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Comment: Look, A Grammar Nazi! Stop Them! (Score 1) 190

Singular they has rapidly taken over to the point where it's now even used for persons where there is a presumed gender. While I may be fighting a losing battle, by god does it need fighting.

Why do you feel it needs fighting? I really don't think it's critically important to communicate gender with every use of a pronoun. We don't have separate pronouns for different races, young vs. old, short vs. tall, fat vs. skinny, smart vs. stupid, obstinate grammar nazi vs. speaker of contemporary english, etc., so what makes the detail of gender so important that it alone must be embedded in the pronoun? I really can't see a purpose for automatically referencing gender every time you refer to a person other than to reinforce sexism.

We don't have a "proper" gender-neutral singular pronoun, so we use "they" and "them" instead. It doesn't matter if this behavior has precedent dating back to the 1300s or if it started last week. What matters is that it's currently widespread and unambiguously understood by most (if not all) modern english speakers. The dictionary should be descriptive, not prescriptive. You are witnessing the evolution of language in action! Don't fight it, be fascinated and pleased!

Comment: Vegan diet (Score 1) 1181

by Cassander (#39693659) Attached to: Losing the Public Debate On Global Warming

Naturalistic fallacy. Just because we evolved to eat meat doesn't mean we have to eat meat, or even that we should.

(not that I don't - I'm just pointing out the reasoning flaw)

Yes it does. It is a scientific fact humans need to eat meet. It is part of our diet. Vegans suffer massive health problems because if their diet.

No, they don't. If anything vegans are more healthy because they actually tend to pay attention to what they eat. I suppose it would be possible for a highly ignorant vegan to give themselves health problems with malnutrition, but most don't. Most omnivorous americans, however, do suffer massive health problems because their diet contains too much fat, salt, sugar, and protein, but not enough vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.

Now, I'm definitely not advocating veganism. I think they're being pretty silly, especially the ones who actually believe that eating meat is unnatural (sadly there's more than a few). It is possible (and even ideal) to have a healthy diet that includes some meat. But the amount of meat that most americans eat is unhealthy and unsustainable.

Comment: Getting Cited (Score 1) 378

by Cassander (#39693395) Attached to: The Laws of Physics Trump Traffic Laws

Generally speaking, highway patrol and state troopers will always cite you for an infraction. Town and city cops will let things slide depending on your attitude.

My experience has been exactly the opposite; it's the city cops that are totally unforgiving asshole revenue-generation machines, while county sheriffs and highway patrol are much more likely to let you off with a warning (and more likely to be kind, pleasant, respectful, and helpful human beings and not just an armed bully drunk on their own power).

Comment: Re:Bottlenecks (Score 1) 582

by Cassander (#39662785) Attached to: Interview With TSA Screener Reveals 'Fatal Flaws'

I will bet you that these "bottleneck" employees were being paid an hourly wage and would be sent home early if the day's work were completed early.

I'll take that bet. They were hourly, but on a preset schedule. The company owner believed in not screwing over employees, so all the "regulars" got a 40-hour schedule, mostly regardless of workload. Sending people home early was strongly discouraged. There were many small jobs that could be picked up after an order was underway, like refilling supplies or sorting order-tracking papers. That's what the rest of the production line was doing while waiting for the trickle of orders to pass through the bottlenecks.

Well, I stand corrected in this particular case. Occasional shitty individual employees are a universal constant regardless of even the best working conditions. But shouldn't it be relatively easy to fire those problem employees for incompetence/failure to perform job duties/failure to meet quota/etc? I have always lived in an at-will state, so I'm not super-familiar with how it works elsewhere, but I always assumed that "not doing your job" was pretty much always valid grounds for termination.

Go figure, the owner was a decent human being.

Oh, that's why you had decent working conditions. The company was small enough that it was still owned by an actual human being, and not some faceless corporate monstrosity whose only concern is short-term shareholder profits.

Comment: Bottlenecks (Score 1) 582

by Cassander (#39644587) Attached to: Interview With TSA Screener Reveals 'Fatal Flaws'

I've also worked under an employment contract, in a state without at-will laws. In that company, there were several employees who would be the bottleneck for the whole production line. They would intentionally work slower, so they'd keep a single job to do for the whole day, instead of having to find another task when they ran out of work. Where running a batch of incoming orders should take about 2 hours, they'd somehow manage to make it last all day.

