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In Venezuela, there are free colleges run by the government and private for-profit colleges. In the last year of high-school you present a test equivalent of US's SAT, and the result is averaged with your high school notes. You fill a form with three options of profession-college, and according to your score, you're selected.

But the curious thing is that most public colleges are good, and most private colleges are bad. There are few private colleges that worry for academic excellence, but most are for profit. They sell degrees to people who can't get it on the public system. Students unable to get good scores has no other chance. Lazy rich kids who are not interested in studying, go to private colleges, basically, to buy a "title". Professor in private institutions are under constant pressure to pass students, while in public colleges they are free to evaluate according to their criteria (and I know a few professors that work both in public and private colleges).

A friend from India told me that the situation there is similar. I think that here there are profound differences with US and Central Europe colleges, where private institutions have a reputation to keep.

So, I can only say: good for you, Chile! That was the result of years of students' protests. I'm happy they have what we have and what England once had.

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I'm not sure about the veracity of this story, but aparently pope Innocent VIII tried boold tranfussion from young boys to kkep him young in 1492. The pope and donor died in the process, probably by incompatibility.

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Excellent, thanks for sharing! I found particularly useful the explanation that dF = SdA implies that the tensor S must convert the area vector dA in a force vector dF and that vector can have any direction.

But something that I miss is a visual representation of what kind of change of directions tensors do. I can see in my mind how a vector multiplication works, but I haven't the same intuition for tensors. For example, if I have a cube of marble and I put a heavy weight over it, qualitatively how the tensorial space in the cube? What kind of values I would see near the top? Which ones near the bottom? What's the direction of dF if I chose a dA parallel to each side of the cube? which one if I chose an arbitray vector, say one at 45° of one side?

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It would be interesting to know how much time they gave to solve it.

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But it shouldn't be all or nothing. For example, although most of the world uses the metric system, I think in aeronautics they still use feet to measure altitude. US could migrate to metric independently of the aeronautic standards.

Additionally, I don't think that changing tooling should be a priority. Even in the countries that use metric system, we use nuts and screws measured in inches. They are usually called 1/4, 1/2 and so on ignoring the "inch" part. Also, in Venezuela, letter is the standard paper used, not A4.

I think a good solution would be for the US to use metric to measure most of the things people and industries interact with (distance, velocity, weight, volume), but you can keep the old measures when convenient.

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The amount of nuts and screws measured in inches that you use is probably inversely proportional to your geographic distance from the last remaining non-metric industrial nation in the world.

We don't come across them quite as much in the Antipodes. :-)

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I don't think he attacked the traditional male gender role. In fact, I think the article supports your general opinion. it starts by entertaining the idea of the male friendship deficiency, and even giving some anecdotal evidence.

But then, it turns around. He could enjoy his friendships without sharing "deep feelings", just centering around activities. That's what the ending means, when the wife asks him for entertaining gossips, and he can't tell anyone.

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Marquez praised the English translation of One Hundred Years, though. I think he said that that was the way he would like to write it, if he had used English.

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And a very powerful end too:

He [Aureliano II ] had already understood that he would never leave that room, for it was foreseen that the city of mirrors (or mirages) would be wiped out by the wind and exiled from the memory of men at the precise moment when Aureliano Babilonia would finish deciphering the parchments, and that everything written on them was unrepeatable since time immemorial and forever more, because races condemned to one hundred years of solitude did not have a second opportunity on earth.

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So powerful. I did not understand what I had got into until the end. It's been a while since I read it, but I remember how the rubble that world turned into in the last pages just crushed me.

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* Sh is a terrible language to build any non-trivial functionality. * System initialization has become more complex. * Currently, managing daemons has a lot boilerplate code. * That code is sub-optimal and fragile.

Personally, I don't want to know anything about the timing on which each device is available, to figure out manually the right order to start the services. That's the kind of job a program can and should do. I didn't like when I have to set IRQs manually too, or when X asked me about the data of the video chip that was connected to its bus.

Back to the init scripts. How do those scripts know if a daemon is still running? One mechanism is to check the existence of a file with the daemon's pid! IMO the current system is an anti-aesthetic patch. Only inertia keeps it alive.

This is what I would like to see in a linux system:

* A common config language for the basic services. Something like the defunct [elektra initiative](http://freedesktop.org/wiki/Software/Elektra/) * An automate mechanism to orderly start the system. * Something like Dan Berstein's daemontool to handle the daemons, plus the cron jobs. * For Ritchie's sake, keep logs as text files!

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daemontools has the best philosophy for this in my opinion: just start the service. If the prerequisites are unavailable, the service will just terminate. If that happens, wait one second, then try start again.

It's perfect. No stupid 5 minute timeout like sysvinit, no stupid dependency management like systemd/upstart, very little to consider when adding new services.

If you want to use it as your init.. just look into 'runit-init'. I've been using this for 4+ years, and it's fantastic.

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Ah, do you remember the old good times when Terry Gilliam's Brazil came out, and the idea of a SWAT team destroying your house, imprisoning and killing your husband, all due to a bureaucratic mistake, was a bizarre fantasy of a dystopian and dictatorial future?

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No. It has always been plausible.

Just perhaps not a SWAT team, specifically.

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