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Facebook Censoring Images of the Prophet Muhammad In Turkey

ilparatzo Re:Ban censorship, except the stuff that offends m (227 comments)

"Facebook and other social networking services put their resources into tagging content (religiously offensive, sexually explicit, drug use and other types of content that users often find unpleasant)"

This is an excellent idea. The problem is though that it's not that people don't want to see it themselves. They simply don't want it to exist at all where others might see it. Or the argument used with pornography, "where are innocent youth might stumble upon it".

So although yes, this is a great idea and would help keep offensive things from being seen by those who don't want to see them, it misses a major portion of that group which is offended. It's not that they don't want to see it, it's that they don't want it to exist. And just like with pornography or homosexuality in the United States, I'm sure it's not just the crazy fanatics that think this way, it's many of the middle of the road types as well. It's wrong. They don't want to just not see it. They want it to be gone entirely.

2 days ago

Fake Engine Noise Is the Auto Industry's Dirty Little Secret

ilparatzo Re:Just give the option to turn it off... (820 comments)

Most of the links I was able to find stated that event the NHTSA felt that their were major weaknesses in their study. First, it was done in only 12 states. Second, it is only since 2000 so that sample set is drastically reduced compared to other accident studies which can typically go back much farther. Though you can start to use this sort of data to think ahead, you can't use it to make broad statements and force change in the automotive industry. It also doesn't use the more tried and true method of accident studies which is based on distances traveled. It's more of a "wow, something to think about and consider" versus a "hey, this is a fact, shut up and get used to it" kind of study.

On a side note, for pedestrian accidents the increased rate is primarily due to backing up, something you can easily attribute more to noise but I thought we were going to solve with backup camera mandates?

But overall, those looking at the study and performing it agree that the data set is too small to make large scale conclusions. And unless we want to just be alarmist, it's probably not a good idea to take this and run with it. Instead, use it to commission some larger and more detailed studies. Who knows, maybe the people who drive hybrids tend to not pay as close attention to what they are doing? I could make a latte sipping, enjoying the smell of their own farts joke here, but I'll refrain. Oops, I guess I already did. ;-)


about a week ago

Blogger Who Revealed GOP Leader's KKK Ties Had Home Internet Lines Cut

ilparatzo Re:Let's all immeditately jump to conclusions then (420 comments)

If only someone had invented a Jump to Conclusions mat, this process would be so much simpler! Instead, I'll just ask my pet rock.

about a week ago

Fighting Tech's Diversity Issues Without Burning Down the System

ilparatzo Re:Honest question. (479 comments)

"In our society, there should be nothing that stops someone from getting a job"

Other than qualifications and competition, obviously. If there is someone more qualified than me, I expect I won't get the job. Teasing out this from true discrimination can be difficult and we usually have to just trade types of discrimination in an effort to defeat one type.

Theoretically, I shouldn't be prevented from getting a job because of my gender, as much as a woman should not be prevented due to her's. A 20% quota on female hires could accomplish that as a by-product.

Of course, I work in a tech field where as the male I am in the minority, surrounded by a strong majority of female analysts and developers. So does it have something to do with the field, the need, the qualifications, or the gender? Simply looking at a percentage doesn't tell you 100% of the story. And seeking to hit a particular percentage doesn't really address the root. Maybe it's a start? Or maybe it's taking you down the wrong path. Who am I to say.

about two weeks ago

An Open Letter To Everyone Tricked Into Fearing AI

ilparatzo Re:Hey, what about Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking? (227 comments)

"So Elon Musk and worldwide-famous physicist Stephen Hawking spread FUD in your opinion?"

So being an expert in one field means that I've got to listen to you in all others? Last I checked, Stephen Hawking was a physicist and Elon Musk was an entrepreneur. Do you believe everything that Bill Gates tells you about particle physics?

