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Comment: New Career Options (Score 2) 70

by Primate Pete (#48609571) Attached to: Webcast Funerals Growing More Popular
I'm pleased to hear about this, because I've been considering a career change. Nice to know there are some new options:

DJ = Death Jockey -- provide color commentary

Emcee - Mortician of Ceremonies ("Hi, I'm Ebeneezer Grimsuit, and this is "Good Mourning America....")

...it's a very slow day at the office.

Comment: Opinion and experience.... (Score 1) 70

by Primate Pete (#48608911) Attached to: Webcast Funerals Growing More Popular
We had a death in the family. An older person.

The rest of the family was scattered across Europe, North America, and Asia. We had about 30 people at the ceremony in North America, and nearly as many watching by Skype from around the world. It was a good thing.

You may or may not want this for yourself or your loved ones, but I cannot imagine why funeral directors-- craven, predatory businesses--would be entitled to an opinion on the subject. I'm also annoyed by the failure to recognize that many families and traditions cremate or otherwise dispose of the body, but of course this point exposes the argument about needing a body for the family to grieve properly as the nonsense it is.

This just seems like another attempt by the funeral industry to exploit grief for proft, hoping to find a way to extract a few more dollars (maybe by renting larger rooms?) from people that have already been bilked out the cost of "deluxe" caskets.

Comment: Re:The sheer stupidity bothers me... (Score 1) 772

by Primate Pete (#48558611) Attached to: CIA Lied Over Brutal Interrogations
So you're proposing to replace torture with brain surgery? How is that better? Why would we think that the detainees would provide better evidence under surgery than under water boarding and hummus enemas? The interrogators still wouldn't have the means to evaluate the responses, and would just accept the answers that match their preconceptions.

Comment: Re:It was an almost impossible case to prosecute (Score 1) 1128

by Primate Pete (#48457531) Attached to: Officer Not Charged In Michael Brown Shooting

... Nonetheless, it was an immensely difficult case to build for the prosecutor as the only person alive who knew what happened was the one who pulled the trigger....

By which logic, nobody should ever go to jail for murder. After all, the victim can't testify...

Comment: Re:Coding, maybe. Science for sure. (Score 1) 163

by Primate Pete (#48423081) Attached to: Number of Coders In Congress To Triple (From One To Three)
Yeah, coding would be good knowledge for people on the hill, especially in the light of legislation about H-1 visas and the like. No disagreement.

That said, I think general science literacy would have greater overall impact and make a greater positive impact on my life and my confidence in the direction that things are going.

Comment: Coding, maybe. Science for sure. (Score 5, Insightful) 163

by Primate Pete (#48420639) Attached to: Number of Coders In Congress To Triple (From One To Three)
Really, I don't need my legislators to know how to program, because I don't know that programming skills are what's needed to produce good legislation and policy.

Basic literacy in science, and the honesty to make evidence-based decisions would be much higher on my list of essential skills for congressvermin.

Comment: Painfully illogical (Score 1) 246

by Primate Pete (#48404683) Attached to: Big Talk About Small Samples
The sample was a set of legal briefs, but the conclusions were about judges. Small samples may work, but you can't sample population A to make an inference about unrelated population B.

By analogy, the fact that my ice cream truck only sells half as much ice cream as I expect doesn't tell me that there aren't many kids in the neighborhood. Maybe my prices are crazy. Maybe my only flavor is chocolate-chutney ripple. Maybe the scary clown on the top of my truck frightens children away. From looking at my inventory, there's probably not enough information to tell.

The fact that judges didn't read pages and 3 and 4 of the briefs could be because the documents were late, incorrectly presented, or manifestly incorrect on the first page.

No need to read the rest.

Comment: Who would sign up for this? (Score 1) 151

by Primate Pete (#48304565) Attached to: Ford Develops a Way To Monitor Police Driving
I am not at all sure that the benefit of "creating a degree of transparency to improve public trust" will outweigh the benefit of maintaining a degree of secrecy to permit the improper activities. The loss of freedom for some police will be tangible; the gain in reputation will not be. The only hope would be to have this imposed on police departments from outside.

Comment: No, you're wrong. (Score 1) 786

by Primate Pete (#48198389) Attached to: NPR: '80s Ads Are Responsible For the Lack of Women Coders

In the dawn of computing, women were largely typists, inputting data.

I was doing computer work in the 1980s. I worked with women who were programming, doing VAX & mainframe admin, and performing actual rigorous systems analysis.

The claim that women are not interested in technology or computing is just false.

The gent who wakes up and finds himself a success hasn't been asleep.

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