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synthetic

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Re: Law Schools To Avoid At All Costs!
« Reply #310 on: May 23, 2009, 11:55:13 AM »




Funny illustration - Or should I say, unfortunately-a-not-so-funny one?

Earlady

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Re: Law Schools To Avoid At All Costs!
« Reply #311 on: May 24, 2009, 04:26:22 AM »
Why Widener?

Project

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Re: Law Schools To Avoid At All Costs!
« Reply #312 on: May 26, 2009, 11:11:44 AM »

In France about 77% of the country's electricity comes from nuclear power. Lithuania comes in second, with an impressive 65%. Lithuania is not, and it will never be a "nuclear power" state!


Nuclear energy originates from the splitting of uranium atoms in a process called fission. Fission releases energy that can be used to make steam, which is used in a turbine to generate electricity. Nuclear power accounts for approximately 19% of the United States' electricity production. More than 100 nuclear generating units are currently in operation in the United States. No nuclear power plants have been built since 1996.

Uranium is a nonrenewable resource that cannot be replenished on a human time scale. Uranium is extracted from open-pit and underground mines. Once mined, the uranium ore is sent to a processing plant to be concentrated into a useful fuel (i.e., uranium oxide pellets). This uranium enrichment process generates radioactive waste. Enriched fuel is then transported to the nuclear power plant. At the power plant, the uranium oxide pellets are bombarded with neutrons, causing the uranium atoms to split and release both heat and neutrons. These neutrons collide with other uranium atoms and to release additional heat and neutrons in a chain reaction. This heat is used to generate steam, which is used by a turbine to generate electricity.

Nuclear power plants do not emit carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, or nitrogen oxides. However, fossil fuel emissions are associated with the uranium mining and uranium enrichment process as well as the transport of the uranium fuel to the nuclear plant. Water pollutants, such as heavy metals and salts, build up in the water used in the nuclear power plant systems. These water pollutants, as well as the higher temperature of the water discharged from the power plant, can negatively affect water quality and aquatic life. Although the nuclear reactor is radioactive, the water discharged from the power plant is not considered radioactive because it never comes in contact with radioactive materials. However, waste generated from uranium mining operations and rainwater runoff can contaminate groundwater and surface water resources with heavy metals and traces of radioactive uranium.


Every 18 to 24 months, nuclear power plants must shut down to remove and replace the "spent" uranium fuel. This spent fuel has released most of its energy as a result of the fission process and has become radioactive waste. All of the nuclear power plants in the United States together produce about 2,000 metric tons per year of radioactive waste. Currently, the radioactive waste is stored at the nuclear plants at which it is generated, either in steel-lined, concrete vaults filled with water or in above-ground steel or steel-reinforced concrete containers with steel inner canisters. The Department of Energy is currently preparing a license application to construct a permanent central repository at Yucca Mountain. If the license is granted, the repository could begin to accept waste by 2012. In addition to the fuel waste, much of the equipment in the nuclear power plants becomes contaminated with radiation and will become radioactive waste after the plant is closed. These wastes will remain radioactive for many thousands of years.

overcast

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...birds of a feather...
« Reply #313 on: May 29, 2009, 09:43:52 AM »

[...]

Gulf Arab states - among the world's largest oil and gas producers - are considering nuclear power as they look to meet escalating domestic electricity demand without burning more fuel and eating into record export revenues. Analysts say they could quickly buy the technology they need, and push through the planning, financing and licensing much more quickly than would be the case in more democratic countries. Even so, Rogner said he doubted a nuclear power plant would be up and running in the Gulf before 2020. Sellers of nuclear technology might be eager for the business, but they would also be reluctant to see their product used without a fully developed industry framework in place, Rogner said. "Vendors would also be concerned," said Rogner. "They don't want their technology to be associated with any of the risks. [Gulf countries] will have to regulate and oversee a plant even if it is operated by an international operator." For that you need nuclear engineers. But there are currently no universities in the region that teach nuclear engineering, Rogner said.

