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Messages - JoshCrow

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General Comments / Re: Poll on race
« on: September 17, 2017, 04:11:51 AM »
The questions indeed are ill-posed, but consider: only 3% disagree that there should be "equal treatment"... and 4% express support for Neo Nazis. All things considered, isn't that pretty much what one would expect? Not only that, but one who strongly believes in affirmative action or reparations might be in that 3%.

Remember, 7% of people polled believe milk comes from brown cows (and some of those are trolls).

General Comments / Re: The information war is real, and we’re losing it
« on: September 08, 2017, 10:23:18 PM »
Fenring, your position amounts to an obstinate know-nothingism whereby you've moved the standards for accepting something as "almost certainly true" so far afield of where most reasonable persons would place it that you can essentially do nothing but claim "you can't prove that" about accepted narratives in public while privately believing things that are way more unlikely. It's basically like a mental motte and bailey whereby you subject mainstream narratives to intense scrutiny while giving undue weight to mere possibilities.

Many things I've heard you and others propose as 'alternative' narratives fail the basic test of requiring too many people being silent for too long a time.

General Comments / Re: Destruction and theft of cultural heritage
« on: August 16, 2017, 11:28:31 PM »
They didn't take the bait and instead let Baphomet be installed.

I'm not finding any evidence that this happened as you describe. In fact it looks like the opposite happened: Oklahoma withdrew from replacing a Ten Commandments statue rather than accept Baphomet as well, and the last record I have of the statue is it being placed into storage while waiting for a petition for Arkansas to approve it!

Edit: it looks like they finally has success in Minnesota, but not with Baphomet:

General Comments / Re: Destruction and theft of cultural heritage
« on: August 16, 2017, 09:34:49 PM »
When they're finished with the confederate monuments, guaranteed it's not going to stop.

Maybe, but you and I (and many others) are going to stop agreeing with them, and that's worth something considering the relevance of these symbols is up to us (collectively speaking).

Incidentally, I don't support destroying the works (or having mobs do the removal) - just moving them to a museum is sufficient to change their context from "inappropriate" to, I think, "public service". Some have also suggested relocating them to Confederate cemeteries, which I also like.

General Comments / Re: Destruction and theft of cultural heritage
« on: August 16, 2017, 06:55:49 PM »
It's indisputable that statues such as Lee's are a part of Southern heritage and history. Whether or not one likes that heritage or what it meant at the time, it should be clear enough that eliminating the cultural presence of that which a majority currently dislikes is pretty tyrannical. Can you imagine if someone suggested removing a Jewish monument on the grounds that they dislike the tenets of Judaism?

Would you say the same if the discussion was about taking down a statue of Hitler in some corner of Germany? It fits all the descriptors you've used - part of heritage and history, revered by a small segment of the population, disliked by the majority, etc.

Let me suggest to you that specifically public symbolism is a category in which the social mores of the population are actually relevant. Because symbols convey meanings, unless they convey something the general population agrees should be conveyed then they aren't actually fulfilling their primary reason for existing. Remember, these are public! That they inspire a few is not enough - they must be accepted by the people or they are essentially a misrepresentation of the values of the people in their midst.

General Comments / Re: Charlottsville
« on: August 16, 2017, 11:44:08 AM »
You have to convince me that such a study has correctly identified as "right wing" terrorists, and that it's actually appropriately flagged the other side as well.

For example, how does it flag violence by Anti-fa?  I read this morning that BLM supporters have been charged with killing almost 10 police officers to date, how does that figure into the figures?  I already know the answer, it doesn't count it at all.

Show me a source that objectively classifies all attacks to which the terror label could be applied, and I'll show show you have the labels are being manipulated.

Well, have at it, here's the official source (complete with its definitions):

Among the other findings in there I would note - even with the BLM shootings, more police officers were still killed by right-wing extremists in the 2010-2016 window.

Mind you, it does look like Islamists have cornered the market on "bombings" and left-wingers/eco-terrorists on "property damage".

And here is some more analysis of the work. There's certainly stuff in there for you to chew on and gripe about, but I'm not sure it undercuts the findings, which were apparently replicated.

The statistic from the ADL, which looked at domestic extremism from 2007 to 2016, found about 275 murders at the hands of those who the ADL considers right-wing extremists. The ADL’s definition of right-wing extremists includes but is not limited to white supremacists, anti-government extremists and anti-abortion extremists.

ADL’s death count includes non-ideological murders committed by extremists, i.e. gang violence or other criminal activity that does not have a political or racial motive. “It is common for adherents of extremist movements to commit non-ideological acts of violence, which can range from killing a suspected informant to assassinating a rival to acts of violence stemming from traditional criminal motives, such as anger or greed,” says a 2016 ADL report.

