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Comment Re: This will be fun (Score 1) 584

Oh, I forgot, "free speech" does not excuse discrimination.

I don't have to answer any question you may ask me, but it still doesn't give you the right to claim I'm NOT a transgender if I say I am.

Thus, female-only ride-sharing in a time when we're all still trying to figure out gender fluidity is still a bad idea.

Comment Re: This will be fun (Score 1) 584

Where's the restriction on "freedom of speech" here? I think you're side-stepping the point.

And as for the concept of "papers, please", well, I admit that I find the concept of gender fluidity confusing, but let's say I, a woman, am requested such a ride-share and a MtoF transgender appears as my fare. But she's claims that because she's in a rough neighborhood and finds that it's just easier to present as a man because she "feels safer" that way, am I then supposed to demand proof in the name of ME feeling safe?

Whose feeling of safety should take priority?

And what proof should be good enough? Probably, oh, I don't know, some sort of piece of paper?

Now, I know what you're getting at, and I understand the implications of what I said; however, retaining the integrity of personal information, especially in the case of in-group and out-group dynamics, you have to admit there IS a slippery slope that can happen when pieces of information are retained by certain individuals to establish if they're in the "right" group.

Or maybe I can put my need to "feel safe" aside, grow up a little, assume that someone who looks like a man isn't out to hurt me, and not pretend this is a matter of free speech.

Comment Re: This will be fun (Score 2) 584

Well, if you're going to tell me that women "can't" have this service (even though what I said is "it's not a good idea"), and then in your last statement say:

"And as for actual trans-people or other women who look completely male I'm sure they're grown up enough to handle awkward situations."

Well, women aren't grown-up enough to handle themselves? Where's the line supposed to be drawn here?

And as for my example being "convenient", well, I'm a test engineer. I spend my paid time creating problems where systems are likely to fail and game out the consequences of those failures. Are they critical? Are they catastrophic?

My question is, this is the sort of thing that we fight our first-world culture wars over in this day and age, that being, which is more important: the rights of personal information to remain completely private (that is to say, is it any of your business or authority to police me for what I say I am if to you it is completely irrelevant - in which case, any Catholic who doesn't believe homosexuals should be married should stay quiet on the grounds that no one is going to make them marry anyone gay) no matter how I present myself in the age of people being "genderqueer" (a concept which I have my problems with but I defer to my former point on the matter - you do you) or the rights of women to "feel safe", despite the fact that the concept of "feeling safe" cannot be quantified in any way, and therefore, the effects of which may impinge on the liberties of others (such as the integrity of personal information to remain confidential).

If you don't see a problem here and dismiss a potential problem as a "convenient" example to disprove my point, well, all I can say is you must be a lawyer and a licking your lips over the influx of discrimination suits that will come your way when my "convenient" example is used by someone to fuck with someone else.

And, lest you think no one would actually DO that to tweak the nose of the system, need I remind you, and readers of this site, that there was a story posted here not too long ago about a woman who went to court so that she could wear a colander on her head in her driver's license picture because she was an adherent to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster?

Not that I think anyone SHOULD do that (I recall that I called this woman an idiot for doing that), but that does not by any stretch mean that no one WILL.

Comment Re: This will be fun (Score 5, Insightful) 584

This is true, but in the name of liberty and personal privacy, it should, frankly, be none of anyone else's damn business.

If you're transgender, good! Live your life! If you are happy, and you're not doing anything that hurts anyone, congrats, you're probably well ahead of at least half the human population.

However, absolutely NO ONE should have the authority demand "papers, please" on that particular condition. Thus, it presents a problem when any male-presenting man asks for a ride in a female-only rideshare claiming to be a pre-transition MtoF and the woman driving says "hold on, prove it". How do you do that without creating a situation where the woman won't feel threatened (by a potential liar) and the man won't feel discriminated against?

The answer's simple: don't create a situation where discrimination is implicit within the ground rules.

Comment Re:This will be fun (Score 5, Insightful) 584

From a medical standpoint - while acknowledging that being trans is NOT a disability - it should be illegal to ask.

