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Comment Re:Reversed in America? (Score 1) 758

Well, at least the way I hear it used on the news, American conservatives are very different from Chinese and Russian conservatives.

Perhaps then, you should stop accepting what you hear on the news without critical analysis. It is invariably biased in some fashion, usually by lies of omission -- the most common of which, is that Group A is somehow so different from Group B as to be worthy of differential treatment. It does not make good news to say "We are 99.5% like these other people, but because of this singular thing in which we differ slightly in opinion on, we must dislike them." No, good news is "They are evil bastards with no redeeming qualities and we must punish them for this!" It feels better, more righteous. It satisfies our need for order in the world, this idea that the good are rewarded and the bad punished... and curiously, the good are always defined as "us" and the bad defined as "them."

Alas, American conservatives are not so different from conservatives anywhere else. Perhaps superficially. Perhaps in a great many ways that really don't matter... no different from driving on the left versus the right side of the road, or in how we dress or the slang we banter about. But it doesn't feel as emotionally satisfying. We want to be part of the superior group... therefore, some other group must be inferior, even if the inferiority is entirely socially constructed. And because we want this, we are eager to overlook similarity. Some people are eager to the point of violent opposition, like you are.

Twenty thousand years of human evolution says we are very, very much alike... and I assure you, every news channel, in every country, everywhere, says the same thing: "We're not like them!" Even if, on the whole, we very much are.

Comment Re:Not likely... (Score 5, Interesting) 758

The average american, and average slashdot poster is CLUELESS about politics.

As opposed to the average citizen of any other country? Why is it necessary to hold the average american up to some special standard?

Reality is the average american is too ignorant/stupid to have any kind of informed political view of america given the huge amount of propaganda that pervades their media and education system.

Reality is... every first world country has a government with a bureaucratic process so dense as to blunt, if not entirely dissipate, any creative process for change. You say they're ignorant and stupid, but that's an ignorant and stupid attitude. The truth is, most people aren't interested in politics because its emotionally painful if one becomes overly-involved. That's not an unintelligent response to a hopelessly and needlessly complex system designed specifically to be resistant to intelligent and thoughtful discourse.

You simply picked the one with the largest military and economy in the world to shit on, for no other reason than because you want to pull it down for your own emotional gratification. How you managed to get this to be labelled "+5 insightful" is simply saying that a great many people also have such emotional needs... but having offered no proof or objective analysis, "insightful" is not the word I would use to describe your reaction. But then, there is no "+5, I Agree Because I Have Emotional Needs That Depend On Crapping On Others" option.

Comment Re:How does this account for those who change part (Score 1) 758

Now, can your brain rewire itself? Research suggests that yes, it can.

Which is an incredibly dull and obvious conclusion. Of course it can: Otherwise we'd still think and act like infant children. All we've managed to do here is look closely enough at the brain that we can start to see landscape features and make inferences from that which are broadly true for others which have similar features. Which is no small achievement, but this is confirmatory research -- it tells us something we already knew, to a high degree of confidence.

Comment Re:Reversed in America? (Score 5, Interesting) 758

So how does this work in a traditionally free country like America...

Please stop. You're suggesting that the brains from one country are somehow different from that of another country. If we change 'country' out for 'race', it should be painfully obvious what the problem here is.

American conservatives are afraid to place their fates into the hands of the elected experts on human happiness.

You really shouldn't comment on the complex political landscape of another country whose citizens you apparently have little regular contact with. It makes you look like an idiot. No, "american" conservatives are just like "british" conservatives which are just like "african" conservatives, which are just like every conservative. Ever. The definition of conservativism doesn't change because of the country you're in. Perhaps its expression does, but the study here isn't about expression, but reaction. In that, conservatives broadly and as an aggregate group, are simply risk-averse. And because of how the human mind operates, an unknown risk is almost always subjectively larger in a person's mind than a known one. This is why we spent trillions of dollars combatting terrorism (an unknown risk) while both retrospectively and at the time, it could have easily been shown that a known risk (drunk driving) costs far more lives.

To extrapolate from a specific behavior (risk aversion) a complete political ideology is... at best... dubious.

Comment Structural? (Score 4, Insightful) 758

It's not hardwired: If it were, we'd be able to do these scans at birth or an early age and find similar patterns. But we don't. Which means the brain's structure changes in order to specialize in certain thought and behavior patterns. The fact that this applies to politics as well as, say, geospatial, tasks, should be absolutely no surprise.

It's disengenuous to suggest these things are hard-wired because they imply they cannot be changed. Except they can: I've known many people who, after experiencing a significant emotional event, altered their politics, religious affiliation, and even base personality traits. The human brain is exceptionally malleable. This study only offers a snapshot at a particular point in time and suggests that if certain structural properties are present, the thinking pattern is likely to be of a certain type. It does not say whether that structure was present before, after, or the extent to which it can be changed, and if so, how quickly.

