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Comment Re:Nah. Won't happen. (Score 1) 555

Trump is, if nothing else, extremely adept at self-promotion, and so he wouldn't use this unless he felt it would be hugely popular.

Remember: Trump is a narcissist. Every one of his actions is motivated in convincing himself that he is powerful and loved.

He can't even suffer not winning the POPULAR vote. "It was those illegal dead aliens voting! Millions of them!" Apparently, in Trumpworld, at least half the illegal aliens in the USA went down to the polls to vote this year.

Comment Re:Are you serious? (Score 1) 555

Simply put, the severity of the other things that you mentioned is so vast that it is simply beyond the capacity for most people to reasonably worry about them and still function in society. Text message spam, therefore, is more likely to be taken as a serious concern by people than environmental disaster or even nuclear war.

Android offers an option where you won't be included in case of nuclear war.

Comment Re:Are you serious? (Score 1) 555

This counts as a pressing concern? That Trump has the power to send spam?

Never mind that he has stoking the worst bigotry and racial violence in North America in recent history. Never mind that he now has access to nookoolar weapons. Never mind that he's going to gut environmental regulations and oversight over the entire energy sector.

No! He can send us a text message! Everybody panic!

Is there an emoji for eyeroll?

The mirror image of his interview on 60 Minutes: "Mr. Trump, how does it feel to be the President-elect?" "Hey, I have a million more followers on Twitter!" with no trace of irony or sarcasm.

Comment Re:You're cute (Score 1) 555

I recall the Republicans rioting before Bush was elected. Which helped get him elected. And flying the rioters in on planes supplied by corporate donors. And paying the rioters for their time. And pretending that it wasn't a partisan effort, it was the Good People of Florida spontaneously rising up.

Comment Re:Democrats are the enemy (Score 1) 555

To be more clear, I now consider Democrats to be the equivalent of the "other side" in a war - they will still oppose every and any thing your side does, they can lose a battle and still wage war, incessant and total non-compliance, they will fight to the last man, and any victory - even pyrrhic - is still a victory. Any means are justified in the pursuit of their ends.

So... in other words, the Democrats are now going to do what the Republicans have been doing for the past 8 years.

The difference being that the Republicans announced explicitly that was their plan, stuck to it for 8 years, and are proud of it; whereas the Republicans are not accusing the Democrats of that being their plan a priori, and that's enough to find them guilty, proactively.
See also: "Hillary is going to take away our guns!", the proud follow up to "Obama is going to take away our guns!", "Bill Clinton is going to take away our guns!", etc. etc.

Comment Re:Democrats are the enemy (Score 1) 555

I hate pointless fear mongering articles. Best example of fake news there is right here on slashdot.

Trump isn't likely to abuse the alert system but leave it to slashdot to make an issue of it.

Trump won. Get over it already.

I'm so weary of all this one-sided bickering and sniping over Trump that I've decided that Democrats should be considered enemy combatants.

To be more clear, I now consider Democrats to be the equivalent of the "other side" in a war - they will still oppose every and any thing your side does, they can lose a battle and still wage war, incessant and total non-compliance, they will fight to the last man, and any victory - even pyrrhic - is still a victory. Any means are justified in the pursuit of their ends.

All the things an unruly child does, but forever.

In my mind the Democrats are *permanently* a party of dishonour, disgrace, and corruption. A group that simply gets no "benefit of the doubt" or "concessions of fairness" or anything like that. They are children, now and forever. We should treat them as such.

I was thinking through the recent news (last night) that Trump got Carrier to keep 1000 jobs in the US, and how I couldn't see a way to frame that in a bad light. Lo and behold! Recent comments on Slashdot manage to paint this as a bad thing. They even pulled out the Hitler comparison for good measure.

The Democrats are defeated. Leaderless and feckless, the only thing they can do is complain.

No plan, no leadership, and rife with corruption.