The IAEA is working with the GCC on the basic requirements for nuclear power, Rogner said. It is also working with the individual countries of the GCC. The economic arguments for nuclear power in the region stack up, he said. "It is simple. If you can sell the oil for $90 rather than sticking it into your own power plant, you can make a profit that can easily help finance a nuclear power plant." When the GCC said in 2006 it was studying developing a joint nuclear energy programme, the announcement raised concern of a regional arms race between the bloc and Iran. The US and other western governments accuse Iran of attempting to develop nuclear weapons, a charge Tehran denies. Unlike Iran, GCC countries have proposed uranium enrichment be undertaken in a neutral country, limiting some of the potential crossover with a nuclear arms development programme. For the IAEA, the best way forward for the nuclear industry in the region is with a GCC-wide agreement, rather than for individual countries to go their own way, Rogner said. Such an approach would encourage transparency and mutual trust between the region's states, he said. If the countries go ahead on their own, the UAE probably has the edge over the rest of the Gulf Arab states after signing a nuclear cooperation deal with the French government earlier this month, Rogner said. 


Considering nuclear power to meet escalating domestic electricity demand without burning more fuel? Gimme a break! This is just an excuse to become one of the countries with the capability to produce the atomic bomb!


In France about 77% of the country's electricity comes from nuclear power. Lithuania comes in second, with an impressive 65%. Lithuania is not, and it will never be a "nuclear power" state!


There is an increasing number of people in the United States today who are standing up and speaking out against the dangers of nuclear weapons. At the same time a large number of these people are in favor of the use of nuclear power as a means of generating electricity. They believe, perhaps correctly, that the threat from the former is greater and more imminent, and further, that there is no connection between nuclear power and nuclear weapons. The facts, however, seem to point to a different conclusion.

"Atoms For Peace"

For as long as there has been federal control of nuclear research and materials, there has been an interest in using commercial nuclear reactors as a source of materials to make weapons. A 1951 study undertaken by the AEC concluded that commercial nuclear reactors would not be economically feasible if they were used solely to produce electricity; they would be, however, if they also produced plutonium which could be sold. Utilities themselves were only mildly intrigued with the notion of being able to produce "too cheap to meter electricity," and only so long as someone else took over the responsibility for the waste products, and indemnified them against catastrophic nuclear plant accidents. It was this fact which interested utilities in getting involved with nuclear reactors. This point was again made by the AEC's director of reactor development, Lawrence R. Hafsted, who in 1951 said it was the multi-purpose reactor, "rather than the imminence of cheap civilian power which lies behind the increased interest on the part of industry in certain phases of the atomic energy business."

In 1953 President Dwight Eisenhower, for whatever motives one wishes to ascribe to him, announced his "Atoms for Peace" program, by which the destructive force of the atom was to be harnessed for "peaceful" purposes. It was also at this time that the U.S. began offering nuclear technology and training to the rest of the world. In 1954 utilities which were to operate commercial nuclear reactors were given further incentive when Congress amended the Atomic Energy Act so that utilities would receive uranium fuel for their reactors from the government in exchange for the plutonium produced in those reactors. The plutonium was to be shipped to Rocky Flats in Colorado, where the federal government made plutonium triggers for nuclear weapons. In retrospect it is a simple matter to see that there never was an intention to separate nuclear weapons production from the use of commercial nuclear power.

The Connections

The connections linking nuclear power and weapons is more than political or historic. Consider: 1. FISSIONABLE MATERIALS: It is the same nuclear fuel cycle with its mining of uranium, milling, enrichment and fuel fabrication stages which readies the uranium ore for use in reactors, whether these reactors are used to create plutonium for bombs or generate electricity. In the end, both reactors produce the plutonium. The only difference between them is the concentration of the various isotopes used in the fuel. Each year a typical 1000 mega-watt (MW) commercial power reactor will produce 300 to 500 pounds of plutonium -- enough to build between 25 - 40 Nagasaki-sized atomic bombs.

One Technology

As Dr. Amory Lovins, director of the Rocky Mountain Institute in Colorado points out, "Every known route to bombs involves either nuclear power or materials and technology which are available, which exist in commerce, as a direct and essential consequence of nuclear power." In order to get plutonium for weapons, one needs a reactor, whether it is a "research" reactor (such as the one which provided India with the fissile material for its first atomic bomb) or a commercial reactor. In the case of the proposed "breeder" reactors, in which more plutonium is produced than is consumed, the connection is more obvious. Since the only other use for the highly toxic plutonium is to make weapons, one can easily see where the surplus might be used. Over the years the U.S. Congress has scrapped several "breeder" reactor designs, both because of their high potential for diversion and proliferation of nuclear materials into the hands of undesirable states, and because their designs became flawed, obsolete, or not in demand by nuclear utilities.

