Tuesday, January 30, 2018

How much should college cost?

A four year degree currently costs between $100,000 and $250,000, depending on which college or university the student attends.  This is insane.

Let us propose a modest collegiate education.  Only one series of subjects is taught, towards a degree in a solitary major.  How much should this degree cost?

Let us begin with room and board.  A two bedroom apartment may be shared by four students at a cost of $1200 per month.  Add in an additional $800 per month for food.  This amounts to $500 per month per student, for yearly per-student cost of $6,000.  Please note that this is money that would have to be spent on normal existence, even without college attendance.  Nevertheless, it is an expense, and we shall include it in the final total.

A bachelor's degree is defined as 120 semester hours of education.  That equals 15 hours for each of 8 semesters over the course of 48 months.  (We shall assume that our students catch up on sleep and laundry during the summer breaks.)  An average class occupies three hours of instruction per week, plus a three hour laboratory experience per week.  With five classes and one lab, this gives us a slightly ambitious eighteen hours of instruction per week, resulting in sixteen credit hours.

Let one professor teach each class.  Let a lab assistant oversee the laboratory experience.  Let there be a secretary to track administrative details.  Let there be an associate professor, to fill in where needed.  (If a good manager can manage anything, can not a good educator teach anything?)  Let us pay the professors $80K per year, the associate and lab assistant $60K each, and the secretary $40K per year.

Let us assume that each class is comprised of twenty students.  Let us assume that each instructor teaches four separate classes per week, for a total of 12 hours of labor each (with the associate as a backup for sick days and vacations).  My, we are working them to the bone for their salaries, aren't we?

One cannot have a College without a Dean.  Let us employ a Dean, paid the magnificent sum of $120,000 per year to wrangle the professors into doing their jobs.  The Dean will obviously need a personal secretary.  Let us also employ an accountant for $60,000, and retain the services of a lawyer for another $90,000.  Let us now run four separate tracks in our educational establishment, employing a total of 20 professors, 4 associates, 4 assistants, 5 secretaries, one accountant, one lawyer, and one Dean.  Our total personnel costs thus total to $2,550,000 per year.  This magnificent sum will be spent teaching 320 students, for a yearly cost per student of $7,968.75.

Instruction does not take place in a vacuum.  We need classrooms!  And offices!  Let all instruction take place in class B office space, which is quite a lot nicer than the average college classroom, and includes utilities and janitorial services.  Let each classroom occupy 600 square feet, and each office 200 square feet.  Each professor needs an office, while the assistants, associates, and secretaries share offices by pairs.  The Dean, of course, gets a double sized office, and his secretary a personal office.  Let us also include the all-important 200 square foot break room.  Each classroom can be used for multiple subjects, of course, but let us give three classrooms to each track.  This restricts the use of each classroom to a mere twenty four hours use per week, or an average of five hours per day.  This gives a requirement for 12 classrooms and 32 offices.

We must pay for our space, at a rate of $30 per square foot per year  We have 13,600 square feet of office and classroom space.  We must include corridors to connect our rooms, so let us add an additional 25% to our space, amounting to 17,000 square feet of rentable space.  This gives a total rent of $510,000 per year, or $1593.75 per student.

We forgot parking!  Let us build a parking garage in our fair city.  Land plus construction will cost about $10,000,000.  We can amortize this expense over twenty years, for a yearly cost of $500,000.  Per student, that amounts to $1562.50.  There will probably be extra space to rent out to the public, but this finding stream will be credited towards administration and maintenance.

Books!  We can't teach without the appropriate educational materials!  Let us propose that books cost each student an average of $100 per class, or $1,000 per year.  Books really shouldn't cost that much, but they do.  (Did you know that the average publishing house makes the majority of their profits on educational materials?)  Maybe they are bound in leather with gold leaf on every page.  And hey, the students get to keep the books as momentoes, door stops, and ersatz coffee tables.

So, for room and board, books, personnel, facilities and parking, we have a total yearly expense of $18,125.  Over the course of four years, our institution will cost a total of $72,500 for each student.  This is for classes of twenty students, each taught by a full professor, in clean and attractive office space, and includes room and board for each and every student.

