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Comment Re:Possibly not the cause you think it is (Score 1) 374

Sure, all decisions are influenced by something or other. That can be cultural, driven by circumstances, and even driven by biology. We can provide equal opportunities so that people with the requisite abilities and desire can pursue whatever career they want.

Sorry, there was a spelling mistake in my post. I meant to say that there is no systematic segregation. There's certainly systemic segregation just as there is systemic segregation in the sense that men and women tend to prefer differing kinds of recreational pastimes.

Comment Re:Possibly not the cause you think it is (Score 1) 374

The wage gap isn't evidence of anything other than men statistically tend to earn more than women. It's more an earnings gap than a wage gap. It is not in any way suggestive of inequality in opportunities. It's certainly something to be studied, and it has been studied. Thus far, comes down to three things:

1) Certain types of jobs pay more than others. As a society, we may want to question why an investment banker is worth more to us than a nurse?

2) Individuals make choices that influence their earnings. Women as a group tend to make choices that lessen their earnings.

3) When adjusting for comparable roles, the differences decline dramatically to low single-digit gaps.

There is no systemic segregation here. It seems more a case that men and women generally have differing drives. This kind of makes sense when you consider that evolution has been shaping us for millions of years to be successful reproducers. Strategies successful for male populations are not necessarily successful for female populations, and these drives go far beyond the simple act of reproduction.

Actual evidenced discrimination should be dealt with. Discrepancies between demographics should be studied, but a faulty premise is not a good foundation on which such studies would rest.

Comment Re:Current NATO and future EU member (Score 1) 99

I don't think it was very likely to have succeeded. Turkey's occupation of Cyprus remained a sticking point. Similarly, Turkey couldn't join without Greece agreeing, and that wasn't likely to happen. With these complications, it's difficult to imagine how Turkey was ever on track?

ErdoÄYan drove a wedge in to an already gaping chasm.

Comment Re: Sociopaths gonna sociopath. What's new? (Score 1) 259

Sure, it's definitely something that can consciously or unconsciously alter the whole thing. That's why the methodology is so important. My point is that the biases of the experimenter should only be a point of criticism where their design permits these biases to colour their work.

The natural reaction from many in the peanut gallery is to immediately dismiss research because it comes from a source with which they disagree. While I'm not going to waste time reading controversial scientific claims from known cranks, or unqualified religious nuts, a reasonable hypotheses and a well designed study deserves a fair reading.

Comment Re: Sociopaths gonna sociopath. What's new? (Score 5, Insightful) 259

No, your bias isn't on the right track.

Bias is irrelevant. The methodology is either valid or invalid in relation to the hypothesis and the results. Are the findings supported by the evidence?

These are the only things that matter. The hypothesis is relevant only in relation to these concerns. What you're doing is something along the lines of poisoning the well or relying on ad hominem attacks. If there is bias, you can have a valid point if you show evidence for that bias in the study. And I'm very much open to the idea that there could be methodological flaws.

Comment Re:Brought to you by SJWs (Score 3, Interesting) 128

Yeah. This isn't a gender specific thing. If anything, it's reassuring to see a woman getting the opportunity to commit such a large financial deception.

What I wonder after reading this sorry story is: was Holmes aware that she was selling snake oil all along, or did she start out with the genuinely belief that her company could make the technology work? I'm willing to believe the latter: they did try, but the longer their breakthrough failed to materialize, the more they had to shift their efforts towards keeping up appearances, or "controlling the narrative" as it's called.

Good question. She probably did believe either it worked or that they would make it work. The article suggests an echo chamber, which is mind-bending in how it can reinforce what should be obviously bad beliefs. In all things, it pays to surround yourself with people willing to disagree and present good arguments.

For a good analogue, just look at the financial traders/gamblers who lose big by continuing to bet in the hopes of making up for their losses, where cutting their losses earlier would have made the situation far less severe.

Comment Re:A sad day for our society (Score 1) 1718

I was on Reddit as this happened. It was a complete clusterfuck on the part of /r/news. One or more mods were deleting anything referencing the story. For those unfamiliar with Reddit, /r/news is a "default sub" - this means new users get automatically subscribed to it. /r/news is effectively the main source of news on Reddit. The censorship meant that the attack simply wasn't on the front page for most of the day, and users were being banned for questioning the censorship.

The mods created a "megathread", where supposedly people could go to discuss the story. They began with a sticky, suggesting people leave the sub if they want to complain about censorship, and proceeded to delete fucking everything in the megathread. See

In that link, the comments in red are those that were deleted. The mods claimed these comments broke the rules, yet a cursory glance shows that this is not the case. Instead they censored because they didn't want another story of Islamic terrorism. It was insane that a Trump sub and /r/AskReddit ended up breaking the news on the front page. For added bonus points, on the mods was busy arguing with people in another sub where the censorship was called out, where this mod was a complete wanker. In one of the posts, their response is to tell someone to "kill yourself".

A large number of people have joined a new sub:

It will never be as big as /r/News but it'll hopefully not fall to censorship. The /r/news mods should be fucking ashamed of themselves and they continue to avoid addressing the issues. Because of them, one of the largest terrorist attacks in recent US history went unreported for the best part of a day - all because of political correctness.

Comment Re:oh crap (Score 3, Insightful) 500

Yup. People devote their limited time on this planet to watching TV shows where people just sit around in a house and have inane conversations. They pay to watch people chase a small ball from one of the field to the other. Some consider it a week well spent grinding every night for some imaginary item in a game. And some consider it entertaining and worthwhile to go protest for the social justice cause of the week.

People like different things.

