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Comment Re:WebMD? (Score 1) 74

This isn't to defend bad doctors -- of which there are many -- or anything, but you are not a doctor, you don't possess medical expertise which even generalists have, and to be frank, your "lived experience," while not totally worthless, is more than likely not nearly as good an indicator for medical diagnoses as you seem to think it is. Much of the time, your recollection of what you lived is going to be incomplete, biased, or straight-up counterfactual (note that I didn't imply lying... you can be quite wrong without intending it) when compared against what actually occurred. That's why objective tests are used so often instead, something that most older patients, who recall more physical examinations and discussions, will often describe as a disconcerting shift in medical practices. To be certain, physicals are still conducted, but I'd suspect that, unless your doctor is quite a bit more seasoned, they're probably ordering more tests than you give them credit for.

So how about those tests?

Well, every test carries with it a false positive (and false negative) rate... I know of no non-trivial diagnostic test that is 100% accurate. Let's say that you test positive for some horrible disease, though. Naturally, you'd get a 2nd opinion (independent, likely different test). What's the chance that the 2nd test will produce a different result? Veritasium recently went over a pretty good explanation of exactly this scenario: if your initial test accurately diagnosed people as having a disease 99% of the time, you'd actually have only a ~9% chance of actually having the disease, given a positive initial test result, so a 2nd, independent test would likely suggest a different outcome. This doesn't mean that the initial test is worthless or bad; it just means that a test useful for screening diseases is still limited in what it can actually say. It also doesn't mean that a differing 2nd opinion is an indication of ineptitude of the first lab, though that is a possibility; again, it means that tests are limited in what they can actually say.

It certainly doesn't mean that you should disregard medical expertise for your own idea of what you think is going on. By all means, though, if that's the fire you want to play with, play with it to your heart's content. Just don't complain when you get burned.

Comment Re:Given that Venezuela's economy is tanking (Score 2) 93

Classifying Norway as socialist is a bit like classifying the USA as capitalist. Neither nation is fully socialist or capitalist -- they both have significant elements of capitalism and socialism -- but they differ in the amount by which they embrace, for example, socialism. Actually, I would argue that, while Norway is more socialist than the USA, it is nonetheless more capitalist than it is socialist.

Also, why is it that every time some nation tries to completely (or predominately) adopt socialism or it's more extreme cousin, communism, people always claim that it wasn't actually, really socialist (or communist) when that nation fails?

Comment Re:Very interesting! (Score 1) 93

But why honor that collectibility? I mean, this isn't like counterfeiting physical paintings, where counterfeiting only produces something very similar to original artwork; this allows for counterfeiting wherein the counterfeit art would be, bit-for-bit, indistinguishable from the original, save for a cryptographic signature that doesn't actually contribute anything artistic to the piece. In essence, the scarcity doesn't derive from the actual artwork; it derives from the signature for the artwork.

Maybe there will be some people anal enough to care about that signature, but at that point, why even attach art to it? If scarcity is all you're really after, then couldn't you say, "Random person of note X sent out only Y amount of signatures, and I got one! It's so valuable!" Don't you think that bubble will burst sooner than later if you try to apply it to actual economies?

Comment Re: Huh? (Score 1) 476

It's a bit interesting how you're so inclined to tell the parent that what applies to him does not apply to other workers, so he shouldn't judge them by that standard, but then go on to describe the capabilities of other workers, and what would benefit them.

Maybe not everybody working waged jobs can obtain the skills necessary to move beyond that type of work -- for whatever reason. Maybe a lot of the "exploitative" work that exists out there, exists because there are plenty of people who cannot reasonably pursue something better, so there's no real incentive for "oppressors" (either employers or simply clients) to offer anything better (since there are plenty other people from which to choose).

No, that couldn't be part of the problem. Obviously it's just greedy capitalists perpetually oppressing everybody else. That's the sole issue; nothing else.

I would say this, though: nobody is forcing people to work those exploitative positions. They do genuinely have a choice. That would imply that work, even in a crappy job, is better than nothing for a lot of people. Would you instead suggest that they stay home, and rely on handouts? Two things: Will you personally provide those handouts? Will you invite them into your home? If you don't do that now, what's stopping you? Also, would you like to be in the position of having to rely on whatever the good intentions of others supply? Would you be happy existing, essentially, as someone else's pet? Or would you rather have the capability of directing your own life, even if meagerly?

Comment Re:Utterly pointless. (Score 1) 418

That's not entirely true. If the universe were a simulation, there are possible was that such a simulation might be detectable. For example, if we ever calculated the end of a transcendental number like pi, that would be good evidence that we're in a simulation, since we would have apparently exhausted the simulation's precision capacity for something which provably cannot be expressed with a finite combination of rational numbers. In a limited sense, then, there are ways in which a simulated universe idea could be testable.

