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Comment: Re:What? Why discriminate? (Score 1) 700

by a whoabot (#49480075) Attached to: 'We the People' Petition To Revoke Scientology's Tax Exempt Status

For up-to-date knowledge of all the variants in the Bible, just for the Catholic letters it costs 98 euro, which is about 105 USD. It would cost many thousands of dollars for the whole Bible. That doesn't even come close to including all of the apocrypha and patristics and everything else!

There's never been a decent critical edition of the Quran made. Keith E. Small did a partial one for just the tiny text of 14:35 to 41. It costs 29.85 USD on Amazon. I'm not sure, but I'm estimating that that is only about 1/1000 of the text of the Quran. So, extrapolating, it would be 30,000 for an up-to-date knowledge of Quran variants. And again, that doesn't even come close to including all of the hadiths and sira and everything else!

The "major" religions do not fare well at all for cheaply understanding their "history" and myths either.


Comment: Inspire (Score 3, Insightful) 538

She's also mentions Inspire Magazine.

Inspire used to be edited and mainly authored by Samir Khan Samir Khan was an American citizen, convicted of no crime; he was never even indicted. He was assassinated on orders of Barack Obama along with Anwar al-Awlaki in 2011.

So when these criminals like Feinstein talk about banning books, note they may also mean assassinating the authors.

Land of the Free, Home of the Brave.

Comment: Re:Waste of money (Score 2) 341

by a whoabot (#48757965) Attached to: Intel Pledges $300 Million To Improve Diversity In Tech

What are you talking about? You said I never bothered to read the paper. I did. You simply used a scurrilous personal attack against me. It has nothing to do with who chose what.

None of the links you gave say that they are paid less for the same work. They are talking about women being paid less in toto.

Women's employment earnings are less than men. No one is denying this. That is totally different claim from the incredible one you originally made: That women are paid less for the very same work.

"And the paper did not say that it wasn't happening"

This is an incredible argument. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. You need POSITIVE proof that women are paid less for the same work, not innuendo or faith. The Department of Labor, which has a duty to deal with these issues, did the most thorough investigation ever, and concluded that there was no evidence.

Comment: Re:Waste of money (Score 3, Informative) 341

by a whoabot (#48756327) Attached to: Intel Pledges $300 Million To Improve Diversity In Tech

I have read the paper many times, thank you for trying to belittle me. I was objecting to your particular claim that women are paid less for the same work. Now you are raising completely different points about men and women doing DIFFERENT work. I don't deny that men and women do different work and that societal expectations about gender roles is the primary cause of this. I fully agree with that.

There were many claims that women were being paid less for the same work. The Department had a legal obligation to prevent this as a civil rights issue, so they tried to discover what exactly was happening. They could not determine that such a thing was happening. Of course, every economist was saying the same thing: Investors almost universally invest in the highest expected return. If women were doing the same work for less pay, investors would invest in firms that primarily or solely used women as workers, thus increasing demand, and pay, until an equilibrium is reached.

The final conclusion: "As a result, it is not possible now, and doubtless will never be possible, to determine reliably whether any portion of the observed gender wage gap is not attributable to factors that compensate women and men differently on socially acceptable bases, and hence can confidently be attributed to overt discrimination against women. In addition, at a practical level, the complex combnation of factors that collectively determine wages pad to different individuals makes the formulation of policy that will reliably redress ay overt discrimination that does exist a task that is, at least, daunting and, more likely, unachievable." (pg. 36)

The Department of Labor has not done an equivalent study since this 2009 one.

Comment: Re:Waste of money (Score 3, Interesting) 341

by a whoabot (#48754927) Attached to: Intel Pledges $300 Million To Improve Diversity In Tech

The Department of Labor commissioned a study on the gender pay gap. None could be determined to be caused by discrimination. They could not even conclude that there was any pay differential when all non-discriminatory factors were accounted for. "An Analysis of Reasons for the Disparity in Wages Between Men and Women"

Comment: Re:Part of the Solution (Score 2) 262

by a whoabot (#48504129) Attached to: Obama Offers Funding For 50,000 Police Body Cameras

"If the shooting in Ferguson was captured on video there would have been no protests."

