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Comment: Re:Are You Kidding? (Score 2) 538

by LoyalOpposition (#47650863) Attached to: Geneticists Decry Book On Race and Evolution


In this paper we we compare the number of legs on humans (homo sapiens) and cats (felis catus). We rely heavily on previous work done on employment classifications and average height done in 1998[1] and 2005[2]. None of the previous work in either employment or height recorded leg quantity, so it was not possible to draw any conclusions. In this study, we generated a matrix associating leg quantity, employment, and average height, and we used an ad hoc method devised by the authors to describe cause and effect. Finally, we threw out all of the results and destroyed the data because to make generalizations on an entire population based on averages would be wrong and racist.


Comment: Re:Different colors (Score 1) 267

by LoyalOpposition (#47633447) Attached to: My degree of colorblindness:

Several years ago I was looking at a World Book Encyclopedia article (I know. Get off my lawn.) about color-blindness, and it had two photographs. One was captioned "what red-green color-blind people see," and the other "what normally-sighted people see." My first thought was, "how do they know that!" Upon reading the article, though, I found it was stated that they located some of the very few people who were color blind in only one eye.


Comment: Re: Which company is next in line? (Score 1) 353

by RobotRunAmok (#47624583) Attached to: Microsoft Tip Leads To Child Porn Arrest In Pennsylvania

Wrong answer, childless ideologue.

I and many more like me will tolerate plenty of email scraping if it results in the removal of pedophiles from free society. How much we will tolerate vs. how effective the perv purge is constitutes the thoughtful discussion. But being an ideologue. You don't want to think or discuss, you just want to pontificate and pretend your extreme point of view is the only sensible one because of its "purity."

Comment: Re: Non-compete agreements are BS. (Score 3, Insightful) 272

by RobotRunAmok (#47370471) Attached to: Amazon Sues After Ex-Worker Takes Google Job

I talk to both HR drones and IT drones all the time, at various companies. And although, unlike you, I am hesitant to generalize, the HR people seem to have far and away more real world smarts and overall life-coping competence than their coding and server-jockeying colleagues.

Comment: Re:low impact (Score 3, Informative) 50

I would be surprised if real traffic light controllers did not have such a safety module.

They do. I worked for a company in 2005 that designed and manufactured traffic light controllers. We bought a standard module from a different company that just watched for conflicting signals, and switched the intersection to all flashing red if it ever saw one. Of course, it was a micro-computer, not an Electrical Engineering class project, but it wasn't connected to the internet and it didn't have any wireless communications ability, so it couldn't be hacked by anything short of physical presence and hand tools.


Comment: Re:What's the problem? (Score 1) 1198

First, why does the US still allow a death penalty?

Well, our judgement is that it provides a number of advantages. One advantage is the it prevents the convicted from committing further crimes. It's safer for the other prisoners, and it's safer for the guards. Another advantage is that it prevents others from committing particularly heinous crimes. I realise that there's evidence that such is not the case, but the evidence is not unequivocal; a reasonable person may still come to that conclusion. A third advantage is that it prevents people from declaring vendetta and taking vengeance. A fourth advantage is that it provides closure for the families and friends of the victim. Families don't have to keep track of parole hearings, and spend time and money testifying against parole.

We tend to argue how much a prisoner costs society, but rarely discuss the morality of executing people.

I disagree. We tend to discuss the morality of executing people ad nauseam. If there's anything left un-discussed, I think it's the effect on the executioners. Knowing that you've killed a human being is going to do something undesirable to your psyche. I worry what it does to them later in life.

Next, and relates to the first is that the Prison systems in the US have become a for profit business.

I don't have a problem with that, but then I think of profit as the price we pay for efficiency. I understand that there's something dissonant about imprisoning people efficiently, but it does have the advantage over imprisoning them inefficiently. Maybe it would be better to think of it as imprisoning people expensively versus not imprisoning them expensively.

The privatization of prisons has caused countless issues. Such as contracts requiring a specific capacity at all times in prisons and the exploitation of prisoners. Laws have been passed to help keep prisons at capacity...

I'm not aware of those events, but I'll take your word for it. That being said, and I'm trying not to be flippant here, I can't see how the one relates to the other. I mean--if one executes a prisoner then the prisoner is not maintaining the capacity of the prison, is he? How do prison businesses exploit a corpse? And aren't laws being passed to keep prisons at capacity a problem with the legislature rather than one with the business?

...nearly everyone in the US can commit several felonies every day without their knowledge.

Now that is a problem I worry about. We imprison more people per capita than any other country. We're not a particularly lawless people, are we? Why do we put so many in prison? Something is wrong. Now, it could be said that we aren't lawless because we imprison so many, but I think that's just plain wrong. I particularly decry the increasing lack of a mens rea in recently passed laws. What's the point of that!

We could discuss other issues, such as how rehabilitation in the US really does not exist and society lacks opportunity for people motivating people to illegal activities but can save that for later.


We should address why the US has the highest percentage of people in prison in the world,...

Amen, brother!

...and why we still have executions first.

Been there; done that; the T-shirt's stained with blood.


Comment: Re:David Weber (Score 1) 236

by RobotRunAmok (#46288387) Attached to: I'd prefer military fiction books that are ...

Honor Harrington? The first 67 books in the series were okay -- the ones that took place when Harrington was still a mere human. The last 589, however, have been a bit of a stretch. You know, the ones where she becomes a master space-yachtsman; a martial arts master; acquires a bionic arm; a bionic eye; an elite cadre of crack-shot martial arts masters bodyguards; a super-intelligent, super-empathic, telepathic, vicious pet "treecat,;" when her friends, relatives and everyone around her acquire these same "treecats;" becomes CEO of a planet-spanning multi-billion dollar corporation, fabulously wealthy Duchess of a land on a medieval planet, and High Admiral of the galaxy's most formidable space navy, close confidant of The Queen -- all the while boning the Prime Minister (while the PM's wife looks on approvingly because, well, she's Honor Harrington (see above)).

The number of arguments is unimportant unless some of them are correct. -- Ralph Hartley