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Employers Worried About Critical Thinking Skills

s.petry Re:Gore to the Rescue (299 comments)

Your projection of me having a political reason for the comment is absolutely false. Try reading my post history and you will see I'm not a D or R. In fact I frequently speak against both.

Your defense of a person based on a false claim is way more telling than a bit of humor a large percentage of the populace had for a while. Numerous comedians made fun of Al Gore for silly statements (misinterpreted or otherwise) from the conservatives to the liberals. The people I remember jumping on the defense train were mostly the liberals. So now that we know a bit about you..

about an hour ago
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Employers Worried About Critical Thinking Skills

s.petry Society requires it (299 comments)

"School" being responsible education is not new, hell the Ancient Greek's had schools for the public (though they cost $$ to attend). Parents can surely teach a kid many things, but only what they know well enough to teach. Morality for example is high on the list of what a parent should teach their kids, Calculus.. not so much.

As we travel up to modern times, we have gone from a society that has 1 working parent and 1 at home taking care of kids to both parents normally having to work just to make ends meet. This means that the majority of parents can't teach a whole lot to their kids and public schools can (there is some interesting investigation to be done on whether or not this was planned, I recommend doing some reading).

Since the 1940s our public schools have not taught Critical thinking, Rhetoric, Logic, or Ethics. The way most kids get exposed to these subjects is at College level, and usually on accident (I know many people that have been pressured to take different classes in College). So if a parent did not learn how to critically think how do you propose they teach it exactly? Do you similarly expect a parent who lacks Calculus training to teach their kids Calculus? Or is that an okay subject for a school to teach? Please explain why they are any different as well.

As a point of clarity on the last paragraph, there are surely some teachers and professors who try and teach these skills. In no way did I intent to imply that "good" teachers don't exist or don't try and teach. More correctly, the "good" teachers get shackled by regulations and busy work which makes things even more difficult on them.

2 hours ago
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Employers Worried About Critical Thinking Skills

s.petry Gore to the Rescue (299 comments)

Bennett would not have been able to make a social network if Al Gore didn't invent the Internet for him!

Sorry, in my view it was a trip down memory lane worth taking..

2 hours ago
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Employers Worried About Critical Thinking Skills

s.petry Re:Want Critical Thinking? Fix the Public Schools (299 comments)

Exactly this! People forget that in the 1930s the US adopted the Prussian education system and dumped the classical education system for exactly this reason. What I find at least as interesting is that Germany followed suit much much later. Germany has gone from one of the best educated societies to as bad as the US in about 1/2 the time. Perhaps due to smaller scale, or perhaps because the implementation in the US was progressively implemented and the result exported to Germany.

3 hours ago
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Assange: Google Is Not What It Seems

s.petry Re:When you are inside the box ... (253 comments)

Thats the scary bit, which sounds a lot like China. A legacy of the civil war. US is the Hotel California - you can never leave. Last time some states disagreed and tried to leave, millions died. Fortunately the Russians did not treat their former republics that way! So long as the Americans treat Lincoln as a hero, instead of a mass killer in the company of Stalin and Mao, we know the indoctrination is strong.

Your Theophobia is showing. The word "God" would not have bothered the founding fathers, it's a generic term that in no way claims any particular Religion is right or wrong. If you have doubts read "The Declaration of Independence" which was signed by all of them and includes the word "God" and the word "Creator". The US was not founded as an atheist Government, it was founded as a Government where is should be free to practice what ever faith you happen to believe in.

In other words, if you wish to worship a turtle there is no issue with you doing so. You probably won't have many people believing what you do, but nobody should be able to stop you. This not to be confused with you forcing your beliefs on others, or people having to make special exceptions for your beliefs. I.E. If worshiping the turtle is a 7 day a week duty because they also listen slow, society does not have to provide you welfare to support your belief. We respect Hindu Religion and beliefs, but non Hindu people can still eat cows, etc..

3 hours ago
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Assange: Google Is Not What It Seems

s.petry Re:When you are inside the box ... (253 comments)

Australia in my opinion is an easy target and it only takes one. Just look at how people defend the British Monarchy and believe that because of the family tree, the Monarchs somehow deserve your money. Even though your Government does not include the monarchy in the power structure.

In fairness many other former British colonies do the same exact thing, pay the monarchy lots of money that is. I could write quite a bit on that subject, but would rather not divert the topic too much.

I'm not too sure about New Zealand, I'll save that one for someone else.