The ADL admits the number of deaths may skew towards white supremacist crime because members of this ideological group sometimes sport distinctive tattoos or may be known to corrections officers, so non-ideological crimes by white supremacists are easier to spot. “It is fair to say that non-ideological murders committed by extremists other than white supremacists are probably underrepresented here,” the ADL report says.

The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to the ADL to assess the source data behind the “74 percent” statistic, but the ADL declined to provide the data. “We did not make the full data set public,” the communications team told TheDCNF.

Instead, TheDCNF conducted an independent analysis of domestic extremism for the same 10-year time frame. The analysis only includes instances where domestic extremists had a clear ideological motive.

The data from our analysis comes from the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), a university research center partially funded by the Department of Homeland Security.

Our findings support the ADL statistic. Using their definition of right-wing extremists, we found that 92 percent of ideologically motivated homicide incidents were committed with a right-wing extremist or white supremacist motive.

General Comments / Re: Charlottsville
« on: August 16, 2017, 10:46:18 AM »

The problem with this analysis is that there is little to no evidence that the percentage of people on the Right willing to commit violence is going up or even material.

As a point of information (do with it what you will), right-wing violence generally surpasses Islamist terror in the US as far as incidence rates go.

“Since September 12, 2001,” noted a recent report prepared for Congress by the Government Accountability Office, “the number of fatalities caused by domestic violent extremists has ranged from 1 to 49 in a given year. … Fatalities resulting from attacks by far-right wing violent extremists have exceeded those caused by radical Islamist violent extremists in 10 of the 15 years, and were the same in 3 of the years since September 12, 2001.” Imagine that.

The report continues: “Of the 85 violent extremist incidents that resulted in death since September 12, 2001, far-right wing violent extremist groups were responsible for 62 (73 percent) while radical Islamist violent extremists were responsible for 23 (27 percent).” That’s a margin of almost three to one.

The report points out that “the total number of fatalities is about the same for far-right wing violent extremists and radical Islamist violent extremists over the approximately 15-year period,” with the latter edging out the former by 119 to 106. However, the report also acknowledges that “41 percent of the deaths attributable to radical Islamist violent extremists occurred in a single event — an attack at an Orlando, Florida night club in 2016.”

Islamist terrorists, it seems, are more deadly in terms of the number of people killed in each of their attacks, yet far-right terrorists are far more active in carrying out attacks on U.S. soil.

Yeah, the right will always have that Bernie-supporting Congress shooter to point to as an example, but if we're expected to get agitated about Islamist terror on the homefront, then why not include the right-wing?

Note: Personally, I see neither force as statistically worrisome, so I'm merely knocking all media-generated panic here.

General Comments / Re: Google manifesto
« on: August 10, 2017, 11:07:34 PM »
.. and a really nice piece of meta-analysis by the Heterodox Academy (which I have recently applied to join!)

The research findings are complicated, as you can see from the many abstracts containing both red and green text, and from the presence on both sides of the debate of some of the top researchers in psychology. Nonetheless, we think that the situation can be greatly clarified by distinguishing abilities from interests. We think the following three statements are supported by the research reviewed above:
1. Gender differences in math/science ability, achievement, and performance are small or nil. (See especially the studies by Hyde; see also this review paper by Spelke, 2005). The one exception to this statement seems to be spatial abilities, such as the ability to rotate 3-dimensional objects in one’s mind. This ability may be relevant in some areas of engineering, but it’s not clear why it would matter for coding. Thus, the large gender gap in coding (and in tech in general) cannot be explained as resulting to any substantial degree from differences in ability between men and women.
2. Gender differences in interest and enjoyment of math, coding, and highly “systemizing” activities are large. The difference on traits related to preferences for “people vs. things” is found consistently and is very large, with some effect sizes exceeding 1.0. (See especially the meta-analyses by Su and her colleagues, and also see this review paper by Ceci & Williams, 2015).
3. Culture and context matter, in complicated ways. Some gender differences have decreased over time as women have achieved greater equality, showing that these differences are responsive to changes in culture and environment. But the cross-national findings sometimes show “paradoxical” effects: progress toward gender equality in rights and opportunities sometimes leads to larger gender differences in some traits and career choices. Nonetheless, it seems that actions taken today by parents, teachers, politicians, and designers of tech products may increase the likelihood that girls will grow up to pursue careers in tech, and this is true whether or not biology plays a role in producing any particular population difference. (See this review paper by Eagly and Wood, 2013).

