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Comment Newsflash: Employers don't want to pay to train... (Score 1) 220

Sorry, but this is just another in a long line of corporate pushes to strip away "real education" about science, math, the liberal arts, and culture from high schools and colleges and replace it with "vocational training" about narrow specialties so that they no longer have to pay for it. Fuck that; we need a well-educated populace. If we want a nation composed of poorly educated people working in virtual sweatshops to compete with an unlimited supply of both skilled and unskilled immigrants who drive down wages* to make those jobs less appealing to natives, we're sure well enough down that road by now without hitting the gas every time an employer wants new kinds of vocational sheep.

*: Harvard economist George Borjas has demonstrated conclusively that for every 10% increase in the labor supply, wages are driven down by 3-4%. Think about that every time someone says, "We need more [skilled/unskilled/whatever] immigration to compete." That job would pay more, and thus attract more Americans into that part of the labor market, and/or be subject to greater automation with skilled American operators overseeing it, if not for the already-high levels of immigration endemic in the given field.

Comment Why does anyone listen to Greenpeace anymore? (Score 5, Insightful) 188

These Greenpeace types are the same people who've prevented us from developing and deploying newer, safer nuclear power plants to replace the less safe older ones which are forced to keep running--and which could replace polluting coal plants and help us immensely in the transition away from the fossil fuels they themselves also decry. They're the same folks who stirred up opposition to Yucca Mountain, yet use the lack of such a facility as a talking point against nuclear. They're the same folks who also fight hydro and anything else with "environmental impact" (i.e., changing anything at all about a local environment). Until they're willing to back some realistic alternatives to current power generation--other than living like Luddite hippies--I tune these idiots out. Solar and wind currently supply only about 1% of our national power generation needs, and there's no chance they'll ever supply it all. Until the Greenpeace types back something useful to our situation, they're the same ones keeping us stuck on fossil fuels. Fuck 'em.

Comment Re:What. (Score 1) 652

>would you still consider a death "statistically insignificant" and not worthy
>of spending money on prevention if it were your spouse or child?

Statistics don't care whose spouse or child it is; that's why they're called statistics. ;)

Seriously though, the only reasonable way to make policy decisions is impartially. Otherwise, every time someone dies from something somewhere, that someone's family will want to outlaw that something, or to mandate that we all spend an insane amount of money to prevent whatever it was from happening again. As I mentioned above, I'm willing to bet that more than 200 people die every year from falling over railings--that doesn't mean we should mandate that all railings have nets underneath to catch those people. What a waste of resources--and these wastes of resources add up.

Comment Re:What. (Score 1) 652

>It's not about blaming the driver (and if you think the driver is
>as much or more of a victim than the dead child or the child's
>parent, you have a really twisted view of reality).

I think a driver who has to live with the guilt of running over a child (assuming no mistakes by the driver) because that child's parent or guardian was irresponsible by not supervising the child is a much bigger victim than the irresponsible parent or guardian, because the driver did nothing to cause the accident--but the parent or guardian did. The innocent party not at fault is the victim, not the responsible party who is at fault, regardless of the relative loss.

>It's about giving the responsible driver better tools to more
>effectively do what he's doing already.

No, mandating a $200 per new car expense to eliminate a statistically insignificant number of deaths each year--that's about forcing everyone to pay a combined _$3 billion_ per year for the privilege of maybe not backing over a kid whose parents should make sure he's not there in the first place. Let's just assume that this would eliminate 100% of such accidents--which is unrealistic, but even so--and this would cost $15 million per life saved. Do you have any idea, any at all, how many lives you could save for $15 million? Way more than one if you're spending it right, so this idea must be spending it wrong, very very wrong. It's a stupid, overwrought, needless waste of resources. We need to think of the opportunity cost here, and it's huge.

>If you don't think the benefit is worth the expense, that's one thing,
>but you sound like someone complaining that mandating railings
>on stairways is an abdication of personal responsibility that forces
>responsible people to pay for those irresponsible people who don't
>have perfect balance when they climb stairs.

Making everyone pay $200 to have a video system in their car to avoid 200 otherwise very preventable deaths each year is a far cry from expecting stairs to have railings so that people don't fall--it's more like requiring all stairs to have nets outside the railings so that in case some fucking moron falls over the railing, he'll get caught in the net instead of falling to the floor. It's an irrational overreaction to a statistically insignificant non-problem that would cost a lot of innocent people a huge aggregate amount of money that would better be spent elsewhere.