However, you're correct that, just because some possible simulations might be detectable, it doesn't mean that all simulations would be detectable. That is, it's conceivable that we could live in a better simulation than the one described above, and still not have any capability of detecting it by any means, such as computing the end of an infinitely precise number. In that way, the simulation idea is just another unfalsifiable claim... it's just that it still might be detectable given the right simulation conditions.

Comment Re:FFS the summary goes against method (Score 1) 418

Incorrect. Science has been very useful in disproving things unequivocally. That is, science has truly and completely proven that some things cannot be true. In fact, for any assertion to be scientific, it must carry with it the potential to be completely disproven. Maybe that's not the type of proof you were talking about, but it's (useful) proof nonetheless.

Comment Re:Does Anybody Care? (Score 1) 75

I could have been clearer in my description, but I wasn't talking about working on a private project on company time, or even using company equipment; I was talking about working independently on a private project. Even if that independent project is unrelated to an employer's product lines, many employers still claim ownership via their employment contracts. That's what I have a problem with. I don't have a problem with a company disapproving of your job application example because, as you said, that's done on their time and dime, and certainly doesn't contribute toward their success.

Comment Does Anybody Care? (Score 1) 75

I struggle a bit to understand why this isn't a bigger issue. I mean, I understand why employers would want to own anything employees create -- free labor, ability to quash disruptive technology, and all that -- but when so many political noises are made about innovation, and you have company policies that clearly disincentivize it on the part of individuals, I wonder why some politician hasn't attempted to differentiate themselves by even mentioning the stifling effect on innovation such policies impose.

As an engineer, I'd think that more similarly inclined people would want to have at least an opportunity to pursue non-work related projects on their own time, but I guess I'm in the minority. Actually, I suppose that pretty much addresses my own question; after all, if essentially nobody is complaining, then there's no reason to call into question exploitative, innovation-quashing practices.

Anyway, good on GitHub for doing this.

Comment Re:This is old territory... (Score 2) 374

If the wage gap from the quote corresponds to identical salaried positions, then you might have a point regarding entry level wages. If, however, it corresponds to hourly wage positions, and annual incomes are being compared (as often occurs in these types of click-baity articles), then, given that plenty of data suggests women generally put in fewer hours than men, men will generally earn more over the course of a year. Unless you advocate cutting men's real wages, or force everyone to work identical amounts of time -- good luck with that --, that annual average disparity isn't going to go away.

I would also note that, for salaried positions, you'd need to ensure comparisons are made while accounting for as many other variables as possible. For example, you'd need to verify that comparisons are conducted in similar locations, or you'd need to ensure that there is no geographic disparity between men and women. If there is a geographic disparity, then obviously pay disparities between different cities could contribute to an overall observed sexual disparity in wages. You know, abide by basic science stuff.

Maybe the article actually avoided the pitfalls above, and actually uncovered genuine sexual bias. I'm not clicking through to find out, though, since they never do, instead relying on knee-jerking moralizers to cite them as credible observers of systemic yada yada.

Comment Re: Surprise! (Score 2) 632

Absolutely this. Not to mention that it was government involvement that encouraged the overproduction of degree-holding individuals in the first place. It's quite something, isn't it? Simultaneously inflating the cost of something whilst reducing its demand. If anything exemplifies the largess, bureaucracy, and poor quality often levied as complaints against government involvement, it's the education industry.

Oh, and before some knee-jerker exclaims, "but Edumacationns impOrtAnt!!" Yes. Yes it is. You should try pursuing it. There are far more sources available to you -- often with better content -- than just those offered at East Southern State University College, and they probably won't run you $40,000/year to access. Oh, you will have to exert some actual effort to obtain and understand them, though.

Comment Re:Get rid of it by tomorrow. (Score 1) 421

Point me to exactly where the AC said there should be a 50-50 male/female split. Go ahead, do it.

What they actually said was that the context in which people make their choices has an impact on what choices are made. If that context unnaturally or arbitrarily skews choices, then it's probably worth examining whether that context should be maintained, or changed.

Think of the Dutch tulip craze and subsequent crash: In that context, it was completely rational to buy tulips, even knowing that the bubble would eventually burst, in order to hoard them and sell them off at a higher price. Obviously, the market context had a tremendous impact on individual decisions being made, but while individuals were ultimately responsible for the consequences of their decisions (if they got out soon enough and profited, or succumbed to the burst), I think it'd be pretty worthwhile to consider whether the conditions that led to those decisions were truly necessary. That is, it's worth examining whether bubbles, especially for goods of little intrinsic value, are really unavoidable, or if they can be prevented, and if it'd be worth imposing measures for prevention.

The AC applied that same reasoning to a social context. It's not a "load of crap;" you just labeled it as such to avoid engaging in an intellectually honest conversation.

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