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Comment: Not to be that person, but (Score 1) 117

by captainlavender (#46126273) Attached to: Study: Some Antioxidants Could Increase Cancer Rates

they are called whole foods for a reason. The sugar in fruit is just as bad as any sugar, unless you counter it with the fiber from the fruit. Table salt is made of two compounds, either of which is deadly on its own. Coca leaves cause very few health problems, even with chronic use. We informed potheads also get very grumpy when a study blasts marijuana using results obtained by dosing subjects with huge amounts of synthetic THC.

Hippies and "natural foods" folks are easy to mock, but they have a point -- at least for the moment, it's foolish to assume we understand all the nutritional benefits of every food and how all its components interact with each other and our bodies. That doesn't mean all synthesized compounds are dangerous (e.g: salicylic acid, aspirin, does okay and is more effective than its natural source, willow bark). But just introducing random beneficial compounds into our body in isolation is like sticking a pan of flour in the oven and being surprised when it doesn't bake into a loaf of bread.

Comment: Re:that wasn't 'no rules' (Score 1) 127

If you get the deluxe model it can also be a transmogrifier =)

(I'm on your side. Kids act out to get attention or to feel more in control. The former requires actual loving care, but certainly the latter can be minimized by eliminating any non-essential rules.)

Comment: Re:Dont do anyone any favors (Score 1) 644

by captainlavender (#46068217) Attached to: Court Says Craigslist Sperm Donor Must Pay Child Support
I'm actually of the opinion that the only model for a just society is to make it small enough that everyone knows each other, so social accountability is more of a motivation than legality. Laws are never exactly right, only asymptotically right, and the legal system is not based around things like intent or exceptions, so there are always going to be people getting screwed on way or the other.

Comment: Plague, eh? (Score 1) 338

Many phenomena in many spheres (especially social) can be modelled using the pattern of an infectious disease. That doesn't have any bearing on their quality, good or bad. I guess it's okay that OP chose such biased phrasing since it's not one of those big, important issues. But it still bugs me.

Comment: Re:Not only in the US... (Score 2) 168

This is very hard-line. Despite what the reddit atheist crowd thinks, there are a lot of religious people who understand that there is no scientific basis for their beliefs. These people, like us seculars, are able to distinguish faith from reason, but they choose to partake of both.

I also have a problem with scientific reasoning when it is overapplied. Sometime, stuff is hard to measure -- for example, social phenomena and things like how prejudices play out in different situations. Saying "but there's no scientific proof!" is used as an easy way to dismiss any of these more abstract ideas, regardless of merit. When a teacher keeps a student after class and verbally abuses them, there may not be proof, but there are at least concrete actions to point to. But teachers don't usually do that -- if they don't like a kid, it's all subtle, it's all "the way they said it", it's all disputable. If you can find a way to measure those things at all, it's usually ingenious, because there's no formula for stuff like that. Science is also frequently invoked, incorrectly, to explain differences that are the results of circumstance (an extreme example would be saying that black people in the US are less successful because they lack intelligence... but a more subtle and insidious example could be saying that women are better shoppers because they have a gatherer instinct). Evolutionary psychology is infamous for being misapplied in this way. And I will say, this kind of reasoning is particularly prevalent among young students in STEM fields who don't understand the limitations of scientific research. Aka about 60% of the slashdot crowd.

Comment: Re: Error in summary (Score 1) 120

by captainlavender (#46042325) Attached to: Ball Lightning Caught On Video and Spectrograph
As a member of the PC brigade, I'm not ashamed of myself. I'm ashamed of you. People who have never experienced racism who talk about how "they're just words". People who have never experiences sexism who talk about "I was just flirting". Just because you can't be prosecuted for saying something doesn't make it okay to say. (The example in this threadis not particularly egregious, but then, I don't think we're talking about that example anymore, are we?). If one person will be annoyed that they don't get to say a certain word, and someone else will feel afraid, unwelcome, and worthless if they say that word? Then shut the fuck up. Your right to say words is not more important than being kind to other people.

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