2.07
12,922,705 males
12,077,294 females

Their actual ratio is more like (1.12):

25m * 1.12/2.12
13,207,547 males
11,792,452 females

Female birth number should be assuming a 1.07 ratio = 13,207,547 / 1.07 = 12,343,502
If this imbalance was only due to deaths of females before being reported as births this would lead to 551,050 females being killed in India.

We're talking half a million female babies each year (just in India). That's probably more than most people think.

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