Comment Re:What. (Score 1) 652

>You're right -- but blaming the grieving parents for their 5 seconds of inattention
>won't bring their dead child back, or save the next one either. In particular if your
>solution is to demand that parents never make a mistake, ever -- well, that's not a
>solution at all, it's just a way to make yourself feel better by blaming someone else.

That's the same sort of lack of personal responsibility and blaming of the victim (the person who runs over an unattended toddler through no fault of his own because irresponsible parents let him play around cars unattended is also a victim) that causes public pools to close because they can't get insurance and sees neighbors sued when children trespass on their property and hurt themselves. Unacceptable. If you have children, _you_ raise them, _you_ teach them what not to do, and _you_ take responsibility for their mistakes--don't expect the rest of us to have to go out of our way to raise _your_ kids and pay for _your_ lack of supervision. Why should the responsible people in society be forced to pay _$3 billion_ a year to prevent a _statistically insignificant_ number of deaths which, in the cases you're focusing on, are entirely the fault of a few irresponsible parents who are the ones who ought to be held accountable? Taxpayers already pay a large amount to support other people's children in the form of infrastructure and public school expenditures (e.g., where I live it costs over $10,000 per year per student); that's plenty. Expecting irrational amounts of resources to be wasted to make a statistically insignificant number of deaths slightly less likely is selfish and extreme, not to mention yet another expansion of the nanny state.

Comment Re:What. (Score 2) 652

> How did all of these accidents happen?

I'm willing to bet almost all involve old people whose vision and concentration are past their prime, young people without much experience, and people who are very distracted. I was in the car with my 70+ year old great-aunt when she backed directly into a dumpster--and she was in a minivan with a camera system. How can you not see a gigantic dumpster? You can't prevent accidents like that, period.

Seriously, 200 deaths a year is statistically insignificant when hundreds of millions use the roadways. Mandating that everyone who buys a car from now on will have to pay another $200 for a camera system, in order to prevent a statistically insignificant number of deaths which are probably largely attributed to age or inexperience, is a stupid waste of resources. Over 15 million new vehicles are sold every year in the U.S.--this is 3 BILLION DOLLARS WASTED every year if we force camera systems to be installed. Don't you think people can find something better to do with $3 billion of resources yearly?

No wonder our economy is in the crapper--I wonder what the total dollar amount wasted each year through needless government mandates is? Fucking nanny state bullshit.

Carmack: Mobile Gaming To Surpass Current Consoles 119

donniebaseball23 writes "The rate at which hardware iterates in the smartphone and tablet space has allowed the technology to nearly catch up with consoles. It won't be long before we're all carrying small devices more powerful than the PS3, says Doom creator and id Software programming genius John Carmack. Speaking in an interview, he commented, 'It's unquestionable that within a very short time, we're going to have portable cell phones that are more powerful than the current-gen consoles.'" Even if that's the case, Nintendo still wants no part of it.

Comment Re:Fake "Science" (Score 1) 224

men want to see cheating wife porn, and porn where multiple men share a woman, because that was the norm in our prehistory until about 10,000 years ago

So how does what you say contradict with what the authors of the article say:

men are wired to be sexually jealous but simultaneously they're also sexually aroused so if a man sees a woman — including his partner — with another man, he becomes more aroused

The part about men being naturally wired for sexual jealousy is the mistake--modern thinking dictating their conclusions based on present customs, rather than starting from the anthropological past and working forward without bias. Jealousy isn't hardwired in our sexual software; it's a modern overlay, and not a positive emotion but a negative one:

It was normal in prehistory for us to watch the women we sleep with have sex with other men and NOT be jealous, but be purely sexually aroused by it because we knew our turn was coming soon. No negative emotions involved.

Are you really making the argument that if something is "the norm" for tens of thousands of generations (your words) it will neatly stay out of our genome?

It may indeed be the case that the last 10,000 years of scarcity and hierarchy has written "sexual jealousy" into the hardware of our genome rather than just being in the software of our cultural toolkits. Big changes have happened because agriculture, and the scarcity and hierarchy it created (we'd lived longer and been more egalitarian as hunter-gatherers, though our populations were kept resource-limited), likely accelerated the processes of natural selection and sexual selection. The well-known example of a recent genetic variant that took hold extensively only after the agricultural revolution is lactase persistence, and recent genetic studies show that the differences in melanin which caused Europeans to become "white people" gained frequency only 10,000 years ago or less thanks to agriculture and the poor nutrition it provided, making better vitamin production from sun exposure a valuable benefit it conveyed.

