Posts by JoeFromSidney

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  • LAPD officer defends handcuffing, detaining actress Daniele Watts amid controversy

    09/16/2014 1:11:47 PM PDT · 29 of 42
    JoeFromSidney to GrandJediMasterYoda
    Is she ever ugly! And her boyfriend, with all the tattoos showing around his tee shirt, is no prize either.
  • Rare Earth Metals Were Supposed To Be The 'Can't-Lose' Investment — Look How That Turned Out

    09/16/2014 1:05:33 PM PDT · 17 of 19
    JoeFromSidney to freedumb2003
    "Unobtanium" is a movie development standard placeholder (like "MacGuffin) in scripts or treatments, usually replaced by some name at the last minute.

    Engineers have been using the term for years, as in, "That thing won't fly unless you make it of pure unobtanium."

  • Orthodox rabbis on guns

    09/16/2014 1:00:11 PM PDT · 21 of 26
    JoeFromSidney to right-wing agnostic
    Have Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership had their say yet?
  • Army worried too many white men

    09/16/2014 12:57:15 PM PDT · 27 of 33
    JoeFromSidney to ABN 505
    When I was in the Air Force I worked with Blacks, I commanded Blacks, and in one assignment my commanding officer was a Black. I just don't see the problem.
  • Obama Orders Boots on the Ground!

    09/16/2014 12:53:15 PM PDT · 26 of 30
    JoeFromSidney to bikerman
    I think the Commander and chief should be the first on the ground leading our troops into battle.

    Like the old time kings?

  • Will Islam become a peaceful, tolerant religion?

    09/16/2014 12:19:37 PM PDT · 27 of 52
    JoeFromSidney to DanMiller
    The only way Islam can become peaceful is to repudiate Mohammed and the Koran. Then it would no longer be Islam. The idea of a peaceful Islam belongs in the same category as things like dry water and square triangles.
  • I have been in Europe for 5 months now and unlike the US, you can buy food everywhere!

    09/16/2014 12:15:07 PM PDT · 91 of 91
    JoeFromSidney to 1rudeboy
    Any to recommend? I’m just outside Detroit.

    I don't know my way around Detroit that well. My son-in-law Richard, who's Lebanese, and who lives in Auburn Hills, usually takes me to the Middle Eastern shops.

  • 'Django Unchained' actress defends not giving ID to cop (race card)

    09/15/2014 4:51:10 PM PDT · 79 of 86
    JoeFromSidney to njslim
    Some people on that side of building brought in binoculars to get better view........

    When I was stationed in Washington, our office building was across the street from a Holiday Inn with a swimming pool. Just beyond that was a building that housed a CIA office. During the summer secretaries from offices in the area would go to the HI for a swim during lunch hour. Our enlisted men would crowd the windows on the top floor, watching the women at the pool through binoculars. Our commanding general got a letter from the CIA asking him to put a stop to our people looking at the CIA.

  • I have been in Europe for 5 months now and unlike the US, you can buy food everywhere!

    09/15/2014 4:33:03 PM PDT · 84 of 91
    JoeFromSidney to 1rudeboy
    “hey I’d like some fresh bread with my breakfast,”

    One of the delights of living in Istanbul was to go to a street vendor in the morning and buy some "simits." These look like bagels, and are covered with sesame seeds. Delicious. They were baked overnight in regular bakeries, then distributed in plastic bags to the street vendors. They'd display them on little portable tables. Now when I'm in Detroit I buy some at the Middle East markets.

  • Remember Surge soda? It’s back

    09/15/2014 4:09:15 PM PDT · 14 of 21
    JoeFromSidney to mountn man
    Yeah, I remember Jolt Cola. Too bad it went away.
  • It's Time to Criminalise Serious Scientific Misconduct

    09/15/2014 4:04:22 PM PDT · 47 of 60
    JoeFromSidney to Slyfox
    How many of those studies included Nazi doctor input?

    I ran across a case like this several years ago. Phosgene is not only a war gas but an important industrial chemical. It's a precursor to some important plastics. OSHA wanted to determine safe exposure levels in industries using phosgene. The firm that was contracted to study this found some data that had been collected by the Nazis, in experiments on concentration camp inmates. The data were included in the proceedings of the Nuremberg trials of those responsible for the experiments. The firm wanted to include this data in their analyses of safe levels of exposure. That caused an enormous uproar. How dare they use Nazi data? Even if it did save lives in industries using phosgene, using that data was immoral.

