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Comment Re:Solution? (Score 2) 143

The real problem is they are looking at written data. Sarcasm is based on auditory and visual cues of the person. Detecting sarcasm online is like looking for a needle in a haystack when you don't know what a needle or hay is.

To some degree yes, but there are still satirical works of literature throughout history such as Swift's A Modest Proposal that would pose a similar problem. The problem in understanding sarcasm or satire without the visual or vocal cues relates to understanding meaning (a difficult problem in its own right) as well as why a particular response is absurd given the context, which means you also have to know what the expected or typical answer should look like.

Both of you are right... and wrong. The problem is that most people don't know how to write - and thus what they mean as (what they misunderstand to be) sarcasm doesn't come across as such. That's the real problem the researchers are facing, lack of ability to convey meaning, not lack of context.

Comment Re:Uh... let me think about it (Score 2) 530

I have never figured out how any adult could possibly not know how to read a map. It just seems so blindingly obvious. You simply look at the damn thing. Isn't visual pattern recognition humanity's greatest advantage?

No, you don't simply "look at the damn thing". You also have to be able to relate the information on the map to landmarks in the real world - a much more difficult proposition not only because the real world is a spatial relationship problem (as compared to the pattern relationship problem of the map), but also because those spatial relationships are subject to perception as well.
 
I wish I could find a link to the studies I saw back in the 90's where they asked random people to draw a map of their hometown - and very few bore much relationship to each other or to the real world. Long routes were often drawn as short ones - especially if it was a route the person drawing the map drove frequently. Familiar areas took up large areas on the map, often in great detail, while the unfamiliar interstitials were compressed or absent. (Etc... etc...)
 
For example; back in my hometown new folks often had problems navigating via map because the city's 'cultural' map is rotated counter-clockwise nearly forty five degrees from the real world. Basically the road that ran out of the original settlement ran NW-SE, but folks called it the "North road" and the "South road". Two hundred and fifty years later, street names and business names still represent this convention in contravention to what you'd think based on their map directions and position. In the town my mom lives in now she lives in "Southside" (so named a century ago when the town was much smaller), but on the map it's actually nearer the north central part of the city. And there too, the residents think of the lion's share of the metro area as being the "south side of town".

Comment Re:Troll them! (Score 1) 149

I wish Lenny had more to say before he starts repeating himself. I bet he could keep most of them on the line a lot longer ;)

The ducks are priceless, I love the diversion strategy. A lot of Lenny's stuff works because it can be interpreted as appropriate answers to a wide variety of questions. Like his "Good, yes yes..." can be seen as responding to a question about how he's doing, agreeing to a yes/no question, or simply being polite.

It seems that usually Lenny fails when people start trying to get numbers out of him ("how much are you willing to spend?", "how much can you donate", "what's your credit card number", "what's your address?", etc) It'd be nice if Lenny had a way to inject some numbers into the conversation (fairly late in the conversation, after he's done his "world finances" speech), without his response only being applicable to questions about numbers. For example, maybe he could have a barely audible conversation with someone family member in the house, wherein Lenny sounds like he's referring to the phone call and trying to gather information, then starts repeating some numbers ("thirty-two.... oh.... oh?... but the... (mumble mumble...)", then goes inaudible again, and ultimately the person leaves the house thus making them conveniently unavailable for followup. Lenny then returns to the conversation on the phone with some meaningless mumbling or platitutdes, leaving the caller to interpret the numbers that he heard as either the start of the numbers he was asking for (or the whole thing), or contrarily (if he wasn't seeking numbers) a side conversation that has nothing to do with him. Lenny's next response should start off with "yes, yes...."

The caller would surely follow up trying to get more information / the rest of the information that they were seeking, so Lenny's next line could operate on that assumption. Maybe have one of his rambling stories at that point, and then after that he forgets what it was he was saying the person on the line... maybe eventually calls up the family member on a cell phone to get the needed information, getting another mumbly conversation, ending with the family member brushing him off and telling him that they don't have time, that he should talk with (other family member). Giving Lenny an opportunity for more delays and brushoff tactics, plus plenty of apologetic "I hope you're not upset with this old man for taking so much time..." type responses... maybe him having trouble with his cell phone (perhaps even trying to get the operator to offer tech support advice? ;) ), ending with him giving up and having to go dig through files (that could take AGES).... I bet they could go from record conversations in the half-hour range to average conversations in the same range. ;)

Comment Re:And there was much rejoicing! (Score 1) 567

I disagree. Rubio, Cruz, and Bush would all make acceptable presidents, in my opinion. Fiorina would have been fine, too.

Anyway, in the real world you're going to have to live with the "False Dichotomy choices", since the system is really only stable with two parties. Third parties tend to eclipse one of the previous two, and then it's a two-party game again.

That's probably why Sanders is running as a Democrat after being officially independent all those years.

Comment Re:Irrelevant, inflammatory. (Score 1) 264

No they haven't. Find one case where someone was convicted of murder purely on the basis of people making separate accusations, with no physical evidence. Particularly if they waited years to go to the cops. If you find it you've found a travesty of justice.

And how do you know there's no collaboration? And even if there isn't, how do you know other women weren't just "piling on" because they didn't like him? At the very least I expect victims of this kind of stuff to go to the cops and get their story down in black and white. To come along years later with an accusation is just pointless.

And if it's rape there will be physical evidence. Anyone who waits until the physical evidence is gone shouldn't expect to be taken seriously. We've seen altogether too many fabrications in that department.

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