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Comment: Re:let me correct that for you. (Score 1) 612

I don't think he was trying to ignore the "icky parts." His point was that this whole study/article fails to acknowledge the nuance behind the word "socialism." Calling West Germany capitalist and East Germany socialist is an incorrect simplification that reeks of bias and circular logic (in fact, the study's abstract so obviously demonstrated this I felt no need to read further. . .then did anyway to confirm my assumptions).

There are obvious flaws with the study:

1) The jump associating the results of west Germans/east Germans to capitalists/socialists. They had a couple hundred participants, hardly enough to even be conclusive about just the attitudes of Germans, yet they still make this jump.

2) Considering the small sample size, it's likely that increasing the sample size will regress the results towards the mean. Perhaps that means that east Germans are even more likely to cheat, but that's irrelevant. The point is that the study isn't comprehensive enough to be conclusive.

Using an abstract die-rolling task, we found evidence that East Germans who were exposed to socialism cheat more than West Germans who were exposed to capitalism.

To me this sentence really highlights what shoddy scientists these guys are. Of course, they're sociologists, so I guess that's to be expected. I could probably rip the methodology apart, too, but that'd be a waste of time.

Comment: Re:But people forget what MENSA concluded (Score 1) 561

by RazorSharp (#47323353) Attached to: Match.com, Mensa Create Dating Site For Geniuses

While I find your comments interesting and I think there's some truth in there, I think it's ridiculous to assert that all intelligent people should be tinkerers, builders, and tech-oriented. I think one of the reasons that we have so many idiots in management and politics is that when a kid is good at math we steer them toward engineering whether it's something they actually enjoy or not. One of the most appealing things about non-engineering fields to a lot of people is that they can side-step intense math courses. For instance, I was appalled to learn that my girlfriend's nursing program required no more than a basic algebra course and bio/chemistry 101. After that pretty much everything was nursing specific like A&P and pharmaceuticals.

Mathematics is a pure logical exercise that has value beyond working with numbers.

if you have an IQ of 150-170 and are not doing your own research or tinkering to come up with something new, you are wasting your brain.

Perhaps this falls under the "something new" category, but Michael Crichton wrote some pretty damn good books and he went to Harvard Medical School. Neil deGrasse Tyson is pretty brilliant and his main occupation is that of a pop figure who teaches and evangelizes science. Nate Silver uses his intelligence to predict the outcomes of sporting events. Okay, maybe that last one wasn't the greatest example.

My point is that it would greatly benefit society if companies were run by people who understood more than ROI, if politicians did more than play a social game with one another, and if educators weren't limited to their speciality. I can understand wagging the finger at those who don't contribute to society, but I interpreted your post as saying that contributing to technology and industry is the only way.

I think IQ is an irrelevant measurement. When it comes to mathematics, I think it's a failure of our education system that we allow students to graduate (both high school and college) without a strong foundation in that subject. The same goes for biology and chemistry. Every day I'm confronted by people who believe the most inane things because they don't have a basic understanding of biology or chemistry. But now I'm just ranting.

Comment: Poor Turing (Score 1) 432

by RazorSharp (#47192597) Attached to: Turing Test Passed

It's a shame this is what he's most remembered for. He was brilliant but his "test" was incorrect. I doubt he would still support it as a standard of true AI if he were alive today, able to see our modern computers and the massive amounts of data they can hurl around. Perhaps it's possible to create a conscious machine but I don't think that Eugene Goostman is one.

Perhaps a better standard would be an intelligence that makes decisions of its own choosing -- basically, one that can defy the constraints of its programming and have an original will. I guess that's a bit harder to unambiguously define. Something like Neuromancer/Wintermute.

Comment: Re:Who gives a shit? (Score 4, Insightful) 593

Can they do magic, too?

Where do you connect wealth, power, and presence with the ability to draw more women into the IT pool? How would you respond if someone tried to convince you to become a nurse because "there aren't enough men in nursing"? Furthermore, why is it Google's responsibility to get women involved in IT?

Comment: Re:The problem isn't PowerPoint itself (Score 1) 27

by RazorSharp (#47083561) Attached to: Microsoft Office Mix: No-Teacher-Left-Behind Course Authoring

Perhaps I've just never seen these amazingly compelling PowerPoint presentations, but I'm going to have to disagree with you there. At least HyperCard had Myst -- I've yet to see a PowerPoint that comes close to that.

