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G20 Protesters Blasted By "Sound Cannon"

Nemus Define Narrow (630 comments)

So what is the effective arc of this weapon, exactly? It's hard to tell from just videos of course, but it seemed to me that there was no "narrow" to be had based on the reactions of the "crowd". Never minding horizontal arc, how about the vertical? I saw some second story apartments in the video; here's to hoping no one's cat or dog got brain fried because of this.

about 5 years ago
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Google Project 10^100 Reaches Voting Phase

Nemus Delicious irony (154 comments)

My vote was for social entrepreneurship; my filter words were "petty magnates".

I was disappointed by a number of the options, primarily because they would essentially establish more NGOs that relied, ultimately, on governmental action to make a difference (better tax structure, genocide awareness, etc); the same governments who have shown time and time again that they simply will not react to these problems, no matter how blatant the evidence. I chose social entrepreneurship because it is an outwardly distributed system. Rather than collect distributed resources and narrowing them towards a single focus, it will hopefully take a singular resource and deliver it into the hands of the many. Call it socialism if you want; I call it pragmatism.

about 5 years ago
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Dead Salmon's "Brain Activity" Cautions fMRI Researchers

Nemus Re:Spectroscopic MRI will obsolete fMRI (287 comments)

Firstly, numerous universities bundle neuroscience and related fields of engineering into their psychology department, so it seems pretty apparent that this wasn't a bunch of cognitive psych "Let' s build a graph/model!" junk. Also, its pretty common for psychologists to hold degrees in a "hard" science as well, so your bias is probably rooted in ignorance. Secondly, it seems to me like that their point wasn't that the fMRI wasn't sensitive enough, or particular enough. Instead the problem seems to be a problem of statistically expected random noise. Their point seems to be that users of an fMRI should bear in mind that their marvelous magical machine can generate "real" errors, and that basic, common-sense multiple comparison habits should be developed, instead of a take a picture, slap a stat against it approach. Apparently you did not, in fact, read the pdf.

about 5 years ago
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Who do you blame for the US Financial Situation

Nemus Where is the "Everybody" option? (1104 comments)

Everybody is to blame in this. We all screwed up. The republicans severely deregulated the industry, when any putz with a book on economic history could tell you what happens when American financial companies are left to their own devices. The Democrats, instead of making a principled, intelligent stand which could have mitigated at least some of the damage, decided to play politics as usual and wound up looking like the tools which they are (or any politician, on either side, for that matter, is). The rich didn't use their clout to stop any of this, because they profited. The middle class participated whole heartedly, because people suck at thinking more than one step ahead into the future, and this meant that they could lie to themselves about their own precarious financial positions because they had "assests" and "everything they ever wanted (at least for the next five minutes)". The poor went along with it because A.) what are they going to do about it, anyway? and B.) because when you're dirt broke, what exactly is someone going to sue you for when you default on a loan that some rich guy is offering you?

Anyone who points the finger at one particular group is manifesting their own personal bias and belief system, instead of objectively accepting that we all screwed the pooch on this one. No one, simply no one, acted responsibly during this. People keep saying "What about those people who work hard, save, and live within their means". Well, they had more reason to fight against this whole mess than anyone. But no one really did much of anything.

about 6 years ago

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Journals

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So sue me...wait, no, it's only an expression.....crap

Nemus Nemus writes  |  about 5 years ago

Good morning world. Welcome to Saturday; a deity mandated day of rest. Oh, look, there's a call from my parents, saying we need to talk about something. Oh joy, it's another lawsuit.

In the past year, I have been sued on (now) three separate occasions. First I was sued by a collections agency over a dental bill. Then I was sued by my apartment complex. Wow, I must be a horrible deadbeat, right? Well the judge didn't seem to think so; both cases were thrown out, with no charges to me save my own court costs (which were still about $400). Now I'm being sued by my old bank for $241, which even they admit is the result of a bank error. Why don't they just erase it then? Well the -first- time this happened, they apologized and then removed the charges (~$300). The -second- time it happened, they apologized and removed the charges (~300). So what happened between the second and third times? Oh, a little thing called the goddamn recession which has been raping my life for the past year. Now, because it was removed as a "one time courtesy" the -second- time, they refusing to remove the charges this time, despite the fact that it was, once again, a bank error. So I'm looking forward to another pointless trip to court, where I will be absolved of the charges, and have to pay even more in court costs.

What truly makes this a circle of hell, however, isn't just the shitstorm I've been handed over the past week ($142 for allegedly running a stop sign, $35 dollars to keep my driver's license from getting suspended, yay GA's policy towards out of state motorsists, and the topics of earlier entries). No, what really makes this terrible is that I'm not alone in this.

