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Comment: Have they Denied? (Score 2, Interesting) 199

NSA officials were unable to find any evidence Snowden ever had.

This is essentially the "I do not recall" equivalent of paperwork investigations.

The essential question here is whether the NSA can conclusively deny that Snowden never raised concerns at the agency. Since if he did raise concerns, he probably would have raised them to people personally, a document search is not nessesarily going to uncover whether he did.

What will uncover this conclusively is a simple interview of NSA and affiliate company employees and especially supervisors who worked with Snowden. But since such a set of interviews would either a) reveal that he did raise concerns, b) involve people having to sign their names to untruths, or most unlikely c) reveal he really raised nothing, then I think it's easier for the NSA to just pretend that a half-assed email server word search constitutes an appropriate investigation.

Comment: Easy question to answer (Score 2) 527

by dheltzel (#47856769) Attached to: AT&T Says 10Mbps Is Too Fast For "Broadband," 4Mbps Is Enough
This is simple to determine -- The FCC jsut gets all the CEO's of the companies in question into a room and put them under oath. Then ask them what the bandwidth is to their personal residence and that becomes the definition of "Broadband" for that company. If it's good enough for the CEO's family then it should be good enough for their customers. And if investigative work proves they are getting all "weasel-like" using mifi or something to supplement, then they must do 5x what they claimed before.

Comment: Re:STEM =! Convergent Thinking (Score 1) 58

by ShakaUVM (#47842469) Attached to: Music Training's Cognitive Benefits Could Help "At-Risk" Students

>STEM was never, is never, and will never be a product of "convergent thinking"

Which is what I said, if you go back and re-parse my sentence.

>And I have a problem with your description of art being the source of "divergent thinking"

I never said it was, merely that art *trains* divergent thinking.

>Take the so-called "art" that we have, for example - Music ... these days you listen to one song you listen to all songs --- all of them sound so similar as everybody tries to sound like everybody else --- the beats, the rhythm, who the fuck cares anymore who sings what since they all sound just so much alike

We're not talking about listening to the radio, but art classes in school. Art classes are about the creation of new art, or sometimes the active critique of existing art, but is never the passive garbage you claim it is.

Comment: Arts in Education (Score 5, Insightful) 58

by ShakaUVM (#47832679) Attached to: Music Training's Cognitive Benefits Could Help "At-Risk" Students

While (correlation != causation) and all that, there really is a pretty extensive research base showing the benefits of music (and the arts in general) for students.

Education these days has been very, very focused on something called convergent thinking - basically, being able to choose the right answer from a short list. We've bought into the myth that all you need to succeed in STEM fields is convergent thinking, so that's what's taught.

The arts, by contrast, develop divergent thinking. Creativity, and the ability to generate multiple possibilities for the same problem. ("Should I lay out my artwork this way or that way? What if I try improvising a new melody in this part?")

In reality, we need both. Students who are "Masters of STEM" in K-12 often run into trouble when they realize the world isn't full of convenient lists from which we have to pick the right answer.

Think about the job of the guy who has to build a bridge over a river. He isn't handed a list of four bridges, conveniently labelled A through D, and has to pick between them. No, he first needs to generate a variety of possible bridges (divergent thinking) and then sort through them to find which one is most optimal for his constraints (convergent thinking). There's often not a clear "right answer" - one bridge might be 20% more expensive, but 2% less likely to collapse in a major earthquake.

So even if you don't use the arts directly, they can be very useful for cultivating a different mindset from what we're beating into our students these days.

Comment: Re:Gamers are the Victims Here (Score 1) 1134

by ObsessiveMathsFreak (#47830737) Attached to: Combating Recent, Ugly Incidents of Misogyny In Gamer Culture

First Person Shooter players do not represent the entire gaming community. This stereotype is being used to label Pokemon and Super Mario players as misogynists and bigots. All gamers are being tarred with a toxic brush.