That's how much a four degree should cost.  With actual costs well into the six figure range, where is all the money going?  What I outlined above is luxurious, and far better than what almost any real educational institution offers.  Again, ask yourself - where does all the money go?

Friday, January 19, 2018

What the Left needs to know about us Americans

Things Leftists need to understand about us actual Americans:
Feminism is cancer.
Socialism is an evil death cult, not an economic theory.
Private property is essential, as is the “you aren’t the boss of me” attitude.
Homosexuality is a sin. Homosexuality and transvestitism are mental illnesses.
Freedom must include the freedom to fail as well as the freedom to succeed.
All men are created equal. And then they’re born.
Abortion is murder. Claiming it is not is virtue signalling to the demon lord Baal.
America is white (in culture, not necessarily skin tone), Christian, and we speak English here. If you don’t act like us, you aren’t one of us.
It's all fake news. The Left OWNS the mainstream media, and constantly shoves their agenda in our faces. Abortion on demand? Special rights for gays and trannies? Racial preferences? Evil Christianity? BLM? Global warming? Feminism? Socialism? Gun control? “Drumpf” “collusion”? All Leftist, all in the news constantly, and preached at almost every public high school and university.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Passing of a legend

Those of us who knew Don Shiles were better for having met him.  He passed recently at the age of 81.

You've probably never heard of him.  That's natural.  Unlike James Bond, real spies don't seek recognition, and seldom give their real names to outsiders.  Those of us who learned part of our craft from him got to know him.

Don invented forensic locksmithing, and testified in numerous court cases.

Don was an artist.  He sold his paintings at local craft fairs, and taught art at a community college.

Don believed in the occult, but was skeptical enough to scientifically test it.  He was the real life equivalent to Fringe's Walter Bishop in some ways.

Don won the Bronze Star for actions in Vietnam.  He went to Iraq in 2004 at the age of 67, and was a refreshing breath of common sense and sanity.

Don was talented, creative, a good teacher, and a genuinely decent man.

He will be missed.

Goodbye, Don.


Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Simple truths

It pains me to realize that many people seem so deluded as to believe obvious untruths.  It is undoubtedly so, however.  That being said, here is another short list of obvious truths that seem to escape of liberal/progressive/socialist, commie pinko enemies.

1.  There is no "rape culture" in America outside of Leftist enclaves like Hollyweird and Muslim majority communities.  In 2016, 95,730 rapes were reported in America, among a population of 323.1 million people.  That makes a rate of one in every 3,375 people raped, or 0.0296%.  The robbery rate that year was 102.8 per hundred thousand.  We don't talk about a "robbery culture", even though it is much more prevalent than rape.  And these statistics only include the rape of women.  It doesn't include the much larger number of rapes of incarcerated men.  We also notice that blacks and Latinos, who collectively comprise about one third of the population, perpetrate about half of all the rapes.  Please notice that the number of black women raped by white men has been unreportable for a decade - meaning the total number is less than ten per year.

2.  There is no institutional racism against blacks in America.  There is, of course, institutional racism against white men in favor of blacks.  We call it "affirmative action" and "preferential hiring" and "white privilege".  Blacks are disproportionately arrested for crimes because they disproportionately commit crimes.  Blacks are under represented in academia because blacks under perform academically.  Occam's razor says that blacks are dumb and violent, and therefore don't succeed.  Poverty doesn't cause crime, but crime does cause poverty.

3.  There is police brutality.  It is nowhere near the scale that the media makes it out to be.  There have always been bad cops.  There will always be bad cops.  It's the nature of people to be imperfect.  However, the fact that black thugs who try to kill cops get beaten or shot by those same cops is not a coincidence.  With very few exceptions (when the cop should be tried for murder or battery), if you want to survive an interaction with a police office, be calm, be polite, move slowly, keep your hands in view at all times, and do what the officer says.  Remember - a police officer is not a person, he's a loaded weapon.  Be nice and polite to the gun, and it won't bark at you.

