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Comment Re:What does THAT have to do with anything? (Score 1) 100

It doesn't matter if you and I have different definitions of evidence, because you haven't even attempted to provide anything that could be considered remotely like evidence. Your entire argument is that affirmative action exists; they only surveyed women; so therefore this is an example of affirmative action. You managed to do this all without reading the article. When I pointed out that the article directly contradicts what you admitted what just a guess, you said that their stated reason was implausible and so what you guessed is more accurate.

And now, in an attempt to deflect the conversation away from your obvious mistakes, you state that my definition of evidence is wrong. But guess what? Yet again you provide no evidence to back up that absurd statement (by anyone's definition). You refuse to say what you think my "wrong" idea is or what your "correct" answer is.

Your logical skills are flawed and you seem to have reading comprehension problems, so I can't imagine you could outwit me based on the definitions of words. I bet the only reason why you would ever open a dictionary would be to colour in all the 'O's!

Comment Re:What does THAT have to do with anything? (Score 1) 100

how do you justify what you're doing?

I justify it by actually proving what I'm saying, unlike you who simply claims to be right based on guesses and preconceived notions of the "broader picture" without offering a single shred of evidence for anything that you say.

It seems fitting that I finished off by asking you to admit one of your mistakes; that you hadn't even read the article about which you ranted and raved. It seems fitting that you didn't even read that!

Comment Re:What does THAT have to do with anything? (Score 1) 100

You are obsessed with quibbling over this specific article when its only significance is in a bigger picture. And you have absolutely NO POINT about the article itself.

Oh this is hilarious! I'm obsessed with quibbling about the specifics of the article, and yet at the same time I have no point about the article? Which is it??? There is no significance in any bigger picture because this topic was not about affirmative action in the first place. It was presented here about tech predictions for next year and beyond. That fact that this was done as part of a project to encourage girls (which once again has nothing to do with affirmative action) is just coincidental and deemed so irrelevant that it barely rated a mention.

When your points are refuted you turn to taking things out of context and twisting meanings to fit your point of view, and above all cherry-picking an appropriate scope of things to fit your point of view regardless of any rationale.

Oh the laughs just keep coming! When have you EVER even referred to (let alone refuted) my points at all, other than to say that they are irrelevant because I'm not looking at the big picture? How have I taken things out of context when I keep quoting and linking to everything that I have written about? And cherry picking the scope??? Which of us wants to talk about the story as posted, and which of us wants to ignore it and talk about the big picture? That is changing scope. I am the only one who has stayed on topic. As I said, you might as well have talked about climate change for all the relevance it had on this /. story.

If this is "about encouraging girls to choose STEM careers" then it is a falsehood because on its face it says "Microsoft Researchers Offer Predictions For AI, Deep Learning" which implies a different purpose entirely. Why do they need to lie in order to push this "self esteem booster" for women?

How is that a lie? Are they not Microsoft Researchers? Do they not offer predictions on topics like AI and Deep learning? The headline is correct. The fact that they asked women in the hope of inspiring the next generation of girls is not something that they hid. They opened with that information. Where is the lie???

"less need for affirmative action programs"
And what is the need to begin with? It seems like your entire point of view is based on this but you feel content to blather on and never explain the foundation for your supposed argument.

And look who is the one who is lying. Could you point to the the part where I ever advocated a need for affirmative action? All I have said is that this ISN'T an affirmative action program, and that if it works then there won't be a need to have one. And what would the need be? I pointed out that companies are named and shamed for not achieving a gender balance, so to avoid negative PR then Microsoft would want to increase the intake of high achieving girls. At no point have I said that I want them to have gender balance. In fact, I have said that my natural tendency is to be suspicious of this sort of thing, and that in my early years I would have been ranting just like you. Does that really sound like someone who advocates affirmative action?

I know you've probably grown up in a "hug box" where you are "never wrong", but learn this lesson: when you become this obsessed over a simple thing, you are wrong and you know it. Learn how to lose, learn how to change your mind.

I really hope that you are actually writing this to yourself, because you have been describing you in your comment. Once again, I refer you to my previous anecdote where I said that I was once like you in my teenage years until I realised that I was letting my prejudices cloud my view of the world and I have since learned to examine the facts before deciding. This shows that I am willing to admit when I'm wrong, and that I have already changed my mind in the past. Are you?

If you really believe what you just wrote, then why don't you lead by example? Here is how you started this entire thread:

The fact that they ask only women implies there is some reason to do that,
Yet we are left to guess at what that reason is.
The most obvious is that women have a better opinion.
How is that supportable? Why would they?

