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Comment The comment/karma/moderation system (Score 5, Insightful) 2219

For as long as I have been using the internet and the web I have yet to find a comment system that works as well as Slashdot does.

I don't get why no one has copied it. Slashcode is out there.

The karma system, meta-moderation, mod's all there.

Disqus, stack exchange, discourse they are all shit compared to what Slashdot has grown.

You fuck with the ecosystem of curation of comments and I might as well be reading reddit, gizmodo, or some other site's 3rd rate system.

Which means I might as well not come here.

Comment Re:Gotta be some kind of compensation. (Score 1) 273

Which is why we as a society (used to) put money towards education from kindergarten through undergraduate (and nominally masters and doctorate).

Then the millions of people in a state can put in that $25 to help pay for the cost of thousands of students.

We did this because an educated populace makes for an educated government.

Nowadays we are job driven in our educationi and our funding and focus of what we consider valuable has shrunk.

Public colleges typically get less than 20% of their funding from the state, down from around 30-40%.

Also, I got as much joy and knowledge from my liberal arts classes as my math, science, and engineering classes.

So yeah, $25 each from a body of 40 individuals isn't much, but it really comes the rest of us that think an education (and not job training) is important.

B.S. AAE 1993

Comment Re:Humanities can't explain the need for humanitie (Score 1) 564

In a word, Hume.

That dude does more to question the fundemental, philosophical principles of science than just about any philosopher.

Philosophy examines the fundamentals of thought.

History gives us context for our place in the world.

Economics helps justify and reason the misery we live in.

A foreign language introduces you to a different mode of expression and how your native language might need more or less regularity to it's verbs and their conjugations.

All of the social sciences try to apply reason to a disorderly and messy world, some times it works better than others.

Then again, I got tired of my fellow engineers in school thinking they were so much better than everyone else. I really enjoyed all of my non-STEM classes. While they might have been "easier", they were just as thought provoking and fun as any thermodynamics or rocket propulsion class I took.

BS AAE 1993

Comment Ordnung (Score 1) 372

I did the IT support for a top ten engineering department for almost 10 years.

I half agree with TFA.

Most online tools (Blackboard here) are not that great about making it easy for the instructor to upload content and to migrate it between semesters.

About the nicest thing I could say is that having the grades online is nice.

Of course, things could have become better. It's been 2 years since I directly supported faculty in that matter.

The heart of the matter is the idea I've borrowed from the Amish. Their Ordnung.

What is the purpose of the technology? How does it affect the community?

If it doesn't really improve things for the instructor and the student (in the instructor's view mostly) then why use it?

Most faculty really just need a place to upload files to share with the class and that's about it (as has been mentioned earlier). They (or their TA's) still need to create and assign homework, quizzes, exams and project; and then grade all of that. Not easily automated.

Some (most in my opinion) transfer of knowledge is best done when you can interact with the person. I think this image best illustrates that (from Software Development as a Cooperative Game).

A technology has to be useful and have a purpose beyond itself.

Comment A fee for growth and improvement. (Score 1) 331

If only the FCC had the forthought to have the telecos to charge a small monthly fee to pay for the expansion of broadband networks in underserved/rural areas.

I bet they could have raised several billion dollars.

There is also no way that the telecos would just take that money and not extend and improve their networks.

It is unpossible I tell you.

Comment Re:Collaborative Story Telling (Score 1) 197

Um, no not really. That is one way to do an RPG.

For me and my group the story is what happens when you look back at what you just did.

I don't Narrate. I DM. I kill, maim, and destroy.

Save or Die is shit that happens.

After all, it's just graphite and wood pulp.


In order.

For the reall fucking hard core.

Comment The Unvaccinated (Score 1) 1025

The biggest problem with that anti-vax movement is that the herd immunity protects not just the unvaccinated that the infected mingle with both those that get the disease third hand. People like young babies that can't get a vaccination because they are too young.

Babies that wouldn't normally get whooping cough or measles or such because they were exposed to it because a sibling or parent (who was probably vaccinated) was exposed to a disease they then carried home.

If we're starting to stop people from smoking in bars because of second hand smoke we sure as hell can force most everyone to be vaccinated because of third hand infections.

Comment Re:Dead ringer for Pegasus (Score 1) 102

There is a difference as well in the carrier aircraft.

Pegasus looks to be using a commercial aircraft, Lockheed Stargazer per Wikipedia. It has to be retrofitted to accommodate Pegasus.

Now, Virgin Galactic has WhiteKnight2 which is purpose built to carry a craft bound for suborbital, or orbital flight.

There is a trade-off there. The Stargazer could in theory be cheaper since it is one of hundreds but has an increased cost for retrofit.

WhiteKnight2 might cost more because it's unique, but it can handle getting its payload to altitude better, theoretically.

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