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Comment Re:Surprised people still use... (Score 1) 192

ensuring any photos they post of themselves are as representative as possible

So they should use their drivers license photo? ;)

At the end of the day I think we can boil this down to people letting (perceived perfection) be the enemy of good enough. Not that you'd marry "good enough", but if you met "good enough" in person you'd be more inclined to go on a date or two with them, after a few minutes of conversation, and who knows what will happen from there? When it's online though people see one flaw, real or perceived, and click "next" without another thought.

You can see this to an extent with the user generated match questions on OkCupid. I swear that half of those questions were people taking their biggest pet peeve about their ex and making it into a question. "Does [random character trait shared by half the population] PISS YOU THE FUCK OFF?"

Comment Re:Asia is playing catch up (Score 4, Insightful) 101

To the West, please wake the fuck up

That won't happen until the Chinese do something we haven't done before, preferably something with implications for national-defense. When that happens there will be a massive panic, followed by determined efforts to rectify the situation. What you're looking for is another Sputnik, and it will be a few decades before the Chinese are there.

For some reason this quote comes to mind: "Americans will always do the right thing, after they've exhausted all other possibilities."

Comment Re:Officials say? (Score 1) 644

I'm a civilized person, and I say "let them die in the streets" - there is no "right to health care" in the constitution, nor should there be.

Repeat after me: The Constitution does not grant us rights. One more time: The Constitution does not grant us rights.

We had all of the rights recognized by the Constitution. That's why they're called inalienable rights. The only point to listing them is to make it harder for the Government to try and trample upon them.

Comment Re:Surprised people still use... (Score 1) 192

What's harsh about it? It actually makes sense.

Selecting for attraction is just as valid as selecting for ideals and interests

My point was you can't properly judge attraction from still photos. You lose sound, smell, motion, etc. I've found very attractable women that take horrible photographs, and vice versa. Meeting someone for the first time in meat space gives a better indication of whether or not there is physical attraction between two people. Online they're just as liable to click 'next' without even bothering to find out if it's there.

Comment Re:Surprised people still use... (Score 2) 192

Most females on dating sites get spammed

One of my female friends was on OkCupid (she put me onto it, actually) and showed me her inbox once upon a time. *shudder* She averaged 20-25 messages per day, this in a small city (Ithaca, New York), not a major metropolitan area. Over half of them were cheesey one-liners that were dismissed out of hand, most of the rest were outright disgusting, and a small handful were good enough to get a reply from her. Of course, of those, she ruled out the people that she didn't see a physical connection with, which sounds harsh, but that's another of the pitfalls of online dating (there's more to attractiveness than even the best photograph can ever convey)

Bottom line, out of ~150 messages per week she might have found three or four that got a reply.

Comment Re:Surprised people still use... (Score 2) 192

I spent almost a year of my life on OkCupid, managed to get a decent number of dates for my effort, but I doubt I will never try it again. Online dating poses two particular challenges over meat-space dating:

  1. The people who are inclined to engage in online dating seem to be shier than average. Combine this is the fact that there are a lot of "colorful" characters on online dating, and they are hesitant to meet in person even if there seems to be a connection. Consequently, you end up talking forever before you finally meet them. The problem with this is twofold, one you find out too much about them, and lose out on a lot of the mystery that keeps the first few meatspace dates interesting. You also build a relationship of sorts, it's impossible not to with several weeks of writing letters and engaging in chats. Now when you meet them and it doesn't click you've got a much harsher let-down than you otherwise would for a first or second date.
  2. There seems to be an above average percentage of people who misrepresent themselves. This is hardly unique to online dating, but it's easier to filter a lot of it out when you can meet in person, look someone in their eyes, watch their vocal inflictions, etc.

I think I landed eight or nine dates on OKC in the time I was there. Probably half of them were normal, just didn't click, the rest had issues ranging from "completely misrepresented herself" to "was lining up dozens of guys for dates" to "thought we were married after two dates". I tried it for all the usual reasons, not really into the bar scene, don't have a whole lot of free time, and so on. If I were to try it again I would insist on a meat-space dates after a few good conversations. I do understand the safety issue, particularly from the female perspective, but someone who isn't willing to meet in a busy public place for lunch is likely too shy/introverted for me, or is trying to play games.

Incidentally, the last woman I went out with I met while on a run. She's out walking her dog, I'm doing road work, we wind up talking and the rest is history. Thinking back on it, I had my most successful relationships with those that I met in situations where neither of us was looking for dates. It's just easier to be yourself in that kind of situation, I think, and you're more likely to sustain a relationship with someone if you were yourself from the beginning.

Comment Re:Look, if governments are no longer the good guy (Score 4, Insightful) 34

we shall treat them like the bad guys. I learned French history in school.

