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Comment Re:Unemployment (Score 1) 202

Automation has been going on since the industrial revolution, yet new jobs seem to keep on being created. My current job didn't really exist twenty years ago.

People keep predicting the obsolescence of humans but unemployment these days in most rich world economies is not that high.

There's a lot of people who have been dropping out of the labour market in the last couple decades, partially this is early retirement but there's also long term disability, or simply getting by on the charity of family members.

There's also a lot of reasons to think that the automation of the future is going to have very different effects than the automation of the past. Even China is getting a bit of trouble because some of their factory jobs are going away due to automation.

Comment Re:I still LOVE Uber (Score 3, Interesting) 108

breaking rules is fine as long as the reward exceeds the penalty.

The word you're looking for is 'capitalism'.

I guess so, though I think the real issue is that business people basically think of these laws the same way a hockey player thinks about the rules of hockey. Sure, you're not supposed to hook another player, but you're going to end up hooking sometimes because that's how the game goes, and sometimes even if you're caught the reward is big enough that it's considered a "good penalty". In this context people like Kalanick are basically hockey pests, people who succeed by their ability to skirt as close to the edge of the rules as possible.

Or perhaps they think about things like fraud, false advertising, and ripping off employees the way we think of traffic violations. You're not supposed to speed, but everyone does it to some extent.

I'm not sure what has to be done to make politicians and companies take law-breaking companies seriously, but it doesn't seem to be happening.

Comment Re:I still LOVE Uber (Score 2) 108

I'm glad that the vigilance of the media compels Uber to work harder to be a scrupulous and ethical company, but the series of critical stories seems a bit like a negative campaign or mob mentality dog-piling, without noting how Uber continues to improve the lives of millions (by increasing the efficiency of people traveling between places, and improving rider experience (with driver ratings, and full routes and driver info indicated in receipts, and tracking drivers for accurate pick-up estimation), reducing drunk-driving rates because of truly convenient service).

I feel like the overwhelmingly positive aspects of Uber are not often part of the commentary, and so these revelations often seems to be considered without a reasonable sense of overall perspective.

I'm sure there's some level of astroturfing going on, after all Uber does have enemies, but I think there's also a lot of fire to go with this smoke.

The thing to realize with Uber is that their business is built on breaking the law, specifically Taxi regulations. Now you can make defences for their strategy and the unethical nature of taxi regs, but when your business is built around breaking rules it gets baked into your company's DNA.

Uber is going to keep committing ethical missteps because it's a company that's learned that breaking rules is fine as long as the reward exceeds the penalty.

Comment Re:Correlation is not causality (Score 1) 224

Or more directly, they're healthy enough to bike to work.

I agree that exercise contains huge health benefits, but there's also a huge selection bias at work. Seriously unhealthy people probably can't handle the rigours of cycling to work.

Usually if you read the study you will find that they have already figured this out and measure it, these kind of simple objections are often accounted for.

My bad, from reading the parent comment I assume this was just reporting the correlation, and made no attempt to adjust for confounders. But glancing over the actual study they did (though there's always the question of how effected the correction was).

Beside that the percentage of people that can handle a 20-60 minute bicycle commute is so large that it doesn't really matter, everyone I know can handle it with a few exceptional exceptions.

I'm assuming a lot of stuff about this discussion though, I've not read the study nor the article, but similar papers on the subject usually have this in their models so...

I'm not so certain about that. There's about 40 people in my workplace, which skews fairly young. I can think of at least 3 whom would be seriously challenged by such a commute, mostly due to obesity.

Comment Re:Look at the graphs (Score 3, Interesting) 94

Just look at the graphs. It is almost possible that these "numbers" are within statistical error. Every single language I've looked at using their graph has the EXACT same trend line, with only a very subtle variation of up/down by a fraction of a percentage.

Close, but unless they they did smoothing I suspect the effect is statistically significant, there really is a bigger drop-off for C#

Interestingly Linux has a bigger day vs night drop-off than C.

Comment Re:Correlation is not causality (Score 1) 224

>"Cycling To Work Can Cut Cancer and Heart Disease"

Nope, that is not the article. Look at the title of the paper:

"Association between active commuting and incident cardiovascular disease, cancer, and mortality: prospective cohort study"

*ASSOCIATION*, which is another way of saying correlation. It is not a study of causality. This proves nothing. Perhaps people who bike to work also eat better. Perhaps they have more income. Perhaps the other parts of their life have lower stress.

Or more directly, they're healthy enough to bike to work.

I agree that exercise contains huge health benefits, but there's also a huge selection bias at work. Seriously unhealthy people probably can't handle the rigours of cycling to work.

