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Comment Re:Why not? (Score 2) 131

I'd agree with this. I'm in school studying forensic psychology. According to what I've learned so far, the best way to treat offenders and rehabilitate them is to first focus on those who have the greatest chance of re-offending in the future (triage), under the theory that they are the most likely to benefit from treatment (this requires an assessment of future risk for each person). In the treatment itself, it's important to match the appropriate staff to treat certain populations so that they are responsive to the characteristics of the people being treated. It's important to target the criminogenic needs of the prison population being treated; that is, addressing those factors that are known to lead to future recidivism. Why did they commit these crimes, and how can we address the needs that they were trying to get met? Things like antisocial attitudes, substance abuse and dependence and promoting prosocial behaviors are some of the areas that most need to be developed in a treatment team relationship.

It is also known which types of treatment are not effective, types of therapy that can actually increase the chances of recidivism. Traditional psychoanalytic and client-centered therapy don't work well in prison. Neither do sociological strategies that focus on particular subcultures, or retributive programs that focus on punishing the offender (i.e. boot camps). Any program that doesn't address the issues/criminogenic needs that the offender is trying to get met will be unsuccessful in the long run.

Psychopaths are an especially challenging group. As a personality disorder, psychopathy isn't really treatable in modern science as of yet. For a long time it was thought that they couldn't even be treated at all. Treatments that tried to improve empathy in psychopaths seemed to just make them better psychopaths as it taught them how to exploit others. There has been more hope in the last decade that some treatments can help.

Considering that as far as we have been able to determine, psychopathy is present in 25% of all general offenders in prison, 15% of child molesters, and 40-50% of rapists, there is a high chance of recidivism among psychopaths - but these are just estimates as it's very difficult to identify them without a skilled assessment (even then they are easily missed as they're good at imitation/masquerading as normal). It's not their fault they are psychopaths and there is a lot of scientific evidence pointing to biological origins (large areas of the cerebral cortex and the amygdala aren't firing). One of the issues with psychopathy is the failure to learn from their mistakes, again something probably neurological in origin. It's not that they can't see the consequence of a future action they are considering, it's more that they are hyper-attentive to the reward of the decision and ignore the consequence. This allows for greater recidivism in this population.

tl;dr It's best to rehabilitate offenders by treating the problems that got them there in the first place, mainly anti-social behaviors/thinking and substance abuse/dependence. Lack of social support when in the real world is another factor for them. Not all prison populations will be treated successfully, obviously. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is currently the most optimistic treatment method.

Comment Re:I don't use social media and I have no friends (Score 1) 142

Re-reading that last sentence of my post, I just wanted to clarify that I'm fully responsible for my actions. I wasn't blaming my situation on my genetics, although they play a part. I didn't want anyone to think I'm just playing the victim and I didn't mean to come off as whiny. One of my earliest childhood coping mechanisms was playing the victim so sometimes I still fall into it.

By the way, I have all these problems and I'm a Psychology major. Jesus. I'm the last person who's qualified to know how people work and how to interact with people well.

So far, every Psychology major I have known has been a very dysfunctional person, even my Professors (with a handful of exceptions). It's strange how it draws the idiosyncratic to the field.

Comment Re:I don't use social media and I have no friends (Score 1) 142

I can relate to you in some ways, Pfhorrest, but then I'm pretty different from you. But I can relate to what you said about suffering. I feel relatively more like you than like lucasnate. I'm inherently introverted and being around people is draining, constantly monitoring everyone around me and unable to shut it off. I also have so many things different than the normal person that it's hard to find common ground for conversation. I don't watch TV or movies and don't really play any video games or other games. I don't watch or play sports. I'm a recovering drug addict so it can be hard to talk to people. I often feel like I've come out of a warzone (which addiction is) where people are dying every day and total chaos, then walking into a room with regular people and they're talking about the Oscars or football, I just can't relate at all to them.

My life is in almost complete disorder. While I went through rehab, halfway house, therapy, I still have problems with use. I'm in school full-time in the dorms and I'm 40, so there's a 20-year gap between me and everyone else who lives here. I have no income, no car, no driver's license, no significant other, all of my family is on the other side of the country. I have very few friends. Depression and anxiety are my companions.

I have avoidant personality disorder, not like it matters what the label is. I don't hide behind the label. All it means is that I seem to have a harder time coping with problems and situations, especially social ones, and so I have to find new ways to manage my problems.

