Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Slashback

Journal: I READ THE NEWS TODAY OH BOY 6

Journal by Jeremiah Cornelius

Your friends

User User's... Last Journal (H)elix1 (231155) friends fans Wednesday October 03, 2007 @09:41PM A nonymous Coward (7548) friends fans adpsimpson (956630) friends fans ak3ldama (554026) friends fans Saturday May 28, 2011 @05:01AM AKAImBatman (238306) friends fans Thursday October 02, 2008 @01:12PM alfaiomega (585948) friends fans Alioth (221270) friends fans Saturday October 16, 2010 @08:34AM AndroidCat (229562) friends fans Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) friends fans Artifakt (700173) friends fans artifex2004 (766107) friends fans Friday July 25, 2008 @12:29PM Ashtead (654610) friends fans Thursday February 06, 2014 @09:03PM atomico (162710) friends fans Attaturk (695988) friends fans AYauFu (708368) friends fans Azadre (632442) friends fans Azi Dahaka (625546) friends fans babbage (61057) friends fans Tuesday April 12, 2005 @01:34PM BandwidthHog (257320) friends fans Tuesday February 20, 2007 @05:20AM banky (9941) friends fans Thursday February 08, 2007 @03:52PM bcrowell (177657) friends fans bechthros (714240) friends fans Wednesday August 06, 2008 @12:12AM Behrooz (302401) friends fans benhocking (724439) friends fans Wednesday December 05, 2007 @03:20PM Bertie (87778) friends fans bgfay (5362) friends fans bhima (46039) friends fans Tuesday March 24, 2009 @03:56PM Billosaur (927319) friends fans Wednesday January 23, 2008 @03:33PM Bimo_Dude (178966) friends fans Friday June 20, 2008 @10:14PM Black Parrot (19622) friends fans BlackHat (67036) friends fans Tuesday December 30, 2008 @12:10AM BlackTriangle (581416) friends fans blincoln (592401) friends fans Monday March 22, 2004 @04:14AM blinder (153117) friends fans Saturday January 29, 2011 @03:15AM Bloater (12932) friends fans Sunday March 19, 2006 @01:59AM BlueShirt (919167) friends fans Bluesman (104513) friends fans bonch (38532) friends fans btlzu2 (99039) friends fans Friday March 09, 2007 @05:53PM BWJones (18351) friends fans Monday October 24, 2011 @10:35PM capoccia (312092) friends fans Thursday July 30, 2009 @12:31PM Captain Splendid (673276) friends fans Monday February 02, 2015 @04:26PM CastrTroy (595695) friends fans Catamaran (106796) friends fans ces (119879) friends fans Tuesday June 29, 2010 @04:53PM Chacham (981) friends fans Thursday April 23, 2015 @02:10PM Chris Burke (6130) friends fans circletimessquare (444983) friends fans Thursday January 22, 2015 @10:43PM clem (5683) friends fans Colonel Korn (1258968) friends fans Communist_Supervisor (1062168) friends fans Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) friends fans Corporate Troll (537873) friends fans Tuesday November 30, 2010 @12:24PM crotherm (160925) friends fans Friday March 18, 2005 @10:33PM crow_t_robot (528562) friends fans curtisk (191737) friends fans Wednesday December 21, 2011 @05:03PM CyberBill (526285) friends fans cyranoVR (518628) friends fans Saturday January 31, 2009 @03:00AM DaedalusHKX (660194) friends fans Thursday April 24, 2008 @11:24PM damn_registrars (1103043) friends fans Thursday April 23, 2015 @08:03PM Damvan (824570) friends fans Dan Ferguson (691027) friends fans Darby (84953) friends fans darkpixel2k (623900) friends fans Datana (516170) friends fans dave-tx (684169) friends fans DaytonCIM (100144) friends fans Sunday November 11, 2012 @02:30AM dbIII (701233) friends fans dcam (615646) friends fans

User Journal

Journal: Reason 431 that I don't bother with Slashdot any more - 5 minute comment timer.

