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Stem Cells Turn Hearing Back On

GnomeChompsky Re:Deaf community will hate this (101 comments)

it's not just that. Deaf culture is different from mainstream Anglo-American culture, in the same way that Latino culture or Quebecois culture is different from it. Deaf people have different experiences from what you do.

That said, I think this could be a great boon to people who are hard of hearing, rather than deaf. They've been raised in a speaking culture and it's not fair or reasonable to expect them to assimilate into Deaf culture without having, for instance, learned ASL.

Also, there's extensive cortical reorganization that goes on when you are Deaf - auditory centres get recruited into visual systems; visual systems get recruited into language systems. You're not just going to wind up finding someone who is Deaf (particularly congenitally so), giving them stem cells, and having them be able to hear normally again. At best it is going to take a long, long time, because the neural pathways haven't grown that way.

The best application of this kind of technology would be Hearing people who have lost their ability to do so.

about 2 years ago

Harvard Ditching Final Exams?

GnomeChompsky Re:one step closer to drive thru degrees (371 comments)

and when I was a student at a large school with large classes, I found those discussion sections terribly personalizing, and remained silent during them - not because I wasn't interested or wasn't smart (I'm doing a PhD right now), but because I am an introvert. I never felt like I learned very much in them, because I'd absorbed the material during the giant lecture; eventually I stopped going to them.

Large class sizes have their benefits.

more than 3 years ago

NIH Orders Halt To Embryonic Stem Cell Research

GnomeChompsky Re:When Religion Meets Science (593 comments)

I don't think you have to view embryos as non-human in order to be pro-choice. You may recognize that embryos are human, but that the mother's right to self-determination trumps their potential right to be born; or you might think that abortions are going to happen anyway (because they will) and you would rather that women had safe options at their disposal.

You can think that abortion is a tragedy that should be prevented through contraception, not legal sanction, and still be pro-choice.

about 4 years ago

Old (unused) mobile phones I've got hanging around ...

GnomeChompsky Re:Donate them. Save a life. (307 comments)

I suppose if you want to be completely safe, cut out the middle-man: donate directly to a local women's shelter or other organization - with the caveat that if you are going to do this, make sure the phone works.

The organization that NCADV operates with has a zero-landfill policy, and will not ship cell-phones overseas for disposal.

about 4 years ago

Old (unused) mobile phones I've got hanging around ...

GnomeChompsky Donate them. Save a life. (307 comments)

You have an unwanted lump of plastic gathering dust somewhere in your household. Sad.

Someone else is under threat from their abusive ex.

A deactivated cell-phone can still be used to call 911.

Google "cell-phone donation" or just click here to go to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

(There are similar programs to help the elderly, for whom a cell-phone might be a vital life-line in case they *ahem* fall and can't get up.)

about 4 years ago

Xbox Live Now Allows Gender Expression

GnomeChompsky Re:I'm heterosexual. (348 comments)

"This is my wife, Jill. We have three children."

You only think that they're making situations sexual when they say that they're gay because it makes you think about their sexual behaviours. It doesn't need to. The above sentence doesn't.

more than 4 years ago

Xbox Live Now Allows Gender Expression

GnomeChompsky Re:I'm heterosexual. (348 comments)

I bet you're also male, and probably also white. You probably never think about your gender or your race, because they are viewed by you and the rest of society as the default - you are presumed straight until proven otherwise.

The fact that you never have to critically assess your gender, sexuality or race are all reflections of privilege. Minorities, especially of the non-visible kind, need to disclose the information that they fall into a particular minority group - because otherwise, it's very easy to demonize them. If you don't know several gay men, it's easy to believe that all gay men are pedophiles.

You don't "need to know" that people you know and love are gay; *they* need you to know that.

more than 4 years ago

New Zealand Cyber Spies Win New Powers

GnomeChompsky Re:Modern Laws for a Modern Society (132 comments)

I'd agree with you, except that police harassment is used to stifle dissent, often. There's an activist in Montreal (Canada, not an oppressive militant dictatorship) by the name of Jaggi Singh. In a city where jaywalking is illegal, but the norm, he has been given citations, and apparently also beaten in the process, several times. For giving speeches at protests, he has been arrested on charges of "inciting a riot."

Protesters at summits often face pepper spray and attack dogs. "Free speech zones" are not. Beyond this, though, minorities often face prejudice at the hands of the police - imagine how your life would be, if every time you drove to your high-paying job, you were stopped by the police because they didn't believe you could possibly own that nice a car.

