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Comment: No, just no... (Score 1) 199

by Conspicuous Coward (#46952035) Attached to: Single Gene Can Boost IQ By Six Points

If this result, just published in Cell Reports, is confirmed, KL-VS will be the most important genetic agent of non-pathological variation in intelligence yet discovered.

IQ != intelligence. If you want to study variations in IQ score, fine. Not saying it can't yeild interesting results. But can we please stop pretending that there is anything approaching a useful scientific definition of intelligence, nevermind one that reduces to a single number. That ways lies the kind of idiocy that will end up with people fucking up their kids genetic structure trying to engineer "intelligence" without even understanding what that is.

Comment: Re:Given the this community's gender troubles... (Score 1, Insightful) 575

by Conspicuous Coward (#45691651) Attached to: GitHub Takes Down Satirical 'C Plus Equality' Language

Nobody here is mocking women. They are mocking feminists. That kind of argument is exactly why.

Feminism: Noun - "the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes"

Men mocking feminists is by definition pretty close to men mocking women. If you actually read some of the contents of this github project...

among (person p : Unique_person):
if(p.gender==male && p.orentation==het_cis_scum):
yell('RAPE RAPE RAPE RAPE!!!!!');
crush(p); //Use the function crush in Dworkin.Xir to discard the oppressor

It's exactly the sort of shallow, adolescant caricature of feminist thought that should offend feminists. Feminism is probably the most important social movement of the 20th century and has a serious body of work behind it. This project may have started as a satire on somebody's blog post, but it clearly isn't merely geeks mocking somebody's attempts to apply social theory to a programing language. Or written by anyone actually familiar with feminist thought beyond parodies they read on the internet.

Ok. That's 4chan. Shallow and adolescant caricature is what they do. But when I come on slashdot and read shit like "feminists have invaded the programming community, and then demanded that the community change its character" I can't help but wince.

Can the techie comminity please lose the ridiculous overblown hostility to any woman who dares to suggest that there are real problems in our society stemming from a history of thousands of years of male domaination of it. It actually just makes us look fucking stupid.

Comment: Re:Mouse over drop downs (Score 1) 610

by Conspicuous Coward (#42495771) Attached to: 'Gorilla Arm' Will Keep Touch Screens From Taking Over

The N900 browser used to have a feature where you could swipe your finger over the left edge of the screen and get a mouse cursor that would follow your finger. Not massively convenient, but it actually made it possible to use a lot of sites with the kinds of problems you describe.

I'm surprised no other touchscreen systems have copied this feature

Comment: Corporations are psychopathic institutions (Score 4, Insightful) 422

by Conspicuous Coward (#42069067) Attached to: Could Testing Block Psychopaths From Senior Management?

The expected behaviour for any corporation is to maximise profits at the expense of nearly anything else. Certainly corporations are not expected to show empathy or compassion (except as PR exercises in the service of greater profit). In a person such complete narcissism and lack of empathy would be indicative of tendendcies towards sociopathic personality disorder.

Is it any wonder then, that psychopaths are drawn to, and probably well suited to, senior positions in corporations, where their natural tendencies towards such behavior are rewarded rather than punished.

It's somehow indicative of our complete lack of self-awareness as a society that we create these psychopathic institutions, and are then suprised and appalled when psycopaths end up running them. The problem isn't individual psycopaths as such, it goes far deeper than that, and testing managers for psychopathic tendencies will change nothing.

Comment: Nuclear weapons are the definition of insanity (Score 1) 707

Kenneth Waltz's argument is entirely specious.

Yes, MAD is probably the only reason there hasn't to this point been a world war III. But you need to zoom out and judge this on a slightly longer timescale than 65 odd years

I think it's pretty obvious that the probability of a nuclear armed state entering into a confilct with another in any given year is non zero. In fact, if you look at the cuban missiles crisis, or the able archer incident, it's pretty obvious that that probability can be fairly high.

It's also pretty obvious that any major power nuclear conflict would result in the deaths of most of the worlds population, quite concieveably all of it.

Therefore, the probability of an absolutely catostrophic nuclear incident will asymptotically approach 1 the longer we have nuclear armed states. In my view our annilihation is assured if we keep these weapons around long enough.

Being willing to contemplate the destruction of the entire human race, rather than contemplate the destruction of your particlar political power base/ideology is to my mind the purest expression of human insanity.

Comment: As the summary says (Score 2, Insightful) 334

by Conspicuous Coward (#32373414) Attached to: UK Home Office Set To Scrap National ID Cards

A big of the reason for doing this was cost, but not the only one. The Conservatives have been opposed to this scheme since forever. Middle England Tories tend to get very hot under the collar about ID card schemes for some reason, though they don't seem to have any problem with CCTV, repressive "anti-terrorism" legislation, or any of the dozens of other ways in which British civil liberties are being curtailed.

As to the current Con/Dem government doing anything about these wider abuses, I remain very sceptical. Previous Tory governments have been equally as big on repressive legislation as the last Labour government was. And as everybody knows, politicians are generally loathe to give up any powers unless forced to by the population.

