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How the World's Agricultural Boom Has Changed CO2 Cycles

guises Re:Gay Sex! Agenda 21. (180 comments)

Because that wouldn't actually reduce the number of babies, it would just make them poorer and less educated. We certainly do need to reduce the population, but there's no evidence to suggest that welfare programs, daycare, foodstamps, etc., are contributing to the birth rate. Even when the payouts of those programs are tied to the number of children that the recipients have. In fact there's some evidence for the opposite, that using welfare to alleviate some of the very worst effects of poverty can lower the birthrate.

Not enough though, clearly, welfare isn't the magic bullet that's going to bring the population down. Unfortunately, a lot of people use the fact that greater prosperity goes hand-in-hand with lower birth rates as an excuse to ignore the problem... I suspect that this is something that isn't going to be even widely acknowledged, let alone solved, until an awful lot of people have died violently.

2 days ago
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How "Big Ideas" Are Actually Hurting International Development

guises Re:Why giving ? (91 comments)

There's some kind of cognitive disconnect here.

Question: "Why then the West wants to give out money to help those "poor" countries?"
Answer: "China didn't receive any fucking foreign aid from nobody" "Tens of millions of people perished"

Question: "they never got any "Western aid" at all, and still, they survived, right?"
Answer: "Tens of millions of people perished"

Look, the survival of the country doesn't mean shit. Countries are just organizational tools. The aid has the objective of improving the lives of the people, not the country, and it does work - it has been rigorously demonstrated to work when it's done a certain way under certain conditions. All that the article is trying to do is point out that those conditions are very idiosyncratic and that aid organizations need to take that under consideration.

2 days ago
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How "Big Ideas" Are Actually Hurting International Development

guises Re:For those who found TFA to be TLDR (91 comments)

For anyone who makes the mistake of believing this AC, the actual TL;DR is: Ideas that work well, even ideas that have been demonstrated to work very well through rigorous study, oftentimes only apply to the specific area which was studied. For this reason charitable development needs to stop thinking big and start working incrementally, village by village. Nothing and nobody can pull an entire country or continent out of poverty in a timeframe that isn't counted in decades.

He gives examples - a rigorous four-year study found that giving deworming pills to children in a particular area in Kenya had a larger impact on school attendance than giving them textbooks, even though they were very short on textbooks. A deworming program has subsequently been rolled out to cover millions of children in Africa and India, with a hope for similar results, but they've stopped with the rigorous testing with the feeling that they've sufficiently demonstrated the program's usefulness. The author points out several reasons why, for some areas, textbooks might still be a better answer and makes the claim that grand programs like this one can be both ineffective at their goals and have pretty crazy unforeseen consequences. There's a funny example of unforeseen consequences with a group of teenage latina girls who went through a workshop intended to keep them out of gangs, a successful workshop: not one of them was arrested for violence within six months of the end of the program. However, within those six months every one of them had become pregnant. Apparently gang membership was fulfilling a need for them that found they had to satisfy in some other way.

2 days ago
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Swedish Court Refuses To Revoke Julian Assange's Arrest Warrant

guises Re:Sounds reasonable (242 comments)

That is indeed funny, since he repeatedly said that he would return to Sweden for trial in they promised not to extradite him. Given there are several items on that list which should, in principle, make extradition impossible, this should have been a dead easy promise to make. And yet they refused to make such a promise.

4 days ago
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Harvard Students Move Fossil Fuel Stock Fight To Court

guises Re:Owning stock (203 comments)

It's not like selling the stock is going to hurt the company or the stock value.

Not the stock value, but it can certainly hurt the company. Ending Apartheid is the usual example of a social goal which was aided by divestment. Here's a little blurb explaining how that works.

5 days ago
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"Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer" Pulled From Amazon

guises Re:So close, so far (554 comments)

Actually, I think I got to wrapped up in finding something that we could agree over. I want to correct myself: I would not be right there with you, even over this far lessor "outrage." The furthest that I can go honestly is to say that among the excerpts that the blog author has chosen to show us, I don't see Barbie doing any engineering. I would never even consider protesting something like this when all I've got to go on are a few scans chosen by an obviously heavily slanted author.

