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Comment Re:They are also often newer (Score 1) 155

Don't look at me for sympathy :)

I bought this house in a middle class neighborhood about 30 years ago. It has degraded to lower middle class. (Hey, it makes for cheap security: noone in the neighborhood has anything worth stealing, so burglars don't bother us . . .)

I can get highspeed from Cox, may many poxes befall their house.

Centurylink, which used to be the phone company, can't deliver more than 3 mbit service here (but, gee, if I dig the trench to the street, they'll supply 8 conductor rather than 4 conductor phoneline . . .).

Bizarrely, they send an add every week or two for their Prism and high speed, even though it can't be purchased . . .

I'd take it in a heartbeat. Heck, I'd probably buy from russian hackers or the devil to get away from cox . . .

hawk

Comment Re:I hope he wins his suit (Score 1) 616

"Doctor" had a long established meaning before the modern MD in the US was concocted: a doctor was a person who had acquired significant knowledge in an area, *AND* had contributed to that body of knowledge. (It comes from the Latin verb "to teach").

The modern MD was created specifically to borrow the prestige and legitimacy of the doctors of the university at at a time when contemporary medicine was at least as likely to cause harm as to help. It created a system of training, but dropped the second prong (contribution to knowledge).

As a real doctor, I find the borrowing of my title an adequate tradeoff for the vastly improved healthcare, but I get a good laugh when a mere MD tries to distinguish that he is a "real doctor." (If he as actually published in a peer reviewed journal, or developed a new technique, he is indeed a real doctor. But they are a small minority).

MDs also like introducing themselves as "Dr. Smith"; real doctors rarely do--I've never done it outside of a classroom.

The DDS is kind of an MD knockoff with the same missing second prong.

Chiropracticy, well . . . they should only be allowed to operate under the direct supervision of real physicians, but that's another issue. "Menace" would be a better title than "Dr." for them, but I digress . . .

And as for attorneys . . . the (american) JD is actually the old LLB (Bachelor of Law). In about the 1960s, law schools started switching over, even offering replacement diplomas to their alumni. It was about some kind of parity with MD.

The LLM is a legal master's degree, almost always in tax in the US.

And then there is the LLD, the PhD equivalent, an actual doctor. These are rare, you see an occasional law school dean and so forth. And, notably, Neil Gorsuch, the newest Supreme Court Justice, holds one. (for all I know, he's the only JSD or LLD to ever sit on the court, but I haven't bothered to look, as it's really not that important).

Substantially all medical school and law school faculty have published and contributed to their bodies of knowledge.

hawk, doctor of economics & statistics

Comment Re:It's true (Score 2) 219

Pixar was unique in Silicon Valley companies in that we had deadlines that could not move. The film had to be in theaters before Christmas, etc. I'd see employees families come to Pixar to have dinner with them. I took the technical director training but decided to stay in studio tools, first because Pixar needed better software more than they needed another TD, and second because of the crazy hours.

Comment Re:Damage from BASIC (Score 1) 627

This.

I used BASIC as it was what was available on the machine I was paid to write.

My BASIC, though, looked more like good FORTRAN than most basic, with thought out calls, etc.

If the language you need to use doesn't have the control structure you need, just write it.

Although I don't miss worrying about what line number to put routines at for efficiency (MBASIC until 5 or so would search through memory on a GOTO or GOSUB, making low-numbered calls faster than high-numbered).

And it's amazing that noone has pointed out the adage that a sufficiently skilled programmer can write bad FORTRAN in any language . . .

hawk

Comment Re: The problem with your explanation (Score 1) 307

If you look in the FEMA site, they say that they provide gramts to perform repairs not covered by insurance. And no, they don't do a needs test. Now, the typical rich person does not let their insurance lapse just so that they can get a FEMA grant. Because such a grant is no sure thing. They also point out that SBA loans are the main source of assistance following a disaster. You get a break on interest, but you have to pay them back.

Comment Re: The problem with your explanation (Score 1) 307

I understand your point about view land being desirable even though it's a flood risk. I live a mile or so from the Hayward fault. But I have California's risk pool earthquake insurance. The government wouldn't be paying me except from a fund that I've already paid into. I imagine that the government does pay some rich people in similar situations, but as far as I'm aware disaster funds go to the States from the federal government and should not in general become a form of rich people's welfare. Maybe you can find some direct evidence to show me that would make the situation more clear.

Comment Re:The problem with your explanation (Score 1) 307

What you are observing is economics. As a city or town population grows, the best land becomes unavailable and those who arrive later or have less funds available must settle for less desirable land. Thus many cities have been extended using landfill which liquifies as the San Francisco Marina District did in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, or floods. Risks may not be disclosed by developers, or may be discounted by authorities as the risks of global warming are today.

Efforts to protect people who might otherwise buy such land or to mitigate the risks are often labeled as government over-reach or nanny state.

Comment Re:The problem with your explanation (Score 1) 307

Oh, of course they were caused by misguided engineering efforts. Everything from the Army Corps of Engineers to Smoky Bear goes under that heading. The most basic problem is the fact that we locate cities next to resources and transportation, which means water, without realizing where the 400-year flood plane is. Etc. We have learned something since then.

Our problem, today, is fixing these things. Which is blocked by folks who don't believe in anthropogenic climate change, or even cause and effect at all. They don't, for the most part, register Democratic.

Comment The problem with your explanation (Score 5, Insightful) 307

The problem with your explanation is that it's fact-based, and stands on good science. This is the post-truth era. Thus, the counter to your argument will be:

  • Evidence for a human cause of erosion is thin and controversial, and is being pushed by loony liberals.
  • We need those oil and shipping jobs, and jobs building and maintaining levees, not more regulation that stifles them!
  • Cause and effect is not a real thing, except for one cause, God is behind everything.
  • This is part of God's plan for us. The end time is coming, and when the Rapture arrives it will not matter that Louisiana's coast has eroded. Cease your pursuit of unholy science and pray to save your soul!

Comment Re:So... (Score 1) 339

so far hasn't done anything irreversible.

I think the first victims have been farmers who can't bring in their crops. Just the people who voted for him in California's central valley and wherever else we depend on guest workers. I don't see citizens lining up to pick those crops. The small family farmers, what's left of them, will feel this worse, the large corporate ones have the lawyers necessary to help them break the rules and truck people in from South of the border.

The second group of victims will be the ones who need health care that doesn't come from a big company. It's a lot more difficult to start a small business when there is no affordable way to get health care. And that is the case for my own small business - I'd be in bad shape if my wife left the University. I think that's the real goal - to keep people from leaving employment in larger companies and going off on their own.

Comment Re:So... (Score 4, Interesting) 339

Donald Trump, unfortunately, satisfies a common desire among the populance to right things by means that won't actually right them. It's a desire to rid Washington of inaction by cleaning it out of the current folks who don't seem to get anything done: and then you find that the things they were working on are harder than you understood. It's the feeling that you can get things going right by having a manager who lights a fire under the responsible people: just the way that bank managers pressured employees to increase revenue or be fired until those employees started opening accounts fraudulently for customers who hadn't asked for them.

What I am having a hard time with is how our country gets back out of this. I fear Humpty has had such a great fall that there is no peaceful recovery.

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