L Liberti

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Re: The Madoff Ponzi Scheme
« Reply #314 on: January 11, 2012, 01:04:16 AM »

Amway Corporation is among the world's largest and best-known direct sales/multi-level-marketing organizations. (Amway's IBOs - 'Independent Business Owners' - who sell via the Internet instead of offline do so under the name Quixtar). Some sociologists consider many such such organizations to be 'para-religions' - movements that, while they can not be classified as religions, include some religion-like aspects (e.g. enthusiasm for the cause, recruitment and motivational rituals, positive thinking, etc).

Regarding Amway, others go further, claiming that certain recruitment and motivational tactics used within the Amway network make this organization something of a "corporate cult." So-called "corporate cults" are businesses whose techniques to gain employee commitment and loyalty are in some ways similar to those used by traditional cults.

Amway is a multi-level-marketing (MLM) company in which participating sales people can earn extra income by getting others to sign up (rather than merely earn a commission on items sold). Amway produces and sells recruitment literature, audio messages, pep-rallies and incentives to help its sales force bring other distributors on board. It is said that successful Amway distributors make the bulk of their income from these motivational products, rather than from sales of Amway's other products.

It should be noted that often individual distributors become so focused on Amway's promises that they seemingly can think and talk about nothing else. They try to recruit friends, co-workers, fellow church-members, neighbors and just about anyone they meet in order to try and build their 'downline' (sales network). Many people are turned off by such an unhealthy, cult-like, 'devotion' to a business scheme. In addition, many people who join and try to make money by working for Amway (or similar MLM companies) discover that they spend more on marketing-, recruitment and training packages than they earn from actual sales and/or recruitment efforts.


As to pyramid schemes:

Many pyramids are more sophisticated than the simple model. These recognize that recruiting a large number of others into a scheme can be difficult so a seemingly simpler model is used. In this model each person must recruit two others, but the ease of achieving this is offset because the depth required to recoup any money also increases. The scheme requires a person to recruit two others, who must each recruit two others, who must each recruit two others.


The "8-ball" model contains a total of 15 members. Note that unlike in the picture, the triangular setup in the cue game of eight-ball corresponds to an arithmetic progression 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 = 15. The pyramid scheme in the picture in contrast is a geometric progression 1 + 2 + 4 + 8 = 15.

Prior instances of this scam have been called the "Airplane Game" and the four tiers labelled as "captain", "co-pilot", "crew", and "passenger" to denote a person's level. Such schemes may try to downplay their pyramid nature by referring to themselves as "gifting circles" with money being "gifted". Popular scams such as the "Women Empowering Women" do exactly this. Joiners may even be told that "gifting" is a way to skirt around tax laws.

Whichever euphemism is used, there are 15 total people in four tiers (1 + 2 + 4 + 8 ) in the scheme - the person at the top of this tree is the "captain", the two below are "co-pilots", the four below are "crew" and the bottom eight joiners are the "passengers". The eight passengers must each pay (or "gift") a sum (e.g. $1000) to join the scheme. This sum (e.g. $8000) goes to the captain who leaves, with everyone remaining moving up one tier. There are now two new captains so the group splits in two with each group requiring eight new passengers. A person who joins the scheme as a passenger will not see a return until they exit the scheme as a captain. This requires that 14 others have been persuaded to join underneath them. Therefore, the bottom 3 tiers of the pyramid always lose their money when the scheme finally collapses.


Wow, very interesting, too2, to say the least :)


Consider a pyramid consisting of tiers with 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, and 64 members.


No matter how large the model becomes before collapse, approximately 88% of all people will lose.