Of course, I'm not going to protest "Barbie inaccurately portrays one of her multitudes of professions" anyway...

5 days ago
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"Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer" Pulled From Amazon

guises Re:So close, so far (554 comments)

She's a freaking high school student, what are you expecting here? No one's going to hire her anyway, just for being too young.

Once again, the only thing that the book says Barbie can't do is complete the entire game by herself. It doesn't say that she can't code, it only says that she isn't coding right then, it doesn't say that she can't fix her computer, it only says that fixing her computer will go faster if she and her teammates work together. And even if it did, even if there existed a problem that Barbie couldn't solve, I submit that this wouldn't be the fucking end of the world. She's not some kind of wizard, I don't understand why it's weak to ask for help once in a while.

If the complaint was that this was an inaccurate portrayal of what it means to be a computer engineer then I'd be right there with you. Game designers are not necessarily engineers, and high school students aren't engineers anyway. So fine, I'll grant that this isn't a very good book since that is supposed to be the point. But that is not what people are up in arms over here.

5 days ago
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"Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer" Pulled From Amazon

guises Re:*Spoiler alert* (554 comments)

This is definitely one of the better summaries of Gamergate that I've read. For the last thing though - in the grand scheme of things gaming journalism may be nothing but entertainment news. However, integrity is literally their entire product. An investigative journalist sells their research: what they've discovered about an important issue, or that hard-to-get interview. A gaming journalist sells their opinion, it has no value whatsoever if their integrity has been compromised.

5 days ago
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"Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer" Pulled From Amazon

guises Re:So close, so far (554 comments)

she states that she can't actually write the game, that's for the boys to do

This doesn't happen. Read the page scans in TFA, like I suggested, rather than regurgitating the commentary. She says that she's only creating the design ideas (at the time that Skipper asks this question) and that she'll need Steven and Brian's help to turn it into a real game. That's teamwork, not helplessness.

And of course "it's faster if we help." What do you want Barbie to be here, an anti-social loner? Living in her parents' basement and doing everything by herself is supposed to be better? She's working in a team and her teammates offered to help. At no point in any of the pages shown in TFA does Barbie just sit back and "lets the boys do it."

5 days ago
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"Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer" Pulled From Amazon

guises Re:So close, so far (554 comments)

I'll grant that the book does seem to confuse a bit what engineering means, especially since Barbie in this doesn't seem to be any older than high school (she refers to her instructor as "teacher" rather than professor, "Ms Smith"). I've never heard high school students referred to as engineers. So the last line is a little off, you're right.

None the less, the idea that Barbie giving orders to a couple of code monkeys would be degrading to Barbie is just bizarre. Very few people look at the person who's in charge and probably better paid and think to themselves, "Well that person must be an idiot."

5 days ago
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"Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer" Pulled From Amazon

guises Re:So close, so far (554 comments)

I have no idea, TFA article only shows two pages of that: one where Barbie asks one of her teammates, Steven, to pull files off of Skipper's hard drive, and another where Steven reports back that he was successful. The post doesn't show any pages where they're working on Barbie's computer (which also has a virus) or on cleaning Skipper's computer. These pages either don't exist or were omitted from the post for not supporting the blogger's story.

I did do a cursory search for the book online, since it would be nice to see the full text of the book rather than just what the blogger is willing to show, but unsurprisingly I wasn't able to turn up anything. We're talking about an incredibly trite children's book after all, one of a billion.

5 days ago
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"Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer" Pulled From Amazon

guises Re:So close, so far (554 comments)

When does Barbie do needlepoint (or the equivalent) in this story? She's the lead designer for the game, that's inevitably the most desired position when it comes to game development. The blog author seems to suggest that they won't be happy unless Barbie either does everything herself or only teams up with women.

Also, and this is the only reason I'm responding to your comment, SNAKE EYES DOESN'T TALK. What is wrong with you and the world that you would use that as an example?

5 days ago
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"Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer" Pulled From Amazon

guises Re:So close, so far (554 comments)

Or just the first part: "What's the problem with this book?"

