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Comments

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Ultrasound As a Male Contraceptive

porcupine8 Re:Sign me up! (599 comments)

Not taking antibiotics and not being properly treated for a mental disorder are two ENTIRELY different things. Having an infection does not render you less capable of making rational decisions about your own treatment. Many mental illnesses do - and not just the way-out-there ones, either. Should those people get treatment? Of course. If it's unhealthy for their loved ones to be around them when they're not treated, should those loved ones do what's healthy for themselves? Of course. But saying that you're "disgusted" by something that is a god damned symptom of the illness in and of itself is disgusting.

I believe strongly in equal rights for both genders-but exactly equal. No special favors, no special treatment, no monthly excuse for bad behavior. Men don't get those, so that can hardly be asserted as an "equal" right. It's not "misogynist" to think people of any gender should be held equally accountable for their decisions and behavior.

No, it's misogynistic to ignore biology and claim that accepting it is "special treatment." Do you think that women who have pre-menstrual problems enjoy them? Many women do go on birth control specifically to avoid those problems! But to say, as the grandparent did, that ANY woman who has this problem and is not fixing with through HBC is "negligent" is to completely ignore the fact that for some women it is not treatable or the treatment is worse for them than the condition.

Why is the male experience the default that women must try to match in your scenario? I would say that it's special fucking treatment for a man to expect the women in his life to ignore hormonal problems that he will never have to experience or try to ignore so that they can live up to his ideal. Why does he deserve for her to do that when he will never do it for her?

Yes, there are probably women out there who use their periods as an excuse to act extra bitchy when they don't really need to. Just like there are men who use their wives' premenstrual touchiness as an excuse to cheat on her. Both are examples of unethical behavior. But if you really think that that's the norm instead of an anomaly, you should just go say a little prayer, or thank your lucky stars, or whatever you do that you will never experience the hormonal hell that many women have to deal with on a regular basis. Be glad things aren't equal in that regard.

more than 4 years ago
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Ultrasound As a Male Contraceptive

porcupine8 Re:Sign me up! (599 comments)

The fact that you are "disgusted" by the mentally ill who "refuse" to stay on their meds says a whole lot about your levels of ignorance (and douchiness), as does the fact that you think that's a majority opinion. Just keep digging that hole.

more than 4 years ago
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Ultrasound As a Male Contraceptive

porcupine8 Re:Urm, yeah (599 comments)

And yet how many men expect their girlfriends/wives to pump themselves full of hormones so that their ovaries temporarily stop working?

more than 4 years ago
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Ultrasound As a Male Contraceptive

porcupine8 Re:Sign me up! (599 comments)

Wow, this has to be one of the most misogynistic comments I've ever seen on Slashdot - and that's saying a lot.

Here, I will pretend like you're not a total douche, merely ignorant, and try to explain things politely:

The implant is hormonal birth control. Many women cannot take HBC, or only some HBC, due to extreme side effects such as depression or mood swings, weight gain, and heavy bleeding. Only some women stop getting their period on the implant - up to 20% actually have heavier periods than before. Also, HBC puts you at higher risk of clotting problems (such as heart attacks, strokes, and embolisms), which means that women with other risk factors may want to avoid it. And women on certain medications, such as anti-epileptics, can't use the implant.

Other women may simply prefer other forms of birth control for other reasons. For example, some women actually appreciate getting a "Hey, you're still not pregnant" reminder every month. Some are uncomfortable with getting something implanted in their body. While their preferences may inconvenience you, it is far from "negligent" for them to make that decision for themselves.

Perhaps if you feel you are having to "endure" your significant other, you should let her know that. In those exact words. I'm sure she'll be refreshed by your honesty and see you in a completely new light, and will happily rearrange her biology for your convenience.

more than 4 years ago
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Businesses Struggle To Control Social Networking

porcupine8 Re:Why not block them entirely? (131 comments)

Disclaimer: This management method looks like it would be a bitch to scale. Not my fucking problem, thank Cthulu.

