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Comment Re:Structure can be learned creativity cannot (Score 1) 436

I play Magic: the Gathering a bit and read some of the daily articles from time to time. One of the authors is Mark Rosewater, a head designer. One of the things he talks about is design in the abstract, which has a lot of application beyond games. One of the things he talks about is how to learn to be creative. Here is a sample article about how to be creative:

Another example is the book "How to solve it". This is a rather interesting book, because it gives steps on how to solve problems -- steps that, once they become ingrained, act exactly like creativity.

And for teaching a creative people to be formal, a famous counterexample is Ramanujan, and Indian mathematician of great creativity that could never be made to learn "the correct ways to apply [his] ideas". Hardy tried, and failed to do that.

This is ironic: only after writing the about paragraph did I read down to where you said "lack of creativity is why Indian ...".

Comment Re:the state is not required to prove the actual a (Score 1) 639

Although I'm all for fighting child pornography, I think that the government needs to provide evidence that a person used in pornography is truly under the age of 18.

Agreed. Note, you did not say "I think that the government needs to provide evidence that a person used in pornography is truly a particular age."

Comment Re:Cap & Trade = Energy Rationing (Score 1) 874

So how exactly has this helped him or the economy?

In five years, due to the smaller amount of energy he is now using, he saves up the amount of money he spent upgrading, and can now buy his new oven and hire more employees. In another five years, he now has a bonus pile of cash which he can play with, which he wouldn't have had without lower energy costs.

Why do you replace your single pane windows with double pane? Why do you add insulation to your home? Why do you replace your 80's refrigerator with a new one? Why switch from incandescent to florescent light bulbs? Why buy a lower polluting, more gas efficient car? Why purchase reusable grocery sacks? Why purchase a bicycle?

In the 70's, we had an energy crisis. As a result, there was a massive shift in the American economy to be energy efficient. Miles per gallon in cars doubled. Refrigerators quadrupled efficiency. New houses and repairs/upgrades started requiring energy-saving features, like insulation. Energy Star ratings are mandatory for many appliances. While this is an up-front cost that requires retooling factories and increasing prices, the long term benefits and money-saving effects outweigh the initial cost.

The reason people fight this is because people do not look at the life-cycle cost of a product. They see an item at a low cost and but it in preference to one that is twice the cost but will last five times longer, or buy one that has a low cost, but a high maintenance cost (printer ink, anyone?). This is not the broken-window fallacy, as you are not replacing the window, you are upgrading it to something that has benefits beyond the original.

Comment Re:Poll results (Score 1) 387

Seriously, you think that the only people who are affected by the classics are classics majors?

Imagine losing all of Shakespeare, Twain, Wells, Homer, Verne, Dickens, Shaw, Poe, etc., not to mention works from unknown authors that produced Grimm's tales, Aesop's fables, Robin Hood, Beowulf, the Bible, etc.? Do you really have no idea how much of our culture is steeped in the literature of the past?

Comment Re:the state is not required to prove the actual a (Score 4, Insightful) 639

While "the state is not required to prove the [...] age of the minor", it does not say "the state is not required to prove that the person is a minor". The difference is that if the picture is of a six-year-old, it is pretty clear the person is a minor. An apparent 15-year-old, however, will need something more to prove that the person is a minor. If the law said that minority did not need to be proved, then the law would be saying that any pornography is child pornography, on the word of the state.

Comment Re:If it's for my convenience and safety (Score 2, Informative) 450

Why can't I turn it off?

I can decide to turn off my airbag.

I can't (legally). Not unless I get a written waver from NHTSA. Looking at the application [pdf], you can see that you can't turn it off on a whim. Maybe you live in a country that doesn't try to over protect, but the example is untrue in a large part of the world.

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