vord's recent activity

  1. Comment on National trends in grade inflation, American colleges and universities in ~life

    vord
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    Oh I 100% agree. The weird place we've ended up where college degree is required for almost any job, and college will also put you in life-crippling, permanent debt means that it's almost...

    Oh I 100% agree. The weird place we've ended up where college degree is required for almost any job, and college will also put you in life-crippling, permanent debt means that it's almost unethical to be rigorous graders for a lot of classes.

    We need free college not just to make it more accessible, but also so that it means something beyond 'this person likely has a lot of debt and needs a job.'

    Yes, I'm being hyperbolic, but not as much as I wish I was.

    6 votes
  2. Comment on National trends in grade inflation, American colleges and universities in ~life

    vord
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    The 90's is about when schools started shifting gears from 'teaching to learn' and 'teaching to meet metrics that determine budgets.' I noticed as classes gradually became less about teaching the...

    The 90's is about when schools started shifting gears from 'teaching to learn' and 'teaching to meet metrics that determine budgets.' I noticed as classes gradually became less about teaching the why and how to solve problems, and more 'memorize these equations to know to solve this part of the test.' It was even more noticeable when my siblings were going through the same grade level a few years later and getting a drastically different experience.

    4 votes
  3. Comment on National trends in grade inflation, American colleges and universities in ~life

    vord
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    I think this fundamentally applies to almost every "grading system" for knowledge and intelligence, including IQ, SAT, and the various 'Common Core' tests. If I was going to propose an...

    Well, maybe GPA isn't the best way to measure student achievement.

    I think this fundamentally applies to almost every "grading system" for knowledge and intelligence, including IQ, SAT, and the various 'Common Core' tests.

    If I was going to propose an alternative, it would be something like a resume... a sourced list of achievements, which I would roughly classify as 'Given if you would get a B or higher in a given skill'. Perhaps with a + modifier if showing exceptional talent. I recall that my elementary grading system in the 90's was similiar.

    I guess it's easier to distill people down to a number though, so GPA will continue to get aggregated into our 'social score.'

    2 votes
  4. Comment on National trends in grade inflation, American colleges and universities in ~life

    vord
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    I work for a college. This is spot on. It's not even neccessarily nefarious. Since the rise of formal college ranking systems, schools noticed that raising GPA improved their rankings. So...

    I work for a college. This is spot on. It's not even neccessarily nefarious. Since the rise of formal college ranking systems, schools noticed that raising GPA improved their rankings. So initiatives get put in place to help students, which would theoretically increase A grades. The D/F students likely wouldn't use the initiatives much, but there should be a big drop in B grades (motivated but struggling students), and a medium drop in C grades.

    But what I'm suspecting is that professors are being more lax in order to boost numbers to meet initiatives (and perhaps get bonuses) and thus increase college's ranking with very little change.

    5 votes
  5. Comment on The languages which almost became CSS in ~comp

    vord
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    This is really apt, as in light of this Tildes discussion, I've been pondering what a good 'simple' replacement for web browsing to make it welcoming to new users and not just consumers and...

    This is really apt, as in light of this Tildes discussion, I've been pondering what a good 'simple' replacement for web browsing to make it welcoming to new users and not just consumers and companies.

    I like the idea of Markdown as a replacement for HTML, but wonder what extent the replacements for Javascript and CSS could be. Personally I'd want a web that doesn't have support for either. Client-side code execution was a terrible idea. I also hate 'website-driven' style enforcement...give suggestions, but let me choose how I want a site to look.

    So the question I pose is: What would your trifecta for replacing HTML/CSS/Javascript be?

    Edit: I do see (now that I've had more time to read, that Gemini is pretty close to my ideal).

    2 votes
  6. Comment on Open Standards Are Simple in ~comp

    vord
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    Audio and video codecs you wouldn't neccessarily want competition (for a given codec), just consolidated open development without patent encumbrance. But having a common, simple interface to use...

    Some examples include audio and video codecs, the Samba and WINE projects, and game emulators

    Audio and video codecs you wouldn't neccessarily want competition (for a given codec), just consolidated open development without patent encumbrance. But having a common, simple interface to use them via other tools would be useful.

    The rest are really just reverse-engineering existing standards and not creating their own. Again a space where multiple implementations probably hurts more than helps, especially for Wine.

    But simple standards for protocols and documents is important. Look at how markdown is taking over a lot of other spaces. By keeping the standard simple, it makes implementation easier.

    A 'next gen web' would be much easier to implement if it shed the HTML+Javascript+CSS baggage in favor of something simpler which is both harder to implement 'wrong' and take control of display rendering away from site owners and back to users.

    4 votes
  7. Comment on In praise of idleness in ~humanities

  8. Comment on What do you use your extra mouse buttons for? in ~talk

    vord
    Link Parent
    That was my favorite mouse for many years...I wonder why that design hasn't been replicated. Having that ring-finger button was incredible design, especially since the shape was hand-neutral.

    That was my favorite mouse for many years...I wonder why that design hasn't been replicated.

    Having that ring-finger button was incredible design, especially since the shape was hand-neutral.

