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Comment Two important question must be answered first (Score 1) 786

Two important questions must be answered first.

First, we must ask if there is true correlation between the autism spectrum placement and coding skills. If there is, then it may be reasonable to use autism spectrum location as a screening variable when hiring coders (note, correlation is not causation, so be careful here).

Second, is it harder for women to grow into or be born into that pocket of coding creativity? If it is, then we should expect the ratio of successful programmers to be imbalanced, just as there is clear imbalance in the NBA based on height.

It is the worst sort of unicorn-buying for our institutions to try to "correct" such an imbalance without understanding these aspects of the problem.

Comment How to make this happen (Score 1) 474

You have to use a concept from judo, in which you use your opponent's strengths against them. To make this work you have to frame it as a Republican/Libertarian project that uses a universal dividend (not income) to every citizen to eliminate the voter bloc-creating effects of identity and victimhood politics, then appeal to Democrats/Lefts as the party of care-givers and soft hearts to let go of their special interest groups in favor of a fair and equitable basic income. Do NOT apply a means test, let your progressive tax rates take care of that issue. Take away the tax on corporations in exchange for overturning Citizens United, and again, let your progressive tax rates take care of the distributed income (no special category for capital gains).

At this point you have gored enough sacred cows to bring out a tsunami of lawyers and lobbyists to defeat you, but maybe that tsunami itself will be enough of a signal to the taxpayers that they will finally grow up and pay attention.

Submission + - Merchants of Doubt - why we are sooo stoopid

FreedomFirstThenPeac writes: The movie, Merchants of Doubt reveals the concerted efforts that were used to push the Republicans away from the science of (first) tobacco risks, the later climate change. The highlights are three, they are. (1) The film does not blame just Fox — CNN and MSNBC take hits too. (2) The deep issue is exposed to be one of freedom vs centrally controlled command-and-control methods. Conservatives and Libertarians HATE the nanny-state, Big Tobacco (and later, Big Oil) leveraged that hate to create a tribal barrier to believing in the science. (3) Micheal Shermer makes an extended cameo, as he describes his transition from his natural state (a skeptic) to one of agreeing with the science.

The first point is mostly useful to go against the myth that Fox is the only evil (or stupid) media in the room. The second point is why we should be looking into the free-market solutions such as the one that the Citizens Climate Lobby espouses. The third point provides a useful story arc (skeptic-to-believer is a natural conservative path) when trying to show Republicans a path out of the corner they have been painted into.

Comment Alternatively - they are too creative ... (Score 1) 411

Alternatively - they are too creative for their own good, and parse BS through their creative filters to turn crap into poetry. As in.

Wholeness -- ooh, ooh. that triggers my whole holistic reaction set (the whole meme)

quiets -- ahhh. Quieting my mental monkees (Buddhism)

infinite -- wowser! There go my favorite metaphysical thoughts, quantum consciousness anyone?

phenomena -- FUBAR! My favorite orgasm trigger other than my SO's lips on mine.

Comment What we need is the code analog to 3D printing (Score 1) 187

We need an algorithm that can generate good one-time use codes, that can be coded in Excel or other trivial environments and that does not include a backdoor. Once such a simple algorithm is distributed, then we can roll-our-own coded messages, in a massive civil disobedience movement. If such an algorithm already exists, we need to put it on bumper stickers, carve it into bank walls, spread it in flyers in coffee shops and stand back to see what the unintended consequences are.

Comment Been there, done that. (Score 1) 143

Yeah, when I was in AF ROTC at Mich St Univ in 1969-1973 we were told to carry our ROTC uniforms to class in paper bags so we would not be jumped. The protesters did firebomb the Army ROTC building (1970). I went on to a career in the military bombing babies and holding cities hostage. Eventually I single handedly raped an entire civilization (retroactively, without my consent or knowledge) and established a male patriarchy.

Comment A former military analyst (Score 1) 258

In a previous life I worked on the SIOP and helped evaluate various (mostly counterforce) strategies. I highly recommend the books, Prisoners Dilemma (Poundstone) and Command and Control (Schlosser, don't get sidetracked by the Damascus incident story). If you have not read these sources, even if you worked on strategy and tactics at SAC (like I did), even if you taught Strategic and Tactical Sciences at the Air Force Institute of Technology (like I did), you are probably not as informed as you should be on these topics. I certainly was not then, but with maturation comes some ability to see the past for what it was.

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Mathematics is the only science where one never knows what one is talking about nor whether what is said is true. -- Russell