IDK, it's pretty much how academia works. Maybe without #2, even (depends on just how embarrassing and in what direction). Some schools only have a couple hundred faculty, but the largest state schools can have a couple thousand, plus other research staff. And all that matters is getting your job done - other than the time you're actually teaching a class, nobody cares where you are or what you're doing at any given moment, so long as your tenure file is nice and fat when they come around to take a look at it.

more than 4 years ago
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Can Employer Usurp Copyright On GPL-Derived Work?

porcupine8 Re:GPL Violation? (504 comments)

While you have a point, and professors are more likely to be receptive to this kind of thing, publishing research is really the wrong metaphor here. It's more like a professor with a patentable invention - and these days, the patent almost always goes to the university automatically.

more than 4 years ago
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Obama Calls Today's Ubiquitous Gadgets and Information "a Distraction"

porcupine8 Re:That's Half the Problem. (545 comments)

While I agree with you on what the problem is, I disagree with your solution. Yes, having experts around is important, but relying on them exclusively is a mistake - all it takes is a few deceitful "experts" and the whole population is hopelessly misled. Not to mention the fact that you're trying to close the barn door after the cows are gone.

What needs to happen is that we need to wake up and realize that our educational system, which is currently focused on teaching content in most cases, needs to be reworked to focus on giving people the skills to deal with masses of information. Content is no longer the problem - all the content in the world is available at the touch of a button. Now what kids/citizens need is the ability to access, sort, and evaluate that content critically. Because the day of the media experts controlling the flow is over - permanently, barring some major catastrophe that brings down the internet. Knowledge is now created and disseminated in a less hierarchical, two-way (or many-way) street. Our schools are still operating in a one-way, transmission model of knowledge.

Luckily, this revolution is underway - but incredibly slowly. Thanks in part to NCLB, making any sort of substantive changes is now even harder than it was twenty years ago. Many of the standards actually are written to include these kinds of skills, but the assessments (which are what really matter) are only written to test the facts. So if you've got, say, a new science curriculum that aims to teach students how to build and test a scientific explanation and support it with substantive arguments - that's very nice, but if the kids don't also learn this list of 100 facts this year you lose. Who cares that, given the right skills, they could go out and find that same information online anytime they want AND be able to evaluate which sites are giving them good information and which are pseudoscience. No, all that matters at the end of the year is whether they can remember those 100 facts at test time.

more than 4 years ago
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Mozilla Reveals Firefox 4 Plans

porcupine8 Re:removing annoying wait when Firefox first loads (570 comments)

First, install the update when I shut down the browser. You're not wasting my time then because I'm done using it.

Unless the whole reason you're shutting it down, as is often the case for me, is that FF has been running so long that it's become an enormous memory hog and you need to shut it down then restart it so your system will speed back up. Or you're shutting it down in order to shut down or reboot your entire computer. I agree with the previous commenter, just give us the choice.

more than 4 years ago
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Flash Is Not a Right

porcupine8 Re:Two senses of "closed." (850 comments)

I am really amazed at the number of people here who actually think that having or keeping DRM was Apple's choice rather than the record companies' choice at any point in this process. I thought that this was all common knowledge, at least among this crowd. *shakes head*

more than 4 years ago
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China's Research Ambitions Hurt By Faked Results

porcupine8 Re:Ever done business in China? (338 comments)

a) If you'd read the post you're replying to, it has nothing to do with the Europeans currently running Africa and everything to do with the borders they laid down when they did run it and the long-term effects of those borders.

b) they seem to have got over it. Why can't the Africans? And how long, exactly, did it take the Europeans to "get over it"? When was the last time a European country was divided against itself, or contained two ethnic groups that didn't get along? 500 years ago? 200 years ago? 50 years ago? Oh wait... I'm certainly not going to say that Europeans are the source of all of Africa's troubles (simple lack of natural resources is a big culprit that's nobody's fault), but to say they should just "get over" the problems that were caused by Europe when Europe itself isn't all that "over" similar problems makes you sound like an ass.

