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Comment: Re:anti-terorism experts or idiots (Score 1) 214

The article labels them "anti-terrorism experts" but the mere fact that they even considered this long enough for there to have been a written record belies that title and proves instead that they are "anti-terrorism idiots".

They were idiots if they acted on those suspicions and started spying on Comic Con or individual geeks, but to have never researched them at all would have been stupider by far.

Geeks are a major cultural force and a lot of those shows have their own utopian ideology mixed in, the 20th century is basically a story of different ideologies fighting it out, Democracy, Communism, Fascism, etc. Almost certainly nothing sinister would ever emerge from Trekkies, but when you have a national law enforcement agency those threats that almost certainly won't happen can be worth checking out.

Comment: Re:Men's Rights morons (Score 1) 769

I think an unbiased system would be female skewed since mothers tend to be more dedicated than fathers but I don't know if the system is in fact unbiased.

You talk about an unbiased system while in the same breath making an incredibly biased statement. Interesting.

So sex differences only exist when they benefit men?

That mothers would be more invested in their offspring is easily predicted by that fact that they have a massive biological investments in their offspring that men lack, it's one of those things that I'll simply cite as obvious.

But the strength difference between men and women is pretty drastic

And irrelevant. Abuse isn't about who's stronger, it's about....abusing your partner. You could be a 400 lbs benchpressing linebacker, but it's not going to protect you from being hit with a frying pan while you're sleeping. There's also the heavy societal condition that men should never hit women, even if it's in self-defense.

Unless you bring a weapon into the equation strength becomes relevant because it creates a power imbalance. I don't deny that female physical abuse exists, it might even be at similar levels to male abuse, but I'm very skeptical that it's as harmful.

Comment: Re:Men's Rights morons (Score 1) 769

Men's rights and white power groups and other groups that "fight" for the rights of an already empowered majority exist only because they choose to ignore history.

There are no such thing as "group" rights. If a man is denied custody of his children during a divorce procedure, that isn't some how okay because his grandmother was denied a job.

I think an unbiased system would be female skewed since mothers tend to be more dedicated than fathers but I don't know if the system is in fact unbiased. (And yes, I'm sure there exists seemingly unjust anecdotes on both sides).

Whining about a movie is silly, but MRAs have some valid points about discrimination against men in family law. For instance, most domestic violence laws are written as if men are the sole abusers, when most DV is actually perpetrated by women. In California, the police can only arrest the "dominant" (physically stronger) partner, regardless of who was the initiator or the aggressor. So a woman can attack her husband, and he goes to jail.

Disclaimer: I haven't seen the movie.

Is that an actual policy or are you making a generalization.

Certainly DV by women exists, perhaps it's even the case that incidents the could be classified as DV are more commonly done by women.

But the strength difference between men and women is pretty drastic, I have little doubt that the most severe abuse is overwhelmingly committed by men.

Comment: Re:I'm oddly torn (Score 1) 648

by quantaman (#49703693) Attached to: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Gets Death Penalty In Boston Marathon Bombing

If you consider for a split moment that he is not a human but a vicious predator animal, you might be able to draw your conclusions differently. Humans are not known for intentionally putting backbacks with explosives next to preschool kids so as to kill them.

You're kind of proving my point.

To justify killing him you're literally dehumanizing him. I think that's an extremely dangerous road to go down, to justify treatment of others by denying their humanity. He might be a fundamentally evil person, taking pleasure in the death and pain of others. He might be a good, though horribly deluded person, convincing himself he would do the most good by committing a terrible act. But either way he's a human.

Accept that by executing him you're executing a person.

Comment: Re:I'm oddly torn (Score 1) 648

by quantaman (#49702547) Attached to: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Gets Death Penalty In Boston Marathon Bombing

I'm not sure how to feel, and I'm not sure how to feel about that.

On the one hand, I'm no fan of the death penalty, because I've read about far too many cases where such a sentence was handed down and the accused turned out to be innocent.
On the other hand, in this particular case, part of me wants to say "let him die, and if you can't figure it out, I'll drive up and do the deed." I don't know any of the victims. I wasn't on the jury. I don't know all of the facts. I presume him to be guilty (why?) and assuming he's guilty I want him executed (why?). It's not very often that I find myself contradicting my own strongly held principles.

I'm still not comfortable with the principal that the state should be killing people through the judicial system, I don't like the idea that society gets into the habit of having these discussions of whether someone deserves death.

Just say that killing someone with the objective of killing them (as opposed to winning a war or saving a hostage) is never acceptable. I think it's a lot healthier and what's the downside? I understand why the friends and families of victims might want vengeance, but I'm not sure that should be a goal of the judicial system. And is it such a big deal if a handful of people who deserve death end up with life in prison instead? If you're going to screw up it's better to do so on the side of mercy.

Comment: Re:Not Open (Score 2) 368

I might play with it, but if I can't use it for work, play is all it'll be.

I wonder what commercial uses they're thinking of.

Presumably they're thinking of some super-low footprint embedded devices, but still this seems like a lot more of a fun project than a viable product.

Comment: Re:What they will really drink (Score 1) 278

My experience in living in places with "bad water"(wells with ultra high mineral content) and visiting people who live in those types of places(Phoenix...) has shown me that people will either buy five gallon plastic jugs of water at the grocery store or get their drinking water delivered somehow from a "reputable source".

Of course there will also be those who invest in high end in-place water filtering systems.

Human behavior dictates that no one with the financial ability will knowingly drink recycled sewage. I see a boom market for water distributors of all flavors.

