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Comment: Re:They're your damned kids, your damned problem . (Score 1) 233

is everyone supposed to just assume that one phenomenon somehow doesn't feed into the other?

Unless you can demonstrate that pornography does indeed cause sex slavery, yes, people are supposed to assume that. You're proposing violating freedom of speech and expression, so it's up to you to show that pornography does indeed have the consequences you list.

Comment: Re:Why keep attempting social engineering? (Score 1) 402

There are gender-related differences, but we have no good way of telling what they are or how big they are.

However, when women are underrepresented in a higher-paying field, we've often found that there was some discrimination going on. Men are often blind to the extra problems women face (the same is true in reverse, of course), and if we can find some unnoticed reasons keeping women out of programming we can try to deal with them.

Comment: Re:"Google feels that reeducation is necessary." (Score 1) 402

Men make more money than women, so it would be reasonable to expect them to pay more taxes. One reason women tend to earn less is that they are more involved in bearing and raising children, which is essential and mostly unpaid work.

As far as social services, which ones are you referring to? I'd suspect that a lot of that is welfare for single mothers, and there's reasons for that. Typically, the father is a lot more likely to abandon the child than the mother is, and it's hard to earn a lot of money as a single mother with a young child.

Comment: Re:"Slow and calculated torture?" (Score 1) 720

We've typically paid off our credit cards every month, and our only continuing debt is mortgage and a car loan. We could pay them off, but frankly the interest we'd save is less than we generally make on our investments. In other words, we're doing our best to not pay money to financial institutions.

We have really, really good credit ratings, meaning that there can't be a serious penalty for minimizing what lenders get from us.

Comment: Re:it's not "slow and calculated torture" (Score 1) 720

You're exaggerating the effects of default. Lending institutions will make loans partly based on their expectation of being repaid. Right now, Greece is under so much debt with so much debt service that no institution would be confident of being repaid. Should Greece default, that would give them a better chance of paying off new loans, so it could actually improve their credibility as a borrower. Financial institutions often are interested in what transactions will make them money, not what transactions will fit in with ideology or punish those they believe deserve it.

For Greek citizens, the question is whether they'll be better off with the current crippling debts or the harmful effects of default. They're having austerity measures forced on them which hurt people and their GDP, which they need to keep up.

Comment: Re:Largest known? (Score 1) 72

Counting time from the Big Bang, it's also in about the last 20% of the development of the Universe. If this sort of thing needs a lot of time to form (and I don't know whether it would), the reason we don't see more distant ones may be that there hasn't been enough time for the light to reach us.

Comment: Re:FFS (Score 1) 148

by david_thornley (#49777415) Attached to: Al-Qaeda's Job Application Form Revealed

Pearl Harbor could have been predicted by a modern intelligence agency, of the sort the Department of War created in January 1942 (the timing is not accidental). In fact, nobody was in charge of putting top secret intelligence together. In fact, it was no secret that war with Japan was imminent, and Pearl Harbor received two warning messages ten days before the attack, which were pretty well ignored by the authorities there. General Short, in charge of the defenses, was a fossil who disregarded the importance of his post and sent misleading messages about readiness to Washington.

The US had been waging war in the Atlantic against Germany for about four months by the time of Pearl Harbor, and so Pearl Harbor was largely irrelevant for war against Germany, which Roosevelt wanted.

Comment: Re:Beside hacking (Score 1) 100

Around here, a paper ballot is large, and not easy to conceal. Somebody taking one in or out would be noticed, and since all precincts around here have observers from both major parties somebody would call the police. Also, the voter fills out the ballot and puts it in the tabulating machine, which drops it into the ballot box, with no opportunity for observer tampering. In the event a manual recount is required, I'm pretty sure one of the observers would object to the bad guy. Besides, it's really hard to fill in an oval with something under a fingernail without being really obvious. In either case, the bad guy faces years in prison in exchange for modifying a few ballots.

Comment: Re:Yes to Brexit (Score 1) 395

Devaluation is forced austerity. If Greek was on the drachma, the drachma would have fallen in value. Therefore, imports would cost more in drachmas, and Greek exports would bring in more drachmas. This is a market solution that would result in more euros coming into Greece and fewer leaving it.

Comment: Re:Do people really take this risk seriously? (Score 1) 233

by david_thornley (#49755265) Attached to: Asteroid Risk Greatly Overestimated By Almost Everyone

Heart attacks do indeed come out of nowhere. You can have a good idea of the chances, but not whether or not one will happen. Mine sure surprised me. If it had been a more serious one, and I hadn't gotten prompt treatment, it could have killed me. People do die of single heart attacks.

Comment: Re: Do people really take this risk seriously? (Score 1) 233

by david_thornley (#49755245) Attached to: Asteroid Risk Greatly Overestimated By Almost Everyone

No large species we know of, past or present, is as adaptable as we are, or able to survive in so many different places. I'd bet that the human species would survive any of the common 60-megayear ELEs. I don't know how many would survive, so the 6 billion might be accurate.

Recent research has tended to show that the Abominable No-Man is being replaced by the Prohibitive Procrastinator. -- C.N. Parkinson