The blog post reads an awful lot of shit into some pretty banal dialogue. Try reading just the images taken from the book and skip the inflammatory commentary that the blog adds: Barbie is the lead designer on a game that she's making with two other students (teamwork!). When something goes wrong with her computer, the three of them work on it together in order to solve the problem faster (cooperation!). The three members of her team are herself, a white guy, and a black guy (diversity! both gender and racial). Barbie and her team do so well that her teacher, an obviously capable woman, gives them extra credit.

Seriously, this whole bruhaha is a bunch of horseshit. There exists real discrimination out there, crying wolf like this causes a lot more harm than good.

5 days ago
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FCC Confirms Delay of New Net Neutrality Rules Until 2015

guises Re:In other words. (127 comments)

Are you deliberately ignoring the substance of what I'm saying here?

Appointment: "I'm declaring that these people will be FCC commissioners and there's nothing that you can do about it."

Nomination: "I'm submitting these people as candidates to be FCC commissioners subject to your approval. As we agreed, in order to secure that approval two of them are members of your party and will vote the way you want them to."

I'm not sure what you're trying to suggest by continually denying this. If Obama were in sole control of the FCC, why wouldn't all of the commissioners vote the same way? Why have dissent at all? Why would he appoint five people who always seem to disagree about everything?

about a week ago
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FCC Confirms Delay of New Net Neutrality Rules Until 2015

guises Re:In other words. (127 comments)

So... what? Your claim is that Obama appointed two republican commissioners out of... a sense of collegial non-partisanship? Because he was trying to reach across the isle? He did that a lot of the start of his presidency.

No. The trouble here is with the word "appointment." FCC commissioners aren't really appointed by the president, though that is the common term, they are nominated. There are two Republican commissioners because those are the commissioners that the Republicans in congress were willing to approve.

about a week ago
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FCC Confirms Delay of New Net Neutrality Rules Until 2015

guises Re:In other words. (127 comments)

I am denying none of those things. I am pointing out that the FCC has five commissioners, not one, and your explicit insistence that this is entirely Wheeler's fault, and therefore Obama's fault, is wrong on two counts: one, it is not entirely Wheeler's fault, he wouldn't be getting anywhere without GOP support. Two, even if it was Wheeler's fault, he and Obama are two separate people.

You can say, quite correctly, that a lobbyist should never have been given that position in the first place. That's fine, though it ignores the reality that former lobbyists and industry insiders are given most such positions. You can say that some sort of anti-consumer policy might have been predictable from making such an appointment. You can say a lot of things, but when you say "you can point the finger straight at Obama if you're looking for blame" you're suggesting that Obama should shoulder all of the blame for making a nomination that has gone bad, a nomination voted on and approved by congress, and when you say "Not the GOP." you're just fooling yourself.

about two weeks ago
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FCC Confirms Delay of New Net Neutrality Rules Until 2015

guises Re:In other words. (127 comments)

And it's Obama's guy, Wheeler, who has been pushing for Internet "Slow Lanes" on behalf of the ISPs. So no matter Obama's rhetoric, no matter how many things Ted Cruz idiotically blurts, you can point the finger straight at Obama if you're looking for blame. Not the GOP.

...
Wheeler, plus the two republican commissioners on the FCC you mean? That's what you meant, right? This whole thing started because Wheeler broke rank with the Democrats and said that he was going to vote with the Republicans on the fast lanes thing, so I assume that's what you meant.

While you're pointing your finger at Obama you might consider that his rhetoric is all that he can actually do about this. Obama nominated Wheeler, that's true, but that's the extent of his influence over the FCC. That's the whole point of having independent agencies - so that one person doesn't have all the power.

about two weeks ago
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Meet the 36 People Who Run Wikipedia

guises Re:Meet the 36 People Who Run Wikipedia (Poorly) (140 comments)

It's a totally free resource if all you do is read it and don't contribute. If you do contribute then you've helped to pay for it with your time and effort and, in my opinion, have every right to be upset when some scummy admin comes along and reverts your edit because... something. Oftentimes it's that ridiculous "encyclopedic" requirement, other times it's more self-serving.