    1 vote
  9. Comment on What do you use your extra mouse buttons for? in ~talk

    vord
    Link Parent
    Oh man, as a fellow Steam Controller owner, chords are the 2nd best feature (after the keyboard). You can use any button as a chord, not just the main button. I would often use the grips to chord...

    Is it possible to "chord" inputs

    Oh man, as a fellow Steam Controller owner, chords are the 2nd best feature (after the keyboard). You can use any button as a chord, not just the main button. I would often use the grips to chord the pads into various button menus.

    I'm really hoping Valve doesn't pull a Google and start de-supporting it. The third-party software I've tried isn't quite good enough.

    1 vote
  10. Comment on Do you crush bugs? in ~talk

    vord
    Link Parent
    That's a pretty clear-cut statement, backed with several quotes and sources. They describe in detail the way mosquittos interact with the ecosystems, but that is the ultimate conclusion...yes they...

    Ultimately, there seem to be few things that mosquitoes do that other organisms can't do just as well — except perhaps for one. They are lethally efficient at sucking blood from one individual and mainlining it into another, providing an ideal route for the spread of pathogenic microbes.

    That's a pretty clear-cut statement, backed with several quotes and sources.

    They describe in detail the way mosquittos interact with the ecosystems, but that is the ultimate conclusion...yes they have a role, but usually not exlusively so.

    There is the logistical problem, of course. And yes, maybe we don't need to curb their populations everywhere. We really don't even need to kill them all...just the ones that feast on us.

    Here's a newer article which covers a bit more. Yes, it's more nuanced than my short-hand summary, but my summary is not an unreasonable one.

    We could probably kill off 90% of mosquittos living where people do. Yes, there may be side effects, but unlikely any worse than all the other economic destruction we do in the name of progress.

    1 vote
  11. Comment on Millennials slammed by second financial crisis fall even further behind in ~finance

    vord
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    Well...duh. So much of wealth accumulation is gated behind having wealth. If you don't have the wealth, well then you have debt and are even farther from building wealth. Getting that little...

    Well...duh. So much of wealth accumulation is gated behind having wealth. If you don't have the wealth, well then you have debt and are even farther from building wealth. Getting that little wealth we do accumulate wiped out every few years because we don't punish the sycophants destroying the economy means you're starting from ground 0 almost every time. Yea, a 401k and similiar are OK-ish for retirement (not a proper replacement for a robust Social Security, but that's a huge sidebar), but they don't exactly help you pay rent or build usable wealth.

    Some examples:

    • You can get a mortgage for less than 20% down payment....but if you do you pay extra for fees and higher interest. So people with more money get to build wealth faster than those with less.
    • As such, if you're building equity faster and saving more money (because your mortgage is cheaper), you can invest more in stocks.
    • If you're from a wealthy family, you don't have massive student loans. You can focus more on your studies because you can live off a stipend from your family.

    That's not even getting into the nitty-gritty how being poor is more expensive than being wealthy. This is why Millennials (and Gen Y now too) are trending socialist more than any prior generations. We're being dealt a shit hand and being told to stop being ungrateful for the table scraps we do get.

    15 votes
  12. Comment on What do you use your extra mouse buttons for? in ~talk

    vord
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    My preferred mouse is the Logitech G502 Hero. Gives me two additional index finger buttons and three thumb buttons. I've always been a fan of these combos at one point or another: Copy/paste...

    My preferred mouse is the Logitech G502 Hero. Gives me two additional index finger buttons and three thumb buttons.

    I've always been a fan of these combos at one point or another:

    • Copy/paste
    • previous/next/close tab (or window)
    • windows key + left/right
    3 votes
  13. Comment on What do you use your extra mouse buttons for? in ~talk

    vord
    Link Parent
    I still feel the swap from 'Push to Talk' to 'Talk by Default' was a bad one. It especially shows in video conferences. Zoom is 10x better when using PTT.

    I still feel the swap from 'Push to Talk' to 'Talk by Default' was a bad one.

    It especially shows in video conferences. Zoom is 10x better when using PTT.

    4 votes
  14. Comment on Do you crush bugs? in ~talk

    vord
    Link Parent
    I agree it's a goldmine for some great discussion, but today is not the day for me to dive into deep discussions. Would love to read up on it afterwards though.

    I agree it's a goldmine for some great discussion, but today is not the day for me to dive into deep discussions.

    Would love to read up on it afterwards though.

    1 vote
  15. Comment on Do you crush bugs? in ~talk

    vord
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    Lots of them: Invasive species: Kill on sight, and take every non-poison method to stop their spread. Even poison in highly-concentrated spots. (Looking at you Lanternflies!) Any wasp/hornet...

    Lots of them:

    • Invasive species: Kill on sight, and take every non-poison method to stop their spread. Even poison in highly-concentrated spots. (Looking at you Lanternflies!)
    • Any wasp/hornet looking to make a nest near my home.
    • Fleas, ticks, mosquitos.
    • Basically anything inside the home, although crickets might get moved outside if they're not too persistent. Don't typically spray, just glue traps. Unless they're termites, then purge.