General Comments / Re: Google manifesto
« on: August 10, 2017, 10:29:52 PM »
A barrage of some of the relevant research, courtesy of Jordan Peterson:

Sex differences in personality:
Larger/large and stable sex differences in more gender-neutral countries: (Note: these findings runs precisely and exactly contrary to social constructionist theory: thus, it's been tested, and it's wrong).
(Women's) interest in things vs (men's) interest in things:
The importance of exposure to sex-linked steroids on fetal and then lifetime development:
Exposure to prenatal testosterone and interest in things (even when the exposure is among females):
Primarily biological basis of personality sex differences:
Status and sex: males and females
To quote de Bruyn et al (first reference on status and sex, above): high status predicts more mating opportunities and, thus, increased reproductive success. “This is true for human adults in many cultures, both ‘modern’ as well as ‘primitive’ (Betzig, 1986). In fact, this theory seems to be confirmed for non-human primates (Cheney, 1983; Cowlishaw and Dunbar, 1991; Dewsbury, 1982; Gray, 1985; Maslow, 1936) and other animals from widely differing ecologies (Ellis, 1995) such as squirrels (Farentinos, 1972), cockerels (Kratzer and Craig, 1980), and cockroaches (Breed, Smith, and Gall, 1980).” Status also increases female reproductive success, via a different pathway: “For females, it is generally argued that dominance is not necessarily a path to more copulations, as it is for males. It appears that important benefits bestowed upon dominant women are access to resources and less harassment from rivals (Campbell, 2002). Thus, dominant females tend to have higher offspring survival rates, at least among simians (Pusey, Williams, and Goodall, 1997); thus, dominance among females also appears to be linked to reproductive success.”
Personality and political belief
Conscientiousness associated with conservatism; neuroticism and agreeableness with liberalism:
Occupations by gender:

General Comments / Re: Google manifesto
« on: August 10, 2017, 11:09:24 AM »

How about this assessment of his screed, from an evolutionary biologist:

The bottom line is that his assumptions about sex differences are controversial at best, simply false at worst, and certainly not supported by science.  They are primarily supported by the prejudices of our society (or parts thereof).

The last statement in the quoted piece is attacking a strawman of women being "worse" at software engineering. It shows me that the author isn't even rebutting the real point (that it's about lack of INTEREST in the engineering, not lack of ability).

Not controversial. Accepted science.

I'll see your scientist and raise you FOUR scientists.

General Comments / Re: Google manifesto
« on: August 09, 2017, 02:30:26 PM »
Good interview with the guy who wrote the manifesto by Jordan Peterson (a Canadian psychology prof who recently got into his own kerfuffle for refusing to use newfangled transgender pronouns):

General Comments / Re: Google manifesto
« on: August 08, 2017, 02:34:06 PM »
A little relevant comedy from the Simpsons...

General Comments / Re: Google manifesto
« on: August 08, 2017, 11:13:51 AM »
It seems that he was really hot about programs benefitting PoC and women even existing. And there was an argument to be made about that, although I personally am in favor of such programs. I suspect Google would have allowed that debate to occur, although it is impossible to say.

Actually he proposed programs benefitting PoC and women, a point that I think is getting lost here. They just took a different form than the usual thrust of such programs (combatting bias, etc.). I think it's commendable to bring new strategies to the table when you want to tear down the old ones.

Judging people based on gender stereotypes is inherently foolish.

Let me suggest that you really mean judging individuals based on gender stereotypes is foolish. Judging in aggregate form is wholly appropriate when your mission is expressly to enact policy.

It's also not like he proposed that Google should build a "crying room" for sad, stressed women. :)

General Comments / Re: Google manifesto
« on: August 08, 2017, 10:32:53 AM »
I think "more neurotic" implies inferiority. It's also a short step from biological differences to biologically inferior. I'm not sure how well he keeps from taking that step.

He qualified that as higher anxiety and lower stress tolerance. I dunno, I'm plenty aware of bad things one could say about men on average but none of that points to "inferior". It's again like judging a wrench to be bad because it isn't interested in pounding nails.

General Comments / Re: Google manifesto
« on: August 08, 2017, 10:08:17 AM »
How everyone gets to "women are inferior" from "women are different" is deeply troubling. It's like declaring a wrench to be inferior to a hammer. There's this weird value-attribution going on.

Are men "inferior" for not wanting to be nurses or veterinarians as much as women because of biological factors (among others)?

Great analysis by Scott Alexander here:

General Comments / Google manifesto
« on: August 08, 2017, 12:20:37 AM »
So apparently you can get fired for your wrong opinion, even if that opinion is presented constructively in a reasonably well-assembled argument that also calls for civil discussion.

Seriously, I'm wishing I could kick Google in the metaphorical nuts right now. Anyone have any idea how I can add my voice to the chorus opposing this behavior?

I'm not a conservative, but I'm increasingly siding with them. This is an outrage.

General Comments / Re: Military Ban on Transgender
« on: July 28, 2017, 09:33:10 AM »

You equivocated between ancestry and race.

