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Comment: Re:It's a self-correcting problem. (Score 1) 243

by hawkfish (#49137883) Attached to: The Peculiar Economics of Developing New Antibiotics

Feel free to rant about this. Or to try and change it. Individually you are pretty powerless, though. But if indulgence in a false sense of self importance is what keeps you going to your job every day, they sure won't go out of their way to shut you down.

Ranting is the first step to changing anything. As you point out, we are all pretty powerless as individuals, but collectively we can change a lot, if history is any judge. After all, Democracy itself didn't just happen. It wasn't a gift from the powers that be, but taken from them, very much against their will.

Right now, the largest threat to democracy in the US (where I live) is the atomisation (thank you Hannah Arendt) of society. We have all been broken down - not into the disconnected individuals of early 20th century totalitarian systems (of both the left and the right BTW) but into slightly larger groups of ideologically uniform members that can be manipulated in large chunks. This little subthread has already seen several different chunks bumping into each other and having to deal with each other, so in that sense I think my "rant" was very constructive. Not to mention my sig quote.

Comment: Re:It's a self-correcting problem. (Score 4, Interesting) 243

by hawkfish (#49132273) Attached to: The Peculiar Economics of Developing New Antibiotics

If antibiotic development wanes long enough, eventually some rich people will be threatened by new infections for which there are no cures.

Once that happens, antibiotic development will instantly become a top priority for governance and major industry players.

And how many of us proles have to die before our lords and masters decide to piss some new antibiotics into our water supplies for us to use?

Comment: Re:What would a Nurse Do (Score 1) 162

by hawkfish (#49129545) Attached to: Should a Service Robot Bring an Alcoholic a Drink?

The summary did call the person in question the robot's owner.

I think the robot should obey the owner's wishes and get them the drink. But it should sigh audibly when asked to and mumble under its breath while giving it to them. Maybe occasionally snipe at them in a passive-aggressive manner. "Should I cancel all productive activities that you had scheduled on your calendar for today?" "Would you like vodka in a glass or should I set it up as an IV drip into your arm?" "Would you like me to make a bunch of regrettable drunken Facebook posts for you, or would you rather do it yourself?"

"Here I am, brain the size of a planet..."

Comment: Re:Thank you for reminding us. (Score 1) 108

by hawkfish (#49120597) Attached to: Mummified Monk Found Inside 1,000-Year-Old Buddha Statue

Well, you've got to stretch the definition of Religion pretty far to encompass Buddhism. It offers no God, nor any Commandments (though lots of guidelines for monks and others seeking enlightenment). Hardly a religion by most definitions.

Which definitions are you referring to? Mine is Paul Tillich's "Ultimate Concern". By that definition, Buddhism is certainly a religion in the sense that it provides a path to meaning (i.e. enlightenment.)

Comment: Re:Its politics/emotions not intelligence level .. (Score 1) 580

by hawkfish (#49049423) Attached to: Low Vaccination Rates At Silicon Valley Daycare Facilities

One thing I've noticed about software engineers is that too many of them are lacking the critical statistics skills they need to function effectively. Perhaps it's because we tend to think in Boolean terms of true and false. Thus, "I have a 1:450,000,000 chance of winning the lottery" turns into "I have a chance of winning the lottery", which is a different wording that is remarkably easy to misinterpret as a "50:50" chance, even though both outcomes are statistically equal to false. They apply that same lack of understanding to any risk, including vaccination (a 1:3,000,000 chance of a serious adverse reaction becomes "a chance of a serious adverse reaction".)

This says it all.

Comment: Re:Let them play (Score 1) 289

The ways of making and keeping friends that come naturally to everyone else don't come naturally to him. He *wants* friends, but just doesn't know how to make them.

They don't come naturally. Those are skills you have to learn. Most end up being naturally taught, but some people miss it.

Without proper supports*, he quickly winds up socially isolating himself with his actions

Which he will always do until you teach him better social skills. Don't look at it as some medical disorder, look at it as a skill gap. I have the same problems and I'm 28. There's no one to help me now and no one ever tried. The older you get with poor social skills the worse it gets. People don't fault kids for social awkwardness, but you're a creepy crazy guy if you're socially awkward after being a teenager. People don't give you any benefit of doubt. You exist to kidnap or harass people as any mistake you made was on purpose and for some specific reason. 'Why does this person not have any friends? He must be dangerous, lets stay away from him.' Social awkwardness is a self perpetuating problem that can quickly spiral out of control into deep depression and suicide.

