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UnGrounded: British Airways Attempts to Bottle Some Startup Spirit 128

Posted by timothy
from the brainstorming-dammit-not-barnstorming dept.
theodp writes "Bill Gates already called dibbs on polio, so British Airways had to settle for tackling the 'global misalignment of talent' problem, putting '100 of the most forward-thinking founders, CEOs, venture capitalists, and Silicon Valley game-changers' on a flight from San Francisco to London to 'innovate and collaborate to find an effective solution to this growing global challenge.' UnGroundedThinking.com showcases the winning concepts, which include Advisher (an online community to help foster women in STEM), INIT ('nutritional labels' to disclose products' 'STEM ingredients'), DGTL (rewards young women with fashionable clothes for completing coding challenges), Beacons in a Backpack (solar powered backpacks pre-loaded with videos, multimedia content, and game-powered educational tools that also serve as mobile hotspots for rural/remote areas), Tech21 (STEM education program aimed at 21-years-and-older post-college grads in the workforce), Certify.me (allows STEM talent from across the globe to audition for potential employers via standardized-quality assessments), and STEAM Truck (a mobile dance lab where STEM art installations teach kids that science is fun and valuable). 'This has the feel of Southby [SXSW],' gushed a Google Ventures general partner. "It's a serendipitous occasion. It's about time we presented engineers to kids as role models — not just firefighters, cops, doctors, detectives. Who knows? Maybe The Internship changes that.'"
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UnGrounded: British Airways Attempts to Bottle Some Startup Spirit

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  • Didn't they do this last year?

  • The B-Ark? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by linuxwrangler (582055) on Tuesday June 18, 2013 @09:35AM (#44038623)

    Obligatory Hitchhiker's reference aside, who thinks it's a good idea to stick a bunch of the professed best and brightest together on the same trans-Atlantic plane? Apparantly they are ignoring the lessons learned by corporations that have had their entire leadership killed in a single crash and therefore forbid members of upper management from taking the same flight.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Obligatory Hitchhiker's reference aside, who thinks it's a good idea to stick a bunch of the professed best and brightest together on the same trans-Atlantic plane? Apparantly they are ignoring the lessons learned by corporations that have had their entire leadership killed in a single crash and therefore forbid members of upper management from taking the same flight.

      I think it's a good idea for the same reasons you mention.

    • Re:The B-Ark? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by fredrated (639554) on Tuesday June 18, 2013 @10:12AM (#44038979) Journal

      These aren't the best and the brightest, these are the CEO's and funders of the best and the brightest, so considerably less loss than you imagine.

      • by Grishnakh (216268)

        Exactly. Similarly, we need to have special plane excursions for Congresspeople, with as many Congresspeople loaded into a 747 as they can fit. Then maybe that plane will have an unfortunate "accident"....

        A crash of a plane full of CEOs and banksters wouldn't be a loss at all, it'd be a net gain to humanity.

      • by MightyYar (622222)

        You are right, people starting new companies shouldn't have to grovel to these idiots. There should be a public fund that goes to worthy companies. And to make sure that we give the money to the right people, we'll put a panel of experts together to judge the merits of these startups. We'll have to pay the panel members extremely well, so that they don't get corrupted or bribed. Now, there's a few powerful congressmen who have some brothers-in-law who happen to be scientists, and they would be a perfect fit

        • There should be a public fund that goes to worthy companies. And to make sure that we give the money to the right people, we'll put a panel of experts together to judge the merits of these startups.

          Like Solyndra? Not trolling - really - but if I assimilated one concept from shows like Connections [wikipedia.org] and The Day the Universe Changed [wikipedia.org], is that it's almost impossible to predict winners and losers for many (most?) ideas, so ensuring money goes to the "right people" is problematic regardless of the expertise of the people evaluating the ideas.

          In addition, especially from watching Connections, it's seems difficult to know what idea, especially small, seemingly insignificant ones, may inspire or lay the found

    • That would have been which cooperation?

    • Taking in account the "solutions" they came up with, it really didn't matter ....
      Advisher (an online community to help foster women in STEM),: So that middle aged white male can tell women how they should do "STEAM" because the existing online communities of women will never be able to do it themselves ... right ...