    I could never see that. Experimenting on concentration camp inmates is immoral. Data, however, are data, no matter where they come from. Being inanimate, they can't even rise to the level of sinning. I believe the data should have been used, because using the data might save lives.

  • Video, "September Eleven 1683",first 9/11

    09/13/2014 1:29:31 PM PDT · 23 of 24
    JoeFromSidney to wtd
    some years ago I was a visiting scholar in Vienna. One night my colleagues invited me to dine at a local restaurant. They informed me that the building that housed the restaurant dated to the Siege of Vienna, and at that time housed a military canteen for the defenders. As a reward for the canteen's services to the defenders, it was still tax-free. Nice to know that the Viennese remember their history.
  • Battle of Lepanto

    09/12/2014 5:59:51 PM PDT · 18 of 19
    JoeFromSidney to MeneMeneTekelUpharsin
    When I was a visiting professor in Istanbul, one day one of my colleagues took me to the Naval Museum. One of the prize exhibits was the flag that had been flown by the lead ship of the Ottoman fleet during the Battle of Lepanto. It had been captured during that battle and eventually ended up in the Vatican. As a good-will gesture, a recent pope (I believe it was John Paul II) returned it to Turkey.
  • BBC Removes Doctor Who Beheading Scene

    09/12/2014 5:12:08 PM PDT · 34 of 35
    JoeFromSidney to Vendome
    Years ago I was a visiting scholar at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Vienna. One Saturday I went through the Vienna art museum. I was just carried away at viewing the "old Masters" paintings on display: Rembrandt, etc. Magnificent. Then I went through the "modern art" wing. It was appalling. Just blobs of color on the canvas. This is art? No, it was a betrayal not only of art but of Western Culture. The decay goes back to the early 20th Century.
  • Top Obama Officials Disagree Over Whether U.S. At War With ISIS

    09/12/2014 4:43:44 PM PDT · 21 of 21
    JoeFromSidney to Oldeconomybuyer
    Has there been a declaration of war by Congress? If not, we are not at war. Someone else may be at war with us, but for us it's an undeclared war. If Congress were to declare war, against whom would it be? The Islamic State is not a recognized nation. So far it's an army and a geographical expression. Where is the seat of government? Who is the executive? How are laws made (even Saddam Hussein said, the law is two lines above my signature).

    The big issue is not whether we're at war, but whether we have a defined goal and a proposed path for reaching it. Air strikes are tactics, not strategy. Even forming alliances is a tactical move, not a strategic one. Until Obummer defines the war goals and how he intends to reach them, he has no strategy. He's just winging it.

    There's another issue with regard to declaring war. When I was at the War College back in 1971, we had a speaker from the Administration. One of the students asked, why didn't we declare war against North Vietnam? The speaker replied that there are a lot of laws on the books (rationing, allocation of resources to industry, etc.) that go into effect upon a declaration of war. The Administration realized they'd mess up the economy, and it wasn't worth reconstituting the World War II economy just to fight North Vietnam. I lived through WW II, and I remember how the government messed up the economy by trying to run it from Washington. Rationing of this, that and the other. Allocating resources to defense industries. Regulations out the wazoo. It was a mess, and I don't want to see it repeated. Especially not for the Islamic State.

  • Rowdy Pro-Abortion Feminists Invade Hotel to Disrupt Pro-Life Event

    09/10/2014 11:57:11 AM PDT · 10 of 12
    JoeFromSidney to Morgana
    Years ago I was at an Ohio Right to Life event in Cleveland. At lunch a gang of pro-aborts invaded us and caused a ruckus. Nothing new about their behavior.
  • Lone Star College System and Richard Carpenter v. Immigration Reform Coalition of Texas

    09/03/2014 1:15:10 PM PDT · 7 of 8
    JoeFromSidney to magna carta
    In-state tuition for those here illegally really irks me. When I was in the Air Force, being stationed all over the USA, my wife and I maintained legal residence in Ohio (drivers license, auto tags, voting registration, etc.) When I was stationed in Alabama, and the youngest of our children reached school age, my wife decided to go back to college to finish her degree. She had to pay out-of-state tuition, since we weren't residents of Alabama. Never mind that I was in the USA legally, and was even spending a career defending the country. She'd have gotten a better break from college if she were in the country illegally.
  • War as a Fact of Life

    09/03/2014 12:35:36 PM PDT · 8 of 12
    JoeFromSidney to Pecos
    I once read that in the past two thousand years, there may, repeat MAY have been a total of 20 years without war somewhere in the world.

