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Comment Re:Sign me up! (Score 1) 599

Not taking antibiotics and not being properly treated for a mental disorder are two ENTIRELY different things. Having an infection does not render you less capable of making rational decisions about your own treatment. Many mental illnesses do - and not just the way-out-there ones, either. Should those people get treatment? Of course. If it's unhealthy for their loved ones to be around them when they're not treated, should those loved ones do what's healthy for themselves? Of course. But saying that you're "disgusted" by something that is a god damned symptom of the illness in and of itself is disgusting.

I believe strongly in equal rights for both genders-but exactly equal. No special favors, no special treatment, no monthly excuse for bad behavior. Men don't get those, so that can hardly be asserted as an "equal" right. It's not "misogynist" to think people of any gender should be held equally accountable for their decisions and behavior.

No, it's misogynistic to ignore biology and claim that accepting it is "special treatment." Do you think that women who have pre-menstrual problems enjoy them? Many women do go on birth control specifically to avoid those problems! But to say, as the grandparent did, that ANY woman who has this problem and is not fixing with through HBC is "negligent" is to completely ignore the fact that for some women it is not treatable or the treatment is worse for them than the condition.

Why is the male experience the default that women must try to match in your scenario? I would say that it's special fucking treatment for a man to expect the women in his life to ignore hormonal problems that he will never have to experience or try to ignore so that they can live up to his ideal. Why does he deserve for her to do that when he will never do it for her?

Yes, there are probably women out there who use their periods as an excuse to act extra bitchy when they don't really need to. Just like there are men who use their wives' premenstrual touchiness as an excuse to cheat on her. Both are examples of unethical behavior. But if you really think that that's the norm instead of an anomaly, you should just go say a little prayer, or thank your lucky stars, or whatever you do that you will never experience the hormonal hell that many women have to deal with on a regular basis. Be glad things aren't equal in that regard.

Comment Re:Sign me up! (Score 4, Informative) 599

Wow, this has to be one of the most misogynistic comments I've ever seen on Slashdot - and that's saying a lot.

Here, I will pretend like you're not a total douche, merely ignorant, and try to explain things politely:

The implant is hormonal birth control. Many women cannot take HBC, or only some HBC, due to extreme side effects such as depression or mood swings, weight gain, and heavy bleeding. Only some women stop getting their period on the implant - up to 20% actually have heavier periods than before. Also, HBC puts you at higher risk of clotting problems (such as heart attacks, strokes, and embolisms), which means that women with other risk factors may want to avoid it. And women on certain medications, such as anti-epileptics, can't use the implant.

Other women may simply prefer other forms of birth control for other reasons. For example, some women actually appreciate getting a "Hey, you're still not pregnant" reminder every month. Some are uncomfortable with getting something implanted in their body. While their preferences may inconvenience you, it is far from "negligent" for them to make that decision for themselves.

Perhaps if you feel you are having to "endure" your significant other, you should let her know that. In those exact words. I'm sure she'll be refreshed by your honesty and see you in a completely new light, and will happily rearrange her biology for your convenience.

Comment Re:Why not block them entirely? (Score 1) 131

Disclaimer: This management method looks like it would be a bitch to scale. Not my fucking problem, thank Cthulu.

IDK, it's pretty much how academia works. Maybe without #2, even (depends on just how embarrassing and in what direction). Some schools only have a couple hundred faculty, but the largest state schools can have a couple thousand, plus other research staff. And all that matters is getting your job done - other than the time you're actually teaching a class, nobody cares where you are or what you're doing at any given moment, so long as your tenure file is nice and fat when they come around to take a look at it.

Comment Re:That's Half the Problem. (Score 1) 545

While I agree with you on what the problem is, I disagree with your solution. Yes, having experts around is important, but relying on them exclusively is a mistake - all it takes is a few deceitful "experts" and the whole population is hopelessly misled. Not to mention the fact that you're trying to close the barn door after the cows are gone.

What needs to happen is that we need to wake up and realize that our educational system, which is currently focused on teaching content in most cases, needs to be reworked to focus on giving people the skills to deal with masses of information. Content is no longer the problem - all the content in the world is available at the touch of a button. Now what kids/citizens need is the ability to access, sort, and evaluate that content critically. Because the day of the media experts controlling the flow is over - permanently, barring some major catastrophe that brings down the internet. Knowledge is now created and disseminated in a less hierarchical, two-way (or many-way) street. Our schools are still operating in a one-way, transmission model of knowledge.

Luckily, this revolution is underway - but incredibly slowly. Thanks in part to NCLB, making any sort of substantive changes is now even harder than it was twenty years ago. Many of the standards actually are written to include these kinds of skills, but the assessments (which are what really matter) are only written to test the facts. So if you've got, say, a new science curriculum that aims to teach students how to build and test a scientific explanation and support it with substantive arguments - that's very nice, but if the kids don't also learn this list of 100 facts this year you lose. Who cares that, given the right skills, they could go out and find that same information online anytime they want AND be able to evaluate which sites are giving them good information and which are pseudoscience. No, all that matters at the end of the year is whether they can remember those 100 facts at test time.

