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Comment Re: To reduce STEM wages (Score 5, Insightful) 229

The problem with test scores is that they don't mean shit except that you have either been an ass-kiss student who was used by a professor,

For the literature teacher who wants you to exalt their favorite author or the history/civics teacher who will give you a higher grade for parroting their political point of view, you might have a point.

One of the better points of science and math is that it's not quite as subject to that sort of kiss-assery. When you answer "What's 2+2" with the number 4, your teacher can't dock you points because they don't like the way you wrote the 4.

Comment Most forms of metric are like this (Score 5, Insightful) 196

" A label which captures this concept is 'Goodhart's Law' -- after economist Charles Goodhart, who posited in essence that 'when a measure becomes a target, it becomes useless.'"

I've seen a similar effect in places where I've worked. A poorly defined metric that is used to rate employee performance will suddenly become the primary focus of the job, instead of actually doing the job.

Submission + - UK Police Listened In On 9% More Calls Last Year (

itwbennett writes: While UK lawmakers are still debating a new Investigatory Powers Bill, a report compiled by the Interception of Communications Commissioner's Office (IOCCO) finds that warrants for the interception of communications rose 9 percent last year and that authorities continued to hoover up communications metadata. One-ninth of the metadata collection was approved without any paperwork, an option that is only available 'where there is an immediate threat to life or an urgent operational requirement and there is no time to complete the normal written process,' according to the report. 'That could be a sign that the other eight-ninths of the collections aren't exactly helping them figure out what's going on,' writes Peter Sayer. 'The report minimizes the impact of the surveillance, using innocuous terms like 'item of communications data' to refer to a whole month of incoming and outgoing call records for a mobile phone.'

Comment Re:Good! (Score 2) 614

I imagine there was a time when the word gifted was used to describe only children who were above average,

the term gifted is now applied to any student with more brain wave activity than a glazed doughnut.

Those two data points appear to be converging at an ever increasing rate.

Comment Re:Sorry but (Score 2) 72

The difference here is that 1970s cable TV offered vastly different programming that was previously unavailable. That was its main attraction - fans of niche TV genres could find channels that catered to specific subjects.

This appears to be moving in the opposite direction. The idea that users are paralyzed by option overload and want to pay someone to limit those options (the 'far smaller slate')? Doesn't sound like a money maker to me.

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