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Comment: Re:The sad part is... (Score 1) 183

by SillyHamster (#47940321) Attached to: Snowden's Leaks Didn't Help Terrorists
I more blame the reporters for getting the meaning of the report wrong.

... This report is not intended to answer the larger question of whether terrorist organizations have truly adapted their behavior in the wake of the Edward Snowden NSA leaks. ... It should also be noted that more jihadi social networking forums were online in February 2013 than August 2014.

Comment: Re:I disagree with the premise... (Score 1) 770

by SillyHamster (#47931627) Attached to: How Scientific Consensus Has Gotten a Bad Reputation

A scientific consensus is not an opinion poll. Its not person who found something, and then persuaded a bunch of others to agree with him. It has nothing to do with pushing your opinion on others at all.

"Believe this. It's the scientific consensus. You don't want to be anti-science, do you?"

Deciding who the scientists are and why their consensus matters is the important but hidden part of "scientific consensus".

It's an opinion poll because the consensus is the OPINION of all the scientists involved. But how do you weight the opinion of 100, or a 1,000 scientists? Did they actually each spend the same amount of time studying the question and replicating results? Or did they just hear the abstract of a study and say, "yeah, that could work"?

"Scientific consensus" an appeal to an authority instead of presenting the argument. And it's not even a strong authority - who decides and measures what the consensus on an issue is? It's subjective and vague and irreproducible, and thus anti-science.

Don't believe me? Then tell me what is the scientific consensus right now, and what it was 10 years ago. Who measured it? Which experts created the consensus, and how has the membership of that expert group changed over time? Are the experts given equal weight, or is weighted based on experience/expertise/contribution?

Comment: Re:Most taxes are legalized theft (Score 1) 324

by SillyHamster (#47923747) Attached to: New Global Plan Would Crack Down On Corporate Tax Avoidance

Taxation is not theft. The two words describe different circumstances and processes. The outcome may be the same (your stuff is gone), but they are two different words with different meanings.

Taxation doesn't have to be theft, but when the government acts in such a way that people no longer consent to be governed, taxes become theft.

If the government passed a law that allowed your bank to legally take all of your checking/saving/stock accounts and they did so, it may not be "legally" theft, but they'd be thieves all the same.

Comment: Re:Why does business exist? (Score 1) 324

by SillyHamster (#47923723) Attached to: New Global Plan Would Crack Down On Corporate Tax Avoidance

But you can't. So you are stuck with the distasteful (to you anyway) idea that your welfare depends on having a healthy society to live in. To get that you are going to have to contribute.

Unfortunately, it isn't a healthy society. We have perverse incentives undermining the collective welfare.

That's not a problem of the contributors, but the increasing number of people who do not contribute, yet are willing to yell at the contributors to work harder.

Comment: Re:Why does business exist? (Score 1) 324

by SillyHamster (#47923709) Attached to: New Global Plan Would Crack Down On Corporate Tax Avoidance

Corporations don't avoid taxes because they're too high, they do it because it's profitable. Corporations compete by competing at the margins, if a competitor in your libertarian paradise goes from a very low tax rate to a slightly lower tax rate then you'll have to follow otherwise you'll be at a competitive disadvantage.

Because there are costs to moving operations around. Less so if the work is technological and done remotely, but there's plenty of work that isn't.

Let's say it's a factory - those months spent finding a new location and moving equipment is time spent not making widgets to sell, as well as the disruption of shutting down and restarting operations. Even if you expand operations to new locations instead of moving, you've added overhead by having more locations to manage and coordinate.

So it *can* be profitable to shop for the lowest tax rate - but the total cost will be considered.

Comment: Re:I disagree with the premise... (Score 1) 770

by SillyHamster (#47855179) Attached to: How Scientific Consensus Has Gotten a Bad Reputation

Scientific consensus is an group of scientists agreeing on a proven theory or the proof of a theory.

Political consensus is a group of people ganging together to push their opinions on others.

Is your argument that scientists are not people, or that scientists are incapable of pushing their opinions on others?

Because people push opinions on others, scientists or not. In fact, using evidence to argue for a certain type of philosophy or belief IS "pushing an opinion" - opinions are not bad if they're true, and popularizing true opinions is the entire goal of public education.

In short, your distinction is not, and it is meaningless even if it could be.

Comment: Re:Just proves the point (Score 1) 1262

No, it just made you wrong, and if you are wrong about the basics, a logical reader will assume you wrong about everything else (unless proven otherwise to a higher standard).

That's the thing with generalizations - they're simplified models with imprecision, not necessarily wrong. And if someone uses a generalization like "all people who use generalizations are irrational and wrong", that tells you something about their own reasoning capability.

If you used the fact that you personally lived outside the US to claim that Americans do not live in America, you are far more wrong than the generalization is.

