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Comment Re:Less than public transit? (Score 1) 219

That way the founders and investors could get out with their cash and Wall St. (read - your 401(k)) would be left holding the bag.

Only if the managers of your 401(k) were idiots.

After all, the Fed is pumping so much printed money into the system something has to soak up all that extra cash.

The Fed doesn't just "print money", either figurative or literally (the Treasury does the literal printing). It has several methods for adding money to the economy, all of which are quite reversible.

Comment Re:You don't own common sense (Score 1) 1002

the side that goes along with the overwhelming amount of research (not to mention common sense) that suggests more guns = more gun accidents (and of course, more gun violence.)

Then I'm sure you can cite some of this research? The actual fact is that in recent decades, firearms accidents and murders by firearm have both decreased while the number of guns in private hands has increased.

Now, if you don't like guns, that's fine; like abortions, if you don't like one, don't have one. But if you're going to talk about an "overwhelming amount of research" about crime, you'd better be able to cite some criminology papers.

Comment Re:I think the difference is (Score 1) 1002

your odds of surviving a knife attack are orders of magnitude better than surviving a shooting.

Not if the attacker has decided to kill you, no. Knife attacks are sometimes done specifically to wound or mutilate rather than kill.

The fact that despite the easy availability of black-market firearms 30% of US murders are committed without a firearm ought to clue you in that it's not "orders of magnitude" easier to survive an attack by other means.

The ancient world killed people with blades quite effectively. The armies of Alexander didn't have guns. Nor did the Romans, the folks who gave us the word "decimate".

But the phrase "Guns don't kill people" is verifiable bullshit.

No, assigning intent to inanimate objects is verifiable bullshit. Hammers don't build buildings. Scalpels don't perform surgeries. Guitars don't play music. Gasoline cans and matches don't burn down buildings. Shoes don't kick people. In all of those situations we understand that it is a person, not an object, which is responsible. But many people have an irrational emotional response to firearms due to their status as a cultural shibboleth, and so lose track of this principle.

Comment Re:"Police found Purinton 80 miles away at Applebe (Score 1) 1002

A gun is a weapon, and has a single purpose. It kills. It kills well.

A gun is a tool, which fires small pellets at a high velocity. Pellets can be fired at a variety of targets for a variety of reasons. Among those reasons are both self-defense and aggressive violence against other human beings. They are neither the easiest not most efficient way to murder human beings, efficient mass murderers use fire while poison is easier for killing one at a time. Your local Home Depot is more dangerous than your local gun store. Firearms are, however, the best means of self- and community-defense yet developed. As the cliche says, God made man, but Samuel Colt made man equal.

The U.S.'s murder rate is linked much more to its prevalence of economic injustice and history of racism than to the legal status of firearms. (There is no correlation between a state's murder rate and it's gun laws, but there is one between it GINI score and its murder rate.) Criminologists are pretty clear that gun control laws have little effect on violent crime, and may increase it by decreasing the ability to citizens to defend themselves.

Comment Re:"Research Projects" (Score 1) 74

The problem is that all these attempts to interest kids in STEM are so earnest and dull.

What we should be doing is tempting them with mad science. You see? It's not all death rays and monkey testicle implants.

It's important to hook them by middle school, when the all important sense of being misunderstood is its keenest.

Comment Re:Call me crazy... (Score 1) 89

Well, they're both solutions. But they run afoul of questions. Which users benefit most from each solution? And if someone benefits most from the massive battery with conservative display and processor specs, can you sell it to him?

I'll tell you right here that I'd much prefer LG's approach, but I'm an engineer. I think about my requirements differently than most people.

Comment US Life Expectancy is 91.9 years (Score 3, Insightful) 107

If you're a woman in the top 1% by income. If you're a man in the top 1% it's 88.8 years.

If you're middle class you live about 78.3 years if you're a man, which is big step up from 1980, probably because of smoking. If you're a woman you live 79.7 years, a decline of a few months since 1980.

Now if you're a poor your life expectancy has declined since 1980, to 76.1 for men and 78.3 for women.

So here's the picture: if you're rich, medical advances since 1980 have increased your expected lifespan by about seven years. But those advances haven't had any effect on middle class lifespans. If you're poor you apparently are having difficulty paying for medical care at all, which is not surprising because health care costs have consistently outpaced inflation since the mid-70s. If you're a working poor American health care inflation meant you basically screwed by the 2000s: you were too rich for Medicaid, to poor to avoid medical care.

One more thing: US has a GINI coefficient (measure of income disparity) of 45. That's the highest in the industrialized world, and much higher than it's low point of 34 in 1969. Basically all of the income growth sicne 1990 have gone to the top quintile, in fact the lion's share to the top 5%. People at the 80th percentile by income and below have seen basically zero income growth when adjusted for inflation. And since health care inflation rises faster than inflation, it means 80% of the the US has seen a cut in its disposable income.

Comment Re:So, America might have a lower life expectancy. (Score 1) 107

Why single out one cause, when there's obviously many.

Take food. I live near a supermarket that is probably three times the size of the one my parents went to, but the produce section is smaller, the meat and dairy sections about the same size. The surplus acreage is taken up with cheap, calorie dense, no-preparation convenience food.

Or the fact that Amercians spend more time in cars than they used to, on average over 290 hours a year.

Here's another interesting fact: research shows that the portion size you choose is positively correlated to the size of the package you serve yourself from; this doesn't happen consciously, it's just that a cup of cereal from a 9 ounce box appears like a lot more than a cup of cereal from a 21 oz box.

The huge sizes are driven in part by an attempt to cut down on trips to the grocery store. American home kitchens are the largest in the world, and most of that is needed for storage because we don't do very much food preparation.

So if there's a single root cause it's the pursuit (sometimes failed) of efficiency; we have the wealth to try to reduce labor and time spent doing things, but our bodies are designed to spend time doing things.

Comment Re:The solution is simple. (Score 1) 320

The problem may be the while Garcina Cambogia causes 30% more weight to be lost, 30% more of zero is still zero.

If that's what happens anyway it's somewhat problematic to use the word causes -- unless it's a different 30% in each case that would have happened otherwise. It's a bit like Woody Allen's the Great Roe: "A mythological beast with the head of a lion and the body of a lion, though not the same lion."

Comment The solution is simple. (Score 1) 320

If at first you don't succeed, try try again. Then if you succeed, try try again. Carry on until you have constructed a body of results you can evaluate as a whole.

There is a reproducibility problem for who have a model of the universe that works like this: If A is true, then investigation will uncover evidence supporting A, and no evidence supporting not-A. If this is your world view, then the instant you have any contradictory data you have a worldview crisis.

It is perfectly normal for science to yield contradictory results. That's why when you see a study reported saying taking Garcina Cambogia yields astonishing weight loss results you don't immediately run out to the health food store to buy miracle pills. It's absolutely routine for results like this not to stand up. The problem is that journalists are too ignorant of how science works to understand this.

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