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Comment Re:Community college is a great deal (Score 1) 374

The most elite Ivy League schools are essentially free to middle class students. Several of them have explicit no-loan policies for students from families making less than a very generous threshold (over $100,000 in most cases). Those who pay full freight generally aren't suffering for it. So if those country clubs will let you in, you'd be a fool to turn them down.

Comment Dangers of Extrapolation (Score 2) 374

Even the author must recognize that a 4% real increases in college costs (after 2% inflation) cannot continue indefinitely. If that were the case, a state school that currently costs $10,000 annually would cost $500,000 annually by 2117 in today's dollars, while a private school would be a cool 2.5 million in today's dollars! Clearly, the market would correct before such a scenario ever came to pass. Even debt-funded bubbles hit a breaking point.

So the question is, how close are we to that breaking point where consumers lose their willingness to pay? I think for some less-regarded private schools, that breaking point has already been hit. Some second-tier private schools with very high tuitions have started to suffer declining enrollments. However, I think we are a long way from it with most public schools. It's also worth noting that a big driver of public school tuition inflation has been declining state support. Public support for public institutions probably won't go below zero, so there is a limit to how long those increases can be driven by declining public support.

Comment Re:Overstated (Score 1) 93

Right, clearly imposing a goal of 10,000 steps is absurd for someone paralyzed from the waist down or someone with a degenerative muscular disease. But for an otherwise healthy person, it's hardly an extreme target. No, there's no scientific magic to it. But why does there need to be? Science does support exercise being vastly beneficial, and all the 10,000 steps really amounts to is an admonition to move more than most people probably do already.

Comment Re:Wait? (Score 1) 128

How would they do that without divulging the test questions? To offer more than twice a year, they'd have to write quite a few more test questions, which they don't have staff for. The exam writers and graders do it as a temp gig.

They also don't have permanent test location facilities. I took the exam in the basement of a convention center. Keep in mind that most states write their own bar, and especially with smaller states, the number of takers may only be in the hundreds. Also, it may take an entire day to take an essay exam consisting of only 5-6 questions- which makes options like an adaptive exam not possible. Centralized test centers and/or an adaptive exam might work for the multistate bar exam (which is a component of every state's exam), but that's 1/2 or less of the exam.

In most states, the bars actually aren't that well funded. Despite popular belief, a lot of lawyers are far from rich, and bar dues need to be set so the public defender making $40k a year can still pay them.

Comment Re:better idea (Score 1) 128

Most of my law school exams were open book, even if the bar was closed book. Even on open book exams, it was fairly rare for me to spend much time actually referring to reference materials. There wasn't enough time. If you hadn't already internalized the concept, there is no way you were going to figure them out from the book during the exam. The bar would have been the same way.

Comment Re:It would have to be trained for "legal" text (Score 1) 128

I am a lawyer. I agree that autocorrect can be a huge nuisance when typing legal documents. I suppose if the Mac predictive text app has a good learning algorithm, it's possible that it could help a text taker remember the exact wording of a statute, but I find it hard to believe it would be a material benefit to a bar exam taker.

Comment Re:answer me this (Score 1) 128

The justification for the bar exam being closed-book is that a lawyer making an oral argument or in trial will, at some level, have to memorize the law. Also keep in mind that the bar exam doesn't necessarily reward rote memorization so much as internalizing the concepts. You don't need to memorize the law verbatim- you just have to be able to be able to recite and apply its meaning.

Comment Tragic Figure (Score 1) 384

Regardless of the impact of Manning's actions, and without getting into gender issues, I regard him/her as a tragic figure. There's no evidence the disclosures were made out of malice towards the country, but rather personal hurt. Punishment was probably in order, but the level of punishment just results in martyrdom.

Comment Re:So... (Score 1) 406

Country club prisons are a myth (at least in the United States). I have an family member in a minimum security "trustee camp" who committed a relatively innocuous white-collar crime. This was actually an upgrade from the minimum security prison where they were initially sent. It is not a happy place by any means. It has no heat or air conditioning (it's often 110F in the summer inside), few recreation opportunities, and constant harassment by the guards. Food is so bad, my relative lost 20% of their body weight within the first 6 months, and they were slender to begin with.

Comment Re: Sonic Boom (Score 1) 202

It depends which 172/182 you are talking about- they've been making them since the 1950s. They've made faster and slower variants (fixed gear/retrac, turbocharged non-turbocharged). My dad used to own a 1970s vintage 172 and now owns an 80s vintage 182 (both fixed gear). We took plenty of trips in it. With the 172, it was not at all unusual to bump around at sub 100mph ground speed with a 30-40mph headwind. A 30-40mph headwind is pretty common at altitude. The 182 is a bit faster, but I've never seen 170mph groundspeed except with a tail wind. Bottom line, Cessnas are slow.

Comment Re: Sonic Boom (Score 1) 202

A Cessna 182/172 is in no way comparable to private jet ownership. It's not really a good option for any flight longer than about 500 miles, and your cruise speed is often only around 100mph (ground speed)- meaning a flight that would be two hours in a jet is an all-day affair. On top of that, you are grounded or diverted by weather that a jet piloted by a professional wouldn't even flinch for. In reality, most of the people who own light Cessnas (or more commonly, fractional ownership) use them to putter around on Sunday afternoons or for short trips to nearby cities.

Comment Re:Rising prices and declining content (Score 2) 250

The brain drain from the main cable channels is kind of amazing. Discovery went from serious science documentaries to endless loops of shark attacks. TLC went from educational content to vapid reality TV. A&E went from broadcasting operas to vapid reality TV. History went from serious history documentaries to "When Aliens Attack Part VIII!" CNN Headline went from a short form summary of the top headlines to murder mysteries. The main 24/7 cable news channels have lost all semblance of journalistic integrity. No wonder all the commercials are targeted at the 65+ crowd. There's essentially nothing on broadcast TV left worth watching unless you are a sports fan.

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