If the scheme collapses at this point, only those in the 1, 2, 4, and 8 got out with a return. The remainder in the 16, 32, and 64 tier lose everything. 112 out of the total 127 members or 88% lost all of their money. During a wave of pyramid activity, a surge frequently develops once a significant fraction of people know someone personally who exited with a $8000 payout for example. This spurs others to seek to get in on one of the many pyramids before the wave collapses. The figures also hide the fact that the confidence trickster would make the lion's share of the money. They would do this by filling in the first 3 tiers (with 1, 2, and 4 people) with phoney names, ensuring they get the first 7 payouts, at 8 times the buy-in sum, without paying a single penny themselves. So if the buy-in were $1000, they would receive $56,000, paid for by the first 56 investors. They would continue to buy in underneath the real investors, and promote and prolong the scheme for as long as possible in order to allow them to skim even more from it before the collapse.

Other cons may also be effective. For example, rather than using fake names, a group of 7 people may agree to form the top 3 layers of a pyramid without investing any money. They then work to recruit 8 paying passengers, and pretend to follow the pyramid payout rules, but in reality split any money received. Ironically, though they are being conned, the 8 paying passengers are not really getting anything less for their money than if they were buying into a 'legitimate' pyramid which had split off from a parent pyramid. They truly are now in a valid pyramid, and have the same opportunity to earn a windfall if they can successfully recruit enough new members and reach captain. This highlights the fact that by 'buying' in to a pyramid, passengers are not really obtaining anything of value they couldn't create themselves other than a vague sense of "legitimacy" or history of the pyramid, which may make it marginally easier to sell passenger seats below them.


Pyramidal schemes are cult-like environments, with those on the top being those who do nothing but lie and win, and the further down you go the more suckers, who lose everything, you find ...

What I wanted to point out, though, is that the hierarchical structure that the current social order entails can well be likened to a pyramidal scheme.
Senator Geary: Was there always a buffer involved?
Willi Cici: A what?
Senator Geary: A buffer. Someone in between you and your possible superiors who passed on to you the actual order to kill someone.
Willi Cici: Oh yeah, a buffer. The family had a lot of buffers!

2 young 2 be in debt

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Re: From Homo Oeconomicus to Homo Sexualis
« Reply #315 on: January 15, 2012, 03:06:06 AM »

Here it is the post by kaps I was talking about - I'm posting two screenshots as the original thread has been suspended


Which posts, L Liberti, the ones commenting on the anal thing? These ones?

Quote
Quote
Quote

Freud himself who was to declare to Fliess in a letter dated 16 January 1898, that money did not form the object of an infantile wish which is why, as the well-known saying puts it, money proves incapable of "making one happy" as an adult. Yet, it can nevertheless give the impression of doing so, to the extent that it is capable as we know from Freudian metapsychology of functioning as the unconscious substitute and equivalent for any "object" whatsoever that is invested by the libido of the subject, be this oral, phallic or, especially, anal. [...]

On a material level, faeces represent for children their first possessions of value. Indeed, if children tend at first, roughly between the ages of 2 and 3, to take an auto-erotic pleasure in defecating (the first phase of the anal stage), they subsequently discover, around the age of 3 or 4, that they can obtain a more intense excitation by holding back their stool (the second phase of the anal stage). This is the source of the pleasure adults take in holding onto money, valuable objects or, yet again, time (as shown by the character-traits of avarice and parsimony, as well as the pleasure of hoarding or saving), in accordance with the equation of money and excrement. [...]

[...] In the most extreme case, according to the psycho-analytical argument that is often put forward, an overly active or precocious repression of the child's psychosexual development during the anal stage -- especially at the moment of toilet training -- can lead to the development, in later life, of a veritable obsessional (or, as it was sometimes called, anal) neurosis. Since the pathbreaking work of Oskar Pfister on the psychical structure of classical capitalism and the financial mind, an entire current of thought (Reich, Fromm, etc.) has endeavored to locate within the capitalist system the indices of a collective obsessional neurotic syndrome. Just as the child is under the illusion of the omnipotence of his or her excrements, so the capitalist would tend to believe that his or her money gives him or her the power -- and, above all, the right -- to do whatever he or she so desires.


So basically,

money = * & ^ %
capitalism = anal


Wow - it's unbelievable how much you learn on these boards!