I would say that that is wishful thinking for Ferguson and other cases like it.

The different eyewitnesses reported seeing different things. And that's what with video evidence as well: People with a negative view of the police will interpret it one way, people with a negative view of the race/class/culture/dress/whatever of the perpetrator will interpret it another way. One person sees police brutality, another person sees justifiable use of force. What we perceive is theory-laden.

In many of the cases the video evidence will only harden people's points of views and make people more extreme because they will simply not understand how the other side can "ignore" the "truth" when it is right there on the video.

Comment: Re:I don't know... Maybe... (Score 0) 299

by a whoabot (#48412579) Attached to: Uber Threatens To Do 'Opposition Research' On Journalists

That's just deflection. Grayson still wrote about Depression Quest and Zoe Quinn with no disclosure of the conflict of interest. That's a lack of journalistic ethics. It would never be allowed for example at the New York Times or any other respectable newspaper. The article is still up, it's right here:

For comparison, let me quote to you from the New York Times Ethical Journalism handbook, which all journalists must follow in order to remain employed there:
"Clearly, romantic involvement with a news source would foster
an appearance of partiality. Therefore staff members who develop
close relationships with people who might figure in coverage they
provide, edit, package or supervise must disclose those relationships
to the standards editor, the associate managing editor for news
administration or the deputy editorial page editor." (p. 9)

Did Grayson do anything comparable? No. And why would he? Kotaku has no comparable ethical standards!

Comment: Beat the bad effects of the real name policy. (Score 1) 305

by a whoabot (#48070319) Attached to: The Single Vigilante Behind Facebook's 'Real Name' Crackdown

The way to get around the negative effects of the real name policy is to register your real name, but using a different alphabet than the Latin one. Facebook allows you to submit your name using whatever alphabet you want. I.e., if you have a Japanese name, you are allowed to submit it in the Latin alphabet. If you have an English name, you are allowed to submit it in the Arabic alphabet. I submitted mine in the Greek alphabet, because that was easiest to get the correct transliteration in.

Comment: Re:Black holes are real, we observe them all the t (Score 4, Insightful) 356

by a whoabot (#47987989) Attached to: Physicist Claims Black Holes Mathematically Don't Exist

Sensationalist? What are you talking about?

Not peer-reviewed? Mersini-Houghton's results were published this month in Physics Letters B, Backreaction of Hawking radiation on a gravitationally collapsing star I: Black holes? I don't expect you to read the existing literature, but the least you can do is check the indices to see if it exists.

Comment: Re:Science vs Faith (Score 1) 795

by a whoabot (#47965205) Attached to: How Our Botched Understanding of "Science" Ruins Everything

That is not a rigorous distinction. Why do humans have appendices? Science gives an answer to that "why" question: A common ancestor had an appendix and mutations in more recent common ancestors sufficient for its disappearance have not occurred since the time of that older common ancestor.

Same with the statement that there are no falsifiable statements concerning the "purpose of life, the universe, and everything".

Example 1: Let's say I have a religious belief that "purpose of life, the universe, and everything" is what Paul teaches in his writing of 2 Timothy. Let's say it's discovered that Paul did not write 2 Timothy (as indeed most researchers now agree, except for fundamentalists and extremely conservative evangelicals). Then my statement is falsified: Because it is shown false that the "purpose of life, the universe, and everything" is what Paul teaches in his writing of 2 Timothy, because Paul has no writing of 2 Timothy.

Example 2: Let's say I have a religious belief that the "purpose of life, the universe, and everything" is to gather the will and the means to rescue the humans that are trapped in a terrible prison of Hades in the Earth's crust (like a large-scale Orpheus operation). We do some seismology and drilling to locate this Hades, but after making a complete map of the crust we show that no such place exists. Which falsifies the belief, because there are no means to rescue those humans, because there aren't any such humans.

Just because some people have unfalsifiable beliefs about "purpose" does not mean that all beliefs about purpose are unfalsifiable. Indeed, many beliefs may just be so conceptually muddled that whether they are falsifiable or not is impossible to tell because they have no clear meaning.