Just to make sure I wasn't sticking my foot in my mouth, I even YouTubed "Amazing PowerPoint Presentations" and I didn't find anything interesting. I find the super-animated artsy PowerPoints to be more annoying than the boring, static, bullet-list crap my boss slaps together. Our customers want to be wowed by numbers, statistics, and a few pictures. They couldn't care less about how artsy the PowerPoint is.

I think that's the flaw in the point you're trying to make, and especially with your Word analogy. When writing a story in Word, the story is the product and it must be polished and ready to be published with minimal changes. PowerPoint presentations are a way to communicate ideas; a super-duper-polished PowerPoint, in most cases, represents a poor use of one's time as it's an inefficient way to communicate ideas.

Comment: Re:I blame bad design (Score 1) 462

by RazorSharp (#47080649) Attached to: Fiat Chrysler CEO: Please Don't Buy Our Electric Car

I live in the midwest and our electricity primarily comes from coal. Unlike gasoline cars, burning coal emits mercury, which then falls into rivers and lakes, and is then absorbed by aquatic plants that are then consumed by fish, which are then consumed by eagles, bears, and people. Because the mercury stays in the organism until its death/decomposition, the animals higher on the food chain end up with higher and higher amounts of mercury than the organisms they consume. The ecological damage of coal goes beyond the greenhouse gasses.

We don't have smog in most places around here. Plus, we have roads that are real fun to drive on.

See why this idea horrifies me?

This is one of the problems with the utilitarian model. People in the big cities have this or that problem and then the country folk have to suffer because population-wise, we're the minority. Our problems are different and we generally require less regulation rather than more.

I get that there are good intentions behind the regulation, but I don't think this is the way to do it. If California wants to get the ball rolling on green energy and reduce smog then they should invest more into hydrogen fill stations, push bivalent hydrogen cars, and build more trains. I see a future of electric cars as just another problem -- it could massively increase energy costs, possibly cause supply problems (leading to more coal burning) and, hell, they're no fun to drive.

Comment: Re:Clearly they've broken him and... (Score 1) 449

Of course if you push for this, there are a ton of right-wing lunatics that will embarrass themselves by calling you "a bleeding-heart liberal." It's hard to reform society when many terrible people vote.

Well, your suggestion is pretty ridiculous and it does sound like a very bleeding-heart liberal thing to say. Personally, I'd probably fail a "psychological compassion test" but I'm still pragmatic enough to realize that our current prison system is a terrible way to deal with criminals and does nothing to reform them. Your solution is very micro and does nothing to change the overall structure of the prison system. It also doesn't do anything to cull the prevalence of sociopaths among prison guards -- a defining characteristic of sociopaths is that they're pretty good liars (lying is easy when you lack a conscience), which makes subverting a "psychological compassion test" pretty easy for them when they realize what they're being tested for.

A macro solution would be removing private industry from the prison system so prisoners aren't merely livestock for a company that lobbies to incarcerate more and more people. Turn prisons into educational facilities rather than controlled housing facilities that sometimes offer bits of education. Reduce prison populations by legalizing marijuana, improving public education, and get rid of prison sentences for most non-violent crimes.

About the only thing psychology is good for is advertising. It's an embarrassment to science.

Comment: Glass Houses (Score 1) 36

by RazorSharp (#47000917) Attached to: The Fight To Uncover Spyware Exports To Repressive Regimes

It is supposed to benefit law enforcement in their investigations, but has allegedly been found in various nations with poor human rights records, including Bahrain and Ethiopia.

So is it only a problem when repressive regimes use surveillance software to oppress their population? When first world nations use such software, they're also violating the rights of their citizens. Just because it "benefits law enforcement" doesn't excuse its existence. Parallel construction also benefits law enforcement.

Comment: Re:Long way from Compton (Score 1) 198

by RazorSharp (#46979999) Attached to: Apple Reportedly Buying Beats Electronics For $3.2 Billion

Dre's gonna be the first hip-hop billionaire.

if he wants to be smarter than the notirious B.I.G. and 2Pac then here's a tip: once you make your millions, get the fuck out of the ghetto. how hard to understand is that?

Yeah, I'm sure he still lives in the ghetto. Perhaps you should at least check out the guy on Wikipedia before you make some ignorant comment about him. For the past decade+ he's been more of a producer/businessman than rapper and he was the first to leave Death Row Records in the 90s because he didn't want to participate in the stupid gangster shit they were involved in. Dre left the ghetto twenty years ago.

Two can Live as Cheaply as One for Half as Long. -- Howard Kandel

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