Journal by JWSmythe

I can type at over 100wpm. Slashdot's comment timer was set to 5 minutes a few years back. So if there is a particularly interesting article with interesting comments, I can comment and reply every 5 minutes.

If I'm going at 100wpm, I could write a 500 word essay as a comment. Or what happens more frequently is, I type out a nice constructive reply to someone, and am granted the text telling me I'm going too fast.

So I close the window and go elsewhere.

5 minutes between messages on a good conversation isn't conversing. I had FidoNet conversations go faster than that. I could type up and send faxes faster than that. With a bit of practice, I could send messages over short wave radio in morse code faster than that.

Even if my comment were "you sir are a moron", that leaves well over 4 minutes waiting for the timer to run out.

If anyone wants to have an intellectual conversation with me on an old Slashdot topic (like, appropriate for the genre "News For Nerds. Stuff That Matters"), find me elsewhere. Even this comment, would still have a 3 minute timeout before I could post it.

User Journal

Journal: Hunh 12

Journal by Captain Splendid

There's a joke that's been circulating in liberal circles for the past few years that posits that Obama should come out publicly in favour of some kind of basic but necessary human activity, such as breathing or eating, the punchline being that Republicans will then immediately come against it and suffer the obvious consequences.

So, over the weekend, Obama came out strongly in favour of getting your kids vaccinated.

And then, this morning, we have this from Chris Christie:

Amid an outbreak of measles that has spread across 14 states, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey on Monday said that parents âoeneed to have some measure of choiceâ about vaccinating their children against the virus, breaking with President Obama and much of the medical profession.

True, he recanted those remarks when the predictable shit hit the fan, but it would be nice if Obama could make more proclamations along this line. I'd love to see how far this can go.

User Journal

Journal: CloudFlare Anti-DDoS is Hijacking Browsers 1

Journal by Khyber

While trying to debug a site today (thanks to CloudFlare's Anti-DDoS blocking my customers from using anonymous/private mode browsing,) I discovered that CloudFlare's anti-DDoS measures will actively kill any instance of Firebug running in your browser. As a web developer, I find this pretty annoying. As a site administrator, I find their lack of respect for my customer's privacy appalling. But what I find even worse, is that CloudFlare is actively modifying my computer programs and how they operate, without any expressed permission or knowledge. Is this by any chance a potential CFAA violation?

User Journal

Journal: Where were we? 11

Journal by Captain Splendid

Ah yes, we've just completed the boring off-year political cycle, which means it's time for the billion dollar roller coaster ride that is the quadrennial US presidential contest.

Except that, thanks to the right-wing retards, all the excitement has been well and truly drained out of what used to be one of my favourite pastimes. Their race to the bottom, still unchecked, means that Hillary Rodham Clinton is your next Oval Office Occupant. How the fuck am I supposed to enjoy the ups and downs of what used to be way more of an "Any Given Sunday" situation when the results are so predictable?

"Bu...but...but", I hear you say.

Oh fine, I'll humour your delusional asses.

HILLARY CAN BE PRIMARIED FROM THE LEFT. "It happened before! Liberals aren't fond of hawks!" And who the fuck is gonna primary her? Biden? Warren? Cuomo? Don't make me laugh.

A LOT CAN HAPPEN IN 2 YEARS! Sure it can. But apart form the fact that that argument cuts all kinds of ways and is thus useless, the "something" that's going to need to happen for HRC not to be elected Prez is going to have to be Extinction-Level Event sized. You go ahead and count your black swans before they hatch, see what that gets you.

PEOPLE JUST DON'T LIKE HER. Well yeah, if you're Railgunner. Meanwhile, to ordinary people, she's just a high-visibility politician.