4.  Black lives matter.  No they don't - not to blacks.  More than half of all the murders in America in 2016 were committed by blacks, largely against other blacks, who comprise 13% of the population.  And that's with a relatively large percentage of black males already incarcerated.  Fun fact - one in three black men have felony convictions.

5.  Only whites can be prejudiced.  This is obviously stupid.  The most racist, prejudiced people I've ever encountered in America are the blacks.  They're pretty blatant about it.  The knock out game is real, and ongoing.  If whites were really as prejudiced, bigoted, and violent as the media claims, then blacks would never dare to speak.  They'd be too beaten down and afraid for their jobs, homes, and lives.

Problems with dark matter

Warning:  Physics ahead.

Dark matter is postulated to solve the 'missing matter problem.'  That is the problem?  There's not enough observable matter in the universe to make the observed rotation of galaxies work.  You see, spiral galaxies spin as if they were pinwheels, with things furthest from the center moving fastest.  Or, if you prefer, as if the stars were dots painted onto a round sheet of plastic that was then spun about its center on a pin.

Stars shouldn't do that in real life.  All theories of gravity hold that stars in the center of a galaxy should move much more quickly than the stars half way out, which in turn rotate faster than the stars at the edge.  But this isn't what happens.  So, there must be a whole bunch of missing, invisible matter in a giant cloud around the galaxy, making the stars spin with the enormous total gravity.  Dark matter doesn't interact with regular matter at all except through gravity.  It may or may not react with itself in unknown ways, but we can't really know.

Except that this doesn't work.  Sure, it explains the problems, but it creates new ones.  If the dark matter is there, and it has gravity, should it be clumping together into larger and larger lumps?  Shouldn't there be dark matter stars and planets, acting darkly and suspiciously?  Shouldn't we see the effects of these clumps?  What happens when a dark black hole tears entire solar systems apart? 

We don't see any of that.  Apparently, dark matter also has some property that keeps it at the density of fog, never congealing or clumping at all.  Could dark matter have some sort of universal monopole property, where every particle is repelled by every other particle, even as they are attracted by gravity?  If the force were less than gravity, gravity would eventually overcome it, and dark foam would form, possibly like pumice.  If the repelling force is greater than the attraction of gravity, then we would expect the dark matter to be evenly spread everywhere, except where the extra attraction of normal matter might possibly gather together a slightly denser fog.  But this wouldn't be enough to count as the five-sixths of all matter that dark matter is supposed to be.

It's really quite simple.  If something is affected by gravity, then that something should form clumps.  Dark matter, as postulated, should forms clumps on a large scale, but not on a small scale.  No means for this distinction is postulated.  Alternately, dark matter objects do exist in profusion (5/6 of all matter, remember), but we have never seen their effects anywhere, because reasons.

What happens at the bottom?

Warning:  This is another physics post.

What happens inside a black hole?  According to standard theory, any particle falling into a black hole stops experiencing time at the event horizon, as it accelerates up to and then past the speed of light.  It's possible that particles experience negative or sideways time - the theories are inconclusive, and we can't have any experiential evidence for obvious reasons.  The particle then continues to accelerate, reaching infinite speed and infinite density at the central singularity.

According to my theory, the particle accelerates up to the speed of light - and then apparently stops accelerating.  There is no more source energy for the particle to gain speed, and the gravity gradient at the event horizon bends from a 90 degree vertical to a flat, zero degree horizontal at that point.  The particle would maintain its speed, and still wouldn't experience time, essentially acting like a normal photon.  The particle would zoom towards the center, eventually reaching and interacting with the particles already there.  Presumably, the forces that prevent particles from sharing states outside a black hole would still prevent them from sharing states inside of one, so at the center is not a singularity, but something like a Planck star.

Unless a negative energy state is possible.  Then things get more interesting, because the energy gradient wouldn't bottom out, and particles could accelerate past light speed to ludicrous speed (which is, naturally, plaid).  This speed isn't infinite, however, because the particles translate from our normal, real-number universe into the complex plane universe.  They would then accelerate out at relatively random speeds and energies into the i plane, while seeming to form a singularity in the R plane.

Which one of these conditions is true?  It's impossible to tell, really, without experimental verification.  To which I say, "It might be dangerous.  You go first."