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Comment Re:Furthermore, Saudi Arabia must be destroyed (Score 1) 161

Not everyone in Saudi Arabia are bedouin; in particular the ruling House of Saud is descended from town dwelling Arabs.

I'll go out on a limb and guess that not everyone in Saudi Arabia is worthless. Even people involved in managing their oil. And as for the elite they don't seem to be worse than anyone else who's inherited oil-based wealth; they've managed that for the long term benefit of themselves and their families. If they're ostentatious with their wealth, well they have a lot of it and it hasn't bankrupted them yet.

So there's no rational reason to want to destroy Saudi Arabia. But there's every reason not to want to be so dependent upon them.

Comment Re:It's not about the crime (Score 3, Informative) 197

To be more technical:

The "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard requires that the "facts of the case" be proven beyond a reasonable doubt - every one of them individually, with a list of facts to prove being given in the jury instructions and depending on the crime and jurisdiction For example, in a murder case, basic facts can be "The victim is dead" and "The defendant deliberately killed them". Beyond that, the prosecution "bears the burden" of demonstrating these facts as undeniably true. For more about what the legal burden is, there's details here.

The same does not hold true to what are called "affirmative defenses" or "defense theories". For example, if you charge me with assault and say I hit you with a chair, and I say that I was trying to stop you because you were trying to rape me, you don't face a "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard and 100% of the burden to prove that you weren't trying to rape me. Depending on the circumstances, there's either a "shared burden" or I would bear the burden of proof on my own. If the defense is to be analyzed on its own, as it's not a "basic fact", but rather a "defense theory", it would not on its own face a "reasonable doubt" standard (generally a "preponderance of the evidence" or "clear and convincing evidence" - although the claim may shift the jury's views toward whether there's reasonable doubt toward the basic facts in other ways.

There are many different types of defense theories, too numerous to go into here. And in most crimes, claims of consent are treated as defense theories - they don't on their own need to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt (they contribute to doubt relating to the basic facts but are not themselves a specific fact for jury evaluation), and there's either a shared or shifted defense burden. If you say "Hey, I wasn't robbing her, she gave me the money because she wanted to help me out", the burden doesn't fall 100% on me to prove that beyond a reasonable doubt that I didn't - it's your theory, you have to bear part of the burden of proof for it. The case as a whole still needs to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, of course.

It would be nice - and in fact, would only be basic fairness - if rape cases faced the same standard. Unfortunately, in most jurisdictions, it does not work that way. Consent is not treated as a defense theory. Humans are not treated as in a perpetual state of consent for giving away money, for being taken strange places by strangers, or any of the other sorts of cases where "consent" defenses are common.... except that they generally are treated as being in a perpetual state of consent for sex. No matter how weird, twisted, sick the sexual practice, with whatever person they may be, even with a person not matching your sexuality, you're presumed by default to be in consent for it. And the burden falls 100% on the accuser in this one type of case to prove that consent was not given.

And this is wrong.

Comment Re:All bullshit (Score 2, Insightful) 197

Where I live, there's pretty much no sexual shame for a woman to have sex, which eliminates the concept of this argument. Yet rape rates are still very high.

And seriously, I simply cannot comprehend this logic. The (incredibly common) logic used by people like you is based on the following premises:

1) The concept that a woman had sex is shameful
2) The concept of going down to a police station, telling them that you were raped, having strangers probe you, having the media cover your sex life, getting countless threats and personal attacks and people calling you a liar and a slut, etc, all for what everyone knows is a pitifully tiny chance of getting a conviction (wherein even more calls of "liar" and "slut" will be fielded), is totally easy and totally not shameful.

I mean, WTF people?

Comment Re:All bullshit (Score -1, Troll) 197

Of course he believes him. Someone alleged rape, and thus she's automatically a liar simply regretting consensual sex, QED. Likewise, in his world, consensual sex is a horrible shameful mark that can only be erased by the totally-no-shame, totally-not-getting-your-name-dragged-through-the-mud, just-another-tuesday process of pressing charges for rape.

Step right up, see the rape culture!

The answer is, they were unable to prove that the sex was not consensual. That's not quite the same as saying that the sex was consensual.

In MRA-land, they're identical.

Do I believe him? I have no reason to believe, nor to disbelieve. I have no way to know either way.

Indeed.

Comment Re:It's not about the crime (Score 2) 197

Let's say it all together: Acquittal doesn't mean that the accuser lied. Just like in the vast majority of cases, rape is incredibly hard to prove. If they felt there was evidence that she lied, rather than insufficient evidence to prove "guilt beyond a reasonable doubt", then they would be trying her for making false charges - which, computer used or not, is usually a felony.

Regardless, I won't consider justice "blind" until "she consented to the sex" is treated by the same legal standard as a robbery defendant's claim "he consented to give me the money" - as an affirmative defense / defense theory.

Comment Re:From TFA: bit-exact or not? (Score 1) 145

There used to be a web page called "Your Eyes Suck at Blue". You might find it on the Wayback machine.

You can tell the luminance of each individual channel more precisely than you can perceive differences in mixed color. This is due to the difference between rod and cone cells. Your perception of the color gamut is, sorry, imprecise. I'm sure that you really can't discriminate 256 bits of blue in the presence of other, varying, colors.

