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Comments

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Should police have cameras recording their work at all times?

meustrus Re:"Accidentally" (373 comments)

I thought JosKarith was being ironic. Since, you know, it's usually the law-and-order types that use the "nothing to hide" argument. What does it tell us that the same people who make that claim of ordinary citizens are afraid of their own actions being recorded?

4 days ago
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Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio

meustrus Re:Not as inexplicable as it might seem at first (522 comments)

In my experience it isn't the government mandates that are the problem. It's the administrators. There has been a lot of talk in the last twenty years about holding teachers accountable for test scores. But where's the accountability for administrators? Can a principal be fired is his school has consistently underperformed for the entirety of his time on the job? There has been a lot of talk about unions and tenure preventing bad teachers from being fired. But who does the firing? If a principal fails to fire a bad teacher for several years, it's not because the teacher is tenured. Tenure may make firing take longer, and ensure that it only happens for good reasons, but it doesn't just protect everyone forever. If a bad teacher has been at a school for many years, it's because the administrators like him. They have probably even cultivated the bad teaching practices.

The primary task of any school principal is to keep order and maintain the status quo. Order is good! But it has to be balanced with the needs and desires of students, who are best represented by their teachers. Even a bad teacher will know better than the principal what is best for his students.

It should be clear that the one group of people who have the most incentive to help students are teachers. So why is education reform so focused on taking power away from teachers? Busting unions? Handing more power to the least competent people in the chain with the least education training (school administrators)?

4 days ago
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Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio

meustrus Re:Now ICP can finally achieve their teaching drea (522 comments)

I agree with you. I do! But even if it's just to be pithy, calling science "correct", or as happens more frequently, claiming to "believe" science or scientific theories, suggests to the ignorant that science is equivalent to faith. If it were just a matter of what to believe, science and Christian literalism would be equally valid. But that's not the point. And since the ignorant are everywhere, we must always be more careful talking about science.

4 days ago
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Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio

meustrus Re:The US slides back to the caves (522 comments)

The Vatican, while obviously not representing all religions, but being a major one, uses the metric system, so I'm pretty sure that imperial vs metric has nothing to do with religion.

On the contrary! Imperial vs metric has everything to do with religion. Specifically, the Metric religion and the Leave Me Alone I Don't Care If I'm Wrong religion.

5 days ago
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Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio

meustrus Re:The US slides back to the caves (522 comments)

Personally, I'm not sure whether you mean he's using base 10 notation or base 10 notation.

5 days ago
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Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio

meustrus Re:just because the dept of ed.... (522 comments)

Unless he started smoking in kindergarten, I doubt he "never" tried very hard. Probably just gradually realized that besides a few basic rote skills, school mainly teaches us to hate learning and not think critically. So he gave in early. Less friction and more fun that way, I suppose.

5 days ago
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Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio

meustrus Re:Accepted the challenge, nice. One more interest (522 comments)

You're definitely right that science is not the opposite of religion. There are too many atheists who don't understand that. But there are also far too many Christians who don't understand it either. Otherwise they wouldn't be getting all offended by evolution. I really don't understand why it's so important to some people that the first few chapters of Genesis literally happened. Does it matter? I thought it was just supposed to be parables about human nature.

Also, Proverbs may be part of the Abrahamic tradition, but you're ignoring eastern faith completely. There is no Book of Proverbs in Buddhism or Hinduism. I know that "most of" lets you weasel an implication that "most" people believe in God, but the world is more diverse than that.

5 days ago
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Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio

meustrus Re:Secondary objective (522 comments)

Because more than anything else, powerful weasels like this like having lots of loopholes in the law. That way, the only winners are those with good lawyers. And good lawyers belong to the rich and powerful.

5 days ago
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Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio

meustrus Re:Belief systems (522 comments)

Interesting question. The atheists fighting the culture war are probably a lot to blame (haven't they ever heard of "don't feed the trolls"?). But I'd be very interested in an article on the history of scientific "fact" and "belief" as opposed to "theory" and "methodology".