And you are creating a strawman in which I make a stupid false dichotomy.


Not all Americans live in America. Is that a generalization?

Yes, in that's a general statement about what all Americans are doing. But to say that it makes "Americans live in America" wrong is not quite right, either.

Wiki claims that American diaspora is estimated at 3~6 million. Out of an American population of 300 mil, that's 1~2%. So "Americans live in America" is 98% true. If you want to say the statement is wrong, it's 2% wrong, 98% right.

If you're going to try to force people to always say "the majority of American live in America" or "98% of Americans live in America" instead of "Americans live in America" every time it comes up, you're being pedantic for the heck of it.

Generalization is necessary to communication. Every topic has a nigh infinite number of details, and the choice of which level to discuss it at is arbitrary.

It's not irrelevant. It points out the inanity of the claim.

My point is that it is justifiable to use generalizations when they are true, or mostly true. I used an inane generalization just to get something that would be 100% correct, or close to it. The existence of manboobs does not change whether or not the statement "Women have boobs" is a generalization.

Cats don't have boobs, though they do have mammaries. Bad generalization of boobs you used there. If you got that one thing wrong, do we need to disqualify 100% of what you say?

Because if we applied the "modern feminists are not rational => generalization => bigot => irrational => IGNORE" chain of logic, apparently yes.

Comment: Re:Just proves the point (Score 1) 1262

And I have personally seen someone wearing at least 3 of those shirts in public.

Wouldn't fly in the community I hung out with, but fair enough. Odd for a guy to be wearing 3 shirts, though.

Doesn't prove the point I was arguing against though - which claimed women are hugely oppressed outside a feminist classroom, which balances out any shenanigans inside the feminist classroom.

Comment: Re: Her work (Score 1) 1262

Force requires an actual action. If you decide your only choices are to believe, or deny reality, it sounds like you already agree with the opinion, and have some cognitive dissonance because it conflicts with what you expected to believe. Notice how the other party isn't involved in any of that? Those actions are all your own.

I think we're talking about force in different senses. You're talking about the opinion holder forcing someone to agree with him.

I'm talking about the opinion hearer feeling a force to agree with the opinion because it's true (reflects reality). The conflict involved in cognitive dissonance has a type of force exerted by the two competing beliefs.

However, it is unfair to blame that "violence" (cog. dissonance) on the person who shared the opinion; the problem is the original expected belief that contradicted reality, and reality will correct that sooner or later.

Comment: Re:Just proves the point (Score 1) 1262

No, because he posted none.

Read carefully. What was his experience with feminist professors?

I'm an American who doesn't live in America. I work in IT, I think the average guys boobs are bigger than women's.

So I stated those generalizations. Did that make me irrational and incapable of discussion?

Generalizing is part of abstraction and understanding big picture relationships. That you can nitpick it does not make it wrong. If you used the fact that you personally lived outside the US to claim that Americans do not live in America, you are far more wrong than the generalization is.

And no, the presence of manboobs is irrelevant to the claim that women have boobs.

When the generalization is used as a character assassination, then yes. You post on slashdot, therefore you must be a mysogynist. There is no rationalizing with such a bigot, therefore, there is no rationalizing with you. That's the logic the original poster used, and the responder made fun of. Does it work?

You just used a generalization on slashdotters, therefore you are irrational and should be ignored.

See the point yet? Generalizations are not evil, or remotely indicative of defective thinking.

"Be bigoted against bigots", however, is self-defeating. It's bigotry to exempt certain types of bigots from that treatment - so we find that there is a different principle at play, being against "bigots" is just the marketing.

Comment: Re: Her work (Score 1) 1262

If it were *only* an issue of bad writing and not of sexism, you'd expect as many "save the prince" games as "save the princess" games.

Why would you expect as many "save the prince" games as "save the princess"?

Do you think girls dream about swooping in and saving their romantic love interest from danger, demonstrating their strength in body and character?

Do you think men and women are physical equals?

Comment: Re: Her work (Score 1) 1262

Notice the whole claim of "violence" is predicated on the word "forcing," which in this case is a verb. Notice the complete lack of action though. So just from that we can see it is a false accusation; the only action taken was giving his own opinion. But you lie, and claim he took an action to "force" his opinion on you. But you're not forced to believe every opinion you hear; that is silly, and shows a misunderstanding even over the word opinion. Then you double down on the lie, by claiming the "force" not only exists, but was violent.

If the opinion is in line with reality, there is a sort of "force" involved - one is "forced" to accept the opinion is true, or deny reality itself.

However, if believing the truth causes violence to oneself, there are some important issues that need resolving. I suggest that that is good "violence".

The only possible interpretation of any research whatever in the `social sciences' is: some do, some don't. -- Ernest Rutherford