Being an acclaimed scientist and genius in a field does not make you an expert in all things everywhere. And does not exempt you from the ability to make biased or incorrect statements.

about two weeks ago

An Open Letter To Everyone Tricked Into Fearing AI

ilparatzo Re:"Forget about the risk that machines pose to us (227 comments)

There is a difference between "discussing and addressing problems before they are a threat" and making wild claims with little factual evidence and then basing your arguments on them. Arguments against AI are largely based on fictional stories about them, not around the facts about what is possible, how it works and how research in the field is performed. And they largely come from people outside of the field.

You make an excellent point with bringing up Global Warming, just in reverse. With Global Warming, the major complaint is that you have scientists in the Climate field saying something and many others outside of that field arguing that what they are saying is wrong. With Global Warming the rally cry against those claiming it's false is that they aren't scientists, they don't understand the science, they aren't qualified.

But in this case with AI, people are listening to the non-scientists, the non-experts and claiming that it's THOSE people we need to be listening to and not the experts in the field, the scientists, the people with all the factual knowledge around what AI is currently and it's limitations now and into the future. Why is that? Is it because we've been trained over the years through fictional stories that AI is something that it isn't and we have a hard time believing otherwise? Isn't that one of the same reasons we say anti-global warming people are biased and should be ignored?

about two weeks ago

Obama Proposes 30-Day Deadline For Disclosing Security Breaches

ilparatzo Re:good luck with that (125 comments)

"that both parties are against the needs of the people!"

I wouldn't put it that way, as often enough they are. I think it's just #3 on the priority list behind getting re-elected and helping out their cronies, be they private parties or political parties. Those two are nearly one and the same, and as long as they aligned with the needs of the people, they're all set.

Part of the issue though is defining what exactly the "needs of the people" are. Dictatorships. communist and democratically elected governments all alike do things everyday for which they state they are meeting the "needs of the people". Besides, one could argue that the government doesn't exist to meet the needs of the people, but the needs of the country. And often acts to meet the needs of the government.

about three weeks ago

Michael Mann: Swiftboating Comes To Science

ilparatzo Re:On the other hand... (786 comments)

Yet the article includes a statement such as "The good news is that scientists have truth on their side".

No, what scientists have on their side is an excellent process for trying to uncover truth. Thousands of scientists throughout history have failed to have truth on their side. They have examined the evidence, done research and come to a conclusion that was wrong. Maybe they made a mistake, or maybe they didn't have access to enough information, but they in the end for one reason or another were wrong. Yes, many scientists ultimately reach truth, but that truth needs to be expected to be tested over and over again. That's what science is about, continually examining and coming to new conclusions.

Simply reaching a point and saying "this is the truth, it is no longer up for debate" is the antithesis of science.

about three weeks ago

Several European Countries Lay Groundwork For Heavier Internet Censorhip

ilparatzo Re:Disregards the people completely (319 comments)

A good politician would never miss an opportunity to use an emotional moment such as this one to push their own political agenda. It's rarely been about looking at the situation and what the government can do to better protect against it or learn from it. It's most frequently about finding some way to connect something you and those around you want to push through and manipulate the situation to make them apparently connect.

The same politicians that stand up and exalt scientific studies and research routinely fail to use the scientific methods in their own processes. Because in politics there is little worse than finding out you might be wrong or your opponent may be right on a subject.

about three weeks ago

Obama Proposes 2 Years of Free Community College

ilparatzo 2.5 GPA = Hard Worker? (703 comments)

I know that a 2.5 GPA is a B, but it's a damn low B average. If I had a 2.5 GPA average in college my parents probably would have started to stop providing their support. Hell, I would have been embarrassed to have my entire average be that low, meaning I'm getting a good share of C's.

Add onto that the fact that this 2.5 GPA is expected at community college. A little research finds that in 2006 the Average College GPA was 3.11 (and a large number of results claiming grade inflation). Articles discuss that today's 3.11 is the 2.52 of the 1950s.