This kind of labelling is wrong and morally bankrupt. The gaming community is being forced to defend itself against these kinds of disgraceful libels, by people who are genuinely ethical bankrupts. Simply browse the #Gamergate and #NotYourShield twitter hashtags to get a sense of where these accusations are coming from, and exactly who is in denial.

Comment: Because SJWs are not Feminists/Progressives (Score 4, Insightful) 1134

by ObsessiveMathsFreak (#47830599) Attached to: Combating Recent, Ugly Incidents of Misogyny In Gamer Culture

Question, why do you (generally speaking) feel the need to lump all the people who disagree with you together into one group, give that group a sarcastic name,

I call the people involved in this scandal "Social Justice Warriors (SJWs)" principally because I refuse to insult the feminist or progressive movements by calling these people with feminists or progressives. Genuine second-wave feminists have publicly criticised their behaviour.

If you want to understand the difference, look up the #Gamergate and #NotYourShield hashtags on twitter. The Social Justice Warriors are hateful, disingenuous, at times sociopathic bigots. They are adult, internet-empowered versions of the bullies and tormentors which many gamers remember from secondary school.

Gamers are the victims here. The modus-operandi of the SJWs is to cast themselves in the cloth of underprivileged groups -- most SJWs are in fact white, upper middle class, college aged -- then proceed to level accusations of privilege, bigotry, and misogyny against just about anyone involved in gaming for even the slightest perceived infractions. A climate of fear has developed, first in the indie and later wider gaming industry as a result of the "social justice" witchhunts which these people regularly engage in. Worse, this has resulted in SJW-aligned developers and journalists rising to positions of power and being first in line for awards and increasingly development funding, with cronyism trumping competence.

For Gaming, so often a hobby of last resort for the excluded and isolated in society, this is an awful and tragic outcome. For gamers, male, female, straight, gay or trans, it is a frightening development. Their hobby, their refuge, is being taken over by bullies.

Because their rhetoric and especially actions come across as so farcically disingenuous, I don't believe for a second that SJWs actually believe in or support the causes of homosexuals or transgender people in video games. Their support for women is also largely forced, and disturbingly biased towards the conservative view of women as a weaker sex who must be protected/defended (A view consistently challenged by the games industry over the years).

My honest opinion of SJWs is that they are privileged Neo-liberals, who adopt a forced social justice persona both to project their own (increasingly obvious) bigotry onto others, and ultimately to benefit themselves socially and financially. They are disingenuous, extremist bullies, and the gaming community is under co-ordinated PR attack, and has been almost completely censored on gaming websites.

The Social Justice Warriors are right about one thing though; this is a historical moment. Whether they win or lose, the GamerGate scandal will be seen as a watershed moment in the history of online-communities, and who controls them. Two weeks ago, I would never have believed that a clique so small could all but take-over a community so large, but it is becoming clear that this is precisely what (almost?) happened to gaming. There are lessons to be learned here, unrelated to the immediate issues, and I only hope the right people will take note and heed them.

Comment: Re:I predict (Score 1) 1134

by ObsessiveMathsFreak (#47830035) Attached to: Combating Recent, Ugly Incidents of Misogyny In Gamer Culture

Is it possible that some of the entertaining, amiable geeks that I spar with, party with, code with and blow things up with turn feral and run in packs when I'm not around?

It is unlikely. If you read further into this scandal and its surrounding issues, you will find that it is the gaming community which has been libelled by a clique of disingenuous bullies. These people will routinely label their opponents as bigots while displaying shocking levels of bigotry and hatred themselves. You can see ample evidence of this behaviour in these very comments.

For a better understanding of where the real "Ugly incidents" in this scadal are coming from, simply look up the #GamerGate and especially #Notyourshield twitter hashtags. The vitriol, hatred, and misrepresentations in this debate are coming from Social Justice Warriors (I refuse to apply the terms feminist or progressive to these frauds.)