3 hours ago
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Assange: Google Is Not What It Seems

s.petry Re:Goolge is helping... (253 comments)

You are still only discussing the commercial (private) aspects of a dump. The Government does not have to worry about any of their own regulations, because they are the enforcers of the regulations. The only concern for Google in dumping data to any Government is that people may find out and stop using the service. As discussed in TFA, this can be offset quite a bit by providing "free" services and claiming "do no evil" as the company motto. Obviously there would be a point at which their credibility absolutely fails, but that seems to be a long way off. Today, could Google give enough information to the US Government such that the Government could imprison all people with a belief system that challenges the establishment? It's probably close to that point, if not there already.

When dealing with these thoughts, you should never isolate your opinion on the danger to yesterday or today. A well intentioned person in office today is always replaced in a future election, and those new people may not have the same intentions.

4 hours ago
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Assange: Google Is Not What It Seems

s.petry Re:Goolge is helping... (253 comments)

If you really believe that, then you are completely ignorant to both Gary Allen and his work. Seriously, the book is a few hundred pages in large print and should take an adult a week of spare time to read. You either have not read it, or are a sock puppet attempting to discourage people from reading (not surprising if the latter, see the my 3rd to last paragraph).

While I'd agree that a few of Gary Allen's points seem to be far fetched, this is Journalism. It's a source and fact based book with plenty of evidence. I have heard many people claim "conspiracy" to dismiss the work, but have yet to see anyone dispute the evidence he used to arrive at his conclusions.

4 hours ago
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Assange: Google Is Not What It Seems

s.petry Re:Wrong on all accounts! (253 comments)

Impressive! You moved from a personal attack based on fabrication, to a defense using another personal attack based on the same fabrication. I'm amazed at your rhetorical dexterity and incredible ability to change your argument to reflect your opponents knowledge and rhetorical skill. I'll bet that the Government trolls are all in awe of your incredible talent to troll, you are truly their master. (That is called sarcasm just in case you missed it.)

I'd suggest you apologize for the first attack and a claim that you will try and improve your ability to hold dialogue. A more likely scenario however, is that you will form yet another personal attack and repeat your bad logic hoping it will somehow come true.

4 hours ago
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Mark Zuckerberg Speaks Mandarin At Tsinghua University In Beijing

s.petry Re:In other news (203 comments)

wtf. I wrote a _short_ paragraph and you really had trouble reading the first sentence? I'll quote the sentence in bold so that you can't miss it. Really, the guy runs the whole business by himself without any help at all?

Need me to be more clear than that even? He does not do much to "run" that company because he has experts on the payroll to do that for him! This is why he could take a very long honeymoon, can hang out in DC with politicians, and can do all sorts of other things other than "run a company".

You are trying to make it sound like the guy works his dick off, and that is the complete opposite of reality. His main job is to A) Have money. and B) Hire people to make him more money. and finally C) Fire anyone that fails at B..

That is not to say that he didn't put in hours before facebook went public, but working hard is something that the majority of people do every day and they are not treated as special celebrities for doing so. This particular person happened to be on the better end of an IPO deal that most people don't get, and that's not talent or smarts.. it's luck and connections.

Back to my original point, when you don't have to work 40-60 hours a week and you can hire tutors, it is not surprising that this person can learn a 2nd language. It does not indicate in any way that a person is special or smart. I work with people that are fluent in 4-5 languages while working 40-60 hour weeks, and those people are special in my opinion (which is why I started learning Russian, I'm jealous of their linguistic abilities!).

yesterday
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Assange: Google Is Not What It Seems

s.petry Re:Wrong on all accounts! (253 comments)

Since you lack the knowledge you are obviously in no position to ask those questions or make those insinuations. If you would have taken an alternative approach and asked for sources of the knowledge, I would have provided the same information. I still don't get the feeling that you want the knowledge, but rather you wish to make believe that you have it.

Living in make believe is not necessarily a bad thing, assuming you maintained your fantasy in private. In public where it can dupe others into a false reality is quite different, and I openly and actively discourage that action.

yesterday
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Assange: Google Is Not What It Seems

s.petry Good grief! (253 comments)

Before posting next time, at least glimpse at an article to know who Mitnick was. Then try not to confuse him with Aaron Schwartz, who is a totally separate person and circumstance.

Your opinion of all 3 of those people is exclusively based on a non-existent fantasy land.

yesterday
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Assange: Google Is Not What It Seems

s.petry Re:Wrong on all accounts! (253 comments)

So the Journalists Jim Tucker, Jon Ronson, and Daniel Estulin all worked for naturenews? No, you are posting as ignorantly as the person I responded to. I really don't care what you don't want to know, but don't attempt to discourage others from knowledge.

yesterday
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Assange: Google Is Not What It Seems

s.petry One more thing (253 comments)

By 2013, Eric Schmidt—who had become publicly over-associated with the Obama White House—was more politic. Eight Republicans and eight Democrats were directly funded, as were two PACs. That April, $32,300 went to the National Republican Senatorial Committee. A month later the same amount, $32,300, headed off to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Why Schmidt was donating exactly the same amount of money to both parties is a $64,600 question.