      INIT ('nutritional labels' to disclose products' 'STEM ingredients'), : well it could be a good idea, if they could just start by labeling GMO so that I can avoid products having them, ho wait th

      • by Grishnakh (216268)

        The whole thing is completely idiotic (esp. that bit about the fashionable clothes; how disgustingly sexist).

        If they want to attract more people to STEM careers, the answer is simple: pay more money, and do something about the cost of education which has been skyrocketing in the last couple decades.

        It costs a fortune to get a good college degree in science or engineering or math. The careers just aren't there for science and math; at best you'll get pay equivalent to a janitor. For engineers, the pay is d

        • by Yahma (1004476)
          Why is it sexist when that is what most women respond to? In the fashion industry, it has been established that women are more interested, spend more time, effort and money on fashion than men do. Just as men are more interested, spend more time, effort and money on engineering/science. Where is the parallel effort to get men to design new fashions and reward them with smartphones, power tools and 3D printers?
          • by Grishnakh (216268)

            So you think all women are interested in overpriced fashion clothes?

            I've known lots of women in engineering (and dated a couple). They were definitely NOT the kind of women interested in fashion clothes; even if they wanted some clothes, they'd rather just spend their own money on them, and spend their time doing something more productive or more lucrative. Doing work for non-monetary rewards is always a losing proposition; the people giving away the "free" items are doing it because it's cheaper than jus

            • I've known lots of women in engineering (and dated a couple). They were definitely NOT the kind of women interested in fashion clothes

              Yes but remember THEY ARE ALREADY IN ENGINEERING!!!!!!!

              I'm not saying this fashion thing is the best way but it's stupid to say that things that don't appeal to the women in STEM today have no value, because if you want the number of women in STEM to increase substantially you have to reach out IN SOME WAY to the women who are NOT in engineering!!

              Why can't a woman who likes f

              • by Grishnakh (216268)

                The point is, women who are highly interested in being fashion consumers are unlikely, IMO, to be interested in getting involved in the nitty-gritty details of technology (e.g. coding). If there were more of a correlation between the two groups, we would have seen it before now: women with such interests would be more commonly seen in technical careers and technical degree programs. What's more, what does being a fashion consumer have to do with creating fashion? Lots of people (most people in the US) bu

                • The point is, women who are highly interested in being fashion consumers are unlikely, IMO, to be interested in getting involved in the nitty-gritty details of technology

                  But my point is this line of thinking is at best barbaric, and totally wrong! It's exactly that kind of thinking that is keeping so many women out of engineering because everyone is constantly saying "oh you are interested in X, therefore you cannot possibly be a good programmer of electrical engineer".

                  I know good male programmers who hav

                  • by Grishnakh (216268)

                    For whatever reason women are simply less inclined to even try STEM areas of work.

                    It's most likely cultural. Contrary to your subject line, there's tons of women in engineering. I've worked with many. The thing is, very very few of them are caucasian; they're mostly Indian and Chinese (or from other countries in that region). Their culture apparently doesn't steer women towards loving Barbies and Prada and HR and marketing careers, and instead steers them towards productive careers.

                    So lets not go around

              • "Yes but remember THEY ARE ALREADY IN ENGINEERING!!!!!!!"

                That is the point that you just aren't grasping. Women already in Engineering are ... wait for it ... the kind of woman that would be interested in Engineering. We want to attract those kind of woman, rather than the kind that wouldn't be into engineering.

                " you have to reach out IN SOME WAY to the women who are NOT in engineering!!"

                Yes, but again, the best way to do that is to reach out to the kind of woman who would be interested, not to reach out

                • Women already in Engineering are ... wait for it ... the kind of woman that would be interested in Engineering.

                  They are only one kind. You are excluding people you THINK would not be interested out of hand; why?

                  There are programmers who like good clothes. Why can't the same be true of women? Here's an amazing thought; perhaps a person can have multiple interests!

                  • "They are only one kind. You are excluding people you THINK would not be interested out of hand; why?"

                    Because I'm not a moron. If out of 100 woman who have shown that they can clearly become interested because they are actually involved, 98 of those are not interested in receiving women's fashion items in exchange for work, then that is called a sample. Yes, there is a sample bias, but it it is a bias that we want - to wit, only polling those interested in engineering.

