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Comment: Re:I do not understand (Score 1) 538

I never claimed they don't - both the "for the children" and "war on terror" crap is used by opportunists in both parties to use emotionally charged rhetoric to distract from the actual effectiveness of their pet laws. Democrats are just more likely to run on a platform of opposition to that thinking than Republican candidates are.

I really disagree with you on that, especially the relative balance of "for the children" usage, but that's probably because we have different ideas about what the "actual effectiveness" and merit of the laws. For example, if you're a Democrat, you probably don't see the use of school shooting incidents as justification for laws that violate the Second Amendment to be examples of "for the children", while I do. Likewise, the "have the government make this decision because it will decide more intelligently than the parents can" argument is almost-entirely a Democrat thing. It's not a "for your children" argument, it's a "for those other parents' children, because those parents aren't smart like you" argument. All sorts of health, safety, and education mandates fall into that category, such as the Democrat hostility to alternatives to public schools. "Spend money for the children" is a mostly-Democrat thing as well, as is the infantalizing "spend money on the children who are no longer really children but we'll talk as if they are" variant, such as Obama's "stay on your parents' insurance until you're 26" thing.

Now, presumably you think most of my examples are things that should be done, but that's my point: we will tend not to see the "for the children" argument unless it's being used to push something we disagree with.

Comment: Technology section seems... odd (Score 3, Insightful) 428

by Dave Emami (#49427443) Attached to: Stack Overflow 2015 Developer Survey Reveals Coder Stats
Javascript and AngularJS and NodeJS? If you're using one of the latter, aren't you using the former by definition? And also, while I have nothing against Angular (learning at the moment myself), is it really more-used than jQuery? I see jQuery all over the place when I look into the source of sites I find interesting, far more often than I run into Angular.

Comment: Re: I do not understand (Score 1) 538

it's still silly.

No, silly is insisting that a word be used in an essentially-useless way.

what's wrong with "north americans"? "south americans" seems accepted too.

Yes, because they provide useful information -- there are generalizations you can make and subjects you can discuss about North America(ns) or South America(ns) that apply to them but not to the rest of the world, as opposed to both of them combined.

i meant appropiaton in a linguistic sense.

As I pointed out, the use of America to mean the United States probably came into widespread use outside it before it did so inside it, because for the better part of a century its people primarily thought of themselves in term of what state they lived in, not what country. I'll defer to someone with a better knowledge of linguistic history, but at a guess this is probably because the US was the first European colony to become a separate nation and thus need a special name to denote it.

in the end it might just be you just have a silly name for your country, i admit that "united staters" or "usians" sounds weird

If you just can't bring yourself to use "Americans" to mean "person who lives in the US", the way everyone else does, use "Yankees" or "Yanks." Just realize that it means something different within the US, and that some folks in the Southern US will take offense.

(though that's exactly how you are referred to in most european languages),

As others have pointed out in their replies, that's not the case. And even for countries that do have a specific word for US citizens in their language (for instance, Japan or China), when speaking/writing English they use "American" for that.

but that's no reason to disregard the meaning of a reference for all people in america to the point to, ... yes, appropiate it. or else, how would you actually refer properly to that group (assuming you wanted to)?

Can you give me some non-contrived examples in which you'd want to? Is there anything (again, non-contrived) we could discuss that would apply to people in Seattle and Sao Paolo but not to people in Stuttgart and Sydney?

you could'nt, you'd have to use a periphrase because you gave an arbitrary meaning to the only word that would make sense.

Your statement is akin to insisting that the astrophysics definition of "metal" (everything except hydrogen and helium) should be the preferred meaning instead of the meaning everyone else uses.

Really, it sounds like this is just a proxy for resentment of the US. Maybe that resentment is justified, maybe not, but this seems a pretty silly way to express it.

Comment: Re: I do not understand (Score 4, Interesting) 538

Most people think of their location in terms of political entities rather than geography.

there are examples of the opposite. people in canary islands, for example, refer to themselves as "canarios", not "spanish". that makes sense, however, because the term isn't inaccurate.

