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Comment: Re:US is next? (Score 1) 948

by Empiric (#47932069) Attached to: ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children

"You can't have a fact unless it's falsifiable."

On this particular point, I disagree...

One of these propositions is true, and therefore a fact:

1. Mozart was a better composer than Bach.
2. Bach was a better composer than Mozart.
3. Either Mozart or Bach was a better composer than a given randomly-selected High School band student.

None of these are falsifiable. There is no objective test for them, as musical taste is (insofar as we are aware) not scientifically resolvable.

To be clear, though, outside of that, my post was -meant- to agree with and summarize the broader content of your post. You apparently understand the difference between "not scientific" and "anti-scientific" better than most "pro-science" people, including scientists, do, or are willing to be honest about. And you also have a much more real-world awareness of the fact that many subject domains aren't addressable by scientific method, yet people still validly hold that there are ultimately ideas that are true within them, regardless of formal testability--politics and economics, to name a couple.

The recent Dawkins/Hitchens/Tyson/etc. movement to cast every human endeavor within the context of scientific method, and judge everything on that basis, is really a rehash of the philosophically-dead Logical Positivism movement. It doesn't work, and it can't work. And I don't think we have any fundamental disagreement.

Comment: Re:If it happened in China or North Korea or Iran (Score 1) 223

by Pharmboy (#47893669) Attached to: U.S. Threatened Massive Fine To Force Yahoo To Release Data

As you point out, not all birds of a feather stick together. I'm not a Tea Party guy. I'm just not closed minded enough to judge a friend by their politics. If you only have friends that agree with your politics, you are probably narrow minded or take politics too seriously.

Comment: Re:If it happened in China or North Korea or Iran (Score 1) 223

by Pharmboy (#47890547) Attached to: U.S. Threatened Massive Fine To Force Yahoo To Release Data

Has the United States of America become a member of The Totalitarian Club ?

Yes. Each President has been moving in this direction more and more, but Obama has managed to overreach even more than those before him. Take the IRS, for instance. I personally know of people who have been getting involved with Tea Party politics and now are getting audited. Like their politics or not (it doesn't matter), that is totalitarianism, which means the next time a GOP'er gets in, he can do the same thing. It isn't a good time to be an American.

Comment: Re:Wrong Title (Score 1) 499

by DaHat (#47877125) Attached to: Researcher Fired At NSF After Government Questions Her Role As 1980s Activist

You know, the really pathetic thing about what you just said is that I've never illegally downloaded music or movies, and never cheated on my partner.

Care to cite where I accused you of any such thing?

And you're seriously saying that will get flagged as a lie and make me untrustworthy?

Depends on what else they know... either based on their own info or that which is said about you by others and the credibility of those statements.

Let me tell you this right now ... the people screening based on those things are morons unless they actually have proof to the contrary.

Oh? And you've been on the receiving end of such Q's and know their mental processes? I haven't... so I can't say either way.

Because unless you have evidence, assuming everyone who answers no to those questions is lying is completely idiotic. Because, not everybody has done those things, and if you have no evidence suggesting otherwise is just being an asshole.

No where did I say answering no would get you flagged as a liar... I said that depending on the circumstances they it will raising a flag that they may not be the most trustworthy. Key word in that sentence *may*. Further investigation may be required. Maybe they've honestly never used Napster back in the day and instead has a rather lengthy iTunes purchase history?

A broader thing is you seem to thinks such a background check has the same level of evidence & burden of proof as a court does in a criminal trial. It does not.

I increasingly believe the people who do security screenings don't give an actual damn about the truth, just their own interpretations of reality.

Very true at the airport, when it comes to security clearances... it depends on who is doing the vetting and to what degree they are doing it (based on the degree of clearance being sought).

Comment: Re:Wrong Title (Score 2) 499

by DaHat (#47876829) Attached to: Researcher Fired At NSF After Government Questions Her Role As 1980s Activist

It's not about answering yes or no. It's about disclosure.

Exactly, but let me add... these background checks aren't so much about checking as to if you've lead a boring and uncompromised life... but more about gauging your integrity with regards to honesty and ability to be blackmailed.

Example: An old college of mine is now a feeder to a couple of government agencies which give out a few scholarships each year... which in turn require a background check. One of the questions that screws up most kids is "Have you ever illegally downloaded any music or movies from the internet?" (or something to that effect).

Most kids put "no"... not wanting to admit wrong doing... but by doing so end up raising a flag that they may not be the most trustworthy as it's rather unlikely given their age and background (those applying for these scholarships).

Ditto for Q's regarding fidelity. If you've been unfaithful and your spouse doesn't know, it can be used against you (ie "Give me a copy of the blueprints or... I'll tell your wife and the rest of your family that you cheated on them... with another man."

Comment: Re:I don't see how MS can comply (Score 1) 122

by DaHat (#47872963) Attached to: Microsoft Agrees To Contempt Order So It Can Appeal Email Privacy Case

You can't deliberate engage in activities to make it more expensive or complex for law enforcement to search subpoenaed records.

That's not quite accurate.

If the intent is to make it more difficult... then you best not have any evidence that it was done deliberately then you will be in for a world of pain.

If however it is part of your normal business processes and as a side effect it makes law enforcement's job harder... that is still perfectly legal.

E = MC ** 2 +- 3db