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Comment Re: It makes sense (Score 1) 810

The medically accepted definition of schizophrenia implies specific things that would interfere with performing certain job duties. If you extend the definition of schizophrenia to include stuff outside those criteria like gender identification, then the use of the label to determine fitness for some particular job logically would have to change from "schizophrenics should not perform this job" to "some kinds of schizophrenics should not perform this job." Because you're no longer talking about the same thing.

There is an ongoing effort in psychology to improve definitions, and it constantly wrestles with the conflicting needs of having to assign a label to every patetient's condition, and knowing what to do when that label applies to someone. Having broad labels makes applying the label easier but it also makes knowing what to do harder. That's why the APA is constantly introducing new conditions nobody has ever heard of, like "dysthymia". Formerly that condition would have been considered "depression", but it turned out the conditions people had that used to be labelled "depression", while in a certain sense analogous, had different implications and had to be approached differently.

Transgender people used to be given a diagnostic label "schizophrenia", but if you are familiar with abnormal psychology you'll know that that label was hopelessly vague; it threw in people who "felt" an affinity for a different gender with people who heard voices telling them to do things. These are entirely different things, which is why we now have "Gender Dysphoria".

At one time homosexuality was commonly lumped in with hearing voices as "schizophrenia"; this largely predates DSM-1, which thoughtfully (for the time) gave homosexuality its own disease category. Now that a lot more gay people are out, they seem self-evidently normal, except for their sexual preference.

Comment Not an evolutionary pressure (Score 3, Interesting) 278

Evolution. All the idiots who won't get their kids vaccinated will see their genetic line die off. Those with vaccinations will be OK.

Might work if these diseases were always fatal. Problem is that they aren't. They are only sometimes fatal. Sometimes carriers aren't even symptomatic. And they also can infect people who cannot get vaccinated for valid medical reasons.

I wouldn't have a philosophical problem with parents of children who choose not to vaccinate without a valid medical reason to have to live in quarantine. Separate them from the rest of the herd. Basically they are deciding to join a voluntary leper colony. This would keep them and their DNA from infecting the rest of us.

Comment Re:Sample bias (Score 1) 204

While this is true, 87 of 91 is an astonishingly high proportion.

Under the "no effect/sampling bias" hypothesis, the brains donated for NFL players would be reflective of the general population of people who suffer from dementia. That would mean that Alzheimer's and vascular dementia would account for the vast majority of cases. The chances of a random sampling of 91 dementia brains turning up 87 cases of traumatic injury is vanishingly small, meaning that it is quite reasonable to conclude that playing football professionally had something to do with the rate of CTE in this sample. So given that these results hold up, the next logical question is whether the difference in this sample are due to the obvious hypothesis -- that they resulted from playing football -- or some confounding factor as yet unidentified.

Real-life data is never perfect, which is why we do laboratory experiments -- where such experiments are feasible and ethical. But "imperfect" is far from useless, and if this study holds up, then I'd say the burden of proof is on the hypothesis that there was some kind of confounding factor.

That really is the essence of science; it's not about establishing truth, it's about establishing burden of proof.

Comment Not so simple (Score 4, Informative) 278

Just make sure *your* children have their vaccinations. The kids of all the dumbasses will be weeded out due to genetic stupidity. It is as it always was... thank you Mr. Darwin.

If only it were that simple. Problem is that the asshats who don't vaccinate by choice cause illness in those who cannot get vaccinated for valid medical reasons. If it was simply people competing for darwin awards along with their spawn I could almost not give a damn. But unfortunately I do actually care about the kids of these dumbass parents. You don't get to pick your parents and just because they are idiots doesn't mean the kid necessarily is.

Personally I think anyone who doesn't vaccinate without a valid medical excuse should have to live in quarantine.

Comment Academic distinctions (Score 2) 204

Yes, but it doesn't give accurate percentages of those affected.

That's kind of an academic point of interest. Once they develop an in-situ test on a live brain then we'll get accurate counts of percent of players affected but that's not particularly important data. The important fact is that playing american football unambiguously and substantially increases the risk of CTE particularly among professionals. The exact percentage of affected players is academically interesting but not clinically important to those affected. The important fact is that the rate of affected patients is substantially higher than in the general population. The only people that might care about the exact percentages are probably lawyers.

Near 100% in those donating their body to science, but that might account for only a small percentage of those involved in the sport (also, what about other sports with high-speed impact, such as hockey)

What about them? It's already known that hockey players get CTE as well and similarly the exact percentages aren't the important fact. Again, whether most football players or just some have CTE the important fact is that substantial percentages of these athletes (well above the general population) are affected. The cause of their injury is no more a mystery than the cause of a torn ACL.

Comment Common connectors are a great thing (Score 2) 144

the "one plug for everything" trend that began with USB Type C is a step in the wrong direction.

Could not disagree more. There are HUGE advantages to having common connectors. These advantages vastly outweigh the drawbacks. Connectors should be commonized as much as possible. The fewer number of cables types I have to deal with the better. I basically want to be able to hook up nearly everything with 1 or at most 2 types of cables.

having "unique" plug types for particular purposes is a *feature*, not a bug - simply by looking at the plug, we know what the cable and the port does.

