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UN Report Finds NSA Mass Surveillance Likely Violated Human Rights

Pseudonym Re:So now that the UN said it, (261 comments)

Only the U.N. knows for sure, but my observations have indicated that they're in favor of whatever the U.S. is against (and vice versa).

By "vice versa", do you mean that the UN is against whatever the US is in favour of, or do you mean that the US is against whatever the UN is in favour of?

The purpose of the United Nations is:

1. To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace;

2. To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace;

3. To achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion; and

4. To be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations in the attainment of these common ends.

This does seem to be contrary to the interests of the lobbying interests which run the US government, no?

about two weeks ago
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UN Report Finds NSA Mass Surveillance Likely Violated Human Rights

Pseudonym Re:So now that the UN said it, (261 comments)

Interestingly, the event described in the US national anthem would, under current law, be classified as a WMD attack.

about two weeks ago
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Australia Repeals Carbon Tax

Pseudonym Re:Where does this leave the nuclear option? (291 comments)

We also have a crapload of land which is doing nothing except letting sunlight fall on it and letting wind pass unimpeded across it.

We don't have a lack of sources of energy in Australia. More to the point, we don't have a lack of produced energy, either; we are producing far more power than we use, but thanks to distorted incentives (and not the carbon tax!), we are paying more for it than ever before. Where are you when we need you, o invisible hand?

Australia is unlikely to use nuclear power in the forseeable future for the simple reason that there's no need to. We have precisely the number of nuclear power plants that we need for our own research purposes. As for all that radioactive material, we're better off exporting it to countries that don't have any other realistic options.

about two weeks ago
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Sexual Harassment Is Common In Scientific Fieldwork

Pseudonym Re:Bullshit! (362 comments)

So you claim that I can't back up my statement of most, then agree with me using the same exact terminology.

No. You can't back up the claim that "most [...] results from a person saying that someone looks nice". Most sexual harassment is nowhere near as simple as that. An isolated instance of someone saying that someone else looks nice is not enough to trigger a sexual harassment complaint in most cases.

Having said that, I'm sure you can see how the context, or constantly commenting on someone's appearance, could easily end up in creepy territory.

Yet, this same phrase is repeated by propagandists as an example of sexual harassment.

Without knowing anything about who these "propagandists" are, or what they exactly said, and in what context they said it, it's hard to say.

about two weeks ago
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Sexual Harassment Is Common In Scientific Fieldwork

Pseudonym Re:Some people are jerks (362 comments)

"Sexual harassment is required" is a policy.

I'd think you were joking if you hadn't run with it. Of course the law mandates that a policy meets certain minimal criteria.

about two weeks ago
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Sexual Harassment Is Common In Scientific Fieldwork

Pseudonym Re:Bullshit! (362 comments)

Most "sexual harassment" today results from a person saying that someone looks nice, not the other way around.

If I asked you to back up this statement with evidence, particularly the word "most", you could not do so.

Now it is true that most sexual harassment is not intended to harass, and stops as soon as the person doing it understands that what they did (or continue to do) is unwanted and inappropriate. In many jurisdictions, it's only legally "sexual harassment" if the behaviour doesn't stop when you're told to stop.

This is precisely why the attitude that you see a lot of in the comments here (of the "it's already illegal so what's the deal" kind) misses the point. Raising inept social interactions (which happen to foster a hostile or uncomfortable work environment) to the level of criminality would be stupid. This is why it makes far more sense to deal with it at the company level instead.

about two weeks ago
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Researchers Find Evidence of How Higgs Particle Imparts Mass

Pseudonym Re:Another giant leap? (91 comments)

Even more than that, the Higgs mechanism is not responsible for most of the mass of atoms or nuclei, just the fundamental particles that make them up.

A proton is made from two up quarks and a down quark. Up quarks weigh in at about 2MeV each, and down quarks are about 5MeV. A proton, by contrast, has a mass of 938MeV. So that's about 1% quarks-interacting-with-the-Higgs-field and 99% quarks-interacting-with-each-other.

about two weeks ago
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Researchers Find Evidence of How Higgs Particle Imparts Mass

Pseudonym Re:If mass can be finally explained... (91 comments)

Well, exciting if it leads to something. Say the temporary removal of mass. That would be very interesting (if also quite improbable).

"Improbable" is stating it mildly. If the fundamental particles in a macroscopic object stopped interacting with the Higgs field, they'd still presumably be interacting with each other. The particles wouldn't have any mass, but the nuclei and atoms would still have the vast majority of their mass.

If you got rid of the mutual interaction energy too, then you wouldn't have a macroscopic object any more. (As an added bonus, you'd have proven Asimov wrong experimentally.) Instead, you'd have a bunch of quarks and electrons moving at the speed of light in quantum-random directions.

about two weeks ago
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Sexual Harassment Is Common In Scientific Fieldwork

Pseudonym Re:Some people are jerks (362 comments)

Unless there is some evidence that it is specifically more prevalent during scientific field work, just reporting that "it occurs" is meaningless.

So you do see the point, you just didn't RTFA.

TFA claims (based on the research) that it is indeed far more prevalent in fieldwork than in the office.

about two weeks ago
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Sexual Harassment Is Common In Scientific Fieldwork

Pseudonym Re:Some people are jerks (362 comments)

Where I live, most harassment is not illegal, but allowing harassment to go unchecked is (for the company).

It's no different from any other issue which might make a workplace unsafe or hostile. Consider health and safety, for example. Making a mistake is usually not illegal, but it is illegal for a company not to take appropriate steps when someone raises a safety issue.

about two weeks ago
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Pseudonyms Now Allowed On Google+

Pseudonym Re: Yup, they are trolls (238 comments)

That wasn't actually what I was referring to.

about two weeks ago
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Sexual Harassment Is Common In Scientific Fieldwork

Pseudonym Re:Some people are jerks (362 comments)

My country has a law like that, too. One thing it mandates is that companies have a sexual harassment policy.

about two weeks ago
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Pseudonyms Now Allowed On Google+

Pseudonym Re:Yup, they are trolls (238 comments)

...says the Anonymous Coward.

(No, the irony is not lost on me, either.)

about two weeks ago
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Pseudonyms Now Allowed On Google+

Pseudonym Re:google what? (238 comments)

"Yes" - everyone on Slashdot who plays Ingress.

about two weeks ago
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Scotland Could Become Home To Britain's First Spaceport

Pseudonym Re: Rather far north. (151 comments)

For that matter, Scotland might not be Britain by the time it's built.

about two weeks ago
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Predicting a Future Free of Dollar Bills

Pseudonym Re:Children (753 comments)

I hope you were being sarcastic too. It's so hard to tell these days.

about two weeks ago
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Predicting a Future Free of Dollar Bills

Pseudonym Re:Children (753 comments)

I kid of course, but you know there are parents that feel like that.

about two weeks ago

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