    We deduce the possibility of peace because there are intervals between wars.

  • Are American Troops Already Fighting on the Front Lines in Iraq? [GERMAN SF ON THE GROUND IN IRAQ]

    09/02/2014 4:26:11 PM PDT · 34 of 39
    JoeFromSidney to elhombrelibre
    He said the books the SEALS are writing are so poorly written that he’s going to start requiring Advanced Writing Classes (AWC) for all SEALS right after BUDS training. You get through BUDS and you’re going to have to pass AWC.

    They should have learned to write before they even got out of high school. I used to teach junior-level college students. Writing case studies was an important part of the class. I was appalled to find they couldn't write, even at the junior level. Not only should they have learned to write before they entered my class, they should have learned to write before they left high school.

  • In Defense of Amazon

    09/02/2014 2:48:48 PM PDT · 32 of 36
    JoeFromSidney to Mad Dawgg
    I'm not sure who's right in the Amazon-Hachette fight. I have never had a book published by Hachette.

    I have a non-fiction book out through Amazon's CreateSpace. Apparently based on good sales, Amazon approached me to bring it out as a Kindle book. I had been trying to convert the graphics for Kindle and had been unsuccessful, so naturally I took them up on it. With regard to that book, they have treated me well.

    I will shortly be bringing out a science fiction novel through CreateSpace. We'll see how that works. Novels are a lot tougher to sell than non-fiction aimed at a niche market.

  • Modern Art — rebelling against aesthetics, taste, God, America, and basic drafting standards

    09/02/2014 2:04:15 PM PDT · 14 of 27
    JoeFromSidney to servo1969
    Some twenty years ago I was a visiting scholar at the Institute for Technological Research at the University of Sao Paolo, in Brazil.

    One Sunday my colleagues took me to the Museum of Modern Art in Sao Paolo. One of the items on display was a 3-dimensional gridwork of metal rods. The "thing" was about a foot and a half on a side, and the rods looked about the size of welding rods.

    A few days later my colleagues took me along on a trip to a project the Institute was carrying out. On the way we passed a spot where a bridge was being built over the road. The workers had put together a framework of reinforcing bars, ready to have the forms put up and the concrete poured for a bridge pillar. I looked at the thing and laughed. Except for scale, that rebar framework looked just like the "thing" in the art museum.

    I think all of "modern art" is a fraud.

  • Dogs Get Blues When Youngsters Go Back to School

    08/27/2014 5:47:40 PM PDT · 15 of 29
    JoeFromSidney to SMGFan
    And cats don’t care?

    Mine do. When I come back from church or shopping, they're waiting at the door for me. They expect a certain amount of lap time every morning, too.

  • Court to Police: No Immunity Just Because You're Cops

    08/27/2014 10:20:45 AM PDT · 38 of 41
    JoeFromSidney to bamahead
    One of the problems with these multi-jurisdictional task forces is that there is no "chain of command." Each member reports to a different political jurisdiction. Ultimately, no political entity is responsible for whatever the task force does. They can all point at someone else as being responsible for whatever went wrong.
  • In Which We Wonder About Things

    08/27/2014 10:04:01 AM PDT · 2 of 2
    JoeFromSidney to NOBO2012
    Most of my work in military R&D was dealing with the unknown unknowns. The "unk unks." These are the ones that will bite you when you don't expect it. The first goal is to convert them into known unknowns. "I now know this phenomenon exists. I don't know the limits of this phenomenon, but I can design around it." After that you want to convert them into knowns. "I now know the range of this phenomenon, and I can exploit it."

    Failure to recognize that there will be unk unks is a recipe for disaster.

  • Obama's Reign Of Error:How America Lost Its Way And Is Losing The War Against Jihad (Part 3)

    08/27/2014 9:55:02 AM PDT · 3 of 3
    JoeFromSidney to Biggirl
    A couple of things.

    When I attended Armed Forces Staff College (1968) and Air War College (1971) we got a good dose of strategic thinking. Something has happened since then, if what the interviewee is saying is true. I retired in 1975, so I really have no idea of what's going on today, but I'm appalled to hear what the interviewee says about strategic thinking in the military.