No, I'm just using the terms correctly, and not as the strawman versions that make "race" something like "species". Race is obviously something like hereditary phenotypes determined by ancestral origins. It is both biological and historical/cultural. Is it not "a social construct" unless you count geographic separation for long spans of evolutionary time as a "social" situation.

General Comments / Re: Military Ban on Transgender
« on: July 28, 2017, 08:22:02 AM »

So yes, the black man who feels "white" is merely contravening an arbitrary social construct based on a fallacy. The biological male who considers himself a "woman" by contrast is far more dubious.

Uhhhh, no, you can't fake ancestry because you "feel" a certain way. Jason I'm surprised at you.

General Comments / Re: Military Ban on Transgender
« on: July 28, 2017, 08:20:45 AM »

I am not saying sex should be the be all end all of determining gender - but listening to trans activists talk you would think that the instant, say, a biological male says that he feels he is really female BOOM he's a she - and moreover, a *woman* whether he's got a penis, testicles and an adam's apple. And it's a fact that he's a woman like any woman and you better not say (or think) differently you're a bigot.

As a hypothetical, let's consider the possibility that science affirms that brains can be "male" or "female" definitively and biologically, and that trans persons are instances where a male brain is in a female body (or vice versa). In such a case, where would you stand on referring to the individual's sex? Would you use the brain, or the rest of the body?

General Comments / Re: Military Ban on Transgender
« on: July 28, 2017, 08:15:21 AM »
As for "gender", your statement is only true if we arbitrarily choose to privilege a person's subjective self image over his/her biological sex. This is not a scientific statement, but a purely ideological one.

Well, I've read some material showing there can be a biological basis for the feeling of one's brain being male or female regardless of one's sexual organ assignment. I'm not well versed in the details, but there are some markers that seem to point towards parts of the brain that are more male vs. more female. So the feeling of being male or female may potentially be rooted in biology.

However that fact by itself only gets us so far, because the logical conclusion from having the feeling of femaleness (for instance) ought to be "I feel feminine". How one gets from there to "I AM a female" I don't know. I've yet to hear a single satisfactory explanation - even from a trans person or activist - who can explain where the leap from 'feeling like' a female/male yields the bold statement "I AM female/male".

Fenring, the source of the leap from "I feel" to "I am" is pretty straightforward and has to do with the primacy of the brain as the locus of one's self-identification. If I grafted your head onto the body of an octopus and you could control all the limbs and bodily functions of the octopus with your human brain.... would you consider yourself an octopus? Since the brain is pretty clearly the center of all self-perception and the rest of our physical corpus is just appendages under our control, why would the leap to "I am ___" from a female or male brain be unclear? Moreover, wouldn't that indicate that we should place our collective recognition of a person as being brain-based and not genital-based?

General Comments / Re: Military Ban on Transgender
« on: July 28, 2017, 07:51:14 AM »
I suspect there is a lot less tolerance for someone like Rachel Dolezal who believes they are of a different race.

The biological basis for "race" in humans is tenuous at best. Unlike sex, race is mostly a social construct and has little basis in biology. Thus I have vastly greater sympathy for the view that a "white" person can identify as "black" than that a biological female can identify as a "man".

I noticed you switched to "sex" on this claim, but aren't transgender persons largely about... um... gender? And isn't gender "mostly a social construct"?

I also never thought I'd hear the "race is a social construct" statement from you. That entire concept is essentially a meaningless observation that's been turned into some sort of eyeroll-inducing riposte used by academics to pretend race is "no big deal", which is  what that sentence really tries to do. Sorry, but if we all close our eyes and wish for race to go away, it does not - because it is the BIOLOGICAL product of different historical, geographical development. It is as real as its always been, and biological. Saying it isn't "from biology" is a cop out, because clusters of genetic distinction within homo sapiens sapiens is all that is really meant by "race" anyways.

I've never, ever seen anything like this. Most of my friends/contacts verge from centrist to leftist, and I still see a constant barrage of anti-Trump material being posted and commented on. I've never before seen statements on Facebook such as "Anyone who supports this dictator unfriend me immediately" written in all caps, where you know there's actual rage behind the words.

I'll just point out the obvious and note that you don't have right-wing friends and that's probably why you didn't grok the level of anti-Obama contempt in your feeds. It was out there and it was grotesque, just like the current level of vitriol. The primary difference is just who is doing it, and that mainstream media outlets and indeed I would dare say "the educated" (including conservative intellectuals) are now on the "opposition" side of things.

NYT has an op-ed today in which the author argues from a purely mechanical perspective that certain forms of speech are 'violence' insofar as they affect the body.

