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Comment Re:Electronic Voting Systems (Score 0) 105

The development comes on the same day Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson told lawmakers that 18 states have asked for help in warding off cyberattacks on their electronic voting systems.

This is one of those phrases that should result in people instantly being fired but, for some reason, never does.

How long ago did the first Diebold issues come out? And this is still a thing?

I'm almost terrified to ask but these "cyber" attacks they're worried... that wouldn't be a reference to internet based attacks, would it? Did some psychopath finally decide that that best way to fix electronic voting machines was to connect them to the internet in any setup that didn't involve an air gap?

Here's what I'd do if I were Russia and I wanted to screw with the election.

Hack the voting machines and state websites for tabulating and reporting results, and have them all go Trump by a few points.

Of course people will realize something is screwy from the exit polls and the voting patterns. They'll audit, figure out what's going on, and the real results will get out, it might take a few hours or a few days but it will get settled and they'll figure out Hillary won.

But do you really expect Trump to just step aside at that point? He'll refuse to concede, insist he won, claim they're cheating and stealing the election from him, and a lot of his supporters will go along for the ride.

It will be like birtherism x10, your already dysfunctional political system will go even further downhill and Russia will have that much more leeway to throw its weight around the neighbourhood.

Comment Re:What about the NBA? (Score 1) 455

If we assume that all races of people are equally good at basketball, how can it be explained that 74.4% of basketball players are African American but African Americans only make up 13.2% of the population? The chances that there is no discrimination is way lower than 1 in a billion.

Basketball makes up a bigger part of African American culture, generating an excess amount of talent. This is also why there's so many more elite Canadian hockey players. It also explains why volleyball players are disproportionately white (despite a similar height bias).

And yes, there may also be a difference in athleticism, similar to how East Africans are great distance runners and West Africans great sprinters.

However, you can still have discrimination even when the two populations have different talent distributions. One way is by controlling for the talent of the people of each race. If equally talented black basketball players got favoured over white counterparts that would be evidence of discrimination.

Just like equally talented white applicants were being favoured over their Asian counterparts at Palantir.

Comment Re:What's wrong with this? (Score 2) 199

Crimea was generously "given" to the Ukrainian SSR by Khrushchev - who, oddly enough, was himself from Ukraine - in an impulsive act which was probably illegal under Soviet law.

Lots of things were probably illegal under Soviet law, like forced mass starvation and mass deportations of Tartars from Crimea.

Ukraine proclaimed itself an independent nation in 1991.

And Crimea promptly decided they wanted to be Ukrainian.

Please understand clearly that this was the very first time in the whole of history that a Ukrainian nation had existed. The name "Ukraine", itself, means "borderland" - that is, the borderland of Russia. For many centuries, long before the USA existed, Russians spoke about "Great Russia" (which became modern Russia, based on Moscow), "White Russia" (which is still known as Belarus today), and "Little Russia" (the Eastern part of Ukraine).

I wonder how my ancestors emigrated Ukraine ~120 years ago? Were they time travellers or does the question of what an independent nation is get very confusing once you start going back through history?

After the violent, illegal coup d'etat which overthrew the legally elected Ukrainian government in 2014

If you don't want a forced resignation don't open fire on protesters.

- of which George Friedman, founder and CEO of Stratfor (https://www.stratfor.com/), said: “It really was the most blatant coup in history"

A coup followed by an open election which the coup leaders lost.

the Kiev regime instigated extreme violence against Russian-speaking Ukrainians.

As exclusively shown on Russia Today (and I mean exclusively).

The population of Crimea voted overwhelmingly to become part of Russia again

"Do you want to join Russia?
a) Yes I want to join Russia.
b) No, I understand you're not really asking.
c) Are you even going to bother counting this or do you already have the results typed up?"

and the Russian government agreed.

How generous of them.

Putin did NOT "annexe" Crimea. He allowed the people of Crimea to become part of Russia again, after a relatively brief period in which they were subjected to a freshly-created foreign power by a series of administrative freak events.

Like Putin sending in Russian troops to take over Crimea, installing a former mobster from a fringe party as a puppet Prime Minister, and then holding a fake vote vote to join Russia.