I will bet you that these "bottleneck" employees were being paid an hourly wage and would be sent home early if the day's work were completed early. Many hourly workers find themselves in a situation where they wouldn't be able to afford their rent if they don't get all of their hours every week, and getting another job to cover those missing hours isn't even an option because the first employer still expects the worker to always be available for their scheduled 40 hours even when they aren't actually working and being paid for all of them, so "bottlenecking" is really a matter of basic survival for many. Pay your employees an actual living wage and this problem mostly disappears. The best places to work are the ones that offer performance-based compensation (bonuses for finishing early, or the opportunity for a faster worker to make a per-order rate that ends up being better than the minimum hourly rate). Sadly, most companies seem content to incentivize bottlenecking by punishing their fastest and most efficient employees with reduced hours and corresponding reduced pay. I once very gently pointed out this logical fallacy to one of my employers (I was a "lead" worker and had noticed this behavior in some of my team) and was fired (for no stated reason; "at-will" strikes again) not long after.

Comment: Re:Gee, maybe U.S. shouldn't try to steal oil (Score 2) 969

by Cassander (#38550784) Attached to: Tensions Over Hormuz Raise Ugly Possibilities For War

Oh it's the sanctions that kill people. Sorry but it was the leaders of Iraq who refused to play nice with the world even after they invaded Kuwait and were subsequently forced back onto their own soil. It was the leaders of Iraq who murdered millions of their own people throughout the 80s and 90s. It was the leaders of Iraq who refused to deliver the UNICEF and other aid to those in need in their own country. It was the leaders of Iraq who plundered the revenues from the "oil for food" program instead of feeding their own population.

Your socialist revision of history is appalling. You are the type of person who believes guns kill people. Sorry people kill people as illustrated above.

It's easy, quit threatening people and play nice with the world, quit having a childlike temper tantrum and the sanctions will be lifted.

So you're ok with punishing innocent people for the crimes of their tyrants? It's not like the people who are suffering from the sanctions have any influence over the actions of their government. Their leaders aren't even democratically elected. Additionally, the people at the top who are actually responsible for the evil that the sanctions are in response to are incredibly well-insulated from the effects of those sanctions. In fact, the crazy dictators who run these countries actually use these foreign sanctions to their advantage, as a rallying cry to motivate their people to hate the "evil" western powers that are making them suffer.

Your incredibly short-sighted revision of history is appalling. You are the type of person who believes that corrupt dictators represent the will of their subjects, and that punishing their subjects somehow punishes them. I hope you're just a troll.

Comment: Those evil black bars (Score 2) 666

by Cassander (#36221674) Attached to: Users Want Matte LCDs While Glossy Screens Dominate

I have a good friend who is a proud owner of a very large TV. He is also one of those weirdos who likes to watch everything squished. When I ask him why, his response is that he feels like he's not getting his money's worth unless every inch of the screen is in use. Black bars make him feel like he's just not getting full value out of his expensive, giant TV.

I don't really understand it, myself. I have a very hard time watching incorrect aspect ratio TV for more than a couple minutes (unless it's animation). If I'm watching squished (or pan & scan) content, I don't feel like I'm getting full value out of the content. I don't even notice black bars if I'm enjoying what I'm watching. Different people have different priorities, I guess.

Comment: Not Necessarily A Bad Thing (Score 1) 932

by Cassander (#36043670) Attached to: Draft Proposal Would Create Agency To Tax Cars By the Mile

This country's addiction to fossil-fuel-intensive travel is inappropriate and unsustainable, and actively fucking the environment of the entire planet from multiple directions. This conspiracy to make travel undesirable/expensive might actually be in the service of a greater good.

Or it could just be about good old totalitarian control, restricting the movements of the slave class.

Most likely both.

Comment: Socialism != Fascism (Score 1) 366

by Cassander (#35581422) Attached to: China Starts Censoring Phone Calls Mid Sentence

Ah the irony here will be the dozens of slashdotters who claim that this has nothing to do with socialism, or communism (in China the state does not even allow one to make the difference).

Ok, you're probably a troll, but I'll bite. This has nothing to do with socialism or communism. Socialism and communism are economic models. They are both quite neutral on the subject censorship of political speech. What's going on here is called fascism. Fascism, defined as a system of absolute governmental control, is compatible with any economic model, including the form of capitalism practiced by the western world.

I understand that the american media deliberately makes this point hard to understand, but socialism/communism are opposed to capitalism, while fascism is opposed to a democracy/republic model. You can easily have fascist capitalism, and you can easily have democratic communism.

Comment: Re:This is unacceptable (Score 1) 840

by Cassander (#35030322) Attached to: Egypt Shuts Off All Internet Access

There. Is no such thing as a progressive muslim state. They are all horrendous in one form or another. Human rights, crime, despotism, corruption, justice, the works.

This is a true statement. However, it is still a true statement if you take out the word "muslim". Let's not contribute to divisiveness....

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