It ends with a "huh?" moment as the author undermines his own argument. She argued that acute things like speeches are "merely offensive" whereas actual damage is only cause by chronic, environmental problems. Then she goes on to say that a speech by Milo should be banned as violence but a speech by Charles Murray is "merely offensive". It's a conclusion that utterly doesn't follow from her argument.

It's true, there is an inherent one-sided interpretation to tolerance. Full tolerance would mean that someone could wander around the office telling jokes about mentally challenged people of color, and you should tolerate that because, hey its just a different viewpoint, right?

Why not post a "Sodomy is evil" poster in the breakroom? No big deal, right?

The Drake, a joke is not a "viewpoint", but the question of what to do when someone tells offensive jokes doesn't have one right answer (nor is that answer always "you're fired"). I would likely just not interact socially with such a person, or if they were really persistent, ask them to stop - and if they don't, I would get on with my life anyways, because dealing with annoying people is part of life.

"Sodomy is evil" poster would be taken down by management. I would, however, work with someone who held the belief that sodomy was evil if it meant completing a project. I would even work with someone who thought atheism was evil (I am an atheist). I suspect it wouldn't come up much.

I've never in all this thread argued that it needs to be illegal. I'm saying the person needs to be fired, let go, ostracised, black listedn when they are willfully and repeatedly incapable of taking trivial steps to avoid pissing people off.

Including professors who can't be bothered to try a new pronoun on for size.

Speaking as a professor (which I am) in that category (which I am), you've just suggested I should be fired, ostracised, and black listed. Surely this is more rude than mentioning "hell", and yet here I am still happy to talk and engage with you, even though you (knowingly or not) just made things personal.

I wonder if you'll afford me 'respect and adaptation'? Or does 'tolerance' not extend to different beliefs about how to be virtuous? If a Bernie-loving lefty like myself should be fired, what then? What of the rest of us imperfect masses whose viewpoints differ from yours? Should we have a purge in the ranks of dissenting voices?

So yes, I think you should be able to say "whatever foul thing".

Great idea. I can't wait to inhabit a professional environment where people can openly call each other "Ngr" and "Cnt" without repercussion.

You don't have to wait. Since in the current professional environment makes these things legal, you've inhabited this environment all your life. So - what's it like? Are those words you hear every day? Or are you, as I suspect, arguing to prevent something that doesn't actually happen all that much, like those folks worried about trans persons molesting women in restrooms.

Nevermind the fact that when someone throws around those words, they already ostracize themselves in the professional world.

I remember being in a situation where a Mormon co-worker objected to my use of the word "hell". My reaction wasn't to scoff, I actively stopped using the word around him because that's called respect and adaptation.

How nice and virtuous of you - but what if you had decided otherwise, and had a complaint lodged against you? Or worse - you were outed on social media for saying "hell" without reservation and were pilloried, resulting in your termination at your job?

'Respect' is nice when it's a choice you can make. 'Virtue' is noble when you could also choose not to be virtuous. Both of these cease to be meaningful when suddenly there are serious consequences for NOT choosing them. Instead of 'respect' it becomes about something different - 'protecting yourself'.

Enforced 'niceness' isn't niceness at all. It's fear.

So yes, I think you should be able to say "whatever foul thing". I'd prefer that over a fearful false 'niceness', putting on a show of being 'good'. At least then you can tell actual civil people apart from boors.

General Comments / Re: Taking all bets...
« on: July 06, 2017, 08:38:33 PM »
Chris Christie is totally perfect.

General Comments / Re: Corrrupt News Network
« on: July 06, 2017, 08:37:16 PM »
I still think publishing a person's name is to "doxxing" what spanking is to "child abuse" - yes, technically, but...  ::)

General Comments / Re: Corrrupt News Network
« on: July 06, 2017, 01:03:02 PM »
JoshCrow, maybe you can walk us through it.  This looks like a literal case of threatening to dox this guy.  Why do you think its not?  Is it just some bizarre belief that CNN can't dox someone by definition as a media provider?

I thought doxxing involved publicizing details such as a person's address/location, financials, etc. and that merely giving a name was not "doxxing" (specifically since "dox" refers to "documents").

However I looked it up and apparently I stand corrected! My bad. A name is enough to qualify - I'll concede that I was wrong about that term.

General Comments / Re: Corrrupt News Network
« on: July 06, 2017, 11:09:53 AM »
Crunch, you keep using that word "doxxing". I do not think it means what you think it means. Revealing someone's name is so common in the news that trying to tie it to malicious practice is in danger of becoming absurd.

I don't understand the need to portray a bad thing as worse than it is with rhetorical tricks. I don't like it on either side. This isn't "doxxing". He's not "a 15 year old". It was unethical enough already, it doesn't need to be the prelude to the end of the world.