    I just finished reading THE GENERALS, by Thomas E. Ricks. I'll be posting a detailed review on my blog, thejustwarrior.wordpress.com, as soon as I get time. The most common theme in the book is the need to "fire" generals who don't measure up. Ricks contrasts the frequent firing of generals in World War II with the later failure to fire incompetent generals in Vietnam and the Middle East. However, another theme that runs through the book is the need for military leaders and political leaders to agree on the strategic goals of military action. His argument is not so much that there was a failure to agree in Vietnam and the Middle East, but that no one even thought about strategy. What was the point of defeating Saddam Hussein's army, while leaving him in power and much of his army intact? Ricks mentions General Schwartzkopf agreeing to a cease-fire while Hussain was still in power and his army still capable of action. No one, not Bush nor Schwartzkopf, had decided what "end state" they wanted as a result of military action. It's the job of both the military and the political leadership to agree on a feasible and desirable end state, and to agree on a strategy to achieve that end state. We didn't have that in either Vietnam or our several Middle East wars. According to Ricks, anyway, we had that in World War II. We haven't had it since. Something went wrong somewhere.

  • Muslims react with outrage at UK sex abuse report

    08/27/2014 9:25:21 AM PDT · 18 of 20
    JoeFromSidney to Olog-hai
    Political correctness will be the death of us yet.
  • Restoration of Ottoman Sultan mansion for President Erdogan

    08/27/2014 9:16:29 AM PDT · 4 of 5
    JoeFromSidney to DeaconBenjamin
    Turkey supposedly has strict laws against tearing down or modifying historical buildings. In my walks around the town I frequently saw buildings that were real firetraps, but which could neither be torn down nor remodeled because of the laws regarding historic buildings.

    Of course, the laws don't always apply to everyone. That's even more true in Turkey than it is here. I still recall the Istanbul earthquake of 1999, in which several buildings that had been put up in violation of the building codes collapsed with considerable loss of life. Everyone knew that somebody had been paid off because the buildings weren't up to code.

  • Marriage is Different from Popular Perception, Study finds

    08/27/2014 8:54:29 AM PDT · 15 of 27
    JoeFromSidney to Academiadotorg
    "Trial marriages" don't work because people can't act as though they're committed when they know they aren't.

    If I take a test drive in a car, and decide I don't want it and take it back to the dealer, the car doesn't care. Nor do I get emotionally involved with the car. "Test driving" a marriage is not really like living in a committed marriage. You can't find out what a marriage to someone would be like by "trying it out," with an eye on the door if it doesn't work.

    There's a lot to be said for a courtship that focuses on the couple getting to know each other well.

  • Japan lab unable to replicate stem cell results

    08/27/2014 8:42:59 AM PDT · 2 of 3
    JoeFromSidney to Olog-hai
    That's "peer reviewed research" in one of the world's most prestigious science journals. I wonder what it's like in a less prestigious journal.
  • Surpise! Glaciers appearing in Scotland

    08/24/2014 2:34:40 PM PDT · 43 of 57
    JoeFromSidney to Straight Vermonter
    Back in '99, I was visiting professor in Istanbul. In July, during a school holiday, I hired a driver and guide and took a tour of the part of Turkey near the Black Sea. At one point our travel over a mountain range was blocked by snow on the road so deep the van couldn't get through. I don't know if it all melted later, but it did surprise me to see that much snow that late in the season.
  • Shanghai to San Francisco in 100 minutes by Chinese supersonic submarine

    08/24/2014 2:15:17 PM PDT · 70 of 73
    JoeFromSidney to sukhoi-30mki
    A Soviet supercavitation torpedo called Shakval

    Spelling correction. It should be "Shkval," which is Russian for "Squall."

  • Why Is It So Hard for Employers to Fill These Jobs?

    08/24/2014 1:52:31 PM PDT · 125 of 179
    JoeFromSidney to 2ndDivisionVet
    In this little town of 20,000 people, there is quite a bit of light manufacturing industry. The local paper is full of ads for people with basic skills who can be trained. One local company president told me he'd hire anyone who would show up regularly and could pass a drug test. He still can't fill the job openings he has. I suspect this is true of a lot of towns in America.
  • Strong California quake causes injuries, damage

    08/24/2014 12:48:43 PM PDT · 35 of 47
    JoeFromSidney to editor-surveyor
    Glad I picked up my case of wine from there before the quake.
  • Bunny Food Controversy Grips the Nation as Whole Foods Takes Fire in Vegan Activist World

    08/24/2014 11:49:14 AM PDT · 14 of 69
    JoeFromSidney to Hojczyk
    Back during WW II, while Dad was off to war and meat was rationed, we raised rabbits for the table. I never kept count, but I must have butchered several hundred of them during my high school years. Mother usually fried them.