This tells me that paying for someone who gets a 2.5 GPA isn't paying the hard workers. It's paying the tuition of just about everyone but the bottom of the barrel. Not to mention the "easy" classes that will be no doubt be taken by many to help keep that GPA up lest you get hit by a big bill suddenly.

This strikes me as a great opportunity to drive people into STEM fields that need more people, or at least that we're told need more people. I don't necessarily like the idea of forcing people that aren't meant to do it there with free money, but just handing people cash to get any degree they want, as worthless as it might be for them or for society, doesn't seem like a good plan either.

about three weeks ago

Unbundling Cable TV: Be Careful What You Wish For

ilparatzo I noticed a typo ... (448 comments)

But an article in the New York Times suggests that ...

should be

But an advertisement in the New York Times suggests that...

about three weeks ago

Writers Say They Feel Censored By Surveillance

ilparatzo Re:I wouldn't worry about it (130 comments)

Look what is happening to people who wrote "private", "speech protected" things at Sony that had their communications dumped out on to the Internet? Their names and reputations are being dragged through the dirt. Increased government surveillance can mean the government could, anonymously, do something similar to groups they dislike. It doesn't have to be what I write and make public that destroys me, but my own private communication. And it could be my public writing that causes increased scrutiny on my private writing.

I would guess that the majority of concern isn't with the government trolling through my public writing. But that the content of my public writing creates increased attention by the government that then does surveillance on me and those around me for "dirt" to either illegitimatize me or worse. Because every writer also has mountains of writing and communication (emails, journals, etc) that they don't intend to make public as they are personal in nature.

Because of that risk, I then am more careful with what I write such that I don't get unwanted attention from the government surveillance apparatus.

about three weeks ago

Ancient Planes and Other Claims Spark Controversy at Indian Science Congress

ilparatzo Re:LOL (381 comments)

Idiocy spans all political parties, countries, religions, scientific circles and humanity as a whole. One man's genius is another man's idiot. And today's genius may find that they are tomorrow's idiot and vice-versa.

But I would argue that much of the problem is with the name calling (or idiot calling in this case) as much as anything else. When we wage our intellectual battles by calling each other names meant to degrade and or trivialize, we are just as much of an "idiot" as those who seek to harm.

about three weeks ago

War Tech the US, Russia, China and India All Want: Hypersonic Weapons

ilparatzo Re:Really? (290 comments)

"I guess my answer would be "all of human history"?"

You took the words out of likely 80% of the people who read that line. My first question was whether or not someone could say "Given that the course of hypersonic research has acknowledged both of these concerns, why have several countries started testing the weapons?" while keeping a straight face. I imagine a hippy with some idealized vision of the what the world should be and constantly bickering with himself as to why it can't be that way.

No matter what history says we will continue to have multiple nations researching these sorts of things. Even if you can get a commitment to not do so, it's pretty obvious around the globe that people will just do it in secret. I consider it a bit of an advantage that it's relatively out in the open and not cloaked in secrecy and spying that could exacerbate tensions. Not that there isn't that as well, just not to Cold War degree.

about a month ago

Argentine Court Rules Orangutan Is a "Non-Human Person"

ilparatzo Re:The usual nonsense (187 comments)

hopefully we can learn from this and with the next president stop making about left vs right, and make it about right vs wrong

Actually, I would argue that it's the "vs" that is causing much if not most of the problem here, so "right vs wrong" isn't going to get you too far to a solution easily. Right and Left would no doubt argue that they are in the battle of Right vs Wrong, with their particular side being the right.

How about we all work together? Or at a minimum, lets try talking to each other without calling each other names, making wild claims, providing disingenuous stats/info or dragging the person on the other side through the dirt. If our children on the playground acted like our politicians we would reprimand them. Let's work on some common ground and work as one.