Comment Re:Assange is a US citizen? (Score 2) 368

What am I missing here? I thought Assange isn't a US citizen. He also wasn't on US soil when he received, nor when he published the material. How is the US juridical system involved, then?

Imagine an American conspired with a Swede to murder someone in Sweden. I assume Sweden would be free to charge him an seek his extradition in much the same manner. The question is whether the other country decides to grant that extradition request.

That's why there was so much outrage when the CIA kidnapped someone from Italy to take them to Guantanamo. If the US wanted to arrest that individual they should have asked Italy to extradite them, but the US doing it without asking? That's why Italy charged the CIA officers with kidnapping.

Comment Re:So the real crime is... (Score 5, Informative) 368

Not being the NY Times, or rather, not being a part of the elite propaganda cartel. Damn the Constitution....full prosecution speed ahead.

Seriously, and this is why I don't give a fuck about any laws anymore. Laws are there for you, not the elites. And the worst crime you can do in America, is to reveal the crimes of the elites to the masses.

Well no, the real crime was playing an active role in helping Manning commit his crimes (ie leaking).

If Snoewden decides to steal classified docs, and then decides to give them to you, then you're in the clear. You didn't commit a crime, you just published what he gave you.

If you actively encourage someone to steal those specific docs, or if Snowden asks you for help on how to steal the docs, and you help him, then you've become an accomplice in Snowden's crime.

This is where Assange supposedly got into trouble, not for publishing the NSA docs, but for assisting (probably advising) Snowden in how to steal and disclose them. Now whether those charges are legit is another question.

Note that this is also relevant to Trump and his taxes, as a reporter if someone sends you Trump's taxes then you're in the clear to publish. But you're in trouble if you start advising them on how to steal them, or possibly even if you announce "can someone leak Trump's taxes to me". You go from being a publisher to an active participant in the act.

Comment Re:Ironically (Score 4, Interesting) 292

Read this and then say you are jumping for joy at the thought of consuming soy protein isolate and soy protein concentrate, hmm, i can imagine the taste and goodness of the high temperature acid bath. Soy protein isolate not a food any more, just the cheapest possible molecular chain you can get away with calling it food. If there was cheaper worse shit they could get away with calling food, they would. Personally I read that article and it sent a shudder down my spine and made me nauseas to think of some of the crap I have eaten. Here read about your 'food?' for a change If you think that shit is healthier than chicken, you are an idiot.

The Springer article was paywalled but didn't seem to mention anything about health (or taste).

The "Health Effects" section in the Wikipedia article starts like this:

A meta-analysis concluded soy protein is correlated with significant decreases in serum cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations.[41] High density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol did not change. Although there is only preclinical evidence for a possible mechanism, the meta-analysis report stated that soy phytoestrogens – the isoflavones, genistein and daidzein – may be involved in reducing serum cholesterol levels.[41]

In general "processed==bad" and "natural==good" isn't a bad rule-of-thumb to use for healthy eating.

But the moment you have proper evidence that a particular processed food is good, or a natural one bad, forget the default rule and use the evidence instead.

Comment Re:The price of "freedom" (Score 2) 132

The Center for Investigative Reporting found that some of the photographs posted on the Facebook group may have been taken consensually, but others may not have been.

50 years ago, all of those photos would have been classified as obscene materials and no one would have voluntarily taken them except between some husbands and wives.

And a woman would have her reputation destroyed with an affair, or depending on the social circle, pre-marital sex.

The single most overlooked practical value that the "old norms" had was simplifying things to the point that someone with a 80 IQ could merrily engage with the opposite sex and know with 99% certainty what was permissible and what wasn't.

Whenever you see a seemingly simple set of rules start thinking about how you can get around them, think about how far you could "engage" with the opposite sex before going too far and realize everyone back then was doing the same.

I suspect the rules were a lot more complicated than you realize.

The issue also applies to rape as well, outside of clearly forcible rape. Legal fornication acts as static against the signal as far as law enforcement goes. They must now prove purely a state of mind and cannot rely on circumstantial evidence like "normal girls don't ever have one night stands with men they just met."

Try charging someone with date rape 50 years ago, hell, try charging them with marital rape, in most places it didn't even exist!

In many respects, it is not at all obvious that we are freer today than we were when social and legal conventions were simpler and tighter.

In most respects the major freedoms we lost were the freedom to use our power to take away other's freedom.

Now, if anything, the degree of subjectivity is enormously empowering to bureaucrats and law enforcement. Hell, our own former Vice President said that literally all drunken sex involves a female rape victim.

No, the author of the article was just a disingenuous hack who was deliberately misinterpreting Biden's comment to ignore the obvious fact that Biden meant too drunk to consent.

