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Submission + - Indian Student Jailed for Cheating on Exams

HughPickens.com writes: BBC reports that Ruby Rai, a 17-year-old schoolgirl in India, has been thrown in jail after cheating on her exams. Ranked first in the Bihar state exams — Rai said in a video interview that her main subject political science was about cooking. After the video went viral, Rai was made to re-sit her exams, and was arrested after she failed and had her original results cancelled. Examiners who retested Rai told reporters they were "shocked" by her performance. When asked to write an essay about the Indian poet Tulsidas, she only wrote "Tulsidas ji pranam (Salutations to Tulsidas)". Meanwhile, arrest warrants have been issued for several other students who performed well in the exams, including Saurabh Shrestha who topped the science stream, but later could not say that H2O was water. Last March as many as 300 people were arrested for cheating in Bihar after the Hindustan Times published images of dozens of men climbing the walls of a test center to pass answers inside.

Comment Re:Absurd conclusion (Score 1) 760

Taxes are collected from privately owned assets. Tax deductions are government taking less private property.

One can only believe what you do if one believes that the concept of private property does not exist. For your premise to be true, all property would have to be owned by the government.

If you want that shit, move to Venezuela.

Well, to be fair, all of these "privately owned assets" are only "privately owned" because society has decided to enforce certain legal constructs through the use of a police and courts system. "We the people" have ultimately decided what all these things mean, and to what extent we are going to protect those meanings from other possible ones.

If we were truely following this type of ideal "private ownership" principle, the vast majority of the real estate on this continent would not be held by decendants of immigrants I am confident. Even after killing the vast majority of the continent's inhabitants, ownership should have passed to "nearest relatives", rather than "those who did the killing".

Comment Re:WTF? (Score 1) 760

Straight to the labor theory of value. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.

Realize your fallacy and be enlightened. Value is set on the market. Including the value of labor and capital. The fact you don't like that, doesn't change it.

To think that the way we have implemented "the market" is optimal is pretty shortsighted.

The USA has one of the lowest amounts of "socio-economic mobility" amoung developed nations. Peole in the USA have a harder time moving "up the ladder" than in most other places.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

We would be better off developing policies that give everyone more access to those top rungs.

Comment Re:But which one is more likely (Score 1) 180

Our nuclear arsenals are rotting today, and they're doing very little to prevent war. What is preventing war is the fact that war reduces populations and reducing population is bad for business when you're in the business of controlling as many people as possible. Terrorist propaganda is much more effective than war.

There seems to be some truth to the argument that war is reduced when nations are more tightly interlocked by trade and other exchanges. It is not so much that the evil puppet masters have decided to prevent wars, but rather than the whole system is so interrelated that large scale conflict becomes so obviously bad for everyone that it never gets considered.

Comment Re:Fuck off (Score 3, Insightful) 403

The first amendment begins "Congress shall make no law..."

Neither buzzfeed nor Facebook are Congress, obviously. Private businesses are free to publish or not publish whatever they wish. .

So I, as the owner of a private business, could post messages on the website of my place of business about the inferiority of various races, and the fact that women don't belong in the work place taking jobs away from men who have families to feed.

Thanks for letting me know about this. I'll get right on it.

Actually I don't think there is much legislation that would prohibit you from doing so. If you are found to be making hiring decisions based on those ideas, or vetting your clientel in that way, you may be in contravention of a variety of statues. Perhaps creating a hostile work environment by way of your website postings might also be a problem.

Comment Re: Lastpass (Score 1) 637

I do this, too, but will caution others who want to start -- some sites (usually those that don't publish a max length) will allow you to set really long passwords but then break when you try to use them.

I have encountered this. A site may silently cut a "too-long" password short to an acceptable length, so testing that the passwords you have recorded actually do work is important. I try to send a note to such websites letting them know their system sucks. Best practices for websites should be to actually document what length and character sets are acceptable for use, and some sanity checks that give useful feedback when unacceptable passwords are being attempted to be set.

Comment Re:Password Generator (Score 1) 637

But then you have to write them down somewhere to remember them. That's very bad.

I don't think it is as bad to write them down as you think. Sure, if someone is targeting you specifically, they might be able to steal your little black book and get your stuff, but is that the threat model you are most likely to encounter?

I suspect that for most people, their safety would be improved by having different, long, random passwords recored somewhere reasonably secure is much better than memorized, short, easy to remember, or reused passwords.

Comment Re:Cool (Score 1) 1023

You have no clue. There are millions of working people in America working for cash. Almost everyone on SS disability to start.

I don't doubt that there are a lot of cheaters out there, but actually the US's compliance rate is pretty good in comparison to many countries (83% or so, that is by dollar so the per capita rate could be a lot lower if a few people are doing big dollar cheating). Do you have any reference to the idea that "almost everyone on SS disability" are cheating to a significant degree?

http://www.forbes.com/sites/as...

The odds of being caught cheating are fairly low, but they are not insignificant, especilly in cases where someone turns you in, and anyone working for cash has a lot of people who know about their non-compliance, and who have incentives to turn them in.

Comment Re:Cool (Score 1) 1023

A niece and a friend's wife have been cleaning homes for the past 25 years; they constantly turn down new business and if they lose a client, there are many more interested in their services. Neither of them work weekends. They each make $40k/yr cash, unreported revenue. Neither of them will ever be without work.