Comment Re:removing annoying wait when Firefox first loads (Score 5, Insightful) 570

First, install the update when I shut down the browser. You're not wasting my time then because I'm done using it.

Unless the whole reason you're shutting it down, as is often the case for me, is that FF has been running so long that it's become an enormous memory hog and you need to shut it down then restart it so your system will speed back up. Or you're shutting it down in order to shut down or reboot your entire computer. I agree with the previous commenter, just give us the choice.

Comment Re:Two senses of "closed." (Score 1) 850

I am really amazed at the number of people here who actually think that having or keeping DRM was Apple's choice rather than the record companies' choice at any point in this process. I thought that this was all common knowledge, at least among this crowd. *shakes head*

Comment Re:Ever done business in China? (Score 1) 338

a) If you'd read the post you're replying to, it has nothing to do with the Europeans currently running Africa and everything to do with the borders they laid down when they did run it and the long-term effects of those borders.

b) they seem to have got over it. Why can't the Africans? And how long, exactly, did it take the Europeans to "get over it"? When was the last time a European country was divided against itself, or contained two ethnic groups that didn't get along? 500 years ago? 200 years ago? 50 years ago? Oh wait... I'm certainly not going to say that Europeans are the source of all of Africa's troubles (simple lack of natural resources is a big culprit that's nobody's fault), but to say they should just "get over" the problems that were caused by Europe when Europe itself isn't all that "over" similar problems makes you sound like an ass.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Slashdot and the Social Sciences 1

Argh. I know that if you are reading this, you are probably some kind of scientist or engineer, if not by trade then at least in mindset.

You are probably not a social scientist. I am. There are not many of us on Slashdot. So please, take a moment and let me explain a bit about our work to you:

Comment Re:Correlation is not causation (Score 1) 587

Okay, we can't possibly know the ramifications 50 years down the line. But there's a big difference between that and "immediately after playing." There are most certainly studies that have followed children over the course of years to see if there was an overall change in their behavior over time.

Comment Re:We should keep an open mind about this. (Score 1) 587

Oh boy. I'm going to dispense with the overly-sarcastic opening I was going to use and just address your "arguments," such as they are, one by one, but not in the order you presented them.

If video games have potentially thousands of effects, why would violence be strictly of concern?

Okay, I'm going to try and explain this in the simplest terms possible. The person I was replying to claimed that the study was biased because it did not simply research "What are the effects of video games on children." I said this was absurd because one study cannot capture all of these effects. I specifically did NOT say that every singe potential effect that anyone could possibly imagine is equally worthy of its own study. There are a wide variety of reasons that a researcher would choose one potential effect over another for study - personal bias is one, yes. But others include (but are not limited to) the existence of previous research showing similar effects in a related field, and testing a theoretical framework that would suggest the presence or absence of a particular effect. These theoretical frameworks are generally based on such previous work, but in their infancy might also include some logical thinking and common sense. Which brings us to...

Would testing the influence of video games on the rates of homosexuality make for a good study (cause you know Tetris does have homoerotic undertones)? How about likelihood of video game players to favor volunteer work?

How many violent video games (remember, this study is only on VIOLENT video games, not ALL video games) feature violence, or other factors that have been related to violence in previous studies? How many feature homosexuality, or factors that have been related to violence in other studies? How many feature volunteerism, or other factors that have been related to volunteerism in other studies? I'm guessing the first number will be much higher than the other two. This does not, of course, mean that violent video games cause or are even correlated with violence - but it does mean that one could probably make a sound theoretical argument for studying it. There are probably people out there studying video games and sexuality as well as video games and volunteerism. I myself study video games (and television) and the understanding of scientific practice. You are making a huge mistake in assuming that just because some people study violence, doesn't mean nobody is studying the possible positive effects.

Couldn't violence be completely mitigated by one of the other effects? Couldn't a combination of other effects lead to violence (not specific to video games)?

It's entirely possible. Why don't you go read the 130 studies involved and see if any of them controlled for any of these factors? I'll bet at least a few of them did. Not saying they all do, or do it as well as they could, but this is what these people do for a living.

What you are telling me is the questions the social sciences are conditioned to ask reflect less any discernible data (quite honestly if the social sciences can't differentiate through several different possible responses, it is immature science that should know better than to come to an conclusions on this matter) but merely reinforce cultural norms and stereotypes by the very nature of the questions it asks.

No, that is bullshit that you made up yourself. Please show me where I said that social scientists do not use existing data/studies to formulate their research questions.

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