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Comment Re:the oddly appropriate laughter. (Score 1) 110

For the most part, I'm with you. Some of the reactions were a I'd tend to try & give some leeway given the situation though. As you mentioned, the Walt Kelly reference - could be construed as a place where Nelson was looking for levity. Really hard to tell with his delivery as well & it's much easier to sit back after the fact & be able to discern his temperament more accurately. Live & perhaps without a great familiarity with a speaker's background, things are much tougher. I've certainly been at events where there was the sort of awkwardness of people not quite getting the true tone. And certainly as you mentioned, what came before can factor very heavily in the mindset of the audience & that absolutely colors the reception of the message.

I actually see silver lining in to the "real thing" applause portion as well. It seemed like it was more on the naivete part that brought the clapping. Certainly there's a poignant element to that given the course of Englebart's career. But by the same means, I tend to see some reason to celebrate that quality as well - the innocence of not having been corrupted by the cynicism of the world. Brilliance sometimes only comes at when there's an absence of knowing better - to be unencumbered by what everyone "knows can't be done."

Comment Re:Engerlbart's Greatness (Score 1) 110

Patents are supposed to be about invention, not about who can get to market first.

Hell, even that would be a huge improvement over what we've got. When things come to market, at least the public is getting something in exchange for the monopoly on the idea. But all too often, that's not the case. That the purpose of obtaining the patent (or copyright for that matter) isn't to put things out on the market & make profits. Instead, it's about locking up the ideas to stifle the progress of others. To eliminate competition. To build up a war chest to defend or worse, attack or steal the innovation of others who might not have as high-paid of lawyers.

Comment Re:Bingo (Score 1) 512

Apple loves to be "first". They love to have something they can claim to be first on, be better on. Doesn't matter if said thing really is an improvement, they'll sell it like one and fanboys buy in to it pretty heavily.

Yeah, that's such a bizarre thing - they have to be the only company that loves to be first, claim their stuff is better, etc. It's called marketing dude. Everybody tries to do it, some are just better than others.

Comment Re:at some point... (Score 1) 827

Figure out a way so that football and basketball have a large minor league system and colleges won't care as much about sports.

Colleges want it the way it is - they don't want a minor leagues for those sports. Even with the headaches that football & basketball create for colleges, they don't want to give up the power & money they generate. Yes, it's true that many programs lose money. It's also true that the financial reporting does not follow the same standards as the business world, so "profitability" is very subjective - really almost to the point of being meaningless.

The one thing I've not seen mentioned in this area that is a big motivator for college athletic programs for the schools is that there are revenues separate from those directly attributed to the athletic program (ticket sales & concessions, TV revenues & bowl money). For example, licensing for apparel & merchandise can be substantial. Sometimes this is easy to account for - for example sports mascot or logo licensing, but other times non-sports university logo stuff is bought by sports fans.

Finally, many of the folks running the schools know that athletics are also is a big driver of donations not just to the sports programs, but to the university as a whole. My school - the University of Wisconsin - was a prime example of this. They had a period of pretty miserably performing major sports teams and were a money sinkhole. When Donna Shalala came in & spearheaded the turnaround, it was with the understanding that sports & academics didn't have to be at odds, that they could coexist. Better people & coaches were hired, the major programs became successful, the athletic department became profitable AND university donations to the academic side increased dramatically as well.

Comment Re: That's not news (Score 2) 393

My kids go to a public school in a relatively small Wisconsin town (about 5,000). Biggest surprise to me in how their education is different than mine is the degree of customization for each individual student. Class sizes have generally been 25-30, and the curriculum is set up to allow tremendous flexibility especially in math & reading. When I was in school I remember getting bored because things tended to go at the pace of the slowest kids. For my kids, they're constantly challenged & each proceeds at their own pace with customized math, reading and spelling work. Again, not a private school, it's a public school in a relatively rural area - not particularly affluent or well educated. It was historically a farming community & there's still that sort of influence, so I think a sort of work ethic, getting the most out of what you have & maybe better than average willingness to look at things from a long-term point of view probably play a part.

Comment Re:That's not news (Score 1) 393

Classes of 35 kids with truly excellent teachers will outperform classes of 10 with poor teachers in any metric one could choose.

All things being equal, as you say, for younger kids, smaller classes definitely have benefits & that diminishes as they get older. But all things are never equal. Focusing on getting, training and retaining excellent teachers is going to be a successful strategy across the board.

Comment Re:Steve Jobs (Score 2) 420

To be completely fair to history, he didn't start Pixar he acquired them. And, their management said that they succeeded in spite of him, because they ignored everything that he told them to do. The only time he ever really shined was at Apple. And, the only time Apple ever shined was when he was there.

Um...the stories those guys have told in things like The Pixar Story & other interviews contradicts that. IIRC, Catmull & Lasseter both being very complimentary of him & how many/most others wouldn't have fostered the ultimate success. Early on, Pixar kept burning cash & Jobs kept writing checks - without really interfering. Hire smart people, give great tools & the freedom to create and get the heck out of the way.

Comment Re:The rats are being thrown off the sinking ship. (Score 1) 487

You're out of your element and shouldn't try to come off like you have any idea what you're talking about. You mean the balance sheet where they made a profit every quarter for I think 12 quarters in a row, and in their latest quarter took a large hit because of one-time infrastructure expenditure that expanded their business?'re calling him out of his element and then refer to the quarterly profits on their balance sheet?

Comment Re:... and college football now makes even less se (Score 1) 684

Gotcha. I'm sure there are some for whom that is a motivation. And big dreams don't die easily. Could be I'm just too skewed by my personal experience. Could be I'm just too much of a pragmatic. I was good enough to play D-3 and yet I knew for sure by JV that I'd never be good enough to make the NFL, much less big time D-1 scholarship level. It didn't effect me in the slightest, but I'm sure for some with a whole other level of talent it would - so the only question is how many fall into either category.

