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Politics and Government / Re: Mr. Trump Goes to Washington
« Last post by Skybison on Today at 11:27:12 pm »
I believe it is false and unhelpful to declare that every single person who voted for Trump to be completely, utterly, irredeemably evil.  Most humans are morally complicated and posses a mixture of good and bad traits (ie my dad was a loving father who dedicated his life to help others as a parole officer because he truly wanted to help others.  He was also a homophobe who told me when I first asked what a gay person was that they were selfish people who didn't follow God's plan).

But to say that Trump voters did something morally wrong and bare responsibility for it does not amount to that.  You can say that someone has done wrong without claiming them to be 100% evil.

Is it morally right to vote for a candidate for whose favor the game was rigged? Maybe I should go around telling off Hillary voters for "supporting corruption".

A lot of Americans were caught between a rock and a hard place. There were many who either stayed home or . And I don't blame them. After the revelations that the DNC rigged the game in Hillary's favor, I don't think we have any right to judge people who didn't vote for her.

How many of you understand why so many people voted for Trump? How many of you have looked more deeply into the matter? I've looked, and if I'm honest? For a lot of these people, I can understand, even sympathize with why they did it, even if I don't like the result. Instead of looking down on people for exercising their democratic rights in a way we didn't like, I think we should try to understand their grievances and motivations.

I have no idea what that has to do with what I said.

Democrats maybe rigging the primary for Hillary doesn't have anything to do with why people supported Trump, that didn't come into it until well after Trump had the republican nomination.  There were 16 other republican candidates to choose from, all of whom, even Ted Cruz, would have been better then Donald.  But Donald made howling Racism central to his campaign and that pulled him to the front of the race.

In fact you know what Direct Question:  Do you agree or disagree that the grievances and motivations of many Trump voters were racist? 

And for the record I take that "Hillary was corrupt" about as seriously as I take the bit from Radiation that she voted Trump because Hillary said something racist.  Donald has a long and well documented history of staggering financial corruption from stealing money from his charities to running a fraudulent "university" if corruption was the problem Hillary was obviously the lesser evil.


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Entertainment and Television / Re: Video Game Thread 2.0
« Last post by Cloud3514 on Today at 10:59:41 pm »
Except for the boss in the Oil Ocean Zone. Fuck that thing.
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Science and Technology / Re: Google facing multiple lawsuits
« Last post by Eiki-mun on Today at 10:56:32 pm »
Correction: Religion and Philosophy is being reclaimed by people from FSTDT who talk about the Christian News Network. It's actually kinda fun to watch them.

Other than that, very well written post, Murdin.
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Entertainment and Television / Re: TV Shows
« Last post by RavynousHunter on Today at 10:33:08 pm »
I forgot about that bit...hm.  Maybe not as stupid as I'd thought, but still damned stupid.
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Science and Technology / Re: Google facing multiple lawsuits
« Last post by Murdin on Today at 10:02:08 pm »
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Askold already pointed out how the article resorts to lowbrow nitpicking to make its lame points. That's certainly true, but it won't be the focus of my criticism. There's worse, so much worse than that to be found in this Gish gallop, and this time our buddy will NOT be able to hide behind weak as shit reservations such as "there are a few things I'd have liked for it to cover in more depth, but overall, I think I agree with it". I wasn't lying when I said it was a very interesting read. There's a lot to learn here about the so-called "rationalist" mindset, and how it can become so utterly detached from the scientific enterprise.

And what better way to introduce this assassination of science, than with this audacious dismissal of the idea that correlations made by people the author agree with do not imply causation?

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This is a case of what Garett Jones calls the Everest regression. He says that controlling for height, the atmospheric pressure there is not low. Or as I say, controlling for latitude, the Sahara desert has good weather.

The error here is that HDI and gender equality are substantially linked. Controlling for HDI or GDP is like controlling for gender equality. As a general case, all good things are correlated: technology, moral progress, GDP, country IQ, industrialisation tend to be coupled. We don’t need power to explain those differences.

Okay, let's follow his reasoning through. After controlling for height, the atmospheric pressure at the summit of the Everest is normal. This is obviously because altitude is the only factor (it actually isn't but w/e) that affects pressure at this position on the surface of Earth ; there's no need for an alternate explanation. Therefore, if after controlling for HDI the gender differences are normal for any set of gender-equality factors, it means... OH SH-

This would also be a questionable cause fallacy, of course. The entire point of Dr. Sadedin was to give an alternative interpretation of the same results (high HDI causes men to act more stereotypically masculine) that makes at least as much sense as the one this study was clearly designed around (gender equality causes people to act more stereotypically gendered), just to show that you can't easily conclude any causation from a mess of correlations that are also correlated with each other. The same mess of correlation that the blog's author actually mention while completely ignoring its actual implications. Science is fucking hard, guys.

