INTERESTING: why there are insoluable conflict over gooferment education

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Bitter Partisan Politics
By Walter E. Williams
Wednesday, November 28, 2007

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The reason why these issues produce conflict is because education is government-produced. That means there’s either going to be prayers or no prayers, “intelligent design” or no “intelligent design” and sex education or no sex education. If one parent has his wishes met, it comes at the expense of another parent’s wishes. The losing parent either must grin and bear it or send his child to a private school, pay its tuition and still pay property taxes for a school for which he has no use.

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Don’t forget that there is a whole segment of the population that are being robbed (i.e., those without children) who have “no dog in that fight”.

I’d like the gooferment out of education completely. Period.

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TECHNOLOGY: TSA plan to gather more data … how risky versus how valuable?

Sunday, December 2, 2007

TSA plan to gather more data protested
By Thomas Frank, USA TODAY

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WASHINGTON — A government proposal to start collecting birth dates and genders of people reserving airline flights is drawing protests from major airlines and travel agencies that say it would be invasive, confusing and “useless.”

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) wants passengers to give the additional personal information — as well as their full names — so it can do more precise background checks that it says will result in fewer travelers being mistaken for terrorists. Travelers currently must provide only a last name and a first initial.

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Well, instead of just admitting failure and going out of business like any normal failure. They’re going to do an Avis.

(shaking my head in disgust)

From a technology pov, this thing is just fraught with flubs.

OK, instead of me being “Public, John Q.”, how does adding “YYYYMMDD” add to the accuracy?

Please don’t tell me that you are using name as an identifier? How inaccurate is that mathematically. That assumes that everyone tell you the truth. Ditto for adding bday.

What makes you think I’m going to tell you my REAL birthday? You know the one that people use to prevent identity theft on their credit accounts. Like I trust the gooferment to keep my info safe! Note VA and the many other flubs.

(If I was credit reporting agency, I’d be jumping for glee. When they lose the files, how many people will have to buy my “credit protection service”? Ya have to love it.)

And, like Abdul, the local terrorist, won’t know to buy his ticket as “Public, John Q. YYYYMMDD”!

Please, gimme a break. Please TSA just go away.

Storing 20M birthdates is going to cost at least 20 grazillion dollars, and unless you’re getting it from Google, it’s going to cost more for programming. And, it’s going to be wrong.

Just go away.

Great concept — government should protect its citizens — lousy idea. It can’t. Stop hi jackings? Give the pilot a gun. End of problem. Net cost — nearer to zero than grazillions. Certainly nothing close the overt and hidden costs we are enduring now.

Make the airlines responsible security. Make them have insurance should their plane hit a building. Ever seen an insurance company do risk mitigation. No, imagine an organizational colonoscopy.

Just go away!

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FUN: You Tube “Catholic Mom” with atheist son

Sunday, December 2, 2007

If it’s real, … perhaps “Mom” missed a few lessons at school.

Amazing how this stuff gets out and takes on a life of its own.

Just reinforcing the stereo types.


Ignoring the Church’s tradition in scholarship and inquiry.

Saint Thomas Moore versus the Inquisition.

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JOBSEARCH: Put up a custom website in SUPPORT of your resume for a specific job

Sunday, December 2, 2007


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I think the trick will be to stand out without being an “outlier”. So, for example, I would not send in a resume on A4 paper unless I was European. Similarly, I’d forgo funny paper colors, folds, or photos. I’d stick to one plain page and try to catch attention by stark simplicity and innovation.

Try to imagine yourself looking at a thousand of these and how would you sift thru it and find the gems? Odd balls, clowns, and “novelties” to the trash. Typos — trash. Not focused on the job — trash. Too much detail — trash. Not enough detail — trash.

So, for example, if your HTML is any good, and even if it isn’t, I’d put a URL on the bottom of your one page that says: “Custom Site for this Opportunity:“. See I’d spring for the 5 bucks for the domain name with godaddy, or such, and throw up a webpage with all sorts of good stuff that mapped their requirements with evidence of my accomplishments.

(What was the name of that lady who did her resume as a wiki? I loved that idea. That was different.).

If I was trying to be a wild card, I’d send in a nearly empty resume with the name block at the top and a url in a big font dead center in the page. That MIGHT be different enough to unique, and yet not a “outlier”. Tough call!

But, I think you’d be better off with a stark, focused resume, with web site support.


***End Quote***

I think that people both over and under estimate the web in both doing, and supporting, the job search process.

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MONEY: Education is like any other investment

Sunday, December 2, 2007

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1. Not considering the return on investment

Education is like any other investment — i.e., there are good ones and bad ones. Aside from your house, this is probably the second biggest investment you will be making. The problem was that my heart was set on going to an Ivy League school, and I stupidly turned down full scholarship to the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor (a top notch school). In short, I was young and irresponsible with money (my parents’ money). If I went to Ann Arbor instead I would have saved them about $20,000 a year (after scholarship and financial aids), and that was in 1991. If I had instead saved and invested that money, it would be worth about $265,000 today (at modest 8% annualized gain).

Was my Ivy League education worth $265,000? Definitely not! I do not think I would make any less money today, if I had gone to Ann Arbor.

***End Quote***

Is it really?

I agree that on one level (i.e., I spend X; I then earn Y; if Y GT X, happy, else unhappy) one might think of it as an “investment”. Comparing the IVY to a STATE is more difficult than it seems.

One reason that immediately leaps to my mind is that this is not a “repeatable event”. Probability theory is built up around roulette wheels, dice, and cards. The student is a UNIQUE (i.e., a unique individual with free will). Selection of a college isn’t a repeatable event. As a high school senior in the US you only get one choice. And, it’s destructive. You don’t get to rewind the VCR as in the movie “groundhog day” and get to run repeated trials.

Another reason is that your experience colors everything — every single blessed thing — you do after that point. Your perceptions, your thinking, heck even your speech and the words you use are different. And, it “labels” you to other people. You’ll always be the “Ivy League” guy.

So static analysis is pointless.

In the cited case, you can’t even assume that the mythical 265k — and it is mythical because it exists no where in your own mind — no where — would have been “saved and invested”.

You can’t even be sure that where you have to chosen STATE over IVY, that on the first day of school, as you were crossing from the bus stop to the campus — cause in your mythical dream you’d have saved money on a car and taken the bus — that crossing the street you were hit by the big dump truck. (Hey if you can imagine a “college student saving money” then I can make “runaway dump trucks” materialize as well!)

Nope, that is why they are called “decisions”. One choice precludes (“cide” means to cut) all the others. You come to that proverbial fork in the road and you do a Yogi Berra taking one. Peck advices taking “the one less traveled”. You will never know in this lifetime what would have been if you’d gone down the other one. It’s all guesswork and speculation.

It’s a question philosophers have struggled with like forever. Duh! It’s really easy. The one you took was by definition the “best” one. Unless your were deluded, high, or defrauded, then you chose the one that your perceived “best” at the time. “Right” is left to the Intelligent Designer to decide.


So, I’d that the premise is flawed. Education is different and unlike other investments.

Interesting exercise though.

I don’t know if my Mom’s money and my time was well-spent by my education? Hope so. But, I don’t “know”!

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