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Comment Poor Writing skills (Score 1) 313

Let us not forget that, in general, scientists and engineers are not good writers. For most of us, writing the paper is up there with securing funding (which also includes writing) as Things I Would Rather Avoid. Like, "I would rather let that rottweiler rip my pubes out than write this paper" avoidance. (Code writers, think "help file documentation".) We are not great writers.

Many years a Los Alamos physicist [Reader] told me of reading a peer reviewed paper. The author used the phrase "it follows with a little math that..." This research was right up Reader's alley. It took him over a week to solve it. IIRC, it required a transformation to a non-orthogonal space. Reader cursed the author and his progeny to the 4th generation. When they met again at a conference, Reader told Author, "Oh yeah, I worked through your paper. You used a simple transformation."

Comment Illegal speech (Score 1) 437

When a private party acts to give one candidate or party a decisive edge in an election (this excludes endorsements), that is called donation in kind. If the private party does not disclose the act(s), that violates state and federal campaign finance laws. Since FB is based out of Menlo Park, CA, I imagine that Ms. Sandberg is subject to CA laws (CA Gov. Codes 85500, 84203.5, 84204, and 82036.5) in addition to the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1974. If you want to be informed, I suggest you start with the FEC Act. I am sure I have missed some due to the brambly nature of laws upon laws that never expire.

Comment Re:Holy flamebait batman! (Score 1) 917

The reason Americans are so afraid of communism is that it very quickly becomes totalitarianism. Every time. Power hungry people with no moral nor ethical compunctions are attracted like moths to that much power in one place. The beauty of the U.S. Constitution was that it tried to distribute the power. The three branches were definitely NOT created to be "separate but equal". The legislative branch was created to be the most powerful, then the judicial, then the executive. The most leaders reside within the legislative branch to minimize the monopoly or cartelization of power. The states had much more power for a similar reason.

Lower social and economic inequalities? Lower economic inequalities? That was achieved in the short term, but it was very unstable. Sweden is now backpedaling as quickly as they can from socialism because it proved unsustainable. Russian communism was (and still is) synonymous with universal poverty except for the elites - oh look! Inequality just like you are complaining about! I'm not sure how you define social inequalities, so I won't make assumptions. France definitely does not have social equality.

Yes, we have an inequality problem. And supporting the current regime (and the ones before that) is perpetuating the autocracy in which the working class... Oh there you go bringing class into it again.

Comment crime prevention (Score 1) 414

The purpose of gun (and any weapon) ownership, carrying, and use is indeed about crime prevention. However, it is not so much about defending oneself from an anonymous thug as it is about defending oneself from the criminals collectively known as The Government. Since power corrupts, the framers of the U.S. Constitution tried to distribute the power as widely as reasonably achievable - everyone has the right to be armed (gun, hatchet, knife, whatever) until you have proven yourself a felon, every one of us has the right of redress for harm, everyone has the right of free speech (now, not just at voting time), we all have the right to pursue acquisition of property, etc.

Comment Re:Breaking it down... (Score 1) 456

It surprises me that people want more hearing, a sense we already have several octaves of range in, versus wanting better vision. Our vision is just about a single octave; extending it to the range of our hearing (about 10 octaves) and we'd be seeing from the ultraviolet down to the middle microwave. Shift our vision down some +3 and -7 octaves around what we see now, and we'd be seeing wifi noise and microwave ovens.

And since most of our clothing is designed to not block infrared heat from leaving, with that you would have comic book vision!

Relatively speaking, there is not much to see outside of 400-700 nm. There is a lot more to hear outside of 20Hz - 20kHz. The question is if you want to hear it. If you are dedicated to maximizing your pasty-white-nerd cred, you don't really need either sense expanded. If you head out into nature, increased range of sound will serve you better. I would like to hear a waterfall or crashing waves with wider range, for example. - Clearly higher acuity of any sense would be useful in more situations. - As for sense of direction or lie detecting, those are more a function of paying attention to detail. Anyone can develop those if it means that much to them. I'm not convinced that I would like detecting every lie.

Comment For the record (Score 1) 687

From the article: Both the student and his parents were "very cooperative" with authorities, Luque said. He said fire officials also went to the student's home and checked the garage to make sure items there were neither harmful nor explosive. "There was nothing hazardous at the house," Luque said. The student will not be prosecuted, but authorities were recommending that he and his parents get counseling, the spokesman said. The student violated school policies, but there was no criminal intent, Luque said. "There will be no (criminal) charges whatsoever," Luque said. Police and fire officials also will not seek to recover costs associated with responding to the incident, the spokesman said. Luque said both the student and his parents were extremely upset. "He was very shaken by the whole situation, as were his parents," Luque said. from some other article: Amendment 4 - Search and Seizure. Ratified 12/15/1791. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Comment Re:I recommend ... (Score 1) 687

"The education system isn't flawed"
Yes it is. At least from my POV. Some other slasher beat me to the punch - See http://www.johntaylorgatto.com/ for a history of where we went wrong. The Prussian government designed the education system we use to prevent the proletariat from revolting (double entendre intended). If you take the POV of the American elite/aristocrats, then our education system is working perfectly well.
"As I learned in school, the first thing you do with a class is level their knowledge." - a young friend of mine with a BA in secondary education (name withheld to protect the young and ignorant)

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