                    "There are programmers who like good

                • Look at these images of Ada Lovelace [wikipedia.org]

                  Is she wearing jeans and a t-shirt? No.

                  I hope you feel properly ashamed and will stop kicking women out of STEM who might have otherwise had a happy life there but didn't fit your tiny mental model of who should be in STEM.

                  • Nobody kicked anybody out of anything, and you are apparently not smart enough to figure out that this discussion has nothing to do with if women in STEM wear nice clothes or not. It certainly isn't about suggesting that if a woman dresses well, then she can't be in STEM.
          • by cayenne8 (626475)
            Actually, I was wondering if they have any classes labeled as being specially targeted to young men, like the ones targeted specifically to young women?

            Fair is far, right?

            Or...would someone start complaining about that?

          • Why is it sexist when that is what most women respond to? In the fashion industry, it has been established that women are more interested, spend more time, effort and money on fashion than men do.

            Without arguing your point, because it's silly and sexist, why not just reward the women with more - money - with which they can buy their own high-fashion clothes, if they choose (or not).

        • by Lithdren (605362)

          The best part about the fashion thing, is this is why women are not as inclined to go into a field like this. All the men around them think they're more worried bout breaking a nail and treat them as such.

          They're literally reinforcing the very problem they've set out to 'solve'.

    • by KZigurs (638781)

      We can only hope? That is a corporate PR exercise after all, whoever actually signs up is bound to be a tool.

    • by dwywit (1109409)

      Especially a BA aircraft - just returned to OZ from the UK via Singapore - flew BA from London the Singapore - I was scared when the damn thing took off - seconds after the wheels left the ground, the whole plane was shuddering and shaking. Noisy, too. Contrast Qantas from Singapore to Brisbane - smooth and quiet. Both aircraft were 747-400s - obviously the BA craft was older, but it was still a BIG contrast to the Qantas jet. Ditto for the staff - to BA, you're a fleeting customer - to Qantas, you're a mat

  • every kid wants to be a bus driver

    and on career day in high school the garbage man had an awesome story. take a test, pick up trash for 2 years and then get some other job with the NY Dept of Sanitation. and the pay was awesome with no student loans

    • "firefighters, cops, doctors, detectives". These work as role models because kids can easily relate to what these people do, even if they don't understand the details. Engineers? Not so much. Same goes for lawyers, managers and similar professions, but those grow more attractive as kids learn about the pay and social status associated with them. The engineering profession probably grows more unattractive with the years, when kids find it's a long and difficult road to a degree with crap pay and poor ca
      • "firefighters, cops, doctors, detectives". These work as role models because kids can easily relate to what these people do, even if they don't understand the details. Engineers? Not so much. Same goes for lawyers, managers and similar professions, but those grow more attractive as kids learn about the pay and social status associated with them.

        Yes. That's what they see on TV.

        Where are the McGyvers and Montgomery Scotts that show kids that in the end it's the engineers that save the day by making stuff work.

        • by Grishnakh (216268)

          Everyone knows that MacGuyver and Star Trek don't resemble reality in any way, and that real engineers toil away in horrible cubicles all day long doing thankless work that usually means nothing in the great scheme of things.

          There's even a movie that accurately depicts engineering careers: Office Space.

          • But is it any better for the real life lawyer and the real life doctors?

            Today, it's "Office Space" for everyone.

            • by Grishnakh (216268)

              It's true, doctors are getting squeezed a lot these days. Not sure about lawyers; I imagine the biggest sociopaths still do great in that field.

            • by Grishnakh (216268)

              Pretty soon, we're going to have a repeat of the fall of the Roman Empire, where specialization of labor goes right out the window because no one sees any real value to specializing, and pretty soon no one remembers how to do anything terribly complex and needing of a lot of domain knowledge. In the Roman Empire, everyone gave up on their specialized careers, moved out of the cities and went to work as farm hands for feudal lords, because it was better than staying in the cities and starving because their

              • Pretty soon, we're going to have a repeat of the fall of the Roman Empire, where specialization of labor goes right out the window because no one sees any real value to specializing, and pretty soon no one remembers how to do anything terribly complex and needing of a lot of domain knowledge.