General Comments / Re: Corrrupt News Network
« on: July 05, 2017, 10:59:24 PM »

Moral of the story in this case is if you're going to mock CNN, be very careful about how you do so, and hope it doesn't catch their attention if they could both: link it back to you and attribute certain other things to you which could turn your life into a living hell as the SJW's come out to destroy you.

Yes, yes, the sky is falling!  ::) We're all in terrible danger!! Anderson Cooper will be knocking on our door tomorrow with a horde of SJW's with pitchforks behind him.

You know, or something stupid got past an editor one time. I dunno, I could go either way.

General Comments / Re: Corrrupt News Network
« on: July 05, 2017, 07:43:19 PM »
Hey Josh, if you publish unflattering things about giant media behemoth they'll identify you, scour your social media for dirt and then paint you as a neo nazi on national tv unless you say sorry and agree never to offend them again. Hey it's free speech, lol.

Believe it or not, free speech protects the big as well as the small. As someone who cares deeply about speech I assumed you wouldn't wilt like a flower when it's speech you don't like, or from a source you don't like. But now I see your opportunistic take on speech for what it is.

To sum up my position:
- to decide not to publish the guy's name: ethical and legal
- to publicly or privately attach a condition on said anonymity: unethical and legal (as far as I can tell)

General Comments / Re: Corrrupt News Network
« on: July 05, 2017, 06:45:20 PM »
Josh, I'm not finding your "qualification" of it (which is pretty much directly lifted from CNN's self serving defense) remotely persuasive.

I corrected an error (and exaggeration) made by jason. It is what it is. I agree that CNN did a bad thing, but I am not drinking the Hate-o-rade.

If you get a call from CNN about what you believe is anonymous online posting and then immediately try to cleanse it and issue an apology, there's a pretty clear link.

If this is the sequence of events (e.g. all the person knew was that they had been identified), then there is a 'link', but it's hard to pin any malfeasance on the original contact. After all, if someone does something of note and the media calls, that's hardly surprising - it's essentially the media's job, and there was a clear public interest on the subject, since it involved the president.

When CNN itself, expressly states they are not making the name public based on a number of factors including your apology and commitment not to relapse, but then reserves the right to post the name  if any of those factors change, it's pretty clear case.

And I agree it was seriously unethical to dangle someone's identity conditionally.

  What gives CNN the right to publish the name of this individual?

The right? You mean the First Amendment? Freedom of the Press?

General Comments / Re: Corrrupt News Network
« on: July 05, 2017, 03:58:53 PM »
Correction - sounds like it wasn't done by a minor after all, but a middle-aged guy. Not that this changes much.

Some critics, including Donald Trump Jr., referred to the Reddit user as a 15-year-old, but it was not clear what that conclusion was based on. Mr. Kaczynski flatly denied the claim, saying that the user was an adult and that Mr. Trump and others were intentionally “spreading misinformation.”

Oh, now I further see that some BS exaggeration was taking place on this story.

General Comments / Re: Corrrupt News Network
« on: July 05, 2017, 03:37:06 PM »
Wow so CNN threatened to dox the guy if he didn't apologize. Pretty dispicable. The gloves are really coming off I see.

This isn't quite accurate. The exact quote is:

After posting his apology, "HanA**holeSolo" called CNN's KFile and confirmed his identity. In the interview, "HanA**holeSolo" sounded nervous about his identity being revealed and asked to not be named out of fear for his personal safety and for the public embarrassment it would bring to him and his family.
CNN is not publishing "HanA**holeSolo's" name because he is a private citizen who has issued an extensive statement of apology, showed his remorse by saying he has taken down all his offending posts, and because he said he is not going to repeat this ugly behavior on social media again. In addition, he said his statement could serve as an example to others not to do the same.
CNN reserves the right to publish his identity should any of that change.

In essence, it's more like "behave, or we'll publicize your identity". There's no need to mischaracterize it to make it worse (as I've seen people doing) - it's already bad. Big mistake on CNN's part, I'd say. Moreover, the original reason for not publishing his name could have simply been "he's a minor" and have been left at that.

That being said, when I first read the article I kinda enjoyed the piece, since it featured a troll who got outed and realized the error of his ways seemingly without needing the ham-handed and awful coercive move by CNN. Merely having daylight shined in his face was enough. I kinda liked that part, since I despise trolls.

General Comments / Re: Corrrupt News Network
« on: June 28, 2017, 07:44:25 AM »
My respect for an organization that issues a retraction goes up, not down. It suggests to me that errors will be corrected rather than ignored.
I even first read about the retraction on... CNN itself, as a headline item.

General Comments / Re: Oregon fines traffic light critic
« on: June 27, 2017, 07:30:04 PM »
Looks like it is just a preliminary injunction, the court case hasn't been heard yet.