Well, I don't believe this is a question at all. This demonstrates very well what people have been saying for years. The R and D candidates are merely props put up by the same "elites" so that people get the illusion that they are really voting for something. I'm guessing that Schmidt was more sloppy than the better players making it this easy to see, and that is usually related to ego.

yesterday
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Assange: Google Is Not What It Seems

s.petry Wrong on all accounts! (253 comments)

Eric Schmidt was born in Washington, D.C., where his father had worked as a professor and economist for the Nixon Treasury.

In 1979, Schmidt headed out West to Berkeley, where he received his Ph.D. before joining Stanford/ Berkeley spin-off Sun Microsystems in 1983.

Sun had significant contracts with the U.S. government, but it was not until he was in Utah as CEO of Novell that records show Schmidt strategically engaging Washington’s overt political class. Federal campaign finance records show that on January 6, 1999, Schmidt donated two lots of $1,000 to the Republican senator for Utah, Orrin Hatch. On the same day Schmidt’s wife, Wendy, is also listed giving two lots of $1,000 to Senator Hatch.
By the start of 2001, over a dozen other politicians and PACs, including Al Gore, George W. Bush, Dianne Feinstein, and Hillary Clinton, were on the Schmidts’ payroll, in one case for $100,000.

This shows a bit more than "getting involved in politics".

As for item 2 and 3, a large portion of the article is describing Google's "Think/Do Tank" which operates way beyond "do no evil". The groups has potential involvement in numerous nefarious activities, and numerous connections to the US State Department and other US Officials.

Your last statement is a complete farce, and I'd suggest reading the article and actually studying what the Bilderberg conference is about, as opposed to the blanket dismissal without evidence. There has been plenty of great journalism done on this conference, and no it's not just some cool hotel hangout.

yesterday
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Assange: Google Is Not What It Seems

s.petry Re:Goolge is helping... (253 comments)

Your statement would be true if the information was dumped to the public, but completely false if the information was provided to a Government for the purposes of squashing dissent. The latter is the concern, not the former.

Surely you could recover if someone leaked an unfortunate browsing habit of yours. It would take some time to blow over, and of course you would be embarrassed.

On the other hand, if you had knowledge or beliefs that run counter to an administration and could be targeted with say.. planting pornographic images of children on your computer.. you are now silenced and behind bars.

yesterday
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Assange: Google Is Not What It Seems

s.petry Re:Goolge is helping... (253 comments)

The "elites" have the best education money can buy, they have the best advisers money can buy, and the free time to research what ever they need because they don't have to work 40-60 hours a week to make ends meet.

Given that little bit of information let me ask who exactly is not that smart. You or them? Just to drive the point home, lets play along with a few more questions.

How many people would an elite group have to control in order to really run the country? They don't need to control each person individually, they just need to control enough to maintain media so that they could build up or destroy a person. Nearly all media is already controlled by 3 people in the USA. It does not take manually handling politicians to control them, it takes money and errand runners. Given that the President, Congress, and Senate is less than a thousand people, you only need a few runners for each of the people in the conspiracy. They don't need to control State politics, just few Governors is all. California and New York have a big enough population to concern people, Wyoming on the other hand does not have enough population to be a concern.

Further, you don't need to direct every detail to get the result you want. Bits and pieces here and there is called compartmentalization, and we have known about this for a very long time. Agencies within the Government practice this with a high degree of precision, such as the projects that built the SR71, F117, etc... You can see it in action after the fact so you know it exists, yet you somehow want to claim that it could only work with building some of the most complex machines the world has ever seen and could not happen in politics. Come now, that's just idiocy.

As to Conspiracy in general, take the TV show Survivor. In the first series people almost immediately started conspiring with others to win. After the first series, the conspiracies became the focal point of the show. If people would conspire within a few days to win a million dollars, you don't believe it's possible that they would conspire when the stakes are much higher? This is also idiocy.

One of the most important things I ever read regarding politics was this.