Comment Re:I'm just guessing they won't study the fraud (Score 1) 658

in scientific research. For example, what is this "hide the decline" all about?

Figuring out how to present data in a way that doesn't mislead readers in sections where the data gives misleading results.

Why would scientists want to hide their data? Why wouldn't the CRU (Climate Research Unit at UEA) release their data sets as required by reputable journals such as "Nature."

Because (if I recall correctly) of a lot of the data was proprietary data they weren't allowed to release.

Why would they deny FOIA requests and conspire to find a way around them?

Because they knew people would go quote-mining for things like "hide the decline". Not perfect behaviour but understandable.

I'm not going to go into the rest because it doesn't matter. You've seen the answers before and you'll see them again, you don't care because those facts don't fit your conclusion to global warming being a fraud.

Comment Re:hal (Score 1) 658

Physicist Hal Lewis; Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara:

There are 1.7 million post-secondary teachers in the US. Certainly a few hundred thousand full professors in the sciences.

The fact that one 87 year old retired professor called it a scam a year before he died is hardly an effective appeal to authority.

(and yes, I read his actual reasoning, it doesn't hold up)

Comment Re:Let me google that for you (Score 1) 199

Cost to get a government appointment

https://www.google.com/search?...

Cushy ambassadorships go to prominent donors (or their kids). Fishy though far from a "price list", and it's also a standard practice for every administration. It's unfortunate but hardly a revelation, especially since I remember this stuff from 2009.

Comment Re:I for one thank them (Score 1) 199

If they are behind the release of the fact Obama used a pseudonym to email hillary, despite the fact he denied having any knowledge of her private email. That's good to know too.

This I have not heard of.

It was part of a Friday document dump... you weren't supposed to hear about it: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new...

The POTUS using a pseudonym to communicate via email is hardly a scandal, more of an extra layer of security in case someone does get their hands on classified emails (and possibly a way to make finding records more difficult).

And without knowing his email setup it doesn't prove that he knew her actual email address, only that someone in the White House IT Dept knew it and configured his client to handle it.

Comment Re:I for one thank them (Score 1) 199

If they are behind the leaks of the DNC emails that showed Sanders was never going to be allowed to run that's something every registered Democrat had a right to know.

Are you thinking of a different batch of emails?

I saw some emails suggesting that the DNC really preferred Clinton (duh) but didn't really do anything pro-Clinton other than try to influence some reporters on stories that also involved the DNC.

If they are behind the release of the fact Obama used a pseudonym to email hillary, despite the fact he denied having any knowledge of her private email. That's good to know too.

This I have not heard of.

Then there is the price list for all the government posts that were handed out.

Yeah... I follow this stuff pretty closely and I don't even know what fact you're trying to twist.

Comment Re:What's wrong with this? (Score 2, Insightful) 199

"Meanwhile, U.S. intelligence officials are reportedly investigating whether Donald Trump's foreign policy adviser "opened up private communications with senior Russian officials -- including talks about the possible lifting of economic sanctions if the Republican nominee becomes president."

WTF? There's no reason for the 'intelligence officials' to get involved with this, it's perfectly legal behaviour for a candidate. That it is being sprayed about is a measure of desperation of some people to stop Trump. Whilst I have sympathy with their purpose, their behaviour is deeply wrong.

And if the talks included a quid pro quo about Russia disrupting the US election to help Trump win?

Hell, even if they didn't include include subtle mentions of Russia manipulating the elections what other reason would Trump's campaign have to secretly talk to Russia during the campaign? If Trump wins the election he's got 2 months to set up his transition, certainly that's more than enough time to have discussions with Russia as the President elect.

Secretly telling a rival power, who is already accused of disrupting the elections, that you're going to be their best friend is really damn suspicious.

Comment Re:Verge and Vox (Score 4, Interesting) 78

"We're confident that there wasn't any material impact on our journalism from these issues

Daily Kos (aka Vox) was always a blog, it has nothing to do with journalism.

I'm not sure why you talked about Daily Kos except for the fact that they're both left online news resources.

They're completely different outfits.

