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Comment: Re:Ridiculous. (Score 3, Insightful) 914

One advantage of having closure is that it greatly reduces the challenges the victim faces going forward.

Some of those reductions in challenges are warranted. Some of those reductions are not.

We, as a society, endorse the concept of innocent victimization: if someone is made to suffer at the hands of another, the sufferer ought not have any further social obligation. For the most part, that's fair.

However, life can never be made completely fair, and I argue it should not be. If such were the case, we would not require any higher level of mental functioning than simple seeking and avoidance behaviors. There would be no point to sophisticated problem-solving, as there would be no complex problems that needed solving. Natural selection seems to favor some species developing higher skills of reasoning, which could indicate that this is an expected consequence of our form of life in our environment. Genetics also provides little incentive to reduce gradual increases in complexity that aren't strictly necessary; indeed, one of the resultant characteristics of this is diversity of life, which as a whole seems to promote the continuance of life in general in an ever-changing environment.

I cannot pretend to empathize with most of the suffering in the world, particularly the more severe forms, but I can say that personally, most of the suffering I have experienced has been challenges providing opportunities for personal growth. I did not always see things this way. I do not want this to read as an endorsement of mild forms of suffering, but merely as a reason to not try to eliminate completely nor balance absolutely the unfairness inherent in the human condition.

There is something to be said for the psychological benefit of having some degree of closure. I do not believe lawmakers should try to enforce the maximum possible closure. I favor the idea of rehabilitation of criminals; in the cases where re-entry to society would be irreducably dangerous, such as strong cases of sociopathy or impaired functioning resulting from traumatic brain injury or genetic predisposition, I would tend to favor restrictions of mobility and physical functioning only as necessary to prevent most of the possible social damage. These restrictions would, to the extent possible, scale inversely with the level to which a criminal seeks to maximize their benefit to society.

Note that, by rehabilitation, I do not wish to imply sudden and unsupervised social re-entry. Rehabilitation is a tricky game that human culture has only begun to play with a modest level of success.

In other words, closure oughtn't be absolute, rehabilitation should be sought when possible, and where it is not possible, an individual's pursuit to integrate with society should influence the degree of their confinement.

Of course, this could all be a crock of shit. I haven't done any deep research into the statistics of recidivism to support my point of view.

Comment: Re:i'd like to see that (Score 1) 393

by orangesquid (#42852653) Attached to: Six Months Without Adobe Flash, and I Feel Fine

{Well, *I* was thinking of a *prurulent* movie... 2Girls1Cut[OozingPus] ftw! --- Captcha: exotic ---
Okay, that was completely inappropriate.}
On-topic, now: I've found that, thanks to the ubiquitousness of NoScript/NotScript now, many sites are at least mostly usable without JS and Flash---they don't want to turn first-time visitors away by having a site that has zero functionality without scripting, I'm guessing. It's really nice to be able to do almost all my surfing in dillo/links/lynx.

The Internet

+ - Internet-connected Coke machines?->

Submitted by
orangesquid writes "bsy used to maintain a list of Internet-connected Coke machines as well as other Internet-connected devices of interest. Just about all the links are broken... are there still any Coke machines (or other neat devices, like homebrew weather stations) online, especially accessible by finger? (I'm not interested in any Pepsi machines, for the record. Unless they stock Mountain Dew.) The UCSD Coke machine was part of Internet lore, and is no longer... it'd be great to find some online vending machines to point the younger Internet generation to, as an example of the early development of connecting all sorts of devices to the Internet."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:US Metric System (Score 1) 1387

"0 C - point at which water freezes, 100 C - point at which water boils.

Yep, totally arbitrary. Lets not even start with Kelvin."

