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Comment: Re:Nice Synergy (Score 5, Insightful) 347

by Aeonym (#47249899) Attached to: Congressman Asks NSA To Provide Metadata For "Lost" IRS Emails

"Take a real scandal (NSA) and link it to a fake one (IRS)"

Translation: "Take government malfeasance that I imagine affects me personally and link it government malfeasance that I don't think impacts me personally...yet"

You (and so many others) fail to appreciate what's obvious to others of us: that while the NSA behavior is egregious, it's now out in the open, and you can take steps to protect yourself. And if you already assume the worst--that the NSA is scanning/saving *everything*, then that can't get any worse.

But the extent of the IRS behavior *isn't* out in the open. It *can* get much worse. If there's *any* politically motivated behavior going on the the IRS, then that is tacit approval and groundwork for more. And you won't think it's a "fake" scandal in a decade when, left unchecked, you find yourself the subject of a tax audit because you donated to the political party not in power. They can put a lien on your house. They can garnish your wages. In terms of practically achievable damage to the average citizen's life, the IRS is far more dangerous. The power to tax is the power to destroy.

You can stymie the NSA. You can't stymie the IRS.

Comment: Re:Disappearing $3 Billion (Score 4, Insightful) 51

by Aeonym (#46954291) Attached to: Take a Picture: Snapchat Settles With FTC Over "Dissapearing" Claims

There are plenty of people who believe that being the first person to implement a moderately clever idea makes them indispensable to the modern information economy.

Of course, a disproportionate number of those people are in their twenties and have no real experience or conception of how the wider world works...kind of like Snapchat's founders.

Comment: Re:Is this all that surprising? (Score 2) 105

by Aeonym (#46925787) Attached to: Computer Game Reveals 'Space-Time' Neurons In the Eye

My neurobiology degree is about 20 years outdated, but I'm still confident in declaring you 100% wrong. It is well established that many reflexes--which are 'motor action'--occur without any intervention or even awareness of the central cortex. The doctor hitting your knee to get an involuntary kick is one example. Most of the processing involved in walking, including recovering from imbalance, actually happens below the spinal cord.

Comment: Re:Having a private pilots license (Score 4, Informative) 269

Aircraft injuries/fatalities are only better than cars because the vast majority of traffic is on commercial airlines that are rigorously maintained, with pilots who must pass (relatively) stringent qualifications.

Little private planes are much more dangerous, mile for mile, than cars

Comment: Re:Nothing new. (Score 4, Insightful) 167

by Aeonym (#45981213) Attached to: Russia Backs Sending Top Students Abroad With a Catch

But to complete your comparison, you'd also be able to make 4 or 5 times as much money overseas because wages in the US were considerably lower. In the short term, debt forgiveness is appealing--but in the long term it's a bad deal compared to the extra earnings/savings you could accrue.

Comment: But... (Score 1) 325

by Aeonym (#43815485) Attached to: Predicting IQ With a Simple Visual Test

"standard IQ tests, which have been criticized for cultural bias"

The voices who complain about cultural bias will always find a reason that any test is biased, as long as it continues to score their preferred racial/ethnic/economic/victim class lower than their supposed oppressors. If current tests showed that poor African immigrants with little schooling were "more intelligent" than the average middle class white person, the tests would be hailed as scientific evidence of the tyranny of the current social regime.

That said, the classic IQ test is very limited. It does measure one thing pretty well, but just what that thing is isn't well defined--and that thing, while helpful in some ways, is in no way required for a successful, happy life.

Comment: More quack science (Score 1) 758

by Aeonym (#42942051) Attached to: Is "Left" Vs. "Right" Hard-coded Into Your Brain?

If conservatives are risk averse, why are a strong majority of successful businessmen and entrepreneurs conservative? Please don't say it's because greed and the desire to keep their money overpowers their inherent timidity at the world. That would be incredibly smug.

If liberals love uncertainly and novelty, why are they the ones who push for the certainty and banality of pervasive welfare programs? Please don't say it's because their inherent love of "people" overpowers their personal inclination for uncertainty. That would be incredibly patronizing.

Make it right before you make it faster.