[ExI] sequestration, was: RE: standard form for creating a test, was: RE: humanities plus schmooze

Adrian Tymes atymes at gmail.com
Sat Dec 8 20:49:35 UTC 2012

On Sat, Dec 8, 2012 at 12:11 PM, spike <spike66 at att.net> wrote:
> so our congress designed a horrifying OR ELSE, which is a brute force
> approach to balancing the budget, known in the mainstream media as the
> fiscal cliff.

Congress & Mr. Obama say they are trying to negotiate to find
a way around it, but given their lack of progress - I wonder if
perhaps this "fiscal cliff" was intended as a way to get tax
hikes/close loopholes/etc. without anyone actually facing the
political responsibility for it.  Each individual congressperson
and the President can say they tried hard to negotiate but the
other person wouldn't budge enough.  The Republicans who
vowed never to vote for tax hikes can say they didn't break
their vow, et cetera.

...of course, if it comes out that this "failure" was predicted
and intentional, well.  But there's plausible deniability there.

> The compromise by the US congress might be nearly
> indistinguishable from sequestration.  If so, the immediate impact of
> sequestration will not fall directly on the military, but rather military
> contractors.  If that happens, military contractors which hope to survive
> into the next decade will promptly eschew business as usual, and embrace
> business as unusual.

Ehh...I don't see it.  They survive by bribing Congresspeople to
divert fat contracts to their districts.  Even if the contracts aren't
as fat anymore, that would seem to continue to be their bread
and butter, moreso than actual competitiveness.

Even the military is saying that many of these contracts are
simply not needed, so it's not like the quality of product matters
that much in securing the business.

> I took an artificial intelligence class from Stanford’s Sebastian
> Thune  online last fall, and found it excellent.  So did many thousands of
> others.

*waves*  :)

I forget, were you on the advanced or basic track?  (I.e., graded
or ungraded?)

> If a company has the means to identify and exploit that human resource
> MOOC-trained engineers without college degrees for instance, that company
> will rise to dominate the industry.

We've seen that in the commercial software industry for a while.
You can get people with a bachelor's degree, *or* you can get
people who know how to code.  The two overlap but are far from
synonymous..  Still, larger software companies insist on a
degree, thinking that formal education brings quality and
familiarity with processes that non-technical managers can
understand and think they are Accomplishing Something by

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