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This was my first reaction too. :-)

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I felt like the author not only decried projects where the kids have access to parental help, but projects where the kids have access to good facilities. And motivation. I'm not sure what's left to measure if we attempted to remove support, facilities, and motivation.

The author seems to support the idea that schools should provide more support and facilities. That sounds good, but the outcome of some schools doing this (the infamous ones near New York, apparently) seems to be the focus of criticism. I'm left not understanding the thrust of the article.

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"I'm not sure what's left to measure if we attempted to remove support, facilities, and motivation."

Money? Unless that's filed under support.

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I think what he's suggesting isn't that the logs don't line up, but that AT&T may be purposely switching the phone to use the data roaming opportunity. Even though carriers gouge each other horribly on roaming, the marginal profit may be even more to the consumer. If this is true, it would be a scandal.

OP sounded pretty sure, but I'm skeptical.

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My understanding is that early SOU papers weren't delivered as speeches, but were mostly technical reports intended for what today would be regarded as people like the OMB and similar congressional bodies.

More recently they're vehicles for delivering messages to the public.

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I don't know anything about this case, but it could be there's a bunch of air trapped inside the bar with the tungsten, assuming the forgers didn't alter the outside dimensions of the bar.

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bar with tungsten is larger than pure gold bar. so air will not help here.

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Not if you start with a gold bar, then hollow the core out like a Twinkie and fill it with tungsten and the plug the end. Which I believe is what gbhn was implying.

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Then the bar is not heavy enough, because you've run out of room to add tungsten on the inside, and adding it on the outside would change the volume or shape of the bar.

Tungsten is less dense than gold. Not as much a difference as actual twinkie filling, but either way you're stuck with a similar issue.

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I'm interested in reactions to this idea: a virtual "shadow Congress."

The plan would be to get broad participation in an unofficial election process which would elect representatives to "shadow Congress." They'd at least start out by addressing the same agenda as real Congress, and be forbidden from introducing new agenda. The idea would be to generate a template of what a broad-participation representative group of citizens would like to see happen from Congress.

The theory is that if this shadow Congress is representative enough, it becomes hard for real Congress to ignore. The compromises it comes up with are a template for real compromises. When the national media starts writing stories like "Why can't real Congress do what shadow Congress can?" or "Here is the Senator unilaterally blocking the rest of Congress from following the shadow Congress' lead on this issue." the idea will have worked.

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I'm certainly no art high roller, but my understanding is that the art world has a long history of patrons like this, who have eclectic tastes, large networks of trusting collectors, and an eye for the new. Everyone hates them, until eventually they build the Guggenheim museum and then everyone thinks they were awesome.

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Except politically if course, where returns were abysmal.

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You may be thinking that stock prices always make sense. :-)

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> a world war is now too expensive

That's what they said about WWI. Direct quote. My observation is that most populations are pretty readily swayed to support a war. And the invisible hand is no match for martial law in organizing resource commitment in a war footing. It's been decades since this happened on a large scale, so I think we've forgotten how truly terrifyingly effective a war footing can be for a major power.

I mean, can you imagine the kind of utter devastation that would result if the United States, as a society, really, and I mean really, decided that Islamic terrorism was an existential threat, and mobilized to fight it on the fully integrated national level comparable to WWII?

If the country were all-in -- spending at the level of the European powers during WWII -- this would mean an expenditure of perhaps $30 trillion per year for three or four years focused on that goal, an intensity which is almost beyond imagining. That's war mobilization in a modern economy. It's hard to conceive because it is, frankly, inconceivable. How would that even work? But possible? Oh, yes.

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It's easy for the US to attack the middle east, because the US is almost self-sufficient (they grow plenty of food and have a lot of oil), and they get almost nothing from the region. It would be way harder for most other countries to attack/be attacked, because most countries simply need the exports/imports to survive.

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