It's hard to see why anyone would be a part of that crowd.

"No plan, no leadership, and rife with corruption." Thank God that's all behind us, eh?

Comment Re:Why is this news? Obama has the power now... (Score 1) 555

Except that Obama is perhaps the least corrupt individual to hold the Presidency since Jimmy Carter. Sure, he's a politician, and somewhat beholden to his donors - but in the scope of things, he's run a pretty clean administration. So in that light, using "Chicago-machine" to impugn him as corrupt? Why? Because he happened to come from Chicago? That won't fly. So I'm sticking with "Democrat" or 'Urban" or (dare I say it) "Black".

And I'm not one of those Democrats who's willing to chalk Trump's success up to racism. He certainly had the support of just about every racist you can find, but that doesn't make all of his swing supporters racists dany more than Obama's coming from Chicago makes him corrupt. What it does make them is less uncomfortable associating themselves with racists and a politician (and party) who courted the racist vote than they are frightened and angry in general about the state their lives and the ability of the government to do anything that might make it better. I doubt they expect Trump to make it better either - they just want him to blow a few things up. Judging by his cabinet picks, they're likely to be disappointed even on that count. Maybe he'll keep them on board with a steady diet of tweeted conspiracy theories and personal insults...

Opposition to Obama doesn't prove one racist. However, as with any behavior, if you have an obviously transparently bogus excuse such as "Because he's a socialist!", that puts you under some suspicion.
After all, there are people out there who are still insisting that Obama was born in Kenya, and/or is a Muslim, and still get upset when you suggest that their opposition is racially motivated.

Comment Re:Don't give him ideas (Score 1) 555

I have been woken at 2am by idiotic Amber Alerts about incidents hundreds of miles from my home. If there was some way to block these messages, I would do so.

Blocking Amber Alerts on iOS is simple. Go to Settings -> Notifications, scroll down to the bottom of that page, unselect "AMBER Alerts" (and/or "Emergency Alerts"). I assume it's equally easy on Android.

But back to the subject at hand... I held my nose and voted for Hillary, but I'm getting really tired of these "Trump may do this" and "Trump might do that" propaganda pieces that are spewing forth across the web. I'm nervous about his presidency; but the election is over - let's see what he actually does, and then react if necessary.

I'm old enough to remember similar hysteria from back when Reagan was elected. Early on, his administration tried to do some pretty darn stupid things, like attempting to let ketchup count as a vegetable in school lunches. I remember Bill Clinton's early day missteps as well ("Sorry, we don't talk to the military"). But between the politics of Washington DC and the court of public opinion, the initial lunatic fringe crap gets self-corrected pretty darn quickly. The Republic will survive.

Well, he's draining the swamp by filling it with alligators. Thinking outside the box!
Saving American jobs from going to Mexico by having the government pay companies to employ Americans, rather than socialistically have the government employ Americans! Thinking outside the box!
Letting the free market work unimpeded by picking particular companies to pay off to employ Americans, rather than socialistically having the government pick winners and losers to get government funds! Thinking outside the box!
Avoiding conflicts of interest by removing himself from running his businesses, and letting his children run them, and also letting his children be his unpaid presidential advisers! Thinking outside the box!

Comment Re:No, just no (Score 1) 560

Only a complete moron would think that a recreational drug that alters your mood and brain chemistry is 'safe'. Doesn't matter if it's alcohol or THC, these work by fidgeting with things in the brain that should obviously be left alone (for the sake of health - I think the recreational value is apparent). We don't do surgery for the fun of it, we don't do blunt force trauma for the fun of it, why should altering our insides via drug or drink be considered 'safe' when no other internal alteration is, and who could possibly be dumb enough to think so?