Comment: Wrong (Score 4, Insightful) 795

by a whoabot (#47964751) Attached to: How Our Botched Understanding of "Science" Ruins Everything

The piece is mumbo-jumbo. Yes, Bacon eschewed the "Aristotelian" search for final causes. Does that mean that Baconian science doesn't try to determine the truth? Of course not.

The history of philosophy/history of science done in this piece is clap trap. He says that Galileo used experiment, whereas Aristotle did not. And that's why Aristotle thought that "heavier objects should fall faster than light ones". Supposedly. The problem: Aristotle didn't use "abstract reasoning" to come to that incorrect conclusion. He just didn't control his variables adequately. Not controlling variables adequately can happen to the very best of experimentalists.

"Science is not the pursuit of capital-T Truth. [...] Scientific knowledge is not "true" knowledge, since it is knowledge about only specific empirical propositions"

So how does this argument run? Scientific knowledge is knowledge about specific empirical propositions. Therefore, scientific knowledge is not "true" knowledge. Therefore, science is not the pursuit of capital-T Truth? That's a terrible argument. This seems like just a case of begging the question from the author where he has an unargued "definition" of what "Truth" is. Why anyone else is beholden to this definition, of course, is a mystery.

"Bacon, who had a career in politics and was an experienced manager, actually wrote that scientists would have to be misled into thinking science is a pursuit of the truth, so that they will be dedicated to their work, even though it is not."

I highly doubt Bacon ever said this. Of course, there is no citation to check. I think the author has confused Bacon's model of Bensalem, where he has the houses of specialists hide their operation from others, so that the others don't come to conclusions based on partial understandings, before the work of the specialists is completed.

"by definition, religion concerns the ultimate causes of things and, again, by definition, science cannot tell you about them"

Who made these "definitions"? No one in sight.

"This is how you get the phenomenon of philistines like Richard Dawkins"

Oh I see, Dawkins, a great evolutionary biologist, is a philistine. The evidence? I guess because the author disagrees with Dawkins about God. No argument is given.

Comment: 200 years ago. (Score 5, Informative) 937

by a whoabot (#47898921) Attached to: Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

There is already value without God. Kant derived moral judgements on purely secular bases 200 years ago. The "deontology" he ushered in is now the single most common ethical view held by philosophers today (25.9% according to Bourget & Chalmers 2013), and Kant scholars are at pains to teach it to students and anyone else who would listen.

The problem for many people is they suppose that determining what is wrong and what is right must be easy. Why think this? Why should it be easy? Do you fully understand Wiles' proof of Fermat's Last Theorem? Probably not, but he gave it. Do you fully understand Kant's deduction of the categorical imperative in particular and his deduction of the possibility of synthetic a priory judgements in general? Probably not, but he gave them.

Comment: Re:Won't do any good. (Score 1) 264

by a whoabot (#46485711) Attached to: Cameras On Cops: Coming To a Town Near You

The results show that use of force and complaints are down. How is that the "exact opposite" of his theory? Maybe most of the complaints that were prevented would have been frivolous. Maybe most of the use of force that stopped would have been appropriate: I.e., the cameras cause those interacting with the police to behave better. Maybe most of the abuse is intentional: If that's the case, then there is nothing strange about hypothesis that the police intending to be abusive would also intend to turn off the cameras when they intend to be abusive.

There's no reason to assume that he "ignores real evidence".

Comment: Re:Maybe, but... (Score 1) 246

by a whoabot (#45572731) Attached to: Piracy Offers Heavy Metal a New Business Model

Power go out on the autotune? Power is more likely to go out on the mains than on the outboard, and no large show is happening without those.

You know that the stage flash and gimmicks of Iron Maiden are partly what Spinal Tap is mocking, right? They are not known for the quality their music, but for their bombast in both the music and the stage show. Many acts will play with a single dim light and sit down in some chairs and just play their songs. Iron Maiden brings out lasers, fog, sets, costumes, pyrotechnics; they are an Insane Clown Posse antecedent. Iron Maiden's only number one was called "Bring Your Daughter to the Slaughter" which became famous almost solely for its shock value.

Disclaimer: "These opinions are my own, though for a small fee they be yours too." -- Dave Haynie