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Comment Another explanation than conservatism (Score 1) 445

Non-social justice explanation:

1) Religions tend to come with cultural blinders which make people ignore the logical implications of their religion (and religions can have some really strange logical implications to anyone who actually tries to figure them out.)

2) Engineers can be smart enough that they stop ignoring the logical implications of their religion... but that doesn't necessarily mean they're going to ignore the religion itself..

3) So if the logical consequence of the religion is that you should become a suicide bomber, a normal person would just ignore it (his cultural blinders prevent from deducing that his religion requires suicide bombing), but an engineer (who can make deductions just fine) would actually do it.

Comment Re:Sadly.. (Score 1) 349

In a normal program, the program warns you if you modify a file and then try to close the program without saving. Because you have to export instead of saving, this warning becomes useless.

Comment Difference (Score 1) 358

Jam choices are partly just the existence oif different brands, and partly things that actually matter to consumers: seeded or seedless, what fruit the jam uses, etc.

Having 150 pension plan choices, new car options, etc. is done so that the seller can squeeze as much money as they possibly can out of the customers by presenting choices such that consumers will pick the one that brings the most profit. There is no motive for manufacturers to hide the fact that one jam is made with peaches and another made with strawberries. There *is* a motive to make it as difficult as possible for the consumer to determine which pension plan or car actually meets his needs in order to induce him to get one which is low value for him (and thus high value for the provider or dealership).

These are fundamentally different sorts of "too much choice". People are stressed out by jam choices because they are idiots. People are stressed out by pension plan choices because it is in everyone else's interests that they are stressed out.

Comment Re:The freedom of not having a car (Score 3, Insightful) 242

Using a car isn't wasting time; using public transportation is wasting time. The public transportation goes from a specific location to another specific location (so it takes time to walk to and from those locations), and costs even more time when you transfer or wait for the next bus or train. It also might not go in a straight line and probably stops at many places along the way which you would not do in a car.

Also, even places with otherwise good public transportation tend to only cover almost all of the times when you'd need it. Covering *all* of the times when you'd need it means having the public transportation run routes at times and places when the ridership is very low; governments hate doing this because it's a money sink, so you still need a car for that last 5% or 10% of the uses.

Comment Wait a minute (Score 5, Interesting) 187

Read these carefully. The woman in Nepal describes her problems as "My parents, my brother, my community, all were against me... Nepalese women are still expected to marry at the age of about 21, go to live with their husbands and raise a family"

The others have "problems" such as "Lots of people questioned whether she really was an engineer" which made the woman feel "helpless", "pictures of topless women in the cabins", and a woman from China who described no problems at all by SJ standards (she says that women and men think differently, which is a no-no).

The article is trying to conflate an actual problem that results in actual discrimination but did not happen in the West, with non-problems, in an attempt to equate them. It's more SJ clickbait.

Comment Re:What ban? (Score 1) 125

There's a third reason (a fourth if you count the AC's below): Implict threat of government intervention. It's how we got the Comics Code authority and video game ratings. Yes, it was pressure groups, but one of the reasons pressure from pressure groups works is that if the company doesn't obey, they can pressure the government into cracking down on the company "to protect the children" or "to stop violence against women". For that matter, they can just directly sue the company in order to censor them; even if the company wins, they're bankrupt from the lawsuit and from being dropped by everyone else who doesn't want to be the next lawsuit target.

Even if you only consider government activity to be censorship, laundering the government activity through a private group doesn't make it cease to be that.

Comment In other news (Score 3, Interesting) 410

Arresting people occasionally puts innocents in jail.

It's impossible to completely avoid civilian casualties in war unless you conduct absolutely no military operations whatsoever. The subtext of this is, of course, that the US should have avoided this, but how? Never go to war? That's obviously impractical.

Okay, so how about only going to war when you have a really good reason? If that's your plan, and you do approve of war as long as there is a really good reason, then (since some civilian casualties are inevitable) you've just said that you're okay with civilian casualties as long as the war is for a really good reason. Needless to say, you never see anti-war people saying this.

Being more careful in war? Well, you can be more careful, but nobody's perfect; there will always be *some* civilian casualties. So you're not really objecting to civilian casualties; you just think there are too many, but fewer but still some is okay. I've never seen anti-war people saying that either.

So what exactly should be done, other than never going to war, ever?

Comment Re:This author clearly is a Google marketroid (Score 1) 145

Support for Android phones and tablets.

Read carefully. The support for Android means that it can connect to an Android device, not that it can be used on Android to view ebooks. (And to use even that functionality, you need a paid Calibre Companion app. This app cannot view ebooks either and needs to pass the ebooks to your own separate ebook viewer app.)

Comment Re:Sandy Hook (Score 4, Insightful) 1165

I can only imagine someone saying this after 9/11. "Once America decided that allowing terrorists to kill people was bearable, it was over."

Gun control after a mass shooting is exactly as bad as terrorism control after a terrorism attack. It's the perfect time to propose a measure that isn't actually going to help save anyone but does a great job of cracking down on people's rights, and pass it based on outrage.

Comment This is terrible (Score 4, Insightful) 323

And not because it lets the car companies get away with something.

The prosecutor is considering prosecuting Volkswagen for "lying to the authorities". "They lied to the authorities" is a catchall crime that the government often brings when it finds itself unable to convict someone for an actual crime. This is a bad, bad, thing because you can't just refuse to speak to the government, and pretty much anyone is going to say something when questioned by the government that can be spun as a "lie", even if they just forgot, were misheard, or told an actual lie but one that has no bearing on the case.

The people cheering for this are really cheering for the idea that the government can put anyone in jail at a whim, because that's what the crime of "lying to the government" amounts to. It makes a mockery of the idea of a fair trial, and the fact that in this case the government decided to use this trick on a deserving target doesn't make it any less horrible.

Comment Re:Tit for Tat (Score 4, Informative) 14

Cancer clusters are subject to the Texas sharpshooter fallacy. If you search a country with hundreds of millions of people there will be lots of places where the incidence of cancer is high, purely by chance. Also, you picked the Wikipedia article that lists cancer clusters, but the Wikipedia article about cancer clusters mentions that 5% to 15% are statistically significant. And even statistically significant clusters can end up being caused by chance if you search enough places for them.

Also see this (PDF linked from the Wikipedia article on Texas sharpshooter fallacy).

given a typical registry of eighty different cancers, you could expect twenty-seven hundred and fifty of California's five thousand census
tracts to have statistically significant but perfectly random elevations of cancer. So if you check to see whether your neighborhood has an elevated rate of a
specific cancer, chances are better than even that it does--and it almost certainly won't mean a thing.

Comment Re:Shop elsewhere if you need this drug (Score 5, Interesting) 372

Some enterprising company willing to spend the money to get approval to import the drug from the UK would put this startup out of business. Hopefully.

They can't, because of the loophole (which is not explained in this article, but is in other articles like http://blogs.sciencemag.org/pi... ): You are not allowed to sell a generic equivalent unless you can prove it is as effective as the nongeneric version. In order to prove it is as effective as the nongeneric version, you need to do trials that compare it to the nongeneric version. The company that owns the nongeneric version refuses to sell you any, so you can't do trials, so you can't prove it's effective, so you can't sell it.

The trouble with money is it costs too much!