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Comment: Re:What the fuck are you talking about? (Score 3, Interesting) 191

by Your.Master (#48013009) Attached to: The Odd Effects of Being Struck By Lightning

Professor is an English word, albeit one with a Latin origin, and it has been an English word for about 700 years. Most English words do not get inflected by gender. It must be admitted that many occupation-words that can be used as pronouns are inflected (actor/actress, waiter/waitress, etc.), but professor is not among those words. Professora does not appear in any English dictionary I tried, such as dictionary.reference.com. Professor, emeritus, and emerita all appear in every dictionary I tried.

Furthermore, "Professors Emeriti/ae" is often used as the plural. The 's' plural demonstrates that "professor" is being used in its English-language form.

Surely if a student were to talk about their "professors", you would not lecture them on their ignorant use of plurals. Why, then, do you insist that the professor is "professor emeritus" is actually a different word in a different language and therefore subject to different inflections?

And if that isn't convincing, there's the fact that "Professor Emerita" is an officially-conferred title, and therefore it is correct by definition:

http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gaz... -- an example from Canada
http://www.ucc.ie/en/academics... -- an example from Ireland
http://www.vtnews.vt.edu/artic... -- an example from the United States

What I find particulary fascinating though is the insecurity apparent in perhaps a large number of readers who prefer to defend and repeat a corrupt usage from someone who may not have known better, lest their own competency in English be considered.

The pot calling the kettle black.

Comment: Re:I still don't get this. (Score 1) 302

by Your.Master (#48011189) Attached to: Consumer Reports: New iPhones Not As Bendy As Believed

Looks like about 75% of people uses cases (http://www.tomsguide.com/us/smartphone-owners-spurn-cases,news-18024.html), and considerably skewed toward iPhones having cases. That's higher than I thought, but still much less than "practically everybody".

Your argument only makes sense if you're going to replace the case with a thicker phone. I suspect most people with cases will chuck a case on just about any phone.

Comment: Re:In lost the will to live ... (Score 1) 794

by Your.Master (#48005163) Attached to: How Our Botched Understanding of "Science" Ruins Everything

If you think that we're just collections of cells, then the only thing you should care about is your own personal survival and comfort, and nothing else.

What? That doesn't follow at all. Consider that you could replace "just a collection of cells" with "just a soul and its mortal vessel" the sentence makes the exact same amount of sense.

Most people seem to use "karma" (or "what comes around goes around") as a not-quite-as-supernatural-as-an-omnipotent-God reason for following the Golden Rule.

You seem to conflate god with ethics.

You don't have to avoid an appeal to emotion to make a persuasive argument to an atheist. Atheists aren't robots. They do things because that's the result of the chemical processes in their brains, and those chemical processes lead to ethics. ...but even if you do, there's enlightened self-interest.

Are you really telling me the only reason you don't go on a rape spree is that God told you, plus fear of the police? Because that sort of person terrifies me. That's the sort where you could convince them that god told them to do some really awful stuff, and they'd be compelled to do it.

After all, people over the world have different ideas of what god's rules are.

Comment: Re:People are not (necessarily) interchangeable (Score 1) 363

by Your.Master (#47997121) Attached to: Microsoft On US Immigration: It's Our Way Or the Canadian Highway

You can go here and plug in "Microsoft Engineer" and get a sense of the H1B salaries for different titles: http://www.h1bwage.com/index.p.... The salaries aren't super low, especially considering that the Redmond area is not entirely cheap but certainly cheaper than Silicon Valley.

The "ridiculous requirements" thing isn't H1B visas so much as it is green cards (H1Bs don't actually require extensive advertisement). And the problem with green cards is that you can't use any experience that you had in the United States to justify your employment, but to apply for the green card (down this employment path) you had to have been in the US on a visa, most likely an H1B visa, for years.

But the point is, just because Microsoft had layoffs, doesn't mean they laid off any qualified people.

Comment: Re:Emma Watson is full of it (Score 1) 590

by Your.Master (#47991479) Attached to: Emma Watson Leaked Photo Threat Was a Plot To Attack 4chan

Do you think this is sufficient to explain the gender pay gap?

Anyway, I wouldn't be opposed to efforts at spreading safe and dangerous jobs more evenly. Be my guest.

As a man working in a job with about as low risk of death as you can get, I don't happen to feel particularly pressured to take dangerous jobs due to my gender.

Comment: Re:Emma Watson is full of it (Score 1) 590

by Your.Master (#47991463) Attached to: Emma Watson Leaked Photo Threat Was a Plot To Attack 4chan

Let's just start by pointing out that we have copious examples of the fact that markets are not actually efficient (eg. http://www.newyorker.com/news/...).