Comment: Confusing Cause and Effect (Score 1) 396

by Conspicuous Coward (#30933534) Attached to: Does Personalized News Lead To Ignorance?

The quality of "serious" journalism has always been terrible and is getting worse. People turn away from this because it is mostly an attempt to actually marginalise them from serious discussion.

Look at it this way, doing serious investigative work into systematic government lies, corporate malfeasance or issues of actual importance to people's lives inevitably pisses off a bunch of very rich and powerful people.
Given the ownership structure of the media these people are quite likely to either directly control your newspaper through ownership, or indirectly through advertising. Pissing them off is very bad for your career.

Therefore serious investigative work and reporting is rarely done. Ninety-Nine percent of the time journalists do little more than echo the words of some "offical" govenment or PR source. And the news media that is supposedly meant to protect us from the powerfull actually ends up being just a mouthpice for them. The thing is, people aren't (quite) as stupid as is commonly assumed, they know that what is presented to them as serious journalism is mostly bullshit. But they are lazy, so rather than work harder, read between the lines and try and find out what's really going on behind the headlines; they tune out the bullshit and end up ignoring the news entirely.

The introduction of entertainment into forms that were formerly reserved for "serious" journalism is an effect of this apathy rather than a primary cause. It's an attempt to win back the viewers that were previously lost. It also has the advantage of continuing to give the appearance of "doing" the news, without the inherent cost and risk associated with serious news gathering.

Comment: Re:heh. (Score 4, Interesting) 284

by Conspicuous Coward (#29928819) Attached to: 3 Strikes — Denying Physics Won't Save the Video Stars

Just as the war on drugs is only tangentially related to actual drug abuse, the war on copyright infringement will only be tangentially related to piracy.

The "failed" drug policy of the last 50 years only makes sense to me when seen as a war waged against the underprivileged in our societies. Drug use is high in all sections of society but the poor and ethnic minority groups are the ones that end up in prison.

Equally, I think the real reason behind slime-balls like Mandelson signing up to legislation that targets downloaders is to restrict freedom of speech on the internet.

New Labour, and Mandelson in particular, have waged a vicious war on freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and habeas corpus in Britain over the last 12 years. This legislation is the first step to widening that war to the internet. It gives unaccountable bureaucrats and corporate officials powers that were previously only available to the judiciary, just as New Labour is doing in other areas of British life. It will lead to (ab)use of these powers to curtail fundamental human rights, just as is happening with those other powers.

As much as our politicians are in the pockets of various corporations, I don't believe that's sufficient explanation for the assault on due process we see here. If there's one thing that terrifies politicians more than falling profits it's democracy. And large scale copyright infringement is just the excuse our politicians need to go after that on the internet with a vengeance.

Comment: Pointless (Score 1) 339

by Conspicuous Coward (#29778137) Attached to: California Moving Forward With Big-Screen TV Power Restrictions

Banning certain gadgets that are judged by the powers that be to have "unreasonable" energy consumption is as pointless as it is wrong headed.

Firstly, as long as demand for consumer products continues to grow exponentially any efficiency savings will just be eaten up by increased demand.
Secondly, while society has a right to limit the amount of carbon each individual pumps into the atmosphere in an act of collective self-preservation, it has no right to tell individuals how to use their carbon allocation.

What we need is carbon rationing, and a massive program of alternative energy research and construction. This kind of crap is just an attempt to make people feel like the climate crisis is being handled and provide a talking point without doing anything so politically dangerous as actually addressing it.

Comment: Re:Missing option: (Score 1) 804

by Conspicuous Coward (#29548843) Attached to: In 100 Years, Health Care Won't Be An Issue Because ...

The ideal state, the "dictatorship of the proletariat" - which is the final stage of all core communist philosophies that I have read - is preceded - and then superseded - by a stage wherein a leader (generally a military one) takes control of the country....

You clearly haven't actually read Marx then have you? Marx proposed that the Dictatorship of the Proletariat was the way towards true communism, not it's final stage. I'm not a marxist, I think he was wrong, but if you're going to go around beating your chest calling other people idiots you should at least try reading the books you criticise.

Comment: Greenwash (Score 3, Insightful) 293

by Conspicuous Coward (#29548739) Attached to: $529M Gov't Loan To Develop $89,000 Hybrid Sports Car

The consumerist faux environmentalism backed by mainstream politicians like Gore is little more than fraud intended to enrich them personally.

The last thing a sports car, any sports car, can be is green. Sports cars are toys for the rich that consume massive amounts of energy both in their production and their use. Whether that energy is elecric or fossil fuel is almost secondary at this point. As a species we need to both make massive cuts in our energy use and change the way we generate that energy if we are to have any hope of survival.

If you take environmentalism seriously it means no more cars full stop. At least for the forseeable future. Putting a 50-100kg person inside a ton of steel is simply not an energy efficient method of transportation.

If you think AGW is some kind of fraud, why build electic cars at all? if you take the predictions of climate scientists remotely seriously you need to realise that the infinite growth demanded by consumerism is an insane pipe dream that will desroy us.

You are false data.