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Comment: In other words... (Score 1) 179

In other words, people with little emotional self control over themselves in general, also have little emotional self control while playing games. Surprise surprise. Just because video games can place a person in a "stressful" situation in which failure happens often, and thus triggers the person's natural behavior that may not occur as often in less-stressful day to day real-life situations, does not mean video games *caused* that person to have that tendency.

Comment: Re:I have this "problem" (Score 1) 224

by Dan East (#46692543) Attached to: Online Skim Reading Is Taking Over the Human Brain

I have the exact same "history" as you do (18 years old in 1990), and starting when I was 16 I got into dialing up BBSs and reading lots of messages in that kind of format. Then of course on to usenet and email in college and prolific reading of thousands of messages a week. My ability to read "books" hasn't been affected at all. I don't know if it was because I was already a prolific reader (I read the Hardy Boys books as fast as I could get my mom to buy them for me when I was younger - she made the mistake of saying she would keep buying them as long as I kept reading them, but eventually had to limit me to 2 a week). I still read a fair amount (just finished the Dark Tower series), and again, I've not had any ill affects from my daily large consumption of online fragments of information.

So this must affect different people in different ways.

Comment: Re:Ltetres odrer (Score 3, Insightful) 224

by Dan East (#46692495) Attached to: Online Skim Reading Is Taking Over the Human Brain

I wrote a script to do that:

Thing is, once you start throwing lots of more robust text in there (excerpt from a book, etc), it becomes very apparent that it really only works with simple, common words. Once you start using proper nouns and more diverse vocabulary, it becomes very difficult to read the scrambled text. Also, the way the words are scrambled makes a big difference too. I ran your text through my scrambler a few times, and some of the results were harder to read than others.

Here's the summary scrambled, and there are parts that can be read pretty easily, but then there are words that simply can't be read "automatically" and you have to sit and think about them.

Meiahcl S. Rlwosnead rtoreps in the Wnasitgohn Psot taht, adrnioccg to covniitge ntesenucoiirtss, haumns seem to be dopnvileeg daigtil binras wtih new crtiuics for simnkimg torhguh the trneort of irfianoomtn oinlne at the eespnxe of taadinrtiol deep ridneag ctucirriy... Mraaynne Wlof, one of the wlrod's fsmoroet exptres on the stduy of rnadieg, was stretlad last yaer to divseocr her bairn was aertpnalpy antiadpg, too. After a day of srincollg tghoruh the Web and hdedruns of e-malis, she sat dwon one enenvig to raed Hearmnn Hsese's ciannlhgleg nvoel The Galss Baed Gmae. 'I'm not kniddig: I cdluon't do it,' syas Wlof. 'It was troture getitng touhgrh the fisrt page. I cdouln't fcroe msyelf to solw down so taht I wsan't siknmmig, pciinkg out key wdors, ognranizig my eye moetvnems to geantere the most ifianotromn at the hsiehgt seped. I was so digsutsed wtih mylesf.'

The bairn was not dseengid for riaendg and trhee are no geens for radenig lkie three are for lauaggne or vioisn. ... Bfeore the Irntneet, the barin raed mtlosy in leianr wyas — one pgae led to the nxet pgae, and so on. The Inntreet is deneiffrt. With so mcuh iorfainomtn, hpyernilked txet, vedois asldgonie wdors and ireittntavciy eewvhrerye, our branis form suothcrts to dael wtih it all — snnicang, sinhcaerg for key wdros, srlclnoig up and down qilkcuy. Tihs is naneoilnr rnieadg, and it has been dmteucnoed in amcadiec sduetis. ... Some rseahrcrees bilveee taht for mnay polepe, tihs sytle of rneaidg is bnngiieng to idnave our abiltiy to dael wtih otehr mdeuims. 'We're seinpndg so mcuh tmie tincohug, psuinhg, liinnkg, sinlolcrg and junipmg toughrh txet taht wehn we sit dwon wtih a nveol, yuor daliy hbatis of jpmuing, ccilnikg, lniikng is jsut iareingnd in you,' syas Anerdw Dloiln."

Comment: Sounds good! (Score 5, Insightful) 107

by Dan East (#46669087) Attached to: Japan Orders Military To Strike Any New North Korea Missiles

If North Korea wants to provide Japan with some awesome real-world testing of missile defense systems, then so be it. The data to be gleaned from both successful and unsuccessful missile intercepts is invaluable, and Kim Jong-un is extremely ignorant to give his "enemies" such wonderful opportunities to fine tune their defenses against his small variety of missile assets.

Comment: Dangerous territory (Score 2, Interesting) 470

by Dan East (#46669059) Attached to: It's Time To Bring Pseudoscience Into the Science Classroom

Any time you are trying to tell someone what not to think, or what not to believe, you are entering dangerous territory. This is even more important when state sponsored - aka the public educational system. If schools do their job right, then students will be able to make their own informed choices on what to believe or what not to believe, and even if a student does not adhere to what the school "wants" them to believe, that is okay - the school has done their job either way. Direct comparisons against things schools do not espouse is not necessary or appropriate in any shape or form.

To be perfectly clear, let me explain what I'm NOT talking about. Take cigarette smoking for example. There are hard scientific studies showing that smoking causes specific health problems, so it is appropriate for a school to teach that smoking is bad and then provide the evidence. Now on the other hand, suppose there are people in the world who believe smoking is beneficial (and certainly those people are out there). Is it the school's job to incorporate that into their anti-smoking teaching and attempt to specifically discredit or call out the opposite viewpoint? No. That isn't necessary or even feasible. What this story is talking about crosses far into this kind of territory.

Comment: Lack of correlation is even worse (Score 2) 137

by Dan East (#46657787) Attached to: Study: Exposure To Morning Sunlight Helps Managing Weight

The other problem is lack of correlation for this hypothesis. There are large numbers of people whose work shifts that have them awakening at night to work during the night. If this study's conclusion is correct then the vast majority of these people should have a very high BMI, and the effects of working such shifts would have been noticed decades ago.

Then there are people at the high latitudes who have months of very reduced sunlight, and thus wake up in the dark for weeks on end. Again, do we see the same correlation there? This type of thing should be easy to study in places like the Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station, where those that stay over winter experience little sunlight for a few months non-stop.

Comment: Re:And so this is Costco's fault? (Score 2) 440

by Dan East (#46616979) Attached to: Million Jars of Peanut Butter Dumped In New Mexico Landfill

Your logic is not sound. The profit margin to be lost over one shipment of peanut butter is small change. Even if they made a 50 cents profit per jar, we're only talking about $475,000 in profit to be lost. But let's look further. The peanut butter would be donated to food banks and the like, for people who can't afford enough food. Did you know that Costco, like Sam's club, requires membership to shop there? So are you suggesting that these people with such a low income that they cannot afford food actually have a Costco membership, and that's where they purchase their peanut butter, and so that's why Costco would not accept the peanut butter? In other words, giving the peanut butter away would have Costco's competitors (Walmart, grocery store chains, etc) far more than it would have hurt Costco. That $475,000 in potential profit would have come out of the pockets of regular grocery stores, and not Costco.

Although it's fun to always beat up on corporate America, the evil motive you suggest is laughable in this case.

1 Billion dollars of budget deficit = 1 Gramm-Rudman