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Comment Re:Sovereign Immunity has been waived (Score 1) 171

No damages, though. A federal court can make them stop, but it can't order them to pay up (unless there is a federal law directly relevant).

Not true, or at least there is federal law for constitutional violations generally and has been for a long time. Damages in 1983 actions are common; otherwise people would be much less likely to enforce their constitutional rights.

See, e.g.,

Comment Well (Score 1) 101

I think people like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet give away their money to charities that buy products from the companies they own (such as Monsanto, Microsoft, drug companies, etc.) which pay them dividends and probably make them richer than before while making them look good at the same time. I think Zuckerberg is doing the same. For example, make investments in Internet infrastructure to get a billion or two more people on the Internet^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H Facebook, and profit from the ad revenue.

Um, no.

Well, YES, but no. Certainly, the misuse of charitable organizations is a thing, and a thing with a lot of tax advantages.

But you don't give away $44 billion dollars to charity as a way to hide an investment in your own company.

And you don't know anything about Warren Buffet, at all, if you believe this. He's a good guy. There isn't a trick to it, he just happens to be really good at allocating capital. He doesn't need to go searching for loopholes--he already thinks his taxes are too low.

Comment Human Trafficking (Score 1) 171

I see. It sounds like you have driven down one of these streets. You are probably reacting out of fear because you know you are guilty, and soon your wife will too.

I feel quite confident in making this judgment of you given solely the evidence provided in your post, as will anyone who finds out you have received such a letter from the police.

Actually, no. I know the anti-human trafficking community quite well and have an understanding of the harm these places do to millions of women around the world every year, many of them underage. In the United States, tens of thousands of people are trafficked every year. Lots of kids. Lots of girls who run away and find a pimp to exploit them and make them feel loved. Lots of stupid guys who have no fucking idea are out on the street paying to rape those kids. The people who teach "John School" find they get a mix--the johns who just don't care what they're doing, and the ones who had no clue.

But that doesn't make it right to send letters that risk breaking up marriages just because someone drives down the wrong block. At the very least, such a letter would need to be incredibly carefully worded, with a tact not many people can command. And even then, it may cause great harm to perfectly innocent people. Not to mention the expanded database of blackmail material that starts turning up in political opposition research.

Comment Summer Camp (Score 1) 200

No, it doesn't indicate a problem. If you think it does, name it, but make sure that it also explains why most car salesmen being male is a problem, and most realtors being female. Be sure that the suggested cure is also applied to remove the gender imbalance in teaching and nursing (mostly female), and in auto repair and roofing (mostly male).

The problem is all-male summer camp. Put a bunch of guys together and their guyism can become exaggerated. This, in turn, can make girls feel or actually be excluded.

Clear boundaries with clear consequences (and proportional responses to boundary violations) are the solution, but in real life people are messy. Some are afraid of reporting boundary violations because of the risk of retaliation, others are stupid enough to retaliate, the lack of discussing simple boundary violations leads to more egregious ones as people don't learn where the boundaries of acceptable behavior are.

Comment WTF? (Score 5, Insightful) 171

Are the police insane? So if someone drives down the wrong street because they don't know that you're not supposed to drive down that street, the police are going to ruin their marriage? For that matter, if someone happens to drive to a bar in that neighborhood, the police are going to harass them?


Also, cue the lawsuit in 3... 2... 1...

Comment Tel Aviv University (Score 1) 117

Exactly. I'm not sure why yet another study confirming this is a big deal, or why it's a big deal when people such as Larry Summers make statements that, yes, there are tendencies for gender differences when talking about brains on a general basis, even if you can't make a specific prediction about any one individual based on that general tendency.

This one is from Tel Aviv University. Maybe it is a more useful study for people to cite who are having gender policy discussions within various Jewish communities.

(Although it will not be enough to change certain Orthodox policies, like IIRC women don't count when determining if you have a quorum for a prayer.)

Comment Ethics (Score 1) 121

Our country is too fond of market-based solutions to matters like this. Once (at least) one company finds a way to make a lot of money off of this, the discussion will be over and we will convince ourselves that it is for the better.

Arguably the bigger loss is in the fact that it will force even more scientists away from ethically sound research and into profit-driven work instead because there won't be any other careers.

Ethical restraints are actually one of the biggest things holding back US research. People are afraid of regulatory and publicity risk, and science goes much slower because experiments have to go through IRB processes. The result will be that other countries with comparable resources will play catch-up and then will be able to research faster than we can.

The ethics rules may not be as restrictive as you would like and their ethics may not track with your morality, but that doesn't mean US ethics aren't there.

Comment No... Khan (Score 1) 121

that's creeped out by this???

No. "Just remember that for every Julian Bashir that can be created, there's a Khan Singh waiting in the wings."

It will be mostly an incremental process. Already many children with certain forms of retardation are aborted. People will become smarter and healthier as the techniques get better. Gattaca is an unrealistic extreme, but perhaps the average new baby will get five IQ points from genetics in fifty years, and ten in a hundred. Maybe it will even help diminish the unfair genetic advantage that smart families have.

Comment Arbiter (Score 1) 510

sadly both sides are acting atrociously. short of turning both Israel and Palestine into a wasteland I am not sure this will ever get better as both sides have demonstrated time and time again they are incapable of living peacefully.

Almost as if there needed to be an independent arbiter of what videos could be published that didn't live, eat, and breathe an existence biased against the other.

A video celebrating kids blowing themselves up isn't okay, for example.

Comment Lack of roads (Score 1) 267

The main legit use I can see would be to have this drone alone side of the delivery trucks. meaning the trucks get to keep driving, the drones when they get near the correct location grab the box and drop it on the doorstep. Less wasted gas due to keeping the truck moving, and more deliveries for the same reason.

There are plenty of places where roads are unreliable. There are even places where the delivery truck may be pulled over by men with guns.

Comment Re:Not Contractors (Score 2) 124

The IRS defines who is and is not a contractor. These drivers simply are not independent contractors. First they would need a business permit in order to be contractors. They can not be supervised by Uber in any way, And they would need a written contract that offers them benefits roughly equal to any benefits Uber gets by offering the contract.
            So many businesses steal money by falsely calling people independents or piece workers and it is fraud both to the workers as well as numerous public agencies. For example, a Uber driver, injured in a wreck can not get Workman's comp. And Workman's compensation suffers an economic loss when employees are falsely called independent contractors.

Not exactly. Someone can be an IC without a business permit--that just means they're operating a business illegally. Also, "supervised in any way" doesn't necessarily make someone an employee. I can watch my plumber work on pipes in my house, and it doesn't make him my employee. I can even supply the parts. I can even let him borrow a tool.

Whether someone is an IC or not is a fact-based inquiry, and is determined by looking at a variety of factors including to what degree someone is supervised, whether they provide their own tools, etc... There is no single absolute rule.

The clothes have no emperor. -- C.A.R. Hoare, commenting on ADA.