Point taken, but in that case, their term is more specific and helps distinguish them from a larger group -- the exact opposite of the way you want to use "Americans." And you'll note that they do not call themselves "Africans" despite their islands being geographically part of that continent.

That's not just an American thing.

can you remember any other instance where the name of a whole continent is appropriated by a single country as "nationality"? thought so.

The Republic of India, generally called "India" and whose citizens are generally called "Indians", despite sharing the subcontinent of India with Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. Do you call the citizens of the Republic of India "RoIans"?

Besides which, the idea that it's an "appropriation" is silly. Next to no one uses it that way in everyday conversation or refers to themselves primarily that way, because it doesn't tell you anything useful about them. If I tell you someone is an American in the nationality sense, that lets you make some generalizations about them -- you know he probably speaks English, you know to a degree what kind of food he eats, what TV shows he watches, who the leader of his country is, etc. (Feel free to snark if you wish here). If I use it in the geographic sense, it tells me... what, exactly, besides the tautology that they live on either the North American or South American continent? That they set their clocks between UTC-3 and UTC-11? Heck, just telling me if a person lives north or south of the equator tells me more about where they live than saying that they live in the Americas.

In short, when a word has multiple meanings, people naturally gravitate towards the meaning that's most useful. Referring to someone as an American in the sense you want to use it is only slightly more useful than telling me they're a Terran.

you should be able to understand how nonsensical this looks from anywhere outside united states.

i know that this is customary in the states, but you guys should also note that this is the internets where you are being read.

It's used that way in plenty of other countries, including Canadians, who would have as much right to be annoyed by the supposed "appropriation" as anyone else. My impression is that they're proud of their demonym and have no great yearning to lump themselves in with a couple dozen other countries by calling themselves "Americans."

Furthermore, at a guess I'd expect that "American" in the nationality sense came into common man-on-the-street usage (as opposed to political tracts or whatnot) outside the US before it did so inside it, because for the first 75 years -- prior to the US Civil War -- most people here tended to designate themselves and others by their state rather than national identity. They didn't primarily think and speak of themselves as Americans but as Virginians, Vermonters, Ohioans, Kentuckians, etc.

Comment: Re:I do not understand (Score 3, Insightful) 538

protecting citizens' rights in the face of "for the children"

Democrats are just as willing to use that canard, they just use it to support violation of different rights than Republicans do. For example, this, or just as a general magic phrase to demand access to your wallet.

Comment: Re: I do not understand (Score 1) 538

and who would give a fuck about the cia's world factbook (besides some really stubborn usian :D)

if you don't mind, i will continue to use "american" as related to anything in "america", even though "america" doesn't mean what you think it means.

As with many words, it has more than one meaning, depending on the subject you're discussing. When you're talking about nationality -- which was clearly the case -- "Americans" means people who live in the United States. If you're talking about geography, it means people who live in either North or South America. Since there are far more topics of discussion that apply to everybody in the US than apply to everybody living on both continents (time zones, maybe? plate tectonics?), the former is used.

That's not just an American thing. Most people think of their location in terms of political entities rather than geography. Perhaps you should go to a pub in Ireland and tell them that they're British, since they live in the British Isles. The results might be amusing. That goes for smaller political entities as well, unless there's some well-known landmark that locals refer to. If you ask me where I live, I'm going to answer "Las Vegas, Nevada" not "at the base of the Spring Mountains range, in the Mojave Desert."

Comment: Re:So it is official. (Score 1) 168

by Dave Emami (#48592163) Attached to: Airbus Attacked By French Lawmaker For Talking To SpaceX

Uhhh, you realise that Ariane 5 has launched many many many missions successfully, and has a better reliability record than the US's launch vehicles, right?

SpaceX is in fact the untested upstart in this situation.

