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Comment: "Requires" a global government? OMG THEYRE COMING (Score 1) 954 954

"Requires" a global government? You sound like a LaRouchie.

What it actually requires is the major industrialized nations (most significantly the US, China and India, with others of secondary importance in this context) agreeing to put a lid on carbon emissions. It doesn't require a NEW WORLD ORDER or the Borg.

Comment: Re:Of course Discover magazine would say this (Score 1) 473 473

2 points.

1) This "Only show one side of the picture" thing is so tired. Same thing as saying "teach the controversy". Intelligent Design creationists LOOOOOOOVE that stuff, and Climate Change denialists are only slightly less obsessed with it. The problem with that argument is that's it's patently nonsensical. It's like telling a room full of geospatial mapping experts in the midst of a discussion about the precise curvature of the globe at certain latitudes that they're refusing to consider the points of view of the folks outside the door who insist that the earth is flat. It only makes sense to show "the other side of the picture" if the other side of the picture isn't based entirely on made-up evidence and pseudoscience.

2) What is it about climate change denialists that makes them all think somehow the overwhelming majority of climate scientists somehow have a financial interest in climate change being real? First of all, isn't it relatively obvious that the funding sources with the biggest bucks are actually the fossil fuel companies who have a big financial incentive to prove that climate change isn't real? So a corrupt climate scientist would have to be dumb as rocks if s/he decided the best way to unethically sell out and get paid to come up with fraudulent findings was by siding AGAINST the richest folks in the room. And second, if there's going to be a hoax on such a grand scale, what's the supposed motivation? Are you really saying that 90+% of all climate scientists are corrupt and actively lying to gain some sort of undefined financial advantage? This is especially ridiculous given the fact that the climate-change-is-a-hoax crowd actually HAS an OBVIOUS, CLEAR, WELL-DEFINED financial stake in all those climate scientists being proven wrong.

Dumbest argument ever.

Comment: Re:Equally Smackable (Score 1) 344 344

Spoken like a true ignoramus.

Look, like everyone else I haven't seen the game, so standard disclaimers apply.

But: Context matters. There's not exactly an epidemic of the subjugation of men by women in the world. Whereas there are large numbers of people even in the US who think women should be subservient to men (hell, it says so in the Bible!) and generally treat women more like property than like people.

The "damsel in distress" canard is about as deeply ingrained a theme as exists in entertainment, and its prevalence is indicative of widespread sexism to begin with (not to say that each instance of it is sexist, but for girls who play video games, it's still a novelty to see a female character who doesn't have to be rescued by a man... And extremely rare to see a female character actually rescuing a male.)

That said, on it's surface, this sounds much nastier than a damsel in distress. Usually the damsel at least is assumed to be an actual person whose freedom is in itself worth fighting for. "Capture the Babe", though? First, this is a "take the other guy's sexy chick" thing, which grants zero agency to the woman - whoever takes her gets to have her. Which is already pretty typically misogynist even before you get to the hysterics and the slapping, which are respectively a negative stereotype and a tacit acceptance of violence against a woman who I presume doesn't fight back.

And to the people calling it "satire"? Satire condemns its target, usually by presenting an exaggeration of that target. Unless the audience of primarily young men is expected to take this game as a satirical commentary on how accepted various sexist constructs are in video games, I don't see how you look at this and think "Satire."

Do I think it's going to make people act violently toward women? No, but it will reinforce some negative attitudes toward women that are already prevalent in society, and any girls who are playing the game will have just another example of how people like them are just there to be claimed by the Big Men.


The Media

NYTimes On Dealings With Assange 221 221

kaapstorm found an NYT story on Assange saying "Assange slouched into The Guardian office, a day late. Schmitt took his first measure of the man who would be a large presence in our lives. 'He's tall — probably 6-foot-2 or 6-3 — and lanky, with pale skin, gray eyes and a shock of white hair that seizes your attention,' Schmitt wrote to me later. 'He was alert but disheveled, like a bag lady walking in off the street, wearing a dingy, light-colored sport coat and cargo pants, dirty white shirt, beat-up sneakers and filthy white socks that collapsed around his ankles. He smelled as if he hadn't bathed in days.'"

Comment: Handwriting transcription also tough for HUMANS... (Score 1) 150 150

As someone who's spent countless hours combing through's databases of "transcribed" public records while researching my own family history, I can say with some certainty that it's not just OCR that struggles with handwriting.

I'd say that at least a third, and probably more like half, of the records I've found on which reference the folks I'm researching, are transcribed incorrectly.

Certainly part of the problem is that the people doing the transcribing aren't familiar with the names they're transcribing (I've had a DuBois written as both "Delrie" and "Dobins"). Another part of the problem is that when you're looking at handwritten records from well over a hundred years ago, often they're just plain hard to read (or even illegible).

Anyway, that second point, IMO, makes using Ancestry's efforts as an example of issues with "handwriting" in general a bit dodgy. The problems they face are more along the lines of dealing with old, faded, often poorly filmed documents where even a human will have a tough time.

Unix: Some say the learning curve is steep, but you only have to climb it once. -- Karl Lehenbauer