The concept behind the "Everest regression" itself is a massive fallacy. Its implication that controlling for known external factors is fallacious is... beyond insane. You can't even argue that it denounces somehow "abusive" or "illegitimate" forms of control, either, because its textbook case IS logically sound and scientifically meaningful. We can evaluate the correlation between pressure and height (and maybe also temperature...) from other measurements. If the pressure at Mt Everest is NOT normal controlling for height, then there has to be an additional factor to explain this discrepancy.

Jones is an associate professor in economics at the Koch-funded George Mason University. From what I can guess, he invented his fallacy in order to defend IQ as some essential measurement of man, against trained psychologists who mostly see it as a tool which nicely correlates with many factors of social success. I'll let you make your own opinion of the man, his works, and whether his layman's stances on natural sciences are worth your consideration. Besides Googling his name, his Twitter is a good source of information ; Here's a reblog demonstrating his vision on what makes good science.

Incidentally, cursory knowledge of world geography would tell you the Sahara's weather is, in fact, particularly inhospitable even when accounting for latitude. Unless you define "good weather" as "sunny", in which case the Sahara has excellent weather regardless of latitude.

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The paper says that initially, mental rotation differences were moderaly large, d=.59, for men primed male and women rimed female. (p=0.01).  For men and women both primed male, the effect was d=0.01. But what is the p-value or that? Well, p=0.94. Yes, 19 times larger than the standard 0.05 cutoff commonly accepted for statistical significance. For the whole set they report statistical significant results, but no effect size. We can also study statistical significance in the extreme case: female primed men and male primed women. If we plug in their data in a Welch’s t-test calculator, we get a p-value of 0.61. Again, not statistically significant.

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Like David Silverman in his interview by Bill O'Reilly, I... genuinely can't explain what I have in front of me. This is faux-scientific fetishism of the dumbest fucking kind, the end result of years of smug rationalist cargo cult enabled by the likes of Scott Alexander. That man's understanding of p-values is apparently limited to "low good, high bad".

The difference in test results between men and women both primed male is tiny. This results in a very high p-value. A valid interpretation of this p-value is that this kind of result would be very likely to be found if there was no difference between the two studied groups with regard to the studied characteristic. Or, to use a handy "Everest regression": when controlling for male priming, there's no observed difference in tests results between men and women. This tends to corroborate Dr. Sadedin's hypothesis that gender priming, not biological sex, is to blame for the widely measured disparity between men and women on spatial reasoning skills.

Meanwhile, I'm calculating a p-value around 0.014 for women primed female vs women primed male. I can't get the exact value without the group sizes, but my other calculations fit quite well with the blog author's numbers. In any case, that's actually quite significant. Obviously, this is also good for Dr. Sadedin's claim that gendered priming has an influence on test results.

I'm aware this study cannot be the be-all end-all on the subject. In fact, I'm almost certain more data will come out or already exist, that directly contradicts these results. It doesn't matter. Even if the scores behind this study were found to be completely forged, it does not excuse or justify the blog author's hatchet job in any way whatsoever.

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There is a significant overlap, yes. But if we look at the tails, as I’ve been stressing over and over, one can still see massive differences.

The defilement of science is less eye-gouging than in the two previous exhibits, but there's a lot of different wrongs in this single point.
  • The linked article was written by an economist. Incidentally, the same economist with no background in natural sciences that pulled the Everest regression out of his ass.
  • It is, in fact, a libertarian political tract poorly disguised as a scientific study. Which is admittedly par for the course for an economist.
  • The blog author was trying to address the differences in software engineering skill between men and women. The relevant part of the article is about IQ instead.
  • Said part is based on a survey from Scotland, made in... 1932. That's right, 85 year old data from a fairly small and culturally homogeneous population.
  • On 11 year old kids.
  • The "massive differences" touted by the blog author... simply aren't that massive. Even at the very tail end of the chart, we have 277 boys for 203 girls, which is a bit over four boys for every three girls.
  • Inflated claims and abusive use of IQ as a measure for skill notwithstanding, this number does not even come close to explaining the truly massive gender disparities in software engineering.
From a more personal perspective, as a software engineer myself, I'm highly skeptical of the underlying claim that doing my job competently actually requires such extraordinary mental prowess.

As for the rest of the article past this point... it becomes pretty boring, to be quite honest. The author keeps talking past Dr. Sadedin's points, often rephrasing what she just said in a marginally more favorable way and then calling it a win. For a while, he just quotes relevant studies from actual scientists, wisely abstaining himself from adding his own commentary or conclusions. Then both the original response and the blog post drift into politics and I can finally be excused for not giving a shit. There isn't much to say about the author's self-congratulating conclusion, either.


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Obviously not a direct question this time, buddy, but... why do you hate science so much? Why do you keep using it as a blunt weapon against your rhetorical opponents, without showing any respect to its most fundamental principles? Why do you spew self-righteous bullshit like "I guess science is sexist now" or "rather than approaching this ideologically, let's look at it scientifically", only to effectively disown it by including such enormities in your narrative?

