As a statist, I think you're making the wrong argument. The question is not whether the state should be able to tell you what to do. It does (eg, stop signs) and it should (eg, vaccines) for very practical reasons. The question is does the benefit to society from prohibiting drugs out weigh the cost in freedom, blood, and treasure. In my opinion, things like the enormously bloated prison population suggest it does not.
I live in the US. 6 feet, 145lbs, lift weights regularly, eat rice/beans/vegetables, no sugar. Roughly a third of my family regularly tells me I'm way too skinny and they're concerned about my health. They think I'm going to die of starvation. I've had quite a few women make comments about how I'm too skinny and not strong (one thought she could beat me arm wrestling). My favorite is when I'm with someone and a seriously in shape bicyclist passes by and they compare the bicyclist to a holocaust survivor.
We've entered a dark place when people start shaming fit people because they don't even know what a normal person should look like.
I take issue with the 'immaturity of the man' argument. In my experience, it's much more to do with some fantasy of the perfect guy who will make them happy, instead of making themselves happy and finding someone to share it with.
In fact, I think some rough empirical evidence exists in this direction. Women's sexual market value peaks in their 20s and falls off rapidly in their mid 30s. For men, the peak is much later. In the same way teenagers think they're invulnerable and youth will never end, women find this drop unexpected so their experience is one of a sudden drop in quality of available partners.
Moreover there seems to be a general social move away from long term commitments of any kind. Marriage rates are declining, divorce rates increasing. People move around much more so friendships are broken up. Jobs don't last, etc.
I was assaulted once by a kid twice my size in middle school. He was harassing a group of 5 girls, taking their bags and throwing them on the ground. I asked him, "Why are you being such an asshole? Why don't you just leave them alone?" He punched me in the back of the head when I turned to walk away, then took about 12 swings at my face while sitting on top of me. I never hit him at all, just deflected most of his attacks.
The next day, the school administrator gave both of us detention for a week. He said I shouldn't have used foul language.
I think there's a kind of deep inability on the part of adults to distinguish between rough play that got a little out of hand and a bully who's completely out of control. I can't see any school policy fixing that.
This is not new. When you go into the grocery store, everything is 1/3 more free, buy one get one free, 5 for $5, $0.99. Advertising. Data-mining. Figuring out how much your internet will cost after the 6 month introductory rate. These are all obfuscations and manipulations.
I don't think you can just say, oh some people are just stupid, these manipulations don't work on me. We're all cynical. We all know the games aren't free, that we're being suckered. If someone asked us rationally would you rather pay $3 for a game designed to be fun versus a free game specifically designed to constantly bother you for money, many of us would say we'd pay $3. But then you're bored and want to waste 5 minutes so you go into the app store and there's the $3 game next to the free game. $3 is a commitment, maybe it isn't good. Download the free game. It sucks. Whatever. Next guy does the same. Boom. Suddenly the $3 game doesn't show up when you look at what games everyone is playing.
It's really not obvious how to avoid obfuscation and manipulation in a 'free' market.
I agree in principle. However, in my experience, when there are no tests with consequences then high school students do absolutely nothing.
Furthermore, students don't interpret grades as a useful evaluation of their current understanding of a topic. They see it more as a personal judgement. You'll never hear, "Oh, I didn't do well. What am I not understanding?" What you hear is, "You gave me a bad grade. You don't like me." From there it divides into those who feel depressed about it and those who feel angry about it.
Our educational problems are extremely complex.
As a high school teacher, I printed out 3 different tests once and didn't tell the students. It was comical how much like a photocopy some tests looked, all solving the wrong problems. One girl was copying off a boy who turned his test in early, so she only managed to copy the first line of the last problem. She then proceeded to correctly solve the problem that the boy had gotten wrong - except it wasn't the problem from her test.
Dude, non-nerds aren't real people.
I agree with the sentiment that the assignment is good for getting student brain activity going and for learning about critical thinking.
However, I've also worked with high school students and the opposing argument is not entirely without merit. There *are* those kids who don't understand sarcasm, don't follow even the most basic logical arguments and may not understand that discussing terrorism does not imply becoming a terrorist. Slashdot posters who breezed through high school should understand that many people barely passed (hell, many people fail).
And obviously, school administrators don't want to get the angry phone call from a parent "you're teaching my kid to be a terrorist!" so they have to say they don't support it even if they could care less.
I personally feel DRM is kind of a side issue. The real problem here is a cultural expectation of free media. People think it's trivial to copy and therefore the cost should be zero.
I know a guy who makes six figures and refuses to buy any games because he doesn't have to. Furthermore he makes fun of me for buying games. To him the norm is pirating and you're stupid if you don't.
The consequences of this attitude will be bad for gaming, whether it's in the form of DRM, micro-transactions, or other schemes companies use to force people to buy their product.
What we need is to get closer to the root cause. We need stuff like student prices and lower prices on older games. There needs to be some education that games cost money to make, even indie games. Maybe even some kind of forced government pool. I personally want there to be a huge investment in games and other entertainment and I think if people understood the whole process they'd agree.
I had a similar experience teaching high school. The grade distribution was always trimodal, the kids who took it seriously, the kids who put in minimum effort, and the kids who did absolutely nothing. There was very little ambiguity about grades.
I always felt like high school math teachers failed at motivating anything. No history. No real explanation. No context. Just memorize.
And then I spent a year teaching high school math. Do you know what students say when you bring in history sheets, make them do experiments or talk about the bigger picture? "Is this going to be on the test?" "This isn't math, I don't want to read in math class." "Can you just tell us how to do the homework problems please?" "I hate math."
I think it's erroneous to believe that if math teachers only gave things more context, everyone would 'get it.' I wish it worked that way, but I don't think it does. Most students are primarily concerned with socializing and they've basically turned their brains off to other things.
Remember -- only 10% of anything can be in the top 10%.