The real marvel of Wikipedia is that it has managed to thrive despite its editors.

about three weeks ago
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Space Tourism Isn't Worth Dying For

guises Re:Not worth it ? (594 comments)

If that's a real question, then to answer: it's really about income/wealth inequality. If dude has so much money that he can waste it so frivolously, then he shouldn't have that much money in the first place. People take the resentment which that generates and project it onto the activity itself, or onto the rich dude, when it's really the circumstance that they're upset about.

about three weeks ago
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Pentagon Builds Units To Transport Ebola Patients

guises Re:So people figure out yet... (117 comments)

Bullshit. Nigeria quarantined people who had already been identified as potential victims. They were on a plane with someone who was suffering from ebola, or had been in contact with one of the people from the plane. Your method doesn't do squat for unidentified victims.

about a month ago

Submissions

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Orca recently identified as 103 years old

guises guises writes  |  about 6 months ago

guises (2423402) writes "The oldest known orca has recently been spotted off western Canada at an age of 103. A female nicknamed "granny," photos exist of her from the 1930s, where she can be identified by her distinctive saddle patch. The news has prompted calls for another evaluation of marine mammals in captivity — orcas in captivity usually don’t live beyond their 20s."
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What good print media is out there that hasn't already died?

guises guises writes  |  about 7 months ago

guises (2423402) writes "A recent story discussing the cover of Byte Magazine reminded me of just how much we've lost with the death of print media. The Internet isn't what took down Byte, but a lot of other really excellent publications have fallen by the wayside as a result of the shift away from the printed page. We're not quite there yet though, there seem to still be some holdouts, so I'm asking Slashdot: what magazines (or zines, or your newsletter) are still hanging around that are worth subscribing too while I still have the chance?"
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Lavabit shuts down citing legal interference

guises guises writes  |  about a year ago

guises (2423402) writes "Lavabit, originally envisioned as a privacy-conscious alternative to Gmail, has shuttered. Ladar Levison, the company owner, offers this explanation:

I have been forced to make a difficult decision: to become complicit in crimes against the American people or walk away from nearly ten years of hard work by shutting down Lavabit. After significant soul searching, I have decided to suspend operations. I wish that I could legally share with you the events that led to my decision. I cannot. I feel you deserve to know what’s going on--the first amendment is supposed to guarantee me the freedom to speak out in situations like this. Unfortunately, Congress has passed laws that say otherwise.

"
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Canonical launches highly ambitious smartphone crowdfunding campaign

guises guises writes  |  about a year ago

guises (2423402) writes "Canonical has launched an indiegogo campaign for the Ubuntu Edge — a proposed high-end smartphone that would dual-boot Ubuntu and Android by default. The campaign has a lofty goal of $32 million, which they hope to raise in only thirty days. An ambitious goal, given that the highest-funded campaign ever on Kickstarter, the Pebble watch, raised only $10.2 million in thirty eight days. Never the less, the project certainly has it's appeal and those who get in early (today only) can get the phone for as little as $600."
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Al Franken proposes an amendment to overturn Citizens United

guises guises writes  |  about 2 years ago

guises (2423402) writes "Al Franken has started a petition for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. Online petitions are perhaps of dubious efficacy, but hopefully one started by a sitting senator will have a little more impact."
Link to Original Source
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Ebay updates their user agreement, requires arbitration

guises guises writes  |  more than 2 years ago

guises (2423402) writes "Ebay has updated their privacy policy, effective October tenth. Joining many other prominent companies following the AT&T v. CONCEPCION decision last year, Ebay is requiring users to agree to arbitration and give up their ability to file for class action status. Ebay has humorously included an option to opt out of this provision, but only by submitting an opt-out notice in writing no later than November 9th, 2012. (eBay Inc., c/o National Registered Agents, Inc., 2778 W. Shady Bend Lane, Lehi, UT 84043) At the bottom of the email announcing this, they include the line, "If you choose not to accept the new terms, visit this help page for further direction.""
Link to Original Source
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Wasteland 2 adds Linux support

guises guises writes  |  more than 2 years ago

guises (2423402) writes "Wasteland 2, a Kickstarter project which has already met it's primary funding goal, has added Linux to the list of platforms which will be supported if funding reaches the $1.5 million mark. Currently, they're less than $50,000 from that secondary goal. For those unfamiliar, Wasteland was an acclaimed post-apocalyptic CRPG released in 1988. Fallout was the spiritual successor to Wasteland, being made by the same people who did not have the rights to the Wasteland name."

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