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Comment: Re:So am I. Specifically, violated how? (Score 2) 928

So, which law did SWAirlines cause Congress to pass that violated these people's first amendment rights? Go on, point it out please. Or were you just mouthing off about stuff you don't understand, trying to get people riled up about an issue that doesn't even exist? Because that... well, let's just say it speaks volumes about your intelligence (and that of the person who modded you up). Volumes that I doubt you would ever read, since apparently you can't be bothered to read (or at least, understand) one of the most important *sentences* ever committed to text in the history of this nation...

Before you insult someone else's intelligence, you should be sure you actually know what you are talking about. The amendments were not intended to "grant" rights. From the Founders' perspective, the amendments *recognized* already existing natural rights. That is, in actuality there is no "first amendment" right to free speech; rather, the first amendment specifies a particular rule for the US government that is derived from a concern that government might abridge citizens' natural right to free speech.

What does this mean? There's nothing that says that a corporation with sufficient power can't violate your right to free speech. Technically speaking, they can't violate the first amendment *rule* that says that the government shouldn't make laws that abridge your free speech rights, but corporations can violate the same free speech rights that the first amendment was intended to protect. There's no reason why we can't use "first amendment rights" to mean "the rights reflected in the first amendment", rather than "the rule established by the first amendment."

If your interpretation of the US constitution were correct, then the ninth and tenth amendments would be incoherent.

[of course, one can argue about how one is supposed to know what those rights are, but if you're going to insult someone's understanding of the first amendment and US history, you better know that history.]

Comment: Re:One drop rule? (Score 1) 250

by Ardeaem (#47082521) Attached to: Facebook Refuses To Share Employee Race and Gender Data

10,000 is not a statistically significant fraction of the population. So you could very well have hired 10,000 people and all of them turned out to be black by luck of the draw.

Excellent point. Maybe all those racist people are not actually racist. They might be equally likely to use racial slurs against whites OR blacks, but all the racial slurs they use just happen to be black ones by luck of the draw. Could be!

Comment: Re:And this is somehow supposed to be a surprise? (Score 1) 1010

by Ardeaem (#45830453) Attached to: New Study Shows One-Third of Americans Don't Believe In Evolution

Wow, I didn't realize you were that bad. Go work on your reading comprehension.

...and you're also free to post evidence that I missed something relevant that you wrote somewhere (besides the link back here to this subthread? Nice.), but I suppose you'd rather simply allude to it, in the grand tradition of ineffective internet argumentation. I also like how you didn't address the actual point. Classic!

Comment: Re:And this is somehow supposed to be a surprise? (Score 1) 1010

by Ardeaem (#45830223) Attached to: New Study Shows One-Third of Americans Don't Believe In Evolution

He's given up one dogmatic authority in his life, and chosen another (in that case, the dictionary).

Eh? The poster is merely using the dictionary as evidence of the meaning of the word in common use, not (necessarily) as an authority. Furthermore, the poster asked a simple question, to which you're presumably invited to answer. You're free to add your own evidence or reasoning to the discussion, but you haven't. You've only made the bizarre claim that being convinced by evidence has nothing to do with believing, and that you'd be confused if someone asked you whether you "believe" the theory of evolution. "Oh my, whatever do they mean? I'm so confused by the question!"

Seriously? You should do some reading on the topic. This is a topic on which there is a substantial body of work going back centuries.

Comment: Re:And this is somehow supposed to be a surprise? (Score 1) 1010

by Ardeaem (#45829703) Attached to: New Study Shows One-Third of Americans Don't Believe In Evolution

They've given up one superstition and found another, which is why they defend it so emotionally, like you do..

What superstition am I defending? The definition of evidence? Basic epistemology? I'm justifiably annoyed at people abusing basic concepts like "evidence" and "belief".

Comment: Re:And this is somehow supposed to be a surprise? (Score 5, Insightful) 1010

by Ardeaem (#45827875) Attached to: New Study Shows One-Third of Americans Don't Believe In Evolution

Although honestly I find the wording somewhat awkward, if someone asked me if I believed in evolution I would probably glare at them. Believe? I certainly find the evidence supporting that theory convincing, but what does it have to do with belief?

