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Comment: Dumb Adam Savage Quote (Score 2) 743

by brit74 (#47706095) Attached to: News Aggregator Fark Adds Misogyny Ban
Let's take a moment to dissect what's wrong with that Adam Savage quote: "Adam Savage once described to me the problem this way: if the Internet was a dude, we'd all agree that dude has a serious problem with women." The internet is made-up of a billion people. If you describe the internet as doing anything, as if it were a single human being, it's going to come-off as bizarre. First of all, if the internet was a person, first and foremost, it would be schizophrenic - because so many different opinions coming out of one mouth would necessarily be contradictory. Second of all, you can find any extreme opinion you want on the internet. This means that "we'd all agree that the internet has a serious problem with [fill in the blank]." is probably true because there's no consensus about anything on the internet, therefore, in order to say the internet thinks [fill in the blank], you have to pick-out some minority who believes one thing and then represent it as if it was "the internet".

Comment: Flaw in the 45% Claim (Score 1) 304

by brit74 (#47685349) Attached to: Humans Need Not Apply: a Video About the Robot Revolution and Jobs
There's a flaw here in comparing the 45% number to the great depression. If those jobs went away quickly, it could cause something worse than the great depression. However, if they go away slowly, people have time to migrate to other types of jobs. We've seen this already - and it's contained in the video itself. In one part of the video, they talk about how automation has allowed the percentage of people working in agriculture to shift from 90% of the economy to a few percentage. In other words, a millenia ago, you could accurately have said, "agriculture makes up 90% of our economy. Automation will reduce the number of people working in agriculture to a few percentage (let's say 3%). That gap between 90% and 3% means that 87% of the workers will be unemployed. It will be vastly worse than the great depression!" The problem is that it didn't quite happen that way because the transition happened slowly. Admittedly, there was some unemployment as a result of automation, but at no time was there any vast levels of unemployment - nothing near 87% at any one time.

Comment: Privilege? (Score 2) 282

by brit74 (#47577365) Attached to: UK Government Report Recommends Ending Online Anonymity
How the heck did this turn into a discussion of "privilege"? Yeash. Everything is not about "privilege" and the good guys vs the bad guys isn't defined by who has more "privilege". The idea of ending anonymity online is important for everyone, not just the "less privileged". In most cases, when a website has a comments section which is based on Facebook usernames, I just don't comment at all. I really don't need anyone mining my comments 5 or 10 years from now, so I just flat-out refuse to participate on those discussions, for fear that my comments will be taken out of context or misunderstood and then used against me. That creates a chilling effect for free speech *for everyone*.

Comment: Individual Energy Use Is Insignificant (Score 3, Insightful) 710

by brit74 (#47454477) Attached to: People Who Claim To Worry About Climate Change Don't Cut Energy Use
Here's the thing: individual energy use is fairly insignificant. Turning off the light leads to a miniscule reduction of total energy use because: residential energy use is only 14% of humanity's total energy use [ Source: ], you are just 1 person out of 1 billion people living in the developed world (i.e. people with high-energy consumption), and turning off a light or two leads to a small reduction in your individual use. In other words: a fraction of a fraction of a fraction.

If people are concerned about global warming and humanity's energy use, you can do totally ineffective things like turning off a light or two more often, or you can push for more effective means of curbing global emissions: change the source of our energy (for residential energy, industrial/commercial energy, and transportation), push for more energy-efficient devices (e.g. a lot of Western European countries use about half as much energy per-capita as the US), and throw taxes on carbon-based energy sources to influence consumers via their pocketbook and influence the market towards forms of energy without all those carbon-emission externalities.

I can see that the conservatives are out in droves on this Slashdot story, flaunting their ignorance and conspiracy theories. You guys should really be ashamed of yourselves because you're only making yourselves look like cavemen.

Comment: Re:Most qualified and motivated candidates? (Score 2) 435

by brit74 (#47263145) Attached to: Yahoo's Diversity Record Is Almost As Bad As Google's
That's a nice theory, but you haven't addressed the elephant in the room: virtually all resumes for tech jobs are from white men. I don't even know how they came up with this 35% number. I've never worked at a tech company where 1/3rd of the technical workers were women (usually, HR is very female and that's about it). I think my Comp Sci classes were around 90-95% male.

Comment: What a meandering article (Score 1) 1198

by brit74 (#47114749) Attached to: Misogyny, Entitlement, and Nerds
Wow. That article is all over the place. I swear some three-sentence paragraphs had three different thoughts. I think part of the problem with these kinds of essays is that guys get tired of being blamed for everything. (For comparison, just try to think back to any mainstream article that blamed women for anything.) That's why guys are always getting defensive - because guys are always getting the blame. Rather than this essay, I recommend Mark Manson's article:

Comment: Re:you've got male (Score 1) 315

by brit74 (#47012353) Attached to: You've Got Male: Amazon's Growth Impacting Seattle Dating Scene
The *should* in that original sentence is a bit excessive, but it's true that many men are fine working by themselves, while women tend to like working with other people -- have you ever noticed that female-dominated jobs tend to be jobs interacting with other people (e.g. nurse, teacher) and get people-related degrees (e.g. communications, psychology, sociology, education, ...)?