more than 4 years ago
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Another Study Attacks Violent Video Games, Claims To Be "Conclusive"

porcupine8 Re:Correlation is not causation (587 comments)

Okay, we can't possibly know the ramifications 50 years down the line. But there's a big difference between that and "immediately after playing." There are most certainly studies that have followed children over the course of years to see if there was an overall change in their behavior over time.

more than 4 years ago
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Another Study Attacks Violent Video Games, Claims To Be "Conclusive"

porcupine8 Re:Correlation is not causation (587 comments)

Oh, so you've read the study and know for a fact that no methodologies were used that can piece apart correlation and causation? And that only immediate reactions were measured, no long-term effects?

more than 4 years ago
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Another Study Attacks Violent Video Games, Claims To Be "Conclusive"

porcupine8 Re:We should keep an open mind about this. (587 comments)

Oh boy. I'm going to dispense with the overly-sarcastic opening I was going to use and just address your "arguments," such as they are, one by one, but not in the order you presented them.

If video games have potentially thousands of effects, why would violence be strictly of concern?

Okay, I'm going to try and explain this in the simplest terms possible. The person I was replying to claimed that the study was biased because it did not simply research "What are the effects of video games on children." I said this was absurd because one study cannot capture all of these effects. I specifically did NOT say that every singe potential effect that anyone could possibly imagine is equally worthy of its own study. There are a wide variety of reasons that a researcher would choose one potential effect over another for study - personal bias is one, yes. But others include (but are not limited to) the existence of previous research showing similar effects in a related field, and testing a theoretical framework that would suggest the presence or absence of a particular effect. These theoretical frameworks are generally based on such previous work, but in their infancy might also include some logical thinking and common sense. Which brings us to...

Would testing the influence of video games on the rates of homosexuality make for a good study (cause you know Tetris does have homoerotic undertones)? How about likelihood of video game players to favor volunteer work?

How many violent video games (remember, this study is only on VIOLENT video games, not ALL video games) feature violence, or other factors that have been related to violence in previous studies? How many feature homosexuality, or factors that have been related to violence in other studies? How many feature volunteerism, or other factors that have been related to volunteerism in other studies? I'm guessing the first number will be much higher than the other two. This does not, of course, mean that violent video games cause or are even correlated with violence - but it does mean that one could probably make a sound theoretical argument for studying it. There are probably people out there studying video games and sexuality as well as video games and volunteerism. I myself study video games (and television) and the understanding of scientific practice. You are making a huge mistake in assuming that just because some people study violence, doesn't mean nobody is studying the possible positive effects.

Couldn't violence be completely mitigated by one of the other effects? Couldn't a combination of other effects lead to violence (not specific to video games)?

It's entirely possible. Why don't you go read the 130 studies involved and see if any of them controlled for any of these factors? I'll bet at least a few of them did. Not saying they all do, or do it as well as they could, but this is what these people do for a living.

What you are telling me is the questions the social sciences are conditioned to ask reflect less any discernible data (quite honestly if the social sciences can't differentiate through several different possible responses, it is immature science that should know better than to come to an conclusions on this matter) but merely reinforce cultural norms and stereotypes by the very nature of the questions it asks.

No, that is bullshit that you made up yourself. Please show me where I said that social scientists do not use existing data/studies to formulate their research questions.

more than 4 years ago
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Another Study Attacks Violent Video Games, Claims To Be "Conclusive"

porcupine8 Re:We should keep an open mind about this. (587 comments)

I want to give you and parent a hug right now. Being a social scientist on Slashdot feels kinda like being a biologist on a creationism website sometimes.

more than 4 years ago
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Another Study Attacks Violent Video Games, Claims To Be "Conclusive"

porcupine8 Re:We should keep an open mind about this. (587 comments)

You have clearly never tried to do social sciences research. Simply asking "What effects to video games have on children?" is FAR too broad a question for any study. Video games potentially have hundreds, thousands of effects. You cannot design a single study that will successfully measure them all. You can't design a GOOD study that measures more than a couple of them at a time. While a super-general study that tries to count a lot of possible effects might be a good idea at the very very beginning of a brand-new line of research, video games have been researched for decades now, and media in general for even longer. We know a good-sized list of things they may affect, there is no reason to try to study more than a couple of those things at a time.

