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Comment Re:I abstain (Score 1) 794

So how would one indicate a lack of confidence in the system, as opposed to the specific candidates? Abstaining is not simply a way of expressing apathy; it can also indicate that one finds the office itself illegitimate.

...That is an excellent point.

Also, from a pragmatic point-of-view, spoiled ballots tend to be reported and counted exactly the same as uncast ballots, so showing up just to cast a spoiled ballot is a complete waste of time (yours and the officials') regardless of the reason.

Well, Toronto just finished its mayoral election, which was decided by a margin of almost 100K people (out of the roughly 500K votes that seemed to be counted for the mayor's office). My showing up (to vote not for the guy I thought would do the best job, but in typically Canadian fashion, against the guy I thought would do the worst) feels like it was a waste of my time, other than councillor, where i did vote for the winner. School board trustee, they gave me the wrong ballot, so I had to abstain there.

Basically, I don’t think showing up and spoiling your ballot is a waste of time; it’s speaking up and registering your discontent. I know they’re counted the same as uncast ballots, but maybe they shouldn’t be.

Comment Re:I abstain (Score 1) 794

I disagree. I think that abstaining is a vote of "I don't care", but actually spoiling your ballot is a way to indicate you have no confidence in any of the candidates--and *those* ballots should be counted toward the overall total.

Of course, I also think that an election should be won by a majority of eligible voters, rather than a simple plurality of voters who turned up... But that's just me. And I'm aware that those are kind of contradictory statements... it's hard to explain. More just of a case of what I think abstentions and ballot-spoils mean in terms of intent.

Comment Re:And this is bad, why? (Score 3, Insightful) 425

I can think of worse people than undertakers to describe as “scummy bottom-feeders”&hellip personal-injury lawyers who encourage people to sue their own elderly parents, just for one example. Undertakers provide a fairly valuable service—they work with death on a daily basis, so they can help the bereaved through what has to get done. Anyone who encourages someone to sue family for their own carelessness they need to be introduced to the business end of a hot poker.

Comment Re:*Correction* (Score 1) 299

Can, sure, but it sounds like that isn’t the default action. While the default’s safer, and I’m all for safety in my systems, too many end users have become too dependent on email for it to suddenly go away because of a package failure like that. It’s especially disturbing, reading TFA, to find that a lot of high-profile spam services abruptly shut down as a result. Those guys should have been ready for it.

Comment Re:Please don't joke. I think I have three parents (Score 1) 201

It could be a long-dormant genetic thing. My mother’s brother and his entire family look like they have a great tan, at all times. Because that side of the family is Irish through and through, we’re guessing that there’s some Black Irish in our family—long-since descendants of Spanish and Portuguese settlers in Ireland—and my uncle, for whatever reason, wound up with a phenotype that expresses it.

Of course, how that would come through Hong Kong and a Latvian Jew, I can’t explain, but I’m also not a geneticist maybe your mother has some ancient Australian Aboriginal ancestors?

Comment Re:I wish to Christ this was a joke (Score 0, Flamebait) 408

You make a good point, and I'll admit that I responded hastily, and didn't properly explain my objection. It's not that I think women who game should be protected from these asshats, it's that these asshats shouldn't be acting like this, but a service like these just kind of encourages it, by giving them an anonymous way to do it privately. That's why it bugs me; it allows dickheads to continue being dickheads, and encourages their behaviour.

Comment Re:I wish to Christ this was a joke (Score 3, Insightful) 408

It bothers me because it tacitly encourages the continued objectification and marginalisation of women within gaming circles. I don't doubt for a minute that people will people will pay for the privilege of going onto the system and berating the women on the other end of the line for being women, because now they know who they're talking to. If there was a way to police the behaviour of the users of the system, that would be one thing. There can't be, though, so all this is is a perfect avenue for misogynistic gamers to hurt people.

I'll put it this way: even if there were no pimps anywhere in the world, and every prostitute in the field did it because they enjoyed what they did, there would still be people out there who would pay for the ability to beat the shit out of them. Even if the women involved aren't being coerced into it, there's a significant number of men who will abuse the system in order to abuse women.

And even there was, it still doesn't excuse all the disgusting, misogynistic comments on this article.

Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 821

Air travel has a damn-near impeccable safety record in terms of deaths-per-flight. Better than most hospitals do in terms of deaths-per-ER-visit. Seriously, you're significantly more likely to die as a result of going to the hospital (improper sterilisation, exposure to pathogens, and surgical foulups) than you are because you decided to fly. I've lost track of where I found the numbers, but I'm sure it's readily Googleable.

Remember kids, just because you hear more about plane crashes and violent homicides doesn't mean that the incidence rate is going up. It's much more rare than it was thirty or forty years ago; we just have better coverage these days.

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