You won't help him by teaching others how to behave around him. You can't teach everyone he'll meet in his life. You have to teach him how to interact with others.

Worse, he will interpret any sign of kindness as friendship and follow this person.

Because everyone else ignores (or hates) him or at least that's how he sees it. When no one talks to you, that one person who does must be really interested in you. Why else would they talk to you? No one else does.

Please don't let him end up like me. Teach him social skills like you might teach someone math. Read about some specific type of communication or behavior and then practice and practice and practice it. You might have to deal with anxiety issues as well.

Please don't assume that a) your experience is universal (anecdotes are not data) and b) that those of us with kids on the spectrum are lazy, ignorant twits. We have spent YEARS doing all of the stuff that you "suggest" and all the stuff that you deride as "useless" and guess what? Our kid STILL has a real set of problems. Is he much better at social interaction now that we have spent all this time teaching him skills and getting him therapy? Yes! Can he pass as neurotypical? Not for more than about 30 minutes on a good day. And that is never going to change, no matter how much willpower, time and money we throw at him because there is a real physical problem here.

Would you tell a blind kid that they just need to work on the skill of seeing? Of course not! And ASD kids have real, measurable, neurological deficits. The brain is a wonderful thing and can route around a lot of damage, but it is no substitute for dedicated hardware, which he clearly lacks. And quite frankly getting guilt from pseudo-experts like you does not make life easier. My wife has a masters in this field, which required actual lab work and clinical experience, so please keep your ignorant, holier-than-thou, superior attitude to yourself. You are causing a lot more damage than you realise.

Comment: Re:Or maybe it's because (Score 1) 237

by hawkfish (#48927121) Attached to: Gamma-ray Bursts May Explain Fermi's Paradox

That could indeed be at the heart of one of the solutions to the paradox. As a civilization becomes more individualistic and inward focusing, breeding might drop off to the point of extinction. Think about it, if you could live 10,000+ years and have all of your needs (including emotional) met by synthetic means, would you bother having children? How many people would give any thought to the species as a whole continuing if we were not forced to deal with each other?

This sounds remarkably like C.S.Lewis' description of hell in The Great Divorce.

Comment: Re:Weather is unpredictable (Score 3, Insightful) 397

by hawkfish (#48915431) Attached to: "Mammoth Snow Storm" Underwhelms

If the threat of bad whether justifies a travel ban, just think of the other threats that can be used to justify such a ban or even worse. It's just a bad precedent. There needs to be a concrete threat to safety and infrastructure, while that may not be most efficient or ideal, it's a free country and it stays free until no other options exist. It's hard to say we live in a free country when the government can take such drastic measures on a whim.

It's also hard to say you live in a free country when you expect the government to bail out your sorry ass whenever you do something stupid like try to drive 500 miles in blizzard. (And yes, I grew up in update NY and central NH and I do know what I'm talking about...)

Comment: Re:Baby Translator (Score 2) 122

by hawkfish (#48821671) Attached to: Google Aims To Be Your Universal Translator

If only they could translate what my 18 month old is saying!

When my younger son was about a year old, I asked his (2 year) older brother what he was saying. I figured that maybe being close in age he could remember or something. Older son looked at me like I was from Mars and said "I don't know!" and went back to his blocks.

Comment: Re:Good luck with that. (Score 1) 168

by hawkfish (#48759191) Attached to: Seismological Society of America Claims Fracking Reactivated Ohio Fault

In the industry paid-for response TruthLand they admit that it was due to fracking, but claim that the particular well in question was not properly protected with a concrete barrier. They claim that it should not happen elsewhere if the wells are constructed properly and steps are taken to avoid contamination.

Fortunately, that doesn't cost anything. And even if it did, the nice people in the fossil fuel industry are always willing to pay extra for public health.

Show me a man who is a good loser and I'll show you a man who is playing golf with his boss.