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Comment Re:Ahh, science (Score 1) 685

Predicting the future is not "science", even though the people making the predictions might have scientific credentials.

The models that the so-called "climate scientists" create are based on curve fitting techniques which attempt to correlate observed data with a hypothesized cause/effect relationship with other observed data.

            "Global Warming" = aX +bY +cZ ...

The scientists use the historical data to find the values of the coefficients a,b,c and then predict the magnitude that a change in X,Y,Z will have on "Global Warming". These models have led to all sorts of predictions that have been proven false. The scientists are constantly adjusting their models as new observations are accumulated. They also massage the historical data to fit the models in order to suggest that the model would have had predictive value in the past "If we massage the data accumulated before year 2000 and apply our model, it correctly predicts climate observations made between 2001 and 2015" etc.

These are the exact same mathematical techniques that economists use to make predictions about how something like GDP would be affected by tax policy, government spending, infrastructure spending, oil prices, etc. etc. Very few people would suggest that economists are doing "science".

Comment Not entirely a user problem. (Score 1) 346

A 20% error rate on 35,000 files isn't entirely a user problem. Yes, the user ultimately has complete control and the issue could have been corrected if the user had carefully verified the data. In that sense, it's a user problem. However, if the tool is so counter-intuitive that roughly 20% of a large sample people make the same mistake, it's Excel's problem too.

I wonder if an aluminum extension ladder analogy is a first on /. ?

Consider an aluminum extension ladder... :-)

Suppose the locking mechanism on the ladder worked properly when the user carefully verified that it was engaged. The user has complete control. If the mechanism was so counter-intuitive that 20% of the users ended up making the same error and falling off, it wouldn't be brushed off as a problem with stupid or careless users. There's no question whatsoever that the manufacturer would be held partially responsible. Hell, if they sold 35,000 ladders and found out that there had been 100 accidents because of confusion about the lock, they'd yank the product off the market immediately and probably face lawsuits.

Comment Re:The targets aren't fixed points. (Score 1) 191

"Maybe you should see a few of those things up close before deciding drugs are ok, mmmkay?"

Forget about whether or not "drugs are ok". How about looking at it in terms of a government claiming that it has the authority to regulate your personal consumption habits? Does government own your body or do YOU own your body? Drugs may be "bad", but what gives government the just power to tell you what you can and can't inhale, imbibe, snort or inject?

The number of opiate ODs would definitely go down in an environment where drugs were decriminalized. Most of the ODs are due to the fact that in a black market, people don't really know what they are buying. Do a web search on "rash of ODs". You'll find 100s of results from all over the country. A particularly potent batch of heroin (or fentanyl that people think is heroin) hits the streets in a certain area and suddenly there's a spike in ODs.

Alcoholism also has horrific consequences for the individual but an alcohol ban was a complete disaster. Why is the "war on drugs" any different? If a person wants to ruin their life and/or health with drugs, it's ultimately their decision, and most of them are going to do it regardless of what idiotic laws are passed.

Comment Re:How do you ban someone from passing on this cos (Score 1) 445

"....bans ride-sharing services from passing those costs on to their drivers or riders."

What a bunch of bullshit. The government wants to tax them on a ride-by-ride basis, and the government also demands that the company eat the entire cost?

Taxes are bad enough without Big Brother sticking its fat nose into your business and telling you exactly how to pay them.

Comment Re:Missing the point (Score 1) 239

The federal government created the regulations and taxes which make it difficult to start and grow a business in the U.S.A. The federal government enacted the trade policies which provided massive financial incentives for U.S. corporations to move their operations overseas. The federal government controls immigration policy and actively facilitates the import of foreign workers to displace U.S.A. citizens from their jobs.
And you wonder why I don't want that very same federal government running the entire healthcare system?

Comment Changing minds vs. informing people (Score 1) 399

I post political stuff regularly but not because I'm trying to convince someone to change their position. I post things that get glossed over or ignored by the MSM. My friends can think for themselves.

For example, everyone heard the story of Alton Sterling, but how many people heard about Abdullah Muflahi? He's the guy who filmed the shooting on his cell phone. He also owns the convenience store where this happened. After the shooting, the cops took his phone, locked him in a police car for several hours and seized the security camera footage from his store without a warrant and without permission. That element of the story won't get much coverage in major media outlets. I think it's even more outrageous than the shooting itself and I wanted people outside small circles of civil liberties activists to think about it.