                Idiocracy? [wikipedia.org]

  • Marketing bullshit and nothing more. This is about as useful as tits on a bull.

    • Though it'd make the bull more attractive.....
      • by N Monkey (313423)

        This is about as useful as tits on a bull.

        Though it'd make the bull more attractive.....

        Being pedantic, it should really be interpreted as

              "as useful as the tits on a bull".

        i.e. they may be there, but do b_gger all.... ...... although YMMV :-)

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday June 18, 2013 @09:40AM (#44038683) Journal

    "STEM: because your outsourced replacement isn't going to train himself"

  • by Strider- (39683) on Tuesday June 18, 2013 @09:40AM (#44038685)

    These are the people that are generally what's wrong with the world, not what's right.

    Fill the plane with Engineers, Computer Scientists, Scientists, Technicians, and the other people who actually make the world work, and you might have something. The only problem is that these people are actually too busy making a living rather than leeching off their employees and customers.

    All this is is an excuse to fill an airplane with a lot of self congratulatory reacharounds and hot air.

    • Fill the plane with Engineers, Computer Scientists, Scientists, Technicians

      I work in a software company with many, many of these types. While they're great, clever people and I consider many of them friends, most of them couldn't build a business case to save their lives. Every one of their great ideas fails two basic questions: How much would it cost to make it, and who would buy it?

      Or, to put it another way, when I ask "How can we make money with [insert great idea] I just get blank stares."

      Eve

    • Fill the plane with Engineers, Computer Scientists, Scientists, Technicians, and the other people who actually make the world work, and you might have something. The only problem is that these people are actually too busy making a living rather than leeching off their employees and customers.

      The bigger problem is that shortly before landing, the then-tweaked plane would enter a trans-dimensional rift in search of research funds, and then get caught in an infinite time loop due to an array indexing error.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      But that's the point; you don't fill it with people who make the world great. You fill it with people who make the world grate. If the plane crashes, you can then fully comprehend ambivalence.

    • Fill the plane with Engineers, Computer Scientists, Scientists, Technicians, and the other people who actually make the world work, and you might have something.

      Unlikely. People that are good at implementing solutions are not always the same people that are good at envisioning them. My experience is that techies are the worst people to have at a brainstorming session. When an idea is floated, instead of expanding on it, they start nitpicking the technical details. Example: The people on the plane came up with some interesting and provocative ideas, and nearly every comment here is "This won't work because ...."

      • by Stiletto (12066) on Tuesday June 18, 2013 @12:58PM (#44040907)

        Unlikely. People that are good at implementing solutions are not always the same people that are good at envisioning them. My experience is that techies are the worst people to have at a brainstorming session. When an idea is floated, instead of expanding on it, they start nitpicking the technical details. Example: The people on the plane came up with some interesting and provocative ideas, and nearly every comment here is "This won't work because ...."

        But they did not come up with interesting nor provocative ideas. "Education is good"--wow, that's provocative. They came up with boring, politically correct, half-ideas that won't be implemented because no participant can or needs to (they're already rich and successful). In reality, what happened was: Silicon Valley's self-professed "elite" got onto a plane and pitched half-baked "ideas" at each other for hours and saying STEM a lot. By "elite" we mean "people who substitute money for brains and talk for ability". Basically venture capitalists, CEOs, and "founders" taking a few hours to brainstorm ridiculous ideas, unburdened from actually having to fund or build any of it.

        • by KZigurs (638781)

          Whoa, whoa, whoa there. In actuality they got slightly drunk, exchanged a bunch of good jokes, couple - not so good ones, arrived at the destination, posed for couple of photos and got their PA's rattle off some politically correct stuff.

          The only think what is unsure is why - surely they can afford the flight? Perhaps the whole idea was a brainchild of somebody looking for a knighting and this seemed like a good and reliable way to start associating him/her-self with 'multi-faceted visionaries that are prov

    • by Dabido (802599)
      How do you know they weren't going to put a bomb on the plane, and forgot. It might have been their intention to get rid of what is wrong with the world. :-)
  • by Errol backfiring (1280012) on Tuesday June 18, 2013 @09:41AM (#44038695) Journal
    What on a plane is STEM? And why does anyone think it is a good idea to throw talent to the vultures?
    • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.

