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Comment Re: What is this "television" you speak of? (Score 1) 316

Oh, these young-uns. Reckon they don't teach reading comprehension much these days. :)

1) Yes, my humor is lame, as many friends throughout my life have been so helpful as to remind me.
2) Yes, I was already competent at "watching television" apparently long before you were born.
3) Yes, for the last 7 or 8 years of my "television watching" time, I had a DVR -- and used it. And skipped commercials. :)
4) At home, we have Roku boxes connected to "big screen TVs", but I think what you are implying is that with broadcast or subscription TV, there isn't any buffering. That's a fair point. OTA programming frequently has higher picture quality as well. That's not important to me, but I'm happy for you that you are happy with it.
5) Did you miss the part about this experience being in a hospital room? Didn't have a TV Guide, didn't have a DVR, and we're not going to endure those ridiculous commercials. Hence Netflix on the laptop.
6) The point I was whimsically attempting to make (and apparently failed with a certain segment of the population) was that advertisements suck, we don't want to watch them anymore, and lots of people feel the same way,

I'm curious about the extreme emotional response to my post. What upset you so much?

Comment Re:What is this "television" you speak of? (Score 1) 316

:) I get your point; yes, the same meme can get tiring.

My point was not to indicate any mental or moral superiority. In fact, I mentioned that I watch Netflix with my wife, and we do watch shows that originally aired on broadcast television, as an attempt to NOT imply any feeling of superiority.

I do agree with earlier writers that broadcast television must adapt to new ways of providing their product, rather than trying to hinder the streaming providers like Netflix in an effort to protect their failing business model. Cable and broadcast providers have crossed a threshold in the ratio between attractive content and advertising, costing them serious customer loss.

Comment What is this "television" you speak of? (Score 5, Insightful) 316

I haven't turned on a "television" in over 7 years, and haven't missed it.

Now, I do confess to watching Netflix content with my wife.

Was visiting a family member at the hospital recently, and the individual turned this "television" on to see what it was all about. "Channel" after "channel" of strange annoying things called "commercials". We didn't like it and turned it off. Grabbed the laptop and fired up Netflix. Much better.

Comment Re:The US is screwed (Score 1) 660

:) Back in the late 1990s, when I was a hiring manager in Dallas, Texas, we had to pay newgrads $70K just to get them in the door. I suspect it's less now. I've seen recent grads starting at $100K with Google, but that's in California, and that's apparently just enough to be able to afford to split a 2 bedroom apartment 4 ways.

Comment Re:Fingers crossed (Score 1) 121

:) The last time I stayed on the phone to talk to one of the "Windows support" scammers, I told him that what he was doing was criminal and that he needed to get a better job.

He started cursing me out in quite explicit terms. I hung up, and he called me back to continue the cursing. I hung up again, and this time he did not call me back.

He really had a remarkably broad command of English vulgarity for a non-native English speaker. I was suitably impressed.

Comment Re:Solving the problem by ignoring the results. (Score 1) 908

Interesting perspective. Perhaps you'd care to share some references that support it?

She performs well on the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale

so there is objective evidence that she is not "dumb", contrary to your assertions.

Let me be more precise about what happened with my daughter and high school graduation. When she entered high school, we signed her up for "smart core", given her intelligence test scores. We then discovered her inability with Algebra and foreign language. After three attempts to perform well in Algebra, including holding her back a year so she could have yet another attempt, we realized there was no way she'd ever pass Algebra II, which was required for smart core. We signed her up for the common core math classes, which at the time did not include Algebra II, and she did well with them. We then began the process of dealing with the state. After a period of discussion and investigation, the state agreed that she would not be able to pass Algebra II, and they agreed to allow her to be moved from smart core to common core graduation requirements -- Thus, she graduated with the common core diploma, not the smart core diploma.

The accommodation was in allowing her to change her target diploma to adjust to the realities of her disability, which meant getting the lesser diploma.

