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Comment Re:Huh? Harassment? (Score 3, Insightful) 309

>It should not be any easier ruin a man's reputation (and life) with sexual assault accusations, than it is to do the same with any other suspicions of criminality.

I *absolutely* agree.
But you have to also accept the fact that we live in a country where monsters like that Stanford rapist walk away scot-free even when caught in the act, and that rape is normally an incredibly tricky thing to prove. Barring actually being caught in the act, it will always be a he-said she-said charge.

It's an ugly situation all around.

We have a problem with two kinds of monsters
Women who unjustly ruin men's lives with false accusations
And men who unjustly ruin women's lives with rape

We need to rid ourselves of both of them, and I don't see any easy answers. I think though, that the false accusations shall prove a far more tractable problem - if by nothing else than the growing ubiquity of video recorders. For rape though - we've got a very old cultural demon to face. There's an awful lot of folks like that monster's father, who just don't see why a boy's life should be ruined over "a few minutes fun".

Comment Re:Huh? Harassment? (Score 3, Insightful) 309

No, it's okay when someone *competent* does it in a way that leaves everyone feeling good about the encounter.

It's not harassment if the target enjoyed themselves both at the time and in reflection. Cuba just seems to have a very high percentage of really competent flirtation experts.

Harassment comes in when you force your attention on someone against their will. Doesn't much matter if it's incompetent flirtation or intentional bullying - the effect on the target is the same.

Comment Re:Huh? Harassment? (Score 4, Insightful) 309

I agree.

Just keep in mind that pretty much every woman out there has faced at least a few, possibly many, shady situations where she has had a legitimate reason to fear the possibility of real harm from a man, and that has skewed her perceptions. (Humans are prey animals, over-generalizing threats is what we do best)

Make sure your attempt is done in consideration of that, and can't be taken as a threat, otherwise you're walking a fine line of with assault charges. And perhaps more importantly to you - shooting yourself in the foot before you even begin.

Also, be a F-ing professional and don't shit where you work. Work relationships are usually a bad idea anyway. If you haven't already established a good rapport with a woman there, and genuinely think that she might be interested in more, then don't complicate both your lives by making unwelcome advances. And if you just can't resist the temptation, and she shoots you down, drop it. Trying to pressure someone into something they don't want is harassment, pure and simple.

And for $deity's sake *definitely* don't get involved with anyone in your chain of command, the potential for abuse and complications are far too high.

Comment Re:Huh? Harassment? (Score 2) 309

Overcompensation.

Women have only even been able to vote in the US for just under a century. The pill (another major leap forward in women's autonomy) has been around for half that. We still don't have many women executives, etc. In terms of economic and political power in the US, men still unquestionably have a firm grip on the reigns, and institutional sexism is still a very real thing in most places, with things only slowly changing.

It's going to be at least a few more generations before we really get this "gender equality" thing worked out, and it's going to be ugly in the meantime, with the pendulum swinging back and forth searching for a balance point, and breaking a lot of noses along the way.

Comment Re:Huh? Harassment? (Score 1) 309

It occurs to me that one of the most important "tricks" should be made explicit:

They're not flirting to get laid - they're flirting to make her feel good. Maybe they get laid as a result, probably not, that's a numbers game. The point though is that she left feeling good. Leave her feeling good about your encounter and she's not going to scream "rape culture". Maybe she'll even come back for more, and/or talk to her friends about you and they might come to see what was worth talking about.

Comment Re:Huh? Harassment? (Score 3, Interesting) 309

>Try the same thing in Montreal? "RAPE CULTURE!!!!!!!!!"

Let's be clear here - *you* can't try the same thing. You don't have the skill.

Those Cuban fellows have spent their whole lives, from long before puberty, learning how to flirt aggressively and attractively, while picking up the subtle cues that let them know when their attention isn't wanted so they can disengage gracefully and keep the door open for future possibilities. It's a dance to make the Tango look trivial in comparison, and they've been steeping in it their whole lives as a cultural pastime.

Barring phenomenal good luck, any attempt by a socially awkward geek to do the same will probably end about as well as letting a cat fly a fighter jet. Even most "players", skilled by their own countries standards, are going to look like awkward teenagers in comparison. But those players will mostly be good enough to not get called out, because they've learned at least enough nonverbal communication to determine if a woman is open to him flirting with her before he's said two words.

Comment Re:Huh? Harassment? (Score 4, Insightful) 309

Power imbalance.

When one person wields authority over another, there is both a temptation to abuse that power, and a temptation on the part of the underling to acquiesce to "requests" from above to avoid retribution. Even if the boss genuinely has no intention of coercion, the underling can't know that for certain, so it's best to tread *very* carefully around such things, or better yet avoid them altogether.

Because even if there is in fact mutual interest - it's going to be almost impossible to keep your professional and private lives separate. Especially when one relationship ends. How would you like your ex being in a position to fire you and tarnish your professional reputation? Or your lover being required to fire you for unrelated reasons? You're both going to have to possess near-superhuman reserves of levelheadedness and emotional compartmentalization for that not to get ugly fast.

I mean sure, if you meet an underling/boss where things just "click" powerfully, maybe it's worth the risk. But if you're smart, you'll make transferring one of you to break the chain of command a very high priority, because it's quite likely to sour both your personal and professional relationship otherwise.

Comment Re:oh no! (Score 1) 77

Indeed.

Not that there's usually a lot of difference between wood and concrete (unless it's wet). And *theoretically* those wheels could have plenty of low-speed torque to act as stable "feet" for climbing stairs, but there's a world of difference between theory and practice.

Comment Re:Good. (Score 1) 346

Did he have a the required training and license to operate the drone near people? As I recall it's otherwise quite often illegal to operate unmanned aircraft (RC airplanes, etc) outside of private property and established "RC aircraft parks", because of the risk of exactly this sort of thing happening.

In the event of collision with bystanders, aircraft, by virtue of their initial altitude, typically hit a lot harder than their weight would suggest, and unlike bicycles, etc, the direct risks of collision are felt entirely by the victim, as the RC pilot is safely elsewhere.

Comment Re: CEOs are smarter than anyone (Score 2) 226

Bingo. All of the new and exciting developments of the last decade have been in machine learning tasks. That says nothing about generalization. What we're developing are very efficient tools to accomplish new tasks, but those tools have precisely zero skill in the cleverness department. It's so common for people to forget this fundamental distinction that there's a term for what happens when they remember it. AI research has its own genre of tech bubbles caused by overoptimistic futurists.

Submission + - The Cultural Purge Will Not Be Televised (rebootingcapitalism.com)

Stunt Pope writes: This was an article concerned primarily about people and companies' right to free speech and free association being limited by flash mobs and a witchhunt mentality: targeting somebody because of their associations not their actual positions. Very dangerous and threatening to our rights to free speech and free association that we take for granted.

Interestingly, the article itself has been inappropriately flagged in multiple forums, making the exact case outlined that it is becoming increasingly discouraged to even weigh in with a contrary opinion to the prevailing groupthink.

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