Did you cover the part where the glorious revolution elevated a dictator that that united the whole of Europe against France, got hundreds of thousands of French soldiers killed, and cost France her self-determination for two or three generations? It might be satisfying to root for revolutions where the former powers-that-be get lined up and shot (or guillotined), but they never seem to end real well for the peoples involved.

Comment Re:Waiver of rights (Score 4, Interesting) 249

Actually the idea is readily demonstrable in the real world. Take the right to keep and bear arms, which society still hasn't figured out how to effectively take away even in the most controlled of environments, as evidenced by the plastic shank sticking out of some poor bastard in the prison shower. It is the quintessential 'natural right', one that all human beings are born with, and one that is impossible to completely deprive them of. Free speech is the same, you can punish someone after the fact if you're an oppressive regime that doesn't recognize it, but you can't actually stop them from exercising it in the first place.

Comment Re:TSA Misery Map (Score 1) 88

It's like something out of a dystopia, not a civilized nation, which is why the whole American 'gun thing' is a puzzling head-scratcher.

*shrug*, from my perspective it's even stranger that Canada won't even permit her citizens to carry pepper spray for self-defense, a right that all human beings have, one that's recognized both in our 2nd Amendment and the Universal Declaration. Weapons of any sort are simply equalizers, that allow the physically weak to defend themselves against the physically strong, when appropriate. Some may question the wisdom of the United States, wherein law abiding citizens can carry lethal weaponry in public, but I find the total prohibition on any sort of weaponry to be equally extreme and counterproductive.

Comment Re:TSA Misery Map (Score 1) 88

As a Canadian, our country has many, many cultural traits in common with the USA

There's also a lot of differences. Speaking broadly, Americans tend to be more individualistic than Canadians. You can see this manifest itself in all manner of issues, firearms being just one. The historical and cultural reasons for this difference are many, and would be a long discussion best conducted in person, over beer. :)

Now certainly my friends in rural parts of Canada own long guns for hunting, but thatâ(TM)s different.

You don't know a single person that owns firearms for reasons other than hunting? Target shooting is nearly as popular in Canada as the United States, and you've got some of the same practical shooting leagues (IDPA) we do. I think this speaks more to your own urban-centric viewpoint, not your Canadian citizenship, I could easily see your statement being uttered with "New York City" in place of "Vancouver".

In Canada to buy a gun you need to be licensed, the same way you do to drive a car or own a dog. To Canadians this seems perfectly reasonable and the fact that many of my American friends go bananas if you even suggest such a thing is a complete and utter head-scratcher to us.

I live in a jurisdiction (New York State) that requires licensing of handgun ownership. Most American jurisdictions require licensing to carry concealed. The going "bananas" part can be related to the previous comment about our individualism, a basic distrust of Government, something that isn't in the Canadian DNA, for better or worse. I could share my own opinions on the matter of firearms licensing, but they are rather lengthy.....

Just so you know, I hold Canadian firearms licenses. I procured them back in the day when I was traveling back and forth between Buffalo and Detroit, on a weekly basis. Going through Ontario is the fastest way to make that trip, and for various reasons I wished to have my firearm with me in Detroit. I don't make that trip anymore, but I do shoot in an IDPA league that occasionally has matches in Ontario, so the Canadian licenses still see use. There are two different licenses, a possession and acquisition license, along with an authorization to transport restricted weapons (any handgun is a "restricted" weapon under Canadian law....) Neither license was that hard to get, it was an expensive paper chase, particularly for the ATT license, but in the final analysis it was less onerous than the process of applying for a New York State Pistol License. I've gotten some strange looks from customs when I declare my firearm, in part because they rarely deal with Americans holding a PAL or ATT license (typically Americans bring hunting rifles into Canada, which aren't "restricted" firearms, and they simply pay a fee at the border to make it all legit), but they've never given me any grief about it.

As an amusing anecdote, I've crossed the border more times than I can count, and the differing priorities of Canadian and American customs have always amused the hell out of me. Crossing the border into Canada, first question from the Canadian customs officer: "Do you have any firearms, mace, explosives, pepper spray, brass knuckles, swords, daggers, or knives with you?" Returning to the United States, first question from the American customs officer: "Do you have any alcohol or tobacco with you?" I guess our priorities are different than yours. ;)

Comment Re:50% more free (speech), privacy (Score 1) 495

Land lines are very traceable.

Uhh, duh! The difference is they tend not to go with you everywhere....

A mobile phone that turns off its cellular antenna when connected to usable wifi is harder to track but does not yet (afaik) exist.

You can do this easily with most Android phones. Access the system test menu (dial *#*#INFO#*#* and it should launch, there are also apps that will access it without this short code.....) and there's an option to disable the cellular radio. Doing this will still leave the GPS receiver and wi-fi radios functional, as opposed to airplane mode, which shuts them all off.

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