What do I do for fun? Nothing really. I watch Twitch TV. I would play video games but it's so linked to drug use that I've burned all the fun out of it if I'm sober. same with movies, they are boring to me. I write poetry sometimes, usually just as a channel for pain and loss. I do read, but not as avidly as I used to. I listen to music, lots of music. I fall into my schoolwork, so my grades are good, at least.

Am I lonely? Sort of. I feel a sort of "terminal uniqueness", feeling like no one can understand, even though I know that's not true and it's solipsistic and self-centered. I get lonely but I can't find anyone to relate to. The only people I can relate to are other addicts, which is good for support. I get intense loneliness sometimes when I see people out doing things together, because I avoid most social events or fun gatherings. "Fun" is anathema to me. I have a lot of self-loathing. So am I lonely? Yes, but I don't think it's possible to fulfill that need. I'm alone. So what. I don't ever plan on getting married, having a significant other, or have kids. I'm the last of my genetic line, and good riddance. My genes really fucked me.

Comment In Plato's Cave (Score 1) 142

Susan Sontag once wrote a book in 1977 called On Photography. While it was about that specific portion of media, it is illuminating to compare her thoughts on what photography is and isn't and juxtapose it with modern social media. In a nutshell, she compares photography as simply one more way for humanity to continue looking at the shadows on the wall of Plato's cave instead of turning around and seeing the real world. Photography, as well as social media, is a way for a person to remove themselves from the world while creating the illusion that they are in it. She makes a good point that photographs seem to furnish evidence, for example. Something we hear about, but doubt, seems proven when we see a photo of it (but does it?). She flatly states that one can never understand anything from a photograph, because understanding is rooting in the mechanism of action: it takes place in time. The amorous relation is based on a thing's appearance, but understanding something is about how it functions. We're drowning in the paradoxical banality of mystery: Social media, or pictures, can only show the surface of anything, but lacks almost all context. It can TRY to narrate but cannot, and only narration brings understanding. It denies continuity and interconnectedness and is ultimately completely shallow. (Several people in the thread mentioned how looking on Facebook makes people think that all their friends are doing something awesome every day when most of the time is filler that isn't seen.)

Taking pictures and using social media is a way to convince ourselves that we're a part of something. Take vacations for example. In the past, people took vacations because they were fun, and when cameras became portable, it begged to be used for such an event to create keepsakes. Now, the situation is almost reversed: we go on vacations so that we can take pictures. We post the pictures online as if to prove to ourselves and to others that we actually went and had fun. But a significant portion of the vacation is spent in the act of taking pictures instead of having said fun. When a person takes a picture of something during an event, they are removing themselves from the activity and become an external observer, inherently denying themselves the experience. It is in this way that pictures and social media can increase the solitude of a person and become a compulsive, shallow replacement of a real life, leaving it hollow.

There's more to be said about it, I don't mean to close off other avenues of exploration with photography and social media. It does have positive impacts but it's also desensitizing to sex and violence. It is slowly removing the idea of privacy (google glasses and live streaming, the amount of cameras in London). It only increases society's addiction to consumerism and the need to stay busy, busy, busy. Did you know that there was a study done where all they did was take a test subject's phones and tablets away, left them in a room with the promise to come back and get them, and then see what happened? People started getting severely agitated. If there was a shocking device just happening to be left there by the researchers to see what happened, people started shocking themselves with the device (especially men, 64 percent of them, only 15 percent of women) rather than sit quietly with themselves. People just can't stand to be in their own heads.

By the way, I've never had a Facebook account, but now that I'm a returning adult in college, a Psychology major looking to go into research or forensics, I'm probably going to be forced to have a Facebook account. It might count against me if professionals and companies ask and find out that I'm not on social media.

Society in general has a real problem with ADHD, inability to soothe the self, consumerism and especially an addiction to smart phones. I make it a game that when I'm in a waiting room somewhere, if I see someone come in from the outside and sit down I make a guess as to how many seconds it takes before they pull out their phone. It's interesting, you should try it.

Comment Jython, not JPython (Score 1) 129

Nitpicking, buy it was JPython in 1997
It has been Jython since 1999

> I do not know why anybody would even think of using a programming language without static typing.

- Dynamically typed programming languages are more productive when writing smaller quantities of rapidly evolving code.

- It is mainly a library and an ecosystem issue. Python tends to have all the modules I need, while Haskell, OCaml and Scala often don't... and they often seem to be much easier to pick up and use.

For example, Pandas equivalents are much less mature in other ecosystems. On language merits alone, I should be using Scala more than Python, but in practice, Python modules win me over.

I wanted to memoise a function. To look up a module and put in the couple of lines (an import and a decorator) needed to achieve that probably took a couple of minutes in Python, and I was back to the real meat of my code. I would have spent much longer in Java.