I perceive that you misrepresent my statements, divert from answering my questions, and are attempting to be offensive. You seem to be quite emotional about this. Are you sincere in this, or are you merely trolling me?

Comment Re:Solving the problem by ignoring the results. (Score 1) 908

I hate to break it for you, but you seem to have a cognitive bias towards your child. Having a "learning disability in math and language" is pretty much the definition of being dumb.

I would not be surprised if I have a cognitive bias. We all have one of some form or another. So let's examine yours.

What is your justification for stating that someone who has difficulty with Algebra and foreign language is "dumb"? She scored well enough on the ACT to be eligible for college scholarships and to be accepted to every public and private university to which she applied, and she applied to reputable schools. Not MIT or CalTech, obviously. However, that doesn't sound like it would fall under a definition of "dumb". Perhaps we should refine and clarify our terms?

Comment Re:Solving the problem by ignoring the results. (Score 1) 908

:) That's amusing.

Let's see -- she's not good at algebra and foreign language. She is okay at geometry. She's good at business math. She's good at art, photography, drama, writing, history, sociology, enjoys science and tech. Good at graphic design and media/communications. I think that's just a little bit beyond your mischaracterization.

Apparently, too many people in the world have bought into the fallacy that math ability is a fundamental indicator of intelligence. Oh, wait; this is Slashdot. Of course we all here like to pat ourselves on the back for our math skills and our consequent intelligence.

The senior VP-level software architect in my organization at work is absolutely brilliant; I have never worked with anyone else who is more capable of keeping large amounts of critical design information in his head. However, he kind of sucks at basic math, frequently getting powers of 10 wrong.

Comment Re:Solving the problem by ignoring the results. (Score 3, Interesting) 908

Basic algebra, trigonometry and calculus are not difficult. If the students can't handle it, they are dumb, even if that doesn't please you. End of the story.

Not difficult for YOU, you mean.

I love math, and I always aced math classes. I LOVED differential equations in college. I tried to transfer my love of math and science to my children. Two children who are good at math, and they were valedictorians. Another is a high school English teacher. :) I have a fourth child who tested as gifted, but she has extreme difficulty with math at the level of Algebra I and beyond. She repeated Agebra I three times in high school; I finally had to get a variance from the state just so she could graduate. She has taken College Algebra three times and done poorly at it, despite tutoring. She does poorly at foreign languages, failing both Spanish and German. However, she does well in her other classes -- top of the class in other subjects.

So, she's not dumb, but she has some kind of learning disability in math and language. Perhaps some kind of a trade school that specializes in her talents would have been a better option -- but the career she is shooting for demands a college degree, so she perseveres.

Comment Re:Education... (Score 1) 276

Better than what? I was under the impression that we'd put schools and infrastructure in place post WWII.

Per capita GDP in the Marshall Islands is $2900, compared to Arkansas's $31000.

One other factor is that the urban conglomerate of Springdale/Fayetteville/Rogers/Bentonville has a substantially higher per-capita income than the rest of the state. The schools are quite good and well-funded, since this is the headquarters for Wal-Mart (with all the correspondingly highly paid execs). First-year teachers in Springdale make $46K/year, while first year teachers elsewhere in the state start at $30K.

Comment Re:Considerations (Score 2) 445

Personal anecdote, YMMV.

We were an upper middle class family in a large, racially mixed Texas city in the late 1990s. Older two children had tested gifted. Came time for child #3 to be tested. The tester, a woman who seemed rather unpleasant, took our child away, then came back with the pronouncement that our child was not very responsive, and so was not gifted. Then she said, "If your child were brown, she would have made the cutoff." Anyway, that's not the point -- just an interesting statement. After we left, the child said, "Mommy, that lady was mean." Turns out the child took a dislike to the tester and CHOSE not to be very responsive. :)

She was bored silly in her 1st grade class, so we took her out, home schooled her with second grade materials, then returned her to school the following year in the third grade. She went on to be valedictorian of her graduating class (as did her next sibling as well).