    The rule of thumb is to not use poison unless it's the only way to address the problem. Poisons and pesticides are very much linked to ecosystem destruction, and should be avoided when possible. Hornet nests near the home are best addressed by smoking them out, not spraying with pesticide.

    I've also come to the conclusion that the author of the article you linked is a nutjob, approximately as much as an anti-vaxxer. On this page he advocates against preserving nature. The logic is that because nature is cruel, having less of it is good. Here's some other gems from his site:

    • Earning to give: Rather than working at an altruistic charity yourself, it can be more effective to make money elsewhere and donate large portions of it to charity.
      • This is a 'pass the buck' stance. If everybody did that, we'd all be patting ourselves on the back while nothing actually change. We see this now with 'social media activism.' It is useful, but only as a complement to activism, not in place of it. His first recommendation for charities to donate to is the one he runs. Hmmmm.
    • Don't compost. Instead: avoid wasting food, dispose of food scraps in a sink grinder, or seal food in plastic bags and then put it in the garbage.
      • Yes, food waste is bad. But there's inedible brown/green plant matter, and even small waste of edible (peeled potatoes for example). Compost is how you get nutrients back into the ground after growing crops. Sealing compostable food waste in plastic is bonkers.
    • Reducing your water use may avoid killing tens to hundreds of thousands of crustacean zooplankton per year.
      • There's plenty of reasons to reduce water use. Killing zooplankton in the course of using it is not one of them.
    • A naive analysis that focuses only on the immediate harm caused by humans would conclude that rainforest destruction is net bad for animals. Most veg*ans stop there and don't look further to realize that rainforest loss also plausibly prevents substantial animal suffering that would have occurred due to natural causes.

    It's no surprise that he's a "skeptic." The skeptic movement is a weird one, and I think this blog post sums up why.

    3 votes
  16. Comment on Do you crush bugs? in ~talk

  17. Comment on Tripping over the potholes in too many libraries in ~comp

    vord
    Link Parent
    One thing I noticed while dabbling with Rust was that if you started relying on different libraries for similiar things (to cover that 20% missing use case), you'd start having massive library...

    One thing I noticed while dabbling with Rust was that if you started relying on different libraries for similiar things (to cover that 20% missing use case), you'd start having massive library overlap with different versions because the various other libraries didn't update their dependencies.

    Not sure there is an easy way to solve this short of having a good curation system.

    1 vote
  18. Comment on The Amish keep to themselves. And they’re hiding a horrifying secret: "A year of reporting by Cosmo and Type Investigations reveals a culture of incest, rape, and abuse." in ~humanities

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    It's nice to have this in the forefront of the public eye, but there's been an awareness of it for a long time. 2006 2010 2013 (Mennonite...different, but not really) 2016 There's older articles...

    It's nice to have this in the forefront of the public eye, but there's been an awareness of it for a long time.

    2006
    2010
    2013 (Mennonite...different, but not really)
    2016

    There's older articles as well that are harder to source with a quick google recall, before everything was posted online. There's countless books and blogs.

    Dangerous cults are dangerous. Power structures that involve a heirarchy with a 'voice of god's will' at the top are going to have abuse problems. See also Catholics and Mormons.

    10 votes
  19. Comment on How to not make an ass of yourself in online discussions in ~tech

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    I largely agree with post, but properly sourcing is hard. It's virtually impossible to source everything unless you literally bookmark, annotate, and index every bit of info you come across....

    I largely agree with post, but properly sourcing is hard. It's virtually impossible to source everything unless you literally bookmark, annotate, and index every bit of info you come across. Doesn't help that legit good sources are often paywalled. This is especially true when it comes to offhand internet comments instead of published articles. Ain't nobody got time to source everything. Might even be a good thing for others to source your info, as it shows your not the only one who found it.

    And even then...there's a ton of heavily biased 'studies,' and thanks to bubbles it's easier to find what you want vs what you don't want.

    8 votes
  20. Comment on What's a movie that has entranced you? in ~movies

    vord
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    Kind a mix: Big fan of Opera with guitars (The Red Opera by DiAmorte is a favorite album) Some big names doing quality work (Anthony Head especially) Good campy grusomeness (see also: Hobo with a...

    Kind a mix:

    • Big fan of Opera with guitars (The Red Opera by DiAmorte is a favorite album)
    • Some big names doing quality work (Anthony Head especially)
    • Good campy grusomeness (see also: Hobo with a shotgun)
    • Industrialization has crippled the globe

    Also feels in the same family as:

    • Rocky Horror (Anthony Head + Craig Fergeson co-starred in theater performances)
    • Hedwig and the Angry Inch

    I'd argue Fury Road is less bro-y as well, but yea enthralling movies are a bit of 'reflection of self' and few enthrall me anymore...CGI took a lot of wonder out of the spectecal, and few movies manage to keep me 100% engrossed the whole time.

    One that got cut from the list was Cutthroat Island. It's prime for a good remake. The one-liners and a lot of the fights were terrible, but otherwise it was a fantastic feminist film. We need more like it.

    2 votes