No offense, a priori, but:
Define fun. Define recreation. Define drug. Define recreational drug. Define safe.
Also: People get tattoos and piercings for the fun of it, get boob jobs and nose jobs and facelifts and so on, indulge in football, boxing, marathon running, and numerous other means of self-destruction for fun, get prescribed large quantities of a large variety of mood-altering drugs, including things whose mechanism is totally unknown other than handwaving talks about serotonin. Even further; if you note that the mood-altering drugs, legal and illegal, have a large overlap with drugs used as pain-killers with no moral qualms, the questions arise of what exactly is the mood which people are trying to alter, and do they maybe have a point.

Comment Re: Here come the science deniers (Score 1) 560

This study proves that working for a publicity-hungry quack clinic damages your ability to distinguish between association and causation.

The author works for a clinic that sells dubious treatments based on dubious SPECT diagnoses.

Quackwatch has this to say: A Skeptical View of SPECT Scans and Dr. Daniel Amen by Harriet Hall, M.D.

I believe it is improper to charge thousands of dollars for a test that has not been validated and may not be safe. I don't think any of Amen's research has provided clear evidence that patients who have had SPECT scans have superior clinical outcomes to adequately treated patients who have not been scanned. That's really the bottom lineâ"especially with an expensive test that involves significant radiation. At the very least, he should be describing the test as experimental.

Some of Dr. Amen's treatment suggestions also worry me. For example, he recommends: (a) uses for dietary supplements that are not supported by good evidence, (b) EMDR (a highly questionable approach), and (c) hyperbaric oxygen therapy for conditions not generally considered to warrant such therapy.

I don't doubt that many patients who visit the Amen Clinics are helped. The key question, however, is whether or not SPECT scanning is justifiable for most of them. I, personally, would not undergo the test at Dr. Amen's clinic even if it were free. In my opinion, based on current knowledge, the possibility of harm outweighs any potential benefit. Pictures showing that "this is your brain on drugs" may impress some people, but I am far more impressed by quantifiable data (such as tests of mental performance) and clinical consequences (such as improved behavior) than by nonspecific pictures of "holes" in the brain.

So this is an operation that is selling diagnoses and treatments not supported by legitimate scientific research. They wound up with thousands of SPECT scans and decided to do some data-dredging on them, a process that we know is guaranteed to produce false positives , along with any real causative association. They found an association with marijuana, and rushed to publish.

Once it was published in a journal, they made claims in the press release that weren't supported by the data:

According to Daniel Amen, M.D., Founder of Amen Clinics, "Our research demonstrates that marijuana can have significant negative effects on brain function. The media has given the general impression that marijuana is a safe recreational drug, this research directly challenges that notion. In another new study just released, researchers showed that marijuana use tripled the risk of psychosis. Caution is clearly in order."

Clearly false. Association is not causation.

Well played, sir. I looked at the quackwatch site, which had this quote from the Amen Clinics site "Brain-Soul connection." and found that sufficient. Not that that's not an interesting question in general; just that this current research direction seems no more likely to elucidate it than any of the others pursued over the previous 10,000 years.

Comment Re:Here come the science deniers (Score 1) 560

I'm all for the science, so how can the researchers claim their observations indicate marijuana has 'significant negative effects on brain function'? They didn't study that, they studied regional cerebral blood flow. What that reduced blood flow means is a whole different topic. Marijuana use is at an all time high, yet dementia rates are at an all time low and falling. And psychosis rates are fairly steady. I have the same issue with these studies as I do with the antivaxxer studies - where are the impacts of this observation in the population and why don't we see changes in public health line up with changes in usage? Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying marijuana is good for you nor do I believe it is some magical cure all. I just tend to distrust and question studies on such politicized topics, especially when it makes suggestions contrary to popular observation.

Yep. For any conclusion of a thing being dangerous you need:
1) a demonstration that it is correlated with a higher incidence of the undesirable effect.
2) a demonstration that the undesirable effect is correlated with a higher incidence of the thing.
and 3) a plausible mechanism of action.
At this point, all there is is some evidence of 1 in a particular and peculiar subgroup of the population.

