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Readers write: caution about 'smart cars'; replacing Justice Scalia; employing 'unschoolers'

Letters to the editor for the March 7, 2016 weekly magazine.

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Google's self-driving car during a demonstration at the Google campus in Mountain View, Calif.

Tony Avelar/AP/File

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Not so sure about ‘smart cars’
Regarding the Feb. 22 article “Self-driving cars get ready to roll”: Unless car manufacturers and their engineers can test for every condition, I’m not sure “smart car” technology or self-driving cars can be all that they’re promised to be. While I understand the goal (to prevent accidents), someone needs to be thinking very carefully about imperfections in computer coding and engineering, and the limitations in quality assurance testing. A better solution might be to invest in mass transportation alternatives.
Sheila Muters
Marietta, N.Y.

What would Justice Scalia do?
Regarding the Feb. 29 One Week article “What Obama can do on nomination”: I wonder what Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia would think of the current “constitutional crisis” brought on by his death. In this justice we saw a person who felt strongly about American law and looked deeply into our Constitution in each of his rulings. As an originalist, he felt obliged to interpret the Constitution as the framers would have intended. So, in this constitutional crisis over whether the next Supreme Court justice should be confirmed in an election year, I ask, what would Justice Scalia do? I suggest that he would argue, given his originalist leanings, that the current vacancy – notably his – should be filled, and filled in a timely manner.
William Lewis
Seattle

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Employing ‘unschoolers’
Regarding the Feb. 15 cover story, “Unschooled”: Was the endgame left out? Some of the children benefiting from unschooling in their earlier years are likely to discover in later years a yen to participate in a wider arena of sports, education, or technology in which an employer or admissions office requires preliminary demonstration of a certain skill level, e.g., by certificate, diploma, or transcript. It would have been useful to read how coaches, deans, or corporate employers have responded to unschooled applicants.
Charles S. Phelan
Millington, N.J.


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