5 days ago
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Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio

meustrus Re:Not as inexplicable as it might seem at first (522 comments)

I personally agree with Gatto, but I'd like to suggest a minor revision to what you are saying. The original purpose of the education system was to extend childhood and discourage critical thinking. Those were explicit goals a hundred years ago, but nobody talks like that anymore. And if you ask any individual teacher or administrator, you'll certainly not find those reasons underlying their motivation.

Yes, our educational system still does these things, but not intentionally anymore. It's just because of inertia: every teacher now grew up in this same system, internally justified every aspect of it as necessary to some noble cause, and now focuses on issues other than whether students should be separated by age/grade or how to cultivate a particular social atmosphere for their students.

Actually, a lot of that inertia probably comes from our current teachers and administrators...lacking critical thinking skills. How unfortunate.

5 days ago
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Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio

meustrus Re:Now ICP can finally achieve their teaching drea (522 comments)

FTFY. There are plenty of non-fundie mainstream religious people, Abrahamic and otherwise, that recognize the scientific method is meaningful.

FTFY. We can be pretty sloppy with language. It is English after all. So I just wanted to make your point clear and remove the sloppy things that make it easier to *ahem* crucify your argument.

(Science is not something that is "correct" or "incorrect"; it's a meaningful way of observing the world, reducing human bias of those observations, and making meaningful predictions. Focusing on the results as "correct" falls into the trap this law would inflict on our students: without the scientific method, evolution is just another idea with as much evidence, or maybe even less, than the Christian creation myth. As for "religious people", I just don't think that any organizations, not being people, could hold religious beliefs ;) )

5 days ago
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Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio

meustrus Re:Facts, not Al Gore's theory of the process (522 comments)

FYI, the whole CFC thing was about ozone depletion, and is not the largest contributor to climate change (and it has nothing to do with butterflies). If was just especially bad because in addition to making the Earth absorb more heat from the Sun, it would also make our skin absorb more cancer-causing UV light. So yeah, I'm glad that shit isn't in our hairspray anymore.

5 days ago
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Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio

meustrus Re:Is it going anywhere? (522 comments)

it's just clickbait

Interesting. When you call this "clickbait", do you only mean that this article is likely to be clicked on by many, many people? Or are you implying that more people will click on it than are actually engaged with the ideas? Because there a big difference between "10 ways Bitcoin will change the world" and "New proposed law could change education as we know it". Even if "proposed law" never gets passed, doesn't it deserve to be laid bare by public discussion anyway?

5 days ago
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Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio

meustrus The Separation of Church and State (522 comments)

I heard something very interesting recently about the separation of church and state. Many of us may already know that the US constitutional support for that separation comes from the first amendment, specifically the establishment clause: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion". This in itself not a separation of church and state, and never was until about the beginning of the 20th century.

But it isn't the timeline that's interesting. It's who supported the change, and why. The historical record tells us the primary supporters of the separation of church and state were Protestant Christians. Why? Because they hated Catholics. The Catholics had all these schools and hospitals, and Protestants didn't want any government money going to them. Protestants didn't want Catholic teachers making religious statements in public schools, either. But for quite a long time, Protestants were allowed to engage their classes in school prayer and bible study even after the Supreme Court definitively established the separation of church and state. This was because it was commonly believed that while Catholics were merely mouthpieces for their Church and ultimately the Pope, Protestants are individually-minded. As long as you're only teaching the children your personal faith, it's not government respecting an "establishment" of religion. Not like spreading the teachings of a particular "establishment" like the Catholic Church.

The great irony of this situation comes from how much Protestant Christianity has changed over the last 200 years. Certain sects now are obsessed with absolute truth in the same way that made 19th century Protestants deeply suspicious of Catholics. While it may have been true at one point that Protestant teachers could preach their individual faith, now there is a set doctrine set by the church. Anybody straying from that doctrine would almost certainly be railroaded out of town, religious freedom be damned. Most Christian organizations now require staff and participants to sign a statement of belief that would have offended our founding fathers. Or confused them. A lot of the ideas 21st century Christians believe didn't even exist 200 years ago.

Tragically, the pursuit of absolute truth tends to also lead to historical revisionism. Soon the only history taught to our children will paint our country as a monolithic Christian establishment. The ideas that didn't exist 200 years ago have become founding principles of our nation. And like every group that has turned towards rewriting its own history, we will gradually forget the foundations of our greatness and fade into nothingness.