The police don't really care about what's right and wrong; they care about enforcing order. Order favours the status quo. When police are given new powers, and this extends to powers that fundamentally breech citizens' rights to privacy, they invariably abuse them in order to maintain the status quo. We can't tolerate this in a civil society.

more than 4 years ago

Where Are Your Contact Lens Displays?

GnomeChompsky Not how the eye works? (152 comments)

I guess it would work ok if the display were constantly changing, but static images on the retina fade pretty quickly. You might not notice it, but your eye is constantly moving (this is called saccadic movement) so that you keep being able to see things. Otherwise, you're not going to be able to see the stuff on these displays, because it will fade from vision like the blood vessels between your retina and your cornea.

more than 4 years ago

Why Charles Stross Hates Star Trek

GnomeChompsky Re:Deux ex machina? (809 comments)

it's spreading from the past into the future and the rate at which it spreads is greater than the rate at which time progresses.

more than 4 years ago

Report Claims Iran Has Data To Build a Nuclear Bomb

GnomeChompsky Re:I didn't know the data was secret (630 comments)

mod parent up, I also had to memorize designs of nuclear weapons and reactors in 10th grade science in Ontario. Not very complicated.

more than 4 years ago

How To Stop Businesses Storing SSNs Indefinitely?

GnomeChompsky As a Canadian living in the USA.... (505 comments)

I am SHOCKED at how often companies will ask for your SSN to do a credit check. Want a cell phone? SSN. Want Cox Cable Internet? SSN. Want any number of services for which a company is not becoming your creditor? SSN.

When I first found out that Cox wanted my SSN to allow me to sign up as a customer, I emailed to ask them how they would be storing my SSN, and for how long, and what security measures they had in place to prevent the theft of my SSN. They couldn't answer these questions. They just kept telling me that providing my SSN would allow them to determine whether I needed to pay a deposit before I started service. Well, if you're not competent enough to answer those questions for me, I'm not forking over my SSN........

I don't understand how this came to be the accepted norm in this country. It seems like a horrendous violation of privacy. It's just BEGGING to be abused.

about 5 years ago

Bell Starts Hijacking NX Domain Queries

GnomeChompsky Re:Thank god I don't work there anymore (310 comments)

Like most big corporations, one side of Bell doesn't know what the other side is doing. The side that made that decision is likely in a different city than the call-centre that handles support calls.....

about 5 years ago

Microsoft To Disable Autorun

GnomeChompsky why.... (429 comments)

can't you just have it embedded into the prompt that you can type something like "what" to find out what programs you can run? It's no more intuitive to have to click a series of buttons, really.

Like a prompt that goes something like

User user in Directory directory. Type 'what' for full program list:>

more than 5 years ago

Court Rules Autism Not Caused By Childhood Vaccine

GnomeChompsky Re:No proof yet... (1056 comments)

Yeah, well, if that's the case, maybe you men-folk would like to shoulder the burden this time of the underpaid, powerless secretary position.

more than 5 years ago

What Will Spam Be Like In 20 Years?

GnomeChompsky Re:Give spam some love! (284 comments)

It's kind of like that, but I think that HP sauce is primarily tamarind-based, whereas there's nary a tamarind to be seen in the ingredients of A1.

If you really want to try it, sells it. But if not, I think you could get away with substituting A1 on Spam in the instructions above.

more than 5 years ago

What Will Spam Be Like In 20 Years?

GnomeChompsky Re:Give spam some love! (284 comments)

HP Sauce is a brown ketchup-barbecue-sauce-like condiment made by Heinz..... it's got a picture of the British Houses of Parliament on it, hence HP. It's kind of spicy-tasty good. We have it in Canada, even though it originated in the UK.

Wikipedia has an article on the subject.

more than 5 years ago

Mind Control Delusions and the Web

GnomeChompsky Re:Filed Under the NYT's "Fashion & Style?" (631 comments)

Uhhh. Look. Just because you're using this narrow definition of "purpose" doesn't mean that everybody is. Nor, that because science hasn't posited a value for your n term, it says we have no purpose.

It has nothing to say about the purpose of humanity or the universe. It has no evidence about the purpose of either. All the anthropomorphic "Science" has to say about the purpose of the universe and humanity is: "Oooo, this (humanity, the Universe, Marshmallow Fluff) is kinda neat, why don't we try to understand the mechanisms that underpin it?" Science looks at things. It describes and predicts the behaviours of things. It does NOT answer the question "why" in any meaningful way, beyond "to be understood."

more than 5 years ago


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