      I still have no idea what

      ('nutritional labels' to disclose products' 'STEM ingredients')

      is supposed to mean though. Now with 50% more Science!

  • Missed the Problem (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Nishi-no-wan (146508) on Tuesday June 18, 2013 @09:59AM (#44038859) Homepage Journal

    It appears that they're all trying to find technical or social engineering methods to get females interested in STEM subject. My daughter is very good at math and science and would like to explore the field more. But with college a couple of years away, the main issue is money. How are we going to pay for her to go to a good school where she can explore STEM subjects more?

    She thinks that she wants to go to the U.S. to study, but as soon as recent help for student aid was announced, the prices at most colleges went up to match it, especially for out-of-state / out-of-country students. The in-state tuition was a bit pricy for a good STEM university, even that is crazy now.

    • by Nerdfest (867930)

      Why is it (or should it be) any different for a daughter than a son? Lots of other people have the same problems and gender should have nothing to do with it.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I'm guessing you're looking at the most expensive universities because you think you get what you pay for. There are still some good schools out there that don't have the super high cost associated with them.

      I went to a less expensive third tier school and feel like I was able to make up the difference with my own hard work. I graduated with very little student loan debt and was still able to land a job in a fairly rough job market after graduating at the end of 2009. Having worked with people from Ivy Leag

      • Yes. Something is broken in a system that values a degree more depending on its cost instead of the work that went into obtaining it.

      • by Grishnakh (216268)

        I went to both a lesser state school (first two years), and a top-tier state tech school (transferred). I didn't see much difference between the education: the overall program seemed to be a little better set up at the top-tier school, but not dramatically so; the other school had some good courses, but they seemed rather uncoordinated with each other. The lower-tier state school definitely had a more hands-on approach, with us having to do our own soldering in the sophomore year there, whereas at the top

        • However, the BIG difference I saw between the two schools was hiring: ...

          Perhaps that more an artifact of short-sighted managers and HR people. I got inconsistent grades in school (always working part-time) and have a BSCS from Old Dominion University [odu.edu] (from 1987, yes I'm old) and have never had a problem getting a well-paying job. During the interview for my first job, the company president (it was a small software development firm) remarked than he especially like that my college experience involved more than just taking classes and such. In addition to being a grader for (und

          • by Grishnakh (216268)

            Perhaps that more an artifact of short-sighted managers and HR people.

            Are there any other kinds? Especially HR people.

            Anyway, for many large companies, your choice of school will determine if they look at you at all. For smaller companies, it's probably not that big a factor. Also, as you get older and have more experience, your college degrees and grades become less and less important. If you graduated in '87, your degree really isn't important at all at this point.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 18, 2013 @10:03AM (#44038877)

    So, the "100 most forward thinking buzzwords" came up with a bunch of minor variations on 'if we offer to give people money for doing engineering things, more people will want to do engineering things'.

  • "Bottle Some Startup Spirit"... isn't this like "Bottling some desiccated hot water"? You know? The kind of concentrate one puts a teaspoon in a cup, fills it up with tap water and obtain a nice cup of hot water.

    (in other words: is the "startup spirit" something that can be taken care by a single flight full of people lucky enough to strike gold or cunning enough to squeeze water from dry stones?)

  • > putting '100 of the most forward-thinking founders, CEOs, venture capitalists, and Silicon Valley game-changers' on a flight

    What could possibly go wrong?

    • by c0lo (1497653)

      > putting '100 of the most forward-thinking founders, CEOs, venture capitalists, and Silicon Valley game-changers' on a flight

      What could possibly go wrong?

      Ummm... that plane to actually land safely?

  • by argStyopa (232550) on Tuesday June 18, 2013 @10:08AM (#44038941) Journal

    There's a great flight for them.

    Seriously, those ideas are about what I'd expect from people breathing low-pressure oxygen on a long flight.

    These are the WINNING concepts, folks:
    Advisher (an online community to help foster women in STEM) - How about we just give them a decent education, and discourage the modern-media role-modeling of women as only whores and skanks?