Yes, but...
On 14 June, the board further admitted that its “interpretation violated Mr. Järlström’s rights under the First Amendment.”

Seems to me a slam dunk.

General Comments / Re: Oregon fines traffic light critic
« on: June 27, 2017, 10:24:46 AM »
Update - looks like he won a First Amendment civil court case on it...

General Comments / Re: Oregon fines traffic light critic
« on: June 13, 2017, 02:50:11 PM »
I am not licensed professionally as an engineer (with faculty, it's really a toss-up whether any given one is a registered P.E.) but colloquially describe myself as an engineer all the time to refer to my background in the topic. It would be a no-no for me to have a job title that specifically marked me as an 'engineer' unless I got licensed. That being said, what this guy did was not "his job" but rather was making civic suggestions while using the 'e' word to show that he was not just some crackpot but had relevant knowledge.

This is a really lame misuse of the law regarding the practice of engineering, and not at all what the law was meant to do (protect the common expectations of professionalism surrounding engineering)

Fenring, your supposition is made moot by a single line of that self-same NYT report.

It was also part of the classified intelligence that President Trump is accused of revealing

Moreover, while cyber espionage CAN be conducted without assets on the ground, they sure help. I don't know how you can rule that out summarily. If there is an insider who is enabling the backdoor into the bombmakers that would indeed be an asset who is now endangered. And, either way, this is an intelligence operation that has been compromised, even without such an agent.

Your claim of "fake news" is weak sauce.

Pete, I just turned up 156,000 hits for "I have a lonely soul", so perhaps this is just an allergy against the word "solitary"?

that sounds exactly like English, i.e. "I am a solitary soul" vs "I have a solitary soul."  The latter would be taken as the former, but it's just awkward and unusual, since the nature of one's "soul" is generally considered "who you are" rather than "something about you."

Speaking on my own now - I find nothing awkward about it. "I have an old soul" is quite a common saying, for example. The soul is often regarded as a property of a person and not their entirety (which include the body).

She says "je suis" puts the emphasis on "who you are", whereas "j'ai" is more like "this is something about me". She notes that they would probably both be understood the same way in conversing (there isn't a huge distinction for her), and she adds that interesingly the use of "solitaire" indicates aloneness but NOT loneliness (i.e. this is not distress about being alone, which would be "esolee" instead of "solitaire").

My wife is a french translator and just weighed in. She says the words "j'ai une ame solitaire" indicates a property of the speaker's self, namely a thing akin to saying "I have a preference for being alone/solitary".

Taking him at his word...about what? I don't know why these issues always have to be all or nothing with everyone. I neither have to 'take his word' for anything nor do I have to suggest that he 'needs to be stopped.

Then don't enter into evidence the idea that Putin "went on the record" saying he wanted to be friends.


If that's what was going on I'd be very supportive of it. I believe the media does have a good positioning to be critical of abuses of power, corruption, and inhumane behavior. It's too bad, then, that they're corporate shills instead who have no motive except the bottom line. If some hypothetical media was taking the piss out of dictators I'd be all for it. For this media that we have right now - no, it's disingenuous propaganda being put out to further someone else's agenda, as Jason points out. It's certainly not with any intent to reform Russia or help create bridges between the two countries, because, you know, that would be the actual way to help the situation. Neither the U.S. powers that be nor the media want any sort of rapprochement right now, and any move to 'help our Russian friends improve their standards' would just be labeled as being in Putin's pocket. I wish we had what you're suggesting, but it's utterly implausible to read virtuous motives into the stories that have been put out about Russia.

Hogwash - there are so many people willing to write such stories pretty much pro bono if it will hurt a despot. It beggars belief that you think they are all just a bunch of shills. If I were a journalist, would you say that of me? You are hopelessly sweeping away all of journalism under the banner of being bought-and-sold. It's a position that is simultaneously indefensible (impeaching the moral character of everyone in mass media) and rhetorically indestructible from an argument standpoint, since there's literally no way to get inside the head of all employed journalists so that I can convince you that they are not all in the tank.

I leave you to this breathlessly cynical belief and hope you'll one day meet some journalists.

Having someone else shoot a gun instead of you doing it yourself isn't non-violence, it's just kicking the can.

If you witnessed a person being abused by their spouse, would you not counsel and encourage them to take action? Would you not provide them with support, both moral and even material? It is not 'handing them a gun' - it is to provide the support necessary for THEM to take the action in their own home. It does not mean you go over there and punch their spouse - it  is about teaching the victim that they don't have to fight back alone.