It's like taking a photograph of a car driving down the road and assuming that it's on that road, and only that road, forever.

Comment Re:Cost Benefit (Score 1) 736

I see logic like this all the time, but people seem to forget that they drive to work everyday just fine -- and that's a linear process. You can't predict what the other drivers will do, there may be an accident, you may be late... But you're going to drive the same distance every day.

People are getting hungup on measurements of time, and progress bars, like life, is based on distance. Whether it's number of operations, or number of miles, the principle is the same. Progress bars that move backwards is stupid: It means the programmer is attempting to measure the wrong thing.

Comment Cameras (Score 2) 70

Listen, Corporate Overlords, you know that little buzzer or dinger that goes off incessantly whenever I leave the lights on or don't buckle up and you think it's a "feature"? The first week of every car I've ever owned is spent taking apart the dashboard and removing that feature, and then pulverizing it with a hammer and throwing the remains on a base of burning coals. I shit you not, I'm serious about that crap.

Try putting cameras and microphones in things, and you'll find them equally under-appreciated in my household. That is, assuming I feel there are no better choices on the market... if even one of your competitors opts out, that's where my dollars go. Don't tempt me.

Signed, Interested Customer

Comment Terminology != Reality (Score 2, Interesting) 292

Guys, how is this any different than "cloud" computing, or "cluster" computing, or pretty much the overwhelming majority of technical terms. Zip, unzip, explode, compress... yes, if I stopped and thought about it, I'd probably consider it perverted. And cloud computing doesn't mean we're all hovering above our cubes playing magical harps. Getting hungup on terminology is neither productive nor interesting.

The term "cyberspace" may be stupid, but it refers to something that is very real: The internet may just be a collection of wires, boxes with circuit boards in it, and a lot of ones and zeroes, but that is not how people look at it, anymore than they look at their car as a collection of fiberglass, steel bolts, and rubber. And the problems of the digital world aren't terribly hard to comprehend, nor do most of them require radical change in how we think about it.

Those of us under the age of 40 can conceptualize this "brave new world" quite well, and make moral and ethical decisions about it. Most of us understand and agree that privacy is a right, online and off. We may disagree about the particulars, but not the substance. Same with file sharing: Most of us are against people "pirating" for profit, but likewise have little objection to Joe Average maintaining his own personal collection of downloaded music and movies. This isn't hard for us to understand.

However, for people who grew up without computers, and are reluctant to embrace them, and still carry around Nokia phones from ten years ago because it's "more like a phone"... well, those people are more easily swayed by certain wealthy interests to look at it as a confusing and nebulous thing, and turn to said interests for guidance. Afterall... if you're rich, you must have done something right. There is a disconnect between our legislators (most of whom are 50+ years of age) and the general population (median age: 35).

The problems of "cyberspace" actually has nothing to do with technology: It has to do with people. Specifically, old people. Boomers. These people have taken an unwarranted familiarity with the technology and made bad decision after bad decision, institutionalizing ignorance and stupidity because that's what they were told to do. And that, really, is the only problem here.

Comment Re:congrats! (Score 2) 164

You just ensured DHS VIPR teams will harass, molest and radiate every person that gets within a block of every Superbowl venue from here on.

Yup. Because all it takes is a couple of teenagers pulling a prank for our government to whip out the disintegrator rays and their flying armchairs and start zapping people while screaming "We're saving you motherf--ers! ZAP! SAFE! ZAP! SAFE!"

Comment Re:so... this is old news (Score 1) 618

Why was this posted?

It's been on deferral until enough time has passed since Steve Jobs uploaded himself to the iCloud. The author mentioned Apple, so it got tagged. Homeland Editorial was a little slow in picking up the intel. We assure you that we have fired the editor responsible for this. Also, the person who wrote that last sentence has also been fired, as well as his manager, his manager's manager, and the entire division. We take redundancy and outdated news very seriously here at NuSlash. We take redundancy and outdated news very seriously here at NuSlash. Please enjoy this refreshing Snark while we correct the problem.


Proprietors of high quality tech derp.

Comment "by holding a box" (Score 5, Insightful) 164

How many hundreds of millions did Homeland spend to "secure" the super bowl again? Of all the things they've been accused of, fewest of the charges have been competence. When a couple college kids carrying a box can sneak past every security check point, without either them or their box being inspected, it becomes painfully obvious that the security provided is just a show... not unlike the one they're "protecting".

Comment Re:aaand it won't help much (Score 1) 125

It's not just mothers that do this, I see professionals in the office doing the same thing.

It's sad you have to point it out before people can see it as sexist. The geek community here didn't used to be quite like that. There were trolls of course, but lately it's become prevalent even in otherwise perfectly good comments... :(

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