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Comment: Basic economic literacy? (Score 1) 216

I would hope for that as a subject before something like programming.

I realize the stories of the young programmer hitting it big with a new website or app are very appealing, and sometimes people feel swathes of society are left out of that lottery because they don't know the first thing about programming. But it's still a very low percentage lottery.

Also, Zuckerberg et. al. don't like paying top programmers salaries like top lawyers or doctors receive.

Comment: "How politics works" (Score 1) 197

I just finished my taxes. Going over the available deductions, I was (darkly) amused at how clearly organized interest groups get their pet deductions put in the federal and state tax codes.

"Drag a hundred-dollar bill through a trailer park, you never know what you'll find." -- James Carville.

The same statement is applicable to federal, state and local legislatures.

Comment: Re:Gender is not the real issue... (Score 1) 286

by Beeftopia (#49107783) Attached to: An Evidence-Based Approach To Online Dating

I think I have an insight on homosexuality and transgenderism ("Oh boy, this should be good," you're thinking - no, no, I'm respectful and support their pursuit of happiness): So, I know this lesbian couple. One female is petite, very feminine, big boobs, quite traditionally attractive. The other partner is a more blocky sort, more male, big, has kind of a beer belly sort of female. She looks like a friend of mine, who's a guy, a former top high school athlete who's let himself go.

I thought - interesting how the petite woman is attracted to a shape that is reminiscent of a male, yet the target of the attraction is a female. I'm guessing there's got to be a pheromone that the petite one is attracted to - one part of her brain likes the male shape and image, but she's "turned on" by the female scent. And I suppose similar holds true for the bigger, more male partner, except she likes both the scent and the image of the female.

Coming back to the thread subject, I don't think a pure hetero male is going to be attracted to a transgender female, because the transgender female (XY chromosome) is not generating the female "scent". It might work for a bi male, but I seriously doubt it could for a pure hetero male.

Homosexuality I think is about a person being attracted to the "scent" of his own gender, first and foremost. Secondarily, what seems to differ is whether they're attracted to the image of the opposite sex represented by their own gender, or whether they're attracted to image of the same sex as well. Two separate channels, scent-attraction and image-attraction.

Comment: Re:I'd defer to whatever the man who died wished (Score 1) 645

by Beeftopia (#49003933) Attached to: Does Showing a Horrific Video Serve a Legitimate Journalistic Purpose?

His final moments were not private. They were watched and filmed by those torturing and killing him.

The only question is, will those moments only be watched by ISIS sympathizers, or by those opposed to ISIS as well?

Also, this man died like a soldier. His bravery and composure were epic. This man was at his best when the flames approached. I saw the mass beheading of the Syrian soldiers. Again, that was not private. And again, the bravery and composure of those men was a credit to them.

ISIS wants to show how ruthless and powerful they are. With every video, they wind up looking like sick, sadistic fucks. And their victims look like the honorable, brave ones. I'm not saying that for propaganda purposes. That's actually how these things look to me.

Comment: Re:Frightened people are easily led and make bad d (Score 1) 645

by Beeftopia (#49003891) Attached to: Does Showing a Horrific Video Serve a Legitimate Journalistic Purpose?

I at least never felt frightened after 9/11. I felt empathy for those 3000 people in the towers and on the airplanes, who were so senselessly murdered. I felt a deep anger at those who would do it. And I felt a deep desire to make sure it would not happen again.

+ - Woman suffers significant weight gain after fecal transplant->

Submitted by Beeftopia
Beeftopia (1846720) writes "In a case reported in the journal Open Forum Infectious Diseases, a woman suffering from a drug-resistant intestinal infection gained 36 pounds after receiving a fecal transplant from her overweight daughter. Previous mouse studies have shown thin mice gain weight after ingesting fecal bacteria from obese mice. The woman previously was not overweight. After the procedure, despite a medically supervised liquid protein diet and exercise regimen, the woman remained obese. Her doctor said, "She came back about a year later and complained of tremendous weight gain... She felt like a switch flipped in her body, to this day she continues to have problems... as a result I'm very careful with all our donors don't use obese people.""
Link to Original Source

Comment: Humans drive based on rules (Score 1) 124

by Beeftopia (#49003101) Attached to: Programming Safety Into Self-Driving Cars

Rules like: stay on the road; don't sweat flying trashbags; stop at red stop lights; don't run into other vehicles; don't run off the road.

Computers are rule-based systems. They are really good at following rules. It is the only thing they can do. If this, do that. Do that X many times or until Y. So beef up the rule sets, improve the sensors, and voila, you have a safe driving system.

Now, I don't know if sensor technology is up to the task yet, or even if we have enough computing power. But the act of driving is something computers could potentially do very well, because it is a rules-based act.

Comment: Re:This will blow your mind. $733,637 coffee (Score 1) 111

by Beeftopia (#48826013) Attached to: Carnivorous Pitcher Plant "Out-Thinks" Insects

The first year, you sock away $2,000 in your low-risk index mutual fund. At the end of the year, the money has earned you $180, so at the end of the first year you have $2,180 from that first year. You add $2,000 more from not buying coffee, which is $4,180. Over the next year, that earns $376 of dividends or interest, for $4556 total. Your money expands exponentially!

Even if you just put away $2,000 ONCE, then never add to it, in 40 years that $2,000 turns into $62,819.10. This is how most millionaires became millionaires - by putting away about $200-$500 per month.

All I can say is, approach these kinds of rosy scenarios with caution. My experience in the market was putting in a healthy chunk of change in a low-risk index fund, letting it sit for a decade, then pulling out a little bit more. The interest rate was commensurate with a bank savings account.

YMMV, but the big thing to remember is that trends do not continue linearly in perpetuity. I personally know smart people who swear by the stock market, and dollar cost averaging into a risking market makes one look like an investment genius. But there is a non-trivial amount of luck involved too, with picking the right fund/stocks and timing the market. There's a lot of market manipulation nowadays too.

Over the past 30 years, we've had an epic bull market. People who started investing in the 80s made out like bandits. However, that past performance is no guarantee of future gains. IMO, understand the 'why' of stocks - what exactly they are, and how they will generate currency for you.

Comment: Re:smarter than many people I know (Score 1) 111

by Beeftopia (#48825793) Attached to: Carnivorous Pitcher Plant "Out-Thinks" Insects

This is more like "conflation" rather than "dog-whistle" racism. You get people agreeing with your speech and then throw in something discordant. They want to agree with the majority of your statement, and it order to do so, it seems like they're agreeing with the discordant note as well.

Comment: Reminded of a quote (Score 1) 249

by Beeftopia (#48798631) Attached to: Education Debate: Which Is More Important - Grit, Or Intelligence?

"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."

- Calvin Coolidge

You scratch my tape, and I'll scratch yours.