I'm not so sure. You're conflating taste with stigma. If the water tastes gross then it tastes bad every time you drink it so of course a lot of people are going to buy better tasting water.

But if it's just some stigma over the fact that the water cycle is slightly easier to track then that's something people will get over within 5 minutes of the changeover. I live in a major prairie city, I've always assumed the water was "Toilet To Tap" and the idea never bothered me in the slightest.

People still swim in the ocean afterall, and I find the stuff you dump in there to be far more disturbing.

Comment: Re:Boohoo, crocodile tears. (Score 2) 148

Funny how the spying is only bad when it's done against politicians. Against the plebes, it's perfectly fine. I'm shedding so many crocodile tears for them.

I think this was a lot worse.

The public keeps the senate in line and the Senate keeps the CIA in line. When the CIA oversteps its bound the Senate is the club the public uses to knock them back in line.

When the CIA spies on the Senate they're trying to take away your club.

You at least have the option of voting out a bad Senate, how do you vote out a bad CIA?

Comment: Re:Deniers (Score 1) 525

Human-made global warming: every sensible man should consider this a wild speculation at the moment

When you imply that a huge majority of scientists are not sensible people then it's a strong indication that your world view contains a serious flaw.

This holds irrespective of whether human-made global warming is true.

Comment: Re:Deniers (Score 1) 525

That Asimov article, is cool, but it doesn't relate at all to what I said. I was in fact affirming science.

I think it pertains exactly.

The essence of the Asimov article is that every scientific article is wrong, but it's less wrong than what came before and is a better approximation of the truth.

The articles you post demonstrate that current models have overestimated warming in the last 20 years, which is true, but as Asimov pointed out all science is wrong to some extent. The actual results were still very right, after the massive warming of the past half century and particularly the spike of the late 90's the assumption might be a reversion to the mean in the form of a cooling. Instead the actual temperatures were still (barely) within in the range of predicted temperatures and we saw a slight warming.

Comment: Re:Bit to belabor the obvious (Score 1) 372

by quantaman (#49639409) Attached to: Global Carbon Dioxide Levels Reach New Monthly Record

Yes, I'm 100% sure that they just walked up there, plopped it down, and it didn't even *occur* to anyone at NOAA to consider the volcano thing.

Jesus fucking fuck, what the hell IS it with you people on slashdot who think that the first "insight" you have five seconds after thinking of something for the first time in your life hasn't occurred to people who do it for a living? Here's a hint: If you were *that* smart you wouldn't be talking shit on Slashdot.

Ahah! But you fail to realize I have a vague memory of a blog post validating my position!

Comment: Re:Hate for Uber (Score 1) 132

by quantaman (#49638815) Attached to: Voting With Dollars: Politicians and Their Staffers Roll With Uber

Eventually, when we're much much older, we may start reading in the newspapers about miscarriages of justice. We realise the system is flawed. We may encounter laws or regulations that don't make much sense. We may decide that laws in other countries are unjust. But the notion that breaking the law is inherently immoral is ingrained very deep and is very hard to discard. Does English even have a word for an act which is illegal yet moral? I can't think of one. The closest is the concept of civil disobedience, but somewhere along the line that notion got linked with the idea that you have to put yourself up for arbitrary punishment as part of the "protest".

I think this isn't quite right.

You suggest obedience to seemingly unjust laws is solely due to the fact we've been conditioned to equate respect for the law with morality, but I think there's a far more pragmatic aspect to it as well. Humans are spectacularly good at rationalization, it is really easy to convince yourself that a self-serving act is moral. Therefore your default assumption should be to respect the law even when it seems wrong because you might be rationalizing an immoral behaviour.

The second part of that is your concept of what's moral may not agree with my concept of what's moral. We need a way to negotiate a common set of rules we can both agree with, this is the law.

That doesn't mean civil disobedience shouldn't be used to make a political statement, nor does it mean that laws are sometimes so bad they should be ignored, but it does mean that your default position should be to respect the law because violating it carries a very high risk of acting immorally.

I simply don't see taxi regulations as such an unjust inhibition of freedom that they can simply be disregarded.

In a few parts of the world, it might have been possible to launch something a bit like Uber without any serious changes and with a cooperative partnership with the local taxi regulators. But it seems from practical experience that this would exclude vast chunks of the worlds population. And without economies of scale, perhaps Uber wouldn't be anything like what it is. So we have a case where to make progress, technologically, the law must be broken on a massive scale. But of course if the law ceases to be respected ..... where do you draw the line?

So start in those districts, show it works, and give other districts a chance to evaluate and update their laws.

What Uber is doing is ignoring the law to that if/when their practices are legalized they'll be entrenched as the dominant market player and newcomers who played by the rules will be shut out. This is why I oppose Uber in particular.

Comment: Re:Surface? (Score 2) 156

by quantaman (#49632423) Attached to: NASA Will Award You $5,000 For Your Finest Mars City Idea

So you want to put the people underground where they'll be safe, and their source of food and fresh air (the greenhouses) where they're going to be, as you yourself say, vulnerable.

The greenhouses need to be underground as well. So does the power generation, which means a fusion plant. Good thing they're only 20 years away, just like they were 20 years ago.

You can put greenhouses above ground. Just make sure you have an underground failsafe and enough emergency reserves to make it through a disaster.

Even then it's probably not feasible. Look how expensive it is to go underground on earth, now consider how tough it will be on Mars when you're walking around in spacesuits and have to transport heavy duty excavation and construction equipment from earth.

More likely just put everything above ground and distributed. If an asteroid takes out a greenhouse or a house it's tragic, but it doesn't kill the colony.

If all else fails, lower your standards.