Why don't you admit that you were wrong and that you never had to guess what the reason was. If you had read the article, they stated explicitly that it wasn't what you thought was the obvious answer, but that this was an exercise for Computer Science Education Week to inspire girls. Admit that your entire rant about affirmative action was null and void right from the start because you guessed wrongly.

Then, if you like, you can also quote something that I have said that you think is wrong and, if you are right, I will happily admit my mistakes.

Comment Re:IL had free rides to all senior citizens 2008-2 (Score 1) 235

While you are correct that you couldn't economically use taxis to replace all you driving, in some circumstances the mixture of walking, cycling, public transport and taxis/Uber can be cheaper than owning and operating a car. It depends on how much you travel and where you need to go. I also did the sums and decided to not replace my car when it gave up the ghost. I found that it was cheaper for me to use the other transport options.

Whenever I have moved to a new home, I have always chosen a location that is close to a major public transport hub and either walking or cycling distance to university and work. For those rare occasions when I have to go somewhere that is not easily serviced by trains or buses, I get a taxi. Doing this is still cheaper for me than buying, maintaining, fueling, insuring and parking a car. I am also able to spend my commuting time working, surfing the web, or even playing video games. It's nice if you can get it to work for you.

Comment Re:But... (Score 2) 235

I wish the French good luck on this, but I don't think it will do much except push homeless people into underground metro stations.

I think that you are wrong about that prediction. In my area they effectively halved the price of public transport by reducing the number of tariff zones and usage rose dramatically. It was most notable during off-peak times when the trains had been quite underused but are now fairly full until the last service.

Previously I had advocated for making public transport completely free, and I thought it was a stupidly short-sighted move to simply reduce the costs. But after I saw how many extra people began using the system after they did that, I have had to change my mind because I don't think if they could support the extra passengers if the service was completely free; at least not without some major expansion of capacity.

Comment Re:What does THAT have to do with anything? (Score 1) 100

The fact that you are making such an effort to deny it and ignore my criticism of your argument could be taken as proof that I am correct on all counts.

The fact that you have ignored everything in the article AND everything that I have said in preference to your mere suspicions about social justice shows that you are not even in the ballpark of correctness. It's also interesting that you consider attempts to educate you (including citing sources) to be being defensive.

So let's see your stunning argument that I can't refute...

You are totally ignoring that affirmative action exists everywhere and is totally unjustifiable.

That argument is completely demolished by all the places that I have shown that this has absolutely nothing to do with affirmative action. This is about encouraging girls to choose STEM careers. If they are successful then there will be more women graduating in computer science, leading to more female applicants for tech jobs, and therefore less need for affirmative action programs.

Surely that is precisely what you want? The only reason why you would be arguing against this is because you don't understand it. You just saw that they spoke with 17 women and instantly decided it was affirmative action. Just because affirmative action exists does not mean that everything that happens in the world is a result of it. You have not provided a single shred of evidence to support the idea that this is affirmative action. In fact, you yourself admitted that you just guessed that it was:

Yet we are left to guess at what that reason is.

I guess we should be thankful that you didn't decide that it was all about climate change. That would have been just as relevant as the argument you have been making.

Comment Re:What does THAT have to do with anything? (Score 1) 100

I take this as a sign that you are frustrated by your general lack of success in persuading people who are suspicious about "social justice".

Once again you have created an entire backstory to rant against that is unsupportable. That comment would make more sense if it wasn't my first post for this story. I will admit though, it is the second time this week that I have had to reply to some opinionated posters who obviously hadn't read even the first couple of paragraphs of the article about which they ranted.

Do you want to know why I felt qualified to make such a diagnose for someone that I hadn't even met? I recognise the symptoms because I am exactly the same. I too saw that they only asked women and wondered why. In my teenage years, I would have ranted and raged about it too. I would have used my own insecurities to project motives on people. But as I get older, I now know I should actually follow the links to find out the full story before I jump to conclusions. It's the only way that you can have an informed opinion.

In this case, I found out that they did this for Computer Science Education Week. I found out that in OECD countries less than 1 in 5 computer science graduates are girls. Do either of those things sound implausible to you?

Why would Microsoft care about this? Apart from the public naming and shaming of companies that have wide gender imbalances (which I'm sure you don't care about), TFA had this reason (among others):

By 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that there will be 1.4 million computing jobs but just 400,000 computer science students with the skills to apply for those jobs.

So aside from any pure motives of wanting gender equality, this problem will actually affect their ability to employ staff in the future. Hence, they want to encourage girls to take up STEM careers. You could also say that they want to offset the discouragement some girls receive because they are told that this entire field is just a boys club. Does any of that sound implausible?