Comment Re:From TFA: bit-exact or not? (Score 5, Insightful) 145

Rather than abuse every commenter who has not joined your specialty on Slashdot, please take the source and write about what you find.

Given that CPU and memory get less expensive over time, it is no surprise that algorithms work practically today that would not have when various standards groups started meeting. Ultimately, someone like you can state what the trade-offs are in clear English, and indeed whether they work at all, which is more productive than trading naah-naahs.

Comment Re:A simple test is in order (Score 1) 390

Well, this is a bit like parents who take their kids to get vaccinated and a few hours later that kid exhibits the first signs of autism. It's an immensely compelling coincidence. You'd have to (a) know that autism symptoms often have a rapid onset and (b) realize that when they do they can follow any commonplace childhood event. Even if you did it'd still be hard to shake the suspicion if it happened to your kid.

Somebody points a IR remote at your friend; he gets up and has a brief moment of orthostatic hypotension -- also known as a "dizzy spell" brought on by a sudden drop in blood pressure -- just at the moment the guy pushes the button. Orthostatic hypotension can happen to anyone, but if your friend isn't otherwise prone to it that can be a very compelling coincidence; and many of the symptoms of hypotension can be reproduced by psychological stress.

If something like that happens to you people will say, "oh, it's all in your head," but the thing is that all suffering is inside peoples' heads. One of the worst kinds of pain you can have is passing a kidney stone, but if you happen to be in a coma at the time you won't feel a thing. Distress produced within the brain is indistinguishable to the subject from distress produced outside the brain. Having an external explanation for that distress can make someone feel like they have some control over what is a disturbing experience, and shooting holes in that explanation isn't going to help unless you can offer them a better handle on it.

Sometimes I think we'd be better off if we just brought back shamans and witch doctors.

Comment Re:Mirrors (Score 2) 119

I don't think you could make the reflective surface perfect enough to make the drone positively laser-proof, but I think a reflective coating would certainly reduce the laser's effective range. Analogously you can't nuke-proof an aircraft, but in the Cold War they were often painted "anti-flash white" to help them survive a bit closer to a detonation.

Comment Re:Which is why (Score 1) 242

Well, as far as Atkins is concerned, diet research is really, really hard and expensive to do right. I know because when I was an MIT student one of my jobs was office boy in the Food and Nutrition group, and I saw how hard it was. In one of the studies, research subjects were given a duffle bag from which all the input to their digest systems came, and into which all the output from the same went, for six bloody months.

Of course not every study needs to be that rigorous, but diet is one of those areas where the public needs lots of informed opinion but the funding for research is grossly inadequate to meet that need.

By the way, the current state of research seems to be that carbohydrate restricted diets work well in the short term but have only modest success in the long term.

Comment Re:Garbage what? (Score 2) 71

Without really knowing the answers

Without knowing the answers one conducts research to find out the details to know the answers. There already have been some studies about how plastic trash accumulates metals, although not of the ocean's more valuable metals. In the above-linked articles, some very rough calculations are run for different potential recovery rates of different metals and what their market value would be. There's lots of caveats, though.

Comment Re:Comparison? (Score 4, Interesting) 242

It's interesting nonetheless seeing what studies come up as bunk and which get confirmed. For example, I opened up their data file and started pulling up random entries about gender differences for fun:

"Sex differences in mate preferences revisited: Do people know what they initially desire in a romantic partner?" - The original study claimed that while men often self-report having their selection criteria for a partner being a lot more hinged around appearance than women do, that in practice this isn't the case, and more to the point, people's self-reporting for what they want most in a partner has little bearing on what they actually find most important in partner selection in practice.

The re-analysis confirmed this study.

"Perceptual mechanisms that characterize gender differences in decoding women's sexual intent" - This was a followup study to an earlier study that claimed that women often perceive men's sexual interest as friendliness while men often perceive women's friendliness as sexual interest. This study found, by contrast, that while men often misperceive friendliness as sexual interest, they also often misperceive sexual interest as friendliness - that they're just worse in general than reading sexual interest than women.

The re-analaysis was thus in a way responding to both the original and the followup. And found neither to be true. They found no difference between men and women in ability to read sexual interest vs. friendliness.

"Loving those who justify inequality: the effects of system threat on attraction to women who embody benevolent sexist ideals." - this study was to test - and reported confirmation - of the hypothesis that men who don't trust the government will also tend to find attractive women who embody "benevolent sexist" stereotypes - that is, that women are vulnerable, need to be saved, belong in the house, are there to complete men, etc, vs. women who have interest in careers or activities outside of the family, expect to be seen as equals, etc.

The reanalysis showed no correlation at all.

"The Best Men Are (Not Always) Already Taken: Female Preference for Single Versus Attached Males Depends on Conception Risk" - this study claimed that women in relationships find single men more attractive when they're ovulating and partnered men when they're not, but that single women show no preference. They argued that this result is expected given selective factors.

The reanalysis showed no correlation at all in any of the above cases.

"Given the choice between accomplishing something and just lying around, I'd rather lie around. No contest." -- Eric Clapton

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