I see this particular stupidity come up whenever evolution is discussed. It needs to stop. If you find the evidence convincing -- and you are convinced -- then by definition you believe in evolution. The role of evidence is to provide good grounds for belief. There's no sense in denying that evidence has nothing to do with belief, because to do so would require that there is some "knowledge fairy" that somehow drops the knowledge in your head, bypassing belief, when the evidence in sufficiently strong.

If you are rational, the role of evidence should be to shift your beliefs. Weak evidence should shift it weakly; strong evidence should shift it more strongly. The problem with creationists is not that they believe in creationism, but rather that evidence does not shift their beliefs at all. That's why they are irrational. Rationality is not about what you believe but in your beliefs' response to evidence.

Stop claiming that scientific evidence has nothing to do with belief. It makes you look almost as dumb and unsophisticated as creationists.

Comment: Re:only in academia (Score 4, Interesting) 94

by Ardeaem (#45403013) Attached to: Chicago State University Lawyers Attack Faculty Bloggers

Only in academia would faculty feel entitled to freely criticize their employer while expecting their employer to turn a blind eye. In any other field you would be canned on the spot for doing something like this.

There are principles at play here that don't exist in other employment situations; for instance, academic employees have this thing called "academic freedom" which, for decades, has meant that "[c]ollege and university teachers are citizens, members of a learned profession, and officers of an educational institution. When they speak or write as citizens, they should be free from institutional censorship or discipline..." and that "a faculty member’s expression of opinion as a citizen cannot constitute grounds for dismissal unless it clearly demonstrates the faculty member’s unfitness for his or her position. Extramural utterances rarely bear upon the faculty member’s fitness for the position."

Comment: Yes (Score 4, Informative) 204

by Ardeaem (#45182651) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Do You Use Markdown and Pandoc?
I used to use LaTeX for everything, but I have switched to markdown for presentations, papers, tech reports, and even everyday statistical analysis (probably, they'll turn into tech reports anyway). LaTeX is way too finicky for everyday use. markdown doesn't completely fail over a misplaced character, while LaTeX will. Of course, you're giving up a lot of power by moving to markdown, but I find for most things markdown provides a good balance of usability and flexibility. I still use LaTeX for papers I'm going to submit to scientific journals, which is where I need the features of LaTeX.

I use the Rmarkdown flavor of markdown.

Comment: Re:Treason.. or... (Score 2) 524

by Ardeaem (#44840411) Attached to: Yahoo CEO Says It Would Be Treason To Decline To Cooperate With the NSA

Vote with your wallets. Vote with organization. Just hope that the new masters (whomever ends up with controlling interest) are better than what we have now.

We're talking about fairly basic violations of the US Constitution here. If your solution is to "vote with your wallets" then everything is lost, because that means 1) you think basic guarantees are up for a vote, and 2) you've given up on the idea that one person is one vote. That means you're not *really* talking about voting any more; you're talking about *buying back* freedoms that we're supposed to be guaranteed. But when 1%-2% of people in the US own the majority of the wealth, you can't "vote with your wallet." Your vote is irrelevant, because your wealth is irrelevant (unless you happen to be in that tiny sliver of the population).

Comment: Re:Everything you need to know about this (Score 2) 490

by Ardeaem (#44600715) Attached to: Time Reporter "Can't Wait" To Justify Drone Strike On Julian Assange

Wow. I expected to find something interesting at that link, but I was blown away with the level of delusion and ignorance. Turns out the left may really be as bat shit crazy as the right wing radio hosts all say.

Yeah, those same right-wing radio hosts clearly have a great grip on reality...

Comment: Re:Pointing out the truth can not be bigotry... (Score 1) 1121

The Quran is demonstrably, substantively more evil. Want to try again? This is fun!

Sure! How about justified genocide? 1 Samuel 15:2-3 Not that I would say that the Bible is demonstrably "more evil" (whatever that means) than the Quran; rather than this is barbarism all around. Talking about which ancient holy book is more evil is stupid. They're all horrible.

What good is a ticket to the good life, if you can't find the entrance?