Comment: Gamers are the Victims Here (Score 1, Insightful) 1134

by ObsessiveMathsFreak (#47827269) Attached to: Combating Recent, Ugly Incidents of Misogyny In Gamer Culture

This isn't about Zoe Quinn. This is about Gamers being bullied and their hobby being culturally colonised by corrupt hypocrites.

Gamers are the victims here. The people crying misogyny are the real bigots. Look up the harshtags #Gamergate and especially #notyourshield on twitter to get a real feel for what is going on here.

Comment: Re:Troll much? (Score 1) 613

by ObsessiveMathsFreak (#47813735) Attached to: You Got Your Windows In My Linux

Well it does solve some problems, just not problems many server administrators largely cared about while creating problems some systems administrators really do care about.

Well, if the project really is an NSA backed obfuscation of Linux a la SELinux, then confusing sysadmins and hampering their ability to control their own systems would be less of a bug and more of a feature.

Comment: Re:Biased (Score 1) 221

by ShakaUVM (#47787239) Attached to: Canada Tops List of Most Science-Literate Countries

>Long discredited?

Yep. There's no inherent conflict, and the conflicts that did take place, are usually portrayed in a way that would make historians cry.

For example -

Galileo was opposed by other scientists (if we can use the term), who basically took Aristotle to be an indisputable authority. Galileo's model of the world required there to be only one tide a day, and when he measured two tides a day, he forged the data so that there'd only be one. It was what Einstein called his "greatest mistake" - forging data to match a mathematical model, instead of matching a model to the data.

But he wasn't prohibited from researching or teaching his model at first. The result of his first trial was simply to rule that he couldn't hold it out as indisputable fact, since the evidence was in appearance and reality against his model.

It was only when he deliberately flaunted that ruling and called the Pope an idiot that he really got into trouble. Good luck saying that to any ruler in Europe at the time - it had nothing to do with the science, and everything to do with Galileo being an asshole to a (former) friend of his who happened to also be the temporal authority in the area he was in.

But when this gets spun by Conflict Thesisers to be "The Church hates science! They threw him in jail and tortured him because he disagreed with the Bible!" (He wasn't thrown in jail, or tortured, incidentally.)

>Finally most religions require one to accept truths on faith, that is without objective reproducible proof. That's the anti-thesis of the scientific method.

That's not a proper definition of faith, which means trust, but in any event, no it is not the antithesis of the scientific method. The opposite of science is pseudoscience, or believing in things despite empirical evidence to the contrary (which no mainstream Christian church I'm aware of does). Science is simply one method of finding truth. (For a definition of truth that doesn't actually mean truth.) It does not have a monopoly on it. To claim such is the case would make you guilty of the fallacy of Scientism.

Comment: Re:Biased (Score 2) 221

by ShakaUVM (#47787179) Attached to: Canada Tops List of Most Science-Literate Countries

Does the sun go around the earth or does the earth go around the sun?

I'm guessing you're Canadian by your name.

The fact that neither you nor the authors of the study know that in a relativistic framework this question is meaningless, makes their conclusion not just meaningless but paradoxical.

I strongly suspect the science museum "scientist" who wrote the study never got past Newtonian physics.

It's like giving all the OECD a math test, and then only marking right the students who define Pi to be exactly 3. And then announcing that fundamentalist Christians "Rank #1 in mathematical literacy!"

Comment: Re:Biased (Score 1) 221

by ShakaUVM (#47787137) Attached to: Canada Tops List of Most Science-Literate Countries

>Is when he misrepresented a stastic favorable to the authors point by not providing context, then following it with a fully qualified negative statistic in context.

I didn't misrepresent any statistic. 58% of people not being able to understand science out of a fucking newspaper (which is written for 5th graders) does not make Canada a, quote, "Nation of Science Geeks".

The fact that this terrible number is not more terrible than other countries still doesn't let you claim it's a country of geeks when the stats show the majority of the population are scientifically illiterate.

The fact that the authors of the study don't even understand relativity - when they ask the question of which object rotates around the other as if there was a right answer - in conjunction with a highly biased study with terrible methodology tells us all we need to know about them.

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