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Comment: Most guys here are missing the point. (Score 1) 245

by hey! (#49763589) Attached to: Study: Science Still Seen As a Male Profession

And that point is encapsulated in a single adverb: still. "Still" is what makes this news; it wouldn't have been news twenty or thirty years ago.

I am old enough to remember when genital equipment was considered employment destiny. When my wife went to oceanography graduate school the sysadmins of the school minicomputers were all female. The all-male faculty called them -- I kid you not -- "Data Dollies". Data dolly was considered a good job for a technically inclined woman because it paid well for an entry level job, involved computers, and was an easy job to hand off when you quit to marry the professor you'd snagged. Plus they'd have a hard time getting work in industry. Clearly that was a transitional moment because there were a substantial minority of women graduate students in the program, but *no* female professors, much less senior administrators.

But given the strong cohort of women in that class, it is surprising the thirty years later there is still a lingering perception in this country that science isn't for women. But maybe it shouldn't be surprising. Change doesn't happen instantaneously, nor does it necessarily ever become complete. When I was in college the notion that women had to become full time homemakers was still predominant -- not among students, but of people over thirty or so, practically everyone in positions of hiring and authority. That attitude seems weird and foreign to a young person today; I expect it's hard for a young person to grasp how pervasive and indeed how genuinely oppressive that belief was. It's a bit like the difference between the way I experience watching Mad Men and the way my kids do. I actually *recognize* that world where smoking was everywhere, big shots drank during office hours, and "womanizing" was a word people actually used without irony. It was fading fast, but still there. To my kids it's like an alien civilization in Doctor Who. So yes, the news that many Americans see science as a profession that somehow belongs to men is a bit like discovering a Silurian in the closet.

The women of my generation fought hard to establish a beachhead in male dominated professions, and if they're sometimes a bit snippy about it, well they earned the right. It wasn't easy to be an oddball among your peers and freak to your parents, teachers and and people in authority generally. And this was at a time when there was no such thing as geek chic to offset the disadvantages being an oddball. Being a geek was bad, period.

Now that cadre of pioneering women is at or approaching the apex of their careers. They're still a minority in their age cohort, but they left a wide open hole in their wake for the next generation. It's taken awhile for that hole to fill up because when opportunities open for a group they go for more high-profile professions (47% of medical students are women, as are 48% of law students). But in another generation I am sure the view that science belongs to one sex or another will be a truly fringe belief.

Comment: Re:Ducted fans? (Score 1) 68

by Rei (#49763377) Attached to: The Hoverboard Flies Closer To Reality

You don't need "antigravity" (which in all likelihood is impossible). Diamagnetic hoverboards would be possible... if we could make ridiculously powerful, compact halbach arrays in the board. Also you'd need a clever mechanism to detect and deal with flying over ferromagnetic material, or otherwise it's going to smack into your board really hard.

Comment: Re: 32MB? (Score 2) 177

by mrchaotica (#49763279) Attached to: Google Developing 'Brillo' OS For Internet of Things

The trouble is that just about every fucking "IoT" device is designed to communicate over the Internet to the manufacturer's servers, even when it would make more sense for it to just communicate with a base station/server over the LAN and have the data never leave your house. Allegedly it's for ease of use, but that's bullshit -- it's for data-mining.

Comment: Re:And? (Score 3, Funny) 245

by penguinoid (#49761657) Attached to: Study: Science Still Seen As a Male Profession

See, they make their career out of pushing to get more women into careers that nobody is keeping women out of but in which there are not nearly as many women as there are men, because women choose to go into things like... gender studies... instead.

But, why wouldn't women want to enter a field with heavily competitive behavior (both for grants, and for credit) and high risk (because you might not discover anything)? It's not like women don't like risky competitive behavior any more than men do. I know, because men and women are identical.

Comment: Re:This isn't a question (Score 1) 469

by penguinoid (#49761621) Attached to: Ireland Votes Yes To Same-Sex Marriage

Name any of them.

1) Like the rest of us, they'll probably come to regret it.