But, to say that jealousy is genetically hardwired without extensive evidence contradicting the ancestral case, that it's culturally derived, is at best unscientific, as it starts from current cultural assumptions. The fact that so many men are searching for "cheating wife porn" would also be evidence that it's not jealousy that's at work (again, it's a negative emotion not a pleasant one), but rather our ancestral partner-sharing desires.

Comment Re:Fake "Science" (Score 5, Interesting) 224

This "study" was an idiotic exercise in which a couple of junior researchers mined search terms to reinforce their culturally formed and far from unbiased notions about sexuality. All the crap about men searching for cheating wife porn (I believe "cuckold" porn is a popular current term for it) because of jealousy being hardwired and competition triggering arousal was especially telling--these guys are parroting outdated "conventional wisdom" (i.e., assumptions based on post-facto theory rather than formed from evidence-based research) and nothing more. The real work is being done by folks like the authors of _Sex at Dawn_:

who look at the anthropological evidence of how human communities used to live in prehistory, and let that guide their conclusions on how contemporary sexuality got where it is. For example, the _Sex at Dawn_ authors would explain that men want to see cheating wife porn not because jealousy is hardwired and competition sexually excites them, but because we used to live for hundreds of thousands of years (maybe a million+ depending on where you put the dividing line for what's "human") in small communal groups where sex with multiple partners in succession or was the norm. So, men want to see cheating wife porn, and porn where multiple men share a woman, because that was the norm in our prehistory until about 10,000 years ago when agriculture changed a hunter-gatherer society of communally shared lives (mating included) into a hierarchical society of enforced order and scarcity (mating changed into a scarce resource like everything else).

In other words, today we have external software (a legacy of early subsistence-farming civilization) installing a chimp-like sexuality of scarcity and aggression and competition into our heads, when our native OS is more bonobo-like and tells us we want to share sex partners.

And we can actually validate this theory, because we have extensive records of contact with "stone age" tribes some of whom are still around today, and true monogamous marriage is almost unheard-of. Most tribes practicing their ancestral ways without Western influence have marriage--but almost never exclusive marriage where partners are expected to be "faithful." Women are usually expected to be promiscuous, and many tribes have "partible paternity"--the belief that every man a pregnant woman has sex with contributes semen towards making the baby, and that if a woman is not promiscuous enough she's not giving the baby a big variety of helpful traits from the fathers, or that the baby could miscarry from lack of continued semen contribution. Some uncontacted tribes literally have had no idea that sex even causes pregnancy, because from the moment females are physically developed enough to have sex they're doing so, often with multiple partners over time, so that the connection between sex and pregnancy isn't clear to them.

Point being, if you want to really learn about human sexuality, read _Sex at Dawn_ and ignore this other crap.

Comment Re:Norway isn't a member of the EU. (Score 1) 350

You're failing to consider that many of us were alive LONG before the contemporary EU as a political entity existed. It was not at all uncommon to shorthand the world into obvious regions: NA=North America, SA=South America, EU=Europe, AP=Asia/Pacific, AF=Africa. Many multinationals, militaries, and of course geography classes did it as informal shorthand. I'm not saying it's correct & clear usage today, just that it can be the same as an oldtimer accidentally referring to Zimbabwe as Rhodesia or Czech Republic as Czechoslovakia. It doesn't mean they're ignorant, it's just a slip of the tongue (or keyboard).

Comment Re:Discouraging Science and Technical studies (Score 1) 532

> It should be significantly cheaper to get a degree in a field where their is demand -
> the STEM degrees - and should cost significantly more for all other degrees.

You've got that backwards. More demand leads to *higher* prices, not lower ones. In every respect, STEM majors should be paying more than humanities majors, not less:

*STEM faculty cost more (often 2x to 3x more) than humanities faculty.
*STEM labs and equipment cost far more than plain classrooms.
*STEM coursework is usually more expensive.

and most important:

*STEM graduates make more money, and can therefore afford to pay back more student loan debt.

And why is there a shortage of native STEM workers in the USA in the first place? It isn't because of high tuition, or lack of ability; it's because STEM wages have been artificially lowered by the availability of immigrants to fill the jobs more cheaply, and the corporate culture that reinforces immigrant use. Harvard economist George Borjas and others have shown repeatedly that both unskilled and skilled immigrants to this country depress the wages in any occupation they enter, to the tune of a 3% drop in wages for every 10% increase in workforce. What percentage of STEM work in the US is being done by immigrants these days? And that doesn't even factor in the depressing economic effects of offshoring.

