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Comment: Re:Your justice system is flawed, too. (Score 1) 1080

by the phantom (#49259281) Attached to: How To Execute People In the 21st Century
I'm not sure I understand what your point is. My point was that the person to whom I responded created a false dichotomy, with life without parole being an option not addressed. I did not claim that "death", "life without parole", and "parole after X years" were the only options (my intention was not to create a false trichotomy, but merely to point out that there were options not considered by the OP).

Comment: Re:Idiotic (Score 3, Insightful) 467

Since you refuse to clarify, and I, being relatively ignorant, must rely on the dictionary definitions, I don't understand the point you are trying to make:

sociopath: a person with a personality disorder manifesting itself in extreme antisocial attitudes and behavior and a lack of conscience.

misanthrope: a person who dislikes humankind and avoids human society.

From those definitions, it appears that it is possible to be a misanthrope and not be sociopathic, but that one of the defining characteristics of being a sociopath is some level of misanthropy (or, at least, misanthropic behaviour). Of course, rather than berating the original poster, perhaps you could attempt to bring clarity. On the other hand, perhaps you were trying to exemplify the misanthropy suggested in the original post, in which case I apologize for missing the joke.

Comment: Re:Atheists *are* believers ... (Score 1) 755

by the phantom (#48700955) Attached to: Science Cannot Prove the Existence of God
Agnosticism and theism are not incompatible. Agnosticism and atheism are not incompatible. Gnosticism is a statement of knowledge: I *know* that there is a god. Theism is a statement of belief: I *believe* that there is a god. One can be both atheist and agnostic: I *believe* that there is no god, but I do not *know* this for certain. That being said, it seems perfectly rational to be atheist, in light of the utter lack of evidence that an omnipotent, omniscient entity of any kind exists.

Comment: Re:Yes, that was a problem. Not unsolveable (Score 1) 250

by the phantom (#48693789) Attached to: How Amazon's Ebook Subscriptions Are Changing the Writing Industry

A trivial partial solution is to require reader ratings of at least X to get a share, or a rating of at least Y to get a higher share.

Or require that the subscriber actually read a certain portion of the book, which is Amazon's implementation. Since they control the Kindle market and can track what you do with your Kindle, I suspect that it will work pretty well. There are probably ways of abusing it, but they are not exactly trivial.

Comment: Re:Climate means men won't teach (Score 1) 355

And Russians stand uncomfortably close by American standards. If I were to stand as close to an American student as most Russians would, I would be considered weird and creepy. Americans also consider eye contact to be very important when, say, disciplining a child. Lots of Hispanic cultures prefer that children look down and away when being disciplined, which causes a lot of American teachers to assume that their Hispanic students are ignoring them or being defiant.

Moral of the story: different cultures accept different things. Americans often smile at each other, and a male teacher should not be considered suspicious because of this.

Comment: Re:Considering how few boys graduate at ALL (Score 2, Informative) 355

It is a fairly well known problem that men and minorities are underrepresented in the teaching profession, particularly in the lower grades. If you were paying any attention at all to the teaching community, you would know that teacher education programs are trying to recruit and retain more men. A quick Google search to get you started...

Comment: Re:I am no economist, but as a geek ... (Score 1) 205

by the phantom (#48557223) Attached to: The Failed Economics of Our Software Commons

Also, I did not imply that you had claimed that hunter gatherers have it easy, although you may have been misled by my british turn of phrase. I would claim that 13-20hrs of work a week is having it easy, my question to you was whether or not that was true that hunter/gathers worked less than this? My assumption is that they would need more time than this to acquire food each week.

A typical person in a hunter/gatherer society spends (on average) less than four hours per day on subsistence activities (acquiring food, shelter, clothing, etc.).

Comment: Re:I am no economist, but as a geek ... (Score 1) 205

by the phantom (#48556003) Attached to: The Failed Economics of Our Software Commons

You are rebutting an argument that I did not make. I said that hunter/gathers generally have more leisure time. I did not claim that hunter/gatherers "have it easy." Note that I specifically attempted to rebut such arguments a priori: hunter/gatherer societies are vulnerable to natural disasters (and even minor disasters that probably wouldn't have much impact at all on an industrial society, such as a bad season for the pinon trees) and hunter/gatherers don't have the resources to live a modern lifestyle. They have more leisure time, though significantly fewer choices in how they spend it.

As to your argument that only 1/3 of your wages cover basic living expenses: if you are spending 8 hours a day performing an activity that is used to pay for your food and shelter, that is time spend procuring food and shelter, whether or not you have an excess. If you can earn enough to feed yourself in 3 hours a day but don't have the option of heading home for another 5 hours, that isn't leisure time. If, on the other hand, you really do have the option to work fewer hours and choose not to, I congratulate you on finding a job that you enjoy spending your leisure time doing (not many of us are that lucky).

Comment: Re:I am no economist, but as a geek ... (Score 2) 205

by the phantom (#48552675) Attached to: The Failed Economics of Our Software Commons
In hunter/gatherer societies, people typically have *more* leisure time than people in agrarian and industrial societies (where leisure time is understood to mean time that is not spent in the production or procurement of food and shelter). There are some developed nations---primarily in Europe---where people are beginning to approach the amount of leisure time that hunter/gatherers have. The nomadic lifestyle of a hunter/gatherer is simply not sustainable for a human population of 7 billion people; it has a certain brittleness with respect to natural disasters like a bad rainy season; and it doesn't provide the resources to maintain the standard of living that your average middle-class suburbanite has grown accustomed to, but you didn't make those arguments. ;)

Comment: Re:Predatory? (Score 1) 137

by the phantom (#48440983) Attached to: Profanity-Laced Academic Paper Exposes Scam Journal
While I agree that there are predatory journals out there and that authors need to be wary of them, I am not entirely sure that requiring authors to pay for publication is quite the correct criterion for determining whether or not a journal is predatory. Peer review, editing, and publication cost money. Traditionally, this cost is paid by subscribers to the journal, and these subscriptions can often be quite expensive (consider how Elsevier prices its journals). If the goal is to disseminate information, then an extremely costly subscription service is very likely detrimental to that goal. Hence the existence of open access journals which charge authors for publication but provide access to the material at no cost.

Comment: Re:illogical captain (Score 1) 937

by the phantom (#47905315) Attached to: Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk
One can simultaneously *believe* that X does not exist while also admitting that they lack *knowledge* as to whether or not X actually exists. I do not believe that invisible pink unicorns exist, yet I will admit that I cannot prove it one way or the other. I am both an atheist and an agnostic with respect to invisible pink unicorns.

Comment: Re:In Google's Defense... (Score 1) 194

by the phantom (#47890487) Attached to: The Documents From Google's First DMV Test In Nevada
That is probably true, though I have to wonder why either a 4-way stop or roundabout would be needed at such an intersection---put a stop sign on the low-traffic street and don't stop the high-traffic street, or put a signal there and only stop the high-traffic street when there are cars waiting to cross. I get the impression that the major goal of those small roundabouts is traffic calming---traffic is forced to slow down for the roundabout, but not forced to stop. Of course, I am not a traffic engineer and am largely talking out of my ass, so I will readily concede that I am likely wrong. ;)

You know you've landed gear-up when it takes full power to taxi.