I played baseball against a kid who was the best hitter I ever saw. I was a catcher & if I close my eyes, I can still here the sound of the bat on ball when he hit - it was different than every other hitter I ever saw. He literally got cup of coffee - called up to the majors for 2 games, 6 at bats. Had a nice minor league career, got to play & make some money doing it. But 6 MLB at bats.

I love sports, and am thrilled to start coaching my son in T-ball. Dreams are a great thing, but when it comes down to it, at some point the reality lesson will come and he'll understand just how long the odds are of winning the lottery of pro sports. A combination of truly rare freakish talent, luck and dedication. Because love of the game, the thrill of competition, the life lessons, team camaraderie and school spirit are all reasons to play the games. The chance at getting a free education won't be for him. If that were to happen, it would be a happy miracle.

Comment Re:... and college football now makes even less se (Score 1) 684

Could you explain what you mean by the "supporting column of college scholarship"?

As I understand it, I just don't see that playing a role at all. Certainly there's no financial flow even in a trickle-down manner from college to HS. The HS I attended I think has turned out a grand total of of 4 D-1 scholarship FB players in the last 30 years. School budgets are as tight as they've ever been, so if that were a factor at all, the school would've the sport years ago.

It's more about tradition & community than anything. And we were a city of about 6000-7000 people without a great history of success (never won a state title), but on a home Friday night, there's always decent number of people who show up. I just can't imagine taking away college scholarships/college football would change that at all.

Comment Re:... and college football now makes even less se (Score 1) 684

Can't say that I agree with that at all. In the conference I played in, 10 teams probably 250-300 regular participants - I think there not more than a dozen guy who went on to play college football. And maybe 5 tops that played D-1.

Whether college football existed or not would not have had the slightest impact on my desire to play and I'd wager that would be equally as true for almost every player or fan I knew. Blue-chip talented players would probably choose to pursue basketball or baseball instead, but they make up an extremely small portion of the participants.

Comment Re:Can someone explain to me (Score 1) 684

It doesn't help that, in the case of football, much of the treatment of players was handled by team doctors, who have a certain incentive to keep the livestock in the game and producing, and among whom suggestions of serious harm were not a good way to make yourself popular...

While historically true, concussion protocols developed the last few years go a long way towards improving this. Though there can still be an aspect of short term thinking, the required testing can force the issue. Requiring players be symptom free before returning helps. But perhaps most important, if a player is cleared and then has a second concussion, the team can lose the player for much longer so competitively it's more in the teams best interests to take less risks and be sure a guy is totally healed. I'm a huge football fan - just love the game. Loved playing it in HS - had one concussion myself where I played for nearly half a game and had no recollection of that time period even though I only left the field twice. I missed the game dearly when I was done playing, actually missed the contact and collisions and struggled for an outlet. For whatever reason, Seau is turning point for me (even if they don't discover CTE). Prior, while I thought it's clear that the league needs to continue to address the issue, I sort of laughed off the possibility of actually ending the game. However now - I'm open to any changes necessary to drastically reduce the brain injuries. One of the biggest challenges is that the effects are cumulative and not revealed until years later. I hope medical technology can continue to improve so that we can understand the problems better and be able to reduce the risks & save the game I love. I've often thought that the biggest mistake of the NFLPA has made was in not doing more to protect their players health & requiring objective third party consults on such things. Cynic that I am about unions in general, I'd probably be inclined to write it off as another example of union management looking out for themselves rather than those they represent. Certainly Upshaw was responsible to a large extent. Proudly rejecting any responsibility to former players & even threatening to break the neck of one of the most vocal advocates for improving the health care available to former players.

Comment Re:Seven years? (Score 2) 236

Michael Bolton: Yeah, well, at least your name isn't Michael Bolton.
Samir: You know, there's nothing wrong with that name.
Michael Bolton: There *was* nothing wrong with it... until I was about twelve years old and that no-talent ass clown became famous and started winning Grammys.
Samir: Hmm... well, why don't you just go by Mike instead of Michael?
Michael Bolton: No way! Why should I change? He's the one who sucks.

Comment Re:past history (Score 1) 91

The problem stems from the fact that we traditionally predict a team will win if it is a stronger or better team, and we use our graph theory to produce relative team ratings. And if each game of the tournament were played over and over again with the winner of the majority going to the next round, then our methods would work even better. As it stands though, we are trying to predict a single sampling from a probability distribution - which will necessarily have error. Informally, the real tournament has upsets (when a weaker team beats a stronger one). Our algorithms can't predict these, the best they can do is gain a better understanding than humans as to which team is better.

It's not just the single game problem - and even if you set aside upsets, the "stronger" team doesn't always win because as the coaches have been saying for years, it's about matchups. Teams have strengths & weaknesses - style of play, offensive & defensive skill sets of individual players, etc. A team with a tremendous front court but weak ball handlers is more likely to lose to a inferior team that has a high pressure trapping defense whereas it might beat a stronger team that doesn't use the same on-ball pressure. Rebounding, 3 point shooting, transition offense/defense, are all things that can turn games depending on the relative strengths & weaknesses of the teams and negate quality differences in the larger sense.

Comment Re:Become friends with teachers in next school lev (Score 1) 343

If you want to know where to send your kids to elementary school, get to know some junior high or middle school teachers and find out which elementary students are best prepared for junior high or middle school.

Sort of reminded me of something I unfortunately learned. If you want to pick an Orthopedic Surgeon to fix your knee and shoulders (that's plural) go talk to the physical therapists. They're the ones who work with the outcome every day - they tend to know better than most who's good, who's not & most importantly, who's really good.

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