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Comment: Re:Or the reverse (Score 1) 899

by mdarksbane (#42646147) Attached to: New York Pistol Permit Owner List Leaked

But even if that correlation did not exist, a high number of gun owners would still be a red flag.

For your own safety, then, you had better never leave the coasts. I'd be hard pressed to find a house in my neighborhood that *didn't* have a gun. You do realize that nearly half of households in the US admit to owning one?

Comment: Re:We need gas control! (Score 1) 1591

by mdarksbane (#42604147) Attached to: New York Passes Landmark Gun Law

For the last time, the shooter did *NOT* have any body armor. He had a "tactical" looking vest. The first media outlets covering this got it wrong, and it's been repeated constantly.

Also, seriously, everyone here has played shooter video games, right? How much easier is it to shoot a bunch of targets when none of them are shooting back versus when you have to dodge or run for cover? Why do you think that accidental fire is *more* likely to hit a bystander than *aimed* fire?

Comment: Re:False Lead (Score 1) 627

by mdarksbane (#42516973) Attached to: America's Real Criminal Element: Lead

They're also horrible on your gun barrels, and do very little compared to just mandating Full Metal Jacketed bullets to begin with.

Most of the lead in the air of a range comes from two places:

1) Primers
2) Unjacketed lead bullets that have been loaded hot, to where the back of the bullet starts to evaporate as it leaves the barrel.

This *is* a true issue at an indoor range, and a good ventilation system is one of the biggest expenses of running one. Outdoors bans on lead mostly exist for political reasons, rather than actual problems caused by lead in backstops.

Comment: Re:False Lead (Score 1) 627

by mdarksbane (#42516933) Attached to: America's Real Criminal Element: Lead

There has been no study actually linking lead shotgun pellets to lead issues in the ecosystem. It's all speculation at this point. Among other things, the lead is usually fairly contained in the pellets, especially if they are jacketed.

When hunting, it's actually a very small number of shots being fired. You only see significant lead buildup in some place like a range backstop.

Comment: I had to handle metric conversions at work (Score 1) 909

by mdarksbane (#42449529) Attached to: USMA: Going the Extra Kilometer For Metrication

And all I can say is that anyone who is Canadian can get off their damned high horse.

Know what is worse than imperial? A random mix of metric and imperial based on which country the components were bought from, how the old engineers are "used to" doing things, and the cycle of the moon. Which is exactly what our software had to handle when we started selling it in Canada.

Comment: Re:About time (Score 1) 602

by mdarksbane (#42167979) Attached to: No More "Asperger's Syndrome"
The fact that some people can cope with varying levels of symptoms doesn't mean that there aren't useful treatments available with proper diagnosis. There isn't a nice drug for Asperger's yet, but you can make a lot of progress through explicit training on social interactions. That training can save the kids a lot of heartache if they figure out how to emulate social functions in junior high instead of sometime after college. Most people on the mild end of the spectrum figure it out for themselves *eventually*, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try to give them a boost.

Comment: Re:Arrow of Time... (Score 1) 259

by mdarksbane (#42039827) Attached to: Particle Physicists Confirm Arrow of Time Using B Meson Measurements

This is why it's useful to separate sex and gender - ie, what parts of "man" and "woman" are cultural creations and what parts are biological.

It's foolish to ignore either aspect. Watching my wife after she had our child, there are *definitely* strong biochemical and physical differences between men and women.

But this doesn't have much to do with the different gender roles everyone complains about in, say, Wheel of Time. Women don't nag because they're born to it - they nag because culture makes them to keepers and enforcers of civilized behavior.

That *said*... the vast majority of people, when raised in a society with strong gender roles, will generally exhibit them. So expecting women or men to consistently act like that society's image of women and men isn't sexist. Saying that they *must* act that way because biology is immutable is.

It's a complex, multi-variate system involving years of cultural and individual programming running on a meat machine that is also influenced by its base hardware and and its chemical sensors. No one should really claim that they completely understand it.

Comment: Re:High conservative bent (Score 1) 530

by mdarksbane (#42026037) Attached to: How Free Speech Died On Campus

The guy interviewed is himself a liberal.

He's gone into this numerous times. FIRE's stated rules are that they consider:

1) State institutions who are legally required to allow free speech.

2) Private institutions that promise free speech.

They take the position that any private university which states up front that it enforces a code of conduct that takes precedence over free speech (such as religious rules), is not violating the law, and is lying to students about what they should expect. They don't support the limitations these schools place on free speech, but as private institutions they feel it is their right to hold them.

You may disagree with that philosophy, but there is nothing inherently liberal or conservative about it. It's a defensible response to living in a pluralistic society.

Now, it so happens that the majority of speech restrictions from public schools at this time in history are based on liberal concepts. Conservatives tend to retreat to private religious institutions for their discrimination. But FIRE *has* gone after traditionally conservative/catholic institutions who promise free speech and then renege on it.

Comment: Re:Wrong economics? (Score 2) 457

by mdarksbane (#41912663) Attached to: Tuition Should Be Lower For Science Majors, Says Florida Task Force

I'll tell you exactly what's broken.

When the majority of tuition is paid through loans by 18-year-olds, there is no incentive to compete on cost. If you're already planning on taking out $50k in loans, $60k looks pretty much the same. There is also little incentive to compete on instructor quality, as it's hard to measure and schools outside the top 10 in their field tend to get lumped together.

What is worth competing on? Student unions, recreation centers, dorms, libraries, and other perks.

The amount of school funding for teachers salaries has been pretty stable. The funding for administrative staff and student amenities has skyrocketed.

Every time I visit our local school half of it is under construction - and all of the new buildings are as shiny and fancy as they can get. This is a state land grant school that used to be about as low cost as you can get. The luxury difference between the old and new dorms is staggering.

Until we reform the student loan system everything is just going to keep getting more expensive.

Comment: OH - small town (Score 2) 821

by mdarksbane (#41897227) Attached to: U.S. Election Day In Progress: What's Been Your Experience?

Went around lunch time. No one in front of us in line. Talked to our neighbors who were volunteering about new babies and hunting while my wife voted. We would have been in and out in five minutes if we didn't feel like socializing.

I love voting in this district. It always just seems like a nice way to be social and get to know the community. Really too bad they don't put in enough polling stations in urban areas to get that same feeling. Feels like there ought to be a couple machines in every subdivision or big apartment building.

Comment: Commentors missing the point (Score 2) 213

by mdarksbane (#41610537) Attached to: Geneticists And Economists Clash Over "Genoeconomics" Paper

The authors of the paper come right out and say that they are not arguing for a genetic *cause* to the correlations they measure.

Rather that since genetics and culture are both transmitted along family lines, that genetic diversity within a country is a useful proxy for cultural diversity, and that certain degrees of cultural diversity correlate with improved economic performance.

This has nothing to do with eugenics, and everything to do with a more quantifiable way to study the effect of culture clashes on a country's economy.

Old programmers never die, they just branch to a new address.