I think there have been some really good points made about actually testing giftedness, rather than the amount of education already achieved. The test also needs to be applied in a manner that allows the child to feel comfortable enough to reveal the giftedness. Being unpleasant will not help the child shine.

Comment Occasionally they *do* wait (Score 1) 126

Perhaps they don't wait anymore. However, I do have a personal experience of a plane being held for me...

1992 -- I was flying from Dallas to Ottawa, with connecting flight in Toronto. The plane to Toronto was delayed 30min by storms in the Midwest. When I landed, an airline employee met me at the gate and said my connecting flight was being held for me and that I needed to hurry. I was rushed through customs, then told to run. I ran. Periodically along the way, they had personnel, saying "Run!". When I finally got to the plane, I met a see of glowering faces. Oh joy.

I really wished they had just provided a cart. :)

Comment Re:Interesting (Score 1) 50 dear old friend DAF (Delayed Auditory Feedback).

In high school, I received speech therapy at the Callier Center at UT Dallas (a very fine speech clinic, BTW). One of the first things they tried with me was DAF. It made my speech so slow I could not stand it -- I think we spent all of 5 minutes with it.

Recently, I was working with my coworkers on a WebRTC access point for our media server, and we had inadvertantly left a secondary audio channel enabled that was acting as a DAF loop. We all were in a test conference, and rather than immediately fix it, we decided to spend a few minutes experiencing DAF. I spoke enormously slowly. Others started stuttering. A couple could not speak at all -- they'd start, but they just couldn't stand the feedback.

Comment Re:In essence (Score 4, Interesting) 50

I know just what you mean. I've been a moderate/severe stutterer all my life, and I come from a long line of stutterers, passed down the maternal line.

Yes, emotional state and fatigue make it worse, but I've found that facing fears about stuttering in social situations has been the largest help in "getting over" it.

High school graduation was rough. I had practiced my salutatory speech until I was fluent, and I practiced in front of small groups of people, but when I faced a crowd of thousands of people in Reunion Arena in Dallas, all the practice went flying away. I stuttered and stammered through the entire speech. When I received a standing ovation, I didn't know if they were congratulating me or just massively relieved it was all over, but I did not know then that the worst speech event of my life had just passed.

Was anxious over high intensity social situations, but I learned I live through them. In college, I dated a very high powered girl who was the chair of the Endowed Lecture Series at Texas A&M. One time I was her escort to a reception following a lecture hosting Henry Kissinger, Zbigniew Brzezinski, and a number of other foreign policy luminaries. I was so anxious about the speech situations, as she quietly pointed out the rich, famous, and powereful to me, that I didn't notice Henry Kissinger near me. I whirled around to help with some detail, and I ran over Kissinger, knocking him to the ground. Hey, I just messed up a social situation, and I didn't even have to speak to do it!!! He was very gracious, but for some reason my girlfriend did not have me escort her to any more receptions. Oops.

I received more speech therapy in graduate school, and that's where they determined there really was some kind of neurological defect that was playing a part in the tendency toward stuttering. But there was nothing to do about that, and I had already mastered all the coping techniques that were available at the time, so it was time to move on with my life.

At my wedding, to a childhood friend and, coincidentally, a speech pathologist, I was so enamored seeing her float down the aisle that I was absolutely flawless with my speech.

After college, I started work for a telecommunications manufacturer -- pretty funny for a guy who was terrified of the telephone. But that job helped me deal with that fear. Now, the telephone holds no fear for me at all.

Now, I teach classes, lead teams, speak in front of large groups of people, sing, act -- it's all good. Sometimes there have been bobbles with the speech, but nothing that's significant. And yes, there has never, in my entire life, been any stuttering during singing or acting.

I admit it is a good feeling knowing that my four children would never suffer the speech related fears I did, though!

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