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Comment: Gender/sex binary nonsense (Score 1) 587

Separating children and teenagers into 'boys and girls' keeps reinforcing the idea that these are part of some black and white, unchanging reality.

The fact of the matter is that both the gender and sex binaries are a complete lie. From fluent gender roles to a wide variety of physical characteristics (where'd an intersex/hermaphrodite person like yours truly fit into this system, for example?), making a school 'girls-only' or 'boys-only' merely opens the can of worms of 'what's a girl/boy?'.

Is a transsexual boy or girl a girl or a boy? What about someone who is 'genderqueer'? What about an intersex person (pick one of many dozens of conditions there)?

For these reasons 'gender-segregated' schools feel more like an artifact of an ancient, ignorant society than something which we should admire or strive to imitate.

Comment: p-value research is misleading almost always (Score 5, Interesting) 180

by SteveWoz (#49495363) Attached to: Social Science Journal 'Bans' Use of p-values

I studied and tutored experimental design and this use of inferential statistics. I even came up with a formula for 1/5 the calculator keystrokes when learning to calculate the p-value manually. Take the standard deviation and mean for each group, then calculate the standard deviation of these means (how different the groups are) divided by the mean of these standard deviations (how wide the groups of data are) and multiply by the square root of n (sample size for each group). But that's off the point. We had 5 papers in our class for psychology majors (I almost graduated in that instead of engineering) that discussed why controlled experiments (using the p-value) should not be published. In each case my knee-jerk reaction was that they didn't like math or didn't understand math and just wanted to 'suppose' answers. But each article attacked the math abuse, by proficient academics at universities who did this sort of research. I came around too. The math is established for random environments but the scientists control every bit of the environment, not to get better results but to detect thing so tiny that they really don't matter. The math lets them misuse the word 'significant' as though there is a strong connection between cause and effect. Yet every environmental restriction (same living arrangements, same diets, same genetic strain of rats, etc) invalidates the result. It's called intrinsic validity (finding it in the experiment) vs. extrinsic validity (applying in real life). You can also find things that are weaker (by the square root of n) by using larger groups. A study can be set up in a way so as to likely find 'something' tiny and get the research prestige, but another study can be set up with different controls that turn out an opposite result. And none apply to real life like reading the results of an entire population living normal lives. You have to study and think quite a while, as I did (even walking the streets around Berkeley to find books on the subject up to 40 years prior) to see that the words "99 percentage significance level" means not a strong effect but more likely one that is so tiny, maybe a part in a million, that you'd never see it in real life.

Comment: Re:The real extinction (Score 0, Troll) 87

by Mashiki (#49491659) Attached to: Newly Discovered Sixth Extinction Rivals That of the Dinosaurs

I keep hearing that, and every time I look up for factual information on it I end up on a deadend of sites, or non-existent papers, or articles in non-scholarly journals. And considering I've been digging through this off and on for the last 20 years, and always end up at the same state, that leads me to believe that it's simply being used as a hyped up bit of propaganda work. I'm not saying there aren't extinctions, I'm saying that they're not at the level that people claim it is.

You know, much similar to the end of the world, or global warming will cause the earth to have no ice caps by 2000(said in early 70s and again in the 90s), or the arctic ocean will be free of ice by 2010(early 80s), or New York City will be like Ft. Lauderdale by 1995(said in late 60s).

User Journal

Journal: Product Review: Seagate Personal Cloud 1

Journal by mcgrew

Around the first of the year all three working computers were just about stuffed full, so I thought of sticking a spare drive in the Linux box, when the Linux box died from a hardware problem. It's too old to spend time and money on, so its drive is going in the XP box (which is, of course, not on the network; except sneakernet). I decided to break down and buy an external hard drive. I found what I was looking for in the "Seagate Personal Cloud". And here I thought the definition of "the clo

Comment: Re:Hmmmm (Score 3, Informative) 186

by Mashiki (#49468065) Attached to: Acetaminophen Reduces Both Pain and Pleasure, Study Finds

As someone who was prescribed acetaminophen with codeine(Tylenol 3) as a starter treatment for migraines I can say in my experience it does both. In the last 15 years I've since moved onto ultram and fiorinal c 1/2 which is it's own fucked up ball of wax. Why this is news though I have no idea, it was well known in the 1920's an 30's that both acetaminophen and codeine depressed the nervous system and they used it to treat shell shocked troops.

Comment: Re:A Recognition Algorithm That Outperforms Humans (Score 1) 91

by fractoid (#49467253) Attached to: Killer Robots In Plato's Cave
The problem domains are different, and current AI is far better at "calculate a trajectory for this physical object that avoids other physical objects and follows a set of rules" than "identify a random human or group of humans, assess their level of involvement (both now and likely future level) in a given conflict, and determine whether they are legitimate combatants."

Comment: Re:Easy grammar (Score 1) 624

Well, now that I posted, I am thinking about exceptions. For example, in Russian, you have to know where the accent falls, or you may mispronounce the letter 'o'. There are a few tricky things about Hungarian, as well. But in general, English is much harder to get right than any language I know. Hell, I've been told that I can read a Japanese paragraph and sound perfectly understandable, and I have never studied Japanese, I just picked up the phonetic alphabet because I ran out of reading materials on a long flight.

As for Esperanto, I have found it an insanely easy language to understand, and I think it would be the case for every well-traveled European. But the rverse is not true - I would have no hope of speaking it correctly, because I have no idea how they decided which language to borrow from for specific words.

Comment: Re:Easy grammar (Score 1) 624

This is more of the rule than the exception in most languages that I know.

English is my fourth language, and when I started getting serious about speaking it properly, I realized two things:
- I had been pronouncing many words incorrectly, and to this day, 25 years later, I sometimes realize that I had the wrong pronunciation all along. Sometimes it is because I am familiar with the word in the original language, but it is pronounced differently in English, and sometimes it is because the pronunciation disobeys English rules.
- Many native speakers have no idea how to pronounce words that they have never heard.

But in Bulgarian, Russian, French, Spanish, Hungarian, Polish, German, there are very, very few words that you would mispronounce if you see them written down, as long as you know the applicable rules. Some of the languages above (not all) are also very easy to spell, because as long as you know the correct pronunciation, there is only one possible spelling.

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