Comment Re: Sombrero party time (Score 2) 242

"If people are wound up enough to protest/riot, why would they want to do so anonymously ..."

When there are repercussions to exercising your rights to free speech and free assembly, possibly violent repercussions, people should have a right to express themselves anonymously. A curious bystander should also be able to attend such a protest without being tarnished for their mere presence.

Comment Re:What would happen... (Score 5, Insightful) 242

One set of rules for bankers, government employees and the ultra-wealthy, another, much harsher set for everyone else.

Imagine one of us average serfs transferring weapons to Mexican drug cartels and having one of those weapons used to murder a border patrol agent?
Little people: life in prison
Government employees: not even a slap on the wrist! (except for the guy that tried to blow the whistle, who got fired)

Comment Re:Take a page from the NFL's playbook (Score 2) 188

I tend to lean toward the perspective of the OP. To a TV station, more viewers means they can sell advertising time at a higher price. Thus, viewers indirectly translate to profit for NBC. To think that the IOC needs to "protect" NBC from cell phone video assumes that NBC would lose viewers because of it.

I find it hard to imagine that someone with access to TV, who is actually interested in the events, would forego TV coverage in favor of amateur cell phone video and animated gifs.

I'd start from the hypothesis that cell phone video or a social media post from an event would just as likely remind people "Hey, the Olympics are on." and increase the TV audience. I wonder if they actually did any research before making the rules?

Comment Re:Diversity is valuable (Score 1) 241

I disagree.
First of all, you're splitting hairs between racism, bigotry and prejudice. Confining "racism" to institutional environments is far too narrow a definition. Furthermore, ALL of those practices are fundamentally based on stereotyping. Why would anyone think ill of or judge a person they never met unless it was based on stereotyping?
Describing a group of white employees as "cookie cutter" and assuming your work force is not "diverse" because they share a common skin color(and gender?) is entirely racist.

Comment Don't need a professional... (Score 1) 257

... to tell me that leaving food to rot between my teeth in a bacteria-rich environment is a dumb idea.

My teeth are very crowded in places and even a thorough 2-minute brushing with an electric toothbrush and a rinse with mouthwash aren't enough to clean out the tight spaces. When my wisdom teeth were coming in, they hurt like hell, so I was avoiding regular flossing around them. Once I finally had them removed, I had a cavity in the spot where one of the wisdom teeth had pressed against the rear molar. I always assumed it decayed because the wisdom tooth had been wedged against it so tightly and I hadn't been running floss through there daily.
I'll gladly take the risk of wasting 1 minute of my day to floss.

Of course we should all make sure we're ingesting a bunch of fluoride in our drinking water. That will help.

Comment Re:Strong Government (Score 1) 280

Viruses and bacteria in the water in 3rd world countries is a problem with weak government? There are strong governments all over the world which have nasty air and water. China's government is very powerful, yet their water and air are totally filthy.
People seem to defer to government because using violence and the threat of violence is an expedient "solution" to a problem, but rarely is it a good solution. There's also no guarantee that government power, once granted, won't be used for evil.

If libertarians had their way, their wouldn't BE any "drug lords" except the CEOs of Merck & Pfizer and the owners of your local weed farm.

Mass surveillance and the police state are signs of excessive government power, true ... so are the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the massive bailouts of the banking cartel, the war on drugs, the war on terror, Dept of Education, DHS, DEA, ATF, NSA, Dept. of HUD, gigantic military budgets, a global network of 700 military bases in 100 different foreign countries, billions of dollars in annual foreign aid, corporate subsidies, Medicare, Medicaid, guaranteed student loans, a federal work force larger than the total number of people in manufacturing, the biggest prison population in the world and rampant corruption and cronyism at all levels.

Comment Use it as infrequently as possible (Score 1) 385

Unfortunately, a CC is practically a necessity, but you don't need to use one for everything.

Rental cars, hotels and airline tickets usually require a credit card. The company that delivers my propane also demands a CC# but only as a backup mechanism. Shopping online obviously requires a CC. You don't have to give your consent for online merchants to keep your card # "on file" and a lot of places accept PayPal.
I don't give my CC# or bank account info to other companies who want to keep it for "auto-billing" purposes. I certainly don't use credit cards at every random restaurant, gas station and convenience store I happen to visit(the place I buy gas gives a cash discount) nor do I ever use a card for face-to-face transactions. I can't believe these people who need a f***ing card to pay for small retail purchases. If you're shopping at a local small business, they have to pay a GD fee for the "privilege" of taking the card. Better to use cash at those places.

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