Comment Re: Has it been proven yet that she ran her own se (Score 1) 416

Not necessarily. You don't casually arrest the leading presidential candidate of a party and former Secretary of State without being pretty sure you're doing the right thing. What do you think would happen if the FBI arrested Clinton right now and then, after some months of investigations, released her? It'd almost certainly alter the outcome of the elections and would be a career ending move for a lot of people.

I don't know if she is guilty or not. My point is more that we can't take a lack of an arrest as an admission of anything. It doesn't matter if she received nothing marked as classified. Her position was of a highly sensitive nature where non-classified materials could be damaging if leaked. What we do know is that she was highly irresponsible. What we don't know is the extent to which she was irresponsible and if laws were broken.

Comment Re:Now we have established that you know nothing (Score 4, Insightful) 416

Christianity does not oppress women. It treats women as having the same value as men in the eyes of God, and having just as much responsibility and accountability as men. This does not mean that some televangelist somewhere isn't a jerk, or that some small-town preacher isn't only reading Bible verses that tell women to behave in some particular way, only that the faith itself and its scriptures in their entirety and in-context do not teach the oppression of women.

unless, of course, you were pretending that not treating men and women as interchangeable gears in a machine is equivalent to "oppressing" women; Christianity does indeed teach that men and women are different and have different roles, but it does not teach that women are the property of men as Islam does, or that the word of a woman is equal to one forth of the word of a man in legal proceedings as Islam does, etc. Husbands are not wives and wives are not husbands. Mothers are not fathers and fathers are not mothers. If you don't like those basic biological facts, then your argument is with reality.

Oh yeah, equal value. It just happens that women are notably absent from historical church leaders, and not permitted to be priests in the largest denominations. It's one thing to have different roles that are complimentary. It's quite another to simply say only men can occupy these positions for no reason other than gender. The Mormons get flak for having forbidden blacks to become leaders in churches, yet the Catholic church does exactly the same thing on the basis of gender. That's their choice, and I'd defend that. I just wouldn't be so dishonest as to claim that Christianity isn't practicing gender discrimination. The bloody thing begins with a woman leading a man astray, and that's a recurring theme. And that women, depending on which creation story you read, was created merely as company for the man.

Christianity says nothing (no matter what one church led by a guy called a Pope may wish) about controlling CONCEPTION. So we're not really arguing about not conceiving a child, but rather about killing a child that has already been conceived. Christians generally are opposed to abortion, not as a form of oppression of women, but rather because a baby is not part of a woman's body; it's another individual human being and Christianity generally frowns upon the murder of innocents. Christianity also explicitly forbids child sacrifice, unlike most other religions in human history. Killing a child for economic reasons, or social reasons, etc is no different from ancient pagans throwing their children into a pagan fire.

I'd agree that prohibitions on contraception are largely a Catholic thing, but aren't Catholics the single largest Christian denomination worldwide by a long margin?

Perhaps you see opposition to prostitution as "oppression". Well, it's generally not as "victimless" as portrayed; it creates a marketplace for the abuse of women, puts a price tag on all women, deprives any woman of the right to claim to be unemployed, and endangers women whose men cheat on them with prostitutes and bring home a few biological surprises. Women whose husbands give them a case of herpes or worse tend to feel a bit oppressed. For most of the past 2000 years, these things were considered advancements over the positions of nearly all other belief systems in human history where women were often presumed to be little more than bi-pedal farm animals.

Women had value because men wanted them and they could product offspring. Offspring in those times were both a retirement plan and your legacy. It's no wonder there were moves to protect women.

This is fundamentally different from the religion of Islam which explicitly values women as less than men, makes them property, denies them basic freedoms (including things like medical care in primitive locations like Afghanistan where it is practiced strictly and women are forbidden from being with a man other than a relative, and no women are allowed to be educated). Christianity also supports monogamy, which is a much better form of married life for most women than polygamy and spends more time teaching men to treat the women in their lives properly than it spends telling women to behave, so does that make it "oppressive" to men?

There's no denying that Islam is leaps and bounds more backwards than Christianity. But if Christian sects have advanced it is in fits and starts and comes by reasoning away scripture.

The Bible is quite clear. Women are made for men ( 1 Corinthians 11:8-9) and women should be subservient to their husbands and fathers.

Sure you can look at 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 and apologise it away, claiming that this was for a specific group of noisy women at the church in Corinth, but then how have people misunderstood this completely differently for so long?

And Peter 3:1?

"Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;"

There's no arguing that Christianity is more modernised than Islam. I don't like either of the religions, but I'd sure as hell rather live in a modern Christian country than a modern Muslim country. And most modern Christians have adapted beliefs that kind of ignore the old teachings. Men and women to tend to have different roles and drives, which explains most of the gender pay gap, but the difference is that we do not forbid women from adopting traditionally male career paths. Most women could not beat me in an arm wrestle, but I know some can and I see no reason to exclude them from trying.

Your take on these different roles is close to the "separate but equal" doctrine than any modern understanding of equality. Christianity values men and women very differently, and I'm fine with that. Let them do what they want in their club, but don't lie and claim that it is not so.

Comment Re:The problem is religion. (Score 1) 1011

Sadly, you're right. We certainly saw Atheism go down the shitter with Atheism Plus, which injected identity politics in to the mix. Look at the crazy-eyed social justice fundamentalism that sprung from the same source and is causing inane protests in campuses around the US.

People don't have to be atheists to be calm and rational, and atheists aren't necessarily either of those things. What matters is that people can think calmly and rationally about stuff that really matters to us and that we don't become arbitrarily aggressive towards people who hold views different to our own. It happens that religion is pretty commonly mixed up with movements where people commit terrible acts and believe themselves to be beyond reproach, but the same is true of various left and right wing nutter groups. What matters is rationality and basic fucking empathy towards fellow humans.

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