As for Vox, I've been reading it a decent amount and I'd consider them journalism. They're not investigative journalism, they don't send reporters digging through old court records to dig up scandals, but it's still journalism.

They mostly do analysis, interviews, and long-form essays. It definitely comes with a wonkish highly progressive centre-left viewpoint (ie, they're big Clinton fans), but it's a valuable resource for understanding the world.

There are slightly bloggy aspects as well, but I don't think that's a bad thing (as you imply). The weakness in traditional journalism is it gets myopic by focusing on what just happened and losing the larger context. Vox's objective seems to be tracking issues long term while adding context and analysis.

Comment Re:Anti-Hillary is not Pro-Trump (Score 1) 852

They're backing Hillary for two reasons.

First, they assume her lifetime spent as an political class insider means that she is highly competent, so even if she's making dumb policy, they assume it is great, but beyond their understanding.

She has a reputation in Washington as a policy wonk, and has strong academic and professional credentials prior to becoming a first lady.

That she's competent shouldn't be a partisan question.

I'll readily acknowledge that Ted Cruz is highly competent, though as a president I think he'd be almost as awful as Donald Trump.

Second, they're really uncomfortable around white men. Hillary is consistent in her rhetoric and governance, that she opposes white male participation in society.

So at this point I'm kinda assuming you're making deliberately bad arguments.

Putting stupid motivations in other people's minds really makes me feel secure in my intellectual superiority.

On the contrary I was sincerely trying to give Trump supporters non-stupid motivations.

Comment Re:Anti-Hillary is not Pro-Trump (Score 2) 852

Beware of being led by emotions. They seldom lead to good decisions. To reason alone must be one's first master.

Scott Adams, who you might know as the Dilbert creator, has been saying for a while that humans make decisions on emotions and facts don't matter much or any. In fact, he argues that appealing to reason and laying out facts is actually counterproductive when faced with an opponent who appeals to emotions. I am beginning to wonder with some concern that he might be right.

I read him for a while (before I found him too frustrating).

When it comes to politics I believe people are rarely selecting based on individual policy, rather they're selecting candidates who they trust to make good decisions.

Recent studies have shown that if you take someone who holds a wrong belief or opinion and you can prove with evidence that the opinion is wrong, most people will actually double down and cling more stubbornly to the wrong belief.

I think those studies are misinterpreted. In the short term people double down, that is rational behaviour because they're not able to properly evaluate those arguments on the fly. It's in the long term that they start coming to trust the new evidence.

This is part of why Trump appeals to so many people. A lot of what he is says is very simple emotional arguments. Hillary has been trying to get off the facts in her speech and get more emotional as a result of this. Don't be surprised if the first debate has very little in the way of concrete ideas and a whole lot of name calling directed at the other person. People will complain that it lacks substance, but it may just be that humans in general are pretty stupid and we're just getting what we deserve with a bunch of name calling because we ignore the substance when we're given it.

They're backing Trump for two reasons.

First they assume his money means he is highly competent, so even if he's making dumb policy statements they assume he'll make great policy if he puts his mind to it.

Second they're really uncomfortable with the growing diversity of the US, Trump's only consistent policy direction is to start reversing that growing diversity, those are decisions they trust Trump to make.

Comment Re:Trump is right on this, as on many things (Score 1) 527

You're literally making the argument that Trump can't be racist because he has black friends.

Forget Trump for a second. Can someone, seriously, explain to me why this isn't a valid argument? I keep seeing this exact line being trotted out to shoot down claims of not being racist.

If you're racist, and antagonistic to another race, then how the fuck do you manage to make friends of that race? I would think that having friends of that race is in fact valid evidence against claims of racism.

Not trolling, I seriously do not understand this line of thinking. Can someone please present a rational argument to support this, or should we just accept handwave dismissals of contradictory evidence?

Suppose I believe black people are by nature stupid, lazy, and violent. That would make me a racist.

Then one day I get a black co-worker, and over the course of a few weeks I discover this black person is brilliant, hard-working, and gentle, and we become good friends.

I'm still a racist.

I haven't changed my beliefs, I still believe the average black person is stupid, lazy, and violent. I just think my one black friend an exception to the rule.

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