YEAH BUT $REPUBLICAN CONTENDER CAN TAKE HER! Really? Let's see who's currently in the lineup:

Rick Perry: Either he's burnishing his stock to improve his post-political career earnings, or one of his advisers thinks they've ironed out all those glitches that made him a laughingstock even to members of his own party. The only way he makes it past Super Tuesday is because he has a nice smile.

Scott Walker: The stunning thing about the Wisconsin Governor is that he's somehow managed to convince donors that winning over white people in a medium-size state as well as surviving a recall election makes him both unstoppable on the way to the White House, and secretly the most amazing potential president EVAR. I really hope he does run, watching the 'electability' bloom come off that rose will be fun to read about.

Jeb Bush: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. The base won't even touch him with a ten foot pole, and the general electorate, faced with two different versions of recycled crap, will always vote for the one they remember more fondly.

Chris Christie: Oooooh, a Republican even Democrats could vote for! Yeah, maybe 10 or 20 years ago. Anyway, forgetting the millions of problems that would hound a Christie run, I suspect his biggest will be he doesn't' have the stomach or the endurance to really go the distance. In fact, I think he's also smart enough to know not to run, which is sad, because he'd be the only one with any moderate cred, and non-crazy Republicans are already feeling pretty unloved these days.

Rand Paul: Never thought I'd see the day when a presidential candidate came along that would make Ron Paul look sane. I guess crazy is contagious.

Ted Cruz: Let's pretend for a minute that Ted isn't the poster child for everything that's wrong about the GOP these days, the US electorate will never overwhelmingly vote for a Canadian with a whiny voice.

Paul Ryan: Remember Sarah Palin? You don't? There you go.

Marco Rubio: Theoretically, he's almost perfect. And in a non-insane world, he would be the man to beat this cycle. And even then, a disciplined Clinton machine could still keep him 5 points away.

Someone wake me for 2024. maybe things will get interesting again.

Crime

Journal: How Dangerous is Being a Cop in the US? 15

Journal by Jeremiah Cornelius
How Dangerous is Being a Cop in the US?

I saw a posting on Facebook (which I can no longer find, because Facebook posts are ephemeral and the algorithm used to put things on your timeline is apparently unstable) talking about the cost/person of police departments in major cities throughout the US. In the comments was the question "how much do you pay someone to risk getting shot every day?" with the implication that your average police officer in the US faces a substantial risk of death by gunfire daily, and therefore whatever the costs were, they were a good value.

And that got me thinking. Always a dangerous place for me to go.

How dangerous is it to be a police officer in the US? Is there significant risk of dying by gunfire? How does it compare with other occupations?

So let's go.


How many police officers are there in the US? How is that number changing annually?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 780,000 "Police and Detectives" in the US in 2012. That's our baseline. That number, BTW, is expected to grow by 5% by 2022, totaling about 821,000 by then. I'd love more data about this, but it's all I could find in a quick search, so we'll consider 780K as our baseline number of police in the US.


How many police officers died in the line of duty in 2012? Was that number "typical" for the years around it?
According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, 122 officers died in the line of duty in 2012. That number is low compared to 2010 (161) and 2011 (171), but high compared to 2013 (100), so let's dig a little deeper with a graph:

Police Deaths by Year 1990-2013

Graph by Evan Robinson

Frankly, I think I see a slight downward trend in the data, but the math says otherwise. There's virtually no correlation between passage of time and number of police deaths. I note that 2001 (241) is quite an outlier. You have to go back to 1981 to get another year where more than 200 police died, but in the 70s, only 1977 (192) had fewer than 200 police deaths. The 70s were far worse than the 60s, which were worse than the 50s.


What's the chance of death in the line of duty for a police officer in the US? What's the chance of death by gunfire?
If there are 780,000 police officers in the US and 159.4 die annually (the mean from 1990 and 2013 inclusive), the chance of dying is 159.4 in 780,000 or 1 in 4892.8 or .0002. That's about 2 hundredths of a percent. Specifically taking 2012 numbers, it's 122 in 780,000 or 1 in 6393 or .00016, or about 16 thousandths of a percent. But let's take the higher number of 1 in about 4890, again .0002. Expressed as a death rate per 100,000, that is 20.4 -- that is, 20.4 of every 100,000 police officers in the US die annually from line-of-duty causes.