FDR once said "In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way." He was in a good position to know. We believe that many of the major world events that are shaping our destinies occur because somebody or somebodies have planned them that way. If we were merely dealing with the law of avenges, half of the events affecting our nation's well being should be good for America. If we were dealing with mere incompetence, our leaders should occasionally make a mistake in our favor. We shall attempt to prove 'bat we are not really dealing with coincidence or stupidity, but with planning and brilliance. This small book deals with that planning and brilliance and how it has shaped the foreign and domestic policies of the last six administrations. We hope it will explain matters which have up to now seemed inexplicable; that it will bring into sharp focus images which have been obscured by the landscape painters of the mass media.

In the past people have commented simply to discourage people from reading the book, so I won't be surprised to see that again. The book is from 1971 and titled "None Dare Call it Conspiracy" by Gary Allen.

Labeling people "Conspiracy Theorist" has happened since the same years. Anytime someone brings up an uncomfortable question, label and belittle. If that does not work simply censor and ignore. (Also covered in the same book).

I believe you need to try harder to discourage people from making connections which are easy to see. Dump the Troll handbook and actually attempt to hold rational discourse and dialogue with people.

yesterday
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Mark Zuckerberg Speaks Mandarin At Tsinghua University In Beijing

s.petry Re:That's your measure? (203 comments)

Shelling != bombing, so your pedant-ism has be returned. Your play! :)

yesterday
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Tech Firm Fined For Paying Imported Workers $1.21 Per Hour

s.petry Yup, that was the fine (270 comments)

An anonymous tip prompted the U.S. Department of Labor to investigate the case, which resulted in more than $40,000 in back wages paid to the eight employees and a fine of $3,500 for Electronics for Imaging.

In this case, should not the HR people and management be facing criminal charges for slavery? Forcing people to work 120hr work weeks and paying them an illegally low wage strikes me as something that should be sitting on a prosecutors desk. IANAL, but I'd be interested in hearing from one. A 120hr work week is an 18 hour day 7 days a week.

yesterday
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Tech Firm Fined For Paying Imported Workers $1.21 Per Hour

s.petry lesson from Milton Friedman (270 comments)

Minimum wage exists because we don't currently have a free market. I'm assuming that people are too lazy to read the books, but highly recommend them.

yesterday

Submissions

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Slashdot Beta Woes

s.petry s.petry writes  |  about 9 months ago

s.petry (762400) writes "What is a Slashdot and why the Beta might destroy it?

Slashdot has been around, well, a very long time. Longer than any of it's competators, but not as long as IIRC. Slashdot was a very much one of the first true social media web sites.

On Slashdot, you could create a handle or ID. Something personal, but not too personal, unless you wanted it to be. But it was not required either. We know each other by our handles, we have watched each other grow as people. We may have even taken pot shots at each other in threads. Unless of course you are anonymous, but often we can guess who that really is.

One of Slashdot's first motto's was "News for Nerds" that Matters. I have no idea when that was removed. I have not always scoured the boards here daily, life can get too busy for that. That excuses my ignorance in a way. I guess someone thought it politically incorrect, but most of us "Nerds" enjoyed it. We are proud of who we are, and what we know. Often we use that pride and knowledge to make someone else look bad. That is how we get our digs in, and we enjoy that part of us too. We don't punch people, we belittle them. It's who we are!

What made Slashdot unique were a few things. What you will note here is "who" has been responsible for the success of Slashdot. Hint, it has never been a just the company taking care of the servers and software.

— First, the user base submitted stories that "they" thought mattered. It was not a corporate feed. Sure, stories were submitted about companies. The latest break through from AMD and Intel, various stories regarding the graphic card wars, my compiler is better than your compiler, and yes your scripting language stinks! Microsoft IIS has brought us all a few laughs and lots of flame wars to boot. Still, we not only read about the products but get to my second point.

— User comments. This is the primary why we have been coming here for as long as we have, many of us for decades. We provide alternative opinions or back what was given in the article. This aspect not only makes the "News" interesting, but often leads to other news and information sharing. It's not always positive, but this is the nature of allowing commentary. It also brings out the third point.

— Moderation. Moderation has been done by the community for a very long time. It took lots of trial and error to get a working system. As with any public system it's imperfect, but it's been successful. People can choose to view poorly modded comments, but don't have to. As with posting anonymous versus with our own handle it's an option that allows us to personalize the way we see and read what's on the site. And as a reward for submitting something worth reading, you might get a mod point of your own to use as a reward for someone else.

Why we dislike Beta and what is being pushed, and why this will result in the end of an era if it becomes forced on the community.

1. Bulky graphics. We get that Dice and Slashdot need revenue. I have Karma good enough to disable advertisements, but have never kept this setting on. I realize that Slashdot/Dice make money with this. That said, the ads sit away from my news and out of the way. I can get there if I want it (but nobody has ever gotten a penny from me clicking an ad... nobody!), but it's not forced into my face or news feed.

