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Comment Re: Not perpetual motion (Score 2, Informative) 397

If I'm reading the text of their patent correctly, it's not for the motor, but for the magnet assembly used in the motor. Maybe I'm missing something, but even with that limitation the patent looks pretty weak. Doesn't it cover just about any use of permanent magnets in a variable configuration to modify a magnetic field?

Yeah, their pseudo-science is laid on thick, but it looks to me like a variant on the Lutec scam which is, funnily, always going to be ready "at the end of the year X" where X is whatever calendar year you are currently in. Check out their site. They even quote an anonymous but "notable" physicist, color me impressed:

Anyway, this looks like another in a long line of "use permanent magnets to make a perpetual motion device" concepts.

Yup, no doubt.

Comment Re:Unplesant environment (Score 1) 1027

Girls are attracted to pink and dolls and dressing up without any help from their parents.

Yeah. That's right. Girls are genetically attracted to pink. There must have been huge stretches in our evolution where females being more attracted to pink than males was essential to the survival of the species.

Well that's a little hyperbolic. But your statement is open to at least a little ridicule. If you were truly able to interact with your children without gender bias you're a very remarkable person. Studies have shown that adults interact with babies they believe to be girls differently from babies they believe to be boys, regardless of the actual sex of the baby. And parents describe their female children from birth onward as smaller, more passive, prettier, and less active than male children regardless of objective measurements. (Rubin, 1974 among others, and more recently confirmed by Sweeney and Bradbard 1988, among others).

I don't deny there are differences between boys and girls. I just don't think we know which of those differences are down to nature and which nurture. [And I'm not sure it's possible to find out in an ethical way.]

In any case, the main issue is: Why is it that we must find few women in CS as a problem? There are few men in, say, nursing. Is that a problem? Not necessarily. If a group is self-selecting toward or away from a particular profession, why do we insist denying that?

It's a problem becauses people self selecting away from a profession for reasons other than their lack of fitness for that profession will leave us with, overall, worse computer scientists (and nurses) than we could otherwise have.

On a general level for our society as a whole, that means we don't have the best people in the best jobs, which leads to a lower quality of life overall. On an individual basis people could well be happier if they had a more even playing field for developing their careers in.

And for women in particular, that selection process currently tends to lead them into less well paying jobs which can lead to a greater concentration of poverty among older women than in the population at large. Since you imply you're the father of a girl, you might want to be a bit more concerned about that.

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