We'd also need to explain why the wage gap has been closing. Have women become more competent / men more incompetent? Has industry moved toward things that women are relatively better at? Were businesses not insatiably greedy 50 years ago?

I propose that discrimination against women in, say, the 1950s, was worse than it is now, and that these changing attitudes can, at least partially, account for the closing pay gap.

On a related note -- what is the right "natural" level? Why is the assumption that the world is right today, when there is clear evidence of change that has continued into very recent history? To be perfectly fair it is plausible that we could keep asking this question after we've overshot some omniscient objective notion equality.

There's also the fact that businesses are composed of people rather than perfectly rational actors with infinite loyalty to their business principles. It's perfectly plausible for the business as an abstract whole to explicitly preferentially hire women, but a critical mass of employees are dickheads. I'm not saying that's true in any particular case, just that it's a plausible explanation for why the invisible hand isn't working.

Comment: Re:fuck american hegemony (Score 1) 109

"How would that affect Canada if Google search were not available there?"

The biggest thing is screwing up the service integration of Android phones -- there's the opportunity that Blackberry and Microsoft have been salivating over. The next biggest is @gmail.com email blinking out, which would be chaos (maybe you want to exclude gmail from the services that are withdrawn?) and people would probably scatter first to ISP-allocated email (because they already have that, like it or not) and then maybe later to various competitors. Search from a PC is the next biggest, but that one gets solved when everybody's techie nephew or niece goes around switching homepages and search boxes to bing.com and uninstalling Chrome, or failing that when all the major browser other than Google push out updates that redirect existing google settings to their favourite default (IE - Bing; Firefox - locale-specific, usually Bing; Opera - dunno; Safari - between Bing and Yahoo).

As a wholesale, things would have to get far worse than its ever likely to be before that made any sense for Google.

Pulling out of Canada would hurt Google more than it would hurt Canada. Essentially, if Google pulled literally all their services from being accessed in Canada, even for a relatively short period like a month, they could *never* come back, because such an action is indistinguishable from extreme technical unreliability. I strongly suspect such an action would lead to people in other countries fleeing their services (particularly businesses). So it's not going to happen.

It would also be a giant middle finger to any third party trying to sell Android devices in Canada, which is of course the companies as are trying to sell in the US and so forth.

People used to talk about this with Microsoft and the EU back when Windows was more dominant (Microsoft didn't say anything like that, cynical slashdotters did), and it obviously didn't happen because it would have been ridiculous even in that case. But in that case, it wouldn't have been so bad because they weren't talking about retroactively removing Windows from EU computers. Here we're talking services, so if they go, they are gone in a flash.

So this goes back to maybe removing all video services like YouTube, and maybe some services that nobody uses, but leaving all the critical non-video services. I think Google / Netflix would still take it in the chin not just in Canada but also abroad as others see that Google was willing to squeeze customers, but it's more plausible. I can imagine a world in which Google or Netflix feels it is untenable to service Canada because of the legal ramifications, although I don't think we're there right now or in the near future.

Google and Netflix are still probably the losers in that exchange. The result will be somebody else coming in and serving that niche in Canada, a force which may eventually be able to expand outward into Google and Netflix territory -- a force they would want to nip in the bud with their superior market presence. It's not like the secret of streaming video technology is unknown to Canadian engineers, and its not like Netflix or YouTube are so critical to Canadian day to day life that to cut off Netflix access would cause an overnight revolution.

Comment: Re:Wake me when chimpanzees invent smelting (Score 1) 224

by Your.Master (#47947457) Attached to: Study: Chimpanzees Have Evolved To Kill Each Other

it must be modified by unnatural means

"Unnatural means" is extremely ill-defined, and in common understanding it's by unavailable to nonhumans *by definition*, not because of a shortcoming of the animals. You look up antonyms for "natural" and one of the first is "man-made".

Fire is a particularly interesting choice of discriminator, because it is a natural phenomenon that happens all the time. You of course mean a contained fire that was intentionally instigated by chimpanzees.

Regardless, I'm missing the point of this argument -- you said to wake you up when they invented smelting, and then talked about what your yardstick was, but I don't know what it's a yardstick for.

Comment: Re:Didn't we already know this? (Score 1) 85

by Your.Master (#47943625) Attached to: Europeans Came From Three Ancestry Groupings

I almost wonder if it was ever knowledge... Consider that the most effective way of spreading religion is to have children and indoctrinate them into the same religion.

You can imagine 10 different sects popping up with different versions of the dietary rules. The ones that happened to align with health and reduced death would have an evolutionary advantage, and ultimately become dominant.

They laughed at Einstein. They laughed at the Wright Brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown. -- Carl Sagan

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