2. Low text area. I like having enough on my screen to keep me busy without constant scrolling. Slashdot currently has the correct ratio of text to screen. This ratio has never been complained about, yet Beta reduces the usable text area by at least 1/2 and no option for changing the behavior. I hate reading Slashdot on mobile devices because I can't stand scrolling constantly.

3. JavaScript. We all know the risks of JS, and many of us disable it. We also have an option of reading in Lync or non-standard browsers that many of us toy with for both personal and professional reasons. This flexibility is gone in Beta, and we are forced to allow JS to run. If you don't know the risks of allowing JS to run, you probably don't read much on Slashdot. Those that allow JS do so accepting the risk (which is admittedly low on a well known site).

4. Ordering/Sorting/Referencing. Each entry currently gets tagged with a unique thread ID. This allows linking to the exact post in a thread, not just the top of the thread. In Beta this is gone. It could be that the site decided to simply hide the post ID or it was removed. Either way, going to specific posts is something that is used very commonly by the community.

5. Eye candy. Most of us are not here for "eye candy" and many have allergic reactions to eye candy. Slashdot has a good mix currently. It's not as simple as the site starting with a r-e-d-i-t, which is good. That site has a reputation that keeps many of us away, and their format matches my attitude of them (s-i-m-p-l-e-t-o-n). At the same time, it's not like watching some other "news" sites with so much scrolling crap I can't read an article without getting a headache. The wasted space in beta for big bulky borders, sure smells like eye candy. Nothing buzzes or scrolls yet, but we can sense what's coming in a patch later.

The thing is, the community cares about Slashdot. We come here because we care. We submit stories because of that, we vote because of that, we moderate because of that, and we comment because of that. At the same time we realize that without the community Slashdot loses most of its value. We respect that we don't host the servers, backup the databases, or patch the servers. Slashdot/Dice provide the services needed for Slashdot.

It's a give give relationship, and we each get something in return. Slashdot gets tons of Search hits and lots of web traffic. We get a place to learn, teach, and occasionally vent.

Look, if you want to change default color scheme or make pre-made palettes for us to choose from, we would probably be okay with that. If you want to take away our ability to block ads by Karma, or move the ads to the left side of my browser window, I would be okay with those things too.

If you want to make drastic changes to how the site works, this is a different story all together. The reason so many are against Beta is that it breaks some of the fundamental parts of what makes Slashdot work.

User input until recently has not been acknowledged. The acknowledgment we have received is not from the people that are making the decision to push Beta live. We told people Beta was broken, what it lacked, and we were rather surprised to get a warning that Beta would be live despite what we told people. People are already making plans to leave, which means that Slashdot could fade away very soon.

Whether this was the goal for Dice or not remains to be seen. If it is, it's been nice knowing you but I won't be back. A partnership only works when there is mutual respect between the parties. A word of caution, us Nerds have good memories and lots of knowledge. The loss of Slashdot impacts all of Dice holdings, not just Slashdot. I boycott everything a company holds, not just the product group that did me wrong.

If that was not the goal of Dice, you should quickly begin communicating with the user base. What are the plans are to fix what Beta has broken? Why is Beta being pushed live with things broken? A "Sorry we have not been communicating!", and perhaps even a "Thank you" to the user base for helping make Slashdot a success for so many years."
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Limiting debate in science, is it still science?

s.petry s.petry writes  |  1 year,26 days

s.petry (762400) writes "We knew that this was coming, but I'm sure many of us thought that science would be immune to censorship. Perhaps not. I was not surprised that it happened on Boing Boing, but on a "science" site I never expected it (at least not this quickly).

These decisions may smack some as subjective or even malicious. After all comments are arguably the digital age response to print's "letter to the editor" — and they often contain criticisms of the article ranging from grammatical erorrs to factual oversights. Some may view the decision to ban comments as a form of censorship, a means for writers to escape any sort of visible accountability among their audience.

While that statement does not get to the meaty subject of real trolling and sock puppets, it does beg a very important set of questions. Especially when the reason for Popular Science from them claims:

And because comments sections tend to be a grotesque reflection of the media culture surrounding them, the cynical work of undermining bedrock scientific doctrine is now being done beneath our own stories, within a website devoted to championing science.

As the article points out, Science is not about doctrine. Science is about methods of proof. Science also requires collaboration and gets much better when numerous minds work on and debate the Science.

Is censorship the right direction, or is finding more intelligent ways of reducing sock puppets and trolls through moderation?"

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