This Wednesday, I sat in the Gray, GA traffic court, and watched as around a dozen people were led into the court in prison oranges, with restraints around their wrists and ankles. They ranged in age from a 19 year old to a woman who had to be in her fifties. Their crime? Unpaid traffic fees. Yes, the state of GA is now revoking the license and jailing people who have as little as $150 dollars in unpaid traffic tickets. For up to a month at a time. People who are unemployed now, because they've spent a month in jail. People who can't get a job, because now they don't have a driver's license. So how can they pay? Simple: they can't. And so, back to jail you go. Or rather, in the state of GA and many others, back to the highways and interstates you go, mowing, weed-eating, and picking up litter.

Who would have ever thought we'd miss the days of wage-slavery?

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I fear nothing, save my mailbox

Nemus Nemus writes  |  about 5 years ago

It has gotten to the point where everyday I wake up and wonder what bad news I'll get today. This weekend, I had a series of charges hit my bank account, some over two weeks old. Not a one of them was over a few dollars, but my bank charges a $37 overdraft fee; suddenly, my $18 in overage turned into ~$400. Never mind that in a couple of cases it was a 3700% interest rate, never mind that I didn't ask for the service, and never even mind that legislation essentially outlawing these charges has been slow-walking through congress for the past two years. What I don't understand is how in the name of all that is holy they expect anyone to pay these charges. Banks made between 50-100 billion (with a b) last year alone in overdraft charges; but I wonder how many people still owe their banks hundreds of dollars that they just can't pay.

One thing I'm thankful for is that I never got a credit card. I have friends who have four, five, even six or more credit cards. On each of these cards they carry an average of $2000, with interests rates that have recently been jacked to 29.99% or even higher. What I do share with a lot of my friends is student loan debt. This December I'll get to start paying back about $30,000 in student loans, and I know I'm getting of light; UGA, which is right next door, apparently costs $20 to $30 thousand a -semester-. I'm applying for an extension, but to do that you -have- to speak to someone on the phone. I've tried twice now to get through, but I've spent around five hours each time waiting on hold. That's time I could be using to apply for jobs, or at the very least spend not stressing out.

I haven't checked my mail in about a week now, because I damn near flinch every time I even think about going to the mailbox. It'll be bills, or some other form of bad news. It's gotten to the point where I'm even broke in my dreams. Of all places, I should have the ability to hang out at a coffee-shop and read, or see a movie, or whatever, in my dreams. Last night though I distinctly remember checking my pockets at every place I went, thinking that maybe this time I would have some cash. I think that when people talk about making their dreams real, it's supposed to be a one-way street. I know, though, that as I stare out my apartment window at all the BMW's and Mercedes and the like, driven by 18 year old freshmen whose parent's have handed them everything, that those dreams aren't going to be any less real, anytime soon.

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Save money on toilet paper; use your diploma

Nemus Nemus writes  |  about 5 years ago

My professors used to tell me there were two phrases that you never heard: unemployed statistician, and broke statistician. So while my degrees are in philosophy and neuroscience, I was confident that my strong statistics background (useful for any scientist) would land me a job while I waited to start med school. Then, the semester before I graduated, the financial sector imploded, and all of a sudden, the phrases unemployed statistician and broke statistician became a lot more common.

Now, I find myself in a place I've only been once before, and swore to never arrive at again: extreme poverty. I have no income, but plenty of bills. My bank hammers me with a $37 dollar charge for going over by $1. Grocery prices, gas prices, utility prices: every month the go up, and every month I have less and less. I've sold most of my possessions: I have a computer, a car, and a bed. Next to go will be the car, even though my section of GA (Athens) has virtually no public transportation. My parents have been heroic, helping me out all they can, but my mom is a teacher and my step-dad is a magazine editor: they're crunched, and I'm only adding to it. I tried to go and find a place where I could live communally: a monastery, a commune, an eco-center; anything. But for various reasons, that plan was cashed.

So now I find myself, only a few months into the job hunt, with utterly no hope, and no options. Every day I turn in 20-30 job applications, and send out 20-30 resumes. None of it seems to be worth a damn, however. Half the jobs I'm overqualified for; they know I'll leave as soon as I can find something that pays a livable wage (i.e. not minimum wage). The other half I'm under-qualified for: my competitors are in their late 30's and 40's, with Ph.D.s and work histories and everything that I just don't have and can't equal.

Most of my friends, and all of my family, have no idea that I frequent this site, so this is where I'm going to kvetch. Unfortunately, I think this journal is going to be as about as eventful as my life. Wake up, get bad news, shower, go apply for jobs, come home, get bad news, go to sleep.

Here's to hope: R.I.P

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