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Comment Re:MOOCs: my worst education experiences ever. (Score 1) 57

Actually, numerous studies have shown that social interaction is extremely important in determining successful outcomes in higher education. Here's a concise (and heavily footnoted) summary of why that is:

College Is Not A Content Delivery System: Interpersonal Interactions and Student Success

Comment Re:How do you define anything? (Score 1) 1083

The GP said: "The reality is that for thousands of years and across all known cultures marriage has been defined as a relationship between different sexes". I pointed out one simple example which shows that the assertion is false -- ironically, an American example. :-)

No one is proposing using primitive cultures as a model for American society, except the GP, who brought up the subject in the first place.

Comment Re:How do you define anything? (Score 5, Interesting) 1083

All known cultures? No. For example, right here in America, the original Americans -- specifically, the Native Americans of the Great Plains -- had what you would define as homosexual marriage. From http://plainshumanities.unl.ed...:

In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, French explorers, traders, and missionaries in the Mississippi Valley occasionally encountered Native Americans who could be classified neither as men nor women. They called such individuals berdaches, a French term for younger partners in male homosexual relationships. In fact, Plains Indian berdaches are best described as occupying an alternative or third gender role, in which traits of men and women are combined with those unique to berdache status. Male berdaches did women's work, cross-dressed or combined male and female clothing, and formed relationships with non-berdache men.

See also , which notes that those relationships ranged from promiscuity to stable marriages, depending on the tribe. Among the Crow, for example, physiologically-female berdaches generally married women.

So you see, both acceptance of transgendered individuals and homosexual marriage is a long-standing American tradition.

Comment Re:Feminist bullshit (Score 0) 950

Who are the prominent feminists that you're talking about? I can't think of a single one that has said that confidence is a negative trait, in men or women. Quite the reverse, actually: people who are secure in themselves do not need to demonize others to support their self-worth. That goes for other genders, other religions, and other political views. If a woman turns you down for a date and you're self-confident, you shrug your shoulders and pick someone else: it's the men who are not self-confident who are likely to call her a "dyke" or a "frigid bitch".

Every political movement has its radical nutjobs who get a lot of press because they're radical nutjobs. Judging feminism by the nutjobs is like judging all Republicans by Glenn Beck, or all Christians by the Westboro Baptist Church.

I have been dating a politically active feminist for over twenty-five years now, and I count a number of self-identified feminists (some academics) among my friends and family for longer than that. Some are lesbian, some are bi, but most self-identify as straight and have successful, self-confident husbands. I imagine that all of them would roll their eyes at the phrase "feminist agenda" or a "gay agenda". Those aren't real things. They're just scare words.

Comment Re:Obligatory xkcd (Score 1) 99

Thanks for trying anyway. :-) My bad, not getting back to /. until two days later.

(Funny thing: five minutes ago I saw someone else do the exact same thing that I did: posting a comment in one story that was intended for another. So I still feel dumb, but less *uniquely* dumb.)

Possessions increase to fill the space available for their storage. -- Ryan