For example, some studies look at video games' effect on spatial reasoning. Are those studies also biased? Must every study measure both propensity to violence AND ability to count items at the periphery of your vision??

This study may be biased (I, like you, have not actually read it yet, so I don't know), but to say it is biased because it asks a valid, researchable question is idiotic.

more than 4 years ago
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Another Study Attacks Violent Video Games, Claims To Be "Conclusive"

porcupine8 Re:We should keep an open mind about this. (587 comments)

From the TFA:

The study was published today in the March 2010 issue of the Psychological Bulletin, an American Psychological Association journal.

Unfortunately, it's not up on their website yet or I'd link you right to the paper.

Oh wait, actually he has a preprint up on his own website. For free.

more than 4 years ago
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Another Study Attacks Violent Video Games, Claims To Be "Conclusive"

porcupine8 Re:We should keep an open mind about this. (587 comments)

Thank goodness someone here is sane. No, I don't like that the guy is calling for this to have policy implications either, but I'm not going to condemn the entire study for that.

Pulling out old saws like "correlation doesn't imply causation" doesn't even work here - his meta-analysis includes studies with a variety of methodologies, some of which are designed to piece apart true causation from mere correlation. Nor can you claim that he's only looking at certain types of people (chances are, with 130 studies there's quite a range), or not controlling for other variables (again, 130 studies - probably everything and anything you can imagine has been controlled for in at least one of them). Anyone who wants to attack this guy needs to read the actual paper and make rational decisions based on the actual soundness of his methodology.

more than 4 years ago
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Total number of conventional, paid positions I've held:

porcupine8 Re:First... (357 comments)

Yeah, I found this question to be too confusing to answer. I've been paid a decent salary for being a grad student for 3 years now - is that conventional enough to count? What about the tuition reimbursement I got for being an RA during my master's? What about the hourly paid research positions I held as an undergrad (some of which I'd do for pay one semester and for credit the next semester)?

more than 4 years ago

Submissions

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Detective: Only Pedophiles Play Animal Crossing

porcupine8 porcupine8 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

porcupine8 (816071) writes "KMIZ, a Missouri ABC affiliate, is running a brief story about the possibility of predators using online Wii games such as Animal Crossing: City Folk to communicate with children. It should come as no surprise to anyone by now that pedophiles would use an internet-based means of communication to find victims, though the article notes that so far only three children in Missouri have been targeted in this way. The less obvious conclusions come from Detective Andy Anderson, coordinator of the Mid-Missouri Internet Crimes Task Force, who claims that "There is no reason an adult should have this game [AA:CF]." He goes on to admit that "The equipment is real expensive and we cannot afford to buy all of the systems and do not have the resources either to examine all of the possibilities," which makes one wonder on what he is basing his assertions."
Link to Original Source
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Michael Crichton Dies at 66

porcupine8 porcupine8 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

porcupine8 (816071) writes "Science fiction author Michael Crichton passed away today from cancer, at the age of 66. Crichton is the author of many popular science fiction novels such as The Andromeda Strain, Sphere, and Jurassic Park, as well as non-sci-fi thrillers such as Disclosure and several non-fiction books. Many of his novels have been turned into blockbuster movies or TV mini-series, and he was the creator of the long-running (in its final season) TV show ER.