    Keeping them fed and watered was real pain, especially in winter, as I'd have to go out before school, remove the ice from their water dishes, and load some hay and rabbit pellets into their feeders. When I got home I had to repeat all that, as well as scrape out the rabbit droppings from the hutches. However, we never went without meat.

  • “Not only divorced from marriage, divorced from reality.” An essay on ugliness of divorce

    08/23/2014 5:45:24 PM PDT · 27 of 28
    JoeFromSidney to informavoracious
    Catholics go through pre-Cana before marriage.

    Both my wife and I had been widowed when we met. She was then 61 and I 69. The priest that married us had to go through the same routine as for all weddings. When he asked us if we would accept any children God sent us, we just looked at each other and laughed. We marked YES on the form.

  • “Not only divorced from marriage, divorced from reality.” An essay on ugliness of divorce

    08/23/2014 5:40:57 PM PDT · 26 of 28
    JoeFromSidney to Amity
    a lot of pastors in my denomination (non-Catholic) simply won’t marry a couple if (1) the couple won’t go to counseling or (2) the pastor doesn’t think the marriage will last.

    When I was in graduate school, one of the Catholic chaplains at the student parish was a former Navy chaplain during WW II. One day he mentioned that back then his bishop told him not to perform a marriage for sailors who were caught up in a quickie wartime romance. His bishop said those relationships weren't going to last, and it would be better for both parties if they didn't get married in the Church, even if it meant a JP wedding or simply living together. I guess there was some wisdom in that advice.

  • Sebastopol Climber Dies From Fall In Yosemite After Proposing To Girlfriend

    08/19/2014 5:43:52 PM PDT · 34 of 34
    JoeFromSidney to Night Hides Not
    reminds me of my visit to the Grand Canyon a couple of years ago. The guide told us that the most common cause of falls into the canyon was men trying to see how far over the edge they could urinate.
  • Suki the Agility Cat Will Amaze You

    08/19/2014 5:32:59 PM PDT · 36 of 37
    JoeFromSidney to Twotone
    Reminds me of the time my wife and I were walking through a park in Helsinki. A young woman was showing off her trained cats. They were climbing poles, jumping through hoops, and other displays of agility. Of course we put some money in the hat. It was enjoyable to watch.
  • The Hell That Is the Obama White House

    08/19/2014 4:08:40 PM PDT · 41 of 42
    JoeFromSidney to centurion316
    When faced with a choice between two evils, do not choose the greater.

    Vote for Cthulhu. Why choose the lesser evil?

  • Open-carry fight moves to Kroger

    08/18/2014 2:16:10 PM PDT · 23 of 23
    JoeFromSidney to deoetdoctrinae
    I will continue to carry concealed in Krogers. And a lot of other places.
  • Seven Things Even God Cannot Do

    08/18/2014 1:44:45 PM PDT · 27 of 133
    JoeFromSidney to TexasGator
    19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.

    Note the significance of this. It isn't that God didn't know what Adam was going to call the animals. The assigning of names indicates superiority. For God to allow Adam to assign the names of the animals is to ratify Adam's superiority over the animals. Although Adam is a created being, just as the animals are, he is not "just another animal."

  • OBAMA MENTOR CHARLES OGLETREE ON 'THREE DAYS OF RIOTING' IN FERGUSON: 'IT'S JUST STARTING'

    08/17/2014 4:49:51 PM PDT · 23 of 85
    JoeFromSidney to Jim Robinson
    Justhow is it that this "black" town has elected a "white" government? They should quit complaining and vote the rascals out.
  • It's Different This Time: Humans Need Not Apply

    08/17/2014 4:45:10 PM PDT · 5 of 43
    JoeFromSidney to I want the USA back
    But robots don’t spend any money either

    No, but their owners do, and so do the people who make them. Ultimately, money always ends up in the pocket of a human being, who will spend it. The chain may get longer as some people are replaced by robots, but there's always a human at the end of it.

  • Starving the Soul on Campus When Computer Science Replaces the Classics

    08/17/2014 4:40:14 PM PDT · 29 of 29
    JoeFromSidney to SuziQ
    Not everyone NEEDS a degree from a four year college in order to get ahead in life.

    I fully agree. My only point is that some things are best learned from an expert, rather than trying to learn them on your own. I would prefer that an auto mechanic learned from an experienced mechanic, rather than simply reading the manufacturer's manual.