That having been said, people fuck shit up for other people all the time. My father was a diabetic and had a handicapped placard to hang from his rear-view mirror because of problems with his legs so he could take advantage of handicapped parking. Generally speaking, you'd never know just by looking at him, though to observe him moving, you might notice there's something wrong with him, but because he didn't have a cane or a wheelchair, wouldn't you know it that someone would come over and confront him about fraudulently using a placard like the one he had, and wouldn't quit harassing him about it, either.

So, yeah, the problem here is the grey area that exists when either a lie could be told, for reasons good or bad, or people are untrusting enough to assume the worst and make accusations before understanding the gravity of the situation.

But that requires a lot of inappropriate unpacking of personal information to complete strangers...which is why I think all-female ridesharing (unlike handicapped parking) is simply a bad idea. It just sets up a lot of unnecessary drama in an age where the lines of gender are blurry, but there seems to be a continuing assumption that a not insignificant number of men are potential predators. These two issues, when taken together, are a powder keg of potential conflict.

Comment I've been to Newmindspace events before... (Score 1) 198

...not this one in particular, but I get emails from them on how this stuff works.

All I can say is: whoop-dee-shit, Disney. Someone calls a cardboard tube* a lightsaber, and you're getting pissy? Why? Who's making such a great profit off of these very, very flimsy things that anyone anywhere EVER would mistake them for the genuine article, and therefore a substitute to a licensed product that you might sell? Believe me, you are losing virtually NO profit from anyone in any event like this using something that they call a "lightsaber".

*They'd have to be cardboard tubes. Newmindspace is notorious for arranging pillow fights and bubble battles, and have been largely successful at it. The key is that any kind of event where large numbers of people are aiming and hitting other people with things, there had better be a lot of "give", or else these events would have been stopped a long time ago.

Comment Re:This can't possibly be used against us... (Score 1) 173

I'm not sure. I'm not sure why he'd have thought trying to transport snakes inconspicuously in a cargo hold might actually result in live snakes to attack people (I presume it would be too cold, which is why I would never put a pet in a cargo hold, but I'm not an expert on snakes). I'm not even sure why he'd even have thought that any terrorist that wanted to attack people wouldn't devise the most insane of ideas (like trying to create snake attacks on a plane) and game it out for feasibility.

But then again, I don't go around thinking that people who get ideas from fictional entertainment are anything but potential candidates for the Darwin Awards.

Comment Re:A lot of it is deliberate (Score 1) 54

Indeed. I know waaaaaay too many of the fierce liberal types on Facebook that love to repeat the classic "the military should hold a bake sale" meme.

Having worked in and around the Government for 15 years and having learned a little bit about color of money and appropriations in that time, I try and gently tell them "You do know that's not how the Government, the economy and 'supply and demand' work, right?"

Comment Re:Reach of misinformation (Score 4, Interesting) 54

It isn't just websites.

It seems to me than in any given group, it's always "whoever's version of the story goes public first is the one whose version is most imprinted upon people and is least likely to change in the minds of people who heard it".

When a controversy broke in a group I was part of, we had a woman who cried to anyone who would listen about a smaller group of "harpies" (in the larger group) that were bullying her. It came out later - and was treated with much less urgency - that she was abusing her domestic partner! Said woman had the most ardent defenders, and the other group, which, best as I can figure, was trying to extricate the partner from the situation and while not entirely innocent, ended up vilified. To this day, people in that group have more or less swept the whole nasty business under the rug and like to pretend it didn't happen.

I call it "the power of the first complaint".

Comment Re:Exams should be open-book anyway (Score 1) 394

Well...it depends.

Back when I was in high school, I took AP History.

Tests were multiple choice and required that you memorize facts and figures from the text in order to do well.

I was, otherwise, an "A" student.

Were the tests primarily essay-based, I would have probably had done much better, even on multiple choice questions. Because rather than establishing that I know factoids, it would have put those factoids in a perspective that would help me understand them better and assure that I could deduce a correct answer, rather than try and pick out what the correct answer was based on a disjointed perspective of possible answers.

People make the mistake that history isn't at all like science. That's just not true. There's as much cause-and-effect in history as there is in any given lab-based science. Once I came to that realization, history was much more an enjoyable subject, but I only learned that long after it ceased to matter (in terms of schooling, that is).

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