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Comment: It's about more than immagration (Score 1) 292

by sirwired (#49489513) Attached to: IT Worker's Lawsuit Accuses Tata of Discrimination

Firstly, nobody is prosecuted for discrimination. Discrimination is not enforced by criminal law; it's enforced by civil ones. You are sued, not prosecuted, for violating them.

Please go back in time, and ask black Americans their view on the matter before such practices were outlawed. Ask some women how harmless it is to get paid less than men for the same job.

By no means are things hunky-dory today, but they are indisputably much better than they used to be. You certainly can't change attitudes through laws, but when attitudes keep people from wanting to do the right thing, laws certainly nudge them to do it anyway.

If you are an immigrant, you are going to choose a place because it's less-bad than the one you came from. That doesn't mean that they deserve to be taken advantage of simply because it's possible. I'm pretty sure that if those Indians in Dubai could find a job in say, Europe, doing the same work for the same pay, they'd certainly choose to go there.

Comment: That was some pretty stupid political commentary.. (Score 1) 75

by sirwired (#49441931) Attached to: FTC Creates Office Dedicated To "Algorithmic Transparency"

Timothy, that was some pretty lame and obvious political axe-grinding there... and completely off-topic from both the summary and the article.

The Federal Trade Commission, by it's very nature, regulates trade (as in, private businesses.)

The TSA and IRS are completely out-of-scope of their jurisdiction. (This kind of role is usually handled by the GAO.)

Comment: Errr... Duh (Score 3, Interesting) 250

by sirwired (#49432499) Attached to: Verdict Reached In Boston Bombing Trial

The defense, in their opening statement, admitted the defendant committed the crime. A trial to determine his guilt was merely a formality leading up to the penalty phase. Everybody, including the prosecution, defense (and presumably the defendant), and the judge all understood this. But it must be a slow news day, as every media outlet is making this out to be a big deal.

Comment: Facebook no. LinkedIn... sorta (Score 1) 394

by sirwired (#49393479) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Living Without Social Media In 2015?

I'm not on Facebook. I've just never felt the desire to keep up with what dimly remembered friends from High School and College are doing (the last time I peeked in, there was some post about how so-and-so was quitting the 20-yr high school reunion committee because of all the drama... seriously? Who still has high-school era drama 20 years later?), and I see all my current friends often enough that there's really not a need.

If I was applying for a job, I suppose I'd build a profile on LinkedIn, but I'm not, so I haven't.

Comment: There are lousy STEM programs too (Score 1) 397

by sirwired (#49380675) Attached to: Why America's Obsession With STEM Education Is Dangerous

It's a total fallacy to assume that a humanities degree is somehow inherently easier to earn than a STEM degree. Certainly some colleges have some lousy humanities programs that aren't worthy of calling a "college education", and the same is also true for some STEM programs. Each school has different strengths. A skilled humanities professor certainly has a decent B.S. detector, just like a skilled STEM professor knows how to write test questions where memorizing formulas and review questions won't save you.

Comment: Money can't buy happiness, but... (Score 1) 397

by sirwired (#49380597) Attached to: Why America's Obsession With STEM Education Is Dangerous

SirWired's Career Axiom: "Money can't buy happiness, but happiness can't buy anything."

I'm all for "following your passion" when picking your major, but while you are in college, you need to be angling your courses some general direction towards figuring out how to make a living afterwards. This is especially relevant if you've picked a major without ready quantities of employment directly related to your major. Doubly relevant if your "dream career" involves hitting the proverbial rare jackpot like becoming a music/acting/art/literature/dance star.

Most programs outside STEM have ample elective slots that can be used to "fill-out" your transcript with things like business skills, a smattering of technology, etc.

Heck, most STEM grads would be well-served by shoehorning things like writing classes, business classes, etc., although this is more difficult, due to the reduced elective slots.

Comment: Move along; nothing to see here (Score 1) 226

by sirwired (#49343713) Attached to: Russian Official Proposes Road That Could Connect London To NYC

And occasionally somebody proposes a space elevator too (which, based on current technologies, is only slightly more infeasible.)