Submission + - Malibu Media stay lifted, motion to quash denied

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: In the federal court for the Eastern District of New York, where all Malibu Media cases have been stayed for the past year, the Court has lifted the stay and denied the motion to quash in the lead case, thus permitting all 84 cases to move forward. In his 28-page decision (PDF), Magistrate Judge Steven I. Locke accepted the representations of Malibu's expert, one Michael Patzer from a company called Excipio, that in detecting BitTorrent infringement he relies on "direct detection" rather than "indirect detection", and that it is "not possible" for there to be misidentification.

Comment Re:Welcome to India (Score 1) 96

Rapes in India: about 37,000 per year for a country of 1.26 BILLION. Press reports it as a rape every 20 min.
Rapes in US: 1,200,000 per year for a country the fourth of India according to CDC. No one talks about it.
Obviously, BOTH are under-reporting.
If you take a large country as India or China, every measure will be automatically large. Talking absolute numbers rather than per capita adjusted numbers is either dumb or malicious journalism. During the Delhi rape coverage, not one newspaper I read talked about per capita rates.

Let's be realistic. For a poor country, the rights of women in India are no worse than similar poor countries. At least in India, the public holds large protests over rape. Don't see that much elsewhere.

Comment Re:Alarmism (Score 2) 96

You are entirely looking at India with US legal system lenses. In India, the political system is not dominated by lawyers i.e. the politicians don't have a legal background as much as they do in US. Public prosecutors don't routinely run for elections and hence have an interest in promoting themselves as "tough on crime". AFAIK, terrifying the defendant with disproportionate punitive threats and forcing him/her into a plea deal is not an issue in India. There, the problems are more around the legal process taking simply too long due to inadequately funded institutions, outdated laws and generally a less agile system (poorer country), rather than an overzealous application.

That said, both India *and US* do have arbitrary application of law - due to different reasons and cause different sets of problems. Corruption is of course more in India, as you would expect in any country with its per capita income. Yet, I'd say that far... far more people are put in prison in US due to arbitrary application of law than in India, even though the due process is said to be much better in US.

Comment Alarmism (Score 4, Informative) 96

All this is pointless hyperventilating by people who understand little about India.
India is one the LEAST punitive countries in the world. It does not believe that putting people in the prison is a solution for anything – even for things most of us would agree that people should be put into prison for.
India’s incarceration rate is 33 (one of the lowest in the world) per 100,000
US incarceration rate is 698 (highest incarceration rate in the world, if you ignore Seychelles) per 100,000
Have you ever heard of anyone put in prison in India for downloading a file? The law has been around since 1957. I am not even sure if for-profit bootleggers who sell media in India have been in prison for more than a few weeks. This is just some tech-ignorant government bureaucrat getting carried away. If a 0.01% of Indians tweet about it, the warning will be edited to something realistic. This has been the pattern about most India alarmist articles on Slashdot.

Comment Re:Actually 3rd point was agreement with trial jud (Score 1) 23

Actually whoever the new guy is, I don't find the site to be "improved" at all; seems a little crummy. The story was butchered and incorrectly interpreted, and the all important software for interaction seems less interactive.

But what do I know?

As to my absence I've been a bit overwhelmed by work stuff, sorry about that, it's no excuse :)

Comment Actually 3rd point was agreement with trial judge (Score 4, Informative) 23

The story as published implies that the ruling overruled the lower court on the 3 issues. In fact, it was agreeing with the trial court on the third issue -- that the sporadic instances of Vimeo employees making light of copyright law did not amount to adopting a "policy of willful blindness".

Submission + - Appeals court slams record companies on DMCA in Vimeo case

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: In the long-simmering appeal in Capitol Records v. Vimeo, the US Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit upheld Vimeo's positions on many points regarding the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. In its 55 page decision (PDF) the Court ruled that (a) the Copyright Office was dead wrong in concluding that pre-1972 sound recordings aren't covered by the DMCA, (b) the judge was wrong to think that Vimeo employees' merely viewing infringing videos was sufficient evidence of "red flag knowledge", and (c) a few sporadic instances of employees being cavalier about copyright law did not amount to a "policy of willful blindness" on the part of the company. The Court seemed to take particular pleasure in eviscerating the Copyright Office's rationales. Amicus curiae briefs in support of Vimeo had been submitted by a host of companies and organizations including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Computer & Communications Industry Association, Public Knowledge, Google, Yahoo!, Facebook, Microsoft, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Twitter.

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