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Comment Re:Easy (Score 1) 904

I know my (previous) boss resented having to pay for his employees to stay up-to-date on new tech...

Shouldn't he? I understand for things that are proprietary to the company that your working for, but staying current in your field is your own professional responsibility. If you're not doing something that interests you enough to keep doing it once you're out of the office, you're in the wrong line of work. People have become too focused on the material and money things to realize the point of life is doing something you enjoy all the time, not keep working in something you hate to maintain all the material junk that has absolutely nothing to do with happiness.

Comment Re:Union Featherbedding, Meh (Score 1) 608

Unions are a mixed bag.

On the one hand, unions keep management from forcing unhealthy and unsafe working conditions on their labor pool to save money. (Chained to sewing machines, latex gloves instead of neoprine while using mek, etc.)

On the other, unions are a potentially unchecked power that can quickly overwhelm an employer. (Demands for 6 figure incomes for installing rivets, pension plans to rival those of politicians, increased difficulties in termination of unproductive or poor quality workers, etc.)

Unions are a necessary evil, barring very strict government involvement in private enterprise. (Arguably, having the government mandate work conditions is the single scariest thing a worker can hear...) however, when unions themselves become too large and too powerful, they can have a seriously negative effect on not only the industries they work in, but also for everyone else.

For instance, the intractible 26 page proceedure to fire a union teacher in a public school enables a shocking amount of unsavory and unacceptable behavior to go on in those institutions. A policy enacted to help protect teachers from vindictive parents ends up being a mighty shield behind which people with no businss being educators hide to do deplorable things.

(An example would be the events that transpired a few years ago in a nearby public school, concerning a computer science teacher touching female students inappropriately. Since physical evidence could be collected to prove the allegations, his teaching career didn't even miss a beat... until a few years later when he stopped just touching, and got a student pregnant. Even then, I understand it was still difficult to fire him.)

Unions are a good thing when they are kept on the smaller side. When they grow up, they become dangerous, self-serving monstrocities in their own right.

The GP appears to be referring to this latter stage of development in the maturation of unions, not the younger, where they serve an important and essential function.

Much like medication, a little is good for the patient, but more isn't always better, and at a certain threshold more becomes downright deadly. The same is true of unions.

But, this is a public employee union... They're not fighting against and evil corporation bent on exploiting them...

It's no different than Haliburton getting large, very sweet, no bid contracts from those that they bought with campaign bribes. Public unions are trying to get large, very sweet contracts... and they're negotiating with the same people that they've already paid off...

Comment Re:Union Featherbedding, Meh (Score 1) 608

corporations have outlived their usefulness. they are now slave drivers like they were nearly 100 years ago.

we DESPARATELY need unions back again. how wrong you are young one (and I know you're young; only a kid would say this. a kid who does not know his history.)

Why don't we just abolish corporations and actually hold people accountable for their actions? Unions are the answer to an old problem that would solve itself without the existence of corporations.

And, as best as I can tell, these are not corporations they are fighting against... They're fighting against a government institution that is ran, at least indirectly, by the same people that are getting the campaign bribes. It's not right when corporations use money to buy advantageous government contracts, and it's no different when a public workers union does it. When you're paying the guy that you're negotiating "against", whose best interests are being served? The students? The taxpayers? Or people that want a cushy paycheck for the least results?

Comment Re:Markets do not work (Score 1) 437

My entire life (born 1981) has been a history of market deregulation, so don't come at me with all that 'government gets in the way' horseshit. Deregulation has not protected pre-appointed 'winners', otherwise the dot com bubble would never have happened. Government has been rapidly getting out of the way for 3 decades plus, and the result has been a market running out of control with greed and bad information (which, according to the prophets of neoliberalism, shouldn't happen)

Libertarians have their ideal, utopian state - its called Somalia. Kindly go live there.

As long as corporations exist, we have too much regulation. The pro-regulation people seem to ignore that corporations are the frankenstein child of government regulation. Then, like a protection racket, we are told we need more regulations to keep the government created monsters from eating us.

Adam Smith was against corporations and anyone that supports them doesn't believe in a truly free market. Corporations do not exist in a free market. They only exist in a government regulated market where the government wants to create a more risky system by allowing those with the resources to avoid any true liability.