    INIT ('nutritional labels' to disclose products' 'STEM ingredients') - what? /facepalm.

    DGTL (rewards young women with fashionable clothes for completing coding challenges) - sigh. So much for abandoning stereotypes.

    Beacons in a Backpack (solar powered backpacks pre-loaded with videos, multimedia content, and game-powered educational tools that also serve as mobile hotspots for rural/remote areas) - right, because I can't think of anything more common than kids gathering in a cow pasture to view some "multimedia content" (the 1980s called, they'd like their vocabulary back).

    Tech21 (STEM education program aimed at 21-years-and-older post-college grads in the workforce) - if they're already 21+ and not already interested in STEM, they're lost to you.

    Certify.me (allows STEM talent from across the globe to audition for potential employers via standardized-quality assessments): that's actually probably useful benchmarking to make it easier to evaluate and hire STEM students. Sort of a STEM-focused SAT/ACT. Good idea.

    STEAM Truck (a mobile dance lab where STEM art installations teach kids that science is fun and valuable): Jesus Christ, this is why we don't let DANCE instructors in on STEM discussions. A mobile DANCE lab to teach science is fun? /facepalm. Didn't Disney's Ludwig von Drake do that better 40 years ago?

    'This has the feel of Southby [SXSW],' gushed a Google Ventures general partner. - And I have no doubt that the person genuinely "gushed", parenthetically mentioned the hipster abbreviation, and refers to themselves as a "game changer".

    Honestly, if this superficial crap is the best that these "game changers" can come up with to improve/motivate kids to go into STEM, we're fucked.

    (FWIW here's my example of the impact of the STEM educational initiative in my local high school:
    Suburban MN school. Prides itself for participation in STEM initiative, such that our Senator even visited last spring. Shortly after, my 10th-grade daughter was picking classes for her Junior year. She's been in their accelerated math program since 4th grade, and loves it. However she was told "sorry, no calculus for you as a junior. Just skip math your junior year and take it as a senior." Seriously. After some investigation, we discovered that NO juniors were being allowed to take calc (which is a year ahead of normal) as they only planned for 2 sections of calculus...about 50-60 kids. This is in a school where each grade is 300 kids.
    After a pointed discussion with the superintendant, they 'managed' to find a spot for her, but I'm sure none of the students who DIDN'T complain/fight got in, as she said there's only about 4 juniors in calculus this year.

    i.e. "STEM initiative!" = really nothing.)

    • After a pointed discussion with the superintendant, they 'managed' to find a spot for her, but I'm sure none of the students who DIDN'T complain/fight got in, as she said there's only about 4 juniors in calculus this year.

      i.e. "STEM initiative!" = really nothing.)

      I think you meant poignant instead of pointed. This leads me to my first thought: Are we over compensating by focusing on STEM education over other subjects? Most universities don't make their STEM students take any rigorous retrotic, literature, philosophy, sociology, or arts classes. Why can't we encourage everyone (both boys and girls) to be truly knowledgeable by having a well rounded education? I feel like so many people are missing the point of higher education by trying to encourage everyone to look

  • renationalise BA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 18, 2013 @10:08AM (#44038947)

    The reason Britain lacks talent is because everything has been handed over to the private sector to pillage. Universities have become degree mills at undergrad level, and any interesting postgrad projects are quickly spun off into a private company and gobbled up by either a defence leech or a blue chip. Most of the mathematical talent walks into the City, earns a few £100k/year, then retires at 40 with a nice place Cornwall or on the Isle of Skye. At least that's my experience as an ex public school toff.

    And, appropriately enough, British Airways is one of the best examples of a company which has languished since going private - a firm which ironically saw its last magnificent positive turnaround under a Tory government, just before ideology took over and forced a sell-off.

    You want wonderful new things created? Retain public ownership and nurturing of research projects for far longer. Foster a spirit of productivity for its own sake in the private sector - where profit is necessary, but does not have primacy. Look back to the British microcomputer revolution, glorious until the early '90s, by which time Thatcherite ideology had broken its spirit. Everyone old enough in the US remembers the old HP. That didn't exist to make money. It existed to make stuff which made money. So many other tech firms used to be like that.

