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Comment memorization (Score 1) 715

Nothing wrong with it at all. It's the only way you can do history. Very useful to have a few poems memorized for impressing the opposite sex. Very useful to have a few nursery rhymes memorized in order to impress and please your kids. Formulas, theorems, knowledge of your craft, all involve some degree of memorization. If you have to solve every problem from scratch, you're going to be an inefficient at everything.

And yes, everyone should have addition and multiplication tables memorized, because it's so damn useful.

You come off as someone jealous of the kid(s) that could memorize easily, and having to find a way (mentally) to make yourself out to be smarter, and well, better than they are.

Comment Re:News for Nerds? (Score 1) 586

$300 million failed IT project is tech news. That it is politically sensitive is a problem from the standpoint of trying to figure out why so we can do better next time. You'd think the hangout for a bunch of geeks might be exactly the place to discuss this with descending into the politics of the project, but... judging from the rest of the comments, we'll have to leave technical project management to political shills and robber baron types.

Comment Re:Meh; clearly haven't talked to security workers (Score 1) 841

Wikipedia claims it is an old Russian proverb, and that Reagan was coached in its use by one of his speechwriters. Lenin apparently liked it as well, but not enough to verify what Stalin was doing. Or something...

Anyhow, Reagan and Lenin probably both ate carrots too.

The more serious issue is that the allied countries may host populations that are not friendly. Specifically, the Hamburg cell (Mohamed Atta's group) were operating out of, duh, Hamburg, Germany. Presumably, if you wanted to have a chance to intercept guys like this, you'd have to listen in on private German conversations. Also presumably, German authorities might not see plotting to do nefarious things in other countries as a problem they needed to be concerned about - see the Munich Olympics aftermath:

(from Wikipedia)
An article in 2012 in a front-page story of the German news magazine Der Spiegel reported that much of the information pertaining to the mishandling of the massacre was covered up by the German authorities for the past decades. For twenty years, Germany refused to release any information about the attack and did not accept responsibility for the results. The magazine reported that the government had been hiding 3,808 files, which contained tens of thousands of documents. Der Spiegel said it obtained secret reports by authorities, embassy cables, and minutes of cabinet meetings that demonstrate the lack of professionalism of the German officials in handling the massacre. The newspaper also wrote that the German authorities were told that Palestinians were planning an "incident" at the Olympics three weeks before the massacre, but failed to take the necessary security measures, and these facts are missing from the official documentation of the German government.

Relying on Germany to tell you that you are about to be attacked by people living in Germany seems to be a policy of questionable intelligence. Maybe every other country is better, but I doubt it.

If it makes you feel better, the US had a hard time tracking/suppressing IRA support back in the day. I would expect there were UK operatives in the US at the time, trying to do the work the US was unwilling/unable to do. So, yeah, "allies" will spy on each other to some degree. Being allies doesn't mean everyone that lives in your ally's country is friendly.

Comment First not most in amendments (Score 1) 392

Doesn't work that way...

The nature of amendments is that the LAST one has most primacy. If it were not that way, you couldn't change the law. Say you passed an amendment banning alcohol. Then you passed another one making it legal. Which one should we follow?? The most recent, or highest numbered amendment.

So, ironically, the first amendment should logically be interpreted AFTER any other amendment. If tomorrow we pass an amendment banning talk about decreasing taxes, that would take precedence over the first amendment, and tax reduction talk would be illegal.

Comment Maybe not (Score 2) 392

This site ( seems to suggest that this is not the case.

Further, that Florida preacher was arrested because he loaded his Korans into his trailer, then doused them fuel THEN drove to the site where he was going to actually torch them. This is a hazard, and he was properly stopped.

Would have been more interesting if he had transported the fuel in a safe fashion, and conducted his burn safely. I don't think they could have charged him.

Comment wargamers (Score 1) 392

all know about Finland being on the wrong side, due to no one else being willing/able to cross Russia. Most Western countries were pretty understanding, other than stuff like Most Western allies had small contingents of Nazis or Nazi admirers themselves, albeit not full-blown military formations participating as part of the German war machine.

Comment Similar actual argument (Score 1) 562

Not really in a courtroom, but Winston Moseley, killer of Kitty Genovese, rapist of another unnamed woman during an unsuccessful prison attempt had this to say about his sentence:

"For a victim outside, it's a one-time or one-hour or one-minute affair, but for the person who's caught, it's forever."

Comment joint and several liability (Score 1) 562

From Wikipedia:

Under joint and several liability or all sums, a claimant may pursue an obligation against any one party as if they were jointly liable and it becomes the responsibility of the defendants to sort out their respective proportions of liability and payment. This means that if the claimant pursues one defendant and receives payment, that defendant must then pursue the other obligors for a contribution to their share of the liability.

Joint and several liability is most relevant in tort claims, whereby a plaintiff may recover all the damages from any of the defendants regardless of their individual share of the liability. The rule is often applied in negligence cases, though it is sometimes invoked in other areas of law.

Comment what are you measuring? (Score 1) 187

That's the real problem. Per the abstract the measure was not really cognitive ability per say. The kids "demonstrated significantly stronger critical thinking skills when analyzing a new painting". So, a guided tour of an art museum gives/refreshes your knowledge of art terminology and the sense that art docents have of how art should be looked at. They didn't demonstrate math, reading, writing or IQ improvement in this experiment.

Comment Really? (Score 1) 187

Challenge: take a belief you have and prove it. You get to design the experiment, collect the data and publish your results.

Unless you try to fail, you won't, you'll "prove" exactly what you set out to prove. As noted above, can independent researchers reproduce the result. That is, people that are doubtful that art will magically fix kids.

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