Until someone reports them to the IRS (for the reward) and they get a hefty fine or jail time, or at least big bucks in lawyer fees. Not to sound too cynical, but only the uber-rich get away without paying taxes.

"The IRS Whistleblower Office pays money to people who blow the whistle on persons who fail to pay the tax that they owe. If the IRS uses information provided by the whistleblower, it can award the whistleblower up to 30 percent of the additional tax, penalty and other amounts it collects."
https://www.irs.gov/uac/whistl...

Comment Re:Not apples to apples (Score 5, Insightful) 1023

Customer service rep positions are replaced with machine repair and maintenance positions. The law of unintended consequences is preserved and the inevitable slide towards machine replacement for most human tasks is moved forward. Everyone wins, except of course for the people that the higher minimum wage laws and Affordable Care Act were designed to help. They have been priced out the job market. They are just too expensive to keep on board.

If this analysis is correct, not changing the mimium wage delays this type of thing by only a few years I would guess.

Comment Re:Hold Ma Beer and Watch This! (Score 3, Insightful) 1023

$15 per hour wouldn't even be the highest it's ever been. $15 per hour isn't a high number.

It looks like the mimum wage was historically the highest back in 1968:

"The minimum wage reached its (inflation-adjusted) historic high in 1968, when it was raised from $1.40 to $1.60 per hour. Adjusted for inflation using the BLS online inflation calculator that would come to $10.55 per hour in 2012 dollars."

http://inequality.org/minimum-...

Clearly, whatever mimium wage society thinks is appropriate, it should really be indexed somehow to inflation or agerage wages or something like that.

I have always liked the idea of setting mimimum wages as some fraction of the top wage in a company, or as some fraction of the wages of politicians - though that would not work well in states with underpaid legislators.

Comment Re:So Musk wants to lower the standard of living.. (Score 1) 530

Well, if we could get everyone to agree that "yeah this is a real problem and these are good ways of addressing them, but we will never get everyone to agree to do anything", then it becomes much less difficult to actually do it. I'm pessimistic, but I don't want to completely rule out the possibility of actual action.

Side note: Yes, I agree with you... I'm looking at it from a practical point of view, not theory. Lots of stuff works in theory, but not in reality.

I like the meta nature of this: In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, in practice there ususally is.

In this case, Bob's customers are harming people on the other side of the planet. Bob's customers want cheap chips. It will take war to try and change their mind.

Well, we managed to be fairly effective on ozone and acid rain - so there are at least a few counter examples of this type of thing working without threat of war. I suspect that the same sorts of trade and ecconomic sticks and carrots we used for that might also be workable - but finding the will to do anything in any one spot is a challenge.

Comment Re:So Musk wants to lower the standard of living.. (Score 1) 530

Oh, yes, I was glib when I said it was "easy". We are talking about real people trying to make acceptable group decisions. I agree totally that none of these sorts of regulatory/fee/tax issues is "easy" from an "actually get systems in place" point of view!

Trying to move everyone to something else that costs more can't be done at no cost, that violates how money works.

At some level what you are saying is correct - moving to non-carbon sources will be more "expensive" at the simplest level of accounting. But at another level it is completely wrong, since the "cheaper" sources have all sorts of externalities that are REAL costs, they are just shifted to other people or other accounting lines. In this particular case, one of the reason the "something" costs less is that the purcase price does not reflect all the costs that are being paid for that thing. What we can hopefully someday do it to make the prices paid by the purchaser more in line with the actual total costs we all pay for the items.

If Bob's House of Chips sells lots of bags of chips, but doesn't provide enough trash cans and/or people who take the bags away toss them on the ground a few blocks away - someone besides Bob is paying to clean up the mess. The whole community is paying those costs, while Bob and his customers are the ones who should be shouldering the majority of them. Imposing a cleanup-fee on companies like Bob can be a way to make the price of Bob's bags-o-chips properly reflect the actual total cost of the product, and can make Mary's House of Brownies comparitively less expensive, even though Bob's material and production costs might be lower than Mary's, since her product gets eaten completely and doesn't generate any littering issues.

Getting the numbers right may be hard, but getting them "more right" than the current numbers (Bob's product reflect NONE of the cleanup costs) is not that difficult, and any imporvements to the correct price should send at least some signal to the "magical market free hand" to change behaviour, shifting more towards products that have lower total "real" cost. Having a system where Bob is incentivized to develop litter-free-bags (lower cleaup-fee for Bob), or using a refundable deposit to incentivize customer behaviour (also lower cleaup-fee for Bob), could in fact make the whole enterprise more efficient from the overall societal point of view, thus improving the total standard of living for everyone!

At the end of the day, there is no free lunch. What you want is for everyone to pay more money to have the same stuff they already have today. There is no way that won't cost us all in the form of our standard of living.

I would say: "At the end of the day, there is no free lunch. What I want is for everyone to pay more money to have the same stuff they already have today, and also to not have all that other stuff like the shared enviornment and natural resourses being depleted at unsustainable levels. Leaving all these externalities at zero cost to the companies and consumers makes us all pay more than we should, as some of the seemingly "more expensive" options are in fact cheaper when all factors are considered. There is no way that having society paying more than they could be by using the alternatives, won't cost us all in the form of our standard of living."

Making Bob's customers pay the true price of the product is a good idea.

Actually managing to implement such a thing is left to the reader as an exercise.... :-)

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