  • 2 Dead, 8 Wounded in Overnight Chicago Shootings

    08/16/2014 11:37:49 AM PDT · 21 of 25
    JoeFromSidney to usconservative
    Ok, Chicago area Freepers check in! Let's hear from you so we know you're alright! (/humor)

    I don't live in Chicago, but I do have a stepson and a granddaughter and grandson living there. I worry about them every time I read about the latest happenings in Chicago. I'm not sure whether they'd be worse off in Chicago, or in the Detroit that they left.

  • The Real Threat of The Islamic State

    08/16/2014 11:22:17 AM PDT · 11 of 18
    JoeFromSidney to 353FMG
    What is a non-muslim citizen to think of his muslim neighbor? Does he have to live in fear of his life and live in the expectation that his neighbor could, at any unexpected time, practice what the Koran tells him to do and turn ISIS?

    Yes. At any moment a Muslim may "get religion" and start acting out what the Koran teaches.

  • Joe Bastardi's Saturday Summary (8/16)

    08/16/2014 11:15:20 AM PDT · 9 of 12
    JoeFromSidney to Excellence
    I walked uptown at 8 AM this morning. I needed a jacket because the temperature was a bit chilly. This is the middle of August. Usually it's hot and dry here this season. Usually my lawn turns brown this season (I don't bother watering). This is definitely not "normal" for this season in western Ohio.

    I've just read the book "The Third Horseman," which describes what happened in England and western Europe at the end of the Medieval Warm Period. Cool weather and lots of rain. Crop failures. Herd failures. And then the "third horseman of the apocalypse," FAMINE.

    The warming alarmists are trying to tell us that warming is in a "pause" or a "hiatus." However, they can't know that, until the temperature starts upward again. Instead of a pause it may be the start of a cooling trend.

    Time to start thinking about how to deal with cooler weather, crop failures, and food shortages.

  • what would you do? (vanity)

    08/16/2014 11:05:23 AM PDT · 94 of 118
    JoeFromSidney to blu
    I’ve never had one in the chamber/ I know, I know....the cops laugh at that...but I have to have a balance between my safety and those around me.

    I used to keep my bedside gun with the magazine in the well but no round in the chamber. It made "safing" the gun easy in the morning. Just take out the mag and lock it up. Then one night I awoke to find an intruder standing at the foot of my bed. I grabbed my gun and racked the slide. The intruder ran off.

    I realized afterwards that racking the slide took extra time that I might have needed. Moreover, had the intruder grappled with me, I wouldn't have had a free hand to rack the slide. From then on my gun was loaded with a round in the chamber and the safety on. "Safing" it in the morning was a little more tedious, but that gun was ready for use, one-handed, if I ever found myself under attack again.

    I strongly recommend having your bedside gun ready to use, without any extra movements needed. Especially anything that would require two hands. In a pinch, your off hand may be busy warding off the attacker, and not available for racking the slide.

  • Starving the Soul on Campus When Computer Science Replaces the Classics

    08/15/2014 5:30:00 PM PDT · 19 of 29
    JoeFromSidney to SuziQ
    But there is no reason for even those students who get a more technical education to not read the Classics on their own. Do they really need a professor expounding on the 'meaning' of what they've read?

    Sorry, but I don't agree with you.

    I was a physics major as an undergraduate. By some quirk of academia, we physics majors had to get a BA, while the chemistry majors could get a BS. That meant I had to cram in a lot of liberal arts courses in addition to the science & math courses I needed, while the chemistry majors didn't.

    I'll be forever grateful for that academic quirk. I had to take courses in literature, composition, history, economics, and other "liberal arts" studies in which the professor, who was a lifetime student of his topic and loved it, guided us through those subjects and explained them in the depth that I'd probably never have found on my own. Yes, you can read those things, but having them explained by someone who has really studied them makes a big difference.

    As it turned out, my literature courses consisted almost entirely of prose writers, not poets. For a while after my first wife died, I dated a professor of English literature. I tried reading a book by her favorite poet (yes, I wanted to impress her). I didn't get much out of it until she practically led me by the hand through it and unpacked the poetry. Having a guide makes all the difference in the world.

    In reality that's no different from science or math. I defy anyone to read a book on Advanced Calculus and get much out of it without the guidance of a knowledgeable professor.

  • Starving the Soul on Campus When Computer Science Replaces the Classics

    08/15/2014 5:14:04 PM PDT · 18 of 29
    JoeFromSidney to SeeSharp
    There is nothing dismal about economics

    Yes, there is, if you're looking for a free lunch. Economics tells you you can't have one, or at least not everyone can have one. Economic is, after all, the science of dealing with scarcity.