No, the market for STEM workers has been artificially short-circuited by the lobbying of corporations intent on importing a cheaper foreign labor pool, and this has resulted in lower STEM pay and therefore lower interest in STEM education and careers by natives. There is no STEM shortage, except the one created by artificial means in the pursuit of corporate greed. The stock answer from most economists is that such immigration is in our national interest since it grows the overall economy--but the problem is, all of that new growth goes exclusively into the pockets of the corporate owners of capital and the immigrant workers themselves, while native workers see their pay decrease by that 3% per 10% increase in workforce. That's why real-world inflation-adjusted earnings for working and middle class Americans have decreased since the 1970s. That's why the gap between rich and poor increases steadily (25 years ago the richest 1% of Americans took home 12% of all income, while today that 1% takes in almost 25% of all income; 25 years ago the richest 1% owned 33% of all assets and capital, while today they own over 40%).

Americans need to wake up to the fact that extreme immigration (we take in more legal immigrants *than every other country combined*) is the root of all of our current economic woes. Our elite classes of both political affiliations love it, the Democrats because they see votes and multiculturalism and the Republicans because they see cheap labor. But while it's good for the moneyed elites it is directly responsible for the worsening fortunes of the American working class and the ongoing disappearance of the middle class.

The sad part is the educated classes have known about this situation for a long time, and the average American may not know the facts but he feels them viscerally--Americans have been overwhelmingly for smaller immigration numbers for decades. Until they start pushing it as a forefront issue though, nothing will be done. An old but excellent book on the situation was published by Random House in 1995, and is now available for free from the author:

At the time it was a bestseller and was as widely discussed as *The Bell Curve*, but unlike that other controversial book not one challenge to its facts and numbers was ever substantiated.

Comment Re:Uhhhh (Score 2) 7

> 1/CO2 is a greenhouse gas. you can TEST THIS FOR YOURSELF.

Yes, we all know this. It is correct on a basic level, all other things being equal. And yet, in the real-world atmosphere all other things are NOT equal; we have many buffers and sinks at work, almost none of which we understand fully. Ultimately, we have no way of knowing with our current infantile level of climate science what net effect additional industrial CO2 has on total net irradiance, we can only make incomplete calculations. The IPCC and most climate scientists--a self-selecting field which disproportionately attracts environmental extremists--tend to assume the worst, and naturally lean towards models which amplify warming effects.

> 2/man-made annual CO2 : 29.3 billion tons

Yes, but the the atmosphere is about 6 QUADRILLION tons, so 29.4 billion tons per year is not necessarily a significant change. And again, the presence of this added CO2 is transient and its effects depend heavily upon the action of many sinks and buffers, and its ultimate effect on net irradiance is unknown. We can see the IPCC's conclusions about this here:

But, that nifty chart is the product of many complex calculations all of which are disputable, and which ignore the bulk of climate interactions which are not yet fully understood.

In any event, the pertinent question isn't, "Is global warming happening?" (The answer is yes.) The pertinent question isn't, "Is global warming anthropogenic?" (The answer is, partially yes.) The pertinent question is, "Given reasonable and likely projections of the anthropogenic component of global warming, do the net benefits of extreme short-term CO2 emission cuts (factoring in their costs) make them preferable to the slower long-term phaseout of CO2 emissions that the market is naturally adopting?" The answer on that seems to be a resounding NO. We will already see net temperatures rise by a degree or two regardless of what we do today (assuming current IPCC projections are accurate, and things like solar irradiance and other uncontrollable forcings don't change much), and 50 more years of high CO2 emissions by the developed world won't make much difference (esp. since China, India, and the rest of the developing world will continue increasing emissions). Many projections, indeed, show that developed nations like the U.S. will actually see a net benefit in productivity and carrying capacity from global warming, so we have no objective reason to risk economic meltdown by voluntarily limiting CO2 prematurely.


Submission + - Old Media Says: Google to Destroy Film & Music (

SirWinston writes: A Daily Mail editor has written perhaps the most Luddite attack on Google ever, reading just like a 19th-century manifesto against looms and factories. "Google has become a global predator ruthlessly gobbling up potential rivals such as YouTube and ‘stealing’ the creative work of writers, film makers and the music industry... Google has granted these piracy sites a licence to steal... It undermines investment in the very creative industries that have become such an important part of our national prosperity, and employ hundreds of thousands of people." The article lionizes brick-and-mortar business and traditional media, and reads as a funny anachronism--except that these may be the attitudes of European regulators now shaking down Google and new media.

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