I mean... is it really worth it? What are you even trying to achieve here, and I actually do mean, here? You've already claimed Religion and Philosophy, Politics and Government, Society and History, was that not enough for you? Did you really have to bring your usual drivel to Science&Tech, incidentally the only place where I would give a fuck about it in in the first place, and then gloat openly over Queen taking the bait? And then take a blatant bait yourself, deliberately or not? Did you think you were the only one "clever" enough for that kind of dirty trick, or did you just decide to go along with the ride?

Because, unless making people exhaust themselves was somehow actually part of your goal, I'm pretty sure you haven't achieved anything here.
6
Entertainment and Television / Re: TV Shows
« Last post by Sigmaleph on Today at 09:54:35 pm »
Warning, Game o' Thrones spoilers...

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Wights are not zombies, though? like canonically wights are caused by the white walkers, not by other wights. There's no indication someone killed by a wight when there aren't white walkers around becomes a wight

Then again if D&D want a zombie apocalypse they're not gonna let a silly thing like canon get in their way, so.
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Politics and Government / Re: Mr. Trump Goes to Washington
« Last post by niam2023 on Today at 09:27:41 pm »
I believe it is false and unhelpful to declare that every single person who voted for Trump to be completely, utterly, irredeemably evil.  Most humans are morally complicated and posses a mixture of good and bad traits (ie my dad was a loving father who dedicated his life to help others as a parole officer because he truly wanted to help others.  He was also a homophobe who told me when I first asked what a gay person was that they were selfish people who didn't follow God's plan).

But to say that Trump voters did something morally wrong and bare responsibility for it does not amount to that.  You can say that someone has done wrong without claiming them to be 100% evil.

Is it morally right to vote for a candidate for whose favor the game was rigged? Maybe I should go around telling off Hillary voters for "supporting corruption".

A lot of Americans were caught between a rock and a hard place. There were many who either stayed home or . And I don't blame them. After the revelations that the DNC rigged the game in Hillary's favor, I don't think we have any right to judge people who didn't vote for her.

How many of you understand why so many people voted for Trump? How many of you have looked more deeply into the matter? I've looked, and if I'm honest? For a lot of these people, I can understand, even sympathize with why they did it, even if I don't like the result. Instead of looking down on people for exercising their democratic rights in a way we didn't like, I think we should try to understand their grievances and motivations.

Nazi apologia is completely revolting.

The right choice is never the Nazi. I'll vote lizard over wizard any day, and those that don't cannot be held to be unaccountable for their choices. We do not need to understand the motivations of these people. Voting Trump, heiling him in Nazi style, and supporting white supremacy makes abjectly unremarkable people feel better. That is it. All there is to understand.

They're afraid of the world leaving them behind, and indeed. The world should leave these walking slime molds behind.
8
Politics and Government / Re: Mr. Trump Goes to Washington
« Last post by The_Queen on Today at 08:53:50 pm »
I believe it is false and unhelpful to declare that every single person who voted for Trump to be completely, utterly, irredeemably evil.  Most humans are morally complicated and posses a mixture of good and bad traits (ie my dad was a loving father who dedicated his life to help others as a parole officer because he truly wanted to help others.  He was also a homophobe who told me when I first asked what a gay person was that they were selfish people who didn't follow God's plan).

But to say that Trump voters did something morally wrong and bare responsibility for it does not amount to that.  You can say that someone has done wrong without claiming them to be 100% evil.

Is it morally right to vote for a candidate for whose favor the game was rigged? Maybe I should go around telling off Hillary voters for "supporting corruption".

A lot of Americans were caught between a rock and a hard place. There were many who either stayed home or . And I don't blame them. After the revelations that the DNC rigged the game in Hillary's favor, I don't think we have any right to judge people who didn't vote for her.

How many of you understand why so many people voted for Trump? How many of you have looked more deeply into the matter? I've looked, and if I'm honest? For a lot of these people, I can understand, even sympathize with why they did it, even if I don't like the result. Instead of looking down on people for exercising their democratic rights in a way we didn't like, I think we should try to understand their grievances and motivations.

Hey, Paragon, didn't we have this conversation like 80 pages and six months ago. Didn't we already shut you up on the point, Paragon. Now, 80 pages later, you renew this argument, Paragon, thinking that we all forgot.

Fuck off.
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Politics and Government / Re: Mr. Trump Goes to Washington
« Last post by davedan on Today at 08:41:02 pm »
Your link about how you've looked deeply is a dead link. But given how deeply you've looked into the matter why not elucidate us with your views. Personally I don't see how anyone could ever equate Trump as being the lesser of two evils. I mean people will say they were duped but it was pretty fucking obvious.
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Politics and Government / Re: Mr. Trump Goes to Washington
« Last post by Eiki-mun on Today at 07:58:33 pm »
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