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Comments

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Ask Slashdot: Minimum Programming Competence In Order To Get a Job?

Modern Primate Measuring your competence (466 comments)

How exactly does one even go about placing themselves on that scale? I've taken an intro to comp sci class, but from then on it's been Google and banging my head on the keyboard until I got the result I was after. I wouldn't consider myself a programmer, but I have occasionally solved problems that people with actual degrees had been struggling with. Perhaps I underestimate myself. Is there somewhere you can go to be measured for programming competency? Some sort of SAT for the self taught?

about 4 months ago
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Finnish Hacker Isolates Helicopter GPS Coordinates From YouTube Video Sounds

Modern Primate Re:what an ep1c hack (163 comments)

Right. So finding women attractive for their intelligence is a bad thing. Got it.

about 8 months ago
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Would Linus Torvalds Please Collect His Bitcoin Tips?

Modern Primate Not worth his effort (231 comments)

According to some random website of potentially dubious accuracy, he makes 10 million a year and has a 150 million net worth. This is approximately how much money he makes in 7 minutes. I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that there are probably better uses of his time than the equivalent of picking a penny up off the sidewalk.

about 8 months ago
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Why Does Facebook Need To Read My Text Messages?

Modern Primate They don't already? (293 comments)

A year or so ago a friend of mine sent me a text that said "Have you ever considered becoming an actuary?" The following day I had ads for an actuarial school in my newsfeed. Are they saying that was a coincidence?

about 8 months ago
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Google Confirms Shut Down of Schemer

Modern Primate Google can't be trusted to continue products (170 comments)

This is why I'm making an effort to move away from Google products. Anything that doesn't turn enough profit disappears. Smaller companies are better suited to handle smaller products that aren't directly related to the Google business model. I won't use Sketchup for this reason, nor will I use anything new they put out in the future, unless it appears to be generating substantial income for them. Everything else just disappears.

about 8 months ago
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Soviet Union Spent $1 Billion On "Psychotronic" Arms Race With the US

Modern Primate Re:In Soviet Russia (230 comments)

Nonetheless, we do know that psychology is applied biology, chemistry, and fundamentally physics.

Right. And art is applied paint.

about 9 months ago
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New Education Performance Data Published: Asia Dominates

Modern Primate Apples and orange groves (263 comments)

It's beyond absurd to compare the performance of single cities to the performance of entire nations. There's so much money riding on making US schools look bad so that they can be privatized. It's unfortunate people keep falling for these bullshit statistics.

about 9 months ago
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Code.org Wants Participating Students' Data For 7 Years

Modern Primate They need data, don't they? (90 comments)

How are they supposed to function without metrics?

about 10 months ago
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Zuckerberg To Teach 10 Million Kids 0-Based Counting

Modern Primate Re:We don't (295 comments)

Thanks for this. As an inexperienced programmer I appreciate when unintuitive things are simply explained.

about 10 months ago
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US Adults Score Poorly On Worldwide Test

Modern Primate Re: Not surprised (745 comments)

False. Half didn't vote at all.

about a year ago
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What Works In Education: Scientific Evidence Gets Ignored

Modern Primate But is the research valuable? (440 comments)

Granted I'm saying this without investigating the specific studies referenced, but my experience with educational research (master's in instructional tech) has left me very wary of these studies. Most of them deal with a very small sample set, and conclude that a particular piece of software is a resounding success.. Others will use a larger sample to evaluate a piece of software, but fail to provide any training to the teachers on how to use it, and then conclude that the software is a failure when the reality is most of the involved teachers got frustrated and simply stopped using it due to a lack of knowing how. Still others make sweeping conclusions of the "technology has no effect on student performance" variety after finding no difference between writing on the board and using PowerPoint. Very few studies are of any quality or are even worth being aware of. Two books worth looking at for those interested are "Using Technology Wisely" by Harold Wenglinsky and "Scaling Up Success," by Chris Dede and others.