5 days ago
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Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio

meustrus Re: The US slides back to the caves (522 comments)

The pointless political argument reaching back centuries is only part of the confusion. A lot of the confusion about Common Core is that since it's happening everywhere in America at once, it seems like it's the federal government trampling on our individual rights, and because President Obama is a Democrat, it's one more way that Democrats are supposedly attacking personal liberty. Except it's not federal at all and Obama has nothing to do with it.

5 days ago
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How many devices are connected to your home Wi-Fi?

meustrus Re:Phones + 1 laptop. (260 comments)

Old fashioned network cables are nice, but the infrastructure is almost never in the building. There was such a narrow window of time when ethernet was useful to consumers but Wi Fi was not available. Only housing built in that time frame has ethernet in the walls; older houses have nothing, while newer ones might just have a single port to connect your Wi Fi router.

Of course if you own your own home, you can put in all the ethernet you want. And I envy you.

about a week ago
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Numerous Methane Leaks Found On Atlantic Sea Floor

meustrus Cap the leaks and profit? (273 comments)

So this is clearly an environmental story. Methane is Bad News for the Earth. But it's also useful as a fuel; it's the primary component of natural gas. So why don't we have energy companies go out to where the leaks are and harvest them? I know that deep ocean extraction isn't exactly easy, but there must be at least some money to be made. And hey, it would just so happen to prevent this deadly greenhouse gas from contributing to climate change (as much, as it would still contribute some if burned for fuel) and ocean acidification.

about a week ago

Submissions

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Ars Says Ad Blockers Killing the Internet

meustrus meustrus writes  |  more than 4 years ago

meustrus (1588597) writes "Ars Technica reports that ad blocking is devastating to the sites you love in a 'hopefully informative' post following an experiment on Friday afternoon where they blocked access to the news site from those using ad blockers. 'There is an oft-stated misconception that if a user never clicks on ads, then blocking them won't hurt a site financially. This is wrong. Most sites, at least sites the size of ours, are paid on a per view basis.'

While advertisements may be necessary for revenue, and some sites are better about them than others, most of us install ad blocking software for those websites out there with the obnoxious screen-covering or sound-blasting advertisements. More often than the annoying ads, though, is that when a page stops loading you can look down at the status bar to see 'Waiting for doubleclick.net...'"

Link to Original Source
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What Intel's New Integrated GPU Means

meustrus meustrus writes  |  more than 4 years ago

meustrus (1588597) writes "So Intel has released new Arrandale and Clarkdale processors with integrated GPU's. For some reason, it seems like I'm the only one who's worried about this. Early last month, Bright Side of News posted a rumor that Apple would skip this generation of Intel processors, demanding a version without built-in GPU. Why would they do this? For the last couple of years, Apple has had a good thing going with nVidia chipsets in their laptops, using GeForce 9400M integrated graphics which perform vastly superior to Intel graphics. Even with the recent developments concerning nVidia chipsets, it is still a sad day that such an arrangement becomes more and more of a faded reality.

What Intel proves to me with the integrated GPU is that it intends to pour salt in nVidia's wounds and push its graphics chips on PC designers and consumers. In my opinion this is monopolistic behavior, like trying to kill Netscape by shipping Windows with Internet Explorer. In a review of the new processors, there is a description and picture of the die for the new CPU's. Most notable is that it combines a 32nm CPU with a 45nm GPU. This is not some engineer's dream of perfection. It's a hack job pushed by management as a strategic move to put an Intel graphics chip in every computer in the world, with the eventual goal of weakening competition for third-party GPU's and chipsets which use them."
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Windows 7 Released to MSDNAA

meustrus meustrus writes  |  about 5 years ago

meustrus writes "Windows 7 Professional has been made available through Microsoft Developer Network Academic Alliance (MSDNAA). 32-bit and 64-bit versions are available. Also available is Windows 7 Ultimate RC and language packs. Being a university student, I have proceeded to install the 64-bit edition on my Macbook Pro 5,1 and let me tell you, it purrs."

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