Comment Re:As a non-US resident... (Score 1) 140

As someone visiting the US, the main appeal of Uber for me was not having to deal with tipping.

Tipping in restaurants was confusing enough, but trying to figure out what I was meant to tip a taxi driver, on top of whether the fair itself was legit, it was a nightmare.

I know culturally support for the tipping model of service industry over there is strong, but as someone who comes from a country where tipping is non-existent (base wages are just higher), not only did I feel tipping added no value to my experience (service was not better), I actually feel it made it worse.

I'm pretty sure that's the idea behind this proposal, to make Uber less appealing to consumers by re-introducing the tip.

Not that I'm remotely a fan of Uber, but stunts like this help me understand their appeal.

Comment Re:Or rather... (Score 1, Insightful) 384

If you truly wanted to avoid racial or gender bias you would just remove that information from what you feed into the algorithm, at which point it can't a priori be biased against anyone because it can't even evaluate them based on those criteria.

Except a lot of your data is strongly correlated with race and gender so your algorithm is able to infer them anyway.

But let's suppose you do that and then look at the results after the fact, add that data back in and come to the startling conclusion that your AI is disproportionately rejecting candidates from some group. It can't possibly be because it knows they're a member of that group, but because that group happens to have worse outcomes.

Unless you're explicitly telling the algorithm to penalize members of a group in the objective function then the only reason it will use race as a criteria for rejection is because they have worse outcomes.

If you stop to think about this, its not too hard to come to a reasonable conclusion that if your AI that knows nothing about race is suggesting that black/white/latino borrowers are a higher risk, it's because they're a higher risk. Reality doesn't care about feelings or trying to make sure that outcomes are equal across groups, so we conclude that some group is a worse risk. It probably is the case that black borrowers are more likely to default, but it's not because they're black, but because blacks are typically less well off so of course they're going to default on loans more often. In reality they probably shouldn't (and maybe wouldn't have) received a loan, but some policy designed to make it easier for them to get approval caused it to happen, but that doesn't make them a safer risk, it just lets some people feel better about the world.

No one claims there isn't a correlation between race and loan risk or economic outcomes, the debate is about whether race is a valid grounds on which to judge someone.

It's fine to say "we're unbiased, we're just doing what the data tells us!" as a member of a privileged group. But consider a black man whom is extremely responsible and reliable, yet is unable to get a loan because black people are considered risky. Discrimination isn't bad because it falsely assumes correlations between negative characteristics and specific groups, it's bad because acting on those judgments creates self-perpetuating systems whereby members of the group are unable to escape those bad situations.

Comment Re:I have to question how accurate these stats are (Score 2) 73

The comparison only makes sense if the submitter was trying to tie up the story to the pressure on our roads at commute time. Working from home, cycling and walking are alternatives to driving to work.

Makes sense to count transit as well then.

Besides, I'm not certain that biking actually equates less pressure on the roads. Certainly some place like China (or even Amsterdam) once you hit a critical mass you get more capacity simply by the fact that so many tiny vehicles can fit on the road at the same time. But in North America I suspect the extra complexity caused by a bike on the roadway is going to slow things down.

Comment I don't get this start time thing (Score 1) 178

When my earliest class was 9am I'd struggle to wake up at 7:30 and make it there on time.

And when my earliest class was 11am I'd struggle to wake up at 9:30 and make it there on time.

Certainly there's other factors that go into my bedtimes, the levels of outdoor light and various outings, but fundamentally I go to bed based on when I have to wake up.

I don't understand how pushing back start-times causes anything more than a temporary fix until people adapt to the new start-times.

Comment Re:Logical thinkers vs Emotional thinkers (Score 1) 339

As this is something that I've thought about for some time. I believe the big reason here is not that people are stupid, or uninformed, I think it's more a matter of where they fall for the fuzzy decisions in life, either on the more logical side of things or emotional. Generally humble, quiet, non abrasive types tend to not evoke the same kinds of emotional response that you would see with charismatic narcissists. A fantastic example of this was the 2012 presidential election, emotions ruled.

I think it comes down to abstraction, a great way to make something sound like a great idea is to gloss over the complications. Giving a realistic assessment is a great way to sound muddled and uncertain.

This election was a good example, Trump described everything as "great" or "terrible" and never went much further, other than to assure people he understood all the complications. If you think healthcare has problems it can be very reassuring to hear someone say they have a great plan that will fix everything, even if you should know they're lying you can get out of it by blaming them for deceiving you.

Just try listening to Trump with your BS filters and outrage turned off, he basically comes in, lists your problems, and then promises to fix them. It's very reassuring.

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