Reading Sphere when I was fifteen helped spur my interest in a career in psychological research, so I am very sad to hear that he's gone at only 66."
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Scrabulous Returns to Facebook - as Wordscraper

porcupine8 porcupine8 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

porcupine8 (816071) writes "Good news for those that have had a hole in their heart (and Facebook profile) since Hasbro forced Facebook to remove Scrabulous over copyright and trademark issues. The creators of Scrabulous have wasted no time in tweaking the game and have launched a new tile-based game called Wordscraper. In addition to changing the name, they have changed the board look so as not to directly copy the colors, etc of a Scrabble board, and have even made provisions for players to create their own board layout! Interested Scrabulous fans can add the application now. Only time will tell if the changes were extensive enough to keep Hasbro's lawyers at bay."
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porcupine8 porcupine8 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

porcupine8 (816071) writes "If you've wandered the web outside of Slashdot lately, you've surely come across the ever-present cat macros, also known as Lolcats. Originally a product of the 4chan forums, they have exploded in popularity thanks to sites such as I Can Has Cheezburger (named after the caption in a popular early lolcat) and spinoffs like LOLTrek.

It seems that the lolcats are better-educated than anyone guessed, and have been putting their computer science skills to use in the development of the new programming language LOLCode. This may look like a simple joke at first, but a quick glance through the contributions section of the site shows that far too many people have spent far too much time bringing this to fruition."

Link to Original Source
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porcupine8 porcupine8 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

porcupine8 (816071) writes "The Kansas State Board of Education has changed the state science standards once again, this time to take out language questioning evolution. This turnaround comes fast on the heels of the ouster given this past election to the ultra-conservative Board members who originally introduced the language. "Science" has also been re-redefined as "a human activity of systematically seeking natural explanations" (the word "natural" had been previously stricken from the definition).

If you'd like to see the new standards, a version showing all additions and deletions is available from the KS DOE's website (PDF)."
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porcupine8 porcupine8 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

porcupine8 (816071) writes "Like the Playstation 3, the Nintendo Wii sold out on launch day this weekend. Unlike the PS3, the launch was a peaceful affair with no reports yet of console-related violence in the US. This may be partially due to the fact that Nintendo promises to have a total of four million units in stores by Christmas, with the bulk of those going to North America.

Midnight launch parties on both the east and west coasts ushered the new console in with a bang."

Journals

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Slashdot and the Social Sciences

porcupine8 porcupine8 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Argh. I know that if you are reading this, you are probably some kind of scientist or engineer, if not by trade then at least in mindset.

You are probably not a social scientist. I am. There are not many of us on Slashdot. So please, take a moment and let me explain a bit about our work to you:

It's true, correlation does not imply causation. However, not every SS study is a correlative study. There actually are ways to measure causation. Even ones that don't require a perfectly randomized full experiment, which is very hard to do when dealing with human subjects and nearly impossible to do if you're trying to find out how things work in the real world rather than how they work within a particular laboratory setup. There are many methodological and statistical techniques for piecing apart the likelihood of a correlation pointing to causation.

In addition to that, plenty of studies that do not measure causation don't claim to be. Now, the press release put out by their university might. The random blogger who posted about it might. But that doesn't mean that the authors actually claimed to find causation with methodologies that can only find correlation. Generally, that kind of thing gets mentioned in the peer review process.

So please, the next time you see a psychology/behavioral/education/other social science study on Slashdot, do not automatically cry "Correlation does not imply causation!!" without even reading the paper or understanding their methodologies or what they actually did or did not claim. And REALLY do not use this as your entire justification for declaring the study completely illegitimate. You just sound like a creationist who has wandered into a discussion of evolution and yelled "But what about entropy???"

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Hi, whoever you are.

porcupine8 porcupine8 writes  |  more than 8 years ago Are you the person who just went through and modded five of my last eight comments as Troll? None of which were the least bit trollish, some of which had already been modded up a couple times?

I'm not too worried about my karma, as it's high enough that -5 won't hurt it much. And likely if these get metamodded you won't get mod points too often in the future, so you won't be able to do this again hopefully. But I'm curious as to why the hell you did it. So if you could leave a comment here and let me know why you randomly decided to be an asshole, or why you hate me, or whatever your motivation was, I'd appreciate it.

Thanks so much! :^D

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