Comment: Re:An article that suggests a counter-effect.... (Score 1) 784

by brit74 (#46983535) Attached to: Scientists Warn of Rising Oceans As Antarctic Ice Melts
The only way that ice can be below sea level is if it's pushed down by something. In this case, the ice below sea level is pushed down by ice on top of it. (Which is why an iceberg is 90% below water and 10% above water.)

> "Since water uses more volume as ice than as a liquid, the amount of liquid held in the bowl, should be more than the amount of ice it previously had, before melting."
I think the mistake that you're making is that you think there are icebergs which are below the surface of the water, but they are less dense than the water. Of course, this can't happen. It's like having a helium-filled balloon that falls to the floor, even though helium is less dense than the surrounding atmosphere.

You have to take into account the fact that 10% is above water to begin with. As it turns out, those two things cancel out - i.e. the volume used up by ice which is below sea-level is exactly the volume of water that the a melted iceberg will use-up (after it's melted). This is the same principle used in ship-building: the weight of water which is displaced by a ship is equal to the weight of a ship. ( ) Similarly, the weight of water which is displaced by an iceberg is equal to the weight of an iceberg.

You can test this easily enough with a glass of water. Fill the glass with ice. Now, fill the glass to the brim with water. Some ice will stick out above the top of the glass (because ice is slightly lighter than water, so part of it will float above the surface of the water). Wait for it to melt. The water level will remain constant (it won't go down and it won't overflow).

> "Seems to me that the net result of this should be lower global sea level..."
No. That would only be true if you ignore the fact that some of the ice is located above sea-level. When you calculate all of it together, you'll find that ice in the water won't cause a sea-level change when it melts. (And the sea-level change that global warming people worry about is caused by ice melting which is currently located on top of land.)

Comment: The Numbers (Score 1) 118

In the US, gay and bisexual men make up the majority of new HIV cases. But, among heterosexuals, women outnumber men in the number of new HIV cases. For whatever reason (perhaps because semen sticks around longer in the vagina than female wetness stays around on the penis after sex), it's known that a woman's chances of contracting HIV from an HIV-positive male is higher than the chances of a man's chances of contracting HIV from an HIV-positive female. If I remember correctly, the chances of an infection are about double for women compared to men.

"Women have a much higher risk for getting HIV during vaginal sex without a condom than men do" -

You'll also note that, on the graph shown on this article, if you ignore the gay and bisexual men graphs (listed as "MSM" or "men who have sex with men"), women outnumber men in new infections. For example, in the US, about twice as many heterosexual black women (5300/year) are diagnosed with HIV each year as the number of heterosexual black males (2700/year).

Perhaps what's going on in Africa is that homosexual males are less likely to get HIV - because so many of them are in the closet or keep to a small number of sexual partners for fear of attacks.

Or maybe HIV is just so common in Africa that transmissions among heterosexuals has surpassed the homosexual rate (which, given the two risk factors of "gay" and "in Africa" has got to be putting homosexual HIV rates near 100%, but you can't get higher than 100%).

Or maybe there's just a lot more sleeping around in Africa among heterosexuals. Afterall, the reason the homosexual HIV rates are so high is because gay men tend to have a lot of sexual partners.

The important thing to keep in mind here is that, if you ignore the homosexual male population, the rates of HIV infection among heterosexual women is naturally higher than the HIV infection rate among heterosexual men.

Comment: Re:Multi user games (Score 2) 115

by brit74 (#46964319) Attached to: How Free-To-Play Is Constricting Mobile Games
I'd bet it's hard to break-even once you've done the work of converting them. First, almost nobody is going to pay $60 for them, like people did decades ago. The bar for computer games has been raised, and the market is full of people trying to sell games. (It's also possible that the developers of those old games created them because they liked making games, even if the pay was bad. For someone wanting to make a decent living-wage, this type of game might not be the way to go - i.e. only create them if you've got lots of interest, a day-job, and lots of free time.) Second, it's hard to find your target audience. A few years back, I had written a strategy-wargame ( ) which was inspired in many ways by an old computer game called "Empire" ( ). My revenue was nowhere near paying my development costs -- I recouped about 20%.

My publisher told me that strategy games are tough to make money on (unless you're Sid Meier, I assume). They published quite a few strategy games. They had a hard time figuring out a good way to market them that actually had a good ROI. At one point, I tried Google AdWords (because targeted advertising would work, wouldn't it?) I didn't make back the money I spent. My publisher had invested a bunch of money (a lot more than I did) promoting their games with Google AdWords, as well, because they wanted to test the targeted-advertising market. They eventually decided that they couldn't get a net-positive ROI from AdWords.

It's just a hard market out there. I suspect the only way to really make it as an indie developer is to make something super innovative and addictive (and get really lucky on top of it).

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo. - Andy Finkel, computer guy