2) It'll wound the poor, sensitive egos of religious people.

3) Mumble mumble definition of "marriage". Note that there are some restrictions on who can get married, either by definition or some other reason. For example, close relatives aren't allowed to get married, "fake" marriages for reasons such as citizenship might be rejected, cannot marry more than one person at the same time, cannot marry self, animal, object, or various other things. Why change the law to allow same sex marriage, but not any of these? (social inertia requires a good reason for change rather than a reason for not changing)

4) Mumble mumble "family unit". In much of the developed world, native population is dropping (made up for by immigration, but there's some value in a stable native population). Statistically, marriage encourages childbearing (also, childbearing encourages marriage). Heterosexual couples are more likely to have children (and the only ones who can have children accidentally). Note that allowing couples who can't or don't want to have children to get married isn't a complete counterargument to this, because forbidding such might indirectly mess with other marriages (eg it would be awkward during dating to ask if one is fertile and willing to have children, people might change their minds, and an age limit might encourage divorce just before menopause to find a different partner and old geezers competing with everyone else for younger women)

Conversely, homosexual couples tend to only have children intentionally (and much less often), and are more likely to adopt children. Overall, this may be a more valuable service to society, but it might not be. Also, odds are homosexual couples in the future will have or adopt more children as acceptance increases, and also due to the imminent technological advances that will allow them to have their own genetic children.

5) Out of wedlock children are often a huge social problem, and tend to result from heterosexual sex. Therefore, there's extra value in encouraging heterosexuals specifically to get married.

6) For #4 and #5 above, note that marriage isn't free for the government, due to the cost of government meddling where it probably shouldn't but does. Thus, even if homosexual marriage is more valuable than not, it is still a question of relative worth compared to heterosexual marriage.


In case you're wondering, I took issue with your "zero" reasons. Even if the preponderance of reasons are for one side, it doesn't invalidate the reasons for the opposite side. Overall, I think that
A) The government probably shouldn't be meddling with marriage in the first place, at least not to the extent it is with the various tax breaks and rights.
B) Homosexuals should be not just allowed but encouraged to marry, for psychological and health reasons. (The psychological reasons being primarily that the aforementioned religious people who's egos are threatened by other people being happy, tend to wage psychological warfare on said people).

Comment: Re:Whistleblower (Score 1) 340

"Accidentally" isn't certain here. If I was part of something that was wrong and I wanted it to be known, I would very well "accidentally" leak it too.

Except I don't see how that applies in this case. Stay or leave -- it's not the bank's call. But if politicians are putting leaving the EU on the table, even as an empty gesture, then naturally the bank has to start thinking about contingency plans. That's just common sense, even if you think the very idea of leaving the EU is mad.

It's also common sense to keep that on the DL to prevent misguided overreaction to what is after all still a hypothetical scenario. The Bank of England a central bank and so people must be constantly scrutinizing it hoping to glean inside information on future monetary policy. That's to say nothing of having to deal with the conspiracy theory nutters.

Comment: Re:WSJ is owned by NewsCorp now, right? (Score 1) 224

None of those statements are tautologies. A tautology is more along the lines of "If this statement is true then this statement is true."

Also, tautological statements need not useless outside of formal logic / math. The theory of evolution by natural selection hinges on the ramifications of the statement "that which survives and reproduces, survives and reproduces" (and its negation.)

Comment: Cold Brew FTW (Score 1) 96

If you dislike acidic coffee, use a max dark roast (note that for darker roasts the quality of the beans doesn't matter quite as much, though Arabica will still be smoother) and cold brew that stuff overnight (you can buy a kit from a company like Filtron for pretty cheap, or just a DIY setup.)

The stuff comes out like motor oil--thicker than espresso. You store in the fridge, mix a shot of it with water and nuke it whenever you want a cup. Incredibly convenient, and in my experience it really cuts down on the acidity. The end result, when drunk black, has a "crisp" bitterness... not unlike a good beer.

I have yet to see any problem, however complicated, which, when you looked at it in the right way, did not become still more complicated. -- Poul Anderson