1 year,18 days
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Every Public School Student In LA Will Get an iPad In 2014

Modern Primate Re: That's not news (393 comments)

You're running into the problem there that exists with all metrics. Metrics affect what they measure when the subject, or those influencing the subject, has the opportunity to respond on the basis of the result. If you grade based on the amount of time spent doing a task, even those who can do it quickly will slow down for a better grade. Measure kids in such a way that a typo on 2+2 gets averaged in with a correct answer on an algebra problem, and you end up with a very strange result. (Test prep companies advise kids to spendmore time on the easy pproblems and ignore the deeper, more difficult ones. Take a moment to consider the implications of that.) Knowledge is the most rudimentary level of learning; the ability to apply it is what we need more of. So as you observed your teachers teaching to the test and you made your assessment on that basis, you didn't question whether anything was being measured that was of value. I have never seen anything that shows me it's possible to test deeper levels of knowledge with a standardized test. I'd be delighted to be wrong about this, so by all means, cite something that supports that claim. You're now the second person to complain about me not citing anything without citing anything yourself. If this exists, I need to see it.

about a year ago
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Every Public School Student In LA Will Get an iPad In 2014

Modern Primate Re: That's not news (393 comments)

Fair point. Unfortunately I'm not able to properly hunt anything down right now, other than remembering Dan Pink references a few in his book Drive. But does it really seem like that much of a stretch to say that a single high pressure multiple choice test is a worse indicator of ability than a larger number of lower pressure tests? I'd also point out that your be detector doesn't seem to detect anything about the idea that standardized tests are a good metric despite the fact that you haven't cited anything either. Perhaps you mistakenly bought a mislabeled conflicts-with-by-bias detector?

about a year ago
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Every Public School Student In LA Will Get an iPad In 2014

Modern Primate Re: That's not news (393 comments)

"It is not acceptable to assume that it "just works" in the absence of evidence." No argument there, but where's the evidence that standardized tests are a valid metric for students, let alone entire schools? There are piles of studies that show increasing pressure results in poorer than normal performance. I don't see any reason to believe that high stakes testing is a valuable metric for anything; their use also relies on unconfirmed and dubious assumptions. As to sorting out where things are applicable and where they are not, again I can't argue, but... how do we separate when something is useful by itself and when it's only useful in conjunction with other factors? For example, what if smaller class sizes are only useful if you take advantage of the fact that they enable differentiated instruction? I'm reluctant to rely on a gut feeling of what "should" work, but how much better is a study that doesn't look at its data in context? (And of course, I don't know that it didn't, but these are some of the things I'd like to see addressed off the top of my head).

about a year ago
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Every Public School Student In LA Will Get an iPad In 2014

Modern Primate Re: That's not news (393 comments)

I'm suspicious of the validity of these studies if their metric was standardized testing, which don't measure very much I'm interested in for my children. Also, how do you conclude that there's no benefit, and then go on to explain the real reason for those nonexistent benefits?

about a year ago
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New Study Fails To Show That Violent Video Games Diminish Prosocial Behavior

Modern Primate Re: Video game influence (113 comments)

Ew ew ew ew ew...

about a year ago
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Transporting a 15-Meter-Wide, 600-Ton Magnet Cross Country

Modern Primate Re: They aren't. (152 comments)

What if you don't understand humor? Is Slashdot the right site for you then?

about a year ago

Submissions

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Ask Slashdot: What should I study to make educational games for the web?

Modern Primate Modern Primate writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Modern Primate (1503803) writes "I want to make educational games for the web of approximately the quality of many of the Flash games I've seen. I've tinkered a bit with Flash and Actionscript before, but I'm told Flash is on its way out (and isn't supported on the iPad/iPhone anyway). HTML5 isn't universally supported yet, either. What should I study to be able to make web games that are compatible with multiple formats? I have some very basic coding skills from writing macros in Visual Basic for Excel, but not much more than that. I want to learn something that can get me started until I can afford to pay someone to code for me. What does Slashdot suggest?"

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