For the sake of truth, there's more to the story, appropriate! When anality becomes a perversion in an individual it can result in a danger to that individual, and as a cultural phenomenon, to humanity. There is a clearly defined link between the anal-sadistic phase of sexuality and cruelty. An "instinct of cruelty" appears in Freud's "Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality," stating that there is an intimate connection between cruelty and the sexual instinct; whether active or passive, it also stems from the drive for mastery. Like mastery, cruelty involves the use of the object simply as a means of satisfaction. Sadism involves a pleasure derived from the object's suffering. The deriving of sexual gratification from inflicting pain or emotional abuse on others.

After the introduction of the death drive in 1920, the drive for cruelty gave way to the "destructive drive," understood as an external deflection of the death drive and described as aggressive when directed at objects. If it is taken up by the ego, the ego itself becomes cruel or sadistic. The ego then risks not only losing the object's love but also being subjected to the reprimands of the Superego. This agency, which equates with moral conscience, can demonstrate an extreme cruelty, according to the need for aggression aroused by present/past frustrations. Rebellious by nature towards what is nevertheless the necessary process of civilization, the human being is always able to display a "cruel aggressiveness" if circumstances allow it.

Contempt, indifference towards the object, cruelty, as well as false emblems of masculinity, faceless bureaucracy, violence, torture, the jackboot and the whip. Freud described the psychosexual development of the child, how he progresses from the anal-sadistic phase to the phallic (genital) one, at the end of which the Oedipus complex finds resolution. It is the smashing/destruction, a developmental arrest at the anal-sadistic phase, as opposed to resolution of the Oedipus complex, that characterizes Western culture.

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Will you walk me 2 my car

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Re: Law Schools To Avoid At All Costs!
« Reply #316 on: January 20, 2012, 11:33:32 PM »

As to pyramid schemes:

Many pyramids are more sophisticated than the simple model. These recognize that recruiting a large number of others into a scheme can be difficult so a seemingly simpler model is used. In this model each person must recruit two others, but the ease of achieving this is offset because the depth required to recoup any money also increases. The scheme requires a person to recruit two others, who must each recruit two others, who must each recruit two others.


The "8-ball" model contains a total of 15 members. Note that unlike in the picture, the triangular setup in the cue game of eight-ball corresponds to an arithmetic progression 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 = 15. The pyramid scheme in the picture in contrast is a geometric progression 1 + 2 + 4 + 8 = 15.

Prior instances of this scam have been called the "Airplane Game" and the four tiers labelled as "captain", "co-pilot", "crew", and "passenger" to denote a person's level. Such schemes may try to downplay their pyramid nature by referring to themselves as "gifting circles" with money being "gifted". Popular scams such as the "Women Empowering Women" do exactly this. Joiners may even be told that "gifting" is a way to skirt around tax laws.

Whichever euphemism is used, there are 15 total people in four tiers (1 + 2 + 4 + 8 ) in the scheme - the person at the top of this tree is the "captain", the two below are "co-pilots", the four below are "crew" and the bottom eight joiners are the "passengers". The eight passengers must each pay (or "gift") a sum (e.g. $1000) to join the scheme. This sum (e.g. $8000) goes to the captain who leaves, with everyone remaining moving up one tier. There are now two new captains so the group splits in two with each group requiring eight new passengers. A person who joins the scheme as a passenger will not see a return until they exit the scheme as a captain. This requires that 14 others have been persuaded to join underneath them. Therefore, the bottom 3 tiers of the pyramid always lose their money when the scheme finally collapses.


Wow, very interesting, too2, to say the least :)


Consider a pyramid consisting of tiers with 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, and 64 members.


No matter how large the model becomes before collapse, approximately 88% of all people will lose.

If the scheme collapses at this point, only those in the 1, 2, 4, and 8 got out with a return. The remainder in the 16, 32, and 64 tier lose everything. 112 out of the total 127 members or 88% lost all of their money. During a wave of pyramid activity, a surge frequently develops once a significant fraction of people know someone personally who exited with a $8000 payout for example. This spurs others to seek to get in on one of the many pyramids before the wave collapses. The figures also hide the fact that the confidence trickster would make the lion's share of the money. They would do this by filling in the first 3 tiers (with 1, 2, and 4 people) with phoney names, ensuring they get the first 7 payouts, at 8 times the buy-in sum, without paying a single penny themselves. So if the buy-in were $1000, they would receive $56,000, paid for by the first 56 investors. They would continue to buy in underneath the real investors, and promote and prolong the scheme for as long as possible in order to allow them to skim even more from it before the collapse.

