I wish I was joking.
Which is why they want kids to "learn computers" in Kindergarten.
No doubt, the earlier we expose kids to real programming (as opposed to the drag-and-drop programming equivalent of the old Radio Shack "hundred-in-one electronics projects" kits that Code.org keeps touting as some sort of mythical progress), the higher quality programmers we'll eventually turn out; but that doesn't mean you'll see a substantial increase in the number of people who can, and can stand to, code.
Early exposure might mean a few more people realize they have what it takes to code, but programming is hard, despite all the rose-scented farts Google, Microsoft et al keep encouraging us to sniff. The vast majority or people have neither the aptitude nor the patience to ever master the relevant skills.
How can he be absolutely correct that the figure is meaningless if you found a meaning to the figure?
Well, I know this is Slashdot, but some of us can read beyond the subject line... He said, "45 years spread over a bunch of drives without a failure doesn't mean that we can expect any individual drive to last 45 years". That statement is entirely true.
Going further, most people will, charitably, choose to infer a context that makes sense when reading something that could otherwise seem untrue. If you're in a theater that has "Cool Hand Luke" playing, and yell that title to your friend across the room at the ticket counter - Only a "special" few would choose to interpret that as complimenting the fingers of some guy named Luke.
What do trade deals have to do with this?
Well, the quote to which I responded said "We're leaving the EU, but we still need you to give us free trade".
It would seem a bit odd to say "We're leaving the EU, but we still need you to give us free trade
I keep hearing variations on that line with regards to Brexit (though the same would apply for any EU country sick of the EU's games, Ireland included), and just don't "get" it...
The US has free trade agreements with plenty of countries, despite not having given those countries the slightest hint of power to dictate what US law can or cannot do domestically. Why would a (former) EU country not have the ability to negotiate similar trade deals, totally in isolation from the immigration bullshit the EU seems intent to ram down its members' unwilling throats?
people may be in dire need of a job and are quite willing to downgrade the pay just to stay working.
Right - And as soon as things get better, they'll be out the door. That's pretty much the GP's point.
in a bad econ (ie, this one!)
We currently have the most employee-friendly economy and job market so far this millennium. Yes, the current low unemployment rate might drive up pay a bit over the next few years, but overall, it doesn't get much better than this.
even good people get fired
Good people get laid off. Even complete wastes of flesh are usually forced to quit rather than outright fired. Actually being terminated for cause isn't just "bad luck", it means you screwed up royally - You got busted stealing, or nailing the boss' daughter on his desk, or are so incompetent that you didn't just contribute nothing, you outright cost the company many times your salary due to gross negligence.
How many times have we suddenly decided we *Need* that gadget only after we saw the commercial for it?
I won't be so naive as to claim that advertising has no effect on me (though when I can detect it, it has a strongly negative effect)...
But I can honestly say the situation you describe hasn't happened since I was still a dumb 12YO watching Saturday morning cartoons and desperately wanting some crappy cereal (often only for the toy inside).
Recursion is the root of computation since it trades description for time.