The overall annual death rate in the US for 2010 (the most recent final value I can find according to the Department of Health and Human Services, at the CDC website) was 747.0, with a preliminary value of 740.6 for 2011. So police line-of-duty death rates are about 3% of total mean death rates.

Police line-of-duty deaths, while tragic, are not a significant risk compared to mean death rates in the US.

But wait, we want to talk about gun-related police deaths, right? Again according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, in 2012 50/122 officers killed died from gunfire. Over the past decade, the mean percentage of officer deaths from gunfire was 36%. So the gun-related death rate is 20.4*.36 = 7.4 per 100,000.


How do these death rates compare with other ages, causes, and professions?
In 2008 (the most recent year for which data in a complete Statistical Abstract of the United States is available), the only age range to have a death rate anywhere near that low is 5-14, where the male death rate was 24 and the female death rate was 12. Police officer line-of-duty deaths are therefore less common (statistically) than any death of 5-14 year old boys, although more common than 5-14 year old girls. Line-of-duty gun deaths are about one-third as common as all deaths of 5-14 year old boys and about half as common as all deaths of 5-14 year old girls. In 2008, the mean death rate for males 25-35 (in which age range I imagine many police officers fall) was 225. For males 35-44 it was 348. So depending upon their age range, police officers are between 10x and 17x more likely to die from non-work-related causes than line-of-duty causes. And 30x to 47x more likely to die from non-work-related causes than line-of-duty gunfire.

In 2006, comparable causes of death to all line-of-duty deaths include: Heart Failure (excluding ischemic heart disease aka "a heart attack") at 20.2; NonTransport Accidents (including falls, drowning, smoke inhalation, fire/flames, and poisoning) at 24.4; Diabetes at 24.2; Alzheimer's disease at 24.2; Drug and Alcohol induced deaths (combined) at 20.2.

Also in 2006, comparable causes of death to gun-related line-of-duty deaths include: prostate cancer at 9.5; Leukemia at 7.3; Falls at 7.0; Alcohol induced deaths at 7.4.

According to preliminary data for 2013 (see page 14), the rate of "fatal occupational injuries" in Construction is 9.4 per 100,000; Transportation and Warehousing is 13.1; Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting is 22.2; Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction is 12.3.

In other words, it's as dangerous to be a police officer as it is to be a farmer (3 million people), forester or logger (1.7 million people), commercial fisherman (1 million people) or hunter (about 14,000 people). So there are over 5.7 million jobs in the US more dangerous than being a police officer. And another 6 million in construction, which has a higher death rate than police gun-related deaths.


What's it all mean?
So yeah, being a police officer is a dangerous job, but the job-related danger is much less than your basic life-related danger (health problems, general accidents, etc.). And there are about 7 times more people doing Ag-related jobs which are more dangerous than being a police officer.

So what do we have to pay these people to risk being shot every day? I'd say a mean of about $57K per year, which is what they get. Maybe we need to raise the pay of the people in Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting, who get mean annual wages in the $18K - $41K range for more dangerous jobs.


TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)
I realize that putting the TL;DR way down here kind of defeats the purpose, but it allows me to put the conclusion after the work, which I like.

Being a police officer is a dangerous occupation. But there are plenty of people in the US who do more dangerous jobs for far less pay. Police line of duty death rates are comparable to death rates from Diabetes and Alzheimer's disease or the combination of drug and alcohol induced deaths. Police line of duty shooting death rates are comparable to alcohol induced deaths, Leukemia, or death by falling. A male police officer between 25 and 44 is many times (10x - 17x) more likely to die from a non-work-related cause than to die in the line of duty. And only about one-third of those line-of-duty deaths are gun-related.

