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Comment Too small a study (Score 4, Interesting) 385

This study is just way, way too small to have the conclusion it claims to have.

Whether left-leaning or right-leaning results turn up depends upon a wide variety of factors, not least of which is wording (left-leaning sites and right-leaning sites often use slightly different wording for the same issue). I don't see how it is even remotely possible for a group of four people to review enough searches to make up a representative sample, and four people is too small a number to provide a solid opinion.

Also, there's a distinct possibility that for some issues, left-leaning sites have talked about those issues far more frequently and in far more depth, while right-leaning sites will have discussed other, different issues.

Finally, I see no reason why Google should be held to any sort of standard of false balance: there are many issues for which the facts very solidly support the left, and it makes sense for Google's search results to reflect that bias. One of the clearest examples here would be global warming, but there are many others.

Comment Re:Best unintentionally funny headline I've ever r (Score 1) 470

That may have been a reason that some put forward, but it doesn't have much to do with the arguments among politicians that were happening at the time. See here for a more in-depth analysis. Without slavery, I sincerely doubt the electoral college would have won out over a simple direct election.

Comment Re:Hurts them more than us [Re:Consumer prices] (Score 1) 742

Yes, it does hurt China more than it hurts us. But it still hurts us. There will be precious few winners if Trump engages in this trade war as promised.

My own hope, perversely, is that corporations in the US have a lot of influence in politics, most especially within the Republican party. I have a hard time thinking that he wouldn't get huge pushback from a number of large corporations if he actually tried to implement the trade war he says he wants.

Note to those who think that Trump is an outsider who isn't beholden to those same political forces: his transition team is entirely composed of Republican establishment politicians and corporate leaders.

Comment Re:Backlash or Bias? (Score 1) 470

Except that Clinton has been cleared of all wrongdoing, and none of her scandals have been shown to be anything more substantive than innuendo.

By contrast, Trump has multiple legal cases that seem to be quite substantive, such as regarding his Trump University, and his mismanagement of funds from the Trump Foundation.

The news media spent huge amounts of time discussing the innuendo around Clinton, but barely any talking about Trump's much more substantive legal problems. No, these two candidates are not and never were in the same realm of bad behavior. But the media has pretended that they are, even sometimes to the point of indicating that Clinton had much worse issues of corruption (which is patently absurd to anybody that has actually paid attention to the evidence).

Comment Re:Best unintentionally funny headline I've ever r (Score 1) 470

Vindication? Clinton has a pretty significant popular vote lead, likely ending up at more than 2 million. In pretty much any other electoral system in the world, that would have been sufficient to grant the win to Hilary.

But no, we have the electoral college. And the reason it exists is explicitly because of slavery: the southern slave-owners wanted to ensure that their disallowing their slaves to vote wouldn't prevent them from winning the presidency. This was the foundation of the 3/5ths compromise, and the electoral college was the mechanism that was created so that the 3/5ths compromise could operate for both presidential elections as well as House elections.

Donald Trump is a flagrantly racist candidate who won because of racist institutions set up by racists in our distant past.

Comment Re:Hold down power button and ... (Score 1) 432

Ummm, I hope you learn at least a little bit about child psychology before having any children. Children very, very quickly learn to show empathy and concern for others' needs, if they are given the right environment to do so.

Children (usually) only show sociopathic tendencies if their parents treat them like that's the only option. Sadly, this kind of mistreatment of children is absurdly common in the US, particularly as many parents don't even realize that they could be have far less frustration and a far more enjoyable time as parents if they just learned to stop setting up power struggles with their children.

Of course, sometimes there's brain chemistry that gets in the way here, but most children, even toddlers, can learn to notice and respond to the needs of others in positive ways, albeit clumsily.

Comment Re:Hold down power button and ... (Score 1) 432

Is that why he's threatening to lock up his opponent once he has the power to do so? Why he's claiming that unless he wins, the election was illegitimate?

Trump is ridiculously authoritarian. Sure, he's completely ignorant of how government works. In part that means that what would actually happen in a Trump presidency is that his advisors would set most policy. But he's got an ego as massive as any I've seen, and is very likely to push for lots of absurd and horrifying policies if he ever gets a chance.

Fortunately, it's virtually impossible for him to win the presidency at the current time. There are even some (rather unreliable) early indications that Trump may end up vastly underperforming in the polls due to historically low voter turnout among Republicans.

Comment Re:Hold down power button and ... (Score 1) 432

A similar option would be to just tap the finger print sensor a bunch of times with the wrong finger. Really don't know if this would be a safe thing to do legally, as others have mentioned, but for me it'd be almost worth it to force a fight in court over it rather than just handing them my personal information.

Comment Re:No it can't (Score 1) 177

If you look into it in a bit more detail, the actual claims made are much less ridiculous than the headline makes them sound.

They're basically claiming to be able to predict (with lots of uncertainty) whether or not next year's winter will be particularly severe. This is useful, but not nearly as precise as the headline makes it seem.

Comment Re: As long as they're still allowed to use data.. (Score 1) 149

There is generally far more variation within groups of people than between them, though. For the most part, measured differences between different groups have proven to be due to research that didn't fully account for researchers' and society's biases.

Simple example: there's a stereotype that girls are bad at math. It's been demonstrated that merely reminding girls of the existence of that stereotype causes them to do worse on math tests. This is an example of stereotype threat, where the existence of the stereotype itself causes a cognitive burden: even knowing that the stereotype is bullshit doesn't prevent it from causing harm. You can bring girls' math scores back up by creating an environment where the stereotype is minimized. And, of course, if that stereotype is enforced during school for a few years, those girls will end up definitely worse at math than their male peers just because later math builds on earlier math.

So in essence, you can't be sure that most any measured difference between two groups of people is a real difference, rather than just a difference imposed by society.

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