The economic benefits of such a road would be minimal. Seriously, somehow transporting goods from Russia to the US via truck, (but only during the parts of the year when the road isn't blocked due to snow) is supposed to make sense, when we have perfectly good trains and container ships that can do the job just as quickly for far less money?

This makes the fanciful "Hyperloop" project look like a cost-effective means of transportation in comparison. That takes talent.

Comment: Why is "the community" upset? (Score 1) 78

I don't see why "the community" would be upset about IBM developing a Blockchain-based system of their own to sell to governments. Did they really think the idea would never be used by anybody but crypto-anarchists?

And I thought that under the crypto-anarchist ethos, people were free to seek profit in any means they saw fit. Does that somehow not apply to large companies?

Comment: Then you don't understand what a placebo is (Score 1) 447

by sirwired (#49251101) Attached to: Homeopathy Turns Out To Be Useless For Treating Medical Conditions

A placebo is, by definition, a "sham" treatment, whether it be a drug, surgery, meditation technique, whatever.

Using the currently-accepted treatment is not, by definition, a placebo. I don't know how you can say it "isn't substantially different".

Control-groups MAY use a placebo, but there are many other ways of creating a control group. (Using the currently accepted treatment, drawing on statistics from a sample population, etc.)

And it would STILL be unethical to use homeopathy in ANY study in which there is a current accepted treatment, and total non-treatment could be medically harmful to the patient.

Comment: I wasn't referring to the side-effects of diabetes (Score 1) 447

by sirwired (#49248111) Attached to: Homeopathy Turns Out To Be Useless For Treating Medical Conditions

I was explicitly referring to the diabetes itself, not it's side-effects. But you, AC, obviously just want to be pedantic.

And I ALSO obviously wasn't talking about animal studies. Obviously the rules there are much different, because you don't care if your control group is going to die.

Comment: Were you stoned when you wrote this,or just stupid (Score 3, Insightful) 447

by sirwired (#49245859) Attached to: Homeopathy Turns Out To Be Useless For Treating Medical Conditions

1) If homeopathic remedies could lower histamines, this could be easily "measured with science".
2) Intoxication is a condition that easily lends itself to psychosomatic "cures". We could easily measure the actual effectiveness with science by giving patients water vs. Homeopathic "remedies" and comparing the two groups (reaction tests, blood draws, mood surveys, whatever.) It would not be a difficult study to design at all.
3) The very idea of "Liver Detox" is a crock. There are lots of different poisons, and the idea that a single remedy could the effects from alcohol AND caffeine (which aren't even remotely chemically related) is ridiculous. (Though no more ridiculous than Homeopathy itself, which to actually work would require completely throwing out a whole pile of rather well-settled parts of chemistry, physics, and biology.)
4) Insomnia is another heavily psychosomatic condition. (Indeed, therapy works better for insomnia than any other remedy.)

The idea of a Double-Blind Clinical trial is not hard to grasp. When a homeopath tells you that somehow their remedies "can't be measured" with such a trial, they are simply moving the goalposts. If they are actually "cures" for anything, then that will show up in a trial. Period. End of story. To think otherwise is nothing more than irrational "magical thinking".

Comment: Placebos are NOT the "gold standard" (Score 5, Insightful) 447

by sirwired (#49245789) Attached to: Homeopathy Turns Out To Be Useless For Treating Medical Conditions

Double-blind randomized clinical trials are the "gold standard" for medical research, not necessarily placebos.

Sometimes the control in such a study is indeed a placebo. This is the case for which there is no treatment of overwhelming effectiveness and/or ones amenable to psychosomatic healing, like psychiatric illnesses or some forms of pain.

But for many other conditions, you could bring up a research up on criminal charges for using a placebo instead of the current standard treatment. We'd never do such a thing in, say, a study for curable cancers, diabetes, blood pressure, serious infections, heart attacks, or even a birth control pill.

In a study for a drug to treat, say, Type I diabetes, we'd NEVER use a placebo. The control group in such a study would be Insulin, since no treatment at all would be swiftly fatal.

"I am, therefore I am." -- Akira