Sadly, I'd say we're probably long beyond the point where we can do anything other than bicker, fight and call each other names. The "war" has become part of the fabric of the system such that it will be hard to tease it out. Maybe a grand unifier will come along and not be sucked back to the common denominator. But it's hard to imagine.

about a month ago

Skeptics Would Like Media To Stop Calling Science Deniers 'Skeptics'

ilparatzo Re:Established science CANNOT BE QUESTIONED! (719 comments)

But one of the problems inherent in starting to say "well, these people are deniers and should be ignored, not skeptics" is that then everyone who questions, be they a "skeptic" or a "denier" depending on your definition, will simply be called a denier so that they can be ignored.

Historically, scientists have fought those who challenge them with ... well ... science. If we start to say that "science" is protected, we defeat the entire basis for how we have gotten to where we are. Another commenter said it perfectly in my opinion ... we can't turn science into religion, where questioning or even "denying" turns into something you can and should be tarred and feathered for.

If science cannot stand on it's own to the arguments against it, however stupid they may be, and we begin to enshrine it such that it's rejection is tantamount to heresy we might as well start calling it a religion. Because 1000 years from now that's all it will probably be. Only then, the "scientists" will be putting to the guillotine the future equivalent of Einstein, or Copernicus for rejecting the truth of their science.

about a month and a half ago

MIT Removes Online Physics Lectures and Courses By Walter Lewin

ilparatzo Re:Creating more victims (416 comments)

Yet we continue to watch and revere films by Roman Polanski.

So maybe the message should be ... "If you're a scientist, this won't be tolerated and we will disavow your educational merits. If you're an artist, bad boy, but hell if we didn't love and will continue to love your films!"

about a month and a half ago

James Watson's Nobel Prize Goes On Auction This Week

ilparatzo Re:Is it true... (355 comments)

"So how do you measure intelligence if not through IQ tests?"

Maybe the real question is why do we need to try and measure intelligence in a non-arbitrary fashion? Do I need to be able to say "Jane, regardless of her prior training and experience, is 10 smart, whereas John there is 8 smart." What real purpose do IQ tests have these days beyond allowing those who score really high to tell everyone about it?

Entrance exams for schools and for study programs do a better job anyway of determining who should enter a particular field by measuring one of the truly important factors: drive to learn and succeed. And intelligence also manages to play a role in that.

I suppose it would allow you to take someone who is really young, note that they are "intelligence" in whatever way it is you manage to measure them, and you can then focus your energy to make them successful. But how about this? Instead of seeking out the intelligent and helping them thrive, why don't we just identify what it takes for them to simply rise up on their own? Rather than trying to hunt down the next Einstein and make him/her the next Einstein by force, just let the next Einsten form on their own. If we provide environments that allow each to learn and thrive in their own way, they should do fine without ruining them by shoving an IQ score in their face and saying you could be just like "Scorpion". ;-)

about 2 months ago

Australian Target Stores Ban GTA V For Depictions of Violence Against Women

ilparatzo Re:Meanwhile (310 comments)

It seems to me that the vast majority of people that are killed in GTA games (and I assume GTA V as well, though I haven't played) and for which you are rewarded are males. You kill some guy driving a car for some money and their car. And from what I've read, it's certainly more direct for the health game from the prostitutes being killed isn't from killing them which isn't necessary, but possible. The benefit is derived a different way.

Maybe what really bothers people is that it's a problem in the real world that is difficult to fight and bring an end to. The energy spent trying to get GTA V off the shelves of Target (which will do next to nothing to actually stop people from playing it who want to) would be better spent on actually saving people from the sex trade and domestic violence. Things committed by plenty of people who couldn't care less about GTA V.

about 2 months ago

Australian Target Stores Ban GTA V For Depictions of Violence Against Women

ilparatzo Re:Removed after Initial sales spike (310 comments)

Our society has deemed it okay to shoot and kill endless waves of Nazi Soldiers. They aren't considered much different from zombies I would imagine.

The Modern series certainly has to tread a little more lightly on how it depicts the enemy I imagine. And I seem to recall some game that came out more recently with enemy "Russians" that carried some controversy.

about 2 months ago


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