And here's something else to think about
On average a police officer dies in the line of duty in the US about every 55 hours (everything you need for this calculation is above so I'm not going to insult your intelligence by including it). On average a police officer kills a civilian (about 400 annually) about every 22 hours. So I think we have more to worry about from them than they do from us.

The Matrix

Journal: The Matrix is Mimetic 13

Journal by Jeremiah Cornelius

As Yuval Harari points out, "What is so special about us that allows for such cooperation? Unflatteringly, it is our talent for deluding ourselves. If you examine any large-scale human cooperation (or co-option), you will always find some imaginary story at its base. As long as many people believe in the same stories about gods, nations, money or human rights (memes and antitropes) - they follow the same laws and rules (of conduct)."

https://www.coursera.org/course/humankind

United States

Journal: FDL Nails It: Superpower Performance Art

Journal by Jeremiah Cornelius

'The Cause Of Empire Leads To The Graveyard'

"This is a vision of the world in which might makes right - a world in which one nation's borders can be redrawn by another, and civilized people are not allowed to recover the remains of their loved ones because of the truth that might be revealed. America stands for something different. We believe that right makes might - that bigger nations should not be able to bully smaller ones; that people should be able to choose their own future...

America is and will continue to be a Pacific power, promoting peace, stability, and the free flow of commerce among nations. But we will insist that all nations abide by the rules of the road, and resolve their territorial disputes peacefully, consistent with international law. That's how the Asia-Pacific has grown. And that's the only way to protect this progress going forward."

The Military

Journal: James Foley Is Not a War Ad 11

Journal by Jeremiah Cornelius

by David Swanson / September 13th, 2014

                               

To the extent that the U.S. public is newly, and probably momentarily, accepting of war -- an extent that is wildly exaggerated, but still real -- it is because of videos of beheadings of James Foley and Steven Sotloff.

When 9-11 victims were used as a justification to kill hundreds of times the number of people killed on 9-11, some of the victims' relatives pushed back.

Now James Foley is pushing back from the grave.

Here is video of Foley talking about the lies that are needed to launch wars, including the manipulation of people into thinking of foreigners as less than human. Foley's killers may have thought of him as less than human. He may not have viewed them the same way.

The video shows Foley in Chicago helping Haskell Wexler with his film Four Days in Chicago -- a film about the last NATO protest before the recent one in Wales. I was there in Chicago for the march and rally against NATO and war. And I've met Wexler who has tried unsuccessfully to find funding for a film version of my book War Is A Lie .

Watch Foley in the video discussing the limitations of embedded reporting, the power of veteran resistance, veterans he met at Occupy, the absence of a good justification for the wars, the dehumanization needed before people can be killed, the shallowness of media coverage -- watch all of that and then try to imagine James Foley cheering like a weapons-maker or a Congress member for President Obama's announcement of more war. Try to imagine Foley accepting the use of his killing as propaganda for more fighting.

You can't do it. He's not an ad for war any more than the WMDs were a justification for war. His absence as a war justification has been exposed even faster than the absence of the WMDs was.

While ISIS may have purchased Sotloff, if not Foley, from another group, when Foley's mother sought to ransom him, the U.S. government repeatedly threatened her with prosecution. So, instead of Foley's mother paying a relatively small amount and possibly saving her son, ISIS goes on getting its funding from oil sales and supporters in the Gulf and free weapons from, among elsewhere, the United States and its allies. And we're going to collectively spend millions, probably billions, and likely trillions of dollars furthering the cycle of violence that Foley risked his life to expose.

The Coalition of the Willing is already crumbling. What if people in the United States were to watch the video of Foley when he was alive and speaking and laughing, not the one when he was a prop in a piece of propaganda almost certainly aimed at provoking the violence that Obama has just obligingly announced?

Foley said he believed his responsibility was to the truth. It didn't set him free. Is it perhaps not too late for the rest of us?

Dynamically binding, you realize the magic. Statically binding, you see only the hierarchy.

Working...