Just picking at nits, but, the standard boiling point of water was 0C on the original scale devised in 1742 by Anders Celsius, then 100C from 1743 until 1954 when degrees Celsius were re-defined by the triple point of Vienna Standard Mean Ocean Water; then, 99.97C until 1982, at which point it became 99.61C, since the IUPAC decided 1 bar (100kPa) would be a less arbitrary than 1 atm (101.325kPa) as the way of defining standard boiling point. The current definition of Celsius is:
* -273.15 is absolute zero
* 0.01 is the triple point of VSMOW

Those temperatures mentioned above (99.97 and 99.61) are from one wikipedia page ( but the VSMOW page ( suggests the melting point of VSMOW is 0.000089(10) and the boiling point is 99.9839, although ITS-90, used to calibrate thermometers, actually uses 99.974. So, I'm not sure where the 1982 IUPAC resolution comes into play wrt CPIM (and formerly CGPM) definitions. Perhaps the exact definition of VSMOW was different in 2005 when the CPIM made their decree than in 1982 when IUPAC looked at the issue? Wikipedia says VSMOW was created in 1967 as a way of making something more reliable to go by than SMOW, but, it doesn't say if the definition has been adjusted over time (cite note #1 from WP:VSMOW, dated 1995, might be good reading on this, but, I have other things to do right now).

Comment: Re:Windows 7 compatibility mode (Score 2) 313

by orangesquid (#41968943) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best 32-Bit Windows System In 2012?

Oftentimes, in industrial settings, a certain instrument has certain certifications. In order to make products that comply with various laws (like medical or automotive components), the materials have to meet certain standards. Legally, they only meed those standards if you can demonstrate that you are making measurements with certified instruments. Frequently it is the case that the instruments are only supported by a proprietary codebase, and the manufacturers do not have a functional app that runs on any modern OS.

In other words, it may cost tens of millions of dollars to "upgrade the app," because you have to re-build parts of your manufacturing process. Sometimes getting a new instrument certified can take years.

This is also the reason why hiring an intern is often not an option. Sure, the intern may be able to hack some code together (of course, then you might have violated reverse engineering statutes or patents on communication protocols or algorithms that process the data from the instruments, so be prepared for tens of millions of dollars to settle out-of-court or buy licensing), but you still have to get everything re-certified---if it's even legal to do so, since you're not using the manufacturer's applications---and re-certifying an old instrument that is using a third-party app may not even be possible, since frequently the manufacturer has to certify that an instrument is working properly and will refuse to work with third-party apps under the premise that they might disclose trade secrets by doing so.

This may sound preposterous, but it does happen. One place I worked finally got rid of their VAXstation 3100 running VMS4 just a few years ago when they upgraded to a new instrument (which costs millions and took years, but they had to do it to run different tests in order to make some different/new products that met certain standards).

+ - Manning's Gender Identity raised in Wikileaks case->

Submitted by
orangesquid writes "This news is a few weeks old, but I don't think it has been mentioned on slashdot yet. The Washington Post is reporting on Bradley Manning's various psychological issues, including hir gender identity (classified by the DSM under "gender identity disorder," a controversial designation since items like sexual orientation are no longer considered disorders). CNN also has a similar story. The Washington Post article describes Manning as a 'a gifted intelligence analyst', an interesting topic considering that some ongoing research has suggested a correlation between transsexualism and increased IQ. Some opinions suggest transsexualism to be correlated with a greater capacity for creativity, an often invaluable part of deeper insight. Various studies on gender and empathy sometimes suggest a link, perhaps substantiating the notion that Manning's desire to leak classified information was driven by hir own internal sense of ethics. Any thoughts, slashdotters? Given the particular sensitivities of this topic, I hope that flaming/trolling will be kept to a minimum, but intelligent/insightful discourse and humor done in good taste will surely be appreciated!"
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Want! (Score 1) 292

by orangesquid (#38394386) Attached to: The Most Dangerous Toys of 2011

If he has a small.. problem, maybe he can blame it on Playmobil -- though perhaps it's chicken-and-egg if it's that the Fairy Tale Pavilion caused BPA exposure versus if the BPA led to Fairy Tale Pavilion exposure. It's interesting that bisphenol A is compared to diethylstilbestrol in its wikipedia entry (the same age group affected directly by BPA might also be interested in third-generation DES [NSFW] gonadotropic effects).