If that was Senator Gournac's objection -- "maybe it's cheaper but it's too risky" -- it would be entirely reasonable, assuming reality backed him up. But I'm assuming Airbus was considering SpaceX based on objective cost/benefit/risk considerations, and Gournac was effectively saying "Airbus should use Ariane because it's European, even if the cold hard facts say using SpaceX is the better option." And that's crap. Airbus should do what's best for Airbus and Airbus' stockholders.

And yes, if Boeing was considering launching a satellite using Ariane, and a US senator threw a fit, I'd say exactly the same thing.

Comment: Re: Yeah, right... (Score 1) 459

by Dave Emami (#48362749) Attached to: Black IT Pros On (Lack Of) Racial Diversity In Tech

As an example, a business or industry that recruits heavily through word-of-mouth recommendations is likely to end up with a systematic racism problem, because even though the individuals within the system may be well meaning and totally non-racist

Racism is a belief (note the ism). Whether or not it exists is based on what individuals think -- in the case of racism, thinking that the goodness/badness or other attributes of an individual are defined by their race. A system cannot hold a belief, therefore there can be no such thing as "systemic" racism. Bad results can be caused by racism, but they cannot themselves be racism. Otherwise, a meteor striking a mostly-black-populated neighborhood would be "racist."

To give a flips-side illustration, consider Don Sterling, owner of the LA Clippers team, who was in the news a while back when he made racist slurs. Despite there being no negative impact (there were lots of black players on the Clippers, earning lots of money), he was still a racist, because of his beliefs.

Comment: Re:Back in the USSR (Score 1) 430

by Dave Emami (#48309653) Attached to: Russia Takes Down Steve Jobs Memorial After Apple's Tim Cook Comes Out

Whatever its political and economic faults, at least the Soviet Union didn't try to enforce medieval Christian values on people.

Yes, they did. They just used different language, calling it "social deviationism" or such, instead of "sinful." What happend to Yevgeny Kharitonov is one example.

Comment: Re:Robot factories (Score 1) 331

by Dave Emami (#48283825) Attached to: Colleges Face New 'Gainful Employment' Regulations For Student Loans

Yes, when a University closes a philosophy department, it is a problem. You say that like you don't think it is.

I agree that it would be a problem, but so would taking out a large loan to get a philosophy degree. It's a recursive major -- the only significant demand for a degree in it, is to teach it. I'm not saying that philosophy isn't something people should learn (they should), or that you can't get a non-teaching job with a philosophy degree (I know someone with such a degree who works in software), but you're not going to go through the job listings and see "philosophy degree" as a job requirement unless the title is "philosophy professor." If that's your dream, go for it -- but do so with eyes open, and have a backup plan.

Incidentally, back in my senior year of HS, when everyone was going over the university course catalogs and deciding on majors, the thing that drew people to a philosophy and similar majors was the low number of fixed-course units. That is, there were only 35-something units worth of courses that you had to take, out of 120 units or so to get a degree, whereas for a CS degree there were 90+ if memory serves. I heard a lot of variations on, "Wow, for 3/4 of the classes I can take whatever the hell I want!"

Comment: Re:Robot factories (Score 1) 331

by Dave Emami (#48283663) Attached to: Colleges Face New 'Gainful Employment' Regulations For Student Loans

So what you are saying is that the companies that employ burger flippers are SUPPOSED to pay below-market wages

There is no such thing as below (or above) market wages. What their skills can earn them in the market is their market wage, which varies with the particular combination of parties and circumstances. They may be earning below average, or below what they'd like to earn, but those are different things.

because someone else (parents) is SUPPOSED to SUBSIDIZE those companies by paying to house, feed, and clothe their employees?

The parents aren't subsidizing the companies, they're subsidizing their offspring. You're independent of your parents once your skill set is valuable enough -- said value determines by the marketplace -- to sustain you without their help, not once you reach a certain arbitrary age.

...though his invention worked superbly -- his theory was a crock of sewage from beginning to end. -- Vernor Vinge, "The Peace War"

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