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Comment: Re:Freedom of Expression... (Score 2) 424

by stranger_to_himself (#47465835) Attached to: French Blogger Fined For Negative Restaurant Review

And you came to that conclusion...how exactly?

I'd say it has to do with the breakneck speed at which they've re-criminalized blasphemy, and stopped people from stating their point of view especially when it's "contrary to political correctness." Europe is pretty good at that, I can think of a dozen cases off the top of my head from Germany to France to the UK.

Any that weren't made up by the Daily Mail?

Comment: Re:Plumber (Score 2) 509

by stranger_to_himself (#47461329) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Future-Proof Jobs?

Pastor, plumber, electrician, and dentist were listed in an article I read recently.

The problem is that they all presume a functioning middle class which has money to pay for their services.

We could get into a situation where 50% of the population can't find jobs unless we pass lower overtime laws (32 hour week max) or provide a basic income to everyone from taxes on those who are working or some other entirely new approach.

It's really a paradigm shift coming.

If things get to the point where the richest country in the world can't pay for dental care for the majority of the population then I think unemployment would be the least of your worries.

Comment: Re:What the fuck are they supposed to do? (Score 1) 123

by stranger_to_himself (#47450311) Attached to: Elite Group of Researchers Rule Scientific Publishing

To bring in funding you must have a good research idea, a detailed research plan, the political nous to persuade others that it is worth spending money on, and then the management ability to make sure your ideas are followed through by the post-docs and students that you recruit to follow the plan. Of course you should get your name on the resulting publication.

I knew at least one professor when I was in graduate school that brought in plenty of money without any of the requirements you stated above.

It's possible that the 1% the article references are extremely brilliant and deserved to be named on that many papers. I would be willing to bet that a significant fraction of that 1% are not and are just putting their names on their students papers due to tradition, hubris, or both.

Probably not any more. Funding is now far more competative and funders want to see much more evidence of value for money than they did even a few years ago.

Comment: Re:What the fuck are they supposed to do? (Score 3, Insightful) 123

by stranger_to_himself (#47447535) Attached to: Elite Group of Researchers Rule Scientific Publishing

...what a lot of scientists do is they bring in a lot of students and act as project supervisors, as it says in the article: "Many of these prolific scientists are likely the heads of laboratories or research groups; they bring in funding, supervise research, and add their names to the numerous papers that result."..

But bringing in funding is in fact the bulk of the 'scientific' work. To bring in funding you must have a good research idea, a detailed research plan, the political nous to persuade others that it is worth spending money on, and then the management ability to make sure your ideas are followed through by the post-docs and students that you recruit to follow the plan. Of course you should get your name on the resulting publication.

Comment: Re:Oh well (Score 1) 499

by stranger_to_himself (#46867411) Attached to: You Are What You're Tricked Into Eating

No, the medical establishment (who still have unconscious roots in medieval moralism, mind you) will eventually decree that the only healthy diet is cardboard and sewer water. This will start off as a recommendation, and when people refuse to go along, will start to creep into law. First they'll seek to ban all non-cardboard entrees in schools. They they'll use our taxpayer dollars to fund an expensive "Sewer Water is for Kool Kids!" ad campaign in the school. Then they'll put pressure on the FDA to ban all non-cardboard, non-sewer foods altogether.

All part of the medical establishment's underlying "If it's fun or enjoyable, it's bad for you" mentality.

The food industry has far more say over what you eat than scientific/medical establishment, and industry is far better at and spend much more money on influencing your individual behaviour (those 'choices' that you think you are making) than governments or public bodies can.

Comment: Re:Bad Idea (Score 1) 321

by stranger_to_himself (#46141025) Attached to: James Dyson: We Should Pay Students To Study Engineering

Agreed, The people who are best at [subject X] are those that have a passion for [subject X]. When I interview people for (programming related) jobs, I focus less on what they actually know and more on whether they have a love for it (do they do programming related stuff on their own either for fun or self-improvement, etc.). Even if they don't have the skill I need immediately, I know that they will ramp up quickly and be more productive than someone who went into computer science because it was a high paying job.

Its not so much about paying people to do something as supporting them while they do it (ie enabling them to do the thing they love) otherwise you'll lose potentially good people to other careers. Disciplines compete for the best graduates, and a small financial incentive can make a big difference to a grad student deciding what to study if it means they can spend their evenings studying instead of washing dishes.

Comment: Re:Great plan Nintendo (Score 1) 129

by stranger_to_himself (#46119219) Attached to: Nintendo Could Base Comeback On Improving Peoples' Health

Indeed, speculation on Japanese forums is that this is just the addition of some pads that measure body fat to the balance board. Most bathroom scales in Japan already have them so it was actually kind of odd that the balance board could measure weight but not body fat when it came out. It's just a logical evolution following a fell trodden path.

Bioelectrical impedance isn't a reliable enough measure of body fat for home use really (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bioelectrical_impedance_analysis) - and if your bathroom scales do it just as well (or badly) it wouldn't add much to the Wii fit for the cost and hassle of adding it. I'd guess it only measures weight because it has the sensors to measure center of gravity.

Comment: Re:It'll work if you want to suceed (Score 2) 397

Basically you need to feel like an outsider and feel like you're better than everyone else to be truly successful.

This is true. I have both of these things (though I lack impulse control hence posting comments on slashdit when I should be working). But insecurity does make people unhappy - even though it drives success. I whether you'd rather be successful and anxious, or relaxed and 'mediocre' in your achievements. Perhaps that is to question to meaning of 'success'.

Comment: Re:Dont do anyone any favors (Score 5, Insightful) 644

by stranger_to_himself (#46055195) Attached to: Court Says Craigslist Sperm Donor Must Pay Child Support

Given the amounts involved (it averages $100 per month) it might be that they assumed it was some blanket program. Some of it might be the state reclaiming money from blanket programs for everyone under a certain income threshold, things like free shots. It's not obvious.

Very true - also a lot of people here forget that circumstances can easily change. You could lose your job, become sick etc so that you need child support where you didn't previously. Claiming benefits does not automatically make you a greedy feckless scrounger.

Comment: Re:"post-food consumers" (Score 1) 543

by stranger_to_himself (#46045041) Attached to: 20,000 Customers Have Pre-Ordered Over $2,000,000 of Soylent

So, add appropriate amounts of soluble and insoluble fiber to the mix... it would even be easy enough to give flexibility in the ratio of the two to adjust to your system and diet's needs, like many people already do with fiber products.

There's also now evidence that the action of chewing is important for maintaining cerebral blood flow. I guess you could also add a stick of chewing gum but the point is that the human body is a very complex system and its not obvious what the consequences of trying to replace the function of one part of it are. The whole process of eating probably has other important effects that we don't understand.

Comment: Re:Not only in the US... (Score 3, Insightful) 168

That's fine so long as you're telling people how things are, but very limited if you want to think about how they should be. The problem with abdicating from advocacy is that there are plenty of people without your knowledge, understanding or benevolence who are prepared to fill in the gaps for you. This is why 'promoting societal good' is rightly now a key aspect of scientific endeavour.

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