Comment: Re:Duh (Score 1) 472

by orangesquid (#38359528) Attached to: New Study Concludes Math Gender Gap Is Cultural, Not Biological

Yes, it's definitely far more than a mere substitution of appearance.

For an interesting report of the effects of transition on a bright male-to-female writer (and anecdotes on how various world cultures handle someone straddling the boundary of gender presentation), Conundrum is an interesting read (at least so far---I'm about 2/3 of the way through the book: the writing style is a bit old-fashioned, and not all of the topics interest me; so, I haven't been reading it very quickly). I don't think the writer lost any of her brilliance or ability through transition, but her interests shifted, along with the ways she perceived her environment. Transition won't rob someone of their abilities, but for some professions (e.g. writing, public speaking, adjudication, and other fields where communication is critical), there will likely be an effect due to changes in perspective and interests. Professions that revolve around competitiveness or cooperation would likely be affected, as well. I'm not going to say the effects are positive or negative in terms of overall performance, because I don't think a clear-cut case can be made either way---just that things often become a little different. A common remark among friends of those transitioning is, "After I adjusted to it, I realized I was talking to the same person as before," which would tend to imply there is no universal rule-of-thumb saying that someone transitioning becomes drastically different.

I'm not offering an argument or a refutation of one, just presenting what I know, from my own* research. This sort of topic appears in threads on slashdot from time to time, and it is always interesting to me to see what posters have to say.

* (arprffvgngrq, naq yvxryl gb arire raq)

Comment: Re:Once Again... (Score 4, Informative) 815

by orangesquid (#38113408) Attached to: In the EU, Water Doesn't (Officially) Prevent Dehydration

You *can* say it is incorrect, in most cases.
In fact, water overconsumption can easily lead to hyponatremia. It would be more correct to say "Steady, adequate freshwater intake throughout the course of the day curbs the likelihood of hypernatremia, a form of dehydration. Note that in a balanced diet, a significant portion of the body's water and sodium requirements come from food. Note that fruit juices, or a combination of fresh fruit and freshwater, meets the body's needs for water and sodium near-optimally. Note that isotonia, the excessive loss of body fluid, such as through diarrhea or vomiting, is a type of dehydration best treated by electrolyte solutions like Gatorade or Pedialyte, or parenterally via a 0.9% saline drip in severe cases. Note that hypovolemia, the excessive loss of body fluid typically through excessive bleeding, should be treated with medical care. Also note that rapid intake of freshwater over a short period of time is not as effective as a sustained intake throughout the day, as sudden rises in body water content are simply filtered by the kidneys in healthy individuals. Repeating this rapid intake behavior excessively can lead to hyponatremia, a form of dehydration, or, in more serious cases, hypovolemia, a condition related to dehydration that requires medical attention. In individuals with compromised excretory function, rapid water intake may lead to severe hyponatremia, a form of dehydration that requires medical attention, or a more severe condition of hypervolemia characterized by a swelling of the limbs known as peripheral edema or more severe and life-threatening complications, particularly in individuals in poor health or with poor diets or diets lacking in protein. Greatly excessive and sustained intake of freshwater combined with excessive perspiration may continue past hyponatremia to the point of water intoxication, a medical crisis that may cause brain damage or death."

But, I guess that doesn't have quite the same ring to it, eh? ;) "brain damage or death" is probably one of the potential side effects that bottled-water manufacturers want to list on their products... heh.

Note, IANAMP (==medical professional); I just study medicine (and mostly neuropathy and neurosurgery, at that) as a hobby, so please feel free to correct the above.

"Only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core." -- Hannah Arendt.