If by "supporting a local rebellion" you mean to have supportive demonstrations, i.e. to give them our moral support, in that case I'm all for it. We should speak in favor of good changes. But actively participating in foreign rebellious activities to promote American interests is, afaik, illegal under international law, and immoral to boot. When Russia is even merely accused of releasing true data about the DNC they are "subverting democracy", but when the idea is brought up to literally overthrow foreign governments it's fine, because, as Arnie put it in True Lies, "Yeah, but they were all bad."

Again, I view supplying support, both moral AND material, for a battered spouse or citizen to take action as morally justified. You could scold me for saying "it's none of your business what goes on in someone else's house/country", but as I am interested in all human business, I see it as self-evidently justifiable.

The question (really the only point worth arguing) is what materially supporting activities are warranted, and what crosses the line. The line depends, I think, on the situation at hand.

I would like to see the promotion of non-violent methods of working with other countries to improve human rights there, and to work with their governments to try to reduce abuses of their people.

That last sentence may be one of the most naive things I've seen you put to the page. Work WITH despots to try to reduce abuses of their people... gee, what a great idea.  ::) Why didn't I think of just asking Mr. Putin to stop murdering or imprisoning his political opponents?

Incidentally (or perhaps more to the point) someone being a 'villain' in some capacity is not justification for trying to pin every bad thing on them, or sabre rattling about shooting down their planes. There are plenty of 'bad guys' around the world, but that alone is insufficient justification to take direct aggressive action against them. A country being run by a scumbag or gangster is not any legal ground to invading them, attacking them, undermining their government, or any number of other things. In fact, not only isn't it enough to show that someone is villainous, it isn't even enough to show they've done something reprehensible to another country like attack of bomb them. Unless they are directly threatening America or American allies I think it's a very hard sell to legitimize direct action against such people; and this isn't merely a legal point, but a moral one as well. When you look at North Korea, for example, there we have a case of direct threats being made and I could sympathize with a desire to go do something about it. Likewise I sympathize with Israel not being too thrilled with some of what Iranian officials have said about Israel in the past. But Russia? Putin has gone on record countless times saying he wants better relations with America and will step up to any process where that can be advanced. So show me the leaders who've tried to take him up on that to see if he means it? *crickets*

You of all people taking Putin (Putin!) at his word is worth a laugh. I wish your skepticism towards the relevance of public posturing applied here, but it seems to have vanished.

To your larger point, you seem to be harping on 'direct action' whereas Jason's point which I was addressing was the media stoking fires against Putin. Surely you are not suggesting it is beyond the scope of American media to persistently and forcefully criticize a murderous power-mad despot. How quickly you pivot to invasion or 'undermining government' (whatever that means... are harsh words to be taken for 'undermining'?).

That's just the half of it. I find the idea of being a bystander to horrors carried out by other countries morally repellant. It's certainly not an attitude to crow about. That isn't to say we have to blunder off to war to knock over dictators (leaving chaos behind), but I would say pretty much any non-violent way to oppose such regimes can and should be taken. That includes even supporting a local rebellion, promoting regime change and making an international case (directly to the people of said country if possible) against the leader in question.

And speaking of motives to lie, it's been increasingly apparent to me that U.S. policy has been to vilify Putin and Russia at every turn. This was obvious long before the election.

This is a fairly recent development, you should note. Until 2014 it was simply not the case.

The defining incident was the annexation of Crimea and the "operations" (for lack of a better word) in eastern Ukraine. Everything pivoted at that moment. I think the bottom line is that it proved Putin irredeemable to many in the West. I can't say I blame them - frankly I support the "vilification", since he is indeed a worthy villain.

General Comments / Re: Trump Fires FBI Directer Comey
« on: May 12, 2017, 02:01:06 PM »
As a very active President with lots of things happening, it is not possible for my surrogates to stand at podium with perfect accuracy!  Maybe the best thing to do would be to cancel all future “press briefings” and hand out written responses for the sake of accuracy???

Given he's being lambasted for his surrogates having stale information because he moves too quickly, what's unreasonable about that snarky statement?  No reasonable person (ie only the left wing media) would interpret that as a "threat to cancel all White House press briefings."

Dude, it literally describes canceling all White House press briefings because he can't get his surrogates in order. It's *right there*. Now you're telling me I'm an "unreasonable person"? His words say what they do and you can't really change that by pretending that the most basic, literal reading of them is "unreasonable".

General Comments / Re: Trump Fires FBI Directer Comey
« on: May 12, 2017, 12:01:21 PM »
This is only one possibility, of course, but given what Trump said it seems to be what he was communicating; i.e. don't do anything stupid, because I'll make certain the public will know about it.

Actually you have it backwards. The threat was "don't let the public know about it, or I'll do something stupid." It was about the possibility of leaking their conversations to the public (which I believe you just called a 'harmful action' and indicated that this is a correct threat to make... are you really advocating the government secrecy position?)

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