Other cons may also be effective. For example, rather than using fake names, a group of 7 people may agree to form the top 3 layers of a pyramid without investing any money. They then work to recruit 8 paying passengers, and pretend to follow the pyramid payout rules, but in reality split any money received. Ironically, though they are being conned, the 8 paying passengers are not really getting anything less for their money than if they were buying into a 'legitimate' pyramid which had split off from a parent pyramid. They truly are now in a valid pyramid, and have the same opportunity to earn a windfall if they can successfully recruit enough new members and reach captain. This highlights the fact that by 'buying' in to a pyramid, passengers are not really obtaining anything of value they couldn't create themselves other than a vague sense of "legitimacy" or history of the pyramid, which may make it marginally easier to sell passenger seats below them.


Pyramidal schemes are cult-like environments, with those on the top being those who do nothing but lie and win, and the further down you go the more suckers, who lose everything, you find ...

What I wanted to point out, though, is that the hierarchical structure that the current social order entails can well be likened to a pyramidal scheme.


So basically, when members receive no more benefits (there's no more money to be distributed to the people down the line) the brainwashing kind of thing stops working and the whole pyramidal scheme falls?

Or, to draw another parallel, when oil reserves of the Persian Gulf are denied access to the Western countries, and going to war proves too damn costly in the long run - our economies are bound to collapse, since they are relying on stealing from other countries' resources to keep the standard of living artificially high - all in accordance with the social Darwinism kind of philosophy, that for every a winner there is a loser?

Just Say No!

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Cult of Scam: why massive scam becomes a cult
« Reply #317 on: January 21, 2012, 11:59:43 PM »
In massive scams, such as pyramid schemes or Ponzi schemes that involved thousands, perhaps millions of people, believers tend to congregate, and start their own 'support groups', where they start to reinforce each-other's beliefs. With advent of electronic communication, meetings can be held virtually via web forums (i.e. electronic bulletin boards), communication clients such as Internet chat clients, blogs, websites, and so on.

When large groups congregate, some people will dominate through sheer force of personality, even online, and those became the leaders. The result is a "cult of personality." This may or may not be encouraged by the scheme itself, but it certainly will not be discouraged.

Following is a list of signs of a cult:

- Thinking in black and white terms
- Using a new language/cultic jargon (coded language)
- Saying goodbye to all old friends and only seeing people affiliated with, or not critical of the cult
- Creating distance from family, especially during holidays and family events
- Euphoric, yet simultaneously tired and worn
- Humorless
- A change in diet and sleep patterns
- Low on money
- A dismissal of their life prior to involvement with the group as "all bad"
- A change in goals, priorities, and life plan
- Return to child-like behavior
- Dogmatic adherence to new beliefs/ideas, with the inability, or lack of interest to logically assess these new beliefs
- Secrecy

Scheme believers exhibit many of the signs listed above. Scam victims (i.e. scheme believers) are known to abandon friends and family, esp. those who are critical of the scam. They don't want to question the beliefs of the scam:, which is simply, "X is great, X will pay me. (Death to all opponents of X) " They sometimes even give themselves a new group name to increase their group identity (encouraged by the scam).

nocreeper

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Re: Law Schools To Avoid At All Costs!
« Reply #318 on: January 22, 2012, 07:30:31 PM »
Avoid any school wiht an attrition rate over 5%, especially if that is a rate that stays constant from year to year.  These schools categorically kick out the bottom portions of the class.  They usually have a less sophisticated faculty and staff, poor student support services, and most of the faculty staff see it as a clock in/out job.

I would not say avoid a school based on its tier, but only the attrition rates

I think you forgot Applachain State - they kick out the bottom 15%, but at least the own up to it before you even apply (their website) plus they seem unusually sophisticated for a school like that

Any questions?

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Re: Law Schools To Avoid At All Costs!
« Reply #319 on: January 23, 2012, 02:10:01 AM »

As to pyramid schemes:

Many pyramids are more sophisticated than the simple model. These recognize that recruiting a large number of others into a scheme can be difficult so a seemingly simpler model is used. In this model each person must recruit two others, but the ease of achieving this is offset because the depth required to recoup any money also increases. The scheme requires a person to recruit two others, who must each recruit two others, who must each recruit two others.