  • A jet aircraft? What a waste of energy. With all hot-air spouting blowhards on board, a balloon or blimp would've made the trip under passenger power.

  • The solution is to pay your taxes and leave these decisions to the experts who understand the issues. Otherwise every initiative will just be another PR stunt funded by crooked money.

    • I wish I had some mod points; I laughed so hard I almost spilled my drink. Someone mod this one Funny.

  • So, lemme boil that down for you. The plans so far, for "tackling the global misalignment of talent problem:
    -Push women into being geeks.
    -A backpack that helps turn aboriginals and people without grid power into geeks. Via videogames. Because people without electricity love videogames.
    -Push adults into being geeks.
    -Push women into being fashionable geeks.
    -Push kids into being geeks.
    -A job board.
    -And a standard that helps inform geeks about their products... ok that one sounds like a pretty good idea.

    It's not that the rest aren't good things, it's just that they're not particularly innovative. Holy shit, the world could use more geeks, so tell people to go be geeks. It's not that hard. I guess connecting people with money to the basic idea is a good thing? I dunno though, it seems like our dreams have gotten so small.

    • Yup. And the backpack is basically a Pirate Box with a solar panel. That is only innovative to patent lawyers.
    • by Grishnakh (216268)

      Lots of people would probably like to be geeks. However with the costly educational requirements, the lackluster compensation, the crappy career path and working conditions (for what's supposed to be a high-end career), and the rampant ageism in the industry (not to mention sexism), it's just not a very attractive career. People smart enough for engineering will do better in medicine or finance.

      • mmmmm I dunno about that. The cost of education is indeed getting higher, but that equally applies finance and more so to medical fields. I've heard woes from people with bachelors in chemistry and biology, but as a programmer, the pay is alright for myself. Generally speaking geeks get paid well. The career paths for geeks isn't bad at all. They need geeks doing at 50 what they did at 20, it's not the sort of thing where you must move into management or up in rank or get tenure, although management (and te

  • by gestalt_n_pepper (991155) on Tuesday June 18, 2013 @10:52AM (#44039379)

    Most of what was discussed seems to be training third world children to be the $5/hour engineers of the future.

  • by daem0n1x (748565)
    What the fuck is this about? I can't parse the summary!
  • Better idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Overzeetop (214511) on Tuesday June 18, 2013 @10:57AM (#44039415) Journal

    Why not take them to a conference center and then burn 150,000lbs of Jet A in the parking lot for spectators while they work their intellectual magic. Same effect, except they won't get the normal elevated dose of radiation, but I'm sure we could throw together something to zap them while they think deep thoughts.

    • by Grishnakh (216268)

      That's a terrible idea. How about we take them to a conference center, and zap them with X-ray machines, using energy equivalent to the energy contained in 150,000 lbs of JetA?

    • by mvdwege (243851)

      Still a bad idea.

      Take them to a conference center, dump the jet fuel inside, then lock the door and light 'em up.

  • Please, let there be severe storms and turbulence, or a plague of Geese flying in front of the plane.

    • A "plague" of geese? I was under the impression that multiple geese were known as "flocks." Or was this some sort of biblical reference? Did Egypt suffer some kind of big honking avian illness?

      • by Virtucon (127420)

        If you haven't been around 20 to 30 of them in a park, then you won't understand the term "Plague." They poop everywhere and bite you when you're not looking. It's not a flock, it's a plague.

  • .. one flight? After the crash, EA's [forbes.com] prospects might turn around.

  • Polio was almost extinct before the US decided to use polioworkers as a ruse to catch UBL. Now, polioworkers are killed in pakistan and polio is back. Enjoy. And I thought B&MG were malaria-afficionadoes, not polio.
    • by ak3ldama (554026)
      From what I understand [npr.org] they seem to believe we are using the polio vaccine as a way to make the population infertile. Just one of many [npr.org] problems in Pakistan.
  • Nobody hires thousands of engineers. A typical employer will hire at most a handful of engineers, if they are needed at all.

    I am a statistician for a major hospital chain. I do important work and I am a celebrity within the organization, but there has been no need for more statisticians. There is only so much work that requires formal analysis.

The one day you'd sell your soul for something, souls are a glut.

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