So why is it so implausible that they would want to do something to encourage girls and that they decided to survey "17 women within Microsoft's global research organization" about what is going to happen in the year '17?

Anyway the given reason is not plausible. It implies that the question was only brought up as an excuse to ask women something. If we want this question answered because it is important, then we should focus on having it answered and not performing some gender equality stunt.

I see. Your problem is that we are actually taking their answers seriously. You seem to think that because they are women they are not qualified to talk about their fields. If you think that this question is important enough that we should focus on having it answered, why didn't you follow the link to the blog post to find out what the answers were? Why wasn't your argument that they seemed like low quality answers? I think that it's because you just can't get past the fact that they are women.

I'm afraid you have no point and little awareness of the broader picture.

Perhaps if you bothered to look at the specifics of this case rather than worrying about the broader picture then you would actually be able to make an accurate assessment. But if you can't be bothered looking at the facts of the case, how can we deem your idea of the broader picture to be valid? If you are so set in your opinions that even having the article quoted to you to show where you are wrong just gets ignored, then I feel my diagnosis of you having a coloured view of the world stands. You should learn to ignore your prejudices and not rely solely on your suspicions when evaluating a topic. There is no substitute for RTFA.

Comment Re: What does THAT have to do with anything? (Score 1) 100

I'll worry about a male-heavy gender tech imbalance when the NFL starts pushing "brown shoes/gloves/towels for prostate cancer awareness".

It's fortunate then that they declared intention was to inspire girls and not some closed-minded poster on Slashdot. That said, judging by the overwhelming reaction to the stated gender of the surveyed researchers compared to anything that any of them actually predicted, I think perhaps it's not a bad thing to educate the wider community so that they don't have a panic attack when they happen to find a woman in the tech industry.

Comment Re:Not so subtle (Score 1) 100

I'm sure those 17 women/researchers/thought-leaders will be grateful to be defended by someone whose first instinct is to call people abusive names. Did you ask those 17 people if they actually felt denigrated to be called women? Did you even read the blog post that inspired the article (listed at the bottom of the /. summary) to find if there was a reason why they chose to just talk to women and why they wanted to let the world know this? The answer to both those questions is no.

They asked women to counteract "the dearth of women in computing fields [due to] the lack of professional role models who could inspire girls to pursue their STEM dreams". They did this to celebrate Computer Science Education Week. So they want people to know that they were women. For this purpose, the women would be quite happy to be known as women.

Comment Re: What does THAT have to do with anything? (Score 1) 100

Honestly: how many girls are going to see this, much less be inspired by it?

You don't know where Microsoft has published this though. For all we know they have distributed it to classrooms or sent press releases to soft news shows/magazines in the hope of combining a tech story with a human interest angle. But it doesn't matter, as I am sure that this will not be the last time that they do this sort of thing to encourage women and girls to choose tech-based careers. If they keep doing it then something will get seen by their target audience. And if it isn't seen by the girls then it will be seen by the parents of girls in the hope that they can encourage their children into the field (or at least not discourage them because they think that it is just a boys club).

Microsoft know that if they don't get a higher number of good quality female graduates then they can't address the gender imbalance that does actually get more mainstream reporting. At least when that issue comes up again they can point to these sorts of initiatives to show that they are trying to address the imbalance without resorting to quotas.

Comment Re:What does THAT have to do with anything? (Score 1) 100

My feeling is that this is a PR stunt.

Well of course there is an element of PR in this. When does any company put out any discussion paper on any subject that doesn't have PR in mind? But that doesn't mean that they didn't have a genuine concern to encourage girls to take up computer science.

Problem is, the headline says "MS researchers offer predictions..." where it should read "MS female researchers offer predictions...". Why? because if you just say "researchers" people will assume the selection criteria to be "top researchers".

It would be counter-productive to add the word "female" to the headline. Look at how it has riled up all the insecure man-children just because of that one word "women" in the summary. Imagine how much more of a frenzy of feelings of persecution there would be if they added it to the headline as well. At the end of the day, that part of the story doesn't matter to us here; we really should just discuss the predictions rather than the gender of the people who made them. It doesn't matter to us that they were women, unless you believe that "female researchers" can't also be "top researchers". But if they had only only asked men (as has happened in previous years), would there ever be a distinction made like that? Would anyone have considered making a headline that said that "MS male researchers offer predictions"?

If the predictions seem wildly inaccurate then by all means say that they are not top researchers, but don't make this claim based on what kind of genitals they have.

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