Comment Re:China? (Score 1) 403

We'll just have to wait for Cameron to deploy the army and then go on air to rant for 4 hours straight vowing to "cleanse Tottenham house by house"

It may well be insightful... I've heard Cameron isn't really Hotspur's supporter... I don't know what his club is, but that at least could drop Tottenham into relegation, reducing the chances his team drops out of the Premiership...

Comment Re:One-trick pony (Score 1) 283

Google remains #1 in search and incredibly profitable at it. Nothing else they've tried makes much money. This worries their management, because if someone with a broader product line (like Microsoft) gets any real traction in search, Google could be toast. (Consider what Microsoft did to the video game industry.) Google has no other revenue stream.

Huh? Search is not google's product. It's a tool it offers to draw in it's product, which is people to look at ads. They sell advertising. That advertising appears all over their apps and sites, as well as many sites not even owned by google.

And, last I checked, Android wasn't doing too bad for them, either...

Comment Re:$5B spent on education "reform" (Score 1) 496

I'd argue with bits of that rather strongly. Last year I had a class of kids that didn't know that 1 x value = value. There is some stuff that nearly everyone HAS to learn. But over the last two decades in Australia, we've had everyone saying "Let's make education fun.", "Let's make education more 'real'." and "Let's tailor the learning experience to the individual." Fine sentiments, but from what I've seen, nearly everything that's been put in place has had the opposite effect, and lots of kids are missing out on fundamental skills.

And, why should they care to learn 1 x value = value? The problem with the way we teach maths is we teach it mechanically just like that instead of in a practical context in which that knowledge is utilized. Optimal learning occurs when people are engaged in a task. Mechanical, rote learning and the division of subjects in our education are no longer acceptable or effective in a fully integrated world.

The thing is that my father's and grandfather's schooling was much more "one-size-fits-all" than modern schooling, but most kids left with those real skills you've mentioned.

And, how many operations per second were the computers in their school capable of?

Not that long ago, humanity was almost exclusively agrarian. Someone could learn everything that they needed to be successful in their world without even going to school.

The world changes. If education doesn't to keep pace with the nature of the world people live in, the direction of our results will continue downward.

Comment Re:$5B spent on education "reform" (Score 1) 496

It seems like the vast majority of people think that education and job training are the same thing or at least should be the same thing. My opinion has been that this is actually the root of the problem.

Actually, the problem is that there is no real job training in education. Believe it or not, not everyone has the desire to be that intellectual. Some would just like to have some marketable skills that they can earn a respectable living with. Unfortunately, we've created a belief that everyone should go to college and if they don't they will fail. For those that are better suited to job training, we just ignore. And, that's why you end up with a large population with no real skills in an economic environment where anyone without those skills isn't really needed.

But, if you want to get to the real root problem of education, it's the one-size-fits-all mentality. People have different interests and different capacities for learning. If it's not tailored for that, it's never going to be effective.

I know talking with those older than me that companies didn't used to expect people to know everything before they could be hired. Now companies don't want to hire except when the person is perfect. It's not only education that has changed.

Yeah, what's changed is the pace of the world. Businesses in the past could afford to wait years for someone to develop skills. Now things change so quickly, if the people don't already know it, by the time they do, it will be outdated and of little value.

Comment Re:Do you actually follow the news at all (Score 1) 272

Blair was about as far away you can get from a socialist without wearing a bed sheet.

WTF is that supposed to mean? The opposite of a socialist is a Klan member?

I can see why our political system is so productive at solving our problems. The "left" thinks the right are fascists. The "right" thinks the left are Stalin-esque communists. That explains why it's so easy for everyone to come together and find common ground solutions that fix things once and for all.

Comment Re:What the fsycke happened ? (Score 1) 626

I'll end with this tidbit: ever wonder why ultraconservatives were pushing so hard for a school voucher system? Could it be that such a system would make it frighteningly easy for this type of behavior to flourish, by essentially subsidizing extremist institutions?

I'd rather them take their voucher and go on to the Christian school of their choice than try to bring mainstream schools down to their level.

It might make it easier for those that wish to be ignorant to remain ignorant. However, by getting them out of the mainstream, their perspective becomes more marginalized because it will be even more foreign to those educated in the secular schools.

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