Except you don't and you never did in a great many cases. Having to carry around and deal with 20 different types of cables is wasteful and unnecessary.

So you see a Type C plug - is it Thunderbolt or not? Is it a DisplayPort? What voltages/amps can it provide?

All good quality USB-C cables will work for Thunderbolt. Same with Displayport. As long as you are using good quality cables it is a non-issue. Sourcing good quality cables is not a difficult problem.

this is made even worse considering that there's active circuitry involved, where you need to worry about whether the cable itself is built right (see e.g. Benson Leung's long list of cables that can fry your hardware)

If you buy a crap cable from a crap vendor be prepared to get crap results. This is nothing new and has nothing to do with whether or not common connectors are a good idea or not. While I do generally agree with the principle that cables should be dumb and the smarts should be in the devices it's not something I'm going to make a holy war over if it gets the job done.

Comment Re:Who isn't using paint.net? (Score 1) 237

It's just as easy to put a screenshot into paint on a desktop as it is a netbook or laptop. What are you on about?

Are you sure you know anything about computers? You might not want to deal with the increased startup time of Paint.net vs. paint if you are using a netbook, which has limited resources.

Comment Re:Who isn't using paint.net? (Score 1) 237

I love Paint.NET, but I do not have it installed at every computer at work.

Maybe you should roll it into the deployment images, then.

And yes, it will save the warehouse staff some time, and I or my people will end up supporting it.

How did it come to pass that the old solution is superior to the new one? Purchasing failure?

Comment Re:Be careful (Score 1) 97

Frankly I would be more worried about being hit with a kite than a mini multi-copter.

I would as well, except that kites are quite predictable.

There's still lots of little bitty quads with exposed props.

I didn't say it was a serious danger, but they're still more potentially dangerous than a frisbee.

It only takes a teeny tiny little battery to catch a bunch of plastic on fire.

Comment Re:Stamping out Zika (Score 3, Insightful) 144

They just released 20 million modified mosquitos in an attempt to wipe out Aegypti and eliminate Zika in Long Beach Ca.

Not wipe out, wipe out this year. We're talking about a non-native species that can fly and which is easily transported upon humans or in their possessions. It'll be back. I don't think what Google did was harmful, I just don't think it will turn out to have been worth the effort. You'll have Zika mosquitoes back in a hot minute.

Comment Crap "analysis" (Score 5, Interesting) 66

In terms of number of battery units produced, Tesla and GM are roundoff error compared to Toyota.

Several issues with your "analysis". 1) The Tesla Model S is a $70-100K car so not exactly and apples to apples comparison 2) The cars you are comparing have been on the market for 6 years or less versus 20 years for the Prius. Of course cumulative sales will be bigger for the Prius. Do you know how many Prius were sold in the first 5 years on the market worldwide? 81,700. That means that both the Volt and the Model S outsold the Prius over the first several years of their availability. 3) The Bolt has been on the market for a year. Are you seriously going to compare cumulative sales of a vehicle that has been on the market for a year to one that has been on the market for 20?

That tells you that there's something seriously wrong with the scalability of their production.

Not even remotely. I design manufacturing production systems for a living. Tesla scaling production to deliver cars more quickly would be a substantial cost with no obvious benefit to Tesla either short or long term. The reason they haven't done it isn't that they cannot do it but because they have chosen not to do it. As long as customers are willing to wait for delivery it would be enormously stupid of Tesla to devote that much capital to upgrading assembly lines and supply chains. There is no evidence to suggest that faster production would result in enough marginal extra sales to be worth the expense. They need to produce cars fast enough to keep their customers happy but any faster is wasting money. So far Tesla customers clearly are ok with waiting a bit.

(If you want to know what the problem is, Tesla relies on selling ZEV credits to other automakers to keep from going bankrupt. But other automakers only need a certain number of ZEV credits each year to comply with CARB regulations. So Tesla has to be careful not to produce too many ZEVs lest they cause the price of ZEV credits to plummet due to oversupply.

Wrong again. Tesla is not throttling production for that reason and they certainly aren't calibrating it to demand for emissions credits. That would not be a sustainable business model and Elon Musk certainly knows that. The reason Tesla isn't profitable and why they produce at the rate they do is much simpler. They simply lack the economies of scale enjoyed by major auto firms. That fact alone is why you haven't seen a major new car company in decades. It's hard to achieve minimum efficient scale in the auto industry, particularly with a wildly non-traditional product offering. They have to reinvest all their capital (and then some) into building the company. Production lines to make cars are enormously expensive. Companies like Ford and GM and Toyota have had years to develop the scale and balance sheets necessary to bankroll such investments. Tesla is still a small young company with a weak balance sheet and it will take time to get to where the major auto makers are now.

Pretty much all small companies have the same problem including mine. My company makes auto parts and we could easily bring in enough people and machines to deliver products to our customers in a few days. But the expense would be enormous and we would immediately become uncompetitive on price. We also could produce products ahead of time and inventory them but that means we tie up vast amounts of capital in inventory and storage. Producing products faster than your customers demand them is wasteful, expensive, and stupid.

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