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Comment Re:More and more data (Score 3, Insightful) 40

We ought to be careful when ascribing an attitude like xenophobia to all of humanity, because even though it exists and even if we assume it has always been commonj, it's beside the point when it comes to the plausiblity of "race". The question isn't what people say or even think about people who are oustide their group The question is whether they'll *do* individual memebers of outside groups. And when you use genetics to rip the covers off what people have been actrually *doing* (as opposed to saying or even thinking), what you discover is what should be an unsurprising fact: they've been having sex with people they aren't supposed to be doing it with. Lots of it. For a very long time. Everywhere you look.

So you may pick a small number of anatomical or genetic features and find a geographically coherent group where practically everyone has them. But that's *all* you've found: a geographic cluster of certain traits. You can choose a different set of traits that makes the group look very diverse. That means you have *not* found a large group of people who have descended more or less exclusively from some small primordial subgroup of humanity. Such a thing evidently doesn't exist.

Comment Re:He continues to show himself to be ... (Score 1) 230

Other than charging a fee to anyone who wants to make things complying with it (which the story suggests isn't the case) then where exactly is the profit in setting the standard?

1. Teslas are a lot easier to sell if there are recharging locations everywhere as opposed to just in a few places. To the extent that this promotes more Tesla-friendly charging locations, it helps sell more Teslas.

2. If it's your design becomes the standard, then the standard is going to be a very good fit with your other products. Other companies might have to make compromises to work with the standard, but you (presumably) won't, because you designed the standard to fit your products. That makes it easier to sell better products.

3. If you're seen as the de-facto technology leader, it becomes much easier to get the market to accept your next design (SuperCharger 2.0 or whatever) as a standard as well.

Comment Re:Sexual selection by the opposite sex. (Score 1) 190

If you were slighted or insulted in front of people (especially the opposite sex) the urge to hit is very strong.

But *smart* hominids don't hit with their fist; they hit with a handy stick or rock. (1) It works far better, and your opponent isn't getting up for a second round, (2) hitting without a weapon is more likely to cause injury to the hitter, both from the punch and from the retaliation, (3) this identifies you as a hominid other monkey-men should respect, and monkey-ladies should consider surfing the gene pool with.

People tend to take things like punching as "natural", ignoring the *cultural* training that teaches us to go for the fist first. Punching is *not* a natural behavior. Grabbing, taking the ground and biting *are*, which comes as a surprise to a lot of martial artists in their first street fight. Hand-to-hand combat systems are just about *all* adjunct training methods fo military weapons use. That's why so much of the basics of empty-handed combat make so little sense. They make lots of sense when you graduate to the sword or the spear. A punch is perhaps a useful backup move when you've lost your weapon, or as a surprise trick, but not much more. The few martial arts that truly come from a brawling background emphasize grappling.

Comment Not the first time I've heard this kind of theory. (Score 3, Interesting) 190

The problem I have with these theories is that they don't explain why the hand is so poorly adapted to *deliver* punches. It wouldn't be complicated, you've got all you need to start with given normal variations in hand anatomy. Favor the guys with extra sturdy 5th metacarpals, and voila! Boxer's fractures are a thing of th evolutionary past.

It's just hard to buy that punching exerts such a dramatic evolutionary pressure on various anatomical features and leaves the fist something a person has to be *taught* to make properly, and which *still* tends to injure itself while punching without the benefit of gloves or taping.

It seems more plausible that the response of facial development to the presence of testosterone is a matter of *sexual* selection than survival based selection, that humans evolved to hit with clubs and rocks and that fists are a less critical corner case. People who come up with these theories evidently don't have much experience hitting things with their bare hands, which is not surprising given that they've got these handy opposable thumbs.

Comment Re:Too dangerous to keep digitally now? (Score 1) 378

This is one of those cases where security by obscurity should not be relied upon. So they answer to your question is yes and no. The owners manual should probably not be considered so secure that it should not be online. The password used for a specific machine or specific implementation of a generic hardware token probably should not be posted online.

Comment Re:Article doesn't go into details about quality (Score 1) 135

But if MIT is assumed to be so inferior due to lack of "evidence," then why are they being cited just as much as, if not more than, their superiors? Regardless of "publish or perish," MIT is getting the mentions when these outside researchers could be citing Princeton (since they're assumed to be better), no?

There are lots of potential reasons, maybe MIT knows better how to game the system, maybe MIT administrators encourage faculty to publish more often, I'm sure you can think of others.

None of that really matters though. The question that matters is, "what are they working on that is worth funding?" That is what we really care about, so why not ask it instead of skirting around the issue?

Comment Re:Article doesn't go into details about quality (Score 2) 135

Eh, in the science world, if it's even interesting, then that's close enough to count as 'useful.' Most people understand that fundamental research is still valuable even if it doesn't yield practical results immediately; that's why we have a government science funding program. So what interesting things are they working on?

Comment Re:College (Score 1) 85

Can you say malfeasance? It's a massive liability that I'm surprised they're willing to take on.

The problem is that it is hard to prove that the hospital policy was the cause of anything that went wrong.

There is no reason that hours worked shouldn't be regulated in medicine the way it is regulated in professional driving or piloting. We don't let people fly planes for 80 hours per week, so why the heck would we let people do heart surgery for 80 hours per week?

Comment Re:Article doesn't go into details about quality (Score 5, Interesting) 135

The program is doing useful research.

What useful research is it doing? This is the topic I'm really interested in.

1) dollar-for-dollar the MIT reactor produced more papers

Eh, I'm too aware of the quality of academic papers to really care about raw numbers. Let's hear about the details of their important discoveries (or more interestingly, what research they are working on now that could give us important results in the future).

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