The "8-ball" model contains a total of 15 members. Note that unlike in the picture, the triangular setup in the cue game of eight-ball corresponds to an arithmetic progression 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 = 15. The pyramid scheme in the picture in contrast is a geometric progression 1 + 2 + 4 + 8 = 15.

Prior instances of this scam have been called the "Airplane Game" and the four tiers labelled as "captain", "co-pilot", "crew", and "passenger" to denote a person's level. Such schemes may try to downplay their pyramid nature by referring to themselves as "gifting circles" with money being "gifted". Popular scams such as the "Women Empowering Women" do exactly this. Joiners may even be told that "gifting" is a way to skirt around tax laws.

Whichever euphemism is used, there are 15 total people in four tiers (1 + 2 + 4 + 8 ) in the scheme - the person at the top of this tree is the "captain", the two below are "co-pilots", the four below are "crew" and the bottom eight joiners are the "passengers". The eight passengers must each pay (or "gift") a sum (e.g. $1000) to join the scheme. This sum (e.g. $8000) goes to the captain who leaves, with everyone remaining moving up one tier. There are now two new captains so the group splits in two with each group requiring eight new passengers. A person who joins the scheme as a passenger will not see a return until they exit the scheme as a captain. This requires that 14 others have been persuaded to join underneath them. Therefore, the bottom 3 tiers of the pyramid always lose their money when the scheme finally collapses.


Wow, very interesting, too2, to say the least :)


Consider a pyramid consisting of tiers with 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, and 64 members.


No matter how large the model becomes before collapse, approximately 88% of all people will lose.

If the scheme collapses at this point, only those in the 1, 2, 4, and 8 got out with a return. The remainder in the 16, 32, and 64 tier lose everything. 112 out of the total 127 members or 88% lost all of their money. During a wave of pyramid activity, a surge frequently develops once a significant fraction of people know someone personally who exited with a $8000 payout for example. This spurs others to seek to get in on one of the many pyramids before the wave collapses. The figures also hide the fact that the confidence trickster would make the lion's share of the money. They would do this by filling in the first 3 tiers (with 1, 2, and 4 people) with phoney names, ensuring they get the first 7 payouts, at 8 times the buy-in sum, without paying a single penny themselves. So if the buy-in were $1000, they would receive $56,000, paid for by the first 56 investors. They would continue to buy in underneath the real investors, and promote and prolong the scheme for as long as possible in order to allow them to skim even more from it before the collapse.

Other cons may also be effective. For example, rather than using fake names, a group of 7 people may agree to form the top 3 layers of a pyramid without investing any money. They then work to recruit 8 paying passengers, and pretend to follow the pyramid payout rules, but in reality split any money received. Ironically, though they are being conned, the 8 paying passengers are not really getting anything less for their money than if they were buying into a 'legitimate' pyramid which had split off from a parent pyramid. They truly are now in a valid pyramid, and have the same opportunity to earn a windfall if they can successfully recruit enough new members and reach captain. This highlights the fact that by 'buying' in to a pyramid, passengers are not really obtaining anything of value they couldn't create themselves other than a vague sense of "legitimacy" or history of the pyramid, which may make it marginally easier to sell passenger seats below them.


Pyramidal schemes are cult-like environments, with those on the top being those who do nothing but lie and win, and the further down you go the more suckers, who lose everything, you find ...

What I wanted to point out, though, is that the hierarchical structure that the current social order entails can well be likened to a pyramidal scheme.


So basically, when members receive no more benefits (there's no more money to be distributed to the people down the line) the brainwashing kind of thing stops working and the whole pyramidal scheme falls?

Or, to draw another parallel, when oil reserves of the Persian Gulf are denied access to the Western countries, and going to war proves too damn costly in the long run - our economies are bound to collapse, since they are relying on stealing from other countries' resources to keep the standard of living artificially high - all in accordance with the social Darwinism kind of philosophy, that for every a winner there is a loser?


Will you walk me to your car, could you expand a bit on this other parallel you draw?