Comment Re:Here come the science deniers (Score 1) 560

"Is the Reward for smoking pop, worth the risk of its side effects should be the real debate."

I hadn't heard about this new drug, but smoking pop seems like it would be challenging, what's the process? And does the brand or flavor matter? How about diet vs regular? Given its history i would guess that Coca-cola would be an upper. And since Pepsi is supposed to be cool and different from Coke it must be a downer. Is Diet Dr Pepper a hallucinogenic?

I smoke mom.

Comment Re:Here come the science deniers (Score 1) 560

In this case, in a proper study Alzheimer's had no business being mentioned at all. The only tenuous connection was that they share a common region of the brain affected. (here's the obligatory car analogy) That's like going out in the morning and finding a flat tire so you tell everyone you lost a wheel on the way to work (so they picture a highway drama involving a risk to life and limb).

The test group were diagnosed with "Cannabis use disorder". That is, not just average users, these patients were hard-core users who already were known to have problems thought to be related and refuse to cut back on use. It is thought that most people with that diagnosis had mental health issues before starting marijuana use. It would be interesting to see how their scans change if any of them can be convinced to reduce their use to more casual levels.

It would also be interesting to know how many (if any in the control group) were casual or occasional users. All we know from the freely available information is that they were not diagnosed with cannabis use disorder, meaning they might be non-users, casual users or even heavy users with no problems thought to be related to use.

As for legalization vs. recommendation, alcohol is perfectly legal and I think that's right and proper. Nevertheless, I don't think beer for breakfast is a good idea at all.

All quite correct. In addition, there is a further question about mechanism; we know about marijuana, THC, cannabinoid receptors, etc. that sufficiently accounts for the action of cannabis and related compounds. We don't know of any mechanism by which marijuana affects blood flow; even any handwaving long shots like a molecule which vaguely resembles another molecule which might correlate with blah blah blah. And we really don't know of any mechanism whereby marijuana affects blood flow specifically in the brain; nor, given the well-known mechanism of THC action do we need any such mechanism to explain its effects; nor do we see a mysterious epidemic of organic brain damage correlating with marijuana use which this would explain, nor does the existing epidemic of Alzheimer's involve marijuana smokers to a significant degree.
As usually pointed out in such studies, the mechanism could run in the opposite direction; the action of marijuana on the brain might be to reduce its requirements for blood flow which then down-regulates. That is just handwaving on my part, completely blue sky brainstorming (haha), but the suggested conclusion in the paper, that marijuana is reducing blood flow and thus possibly doing damage, is equally handwaving blue sky brainstorming at this point.
What we have here is an observed correlation between three factors; clinical neuropsychological illness sufficient to require medical treatment, marijuana use, and low blood flow to the brain. The causal relationship here could be between any one and the other two, any two and the remaining one, or none at all. This makes it an interesting curiosity probably worth following up, if it can be replicated, but that's all unless subsequent results start to implicate it more solidly.
Of course, the art of grant writing is such that if you can indeed attach your research to whatever great problem the congressional committee responsible for setting budgets for the NIH and NSF and so on consider important then your odds of funding get enhanced. Ideally you'd like to be able to end your paper with "and further research could clarify the role of this effect in causing/preventing/curing cancer", but if you can't manage that, given the congressional mindset recently and for the foreseeable future, "and further research could clarify the role of this illegal drugs in causing/preventing/curing brain damage" is a decent substitute.

Comment Re:Electoral college does reflect the popular vote (Score 1) 1429

Hillary Clinton won 300 counties while Trump won 5000.

I think this exemplifies just well the states have been gerrymandered. Seriously, the majority of people vote for one person but the lose by a 3:50 ratio?

The states have now been gerrymandered. Oh dear, that was funny.

no, the districts within the states are gerrymandered, then the states go winner-take-all. and being down by 3000 votes in one state becomes winning 29 electoral votes from that state.

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